NH News

NH News
6:57 am
Fri March 27, 2015

New Hampshire Public Health Director Stepping Down

Jose Montero
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

 

New Hampshire's director of public health says he is resigning to allow for "new leadership" of the division.

Dr. Jose Montero announced in a statement Thursday that he will leave the post he's held for the past seven years on May 1. He has been with the state's Division of Health Services for 15 years.

He said in his written statement that it's time for new leadership to help the division achieve the goal of becoming an accredited agency.

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NH News
6:46 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Northern Pass Gives $3 Million To Conservation Projects

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Eversource Energy and the Northern Pass Transmission project have announced a large donation to support conservation projects in New Hampshire. The $3 million donated by Eversource will be given to local conservation projects through grants administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

“That’s a huge donation. It represents our largest New England corporate donation in the history of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,” said David O’Neil, vice president of NFWF.

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NH News
9:22 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Medal Of Honor Recipient To Deliver UNH Commencement Address

Ryan Pitts
Credit U.S. Army

 

Medal of Honor recipient Ryan Pitts is delivering the University of New Hampshire commencement address on May 16.

Pitts is a former Army staff sergeant who fought off enemy fighters during one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghanistan war, despite his own critical injuries. He is the ninth living recipient of the award; President Barack Obama bestowed the honor last year.

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NH News
8:24 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Dartmouth College Sanctions Fraternity For Alleged 'Branding' Of Students

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

 

A lawyer for a Dartmouth College fraternity accused of branding new members compared it to a form of self-expression like body piercing or tattooing.

Alpha Delta was suspended in October for violating alcohol rules during one party and hosting another without registering it with the college. Officials are now extending that suspension over new allegations that members were branded last fall.

The frat partly inspired the 1978 movie "Animal House" and has a recent history of hazing and other disciplinary violations.

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NH News
7:31 am
Thu March 26, 2015

President Obama Signs N.H. Disaster Declaration For January Blizzard

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration for the state of New Hampshire, ordering federal aid to help state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by a snowstorm during Jan. 26 to 28.

The declaration says federal funding also is available to state and eligible local governments and certain nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and repair in Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Strafford counties, which got up to 32 inches of snow.

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NH News
7:15 am
Thu March 26, 2015

After 3-Year-Old's Death, Bill Would Change Way Child Abuse Cases Are Handled

Brielle Gage
Credit www.gofundme.com/JusticeForBrielle

  UPDATE: The bill cleared the full Senate Thursday by a voice vote. It now heads to the House. 

The death of a 3-year-old girl in Nashua last November has raised questions about state oversight and what actions should be taken when cases of child abuse are reported.

Katlyn Marin, the mother of Brielle Gage, has been charged with murdering her daughter.

Court records show the girl and her four siblings were placed in foster care in April of last year after Marin and her boyfriend were charged with felony child abuse.

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NH News
6:42 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Rockingham County Commissioners Won't Pay For Conway's Legal Defense

Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway

 

The Rockingham County Commissioners have decided not to pay to defend County Attorney Patricia Conway in a possible whistleblower lawsuit.

Hours after being sworn into office in November, Conway fired assistant county attorney Jerome Blanchard, a key witness a state misconduct investigation.

Blanchard has threatened legal action, claiming the firing was payback for his involvement in the investigation into former county attorney Jim Reams.

Conway insists the firing was justified.

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NH News
6:33 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Keene City Council Committee Again Rejects Pumpkinfest Permit

Credit Selbe B via Flickr/Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/stacylynn/5117165696/in/photostream/

 

A City Council committee has once again rejected a permit request this year for the Keene Pumpkin Festival, a fall tradition overshadowed by nearby violent disturbances last year.

WMUR-TV reports the nonprofit group running the festival, Let It Shine, wants the city to develop a security plan, estimated to cost more than $300,000.

The Planning, Licensing and Development Committee rejected a license Wednesday for the second time. The Keene City Council is scheduled to vote on it April 2.

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NH News
6:31 am
Thu March 26, 2015

N.H. Officials To Announce New Rules For Administering Narcan

Credit Courtesy of MPD

 

New Hampshire Department of Safety officials are announcing new rules and training to allow more law enforcement personnel to administer life-saving doses of Narcan to people who overdose on heroin and other opioids.

Officials will announce the new rules Thursday.

A task force has been looking into expanding the use of Naloxone — often known by its trademark Narcan — that counters opioid overdoses. Under state law, only EMTs can currently administer Narcan.

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NH News
5:00 am
Thu March 26, 2015

The ET Plus Dilemma: Whether Many Of The State's Guardrails Pose A Danger

As many as 25 percent of the end posts used in New Hampshire are the ET Plus models shown here. All units, regardless of manufacturer, are marked in yellow and black.
Credit Courtesy of Trinity Industries

Whizzing along New Hampshire’s highways, most drivers probably don’t give much thought to those square black and yellow plates on the end of guardrails – called end plates. But there’s a concern that one of the models used in New Hampshire and many other states could be dangerous.

The worry is that, instead of guiding an errant vehicle away from danger as they are meant to do, the guardrail may pierce the passenger compartment and skewer its occupants.

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NH News
7:55 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Former UNH Student Goes It Alone In Criminal Court, Wins 'Not Guilty' Verdict

Rob Wilson in downtown Portsmouth, an hour after the jury declared him innocent.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

Last year, 29 year old Robert Wilson was accused of a felony-level crime and faced the possibility of three and a half to seven years in prison. On Monday, after representing himself “pro se," the jury found him not guilty. 

Generally speaking, this doesn’t happen. Litigants represent themselves frequently in civil court, but rarely do criminal defendants argue by themselves before a jury. Wilson had even refused stand-by council.

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NH News
7:33 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Anti-Bullying Advocates Oppose Student Privacy Bill

Credit Flickr/Jason Howle

 

A 14-year-old bullying victim is speaking out against a proposal that would prohibit New Hampshire schools from accessing students' social media accounts.

Souhegan High School freshman Jonathan Petersen told the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday that the bill would prevent schools from fully investigating bullying allegations. He described an incident in which two girls snapped inappropriate pictures of him, and he joined other critics in urging lawmakers to amend the bill to include an exception for investigations.

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NH News
6:41 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Laconia Police Chief: Prevention, Treatment Keys To Battling City's Heroin Epidemic

    

At least 300 people died from drug overdoses in New Hampshire last year, the most ever in the state.

A report cites the synthetic opioid fentanyl and heroin as the top two drugs having caused those deaths.

Laconia is among the communities where that spike in overdoses has continued into 2015.

Chris Adams is chief of police for Laconia, and joined Morning Edition to talk about how the city is handling the problem.

What are your officers are seeing out there?

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NH News
6:40 am
Wed March 25, 2015

UNH Hosts Maple Syrup Climate Discussion, Pancake Breakfast

 

Keeping the maple syrup flowing for generations to come will be the focus of a panel discussion and pancake breakfast at the University of New Hampshire.

Wednesday's panel includes local maple syrup producers, scientists and others speaking about climate effects on forests and maple trees. Among the speakers are Martha Carlson, a conservationist and educator who owns Range View Farm; Chris Keeley, the climate program coordinator at UNH Cooperative Extension and Jennifer Wilhelm of the New Hampshire Food Alliance.

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NH News
6:51 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Town Of Lempster Helping Family Of Eight Who Lost Home To Fire

People have rallied to help a family of eight that escaped a house fire with only the clothes on their back in Lempster.

The Lempster Ladies Auxiliary showed up at the fire scene and put out a Facebook message asking for donations for the family, which includes five children.

People have donated clothes, car seats, shoes, diapers and toys.

Volunteer Jillian Thomas tells WMUR-TV it's been a very moving experience.

Fire officials are still investigating the cause of Sunday night's fire; it does not appear suspicious.

NH News
6:42 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Report: Former Chief Justice Banned From UNH Law's Rudman Center

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

After stepping down as head of the Rudman Center at UNH Law last week, former New Hampshire Chief Justice John Broderick has been banned from the center he helped found.

Broderick stepped down from the post, citing a lack of support from the university.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports Broderick was told by university officials Friday to vacate his office and not to appear at any events at the Rudman Center.

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NH News
5:00 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Grafton County's Half-Full Drug Court Excludes Many Addicted Defendants

James Johnson's charge for selling heroin made him ineligible for drug court in Grafton County
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

While addiction and related crimes are on the rise in Grafton County, the county’s Drug Court is struggling to fill enough seats.  That’s even though clients who get a drug court offer can avoid incarceration, get access to affordable high-level addiction-treatment programs, and often have their conviction vacated after completion.

It's Lonely In Here

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NH News
5:15 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Liberty Utilities Summer Electric Rates May Drop By 55%

Michael Kappel/Flickr CC

The first New Hampshire electric utility to file its summer rate change has asked for a 55 percent decrease. The request reflects low demand for natural gas during the summer months.

Months ago, Liberty was the first New Hampshire utility to seek a dramatically higher winter rate: jumping from 7.7 cents per kilowatt hour to more than 15 cents.

Now, as swiftly as electricity prices spiked in the fall, they are set to plummet even more this spring, down to 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour.

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NH News
10:29 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Bobhouses Have To Be Removed From The Ice By April 1

Credit Craig Taylor via Flickr CC

 

It may still feel cold enough to go ice fishing, but an April 1 deadline is approaching for all bobhouses to be removed from the ice in New Hampshire.

State law requires their removal, to make sure that bobhouses and their contents do not fall through the ice and become a hazard to boaters.

The Fish and Game Department says on Sunday, a man's Jeep fell into soft ice at the end of Meredith Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee as he was trying to remove a bobhouse. The vehicle had to be towed off the lake. There were no reports of injuries.

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NH News
7:18 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Fishing Rule Changes Could Affect Cod, Haddock, Lobsters

 

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is holding a public hearing in Portsmouth on proposed fishing rules on April 7.

The proposed rule changes include requiring any Atlantic cod taken from tidal waters to be immediately released; changing size and possession limits for haddock; and requiring new buoy line requirements for lobster traps and hauling times.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center.

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NH News
6:56 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Nashua Latest N.H. Community To Explore Anti-Panhandling Measure

Credit kennethkonica (Flickr)

Officials in Nashua will consider an ordinance this week that aims to curb panhandling in the city.

The Telegraph of Nashua reports the proposal would bar the exchange of goods between pedestrians and drivers in a public way.

The legislation goes before the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday.

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NH News
4:30 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

School Board: Transgender Students Can Choose Which Cap And Gown Color To Wear At Graduation

Mic Wernej via Flickr CC

Students at a New Hampshire high school will now be able to choose between black and white for their graduation gowns, after a group representing transgender students asked the school board to allow that.

Traditionally, boys at Kennett High School in North Conway wear black caps and gowns and girls wear white ones for graduation. WMUR-TV reports two weeks ago, members of the Gay- Straight-Transgender Alliance asked the board to change that after transgender students were assigned robes for the gender they don't identify with.

NH News
4:16 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Hiker Recovering After Rescue On Mount Chocorua

 A hiker is recovering after he slid off a New Hampshire mountain trail and down a ledge into some trees, unable to move due to the steep grade and ice.

Fish and Game Department officers say 21-year-old John Ng of Wakefield, Massachusetts, was able to call 911 Thursday afternoon from Mount Chocorua in Tamworth, in the White Mountain National Forest.

Rescuers found him about five hours later, suffering from symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite. They replaced his frozen shoes and socks with dry ones and put several layers of clothing on him.

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NH News
9:02 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Portsmouth To Be Property On New Monopoly Gameboard

Credit Hasbro

  The boardgame company Hasbro has announced Portsmouth will be a property the new “Here and Now, US Edition” Monopoly gameboard.

The new board is being released in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the original Monopoly boardgame. Cities on the new gameboard received over 4 million votes on the website Buzzfeed.

Portsmouth Mayor Bob Lister facetiously says he’s sure Portsmouth’s place on the gameboard will bring a lot of awareness to the public about Monopoly. 

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NH News
8:33 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Rand Paul Returns To N.H. With Expanded Staff In State

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Senator Rand Paul is heading back to New Hampshire a day after hiring two more of the state's political operatives as he readies for a presidential campaign.

The Kentucky Republican today will tour a Manchester Internet service provider and will speak at the Carroll County Lincoln Day Dinner. He has four public stops on Saturday in Rochester, Exeter, Hampstead and Hollis.

On Thursday, Paul hired a New Hampshire political director and operations director for his political action committee, RANDPAC.

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NH News
7:41 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Voters In Bow Reject $5M Bond For New Public Safety Facility

Voters in Bow
Credit bow-nh.com

Voters in Bow have rejected a $5 million bond to build a proposed public safety facility.

The Concord Monitor reports the vote came during the second session of Bow’s town meeting Thursday night.

Of the more than 1,100 residents who voted on the bond, just more than half supported it, falling short of the two-thirds needed to pass.

The combined facility would have housed the police, fire and emergency management departments.

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NH News
7:29 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Nearly 200 Manchester Students Opt Out Of Smarter Balanced Exam

Credit NYC Department of Technology / Flicker CC

Nearly 200 students opted out of taking the Smarter Balanced exam in Manchester this week.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the district received 196 refusal requests from parents or guardians during the first week of the new online statewide assessment.

The test is being given to students across the state in grades three through eight, as well as 11th grade.

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NH News
6:55 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Analysis: Few Women Among Concord's Highest Paid Employees

Concord City Hall
Credit meridiannh.com

It’s Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote freedom of the press and the public’s right to know.

The Concord Monitor has spent the week reporting on its efforts to obtain public records and review how taxpayer dollars are spent.

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NH News
6:29 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Keene City Council Delays Action On Issuing Pumpkin Festival Permit

Credit Selbe B via Flickr/Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/stacylynn/5117165696/in/photostream/

Officials in Keene have delayed action on whether to issue a permit to the organizers of the city’s annual pumpkin festival.

The Keene Sentinel reports city councilors voted Thursday night to send the issue back to the council’s planning, licenses and development committee for reconsideration.

That committee voted unanimously last week to reject issuing a permit to Let It Shine, the nonprofit group that organizes the festival.

However, Mayor Kendall Lane urged councilors to give the decision its due process and allow for more discussion on the festival’s future.

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NH News
4:27 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

N.H. Senate Passes, Then Tables, Business Tax Cuts

Sen. Jeb Bradley
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The business profits tax (BPT) stands at 8.5%; the business enterprise tax (BET) at .75%.

Under these bills, those would drop every year  until 2019, when the BPT would be 7.9% and the BET  .675%.

Senate majority leader Jeb Bradley told colleagues the cuts are an overdue recognition that N.H. isn’t as business friendly as it needs to be.

“To ignore the fact that we have an uncompetitive corporate tax rate is nothing worse than the most myopic short sightedness that we could have.”

Democrats, like David Watters, countered that cuts are ill-conceived.

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