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Something Wild
12:00 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Something Wild: The Maligned Fisher

Credit ForestWander.com

The "fisher cat": ferocious predator of house cats whose bloodcurdling screams pierce the dark of night. Facts about this one wildlife species have mutated a long way into fiction. For starters, fishers are members of the weasel family—not feline. Properly referred to, they're "fishers," not "fisher cats." 

As for all the house cats they're thought to kill, here's what a NH Fish and Game species account says:

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NH News
6:00 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Eversource Energy Reaches Deal With State To Sell Its Power Plants

PSNH's Merrimack Station
Flkr Creative Commons / PSNH

In a deal that is being called historic, Eversource Energy, formerly Public Service of New Hampshire, has agreed to sell its power plants. The agreement is part of what’s been called a “global settlement,” which resolves a variety of issues facing the utility all in one neat package.

The parties to the settlement say it is a win-win for the state and the company.

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Health
5:08 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

House Repeals Buffer Zone Bill For Abortion Clinics

Credit Allegra Boverman

The house voted Thursday to repeal a law that created buffer zones for protestors around health clinics that provide abortions.

In recent years, both New Hampshire and Massachusetts passed such laws. But last year, the Supreme Court overturned the Massachusetts law, and New Hampshire’s law is yet to be enforced.

Before the new bill passed be a 170-159 margin, Republican Representative Joseph Hagan of Chester said the existing bill steps on free-speech rights.

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Politics
5:03 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

N.H. Senate Passes Fetal Homicide Bill

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Senators have joined the House in supporting efforts to create a crime of fetal homicide, which would allow charges to be brought for the death of a fetus in certain cases, excluding abortion or other medical procedures.  

Thirty eight states have some type of fetal homicide law. The version passed by senators Thursday applies the death of a fetus that has reached the stage of viability - when it can live outside the womb. A House version passed Wednesday applies the law to fetuses past eight weeks of development. 

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Health
4:59 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Senate Delays Vote To Extend State Medicaid Expansion

The Senate has voted to wait before deciding whether to extend the state’s expanded Medicaid program, also called the New Hampshire Health Protection Program.

Under the law that went into effect last year, the program will expire at the end of 2016. That’s the point when the federal government stops funding the entire expansion, dialing its contribution down to 90 percent.

In a bipartisan vote, the Senate tabled the extension in order to give more time to determine how the program is working.

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Politics
4:41 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Fails In N.H. House

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted down a bill in a 2-1 margin Thursday that would mandate paid sick leave.

Under the measure, businesses with 15 or more employers would be forced to offer workers 40 hours of paid sick leave annually.  

Republican Len Turcotte of Barrington said mandatory sick leave would only lead to harmful regulatory policies for employers.

“Employee contracts between an employer and an employee is an agreement that is freely reached and should be reached between the two parties without bureaucratic inference,” Turcotte his fellow colleagues.

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Politics
4:35 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

N.H. Lawmakers Reject Minimum Wage Boost

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Both the New Hampshire House and Senate have killed bills Thursday that would have established a higher state minimum wage.

The House’s measure, which was rejected in a 198 to 145 vote, would have raised the minimum wage to $9.10 by next year -- tacking on nearly $7 by 2018.

Meanwhile in a 14-10 vote the Senate rejected to increase the hourly rate by $8.25  by next January – reaching $10 by 2018.

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 will remain in place. Currently 29 other states have higher minimum wages. 

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Politics
4:23 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Perry Talks Up Bipartisanship; Defends GOP Iran Letter

Credit josh rogers/nhpr

Rick Perry gave a morning speech at St. Anselm college. By lunch he was at a Concord law firm, stressing the executive experience he gained as Texas’s longest serving governor.

Perry described the national mood as "pessimistic," but said would take just a few good decisions -- particularly on energy policy -- to change that. He also called for for cooperation across the asile.

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NH News
12:25 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Teen Killer Of Pamela Smart's Husband Granted Parole

FILE - In this March 13, 1991 file photo, William Flynn, testifies on his 17th birthday how he shot Gregory Smart in the head and killed him, in court in Exeter, N.H.
Credit Jim Cole / AP

The killer of Pamela Smart’s husband will be a free man this spring.

William Flynn, who turned 41 today,  was unanimously granted parole Thursday after the New Hampshire Parole Board cited his decade of good behavior – adding that he was an “exemplary” inmate throughout his 25 years in prison.

At sixteen Flynn pleaded guilty to conspiring with his former teacher and lover Pamela Smart to shoot and kill her husband, Greg Smart, in Derry in 1990. Smart is currently serving a life sentence.

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North Country
12:09 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

How North Country Reps Voted On Gun Background Check Bill

Nine of 14 North Country representatives voted Wednesday to kill a bill that would have required criminal background checks on all commercial firearm sales.

All but one were Republicans.

Five Democrats opposed killing the measure.

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North Country
10:07 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Only One North Country Rep Votes Against Decriminalizing Marijuana

All but one of the North Country representatives voted Wednesday to decriminalize marijuana.

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North Country
9:36 am
Thu March 12, 2015

North Country Events

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The newsletter typically announces events in the next week. The calendar shows you events in the coming months.

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NH News
7:46 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Manchester Police Investigating Shooting Of 17-Year-Old Girl

Credit Appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

Manchester police are investigating the shooting of a 17-year-old girl last night.

WMUR-TV reports the girl is hospitalized in Boston with face and neck wounds and is expected to survive.

Police have not made any arrests.

NH News
7:17 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Report: Rockingham County Attorney Could Face Whistleblower's Lawsuit

Patricia Conway

Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway is facing a potential whistleblower’s lawsuit over her firing of a key witness in a state misconduct investigation.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports county commissioners have received an offer to settle the matter financially instead of defending themselves from a lawsuit.

Conway insists her firing of assistant county attorney Jerome Blanchard just hours after being sworn into office was not payback.

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Politics
7:05 am
Thu March 12, 2015

House Passes Several Anti-Common Core Bills

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

 

The Republican-led House passed several bills Wednesday aimed at weakening aspects of the Common Core education standards and affirming the importance of local and parental control in education.

“We can fire a shot here today in the battle over federal intrusion,” Republican Rep. Glenn Cordelli of Tuftonboro told the chamber to loud cheers. “You will make a statement today, you will stand tall. No more unfunded federal mandates, no more federal control of education, no more.”

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Politics
6:38 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Primary Analysis: Walker, Bush Have Something To Prove In N.H.

Scott Walker and Jeb Bush
Credit Credit: Gateway Tech/World Affairs Council via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Primary is starting to heat up, with several prominent Republican presidential hopefuls expected in the Granite State this weekend.

NHPR’s Morning Edition producer Michael Brindley sat down with Dante Scala, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire.

A flood of potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates will be coming through the state this weekend. Can you just run through the list of who we’re going to see?

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NH News
6:28 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Rick Perry Heads Back To New Hampshire

Credit Josh Rogers / NHPR

 

A month after his last visit, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is returning to New Hampshire as he moves closer to a 2016 presidential campaign.

Since leaving office in January, Perry has been ramping up his political operation and traveling to early voting states. He will be in Bedford, Concord and Gorham on Thursday, followed by stops in Lancaster, Littleton, Meredith and Belmont on Friday.

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Politics
7:35 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

N.H. Lawmakers Overwhelmingly Reject More Background Checks For Gun Sales

Credit NHPR

The New Hampshire House voted in a nearly a 2-1 margin to reject a bill to require criminal background checks on all commercial firearm sales.

Prior to the vote, Republican John Burt from Goffstown, argued that requiring criminal background checks would be a waste of time.

“All this bill is going to do is interrupt law-abiding citizens, that’s all any gun legislation does, because the criminal will always have his gun,” Burt said yesterday.

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Politics
7:29 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

N.H. House Votes To Decriminalize Marijuana

Credit NHPR

For the sixth time the New Hampshire House has OK’d a bill that would decriminalize marijuana.

The bill, which cleared the House by 297 to 67 yesterday, would make the possession of half an ounce of marijuana subject to a violation rather than jail time.

Republican Adam Schroadter of Newmarket told colleagues the harm associated with this plant is not enough to justify a criminal penalty.

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Politics
7:24 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Fetal Homicide One Step Closer To Becoming A N.H. Law

Credit NHPR

The New Hampshire House backed a measure to put fetal homicide on the state’s books.

The bill, which was approved 208 to 155, would allow prosecutors to charge anyone in the death of a fetus over eight weeks.

To the bill’s lead sponsor, Republican Leon Rideout of Lancaster, this issue is personal. Nearly two years ago his daughter was seven and a half months pregnant when a driver ran a stop sign and struck her car – ending her pregnancy.

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NH News
2:29 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

N.H. House OKs Bill To Increase Marriage License Fees For Domestic Violence Prevention

New Hampshire residents may have to pay five more dollars for marriage licenses after the House passed a bill Wednesday that would put the added revenue into domestic violence prevention programs across the state.

Currently residents pay $45 for a license, which hasn’t been increased in roughly 22 years.

Democrat Renny Cushing of Hampton says, despite the state making domestic violence a crime last year, New Hampshire ranks last in funding domestic violence prevention programs.

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Education
1:05 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Charter School Advocates Push For More State Dollars

Sam Evans-Brown NHPR

Charter school advocates are hopeful this could be the year the legislature passes a bill aimed at increasing their funding.

Dozens of charter school students packed the halls of the New Hampshire State House, Wednesday, to push for a bill that would increase state funding for charters by more than $2 million dollars per year.

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Politics
8:54 am
Wed March 11, 2015

N.H. House To Debate Several Anti-Common Core Bills

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's Republican-led House is considering bills to gut parts of the Common Core education standards.

The House will debate several measures Wednesday aimed at the standards and tests associated with them. Most have a positive endorsement from the House Education Committee, signaling a strong chance of passage.

One bill says schools don't have to adopt the standards. Opponents of the bill say it's redundant because the state board of education does not force schools to use the standards. Passing the bill will make clear the House's skepticism of the standards.

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NH News
8:12 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Town Meeting: $23.5M Public Safety Complex Goes Down In Salem

An artist's rendering of the $23.5 million proposed public safety complex in Salem. Voters rejected the proposal Tuesday.
Credit Town of Salem

Voters said no to capital projects in several communities at Town Meeting on Tuesday.

In Salem, a proposed $23.5 million public safety complex failed to get the 60 percent needed to pass.

The building would have housed the town’s police and fire departments.

And in Plaistow, voters rejected a proposed a new, $11 million police station.

Proposals to build a new town hall in Barrington and to renovate the town hall in Dunbarton also failed Tuesday.

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NH News
7:50 am
Wed March 11, 2015

N.H. Woman Injured In Marathon Bombing: Death Is Just Sentence For Tsarnaev

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Karen Brassard (left) and bombing witness Carlos Arredondo (right) leave a federal courthouse last week during the trial of accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Boston.
Credit Brian Snyder/Reuters/Landov

The first four days of the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev have been filled with emotional testimony from family members of those killed and survivors who suffered devastating injuries.

Nashua resident Karen Brassard is among those who have been watching in the courtroom.

She suffered serious injuries to her legs while watching the Marathon near the finish line. Her husband and daughter were also injured.

She’s been traveling to Boston as often as she can to be there for the trial.

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NH News
6:14 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Town Meeting: Voters In Seacoast Towns Reject Major Capital Projects

An artist's rendering of the proposed renovation and addition to the Rye Town Hall. Voters rejected the project Tuesday.
Credit Town of Rye

Some Seacoast towns voted down major capital projects, although residents in New Castle, it turns out, will have a second chance at one of their warrant articles.

In Rye, residents voted not to spend $4 million dollars to renovate their town hall. In North Hampton, a simple majority favored a $7 million new library, and safety complex: but a super majority was needed to pass the measure.

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NH News
5:49 am
Wed March 11, 2015

N.H. Bill Would Allow Government Agencies To Charge For Public Records

A bill going before the House of Representatives Wednesday is getting strong opposition advocates of open government.

The legislation would allow cities and towns to charge people for the time it takes to respond to public records requests.

The bill goes before the House with a favorable recommendation from the judiciary committee.

Democratic state Representative Pat Long is the bill’s prime sponsor. He’s also an alderman in Manchester.

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Environment
10:33 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Several Southern N.H. Towns Vote To Oppose Natural Gas Pipeline

Selectman Charles Moser in his office with a "Stop the Pipeline" bumper sticker
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Many towns across the Southern border of the state took votes in opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline that would be built through 17 towns.

At least 8 of those towns were considering Non-binding resolutions against the pipeline, which serve to signal to state energy regulators that residents don’t want a project come through their town. Others, like Ringe and Winchester opted to deny representatives of Pipeline Developer Kinder-Morgan the right to survey town property. 

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North Country
10:11 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Colebrook Passes $6.5 Million Bond To Replace 1880 Water System

Voters in Colebrook approved a $6.5 million bond to replace the 1880's water system by a margin of about 15 to one.

The vote was 249 in favor and 17 against, Town Manager Becky Merrow said.

The system was leaking more than 70 percent of the water. That is the worst in the state, according to the state's Department of Environmental Services which has been pressuring the town to fix it.

Grants and other assistance will reduce the cost to about $3 million for the town of 2,300.

Town officials said if the bond had not passed they would have lost the grants.

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NH News
6:52 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

N.H. Lawmakers Set To Tackle Dozens Of Bills This Week

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

It will be a busy week at the New Hampshire State House with more than one hundred bills slated for votes by Friday. The bills range from decriminalizing up to a half an ounce of marijuana to tacking $5 onto marriage licenses to fund domestic violence prevention.

Nineteen other states, including the rest of New England, have adopted similar measures to make the possession of marijuana a violation rather than a crime. Should it pass the house, and decriminalization bills have before, it will face an uphill climb.

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