Associated Press

The White House is urging quick congressional approval of a deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the partial government shutdown.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the deal reached by Senate leaders "achieves what's necessary" to reopen the government, remove the threat of default and move past brinksmanship.

Carney says the agreement is bipartisan and that President Barack Obama is looking for Congress to act so he can sign it and remove the threat to the economy.

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The federal Government Accountability Office says the nuclear plant at Seabrook, N.H., had the fewest number of safety violations in the Northeast from 2000 to 2012 among facilities with only one reactor.

The GAO reports the plant, which is owned by NextEra Energy, had three higher-level violations and 85 lower-level violations over the 12 years.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report before its release.

No other single-reactor plant in the Northeast had fewer than 106 total violations. The most, 178, were at the Hope Creek plant in Hancocks Bridge, N.J.

via FBI.gov

 

The sister of a missing New Hampshire girl is pleading for her safe return.

Sarah Hernandez made the plea Monday evening during a brief news conference by law enforcement investigators outside the Conway Police Department building. The investigators were updating the press about the search for 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez.

The North Conway teenager was last seen leaving Kennett High School on Wednesday afternoon. Police say she made it home but was gone when her mother arrived later.

via FBI.gov

Investigators say the last call made on a missing New Hampshire girl's cellphone was at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, about four hours after she was last seen.

Fifteen-year-old Abigail Hernandez of North Conway was last seen leaving Kennett High School on Wednesday afternoon. Police say she made it home but was gone when her mother arrived later.

WMUR-TV reports that police said Sunday they have not located the girl's phone, but have determined that the last call was made at 6:30 p.m. It's not clear where the call was made.

New Hampshire officials have identified the 60-year-old man who died Saturday while hiking in the White Mountains.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says rescuers were called to the Ripley Falls Trail about 11 a.m. Saturday and found James Byrne of South Dennis, Mass., unresponsive about half a mile up the trail.

Officials say Byrne had been hiking with family and friends. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

An autopsy was to be conducted to determine the cause of death.

10/10/2013:

U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire have signed a petition that would force a vote to end the federal government shutdown.

The two Democrats agree that it's time for a vote to reopen the government nearly two weeks into what Kuster called a damaging shutdown that is hurting Granite State families and businesses.

The discharge petition is a special congressional procedure that would allow a majority of voters to force a vote on a bill to reopen the government.

New Hampshire fish and game officials are proposing lowering the age for apprentice falconers.

The agency will hold a hearing on a rule to reduce the age from 16 to 14 along with proposed changes to other falconry rules on Oct. 28 in Concord.

Another proposed rule change would extend the time when birds may be taken from the wild. The current rule allows birds to be taken from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30. The proposal would extend the time to Dec. 31.

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New Hampshire's Supreme Court will decide whether reading a text message while driving is a crime, even though it's not barred by law.

Thirty-year-old Chad Belleville, of Barnstead, is serving a 3 ½-to-7-year sentence for second-degree assault and vehicular assault related to a December 2010 car accident in Pittsfield that seriously injured a teenager.

Belleville's lawyer argues that reading a text message on his phone amounted to a momentary distraction, not reckless or negligent conduct.

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Leather shoes and accessories manufacturer Cole Haan is moving its headquarters from Maine to New Hampshire.

Officials said on Friday that the headquarters will relocate from Scarborough, Maine to Greenland, N.H., where its customer service and distribution center is located.

Karen Martin, executive director of the Scarborough Economic Development Corp., tells the Portland Press Herald that about 110 people work at headquarters.

The company didn't disclose when it plans to relocate or how many employees would be affected.

Police in North Conway say so far there is nothing suspicious about the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl.

Abigail Hernandez left Kennett High School around 2:30 Wednesday afternoon and police believe she made it home. But when her mother arrived home, the girl was gone.

The search continued Thursday. Conway Police Chief Edward Wagner says police are treating it as a missing person's case "and nothing more." Local, state and federal police agencies are involved in the investigation.

An elementary school in Nashua is reminding parents and students that playing "tag" violates the school's longtime "no contact" rule for recess games.

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New Hampshire tourism officials say the fall foliage is most vibrant and at or just past peak in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region.

Officials emphasize that New Hampshire's parks and campgrounds are open and unaffected by the federal government shutdown. Ranger stations in the White Mountains National Forest are closed.

Foliage is now past peak in Pittsburg and most areas of the Great North Woods, which typically peak first.

North Conway and Lincoln are at or near peak, while Bristol, Hebron and Rumney are at 50 percent.

Republican Dan Innis, dean of the University of New Hampshire's business school, is running for Congress in the state's First District.

Innis, who also owns a Portsmouth inn with his husband, announced his campaign via an online video Wednesday. Though he's never run for office, he tells The Associated Press that the national situation is so dire with the growing deficit, national debt and Washington gridlock, that he's determined to do something about it. He says too many members of Congress let Washington change them instead of the reverse.

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New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are reminding hikers to be prepared this fall after several hikers needed to be rescued this week.

A Vermont couple was found and helped down Mount Madison in Lancaster in an all-night rescue after the hikers were caught in a severe storm on Monday afternoon.

And a 23-year-old Massachusetts man who was hiking with his caregiver and two companions separated from the group and got lost on Mount Sunapee on Monday. He was found safe about five miles from his last known location.

A Vermont man charged with killing a private school trustee at a New Hampshire hotel has signaled his intent to invoke a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Lawyers for 37-year-old Rodney Hill of Danville, Vt. have a requested a hearing on their notice of his intent to enter the insanity plea, court documents show.

Hill was indicted in June for second-degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of 70-year-old Catherine Houghton of California in the lobby of the Hampton Inn in Littleton.

A 70-year-old New Hampshire man accused of killing his roommate in Hampton has several previous criminal convictions.

Peter Bartoloni is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 56-year-old Robert Roderick last week. Prosecutors say the two men had been roommates briefly before Bartoloni used a sledgehammer to kill Roderick.

Two hospitals and a health clinic in Nashua, N.H., are teaming up to open a new outpatient surgery center.

The Surgery Center of Greater Nashua brings together St. Joseph Hospital, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua. Its first procedure — a knee surgery — is scheduled for Tuesday, with a ceremonial opening on Wednesday.

Many of the furloughed Portsmouth Naval Shipyard workers soon will be back on the job.

A shipyard spokesman told the Portsmouth Herald that workers who are part of the Naval Sea System Command, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command and base support are heading back to work Monday morning. Other workers are being told to contact their supervisors to see if they'll be working.

The former Tropical Storm Karen, since downgraded to a depression, hovered early Sunday near Louisiana's extreme southeast coastline and threatened to lash vulnerable low-lying areas with heavy rain.

But all tropical storm warnings were discontinued earlier in the weekend after the system had been downgraded from a weak tropical storm while lumbering off the Gulf Coast.

Breaking nearly century-old early autumn snowfall records, a storm system smothered South Dakota's scenic Black Hills in South Dakota with up to 3½ feet of wet, heavy snow, leaving residents the challenge of digging out.

But wintry weather wasn't the only thing delivered by the powerful cold front that crossed the Great Plains, as unusually strong thunderstorms brought heavy rain, hail and as many as nine tornadoes to Nebraska and Iowa. Fifteen people in northeast Nebraska were injured in a tornado Friday, while three died in a car accident on a snow-slicked road.

New Hampshire investigators admit they got lucky in detecting school bus driver John Allen Wright's sex abuse of children. A woman visiting a friend near Wright's Milton home unwittingly latched onto his wireless Internet connection and found sexually graphic images.

But getting the evidence to convict him of abusing the disabled children he drove and taping the abuse on a hidden camera required nearly 100 hours of computer examination by New Hampshire's Internet Crimes Against Children unit.

Tropical Storm Karen continued losing strength Saturday as it headed toward the central Gulf Coast, but forecasters were still expecting it to bring significant rain and potential flooding to low-lying areas.

The National Hurricane Center reported at 2 a.m. Saturday that Karen's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 40 mph, making it a weak tropical storm. The storm was moving west-northwest at 10 mph to 15 mph.

Forecasters expect the center of Karen to be near the southeast Louisiana coast on Saturday night, when they say there is a slight chance of strengthening.

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