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In New Hampshire, there’s about a 5-year gap between the life expectancy for adult women at the top of the income bracket and those at the bottom. For men in the same age group, the gap’s more than nine years wide.

That's according to new data released by The Health Inequality Project, which takes a sweeping look at the relationship between income and mortality across the country.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As part of our coverage of the 2016 elections, NHPR is broadcasting a series of conversations with candidates about the issues of the day.

All Things Considered host Peter Biello spoke with U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte on Friday. Ayotte, a Republican, is facing a challenge from Democrat and N.H. Governor Maggie Hassan in a race that's drawing national attention.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

An 80-year-old New Hampshire legislator with a lung problem has been told not to bring his portable oxygen concentrator with him to the Statehouse.

The Valley News reports Rep. Ernie Bridge, a Republican from Unity, says he's required to be on a concentrator 24 hours a day after suffering a small "leak" in his lung in January.

Bridge says the House's sergeant-at-arms told him that the tank couldn't accompany him to his assigned seat because it could block the emergency route for other legislators.

Twitter/Rockingham County Democrats

"On the Political Front" is our weekly check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.

Let’s start in the 1st Congressional District, where’s there’s a nasty fight in the Democratic primary. Shawn O’Connor is leveling some serious accusations against former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. Things seem to be pretty ugly.

Flickr/Håkan Dahlström

With concern growing about the chemical known as PFOA contaminating drinking water systems in southern New Hampshire, residents are now looking for ways to test their own water.

State environmental officials are testing private wells near the Saint-Gobain plastics plant in Merrimack, but many outside that one-mile radius want to know if their water is safe to drink.

It turns out, however, there are no labs here in New Hampshire that test for the chemical, which some studies have linked to certain types of cancer.

Wikimedia Commons

 

Phillips Exeter Academy officials say they are hiring a law firm to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct on campus, including several new reports received recently.

School officials at the elite prep school sent an email to parents and alumni Saturday informing them of recent developments. The letter was also posted on the school's Facebook page.

The school is not identifying the law firm.

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

 

The University of New Hampshire has received more than 20,000 first-year applications to attend the school this year, an increase of nearly 1,000 from last year and a new record.

Vice President Victoria Dutcher says possible reasons include visibility from hosting a nationally televised presidential primary debate in February, Gallup surveys showing higher employment rates for alumni and the success of its nationally ranked football team.

The university plans to enroll about 3,000 freshmen in the fall.

Steven Depolo/Flickr

Distribution of bottled water continues Monday for residents of Merrimack and Litchfield whose wells may be contaminated with the chemical known as PFOA.

The state is offering a month’s worth of water to all 400 homeowners within a one-mile radius of the Saint-Gobain Plastics Plants in Merrimack.

State environmental officials say the plant is the likely source of high levels of PFOA that’s been found in nearby wells.

Distribution of water began Sunday, and continues Monday at the Litchfield Transfer Station between noon and 7 p.m.

A decision on whether to replace a dilapidated bridge in the Pemi Wilderness Area of the White Mountain National Forest won’t come until early next year. That's longer than expected because the agency is using an unusual procedure to allow additional public comment on the controversial issue, according to the forest service.

The structure is the Thoreau Falls Bridge, which crosses the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River. It is a six-mile hike from the Lincoln Woods Ranger station just off the Kancamagus Highway.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

In the wake of the killings in Brussels, Paris, the Mideast, and San Bernardino, more people in New Hampshire want to learn how to respond to an active shooter — in the critical minutes before police and medics arrive.

Active shooter trainings in workplaces, schools and for state employees are increasingly offered throughout the state.

And in Nashua, police are holding free training sessions to teach civilians what they can do.

Sean Sylvain of Nashua says he never lets his guard down.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has repeatedly said she lacked specific information about why longtime Phillips Exeter teacher Rick Schubart abruptly retired in 2011, and that she never discussed it with her husband, Tom Hassan, who was the school's principal at the time. 

The governor has also said she sensed something was wrong when Schubart suddenly moved off campus.

Earlier this week, Hassan said those suspicious should have been enough to prompt her to remove Schubart from a steering committee during her first run for governor.

Cheezburger.com, via GIPHY

Just catching up on this week's headlines? Here's what you might've missed.

  Above the Fold: Water worries have plenty of people on edge.

Ceyhun (Jay) Isik / https://flic.kr/p/cG7qFL

In recent weeks, confusion and unease have increased in several New Hampshire towns where contamination with the chemical PFOA has been detected in private wells.

Though the EPA has yet to determine a safe level of PFOA in drinking water, Sarah Pillsbury, the administrator for public drinking water with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, is hoping that's about to change. 

We tagged along with Diane DeLuca, a biologist with NH Audubon on her rounds of the Deering Wildlife Sanctuary. DeLuca has been working on their Phenological Monitoring Pilot Project, and defines phenology as "the study of 'phenophases', which are the different phases that plants and animals go through in their life cycle each year." 

New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

New technology is giving history buffs an easier way to tour the Granite State's past.

The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources this week launched a new, mobile-phone friendly map for its historical highway marker program.

Elizabeth Muzzey, director of the Division of Historical Resources, joined NHPR's Morning Edition to talk about how it works.

NHPR Staff

 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court says a guidance counselor who helped a 15-year-old girl get judicial approval for an abortion without telling her parents shouldn't have lost her job.

Under state law, girls under 18 must notify their parents before getting abortions or get a judge's OK. The guidance counselor in question told the girl about the second option and got a restraining order to stop the principal from telling the girl's mother about the pregnancy.

AP

Senate lawmakers are currently weighing a bill that would change the state’s forfeiture laws.

Currently in New Hampshire, 45 percent of the money and assets seized in a drug bust are given directly to local law enforcement agencies to help fight future drug crimes.

But some lawmakers want this money to be put into the general fund saying that giving police officers who collect this money the authority to then go out and spend it, creates a conflict of interest.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

This week, Alexandria Knox got to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with one of her biggest heroes.

"Speaker Jasper," she said, "he is my inspiration."

That's Shawn Jasper, the Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. 

Courtesy VA Hospital

New reports from the Veterans Administration Office of Inspector General have revealed evidence of wait time record manipulation at the VA hospitals in Manchester, New Hampshire and White River Junction, Vermont.  Multiple sources involved in scheduling veterans for appointments reported fudging numbers by offering veterans the first available appointment, rather than allowing the veteran to determine how soon they need to be seen.

Jim Cole/AP

One day after requesting a new trial, a St. Paul's School graduate convicted of having sex with a minor is now asking to be let out of jail.

Owen Labrie has asked the New Hampshire Supreme Court to restore his bail after it was revoked last month for breaking his court-ordered curfew multiple times.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan is at odds with the two executive councilors from her own party over her nominee to lead the state's banking department.

The Executive Council voted 3-2 to confirm Jerry Little, a Republican state senator, to serve as the next commissioner. Democratic councilors Colin Van Ostern and Chris Pappas voted against his nomination Wednesday, citing his previous work heading the New Hampshire Bankers Association, which includes the industry's lobbying arm.

Flickr | frankieleon

 

The New Hampshire Board of Medicine has established new standards for physicians when prescribing opioids to patients in the state.

WMUR-TV reports Governor Maggie Hassan tasked board members with drafting new rules for opioid prescriptions in November as a response to the state's severe heroin epidemic.

Under the new guidelines, doctors are now only permitted to prescribe opioids that are the equivalent of 100 milligrams of morphine daily.

Ben McCleod via Flickr CC

 

New Hampshire's Executive Council has approved a plan to expand a ski resort on Mount Sunapee.

The vote was 3-1, with Colin Van Ostern, a Democrat, voting against the proposal Wednesday. Fellow council member Chris Sununu, a Republican, recused himself because he's CEO of another ski resort. Both are running for governor.

The ski mountain leases part of its land from the state, and the Department of Resources and Economic Development supports the expansion plan.

AP Photo/Kathleen Ronayne

The recent death of a homeless man in a New Hampshire jail has brought renewed attention to the practice of jailing people for minor crimes when they can’t afford bail.

Twenty-six year old Jeffrey Pendleton was found dead in his cell at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections in Manchester last month.

Ceyhun (Jay) Isik / https://flic.kr/p/cG7qFL

State environmental officials continue to investigate to what extent drinking water systems in southern New Hampshire have been contaminated with the chemical known as PFOA.

More water sample results are expected soon, as the state now says Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in Merrimack is likely the source of that contamination.

The community that’s been most affected is the town of Litchfield, across the Merrimack River from the plant.

Elizabeth Frantz/The Concord Monitor

A St. Paul’s School graduate convicted of sexually assaulting a minor and using a computer to lure her is requesting a new trial.

Owen Labrie’s current lawyer says his previous attorneys failed to take serious the computer charge, which carried the strictest sentence and required him to register as a lifetime sex offender. 

NHPR Staff

The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on whether a lawsuit over the state’s handling of child abuse and neglect cases should be open to the public.

The details of these types of lawsuits are almost always sealed by court order.

But attorneys for an adoptive family of two young victims of sexual abuse told the court that the case should be heard in open court.

All Things Considered host Peter Biello spoke with NHPR digital reporter Brian Wallstin, who has reported on this case and attended the hearing at the Supreme Court.

Rafa Bahiense

A group of New England Patriots fans have sued the NFL in an effort to recover the first-round draft pick that was taken from the team as punishment for the "Deflategate" scandal.

The suit filed Tuesday in federal court in Boston says the NFL made an "arbitrary and capricious" decision to revoke the draft pick even though there is no proof that the team deliberately deflated footballs. 

Sara Plourde/NHPR

Lawmakers continue to debate whether to do away with a controversial 25-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics in New Hampshire.  Last week a U.S. District Court judge denied a request challenging the law.

SHARON MATTHESON-MCCUTCHEON / FLICKR

Senate lawmakers are considering a bill to ban conversion therapy for minors.  The controversial practice aims to convert people from being gay.

At a public hearing Tuesday, Sen. David Pierce of Lebanon told the Senate Health and Human Services Committee he strongly supports the ban - for personal reasons.

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