News

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

While in the Manchester school district, hundreds of parents are pulling their children out of the state’s new standardized test, the Smarter Balanced, four districts are trying something new. The Rochester, Sanborn, and Epping school districts along with Souhegan high school have recently received permission to design and implement their own assessments.

Think back to the standardized tests you did when you were in high school. Did you ever get a math question like this?

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A $11.2 billion budget was signed off on Wednesday by the New Hampshire House.

Although the plan is a modest increase from the last biennial, it cuts hundreds of millions from what the Governor proposed.

The reductions include $6 million less for substance abuse treatment programs as well as $53 million less for developmental disabilities.

Denise Colby of Belmont says these cuts would force her to quit her job to care for her six-year-old autistic son.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The House version of the $11.2 billion budget passed along party lines with reductions to the Governor's proposed funding for social services still left on the books. 

Advocates for the developmental disabled filled the capitol, but those in favor of more funding for substance abuse treatment drew out the largest crowd.

Three-hundred – that is the number of lives that were lost in New Hampshire last year from drug-related deaths, and that is the same number of people who came to the State House on Wednesday to advocate for more funding.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire house has passed an $11.2 billion state budget.

The proposal includes no tax and fee increases and lifts state spending by about $400 million, some $300 million dollars less than the plan proposed by Governor Maggie Hassan.

“This was an effort to look under every cushion of the sofa to look for loose change.”

Wikimedia Commons

A labor dispute between the Las Vegas airline Allegiant Air and its pilots could affect passengers flying out of Portsmouth Airport.

Allegiant Air is the only commercial airline serving Portsmouth International. Airport manager Bill Hopper says airline let him know that its pilots’ union, Teamsters International, is planning to strike at 3am Thursday morning.

For now, Hopper says, the airport is planning business as usual “and we’ll see how things are in the morning.”

US Fish and Wildlife Service

A New Hampshire bat species is now on the threatened list under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The Northern Long-Eared Bat is one of several species that has been devastated by the invasive fungus, white-nose syndrome.

Keene Police Department

Keene police have arrested a man they say fired a gun during a domestic dispute Wednesday morning, prompting a lockdown at nearby Keene State College and Wheelock School.

Tyler Day, 22, is facing five felony charges, including reckless conduct and criminal threatening, as well as three misdemeanors. He is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon at Keene district court.

Police say they responded to the area of Proctor Court around 9:30 Wednesday morning for a report of a domestic disturbance.

Rebecca Lavoie, NHPR

NHPR's Morning Edition is checking in occasionally with New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation.

Tuesday morning, host Rick Ganley spoke with with Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

UPDATE: Sen. Shaheen will hold a town hall meeting Thursday night in Colebrook at 5:30 at the Tillotson Center for the Arts.

The Senate recently passed its budget, but you’ve raised some concerns with the plan. How confident are you that House and Senate lawmakers can now come together and agree on a budget?

Sean Hurley, NHPR

With House lawmakers set to vote on proposed two-year state budget Tuesday, one program that’s facing a potentially significant cut is the Meals on Wheels program.

The House Finance Committee is recommending a $10.6 million cut in general non-Medicaid appropriations, a 50 percent reduction to the fund that helps pay for Meals on Wheels.

Roberta Berner is director of the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council.

She joined Morning Edition to talk about how the proposed cuts could affect the people her program serves.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

  

Martin O’Malley returned to New Hampshire this week, but the former Maryland Governor did a little more than campaign for the White House during his visit.

At a meet-and-greet in Nashua, O’Malley played to the crowd, quite literally, sing and strumming the guitar to “This Land Is Your Land” for dozens of young Democrats.

The ex-mayor of Baltimore also riled up the crowd during his speech – calling for a stronger middle class economy based on higher wages and equal pay.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is planning a two-day swing through the early-voting state of New Hampshire next month.

The potential Republican presidential contender will be making the trip on April 14-15.

A spokeswoman for his political action committee says Christie is planning to meet with community leaders while he's in town. She says they'll discuss important issues facing the country, including entitlement reform.

Christie is then set to return to the state for the New Hampshire Republican Party's "First-in-the-Nation Leadership Summit" on April 17.

New Hampshire Electric Cooperative and Liberty Utilities say customers will see their bills decrease, effective May 1.

The change is the result of a decrease in the power rate.

For co-op customers, it comes out to about $23.67 less per month for a residential member using 500 kilowatts per month. For a customer using 1,000 kilowatts per month, it's about $47.33.

At Liberty, the reduction will mean a $46 decrease per month for an average residential customer.

Werner via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/L36Ox

It’s time to talk about cats.

Yes, it’s hard to believe that in the internet era, where Grumpy Cat and Keyboard Cat have become celebrities, and seemingly every third item we see on Facebook is a cat video, that we’d need to spend more time on felines.

PSB

A three-part documentary series premieres Tuesday on PBS explores groundbreaking fetal surgery being done at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Twice Born: Stories From the Special Delivery Unit” follows four families as they go through in utero surgery to save the lives of their children.

The second and third installments air April 7 and April 14.

www.youtube.com

 

The Lebanon Municipal Airport has missed out on getting $750,000 for improvements, after the city failed to have a plan in place.

The Valley News reports the airport receives $1 million each year from the federal Essential Air Service Program when at least 10,000 people depart from it. The $750,000 is what's left of Lebanon's 2012 allocation.

If the airport doesn't spend that money within three years, it's dispersed to other airports in the region.

CHESBAYPROGRAM VIA FLICKR

 

As he continues to explore a presidential bid, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is heading back to the early voting state of New Hampshire for the second time this month.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Governor Hassan paid a visit to the fourth graders in Hampton Falls who proposed a bill naming the Red Tailed Hawk the state’s official raptor.

The raptor bill failed a couple weeks ago after a debate in the House in which one representative invoked abortion and others called the bill frivolous.  

Now, Sen. Jeff Woodburn says he'll attach the raptor language to a bill naming the bobcat the state's official wildcat to "right a serious wrong."

On Tuesday in the Lincoln Akerman school library, Governor Hassan addressed the fourth graders.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said Monday that despite recent negotiation setbacks, she has no regrets in joining 46 other Republican Senators earlier this month in signing a letter addressed to Iran.

The letter warned Iranian leaders that any nuclear deal signed with President Obama would not last past his second term if Congress was not allowed to weigh in.

The Senators have received flak from colleagues across the aisle, arguing that the letter only stalled negotiations further putting the country at risk.

As Waters Warm, Smelt Getting Scarce In Great Bay

Mar 30, 2015
Dave Kellam

As fishermen in Stratham use chainsaws to remove their smelt fishing shacks from the frozen Squamscott River, Chris Babineau, of Raymond, takes a break to reflect on the season. “We’ve had the ice, but we haven’t caught any smelts, I can tell you that,” he says, “In the last three years you’d be lucky to get one smelt.”   

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers speaks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about the state budget going before the House this week.

The state budget, the version crafted by House budget writers, heads for a floor vote this week. House Speaker Shawn Jasper has indicated he’s ready to lock lawmakers in to get the job done. Is it going to come to that?

www.whiteriver.va.gov

The number of female veterans receiving care at VA facilities has doubled in the past decade.

That figure is expected to grow, with close to 200,000 women having served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That growth means the need to offer specialized care for female veterans is more pressing than ever.

Carey Russ was recently named manager of the Women Veterans Program at the White River Junction VA Medical Center.

She joined Morning Edition to talk about her new role.

NYC Department of Technology / Flicker CC

The parents of more than 500 students in Manchester have refused to let their children take the new Smarter Balanced test.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the district had received 531 parent refusal notices as of Thursday.

The school board voted earlier this month to send letters home to parents letting them know they could pull their children from the test, which is being given for the first time this spring.

Google Earth images

Investigators with the Attorney General's office say three people killed in Bedford over the weekend were likely victims of a murder-suicide. 

Assistant Attorney General Jay McCormack says police responded to a 911 call from Alexey Obukhov.  He reported the death of 34  year old  Nina Obukhov.

Bedford Police later discovered two other victims: the Obukhovs' children Katherine and Elizabeth, ages 8 and 6.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Soon Granite Staters may be able to buy refillable beer growlers not only at breweries, but at restaurants and retailers. 

A bill that succeeded in the House heads to the Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday.

The growler license would cost $240 and is limited to liquor licenses that sell at least 200 beer labels. Prime sponsor, Representative Kermit Williams says "we’re hoping is if a restaurant wants to do this they would become more of a craft beer specialist."

Sara Plourde

  On Tuesday the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill repealing a law that would create a 25 foot buffer zone around facilities where abortions are performed.

The bill follows a Supreme Court decision striking down similar law in Massachusetts.

The New Hampshire law never went into effect after it was challenged in Federal court.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Kathleen Souza, is an anti-abortion demonstrator. She says she would have introduced the bill even absent a Supreme Court decision.

Tuesday, March 31

>>>Foghorn String Band at Acoustic Artisans ~ Portland, ME ~ 7pm ~ www.acousticartisans.com

Friday, April 3

>>>Red Molly at the Peterborough Players Theater ~ Peterborough, NH ~ 8pm ~ 603-827-2905, www.pfmsconcerts.org

Wednesday, April 8

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New England's epic winter is on pace to produce a corresponding number of insurance claims.

Thousands of homeowners are filing claims as they begin to repair the damage brought by a record winter. Successive storms dumped a record 110 inches of snow in Boston alone.

Local insurance agents and public adjusters — firms that help homeowners navigate the claim process — say they've been swamped with inquiries and are urging homeowners to be patient.

 A new report once again ranks Rockingham County as New Hampshire's healthiest, while Coos County remains at the bottom of the list.

The sixth annual report released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute rates counties nationwide in two categories — health outcomes and health factors.

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

Lawyers who reviewed how New Hampshire's public universities and colleges handle sexual harassment and other misconduct say the schools must address specific gaps in policies and practices while also making broader efforts to create a safe campus culture.

University System of New Hampshire officials asked attorneys at a Manchester law firm to review their procedures in general and their handling of four incidents in particular — three involving misconduct by coaches at Keene State College and one involving a University of New Hampshire basketball coach.

WOW stands for Winnipesaukee Opechee Winnisquam, but the rail trail that winds across Laconia might just as well be named for the exclamation of its patrons as they marvel over the views on offer. Plans in the works will have the trail’s running nine miles, connecting Meredith with Franklin.

Though unfinished, Laconia police chief Chris Adams sees the trail as a positive addition to the city. “One of the things I love doing when I’m driving around is looking down the trail head to see families and couples and children riding bikes or walking.”

 

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