Southern Tier

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.”

NHPR Staff

In a week where violence by and against police has dominated the news, from Louisiana to Minnesota to Texas, we thought we’d take a look at recent police shootings in New Hampshire.

Since the beginning of 2015, four people have died at the hands of police officers in the state, and two police officers have been been shot, both surviving those incidents.

Ted Siefer

For the growing immigrant communities in southern New Hampshire, the language barrier poses many challenges, from schools to public transit. The city of Nashua has come up with a novel way to help city bus drivers communicate with passengers with limited English abilities. 

 

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.

Ian Sane / flickr, creative commons

  The federal government does not regulate PFOA and PFOS -- the contaminants found in drinking water in Southern New Hampshire and on the former Pease Air Force Base. But as of today, they are regulated in New Hampshire.

That’s because the state’s environmental regulator has filed an emergency rule giving the state new authority over contaminated water.  

Residents with private wells near the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack filed two class action cases Wednesday against the company. Saint-Gobain is the likely source of water contamination in the area, according to state officials. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Last week was a big news week for residents dealing with water contamination issues in New Hampshire and across the country. 

Nashua Catholic Church To Reopen - For Latin Mass

May 23, 2016

New Hampshire's Catholic diocese says it's reopening a church in Nashua for fans of the Latin Mass. 

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

It’s not such a surprise anymore to see towns set up pianos on downtown sidewalks with the hope of getting people to stop and play and chat with each other. More than 50 cities around the world do it and in Littleton, New Hampshire, pianos have been on the streets for the past five years.

This spring, Nashua is setting up its own project with two painted pianos on Main Street. But is anyone playing?

Janet Chaney from Hollis is. There’s not much of a crowd here on the corner of Main Street and Pearl, so she tries to draw people closer to the bench.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The EPA has announced a lifetime health advisory level for two chemicals that have contaminated water in Southern New Hampshire and at the former Pease Air Force Base.

The man who appears on video being punched by law enforcement officers following a high speed car chase has been taken to Elliot Hospital. 

Richard Simone’s public defender requested a bail hearing on Friday after finding his client had not been transported to a hospital the day before. 

Attorney Tony Sculimbrene says it was expected he would be taken to a hospital following a court appearance on Thursday.

“The result of the bail hearing was that a transport order was issued to have him taken to a hospital,” Sculimbrene says.

Both a New Hampshire state trooper and a Massachusetts state trooper have been relieved of their duties after allegedly punching a driver following a multi-state car chase Wednesday. The story has gotten national attention after media outlets released a video of the incident.  

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Private wells near a former manufacturing plant in Amherst have tested high for levels of the chemical PFOA.

The contamination likely originates at a former Textiles Coated International plant. That company moved its operations to Manchester in 2005.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Saint-Gobain is not the only company using perfluorinated compounds in New Hampshire. New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services has identified 44 companies in the state that likely use or once used this water-contaminating compound in their products.

Perfluorinated compounds include PFOA, found earlier this year at Saint-Gobain’s Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack, and PFOS, found two years ago in well water on the former Pease Air Force base.

File photo

The physician at Manchester's Valley Street Jail has agreed not to practice medicine at any correctional facility while the Board of Medicine investigates allegations that inmates received substandard care.

The board issued an emergency order April 28 that temporarily suspended the license of Matthew Masewic, who has been physician at the Hillsborough County jail since 2009. In agreeing to the terms of the order, Masewic has not admitted to any misconduct.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

In the wake of the killings in Brussels, Paris, the Mideast, and San Bernardino, more people in New Hampshire want to learn how to respond to an active shooter — in the critical minutes before police and medics arrive.

Active shooter trainings in workplaces, schools and for state employees are increasingly offered throughout the state.

And in Nashua, police are holding free training sessions to teach civilians what they can do.

Sean Sylvain of Nashua says he never lets his guard down.

Nashua Mayor Looks To Build Public Support For Rail

Mar 21, 2016
Brady Carlson for NHPR / NHPR

  Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess is hosting an event tonight to highlight a proposed commuter rail service between southern New Hampshire and Boston. 

Mary via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/ZnDmU

  What happens when a school takes one of those lunchroom staples off the menu?

Something big – at least if you look at recent events at schools in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

In the hallway at Nashua High South, students walk by presidential candidates like Trump, Cruz, Sanders and Clinton — or at least their life-size cutouts on cardboard. The school is hosting a mock primary, and the chatter in the library is as intense as the real deal.

"Guys by alphabet, E through K, L through P, Q through Z. Get in the right alphabet. And get out your student IDs.

As students line up to get their ballots, sophomore Thalia Henningsen lingers behind. She’s like many of today’s eligible voters. Still undecided. Here's our exchange:

Natasha Haverty

In the 2016 presidential campaign, few issues have been as fiercely debated as immigration. Here in New Hampshire, the US Southern border thousands of miles away can feel like an abstraction. But a small and growing number of voters in New Hampshire take the immigration debate very personally: the state’s Latino community. And as that community grows, so does its resolve to find a political voice. 

Pages