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Weekly N.H. News Roundup: June 1, 2018

Jun 1, 2018

We find out why the A.C.L.U. of N.H. is challenging the voting law, HB1264, that is before the N.H. Supreme Court. After exhaustive investigations, New Hampshire's Ballot Law Commission determines no voter took place in recent elections and has an explanation for claims of "busloads" of out-of-state voters.  A border patrol roadblock on I-93 over Memorial Day weekend nets seventeen immigration violations and the A.C.L.U. has questions.  And keep your free-range chicken in your own yard or face a fine.

Qualsiasi/flickr

Today’s topic is thunderstorms. Summer in NH brings those triple H days – hazy, hot, and humid! On days like those there’s nothing more welcome than the arrival of a late-afternoon thunderstorm, leaving in its wake cool, refreshing air, scrubbed clean of haze and pollution.

The chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party has announced his support for including marijuana legalization in the party's platform.

Ray Buckley says he joins Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand, the two candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor, in support of legalization, regulation and taxation. He says he's willing to co-sponsor an amendment and vote for the platform change at the party convention June 23.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

The State Supreme Court is still deciding whether or not it will weigh in on the constitutionality of a newly passed voter residency bill. But it now has about 175 pages of outside input to help it decide whether the bill should become law — and whether it should even weigh in at all.

Katherine Garrova

Representatives from NASA visited Smiths Titeflex in Laconia Thursday to emphasize the company's efforts in bringing humans to space.

 

All the external plumbing for NASA’s Space Launch System - which the agency says will be its most powerful rocket ever built and will pave the way for travel to Mars - is manufactured at Smiths Triflex.

 

Astronaut Barry Wilmore was on hand to give a presentation to employees that included photos from the 178 days he spent in space.  

 

A New Hampshire candle company is hiring 400 people over the next two months in preparation for a busier holiday season this year.

Alene Candles, located in Milford, is one of the state's largest seasonal employers. It is looking to triple its capacity and production during the summer months, to prepare for an influx of holiday orders.

The candle manufacturer, founded in 1995, produced more than 40 million candles between the months of July and December of last year. It also has facilities in Ohio.

Jason Moon for NHPR

With lawmakers gone from Concord, the 2018 political season is now officially on, and one New Hampshire politician making a quick shift to campaign mode is Gov. Chris Sununu. 

New Hampshire’s first Republican governor in more than a decade is hitting the trail with a mixed record at the Statehouse but plenty of enthusiasm.

James Napoli

Tad Montgomery can still remember when he first discovered morels.

He was five years old, working in the garden with his mom and siblings, when a thunderstorm suddenly rolled in. They all ran under some nearby trees for shelter.

“Mom, what are these things? They’re really weird!” exclaimed his sister, looking to the ground.

His mom had no idea what to make of the brown, brain-looking things emerging from the soil. But, being an amateur naturalist, she piled all the kids in the car and drove them, soaking wet, to the local library.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

One of the most hyped young baseball players in the country right now happens to have a Fisher Cat on his uniform.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the son of soon-to-be Hall of Famer Vlad Sr., is playing third base for the minor league New Hampshire Fisher Cats this season.

He’s generating national attention, and a buzz around the Manchester ballpark.

Even casual baseball fans have probably heard about Guerrero Jr. by now. The 19-year old hits baseballs, and he hits them hard.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Administrators and state officials are again discussing safety in the classroom after another school shooting took place earlier this month. This time in Santa Fe, Texas.

Last week on Morning Edition, Rick Ganley spoke with incoming Somersworth High School Principal John Shea about his thoughts on how the state and Gov. Chris Sununu is responding to school safety issues.

Can Democrats hold onto the New Hampshire congressional seat known as the "swingiest" district? Can a Republican claim it during a mid-term election year?

All eyes are trained on the 1st Congressional District as the candidates on both sides of the aisle jockey for position and any available media attention. To help identify those in this crowded field, NHPR continues its series, "Race for the 1st," with the candidates invited on The Exchange with Laura Knoy for a 20-minute segment.

By John Phelan - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54844484

A graduate of Bishop Guertin High School is suing the Nashua Catholic school for not protecting her from sexual abuse by a faculty member she alleges she suffered in 1995.

The faculty member in question, Brother Shawn McEnany, was convicted as a sex offender in Maine in 1988, yet was hired as a teacher by Bishop Guertin a few years later. McEnany died in 2017.

via LinkedIn

Gov. Chris Sununu’s top drug policy advisor, Marty Boldin, resigned Wednesday following an investigation by the attorney general’s office into an unspecified personnel issue.

State officials with the attorney general’s office and the governor’s office are staying mum on most of the details around his resignation.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Businesses that focus on generating human organs won't have to pay state business taxes for ten years under a bill signed into law today by Governor Chris Sununu. Backers of the bill, including companies set to benefit, say it could mean great things for New Hampshire. 

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Members of a new mosque in Keene will gather with local community leaders tonight for a Ramadan celebration.

Will Coley moved to Keene from Tennessee to launch the mosque last year. It's the only one in the state's Monadnock region.

Related story: Behind Planned Mosque In Keene, A ‘Redneck Muslim’ With Libertarian Ties

People who live and work on New Hampshire's lakes will gather this week for their annual conference.

Andrea LaMoreaux vice president of New Hampshire Lakes. She says their annual Lakes Congress lets lakeside residents connect with scientists and regulators.

"We're all coming together to talk about not only how great our lakes are and celebrate them, but say hey, if in 25 years we want our lakes to be healthy, we really need to address some major threats," she says.

New Hampshire loves its vanity plates. We were supposedly the first state to offer them and rank second in the nation (behind Virginia) in the number of vanity plates on the road. There's even a NH License Plate Museum.

Our own parking lot at NHPR is filled with vanity plates. 

Peter Biello/NHPR

 

New Hampshire officials are accepting nominations for the state's next poet laureate.

Alice Fogel, currently serving as New Hampshire's poet laureate, will complete her term next year after serving five years as an ambassador for poets across the state.

Former New Hampshire poets laureate include Walter Butts, Patricia Fargnoli, Donald Hall and Marie Harris.

While recording this week’s Radio Field Trip, Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley and producer Mary McIntyre got a little lost in the woods...

Do you have a suggestion for an upcoming Radio Field Trip? Click here to submit your idea, or email us at fieldtrips@nhpr.org.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The issue of voter fraud in New Hampshire — or a lack thereof — was front and center at a meeting of New Hampshire’s Ballot Law Commission in Concord. The big takeaway?  Top state officials haven’t found any evidence that it’s running rampant in New Hampshire’s elections.

Lauren Chooljian for NHPR

Senator Maggie Hassan said Tuesday she believes student activism will be what tips the scales in the gun debate and pushes Congress to pass gun control legislation. 

Daniela Allee / NHPR

About 80 people gathered outside the New Hampshire State House for a third rally of the Poor People's Campaign. Speakers focused on what they call "the war economy" and gun violence. 

After marching around the capitol building, speakers and protestors went in to the Hall of Flags, where they held a "teach-in."

Topics discussed included veterans' mental health, nuclear weapons and imperialism.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Second District Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster is promoting the latest version of what she calls her Jobs and Opportunity Agenda.

Kuster talked up ways to develop the state's workforce during a visit to Nashua Community College. 

KNA of Bedford

New England College and the New Hampshire Institute of Art announced today that the two institutions plan to merge later this year.

Tom Horgan is a spokesman for New England College. He says the idea is to provide students at both institutions with more academic options. Horgan says there are also opportunities to cut costs and reduce expenses.

"You know, the demographic shifts that are occurring in New England, the pipeline of students is not as strong as we would like to see," Horgan says.

U.S. Forest Service

The last prescribed burns of the year are set for this week in the White Mountain National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service has been setting fires since April all across the forest area in New Hampshire and Maine.

The controlled burns are a way of restoring habitat and reducing the risk of wildfires.

Weather permitting, North Country residents might see smoke or roads closed in parts of the forest on Wednesday and Thursday.

Burn season must end after May 31, when nesting season for the protected northern long-eared bat begins.

NHPR File Photo

Governor Chris Sununu has signaled he’ll sign a pair of energy-related bills approved by legislators at the end of session last week.

One gives lawmakers control of the system benefits charge. That's a small fee on energy bills that helps pay for energy efficiency upgrades for low-income ratepayers.

Legislators also voted to tell utilities to list the costs of complying with renewable energy standards on electric bills.

Sununu says that will help consumers understand what’s behind New Hampshire’s high energy rates, which are some of the highest in the country.

NHPR Staff

Top state officials will give an overview of recent efforts to investigate potential voter fraud and other election violations at a meeting of the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission in Concord.

Courtesy Thomas Labore

U.S. Customs and Border Protection began operating an immigration checkpoint on Interstate 93 in Woodstock on Sunday. The checkpoint ran until noon Tuesday.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Cities and towns across New Hampshire held parades to commemorate fallen service members this Memorial Day.

 

In Manchester, Senator Maggie Hassan and Mayor Joyce Craig were there as the marching down Elm Street began.

 

Several local school bands provided the music as retired service vehicles rolled along.

 

Saeed Ahmed owns a gas station right on Elm Street and has a front-row seat to the parade every year.

 

Dan Tuohy

 

A group of New Hampshire farms, restaurants and markets is promoting the "Eating Local" campaign in parts of the state this summer and fall.

Each month is being devoted to a particular theme for local harvests. June is seafood and herbs month. July will be seasonal berries and fresh dairy.

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