Upper Valley

Britta Greene / NHPR

The Lebanon Planning Board Monday night approved plans for a new building to replace a historic church destroyed by fire last year. 

Lebanon’s First Baptist church dated back to the mid 1800s. A fire just after Christmas last year gutted the building. A local man who had been part of the church community was charged with starting the blaze.

Ever since, the congregation has been meeting at the Lebanon Middle School and working on plans to rebuild.

Britta Greene/NHPR

Usually, when you hear people making plans for a murder, it’s in a movie or on TV. But conversations recorded just last month in Plainfield, New Hampshire, aren't fiction.

Britta Greene/NHPR

More than 100 people gathered on the Lebanon green Saturday to rally against a proposed natural gas development in town.

By AlexiusHoratius (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A historic church in Claremont that’s been vacant for years will soon open its doors once again. The church dates back to the 19th century and occupies a prime spot in Claremont’s downtown historic district.

It was owned by the city. but the cost of keeping up the property was simply too high, and it wasn’t being put to use. So, Claremont put it out to bid and got a single offer, from lake Sunapee Baptist Church of Newport.

They settled on a price of $700, a tiny fraction of the property’s approximately $240,000 value.

Proceedings are on hold for an 83-year-old defendant in a murder-for-hire case in Plainfield pending the results of a competency evaluation. 

Courtesy of Opera North

Blow-Me-Down Farm occupies more than 40 acres along the Connecticut River, just across the road from Saint Gaudens National Historic Site. The National Park Service owns the property, and has been working with Lebanon-based Opera North on a plan to spruce up the estate and make it a center for the arts.  

Plainfield Police Department

Prosecutors laid out their evidence Monday in a murder-for-hire case in the town of Plainfield. 

Pauline Chase, 83, and her son Maurice Temple, 63, are charged with plotting to pay another man,  Mark Horne, to kill Temple's ex-wife. 

Plainfield Police Department

The mother and son charged in a Plainfield murder-for-hire plot are slated to appear again in court Monday afternoon. At the hearing, more details of their alleged plot will likely become public. 

Pauline Chase, 83, and Maurice Temple , 63, were arrested last month and charged with plotting to pay for the murder of Temple's ex-wife. Both are being held on $1 million bail. 

Mark Horne, the man who police say Temple and Chase planned to pay for the murder, is not being charged. Sullivan County Attorney  Marc Hathaway said Horne is cooperating with investigators. 

The city of Lebanon has joined the growing list of New Hampshire communities signing on to the goals of the Paris Climate Accord.  

The Lebanon City Council vote was unanimous Wednesday night. Councilors acknowledge that the move doesn't mean any practical changes for the city -- they already have policies on the books to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas footprint. 

Britta Greene/NHPR

The Vilas Bridge spans the Connecticut River with two delicate arches, but it’s seen nearly a century of wear. In some spots, where the concrete has cracked and fallen away, you can see the structure’s metal skeleton, rusting in plain air.

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Hanover has seized three properties from a longtime resident, David Vincelette, after he failed to pay taxes dating back to 2014.

Vincelette is a well known figure in Hanover, and there’s been long-running tension between him and the town. His land is next to a popular nature preserve. Last year, town workers put up a fence along the boundary in an attempt to keep some of Vincelette’s items, like wood pellets and machinery, from spilling over onto town property.

Plainfield Police Department

Mark Horne, the man that a Plainfield mother and son were allegedly plotting to pay to kill the son's ex-wife, continues to serve with Plainfield's volunteer fire department. The mother and son,  Pauline Chase and Maurice Temple, allegedly had multiple conversations with Horne to discuss the murder and compensation. 

Horne is not a defendant in the case. Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway said Horne is cooperating with investigators, but declined to offer further information. 

Plainfield Police Department

Bail has been set at one-million-dollars each for a Plainfield woman and her son in a murder-for-hire case.

Pauline Chase, 83, and her son Maurice Temple, 63, appeared briefly by video conference before a judge Friday in Claremont District Court. Both were arrested on Thursday and charged with plotting to have another man, Mark Horne, kill Temple's ex-wife, Jean Temple.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry delivered a sobering talk  in Hanover Thursday, focusing on the potential for nuclear devastation in today's global environment. His lecture, part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dartmouth's summer lecture series, was largely an attempt at a wake up call.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The Connecticut River springs to life in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, just a few hundred yards from the Canadian border. From there, it snakes 400 or miles southward, where it discharges into the Long Island Sound. This month, a group of river-lovers are paddling the length of the Connecticut to highlight its history, importance and beauty.

Michael Samuels

A small group of New Hampshire veterans will gather in North Haverhill Tuesday to learn about farm equipment and the agricultural industry in the state. 

Šarūnas Burdulis / https://flic.kr/p/8q4XT1

A large, privately held piece of land in Hanover will be protected under a new agreement between the land's owners and the Hanover Conservancy, a private non-profit conservation group.

The land, just over 300 acres northeast of town, overlaps with the Appalachian Trail and is home to woods, streams and wetlands. Those features, plus its location and high elevation, made it particularly attractive to the Hanover Conservancy.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Hundreds of volunteers will head to lakes across the state Saturday for an annual census of New Hampshire's loons. The count is organized by the Loon Preservation Committee, a New Hampshire-based non-profit.

Flickr

Despite mounting public awareness, New Hampshire, like other states, struggles to contain its opioid epidemic. Part of the problem is a lack of real-time information about who’s using opioids, especially fentanyl, and how government policies can help them stop.

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Merle Schotanus of Grantham has had cancer twice, prostate cancer in 2006 and lung cancer in 2014. With the second diagnosis, his doctors removed 20 percent of his right lung.

Of all of the things to worry about after that surgery, the Prouty was on his mind. “I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to participate,” he said.

NHPR Staff

University officials say a Dartmouth College student has been diagnosed with mumps.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the case Monday. School officials say the student is being treated and has been isolated on campus.

Dartmouth officials notified students, faculty and staff about the case.

Fever, muscle aches, fatigue and swollen salivary glands are all symptoms of the contagious disease.

The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is a mandate for Dartmouth students unless they have a special exemption.

New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan is urging a stronger diplomatic response to North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday.

Speaking at an event in Newport Wednesday, Sen. Hassan said she’s worried about President Trump's ability to handle the crisis. "I am very concerned that the President seems to think that diplomacy is something you can do via Twitter," she said. 

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, “So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!”  

Britta Greene / NHPR

Staff at the Newport Health Center shared their concerns about the Senate healthcare bill with New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan Wednesday. 

The center provides people in the Newport area with basic healthcare, including primary and pre-natal care, x-rays and lab services. After a quick tour, Sen. Hassan sat down with administrators and staffers to discuss the current healthcare debate. No one voiced support for the Republican plan, but many criticized the current system. 

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The scene is a fenced-in enclosure, tucked away in the hills in southeastern Vermont. Inside, choreographer Ann Carlson leads a rehearsal with four dancers, a flock of sheep and a border collie.

The dancers drape sheep pelts over their heads, then wave the pelts in front of their bodies like bullfighters — but instead of red cloth, it’s pieces of the animals’ own skin that they’re waving. 

The sheep, it seems, couldn’t care less, until the border collie comes running up. Then, they stop munching the grass, look forward, and run, too. 

The Grafton Superior Court will hear a motion to dismiss a much-publicized case involving a swastika-printed flour sack in an antiques store in Littleton, New Hampshire Tuesday. 

In November, Katherine Ferrier took a picture of the flour sack and posted it to Facebook, writing as part of a long post, "How do you think it’s okay to hang this thing here, front and center, given everything it stands for?"

Britta Greene / NHPR

AVA - a Lebanon-based art gallery, studio and educational space - will celebrate the official dedication of a new sculpture center on Thursday.

 

The center houses studio space for woodworking, metal and glass forging, welding, and other three-dimensional art forms AVA has been unable to offer in its existing facilities.

 

jdurham / Morguefile

River Valley Community College, based in Claremont, is launching two new programs in computer science and information technology. The move is an attempt by the college to better tailor its offerings to the needs of local employers. 

"There are actually companies that are very, very concerned about not finding the right talent in the state," said Ali Rafieymehr, interim president and vice president of academic affairs at RVCC.

Britta Greene / NHPR

What’s notable about Margie Emmons' kayak tours is not necessarily what you can see on the tour, it’s what you can’t.

 

On a recent morning, Emmons led a small group of women on a tour of the Moore Reservoir, just west of Littleton, New Hampshire. Two towns - one on the Vermont side and one in New Hampshire - used to stand in this spot. The remains of both flooded after New England Power built the Moore Dam in the 1950s.

 

Courtesy of Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Joanne Conroy, a hospital executive in Burlington, Mass., will be the next CEO and president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Conroy will take over the role in August after the departure of James Weinstein.  

Dartmouth-Hitchcock is the state's largest health system, with about 12,000 employees and 24 clinics in New Hampshire and Vermont. Conroy, an anesthesiologist, will be the first woman to lead the Lebanon-based system.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Four panelists -- three of them veterans -- answered questions about their personal experiences navigating gender and sexuality issues at a public discussion at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont on Wednesday.

The event was part of a broader effort by the VA to let veterans know they can be honest about their gender and sexuality and still access medical care within the VA system.

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