NH News

NH News
4:30 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Fitch Lowers Manchester's Bond Credit Rating

City Hall in Manchester
Credit Bryan Marble via Flickr CC

One of the big three credit rating agencies has downgraded Manchester’s overall bond rating.

Fitch Ratings has lowered Manchester’s rating from AA+ to AA. The agency cites the city’s tax cap, rising pension costs and its deficit that caused the city to raise taxes beyond its cap.

Manchester owes $122 million in general bonds and about $59 million in school facilities revenue bonds. The school bond rating also dipped from AA to AA-. But Fitch kept its rating outlook at ‘stable.’

Last year, ratings agency Moody’s similarly downgraded Manchester’s credit rating.

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NH News
8:20 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Utilities Offer Workshops In Advance Of Electric Rate Hikes

Credit Michael Kappel via Flickr CC

Four utilities in New Hampshire are offering programs to help their customers save money by lowering energy costs as electric rates are expected to soar this winter.

Liberty Utilities says it will have a 50-percent hike while Unitil says its rates will rise 44 percent. New Hampshire Electric Cooperative says its customers will see a 29 percent increase. Public Service of New Hampshire says its rates will remain stable.

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NH News
11:16 am
Sun November 16, 2014

N.H. AG: Fred Fuller Deal Pending, But Consumers Should File Claims To Protect Their Interests

Basement oil tank
Credit MassMatt via Flickr CC

It looks like there’s a solution in sight in the saga of Fred Fuller Oil and Propane.

The Hudson-based company filed for bankruptcy a week ago. Now, the state says there’s a buyer - Rymes Propane & Oil – and that the buyer will honor customers’ pre-buy oil contracts.

I spoke with New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster about this tentative agreement.

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Newscast
10:03 am
Sat November 15, 2014

State Officials Mulling Speed Limit Hike On Spaulding Turnpike

New Hampshire transportation officials are heading to Rochester this month to discuss raising the speed limit on a section of the Spaulding Turnpike in Dover.

Earlier this year, the state raised the speed limit to 70 along most of Interstate 93 from Canterbury north to the Vermont border. The Department of Transportation is now considering raising the limit from 55 to 65 mph north of exit 9 on the Spaulding Turnpike in Dover. The state doesn't need approval from local communities, but transportation officials will meet with Rochester officials on Nov. 18 to discuss the idea.

NH News
9:59 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Bankruptcy Judge: Fred Fuller Can Use Cash To Fulfill Oil Contracts

Fred Fuller's logo

A federal bankruptcy judge is allowing a New Hampshire home heating oil company seeking bankruptcy protection to use cash it collects on its accounts.

Fuller Oil and Propane has assured customers it can provide oil to customers who paid in advance. It asked a judge for permission to use cash receipts from its sales.

A U.S. Bankruptcy judge on Friday granted the request, saying it was a "short-term shot" and could possibly allow the company time to find a buyer.

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NH News
5:40 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Portsmouth's Iconic Scrap Piles Are Gone For Good

Grimmel Industries' scrap pile on Market Street in Portsmouth.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

The last of the scrap metal has been loaded onto a cargo ship and is headed out of Portsmouth this weekend. The scrap company Grimmel Industries had operated on the port for about 10 years. 

The Pease Development Authority voted earlier this year not to renew the scrap company’s lease after years of pressure from  the scrap yard's neighbors and environmental advocates.

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NH News
3:14 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Community Colleges Request Budget Increase To Lower Tuition

New Hampshire's community colleges want $6.4 million in new money in the next budget to lower tuition by $10 per credit hour.

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NH News
10:55 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Forum Aims To Ease Concerns As N.H. Doctor Returns From Ebola-Stricken Country

State health officials hope a forum next week will help ease concerns of residents worried about a local doctor's return from working in an Ebola-stricken country in West Africa.

The panel discussion Monday evening at Kearsarge Regional High School will include state Public Health Director Jose Montero. Residents will also have a chance to ask questions about the disease.

Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, a Dartmouth professor who lives in New London, has been working in Liberia, training doctors treating Ebola patients.

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NH News
10:21 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Keene Residents Discuss Riots, Weigh Future Of Pumpkin Festival

Keene resident Jessica White, who started the Facebook Page "Keene Pumpkin Festival Move it or Lose it" and moderated Thursday night's forum
Credit Melanie Plenda for NHPR

For many Keene residents, the wounds are still fresh.

"This is an emotional issue," said Jessica White, who started the Facebook Page "Keene Pumpkin Festival Move it or Lose it" and moderated a forum Thursday night focused on the events of that weekend. "We were hurt. We were embarrassed. Embarrassed is a big one."

On Oct. 18 and 19, more than 2,000 college-aged adults overwhelmed police, started street fires, threw full liquor bottles at emergency officials tending to the injured, toppled light poles and tipped cars for more than eight hours.

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NH News
9:49 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Fred Fuller Seeks Permission To Use Cash, Owes Customers $5.1M

A New Hampshire home heating oil company that's filed for bankruptcy protection has asked a judge for permission to use cash it collects on its accounts, but its major oil supplier claims an interest in the money to secure a $4.7 million lien.

Fuller Oil and Propane has assured customers it can provide oil to customers who paid in advance. A judge ordered Fuller to present evidence of the full extent of its assets before ruling.

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NH News
5:00 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Manchester Police Bag 23 Alleged Drug Dealers In Second Joint Operation

140 grams of heroin packaged in "decks" (which typically contain one gram each) were found in the home of one of the men arrested.
Credit Carol Robidoux

  The Manchester Police Department along with various local and federal law enforcement agencies have arrested 23 low-level drug dealers in the city.

One city resident police arrested was found with about 140 grams of heroin in his home which holds a street value of $14,000.

Chief David Mara says the arrests serve as a deterrent to people engaged in illicit drug activity and improves the city’s quality of life.

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NH News
4:45 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

N.H. Supreme Court Rejects Lawsuit By Officers Injured In Greenland Shooting

N.H. State Supreme Court building in Concord
Credit NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire Supreme Court is refusing to reinstate a lawsuit filed by four officers who were injured in a 2012 shootout with a suspected drug dealer who shot to death Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney.

The officers sued Cullen Mutrie's mother, claiming she should be held liable because she knew or should have known her son was dealing drugs from the house she owned. After firing on the officers, Mutrie killed his girlfriend and then himself on April 12, 2012.

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NH News
4:40 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

University System Requests Additional $52 Million For Tuition, STEM Initiatives

Credit Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

The University System of New Hampshire wants an additional $52 million in the next budget to maintain its tuition freeze, give more scholarships to students in science and math fields and lower tuition for some community college students.

Representatives presented this request to Gov. Maggie Hassan Thursday morning, kicking off three days of budget proposals. These requests serve as a guideline for Hassan as she begins to develop her budget that's due to the Legislature in February.

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NH News
4:03 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Rep. Laurie Sanborn Drops From House Speaker Race, Big Name Republicans Back Chandler

Credit Dennis D. Hurd via Flickr CC

  Republican Representative Laurie Sanborn has dropped from the race to lead the House. She cites recent health concerns of her husband, state senator Andy Sanborn. He had emergency surgery on Election Day.

That leaves the bid for speakership between two former speakers: Gene Chandler who served from 2001 to 2004, and Bill O’Brien who served from 2010 to 2012.

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NH News
3:36 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

N.H. Set To Launch Second Open Enrollment For ACA Plans

Gov. Maggie Hassan at a kickoff event for open enrollment in Concord on Thursday.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

Open enrollment begins Saturday for those looking to sign up for health care plans on the state’s marketplace through the Affordable Care Act.

This will be the second chance for Granite Staters to enroll, after more than 40,000 residents signed up for plans during the first enrollment period.

In preparation for this weekend’s rollout, roughly 80 navigators and marketplace assistors gathered in Concord Thursday to learn about changes to the state’s marketplace.

The biggest difference this time? More choice.

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