The New Hampshire House of Representatives kicked off 2012 with a marathon 8-hour session Wednesday.
And in those 8 hours, lawmakers tackled controversial topic after controversial topic, like fetus rights, the death penalty, the 2ndAmendment and health insurance.
Amidst all the action, House leaders flashed something they haven’t shown much of before...restraint.
By now - halfway into their term – House Republicans have earned a reputation for fiscal austerity and Libertarian tendencies.
By Wednesday night, the New Hampshire Statehouse might have been an afterthought....lost in the glare of the Republican presidential candidates.
But earlier in the day, New Hampshire politicians flexed their rhetorical muscles, jockeying for higher ground as the next legislative session kicked off.
The number of fatal crashes on New Hampshire roads dropped in 2011 by nearly a third.
The coordinator of the Highway Safety Agency, Peter Thomson, says that the state police are targeting factors that cause fatal crashes: speed, distracted driving, and drugs and alcohol.
He says so far this year, eighty-seven people have died in crashes, which is the lowest number in fifty years.
He credits, among other things, the safe commute program which the state police instituted this year.
A Portsmouth bookstore that was saved from closing by local investors will be shutting its doors for the month of January.
Tom Holbrook, one of the owners of RiverRun Books, had hoped that the store would only be closed for a week or so when it moved to a new space.
But renovations on the new store weren’t completed in time and the lease on the old one was up, so for the month of January RiverRun will only be selling books online.
A winter that has begun with warm nights and balmy days, has given the ski season a rocky start.
According to SkiNH revenues at New Hampshire ski areas are behind the same point last year.
Most of New Hampshire’s Ski areas were finally able to open this past week, but with a rain storm in the forecast, prospects for a profitable holiday season are dim.
And Karl Stone of SkiNH says that the holidays are crucial.
Flakes will start to fly tonight after an unseasonably warm December.
NHPR talked to a National Weather Service forecaster about the probability of a white Christmas.
According to weather data, on any given year there’s at least at 75% chance there will be snow on the ground in New Hampshire Christmas day.
Michael Esker – a forecaster in Gray, Maine – thinks that probability isn’t going to change this year.
A storm will shoot through tonight, leaving just enough snow to frost the state and make things look festive.
As we all know, the upcoming presidential election is about the economy and jobs.
So the economic fears and hopes of the electorate in early-voting states like Nevada and New Hampshire will play a significant role in who emerges from the GOP pack.
Despite the state’s financial stability, lots of Republicans voters see cloudy skies ahead.
When it comes to economics, New Hampshire is a little like that fictionalized Minnesota town.
You know, the one where "all the women are strong, and all the men are good looking."
More families in New Hampshire can now get help with their fuel bill this winter.
Congress increased funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, this week.
New Hampshire will receive a total of $26 million, rather than the $14.7 million dollars originally allotted.
That original appropriation forced Community Action Agencies to target the money to families of four earning less than $28,000.
Other low-income households were placed on a waiting list.
In an attempt to save $400,000 in Medicaid spending, State health officials are planning major funding cuts to child and family health programs.
Lisabritt Solsky, the deputy director of Medicaid, said state health officials had no choice but to make the cuts.
Solsky: The legislature acted and reduced our budget, the funding is gone for this, it is not something we asked for and it is not something we promoted
Senate President Peter Bragdon says improving the business climate will be among his top priorities going into the 2012 session.
Bragdon wants to see the tax code cleaned up.
In truth, Senate President Peter Bragdon has two primary goals for next year.
He wants to push through a constitutional amendment on education funding that has the backing of Governor Lynch.
And he wants to make it easier for businesses to grow and thrive in the Granite State.
To accomplish that second objective, Bragdon says the corporate and LLC tax codes need to be combed.
The redistricting of New Hampshire’s House of Representatives is proving to be very tricky.
The Republican leadership proposed a new map this week, and critiques are rolling in.
Redistricting is never particularly easy; representatives tend to like the districts that elected them.
And considering that the right to re-draw the political map is a spoil that goes to the victors of the last election cycle, partisan friction is inevitable.
But this time around, redistricting has gotten very complicated.
The last bunch of Christmases up in Berlin, New Hampshire haven’t been terribly merry.
For the last decade, the old pulp and paper mill city near the Canadian border has watched life-long neighbors leave, businesses go bust and economic dream after dream dissolve.
But this Christmas there’s something in the air.
There's a new employer coming to town.
This Christmas story starts - fittingly- in Bethlehem.
This no-stop light town, tucked into the White Mountain National Forest is a little under an hour’s drive from the new federal prison.
Refugees in the state will receive almost a half million dollars of federal funding for health and social services.
The executive council had put that money on hold last month at the request of Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.
Councilor Ray Wieczorek says that he still has reservations about the number of refugees being resettled in Manchester.
Wieczorek: we ought to try to spread it out a little bit so that the responsibility is spread amongst at least eleven cities.
A leaking two million gallon water tank in Rochester forced residents to evacuate their homes today.
A Rochester resident reported hearing a crash or banging sound coming from a 90 foot water tank around noon Tuesday.
Water department crews saw water gushing from the bottom of the cylindrical tank.
Rochester police ordered nearby residents to evacuate and detoured traffic around the scene. City Engineer Peter Norson says that the tank doesn't appear to be in danger of collapsing.
Today New Hampshire lawmakers got an update on the economic outlook from a series of forecasters
The Ways and Means Committees from both the House and Senate heard in a day’s worth of presentations that while the economy is improving, it’s doing so very slowly, and the recovery is fragile.
A rebound in the housing market is especially far off, as home sales in New Hampshire have been essentially flat for the past two years.
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