Labor Day Weekend is the unofficial end of summer (boo!) It also traditionally serves, every four years, as the informal start of the high season for the New Hampshire presidential primary (yay?)

Candidates from both parties are flocking to the state over the next few days, hitting parades, picnics, conventions, town halls and house parties stretching from Salem to Pittsburg.

To help you navigate the busy campaign weekend, we've put together our Labor Day candidate map below. Click on each dot for details where and when to catch a candidate near  you.

H.A. Kimball

The way New Hampshire cares for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities has changed dramatically over the past 200 years.

The shifts in approach have been urged on by advances in drugs and science, legislative mandate, budget cuts, and the force of media and popular culture.

Just 25 years ago, New Hampshire was a national leader in caring for people with mental and physical disabilities. Today, the state ranks closer to the bottom, and New Hampshire is in the middle of a period of dramatic change.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has successfully attracted thousands of enthusiastic volunteers and other supporters. The challenge now is to translate that enthusiasm into success at the polls in early-voting states like New Hampshire.

A recent story by NHPR reporter Sam Evans-Brown examined how Sanders' camp is trying to build an organization -- both in New Hampshire and nationally -- to harness that support once the voting starts. This chart provides a bird's-eye view of what that organization looks like to date.

Nearly two thirds of the contributions from New Hampshire residents to presidential candidates since January went to Democrats, with Hillary Clinton collecting more from Granite Staters than all the Republicans combined.

Independence Day means fireworks, BBQs, flags – and, in New Hampshire, presidential politics.

The three-day weekend has lured at least eight candidates for president to the Granite State. The candidates, Republican and Democratic, will appear up and down the state, Friday through Sunday. So, if you've always wanted to discuss foreign policy with the future leader of the Free World while holding a sparkler, now might be your chance.

The financial partnership between local governments and the state of New Hampshire has splintered since the recession. 

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Negotiators in the House and Senate agreed to a compromise version of the next two-year budget earlier this week. Here's a summary of how the deal was reached.

Two proposed changes to the the state's education funding formula have been passed by the two chambers of the New Hampshire Legislature. Both seek to increase or lift altogether the state's cap on growth in per-pupil spending. And both would pay for such it by reducing so-called "stabilization grants," created in 2011 to keep certain school districts from losing huge amounts of funding after the last round of changes to the base aid formula.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR; Data: SAUs 28, 30 & 62; Legislative Budget Assistant
Sara Plourde / NHPR

The debate over New Hampshire’s business taxes has largely played out along partisan lines this year, with Republicans supporting staggered cuts to the state's corporate tax rates, and Democrats opposed. But political rhetoric aside, let's look at the underlying numbers to better grasp the core policy issues.

Sara Plourde | Data: NH Dept. of Education, NH School Administrators Association

The number of New Hampshire public school districts offering full day kindergarten has been on the rise since 1999, when there were fewer than a dozen.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

There are many factors that affect the way a family with children lives. We've selected ten of these - factors which affect income, access to resources, and stability - and combined them to illustrate how families are doing at either end of the income spectrum.
This graphic illustrates how the top 25% and bottom 25% compare, and how the bottom 25% compares with the average of all New Hampshire families. 

Notes on the data:

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Every two years New Hampshire lawmakers are given the task of producing a budget for the state.  The aim is to craft one that best serves Granite State residents, spends within the state’s means as well as adheres to the party lines of those in the majority.

This session with a Democratic Governor and Republican controlled House and Senate – the budget process will fluctuate quite a bit before it is signed into law by June 30th.

2nd Annual State Of The Union Bingo!

Jan 20, 2015
Sara Plourde / NHPR

Back by popular demand, it's the 2nd Annual Word of Mouth SOTU Bingo Card!

Planning on watching the State of the Union address this evening? Why not have a little fun and play State of the Union bingo with us! Simply print one--or the whole set if you're hosting a party--of our fancy bingo cards, and keep your eyes and ears open. We'll also be live-tweeting the speech, if you'd like to join the conversation online. It all kicks off at 9 p.m. sharp!  

VLACS By The Numbers

Dec 18, 2014
Sara Plourde / NHPR
Sara Plourde / NHPR

As sustainable as Star Island's systems are, the folks at Star Island Corporation are working to make them even more efficient, making improvements that mean bringing less onto the island, sending less off, and making more use of what's there.

The graphic below outlines what comes onto the island - either naturally or shipped by boat - what gets sent off, and where everything goes in between.


Map: Does Your Town Allow Fireworks?

Jul 3, 2014
Martin Abbott, Flickr CC

Fireworks are legal in New Hampshire but not permitted in every town.

Related Story: Fireworks Lobby Succeeds In Keeping Controversial Devices On Store Shelves

According to the New Hampshire Fire Marshal’s Office, 18 communities ban fireworks, including cities like Nashua and Berlin and small towns like Madison. Most of the time these restrictions are obeyed without controversy. July fourth though, can be a different story.

NHPR Staff

With warming weather comes stormy weather - but why is that? If it's been a while since elementary school science class, catch up on the phenomena of summer thunderstorms and hail with this primer.

Allie Coremin via Flickr CC

Strawberry picking is a New Hampshire tradition that dates back to the days when “all natural” was a given, not a gimmick. There are over 20 farms throughout the state that offer the chance to “Pick-Your-Own” pint (or quart—more berries just means more jam). 

Related story: The Sweet Science (And Big Business) Of Strawberry Picking

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Have you ever wondered how toxic elements like arsenic get into your well water? Do you know how many of New Hampshire's bedrock wells contain more arsenic than the EPA recommends for safe, potable water? If your well was one of them, would you know how to treat it?

Read through the graphic below to learn more about arsenic and well water.

Kumquatgirl via Flickr CC

For Sean Hurley's Foodstuffs story on New Hampshire's Ice Cream trail, we asked our listeners and Facebook fans to submit their favorite ice cream stands in New Hampshire. Here's the map that resulted, and it's not too late to add to it! Email us your picks, and we'll put them in the map.

In its latest release of statistics aimed at shedding more light on the quality of the nation’s health care system, the Obama Administration targets the use of physical restraints on psychiatric patients.

It collected data from more than 1,500 facilities nationally. The results show Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester with the fifth highest rate of restraint use in the country.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Increasingly, corrections officials are looking to statistics to inform their decisions around all aspects of prison practices. As NHPR's Emily Corwin recently reported, inmates’ gender and trauma statistics are helping inform the design of the state’s new women's prison in Concord.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

With tick season in full swing - and this year being described as the worst in recent history - the risk of tick bites and tick-borne infection is high. Read through the graphic below to learn more about ticks, the infections they can carry, and how to prevent being infected yourself.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Under the federal Clery Act, colleges and universities are required to report crime statistics. This chart measures total reported forcible sexual offenses involving students, on and off-campus, at each New Hampshire school.

The numbers are not adjusted to account for enrollment, which would allow for a better comparison. For example, with a 2012 undergraduate enrollment of 12,565, UNH sees 1.67 incidences per capita - while, with an enrollment of 6,277, Dartmouth sees 3.82 per capita.

Research suggests as many 95 percent of campus rapes and sexual assaults go unreported.

Some of the troubles plaguing higher education are hitting institutions a lot harder in New Hampshire. High public tuition? We have the highest. State aid to public universities? We have among the lowest. For many students, that means they're facing huge debts which will be difficult to repay. That reality is causing students and institutions to reevaluate.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Check out the graphic below to find out what white-nose syndrome is, how far it is spreading, and why it is such a concern for animal conservationists.

Below are the most common words used in the Governor's first State of the State Address.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Planning on watching the State of the Union address this evening? Why not have a little fun and play State of the Union bingo with us. Simply print out our fancy bingo card here, and keep your ears open. We'll also be live-tweeting the speech, if you'd like to join the conversation online. It all kicks off at 9 p.m. sharp!