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This Week in N.H. News: Finding Holiday Cheer (and Chocolate) in Unlikely Places

You made it to the weekend! (Almost, at least.) Congratulations. And some good news: We only have three more Fridays left in 2016. In the meantime, catch up on some of the most interesting stories unfolding all across New Hampshire as the year starts to wind down. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletters to get these and other headlines delivered straight to your inbox each week .

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Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says the appointment of President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency would "signal a capitulation to polluters." Trump, a Republican, plans to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to the post. Pruitt has been a vocal denier of the science showing that the planet is warming and that man-made carbon emissions are to blame. Shaheen said Thursday that New Hampshire needs a reliable partner in the EPA to...

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

Wednesday was Organization Day for the New Hampshire Legislature, when all 400 members of the House of Representatives gather for the first time since being elected. Reporter Hannah McCarthy spoke to three brand-new reps about their decision to run.

Sean Hurley

Some people get their trees at the supermarket, some at Christmas tree farms. Some cut them down in the National Forest. They take them home and get out the tinsel and the ornaments and the lights. But in some New Hampshire parts, not everyone brings a tree home. Some people like to decorate Christmas trees in the wild. Producer's note: As with every Sean Hurley story, we really recommend giving this a listen! I was out walking last week on the Pine Flat Ski trail in my home town of Thornton....

Jason Moon for NHPR

Thirty-five projects for land conservation and historic preservation have been awarded grants by the state’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program . LCHIP was created by the legislature in 2000 to provide matching grants for conservation and preservation projects across New Hampshire. This year, a total of 3.5 million dollars went to fund projects that range from the conservation of Nashua’s last working farm to the restoration of Laconia’s Colonial Theatre. Governor Maggie Hassan...

Peter Biello / NHPR

Enna Grazier's kitchen is a lot like a normal home kitchen, except she's got a few things most people don't have at home: a commercial food production license, and countertop-sized tools that turn cocoa beans into carefully crafted chocolate bars.

There you'll find, among other gadgets, machines that look like they belong in a chemist's lab. "This is my winnower ," she says. " It’s a kind of MacGyvered contraption of a shop vac , a piece off of a Champion juicer, some PVC parts....

New Hampshire's all-Democratic incoming Congressional delegation is throwing its support behind Ray Buckley's bid for chair of the Democratic National Committee. In a joint statement Thursday, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, U.S. Senator-elect Maggie Hassan, Congresswoman Annie Kuster and Congresswoman-elect Carol Shea-Porter praised the current chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, writing that Buckley has "the vision, energy and commitment to reform the DNC and utilize it to...

Credit Johannes Thiel via Flickr cc

A potential strike by school bus drivers in New Hampshire has officially been called off. That’s after union drivers signed a five-year contract Wednesday night with their employer First Students after a weeks’ long labor dispute.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, in her farewell address on the Senate floor, has thanked the people of the state for the "extraordinary opportunity" to serve them. Ayotte, elected in 2010, was defeated in November by Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan in a very close race. Ayotte spoke Wednesday about issues of great importance to her, including improving services for veterans, strengthening the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, dealing with the "devastating epidemic" of heroin and...

PEXELS

The federal government says more than 10,000 Granite Staters signed up for insurance on Healthcare.gov in the first four weeks of open enrollment. A total of 10,554 New Hampshire residents signed up for health insurance during open enrollment between November 1 and November 26, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Over that same period, more than 2.1 million across 39 states have bought coverage on the federal website. A quarter of those are new enrollees, while the...

FILE

Federal legislation aimed at helping states struggling with the opioid epidemic is headed to President Obama’s desk. That’s after the U.S. Senate Wednesday passed the proposal 94 to 5.

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