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NH News
6:46 am
Fri March 6, 2015

State Employees Ratify New Contract Covering 9,000 Workers

The New Hampshire State Employees Union says workers have ratified a new two-year contract covering about 9,000 employees.

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 officials say the contract was approved by 95 percent of union members.

The contract features 2 percent raises each of the next two years and better dental and life insurance benefits.

Changes in health care provisions, in turn, will save the state $10 million over the course of two years.

NH News
6:26 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Town Meeting: Salem Voters To Weigh In On $23.5M Public Safety Complex

An artist's rendering of the proposed $23.5 million public safety complex going before voters in Salem on Tuesday.
Credit Town of Salem

Voters in Salem will decide at Town Meeting Tuesday whether to approve a $23.5 million public safety complex.

The new building would house both the police and fire departments.

New Hampshire Union Leader correspondent Adam Swift has been covering this issue. He joins Morning Edition to talk about his reporting.

Can you go through some of the details of this proposal?

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North Country
5:00 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Town Meeting: In Colebrook, A Multimillion Dollar Showdown With Its 1880s Water System

Pulpolux via Flickr Creative Commons

As voters head to Town Meetings on Tuesday one of the major issues in the North Country will be infrastructure repairs. That’s an issue Kevin McKinnon, who runs Colebrook’s water department, knows all too well...

A few years ago McKinnon was looking at a hydrant that had recently been removed from Main Street.

He was chipping through decades of paint to get to a part when a date began to emerge: 1884.

“I was a little shocked.”

 It was a clear reminder that Colebrook’s system was installed around 1880.

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Something Wild
12:00 am
Fri March 6, 2015

The Uncommon History of the Common Junco

Credit Blake Matheson via flickr Creative Commons

A huge question in evolutionary biology is the very basic one: How do species form? It turns out that the Dark-eyed Junco, one of the most common birds at winter feeders, is providing a  clear picture of that process.

First, a quick review of what defines a species:

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North Country
8:19 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

135 Jobs In Littleton Moving To Milford

Hitchiner Manufacturing says over the next year it will be shutting down its Littleton manufacturing facility and moving those 135 jobs to an existing facility in Milford.

Employees who wish to move to Milford may do so and will get relocation assistance, the company said in a news release Thursday.

The company said the move was necessary due to “the operating economics of the Littleton facility” and its distance from it Milford operation ,which already has about 470 employees.

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Education
6:12 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Four N.H. School Districts Allowed To Cut Back On Statewide Standardized Tests

usdagov via Flickr CC

New Hampshire students will take a new standardized test this spring, called the Smarter Balanced. Early indications are the test will be substantially more difficult, and school teachers and administrators are anxious, and some – like Manchester – have been looking for an out, only to find there is not much wiggle room.

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Education
5:31 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

SNHU President To Help U.S. Education Department Grow Non-Traditional Programs

Paul LeBlanc
Credit Courtesy of SNHU

  Southern New Hampshire University President Paul LeBlanc will spend three months at the U.S. Department of Education to help grow non-traditional higher ed programs. 

In an effort to increase access and affordability for students, the U.S. Department of Education will begin selecting universities as so-called experimental sites.

LeBlanc says experimental sites will act as centers of research and development for new models of higher ed. And he says he won’t be part of the selection process.

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NH News
5:23 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Foodstuffs: What Will A Late Start For The Maple Season Mean?

  It’s the first week of March, about the time we usually see the kickoff to the maple sugaring season. But maple syrup producers are still waiting anxiously for the sap to start flowing.

Howard Pearl joined All Things Considered. He’s a maple producer in Loudon and a director of the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association which represents 400 maple farms in the state.

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Health
4:13 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Massachusetts-Based Insurer, N.H. Hospital Group Starting New Insurance Company

 An insurance company and a group of medical providers are teaming up to start a new insurance company in New Hampshire.

The new company is a partnership between Massachusetts-based Tufts Health Plan and Granite Healthcare Network – the parent company for Catholic Medical Center, Concord Hospital, Wentworth-Douglas Hospital, LRGHealthcare, and Southern New Hampshire Health System.

Tufts Health Freedom Plan will begin selling insurance to employers. The company is considering selling in the individual market too, including on the federal healthcare exchange.

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Health
3:47 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Fed Approves Key Component Of N.H.'s Medicaid Expansion Plan

The federal government has approved a key aspect of New Hampshire's Medicaid expansion plan.

Since July, adults making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty limit — about $15,900 a year — have been eligible for coverage either through the state's managed care program for Medicaid or through a program that subsidizes existing employer coverage.

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NH News
3:28 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

N.H. Senate Passes Bill Requiring Public Schools To Teach Cursive And Multiplication Tables

Credit Brother magneto via Flickr CC

Senators have passed a bill requiring public schools to continue teaching cursive and multiplication tables. The bill is aimed at making sure schools maintain those skills as schools adopt new standards and incorporate more technology in the classroom.

The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote Thursday and it will now be sent to the Senate Finance Committee.

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NH News
9:03 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Exeter High Student Charged With Selling Explicit Photos Of Female Classmates

A 15-year-old high school student in Exeter faces a felony charge after police say he sold explicit photos of underage female classmates.

The investigation into the incident began in October, when school staff first reported the male student’s activities to police.

An arrest was made after police seized the student’s iPad and conducted a forensic examination of its contents.

Police say the boy turned himself in to police and was released to a parent.

He is expected to appear in juvenile court at a later date.

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North Country
7:43 am
Thu March 5, 2015

North Country Events

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The newsletter typically announces events in the next week. The calendar shows you events in the coming months.

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NH News
7:41 am
Thu March 5, 2015

N.H. House Passes Bill To Require Convicts To Attend Sentencing

Seth Mazzaglia
Credit Jim Cole / AP Photo POOL

 

The New Hampshire House has passed a bill that would require violent offenders to attend their sentencing hearings, following a dispute in the case of a man convicted of raping a 19-year-old college student.

It was introduced by Rep. Renny Cushing, a Hampton Democrat whose father and brother-in-law were slain. He said he was outraged when Seth Mazzaglia wanted to skip his sentencing in the death of Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott.

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NH News
6:48 am
Thu March 5, 2015

N.H. House Passes Bill Banning Minors From Using Tanning Beds

Credit Tom Vagliery via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire House passed a bill Wednesday banning anyone under 18 from using tanning beds.

Lawmakers approved the bill 199 to 162 on Wednesday, sending the bill to the Senate.

Salem Representative Gary Azarian sponsored the bill, and says the measure is akin to existing bans on minors purchasing alcohol and cigarettes.

"It's inherently dangerous for persons under 18 years of age to use a tanning bed," he said. "It causes melanoma and cancers and they die from it. It's a reasonable request to ban persons under 18 from tanning in a tanning bed."

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NH News
6:00 am
Thu March 5, 2015

UNH Law Panel Will Tackle Fair Play, Player Conduct Issues In Pro Sports

Credit <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cc_chapman/4878972642/in/photostream/" target="blank">CC Chapman</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

There’s been no shortage of controversies recently when it comes to questions of whether teams are playing by the rules, as well as the on- and off-the-field conduct of professional athletes.

But how do leagues respond when these situations arise?

A panel discussion Thursday night at the University of New Hampshire School of Law co-sponsored by Sports Illustrated will explore personal conduct and fair play policies in professional sports.

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Health
6:00 am
Thu March 5, 2015

N.H. Regulators Missed Warning Signs Of Abuse And Neglect At Lakeview

Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center in Effingham
Conway Daily Sun/Jamie Gemmiti

Yesterday, NHPR reported on abuse and neglect of people with disabilities at Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center in Effingham. This story is the second in a two-part series on Lakeview.

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Health
6:00 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Why Lakeview's School Is On 'Provisional Approval'

Since October 2014, the Department of Education has found major deficiencies in virtually every aspect of the Lakeview School, one of the most expensive state-certified special education programs in New Hampshire. As a result, the school is on "provisional approval."

As of January 26 2015, Lakeview had not complied with the following deficiency findings:

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North Country
1:46 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Senate Committee Balks At Funding For The Balsams

Dixville Capital developer Les Otten: Says he's confident the project can move forward.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

A Senate Committee Wednesday sidelined a bill designed to provide state backing for a $28 million loan to the developers of the Balsams Resort. But developer Les Otten says he still hopes to begin construction in June.

The legislation is Senate Bill 30 and it would have provided a state guarantee for a $28 million bond to help Otten’s Dixville Capital LLC renovate and expand the Balsams resort.

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Environment
9:54 am
Wed March 4, 2015

N.H. Lawmakers To Chew On Meat, Dairy Composting Proposal

Credit Mickki via Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers today will hear a proposal to allow the commercial composting of meat and dairy. The bill began with a group headed by a former UNH student.

The Post Landfill Action Network, or PLAN, got its start as a sort of student-run rummage sale, where students were encouraged to sell furniture and other items, rather than throw them out when they leave campus each year.

PLANs founder, Alex Fried, has since gone professional with his advocacy, starting a small non-profit.

One of their current projects is pushing to make UNH’s football stadium a zero-waste facility.

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NH News
6:56 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Power Plant Owners Argue Energy 'Crisis' Is Overblown

Electricity and natural gas prices are up this winter, but are nowhere near the peaks seen in the previous two winters.
Credit ISO New England

  This fall, energy industry watchers were predicting that a cold-winter in New England would lead to high natural gas and electricity prices.

But despite record-breaking cold, energy prices have – thus far – remained in check this winter.

Last winter, the whole-sale price for electricity – that’s the price utilities and electricity supply companies pay – spiked to unprecedented heights.

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NH News
6:31 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Manchester, Portsmouth Move Forward With Regulations To Cover Uber Drivers

An aldermanic committee in Manchester has signed off on a ride-sharing ordinance that would cover companies like Uber.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the administration committee voted 3-2 last night in favor of the policy.

Under the proposal, Uber’s third-party drivers would have to register with the clerk’s office and undergo state criminal background checks and drug testing.

The ordinance still needs the support of the full board and will go through several stages of review.

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Health
6:00 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Incidents Of Abuse And Neglect Plague New Hampshire's Lakeview Rehab Center

During Ryan Libbey's roughly one-month state at Lakeview in 2011, his mother Jennifer Cote found unexplained bruises all over her son's body.
Photos of Ryan's injuries were taken by Cote and published by NHPR with her permission

Since last September, Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center in Effingham has been under scrutiny for abusing and neglecting some of the people it cares for – children and adults with brain injuries and developmental disabilities. NHPR has been looking into these accusations, and it turns out the state had warning signs about Lakeview going back to at least 2011.

This is the first of two stories on Lakeview, a look at the scope of those accusations. 

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Health
6:02 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Dispensary Applicant Eyeing Location In Dover

  One of the 14 applicants who would operate a medical marijuana dispensary in the state is eyeing a location in Dover.

A group affiliated with Wellness Connection of Maine says it wants to operate in the seacoast region. Board member Bill Eldridge says it would also be named Wellness Connection.

“Many of the things that have been developed in Maine, we plan to license their intellectual property and run similar operations with the same high standards in New Hampshire if we receive a license.”

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All Things Considered
2:00 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Granite Geek: A Simple Way To Stop Winter Car Rust

This might not be the best example of winter car care. Regular washings can keep your car from rusting like this one.
Credit Don O'Brien via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/JJrqM

For people, winter has pros and cons - but for cars, this kind of weather is not ideal.

David Brooks writes the weekly Granite Geek science column for the Nashua Telegraph and GraniteGeek.org. He spoke with All Things Considered about the effects of road salt on cars in winter - and the simple and not-so-simple ways we might stop those effects before they start.

 

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Politics
8:41 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Entire N.H. Congressional Delegation Will Be Present For Netanyahu Speech

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Credit www.bbc.com

All four members of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation say they plan on attending Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress this morning.

Several Democrats have said they plan on boycotting speech, which was organized by House Republican leadership without the involvement of President Obama.

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NH News
8:13 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Keene City Officials To Consider Permit For 2015 Pumpkin Festival

Credit Selbe B via Flickr/Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/stacylynn/5117165696/in/photostream/

A request from the group the Let It Shine for a license to hold the 25th annual Keene Pumpkin Festival in October is coming before the City Council this week.

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NH News
7:27 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Bill Would Reestablish N.H. Minimum Wage, Raise It To $10 An Hour By 2018

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill that would set the state’s minimum wage at $8.25 an hour next year will go before a Senate committee Tuesday.

Under the bill backed by seven Democratic state Senators, the increased minimum wage would take effect at the beginning of 2016.

The bill calls for further increases to $9 an hour in 2017 and $10 an hour in 2018.

Under Republican leadership, lawmakers repealed the state’s minimum wage in 2011.

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NH News
6:44 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Kinder Morgan To Hold More Open House Meetings On Pipeline Plan

Credit Kinder Morgan / http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/TGP_Northeast_Energy_Direct_Fact_Sheet.pdf

 

Kinder Morgan, the Texas-based energy company that has proposed a 70-mile natural gas pipeline through southern New Hampshire, is planning to conduct more public information sessions.

In a letter sent last week to Kinder Morgan, the state's congressional delegation asked the company to do more public outreach beyond five meetings conducted recently in communities affected by the proposal.

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NH News
6:41 am
Tue March 3, 2015

N.H. Bill Would Ban Smoking In Cars When Children Under 18 Are Present

Credit SuperFantastic / Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers will hear arguments Tuesday on a bill that would ban smoking in a car when a minor is present.

The legislation would make it illegal to smoke tobacco products in a vehicle with a passenger under the age of 18.

State Senator David Watters is the bill’s prime sponsor.

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