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NH News
5:17 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

State Employees May Get First Raise In Five Years This July

State employees may be getting their first raises in 5 years, after labor unions reached tentative agreements with the state Tuesday night. 

Wages will rise 1.5 percent this July, then 2.25 percent in both 2014 and 2015.  But, workers will have to contribute to their dental plans, and pay a gradually increasing health insurance deductible.

That is: IF union leadership signs off on the agreements. State Employees Association president Diana Lacey says the master bargaining team will present the agreement to her union’s leadership Thursday night:

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North Country
5:08 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Civil Air Patrol: Wings Over New Hampshire

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

With hurricane season ramping up and fire danger decreasing, New Hampshire’s Civil Air Patrol is beginning to switch roles.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

On a morning early in May Civil Air Patrol 2875 is about to leave the runway at Mount Washington Regional Airport in Whitefield.

Sound of pilots going through a checklist.

“Electrical equipment is off. Avionics switch one and two, off…”

The Civil Air Patrol is a non-profit corporation created by Congress that also serves as an auxiliary to the Air Force.

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NH News
4:44 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Community College Adjunct Professors Claim State Stonewalling Contract

Adjunct professors working in New Hampshire’s community colleges are asking the state’s labor board to intervene in negotiations on a union contract.

The move comes after two years of failed negotiations.

The State Employees Association filed an unfair labor practice petition this week on behalf of the adjunct professors.

It accuses community college system officials of obstructing negotiations on a first contract with the union.

Craig Lange is an adjunct professor in Nashua.

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NH News
2:57 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Dodgeball Ban Overturned in Windham

Windham school officials have overturned a decision made earlier this year to ban ‘human target sports,’ including dodgeball.

School board members are allowing these sports back into the curriculum with modifications.

The ban in Windham was prompted by parents’ concerns that these types of games would encourage bullying at the middle school level.

However, its passage generated controversy both locally and nationally.

Windham Superintendent Henry LaBranche says when the sports come back in the fall they will be different.

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NH News
10:54 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Autopsy Shows Nashua Elderly Couple Stabbed To Death In Home

Police are asking for the public’s help as they investigate the murder of an elderly couple in Nashua.

Autopsy results released Wednesday show that William and Eleanor Grant were stabbed to death in their Newbury Street home.

Their bodies were discovered Monday.

Attorney General Joe Foster says their deaths have been ruled homicides.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Nashua Police Department.

Health
10:08 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

House and Senate Each Offer Deal On Expansion, But No Compromise In Sight

Leaders in the Democratically-controlled New Hampshire House are seeking to cut a deal with Senate Republicans that would expand the state’s Medicaid program.  But hours after receiving the proposal Tuesday, members of the upper chamber said they can’t move forward with the plan, and offered their own course of action.

Medicaid expansion remains a key sticking point as lawmakers seek to finalize the state’s next budget by Thursday’s deadline.

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NH News
4:44 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Senate And House Negotiators Agree On New Womens Prison

Outside the women's prison in Goffstown
Credit Emily Corwin

  Negotiators for the House and Senate reached an agreement Tuesday on a $125 million capital budget which includes $38 million for a new women’s prison. 

The new women's prison is slated to be built in Concord, behind the current men’s prison.

Commissioner Wrenn with the Department of Corrections has sought a new women's prison for the last four state budgets. But this year, he says, he had the support of Governor Hassan, and both chambers.

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Business and Economy
4:38 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

N.H. Unemployment Rates Decrease

Numbers from the state show that unemployment in New Hampshire have fallen to 5.3 percent.

In the past, rates dropped because people seeking work stopped applying for jobs.

But this time, economist Annette Nielsen of the NH Employment Security says there has been job growth.

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NH News
3:03 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Deal On Medical Marijuana Wins Hassan's Support

At issue for Governor Hassan was a provision in the House version of the bill that would allow qualifying  patients to grow their own marijuan. Hassan also didn’t like that the House wanted to permit doctors to prescribe cannabis to treat PTSD.

The N.H. Senate had removed both provisions from the its version bill at Hassan’s behest, and House negotiators say under the circumstances going along made sense. Concord Democrat Jim McKay is Chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee.

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NH News
5:31 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Strafford County Superior Court Rules Against Education Tax Credit Provision

The Strafford County Superior Court ruled Monday that part of the education tax credit law passed last year is unconstitutional.  The court concluded that the privately raised scholarships amount to public funds.


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NH News
5:30 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Lawmakers Appear In No Rush To Compromise On Major N.H. Budget Issues

The (electrifying) scene inside of the Legislative Office Building as lawmakers hammer out the state's next budget.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

  

With a Thursday deadline fast approaching for an agreement on the state’s next budget, House and Senate leaders remain apart on many of the issues that divide them. 

Medicaid expansion--perhaps the most divisive single item--remains on hold. So do House-backed increases to the gas and cigarette tax.

The two sides did spar on the Senate’s proposed $50 million so-called back of the budget cut to state personnel. Democrat Mary Jane Wallner, lead House negotiator, opposes the move, and says public services have already been cut to the bone.

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NH News
3:06 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

'Mayors Against Illegal Guns' Bus Tour To Make Stop In Concord

A nationwide bus tour organized by the gun control advocacy group Mayors Against Illegal Guns will make a stop in Concord Tuesday evening.

Gun violence prevention advocates will rally in front of the State House, as part of the "No More Names" bus tour.

Two Democratic state representatives posted details about the rally in the members notice section of the House of Representatives calendar and journal.

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NH News
2:44 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Moose Hunting Lottery To Be Held Friday

New Hampshire Fish and Game officials will hold the annual drawing for moose hunting permits this Friday.

Wildlife Programs Specialist, Linda Verville, says Fish and Game received more than 14,000 applications this year.

“This year we are giving out a total of 275 permits, 233 go to residents and 42 go to non-residents.”

Names are drawn at random, though applicants who have never received a permit are given better odds.

Lottery results will be available online with alternates posted on the Fish and Game website. 

North Country
12:07 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

As Northern Pass Opponents Worry, No Hint From Hassan On Whether She'll Sign Senate Bill 99

Some Northern Pass opponents are hoping Governor Maggie Hassan will sign Senate Bill 99, which they think may complicate approval of the controversial hydro-electric project. The bill may reach Hassan's desk this week but she says she hasn’t decided what to do.

“I haven’t reviewed the bill yet in any kind of detail so I’ll do that and then make up my mind,” she told NHPR Saturday.

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NH News
11:53 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Trapped By Tolls: Merrimack Hopes For Turnpike Freedom

This toll booth hits drivers before they head southbound on the F.E. Everett Turnpike in Merrimack. There is also a toll booth as drivers exit on the northbound side.
NHPR / Michael Brindley

Merrimack is a town trapped by toll booths.

It’s a situation unlike any other in New Hampshire.

Longtime Merrimack resident Chuck Mower lives less than half a mile away from the toll booth at Exit 12 on the F.E. Everett Turnpike. 

He has a small coop he maintains at his Depot Road home.

He says the animals give children and neighbors a sense that they’re in the country.

“And as long as we can believe that, it satisfies that little need in us that helps us deal with these transportation issues that fly by us constantly.”

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