NH News

NH News
4:07 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

UNH Economics Professor Appointed Chancellor of Community Colleges

Dr. Ross Gittell
Courtesy Photo

 

The New Hampshire Community College System has appointed Economist Ross Gittell as its new Chancellor.

The new chancellor is already a heavy-hitter in policy circles.

Gittell’s nineteen-year career at the Whittemore school of Business has followed an impressive arc.

He has won numerous awards and fellowships, and is considered one of the foremost experts on the New Hampshire economy

Gittell hopes to use that pedigree to make sure that the Community College system is staying relevant.

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NH News
6:33 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Feds Blast NH Mental Health System

In a strongly worded letter, the U. S. Department of Justice has concluded the state’s mental health system is “broken” and “in crisis.”

In the eyes of Washington, the state is violating the civil rights of people with mental illness.

In its letter, the Justice Department says not only does the mental health system violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, but it’s an inefficient use of resources and bad policy.

The Department finds the state lacks key services, like housing, crisis intervention and employment support.

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NH News
3:20 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Second Amendment Protests at PSU Get Strong Reaction

Second Amendment chalking on PSU Walkways
Sam Evans-Brown

 

Two men who had threatened to bring guns onto Plymouth State University’s campus triggered strong reactions from members of the campus community.

The anti-gun-law protesters who accompanied the men sang songs, and engaged onlookers in conversations about the right to bear arms.

Student Alex Cabeceiras says that he thinks no-one on campus took part in the protest.

Cabeceiras: I think it’s pretty stupid, I mean, I’m all for you know, being against the state infringing on our rights but something about fire-arms and education don’t seem to mesh well.

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NH News
2:18 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Free Staters Protest Anti-Gun Rules at PSU

Libertarian slogans chalked on PSU's walkways
Sam Evans-Brown

 

Two men who had been threatening to bring guns to Plymouth State University’s campus directed a protest today against the school’s no-firearm policy.

Former cop, Bradley Jardis and Veteran Tommy Mozingo arrived at PSU with an entourage of activists from the Free State Project, who sang Libertarian Christmas Carols.

SFX: Carolling

They came to say that the University does not have the right to ban firearms on campus.

When asked if anyone was carrying weapon as they had said they would, Jardis responded it would be up to the state to prove that.

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NH News
6:09 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

New Hampshire Roman Catholics Have New Bishop

Nearly a thousand people packed into St Joseph's Cathedral to witness the installation of Peter Libasci as Manchester's tenth bishop.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Libasci was appointed to the position by Pope Benedict XVI in September of this year.

In his first address to the congregation, the newly instated Bishop thanked those in attendance, as well as other members of the church who were watching via television:

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NH News
5:32 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Northern Pass Opponents Vocal at Senate Hearing

 

The orange-clad opponents of the Northern pass project came out in force to today’s judiciary committee hearing. 

Their disgust with the committee’s decision to recommend an amendment that would tighten eminent domain laws was palpable.

Opponents are hoping for a bill makes it impossible to use eminent domain to take land for the Northern Pass project.

 Kelly Monahan is the register of deeds for Grafton County.

NH News
5:27 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Lawmakers Want to Tighten Up Eminent Domain

Northern Pass Opponents were displeased with the committee's decision.
Sam Evans-Brown

 

Senate lawmakers met today to discuss a bill that would change the rules of eminent domain.

As NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown reports, the debate is spurred by people concerned that they will lose their land to the Northern Pass Project

The judiciary committee considered more than a half dozen amendments that all sought to clarify when and how utilities can use eminent domain.  

In the end, the committee recommended Republican Senator Sharon Carson’s proposal.

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NH News
1:53 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Hospitals Take State To Court Over Medicaid Reimbursement

The Attorney General’s Office Thursday argued a federal judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by 10 hospitals against the state.

Hospitals are suing over the state’s decision to cut how much it pays doctors and hospitals for treating low-income Medicaid patients.

They say those cuts violate New Hampshire’s agreement with the federal government to provide care to the poor.

But Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Smith says hospitals have no legal authority to question state reimbursement rates.

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NH News
6:24 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Kids Lose Private Health Insurance

New data from the U.S. Census shows that in 35 states the number of children enrolled in private health insurance has declined.

Between 2009 and 2010 1.6 million kids lost coverage.

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute can’t pinpoint the primary cause behind the drop in private insurance.

Carsey’s Jessica Bean says unemployment is a likely culprit.

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NH News
6:10 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

AG Wants Hospital Suit Thrown Out

Tomorrow, the Attorney General will argue that a federal judge should throw out a lawsuit filed by 10 hospitals suing the state.

The state is arguing hospitals don’t have legal standing to challenge how much New Hampshire pays medical providers.

In 2008, the state began lowering how much it pays doctors and hospitals to treat low-income Medicaid patients.

The move was made to help shore up state finances during the Recession.

But Scott O’Connell, an attorney representing the hospitals says the state skipped a step.

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NH News
2:39 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Woodstove Changeout Project for Southern NH

Pellet Stove in Action at Armstrong Hearth and Home
Sam Evans-Brown

The American Lung Association announced a project that will pay individuals in Southern New Hampshire to swap out their old woodstoves.

The money for the program comes from a company’s settlement with the EPA.

The project provides consumers from Merrimack, Hillsborough, and Rockinghman counties vouchers  to replace old, inefficient wood stoves, with new clean burning ones.

The vouchers are worth anywhere from one to three thousand dollars, and can be used for pellet stoves, or wood-burning stoves.

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NH News
7:12 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Public Pension Changes Could be Costly

A new estimate from the state’s public retirement system shows a change in benefits could prove costly. 

Earlier this fall, lawmakers asked the retirement system to run some numbers.

They wanted to know how much it would cost employers- that’s the state, cities and towns - if New Hampshire went from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.

Going from a system where the employers are responsible for guaranteed benefits, to one where employers only guarantee they pay a certain contribution.

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NH News
5:45 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Local Investors Step in to Save Book Store

Flikr Creative Commons / drocpsu

The push to support local businesses – Buy Local campaigns – are gaining steam, and Invest-Local is no exception.

In Portsmouth, so called “Locavestors” have come together to save a community book store.

RiverRun bookstore sits near the center of downtown Portsmouth.

It’s a bright shop, with big windows looking out onto historic Congress Street.

Customers Nancy Pollard and Elria Ewing are in browsing for replicas of old maps of downtown.

They love their local bookseller.

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NH News
1:04 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

New Hampshire Activists in DC to "Take Back the Capitol"

Some participants in the Occupy New Hampshire protests are heading to Washington DC to take part in what’s being called “Take Back the Capitol.”

Krista Rand of Suncook says she’ll be there. The unemployed civil engineer wants Congress to promote jobs in her field by putting more federal dollars toward roads and bridges. “We all know that the state of our infrastructure in this country is quite abysmal. The American Society of Civil Engineers rates our infrastructure a D, and our bridges a C, so that’s really a problem," she said.

NH News
4:29 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Medicaid Tax Confusion Hits November Revenues

On first glance, New Hampshire’s November revenue numbers look terrible.

For the month, the state is $57 million dollars in the hole.

But NHPR’s Dan Gorenstein reports, there may be room for optimism.

You’d think, given November’s shortfall, Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon would be alarmed.

But Hodgdon, the head of what is effectively the state’s finance office, is actually pretty bullish about last month’s report.

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NH News
12:00 am
Fri December 2, 2011

NH this Weekend: Local Merriment

Shoppers on Main street, Concord NH
From MainStreetConcord.com

Holiday shopping isn't all about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Parades and tree lightings get people into downtown shopping districts and provide a real boost to local businesses. Amy Diaz, Editor of the Hippo tells us how- and where- to go local this weekend. 

 

NH News
5:12 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Arriving in America: A Bhutanese Story

The Bhutanese are by far the largest group of refugees in New Hampshire. Since 2008 the US has resettled almost 800 men, women and children in Concord, Manchester, and Laconia

Before then, many Bhutanese lived for nearly two decades in camps in Nepal. 

As part of our series on immigration, we will follow one Bhutanese family as they spend their first year in the Granite State.

Keith Shields has our first installment.

(sound)

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NH News
4:50 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

November Revenues In Doubt

Lawmakers are bracing themselves that when the state releases November revenues, New Hampshire could be tens of millions in the red.

The source of the shortfall- hospitals.

Without getting too deep into the details, the most recent budget made significant changes to a tax paid by hospitals.

That change cost them $120 million dollars.

A coalition of hospitals is now suing the state.

In the short-term some facilities might withhold what they owe on what’s called the Medicaid Enhancement Tax.

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Breaking
12:01 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

House Sustains "Right to Work" Veto

The State House has voted 240-139 to sustain Governor John Lynch's veto on so-called "right to work" bill.

Stay with NHPR and NHPR.org for details throughout the day.

NH News
5:45 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Farm Therapy Comes to NH

, Treating mental illness can take many forms. There are drugs, group therapy, and art therapy and the list goes on.

A new program in the Concord area is getting promising results by taking clients to a typical New England farm.

Mental health care doesn’t just take place in sterile offices or on therapists’ couches.

Some of the real breakthroughs happen out in the real world.

A new program in the Concord area is getting clients out to a local farm.

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Memorial Bridge Design
3:55 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Memorial Bridge Plan Moves Forward

Evening view of Memorial bridge.
Rik Koenig, via Flickr creative commons

The Governor and Executive Council are expected to approve a contract for replacement of the Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.

If approved, the bridge will be in place by July 2013. The total price tag is $81 million dollars. New Hampshire, Maine and the Federal Government will split the cost.  Speaking at a Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Project Manager Keith Coda with DOT said  the new bridge will closely replicate the old span.

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NH News
12:00 am
Fri November 25, 2011

Plaid Friday: Go Local

Shift Shopping logo

You may know the Friday after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, but on the Seacoast, today is also Plaid Friday.

Plaid Friday began last year as a way to encourage shoppers to discover local stores. David Boynton is the Executive Director of Seacoast Local, an organization that promotes independent businesses. He explains what Plaid Friday is about to NHPR’s Rick Ganley.

NH News
2:36 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Study Finds Sharing Between Towns on the Rise

dougtone / Flikr Creative Commons

In this era of belt-tightening small towns are increasingly using partnerships to trim their budgets.

A pair of surveys conducted by the New Hampshire Municipal Association finds that a trend of sharing services is growing.

Over half of New Hampshire municipalities participated, and 40 percent of respondents share ambulance and EMT services.

Not unexpectedly many small towns share things like transfer stations and parks and recreation departments.

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NH News
5:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Super Committee Process Worries NH Farmers

New Hampshire conservation groups and agricultural interests are holding their breath, watching Washington this week.

The Farm Bill – which pays for crop subsidies, conservation grants, and nutrition programs like food-stamps – is up for reauthorization.

But, as NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown reports, this time around, the rules of the game have changed.

The Farm Bill is a big bill.

According the Congressional Budget Office, by itself it accounts for 2% of all government spending.

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NH News
11:06 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Illegal Workers; an ICE Agent's View

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, is the investigative arm of the US Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of ICE is to enforce federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. As part of that mission, the agency conducts crackdowns on businesses who hire illegal workers. In the past two years, the agency has made a shift in its actions, directing more resources on identifying and fining employers rather than large scale raids on employees.

NH News
6:25 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Occupy New Hampshire Hits Peterborough

Occupy movement hits Peterborough
Donna Moxley NHPR

People from across southwestern New Hampshire gathered at a park in Peterborough Thursday to rally for the job creation and improvement to the state’s roads and bridges.

As part of a national protest, more than 100 New Hampshire residents turned out in Peterborough to declare an “economic emergency” for the ninety nine percent.

They focused on the country’s decaying transportation infrastructure and high unemployment rate, Peterborough resident Joe Graley urged Congress to pass President Obama’s jobs plan

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NH News
4:49 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Governor Tours Highway Improvements

Photo: Roger Wood

Governor John Lynch got a first hand look at two major projects on the Spaulding Turnpike in Southern New Hampshire.  

The Governor personally toured the expansion projects now underway on the pike on the Northern end in Rochester, and the Southern end between Newington and Portsmouth. The widening projects are intended to relieve traffic congestion on both ends of the Spaulding, especially at the Little Bay Bridge over Great Bay.

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NH News
1:28 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Shaky Outlook for NH Economy

secretlondon123/Flikr Creative Commons

 

A forecast released today warns that the New Hampshire economy is skating on thin ice.

The report from the New England Economic Partnership says that acceleration from private-sector job creation has been partially offset by a shrinking public sector.

Economist Dennis Delay also says that employment and the housing market have not rebounded as quickly as expected.

He says that if growth had continued at the same pace as in 2008, there would be fifty-thousand more jobs in the state than there are today.

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Perry in Manchester
2:57 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Perry Plays Up Outsider Role

Perry speaks to workers at GSM plant in Manchester
Jon Greenberg, NHPR

Texas governor Rick Perry is stumping in the state today.  The Republican presidential hopeful urged workers at a manufacturing plant in Manchester to put pressure on congress to change. 

Rick Perry has been targeting the Washington establishment in recent days.  He issued a plan to cut the salaries of senators and congressmen in half.  Asked how he would get congress to go along, he said the public would need to browbeat them into agreement.

Perry said the counties around DC are some of the wealthiest in the country.

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NH News
8:00 am
Wed November 16, 2011

Trials for Latinos at Nashua High School

Deanna Couture

Between 2000 and 2009 New Hampshire’s Latino population grew by 79 percent.

These changes have created new challenges for some New Hampshire schools.

SFX: announcements, and hall noises

Walking through the halls of Nashua South High school, it’s clear where everyone stands. Literally.

Students Talking: This is the Spanish corner, yeah basically yeah this is the Spanish corner, like Dominican, Puerto Rican, right there is the Mexican corner, for real. (Spanish chat fades away, hall SFX continues)

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