NHPR Staff

Bryn Pinzgauer / Flickr Creative Commons

Lost River Gorge is closing early before one of its busiest weekends because of a brush fire in North Woodstock that has spread to about 70 acres.

The fire started Tuesday on a cliff in Kinsman Ridge over the gorge. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

More than 100 firefighters from five towns across the state and three helicopters have been working to extinguish the flames.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Sen. Maggie Hassan announced Wednesday she will help introduce a bill to prevent modifications that allow for rapid fire of semi-automatic weapons.

The sale and transfer of automatic weapons are illegal under the National Firearms Act, but accessories can be attached to semi-automatic weapons that increase rate of fire.

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and former alderman Joyce Craig will take part in a debate hosted by NHPR’s The Exchange.

The debate will air live Thursday, Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. It will be rebroadcast at 7 p.m. later that evening. Laura Knoy, host of The Exchange, will moderate.

The Nov. 7 election will be a rematch of 2015, when Gatsas defeated Craig by just 64 votes.

Gatsas is seeking his fifth term as mayor of New Hampshire’s largest city. A Republican, Gatsas ran for governor last year, but fell short in the GOP primary.

USA - NH - New Hampshire State Police
Dave Conner / Flickr Creative Commons

The state medical examiner says a man who was involved in a shooting with a Belmont police officer died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald says Joseph Mazzitelli, 46, from Belmont was shot on Saturday after pulling out a firearm during a confrontation with a police officer over a warrant outside a gas station.

   New Hampshire State Police say a Belmont police officer fatally shot a man who pulled out a firearm during a confrontation over a warrant outside a gas station.

Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald says the officer recognized Joseph Mazzitelli of Belmont as having outstanding warrants just before 3 p.m. Saturday. He says the officer confirmed it with his department and approached Mazzitelli, who displayed his weapon and was then shot.

MacDonald says Mazzitelli, 46, was pronounced dead at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia. An autopsy will be performed Monday.

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission set an all-time sales record of $698.2 million during the 2017 fiscal year. That’s an increase of 2.92 percent, or $19.8 million, from the previous fiscal year.

According to the liquor commission, $155.7 million in profits were transferred to New Hampshire’s General Fund, which will be used for programs like education, health and social services, transportation, and natural resource protection.

Another $3 million dollars was transferred to the state’s Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund.

Democratic candidate Kari Lerner of Chester won a special New Hampshire House election in Rockingham County on Tuesday.

Lerner defeated Republican former state Representative James Headd of Auburn by 39 votes.

Headd has requested a recount. It will be Tuesday, 10 a.m., at the State Archives building in Concord. 

The election took place in District 4, which has 20 percent more registered Republicans than Democrats, according to the New Hampshire Democratic Party. President Donald Trump won the district by 23 points.

 Ed Engler, mayor of Laconia since 2013, is taking a leave of absence following a diagnosis of colon cancer.

Engler notified city employees late last week that he’s seeking medical treatment in California, where his daughter lives, and is likely to be away for at least a month. Laconia City Manager Scott Myers says Engle was in good spirits when they last spoke.

Railroad Crossing
Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

The mayor of Nashua says he will propose a partnership between the city and a private railroad company in order to offer a commuter rail service.

Mayor Jim Donchess on Tuesday will bring forth a proposal to the Board of Aldermen that will enter the city into an agreement with the Boston Surface Railroad Co. The Rhode-Island based company will invest in creating a commuter rail line that connects Bedford and Nashua in New Hampshire to Lowell and Worcester, Massachusetts

The Mayor has been in talks with BSRC since March.

School districts, municipalities and other community groups across New Hampshire are in line to receive a boost of federal funding for programs related to fighting the opioid crisis. 

In all, local groups are slated to collectively receive more than $2 million, most of it coming from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. 

NHPR File

New Hampshire Lottery Director Charlie McIntyre says Granite Staters currently spend about $25 million a year playing keno in Massachusetts.

That is one reason the state is upbeat about a new law that gives cities and towns the option to allow keno gambling. A projected $9 million in revenue will help fund full-day kindergarten.

Voters in eleven cities will weigh that ballot question this fall. But not everyone is so gung-ho about it.

Thomas Fearon

The Department of Health and Human Services appointed someone from within as the new leader of New Hampshire Hospital and the Glencliff Home.

DHHS Commissioner Jeff Meyers named his deputy, Lori Shibinette, as the facilities' new CEO starting October 20.

"The Vietnam War" documentary

   

The Manchester VA is offering drop-in sessions for New Hampshire Vietnam veterans who are emotionally impacted by a documentary on the Vietnam War. The 10-part series by filmmaker Ken Burns is now airing on PBS.

New Hampshire Representative Steve Shurtleff of Concord served in Vietnam and says for many Vietnam vets, the wounds are still fresh.

Shurtleff served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army Military Police from July 1967 to July 1968. He recently watched a preview of "The Vietnam War" at the Red River Theatres. He says it brought back a lot of memories.

 

The Manchester VA Medical Center has appointed a 12-member task force to make recommendations on the future of New Hampshire’s only veterans hospital.

The appointments were the latest step toward reform since the Boston Globe reported in July on a whistleblower complaint, which described a fly-infested operating room, surgical instruments that weren’t always sterilized and patients whose conditions were ignored.

NHPR File

 

New Hampshire had the highest median income of any state in the U.S. in 2016. 

 

According to the latest income data released by the U.S. Census, the state's median household income last year was over $76 ,000, which is 30 percent higher than the national median.

 

The typical New Hampshire household earned $35,000 more a year than the typical household in Mississippi, which is the poorest state in the country.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge is allowing a controversial new voting to law to go into effect, but is blocking the state from enforcing its penalties. (Read the full decision below.)

Judge Charles Temple issued his decision early Tuesday morning, just as voters are heading to the polls for a special election in Laconia.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party and League of Women Voters, were seeking an immediate injunction to block implementation.

NHPR File

The Nashua Teachers’ Union says teachers might cut back on their responsibilities if the Board of Education doesn’t come to a contract agreement this week.

Teachers started the new school year without a contract. Union president Adam Marcoux says the board has been mostly quiet since mid-June.

Marcoux says teachers may cut back on student field trips, writing recommendation letters or advising organizations without being paid.

Those steps would come Sept. 18. That is, if there is no tentative agreement reached at the next negotiation session.

Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Border Patrol agents staged a weekend checkpoint on Interstate 93 in Lincoln, New Hampshire over the weekend, resulting in the detention of 25 undocumented immigrants, including several minors.

Flikr Creative Commons / Jim.Richmond

Gov. Chris Sununu praised a new draft of goals for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap and trade program among New England states, as a step in the right direction.

Among other things, the proposal calls for a 30 percent reduction in power plant emissions between 2020 and 2030.

Emily Corwin

Across New Hampshire, people gathered with special glasses, hand-made viewers, and solar telescopes to get a safe view of today's eclipse.

Source: BIA Report on Consumer Confidence

New Hampshire residents continue to forecast good times ahead for the state's economy. 

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter is holding a pair of town hall meetings this week.

The first will be at Laconia Middle School on Tuesday. And on Wednesday, Shea-Porter will be at the McConnell Center in Dover. Both events are open to the public and get underway at 6 p.m.

Shea-Porter plans to discuss her work in Congress, and take questions from the audience. 

The Democrat is in her fourth term serving New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.

Adam Fagen/Flickr

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is getting $3.5 million in federal funds to reconstruct and relocate several taxiways.

Carnegie Hall Live is a special series presented by WFMT and running Fridays at 8 pm on ClassicalNH June 30 through September 22. These performances were recorded live in March – June 2017.

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June 30, 2017

Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela

A thrilling night of dances open the new season of Carnegie Hall with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.

July 7, 2017

Ian Bostridge & Thomas Ades

Thomas Fearon / NHPR

There was a "catastrophic mechanical pipe failure" at the Manchester VA Medical Center early Wednesday morning, causing flooding and severe water damage on a number of floors.

The pipe failure occurred at about 4 a.m., according to a statement.

Officials at the facility say they are in the process of contacting patients with appointments in the affected areas.

Health care services provided on the first and second floor were not impacted.

June 27, 2017

CONDUCTOR:  Gustavo Dudamel
Yefim Bronfman, piano
St. Lawrence String Quartet

BEETHOVEN  Coriolan Overture
John ADAMS  Absolute Jest (L.A. premiere)
BEETHOVEN  Piano Concerto No. 4

July 4, 2017

CONDUCTOR:  Gustavo Dudamel

MAHLER                   Symphony No. 9

July 11, 2017

CONDUCTOR:  Gustavo Dudamel
 Daniil Trifonov, piano

On Wednesday, July 12, 2017, the House Subcommittee that makes public media funding decisions released its draft bill.

Thanks to the outreach of public media listeners and viewers, the draft bill provided full funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which distributes seed funding to NHPR and stations throughout the country.

This is a big achievement, particularly in light of the tough fiscal environment in Congress. We thank each and every one of our supporters for caring about the future of public media.

Portsmouth Police Department

A New Hampshire House Rep. from Hudson has been charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

Eddie Cheuk

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office has initiated a criminal investigation into St. Paul's School, the prestigious Concord prep school at the center of the high-profile sexual assault trial of a former student in 2015, and a recent report detailing a decades-long history of sexual abuse by members of the school's faculty.

GIPHY

Remember how we asked you to send us your questions about New Hampshire? You delivered, and then some — and now, we’re happy to report, we have some answers.

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