Upper Valley

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A state law enforcement investigation into a high-profile, allegedly racially motivated attack in Claremont is now complete, state Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said Thursday. The close of the investigation marks a progression in the case, but few additional details are now public. 

In August, the mother of a young biracial boy said her son was attacked by local teens. She said the teens tied a rope around his neck and pushed him off a picnic table. He had to be airlifted to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Britta Greene/NHPR

Rory Gawler bought a big, old farmhouse in Lebanon about seven or eight years ago. It has beautiful views of the Mascoma River valley and a little orchard in the backyard. 

It’s mostly surrounded by open space, but next door — and really, right next door — is another house that’s not in good shape. Lebanon’s property records list it in “very poor” condition. It’s run-down and sprawling, with low ceilings and peeling walls. There’s even trees growing up through the pool outside, Gawler said. 

Editor's Note: We strongly recommend listening to this story. 

Plainfield Police

A man charged in a murder-for-hire plot in the town of Plainfield was found not guilty by a jury Tuesday.

Prosecutors argued Maurice Temple, along with his 83-year-old mother, plotted to pay another man to kill his ex-wife. Temple’s attorney said he was instead set up by that would-be hit man, who owed his mother money and first went to police with the story of the murder plot.

Temple’s mother was found to be mentally unfit for trial last month. 

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Dr. Anna Konopka, a New London doctor who's been fighting in the courts to reopen her practice, was dealt another disappointment this week. In a decision released Wednesday, a judge in Merrimack County Superior Court denied her motion to have her case reconsidered.

The news comes after Konopka learned just last week that she's under investigation by her local police department. The details of that investigation remain unclear. 

Lawyer: Man Accused in Murder-for-Hire Plot Was Set Up

Dec 7, 2017
Plainfield Police

The attorney for a New Hampshire man accused of participating in a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his ex-wife says he was set up by a prosecution witness.

The trial started Wednesday for 63-year-old Maurice Temple. He's charged with criminal solicitation of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempt to commit murder.

He and his mother, 83-year-old Pauline Chase, were arrested in July after the witness, Mark Horne, agreed to secretly record police-authorized phone and video conversations.

Plainfield Police

  A judge has ruled one of two defendants in a murder-for-hire case out of Plainfield is not competent to stand trial.

Pauline Chase, 83, was charged with plotting to pay a local man to kill her son's ex-wife. That man, the would-be hit man, ended up going to the police. He recorded phone calls and videos for police investigators of his interactions with Chase and her son.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

A judge in Merrimack County Superior Court has dismissed a case brought by a New London doctor who said she was forced to close her practice under pressure from the state.

Dr. Anna Konopka agreed to surrender her license this fall to settle allegations from the New Hampshire Board of Medicine. The details of those allegations are sealed, but Konopka admits she failed to use an online database required for doctors prescribing opioids. In her mid-80s, Konopka does not use a computer.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

Dartmouth's student newspaper published a statement Saturday from a group of 15 students and postdoctoral researchers in the college's Psychological and Brain Sciences Department, offering further details on allegations against three of the department's professors.

The professors -- Todd Heatherton, Bill Kelley and Paul Whalen -- are under investigation by both college and law enforcement officials for sexual misconduct. 

Courtesy of Dartmouth-Hitchcock

New Hampshire's largest hospital is struggling to fill open positions, said Joanne Conroy, CEO and President of Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Conroy spoke to local government and health leaders in Lebanon Friday morning at the annual meeting of the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is currently working with a staffing agency to temporarily fill more than 100 open nursing positions, she said. The hospital is looking at incentives like travel stipends to try to sweeten the deal for prospective employees.

NHPR Staff

A former Dartmouth professor says she reported an incident of sexual harassment involving Todd Heatherton – one of three professors now under criminal investigation – to the college about 15 years ago, raising questions about Dartmouth's handling of misconduct complaints.

File photo

Fall Mountain Regional School District has found a solution to an ongoing dispute over use of its high school cafeteria for shooting practices.

The district changed its weapons policy earlier this year to allow the Junior ROTC program to use the high school for its marksmanship practices, where students shoot air rifles at targets.

The school board thought the cafeteria could be safely secured, but some community members disagree. They say having weapons of any kind on school property is not a good idea.

Governor Chris Sununu has replaced the chairman of the state Fish and Game Commission following the commission's strong public criticism of the governor around public boat access on Lake Sunapee.

Plans for a new boat access at what’s known as the Wild Goose Site had been in the works for decades when Governor Sununu pulled the plug on the project in July. Sununu cited environmental and traffic concerns in his decision.

NHPR Staff

Allegations of sexual misconduct involving three professors in the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department at Dartmouth College do not relate to the professors' treatment of human research subjects, according to the college.

 

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

About 10 patients of a New London doctor traveled to Concord Friday to observe her first appearance in court. Dr. Anna Konopka, who is 84, is challenging the New Hampshire Board of Medicine, saying she was forced to surrender her license and close her practice last month. The board argues instead that Konopka, aware of the allegations against her, chose to settle and surrender her license voluntarily.

Courtesy Sarah Lindberg

One of three bears relocated from the Hanover area this spring was shot and killed by a hunter in Quebec shortly after it was released, according to Andy Timmins, bear project leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

File photo

Fall Mountain Regional School District Superintendent Lori Landry will meet with community members Thursday night about a controversial plan to allow marksmanship practices in the local high school cafeteria.

The Fall Mountain Regional School Board approved an exemption to its weapons policy earlier this fall to allow the Army JROTC program to bring in air rifles for the practices subject to certain safety precautions -- things like closed blinds, locked doors and secured entry.

NHPR File

   

Attorneys for a Dartmouth College professor under criminal investigation for sexual misconduct are pushing back against the allegations. 

 

Flickr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office announced Tuesday it is one of several agencies looking into allegations of sexual misconduct at Dartmouth College.

Via Dartmouth.edu

Dartmouth College's head football coach is apologizing after an assistant coach punched a press box window at Harvard Stadium, spreading shards of broken glass on spectators, after his team fumbled a punt against Harvard.

One spectator was reportedly injured in the incident Saturday.

Dartmouth Head Coach Buddy Teevens released a statement after the game saying Assistant Coach Dion King "let his emotions get the best of him." Teevans said "Dion and Dartmouth Football are terribly sorry for his actions and any harm caused by them."

NHPR Staff

Dartmouth College is investigating allegations of “serious misconduct” involving three professors in the school’s psychological and brain sciences department. The professors – Todd Heatherton, Bill Kelley and Paul Whalen – are on paid leave.

“We are engaged in a thorough and impartial process that protects the rights of all parties and promotes the safety of our campus community," the college said in a statement.

Dartmouth has limited the professors’ access to campus pending the result of the investigation.

Nick Goldsmith / Courtesy of CLyme

Lyme residents packed their school's gymnasium Tuesday night for a special town meeting on the future of a local rock climbing destination known as Holt’s Ledge.

By a strong margin, they voted to remove metal hardware from the rock wall, which abuts Dartmouth’s Skiway. The hardware – known as bolts – allows climbers to anchor themselves to the rock surface, making the area safer and more accessible to those less advanced in the sport. It was installed without permission from the town.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Lebanon will celebrate the opening of a new, state-of-the-art skatepark this weekend. The park is named in honor of Tyler Kirschner, a local skateboarder, who passed away two years ago at the age of 28.

After his death, his parents – to their surprise – started getting calls and emails from people all over the world, asking what had happened to "Rusty Berrings."

It turned out, unbeknownst to them, their son was an avid skateboard blogger who had built a broad community online. Rusty Berrings was his username.

Rob Strong / Dartmouth College

The Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble will celebrate women composers Saturday night with a concert featuring works exclusively by female artists. The show, titled “Music, She Wrote…,” is one of several social-justice oriented performances this season at the Hopkins Center for the Arts.

(Editor’s Note: We strongly recommend listening to this story.)

Flicker CC / https://flic.kr/p/drsrm8

The Town of Newport is looking to join a growing list of New Hampshire communities turning to solar energy to power local municipal buildings.

Voters will decide at their town meeting in March whether to approve a deal with Norwich Solar Technologies. Under the agreement, the company would cover all research, development, construction and maintenance costs in exchange for the ability to benefit from federal tax credits, said Newport Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg.

Britta Greene for NHPR

Haven't been impressed with the leaf peeping in New Hampshire so far this year? You're not alone.

Dave Lutz, a research associate in the Environmental Studies Department at Dartmouth College, has been thinking a lot about fall foliage for a paper he’s been working on. He’s been watching what he calls “indicator trees” along his drive to work – certain species he watches for their color and behavior.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Dartmouth-Hitchcock is planning its first 24-hour retail pharmacy open to the general public.

The pharmacy will have some of the same offerings as a CVS or a Walgreens -- things like shampoo and toothpaste, plus over-the-counter medicines like Advil and Nyquil.

Mary McIntyre / NHPR

The Hood Museum at Dartmouth College is presenting its first ever sound art exhibition this fall. Resonant Spaces: Sound Art at Dartmouth features seven installations throughout campus and the town of Hanover.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley took a tour of the installations with Amelia Kahl, the associate curator of academic programming for the museum.


Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

There’s a doctor in New London who’s ending her decades-long medical practice on Friday. She’s nearly 85, but her retirement is not voluntary. She says she’s being forced to shut down by a system that no longer values the type of patient-centered medicine that she practices. But the New Hampshire Board of Medicine has a different take. They’re challenging her medical decision making and other aspects of her work. 

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

After starting a first-of-its-kind lead-testing program in its schools, Claremont may soon allow parents to opt-out of the requirements. The city launched the program, which requires lead tests for all incoming kindergarten and pre-k students, this year.

Claremont is one of several high-risk communities for lead poisoning in the state, largely because of its old housing stock.

But at least one community member has raised concerns that parents can't sign a waiver to opt-out of the testing requirement, as is allowed for certain vaccinations.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

A handful of Claremont residents demonstrated outside the city’s high school Thursday, holding anti-bullying posters and asking students to sign a pledge stating they won’t bully in the future.

The demonstration comes after a highly publicized incident earlier this fall in which a young boy was allegedly attacked by local teenagers. The boy’s family says he was left to hang by a rope and nearly died.

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