News

It's not all about Halloween this weekend; Hippo Editor Amy Diaz has suggestions for other events in New Hampshire.

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Dan Gorenstein / NHPR

Around the country soup kitchens and food pantries are reporting a spike in demand. Here in New Hampshire, food bank officials say they can’t keep up with requests for help. The state’s food assistance safety net is showing signs of serious strain. 

Things started to change for Christopher Persall sometime this summer.

“It goes from you being able to eat meats, fruits and vegetables and dessert to now there are days where there are some vegetables and some breads.”

Rebecca Brown / Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust

Almost 1,100 acres of land in the North Country will be protected against development under a new conservation easement that will benefit loggers, people who enjoy the woods and perhaps most important of all – a devastated bat population. NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

The easement will permanently protect more than 1,000 acres of land on Gardner Mountain in Lyman.

It’s an important habitat for wildlife, but especially so for bats.

Emily Brunkhurst, a wildlife biologist with Fish and Game says bats gather in the area to mate.

Fifty years ago the city of Rochester was home to giant shoe factories. Hundreds of workers made a living working with leather and handling huge machines.

Rochester’s shoe factory era may be gone, but the city’s poet laureate wants to make sure it’s not forgotten.

LRGH Steers Clear of Medicaid Patients

Oct 26, 2011

More than 3,000 people on Medicaid in the Lakes Region will have to switch from their regular doctors by next month.  They are being reassigned to other area clinics.

Primary care doctors that are part of LRGH Healthcare will no longer treat Medicaid patients.  LRGH President, Tom Clairmont, says the joint federal-state program for the poor and disabled, covers less than half the cost of providing care.  Clairmont says that formula undermines the hospital’s ability to provide the most essential care.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Former House Speaker joins race and signs pledge to cut taxes, spending and the size of government. NHPR's Josh Rogers reports.

Republican Newt Gingrich has added his name to the list of NH primary The former house speaker described vying for the presidency here as an awesome experience.

"From my perspective this is a place that is one of the great centers of American self-government. People have been made and broken in this state and it’s the center of real conversation."

The Hotel Wentworth by the Sea owes dozens of its former employees nearly $72 thousand dollars in back wages. The hotel and its sub-contractor failed to pay kitchen and housekeeping staff for over a month.

The U.S. Department of Labor investigation found that Wentworth by the Sea and its subcontractor Eco-Clean New England failed to pay some workers for a 4-7 week period.

The hotel also didn’t pay overtime to workers, who primarily are non-native English speakers and live in the Boston area.

Judiciary committee votes 11-6 to replace same-sex marriage with civil unions for any unmarried adults – even relatives. NHPR's Josh Rogers reports

By an 11 to 6 margin the house judiciary committee voted to undo the state’s 15-month-old gay marriage law and replace it with civil union for any unmarried adults – even relatives. The bill’s lead sponsor, Republican David Bates of Windham, says he expects the full House to endorse the proposal as drafted.

Expansion of Interstate 93 Threatened

Oct 25, 2011

New Hampshire's newly-appointed Transportation Commissioner says without federal matching funds, the I-93 expansion and other major road projects are at risk.

Chris Clement has had a lot to deal with in the five weeks since first taking office.

First state legislators made major reductions in his budget and now Congress wants to cut their contribution by more than $50 million.

Clement says without the money from Washington, there will be no more expansion work of I-93.

Former Democratic state Senator Maggie Hassan has announced she’s running for governor. Hassan is running as a centrist.

Just like current Governor John Lynch, Maggie Hassan says she opposes a broad-based sales or income tax.

Over the past decade that position is almost a prerequisite for any Democratic candidate who wants to be taken seriously.

When it comes to raising existing taxes, Hassan says businesses must have an honest discussion about their priorities.

Three college students were rescued early Tuesday morning after being stranded on a cliff in the Franconia Notch.

Three rock climbers were rescued early Tuesday morning from the Cannon Cliffs in the Franconia Notch, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The three men were identified as Jonathan Merritt, age 18, of Lander, Wyoming; Jason Reitman, age 18, of Potomac, Maryland; and Alexander MacMillan, age 19, of Boston, Massachusetts.

Last week, rock photographer Barry Feinstein died.

While the name might not ring a bell, he shot the cover of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A Changing" and Janis Joplin's "Pearl," and countless others.

His photographs, as well as works from other famous and not-so-famous rock photographers, are on display at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester.

The exhibit captures some of Rock and Roll’s biggest icons.

The photos aren’t posed promo shots, but intimate off-stage photos rarely seen by the public.

The Local Government Center wants to limit public comments as the state makes its case that LGC violated the law. LGC lawyers are frustrated over comments state regulators have made to the press.

In a closed door meeting, two sources say LGC attorney Bill Saturley asked presiding officer Donald Mitchell to restrict lawyers from speaking to reporters.

The Securities Bureau is alleging that LGC- which provides insurance to cities and towns- violated multiple state laws, and owes cities and towns upwards of $100 million dollars.

Huntsman Put Out by Sununu Picking Romney

Oct 24, 2011

Following former Governor John Sununu's endorsement of Mitt Romney, the Huntsman campaign released a public letter to Sununu.  The letter begins with:

"Over the course of this campaign you have made it abundantly clear that you would endorse a conservative governor – a laudable criterion.

However, I am surprised that you believe Mitt Romney meets that threshold."

It then goes on to list Romney's what the campaign would call failings on taxes, healthcare and abortion It says it is impossible to conclude that Romney is a principled conservative.

It ends with: 

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Romney says he expects primary to intensify but says focus should be on President Obama. NHPR's Josh Rogers reports.

Mitt Romney was flanked by top local supporters as he signed the paperwork necessary to compete in NH.

"I am happy to put my name on this paper, hoping that this time it will take, and I’ll be able to become the nominee of our party and hopefully the next president of the United States."

"Go Mitt Go."

January 10 New Hampshire primary now looks likely. NHPR's Josh Rogers reports.

Nevada is bowing to pressure from national party leaders by moving its caucus from January 14th to February 4th. Before the date change, NH was threatening to hold its 2012 presidential primary in December of this year. Steve Duprey, a NH delegate to the RNC, says getting Nevada officials to push back the caucus wasn’t easy.

"It was extensive discussion that allowed us to get there and Rience Priebus the national chairman was very involved – and that’s a great result."

Erik Eisele

Minnesota Congresswoman's local campaign workers resign en masse. NHPR's Josh Rogers reports.

Michele Bachmann announced her presidential run at a debate here in June. And during each of her 4 trips to NH, Bachmann's been quick to insist she is a natural fit for the state.

"NH is all about low taxes and liberty and that’s what I’m about, so we are perfect match. We are a marriage made in heaven."

Lynch's Ed Funding Move Draws Mixed GOP Reaction

Oct 21, 2011

The governor says this amendment will preserve the state's obligation to fund education but give it the flexibility to target funds.

Here's the text of Lynch's amendment:

For many in New Hampshire the arrival of fall means only one thing….hockey season.

The University of New Hampshire Wildcats started their season this month.

And the first tournament for a different kind of hockey begins tonight.

NHPR Correspondent Matt Goisman takes a look at the sport of sled hockey.

At a local rink in Dover, New Hampshire, head coach Taylor Chace prepares his team for their opening tournament on October 21.

(sound)

Governor John Lynch surprised top Republican lawmakers today when he released an education funding constitutional amendment.

The amendment would give the state more discretion to target financial aid to schools than it has today.

Critics are concerned about how the governor’s proposal would affect court oversight of education funding.

Governor John Lynch and Republican leaders all want to see the state adopt a constitutional amendment.

Public Service of New Hampshire announced today it wants to increase its rates.

NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown tells us why.

PSNH has asked the Public Utilities commission for a rate increase of a little more than a half cent per kilowatt hour.

For the typical resident that would mean about three dollars and seventy-seven cents more every month.

The hike will pay for a new scrubber designed to clean up emissions from PSNH’s coal burning plant in Bow.

Charlie Morgan will be allowed to bring her same-sex partner to a family guard event this weekend, but says it's just the first step to true equality.

A New Hampshire National Guard member will be allowed to bring her same-sex partner to a family guard event this weekend.

The Guard originally said Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan couldn’t bring her spouse, Karen Morgan, to a service designed to help returning soldiers and their families deal with the transition back to civilian life.

The official end of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ is barely a month old. But the circumstances around Chief Warrant Office Charlie Morgan reveal inequities still exist within the U.S. military. Gay rights advocates hope Morgan’s story pressures the Department of Defense and Congress to keep leveling the playing field.

Now that ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ is gone, Chief Charlie Morgan can be as OUT to friends and co-workers at the New Hampshire National Guard as she wants to be.

Wall St. is giving the Granite State a good bill of health. The nation’s leading rating agencies say New Hampshire is managing the recession well.

The state is set to sell $100 million dollars in bonds for a variety of capital projects, including improvements for community colleges and a new liquor store.

State Treasurer Kathy Provencher says during the economic downturn state bonds have fetched better interest rates than the state’s double AA credit.

That’s a credit to how the governor and lawmakers are managing the state’s finances.

A coalition of Republic leaders is calling on the presidential candidates to boycott the Nevada caucuses. The goal is to get Nevada to postpone its voting by three days.

Saying democracy will suffer without New Hampshire style retail politics,  a group of top Republicans want the candidates to put the squeeze on Nevada.  The organizer of the GOP gathering in Concord, Jennifer Horn, said they should promise to avoid the state unless it compromises.

Massachusetts is expected to announce new rules that will raise the bar on the definition of green energy.

NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown reports that shift could cost NH electric producers millions of dollars.

Massachusetts is on track to pass new regulations aimed at cutting the amount of greenhouse gasses going into the atmosphere.

The focus is on power from biomass – basically, burning wood to make electricity.

Dwayne Breger of the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources, says there are two good reasons to get the most out of every tree.

The price of home heating oil is expected to hit an all-time high this winter. That’s unwelcome news from Maine to Maryland, where millions of people rely on the fuel to stay warm. The spike could make life difficult for heating oil suppliers and their low-income customers.

When the price of crude oil jumps the price of home heating oil pretty much follows.

In the last 12 months, the price of crude has shot up 40%.

What’s causing the spike?

Aaron Brady, an analyst for IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, says its emerging markets like India and China.

The treatment of female prison inmates in New Hampshire is raising questions of civil rights violations. After a two year investigation, that’s the conclusion reached by the New Hampshire Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The Commission reports that male inmates enjoy greater opportunities in everything from vocational training to mental health services.

JerriAnne Boggis didn’t have to see anything at the Women’s Prison to know about the problems in Goffstown.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Members of the Occupy New Hampshire movement demonstrated in Manchester this weekend.

More than 200 protesters gathered in Veteran’s Park Saturday afternoon to express their dissatisfaction with the state of the country and proclaim their solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Referring to themselves as the 99%, the assembled demonstrators protested the concentration of wealth in the top 1% of the population.

At one point, around 100 of the activists marched down Elm Street, picketing in front of the Bank of America and Citizens Bank buildings.

Treasure Hunting for a Wild Japanese Delicacy

Oct 13, 2011
Elaine Grant / NHPR

Because of a faraway tragedy, and a fluke of nature, the two men are learning a thing or two about the global economy – and about the fine line between passion and obsession.

If there were such a thing as a professional mushroom forager in New Hampshire, Keith Garrett would be it. So would Eric Milligan.

The two men have been hunting mushrooms in the Lakes Region for the last six years. More than 5,000 species of mushrooms have been identified in this region alone, but Milligan and Garrett are walking encyclopedias.

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