Associated Press

Chris Jensen, NHPR

 

New Hampshire's House of Representatives is considering a bill that would pave the way for an ambitious plan to restore a faded North Country resort.

The bill would create a special taxing district allowing the state to back $28 million in bonds toward redeveloping the Balsams, which closed in 2011.

Maine businessman Les Otten is seeking the state-backed bond to help finance the $143 million Balsams project.

The bill has passed the Senate; the House considers it Wednesday.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 

Gov. Maggie Hassan says she plans to restore $3.9 million in rate increases for New Hampshire nursing homes. Nursing homes were told earlier this year they would not receive any increases, although many had already written budgets around them.

The state's nursing homes will receive the money immediately. The Department of Health and Human Services initially planned to halt the rate increases due to a budget shortfall. The proposal drew fire from the nursing homes and Senate Republicans.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Senators are opening the budget process to members of the public who want to give testimony on what should and shouldn't be included in the next 2-year spending plan for New Hampshire.

People can testify before the Senate Finance Committee during two public hearings Tuesday, starting at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Both will be held in Representatives' Hall at the State House in Concord.

  

Senate budget writers are likely to hear pleas for a restoration of funds for people with developmental disabilities, programs for the elderly and substance abuse treatment during an upcoming budget hearing.

Kansas City Public Library / flickr

 

National Endowment for the Arts chairman Jane Chu will spend a day visiting museums and music venues in New Hampshire.

Chu is in the state Tuesday with appearances scheduled in Manchester and Concord.

The state Council on the Arts and Currier Museum are hosting an event at the museum, where Chu will speak about her priorities and vision for the NEA and field questions from the arts community.

Chu and Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster also will tour the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. Chu will visit the Concord Community Music School.

White Mountains, NH
Bryan Pocius / Flickr Creative Commons

 

A team of rescuers has come to the aid of a hiker who slipped on an icy trail and suffered a leg injury in Lincoln.

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department officers say 34-year-old Luis Serrano of Lowell, Massachusetts, had hiked up the Falling Waters Trail on Sunday afternoon. On his way down, he slipped. A passing hiker called 911.

Rescuers reached Serrano and carried him back to the trailhead, where he was assessed for his injury. His condition wasn't immediately known Monday.

NHPR Staff

Lawmakers will debate fetal homicide laws, restrictions on synthetic drugs and more in this week's upcoming sessions.  

The Republican majority in the House is likely to amend a Senate version of fetal homicide legislation. The bill would allow for criminal charges to be brought in the death of fetuses beyond eight weeks of gestation. It says criminal charges cannot be brought against a woman or a doctor in cases of abortion. Advocates for the bill say it's necessary for women who lose their pregnancies as a result of criminal acts such as assault or car accidents.  

Photo by Jackie Finn-Irwin via Flickr Creative Commons

 

In hopes of halting drug smuggling, the New Hampshire Department of Corrections is putting new restrictions on what kind of mail can be sent to inmates.

Tom Vagliery via Flickr CC

 

The New Hampshire Senate has passed a bill that bans anyone under age 18 from using tanning facilities, sending the bill to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan's desk.

The bill's supporters say it's necessary to protect the health of teenagers, similar to the ban on minors buying cigarettes. Data from the World Health Organization shows using a tanning bed under the age of 30 significantly increases the chances of being diagnosed with melanoma.

Null Value

 

A Merrimack man has been charged with killing his wife at their home.

The New Hampshire attorney general's office says 62-year-old Joseph Lawrence was arrested Thursday night. His wife, 61-year-old Darlene Lawrence, was found dead at their home earlier in the day.

Lawrence has been charged with second degree murder and is due in court for arraignment Friday afternoon. It was not immediately known whether he has an attorney.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

As she moves toward a likely presidential bid, Republican Carly Fiorina is heading back to New Hampshire for four days.

A former Hewlett-Packard chief executive who has never held political office, Fiorina is using her business background and her gender to stand out in a crowded, otherwise entirely male, Republican primary field.

www.livefreeandstart.com

 

A new competition will connect startup tech companies and investors thinking of starting a company to resources helping them launch their businesses.

The winners of the "Ultimate NH Connection," competition will meet with Gov. Maggie Hassan and industry leaders who've gone through the process. The hour-long meeting will help them get the resources they need to succeed.

Details were released April 23 with a revamped website for the "Live Free and Start" program. Applications are due May 15 and the winner will be selected in June.

Shannon Dooling for NHPR

 

The state's turkey flocks are in good shape after the winter and officials say the spring hunt should be a good one.

Fish and Game turkey biologist Ted Walski says an abundance of acorns kept the birds fed and crusty snow in December and January meant they could get around more easily to find food and evade predators.

The spring turkey season for licensed hunters opens May 3 and runs through May 31 statewide.

 

Environmental officials say the closing of a contaminated well near the main runway of the Portsmouth International Airport at Pease may lead to other wells being contaminated with high levels of a harmful chemical.

Portsmouth officials shut down the Haven well last year, after testing showed it has higher than safe levels of perfluorochemicals, known as PFOs.

Scott Hilton, project manager for the DES's Pease Superfund site, tells the Portsmouth Press Herald that contaminants now may flow into two wells south of the Haven well at the Pease International Tradeport.

 

Anyone in New Hampshire who works with children at youth skills programs must have a criminal background check, under new rules in effect this year.

Department of Environmental Services spokesman James Martin said the rule applies to all volunteer and paid staff who will be working with children under the age of 18 for three consecutive days or more.

Even those under the age of 18 who are paid or volunteer staff must undergo a background check.

The rules stem from a law passed last year that took effect Jan. 1 of this year.

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Virginia K. Schaefer / U.S. Navy

The nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Annapolis has arrived at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for maintenance and upgrades.  

The shipyard says the sub and a crew of 16 officers and 122 enlisted personal arrived Saturday.  

Officials say it's the fourth ship to be named for Annapolis, Maryland, site of the U.S. Naval Academy and the tenth ``improved'' Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered submarine.  

The Annapolis was commissioned in 1992 and its homeport is Groton, Connecticut.  
 

Billy Brown / Flickr

A $250,000 federal grant will assist two North Country groups in improving access to food.

The Northern Forest Center and the Northern Community Investment Corporation will use the funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Congresswoman Annie Kuster says the grant will help boost local economies and increase access to natural foods grown in New Hampshire. 

The program supports private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, and low-income rural communities.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan says she would likely sign a two-casino bill now before the Legislature if it came to her desk.  

Hassan's comments on Friday are the first time she's said she would sign the measure and they come two days after she told reporters she doesn't think a market exists for two casinos in the state.  

Selbe B via Flickr/CC

The New Hampshire city of Laconia will host this year's annual Pumpkin Festival after its long-time host city declined to issue a permit following violence near last year's event.

At the announcement in Laconia's historic train station Friday afternoon, Mayor Ed Engler said its experience hosting an annual motorcycle festival gives officials a good handle on security and public safety.

He says there are no "huge concerns" about security in the city of about 16,000.

Court officials confirm a New Hampshire defendant awaiting a jury's verdicts in a trial on multiple counts of sexual assault on a minor shot himself outside the Rockingham County Superior Courthouse. 

Authorities say 75-year-old John Goodwin, a longtime piano teacher in Atkinson, went on trial earlier this week on six counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. Prosecutors say he repeatedly sexually assaulted a student who is now 24. He pleaded not guilty. 

Court officials say the jury was deliberating when Goodwin shot himself Friday morning. 

Allison Quantz for NHPR

The New Hampshire Insurance Department is bringing together health care providers and insurers to explore why spending on health care is high and rising, and what can be done to change that.

NHPR Staff

New Hampshire's U.S. senators have voted to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general.

Lynch was confirmed Thursday by a vote of 56-43.

Every Democrat in the Senate voted to confirm, including Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who called the appointment of a black woman to the nation's top law enforcement job a historic achievement. Shaheen said Lynch has "sterling credentials" and a commitment to public service.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte joined nine other Republicans to support Lynch, calling her clearly qualified.

Lisa Padilla via Flickr CC

A law banning hand-held cellphone use while driving in New Hampshire goes into effect on July 1, and state officials are handing out flyers and putting messages on electronic billboards to remind people of the change.

State transportation officials, police and the New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association are discussing their efforts to educate people at a news conference at 10 a.m. Friday. It's at the Transportation Department.

State officials say in the last four years, distraction was the cause of 124 crashes on New Hampshire's roads.

The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered the extradition of two men to New Hampshire to face charges in the deaths of two Nashua women nearly 27 years ago.

The Canadian Press reports the justices ruled Thursday on Anthony Barnaby and David Caplin.

The men are Canadian Micmac Indians who were working construction in Nashua when 48-year-old Charlene Ranstrom and 32-year-old Brenda Warner were bound, beaten and stabbed to death in their home in October 1988.

Police said new DNA evidence and witnesses justify extradition.

A fundraising pitch from Gov. Maggie Hassan's campaign to the chief executive officer of Sony Entertainment is among the documents released in last year's Sony hack that are now posted on Wikileaks.

The emails show Hassan's campaign asked Michael Lynton, the Sony executive, for a $7,000 campaign donation and a $10,000 donation to the state Democratic party in 2014. An assistant for Lynton responded that Lynton would donate the $7,000 to Hassan, but skip the party donation.

Sgarton / MorgueFile

New Hampshire officials say the state has too many black bears and is mulling its options on how to curb the population.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says the state has 5,700 black bears roaming its wilderness. But officials want to trim that number to 4,700.

The Concord Monitor reports the state could lengthen the seasons for baiting, still hunting and hunting with hounds to help reach this goal.

Dave via Flickr CC

Gov. Maggie Hassan says she doesn't think a market exists for two casinos in New Hampshire, as proposed in a bill that has passed the Senate and is now before the House.

Ty Without Numbers via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation says cameras are being installed in all toll lanes in the turnpike system.

Cameras previously were in all dedicated E-Z Pass lanes and open road tolling lanes.

New cameras will be installed starting next week. They will be completed system-wide by mid-May.

The cameras will take images of license plates of drivers who are evading toll payment, and others requesting a "no funds" payment slip.

Daniel Godin via Flickr CC

Crews are planting more than 2,000 shrubs and trees near the Ammonoosuc River north of Lisbon, New Hampshire, to stop erosion and create new wildlife habitat.

The Caledonian Record reports that erosion has been eating into the river banks. Crews will establish a 35-foot buffer of mostly dogwood and willow trees. There will also be a riparian flood plain forest consisting of silver maple, red maple, cottonwood, box elder and American elm.

An upland forest is being created to include yellow birch and white pine and white ash.

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

A lawyer for the state of New Hampshire says the language of a voter registration law that lower courts have declared confusing and unconstitutional is legally accurate.

In arguments to the NH Supreme Court Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Stephen LaBonte says the 2012 law amending voter registration forms simply clarifies that those who reside here must abide by laws requiring them to obtain drivers' licenses and register their vehicles if they are residents.

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