NHPR Staff

voting booths
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Voters are heading to the polls in Merrimack Tuesday.

Resident will decide on the election of new town councilors and proposed town and school district budgets.

There are also two collective bargaining agreements on the ballot.

Polls will be open until 7 Tuesday evening.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Marco Rubio is the junior U.S. Senator from Florida, a seat he has held since 2011. Prior to holding national office, he served as speaker in the Florida House of Representatives from 2007-2009. Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants and a native of Miami. He attended the University of Miami School of Law.

Rubio announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race on April 13th, 2015. (You can watch video of his announcement speech below.)

Further reading/viewing:

Video: Senator Marco Rubio's full presidential announcement speech, via C-SPAN)

Tracy Lee Carroll for NHPR

Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State under President Obama from 2009 to 2013, after being defeated by Obama for the Democratic party's nomination for President in 2008. First coming to national prominence as the wife of President Bill Clinton, she made history as the first ever First Lady to run for office, winning a U.S. Senate seat representing New York in 2000.


A group in Claremont will hold a public meeting this weekend to discuss the possibility of the city hosting the Keene Pumpkin Festival.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the Claremont Citizens Group will meet Saturday morning at Trinity Church.

The Keene City Council voted last week to reject the permit for what would have been the 25th anniversary of the festival this October.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced his candidacy on April 7, 2015 on his website. The 52 year-old former ophthalmologist is the son of Ron Paul, the former U.S. Representative for Texas and two-time presidential candidate who ran in 1988 as the nominee for the Libertarian party. Sen. Paul is best known for his own libertarian points of view, especially in the realms of foreign policy, defense spending, and the size and scope of government.

Selbe B via Flickr/CC

There will be no Pumpkin Festival in Keene this year, after the City Council voted overwhelmingly to reject a permit for the annual event after alcohol-fueled violence last year led to injuries, property damage and more than 100 arrests.

The council voted 13-1 last night not to grant the license.

Councilor Kris Roberts was one of the most vocal supporters of keeping the festival going.

NYC Department of Technology / Flicker CC

The parents of more than 500 students in Manchester have refused to let their children take the new Smarter Balanced test.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the district had received 531 parent refusal notices as of Thursday.

The school board voted earlier this month to send letters home to parents letting them know they could pull their children from the test, which is being given for the first time this spring.

Google Earth images

Investigators with the Attorney General's office say three people killed in Bedford over the weekend were likely victims of a murder-suicide. 

Assistant Attorney General Jay McCormack says police responded to a 911 call from Alexey Obukhov.  He reported the death of 34  year old  Nina Obukhov.

Bedford Police later discovered two other victims: the Obukhovs' children Katherine and Elizabeth, ages 8 and 6.


The Rockingham County Commissioners have decided not to pay to defend County Attorney Patricia Conway in a possible whistleblower lawsuit.

Hours after being sworn into office in November, Conway fired assistant county attorney Jerome Blanchard, a key witness a state misconduct investigation.

Blanchard has threatened legal action, claiming the firing was payback for his involvement in the investigation into former county attorney Jim Reams.

Conway insists the firing was justified.

Steve Richardson via Flickr CC

Looking for something  Grade A to do this weekend? After an especially long winter, New Hampshire residents can finally taste the sweet stuff that's become an annual rite of spring: local maple syrup produced in a roadside shack.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

After stepping down as head of the Rudman Center at UNH Law last week, former New Hampshire Chief Justice John Broderick has been banned from the center he helped found.

Broderick stepped down from the post, citing a lack of support from the university.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports Broderick was told by university officials Friday to vacate his office and not to appear at any events at the Rudman Center.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Republican Edward "Ted" Cruz was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. He is the first Cuban-American to serve in that role for the state of Texas. Cruz announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential primary on March 23, 2015. (You can watch the video of his announcement at the bottom of the page.)

kennethkonica (Flickr)

Officials in Nashua will consider an ordinance this week that aims to curb panhandling in the city.

The Telegraph of Nashua reports the proposal would bar the exchange of goods between pedestrians and drivers in a public way.

The legislation goes before the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Updated at 3:45 PM:

N.H. House speaker Shawn Jasper is demanding an apology from the state rep who made an abortion remark during debate over the bill proposed by fourth graders to designate the Red Tailed Hawk as the state's official raptor. 


Voters in Bow have rejected a $5 million bond to build a proposed public safety facility.

The Concord Monitor reports the vote came during the second session of Bow’s town meeting Thursday night.

Of the more than 1,100 residents who voted on the bond, just more than half supported it, falling short of the two-thirds needed to pass.

The combined facility would have housed the police, fire and emergency management departments.

NYC Department of Technology / Flicker CC

Nearly 200 students opted out of taking the Smarter Balanced exam in Manchester this week.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the district received 196 refusal requests from parents or guardians during the first week of the new online statewide assessment.

The test is being given to students across the state in grades three through eight, as well as 11th grade.

Selbe B via Flickr/CC

Officials in Keene have delayed action on whether to issue a permit to the organizers of the city’s annual pumpkin festival.

The Keene Sentinel reports city councilors voted Thursday night to send the issue back to the council’s planning, licenses and development committee for reconsideration.

That committee voted unanimously last week to reject issuing a permit to Let It Shine, the nonprofit group that organizes the festival.

However, Mayor Kendall Lane urged councilors to give the decision its due process and allow for more discussion on the festival’s future.

A new New Hampshire State Prison for Women, originally slated to open in Concord in the fall of 2016, is running $12 million over budget and will be delayed by one year.

NHPR's newsroom has been covering issues surrounding the current women's prison in Goffstown, as well as the resources and funding issues that have faced New Hampshire's Department of Corrections in recent years. Reporter Emily Corwin was the recipient of a 2014 Gracie Award for her journalism on this issue.


Voters in New Castle will meet Tuesday night to reconsider last week’s vote to defeat a $1 million bond for upgrades and renovations to the town’s elementary school.

Seacoast Online reports the reconsideration meeting will be held at the New Castle Recreation Center at 7.

At last week’s school district, voters defeated the bond question, which needed a two-thirds majority.

Officials with the ride-sharing service Uber say they’ll pull out of Portsmouth if a proposed ordinance requiring background checks for its drivers goes through.

Seacoast Online reports the city council voted Monday night to delay action on the ordinance, following a public hearing.

It would require Uber’s drivers to undergo criminal background checks overseen by local police and have proof of insurance, similar to the city’s taxi drivers.

School officials in the town of Croydon plan to challenge a state Department of Education order that the district stop tuition payments to private schools.

After leaving the K-4 Croydon Village School, most of the town’s students attend Newport Middle/High School.

However, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports the town has been sending one student to Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, paying half of the roughly $30,000 tuition.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Both the New Hampshire House and Senate have killed bills Thursday that would have established a higher state minimum wage.

The House’s measure, which was rejected in a 198 to 145 vote, would have raised the minimum wage to $9.10 by next year -- tacking on nearly $7 by 2018.

Meanwhile in a 14-10 vote the Senate rejected to increase the hourly rate by $8.25  by next January – reaching $10 by 2018.

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 will remain in place. Currently 29 other states have higher minimum wages. 

Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway is facing a potential whistleblower’s lawsuit over her firing of a key witness in a state misconduct investigation.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports county commissioners have received an offer to settle the matter financially instead of defending themselves from a lawsuit.

Conway insists her firing of assistant county attorney Jerome Blanchard just hours after being sworn into office was not payback.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Voters in several in New Hampshire communities head to the polls today for the annual Town Meeting.

Decisions will be made on local political offices, town operating budgets, as well as a number of infrastructure projects.

In Salem, voters will consider a $23.5 million public safety complex, which would house both the police and fire departments.

In Plaistow, voters will consider plans for an $11 million police station to replace an aging, crowded building.

Voters in North Hampton are also being asked to approve a new home for police and fire officials.

Tom Vagliery via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire House passed a bill Wednesday banning anyone under 18 from using tanning beds.

Lawmakers approved the bill 199 to 162 on Wednesday, sending the bill to the Senate.

Salem Representative Gary Azarian sponsored the bill, and says the measure is akin to existing bans on minors purchasing alcohol and cigarettes.

"It's inherently dangerous for persons under 18 years of age to use a tanning bed," he said. "It causes melanoma and cancers and they die from it. It's a reasonable request to ban persons under 18 from tanning in a tanning bed."

Selbe B via Flickr/CC

A request from the group the Let It Shine for a license to hold the 25th annual Keene Pumpkin Festival in October is coming before the City Council this week.

There’s a band of bedrock in Eastern New England that makes the region one of about a dozen hotspots in the country for arsenic in drinking wells.

A U.S. Geological Survey study estimates nearly 50,000 people in Southeastern New Hampshire could be drinking elevated levels of arsenic.

And while it can sound terrifying that there are trace amounts of such an iconic poison in some people’s water, it can be fixed.

On the field, the UNH Wildcats had a nearly perfect season, advancing into the playoffs as the top ranked team in its division. But off the field, a study using this team is trying to figure out how to reduce concussions. The big idea is to protect player’s heads by having them practice - without a helmet.

Every year USA Yoga holds its annual national championships in San Antonio.  NHPR's Emily Corwin caught up with one of the competitors, 19-year-old New Hampshire resident Emily Avery as she prepared for the big day.

You've seen abandoned houses.  Windows broken or boarded up.  You've probably seen abandoned cars in the woods.  NHPR's Sean Hurley recently came upon an abandoned train in Bartlett.  To find out more about its history, he spoke with Conway Scenic Railroad Conductor Gordon Lang.