Southern NH

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 The city of Manchester has won a $25,000 prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for cultivating what the foundation calls a “culture of health.” 

Manchester is one of seven communities to receive the prize, out of nearly 200 applicants. 

Saint-George's, Manchester, NH

This weekend is Saint-George Greek Orthodox Church’s 37th annual Glendi festival in Manchester-- the church's largest fundraiser of the year. 

Glendi is the Greek word for “celebration," and the festival, which runs from Friday through Sunday, includes live music, traditional costumed dancing, and plenty of Greek food.

Frank Comerford is the president of the church’s Board of Directors, and calls himself "the Irish president of the Greek Cathedral." If he could only get one thing at the festival all weekend, Comeford says, he would get the lamb shank.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The state will offer blood tests to a random selection of residents who use  city water in Merrimack. That’s despite the fact that public water in Merrimack is currently below the state’s enforceable threshold for PFOA contamination.

Surrounding the Saint-Gobain plastics plant in Merrimack, over 600 private wells have been tested for the chemical PFOA, and more than a third have turned up with high enough contamination to qualify for bottled water, new water infrastructure, and blood tests paid for by Saint-Gobain.

Comstock/Thinkstock

As New Hampshire regulators consider adopting the EPA’s PFOA health advisory as the state’s enforceable standard, a New Jersey committee has recommended setting a much lower standard in that state.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

In the last couple years, millions of people across the country have learned their drinking water contains high levels of the contaminants known as perfluorichemicals. These are used to make nonstick things like Teflon and pizza boxes.  And for those with illnesses that are linked to the contaminant, that knowledge can be helpful -- and frustrating.

WMUR

Two Republican candidates for the state's 2nd Congressional District went head to head for an hour Thursday night during a debate hosted by WMUR and the Union Leader. Jack Flanagan and Jim Lawrence are vying to go up against incumbent Democrat Annie Kuster.

The Conservation Law Foundation says it will file two lawsuits against the Pease Development Authority over stormwater discharges, which the foundation alleges contains high levels of the chemical contaminants PFOA and PFOS.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The Radisson ballroom was not yet full, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would not arrive for almost an hour. Already, the crowd chanted, “lock her up.” Peter Vincello from Raymond was on his way in, with his 15 year-old son.

“He kinda talked me into it. I was actually supporting Cruz in the primary.” But now, Vincello said, “He says all the right things, second amendment, getting the economy back, law and order.”

public domain / wikimedia commons

The state’s Department of Environmental Services is going through the public comments as it weighs how much of the contaminants PFOA and PFOS to allow in drinking water in the state. These are the chemicals that have contaminated wells in Southern NH, on the former Pease Air Force Base, and countless other locations around the country and the world. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Thirteen years ago, Roni Vetter bought an ice-cream shop called Jake’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream. Today, Jake’s is a locally-sourced, wholesale ice cream supplier out of Vetter’s hometown of Nashua.  For this week’s installment of our weekly series “Foodstuffs,” NHPR visited Vetter’s tiny ice cream factory, and saw her process step-by-step.

Joe Shlabotnik/flickr

This Friday is the last day for New Hampshire residents to weigh in on drinking water standards for the chemicals PFOA and PFOS. These are the chemicals that have contaminated drinking water in Southern NH, on the former Pease Air Force Base, and countless other locations around the country and the world.

On Tuesday, NHPR host, Brady Carlson spoke with reporter Emily Corwin about the deadline.

So get me up to date here. Friday is the deadline for the public to comment on a new rule?

Emily Corwin

Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen called on Congress today to provide money for research on the Zika virus. She spoke to state and town officials in Salem, where mosquitos with both West Nile and EEE have been successfully controlled in years past.

The state’s Health department says New Hampshire’s fourth and final medical marijuana dispensary will open Thursday in Merrimack.

Emily Corwin

New analysis of state and county-wide data shows black and Hispanic people are arrested and incarcerated at higher rates in New Hampshire than whites are, and at more disproportionate rates than blacks and Hispanics nationwide.

Little research has been done in New Hampshire on race and the state's 10 county jails, which are run by county government.  No comprehensive data is available regarding these jails’ populations. But in our recent story, Racial Disparities Increase At Each Step Of N.H.'s Justice System, data provided to NHPR by the Valley Street Jail in Hillsborough County allows a glimpse into the details of who is incarcerated here, and why.

Here are the numbers behind our analysis.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Click photos for slideshow.

For the last few months, Laura McCarthy has been preparing to put a lifetime of training on display before an international audience in Rio de Janeiro—home of this year’s summer Olympics.  No, McCarthy is not an athlete. She’s a fashion designer. And today – a collaboration she’s been working on for months will be draped on a Brazilian model, and strutted down a runway in Rio.

US Drought Mitigation Center

Despite the rainy weekend, the state’s environmental services department is continuing to urge residents in areas with severe drought to conserve water. 

The drought has been called the worst in New Hampshire in over a decade. While over 100 water systems in the state have formal outdoor watering bans and restrictions in place, the state is asking even those not listed to conserve water. 

US Drought Mitigation Center

The region's ongoing drought has forced state officials to restrict or ban outdoor water use in 54 New Hampshire towns and cities.

The state's drought management team has classified the North Country and the White Mountains as “abnormally dry,” while four counties in the southern tier are suffering severe drought conditions. 

Emily Corwin

About a year ago, a few members of the Nashua Police force agreed to meet monthly with a handful of Nashua residents to address racial justice in policing. Thursday night, that committee invited members of the public to a meeting at Rivier University to discuss issues around race and policing in the aftermath of violence by and upon law enforcement around the country.

  Residents in Southern NH exposed to high levels of PFOA can begin getting their blood tested, but those blood tests will likely take months to be processed.

State Epidemiologist Ben Chan told residents gathered at Campbell High auditorium in Litchfield that if they qualify for bottled water, then they also qualify for blood tests.

The tests will be drawn locally, but, he says, they have to be sent out of state for processing and will likely take months to get back.

Twitter.com/ChiefWillard

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard's uninhibited style has landed him in the spotlight recently. He’s been outspoken about the state's opioid crisis and has weighed in on political campaign disputes.

Most recently, he’s taken heat for comments about policing and race. But those who work with Willard say his actions often speak better than his words. 

Allegra Boverman

  A few hundred gathered for a Black Lives Matter march down Elm Street in Manchester Saturday evening.

Photo via the Black Live Matter Facebook page

A second Black Lives Matter protest is taking place in downtown Manchester Saturday night. 

Plymouth State University student and Manchester native Tyrell Whitted is organizing the event. He says he hopes Saturday “will be a positive experience, peaceful, everybody’s gonna raise awareness and have a good time.”

Epa.gov

The Coakley Landfill, a federal Superfund site located in North Hampton and Greenland, N.H., is the fifth source of perfluorinated chemicals identified in New Hampshire. 

NHPR

Take a look at the Merrimack, NH Water Issue Facebook page and you’ll see that people on the town's public water are not happy. Dozens call the water commissioners “unprepared,” say they are “protecting the culprit,” and need to “step up.”  

Unlike other towns in New Hampshire, in Merrimack, the public water system (Merrimack Village District, or MVD) is independent from town governance, overseen by its own elected board of commissioners.  

John K via Flickr CC

Residents concerned about PFOA contamination in Merrimack’s public water supplies demanded more accountability from commissioners at a meeting held on Monday.

Unlike many other towns in New Hampshire, Merrimack’s public water is overseen by an independent board of commissioners and is not coordinated with town government.

The Department of Health and Human Services will now pay for blood tests for some residents exposed to chemicals like PFOA and PFOS.

The department paid for the blood tests after workers and parents demanded them following exposure on the Pease Air Force Base two years ago. But DHHS had resisted paying for blood tests in Southern New Hampshire where similar chemicals turned up. That changed today, DHHS spokesman Jake Leon says.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

In Nashua on Wednesday, Republican Ted Gatsas announced his plan to fight opiate addiction across the state. In front of city hall, Gatsas told a small gathering of reporters the heroin crisis needs leadership, saying, "My first act as Governor would be to declare this fentanyl heroin epidemic is a public health emergency." 

Emily Corwin

  A new kind of water contamination has shown up all over the US, including New England. This time it’s not lead, like in the Flint, Michigan water system, but instead it's a chemical used to manufacture Teflon pans, firefighting foam, even microwave popcorn bags. It's forced some communities to hand out bottled water and shut down their water systems.

Two adults and two juveniles died in a four-alarm fire in Manchester early Monday morning. The fire broke out in the back of an apartment building on Wilson Street. Twenty-five people are believed to live in the building.

At five in the morning, residents from a similar apartment building next door were evacuated.

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