News

A new federal grant is going to be helping small businesses in the North Country. NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

About $400,000 is now available in grants under a federal program aimed at helping  small businesses in Grafton, Coos and Carroll Counties.

Molly White is with the Northern Community Investment Corporation in Lancaster. It is administering the funds.

“Typically I find that most business owners know their type of business or the industry they are in very well but they have trouble with the other types of support services such as marketing or web design.”

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The state Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that names and individual pension amounts are public information. The ruling opens the door for media to scrutinize how much former public workers collect in retirement.

About 18 months ago, the Union Leader asked to see the names and payouts to the 500 individuals with the highest pensions.

Citing vague language in the Right-to-Know law, the New Hampshire Retirement System declined to hand over the documents.

PUC Awards Grants For Renewable Energy

Nov 4, 2011

The Public Utilities Commission has awarded grants to fund renewable energy projects in the state.

Four companies and one elementary school will receive part of a one million dollar grant for projects that reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Carbon Harvest Energy will receive the largest portion of the grant -$500,000- for a landfill gas-to-energy combined heat and power plant in Lebanon.

Greenville Elementary School will receive a grant to replace its oil-fired boiler with a wood pellet one.

EPA Holds Hearing On PSNH Power Plant

Nov 4, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing on a new permit for PSNH’s coal-fired power plant in Bow.

The draft permit could force the utility to upgrade its cooling system to prevent fish kills.

The EPA says the Merrimack station power plant withdraws large quantities of water from the Merrimack River and returns it at much higher temperatures.

The agency says installing a more modern cooling system would reduce fish kills by 95-percent.

But it would also cost PSNH $112 million over a 20 year period.

With power still out from last weekend’s snow storm, New Hampshire’s senators are pressuring federal regulators for answers.

New Hampshire’s senators are asking the federal agencies that oversee electrical grids to identify why the power keeps going out.

More than three hundred thousand people in New Hampshire were left in the dark and cold after the storm Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte says that’s unacceptable.

“With the ice storm there was a pretty lengthy outage and with this storm there was an outage and we want to make sure the grid is where it should be.”

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Jennifer Horn, House Speaker William O'Brien, and Kevin Smith call press conference to tell media to stop reporting "innuendo" about Rick Perry's speech to Cornerstone Action. NHPR's Josh Rogers reports.

Some New Hampshire residents are still dealing with power outages from the aftermath of the October snowstorm.

But in the Upper Valley, many businesses are still recovering from the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.

It’s been more than two months since Irene flooded the heart of the shopping district in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Three shopping plazas in Lebanon were hit hard during Tropical Storm Irene.

The Berlin Daily Sun is reporting there will be a job fair in Berlin next Thursday (Nov. 10th) for the new biomass plant but the construction workers must either be union members or agree to temporarily pay union dues.

“The job fair is being held by the New Hampshire Building Trades Council which will be providing union workers for the construction of the facility,” the newspaper reported.

Jay Cox / Flickr Creative Commons

Produced by Chris Cuffe

Alyssa Rosenberg is the pop culture blogger for thinkprogress.org.  She joins us to review this season's political stories on television, and explain who does it best and why.

Links:

 

Tax collections were off in the month of October by $4 million dollars. The drop in tobacco revenue makes up the majority of the shortfall.

The tobacco tax brought in $2.6 million less than expected in October.

That shortfall has prompted criticism of the GOP push to cut the tax by a dime back in June.

In a sharply worded press release about the overall budget House Democrats said it doesn’t make sense to “make college more expensive and cigarettes cheaper.”

The congressional “super committee” is only tasked with cutting one point two trillion dollars from the federal debt. But Second District Republican Congressman Charlie Bass is asking the panel to cut even deeper, even if it taxes are thrown into the mix.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Secretary of State Bill Gardner chooses expected date, and says NH tradition lives on.

NH law requires its primary be held at least a week before any similar election. When Nevada tried to schedule its caucus in mid-January, NH threatened to hold the primary in December. Under pressure from national republicans and facing a boycott from some candidates, Nevada backed off, giving NH’s secretary of state Bill Gardner the window he sought.

"The tradition of NH presidential primary lives on and it will be held on the second Tuesday, the 10th day of next year 2012.

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of teachers from St. Paul's in Concord trades hall-passes for instruments after school.  Two members join us to talk about the art of finely-aged Rock N'Roll.

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The New Hampshire Union Leader is reporting that Berlin mayor Paul Grenier is not happy that Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) voted against a bill that included funding to allow the new federal prison to finally open. “I am deeply angered, saddened and mystified that Senator Ayotte voted against creating 332 jobs,” Grenier told the newspaper. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) voted in favor of the bill.

Home Foreclosure Trends Improving

Nov 2, 2011

It looks now as though 2010 will be the high water mark for foreclosures.  The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority predicts 2011 will see a slight improvement over last year.

 Jane Law with New Hampshire Housing says she’s truly glad the state is unlikely to match the level seen in 2010.

“When you look at the foreclosure notices, the foreclosure deeds.  All of it seems to be trending down.”

We sit down with NPR Media correspondent David Folkenflik. He’s the guy who covers the latest from the news business from the New York Times and Fox News to individual bloggers and smalltown papers. And, at times, Folkenflick’s had to report on the blemishes at his own organization.

Guest:

  • David Folkenflik: NPR Media correspondent.
Public Service of New Hampshire

New Hampshire environmental officials presented an updated report on the state of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to lawmakers Tuesday.

As NHPR’s Amy Quinton explains, the report reignites the debate over whether to keep the state in the carbon emission cap and trade program.

The report shows that program, known as RGGI, is working as designed.

Under the program, power plants buy an allowance for every ton of carbon dioxide they emit.

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman says energy security would be a driving force behind his administration.  Huntsman laid out a three-part strategy that is unlikely to  find favor with either farmers in Iowa or environmentalists nationwide.

The New Hampshire Department of Education put out an analysis of the latest round of National standardized test results Today.

NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown reports that New Hampshire schools still rank among the best in the country.

Not much has changed  since the last National Assessment of Educational Progress – or NAEP – tests were conducted

New Hampshire fourth graders continue to rank third in the nation, and eighth graders rank eighth.

The DOE’s Tim Eccleston says that New Hampshire students are doing well across the board.

For the first time Public Service of New Hampshire has statewide competition from another utility company. That could be good news for some consumers and bad news for PSNH.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

In 1996 the state passed a law that gave consumers the right to pick the company from which they wanted to buy electricity.

But the pickings were so slim as to be non-existent.

In short nobody gave Public Service of New Hampshire any statewide competition for residential customers and PSNH currently dominates the market.

When Will We Get Our Power Back?

Nov 1, 2011

At the start of the day Tuesday, Public Service of New Hampshire had 135,000 customers without power due to this weekend's storm.

Now the utility has given an estimate of when every town should have their power restored.

You can see the town by town power restoration estimates here.

Zimpenfish / Flickr Creative Commons

Amazon is back in the business of getting books on print - only now, they're hopping the middle man. Jason Boog, Editor of the publishing website Galley Cat, explains.

Links:

Karl-Ludwig Poggeman / Flickr Creative Commons

Editor for Scientific American Michael Moyer explains how genetically-modified mosquitoes could stop the spread of Dengue Fever; unless uncomfortable corporate practices don't cause a GMO backlash first.

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Kaveh Khodjasteh / Flickr Creative Commons

Deaf Israeli slam-poet Aneta Brodski collaborates with Palestinian interpreter Veronica Staehle, uniting culture and language through art.

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Monday was the deadline for employees at the Union Leader to ratify a new 2-year contract. Company negotiators said failure to reach a new deal would result in layoffs and a 10% salary cut. Reporters, editors, advertising staff and others at the paper have unanimously rejected the new deal. Workers say this latest round of cutbacks threatens the paper’s standing.

Norm Welsh started working at the state’s largest newspaper back in the late 80’s.

He remembers those times fondly.

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte is opening an office in Berlin next week, according to a news release.

“This location will serve as a base of operations for my Senate office’s Coos County outreach efforts, with a staff member available to provide assistance to those who need help on matters related to the federal government,” Ayotte said.

The office will be located at 19 Pleasant Street, Suite 13B, Berlin. Office hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday On other days meetings will be by appointment.

The Boston Globe is reporting that an official working for the controversial Northern Pass project is hosting a fundraiser for presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“According to an invitation provided by the liberal Center for American Progress, Greg Butler, the senior vice president and general counsel for The Northern Pass, is one of the co-chairs of a $500-a-head fundraiser for Romney at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan this Wednesday evening,” the newspaper reported.

Republic, Lost

Nov 1, 2011

"Why have fundamentally good people, with good intentions, allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests?", asks Harvard professor, Lawrence Lessig. His new book "Republic, Lost" explores how he says money has corrupted American politics.  Lessig blames special interests and campaign finance rules to the fact that U.S citizens trust government less than ever. He also  suggests  a widespread mobilization and new Constitution Convention to regain control over what he says is a 'corrupted but redeemable representational system. 

Guest

Jon Lynch / NHPR

Nearly two days after an unseasonable snow storm, much of the Queen City remains without power.

PSNH estimates that around 31,000 of its customers in Manchester still don’t have electricity.

The difficulty in getting back power to the city comes from the fact that repair crews must work block by block to remove fallen tree limbs and other debris from the power lines.

City officials established a shelter at Memorial High School for those that were worst hit by the storm.

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