Associated Press

State workers have ratified a tentative contract agreement with New Hampshire that requires workers to pay a deductible for the first time, but shares health plan savings with the workers in exchange.

New Hampshire retailers are expecting their holiday sales to be up four percent, slightly higher than what's expected nationally.   The Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire says 73 percent of those businesses surveyed are anticipating their 2013 holiday sales will be the same or better than last year.

Portsmouth police say they've made a ninth arrest in connection with a months-long heroin ring investigation.  The ninth suspect--21-year old Chelsea Glover of Milton--was arrested Friday night on charges of selling heroin. She was being held on $5,000 bail.   Seven other people have been charged with felony-level drug offenses. One was charged with misdemeanor trespassing.

The Coast Guard says salvage operations are continuing following the sinking of a barge off Portsmouth Harbor.  Officials say on one was hurt when the 40-foot work barge equipped with a crane began taking on water Saturday east of the harbor. The only person board, the barge operator, was able to escape.   It was unclear why the barge began taking on water.   The Coast Guard said Sunday that divers confirmed that all fuel tanks were intact.        

It's unclear how New Hampshire would be affected by President Barack Obama's announcement that insurance companies can keep offering plan that would otherwise be canceled.

Obama said Thursday that insurers can continue to sell polices canceled under his health care overhaul law for at least one more year to existing customers.

Officials at New Hampshire's insurance department are still evaluating the change and expect to know more on Friday.

NHPR Staff

 

Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has introduced a measure that would give people at least a two-month extension to make up for time lost to website glitches to sign up for health insurance plans under the new federal health care overhaul law.

The open-enrollment period current ends March 31, 2014.

The measure also would give the Health and Human Services Secretary flexibility to further extend enrollment if Healthcare.gov isn't fully functional as of Dec 1.

Investigators looking at a veteran New Hampshire county attorney and his deputy say they've found nearly $70,000 in uncashed checks in the office, but say the checks aren't connected to the investigation.

Several New Hampshire organizations are joining the effort to help victims of the Philippine typhoon.

The Filipino-American Friendship Society of New Hampshire tells WMUR that many of the estimated 500 to 700 Filipino-American families living in the state are still trying to contact relatives. The group is trying to reach out to businesses, especially churches, to begin fundraising.

House and Senate committees are holding public hearings and work sessions on rival plans to expand Medicaid in New Hampshire this week.   The House holds its public hearing Tuesday morning while the Senate's hearing on its plan is that afternoon. The committees working on the bills will vote on a recommendation Thursday, but whatever they decide may be superseded by any compromise negotiated behind closed doors by legislative leaders and Gov. Maggie Hassan.   The House and Senate plans are essentially the same for the first year, but take different approaches after that.

The president of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire has been reappointed to a ninth term on an advisory panel to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.   Jim Roche was reappointed to serve on the Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. Membership is by invitation only and is limited to chamber presidents and chief executive officers.   The group advises the U.S. Chamber of Commerce board of directors; enhances the U.S. Chamber's lobbying and coalition work; recommends programming; and strengthens outreach to the business and chamber community.    

The U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites, including those in the White Mountain National Forest, over the Veterans Day holiday weekend.    Forest fees have been waived from Saturday through Monday.    Fees will remain in effect for overnight camping, cabin rentals, permits, reservations, and concession activities.      

The head of a New Hampshire hospital is threatening legal action over being excluded from the network of providers under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Al Felgar — CEO of Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester — is seeking a rehearing from the Department of Insurance over the failure by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to include his hospital and health care providers in the network of providers. If the hearing is denied, the hospital is prepared to file a lawsuit, a hospital spokesman said Thursday.

The editor and president of The Laconia Daily Sun has been elected mayor of the city.

Ed Engler said he will be speaking to voters around the city in preparation for the job, which starts in January.

He defeated Kailief Mitchell, an academic assistant at the Spaudling Youth Center, by a vote of 1,155 to 403 in Tuesday's election.

Engler said economic development would be a priority, starting with how to apply funds accrued by the downtown tax increment financing.

New Hampshire is getting $3.8 million as part of a multi-state settlement with pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson to revolve criminal and civil allegations that the company promoted powerful psychiatric drugs for unapproved uses in children, seniors and disabled patients.

This settlement resolves allegations that the manufacturer unlawfully promoted and marketed Risperdal and Invega for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and for uses that were not medically indicated.

catchesthelight via Flickr Creative Commons

Three years after it was put up for sale, an 11-generation family farm in New Hampshire has been sold. 

Members of the Tuttle family owned the 135-acre farm in Dover since 1632, one of America's oldest continuously operated family farms.  They put the fruit-and-vegetable farm up for sale in the summer of 2010 as they dealt with competition from supermarkets, pick-it-yourself farms and debt. 

The original price was $3.35 million. Foster's Daily Democrat reports it sold last month for a little over $1 million to Matt Kozazcki, who owns a farm in Newbury, Massachusetts.  

Five New Hampshire veterans have been given their long overdue medals for service in Korea and Vietnam.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen joined military officials at a ceremony Monday to present medals to Philip Meader, Ronald Lemire and Jim Keefe for their service in Vietnam, John Parker for his service in Korea and James Smith for his service in both conflicts. Altogether, the men received 17 medals and awards.

Shaheen said it was a privilege to honor such brave and selfless veterans.

 

New Hampshire's tax receipts are $25 million ahead of estimates so far this fiscal year despite a weak showing in October.

Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said receipts were $2 million below estimates, but October is a relatively small tax month. The state collected $105 million and had forecast receiving $107 million. Hodgdon said business taxes were down over $4 million, but such a small tax collection month makes it difficult to know if that signals a trend.

Since July 1, the state has collected $541 million.

A legislative stalemate over raising the gas tax and legalizing a casino could drive highway contractors out of New Hampshire to look for work in nearby states willing to fund infrastructure improvements.

The New Hampshire House passed a gas tax this year that the Senate killed. At the same time, the Senate passed a casino bill that the House rejected.

Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement said this past week that he worries funding won't be available to finish the state's top priority — expanding Interstate 93.

New Hampshire police say a state senator may have suffered a medical problem before her car went over a curb and struck a pedestrian in Portsmouth.

Police say the 67-year-old pedestrian was taken to the hospital Friday night with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries.

Police told the Portsmouth Herald that 71-year-old Sen. Martha Fuller Clark allegedly blacked out before the accident.

Authorities say she was alert and conscious when police arrived.

Five University of New Hampshire students have been arrested on disorderly conduct charges as police cleared a crowd blocking Main Street after the Red Sox won the World Series.

Police estimate that about 1,000 people gathered to celebrate immediately following the win. The crowd quickly grew to about 3,000 people and after 20 minutes of cheering, fireworks and spraying liquids, police requested multiple times that the crowd disperse for the street to reopen.

Sate of New Hampshire

 

New Hampshire's Legislative Ethics Committee is investigating a complaint that former Senate President Peter Bragdon used his public office for personal gain.

Muffet / Flickr Creative Commons

 

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation is inspecting the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge that connects Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.

The inspection is scheduled to start Monday. The bridge carries U.S. Route 1 bypass over the Piscataqua River between the two states.

The bridge will have lane closures as needed and as weather permits from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily for up to 11 weekdays.

The union representing most state workers is asking its leaders to meet Tuesday to vote on a possible contract settlement with New Hampshire. The State Employees' Association says negotiations had been scheduled to enter fact-finding but negotiations took a positive turn and a potential settlement was reached between the state and the union bargaining team.

New Hampshire still hasn't hired anyone to advertise the federal health care overhaul law in the state, but officials say that's not necessarily a bad thing, and the state isn't alone.

 

A New Hampshire panel working on recommending regulations for future casinos is considering strengthening the regulations for charity gaming, as well.

NHPR Staff

As website glitches make it difficult for consumers to sign up for health insurance under the new federal health care overhaul law, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is requesting for an extension on the open-enrollment period beyond March 31, 2014.

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Shaheen suggested the extension to provide greater flexibility for people seeking access to health insurance.

Flickr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

 

Dartmouth College officials say technical problems with the Common Application are prompting them to postpone the deadline for early admissions applications by one week.

The deadline has been changed from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8.

Student newspaper The Dartmouth reports reports the Admissions Office received calls from concerned students, counselors and students who were having trouble creating accounts to utilize the Common Application software.

Selbe B via Flickr/CC

 

Organizers says a pumpkin festival in Keene has broken a world record for having the most carved and lit jack-o-lanterns in one place.

The New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is announcing a new effort to repeal the state's capital punishment law.

A New Hampshire waitress who picked up the lunch tab of two National Guard soldiers affected by the federal government's shutdown has been repaid — more than 300 times over — by television star Ellen DeGeneres. Sarah Hoidahl, a waitress in Concord, just wanted to do a nice thing for the soldiers, so she recently picked up their lunch tab. It cost her $27.75. On Friday, DeGeneres squared the tab and then some, giving Hoidahl $27.75 in cash and a check for $10,000.

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