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12:07 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

N.H. AFP Chapter Signs Off On House Finance Budget

AFP State Director Greg Moore says the House budget is fiscally responsible.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The state’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group,  are backing the House Finance version of the state's spending plan, which passed committee along party lines Thursday. 

The $11 billion budget trimmed hundreds of millions from Governor Maggie Hassan’s proposal including reducing spending for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation and University funding.

AFP State Director Greg Moore said the budget isn’t perfect but it is fiscally responsible.

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Politics
9:17 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Gov. Hassan: Cuts In House Budget 'Unneccesary,' New Revenue Needed

Gov. Maggie Hassan
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan joined Morning Edition Friday to talk about her reaction to the moves made Thursday by the House Finance Committee.

You’ve made clear your opposition to many of the recommendations made in the House budget. What particular proposals give you the greatest concern?

The House budget that was proposed earlier this week made unnecessary, very harmful cuts that will pull us backwards and will make it much more difficult to make the kind of economic progress we need to.

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NH News
6:57 am
Fri March 27, 2015

New Hampshire Public Health Director Stepping Down

Jose Montero
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

 

New Hampshire's director of public health says he is resigning to allow for "new leadership" of the division.

Dr. Jose Montero announced in a statement Thursday that he will leave the post he's held for the past seven years on May 1. He has been with the state's Division of Health Services for 15 years.

He said in his written statement that it's time for new leadership to help the division achieve the goal of becoming an accredited agency.

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Environment
5:43 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Fish And Game Contemplates An End To The Moose Hunt

Credit northeast naturalist via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire Fish and Game is working on a new plan for how many deer, turkey, bear and moose hunters will be allowed to shoot between now and 2025. For moose-hunters in some parts of the state, that number may soon be zero.

Fish and Game is considering regional population thresholds, where if moose herd continues to decline it will call a moratorium on the moose hunt.

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Something Wild
12:00 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Something Wild: Habitat Hotspots

Credit Greta Tamošiunaite / Flickr

As the snow starts to melt you might notice a stark contrast in the landscape.  Maybe you were driving down the highway and noticed one shoulder was covered with snow while the other side was bare with a faint tinge of spring green shoots.  The cause?  Slope and aspect.  

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NH News
6:46 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Northern Pass Gives $3 Million To Conservation Projects

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Eversource Energy and the Northern Pass Transmission project have announced a large donation to support conservation projects in New Hampshire. The $3 million donated by Eversource will be given to local conservation projects through grants administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

“That’s a huge donation. It represents our largest New England corporate donation in the history of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,” said David O’Neil, vice president of NFWF.

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Politics
6:12 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

House Budget Clears Committee -- Again

The revised version of the House budget passes along party lines with reductions to University System funding and the renewable energy fund.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee has voted along party lines to send an $11 billion state spending plan to the full House, for a second time. 

For the past week or so Finance Chairman Neal Kurk has described this budget as “business as usual.”

But cobbling together this year's budget wasn't easy, as lawmakers scrambled to find money to fill a $68 million hole needed to avert deep layoffs in the Department of Transportation, after Kurk’s plan to hike the gasoline tax failed to gain traction.

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NH News
9:22 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Medal Of Honor Recipient To Deliver UNH Commencement Address

Ryan Pitts
Credit U.S. Army

 

Medal of Honor recipient Ryan Pitts is delivering the University of New Hampshire commencement address on May 16.

Pitts is a former Army staff sergeant who fought off enemy fighters during one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghanistan war, despite his own critical injuries. He is the ninth living recipient of the award; President Barack Obama bestowed the honor last year.

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NH News
8:24 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Dartmouth College Sanctions Fraternity For Alleged 'Branding' Of Students

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

 

A lawyer for a Dartmouth College fraternity accused of branding new members compared it to a form of self-expression like body piercing or tattooing.

Alpha Delta was suspended in October for violating alcohol rules during one party and hosting another without registering it with the college. Officials are now extending that suspension over new allegations that members were branded last fall.

The frat partly inspired the 1978 movie "Animal House" and has a recent history of hazing and other disciplinary violations.

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NH News
7:31 am
Thu March 26, 2015

President Obama Signs N.H. Disaster Declaration For January Blizzard

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration for the state of New Hampshire, ordering federal aid to help state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by a snowstorm during Jan. 26 to 28.

The declaration says federal funding also is available to state and eligible local governments and certain nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and repair in Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Strafford counties, which got up to 32 inches of snow.

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NH News
7:15 am
Thu March 26, 2015

After 3-Year-Old's Death, Bill Would Change Way Child Abuse Cases Are Handled

Brielle Gage
Credit www.gofundme.com/JusticeForBrielle

  UPDATE: The bill cleared the full Senate Thursday by a voice vote. It now heads to the House. 

The death of a 3-year-old girl in Nashua last November has raised questions about state oversight and what actions should be taken when cases of child abuse are reported.

Katlyn Marin, the mother of Brielle Gage, has been charged with murdering her daughter.

Court records show the girl and her four siblings were placed in foster care in April of last year after Marin and her boyfriend were charged with felony child abuse.

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North Country
7:09 am
Thu March 26, 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
6:42 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Rockingham County Commissioners Won't Pay For Conway's Legal Defense

Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway

 

The Rockingham County Commissioners have decided not to pay to defend County Attorney Patricia Conway in a possible whistleblower lawsuit.

Hours after being sworn into office in November, Conway fired assistant county attorney Jerome Blanchard, a key witness a state misconduct investigation.

Blanchard has threatened legal action, claiming the firing was payback for his involvement in the investigation into former county attorney Jim Reams.

Conway insists the firing was justified.

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NH News
6:33 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Keene City Council Committee Again Rejects Pumpkinfest Permit

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

 

A City Council committee has once again rejected a permit request this year for the Keene Pumpkin Festival, a fall tradition overshadowed by nearby violent disturbances last year.

WMUR-TV reports the nonprofit group running the festival, Let It Shine, wants the city to develop a security plan, estimated to cost more than $300,000.

The Planning, Licensing and Development Committee rejected a license Wednesday for the second time. The Keene City Council is scheduled to vote on it April 2.

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NH News
6:31 am
Thu March 26, 2015

N.H. Officials To Announce New Rules For Administering Narcan

Credit Courtesy of MPD

 

New Hampshire Department of Safety officials are announcing new rules and training to allow more law enforcement personnel to administer life-saving doses of Narcan to people who overdose on heroin and other opioids.

Officials will announce the new rules Thursday.

A task force has been looking into expanding the use of Naloxone — often known by its trademark Narcan — that counters opioid overdoses. Under state law, only EMTs can currently administer Narcan.

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NH News
5:00 am
Thu March 26, 2015

The ET Plus Dilemma: Whether Many Of The State's Guardrails Pose A Danger

As many as 25 percent of the end posts used in New Hampshire are the ET Plus models shown here. All units, regardless of manufacturer, are marked in yellow and black.
Credit Courtesy of Trinity Industries

Whizzing along New Hampshire’s highways, most drivers probably don’t give much thought to those square black and yellow plates on the end of guardrails – called end plates. But there’s a concern that one of the models used in New Hampshire and many other states could be dangerous.

The worry is that, instead of guiding an errant vehicle away from danger as they are meant to do, the guardrail may pierce the passenger compartment and skewer its occupants.

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NH News
7:55 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Former UNH Student Goes It Alone In Criminal Court, Wins 'Not Guilty' Verdict

Rob Wilson in downtown Portsmouth, an hour after the jury declared him innocent.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

Last year, 29 year old Robert Wilson was accused of a felony-level crime and faced the possibility of three and a half to seven years in prison. On Monday, after representing himself “pro se," the jury found him not guilty. 

Generally speaking, this doesn’t happen. Litigants represent themselves frequently in civil court, but rarely do criminal defendants argue by themselves before a jury. Wilson had even refused stand-by council.

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Politics
4:09 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Gas Tax Falls Flat In N.H. House

The House Finance Committee are scheduled to meet Thursday to decide how to put more funds from the budget into the Department of Transportation.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The House Finance Committee is heading back to the drawing board to come up with the money to avert deep funding cuts and hundreds of layoffs within New Hampshire's Department of Transportation.

DOT officials say the $88 million reduction from the Governor's proposed budget would result in more than 700 layoffs and severely limit road maintenance. 

During Wednesday's House session, House Speaker Shawn Jasper of Hudson disallowed the debate over the gas tax, he said, for procedural reasons 

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Politics
3:49 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Bill Sponsor Apologizes To 4th Graders For Lawmakers' Behavior

Rep. Renny Cushing of Hampton apologizes to 4th grade class for the "distasteful" debate last week on its bird bill.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House tried to put to rest the continued controversy of a bill it killed last week making the red-tailed hawk the state's official raptor.  

During the debate Representative Warren Groen compared the violent bird to Planned Parenthood. Other representatives mocked the idea, which came from a 4th grade class in Hampton Falls. 

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NHPR Blogs
9:11 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Foodstuffs: N.H. Maple Sugar Houses You Can Visit This Weekend

Parker's Maple Barn in Mason
Steve Richardson via Flickr CC

Looking for something  Grade A to do this weekend? After an especially long winter, New Hampshire residents can finally taste the sweet stuff that's become an annual rite of spring: local maple syrup produced in a roadside shack.

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NH News
7:33 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Anti-Bullying Advocates Oppose Student Privacy Bill

Credit Flickr/Jason Howle

 

A 14-year-old bullying victim is speaking out against a proposal that would prohibit New Hampshire schools from accessing students' social media accounts.

Souhegan High School freshman Jonathan Petersen told the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday that the bill would prevent schools from fully investigating bullying allegations. He described an incident in which two girls snapped inappropriate pictures of him, and he joined other critics in urging lawmakers to amend the bill to include an exception for investigations.

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NH News
6:41 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Laconia Police Chief: Prevention, Treatment Keys To Battling City's Heroin Epidemic

    

At least 300 people died from drug overdoses in New Hampshire last year, the most ever in the state.

A report cites the synthetic opioid fentanyl and heroin as the top two drugs having caused those deaths.

Laconia is among the communities where that spike in overdoses has continued into 2015.

Chris Adams is chief of police for Laconia, and joined Morning Edition to talk about how the city is handling the problem.

What are your officers are seeing out there?

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NH News
6:40 am
Wed March 25, 2015

UNH Hosts Maple Syrup Climate Discussion, Pancake Breakfast

 

Keeping the maple syrup flowing for generations to come will be the focus of a panel discussion and pancake breakfast at the University of New Hampshire.

Wednesday's panel includes local maple syrup producers, scientists and others speaking about climate effects on forests and maple trees. Among the speakers are Martha Carlson, a conservationist and educator who owns Range View Farm; Chris Keeley, the climate program coordinator at UNH Cooperative Extension and Jennifer Wilhelm of the New Hampshire Food Alliance.

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Politics
6:47 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

House Budget Clears Committee, Heads To Floor

Republican Richard Barry of Merrimack addresses the House Finance Committee on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee has wrapped up its work on the state budget proposal, which now heads to the House floor next week. 

The roughly $11 billion budget cleared the committee Tuesday with all Republican backing – undoing many spending increases from the Governor.  

They spent $88 million less for the Department of Transportation, $46 million for education aid and $140 million less for the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Granite Geek
5:43 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Granite Geek: Should The State Make It Easier For Regulated Utilities To Own Solar Power?

Credit Rob_ / Flickr CC

Recently Eversource Energy, formerly known as PSNH, announced it would sell off its power plants. That would make New Hampshire’s electricity suppliers separate from its electricity producers - at least for a while. A new bill in front of the State House would make it easier for electric utilities to own what are called “distributed energy resources,” which refers primarily to solar power.

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All Things Considered
4:42 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Why Human Feeding Can Hurt Deer

Deer have "adapted to survive these severe winters," says Dan Bergeron of New Hampshire Fish and Game. The state advises residents not to leave food out for deer because of the dangers it poses for them.
Credit Ben Hudson via Society for Protection of NH Forests

Last week, 12 deer were found dead in South Hampton. On Tuesday New Hampshire Fish and Game announced the cause of those deaths: feeding by humans.

Dan Bergeron is a deer project leader with New Hampshire Fish and Game. He joined All Things Considered with more on what happened.

 What were these deer fed, and why was that bad for them?

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Politics
2:54 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

In N.H., Kasich Says "All Options Are On The Table" For 2016

Credit josh rogers/nhpr

Ohio Governor John Kasich told an audience at St. Anselm College that true leadership requires listening to opposing views -- and ignoring polls. 

Kasich says that’s the approach he’s taken during his two terms leading Ohio.

“Leaders don’t take polls, ladies and gentlemen. You know I try to tell my colleagues in the legislature. Do your job, if you worry about election or reelection you won’t be doing your job.”

Kasich served in congress from 1982-2001, and later worked as a Fox News host.

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North Country
11:32 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Tender Corporation Plans New Building In Littleton

  A Littleton company is putting up a new, 117,000-square foot building.

Tender Corp. says the facility will be finished in about a year and will allow it to consolidate three facilities.

The company makes a wide range of first-aid products ranging from wilderness first-aid kits to After-Bite which is used to treat insect bites.

The company has about 160 employees and an official said some hiring is expected with the new building. It has been in Littleton since 1973.

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NH News
6:51 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Town Of Lempster Helping Family Of Eight Who Lost Home To Fire

People have rallied to help a family of eight that escaped a house fire with only the clothes on their back in Lempster.

The Lempster Ladies Auxiliary showed up at the fire scene and put out a Facebook message asking for donations for the family, which includes five children.

People have donated clothes, car seats, shoes, diapers and toys.

Volunteer Jillian Thomas tells WMUR-TV it's been a very moving experience.

Fire officials are still investigating the cause of Sunday night's fire; it does not appear suspicious.

NH News
6:42 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Report: Former Chief Justice Banned From UNH Law's Rudman Center

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

After stepping down as head of the Rudman Center at UNH Law last week, former New Hampshire Chief Justice John Broderick has been banned from the center he helped found.

Broderick stepped down from the post, citing a lack of support from the university.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports Broderick was told by university officials Friday to vacate his office and not to appear at any events at the Rudman Center.

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