Casey McDermott, NHPR

 When Tim Pifer started out two decades ago as a drug chemist with the state, it didn’t take long at all to process the drug samples dropped off by law enforcement.

“There literally was a time when we’d take the drugs in, and we’d tell the officers to go downstairs and have a coffee, and we’d give you the drugs back,” Pifer recalled Friday.

Not so anymore.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republicans John Kasich and Chris Christie have both made a strong showing in New Hampshire a top priority. And after signing the required paperwork and handing over the $1000 filing fee, both men were quick to praise the judgment of New Hampshire voters, and tout the effect of a strong local showing.

"This is the way to do it. Forget me, this is a great process. I have confidence that the people of New Hampshire make really good choices and then then present it to the country."

That was John Kasich. Here's Chris Christie:

Jason Moon for NHPR

Farmers markets are moving indoors for the fall, leaving behind the strawberries of summer and embracing the root vegetables of the colder months. 

Jim Ramanek of Warner River Organics is showing me his wares at a farmers market in Concord. It’s a relatively standard selection for a farmers market in fall, except that for every familiar autumn veggie he rattles off, there’s an alternate variety of it that I’ve never heard of. For instance, there are your classic turnips here, but there are also something called hakurei turnips, too.

File Photo

 After two years of conflict, a Newington company got the green light today to bring propane by rail to the New Hampshire Seacoast.  

  On Friday, the state’s Site Evaluation Committee voted to allow the propane company SEA-3 to expand its facility without a year-long evaluation process.

The decision came after opponents agreed to drop objections in exchange for additional safety measures, paid for by SEA-3. The agreement limits railcar traffic and includes fire safety measures paid for by SEA-3. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

If any single mode of campaigning could be said to typify the New Hampshire Primary it would probably be the town hall meeting - where would-be presidents throw open the floor to questions from all comers. Some New Hampshire Primary winners - think John McCain - have put town halls at the very center of their strategies. But that’s not been the case with top candidates this year.

Theresa Thompson via Flickr CC /

Although New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary is still months away, the invisible primary is in full swing, and many votes have already been cast – by endorsements. Just how important are these political endorsements? And who is leading the invisible primary? 

Via C-Span

Businessman Mark Connolly is running for governor. Connolly announced his candidacy Thursday in Manchester - entering a Democratic field that includes Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern.

Gov. Maggie Hassan is not seeking re-election, as she pursues a U.S. Senate run.

Connolly is a former head of the state's Bureau of Securities Regulation, former deputy secretary of state and previously was a state representative. He runs an investment advising company in New Castle.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Carly Fiorina became the fourth major presidential candidate to file for the 2016 New Hampshire primary when she stopped by the Secretary of State’s office early Thursday afternoon. 

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  In Londonderry, bush-whacking through some seriously thick brush, Fish and Game field biologists Brett Ferry and Tyler Mahard are hunting for rabbits, but instead of firearms they’re using traps and radio telemetry.

They will take blood samples and put radio collars on rabbits they capture to ensure that we will continue to have a good idea of the state of the threatened rabbit population, and a few will be sent to a captive breeding program at a zoo in Rhode Island.

Courtesy photo


New Hampshire's attorney general says two Merrimack officers were justified in using deadly force against a man who charged at them with a knife.

Attorney General Joseph Foster said Thursday that 23-year-old Harrison Lambert created a dangerous situation.

Lambert's parents told investigators that Lambert was mentally ill and his condition had deteriorated in recent days. The night before the Sept. 3 shooting, they said Lambert stood before them tapping a knife, scaring them to the point where they locked themselves in their bedroom.

Manchester mayoral candidate Joyce Craig has filed for a recount, after losing to incumbent Ted Gatsas by just 85 votes.

Craig filed paperwork for the recount yesterday and announced her decision on Twitter, telling supporters that it's important to ensure every vote is counted.

More than 20,000 ballots were cast in Tuesday's election.

City charter requires the Board of Recount must set a date for a recount no later than seven days after the request is filed.

mwms1916 via Flickr

As fall comes to a close, winter imminent, there is a quiet that sweeps across New Hampshire. We celebrate the changing of the leaves but once they’ve fallen from the trees there’s really not much to look at before snowfall, right? Of course not! There’s always something waiting to be discovered in your back yard and this time of year is no exception.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Bernie Sanders is officially a registered Democrat in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary. Despite some questions about the independent senator's party affiliation, Sanders passed a key hurdle Thursday to get on the New Hampshire ballot.

Emily Corwin

A Newington company that wants to transport propane by rail on the Seacoast has reached an unexpected deal with neighbors who have stood in opposition to the project for two years. 

The tentative agreement limits railcar traffic and includes fire safety measures paid for by SEA-3, which hopes to bring in American propane over tracks between Newfields and an expanded facility in Newington. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A 64-year-old New Hampshire woman with terminal lung cancer has sued the Department of Health and Human Services over the state’s rollout of its medical marijuana program.

Sean Hurley

In 1967, at the height of his success, one of the world's great singer songwriters, Jacques Brel, stopped singing.  “I left the day I realized I had an ounce of talent," he said later. "I stopped singing for honest reasons; not for reasons of exhaustion.” 

But the following year, two New Yorkers put together a musical revue of Brel's work to remind the world that even though the great "chanteur" had retired - he was not dead. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

When Marco Rubio came into the Secretary of State’s office to file for the New Hampshire primary ballot Thursday – it wasn’t with quite the crowd that his fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump attracted a day earlier. But the Florida senator did bring his own entourage of supporters. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When Marco Rubio sat down for a  discussion  with young professionals at St. Anselm College the issues were mostly light:

Does Rubio hit the gym to wind down after debates? No.

What kind of food might he serve at a party? Tex-Mex.

And how does the Florida Senator feel about Star Wars?

Jason Moon for NHPR

Bush began his day at Founders Academy charter school in Manchester, where he outlined his vision of what makes a great leader to a room full of students.

“My guess is, one of the great attributes of successful presidents is that they’re humble. They have humility. They recognize that it’s not all about them, it’s about having a servant’s heart and trying to fix things.”

File Photo / NHPR

Senator Jeanne Shaheen has reintroduced a bill that requires random audits of Veterans Administration hospitals.

This follows reports released in October by the Inspector General that show VA hospitals in Alaska, California, and Illinois are still delaying veterans’ care. 

The bill is called the Veterans Scheduling Accountability Act. Shaheen says these audits are designed to make sure veterans receive care in a timely manner.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

States all over the country have picked sides in the coming court challenge over the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, and New Hampshire will join 18 other states in defending the new carbon dioxide regulations from a legal challenge. 

All of the New England states are in this coalition as well as California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington. A few major cities round out the group.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Wednesday was the first day for presidential candidates to file for the New Hampshire presidential primary. Seven candidates are now officially on the ballot -- including GOP businessman Donald Trump. 

Public Domain / NASA

We’re going far out into space for this next conversation, beyond what’s called the heliosphere. That’s the protective bubble that the sun creates by giving off something called solar wind. To give you an idea of how big the heliosphere is—it extends beyond Pluto. NASA’s Voyager 1 broke through the heliosphere a few years ago, but the magnetic field data that it gathered didn’t match what scientists expected to find.   

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A multi-year conflict between a Newington propane company and its neighbors comes to a head this week as state regulators decide whether the company can expand immediately, or must undergo a year-long evaluation.

On the surface, Planning Board and court decisions have favored the propane company. But opponents say despite apparent setbacks, they have succeeded in stalling the project, and extracting concessions.

SEA-3 Wants To Bring Propane In By Rail


The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office has asked a judge to bar the Croydon School Board from using tax money to pay for some students' tuition at private schools.

The complaint asks for preliminary and permanent injunctions against Croydon. Officials gave the board until Sept. 28 to stop using public funds— more than $32,000 —to pay for four students studying this year at the Newport Montessori School.

Croydon's one school goes up through the fourth grade. Parents then have school choice, with most choosing Newport public schools.

City of Concord


It was a good day for incumbents,as voters headed to the polls Tuesday for municipal elections in most New Hampshire cities.

Concord Mayor Jim Bouley was elected to a fifth term.

Bouley defeated former radio talk show host Paul Brogan in Tuesday’s election.

In Keene, mayor Kendall Lane won a third term, beating city councilor Kris Roberts.

Berlin mayor Paul Grenier won a fourth term.

And Dover mayor Karen Weston was also re-elected, winning a second term in office.

The city of Portsmouth has a new mayor.

Jack Blalock claimed victory Tuesday as the top vote-getter among the candidates running for city council.

He replaces Robert Lister, who did not run for re-election.

Blalock formerly served as assistant mayor of Portsmouth and chairman of the city’s Board of Adjustment.

Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine will return to that position, after receiving the second-most votes in yesterday’s election.

Ted Siefer for NHPR

In Manchester, incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas won election to a fourth term in office. But he beat Alderman Joyce Craig by less than one percent of the vote in an election that saw the largest turnout in years.

Nashua voters chose Jim Donchess as their new mayor Tuesday, with Donchess defeating Chris Williams by just more than 1900 votes.

Donchess will replace incumbent Mayor Donnalee Lozeau who after eight years, did not run for reelection.

A rallying cheer rumbled through the Martha’s Exchange restaurant in downtown Nashua Tuesday evening as Jim Donchess walked in to greet his supporters.

But Donchess was quick to turn to city business.

New Hampshire’s medical board adopted emergency rules for opioid prescribers Wednesday, but rejected many of the changes sought by Gov. Maggie Hassan.