NEW HAMPSHIRE

Coverage of New Hampshire from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

A vaccine for COVID-19 being prepared.
Alison Montemagni / Baystate Medical Center / The Republican / masslive.com

A public health expert says several factors may explain why many New England states are near the top of the list for getting their residents vaccinated against COVID-19.

The push to switch from fossil fuels to renewable forms of energy will mean a lot more demand for battery storage. It's just part of massive efforts to modernize the electric grid in New England and the nation to meet the challenge of climate change.

In a federal whistleblower complaint, a former attorney for the Saint-Gobain plastics company claims he was told to “look the other way” on potential water contamination like the kind that’s affected New Hampshire and Vermont. 

(Updated Thursday at 2pm)

Seven men are facing criminal charges for allegedly sexually abusing minors at the state’s youth detention facility between 1994 and 2005.

The charges against six of the defendants were announced Wednesday by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office, and are part of an ongoing investigation in decades of alleged abuse at what is now called the Sununu Youth Services Center, in Manchester.

Amtrak's Northeast Regional line rolls through Connecticut past a gas power plant.
Annie Ropeik / New Hampshire Public Radio

President Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan could bring expanded or improved Amtrak train service to every state in New England.

UMass Medical School student Timothy Winn prepares doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Hotel Grace homeless shelter in Worcester.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

All residents 16 and over will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine fairly soon in New England, but the date varies by state.

Since Act 46 was passed by the Legislature in 2015, small school districts across the state have had to make difficult decisions about whether to merge rural schools. In some parts of the state, geography creates some challenging decisions about how to do so.

At the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in northern New Hampshire, the pandemic broke a decades-long streak of field research. Now, scientists there are adapting with new technology – recording the sounds of the forest, which they hope will transform their long and influential record of a changing world.  


A Massachusetts State Trooper accused of assaulting a woman and then fleeing from police last weekend in Exeter, N.H. will be held in preventative detention pending a bail hearing next Wednesday.

According to an affidavit, Exeter police responded to a 9-1-1 call early Sunday morning. 

The alleged victim said Sgt. Bryan Erickson, 38, had assaulted her, resulting in bruises and scratches.

Studies show that climate change could prompt millions of Americans to relocate in the coming decades. And by some measures, New Hampshire and northern New England could be ideal places to move.

But preparing for those potential waves of climate migrants will be no easy task – and some are already arriving.

The Mountain West always felt like home for Judith and Doug Saum. Until recently, they lived in the hills above Reno, Nevada.

A driver buckles up.
Facebook / National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

A highway safety advocacy group says Vermont and New Hampshire are "dangerously behind" adoption of recommended traffic laws, and Massachusetts and Connecticut are faring only slightly better. 

Rep. Dick Hinch, a Republican who was elected speaker of the New Hampshire House just one week ago, died of COVID-19 on Wednesday. This comes about a month before the state legislature, the largest in the U.S., is expected to convene for its regularly scheduled annual session.

The state's attorney general, Gordon MacDonald, announced the cause of death Thursday afternoon with the consent of Hinch's family, following an autopsy by New Hampshire Chief Medical Examiner Jennie Duval.

The coronavirus pandemic has isolated a lot of us, but it’s also brought community institutions together in a new way. In New Hampshire’s North Country, a daily Zoom call has become essential for leaders managing the fallout of the pandemic.

When the coronavirus shut down just about everything in March, including schools, Gorham Superintendent David Backler got on a call with his counterpart in Berlin, and staff from the hospital and local health centers.

Gov. Chris Sununu has won election to a third term as New Hampshire governor. The Newfields Republican called his victory a mandate on his management skills and his promise to stay faithful to core GOP principles of limited government and local control.

Democrats describe themselves as the only party taking the threat of climate change seriously. And President Trump’s continued denial of climate science and rollbacks of environmental protections haven’t made it easy for Republicans to change that.

But some New Hampshire conservatives think their candidates could be doing more to run – and win – on climate change.


Ty is a 22-year-old who grew up in Manchester and, like a lot of New Hampshire voters, got involved in politics at a young age. They phone-banked and canvassed for Bernie Sanders’ campaign as a high school student in 2016; they also cast their first vote the same year. And as the 2020 general election approaches, Ty’s eager to head back to the polls.

The state of New Hampshire announced Friday it will file a federal lawsuit against Massachusetts over its cross-border income tax collection policies during the pandemic.

The lawsuit centers on a Massachusetts emergency provision that caps how much income out-of-state residents who work for Massachusetts-based companies can deduct on their income taxes while working remotely. 

With statues coming down around the country in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, New Hampshire Public Radio’s Sean Hurley recently heard about one town in New Hampshire that is considering putting one up.

Health care reporter Brian Ward is Black and 28 and lives in Newmarket. He says he’s never seen a statue honoring a person of color his entire life – but then takes it back.

“I do remember one Black statue,” he says, “it was Louis Armstrong at the Louis Armstrong Airport in New Orleans. I think it was the first and only Black statue I’ve ever seen.”

Massachusetts recently announced that it was ending its pandemic moratorium on reusable shopping bags, saying towns could go back to reinforcing their bans on single-use plastic bags. 

Meanwhile, New Hampshire and many other states are still not letting shoppers bring their reusable bags to stores. But is that actually helping to slow the spread of coronavirus?


As rallies against the killing of George Floyd entered their second week in New Hampshire, demonstrators gathered in rural communities across the state Monday to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

A health care worker hands a mask to someone wanting to be tested for COVID-19 at a testing tent at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Updated at 10:17 p.m.

More than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed by testing, Massachusetts officials said Saturday in their daily update on the new coronavirus — the largest single-day increase yet.

The state also said the number of deaths attributable to the disease climbed by nine, adding up to 44. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated its emergency operations center to assist public health partners in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.
James Gathany / CDC

Updated at 10:10 p.m.

Officials in New England have identified the deaths of seven people testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Four deaths have taken place in Connecticut — including one announced Fridaytwo in Vermont, and now one in Massachusetts.

The total number of people testing positive for the disease has grown to more than 800 across New England. 

Reported cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts as of March 17, 2020.
Chris Lisinski / State House News Service / Massachusetts DPH

Updated at 5:27 p.m.

Reported cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts increased on Tuesday to 218, up from 197 a day earlier.

All New Hampshire public schools will be closed for three weeks, the most sweeping response yet by state officials to the spread of coronavirus. The order by Gov. Chris Sununu comes as the number of identified cases of COVID-19 in New Hampshire nearly doubled in the course of one day, from seven to 13.

NHPR is continuing to cover the developing story around coronavirus in New Hampshire. Bookmark this page for the latest updates, including case numbers and other important news of the day.

The first positive test results for the coronavirus disease COVID-19 have been identified in New Hampshire, according to state health officials Monday morning.

The patient is an employee of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and recently returned from Italy. They presented mild symptoms and are currently on home isolation.

Deval and Diane Patrick sitting on the Patrick campaign bus in Greenland, New Hampshire.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Presidential campaigns aren’t for the faint of heart. On a recent afternoon in Greenland, New Hampshire, Diane and Deval Patrick were just beginning a six-day bus tour of the state.

The former Massachusetts governor had fielded questions from the Portsmouth Rotary Club. Then he started looking for food.

Sports betting in action.
Thomas Schlosser / Creative Commons

Sunday's Super Bowl will be the first where betting on the big game will be legal in New Hampshire. And a significant amount of those wagers figure to be from out-of-state customers.

With the New Hampshire presidential primary less than three weeks away, a new WBUR poll suggests Bernie Sanders might be peaking at just the right time. The survey of more than 426 likely Democratic primary voters finds Sanders in the lead, running well ahead of his three closest competitors: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren.

 

The former two-term Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, who filed for the New Hampshire primary a day before the deadline, says he felt the need to jump into the presidential race because he offers a different approach – and not just from President Trump.

 

I've been concerned that we have been offering, and this is a gross generalization, but either nostalgia, meaning we'll just get rid of, as they say, President Trump and go back to doing what we used to do, which is not what we need right now,” Patrick said on The Exchange. “Or our version of anger and division instead of theirs, which I also think sort of misses the moment. And so I think there is still a path.”

 

(For the full conversation, visit here.)

 

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