Southern Tier

Brady Carlson for NHPR / NHPR

The new mayor of Nashua is calling on residents to work together to address the city's challenges.

Jim Donchess was sworn in Sunday at Nashua High School North.

In his inaugural address, Donchess said he hoped to make city government more transparent. "And we will be doing this," he said, "by seeking the opinions of city residents over the course of the next few weeks in town hall meetings in every neighborhood in our city. I want to hear directly from you what your hopes and ideas are for our community."

Nashua public schools will reopen Tuesday after being shut down on Monday because of what school officials called credible threats aimed at the two high schools.

While schools were closed on Monday, Nashua police officials performed safety checks of the 17 schools in Nashua and found no credible devices or threats.

Police and school officials would not give details about the threats they received Sunday, other than to say they were specific.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

The long-awaited Broad Street Parkway in Nashua opened to traffic on Saturday.

Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeeau stood on the newly built Broad Street Parkway by the bridge that crosses the Nashua River.

In her opening remarks, she welcomed the crowd to the largest municipally managed project in the state of NH’s’ history.

Lozeau said the project may also be one of the longest. Planning for the 80 million dollar project began decades ago to reduce traffic on Main Street.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

  The Human Rights Campaign has ranked seven of New Hampshire’s eight biggest cities below average when it comes to gay and transgender rights.

www.facebook.com/jim.donchess

Nashua voters chose Jim Donchess as their new mayor Tuesday, with Donchess defeating Chris Williams by just more than 1900 votes.

Donchess will replace incumbent Mayor Donnalee Lozeau who after eight years, did not run for reelection.

A rallying cheer rumbled through the Martha’s Exchange restaurant in downtown Nashua Tuesday evening as Jim Donchess walked in to greet his supporters.

But Donchess was quick to turn to city business.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

On Tuesday, Nashua voters will elect a new mayor.  Current mayor DonnaLee Lozeau is not running for re-election.  But former mayor Jim Donchess is and so is the city’s former chamber of commerce president, Chris Williams. The race has become an expensive battle over experience and economic development plans.

Curtis Sargent catches up with a friend outside the Starbucks in Nashua—but they’re not talking politics.

Sargent is 28 years old, lives in town and works in Peterboro. But he says the city’s mayoral race isn’t on his radar.

Voters in Derry have overturned hundreds of thousands of dollars in budget cuts to the town’s public safety departments passed by councilors earlier this year.

Town of Derry

In Derry, residents are voting Tuesday to decide whether to overturn budget cuts that were approved by the council last May.

The cuts lowered the tax rate by reducing police and fire staff positions, eliminating the human resources director position, and closing a fire station. After a summer of often heated public meetings, Tuesday’s vote comes by court order.

Hunter McGee has been covering the issue for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

He joined NHPR’s Morning Edition.

Can you recap what’s been going on in town?

File Photo

Custodians in Nashua and their supporters are expected to hold a rally Monday evening ahead of a school board meeting to protest the board’s decision to end their union contract.

In a move that took many by surprise, the board voted 7-1 earlier this month to seek bids from private contractors to take over the district’s custodial services — and union members aren’t taking the move sitting down. 

Town of Derry

 

A New Hampshire judge has ruled in favor of Derry residents who are seeking to repeal town budget cuts.

Three residents took legal action last month in Rockingham Superior Court after town councilors had voted not to take action on eight referendum petitions.

The petitions challenged the councilors' decision in May to approve the town's $40.2 million budget, which led to the closure of a fire station, reduced overtime for fire and police and other cutbacks.

C Hanchey via Flickr CC

Nashua city officials announced the top two vote getters among six candidates in yesterday’s mayoral primary.

Alderman-at-large and former mayor Jim Donchess and former Nashua Chamber president Chris Williams topped the ticket in a mayoral primary that drew a little more than 20 percent of Nashua’s 50,000 registered voters.

Donchess was in first place with 4,179 votes, about 1500 more than Williams. Alderman-at-Large David Deane garnered a third place with 1,968 votes.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

It’s a hot, sunny day in August and the outdoor courtyard at Elm Street Middle School is hopping with activity. There’s laugher, chatter, almost a playground-like atmosphere. 

But these aren’t kids assembling construction kits. They’re 150 adult volunteers from Fidelity in Merrimack who on this workday would rather hammer nails than manage money. Science instructor Denise Rock is one of the two teachers who raised funds for the micro-garden project. 

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

In Nashua, construction workers are completing the nearly two-mile Broad Street Parkway, which connects the F.E. Everett Turnpike at exit 6 to Nashua’s Millyard district.

City officials are touting its potential to develop riverfront property, and breathe new life to Nashua’s downtown. All of this comes at a time when vacant storefronts dot Nashua’s Main Street and a coveted anchor store announced it was leaving by next year.


Jacob Carozza/NHPR

Senator Bernie Sanders spoke for more than an hour Saturday morning at a town hall at Nashua Community College. The independent from Vermont, who is running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, covered a wide range of issues, including income inequality, campaign finance reform and climate change.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

The only flying B-29 bomber from World War II touched down in Nashua on Friday, where it remains for the weekend for public tours.

On Friday afternoon at the Boire Field Airport in Nashua, dozens wait to get their first glimpse of the Boeing B-29, the same class of bomber plane that flew in the raiding missions in Japan.

The 92-year-old Pete Ziner moves assuredly with his cane, his memories equally as strong. He says he was a radar operator in the 315th bomb wing, one of the last to go overseas before the war ended.

C. Hanchey via Flickr CC.

There’s no shortage of options for Nashua voters when it comes to who’ll be the next mayor of the state’s second-largest city.

Six candidates are confirmed to be running, and that’s a big change from four years ago, when the city’s current Mayor Donnalee Lozeau ran unopposed.

Lozeau isn’t seeking re-election this time around, which has opened the door for others hoping for the job.

Kathryn Marchocki is a reporter for the Nashua Telegraph. She joined NHPR's Morning Edition to talk about how the race is shaping up.

Twitter/@txsfld

 

Dozens of people are displaced after a fire ripped through two buildings in downtown Nashua.

Officials say wind helped the flames jump to another building on West Hollis Street in Nashua Monday night. The buildings have businesses on the bottom floor and apartments on the top floors.

One firefighter was injured and taken to the hospital. The firefighter's condition is unknown.

The fire was knocked down by 10 p.m.

All the residents escaped safely without injury.

It is unclear how the blaze started, but it is under investigation.

Town of Derry

Deep budget cuts are causing controversy in the town of Derry.

At a meeting last month, the town council voted 4-3 to close one of the town’s fire stations. The budget also eliminates eight firefighter positions and cuts the department’s overtime budget by nearly half a million dollars.

Those opposed to the cuts are raising concerns about the impact on public safety.

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. 

Credit Kinder Morgan / http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/TGP_Northeast_Energy_Direct_Fact_Sheet.pdf

The selectboard in Salem is urging the developer of the proposed Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline to consider alternate routes through town. 

Chair Jim Keller says the board believes the path of the preliminary route may be more economical for developer Kinder Morgan, but is untenable for residents.

“There’s a school nearby, a rehab hospital nearby their path, a protected water body nearby, “ Keller says. “So we had asked them to seek out alternative routes.”

C. Hanchey via Flickr CC

City officials in Nashua want to change campaign finance rules after two mayoral hopefuls established exploratory committees. The city holds its mayoral primary in four months.

Mayor Donnalee Lozeau is not running for re-election and two potential and four declared candidates, Michael Broderick, Douglas Carroll, David Deane, and James Donchess, are beginning to court voters. 

The two prospective candidates - Alderman-at-Large Daniel Moriarty and Nashua Chamber President Chris Williams - have launched exploratory committees with active social media sites.

Jana Brooks / facebook.com/theknightshall

With the Medieval Combat World Championships just around the corner, Jaye Brooks, senior instructor and owner of The Knights Hall, doesn’t want to risk any late-in-the game injuries. Usually his men would be practicing judo throws and boxing drills while wearing sixty to eighty pounds of armor. Today, they take turns beating on car tires with two-handed axes, swords, and maces.   

Investigators believe an apartment fire in Nashua, New Hampshire, that led to a woman's death and caused two people to jump from a second-story window started on a porch.

Fire marshals are still investigating the fire that tore through the building on Monday morning.

The name of the woman who died has not been released; an autopsy was scheduled.

The Telegraph of Nashua reports authorities say the people who jumped were not hurt.

Scott Hamlin via Flickr CC

Residents in 30 apartments had to evacuate a large complex in Nashua Tuesday night when part of a roof collapsed from heavy snow. No injuries were reported, but city officials are urging resident and building owners to monitor the snow loads on their roofs to prevent further incidents.

The storms from the last two weeks dropped close to four feet of snow in the Nashua region. And that creates safety risks for drivers, walkers and homeowners.

Heavy snow caused a roof collapse in a Nashua apartment building.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

A staggering two feet of snow landed in southern New Hampshire yesterday. And while it didn’t create any disasters, many in the Nashua area are digging their way out. 

As Tuesday’s storm bogged the Nashua region with heaping banks of fluffy snow, many hunkered in their homes. That made it easier for city crews to work through the day and night, clearing the roads for Wednesday.

While most businesses reopened, public schools remained closed, and many residents are still clearing the snow from their cars and driveways.

File photo/NHPR

Attorney General Joseph Foster says police were responding to a call from a woman just after 8 a.m. who said her husband had just left their home distraught, suicidal and armed with a shotgun. 

Police located his truck at a nearby intersection and the officer approached. 

The officer returned fire and the man suffered a single, fatal gunshot wound to the head. 

Authorities are withholding the names of those involved at this time. They say the officer involved did not sustain any serious injuries. 

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The mayor of Nashua will not seek re-election this fall.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports Mayor Donnalee Lozeau will not seek a third term, after serving as head of the state’s second-largest city since 2008.

Her term will expire in January of 2016.

Meanwhile, Nashua Chamber of Commerce president Chris Williams has already announced plans to explore a run for the office.

Several aldermen are also said to be considering running.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

The New Hampshire Retail Association expects us all to do more shopping this holiday season.  The group projects a 4.3 percent jump in sales, slightly higher than national forecasts.

In anticipation, New Hampshire retailers, warehouses and delivery services are recruiting temporary workers. And while that bodes well for the job market, not all employers and employees find what they’re looking for.

Appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

State and local law officials are investigating the death Tuesday of a 3-year-old girl in Nashua.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office and Nashua Police are describing the circumstances leading to the child’s death as suspicious.

Nashua police responded to a home on Oak Street at approximately 11:30 Tuesday morning, for a medical call involving the child, who was a resident in the home.

That child was taken to the hospital, where she died a short time later.  

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

Mass. Office of Travel & Tourism Via Flickr CC

According to the latest study of the so-called Capital Rail Corridor released last night by the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority running commuter rail from Manchester to Boston would cost $246 million dollars, and attract at least 650,000 riders per year.

Many in a standing-room-only audience in Nashua were ready to forge ahead with expanding train service, but the study will likely face a chillier reception in other parts of the state.

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