Associated Press

A federal appeals court has upheld a 2014 New Hampshire law that puts limits on how long third parties have to collect the necessary signatures to petition their way onto a general election ballot.

The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire urged a three-judge panel in Boston to strike down the law, saying it could prevent third-party candidates from getting on the ballot. The panel agreed Friday with a judge who found the law creates reasonable restrictions justified by the state's interest in requiring parties to demonstrate a sufficient level of support.

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Nineteen former faculty members of the psychiatry department at Dartmouth College's Geisel School of Medicine have sued, saying Dartmouth violated their employment contracts and policy that entitled them to severance payments when it laid them off.

The Valley News reports a college spokeswoman said officials had no comment.

The dispute is the latest to arise following Dartmouth's moves to erase an estimated annual deficit approaching $30 million at Geisel.

 

 Several hiker-generated petitions have started in opposition to plans to build a hotel near the summit of Mount Washington, the Northeast's highest peak.

An online petition started by New Hampshire hiker Rachel Lewis has more than 2,700 signatures. Another asks hikers to contact the Coos County Planning Board to share their concerns.

The owners of the cog railway that runs up the mountain want to build the hotel.

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U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says new cellular voice and data service in New Hampshire's North Country will significantly boost economic development, tourism and public safety in the region.

Shaheen is announcing the expansion of 4G LTE service at a news conference Friday in Northumberland. The new service was built and operated by Wireless Partners LLC and will carry Verizon services.

Shaheen, who played a key role in developing the partnership, will be joined at the news conference by several state and local officials.

via Portsmouthwastewater.com

A group of residents in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, have sued the city, state, and federal government, saying an upgraded wastewater treatment plant under construction lacks the capacity to handle sewer needs.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the group filed the suit in federal court in Concord on Wednesday under provisions of the Clean Water Act. It also believes the Peirce Island plant is using the wrong technology because the city wanted to build it there, rather than at Pease International Tradeport.

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 A Florida-based circus operator has agreed to pay $24,000 in fines issued by federal safety officials for a tent collapse that killed two people and injured dozens in New Hampshire last year.

Forty-one-year-old Robert Young and his 6-year-old daughter, Annabelle, of Vermont, died Aug. 3, 2015, when a storm with 75 mph winds blew through the Lancaster Fairgrounds, toppling the tent just minutes after about 100 people had settled in for a show. Fifty others were injured.

aaronHWarren / Flickr Creative Commons

 

Wildlife officials say an adult loon was found dead from a gunshot wound in a New Hampshire lake over the summer.

WMUR-TV reports the Loon Preservation Committee announced the loon was discovered by a construction crew working at a lakefront property on Bradley Lake in Andover on Aug. 28.

The animal was collected by a New Hampshire Fish and Game officer and then transferred to the committee.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Gov. Maggie Hassan is calling on a state legislative task force to provide assistance to dairy farmers who have been hit hard by a long-running drought and low milk prices.

In a letter to the chairman of the state Legislature's Dairy Producers Task Force, Hassan called for assistance to the Milk Producers Emergency Relief Fund in order "to help this important industry survive in New Hampshire."

 A New Hampshire town that said it wouldn't be decorated with holiday lights this season because of code issues with a utility now has a glimmer of hope.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that Exeter town officials have been talking to Unitil and are looking to get an electrician to install a needed meter and utility pole panel so they can set up their lighted garlands.

appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

 

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office says the death of a 2½-year-old Berlin girl was a homicide.

State and local police say that Madison Dana was taken to the Androscoggin Valley Hospital from her Berlin home Sunday afternoon after a 911 call. The girl was later pronounced dead.

An autopsy conducted Monday on the body of the girl found she died of blunt impact injuries. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

The investigation into the circumstances of the girl's death is continuing.

voting booths
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Though there is no evidence behind President-elect Donald Trump’s recent claim of “serious’’ voter fraud in New Hampshire, the state could see a handful of election law changes now that Republicans are in charge at the State House.

Gov.-elect Chris Sununu wants to eliminate Election Day registration, while fellow Republicans in the legislature have long sought a 10- or 30-day residency requirement. They say the changes would give voters more confidence in New Hampshire’s election systems.

 

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The American Red Cross is highlighting a string of house fires in Vermont and New Hampshire this week to warn people to be extra careful as they prepare for the holidays.

Red Cross volunteers responded Monday to fires in Concord, Manchester and Proctor, Vermont. The fires displaced 25 people from eight families. Two more fires Tuesday night — in Rochester, N.H. and White River Junction, Vermont — displaced an additional four people.

Photo Credit Katja Rupp, via Flickr Creative Commons

Marijuana stores and social clubs won't be opening in Portland for at least six months following Maine's recent vote to legalize the drug.

The Portland Press Herald reports the city council unanimously approved a six-month moratorium Monday on the opening of any marijuana businesses. The moratorium will give councilors time to develop regulations around marijuana-related retail businesses.

Maine voters opted on Nov. 8 to legalize marijuana, but municipalities can regulate it. The law allows people 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational use.

The New Hampshire Historical Society is bidding on papers from Franklin Pierce, the only president to have come from the Granite State.

The papers, including 90 letters between Pierce and his secretary Sidney Webster, are being auctioned by Auction at Doyle on Tuesday in New York. The letters are estimated to be worth between $15,000 and $30,000.

The society's president Bill Dunlap says the papers would bolster what is already considered the best collection of Pierce-related items. Pierce was president from 1853 to 1857.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

The Attorney General's office wants to hire another medical examiner to help deal with the spike in drug-related deaths.

Via Wikimedia Commons

U.S. senators from Maine say Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield has been awarded a nearly $29 million contract from the U.S. Navy to do structural repair work at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King made the announcement on Monday. The senators say the contract will support repairs and modernization of structures at a berth at the Kittery shipyard.

Michael Brindley

 

The contentious Northern Pass transmission line project will have its strongest advocate yet in New Hampshire's corner when Republican Gov.-elect Chris Sununu takes office.

Northern Pass is a plan to bring enough megawatts to power roughly 1 million homes from Canada into the New England energy grid through mostly overhead transmission lines running down New Hampshire.

John K via Flickr CC

 

New Hampshire health officials say they anticipate that blood test results for residents whose drinking water supply has been contaminated with PFCs will be coming back in the weeks ahead.

The state Department of Health and Human Services says that the agency has received about 400 blood samples from people who may have been exposed to perfluorochemicals in southern New Hampshire and at the Pease Tradeport.

Dank Depot via Flickr CC

 

New Hampshire lawmakers say legalization of marijuana in Maine and Massachusetts should increase the chance of passing similar laws in the Granite State, while police officials say they'll continue to arrest people found in possession of pot until the law changes.

Ben McCleod via Flickr CC

 

More than a dozen New Hampshire ski areas are announcing their tentative opening days, starting with Loon Mountain Resort, which plans to open Wednesday.

A list released by the state Division of Travel and Tourism and Ski NH shows six resorts planning to open in late November, a handful in early December and the rest in mid- to late December.

 

The long-running drought in much of the Northeastern United States is expected to persist through the winter.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows dry conditions continuing through February throughout New England and the only relief coming in parts of upstate New York, where some drought-stricken areas could see improving conditions.

The drought is the worst seen in more than a decade. It has been devastating to farmers and resulted in water restrictions in many places. It has dried up drinking wells and dropped lake levels.

 

Governor-elect Chris Sununu has tapped Charlie Arlinghaus, a fiscal conservative and critic of outgoing Gov. Maggie Hassan's spending habits, to lead his budget efforts through the transition.

Arlinghaus is president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a Concord think tank that promotes free market ideas. State agencies are already working on budget proposals, even though the next governor hasn't taken office. Sununu, a Republican, will be inaugurated in January and expected to present a two-year state budget proposal by mid-February.

Fire officials say a large brush fire in New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest is 50 percent contained.

The fire started near the Albany Covered Bridge and the Kancamagus Highway over the weekend, spreading 327 acres. Flames could be seen from miles away.

Forest officials said Tuesday the fire has burned along the Swift River and continues to burn through dry leaf litter in the Boulder Loop climbing area.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

 

New Hampshire's House Republicans are embroiled in a four-way battle for the speakership after maintaining control of the chamber for another term.

Speaker Shawn Jasper is facing challenges from Reps. Laurie Sanborn of Bedford and Carol McGuire of Epsom, as well as Frank Sapareto of Derry, a returning lawmaker. The competition reflects some dissatisfaction among Republicans over Jasper's leadership style and policy initiatives.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Republican Chris Sununu, who first sat in the New Hampshire governor's seat as a 9-year-old when his dad was inaugurated in 1985, will be the nation's youngest governor in January.

Sununu, who turned 42 last week, is seven months younger than Republican Eric Greitens, who was elected governor of Missouri on Tuesday, and two years younger than South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who currently holds the "youngest" title.

Haley says she's looking forward to working with Sununu, and she's offering a bit of advice: Follow your instincts.

Jim Cole / AP Photo POOL

 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court for a third time has ruled in favor of protecting the privacy of a 19-year-old murder victim.

Seth Mazzaglia was convicted of killing Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott, of Westborough, Massachusetts. He argues the trial court should've allowed him to introduce evidence about Marriott's sexual past, but the court has rejected that argument numerous times, most recently on Thursday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan heads to the U.S. Senate pledging to find ground with Republicans but stand up to President-elect Donald Trump when necessary.

Hassan will be the second woman ever to serve as a state's governor and U.S. senator. The other is New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

   A New Hampshire prep school criticized for how it's handled sexual assault cases faces trial on a lawsuit brought by a former student's mother who alleges the school wrongfully withdrew her 15-year-old son after he had sex with another student.

The lawsuit alleges Phillips Exeter Academy first said the boy would be placed on leave, but could return this fall after seeking therapy, among other conditions. The mother says Exeter changed its mind and decided to withdraw him altogether as it was responding to reports it mishandled sexual assault cases involving staff and students.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Newly elected members of the New Hampshire House can begin filing legislation.

All 400 members of the House are allowed to file legislation beginning on Monday. Frequently more than 500 bills are filed each year. Each bill also gets a hearing a full vote on the floor.

Returning lawmakers have already begun submitting bills. Among them are annual proposals to raise the minimum wage and expanding gun background checks, both of which will fail under the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

One New Hampshire Senate contest and possibly two House races are headed for recounts.

Democratic Sen. Andrew Hosmer of Laconia has requested a recount against Republican challenger Harold French, who is up by 13 votes. In House races, two Manchester races are in recount territory. Democrat Andrew Gregoire requested a recount, but updated numbers now put him one vote ahead. In Manchester ward 12, Republican Dick Marston is also asking for a recount.

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