NHPR Staff

If you’ve been wondering how the state budget battle might play out through the dog days of summer, the past week provided some insight. None of it, however, seems very promising for a smooth resolution.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

NHPR's Chris Jensen recently profiled the North Country's Frances Glessner Lee, whom many refer to as "The Mother of CSI."

Lee recreated tiny crime scenes that resembled meticulous, macabre dollhouses. She called them "nutshells," as in finding truth "in a nutshell."

Of Lee's twenty original nutshells, eighteen are in still in use as teaching tools and aren't available to the public. One was destroyed. But the final one is on display in Bethlehem, N.H.

The Hechinger Report

Here at State of Democracy, we love a good graphic. Maps, charts, tables -- any illustration that displays lots of data in a clear, informative manner earns a gold star from us. Here's one recent example that caught our eye: a map showing the graduation rate for nearly every school district in the United States in 2013.

AP/Allegra Boverman

As Harry Reid, the Senate’s Democratic leader, prepares to retire from Congress, he’s turning his attention to the handful of races next year that could sway control of the Senate. And, according to a recent story in Politico, Reid has taken a particular interest in New Hampshire – specifically the question of whether Gov. Maggie Hassan will jump into the Senate race herself.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Donald Trump's recent comments about undocumented Mexican immigrants have cost him business deals ranging from the Miss USA Pageant to a clothing line at Macy's. Trump's stance is also drawing increasing criticism from his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination.

NHPR / Emily Corwin

A joint building committee will meet Tuesday night to go over the $87 million cost for the Dover High School building project.

The price tag has caught some residents and city officials by surprise. 

Litchfield School District

The head of the Litchfield School District has stepped down.

The school board announced over the weekend that Superintendent Brian Cochrane had resigned, following a vote of no confidence from the Litchfield Education Association.

The Union Leader reports Cochrane’s resignation is effective Tuesday.

Governor Maggie Hassan is calling the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states a “momentous victory” and says she’s extremely proud that New Hampshire helped to "pave the way. "   New Hampshire recognized civil unions in 2008 and legalized gay marriage two years later.

Hassan Vetoes Budget

Jun 25, 2015
Paige Sutherland for NHPR

As promised, Governor Maggie Hassan has vetoed the 2016-17 budget approved by the Republican-led House and Senate. 

Related Infographic - 2015 Budget: Where the Governor and Legislature Disagree

weirsbeach.com

Laconia has wrapped up the 92nd annual Motorcycle Week, in which thousands took part in local events and motorcycle tours into the Mount Washington Valley despite periods of heavy rain. 

While Motorcycle Week has sometimes been characterized by arrests and unruly behavior - or at least concerns about such behavior - Captain William Cleary of the Laconia Police Department says that wasn’t the case this year. “We’ve had extremely large crowds all week – nice crowds, well behaved,” he said. “Arrests and numbers like that are down. Our tickets and accidents are down as well.”

After outcry from students and faculty, the Pembroke School Board has overturned a decision to change the title of the top job at Pembroke Academy from "headmaster" to "principal."

The Concord Monitor reports the school board voted 3-2 late Tuesday night to reverse its earlier decision.

The board voted last fall to change the title to principal, the rationale being that it's a more fitting title for a public school.

NHPR Staff

A lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on so-called "ballot selfies" heads to federal court today.

The Nashua Telegraph reports that oral arguments will be heard today in U.S. District Court in Concord over a law passed last year that bans voters from taking pictures of their marked ballots and posting the images on social media sites.

State officials have defended the law as necessary to prevent voter bribery and coercion.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has served in the Senate since 2002, where he has focused mainly on foreign policy and military issues.

Before being elected to the Senate, he served eight years in the U.S. House.

Graham has also served as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force, the South Carolina Air National Guard, and the U.S. Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of colonel.

ilovebutter via Flickr CC

With the arrival of warmer weather comes a yearning to plant - and eat - fresh vegetables. But if you're looking for some locally-grown veggies before your garden gets going, a farmers market can be just the ticket.

Increasingly, farmers markets are offering much more than the green goods, with vendors offering fresh baked bread, soaps, crafts, and other locally-made food and home products. Some markets are even showcases for live music, crafts, and art.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

George Pataki served as governor of New York from 1995 to 2006. A Republican, he also spent a decade in the New York State Legislature and served as mayor of the town of Peekskill, N.Y. Prior to entering politics, Pataki worked as a lawyer.

Pataki flirted with previous runs for the presidency in 2008 and 2012, and has pitched himself as a moderate Republican with a track record of winning elections in left-leaning New York.

Pataki declared his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president on May 28th, 2015. 

Further reading/viewing:

NHPR's Strategic Plan

May 27, 2015

"The value for news organizations now increasingly lies in providing context and verification—reporting the 'how, why and what it means' - and facilitating communities around that news and information.

          - Clayton M. Chistensen, 'Be the Disruptor'

         The Neiman Reports, Fall 2012

NHPR

Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican, served in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007. Prior to that, he was elected to two terms in the U.S. House.

Known as a strong social conservative, Santorum finished the 2012 GOP Presidential Primary as runner-up to Mitt Romney.

Santorum announced his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on May 27th, 2015. 

Further reading/viewing:

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The president of the New Hampshire Senate says he expects the process of writing a new two-year state budget to continue for more than a month.

Republican Chuck Morse of Salem spoke on WMUR-TV’s “Close Up” this weekend. While the Senate is looking to pass its version of the budget by June 4, lawmakers must send the governor a final budget by the end of June. 

lrargerich via Flickr/Creative Commons

Much of the state is officially in a drought.

WMUR reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture places central and southern New Hampshire in a moderate drought.

Northern areas of the state are in abnormally dry conditions.

Concord is running 5 inches below the average precipitation, going back to March 1.

River levels are also running lower than average.

Dry conditions have led to high fire risk across the state.

youtube.com

Jury deliberations are expected to begin Friday in the case of an ex-Seabrook police officer accused of slamming a drunken driving suspect head-first into a concrete wall.

The Union Leader reports Mark Richardson took the stand in his own defense Thursday, saying he was trying to subdue the 19-year-old Michael Bergeron.

Richardson says Bergeron was being belligerent and resistant.

NHPR

Research shows students who attend preschool are more likely to have stability and success as they go through school and through life, yet New Hampshire is behind the national curve when it comes to investing in these programs.

The National Institute for Early Education Research has released its annual report, The State of Preschool, which profiles state-funded programs and tracks national trends around preschool quality and access.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Yvonne Dean-Bailey defeated Democrat Maureen Mann yesterday in a special election for the state House of Representatives.

The seat is in Rockingham District 32, which represents Candia, Deerfield, Northwood and Nottingham.

Dean-Bailey will fill the seat left vacant by Republican Brian Dobson. He resigned to become director of veterans affairs for Congressman Frank Guinta. 

Both Dean-Bailey and Mann, a former state representative, received support from potential presidential candidates in the weeks leading up to the election.

thisweekinraymond.com

The city of Manchester could soon have a new police chief.

The Union Leader reports Mayor Ted Gatsas has nominated Assistant Police Chief Nick Willard to lead the department.

If aldermen approve the nomination, Willard would replace Chief David Mara, who announced earlier this month that he will retire at the end of June.

If he gets the job, Willard has already agreed to move to the city within 180 days.

Wayne Silver Via Flickr CC

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning, the state's overall population grew from just over 1.1 million in 1990 to more than 1.3 million in 2013, an increase of 19.2%. In that same period of time, there's been a notable drop in kids aged ten and under in the state - the very population we're looking all week at in our special series The First Decade.

A Precipitous Decline 

Councilors in Claremont voted unanimously last night in support of a new city pumpkin festival.

The Union Leader reports the Claremont Citizens Group, which is organizing the festival, plans to file permits today for the first New England Pumpkin Festival.

The event is being planned for downtown Claremont on Oct. 17.

Representatives from the citizens group say they plan to raise the money to pay for any city resources that will be needed for the festival.

The House passed legislation Wednesday evening to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records and replace it with a system to search the data on a case-by-case basis.

New Hampshire Democratic Representative Ann McLane Kuster voted in favor of its passage. Republican Frank Guinta voted against it.

The overwhelming vote of 338 to 88 sets the stage for a Senate showdown just weeks before the law authorizing the program is to expire.

The House passed legislation Wednesday evening to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records and replace it with a system to search the data on a case-by-case basis.

New Hampshire Democratic Representative Ann McLane Kuster voted in favor of its passage. Republican Frank Guinta voted against it.

The overwhelming vote of 338 to 88 sets the stage for a Senate showdown just weeks before the law authorizing the program is to expire.

photoman82/flickr

The Weirs Beach Drive-In Theater is for sale.

Owner Patricia Baldi tells the Union Leader the 12.6 acres of property is on the market for $2.5 million.

Meanwhile, the theater will still operate this summer, opening this weekend. It opened in 1948 as one of the state’s first drive-in movie theaters.

Baldi says despite the planned sale, the theater is going forward with a major digital upgrade this summer, which had already been in the works.

NHPR / Ryan Lessard

The head of the Manchester Police Department is stepping down.

Chief David Mara tells the Union Leader he’s retiring and his last day will be June 30.

Mara has been chief of the department for almost seven years.

He says he made the announcement to department staff Monday.

Mara has been with the department for nearly three decades, starting as a patrolman in 1986.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

It’s been a busy wildfire season in New Hampshire, with crews battling blazes in the Lakes Region Wednesday.

The Union Leader reports one wildfire closed Route 140 in Northfield yesterday.

Another atop Bayle Mountain in Ossipee burned for a second day, despite efforts to douse the fire from the air.

There were also reports of a wildfire in Merrimack.

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