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NH News
5:15 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Liberty Utilities Summer Electric Rates May Drop By 55%

Michael Kappel/Flickr CC

The first New Hampshire electric utility to file its summer rate change has asked for a 55 percent decrease. The request reflects low demand for natural gas during the summer months.

Months ago, Liberty was the first New Hampshire utility to seek a dramatically higher winter rate: jumping from 7.7 cents per kilowatt hour to more than 15 cents.

Now, as swiftly as electricity prices spiked in the fall, they are set to plummet even more this spring, down to 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour.

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New England News
4:49 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Hackers Claim Credit For Taking Down VisitNH.gov

Credit Twitter

Hackers took credit for briefly taking down government-run websites in New Hampshire and Maine today.

An attack on the third-party server that hosts Visit N-H.gov and Maine.gov brought the websites down for about an hour this morning. A self-described “hacking crew” called Vikingdom2015 took credit for it on Twitter.

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North Country
1:13 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Slideshow: A North Country Farmhouse Goes Up In Flames As Firefighters Practice

Not every fire has its own artist. Ard Berge, a painter who was visiting from New York, set up atop a snowbank.
Chris Jensen for NHPR

The old Lewis farmhouse on Lewis Hill Road in Bethlehem had been abandoned for decades and was so damaged it was beyond rehabilitation - so, the  new owner of the farmhouse and adjacent property decided the safest thing was to allow volunteer fire departments to burn it as a training exercise.

Click through the slideshow above to see photos by NHPR's Chris Jensen.

NH News
10:29 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Bobhouses Have To Be Removed From The Ice By April 1

Credit Craig Taylor via Flickr CC

 

It may still feel cold enough to go ice fishing, but an April 1 deadline is approaching for all bobhouses to be removed from the ice in New Hampshire.

State law requires their removal, to make sure that bobhouses and their contents do not fall through the ice and become a hazard to boaters.

The Fish and Game Department says on Sunday, a man's Jeep fell into soft ice at the end of Meredith Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee as he was trying to remove a bobhouse. The vehicle had to be towed off the lake. There were no reports of injuries.

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Politics
7:54 am
Mon March 23, 2015

On The Political Front: Gas Tax Hike May Be Tough Sell Among House Republicans

Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at the politics behind a push for an increase to the gas tax from the head of the House Finance Committee. 

The Finance Committee in the New Hampshire House hopes to finish its work on the House’s budget this week. Some of their decisions have been controversial, and there’s even been talk that mustering the votes to pass a budget in the House may be tough.

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NH News
7:18 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Fishing Rule Changes Could Affect Cod, Haddock, Lobsters

 

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is holding a public hearing in Portsmouth on proposed fishing rules on April 7.

The proposed rule changes include requiring any Atlantic cod taken from tidal waters to be immediately released; changing size and possession limits for haddock; and requiring new buoy line requirements for lobster traps and hauling times.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center.

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Education
7:16 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Three N.H. Schools To Take Part In Personalized Learning Program

 

Three New Hampshire schools are taking part in a regional partnership to develop personalized learning experiences.

The Great Bay Charter School, the Pittsfield Middle and High School and the Manchester School of Technology are among 20 New England schools taking part in the initiative coordinated by the Great Schools Partnership and New England Secondary Schools Consortium.

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NH News
6:56 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Nashua Latest N.H. Community To Explore Anti-Panhandling Measure

Credit kennethkonica (Flickr)

Officials in Nashua will consider an ordinance this week that aims to curb panhandling in the city.

The Telegraph of Nashua reports the proposal would bar the exchange of goods between pedestrians and drivers in a public way.

The legislation goes before the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday.

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Politics
6:20 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Cruz First Major Candidate To Jump Into 2016 Race

Credit josh rogers/nhpr

 

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says in a Twitter message that he is running for president.

Cruz released an early morning tweet on Monday confirming what had long been an expected White House run from the tea party favorite. He becomes the first major candidate for president when he launches his campaign and a rush of more than a dozen White House hopefuls into the 2016 campaign is expected in the next few weeks.

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North Country
5:00 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Downhill Racers: In The North Country A Tough, New Venue For Going Faster, Farther

Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

For decades ski racers have gathered on slopes like Gary’s at Cannon Mountain. But some have had their eyes on the nearby, state-owned Mittersill ski area.

“Well, Franconia Ski Club for a long time has wanted to move its training operation,” said John DeVivo, the general manager at Cannon. “They’ve really wanted to be off of the main mountain and really out of everybody’s way and no surprise the general public has wanted that equally.”

And now there’s an effort to make two trails at Mittersill into first-class racing facilities that could host national competitions.

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Folk Show
9:05 pm
Sun March 22, 2015

NHPR Folk Show Playlist 3.22.15

Title/ Artist/ Album/ Label

Lay Your Money Down/ Solas feat. Rhiannon Giddens/ Shamrock City/ THL Records

Pushing Spring/ Peter And Lou Berryman/ Double Yodel/ Cornbelt Records

The Rambles Of Spring/ Tommy Makem/ The Tommy Makem Songbag/ Shanachie

Black Waters/ John McCutcheon, Tim O'Brien, Suzy Bogguss, Kathy Mattea, Stuart Duncan And Bryn Davies/ Dear Jean: Artists Celebrate Jean Ritchie Compass

Spring Water At Jerry's Run/ Malcolm Dalglish/ Malcolm Dalglish-1985-Jogging The Memory/ Windham Hill

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Folk Show
8:29 pm
Sun March 22, 2015

NHPR Folk Calendar 3.22.15

Tuesday, March 24

>>>Scottish Balladiers Alan Reid & Rob van Sante at the Tillotson Center ~ Colebrook, NH ~ 7pm ~ 603-246-8998, www.gnwca.org

 

Thursday, March 26

>>>The Gawler Family  at South Church ~ Farmington, ME ~ 7pm ~ 207-778-0424, www.necelticarts.com

Friday, March 27

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Environment
10:44 am
Sun March 22, 2015

Fungus Infecting New Hampshire's White Pine Forests

Via the US Forest Service

A study says that a mutated fungus is infecting white pine forests in parts of New Hampshire.

White pine blister rust comes from a combination of white pines and flowering plants — called ribes — like gooseberries and currants. When infected ribes lose their leaves in the fall, spores of the fungus invade white pines and eventually kill the tree.

A U.S. Forest Service study says the fungus is infecting trees in Epsom and Concord, and possibly elsewhere in the Northeast.

New England News
10:40 am
Sun March 22, 2015

Seven Injured In Lift Accident At Sugarloaf

Tweeted photo: A snowboarder is rescued during the lift evacuation at Sugarloaf.

Seven people have been injured in a chairlift accident at a Maine ski area, though none of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

Sugarloaf Mountain Resort spokesman Ethan Austin says four of the injured were taken to a hospital for treatment.

About 200 people were riding the King Pine quad lift Saturday morning when the lift stopped, then went backward. The lift was stopped and evacuated.

The resort says the injured were treated by ski patrol and taken off the mountain to emergency medical responders at the scene.

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Giving Matters
12:23 am
Sat March 21, 2015

Giving Matters: Prescott Farms Gets Kids Outside

Credit Courtesy Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center

The Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center offers year-round programs for all ages. Its “Wildquest” camps help connect kids with nature and their local landscapes. 

Prescott Farm has always been a landmark for Gretchen O’Neill. “We’re very grateful that our daughter, Gabriella, can come here to attend the camp, or that we can come up and explore it and walk the trails.

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Politics
6:14 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Likely 2016 Hopeful Rand Paul Makes Another N.H. Visit

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said in Manchester on Friday that he has yet to officially announce whether he would be running for president in 2016, but says he will announce soon.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul returns to New Hampshire just a day after hiring two key state staffers as he gears up for his anticipated presidential campaign. 

But despite recent media reports, the Republican has not officially announced his candidacy, but said he expects to announce in the coming weeks.

While attending an event at the Manchester internet service provider Dyn on Friday, Paul praised the initiative nature of the tech industry - saying that it does not just rely on government to fix its problems. 

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NH News
4:30 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

School Board: Transgender Students Can Choose Which Cap And Gown Color To Wear At Graduation

Mic Wernej via Flickr CC

Students at a New Hampshire high school will now be able to choose between black and white for their graduation gowns, after a group representing transgender students asked the school board to allow that.

Traditionally, boys at Kennett High School in North Conway wear black caps and gowns and girls wear white ones for graduation. WMUR-TV reports two weeks ago, members of the Gay- Straight-Transgender Alliance asked the board to change that after transgender students were assigned robes for the gender they don't identify with.

NH News
4:16 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Hiker Recovering After Rescue On Mount Chocorua

 A hiker is recovering after he slid off a New Hampshire mountain trail and down a ledge into some trees, unable to move due to the steep grade and ice.

Fish and Game Department officers say 21-year-old John Ng of Wakefield, Massachusetts, was able to call 911 Thursday afternoon from Mount Chocorua in Tamworth, in the White Mountain National Forest.

Rescuers found him about five hours later, suffering from symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite. They replaced his frozen shoes and socks with dry ones and put several layers of clothing on him.

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Health
2:16 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Manchester Sleepout To Raise Money, Awareness For Homeless Youth

Credit Child and Family Services

As the temperature dips below freezing tonight, activists and business leaders will sleep outside in Manchester’s Stanton Park to raise money and awareness for youth homelessness.

The timing is no coincidence. Manchester’s daytime homeless shelter recently slashed its hours due to lack of funding. The city is also considering a panhandling ban.

Cathy Schmidt, CEO of McLane Law Firm, says her headlamp and sleeping bag are packed.

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NH News
9:02 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Portsmouth To Be Property On New Monopoly Gameboard

Credit Hasbro

  The boardgame company Hasbro has announced Portsmouth will be a property the new “Here and Now, US Edition” Monopoly gameboard.

The new board is being released in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the original Monopoly boardgame. Cities on the new gameboard received over 4 million votes on the website Buzzfeed.

Portsmouth Mayor Bob Lister facetiously says he’s sure Portsmouth’s place on the gameboard will bring a lot of awareness to the public about Monopoly. 

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North Country
8:52 am
Fri March 20, 2015

New Hampshire Man Suffers Injuries In Snowmobile Crash

Credit NH Fish & Game

 

Authorities say a 49-year-old man has suffered serious leg and chest injuries in a snowmobile crash in Colebrook.

Michael F. Amer of Swanzey was injured Thursday evening after he lost control of the snowmobile and it went over an embankment at the edge of the trail, hitting several small trees. He was taken to a local hospital and then transported by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and emergency personnel from the Colebrook Fire Department assisted at the scene.

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NH News
8:33 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Rand Paul Returns To N.H. With Expanded Staff In State

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Senator Rand Paul is heading back to New Hampshire a day after hiring two more of the state's political operatives as he readies for a presidential campaign.

The Kentucky Republican today will tour a Manchester Internet service provider and will speak at the Carroll County Lincoln Day Dinner. He has four public stops on Saturday in Rochester, Exeter, Hampstead and Hollis.

On Thursday, Paul hired a New Hampshire political director and operations director for his political action committee, RANDPAC.

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Politics
8:08 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Update: Speaker Demands Apology For Abortion Remark During Debate Over Fourth Graders' Bird Bill

Speaker Shawn Jasper
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Updated at 3:45 PM:

N.H. House speaker Shawn Jasper is demanding an apology from the state rep who made an abortion remark during debate over the bill proposed by fourth graders to designate the Red Tailed Hawk as the state's official raptor. 

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North Country
7:44 am
Fri March 20, 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
Fri March 20, 2015

Voters In Bow Reject $5M Bond For New Public Safety Facility

Voters in Bow
Credit bow-nh.com

Voters in Bow have rejected a $5 million bond to build a proposed public safety facility.

The Concord Monitor reports the vote came during the second session of Bow’s town meeting Thursday night.

Of the more than 1,100 residents who voted on the bond, just more than half supported it, falling short of the two-thirds needed to pass.

The combined facility would have housed the police, fire and emergency management departments.

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NH News
7:29 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Nearly 200 Manchester Students Opt Out Of Smarter Balanced Exam

Credit NYC Department of Technology / Flicker CC

Nearly 200 students opted out of taking the Smarter Balanced exam in Manchester this week.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the district received 196 refusal requests from parents or guardians during the first week of the new online statewide assessment.

The test is being given to students across the state in grades three through eight, as well as 11th grade.

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NH News
6:55 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Analysis: Few Women Among Concord's Highest Paid Employees

Concord City Hall
Credit meridiannh.com

It’s Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote freedom of the press and the public’s right to know.

The Concord Monitor has spent the week reporting on its efforts to obtain public records and review how taxpayer dollars are spent.

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NH News
6:29 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Keene City Council Delays Action On Issuing Pumpkin Festival Permit

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

Officials in Keene have delayed action on whether to issue a permit to the organizers of the city’s annual pumpkin festival.

The Keene Sentinel reports city councilors voted Thursday night to send the issue back to the council’s planning, licenses and development committee for reconsideration.

That committee voted unanimously last week to reject issuing a permit to Let It Shine, the nonprofit group that organizes the festival.

However, Mayor Kendall Lane urged councilors to give the decision its due process and allow for more discussion on the festival’s future.

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Politics
6:18 am
Fri March 20, 2015

House Asks N.H. Supreme Court To Weigh In On Proposed Voting Rules For Out-Of-State Students

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is asking the state Supreme Court to weigh in on a bill requiring people registering to vote — including out-of-state students or military personnel — to also register their cars and obtain drivers' licenses in New Hampshire.

The request for an advisory opinion was made in writing Wednesday and made public by the court Thursday.

A New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union lawyer says including the drivers' license requirement in establishing a voter's eligibility amounts to a poll tax that forces people to pay the state to vote.

Something Wild
12:00 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Something Wild: Vernal Equinox

Spring Equinox
Credit NASA GOES

March 20th marks the Vernal Equinox.  It's one of two points on our calendar when day and night are of equal length. More or less. It may be more of a convenient handle we put on an arbitrary point on our annual revolution around the sun, but it is significant in that it marks the point in the year where we start seeing more daylight than darkness.  So with the days growing longer, this is a great time to talk about photoperiod.

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