WNPR

Emily Corwin

Emily Corwin is NHPR's Seacoast reporter, doing general assignment reporting across the region. She also covers the state's justice system, higher education, and this year, a good dose of primary politics.

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Over a year ago, residents near Merrimack, New Hampshire learned their drinking water had been contaminated by emissions from a plastics plant owned by the multinational company, Saint-Gobain.  

More than a year later, some residents in Merrimack say state and federal officials haven’t done enough to protect them from the contamination. Now, a few are taking things into their own hands, going door to door.

Nine months ago, Joyce Chance left a refugee camp in Uganda where she had spent the last eleven years. Chance, who was born in Congo, boarded a plane with her two kids, and came to the United States.

A refugee resettlement agency in Concord, New Hampshire picked them up at the airport, and moved them into a one-room apartment.

It’s hard to avoid the hand-wringing about aging demographics in New England these days. The region's six states have the six lowest birth rates in the country. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have the oldest populations in the country, and Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts aren't far behind.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

In the last couple years, millions of people across the country have learned their drinking water contains high levels of the contaminants known as perfluorochemicals. These are used to make non-stick products like Teflon and pizza boxes. 

It was just a few months ago that a San Francisco fashion show producer told a Brazilian fashion show producer to check out some colorful dresses made in an unlikely place: New Hampshire. That’s when Laura McCarthy and collaborator Harry Umen got the invitation to show their new collection on the Teatro Fashion Mall runway in Rio on Day Four of the Summer Olympics.

Lately, McCarthy says, she’s been pulling 12-hour days.

“This whole week has been stressful because I’ve been sewing non-stop,” McCarthy says, “and I’m really ready to stop and just get on the plane and go.”

Click photos for slideshow.

The region's ongoing drought has forced state officials to restrict or ban outdoor water use in 54 New Hampshire towns and cities.

The state's drought management team has classified the North Country and the White Mountains as “abnormally dry,” while four counties in the southern tier are suffering severe drought conditions. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

They have green backs, pink bellies, and are only about two inches in diameter.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A new kind of water contamination has shown up all over the U.S., including New England.

As the drug-related death toll rises in the United States, communities are trying to open more treatment beds. But an ongoing labor shortage among drug treatment staff is slowing those efforts.

Citizen activists in Portsmouth are asking the city and state to consider a ferry from the Port of New Hampshire to Provincetown

  There’s been no shortage of people mourning the killing of James Foley by Islamic State militants. President Obama interrupted his Martha’s Vinyard vacation Wednesday to recall Foley -- who disappeared two years ago in Syria -- and to condemn his killers.

“People like this ultimately fail,” Obama said. “They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.”

Terri Moitozo, 52, kicks her boots into her downhill skis in Rochester, N.H. Odd thing is, she's 30 miles from any mountain.

"Combining two things I love, skiing and horses," she says. "I'm excited!

Moitozo doesn't need gravity to fly across the snow — that's what her horse, Friday, is for. That, and her buddy Nick Barishian, who's riding Friday.

"He's my horse husband," she says, pointing to Barishian. "My regular husband doesn't do the horse stuff, so you gotta hire out."

Back in January, the Food and Drug Administration issued two proposed food safety rules to prevent tainted food from entering the food supply.

Evan Mallett is hovering over some plants in a Victorian-era greenhouse in Portsmouth, N.H.

Mallett, a chef at the Black Trumpet Bistro, is collecting medicinal herbs, which he infuses in alcohol to make his own bitters, a bittersweet alcoholic concentrate used to flavor cocktails.

Mallett says he often forages in the woods for ingredients like wild chamomile, dock and burdock root for his bitters, too.

The "homemade bitters" trend is relatively new.