News

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

Last week, we asked you what you’d ask the candidates running for governor, if given the chance. Since then, you sent us two dozen questions that were on your mind — addressing everything from drug prevention to dealing with infrastructure upgrades to what it's like to run for governor while being a dad.

Ted Siefer

It’s been more than a month since an apartment fire in Manchester displaced nearly 20 people, the majority of them refugees from the South Asian country of Bhutan. City officials called the fire suspicious, but they have yet to determine its cause. The fire has raised safety concerns in the city’s refugee community, among the most recent to make a home in Manchester.

patch.com

The town of Bedford is one of about 40 communities across New Hampshire waiting to hear how the state will respond to the recent education funding lawsuit decision.

A Sullivan County Superior Court judge ruled earlier this month the state’s cap on adequacy grants to fast-growing school districts was unconstitutional.

The city of Dover filed the suit, and was awarded one point five million dollars as reimbursement for the last fiscal year. The ruling also entitled other affected districts to back pay for last year.

 

Marine traffic will be prohibited in the Piscataqua River's navigable channel for one week next month as crews remove the center span of the now-closed Sarah Mildred Long Bridge.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the waterway will be closed from Oct. 10-16 according to the resident engineer for the Maine Department of Transportation's bridge replacement project.

The bridge connected Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine via the U.S. Route 1 Bypass before it malfunctioned last month. The span has since been locked in its open position and was closed permanently on Aug. 24.

Thomas Fearon

 

The New Hampshire Executive Council has decided to honor the state's $36.5 million contract with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to staff New Hampshire Hospital.

The decision comes on the heels of the medical provider's announcement of mass layoffs system-wide.

Despite the deal being already in place and set to begin in November, Councilor Chris Sununu says he wants the contract to be re-bid.

For the last four years, Chris Sununu and Colin Van Ostern have sat – literally – across the table from one another at executive council meetings.

So they’ve had plenty of time to get to know each other’s political style, personal habits and voting record. And now that they’re both vying for the same position as New Hampshire’s next governor, Van Ostern, in particular, seems more than ready to use his opponent’s voting record as a line of attack.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

After fending off multiple attempts by the New Hampshire Democratic Party to keep him off the ballot, Independent Shawn O’Connor will officially be a candidate for the state’s Congressional First District this November.

That’s after the state Ballot Law Commission on Wednesday upheld its earlier decision to keep O’Connor in the race.

Vermont Company Eyes Former Mill Site in Groveton

Sep 21, 2016
Chris Jensen for NHPR

It’s been almost a decade since the Groveton paper mill closed, putting about 300 people out of work. Efforts to replace even a few of those jobs have failed.

But now a Vermont company is looking to expand into the former mill site.

Spending by outside political groups in New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race reached $50 million this week, fueled by a recent barrage of negative ads sponsored by a super PAC supporting Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte.

Granite State Solutions has booked an estimated $11 million in TV ads on Boston stations through mid-October. All 2,800 of the 30-second spots, which are scheduled to run through mid-October, attack Ayotte's challenger, Gov. Maggie Hassan. 

Mike Ross, UNH

The University of New Hampshire is waiving its fifty dollar application fee for all in-state undergraduate applicants this year.

Last year, UNH had a record number of total applicants – over 20,000. But less than 25 percent of those were New Hampshire residents. The number of in-state applicants is down from five years ago.

Victoria Dutcher, head of enrollment management at UNH, hopes waiving the fees for in-state applicants will help change that.

Kristin Smith, Carsey School Of Public Policy / University of New Hampshire

Democratic lawmakers are pushing legislation to create a statewide paid family and medical leave program.   Today in Manchester, more than a dozen lawmakers attended a conference on the subject.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether information regarding the victim's sexual past in the Seth Mazzaglia murder case should be kept sealed throughout the appeal process.

During trial this specific information on 19-year-old UNH student Lizzi Marriott was protected under the state’s Rape Shield Law.

The candidates for New Hampshire governor faced questions around economic issues, addressed issues including energy prices, health care costs, and the Granite State tax structure.  

Andrew W. Sieber/flickr

Members of the public who had been able to listen in on police communication in New Hampshire’s largest city are now in the dark.

The Manchester Police Department earlier this month encrypted all police radio transmissions, silencing scanners and apps that could monitor the communication.

A state police captain is set to be nominated as the next head of the New Hampshire State Police.

Gov. Maggie Hassan says she will put forth the nomination of Captain Christopher Wagner of Litchfield as director of the state police at Wednesday’s Executive Council meeting.

Ric Kallaher Photography

The novelist, short story writer and essayist Cynthia Ozick's best known piece of writing is called The Shawl, a brutal, phantasmal story of a woman and two children marching to a Nazi concentration camp. The Holocaust and Jewish identity are recurring topics in Ozick's fiction and criticism. Growing up in the Bronx, she was called Christ-killer, and humiliated for not singing Christmas carols at school.

Via Facebook

The New Hampshire Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in the case of Seth Mazzaglia, a Dover man convicted of raping and killing 19-year-old UNH student Lizzi Marriott in 2012.

Mazzaglia is appealing his 2014 conviction, for which he received a life sentence without parole.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper is hoping to hold onto his leadership role for a second term.

But the Republican is already facing opposition from within his own party.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern held a campaign stop at a solar farm in Lee today to emphasize his support for renewable energy.

Van Ostern spoke at the Oyster River Forest Solar Array in Lee, which was completed just a few months ago and is the state’s second largest assembly of solar panels.

Elizabeth Lies / Unsplash

If you’re looking to build a home or if you’re a civil engineer trying to plan for some big new project, you’re going to want to know what the future will be like for that plot of land you’d like to build on. Climate change makes that difficult. It’s hard to predict, for example, what rainfall will be, or whether ocean levels will rise. How, then, do we proceed with investments in our personal or collective futures?

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte says it's too early to say whether bombing suspect Ahmed Rahami, an American citizen, should be tried as an enemy combatant, as Donald Trump suggested Monday.

"As an American citizen, you can be treated as an enemy combatant, depending on the situation. But I think it would be premature to say something like that here not knowing all the facts," Ayotte told NHPR's Morning Edition Tuesday.

Jason Moon for NHPR

For families going through a difficult time, whether financially or emotionally, it’s sometimes the simpler things that make a difference. NHPR’s Jason Moon reports on a program in Portsmouth that offers one of those simple things – a meal and a little time to relax.

pfly via Flickr Creative Commons

 

Dry conditions from an ongoing drought in much of New Hampshire could cut short the state's lucrative fall foliage season.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that across southern New Hampshire, maples and other leafy trees known for their vibrant hues are changing color or dropping their leaves early— a potential sign of distress.

Kyle Lombard, of the state Division of Forest and Lands, says tree-targeting insect pests are thriving this year due to the dry weather.

 

State officials say New Hampshire's projected population is expected to reach 1.4 million in 2040, an increase of nearly 9 percent from the population at the 2010 census.

The Office of Energy and Planning says the projected number of births is expected to decline very slightly over this time period, from 66,000 between 2010 and 2015 to 65,000 between 2035 and 2040.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Students at Phillips Exeter Academy are back on campus following a wave of criticism around how the elite boarding school handles complaints involving sexual assault.

But as the school year begins, the Exeter community will be watching to see how the school will address sexual misconduct moving forward.  

Thomas Fearon

The chief medical officer at New Hampshire Hospital is planning to step down at the beginning of 2017, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers announced Monday afternoon.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 The city of Manchester has won a $25,000 prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for cultivating what the foundation calls a “culture of health.” 

Manchester is one of seven communities to receive the prize, out of nearly 200 applicants. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan and Sen. Kelly Ayotte had their first candidate forum of the general election Monday morning in Manchester. At the AARP-sponsored event, the U.S. Senate candidates focused on Social Security and Medicare. 

Johannes Thiel via Flickr cc

 

Breaking up is hard to do. But in New Hampshire, multi-town school districts and administrative units (SAUs) are doing just that. Some say the process should be made easier, particularly for cooperative districts that were designed to discourage dissolution. But others warn of unintended consequences for students.  

School enrollment throughout New England has been declining, a demographic change that has prompted Maine and Vermont to encourage districts and towns to combine schools and resources to save money and provide educational opportunities for students.

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

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