News

Eden via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5qAdh9

A bill in the State Senate could sharply reduce the number of people eligible for SNAP benefits, commonly called food stamps.

Senate Bill 7 would basically make it harder to get food stamps in New Hampshire by changing financial eligibility and other requirements for applicants.

On Tuesday, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony against the bill from the New Hampshire Food Bank and New Hampshire Legal Assistance. Sarah Mattson Dustin, of Legal Assistance, told lawmakers the bill will downshift the cost of feeding low-income families.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

Over eighty people turned out in Concord Tuesday to testify on a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. 

More than once, Representative Don LaBrun had to call for decorum in a room packed with supporters and opposition alike. Members of transgender, medical and religious communities turned out to testify on a bill that would prohibit discrimination based upon “gender identity,” adding the term to the long list of factors such as age, race and disability.

Geoff Forrester/The Concord Monitor/POOL

In 2015 Owen Labrie was convicted of having sex with a then-15-year-old freshman at St. Paul’s School when he was a senior at the time and using a computer to lure her in.

The now 21-year-old is asking for a new trial on the grounds that his legal team did a poor job of representing him.

NHPR’s Paige Sutherland has been covering this ongoing case and attended Tuesday’s hearing. She spoke with All Things Considered Host Peter Biello about it.

Rick via Flickr/CC

 

N.H. is heading with seeming inevitability toward joining the states that do not require a special permit to carry a concealed weapon. Governor Sununu is expected to sign SB12, which has passed both the Senate and the House, mostly along party lines.

 

Similar bills have failed in the past. Former Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan twice vetoed similar efforts.  

 

Supporters of repealing the permit requirement say local officials too often deny permits.

 

Zvonimir Cuvalo via Flikr / https://flic.kr/p/QQarge

During winter’s dark months you may feel a little bit down. It’s common for people to feel sadder during the winter months, but that sadness isn’t always considered seasonal affective disorder, which is the official term for depression brought on by the cold winter days.

Concord Monitor reporter David Brooks is hosting Concord's Science Café all about seasonal affective disorder, and spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello about the disorder and how it’s nothing like your typical case of “the winter blues”.

This transcript has been edited for clarity.
 

Vox Efx / Flickr Creative Commons

The way Rep. Norman Silber sees it, a party primary is supposed to select the best person who represents the values and platform of that particular political party — and allowing undeclared voters to weigh in allows for too much electoral mischief.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

The University of New Hampshire has received a grant to support training for early childhood math teachers in the state.

UNH will receive two-hundred thousand dollars to support an online professional development program for pre-k through third grade math teachers in New Hampshire.

The two-year program includes online coursework, in-person coaching, and an annual conference.

The money comes from the national non-profit 100Kin10 The group’s goal is to train 100,000 K-12 STEM teachers by the year 2021.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Democratic Congresswoman Annie Kuster is calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to scrap its current electronic health record system and adopt a commercial system.

Right now the VA uses a system called VistA, which the VA developed for itself. The VA has been trying for years to make it work seamlessly with the system used by the Department of Defense. That effort so far has failed. 

jim.richmond via Flickr Creative Commons

 

  Nuclear regulators are seeking the public's feedback on a plan to address concrete erosion at Seabrook's power plant.

NextEra Energy wants to extend its license for Seabrook Station by two decades. It must first show the Nuclear Regulatory Commission how it'll address alkali silica reaction, which causes concrete erosion.

The chemical reaction was found in several plant structures in 2010.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to expand protections against discrimination for transgender people in New Hampshire.

A bill up for a public hearing Tuesday adds "gender identity" to the state's anti-discrimination statutes. That would protect people who are transgender from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. The state Commission for Human Rights already bars discrimination based on age, sex, race, creed, color, marital and familial state, national origin, sexual orientation and physical or mental disability.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  New Hampshire's Ray Buckley dropped out of the race for Democratic National Committee chair Saturday, throwing his support behind Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison.

Buckley's announcement comes a week before the DNC's 447 members gather in Atlanta to choose a new leader. Ellison and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez are widely acknowledged as the front-runners, although several other candidates are also in the running.

Allegra Boverman for New Hampshire Public Radio

N.H. Republican Governor Chris Sununu reinforced his support for President Trump during an in-depth Exchange interview  last week, even as he acknowledged that certain matters could have gone more smoothly in recent weeks.   He also discussed his budget, defending his decision to boost funding for community colleges but not the university system, which expressed "deep disappointment" in the decision.

NH1

WBIN-TV announced Friday it will cease operations in the coming months after selling its broadcasting rights to the FCC. The network, which was purchased five years ago by former U.S. Senate candidate and New Hampshire businessman Bill Binnie, says proceeds from the sale approach $100 million.

“I am incredibly proud of the people in our television, radio and digital media businesses,” says Binnie in a statement posted to the NH1 website.  

OK, so things might be brightening up a bit this weekend. But it's still the middle of February and we're just coming off of several rounds of snowstorms and New Hampshire winters are nothing if not unpredictable — so while we're all catching our breath waiting for the next whiteout, we thought we'd take a moment to reflect on some particularly wintry stories before diving into the rest of this week's headlines.

The Concord Monitor

The state’s highest court has denied a new trial to 78-year-old convicted murderer Robert Breest.

New Hampshire is a rural state, which is great for recreation, but not so great if you are a foodie, at least when it comes to shopping for gourmet ingredients.  

But some savvy shoppers have discovered that fancy food can also be found at  couple of accessible and unexpected emporiums: Ocean State Job Lots (“Home of Adventure Shopping”) and Marshalls  (“Your Surprise is Waiting”).  

rcf50022 on YouTube / https://youtu.be/e1cYFp3o6cw

After nearly two weeks of steady snow storms across the state, New Hampshire's ski mountains are getting ready for a busy few weeks. 

Massachusetts schools are on break next week, and New Hampshire schools the following week. That's just in time for ideal ski conditions, says Greg Keeler at Cannon Mountain.

"And we get something called Notch Effect snowfall. It made the cloud stay here and it forced the snow out of the cloud right in the region of Cannon."

Michael Seamans

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

A new poll from the University of New Hampshire shows strong support in the state for environmental protections.

Nearly three quarters of New Hampshire residents say environmental protection rules should either be left as they are or strengthened.

That’s according to research from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy.

Chris Shadler

Chris Schadler is a wild canid biologist, and for about 25 years, her specialty has been the coyote. The first confirmed case of coyotes in New Hampshire was an individual found in a trap in Holderness in the mid 1940s. But they have likely been here longer, because as Schadler points out, they didn’t parachute into Holderness, they will have migrated south from Canada.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Tooth decay is the leading chronic disease for children in the United States. It’s also one of the easiest to prevent. As NHPR’s Jason Moon reports, one dental hygienist on the Seacoast is finding fun ways to drive home that message to kids.

NHPR Staff

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says she's disappointed that Gov. Chris Sununu hasn't been more forceful in rebutting voter fraud allegations in New Hampshire.

President Donald Trump says he lost New Hampshire in November because thousands of people came by bus to vote against him. Shaheen, a Democrat, says Trump is making that up. On Wednesday, she told reporters that it's disappointing that Sununu — a Republican who was elected in November — hasn't been stronger about pushing back.

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center issued a serious warning for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines Thursday morning.

Intrepid winter hikers and skiers are cautioned against braving the terrain, most of which has a high avalanche danger through the day. Eight inches of new snow fell overnight, increasing the likelihood of both natural and human-triggered avalanches.  As wind speeds increase over the course of the day, large avalanches in many areas are likely.

  Refugee resettlement has resumed in New Hampshire after a federal judge halted President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning refugees.

A federal appeals court last week refused to reinstate the president’s order, which also bans immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

NHPR Staff

 The fate of right to work is uncertain in the New Hampshire House, potentially handing Republican Gov. Chris Sununu an early defeat on one of his priorities.

GOP House Speaker Shawn Jasper warns the union-targeting legislation may fail Thursday due to long-standing opposition from a handful of Republicans. But Republican leaders are making an aggressive push in the final hours to flip votes, even suggesting the party may not help Republicans who don't support the bill in the next election.

 

  The family of a New Hampshire man killed by police is suing the officers who shot him.

WMUR-TV reports that the family of 42-year-old Hagen Etsy-Lennon is suing the two Haverhill police officers who fatally shot him in 2015. Attorneys representing the family claim the officers acted recklessly and that Etsy-Lennon did not pose an eminent threat.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

 

  A Florida-based circus operator has agreed to pay $25,000 in fines to resolve criminal charges in New Hampshire following a tent collapse in 2015 that killed two people and injured dozens.

The Caledonian-Record reports a prosecutor says the plea agreement resolves eight charges, including operating without a license, and ensures the state will receive money from a defendant who has limited funds.

Sarasota-based Walker International Events initially faced more than $200,000 in fines.

The agreement will need court approval. A March 8 hearing is scheduled.

Derrick Coetzee / Flickr CC

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning and an advisory as another storm approaches the Granite State.

The overnight storm will have a more severe impact in the eastern part of the state, with accumulations ranging from less than an inch to as many as ten inches along the seacoast.

For severe weather updates, tune in to NHPR on air or listen to our livestream right here.

Daniel Berna via Flickr / https://flic.kr/p/enb2wQ

The Annual Moose Hunt Lottery may become even more exclusive. New Hampshire Fish and Game is proposing a plan to give out only 51 permits this year, and that’s down from 71 permits issued last year. It’s the lowest it’s been since the system started in 1988.

NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with Kristine Rines about the proposal and the state’s moose population. Rines is the Moose Program Leader at New Hampshire Fish and Game.  

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

josh rogers\nhpr

Governor Chris Sununu's pick to be New Hampshire's education commissioner, was approved by the executive council today.

The 3-2 vote confirming Frank Edelblut came a day after the State Board of Education wrote to Sununu expressing reservations about Edelblut's qualifications.

Pages