NH News

Geoff Forester/Concord Monitor

The State prosecutor in the St. Paul’s sexual assault case is asking the judge to let the only felony conviction stand.

Former student Owen Labrie was found guilty of using his computer to seduce a minor. If the charge remains – Labrie could face up to seven years in prison and have to register as a sex offender for life.

jessie owen via flickr Creative Commons

President Obama has signed into law a bill that amends the Affordable Care Act to protect small and mid-size businesses from premium increases.

New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen had introduced the legislation called the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (or PACE) Act along with Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Next year, the definition of state-based small group markets was set to expand from businesses with fewer than 50 employees to 100 employees.

University of New Hampshire

A lot of people start sentences like this: “ever since I was very small….”  

Few people finish that sentence “… diversity, genetic diversity in plants has been a total driver of my passion.”

That, however, is what Becky Sideman told me, sitting at a lab bench inside of one of University of New Hampshire’s expansive greenhouses. 

City of Portsmouth


The Portsmouth Police Commission has failed to endorse an agreement that would allow the city's police chief to continue working for another three months.

Chief Stephen DuBois announced in September that he was going to resign. The original agreement debated Monday would've ended his employment in March 2016. The new agreement would've accepted the chief's resignation in January and included an additional three months of severance pay.

The Commission split a vote endorsing the agreement Wednesday and voted to continue it until Oct. 20.

Credit mikecogh via Flickr Creative Commons


A transgender woman has dropped a federal lawsuit against the Rockingham County claiming she suffered injuries after being classified as a man while an inmate.

Aja Kennedy, formerly known as Edward Brunetta, withdrew the suit from federal court in New Hampshire. She had claimed she was harassed and sexually assaulted while incarcerated at the Rockingham County jail in Brentwood.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Rockingham County attorneys said Wednesday the case was dropped without a settlement and that they had a "very good defense."

Jim Cole/AP

Thursday is the last day for the state to respond to an appeal from Owen Labrie, a former St. Paul’s student who was convicted of statutory rape in August for having sex with a freshman girl.

Lawyers for Labrie are trying to overturn an illegal computer use charge, which states that Labrie used a computer to try to have sex with a 15-year-old minor. In August, a jury convicted Labrie on several misdemeanor charges, but found him not guilty on felony sexual assault charges. 

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Courtroom One Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Senator Jeanne Shaheen has introduced legislation that aims to help the Veterans Administration support veterans' courts.

The Veterans Justice Outreach Act would codify the support that the VA already gives to veterans' courts. That support comes in part in the form of case managers, who work as liaisons for veterans in the local courts and jails.

Through these courts, military veterans accused of non-violent crimes can be diverted away from jail and towards treatment programs.

Via NewBostonNH.gov

A survey of New Hampshire residents shows that they are willing to pay more for locally grown fruits and vegetables, but they may not always know where to find it.

Two hundred people were surveyed for the University of New Hampshire study, which said residents spend about 21 percent of their grocery budget on fresh produce. They're willing to pay more for items such as local green beans and cucumbers, though fewer are willing to pay more for organic green beans and cucumbers.

NHPR Staff

The fate of a unique industrial building in New Hampshire could be decided soon.

The 1888 Concord gasholder is believed to be the last of its kind in the United States with its interior works intact. Retired state architectural historian Jim Garvin says gasholders changed America. The new lighting fuel technology meant businesses could run three shifts and people could read, gather and walk the streets deep into the night.

Flikr Creative Commons / Dvortygirl

One patient received opioids from 64 prescribers across three states. Another received thousands of painkillers from 11 different prescribers. In a third case, a patient being treated for opioid dependence filled two dozen prescriptions for oxycodone from clinicians at 18 separate practices.

www.BackgroundNow.com / Flickr/Creative Commons

Governor Maggie Hassan announced six judicial nominees Tuesday.  According to the Hassan, all were recommended by the Governor’s Judicial Selection Committee.  


Kim Carpenter via Flickr CC

Heating bills should drop this winter for most U.S. households, thanks to a combination of lower energy prices and warmer weather across most of the country.

The U.S. Energy Department's annual prediction Tuesday calls for lower energy costs than the past two winters.

It says the biggest savings should be for those using propane or heating oil, with homes that use propane spending $322 less and those with heating oil spending $459 less than last winter.

ilovebutter via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s October, and it’s supposed to be foliage season. But the splendor of the foliage in Northern New England isn’t what it used to be. Climate change, local pollution, invasive species, disease and development have all conspired to change the multicolored landscape to make it less so. NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with David Brooks, a reporter for The Concord Monitor and writer at GraniteGeek.org

A federal judge has ruled against a former state employee who claimed she was fired from the Department of Health and Human Services for trying to breast-feed her child during the workday.

The Concord Monitor reports a judge ruled last month that Katherine Frederick was provided breaks and a private place to express milk, as required by law. The judge called the Department's policy "stingy," but noted it didn't violate any laws by refusing to let her breastfeed either in the lactation room or a short distance away.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The heads of New Hampshire health care providers Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Elliot Health System and Frisbie Hospital announced Monday that they are teaming up with insurer Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Voters in Franklin will head to the polls Tuesday to vote for the city’s mayor, and other elected positions.

Incumbent mayor Ken Merrifield is running for a fifth, two-year term.

He is being challenged by Logan Barbosa, who has worked for the state Democratic Party.

Merrifield is the former vice chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee.

Voters will also fill positions on the city council and school board.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

  New Hampshire’s US Senators continue to call for reauthorizing the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Republican Kelly Ayotte and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen were among those last week who unsuccessfully tried to pass a 60 day extension of the fund.

Speaking on the Senate floor last week, Shaheen said there was a perception the program was primarily used to acquire federal land. She said most of the funding for federal projects was instead used on existing parks, refuges and conservation areas:

Flikr Creative Commons / Claudio Schwarz

  Organizers say today's New Hampshire Energy Summit in Concord will look at whether the state can avoid volatility in energy prices this winter.

Concerns about the region’s natural gas capacity a year ago prompted several utilities to proposed sharp price increases, followed by large drops in gas and oil prices.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Republican Ted Cruz is again presenting himself to New Hampshire voters as the one presidential hopeful willing to speak out, and act, on issues that matter to conservatives. 

Kinder Morgan

  Late Friday evening the Public Utilities Commission approved Liberty Utilities' proposal to buy space on a controversial natural gas pipeline proposed for Southern border of the state.

Now that forecasters expect Hurricane Joaquin to pass well east of the state, New Hampshire utilities are holding off on deploying emergency work crews.

Alec O’Meara of Unitil says the company has been planning for the storm since Monday. He says, given that a large amount of the eastern seaboard was believed to be in Joaquin’s path, power companies were "really trying to figure out exactly where the best place for all those crews to be allocated. Thankfully it was more of an intellectual process, and it appears all will be spared - at least in the continental United States."

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has affirmed a record judgment against Exxon Mobil in a case over the chemical additive MtBE.

The $236 million verdict reached by a jury in 2013 was the largest jury award in state history. Exxon Mobil argued it used MtBE to reduce air pollution under federal law and shouldn’t be held liable for contamination in the state’s groundwater.

In its ruling Friday, the state’s high court rejected the company’s request for a new trial and about 10 other points it raised.

Joanna Eldredge Morrissey / Bauhan Publishing, LLC

The Bookshelf is NHPR's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. 

Brady Carlson / NHPR

The candidates for mayor of Manchester squared off in their first face-to-face forum Thursday night. Incumbent three-term Mayor Ted Gatsas is being challenged by Joyce Craig, a veteran alderman.

The two presented starkly contrasting visions for the state’s largest city. 

The forum took place at an elementary school — an appropriate setting considering that education was a running theme through the evening.

Craig, a Democrat, faulted Gatsas for large class sizes and other problems in Manchester’s schools. 


The federal government has denied Concord's request to use a modified wheelchair icon intended to empower and welcome people with disabilities.

The Accessible Icon Project began in 2010 in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a guerrilla art campaign. The wheelchair user depicted in the icon leans forward instead of straight up.

Concord sent a letter to the Federal Highway Administration in August asking permission to use the symbol on Main Street. The city received a $4.71 million grant for a Main Street project from the federal agency and needed their approval.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

A group of game developers is looking to build a place for New Hampshire in the future of video games - and it starts with the new development hub known as Game Assembly.

Eli Burakian / Dartmouth College

The Dartmouth employee at the center of a controversial appointment at the school’s Native American Program will no longer serve as its director. 

The college announced Thursday afternoon that the distraction around Susan Taffe Reed’s appointment keeps her from effectively doing the job.

The Native American Program is not an academic department. It’s a program that supports and mentors the school’s 91 Native American students.

Taffe Reed is president of Eastern Delaware Nations in Pennsylvania, a nonprofit run by her family. It is not a federally recognized tribe.

Sean Hurley

The Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train in Lincoln is exactly that.  Part train, part restaurant, the Cafe rolls down 20 miles of track serving five course meals to passengers over a 2 hour trip. NHPR's Sean Hurley rode along on this moveable feast on rails and sends us this.  



A federal agency says new fishermen costs have been pushed back a month.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said over the summer that fishermen would have to begin paying about $700 a day for nearly a quarter of their fishing days beginning on Nov. 1. That money would pay for the at-sea monitoring of fishermen, which is currently covered by the agency.

The Portsmouth Herald reports a spokeswoman says the deadline has now been postponed to Dec. 1.

Fishermen have said the costs are too high, as they don't gross $700 in a single day.