Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region

New Hampshire's Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region, situated along the Vermont border in the Connecticut River watershed, encompasses the Upper Valley and Lake Sunapee sub-regions.

In the Upper Valley, the communities of Lebanon and Hanover form the heart of the region’s economy.  Lebanon is home to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, while Hanover hosts the Ivy League Dartmouth College.  But although they share a regional identity, economically speaking, Lebanon and Hanover are very different. Compared to Lebanon–and the state as a whole–Hanover skews wealthy.  The US Census Bureau has found that while the average household income in New Hampshire is $78,208, the average household income in Hanover is $139,881. Lebanon, meanwhile, reports a lower average income at $69,853.

Despite its prosperity, the Upper Valley faces its own set of challenges.  Affordable housing, for example, can be hard to find for working class and middle-income workers, and pollution in the Connecticut River is also a concern for the area.

The Lake Sunapee region is known primarily for its tourist attractions and outdoor recreation, centered around Lake Sunapee and Mount Sunapee, though it has a history as a manufacturing district. The outflow of Lake Sunapee, the Sugar River, once powered several paper and textile mills. The departure of these industries has left the economic picture of the region somewhat bleak. In the Sunapee region’s only city, Claremont, average household income is $50,839, well below the state average.

Summary provided in part by StateImpact NH

The first library in the country to become part of the anonymous web browsing service Tor has disconnected from that network, at least for now.

Officials at the Kilton Public Library in Lebanon were contacted by local law enforcement with concerns about Tor’s ability to conceal criminal activity. Library officials chose to disconnect from Tor pending further review.

None of the computers at the library had the Tor browser.



Authorities in New Hampshire say they've found insufficient evidence to charge a Dartmouth College fraternity accused of branding new members.

Alpha Delta, which partly inspired the 1978 movie "Animal House," lost its status as a student organization in April after a string of disciplinary violations including hazing and underage service of alcohol.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A series of violent thunderstorms struck the North Country Sunday evening with the worst hitting Littleton and Bethlehem just before 7 p.m., said Michael Cempa with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

“We were indicating fifty to sixty mile per hour gusts on our radar.”

Within minutes dozens of trees were felled, often blocking roads.

At one point one lane of Interstate 93 in Bethlehem was closed by a downed tree.

Nicole McGrath and her daughter were just trying to drive to their home in Bethlehem when one of those trees hit their car.

Jack Rodolico

The national death rate from knee replacement surgery is about one in a thousand. But patients are three times more likely to die if they have their knee replaced at a hospital that doesn’t perform that surgery frequently.

Now three leading healthcare systems, including Dartmouth-Hitchcock, are putting restrictions on their surgeons. 

The manager of the Lebanon Municipal Airport is confident that discounted airline tickets will help to draw more customers for the airport to keep its operating subsidy. 

So far this year, the airport has seen an 11.4 percent drop in the number of passengers flying out of Lebanon. 


A New Hampshire city that considered holding a pumpkin festival after Keene decided against one this year has changed its mind.

Members of the New England Pumpkin Festival Committee in Claremont say concerns about traffic, parking and crowd control led them to say no about holding the festival in the city this year. They may try again for next year.

Organizers said they also struggled to secure a location for the event.

This year, Laconia is hosting the pumpkin festival that tries to set a record for the number of carved and lighted pumpkins.

David Wilson/Imelda via Flickr CC

As with other health markers, N.H. consistently ranks high in measures of youth dental health and, overall, the state of children's teeth in New Hampshire is strong.

But in some of the state's least affluent areas, health outcomes are generally poor, and dental health is no exception. 

Councilors in Claremont voted unanimously last night in support of a new city pumpkin festival.

The Union Leader reports the Claremont Citizens Group, which is organizing the festival, plans to file permits today for the first New England Pumpkin Festival.

The event is being planned for downtown Claremont on Oct. 17.

Representatives from the citizens group say they plan to raise the money to pay for any city resources that will be needed for the festival.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/113560003/in/photostream/" target="blank">redjar</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons


Dartmouth College has rejected an appeal by a fraternity accused of branding new members, ending efforts by the Greek organization that partly inspired the 1976 movie "Animal House" to remain recognized on campus.

Alpha Delta appealed last month after a campus judiciary committee withdrew its recognition as a student organization. The college told The Associated Press on Friday that the appeal was denied.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

A study out of Dartmouth suggests New Hampshire is making good progress in the fight against prostate cancer.

New Hampshire doctors are increasingly doing what the medical community recommends: treating high-risk prostate cancer with surgery and radiation, but leaving low-risk cancer alone, and simply monitoring it.

Robert Wilson/flickr

After Keene officials rejected the license for the city’s annual Pumpkin Festival earlier this month, there’s been no shortage of other Granite State communities vying to host the event.

Laconia, Exeter, Franklin and Portsmouth are among those said to be interested.

And in Claremont, a citizens group has been meeting regularly to come up with a formal proposal.

That group is set to bring its proposal before the Claremont City Council tomorrow night.

Michael Charest heads up the Claremont Citizens Group.

Dartmouth College

A Dartmouth College fraternity that partly inspired the 1978 movie "Animal House" and was recently accused of branding new members is appealing a campus judiciary committee's decision to withdraw its recognition as a student organization.


A group in Claremont will hold a public meeting this weekend to discuss the possibility of the city hosting the Keene Pumpkin Festival.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the Claremont Citizens Group will meet Saturday morning at Trinity Church.

The Keene City Council voted last week to reject the permit for what would have been the 25th anniversary of the festival this October.



The Lebanon Municipal Airport has missed out on getting $750,000 for improvements, after the city failed to have a plan in place.

The Valley News reports the airport receives $1 million each year from the federal Essential Air Service Program when at least 10,000 people depart from it. The $750,000 is what's left of Lebanon's 2012 allocation.

If the airport doesn't spend that money within three years, it's dispersed to other airports in the region.

Upper Valley Rideshare

In the Upper Valley, Route 120 is notorious for its traffic issues.

According to state transportation data, nearly 30,000 cars travel each day along the stretch between Lebanon and Hanover.

There’s effort underway to ease that traffic by encouraging more workers to carpool.

Susan Berry is manager of Upper Valley Rideshare.

She joined Morning Edition to talk about the program.

When did you realize this was a problem that needed to be addressed?

Adam Gessaman via Flickr CC

A Canadian company has purchased a New Hampshire pork products producer, but the company says the sale shouldn’t affect the 35 jobs at its facility in Claremont.

Bacon makes up 80 percent of North Country Smokehouse’s business, but it also puts out some sausage, ham, and smoked cheeses. According to the company’s president, Mike Satzow, it gets much of their pork from a Canadian company that’s buying them, Les Spécialités Prodal.

“They are the largest producers of organic and natural pork on the continent,” says Satzow.

NHPR Staff

The city of Claremont has been chosen to receive a grant of nearly $478,000 from the New Hampshire Transportation Department to improve sidewalks and upgrade a rail trail for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Eagle Times reports final approval for the grant would come from the Executive Council. The city would be responsible for nearly $120,000 in matching funds.

The Transportation Department expects the project to begin this summer.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

More than 800 people packed the Hopkins Center to see President Hanlon’s unveil proposals to reform Dartmouth’s social culture. Most of his remarks focused on liquor, which Hanlon called a serious risk to campus safety.

Hanlon also called for reforms to the fraternity system and said starting next fall freshmen will be assigned to live in residential communities led by professors.

Senior Taylor Payer says she welcomes Hanlon’s promise to get tougher on sexual assaults on campus but says true change will require more drastic measures. 

Allison Quantz for NHPR

Classes are back in session at Dartmouth College, which means winter recruitment for fraternities and sororities is getting underway. It’s been a controversial year for Greek life from Clemson University to Johns Hopkins, and Dartmouth has not escaped unscathed. Later this month, recommendations addressing social life are expected to be publicly released. 

Ken Lund via Flickr CC

Dartmouth College has charged 64 students accused of cheating in a sports ethics class with violating the Ivy League school's honor code.

College officials confirmed the number of students charged but declined to comment further until the appeals process ends later this month. Professor Randall Balmer told the Valley News that most of the students involved have been suspended for a term.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

State health officials say in the highly unlikely event any Ebola patients are identified in New Hampshire, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon has agreed to accept them.

The Department of Health and Human Services says each of the state’s 26 hospitals are prepared to identify and isolate a potential Ebola patient, but that long-term care would be better managed at the Lebanon hospital, or a designated national center.

Outside of three cases in Dallas, Texas, no one in the U.S. has been diagnosed with Ebola.

VGo/NHPR Staff

Football faces increasing criticism as mounting evidence shows the dangers of concussions, in particular undiagnosed concussions.

A new telehealth initiative at Dartmouth College aims to eliminate those undiagnosed concussions by bringing neurosurgeons to the sidelines--via robot.

On the sidelines of the Dartmouth/Penn football game, neurosurgeon Robert Singer watches carefully.

"A lot of these hits are shoulder hits. What we’re looking for are direct head to head kind of contact, that type of thing."

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Dartmouth-Hitchcock is working to stem the spread of scabies at its Lebanon facility. The infectious but non-fatal skin condition has been found in two people so far.

The first was a patient who arrived at the hospital in mid-August with a number of health conditions. That patient, who’s still in the hospital, wasn’t diagnosed with scabies until late September. Since then one Dartmouth staff member has been diagnosed and treated.

Fred Thys/WBUR

  Wesleyan University is asking its residential fraternities not to pledge freshmen and to turn over the rolls of all their members as the school issued an order to end its all-male fraternities and make residential fraternities co-ed.

It’s a decision that has received mixed reaction on campus.

The decision is felt hardest at the three residential fraternities. No one agreed to recorded interviews at any of the fraternities, but men did agree to speak to WBUR on background.

A plan to make the Monadnock region one of the healthiest communities in the country has received a financial boost from the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $1.1 million to Healthy Monadnock 2020, an initiative of Cheshire Medical Center-Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene. The hospital is working with schools, farmers and other private and public entities to prevent some of the leading causes of death, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Investigators with the state fire marshal's office are expected to be at the scene of a restaurant destroyed by a fire in Claremont, New Hampshire.

The fire was reported before 10 p.m. Tuesday at Joey's on the River.

Claremont Fire Chief Rick Bergeron tells WMUR-TV the back of the building is right on the river, so it was difficult to access that part.

No one was injured.

Michael Dorausch

A new study out of Dartmouth tracks a rise in healthcare costs across northern New England. It is not exactly surprising data. But what is new is that the information is even available.

Between 2008 and 2010, people on private insurance in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont saw healthcare costs climb by 4.5 percent annually.

For just shy of a decade, northern New England states have required insurance companies to report how much they pay for services like blood tests and X-rays. That’s important because, historically, these data lived in the dark.

CybherHades via Flickr CC

Some of the biggest technology companies in the world are on a chase for what some consider the holy grail of the information age: Quantum computing. And some of that research is going on right there in New Hampshire. But one big challenge is to get the quantum bits to dance how we want them to. 

Before getting too high-tech, let's go back to 1938. A brilliant physicist, an Italian named Ettore Majorana, withdraws all his money from a bank and boards a boat. Then, somewhere between Palermo and Naples, he vanishes without a trace.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

Representatives from Dartmouth College, UNH, and advocacy groups joined Democratic Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster for a roundtable discussion about campus sexual assault today.  The event at UNH Law in Concord focused on new legislation introduced in the US Senate.