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Some New Hampshire lawmakers are proposing that the state secede from the populous Eastern Time Zone and join in with Nova Scotia and Puerto Rico on the Atlantic time zone, dropping daylight saving time.

Opponents of daylight saving time argue that traffic accidents, heart attacks and strokes increase when we change time.

New England states have considered similar bills before, but they haven't passed.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers will tackle an array of issues this week, from barring firearms at polling places to establishing a state minimum wage.

N.H.'s Moose Population Decimated by Winter Ticks

Jan 23, 2017
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region

 New Hampshire's moose population is down to just over 4,000 animals, facing an unprecedented die off because of winter ticks, according to UNH Wildlife Ecology professor Pete Pekins. 

Speaking on The Exchange, Pekins says winter ticks have taken an especially harsh toll on moose calves each spring for the past three years -- one of several alarming findings in a four-year study of the state's moose population, involving the N.H. Fish and Game department and UNH. 

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  A community vigil is planned for Tuesday, after Manchester school officials say racially-charged signs were found posted outside two of the city's schools last week.

Manchester Superintendent Bolgen Vargas sent a letter home to parents last week, informing them of the first sign discovered on a fence outside the Middle School at Parkside Wednesday. The sign referenced the "White Genocide Project" and read, "Diversity is a codeword for white genocide."

In the letter, Vargas said the sign was removed immediately and the incident is under investigation.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers this week will hear about a report released last month which shed a bad light on the state’s child protective services. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Looking out over the steps of the Statehouse Saturday morning, a sea of pink hats and posters —  bearing messages like “EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL,” “LOVE TRUMPS HATE” and “BE KIND” — stretched out in all directions.

In all, organizers said more than 5,000 people showed up for New Hampshire Women’s Day of Action and Unity — a series of rallies, activist trainings, songs, prayer and protests. It was the biggest crowd seen at the Statehouse since thousands gathered to oppose state budget cuts back in 2011.

Gage Skidmore / Flikr

We’ve heard a lot today about the inauguration about President Donald Trump. This morning we heard from folks who are for and against Trump as they looked forward to today’s inauguration. Now let’s take a look back with David Holt. He’s an organizer with Occupy NH Seacoast and he’s one of the organizers of one of the many rallies occurring in the state tomorrow. He joined NHPR’s Peter Biello on All Things Considered.

What did you think of President Trump’s inaugural address?

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

While many Trump supporters made the pilgrimage to Washington D.C. for the inauguration, some chose to celebrate a little closer to home. Joe and Pat Hagen hosted a viewing party at their bed and breakfast in Chester, New Hampshire, where guests shared their hopes for the next four years and toasted to the new president. 

GEOFF FORESTER / Concord Monitor

Any parent will tell you that parenting is a difficult job. Being a parent when you’re in prison makes that job even harder.

Reporter Alyssa Dandrea of the Concord Monitor recently reported on what it’s like to parent from prison. And she joins NHPR’s Peter Biello to talk about the challenges these parents face and her series.

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In one of his very first acts in office, Governor Chris Sununu called for a 90-day moratorium on new state regulations. But lawmakers who oversee New Hampshire's regulatory process said the new governor Friday: no can do. 

Jack Rodolico

Catholic Medical Center in Manchester is your typical general hospital: they deliver babies, set broken bones, perform heart surgery. And it might be as good a place as any to witness how the opioid epidemic is transforming healthcare in New Hampshire.

Pien Huang

Dr. Alan Chong took over as the Director and CEO of the Currier Museum of Art last September. His job includes budgets, publicity, and fundraising. But what he’s really excited about is the art.

Happy Friday! If you're looking for conversation starters for this weekend's AFC playoff watch parties or you're looking for a distraction from sports, read on for some of the important or otherwise interesting stuff you might've missed this week. (And make sure to subscribe to our newsletters to stay in the loop every week.)

Chuck Burgess via Flickr

Here at Something Wild, we don’t have a problem with winter. Aside from the snow and the cold and the freezing rain… okay, maybe we have a couple issues. But we have sweaters and hot cocoa and Netflix. Trees, however, do not. As the snow piles up, you may see trees bent over with their crowns nearly touching the ground, leafless and haggard. They can’t escape or hide from the cold, so how do trees survive?

 

For over a year, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has been trying to determine whether drug makers break the law in how they marketed opioid painkillers in the state. It’s a slow legal battle that could determine that pharmaceutical companies knew they were putting people at risk by overselling highly addictive painkillers. Many of those painkillers were abused – leading to an addiction and overdose epidemic.

There’s been a new development in that story, and NHPR’s Jack Rodolico sat down with Morning Edition to talk about it.

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Brady Carlson / NHPR

Results from a new survey of public schools in New Hampshire shows that most elementary students aren’t receiving as much physical education as they should.

The survey of public school P.E. teachers was conducted by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

It found that none of the elementary school students in the schools who responded to the survey received the recommended average of at least 150 minutes of physical education each week.

Yortw via Flickr/CC

Organizers of this weekend's Women's March on Washington have taken pains to avoid calling the event-- and the hundreds of "sister marches" planned across the country -- anti-Trump.  As Terie Norelli, former Democratic Speaker of the N.H. House and a longtime state representative,  said on The Exchange this week:

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

New Hampshire lawmakers heard hours of testimony Thursday on a bill that would require background checks for commercial firearm sales.

Representative Katherine Rogers,the main sponsor on the bill, says it’s designed to fill perceived loopholes in New Hampshire gun regulations.

"The current system’s loophole is exploited by criminals," Rogers says, "who can avoid background checks by purchasing firearms from unlicensed private sellers, often at gun shows, or through anonymous online transactions."

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The New Hampshire Senate has voted on party lines to allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. With Republicans leaders and Governor Chris Sununu favoring the bill, it’s expected to become law.

Similar bills have cleared the GOP-controlled legislatures in the past but have been vetoed by Democratic governors. With Governor Sununu promising to sign this bill, Republicans are moving fast. Senate majority leader Jeb Bradley is the bill's lead sponsor.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is asking Congress to give states as much flexibility as possible to design their own health care systems as part of the federal effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Sununu is offering his thoughts in a letter to U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent Wednesday. Congress is soliciting governors' feedback on changes to health care. Sununu says a new system should avoid "onerous regulations" on states.

Health officials say New Hampshire has reported a high number of gonorrhea cases for last year, at 465.

The average in the past was about 130 cases per year, going back to 2007.

Dr. Benjamin Chan, state epidemiologist, said Thursday that New Hampshire historically has had one of the lowest rates of the sexually transmitted disease in the country. He said health officials are working to identify people who may have been exposed to gonorrhea to connect them with testing and treatment.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate has narrowly approved a bill to limit the power of unions to charge non-members for representation.

Related: Click here to see a New Hampshire Right-to-Work explainer 

 

The debate of right-to-work was a essentials a formality in the GOP-controlled senate, but lawmakers still took two hours to air long-familiar arguments about what the law would mean for NH.

 

flickr/barjack

  Police in Somersworth, New Hampshire, say an 11-year-old brought a loaded gun to school.

Police say there's no evidence the gun was used or was intended to be used in any threatening manner at Somersworth Middle School on Wednesday.

It's not clear where the student got the firearm from. No one was hurt.

The Somersworth Police Department's juvenile division was handling the investigation.

  Officials say an Arizona company that makes a spray version of an opioid painkiller for cancer patients has agreed to pay nearly $3 million after New Hampshire investigators determined the drug was being marketed to people who shouldn't be using it.

WMUR-TV reports Insys Therapeutics also agreed to properly market the drug, Subsys, and give $500,000 to combat the state's opioid crisis. Insys doesn't admit wrongdoing.

The spray version of fentanyl is absorbed under the tongue. It's more powerful than heroin.

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At a debate Wednesday night, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley made his case to lead the party at the national level.

Buckley is one of six candidates vying to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee who took part in the forum at George Washington University (you can watch the entire debate here).

Following a contentious primary process in last year’s election, Buckley pledged a series of reforms.

Sean Hurley/NHPR

Following the New Hampshire Presidential Primaries last February, NHPR’s Sean Hurley went to visit the bellwether town of Shelburne, where the voting numbers almost exactly matched those of the State as a whole.

With the inauguration upon us, Sean wanted to find out what the people of Shelburne were saying about our incoming president. 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu has nominated longtime state fire marshall Bill Degnan to another term.

Degnan has held the job since 2004 but his reappointment caused a feud in the state firefighting community.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Frank Edelblut is a staunch school choice advocate who homeschooled his seven children. Governor Sununu says Edeblut's experiences, which include no professional work in education, make him a good pick for education commissioner.

CREDIT MIKE ROSS, UNH

Officials with the University System of New Hampshire tell lawmakers they'll freeze in-state tuition for the next two years -- if they get more money in the next state budget.  

New Hampshire’s unemployment rate fell one-tenth to 2.6 percent in December, capping off a strong year for most sectors of the state’s economy.

The final jobs report of 2016 from New Hampshire Employment Security finds that nearly 16,000 more residents had jobs than at the start of the year, and that those jobs came in a variety of sectors.

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