NH News

NH News
11:24 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Flood Watch In Effect, As Storm Expected To Make For Wet Christmas

A flood watch is in effect for New Hampshire through Wednesday night into the evening on Christmas.

A storm is expected to drop 1-2 inches of rain, which may cause some localized flooding.

Hometown Forecast Services Meteorologist Gary Best says much of New Hampshire will see light rain and drizzle throughout Wednesday afternoon.

He says the heavier rain moves Wednesday night, along with milder temperatures and an increasing south wind.

NH News
3:49 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Portsmouth Rejects Temporary Exemption For Uber Drivers, Seeks Long Term Solution

  The Portsmouth City Council has voted down a measure that would have created a temporary legal exception for drivers of the ride-sharing company, Uber.

City Attorney Bob Sullivan established the previous week that online ride-sharing does qualify as a taxi service in Portsmouth, and could be subject to taxi inspection and medallion requirements.

But in a 5-4 vote Monday night, City Councilors rejected the 60-day protection for Uber’s drivers proposed by Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine.

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NH News
3:32 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Rhode Island Murderer Linked To 1987 N.H. Cold Case

Authorities say a convicted murderer who died in prison in Rhode Island in 2011 also killed women in New Hampshire and Massachusetts more than three decades ago.

Edward Mayrand, who was convicted of killing Patricia Paquette in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1994, also was an early suspect in the death of Judith Whitney in New Hamsphire, but prosecutors lacked enough evidence to charge him.

Whitney, from Amherst, Massachusetts, was last seen alive with Mayrand in Keene in July 1987. Her body was found four months later in Winchester.

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NH News
2:35 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

N.H. House Speaker Names Deputy Majority Leader

Credit J. Stephen Conn via Flickr CC

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper continues to add to his leadership team.

On Tuesday, Jasper named Republican Steve Schmidt of Wolfeboro as Deputy Majority Leader.

Schmidt is entering his third term in the House and recently retired from as an executive with Verizon.

Jasper has already named Jack Flanagan of Brookline as Majority Leader.

Members of the House will convene for their first session on January 7.

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NH News
1:39 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Keene Pumpkin Festival Organizer Hit With $90K Bill From City For Overtime Costs

Credit Courtesy Kaitlyn Coogan / Keene Sentinel

The group that organizes the Keene Pumpkin Festival says it will review a $90,000 bill for overtime costs related to riots that happened near the festival this October.

City officials say the bill is to pay for police, firefighters and public works employees who had to stay to deal with the mayhem that ensued a few blocks away from the festival.

Ruth Sterling organizes the event for the nonprofit group Let It Shine, and says its board will meet next week to decide how to move forward.

She did not say whether the group plans to pay the bill.

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NH News
11:38 am
Tue December 23, 2014

N.H. Doctor Returns Home From Ebola Assignment

New Hampshire's deputy state epidemiologist Dr. Elizabeth Talbot is back from Sierra Leone, where she spent five weeks training medical workers how to avoid the Ebola virus.

The death toll from Ebola is now approaching 7,000, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Talbot is maintaining a voluntary quarantine at her home in New London. She says she and her family are grateful for the support they've received from their community.

NH News
11:15 am
Tue December 23, 2014

N.H. Delays Action On $13M FairPoint Contract Amid Service Concerns

State officials have delayed action on a $13 million contract with FairPoint Communications amid concerns about how the company’s ongoing labor dispute is impacting services.

The contract was set to go before the Executive Council today, but the commissioner of administrative services agreed to put it off until next month.

Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern says he’s received numerous complaints from FairPoint customers about issues with their phone and internet service.

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NH News
4:35 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Concord's First Hospital Building Added To Historic Register

The last remaining building from Concord's first hospital has been added to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places.

The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources says the Margaret Pillsbury General Hospital Annex was part of a complex that opened in 1891. The first Concord building constructed solely for use as a hospital, Margaret Pillsbury General Hospital was deliberately located in a working-class section of the city at a time when the Abbott-Downing stagecoach company and the Boston and Maine Railroad were major employers.

NH News
1:57 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Shaheen, Kuster To FairPoint: This Strike Needs To End

Credit Ibew Fairpoint via Flickr CC

Two members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation are urging officials with FairPoint to settle its labor dispute with workers in northern New England.

More than 1,700 FairPoint workers in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont have been on strike since Oct. 17.

In a letter sent to FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu, Senator Jeanne Shaheen and 2nd District Congresswoman Anne Kuster urged the company to return to the bargaining table.

In the letter, Shaheen and Kuster say the ongoing dispute has disrupted service to customers, including for emergency responders.

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NH News
12:33 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

N.H.'s Catch Limit Fishing Rules Will Change In 2014

New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department says changes have been made to rules for catching smelt, striped bass, white perch, haddock and cod for 2015.

Daily limits have been reduced for smelt to accommodate a decline and striped bass to comply with a fishery management plan.

The daily limit of 25 white perch for coastal waters now matches the limit for inland waters.

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NH News
4:02 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

'Women's Leadership Expert' Named Dean Of UNH's Paul College

Deborah Merrill-Sands named dean of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire
Credit University of New Hamshire

The University of New Hampshire has appointed Deborah Merrill-Sands to be dean of the Paul College of Business and Economics.

In a recent press release, UNH Provost Lisa MacFarlane called Merrill-Sands a "leading authority on women's leadership and women's workforce issues.”

The dean’s seat was vacated over a year ago, when Daniel Innis resigned to make a bid for U.S. Congress.

Merrill-Sands, who is currently the dean of the Graduate School of Business at Mills College, will begin her role in Durham this March. 

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NH News
4:00 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Workers Comp Group Divided On Need To Cap Medical Charges

Credit StopnLook via Flickr CC

A commission studying ways to reduce workers compensation costs in New Hampshire released its final report Friday, but did not go so far as to recommend a cap how much health providers can charge for the care of injured workers.

Instead, in the 38-page report, a majority of commission members recommends the panel continue its work for another year.

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NH News
2:44 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

FairPoint Workers Mark 10th Week Of Strike With Statehouse Rally

Stiking FairPoint workers gathered at the Statehouse plaza Friday.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

FairPoint workers marked the tenth week of their strike with a rally on the Statehouse plaza in Concord Friday.

The workers held signs in protest and weren’t shy about sharing their reaction to a recent statement by FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu accusing the union of not bargaining in good faith.

“If I say ‘Sunu’ you say liar!” said Glenn Brackett, leading the chant.

“Liar!” the crowd of 200 responded.

Brackett is on the union’s negotiating team, and says it’s the company that refuses to consider a fair deal.

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NH News
4:36 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Rules Committee Rejects Bid To Elect House Leaders

No one expected this proposal to win favor in a committee led by House Speaker Shawn Jasper and made up of lawmakers who back his leadership.

But those loyal to Bill O’Brien, like Amherst Representative Steve Stepanek, gave it a try.

"For the integrity of the house it is important to put things in rules now that we took for granted as being precedent."

Before the committee voted it down, House Speaker Jasper, countered that not having a Speaker appoint leaders is what lacks precedent.

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NH News
11:46 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard To Hire More Than 700 New Workers

Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard plans to hire more than 700 new employees next year.

The shipyard, based in Kittery, Maine, is recruiting applicants for a number of positions, including engineers, technicians and shipfitters.

Shipyard commander Capt. William Greene says the expansion is needed to keep up with the increased workload of overhauling nuclear submarines, and to make up for about 200 workers who are retiring or leaving for other jobs.

Once the positions are filled, the shipyard's workforce will grow to more than 5,000 civilian employees.

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NH News
8:59 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Brentwood Police Seek Donations To Get To Fallen Officer's D.C. Ceremony

Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

Member of the Brentwood Police Department are raising money to help fund a trip Washington, D.C. in May, when fallen officer Stephen Arkell will be honored.

Arkell’s name will be added to the Wall of the Fallen at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial.

The part-time officer was killed in May of last year, responding to a domestic disturbance call.

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NH News
8:26 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Group Appeals Denial Of Homeless Day Center In Exeter Neighborhood

A nonprofit organization seeking to open a day center for the homeless in an Exeter neighborhood has appealed a decision by the town zoning board rejecting its application.

Seacoast Family Promise currently operates out of the Stratham Community Church, but the group says it has outgrown its space.

The day center in Exeter would provide training, medical, and social services.

Neighbors raised concerns about whether the center would reduce property values and impact neighborhood safety.

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NH News
7:51 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Portsmouth Says Uber, Taxi Drivers Covered By Same Regulations

Car-sharing service Uber's logo

The City of Portsmouth says that drivers for ride-booking companies such as Uber meet the city's definition of taxi drivers and are subject to the same regulations.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that at a city meeting Wednesday night, cab drivers applauded the city's position. The city did not rule on whether to shut down an Uber driver currently operating in the city, as the cabbies had asked.

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NH News
7:18 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Concord Planning Board OKs Poultry Processing Plant

Construction is set to begin next year on a poultry processing plant in East Concord, after the city’s planning board gave the project the green light.

The Concord Monitor reports the board voted last night to OK the 5,500 square foot plant, which will be located just off Exit 16 of I-93.

The vote came despite opposition from neighbors concerned about odor and other pollution from the plant.

Fournier Foods, the company proposing the plant, agreed to several conditions intended to address those concerns, among them that waste cannot be deposited in onsite dumpsters.

NH News
5:00 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Heroin Epidemic Triggers Prison Crowding: New Women's Prison May Be Too Small

NH State Prison for Women in Goffstown
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

New Hampshire's new $38 million prison – which is being built in Concord as I write this – may be too small.

 The fact that the state’s prison population has been growing steadily is well known. What’s new is a striking increase in the number of female inmates in state prison over the last six months. It’s 13 percent higher compared to 2013. That’s roughly four times the rate of increase among male inmates. 

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NH News
5:36 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Alleged Kidnapper Indicted On More Than 200 Charges

Credit NH Attorney General

 

Superior Courts in Coos and Carroll County have released hundreds of new charges against a North Country man accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old North Conway girl last year.

Nathaniel Kibby, 34, of Gorham faces 205 charges, alleging the brutal treatment of an unnamed female victim.

At a press conference Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Jane Young went through the indictments, which include 160 counts of sexual assault.

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NH News
4:10 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Ayotte: President's Action Strengthens Cuban Regime

Credit Cheryl Senter / NHPR

New Hampshire U.S Senator Kelly Ayotte says she has serious concerns about President Obama’s decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.

President Obama announced plans today to open an American embassy in Havana, along with the loosening of economic and travel restrictions, after the release of an American contractor held in captivity for five years.

Ayotte says the policy shift strengthens the Cuban regime and reduces incentives to respect the human rights of its citizens.

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NH News
3:54 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Alleged Kidnapper Indicted On More Than 200 Charges

Credit NH Attorney General

Superior Courts in Coos and Carroll County have released hundreds of new charges against a North Country man accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old North Conway girl last year.

Nathaniel Kibby, 34, of Gorham faces 205 charges, alleging the brutal treatment of an unnamed female victim.

At a press conference Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Jane Young went through the indictments, which include 160 counts of sexual assault.

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NH News
2:26 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Two Taken Into Custody After Reports Of Shots Fired In Hooksett

Two people have been taken into custody after police responded to reports of shots being fired in Hooksett Wednesday afternoon.

The Manchester police SWAT team and state police also responded to the area near Poultry Products in Hooksett.

Front Street in Hooksett was shut down as police searched the area.

According to Manchester police, two individuals with long rifles and handguns in their possession were apprehended and will likely face felony reckless conduct charges.

No other details are available at this time.

NH News
8:49 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Four Charged In Theft Of 13 Puppies From Manchester Pet Store

One of the Shar Peis stolen with a Manchester Police Officer Tuesday morning.
Credit Manchester Police Department

Four teenagers are facing felony charges after police say they broke into a Manchester pet store and stole more than a dozen puppies.

Shortly after a break in was reported at Bill’s Pet & Aquarium this morning, a Manchester police officer spotted the suspects in the area carrying two of the missing dogs.

After the suspects were apprehended, Sgt. Brian O’Keefe says all 13 dogs were soon found at a nearby home.

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NH News
7:31 am
Tue December 16, 2014

State: Hike Spaulding Turnpike Speed From 55 To 65

Credit NCReed / Flickr Creative Commons

 

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation plans to increase the speed limit on the Spaulding Turnpike from 55 to 65 mph between Dover and Rochester.

The new speed limit on the 10 mile stretch from Exit 9 in Dover to Exit 16 in Rochester will take effect starting Jan. 1.

The change comes after a study this year determined the limit could be raised following completion of the multi-lane, divided highway through Exit 16. State police weighed in on the new limit.

The speed limit will remain 55 mph south of Exit 9 and through the toll plaza in Rochester.

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NH News
7:49 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

PSNH Announces Winter Rate Hike, Smaller Than Other Utilities

Credit Christian Patti / http://christianpatti.com/

The state’s largest electric company has asked for a winter price hike. Even after the increase Public Service of New Hampshire will still have the lowest winter rate of any utility in the state.

PSNH has asked regulators for an energy rate of 10.56 six cents per kilowatt hour, an increase from the current rate of 9.87 cents per kWh. The utility estimates that for an average rate-payer, using between 500 and 700 kWh per month, bills will rise somewhere between $5 and $8.

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NH News
3:21 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Report Highlights Changes In State's Homeless Population

A report on homelessness says New Hampshire's overall homeless population has decreased by 3 percent, but says there's been an increase among veterans and chronic cases.

In a report out Monday, the New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness says the overall decrease started in 2011 thanks to the collective work of agencies, policymakers and others. It says more resources are needed, including continued investment in affordable housing.

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NH News
7:47 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

North Country Project Receives Grant To Research Coos County Experiences

A research project that examines the experiences and attitudes of Coos County youth and young adults has received a grant of nearly $128,000 from a charitable fund that supports organizations in northern New Hampshire and surrounding areas.

The Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire in Durham received the grant from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

The grant is one of 14 totaling nearly $1.2 million awarded to municipal, educational and nonprofit groups.

NH News
7:17 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

Strawbery Banke Ice Rink Opens At Last

Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

  A new skating rink at the Strawbery Banke museum in Portsmouth opened for its first full day on Saturday.

Twenty-four year old Portsmouth resident Melissa Towle was lacing up her boots Saturday afternoon with her stepdaughter.

I haven't ice-skated since I was about her age so I'm just hoping I don't hurt myself!

The rink took two years in development:  advocates overcame a pricey legal battle waged by wary neighbors, and raised over $450,000 dollars.

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