News

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn’t waste much time hitting the campaign trail after declaring his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination Tuesday morning. Just hours after the announcement at his former high school in his home state, Christie met with voters in New Hampshire.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Nearly one third of the farms in New Hampshire are owned and operated by women, which is well above the national average. Farmers and agricultural officials believe that could help agriculture continue to grow in the Granite State.

These were some of the insights from a roundtable discussion at Dimond Hill farm in Concord, attended by Congresswoman Ann Kuster, and US Deputy Secretary for Agriculture, Krysta Harden.

Russell Sellers / Flickr Creative Commons

There are more than 113,000 military veterans in the state of New Hampshire. That’s about 8.5 percent of the total population. According to the Spring Granite State Poll, more than half of those may vote in the GOP Primary, rather than the Democratic Primary. For more on how veterans may vote in New Hampshire’s primary elections, we turn to Andrew Smith. He’s the director of the UNH Survey Center. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.
 

Your poll found that nearly 54 percent of veterans planned on voting in the GOP primary. Was this surprising to you?

Flickr Creative Commons/Mike Bitzenhofer

All four North Country hospitals said Tuesday that they have finally come to a long sought after agreement to work together to reduce costs and provide better service.

It may be possible, they said, to save money in areas ranging from purchasing to not duplicating services.

The hospitals are the Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, Littleton Regional Healthcare, the Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook and the Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster.

Chris Alban Hansen / Flickr Creative Commons

Imagine a future where all of New Hampshire’s power comes from renewable sources. That’s all power: for your radio or computer, of course, but also for your heating and cooling systems and your car. A new study spells out how that could be made a reality by the year 2050. David Brooks of the Nashua Telegraph and Granitegeek.org spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.
 

Who conducted the study?

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed a bill that could help pave the way for public-private funding of commuter rail.

Efforts to bring commuter rail from Boston up to Nashua and Manchester hit a snag this year when lawmakers chose not to include $4 million in the capital budget to further study the proposal. Project supporters hope to continue exploring other funding options, including public-private partnerships.

Several Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation this year that creates a committee to study such funding for intermodal transportation projects.

rebuildingi93.com

 

State police from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine are going to be talking about traffic operations for the July 4th holiday weekend.

They're holding a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hilton Park, on the Spaulding Turnpike northbound in Dover.

They will discuss high visibility patrols on Interstate 93, Interstate 495 in Massachusetts to the Hooksett tolls in New Hampshire and Interstate 95 from Massachusetts through New Hampshire and in Maine.

kellyfornh.com

Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte kicks off her bid for reelection Tuesday night in Manchester.

Ayotte is seeking her second term in the U.S. Senate, but the election isn’t until November of next year.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

New Hampshire’s largest utility says a US Supreme Court ruling which on mercury emissions won’t affect its plans to install pollution controls at its coal-burning plant in Portsmouth.

The ruling – which finds the EPA should have incorporated estimates of the cost of the proposed regulation earlier on in the process – comes after Eversource has already begun work on upgrades to the sixty six-year-old plant.

Flickr/Diana Parkhouse

  New data shows New Hampshire’s housing market picked up momentum in May.

The latest RE/MAX INTEGRA New England Housing Report shows the number of units sold in May 2015 was up 8.3 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Median home prices are up 4.5 percent, and overall housing inventory is up as well.

New Hampshire’s year-to-year sales growth in May was the strongest of any New England state. 

Brady Carlson / NHPR

  When organizers planned Portsmouth’s first Pride festival, they expected a few hundred participants. In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision on marriage, they got thousands. At times those on hand in Market Square seemed to surprise themselves with their numbers and their enthusiasm. Some of the speakers, like Jake Sandlin and Nicki Sinclair, could hardly find the words to describe the moment: 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

The regular legislative calendar may be coming to an end, but work is far from done for New Hampshire lawmakers and Gov. Maggie Hassan.

A timeline for continuing work on the budget hasn't been finalized, but members of the Senate Finance Committee will gather Tuesday for a work session. The Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee will also meet monthly through the summer, as is standard practice, and will take on the task of approving emergency funding requests necessary with the short-term budget in place.

thisweekinraymond.com

 

Manchester's new police chief is officially being sworn in.

Assistant Chief Nick Willard has been promoted to chief of the department. Carlo Capano has been named assistant chief.

A swearing-in ceremony is being held Monday at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

Five new officers also are joining the department.

Nicole Tung/freejamesfoley.org via AP

The parents of slain journalist James Foley say they’re grateful for a recent White House review of U.S. hostage policies.

In a statement last week, John and Diane Foley of Rochester said the review helped to shine “a spotlight on the silent crisis of American citizens kidnapped abroad.”

New Hampshire gas prices appear to be stabilizing after climbing in recent weeks. 

  Dan Goodman of Triple A Northern New England says the onset of summer often leads to a rise in gas prices. This month U.S. consumers saw the highest gas prices of the year, reaching an average of $2.80 per gallon.

But he says U.S. production has increased, as has production overseas.

“The world leaders in crude exports – Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations – are increasing oil production to record levels,” he says.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Fourth of July holiday often brings presidential candidates to New Hampshire. This year, the state will see 2016 hopefuls throughout the week leading up to Independence Day. 

Courtesy Laconia Police Department

Update 9:29 am:  Unitil now says fewer than of its 200 customers are without power. 

New Hampshire power companies say they’re working to restore electricity during Sunday's heavy rain.

Eversource Energy, the state’s largest utility, reported more than 3,000 homes and businesses lost power during the morning, and that crews had begun working to restore electricity.

Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

A bill that could help pave the way for public-private funding of commuter rail is now awaiting New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan's signature. 

Efforts to bring commuter rail from Boston up to Nashua and Manchester hit a snag this year when lawmakers chose not to include $4 million in the capital budget to further study the proposal. Supporters of the project hope to continue exploring other funding options, including public-private partnerships. 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

New Hampshire becomes the 15th state to bar drivers from using hand-held cellphones while driving when the legislation takes effect next week. 

The new ``hands-free'' law applies to all hand-held devices, including GPS units, tablets and laptops. Current law bans typing and sending text messages while driving but does not prohibit reading text messages, surfing the Internet, dialing cellphones or programming GPS devices. 

Violators face a $100 fine for the first offense, $250 for a second offense and $500 for subsequent offenses within a 24-month period. 

Jacob Carozza/NHPR

Senator Bernie Sanders spoke for more than an hour Saturday morning at a town hall at Nashua Community College. The independent from Vermont, who is running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, covered a wide range of issues, including income inequality, campaign finance reform and climate change.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The 2015 size surplus or lapse has been a point of dispute between the Governor and Republican leaders for some time.

In crafting a new two-year state spending plan, GOP budget writers plan on $49 million rolling over July 1 after the 2015 fiscal cycle comes to a close.

But Sheri Rockburn, the Chief Financial Officer of  the Department of Health and Human Services, told the fiscal committee on Friday that the state's largest department expects to overspend its current budget. This means budget writers may lack a surplus they were banking on in their proposal.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

New Hampshire officials are not happy with the quality of a federal report that is supposed to gauge the Northern Pass’ impact on historic places and landscapes.

The critics are from the state’s Division of Historical Resources and the subject is what’s called a Section 106 review.

The Bookshelf: Brendan DuBois' New Lewis Cole Novel

Jun 26, 2015
Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf is NHPR's new series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered host Peter Biello interviews 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.

Mirko Isaia / Flickr, creative commons

Portsmouth will host its first Pride festival this weekend. Festival organizers say the festival has been in the works since early winter.  Now that the Supreme Court upheld gay marriage in all 50 states, Seacoast Outright board chair Chuck Rhoades says, "I think there’s a little extra oomph, a little extra joy, and another reason to celebrate."

Seacoast Outright is a nonprofit that supports LGBT youth.  The organization faced funding and volunteer shortages last year. With a new board and director, Rhoades says, the group is revitalizing. 

Governor Maggie Hassan is calling the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states a “momentous victory” and says she’s extremely proud that New Hampshire helped to "pave the way. "   New Hampshire recognized civil unions in 2008 and legalized gay marriage two years later.

New Hampshire Fish and Game officers say they used GPS coordinates from a 911 cellphone call to find two 17-year-old hikers overcome by darkness at North Pack Monadnock Mountain.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

For the first time this year, the Exeter Classic – a “criterium” style bike race – offered equal prize money in their pro women's race as their pro men’s race.  In September, the Portsmouth Criterium will also offer an equal purse to women for the first time.

Top female bike racers say regional race directors in New England and Northern California are pushing national and international governing bodies toward equality for women as they make room for women’s races and attract sponsors for equal prize money.

NH Audubon

Those of you who keep a close eye on the Peregrine Falcon cam in Manchester, will be well acquainted with the saga these birds have undergone. If you're not, NH Audubon's Chris Martin recorded a quick recap last year.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Now that Gov. Maggie Hassan has vetoed the Republican-backed state budget, she wants lawmakers to get right to work on a new one. But when a new two-year spending plan will be crafted is the latest matter of debate. 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

New Hampshire’s Hands Free Law goes into effect in under five days, which will ban drivers from using hand-held electronic devices even at traffic lights or stop signs.

That means no cell phones, GPS, tablets, iPods, etc. unless they are operated by a Bluetooth or other hand free device.

At a press conference Thursday morning, State Police said starting July 1 all officers statewide will be strictly enforcing the law. Those found to abuse the law will be fined $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense and $500 after that.

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