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New Hampshire's Commissioner of Education plans to resign at the end of January.

Commissioner Virginia Barry sent an email to department staff Friday announcing that she will step down from the post on Jan. 30. 

Wild Turkey
John Mizel / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department is again asking for the public's help in counting the state's wild turkey population.

The state's Wild Turkey Winter Flock Survey starts Sunday and runs through March 31. Volunteers are asked to report sightings of wild turkeys via an online form, making note of the number of turkeys in the flock, where they were seen, the type of habit and what they were feeding on. 

Last winter, volunteers submitted more than 2,000 reports about more than 38,000 turkeys, nearly triple the previous year's total.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Northern New England officials have scheduled their annual tri-state reciprocal snowmobile weekend.

From Friday Jan. 27 through Sunday Jan. 29, snowmobile enthusiasts can explore trails in other states without registering in those states.

All snowmobiles registered in New Hampshire may operate in Vermont and Maine, and all snowmobiles registered in Vermont and Maine may operate in New Hampshire.

 A year-old journalism nonprofit has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the NH Charitable Foundation. 

Former Union Leader reporter, Nancy West, has been running the watchdog journalism website InDepthNH.org for just over a year. InDepthNH.org is published by West’s nonprofit, The New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism, which until recently ran on a virtually nonexistent budget.

Bloomsberries vis Flickr CC

It’s been exactly one year since the New Hampshire Courts began a major change in how felonies are prosecuted. 

Traditionally, each felony offense had to make its way through two courts: local courts, with police prosecutors, then superior court, with county prosecutors, before it could be resolved. Many say this means cases cost more and take longer to resolve than they need to.

The Felonies First pilot project began in Strafford, and Cheshire counties in January 2016, and in Belknap county six months later. It was designed to streamline the process.

At long last, 2016 is almost — almost! — over. And if you're thinking that it's easy to feel pretty down while scanning the headlines lately, you're not alone.

But there are still plenty of people out there doing what they can to provide some pick-me-ups around the Granite State. 

  Transportation officials say work to replace the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine is on schedule despite the cold weather.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that traffic on the Portsmouth side of the Piscataqua River has been rerouted this past week as workers add new roadway segments to pier one.

Ron Taylor, of the Maine Department of Transportation, says a vehicle span will be connected over the Market Street Extension in the third week of January. He says construction of the new bridge remained on schedule and on budget as of Thursday morning.

 

An official with the Planned Parenthood Chapter that serves Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine says the organization received a large boost in donations following the presidential election.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England's Jill Krowinski, the outgoing vice president of education and Vermont community affairs, says about 600 donations were given in honor of Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

Cigarette
SuperFantastic / Flickr Creative Commons

  Retail tobacco sales to New Hampshire youth went up between 2014 and 2015.

The state Department of Health and Human Services says a survey found 16.6 percent of retail tobacco sales in 2015 were to children under the age of 18, who are legally not allowed to purchase it. That's up from 14.4 percent in 2014. The survey was conducted among 338 randomly selected licensed tobacco outlets.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Police in southern New Hampshire are reporting an increase in overdose deaths since Christmas Eve.

The Salem Police Department says it has responded to five overdoses since Dec. 24, a higher number than normal. Two of the overdoses were fatal. The victims, found in two separate incidents, were a 24-year-old female and a 31-year-old male. The police have not released their names.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

Officials at Dartmouth-Hitchcock say a "freeze" on the health care system's pension plan for its more than 5,000 participating current and former employees is set to take place at the end of January.

The Valley News reports the freeze means that pension benefits will no longer increase for employees in the system's "defined benefit" retirement plan. Benefits that have already been accrued by retirees and current employees will not be affected.

Shelby El Otmani / NHPR

If you’re in Concord and in the mood for some homemade Korean food, you might be able to find exactly what you’re looking for in the same place you get your late night snacks and drinks.  Go Food Basket is more than a corner store.  It’s also where you can get a jar of kimchi or a warm Korean meal on the go.

The woman behind this kimchi goes by the American name, "Helen." 

"My Korean name is Hye-Souk," she says, "but when I tell my costumers my name is Hye-Souk, they say 'Hye- what?'  So my husband made me an easy, American name: Helen."

mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center says there will be “considerable danger” for avalanches in the areas around the mountain as today’s winter storm moves in.

"Avalanche danger will rapidly increase through the afternoon and evening hours," the advisory reads. "Travel in avalanche terrain near and after dark is not recommended."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Parts of New England, including New Hampshire, are expected to receive at least a foot of snow thanks in part to something known as a weather bomb, or, for the logophiles out there, “bombogenesis.” Why is this storm considered “bombogenesis”? For that answer, we turn to Mark Breen. He’s a meteorologist at the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

What is bombogenesis?

I think that’s a really cool catchphrase what is probably a more boring title. It’s known as “explosive cyclogenesis.”

  Authorities say that based on new information, they now consider a New Hampshire woman who was last seen 35 years ago a missing person.

The attorney general's office says Denise Beaudin's family last saw the then-23-year-old on Thanksgiving in 1981 with her boyfriend, Robert "Bob" Evans, and her infant daughter. When relatives went to visit her Manchester home a few days later, the couple was gone.

Her family assumed they left town to avoid financial troubles and never called police.

Twitter/rintzezelle

A three-alarm blaze has destroyed a historic church in Lebanon.

The fire broke out late last night at the First Baptist Church on School Street.

The Valley News reports firefighters from several surrounding towns responded to the scene, as flames engulfed the church.

Officials say the structure is a total loss.

The church was founded in 1860 and is protected as a historical landmark in the city.

  New Hampshire is closing out 2016 with the nation's lowest unemployment rate, wages that are on the rise and strong real estate sales.

Combined, these factors show the state's economy is strong heading into 2017. The state's gross domestic product growth rate of 2.9 percent is among the highest in the nation, according to the most recently available federal data.

Several New Hampshire economists say the state is in its strongest economic shape since the Great Recession.

Sara Plourde, NHPR

Increasing snowfall rates are expected across parts of New England into this evening, with snowfall rates upwards of 1-1.5 inches per hour possible across the region.

Later this evening, a more intense snowfall band may produce rates upwards of two inches per hour across portions of southern/central New Hampshire, and western and southern Maine.

A winter storm warning is in effect until 5 a.m. Friday.

Chris Jensen

  A neighborhood ski area in Littleton is open again with a permanent rope tow on Mount Eustis.

The ski area opened in 1939 and closed in the 1980s. In 2013, community members began working to restore it, raising more than $100,000. Two winters ago, it opened with a temporary rope tow that only went a quarter of the way up the hill. A permanent tow was installed last year, but not used because of the lack of snow.

Michael Brindley

  An incoming state Senator who also heads New Hampshire's largest teachers union says he’ll be open about any conflicts of interest that may come from serving in the two roles simultaneously.

But Scott McGilvray, a Hooksett Democrat, said it's only "critics" raising concerns about where his interests will lie.

"Being part of running the state’s largest teachers union, it certainly puts a big target on my back," he told NHPR's Morning Edition.

Ceyhun (Jay) Isik / https://flic.kr/p/cG7qFL

 

The state Department of Environmental Services is continuing to test water after a potentially cancer-causing chemical was found in wells and drinking water near the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility in Merrimack earlier this year.

Well and groundwater tests conducted in Merrimack and Litchfield had revealed elevated levels of PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, used in Teflon coatings, for more than one-and-a-half miles around the facility.

Thomas Fearon

 

The state’s Department of Health and Human Services says personal information for as many as 15,000 clients has been breached.

 

Names, addresses, social security numbers and Medicaid ID numbers were stolen, with some information posted on social media sites.

 

The agency says a patient at the state-run psychiatric hospital in Concord accessed the information in October, 2015 through a computer in the facility’s library.

 

Toby Talbot

Last Wednesday at the State House, Governor Hassan declared December 21st to be “Jim Cole Day,” in honor of the Concord-based AP photographer. Over his more than 30 years covering the news, Cole assembled a portfolio that spans the state. But it was his pictures of New Hampshire’s political scene that had the biggest impact. 

The White River Junction, Vermont VA Medical Center is getting a Fisher House.

A Fisher House is a place families and caregivers of veterans can stay while veterans and active duty military members receive treatment at the hospital.

The hospital in White River Junction is one of 14 new VA facilities to receive a Fisher House to help care for veterans, their family members and caregivers.

The White River Junction house will be built on the White River Junction VA Medical Center campus within walking distance of the medical center. 

Allison Quantz for NHPR

Dartmouth College says it has spent $8.4 million cleaning up contamination on property where scientists once dumped carcasses of lab animals in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Ivy League school began cleaning up the site in 2011 and realized a year later that at least one carcinogen had leaked into the groundwater. Last year, it determined one family's well water was contaminated.

Dartmouth provided the family with bottled water and sampled over 100 drinking wells in the neighborhood.

via maplogs.com

 

Authorities have recovered the body of a Massachusetts man who died while hiking in New Hampshire.

The Fish and Game department says 26-year-old John Holden of Jefferson, Massachusetts, had intended to hike part of Mount Bond in Lincoln on Saturday and was due home Saturday night. Authorities were alerted Sunday morning, and a search team found his body around 8 p.m. Sunday near the top of Bond Cliff, a remote peak 8.8 miles from the Kancamagus Highway.

Michael Brindley

  When New Hampshire's state Senate convenes for its first session of the year next week, there will be plenty of new faces.

Nine of the legislative body's 24 members are newly elected, and this week, we're hearing from two of those incoming lawmakers.

Ruth Ward is Republican from Stoddard who will represent the Senate’s eighth district. That includes towns like New London, Weare, and Antrim.

Morning Edition host Rick Ganley spoke sat down with Ward to talk about her new role.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR / 1989

New Hampshire ski mountains are already off to a better start this season than last year due to December's snowfall and cold temperatures.

NHPR’s Paige Sutherland stopped by McIntyre Ski Area in Manchester Monday, which at this time last year, wasn’t even open.

Courtesy of Intown Concord

Many local stores across New Hampshire reported record sales this holiday shopping season. And that foot traffic is not expected to slow down this week.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

New Hampshire Public Radio has spent two years exploring the opioid crisis, examining everything from how it began to how state officials and the treatment community have responded. In that time, nearly 1,000 Granite Staters have died from drug overdoses — and many, many more have struggled with addiction.

We want to continue our reporting on this important issue in the year ahead, and we need your help. We want to hear how heroin and opioid use has affected your life, whether you've personally experienced addiction or whether you've dealt with the issue secondhand — as a friend, family member, treatment provider or otherwise.

Our hope is that by listening to people who've been touched by the epidemic, we'll better understand the disease of addiction and its impact on our community. 

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