The Week in N.H. News: Suboxone Scarcity, Scuffles Over School Funding

May 6, 2016

In case you weren't paying close attention to the headlines this week, here are some interesting things you might've missed. Want to catch up a bit earlier on the headlines? Sign up for our Friday news email, The Rundown, and get it delivered right to your inbox. Here's the link.

Above The Fold

Why haven’t more of the state’s doctors stepped up to fight on the front lines of addiction?

That’s the question driving the latest installment in our “Dangerous Ends” series, an ongoing look at the state’s opiate crisis.

NHPR’s Brian Wallstin looks into one treatment option, Suboxone, that can actually be prescribed by primary care physicians — and reports on why only a small number of New Hampshire providers are offering it. (For more on what’s known and still unknown about how this treatment works, check out this explainer.)

A High Point for Medicinal Pot?

Sanctuary ATC, the state's first medical marijuana dispensary, opened this week in Plymouth.
Credit Casey McDermott, NHPR

  The state reached a milestone nearly three years in the making this week, as its first medical marijuana dispensary opened up in Plymouth. And a few days later, another one was ready to open in Dover.

This is a pretty big deal for patients who qualify for the program — even though the state technically legalized medical marijuana in 2013, there wasn't any way for people to legally buy the stuff in New Hampshire until the dispensaries opened.

Jail Doctor Under Investigation...

NHPR's Emily Corwin reported this week on allegations against a physician at the Valley Street Jail in Manchester. The Board of Medicine issued an emergency order in late April that temporarily suspended the license of Matthew Masewic, who has been treating inmates at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections since 2009. In agreeing to the terms of the order, Masewic has not admitted to any misconduct.

‘The Donald’ Brings More Drama for NH's GOP

Donald Trump’s apparent ascendance as the Republican nominee is making things, well, a little complicated for the New Hampshire Republican Party. As NHPR’s Josh Rogers reported, the week started with backlash from Trump supporters who were worried about being left out of the state’s delegation on some key committees at the Republican National Convention. After the outcry, the party ended up changing its plans for selecting those delegates.

Credit NHPR

Meanwhile, Sen. Kelly Ayotte is stopping short of officially “endorsing” Trump — but says she still plans to support him as her party’s nominee. That stance has caused some head-scratching, to say the least,among political commentators. One New York Magazine columnist called it “a Talmudic distinction so exquisitely incomprehensible it’s impossible to imagine her sustaining it.

For more reaction from local Republicans, The Concord Monitor also caught up with a bunch of other party members in varying stages of “resignation,” “acceptance,” and “anger” about Trump’s prospective nomination.

More Headlines:

Dover School Funding Dispute Heads to Court Today. Here's What You Need to Know

Gatsas Says He'll Support Trump, Months After Returning His Campaign Donation

With "For Sale" Sign Posted, Regulars at Rockingham Park Prepare for Track's Final Lap

For One Prominent N.H. Conservative, 'Never Trump' Means 'Never'

Democracy For America Endorses Van Ostern in N.H. Governor's Race

In Other News

By the numbers...

$42,500 — The price for interfering with a guy’s right to free speech, at least in the case of an Alton man who was trying to stand up to his local select board. A judge found that the town wrongfully arrested the man during a public comment forum last year. (Union Leader)

$838.65 — What Donald Trump’s campaign still owes Claremont for costs related to a rally hosted at a local high school in January. That’s after one local supporter wrote out a $240 personal check for part of the tab. (Eagle Times)

700 — The number of kids in Laconia who are expected to need extra help finding lunch when school lets out during the summer. Luckily, a program that provides free meals to students in need got a $1,000 donation this week. (Laconia Daily Sun)

82 — People have died from drug overdoses in New Hampshire so far this year, according to the most recent count from the state medical examiner’s office. (Keene Sentinel)

32 — It’s taken one local pianist three years to perform that many Beethoven sonatas, as part of a personal challenge to play through the composer’s entire sonata songbook. You can catch the grand finale Friday night at Concord Community Music School. (Concord Monitor)

20 (percent) — That’s about how much higher the rates for bladder cancer were for people in Northern New England, compared to the rest of the country, for the last 50 years. A new study suggests that those higher cancer rates also correlate with high levels of arsenic in private wells around the region. (NHPR)

14 — Granite Staters were honored with “Hero Awards” this week, for putting their lives at risk to help others. (Union Leader)

13 — Years since “rotten granite and gravity” got the best of New Hampshire’s Old Man of The Mountain. (Union Leader)

5 — New Hampshire schools were among the 10 most expensive two-year colleges in the country, based on figures from the 2013-14 academic year. (Nashua Telegraph)

No. 3 — Portsmouth earned some national props for having the third-best “Small Town Food Scene” in the country. (USA TODAY)

Also Worth A Click
Credit -Keith Meyers of the New York Times

  • Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen want to honor Concord High School teacher Christa McAuliffe with a commemorative coin marking the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. (Associated Press)
  • Newmarket officially banned discrimination against transgender people. (Seacoast Online)
  • Now that ride-sharing services are starting to shuttle people around Manchester and Portsmouth, when can we expect to start seeing them in more rural parts of the state? (NH Business Review)
  • And, speaking of the sharing economy, the state’s also trying to figure out what to do with a growing Airbnb marketplace. (Associated Press)
  • PSA: Don’t count on your cell to carry you through to safety during a hike. Conservation officers had trouble finding a lost hiker on Mount Monadnock because of poor cell service, so they’re encouraging people to have trail maps on hand in case of an emergency. (Keene Sentinel)
  • A quartet of cows were on the mooooove in Weare this week — police put a call out for people to be on the lookout for the runaway bovines, after the animals escaped from a local farm Sunday afternoon. (Concord Monitor)