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As we hunker down for the winter weather, we’re frequently too preoccupied with what is in our front yards that we tend not to notice what isn’t there. The snow and ice have muscled out the grass, and the chilly sounds of the north wind have blown away the dawn chorus that woke us this summer. And short of finding a postcard in your mailbox from a warm exotic location, signed by your friendly neighborhood phoebe , you probably haven’t thought much about the birds that flitted through your yard just months ago.

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...

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 MacGyvered kind of contraption of shop vac , juicer, PVC , and a bucket." The winnower sorts out...

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Bill Gardner, best known as the guardian of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Presidential Primary , was elected to his 21st consecutive term as Secretary of State Wednesday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After winning the support of the full New Hampshire House, Republican Rep. Shawn Jasper is set to serve another term as House Speaker. And unlike the last contest for speaker, this year's election went largely as expected.

University of New Hampshire on Facebook

As a reporter, Bob Woodward has written the first draft of history on some of this country’s most important events. In 1973, his coverage of the Watergate Scandal with Carl Bernstein for The Washington Post was instrumental in uncovering corruption that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Woodward was also The Washington Post’s lead reporter for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The Appalachian Mountain Club is withdrawing its proposal for a new overnight hut in Crawford Notch State Park. The AMC notified the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development of its decision after more than a year of what the non-profit called ‘careful consideration.’ “While the outcome of this proposal is not as hoped for, we remain fully committed to continuing to provide high-quality outdoor recreational experiences for the citizens of New Hampshire and the visitors to...

Facing a projected operating loss of $2.6 million, New Hampshire's Colby-Sawyer College says it will "restructure" and lay off 18 employees. College President Sue Stuebner says seven faculty members and 11 staffers at the New London college received notice Monday. Another 11 learned their hours will be modified and more than a dozen who are leaving won't be replaced. The Valley News reports Stuebner attributes the current year's operating loss to recent fluctuation in Colby-Sawyer's...

Heading into November, New Hampshire Democrats talked a big game when it came to their hopes for retaking control of the state Senate . But when the Republicans ended up maintaining the same 14-10 margin they’ve held for the past two years, Democrats placed at least part of the blame for their losses on gerrymandered district lines . As it turns out, they might have a point.

This month on The Granite Stage, NHPR's Sean Hurley and theater critic Michael Curtiss travel to The Hatbox Theater in Concord to see a new adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol . At the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, Neil Pankhurst tells us about his Jack and the Beanstalk “pantomime”. Following the more English Holiday tradition this "panto" is not the trapped in a box thing you’re thinking of. Artistic Director Gus Kaikonnen shares audio from the Peterborough Players new...

Photo by Marsmet523, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan has directed that flags fly at half-staff in honor of the 75th anniversary of the attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor. Hassan says the solemn occasion is an important opportunity to join together in honoring the sacrifices of the brave lives lost on Dec. 7, 1941, as well as those who survived and those who courageously went on to defend the nation in World War II. Hassan said she joins all Granite Staters, Americans and people across the...

Holiday Book Show: December 6, 2016

Dec 7, 2016
Christina Phillips; NHPR

Our popular holiday tradition takes place on December 6. We look at the top books of 2016 and discuss best books for gift-giving...and receiving. Let us know what books you've enjoyed this year by email , by tagging us in a tweet , or sending a message to our Facebook page .

FLICKR Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor-elect Chris Sununu has said tightening voter laws, potentially eliminating same-day registration, is top on his to-do list once he takes office. I'm not saying that people are doing things illegally but the system allows for so much grey area in terms of who's a resident, who's not, how long have you been here, same-day voter, what are the checks and balances. It's just about...

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State lawmakers will chose the next Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives Wednesday. Current Speaker Shawn Jasper looks in good position to keep his speaker’s gavel, with Republicans holding a solid majority in the House.

Courtesy / Veterans Administration

The Veterans Administration has scheduled two town hall meetings next week in New Hampshire’s North Country to discuss the closing of facilities in Colebrook and Berlin that offer primary care and lab services to veterans.

Flikr Creative Commons / eyesore9

Portsmouth officials say six rounds of sampling done for chemicals in wells at what's now the Pease International Tradeport have resulted in non-detect levels since the city began using a carbon filter system. Public Works Department deputy director Brian Goetz tells The Portsmouth Herald the last test was done on Nov. 15. He says all six tests resulted in non-detect levels for two types of PFCs, or perfluorochemicals. Goetz says they used the same sample method as the Air Force at the two...

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottfidd/with/3211176586/">scottfidd</a> vis Flickr/Creative Commons

Parents of fourth and fifth graders can save money when their kids ski in New Hampshire. Ski NH is offering a $30 Snowsports Passport to fourth and fifth graders that includes a one-day lift ticket or trail pass voucher to each of the association's 34 ski members. Vouchers also have additional offers on lessons, equipment rentals and lift tickets for family members. A portion of the proceeds from each Passport also go to Make-A-Wish New Hampshire. Coupons from the passport are valid every day...

Jason Moon for NHPR

New Hampshire has long lagged behind other states when it comes to the availability of full-day kindergarten. Legislators are likely to take up the issue this year, as they have in years past. But the ideas being debated in Concord this year likely won’t change the situation for school districts who can’t already afford to offer a full-day kindergarten program.

Fairpoint Communications To Be Sold

Dec 5, 2016
Ibew Fairpoint via Flickr CC

Fairpoint Communications, the largest telephone provider in Northern New England, is being sold. Illinois-based Consolidated Communications says it is buying Fairpoint for 1.5 billion dollars, marking a new chapter in the Fairpoint story, which has been marked by consumer complaints, union unrest and bankruptcy. Last year, Fairpoint workers ended a year-long strike with a new contract that included worker concessions on health care and retirement benefits. Last month Fairpoint announced...

A federal appeals court has upheld a 2014 New Hampshire law that puts limits on how long third parties have to collect the necessary signatures to petition their way onto a general election ballot. The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire urged a three-judge panel in Boston to strike down the law, saying it could prevent third-party candidates from getting on the ballot. The panel agreed Friday with a judge who found the law creates reasonable restrictions justified by the state's interest in...

NHPR

The CEO of Dartmouth-Hitchcock says he will step down when his contract expires next June. A spine surgeon by training, James Weinstein has led the state’s largest health care system since 2011. During that time, he’s had to navigate both local and national challenges, including the arrival of the Affordable Care Act. “The past five years have been ones of exciting and sometimes challenging change in health care,” says Weinstein in a statement posted to the hospital’s website. “D-H is on a...

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

New Hampshire’s struggling dairy farmers may soon get some help from a relief program in the works at the Statehouse. Backed by the majority leaders in both the New Hampshire House and Senate, the Joint Dairy Farmers Task Force moved Monday to aid farmers affected by this year’s drought. The program is aimed at dairy farmers who have suffered financial losses from “unreasonably low” milk prices, and meager feed crops. Nineteen of New Hampshire’s 120 dairy farms stopped producing milk this...

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