NH News

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State officials are investigating reports of an international traveler in New Hampshire infected with the measles virus.

The only known public exposure site in New Hampshire was the Flatbread Company restaurant in Portsmouth on April 20 between the hours of approximately 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

There are no cases identified related to this situation, and New Hampshire is well-protected from widespread measles transmission due to a high vaccination rate.

Cynthiananiokeefe / Morguefile

Attorney General Joseph Foster is advising New Hampshire residents to do their research before making contributions to organizations claiming to provide relief to people harmed by last weekend’s earthquake in Nepal.

Foster is asking donors to consider whether the organization has worked in Nepal before, and whether it has the ability to get aid to the country quickly.

He adds that all organizations that solicit charitable contributions in New Hampshire are required to register as charities with the state Charitable Trusts Unit.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

The New Hampshire Insurance Department is bringing together health care providers and insurers to explore why spending on health care is high and rising, and what can be done to change that.

Taber Andrew Baln via Flickr CC

The Portsmouth City Council is considering a ban on plastic bags. Portsmouth City Councilor Brad Lown is sponsoring the ordinance, on behalf of the New Hampshire Surf rider Foundation's ‘Rise Above Plastics’ campaign. The ordinance would ban single-use plastic bags in the city, and allow stores to pass on a 10-cent per bag fee for using paper bags. 

Tell us why you feel a ban on plastic bags is needed in Portsmouth.

Sgarton / MorgueFile

New Hampshire officials say the state has too many black bears and is mulling its options on how to curb the population.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says the state has 5,700 black bears roaming its wilderness. But officials want to trim that number to 4,700.

The Concord Monitor reports the state could lengthen the seasons for baiting, still hunting and hunting with hounds to help reach this goal.

Expert Says Drug Courts Reduce Crime

Apr 17, 2015
Patrick Mansell / flickr Creative Commons

Drug courts in several New Hampshire counties allow some non-violent offenders to avoid jail and treat their addiction. The courts are growing across  the state and earlier this week lawmakers heard from a national drug court expert. Dr. Doug Marlowe is the chief of science, law, and policy for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. He spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello.
 

N.H. Attorney General

  Lawyers for Nathaniel Kibby, who is  charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Conway teenager over the course of nine months, will appear in court today to finalize a trial date.

The 34-year-old Gorham man faces more than 200 indictments in Carroll County where he allegedly kidnapped the then 14-year-old victim and in Coos County where he is suspected to have held and sexually abused her in his mobile home. 

But last month a judge consolidated the charges and assigned the case to Belknap County.

Concord Main Street Project Approved

Jul 31, 2014
Timothy Valentine via Flickr cc

Construction on a $10 million revamp of Concord’s downtown will begin this fall, after the City Council voted 14-1 to approve the project at a meeting this week.

The rebuild and redesign of Concord’s downtown will affect nine blocks of Main Street, from Centre Street to Concord Street.

At-Large City Councilor Fred Keach says the goal is to keep disruption during construction to a minimum for downtown businesses.

NNECAPA Photo Library via Flickr cc

Employees at Market Basket supermarkets across New England have entered their fifth week of protesting the ousting of former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. While workers continue to attend their shifts, customers are encouraged to boycott the chain by shopping elsewhere. Facing depleted shelves and “Save Artie T.” fervor, Concord shoppers are forgoing Market Basket bargains in favor of pricier groceries.

Meriam Ibrahim Leaves Sudan, Arrives at Vatican

Jul 24, 2014
Courtesy of Gabriel Wani

After a year-long struggle with the Sudanese government, Meriam Ibrahim left Sudan on Thursday.

Alongside her husband Daniel Wani of Manchester and their two young children, Ibrahim flew to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis today, according to the BBC. Ibrahim was blessed by the pontiff in a private ceremony and is due to return to the states in the next few days.

Wednesday marks one year since New Hampshire became the final New England state to legalize medical marijuana.

Outside the State House in Concord today patient advocates marked the anniversary by saying the state is moving too slowly in making it legal to actually possess it. 

Matt Simon with the Marijuana Policy Project gathered with prospective patients in front of the State House on Tuesday to outline their complaints.

Zillow.com

The home of the second signer of the Declaration of Independence, Josiah Bartlett, is up for sale. Bartlett, a former New Hampshire governor, once lived in the 18-acre estate in Kingston, NH.

The white farmhouse built in 1774 is now up for sale with an asking price of $849,600. Complete with open pasture and wooded areas, the property also has a linden tree that Bartlett brought back from Philadelphia after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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.

www.puitzer.org

One of the most prominent voices in New Hampshire journalism will now lead the committee awarding one of the most prestigious awards in journalism. 

The new administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, which also recognize  excellence in literature and the arts, is Mike Pride. He served as editor of the Concord Monitor for 25 years, and spent five years before that as managing editor. During that time, the paper won numerous national and regional awards, including a Pulitzer Prise for feature photography in 2008. Mike Pride joins me now to talk about his new job:

Gas Tax Hike Brings Protestors

Jun 30, 2014
Halina Loft, NHPR News

New Hampshire’s per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel is going up 4.2 cents July 1. According to Americans for Prosperity, New Hampshire’s economy will pay a price.

Tom Thomson of Orford was among the protestors the conservative group brought to a Hooksett gas station.

Thomson: The power to tax is the power to destroy. By passing Senate Bill 367, we will at best damage the New Hampshire advantage, and worse see businesses suffer and or close; and that equals loss of jobs.

Michael Webber via Flickr CC

The number of encounters with bears in the White Mountain National Forest is on the rise early this season, prompting rangers to issue early warnings and step up enforcement of safety rules.

Colleen Mainville, a spokeswoman for the national forest, says the black bears are getting bold. One tried to enter a tent while another was searching the back of pickup trucks for food. There are an estimated 4,800 to 5,000 bears in the state.

Most people will never see a bear but when the critters find food, they learn that they can mooch a meal from the two-legged visitors.

Market Basket CEO Ouster Brings Protest

Jun 24, 2014

Market Basket employees from New Hampshire are among those heading to a Massachusetts rally protesting the removal of longtime Market Basket president Arthur T. Demoulas.

Cody White works at a Market Basket in Concord.

White: We probably have like, ten employees going down to the rally right now to go show our support for Artie T., who is the leader of Market Basket. The board members are trying to get him fired, essentially—so we have a lot of support, and there’s even more from all the other stores.

Roger H. Goun, Flickr CC

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has released eight years of tax returns showing she and her husband earned an average of more than $474,000 per year.

The joint returns released Tuesday show Jeanne and William Shaheen paid an average effective tax rate of 23.2 percent from 2006 through 2013. William Shaheen founded the Shaheen & Gordon law firm.

The most the couple earned was $676,642 in 2012; the least was $186,787 in 2010.

They donated between 1.9 and 7 percent of their income to charity.

David Monti, Race Results Weekly

Dartmouth College’s Abbey D’Agostino is turning pro now that her celebrated collegiate running career has come to an end. In four years at Dartmouth D’Agostino became one of the Ivy League’s all-time most accomplished. To learn more about her career and what lies ahead, I spoke to David Monti, editor and publisher of the New York based Race Results Weekly:

This is an athlete that took a lot of people by surprise. What were the expectations when she first came to Dartmouth and what did she end up accomplishing?

Bob Jagendorf Flickr CC

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a potential presidential candidate in 2016, makes his first visit to the first-primary state when he comes to Manchester to campaign with Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein.

Christie, who is also chairman of the Republican Governor's Association, will first preside over an RGA finance meeting Friday afternoon then campaign with Havenstein at T-Bones restaurant in Bedford. He'll finish the visit with a private fundraiser in Atkinson.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed a law that strengthens the penalties for financially exploiting the elderly and other vulnerable New Hampshire citizens.

The bill signed Thursday establishes the crime of financial exploitation, which includes intentionally abusing the trust of an elderly or impaired adult to gain access to their money and assets. The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, makes it a crime to use the person's money or assets for personal gain rather than to provide them with food, clothing, shelter and other care.

 Southern New Hampshire University and the New Hampshire Institute of Art are considering a merger.

A memo from SNHU President Paul LeBlanc to the university's faculty and staff says a merger would "instantly expand" SNHU's offerings in the arts and give it a greater presence in downtown Manchester.

For the arts institute, joining SNHU could promote its programs better online and it could benefit from the larger university's marketing and recruitment capabilities. Additionally, NHIA students could access SNHU class offerings and facilities.

Bike Week Looking Bright

Jun 19, 2014

Bike week has arrived in the Granite State once again, and the forecast for the 91st annual rally is bright. And local vendors anticipate a record New Hampshire Bike Week on more than one front.

At first, local vendors were worried about turnout. Last year rain and lower temperatures overshadowed the week.

But, Laconia Bike Week Association director Jennifer Anderson says New Hampshire businesses need not fear:

Division Of The Arts Lands New Director

Jun 16, 2014

New Hampshire will soon have a new director of the Department of Cultural Resources Division of the Arts. Ginnie Lupi comes to the position after serving of the executive director of the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger lakes in Corning, NY. Lupi will take over the position in August. I spoke with Lupi about her appointment as director and her plans for art in the Granite State:

What does the department do and what is your role in the Arts Division?

Gov. Maggie Hassan has vetoed a bill that barred New Hampshire from disclosing the names of lottery winners.

Hassan said current law recognizes winners' privacy by not requiring disclosure of their names proactively, but she said barring disclosure in all instances weakened public oversight and could lead to corruption.

Distant Hill Gardens

The New Hampshire state wildflower is blooming, and with it, the myth that surrounds it: that it’s super rare, and illegal to pick. In fact, the pink and white flower we know as the Lady Slipper is quite common. And picking this flower is completely legal.

“They are not considered ‘rare,’ they are actually common but are listed on the ‘special concerns’ list because they have propagation and climate issues,” according to NH Roots

Steve Wall

Initial coverage by Sam Evans-Brown here.

 A second reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in two recent loon shootings in New Hampshire.

The reward is being offered through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. An initial reward of $5,000 was offered by The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.

Jimmy Emerson, Flickr CC

New Hampshire lawmakers have passed legislation that includes household pets in orders designed to protect victims of domestic violence.

Wednesday's vote sent the bill to the governor. It expands the orders to include pets in cases involving stalking and domestic violence. The bill would allow judges to grant custody of any domestic pets or farm animals to the victim and issue an order barring the abuser from harming or disposing of the animal.

Supporters argue abusers sometimes take their anger out on a pet or attempt to intimidate victims by targeting a pet.

Teemu088, Flickr CC

New Hampshire's Legislature has approved changing when fuel dealers can contract with customers to buy fuel in advance.

The bill sent to the governor Wednesday is in response to disruptions in home heating oil deliveries this winter by one of New Hampshire's largest fuel companies. The bill prohibits dealers from advertising or soliciting earlier than May 1 for consumers to enter into contracts for the upcoming fuel season. Currently, the contracts can't be offered before Jan. 1.

Consumers could ask to sign contracts before May 1.

Murray Farms

After a spring characterized by strange weather, warmer temperatures have brought gardeners outside- and to their local garden stores- around the Granite State.

“We’re slammed right now. After the long winter and the nice weather we have now, people are coming out in droves.”

Charlie Cole is the General Manager at Cole Gardens, a family owned business in Concord. Like many gardeners at this time, Cole is experiencing a rapid uptick in sales.

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