Associated Press

Nottingham PD

  A former New Hampshire lawmaker is scheduled to plead guilty to charges of drug possession and trying to lure a 14-year-old girl over Facebook into a sexual encounter.

Kyle Tasker is expected to enter the plea Tuesday. Authorities say he tried to lure an undercover police officer, posing as the girl. They say he offered alcohol and marijuana and proposed sexual encounters.

The 31-year-old Tasker was scheduled for trial this month. The Nottingham Republican resigned in March 2016.

  U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price is heading to New Hampshire to discuss the state’s ongoing opioid crisis.

Gov. Chris Sununu’s office says Price will be in the state Wednesday, but hasn’t provided details on the time or location.

NHPR Staff

  New Hampshire lawmakers aren't sold on a plan to spend $3 million designing a new children's wing of the state psychiatric hospital.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeff Meyers requested the design money in a capital budget hearing on Friday. The Concord Monitor reports that some lawmakers opposed the idea, calling it premature. Senate President Chuck Morse says the state should come up with a plan to move children away from the hospital's adult units before spending money on a design.

Five people have been arrested in connection with trafficking women for sex at brothels in and around Boston.

The arrests were made Thursday in a joint operation by the FBI and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's office. The brothels were in Boston, Cambridge, North Reading and Quincy.

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A New Hampshire hiker who has been lost for most of the week has been found. New Hampshire Fish and Game officials say that Randy Willett was found Thursday night in a deep snowbank on the eastern side of Mount Lincoln.

Willett had previously called authorities on Tuesday to confirm he was lost and off the trail, but officials were unable to determine his location. He was able to make another call Thursday afternoon, confirming he was still alive and allowing officials to pinpoint his coordinates.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A judge has ordered a Florida-based circus operator to pay $15,000 in fines for operating without a license in New Hampshire following a tent collapse in 2015 that killed two people and injured dozens.

Sarasota-based Walker International Events pleaded guilty to the felony Wednesday in a plea agreement. Lesser charges dealing with fire, building code and reckless conduct allegations are to be addressed next week. Walker initially faced more than $200,000 in fines.

Wikimedia Commons

Plans for a new, universally accessible trail near the plaza dedicated to New Hampshire's famous fallen icon, the Old Man of the Mountain, have run into some hurdles.

Wednesday marks 14 years since the 40-foot-tall granite formation resembling a man's face fell 1,200 feet to the ground. Since then, the Old Man of the Mountain Profile Plaza in Franconia Notch was dedicated.

James Lee via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/92Maje

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says the state's white-tailed deer population once again has shown no evidence of chronic wasting disease, based on data gathered during the 2016 hunting season.

Biologist Dan Bergeron says a total of 268 tissue samples from deer killed by hunters tested negative for the disease.

Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disorder that is fatal to white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.

The department says 5,817 deer have been tested in New Hampshire since testing began in 2002.

thisweekinraymond.com

In New Hampshire, authorities say that drug cartels are finding creative ways to get drugs on the street — from fake candy wrapping to hidden compartments in vehicles. A DEA agent says that they've found drugs like heroin and cocaine inside canned foods and car parts.

WMUR-TV reports that cartels have been lacing heroin with fentanyl, and are now creating counterfeit prescription pills. Fentanyl has been a leading cause of drug overdoses in the past year, killing nearly 500 in New Hampshire alone.

www.rochesterfair.com

  Employees of a nearly 150-year-old fair in New Hampshire have voted to give up their salaries to keep the fair going, but it's unclear if it will be enough.

The Rochester Fair has run continuously in the fall since 1874, but low attendance and mounting costs have jeopardized its future.

Mark Perry, the fair's general manager, tells WMUR-TV that the whole staff voted to give up their salaries for a year to help cut costs.

Jim Cole/AP

  The official portrait of former New Hampshire Gov. Craig Benson is going up at the Statehouse, a dozen years after he left office.

Benson, a Republican, served one term as governor from 2003 to 2005. The former CEO of a company called Cabletron, he promised to run the state like a business, but ended up being the first governor in 78 years to be denied a second term.

The portrait being unveiled Thursday was painted by Richard Whitney, who has painted five other New Hampshire governors.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

  A new report says that outdoor recreation accounts for $51.5 billion in consumer spending in New England, 432,000 jobs and $3.1 billion in state and local tax revenues.

The report reporting on all sectors of the country was released Tuesday by the Outdoor Industry Association.

New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says the report underscores the need for the federal government to measure the outdoor recreation economy like other major sectors.

 

  The city of Manchester has lifted voluntary water restrictions put in place last fall during a drought because water levels are back at normal levels.

WMUR-TV reports Mayor Ted Gatsas said Monday that the city would be lifting any restrictions on water use, allowing people to freely water their lawns or fill their pools.

Officials announced that Lake Massabesic in Manchester and Tower Hill Pond in Auburn are finally at full capacity.

  New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has another key commissioner post to fill, with the head of the department that handles the state's accounting leaving her post.

Vicki Quiram, commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services, is stepping down May 12 for a job in another state. Sununu shared Quiram's resignation letter Monday.

  New Hampshire's law granting certain immunity to people who report drug overdoses is poised to stay in place for the indefinite future.

A law signed last session would've repealed the immunity law, sometimes known as a "Good Samaritan" law, in 2018. But lawmakers are moving to repeal the repeal, meaning the law will stay on the books.

Senators say the legislation is saving lives as New Hampshire continues to deal with an opioid crisis. Nearly 500 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, a record high for the state.

Money that Congress approved last year to help states combat the opioid epidemic is headed to New Hampshire.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says $485 million in grants will soon be administered to states. The money is part of the 21st Century Cures Act that was signed into law by President Barack Obama.

About 1,000 New Hampshire students who apply to Keene State College and Plymouth State University are not offered admission — and now, those two institutions are offering them alternative pathways through future enrollment.

The Public Promise initiative provides paths including associate degree programs, Dual Admission options and targeted coursework. Once completed, the options would allow students to transfer into the institution of their choice.

Public Promise will start in May with outreach to applicants wanting to attend college in fall 2017.

Patrick Mansell / flickr Creative Commons

 

  A New Hampshire school district has agreed to pay the family of a former student $150,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging discrimination.

The Manchester School District and school officials were sued last year, accused of denying the student his "constitutional and statutory rights" to equal access to public education.

The eighth-grader was expelled in 2014 for allegedly assaulting another student. His family, which immigrated from South Sudan, filed a complaint with the federal Office of Civil Rights saying hearings were conducted in English, without a translator.

Fantasy sports companies estimate more than 200,000 people in New Hampshire are participating in their games. Now, lawmakers want to get in on the cash.

A bill before the Senate on Thursday would make New Hampshire the latest state to legalize, regulate and tax fantasy sports run by companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel. Companies running fantasy games for the general public would have to register with the state, pay an annual fee of up to $5,000 and face a 5 percent tax.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  A group of House Republicans plans to start a political action committee to push back against New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper in the next election, the latest chapter in a growing GOP feud.

The New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus, which models its name after a group of conservative Republicans in Congress, announced the PAC's creation Wednesday. Members say they'll use the money to support candidates who believe in "limited government and personal liberty."

AP

  Massachusetts prison officials say former NFL star Aaron Hernandez has hanged himself in his cell and pronounced dead at a hospital. He was 27.

An official with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections says Hernandez was found hanged in his cell just after 3 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities tried to revive the former New England Patriots tight end, and he was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial - HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster at 4:07 a.m.

Quintin3265 via Wikimedia Commons

A New Hampshire tourism official says international growth is outpacing domestic growth in New England.

Victoria Cimino, the director of New Hampshire's Division of Travel and Tourism Development, says New England received an estimated 2.1 million international visitors in 2015 who spent about $2.1 billion.

She spoke Tuesday in Concord at the New Hampshire Travel Council's annual Governor's Conference on Tourism.

File Photo

  An appeals court has found in favor of the federal government in a challenge by a New England fishermen's group over the cost of at-sea monitoring.

The monitors are workers who collect data that help the government craft fishing regulations. The government shifted the cost of paying for monitors to fishermen last year.

A group led by New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel sued the government over the rule change. The fishermen lost in federal district court and appealed. A 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Boston agreed with the lower court Friday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Gov. Chris Sununu has signed legislation requiring schools to give parents two weeks’ notice before teaching sex education.

Sununu says the bill is consistent with his “longtime support” for measures that “empower” parents’ involvement in their kids’ education.

At least 22 states require parental notification before teaching sex or HIV education. New Hampshire’s bill will not require parental consent, but parents can opt their children out of certain lessons.

Flickr

  With Republican Gov. Chris Sununu on board, advocates for marijuana decriminalization hope this is the year New Hampshire joins its New England neighbors in removing criminal penalties for possessing pot.

But the measure is facing challenges in the Senate, where lawmakers aligned with police chiefs are working to water it down. Lawmakers, police and advocates agree some form of decriminalization will likely reach Sununu's desk. Up for debate, though, is what amount of weed will be decriminalized and how much discretion cops should have to make arrests.

Allegra Boverman

 

  New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster is joining a teen who was sexually assaulted at a prestigious prep school in 2014 for a discussion on how to address sexual violence.

Kuster, a Democrat, also is launching a congressional Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. The events are taking place at the University of New Hampshire School of Law on Monday night.

northeast naturalist via Flickr Creative Commons

  The New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission has approved 51 moose hunt lottery permits this year, the lowest number since the state started its current system in 1988.

Permits have declined in recent years, partly because of the impact of parasites, both winter tick and brainworm, on the moose population. Last year, 71 lottery permits were issued.

The proposal would need to be approved by the New Hampshire Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules.

US DOE

  A seven-year battle over the Northern Pass transmission project takes a critical step forward Thursday when a hearing begins on the $1.6 billion plan to bring power from Canada to markets mostly in southern New England.

New Hampshire's Site Evaluation Committee will determine whether it can be built. The hearing, which could last for months, is expected to draw supporters and opponents of the controversial project. One of the first people to testify will be an executive from Eversource, which is proposing the project.

northeast naturalist via Flickr Creative Commons

Last year's drought in New Hampshire was tough on farmers and towns. But it turns out to have been good for moose.

Preliminary numbers from a project that puts tracking collars on moose show that only one of the calves — the most vulnerable group — died from winter ticks this year. A year ago, nearly 75 percent of the calves tracked died.

Moose biologist Kristine Rines says many of the blood-sucking ticks died because they were deprived of moisture. But the ticks still have a long-term advantage, with shorter winters and moose density on their side.

Sean Hurley

The Waterville Valley Resort is now a training site for the U.S. Ski Team and will host two annual competitions.

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association recently announced that it is expanding low-cost regional training opportunities for young elite athletes through formal partnerships with ski clubs, resorts and performance facilities around the country.

Many of the multi-year partnerships are a way of formally recognizing relationships between the association and clubs for decades.

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