New England News Collaborative

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee has voted unanimously to deny a permit to Eversource's controversial Northern Pass project.

The top editor at the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Greenfield Recorder said Wednesday he was fired for speaking out in favor of higher pay for female journalists, but his record on the issue was challenged within hours.

Lobster conservation techniques pioneered by Maine fishermen helped drive a population boom that's led to record landings this century. That's the conclusion of new, peer-reviewed research published today

Massachusetts opted last week for one large power line to cover a big chunk of its energy needs for the next 20-plus years.

The Northern Pass proposal beat out other big transmission projects and dozens of smaller options for the right to supply all renewable power the Commonwealth wants.

As NHPR's Annie Ropeik reports, this has analysts and developers wondering what role smaller projects will play in the future of the grid.

The American Red Cross has raised the alert on its blood supply to "critical" -- the last step before "emergency."

Eversource’s Northern Pass transmission line is the sole project picked for long-term energy contract negotiations with Massachusetts.

Officials made the announcement Thursday afternoon, less than a week before New Hampshire begins its final permitting deliberations on the controversial project.

Northern Pass would carry 1,090 megawatts of power from Hydro Quebec dams to the New England grid, over a partly-buried 192-mile power line. It would run under New Hampshire’s White Mountains and mainly follow existing transmission lines, ending in Deerfield.

The head of the group responsible for running New England’s power grid testified before the U.S. Senate this week. At issue was cold winter days and grid reliability.

As part of its outreach, National Grid and its Granite State Power Link sponsored the Yankee Sportsman's Classic, an annual show that draws 15,000 for exhibits and workshops on hunting and angling.
John Dillon / VPR

On Thursday, Massachusetts will select bidders to supply thousands of megawatts of renewable, carbon-free electricity. Two of the competing proposals call for new power line infrastructure through Vermont in order to bring energy south from Canada into the Bay State.

This story was originally published Jan. 8, 2017 at 5:22 p.m. ET.

New England electricity customers could get a direct benefit from a cut in federal corporate taxes — lower utility bills.

Consumer advocates in New England are calling on regulators and utilities to turn over to ratepayers any savings from a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, which the recent tax law knocked down by 40 percent.

6,000 Salvadorans In Mass. Will Lose Protected Status

Jan 8, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it will not renew Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans.

The temporary immigration status has allowed Salvadorans to stay and work without fear of deportation in the United States in the wake of devastating back-to-back earthquakes that hit the Central American country in 2001.

West Addison dairy farmer Rob Hunt has employed migrant workers for more than a decade. He says they have been vital to the success of his operation., and he's worried about their future.
John Dillon / VPR

An escalation in immigration enforcement over the past year has brought a new level of anxiety for the several thousand migrant farm workers living in Vermont.

The recent cold spell has spurred oil-fired power plants throughout New England into action. But the operator of the regional electricity grid says pollution control regulations could throttle supplies from those sources.

Over the last decade, relatively low-polluting natural gas has been New England’s dominant fuel for electricity generation. But in winter, demand for gas can skyrocket from consumers who need it to heat their homes, and that can limit supplies for electricity generation.

For the most part, the minimum wage gap among New England states will narrow in 2018.

About half of New England’s households are on septic systems. That’s the highest proportion in the country. 

A basic cooking technique that’s described in one of Europe’s oldest cookbooks has become the “secret sauce” to Latin American and Puerto Rican cuisine. It’s called sofrito and it’s the flavorful base for traditional Christmas dishes like Roasted Pork Pernil and rice and chicken. WSHU’s Cassandra Basler visited a family in New Haven that supplies the fresh blend of veggies, oil, herbs and spices to New England. 

Brian Mitchell’s pretty busy this time of year. He’s got a full time job as a grocer in Windsor, Vermont, and his nights are spent monitoring the 50,000 music-synchronized lights that cover his property.

The day I caught him on the phone, he’d already been working on it for months.

"About April or May I’ll start dabbling with it again, and if I have any projects in mind I’ll start working on those. So it’s a full-year hobby. And then all the programming of the songs, which takes a lot of time."

New Hampshire's Great Bay and the Piscataqua River estuary have been in bad shape for years – and the latest data doesn't show a lot of improvement.

But scientists say there's still hope for the watershed, and they're trying to home in on things people can control.

The final witnesses gave testimony on the Northern Pass transmission line Thursday, after eight months of hearings and years of planning.

Day 70 of adjudicative hearings at the New Hampshire site evaluation committee centered on wetlands and property values.

Ray Lobdell, with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, testified in the morning session on whether Northern Pass would affect more sensitive habitat than expected.

Merely Torres-Garcia has been living in a hotel room in Hartford, Conn., with her husband and two kids after losing part of her house in Puerto Rico to Hurricane Maria. She said spending the Christmas season in the northeastern cold has been hard for her family. But on Saturday night, in the noisy atrium of Hartford City Hall, it felt a little bit like Christmas on the island.

"My kids are happy. We feel like home in here right now," she said.

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. 

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