Southern NH

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Telegraph in Nashua has been in the news lately for a high profile firing and resignation.  Now the paper is under investigation by the state’s labor department.  

NHPR Staff

A woman who attempted to work with the city of Nashua, New Hampshire, as a volunteer grant writer has pleaded guilty to identity fraud.

Police said 43-year-old Dana Michelle Lawrence is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 28.

According to court documents, in 2006, Lawrence was sentenced in Rhode Island to a year in jail for theft. She didn't follow terms of probation; a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Jimmy Gutierrez for NHPR

For most of the year, residents of New Hampshire can struggle to find good, authentic Latin cuisine. But one summer day every year, St. Aloysius of Gonzaga parish in Nashua’s ‘Tree Street’ neighborhood makes things a little easier.

That’s when they hold their annual fundraiser – the Latino-American festival. The fest features foodie favorites from Mexico, Colombia, and El Salvador. The event celebrated its thirteenth year this past Sunday, and NHPR’s Jimmy Gutierrez went to grab a bite for Foodstuffs. 

A judge this week ordered a Manchester business owner to remove controversial signs from his electronic billboard, saying the messages can only pertain to his mortgage business.

The businessman, Michael Gill, is appealing - saying the order violates his constitutional rights.

AP/Mark Duncan

Just weeks after New Hampshire legalized Keno, the state’s lottery commission has started pitching the electronic bingo game to cities across the state.

Under the new law, money raised by Keno will go towards full-day kindergarten programs statewide. But the game will only be allowed in cities and towns that approve it. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Telegraph of Nashua found itself in an awkward situation for a newspaper recently. Turmoil in the paper’s management was making the headlines.

The paper’s top editor was fired last week. Another senior editor quit. This comes less than a year after the Telegraph’s managing editor left in protest. Former employees say much of the unrest is due to the paper’s owners, an out-of-state chain that bought The Telegraph four years ago.

AP/Mark Duncan

The Nashua Board of Aldermen will hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the electronic bingo game Keno.

Last month Gov. Chris Sununu signed legislation legalizing Keno, but where the game can be played is still up to cities and towns.

CREDIT PORTSMOUTH POLICE DEPARTMENT

A New Hampshire State Rep from Hudson has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault involving a 16-year-old girl.

Flickr/Bhaskar Dutta

The top editor in the newsroom at the Nashua Telegraph has been fired.

WWW.LBPA.COM

Southern New Hampshire University will not be buying the 54-acre campus previously known as Daniel Webster College in Nashua.

The college announced this fall it was closing due to financial problems.

James Lee via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/92Maje

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says sales will begin soon for special permits allowing hunters to take additional antlerless deer in the southeastern part of the state this fall.

Up to 750 hunters will be allowed to purchase Special Antlerless Deer Permits for Unit L this year. These permits will all come with one deer tag at a cost of $26. Only one Unit L permit can be issued per sportsperson. Unit L permits will be sold online only at www.nhfishandgame.com.

C. Hanchey via Flickr CC.

The city of Nashua will now offer full-day kindergarten at all of its elementary schools. That decision comes as lawmakers in Concord decide whether to support full-day kindergarten state-wide.

Nashua joins the roughly three quarters of school districts around the state that offer full-day kindergarten programs.

Districts who offer full-day programs, do so without support from the state.

But interim superintendent of Nashua Schools Connie Brown says with an overall decline in enrollment, they will be able to implement the program at no cost.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

The fifth and final "Welcome Home" ceremony for Vietnam Veterans will take place Saturday in Hudson. The event is hosted by the New Hampshire National Guard. 

When troops came back from fighting in Vietnam, they weren't universally welcomed. In some cases, they were actually scorned by those who opposed the war.

Now, however, Vietnam veterans are more widely recognized as having served their country honorably. More than a third of New Hampshire's veterans served during the Vietnam era.

It’s a weekend of unusual events in New Hampshire.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

There was singing in three languages, chants, even a prayer Monday night at Veterans Park in Manchester. There, demonstrators gathered in a chilly rain to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies. The administration had created a new urgency for this annual May Day rally.

Zagster

A bike share program in Manchester could be underway as early as June 1. 

Carol Gayman is the engine behind the project. She lives in Manchester, where she rides her bike and works at the YMCA. Manchester is not known for its spending on public goods.

"We needed all private sponsorship dollars for this project to work in Manchester," Gayman said. After 18 months hustling for those sponsorships, Gayman says she’s "99.9 percent certain that as of May 2, it will get the nod from the full board of mayor and alderman."

Connor Mahar

The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus will perform in Manchester for the last time, this weekend.

This hundred and forty-six year-old spectacle is known as the Greatest Show On Earth. Recently, it’s been stopping through Manchester every year since the early 2000’s.

Since then, ticket sales have declined. Animal Rights activists pressured the circus to retire their elephants a year ago, and the circus itself will retire in May.

The Flying Gravity youth circus troupe will be in Manchester to witness the Ringling Brothers’ final performances here.  

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Jared Barbosa is an Elementary School guidance counselor who was raised by a professional soccer player. His dad, Manoel “Boom Boom” Barbosa, competed all over the world before settling down in Nashua, N.H.

Jared says professional soccer was his dad’s ticket out of poverty in Brazil. College soccer was his ticket to economic mobility.

He doesn’t think high level sports should exclude low-income kids.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/autophotomoto/">autophotomoto</a> / Flickr

Saint-Gobain, a multinational plastics company, has agreed to pay for the design efforts to extend public water lines in Bedford.  The new water mains will connect to homes with wells contaminated by perfluorichemicals, most likely released from Saint-Gobain’s smokestacks. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The Greater Nashua NAACP held its first open meeting in nearly a decade on Wednesday night.

Gloria Timmons founded the group in 2004, and has started it up again after a 10-year hiatus. She says she was motivated by what she called the increasingly hostile political environment. "Kids are being called names, the bullying, people are just saying horrible things to people on the street. All kinds of hideous things," Timmons said, are happening in Nashua and surrounding towns.

Diocese of Manchester, NH

  The head of the Catholic Diocese of Manchester, NH has instructed clergy not to house unauthorized immigrants facing possible deportation.

According to Tom Bebbington, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Manchester, the Bishop had received questions from priests about how to respond to news of increased deportation enforcement. On Friday, the Bishop sent a letter to local church leaders urging them not house unauthorized immigrants in their churches.

Nashua Department of Public Health and Community Services

Nashua’s Health Department wants you to stop using the word “addict.”

“We need to talk about substance use disorder like the disease that it is,” health educator Aly McKnight told a captive audience of thirty or so in the basement of Nashua Public Library last month.  She pointed to a list of “stigmatizing” words projected onto a screen. “Alcoholic,” “junkie,” even “addiction” should be avoided, it said. 

Salem Police Department

Police say a condemned house exploded and went up in flames in Salem as they responded to a neighbor dispute over stacking firewood, and about eight homes were evacuated.

Police said they tried to approach a man near the home Monday night, but never spoke to him. Police Capt. Rob Morin said they heard a hissing sound, followed by a strong odor of gas, and backed away. An explosion blew off the roof and broke windows. Neighbors said they heard a popping sound.

www.harriman.com

  Nashua's Board of Education approved a budget this week that includes full-day kindergarten at all of the city’s schools. Currently, full-day kindergarten is offered at six the city’s twelve elementary schools.

Its expansion has been championed by Jim Donchess, the city’s mayor.

Nashua’s school budget, including funds for full day kindergarten, will now go to the Board of Alderman and then the Board of Education.

About three quarters of towns and cities in New Hampshire offer full day kindergarten.

Brady Carlson for NHPR / NHPR

Health care reform, public education and infrastructure spending are all hot topics in Congress – and the State House – nowadays. In Nashua, New Hampshire’s second largest city, Mayor Jim Donchess has been pushing his own ideas on these very issues. Sometimes, this puts him at odds with the folks calling the shots in Concord and Washington.

Recently, during a class on city government

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Not even Mayor Jim Donchess expected the city’s new thirteen-week, twenty-six hour class on city government to fill up so fast.  

“Fifty people seemed like comfortable number,” Donchess said. When those seats filled up quickly,  his office closed registration.

The syllabus includes subjects such as what happens to solid waste, and what tax assessors do.

“Well, I wouldn’t call it dry,” Jay Welch said as students streamed into the city’s auditorium. Like many who showed up, Welch is an avid volunteer.

What’s the appeal? Answers ran the gamut.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Michael Treadwell sat at the back of a courtroom.  In a windbreaker and khaki pants, he leaned over his work boots, elbows on his knees. At first, I thought he was chewing gum – a bold choice in a courtroom.  When we began to talk, I discovered it wasn't gum Michael was chewing.  It was his own gums. Michael doesn't have any teeth.

Ryan Caron King / New England News Collaborative

New Hampshire’s refugee resettlement agencies are moving fast to bring at least six refugees to the state before February 17th. That’s after a Federal Judge on Friday blocked parts of a Trump Administration executive order, including a 120-day ban on refugee admissions, and an indefinite ban on all immigration from Syria.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

While President Trump's recent executive order on refugees and immigrants has caused much concern across New Hampshire, there are also plenty of folks in the state who are happy with the new president's first decisive actions. 

Ceyhun (Jay) Isik / https://flic.kr/p/cG7qFL

Preliminary results are in from blood testing provided to Southern New Hampshire residents exposed to contaminated well-water.

The contamination was discovered last March, in ground water near a plastics plant in Merrimack, called Saint-Gobain. Blood tests began in June, and now the first 147 results are in.

The contaminant is not well understood, so it makes sense to interpret the results by comparison.

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