News

Wayne Silver Via Flickr CC

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning, the state's overall population grew from just over 1.1 million in 1990 to more than 1.3 million in 2013, an increase of 19.2%. In that same period of time, there's been a notable drop in kids aged ten and under in the state - the very population we're looking all week at in our special series The First Decade.

A Precipitous Decline 

Sara Plourde for NHPR

There are many factors that affect the way a family with children lives. We've selected ten of these - factors which affect income, access to resources, and stability - and combined them to illustrate how families are doing at either end of the income spectrum.
 
This graphic illustrates how the top 25% and bottom 25% compare, and how the bottom 25% compares with the average of all New Hampshire families. 

Notes on the data:

Sean Hurley / NHPR

Federal officials say they issued a higher number of citations and fines than usual to New Hampshire employers for exposing workers to fall hazards this winter.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted inspections between January 29 and March 4 and found a number of employees removing snow from rooftops who were not adequately protected from the risk of falling.

Tuesday, May 19

>>>Loren Barrigar & Mark Mazengarb (Bluegrass, Jazz & Western) at the Tillotson Center ~ Colebrook, NH ~ 7pm ~ www.gnwca.org 603-237-9302, 603-246-8998

>>>Don & Cindy Roy at Rte 27 Arts ~ Stratton, ME ~ 7pm ~  207-246-2300(answered as Stratton Fuel) www.necelticarts.com

Thursday, May 21

Title/ Artist/ Album/ Label

Pastures of Plenty/ Pierce Pettis/ That Kind of Love/ Compass Records

Nine Hours To Go/ Po' Girl/ Home To You/ Nettwerk Records

Cowboy Style/ Dan Weber/ What I'm Lookin' For/ Highway 142 Music

The Water Is Wide/ Priscilla Herdman/ Forever & Always/ Flying Fish Records

A Whiter Shade Of Pale/ Darol Anger & Mike Marshall/ Psycho Grass/ Windham Hill Records

Semper Fi/ John Gorka/ Jack's Crows/ RCA Victor

Thirsty Boots/ John Gorka/ Recorded live  NHPR/ John Gorka

New England Cottontail
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department says efforts to improve habitat for the endangered New England Cottontail seem to be working. 

Heidi Holman, a wildlife biologist with the department and leader of the cottontail restoration project, said five to 10 of the rabbits can be found through 11 acres of habitat around the Stonyfield Farm site in Londonderry. Only one or two had been documented in the area before work started to make space for young forest to grow at the site. 

Crystal Paradis via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/N1T8p

This week Portsmouth holds a series of public events ahead of next weekend’s formal dedication of the Portsmouth African Burying Ground.

The public park is the city’s way to mark the final resting places of enslaved individuals as well as free African-Americans who were buried centuries ago but only fully rediscovered more recently.

FairPoint Communications says it will cut about 260 positions, including many in northern New England, as part of a restructuring. 

In its statement, FairPoint did not specify the number of job cuts in the region, but the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communications Workers of America, which represent many FairPoint workers, say there will be 219 layoffs in the region, which they say would comprise about 10 percent of the workforce. 

NHPR Staff

The state’s highest court has upheld a ruling that struck down a 2012 law linking registering to vote with state motor vehicle laws.

In a unanimous ruling the court called the voter form language  “confusing and inaccurate” and that it unreasonably burdens the fundamental right to vote.”

Out-of-state college students challenged the law, which added language to the form noting that drivers need to register vehicles and apply for a state driver’s license within 60 days of becoming a resident.

www.shaheen.senate.gov

 

The U.S. Senate has passed legislation that makes sure death benefits paid to families of public safety officer who are killed in the line of duty are not subject to federal income tax.

U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen introduced the bill and say it's now headed to the president for his signature.

Federal survivor benefits are not subject to federal taxation but Ayotte's office says New Hampshire law enforcement personnel were concerned about an ambiguity in the law regarding the tax treatment of state-based survivor benefits programs.

Councilors in Claremont voted unanimously last night in support of a new city pumpkin festival.

The Union Leader reports the Claremont Citizens Group, which is organizing the festival, plans to file permits today for the first New England Pumpkin Festival.

The event is being planned for downtown Claremont on Oct. 17.

Representatives from the citizens group say they plan to raise the money to pay for any city resources that will be needed for the festival.

Plymouth State University

 

Donald Birx, the chancellor of Pennsylvania State University's Behrend College, has been chosen to be the next president at Plymouth State University.

Birx will become the university's 15th president on July 31. The University System Board of Trustees voted unanimously to support him after a nationwide search.

At Penn State Behrend, Birx was responsible for the quality of the college's academic programs in teaching, research and service, and its overall operations.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be back in the state next week.

Her campaign announced the former Secretary of State will return to New Hampshire May 22.

The campaign did not provide details about the time or location of her campaign visit.

This will mark Clinton’s second trip to the state since formally announcing her bid for president.

She held roundtable discussions in Keene and Concord last month.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that struck down a 2012 voter registration law, saying language that links voting to getting a driver's license is unconstitutional and could discourage some people from voting.

The court, in a unanimous decision Friday, said because the language is confusing and inaccurate, and because it could cause an otherwise qualified voter not to register to vote in New Hampshire, it imposes an "unreasonable" burden upon the right to vote.

Joe Shlabotnik/flickr

 

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has issued a warning to Lebanon residents to boil their water for two minutes before use following the detection of bacteria in the city's water distribution system.

City officials say monthly test results returned Thursday confirmed the presence of coliform and E. coli bacteria in the water.

The boil water order affects nearly 15,000 residents and also includes the Alice Peck Memorial Hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, which have plans to use safe water.

Len Peters via flickr Creative Commons

I've learned that a sighting of a bluebird on a bird watching field trip stops everything. We'll pause a long time as people take turns looking through the spotting scope. Involuntary gasps of pleasure, "oohs" and "aahs" and "ohmygods."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The US Supreme Court last year struck down a 35-foot buffer zone law in Massachusetts, and NH’s 25-foot buffer law remains under challenge in US District Court.

This issue is also contentious at the state house.  For opponents of the buffer zones. Like Republican Senator Sharon Carson of Londonderry, it is about free speech and individual liberty.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

  Grants totaling about $750,000 to help small businesses in most of the state have been approved by the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority.

The money will go to seven economic development organizations.

It will be used to help micro-businesses get the technical assistance they need to either start or grow.

Typically a micro business has no more than five employees.

The businesses must have low or moderate-income owners.

Sean Hurley

Polly and "Sugar Bill" Dexter opened Polly's Pancake Parlor in 1938.  That first year they served a few hundred customers in a carriage shed that sat 65.  Last year, in the same old shed, Polly's granddaughter Kathie Aldrich Cote and her husband Dennis, served nearly 60,000.  The Cote's realized it was time to tear the old shed down and build a new Polly's from the ground up.

Though he's looked everywhere, Dennis Cote can't seem to find his hammer.

"I've spent hours just looking for my hammer in this building."

yelp.com

The co-owner of the Meat House grocery franchise will spend one month in jail after pleading guilty to fiduciary fraud.

Jason Parent pleaded guilty to Mismanagement of Property on Thursday.

Two years ago the Meat House LLC used $26,000 raised for a Veterans’ Charity to make payroll, including $14,000 in paychecks made out to Parent and co-owner Justin Rosberg.

Parent will face 30 days in the Rockingham County Jail followed by an 11 month suspended sentence. 

Rosberg,  pleaded guilty to the same charge in January.

The House passed legislation Wednesday evening to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records and replace it with a system to search the data on a case-by-case basis.

New Hampshire Democratic Representative Ann McLane Kuster voted in favor of its passage. Republican Frank Guinta voted against it.

The overwhelming vote of 338 to 88 sets the stage for a Senate showdown just weeks before the law authorizing the program is to expire.

Dennis Amith via Flickr CC

 

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has set deadlines for when people exposed to water from a contaminated city-owned well in Portsmouth can ask to be tested and when they must complete their blood tests.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the department stated that residents must request to be tested by May 29 and must have their blood drawn by June 12.

Flikr Creative Commons/ evmaiden

 

New Hampshire's Senate is set to take up a bill giving parents at least two weeks' notice if a teacher plans to use material related to human sexuality or sexual education that some could consider objectionable.

The bill follows a controversy last year when a man complained that his daughter, a student at Gilford High School, had read a novel about bullying that contained a sexually explicit passage. William Baer said the book "Nineteen Minutes" by New Hampshire author Jodi Picoult read like "the transcript for a triple-X-rated movie."

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

 

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says many Americans living in cities are worse off than they were eight years ago, and Democrats in Washington wasted a chance to stop that from happening.

The former Baltimore mayor is considering a run against Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Congressman Frank Guinta took $355,000 in illegal donations from his parents in 2009 and 2010, and that’s the conclusion of and FEC investigation.  Guinta, who had long denied he’s taken money from his parents, has agreed to pay that money back, plus a $15,000 fine. NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with All Things Considered host Peter Biello.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tick season is back, and so is another year of mostly preventable cases of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

While blacklegged ticks – also called deer ticks – will be active until the fall, from now until July is when the nymphs, or young ones, are most active. Nymphs are tiny and hard to find, which makes the risk to contract Lyme, babesiosis and anaplasmosis highest starting right now.

But more dangerous than the diseases themselves, says Alan Eaton, an entomologist with UNH, is the lack of public awareness about these illnesses.

Via USDA website

Lawmakers in the New Hampshire Senate say they will restore funding for a program to incentivize renewable energy. The future of that program has been in question ever since House budget-writers proposed emptying the fund to plug holes in the state’s overall budget.

Renewable energy installers have been lobbying hard for restoration of the fund, which last year gave out more than $6 million dollars in grants and rebates to hundreds of projects.

The program is funded by payments made by utilities which have failed to reach annual renewable energy goals.

MICHAEL KAPPEL/FLICKR CC

    

Within the next two months the U.S. Department of Energy is expected to release its draft report on the environmental impact of the controversial Northern Pass project.

That federal report could propose some changes in the route and a top Northern Pass official says the company has been looking at options should modifications be needed...

The issue came up during a recent conference call with analysts.

One of them asked about a 1,090 megawatt project recently listed with ISO New England.

N.H. Lags Behind In Solar Power Production

May 12, 2015
charlesa46741 / Morguefile

New Hampshire lags behind the rest of New England when it comes to solar electricity production. But with the arrival of California-based SolarCity, there’s reason to believe New Hampshire could catch up. For more on solar power in the Granite State, we turn to David Brooks. He’s the author of the weekly Granite Geek science column for the Nashua Telegraph and he writes at Granite Geek.org as well. He spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello.
 

http://www.seacoastcharterschool.org

A Kingston charter school that focuses on arts and music is facing possible closure.  

Currently, the school leases space from Sanborn Regional School District. The district extended the lease last year, but says they did not renew the lease because building’s fire and safety violations are too expensive to repair. 

Superintendent Brian Blake says the district intends to leave the building vacant.

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