Southern NH

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.

Railroad Crossing
Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

Should lawmakers dissolve the unfunded, volunteer-run New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority? That was the question at a House Transportation Committee public hearing Wednesday. 

Last spring, lawmakers voted not to pursue preliminary steps to connect rail line from Boston to southern NH. Now, Republican House member Neal Kurk of Weare told the House Transportation Committee  he wants to eradicate the unfunded group of volunteers tasked by lawmakers with overseeing rail development in New Hampshire.

The organization that resettles refugees in Manchester says it’s ready to take action against an executive order likely to be announced by the Trump administration Thursday. Nearly 450 refugees were resettled in New Hampshire last year.

Allegra Boverman

Over 100 people gathered on Manchester’s West side Monday evening for a vigil after racist signs were found in the city last week.

In the chilly damp evening at Rock Rimmon Park, people held hands in a circle. Some wore headscarves; others the red jackets of Americorps City Year, a group that works in Manchester’s public schools.

They were there because last week, signs were found near two schools and a bridge in Manchester that read “diversity is a code word for white genocide.”

Emily Corwin / NHPR

For 35 years, the Martin Luther King Coalition has hosted a celebration of the late civil rights leader’s birthday in Manchester. Some at this year’s event said now more than ever - King’s Legacy must not be forgotten.

Early in her invocation, Meriden’s United Church of Christ Reverend, Gail Kinney, zeroed in on current events.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Updated on Jan. 13, 2017 at 5:07 PM:

Visiting hours will return to normal on Saturday at the state prison for men. Inmate visits were halted earlier this week after a series of likely drug overdoses left one man dead.

In the meantime, the department says it is investigating the type, source, and entry point of the drugs that caused the following three incidents.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Over the summer, Nashua aldermen voted to make Nashua a sister city with Mysore, India - a city 100 miles southwest of Bangalore.

Now, a local Rotary Club is sending a group of four Americans there.  

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Chris Webber was in jail on a couple hundred dollars cash bail the day his daughter was born. He wasn't there because of his trespassing and resisting arrest convictions. He was there because he misses court dates, and he's poor.

The organization that handles refugee resettlement in Manchester says  it’s seen an uptick in volunteers there over the course of the presidential campaign season.  

Usually, a case manager drives new refugee families to apply for things like fuel assistance.  But on Monday, a volunteer made the trip, said  Amadou Hamady, the Manchester site director of the International Institute of New England.

Courtroom One Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Tuesday would have marked the first day of Manchester’s new drug court, which gives drug-crime offenders struggling with addiction a chance to get treatment instead of incarceration. But, according to the Union Leader, the opening has been delayed one week, due to a lack of participants.

In June of last year, the city’s commissioners denied funding for the program.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

In Manchester, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is partnering with state and local agencies in a new effort to curtail both the supply of illicit opioids and the demand for them.

On the demand side, the DEA program is starting young. Tuesday, students from Parker-Varney and Green Acres Elementary Schools danced to Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” Cristine Dhimos is the regional manager of the after school dance program. 

“I think one of the best things is the kids have an opportunity to be in a safe place for one hour,” she says.

  State and city officials will meet with a representative of the US Drug Enforcement Administration Tuesday in Manchester to discuss the Agency’s new strategy to address drug crimes in the city. 

On Tuesday, thousands of New Hampshire voters will fill in a bubble way down the ballot, under “County Attorney.” It's likely few will know who they are voting for. Below, are interviews with all four candidates for the two contested county attorney seats in N.H. 

Click on the menu below to see how each candidate answered  her questions. 

RELATED: What's At Stake In Rockingham And Hillsborough's County Attorney Races

On Tuesday, thousands of New Hampshire voters will fill in a bubble way down the ballot - under “County Attorney.” But who are they voting for, and what does the job entail?  Few seem to know.

Related: Read Emily Corwin's interviews with the candidates for Hillsborough and Rockingham County Attorneys.

Earlier this year, it seemed a commuter rail line could really happen for Southern New Hampshire.  

Polling had shown 74 percent of residents support it, and lawmakers were voting on whether to use $4 million in federal dollars to connect Boston’s commuter rail to Nashua and Manchester.

Via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/7MMKBg

The well serving Kingston NH’s Fire Department has tested above the state’s standard for PFOA, a water contaminant also found at the former Pease Air Force Base, and surrounding the Saint-Gobain plastics plant in Merrimack.

The state tested the Kingston Fire Department’s well water first in September. That was after the town began offering the water to residents whose wells are failing due to the drought.  This week, a second water test confirmed: Kingston’s fire department’s well is contaminated with PFOA, at a level over the state’s regulatory standard.

Scott McGilvray of Hooksett is President of NEA-New Hampshire, the state’s largest teachers union, and that’s a job he says he’ll keep if he wins a seat on the state Senate.  McGilvray says there’s no conflict of interest, because he stopped doing any lobbying work. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The New Hampshire internet company, Dyn, has restored services after a cyber-attack Friday morning.

The Manchester-based company provides internet infrastructure services to major internet companies including Twitter, Etsy, and CNBC.

Dyn says it began investigating the attack early Friday morning as it began to affect websites on the East coast.  Reportedly, Dyn customers including Twitter, Spotify, and Reddit were shut down or performing poorly.

By 10:30 this morning, Dyn said its services had been restored. 

Jessica Hunt for NHPR

Jim Lawrence, a Republican running for U.S. Congress from Hudson, hasn’t paid property taxes on his home for three years, according to the Concord Monitor, which reported Lawrence owes the town of Hudson $15,614 for a home valued at $289,100.

www.lawrenceforcongress.com

Republican candidate for Congress Jim Lawrence provided details on his business background in an interview with the Union Leader, after a report by NHPR into Lawrence’s business record. 

Jessica Hunt, NHPR

Jim Lawrence is running for Congress in District 2  in New Hampshire. He’s a Republican, going up against incumbent Democrat, Ann McLane Kuster. His pitch to voters relies heavily on his record as what he calls "a small business owner."  But it’s hard to get much detail on what exactly that record entails.

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