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UPDATE: The State of Vermont Board of Libraries voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to reject the proposal to rename Mount Ascutney to Kaskadenak.

(A previous story continues below here ...) 

  A Vermont man wants Mount Ascutney—which looms over the Connecticut River valley west of Claremont and Cornish in New Hampshire—renamed Kaskadenak.

Rob Hutchins, of Hartland, Vt., says the name Ascutney is made up and the original name of the summit was Kaskadenak, which means "wide mountain" in the Abenaki language.

A flash flood watch was issued for southern New Hampshire, with heavy rain in the forecast.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstrom warning for much of Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, and Rockingham counties until 7 p.m.

The National Weather Service says there's a flash flood watch in effect from Tuesday afternoon through the evening for the area of York, Maine, and in much of southeastern New Hampshire.

 

New Hampshire officials say a hiker who went missing in the far northern part of the state has been found unharmed after ending up in a drainage system.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says 37-year-old Michael Perkins of Abington, Massachusetts, had last been seen on Saturday around 5:30 p.m. on Jewell Trail in Thompson and Meserves Purchase, a Coos County township.

CDC.gov

 

U.S. regulators Friday approved the first treatment for smallpox — a deadly disease that was wiped out four decades ago — in case the virus is used in a terror attack.

Smallpox, which is highly contagious, was eradicated worldwide by 1980 after a huge vaccination campaign.

But people born since then haven't been vaccinated, and small samples of the smallpox virus were saved for research purposes, leaving the possibility it could be used as a biological weapon.

File photo / Flickr CC Andre Gustavo-Stumpf

 

New Hampshire's Department of Corrections praised its K-9 unit for seizing drugs in prisons and at the homes of parolees.

According to statistics released Friday, the K-9 unit handled 93 calls since January and seized a range of drugs including suboxone hidden in mouths and clothes and synthetic marijuana. Suboxone is intended to treat heroin addiction, but some abuse the drug to get high.

The team also confiscated phones, a homemade machete, a homemade knife, and a tattoo motor.

NHPR Photo

Investigators have identified a man found dead off the side of a road in Rindge.

They say the death of 20-year-old Brandon Chicklis, of Westminster, Massachusetts, is a homicide. The cause of death is being withheld pending further investigation.

The body was found off of Route 119 on Tuesday afternoon by a jogger. Chicklis was 20 to 40 feet from the roadside.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

 

A man previously indicted for allegedly running a fentanyl trafficking ring in Massachusetts is being charged with a drug user's death.

 

Prosecutors say on Friday that 28-year-old Sergio Martinez is facing charges in Concord, New Hampshire that include aiding and abetting a distribution of fentanyl that resulted in a death and money laundering.

 

According to documents filed in federal court on Wednesday, Martinez allegedly distributed fentanyl to someone identified as K.B., which resulted in his death.

AFP/Getty Images

 

An FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages fueled suspicions of partisan bias said at a fiery and occasionally chaotic hearing in Congress on Thursday that his work has never been tainted by politics, angrily rejecting Republican allegations that he set out to stop Donald Trump from becoming president.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is traveling to Brussels to participate in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit as a co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group.

Shaheen, a Democrat, co-chair Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, of North Carolina, were traveling Wednesday.

The group informs senators outside of national security committees about defense spending commitments of Alliance members; the process of upgrading military capabilities; the Alliance's counter-terrorism capability; and the ability of NATO member states to address non-conventional warfare.

Eversource

 

A thunderstorm has knocked down trees and damaged some homes in parts of Maine and New Hampshire.

Tuesday night's storm brought wind gusts up to 60 mph and hail. Trees and power lines were brought down.

Nearly 4,000 customers in Maine were without power at one point, most of them in Portland.

In New Hampshire, damage such as trees falling on houses and overturned boats was reported in Northwood, Andover, and other towns.

 

The Santa's Village theme park in Jefferson, N.H., says there was a small fire in its Polar Theater, but damage was minimal and the park is open for business.

The theme park in Jefferson posted news of the fire on Facebook. The Tuesday night fire happened upstairs in the theater and was quickly contained by the local fire department. The cause wasn't immediately known.

The park said the theater building will be closed while it works on cleaning up from the smoke and water. The rest of the park is open.

NHPR File Photo

 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is coming to New Hampshire to speak about the opioid and fentanyl crisis.

Sessions will deliver his remarks Thursday afternoon at the federal building in Concord.

Courtesy photo

A former high school guidance counselor in New Hampshire has been sentenced to over two years in prison as part of an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to sexual assault charges involving a student.

Kristie Torbick, of Lee, had worked at Exeter High School. Education officials said the assaults happened in late 2016 and early 2017.

Other charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

The 39-year-old Torbick surrendered her education credentials. She also will need to register as a sex offender after serving her sentence.

Via Youtube (Link to video in the story)

An invasive earthworm may be on the move in New Hampshire.

The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension is hosting a public seminar later this month about a fast, hungry species called the "jumping worm" that was recently introduced to North America from eastern Asia.

Watch a video the worms here.

The First Baptist Church in Lebanon was destroyed by a fire set by Anthony Boisvert in 2016.Credit TWITTER/RINTZEZELLEEdit | Remove

A man has been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for setting fire to a New Hampshire church and stabbing two people who talked to police about him.

Anthony Boisvert apologized to the First Baptist Church in court on Monday. The 29-year-old Boisvert, of Lebanon, pleaded guilty to multiple charges.

New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services wants to improve its child welfare system by integrating mental health, substance abuse, and preventive services to better support youth and families.

Marine Patrol

 

New Hampshire authorities are investigating the death of a man found in the Contoocook River in Concord.

They say the unresponsive man was found and recovered in shallow water on Sunday afternoon. An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday.

The Marine Patrol says the middle-age man was wearing a pair of red and black swim trunks with a gray, sleeveless T-shirt and had tattoos on both biceps and was wearing a red bracelet.

 

NHPR Photo

 

The New Hampshire attorney general's office and local police are investigating a suspicious death at a home in Nashua.

Police responded to a 911 call at the residence around midnight and found a deceased man. He's been identified as 49-year-old David Smith of Nashua.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

The attorney general's office and police said Sunday that at this time they do not believe that there is any threat of harm to the public.

 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

 

A New Hampshire museum is looking to collect Northern Pass-related hats, T-shirts, videos, and other items to educate future generations about grassroots opposition to the energy project.

The Caledonian Record reports the Sugar Hill Historical Museum wants the items for its "Northern Pass Opposition Archives." Project opponent Susan Schibanoff, of Easton, thought of the archives as she researched Easton's 1970s battle against the ultimately defeated proposal for a four-lane highway through Franconia Notch and said she found little on it.

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The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says two sets of hikers had to be rescued from the White Mountains because they were unprepared for the terrain and cold, windy conditions.

A 77-year-old Florida man and 71-year-old woman from New York were found at 11:20 Friday night off the Tuckerman Ravine trail after requesting a rescue. Both had hypothermia.

Volunteers worked overnight carrying them to the Mount Washington Auto Road where they were driven down. The woman was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

NHCF.org

 

New Hampshire and Vermont organizations are getting $1.5 million in grants to support efforts in the North Country.

The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has awarded 28 grants focusing on such projects as afterschool programs, a dental clinic upgrade, and more in-depth news coverage.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 

A former New Hampshire judge who admitted he wrote fake evaluations of himself and attempted to defraud the state retirement system has been disbarred.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that Paul Moore no longer practice law in the state.

Moore was a Nashua district judge. Prosecutors began investigating him after he was accused of submitting false performance evaluations. Moore didn't dispute that and resigned in April.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Gov. Chris Sununu has signed a bill into law to give women a full-year supply of birth control pills with a single prescription.

The bill lifts a three-month cap for contraceptive prescriptions, raising it to 12 months.

NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will implement a protected zone off the coast of Massachusetts until the middle of the month to try to help endangered North Atlantic right whales.

The protected area is located south of Nantucket and is designed to protect right whales. The whales are among the most endangered marine mammals, and they have suffered from high mortality and low reproduction in recent years.

There are as few as 360 right whales remaining.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Tuesday expanded the circumstances under which someone over age 18 can be adopted while still maintaining a legal relationship with a biological parent.

The case involved an unmarried man seeking to adopt a woman. A lower court ruled against him, saying it would only approve the adoption if the woman terminated her legal relationship with her mother and the man adopted her "as a single parent who will be the only parent after adoption."

New Hampshire officials say visitor safety is a concern at Franconia Notch State Park as more people park illegally along the shoulder of Interstate 93.

Officials say in particular, visitors have been parking outside of the designated parking lots at the Falling Waters/Old Bridle Path Trailheads and Lafayette Place at the park.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

A New Hampshire joint legislative task force has been formed to review potential legislation dealing with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax.

Its creation comes in preparation for a possible special session of the state Legislature to pass a bill protecting the state's tax advantage.

The bill would require any jurisdiction seeking to collect sales taxes in New Hampshire to get approval from the state's department of justice, and would authorize the attorney general to file expedited lawsuits against scofflaws.

DES

 

New Hampshire's Department of Environmental Services is expecting air pollution concentrations to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive individuals in most of the state.

The conditions are forecast for Monday. Air quality conditions are expected to continue through an expected heat wave, through July 6.

Sensitive individuals include children and older adults; anyone with lung disease such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis; and people who are active outdoors.

National Park Service

 

New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department says three endangered piping plover nests have hatched along the seacoast, and another is expected to hatch soon.

The plovers' breeding habitat in sandy coastal beaches and dunes is fenced with yellow roping.

Biologist Brendan Clifford said the goal is to protect the rare birds during their breeding season and manage the beaches as they become more crowded during the summer. The chicks are very small and hard to see.

NHPR File Photo

 

New England may still be the next U.S. frontier for legal cannabis; just don't try shopping for it quite yet.

After early successes for the cannabis industry in western states, the region seemed the next logical foothold. But while its famous independent streak, liberal politics and ample supply of college activism all made for fertile ground, the legalization movement has often collided with old-fashioned Yankee sensibilities — particularly in towns weary of the stigma around pot.

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