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New Hampshire has joined a nationwide effort to block the proposed merger of Anthem and Cigna, the state’s two largest health insurers.

New Hampshire is one of a dozen states that have signed on to a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice, challenging Anthem’s plans to purchase Cigna for $54 billion. The suit alleges the merger would reduce competition for millions of Americans who receive health insurance from their employers or through the Affordable Care Act.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican nominee Donald Trump will address his party’s convention in Cleveland tonight. New Hampshire delegates loyal to Donald Trump are looking forward to the speech. But plenty of other delegates will be looking away, or looking on from afar.

To hear Donald Trump delegate Steve Stepanek tell it, the Republican National Convention has done its job, and the matter is settled.

“We know we need Donald Trump as our next leader, and I think everybody understands this is what we need, this is where we go.”

By Wikicali00 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30680721

For many people under the age of 25, the Steeplegate Mall in Concord, New Hampshire is a landmark of the city. But, its early days were marked by uncertainty. In July 1990, the mall opened with the goal of providing a convenient shopping experience for New Hampshire residents, without overshadowing the businesses and atmosphere of Main Street.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The Republican National Convention may be dominating the headlines. But following Senator Kelly Ayotte Wednesday morning, you wouldn’t know it.

Instead of spending the week in Cleveland, Ayotte was here in Portsmouth, touring a company that makes devices to treat cancer tumors with electrical fields.

Billy Brown / Flickr

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found more than half of families eligible for a federal nutrition program are not enrolled. 

The state Attorney General's office says a police officer was justified in the fatal shooting of a 19 year old man in Peterborough last month. Details on the incident have been scarce up to this point, but NHPR's Brady Carlson has been reading through the AG's report and he joined NHPR’s Peter Biello with more.

The Secret Service is investigating a New Hampshire state representative and Donald Trump adviser who said Hillary Clinton “should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”

Baldasaro, a Republican from Londonderry, made the comments Tuesday during an appearance on the Jeff Kuhner Show.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In their first primary debate Wednesday morning, Republican Congressional candidate Rich Ashooh and incumbent Frank Guinta sparred over Guinta’s campaign finance violations.

During the debate on WGIR, Ashooh said voters should be concerned about the $355,000 in illegal contributions Guinta’s parents made to his campaign committee in 2010.

Kelli True / NHPR

Before the New Hampshire Primary, state Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn was outspoken in her criticism of Donald Trump, calling his comments about women "disrespectful" and his remark about Sen. John McCain not being a war hero "disgraceful."

She also called his proposed ban on foreign Muslims "un-American."

Now, Horn says she has no reservations about Trump, who Tuesday night became the Republican presidential nominee once the delegates cast their votes.

New Hampshire Congresswoman Ann Kuster was in Concord Tuesday to talk about sexual assault and how colleges and universities can prevent such incidents in the future. 

bytemarks / Flickr Creative Commons

 

New Hampshire officials say the state's unemployment rate went up slightly in June, to 2.8 percent.

The state employment security office says the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is up a tenth of a percentage point from the May rate of 2.7 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June 2015 was 3.5 percent.

The state estimates that 731,010 people were employed last month, an increase of 1,910 from the previous month and an increase of 14,510 from June 2015.

 

A New Hampshire prep school criticized for how it handled sexual misconduct and assault cases has sent an email to faculty members, students and parents saying it's hiring a director of student well-being.

Tuesday's email was signed by the Phillips Exeter Academy's principal and the president of its board of trustees. It says the student well-being director will have oversight of all matters regarding student safety, especially those involving sexual misconduct, harassment and assault.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

As Americans for Prosperity's footprint grows in the New Hampshire, a lot of information about its finances remains shielded from the public. Here's a breakdown of the group's origins here, where it fits (or doesn't fit) into state election laws, and what reporting requirements it does have to follow.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A mid-summer Saturday afternoon should, by normal standards, be a sleepy time in New Hampshire politics. The presidential primary is months in the rearview mirror. The state elections are just revving up, and the Legislature has left town for the year.

So why were John and Laura Spottiswood loading up the family van to go canvassing in Goffstown?

  Residents in Southern NH exposed to high levels of PFOA can begin getting their blood tested, but those blood tests will likely take months to be processed.

State Epidemiologist Ben Chan told residents gathered at Campbell High auditorium in Litchfield that if they qualify for bottled water, then they also qualify for blood tests.

The tests will be drawn locally, but, he says, they have to be sent out of state for processing and will likely take months to get back.

Peter Biello

As the world’s population increases, so does the demand for food. One way to keep up with demand would be, logically, to just produce more food. Some argue that a better strategy would be to simply stop wasting so much food. Granite Geek David Brooks writes about food waste for his column this week in The Concord Monitor and he joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to discuss his findings.

NHPR Staff

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte may be skipping the GOP convention this week, but there there is still plenty of politicking being done on her behalf. When Iowa Senator Joni Ernst addressed a breakfast hosted by the NH GOP, she spent roughly half her speech discussing Kelly Ayotte.

Two state police troopers have been arrested and charged with simple assault after an incident in May in which the troopers allegedly beat a man who led them on a chase northern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. 

Attorney General Joseph Foster announced the charges Tuesday afternoon against Trooper Andrew Monaco of the New Hampshire State Police and Trooper Joseph Flynn of the Massachusetts State Police. 

Van McLeod, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources, died Monday morning.

He was commissioner for 24 years. McLeod oversaw the Council of the Arts, the Television and Film Office, the State Library, and the Division of Historical Resources. He was instrumental in developing New Hampshire’s cultural community.

Via twitter.com/jepersing

New Hampshire’s Republican delegation is in Cleveland for day two of the party’s national convention.

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers is reporting from Cleveland this week. He spoke with Morning Edition's Rick Ganley about what they delegation is up to, and how they feel about what's transpired so far.

A Keene woman will speak at the opening day of the Democratic National Convention next week.

Pam Livengood is one of the “everyday Americans” set to speak in Philadelphia, according to a schedule released by the Democratic National Committee.

Livengood opened up at Hillary Clinton’s first campaign stop in New Hampshire last year about how she and her husband are taking care of their grandson because his mother is battling drug addiction.

New Hampshire Republican delegate Gordon Humphrey had some sharp words Monday to describe the way his party is managing its convention.

The former U.S. Senator was among a group of so-called Never Trump delegates trying to force a roll call vote on the proposed convention rules, leading to a chaotic scene on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

The effort by Humphrey and others was ultimately shut down after the roll call was rejected following a series of voice votes.

Speaking to MSNBC afterward, Humphrey criticized the process.

via UFL.edu

New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program finally got off the ground in April, with the opening of the state’s first cannabis treatment center. Three of the four state-licensed dispensaries are now operating, and more than 1,100 people with serious illnesses are approved to use the drug.

But many, if not most, of the New Hampshire residents who could potentially benefit from medical marijuana won’t be able to legally obtain it.

Moocall

Students at the University of New Hampshire are using a device called “Moocall” to monitor pregnant cows at night. The technology was developed in Ireland in 2015; UNH is one of two universities in the States to use the sensor for agricultural research. 

The sensor attaches to the cow’s tail and records movements that coincide with birthing contractions. When things start getting serious, the sensor sends a text message to the researcher, who can run into the field to help the cow give birth.

Twitter.com/ChiefWillard

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard's uninhibited style has landed him in the spotlight recently. He’s been outspoken about the state's opioid crisis and has weighed in on political campaign disputes.

Most recently, he’s taken heat for comments about policing and race. But those who work with Willard say his actions often speak better than his words. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

Alcohol is big business in New Hampshire. Last year, profits from state-owned liquor stores added about 150 million dollars to the general fund. But it’s rare that this important industry meets together as a whole.

You might think with an industry so important to public and private interests; the different players would get together every once in a while to chat.

Van McLeod, commissioner of the state Department of Cultural Resources, has died.

McLeod, 70, was serving his sixth term as head of the department, which he led for 24 years. He was the longest-tenured state agency head currently serving.

No details are available on what caused his death.

In a statement, Gov. Maggie Hassan described McLeod as a "steadfast steward of our cultural and historic resources in the Granite State."

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers is reporting this week from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

NPR also has a team of reporters on the ground.

Check this page frequently for updates, stories, photos, and to listen to live streaming coverage from the convention presented by NPR.

Click here for the live stream, which will broadcast coverage each day from 8 PM to 11 PM EST.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On the Political Front is our occasional check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.

 

The New Hampshire Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a fire that tore through a multi-story apartment building and displaced dozens of people in Nashua.

WMUR-TV reports that the fire was reported just after 5 p.m. Sunday. It took crews more than an hour to contain the flames.

Firefighters say people living in all 36 units of the building are homeless. Two firefighters were hospitalized with heat-related injuries. No residents were hurt.

The fire was reported as a grill fire, but officials say the official cause is under investigation.

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