Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

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Episode 96

Clarence, 53, seen here by the Forest Hills MBTA station, says he's been addicted to heroin for 30 years. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

This week on NEXT: the story of how one “unaccompanied minor” traveled to Massachusetts. Plus, a massive wind farm will open off of the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. We discuss what this deal means for energy in the region. And, how the opioid crisis is affecting the African American population in Massachusetts, and pregnant women in New Hampshire. In addition, now that the New Hampshire legislative session has come to a close, we reflect back on the past few months of politics in the state. Finally, two local-food battles: one between the FDA and maple syrup producers in Vermont, another between food-delivery apps in Maine. It’s NEXT.

Photo above: Clarence, 53, seen here by the Forest Hills MBTA station, says he’s been addicted to heroin for 30 years. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

An “Unaccompanied Minor” Travels to Massachusetts

Photo by Ken Lund/Flickr

Photo by Ken Lund/Flickr

Concern that the U.S. government has lost track of some children who recently immigrated to this country on their own has brought the experience of “unaccompanied” youthful immigrants into public view. These children are placed with sponsors, which is usually parents or other relatives already living in the U.S. WBUR’s Shannon Dooling has the story of one unaccompanied minor’s journey to Everett, Massachusetts to find her mother.

Wind Farm To Open Off of Massachusetts

The Block Island Wind Farm in October 2016. Photo credit: Ryan Caron King

Massachusetts has announced their pick for the first industrial-sized offshore wind project: the Vineyard Wind project, which will build an 800-megawatt wind farm off of the southern coast of Martha’s Vineyard. WBUR’s Bruce Gellerman joins us to discuss what this means for energy in the region. 

New Hampshire Expands Programs Aimed at Pregnant Women and the Opioid Crisis

Heather Carter lives with her family in Lyme, New Hampshire. She says the Moms in Recovery program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock has allowed her to stay completely sober for the first time since she was a young teen. Photo by Britta Greene for NHPR

Heather Carter lives with her family in Lyme, New Hampshire. She says the moms in the recovery program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock has kept her sober for the first time since she was a teenager. Photo by Britta Greene for NHPR

The number of pregnant women struggling with opioid abuse has increased significantly in the state of New Hampshire in recent years. With that, the number of newborns experiencing symptoms of opioid withdrawal, a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, has surged. New Hampshire health officials decided to prioritize pregnant and newly post-partum women when allocating scarce federal funds toward the opioid epidemic this year. NHPR’s Britta Greene reports on the efforts.

Surging Opioid Overdose Rates Among African American Community in Massachusetts

Confirmed Opioid-Related Death Rates, All Intents, by Race and Year. Courtesy of Mass. DPH

Confirmed Opioid-Related Death Rates, All Intents, by Race and Year. Courtesy of Mass. DPH

While fewer Caucasians died from an opioid overdose in the state of Massachusetts last year, among the African American community, opioid overdose deaths increased 26 percent in 2017. WBUR’s Martha Bebinger explores why.

Politics in New Hampshire

New Hampshire State House. Photo by C Hanchey/Flickr

New Hampshire State House. Photo by C Hanchey/Flickr

Over the course of the past few months, lawmakers in New Hampshire have worked to pass voter residency bills that aim to make the voter eligibility laws in the state stricter so that only voters who plan on becoming New Hampshire residents are eligible to vote. Now that the legislative session has drawn to a close, we check in with NHPR’s Casey McDermott about key bills in this legislative session.

New Labels Would Warn of “Added Sugar” in Maple Syrup

At the end of the season, sugarmakers have to pull thousands of taps by hand. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

At the end of the season, sugarmakers have to pull thousands of taps by hand. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

Maple syrup producers in New England take pride in their pure, natural product. So when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed new labels to say maple syrup contains “added sugar,” producers fought back. As VPR’s John Dillon reports, the outrage over the proposed label is particularly strong in Vermont, the nation’s top producer of maple syrup.

Food Delivery Apps Battle for Business in Portland

Mike Bolduc, CEO OF 2DineIn. Photo by Fred Bever for Maine Public

Mike Bolduc, CEO OF 2DineIn. Photo by Fred Bever for Maine Public

App and computer-based food delivery companies GrubHub and Uber Eats are battling for customers across the nation. And the turf war is reaching into smaller markets now, including Portland, Maine’s revved-up restaurant scene. But they have an entrenched competitor to contend with too: the local guy. Maine Public’s Fred Bever takes us to the scene of the battle.

“An Appalachian Trail Symphony”

Appalachian Trail Sign. Photo by sk/Flickr.

Appalachian Trail Sign. Photo by sk/Flickr.

Keane Southard spent many of his childhood weekends hiking and camping with his family in New Hampshire and Vermont. From that early age, he imagined one day he would hike the legendary Appalachian Trail. Southard went on to study composition and theory, and all the while, the idea of hiking the trail and composing a piece about the experience percolated in his mind. In April, Southard completed “An Appalachian Trail Symphony: New England (Symphony No. 1)”, inspired by his 66-day, 734-mile hike of the New England portion of the trail. We listen to a portion of the Symphony and hear about Southard’s inspiration. The Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Paul Surapine, in Milford, Massachusetts, performed these excerpts. 

About NEXT

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host: John Dankosky
Produced with help this week from Lily Tyson and Ali Oshinskie
Digital Producer: Carlos Mejia
Executive Producer: Catie Talarski

Contributors to this episode: Shannon Dooling, Britta Greene, Martha Bebinger, Bruce Gellerman, Casey McDermott, John Dillon, Fred Bever, Mary Williams
Music: Todd Merrell, “New England” by Goodnight Blue Moon

Stream every episode of NEXTWe appreciate your feedback! Send critiques, suggestions, questions, and ideas to next@wnpr.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.