News

Pixabay.com

Senior Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti  says New Hampshire should join the 35 or so states that require a license for contractors. 

Speaking on The Exchange, Boffetti said the state’s Consumer Protection Bureau spends an enormous amount of time chasing contractors  who take off with deposits -- without doing any work.   Most often, these involve smaller home improvement jobs -- the construction of a new deck, roofing, or painting. The elderly are particularly vulnerable. 

Allison Quantz for NHPR

The federal government released data today on the impacts of the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire.

The big picture is the uninsured rate in New Hampshire is down 43 percent since before the law went into effect. That means 63,000 people have gained coverage in the state through the Affordable Care Act.

About two-thirds of the newly insured bought coverage through Healthcare.gov, and the rest have signed up for the state's expanded Medicaid program, which provides insurance for low-income people.

SARATOGA ASSOCIATES

A 7-year old proposal for a wind farm in Antrim has finally received the green light from state regulators. The construction is expected to start next fall with the project up and running by 2018.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Cruise along just about any back road in New Hampshire and you’re likely to come across an old wooden barn. The state is home to more than 15,000 of them, each one an iconic reminder of New Hampshire’s agricultural roots.

But after decades of neglect, there’s no shortage of run-down eyesores out there, seemingly one good wind gust away from collapsing.

A former Episcopal priest who worked at several elite boarding schools has been charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy in 1973 in Boston.

The Boston Globe reports that Howard "Howdy" White pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court after being indicted on five counts of assault and battery. White, of Bedford, Pennsylvania, was freed on personal recognizance.

Prosecutors say White assaulted the boy during two overnight trips to Boston, when he worked at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island.

Kandy Jaxx / Flickr

The state’s unemployment rate remains the lowest in the nation, dipping to 2.7% in November.

New data from the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security show the state lost 380 jobs last month, but that was offset by a shrinking labor force.

Southern New Hampshire University has announced it will freeze tuition for the next academic year.

The freeze applies to SNHU’s online degree program as well as its on-campus undergraduate program.

The current sticker price for an undergraduate student living on campus at SNHU is currently around $44,000.

This marks the fifth year without a tuition increase at the private university.

Typical annual increases at other private universities have been around three percent in recent years.

U.S. Department of Agriculture; Flickr

It seems more Americans than ever have food allergies these days, especially kids. However,  a recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says questions persist about whether food allergies are really on the rise. For example, the report cites a lot of confusion about what's truly a potentially life-threatening "allergy," which is triggered by the immune system, and what might be an intolerance or a sensitivity, triggered by the digestive system, instead. Meanwhile, new advances in food allergy treatment include patches and oral therapy. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

  At least 369 people have fatally overdosed in New Hampshire this year, according to an update released Tuesday by the state medical examiner.

But the state says another 78 cases are still under review, so the actual number could be even higher. 

AP/FILE

 

The N.H. Supreme Court has denied Seth Mazzaglia's appeal for a new trial for the 2012 rape and murder of UNH student Lizzi Marriott.

The court unanimously upheld the lower court's decision to exclude evidence about the victim’s sexual past from trial, which was protected under the state’s Rape Shield Law.

Jonathan Taylor via Flickr CC

New Hampshire’s members of the Electoral College are requesting an intelligence briefing on Russia’s alleged involvement in the U.S. presidential election.

In a letter to James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, the electors say they should be provided more details on the scope of investigations into Russian government interference in support of Donald Trump before their scheduled vote on December 19th.  

FLICKR/CC Waltarr

UPDATED & REVISED DECEMBER 16. 

 

On Monday, December 19, barring any extraordinary developments, electors will meet in each state and officially cast their votes for the President and Vice President.  

Authorities have identified a father and son in a deadly shooting in Dover on Saturday.

According to the state Attorney General’s office, 55 year-old Brenton Davis was killed by his 76 year-old father John Davis after the two exchanged gunfire on Saturday morning in their Dover home.

Authorities say it appears Brenton Davis shot his father several times before John Davis returned fire.

The father was hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

Authorities say Brenton Davis had a history of mental illness.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

City councilors in Lebanon passed a controversial ordinance last week that bans camping and overnight parking on city-owned property.

Those found to be in violation could face a fine of $100.

A bipartisan bill designed to improve cross-border travel between Canada and the U.S. has passed Congress and is headed to the president's desk.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

  Republican Senate President Chuck Morse has named committee chairs for the upcoming session.

Committees help shape policy and revise bills as they work through the legislative process. The Finance Committee and the Ways and Means Committee will have particular power in the upcoming year as lawmakers craft the next state budget.

Hikers on Franconia Ridge
Jeff Pang / Flickr

  Five New Hampshire state parks are offering free admission for hikers on New Year's Day.

Guided hikes will be available at all five parks on Jan. 1. All 50 states open some parks for free as part of the America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative.

The five open parks are Monadnock State Park in Jaffrey, Silver Lake State Park in Hollis, Weeks State Park in Lancaster, Wellington State Park in Alexandria, and Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion State Historic Site in Portsmouth. The guided hikes will range from 1 to 3.2 miles.

Allegra Boverman

  Republican Gov.-elect Chris Sununu will have considerable power to shape the direction of public education with four key appointments during his first months in office.

Sununu takes office in January as New Hampshire's first Republican governor in a dozen years. He'll immediately have three appointments to the seven-member State Board of Education, which approves education standards and charter school applications. He'll also choose a commissioner of education in March when Commissioner Virginia Barry's term ends.

Vaping360.com

A report from the U.S. Surgeon General is prompting health officials in New Hampshire to warn the public of the dangers of youth using e-cigarettes, also known as vaping.

The U.S. Surgeon General describes e-cigarette use as a major public health concern for youth and young adults. Over five years, e-cig use jumped 900 percent among high school students nationally, surpassing cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A new peer recovery center for addiction has opened its doors in Manchester. In the past week, the nonprofit Hope for New Hampshire Recovery has seen roughly 230 people a day. 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that the town of Durham can tax parking spaces rented for profit by a religious institution.

At issue were 24 parking spots that the St. George’s Episcopal Church in Durham rents to UNH students for 300 dollars a semester.

Churches are generally tax-exempt, but New Hampshire’s highest court ruled the parking spaces are taxable because they were rented to students for “their own private and secular purpose.”

You made it to the weekend! (Almost, at least.) Congratulations. And some good news: We only have three more Fridays left in 2016. In the meantime, catch up on some of the most interesting stories unfolding all across New Hampshire as the year starts to wind down. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletters to get these and other headlines delivered straight to your inbox each week.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Exeter, N.H. author Brendan DuBois has just published his tenth mystery novel featuring the magazine writer and former Department of Defense analyst Lewis Cole. It’s called Storm Cell

Via marinalife.com

  The state’s highest court has affirmed the public’s access to a beach in Rye across land owned by the Wentworth by the Sea Country Club, but the court overturned a court order that would have forced the club’s owner owner, Bill Binnie, to pay the plaintiffs legal fees.

The decision is the final turn in a legal fight that started in 2012, when Wentworth by the sea owner Bill Binnie used boulders bushes and a fence to blocked public access to Little Harbor Beach via Sanders Poynt.

Malmark Handbells

If you need a break from baking, wrapping and card-writing, you can immerse yourself in one of the many seasonal performances on offer this weekend.

Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln is presenting The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Musical, on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.  An adaptation of the children’s book by Barbara Robinson, this “bad kids crash local Christmas pageant and chaos ensues” is high energy and madcap.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The developer who wants to build a 35 room hotel along Mount Washington's Cog Railway made his initial pitch to the Coos Planning Board in Lancaster Thursday night.

Developer Wayne Presby said the hotel would be built at 5,000 feet on a 99 foot wide strip of private land on which the Cog runs, and no public money would be used. He said the hotel would be good for tourism, but he didn't have any drawings to present to the board. 

"You know we're kicking around ideas ourselves, we don't even know, you know, what the design of the building would look like," Presby said.

Flickr

 

Two women are suing a groom and the event company that ran his wedding reception after they allege he flew a drone that hit them in the head at the New Hampshire event.

Kneena Ellis, of Seabrook, and Kelly Eaton of Peabody, Massachusetts, claim in their Dec. 1 suit that they suffered permanent physical and emotional injury as a result of the Aug. 8 incident.

The suit says Barry Billcliff had flown the drone to take pictures at his wedding reception at Searles Castle in Windham.

NHPR

As we hunker down for the winter weather, we’re frequently too preoccupied with what is in our front yards that we tend not to notice what isn’t there. The snow and ice have muscled out the grass, and the chilly sounds of the north wind have blown away the dawn chorus that woke us this summer. And short of finding a postcard in your mailbox from a warm exotic location, signed by your friendly neighborhood phoebe, you probably haven’t thought much about the birds that flitted through your yard just months ago.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says the appointment of President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency would "signal a capitulation to polluters."

Trump, a Republican, plans to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to the post. Pruitt has been a vocal denier of the science showing that the planet is warming and that man-made carbon emissions are to blame.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

Wednesday was Organization Day for the New Hampshire Legislature, when all 400 members of the House of Representatives gather for the first time since being elected. Reporter Hannah McCarthy spoke to three brand-new reps about their decision to run.

Pages