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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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Business and Economy
4:16 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Report: N.H. Colleges Generate $5.8 Billion For State Economy

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

New Hampshire's colleges and universities say their latest report shows that they are major contributors to the state's vibrant economy.

The New Hampshire College and University Council estimates that its 22 public and private nonprofit institutions directly supported 17,800 jobs in fiscal year 2012-13 and generated an estimated economic impact of $5.8 billion.

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Health
4:08 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

N.H. Healthcare Enrollment Jumps 25% On Federal Exchange

In 2015, about 25 percent more New Hampshire residents bought insurance on the federal healthcare marketplace than the year before.

Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services said 53,005 people enrolled in plans in New Hampshire. The department also reports just over 50 percent of those enrollees were under the age of 35 – a target demographic for health reform advocates. 

2015 HealthCare.gov Enrollees By Type: New Hampshire

Click the bubbles above the chart to see the breakdown of re-enrollees by type:

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NH News
1:05 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Claremont Bacon Maker Sold To Canadian Pork Company

Adam Gessaman via Flickr CC

A Canadian company has purchased a New Hampshire pork products producer, but the company says the sale shouldn’t affect the 35 jobs at its facility in Claremont.

Bacon makes up 80 percent of North Country Smokehouse’s business, but it also puts out some sausage, ham, and smoked cheeses. According to the company’s president, Mike Satzow, it gets much of their pork from a Canadian company that’s buying them, Les Spécialités Prodal.

“They are the largest producers of organic and natural pork on the continent,” says Satzow.

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Politics
11:30 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Ayotte Among GOP Senators Who Signed Letter To Iran About Nuclear Deal

N.H. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R)
NHPR Staff

UPDATE: Sen. Ayotte released the following statement regarding her signing the letter:

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Education
11:17 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Gilmanton Once Again Grappling With Library Funding

The Gilmanton Year Round Library is in a refurbished timber-frame barn.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Every community has an issue which an outsider might look at and say, ‘That? You’re fighting about that?’

In Gilmanton, that’s the Year-Round Library.

The library is a private non-profit, but is open to the public. It’s in a gorgeous refurbished timber-frame barn; two stories tall with old rough-hewn beams surrounded by a modern shell. It was built through private fundraising, and fundraising helps pay operating costs too.  

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Environment
10:11 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Maine, N.H. Scientists Team Up For Moose Study

Dave Spier via Flickr CC

Biologists in New Hampshire and Maine are teaming up on a five-year study to better understand why moose populations are declining.

WMUR-TV reports that Maine's estimated population of 60,000 moose has fared better than New Hampshire's herd of about 4,000 but both states are seeing a decline, largely blamed on more winter ticks.

Lee Kantar of Maine's Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Kristine Rines of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department are collaborating on the study.

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NH News
7:22 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Investigators Warn Of Scam Advertising Police Phone Number

Credit JonJon2k8 via Flickr Creative Commons

   

Investigators say a woman was being scammed when she got what she believed to be a police department phone call saying there was a warrant out for her arrest and that she needed to close it by sending cash.

The woman in Concord got a call from a number identified as belonging to the Keene Police Department.

She sent cash via MoneyGram to a "pre-paid" credit card. The "officer" she spoke to later told her she would need to send more money. She called the Keene Police Department directly and was informed she was the target of a scam.

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NH News
6:36 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Town Meeting: Voters To Decide On Elections, Budgets, Projects

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Voters in several in New Hampshire communities head to the polls today for the annual Town Meeting.

Decisions will be made on local political offices, town operating budgets, as well as a number of infrastructure projects.

In Salem, voters will consider a $23.5 million public safety complex, which would house both the police and fire departments.

In Plaistow, voters will consider plans for an $11 million police station to replace an aging, crowded building.

Voters in North Hampton are also being asked to approve a new home for police and fire officials.

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Town Meeting
6:00 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Commentary: 'You're The Future Of This Town'

Warner's statue of Walter Harriman, Civil War Brigadier General, New Hampshire Legislator and Governor.
NHPR Staff

My daughter registered to vote for the first time before last year’s Town Meeting. The Supervisors of the Checklist made an appropriate fuss.

Special thanks to Bev Norton for additional photography. You can find her photos here.

One of them looked at her, beaming, and said, “You are the future of this town.”

She didn’t say “of this country,” or even “of New Hampshire.”

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NH News
5:21 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Judge Rules Against Free State Supporters In Grafton Ballot Suit

Credit Jack Rodolico

The Grafton County Superior Court has ruled against a last-ditch effort by supporters of the Free State Project to alter a ballot the day before an election.

Free State Supporters in the Town of Grafton managed to get 20 warrant articles onto the local ballot this year - including efforts to stop tax money from flowing to the local library and banning the town from cooperating with the National Security Agency.

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North Country
3:03 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Skier Killed During Charity Fundraiser At Wildcat

jddewit4 via Flickr CC

A 34-year-old man from North Conway participating in a charity fundraiser was killed Monday at the Wildcat Mountain ski area, according to a news release from Troop F of the state police.

Samuel Moore lost control in the 5-Corners area “tumbled down the trail and then fell over a 60-foot drop,” Troop F said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was participating in the 12th annual 100,000 foot vertical challenge for Make-A-Wish New Hampshire.

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NH News
12:43 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

N.H. Communities Look At Zoning To Prepare For Possible Dispensaries

Credit DD via Flickr Creative Commons

 As the state considers applications to run four medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, some towns and cities are preparing for the new law by updating their zoning rules.

New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law requires dispensaries be more than 1,000 feet from a school or drug free zone. But during Town Meeting on Tuesday, voters in Epping will decide whether to restrict dispensaries to industrial locations.

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NH News
9:20 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Newfound Voters Again Weighing Wind Restrictions

Credit Chris Jensen / NHPR

EDP renewables, a company based in Portugal that operates 3,600 Megawatts of wind power in the US, has proposed a 29-turbine wind farm for five towns in the Newfound region. So for many in that area town meeting season is an opportunity to express their opposition to wind farms.

But how? Strategies vary. While some in those towns are sticking to more traditional forms of opposition, others are using town meeting to declare themselves ready to employ civil disobedience to stop the project.

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News
7:54 am
Mon March 9, 2015

I-93 Widening Project Slowed By Snow And Bitter Cold

Credit www.rebuildingi93.com

 

Winter usually is a slow season for construction, but the amount of snow and sub-zero temperatures have delayed the project to widen part of Interstate 93 a bit.

The project, expected to be done in 2020, will widen the interstate from the Massachusetts border in Salem to Exit 5 in Manchester.

The Eagle Tribune reports a project manager says from Thanksgiving until late January, things were going smoothly.

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