Associated Press

 A website developed by the New Hampshire Insurance Department has new features aimed at helping consumers make educated choices about health care.

The department's health price transparency website, NHHealthCost.org, allows residents to compare the price of various health care services across doctors, hospitals and outpatient facilities.

Nicholas A. Tonelli / Flickr Creative Commons

University of New Hampshire researchers say warmer, wetter springs have been contributing to the yellowing and loss of white pine tree needles in the state.

They say since 2010, White Pine Needle Damage has become more widespread. Infected trees experience a yellowing of mature needles and loss of foliage.

Researchers are assessing the impacts of the disease on tree health and productivity, and developing guidelines for land managers.

Eastern white pine composes more than 500,000 acres of New Hampshire forestland.

The U.S. Border Patrol says agents arrested 20 people who entered the country illegally in four separate incidents in upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.

The first case came early Friday when agents in Champlain, New York, arrested nine Haitian citizens who had just crossed into the United States near where I-87 reaches the Canadian border.

On Saturday, agents apprehended seven Romanians and a German citizen who had just entered the country illegally in Newport, Vermont.

Sunset Power Lines
Michael Kappel/Flickr CC

 

New Hampshire regulators have issued a written ruling denying a power project over concerns it would harm tourism and property values.

The ruling Friday by the Site Evaluation Committee came two days after Massachusetts abandoned plans to get its clean energy from the $1.6 billion Northern Pass project, which would take hydropower from Canada and transmit it across New Hampshire.

Nearly three months after President Donald Trump disbanded his controversial voter fraud commission, the public can get a peek at the voter data New Hampshire was prepared to turn over.

File Photo / NHPR

  

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen applauded actions taken by the Trump administration to expel Russian diplomats and close Russia's consulate in Seattle, stemming from an alleged poison attack on an ex-spy in Britain.

 

Shaheen, D-NH, said Monday this sends a clear message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States will continue to stand with the United Kingdom, "and will deliver retribution for the Kremlin's hybrid attacks" on Western nations.

    

Photo Credit Katja Rupp, via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire lawmakers have referred a bill legalizing recreational use of marijuana to further study, dealing a blow to those who hoped the Granite State would join neighboring states in relaxing regulations on the drug.

The House gave preliminary approval to the bill earlier this year. It would allow adults to possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana and cultivate it in limited qualities.

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New Hampshire environmental officials are going to discuss the status of negotiations between the state and the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics company on the presence of chemical contaminants in drinking water wells in several communities.

A public information meeting has been scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Campbell High School auditorium in Litchfield, New Hampshire. The state Department of Environmental Services has invited residents from that town, as well as from Bedford and Merrimack.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  President Donald Trump's plan to combat opioid drug addiction calls for stiffer penalties for drug traffickers, including the death penalty where it's appropriate under current law.

Administration officials say Trump also wants Congress to pass legislation reducing the amount of drugs necessary to trigger mandatory minimum sentences on traffickers who knowingly distribute certain illicit opioids.

NHPR File Photo

A bill supporting a study for commuter rail expansion has passed the New Hampshire House.

The House bill on Thursday includes the federally funded study as part of the 10-year state transportation plan.

The project would extend passenger rail from Boston to Manchester, N.H., with two stops in Nashua, a stop at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, and a stop in downtown Manchester.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's state Senate has approved several bills that bolster the Division of Children, Youth and Families, including support services for at-risk families and reducing caseload burdens.

The bills would approve $5.5 million to support residential beds for mental health treatment, additional staff at the division, and expand resources for the foster care system and the developmentally disabled.

Attorney General's Office

  The head of a New Hampshire prep school's board of trustees says a teacher who was let go in 2008 for "repeated boundary crossings" involving students should have been dismissed earlier and shouldn't have been given a favorable recommendation.

A letter from Archibald Cox to the St. Paul's School community said Thursday that David Pook's departure was "overdue and badly handled."

The 47-year-old Pook was charged last week with witness tampering and conspiring to commit perjury following a grand jury investigation into misconduct allegations at St. Paul's.

Police in a New Hampshire city are making efforts to address loud motorcycles in Portsmouth.

Police Chief Robert Merner says he is aware of a proposed ordinance currently in a Senate committee that would ban "motorcycle-only checkpoints," but adds he has ordered decibel reading equipment for his officers to be used citywide.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Merner says enforcement of noise levels will begin in the spring during motorcycle season.

Chris Jensen | NHPR

New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department is reminding snowmobilers to use caution when riding on lakes and ponds, as recent warming trends have created thin ice.

The department says new snowfall can hide thin ice and open water. It says snowmobilers should never venture onto lakes or ponds unless they are absolutely certain of a safe route across the frozen surface.

Riders are encouraged to personally check the ice thickness before riding. And they should also bring along a rescue rope, ice picks, a personal flotation device, or a life preserver — just in case.

An effort to ban soda and other sugary drinks from children's menus in New Hampshire has fizzled.

The House on Tuesday voted 292-39 against a bill that would have applied to restaurants that serve children's meals that bundle together food and a beverage for one price. Drinks served with such meals would have been limited to healthier choices such as milk, water or juice.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says an Interstate 89 bridge project that crosses the Connecticut River into Vermont is getting $10 million in federal funding.

Shaheen, a Democrat, said Tuesday the funds would rehabilitate bridges that carry northbound and southbound traffic between Lebanon, New Hampshire, and Hartford, Vermont.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers are again voting on whether to expand the state's anti-discrimination law to include transgender people.

The House is set to vote Wednesday on a bill that would ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on someone's gender identity in addition to the protections that already exist based on sex, religion and sexual orientation. Lawmakers tabled a virtually identical bill last year, leaving New Hampshire the only New England state without such protections.

NHPR File Photo

  A New Hampshire university is teaming up with two organizations to offer $20 million in scholarships to young immigrants who are living in the country illegally and often have difficulty getting financial aid.

AP

  Levi Sanders, Bernie Sanders' son, announced he is running for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District.

Sanders is joining seven fellow Democrats and three Republicans in this year's race for the seat. Four-term Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is not running for re-election in 2018.

The 48-year-old Sanders has lived in New Hampshire for 15 years. He's in Claremont, in the 2nd Congressional District. The U.S. Constitution requires only that U.S. House members reside in the state they serve, not necessarily in the same district.

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services officials say they've identified key issues with a dam in Durham, and they are calling on the town to address the issues within three months.

A Feb. 12 letter from the department to the town highlights flaws like concrete degradation and exposed rebar in the Mill Pond Dam that were uncovered during a December inspection. Foster's Daily Democrat reports the letter calls on Durham to conduct its own inspection by the beginning of May, and to repair or reconstruct the dam by 2020.

CREDIT MIKE ROSS, UNH

The University of New Hampshire is telling prospective students that any disciplinary actions they might face due to peaceful protests in which they are exercising their First Amendment rights will not affect the school's admission decision.

The information was contained in a Saturday tweet and a post to the school's Facebook account.

Flickr

Lawmakers in New Hampshire are questioning the merits of a lawsuit over shared costs at Hampton Beach, saying the state has done a lot to give money to the town of Hampton.

Republican State Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley says he sympathizes with Hampton's call for aid for emergency services, but argues the state has paid a fair share through capital expenditure projects. The Portsmouth Herald reports the lawsuit filed Feb. 14 asks a judge to determine if the state of New Hampshire is taking on its share of responsibilities outlined in a 1933 deed.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Pistols and revolvers would be allowed on the campuses of New Hampshire's public colleges, universities and community colleges under a bill up for a vote in the House.

House lawmakers are set to vote Thursday on a bill that would allow anyone who is not otherwise prohibited by state or federal law to carry a gun to bring weapons onto the grounds of any University System of New Hampshire campus or community college campus. Currently, the campuses ban guns other than those carried by law enforcement.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation says it wants to widen a section of Interstate 93 in Concord.

NHDOT officials say the project would reduce traffic and improve safety on the stretch of highway road. WMUR-TV reports the public saw a virtual rendering of the proposed $262 million project at a public meeting Thursday.

Officials say the proposed construction would likely not begin until 2024, and the project still needs additional federal and state funding approval.

Flickr

A minor earthquake shook New Hampshire's Seacoast region Thursday morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 2.7 quake centered on East Kingston struck at about 9:30 a.m. at a depth of 6.3 kilometers.

John Ebel, a senior research scientist at Boston College's Weston Observatory, says people near the epicenter would probably have heard a loud boom, while people farther away would hear a rumbling and some ground shaking, maybe window rattling.

But, he says, "it was way below the threshold for damage."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted to send a bill that would reauthorize the state's version of Medicaid expansion for further study, giving it an uncertain future.

This bill would have reauthorized the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, the state's program that provides health insurance coverage for over 50,000 low-income adults who do not qualify for Medicaid. If not reauthorized, the program will end on Dec. 31.

The House on Thursday agreed with a committee recommendation that more work is required to create a program that taxpayers can support.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

New Hampshire health officials say 20 people in the state have died of the flu or flu-related complications this season.

WMUR-TV reports seven of the deaths were included in last week's report. All of the victims have been adults.

Last year, there were 45 flu deaths in the state, and flu season peaked in mid-February.

State epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan says so far, New Hampshire doctors have treated more than 2,100 people who were suffering from flu-like symptoms.

AP

New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan say they have helped to secure an agreement to provide an additional $6 billion to respond to the national opioid epidemic over the next two years.

The Democratic senators said Wednesday they also received assurances that the opioid funding formula will be improved to prioritize states like New Hampshire with high mortality rates from overdoses.

A New Hampshire medical center is getting a $900,000 federal grant to address prescription drug misuse by creating a network of doctors, mental health providers, and addiction treatment centers.

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock in Keene is receiving the grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Rural Health Policy.

The medical center says a lack of coordination among doctors, recovery centers and mental health professionals means prescription drug use isn't being monitored optimally.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A Senate committee is taking up a bill aimed at strengthening New Hampshire's animal cruelty laws after a Wolfeboro breeder was accused of keeping dozens of Great Danes in filthy conditions.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is holding a public hearing Tuesday on the bill, which relieves the financial burden on taxpayers when animals are seized in cruelty cases and redefines what constitutes a commercial breeder under state law.

The bill requires mandatory, unannounced inspections of pet stores, animal shelters, rescues and commercial breeders.

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