NH News

NH News
10:00 am
Tue December 30, 2014

A.G.: Murder-Suicide At Dover Hospital Involved Husband And Wife

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
Credit NHPR / Emily Corwin

An investigation is underway into a murder-suicide involving a husband and wife at a Dover hospital this morning.

According to the attorney general’s office, Dover police responded to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital just after 6 this morning for a report of shots fired.

Officers found the husband and wife both dead in the hospital’s critical care unit.

While the investigation is ongoing, it appears the husband murdered his wife and then took his own life. 

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NH News
9:18 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Labor Board Rejects 'Bad Faith' Claims Against FairPoint

Credit Ibew Fairpoint via Flickr CC

 

FairPoint Communications says the National Labor Relations Board has dismissed complaints accusing the company of bargaining in bad faith, disappointing news for striking workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said they were appealing. Pete McLaughlin, head of the union negotiating committee, said the unions remain "united and committed in our fight for fairness at FairPoint."

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NH News
5:56 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Cold Temps Good News For Nordic Skiers

Credit flickr, creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/11388184@N05/8325737221/

  Thanks to snow blowing, most lifts and at least half the trails are open at New Hampshire's major downhill ski resorts. Now, upcoming cold temperatures will mean more cross country trails can open up, too.

Gunstock will begin blowing snow onto its cross country trails on Monday night.  Marketing Director Bill Quigley says getting snow onto these narrow, tree-lined trails requires the assistance of a local farmer. "They actually load the snow into a manure spreader," he says, "and then we drag it around with a snowcat and a tractor to spread it on the trails."

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NH News
5:43 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Avis Goodwin, Healthcare 'Visionary,' Dies At 95

A lifelong champion for uninsured women and their children has died.  Avis Goodwin passed away on Saturday in York Harbor, Maine on Saturday at age 95. 

As Director of Social Services at Wentworth Douglass Hospital in 1969, she started the state’s first prenatal care clinic for uninsured women. It is now a nonprofit called the Goodwin Community Health Center in Somersworth.

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NH News
3:41 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Lawmakers To Weigh 9-1-1 Fee For Pre-Paid Cell Phones

Credit Jonas Seaman / Flicker CC

In the upcoming legislative session state lawmakers will be asked to add a charge to pre-paid cellphone contracts to help pay for nine-one-one service.

Landlines, Voice Over IP and standard cell phone contracts already carry a 57 cent surcharge that pays for 9-1-1, but pre-paid cellphones, which are increasingly popular, don’t.

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NH News
5:12 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Wood Pellets' Swift Rise Tests Supply Chain

Credit D-Kuru/Wikimedia Commons

The number of homes in New Hampshire using wood for heat has more than doubled over the last decade, from 3.8 percent in 2005 to 8.6 percent in 2013.

Much of that increase comes from wood pellets. Pellets have advantages over cord-wood – they are less work and burn more cleanly – and are cheaper than fuel oil or propane.

But the fuel’s rapid growth has meant the pellet industry has earned a few black-eyes from the occasional shortage, and manufacturers and retailers are struggling to figure out how to smooth out their supply chain.

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NH News
7:09 pm
Sun December 28, 2014

State Officials Issue Warning About Thin Ice On Ponds

Credit Richard Roche via Flickr CC

New Hampshire officials are issuing a thin ice warning for area ponds after a Concord city worker rescued a man from a pond in a city park.

On Christmas Eve, Concord Parks and Recreation employee Tom Wright noticed a young man struggling in vain to get out of the icy waters of a pond in White Park.

Officials say the man went out on the icy to rescue his dog, which had fallen through about 30 feet from shore. He managed to get his dog back onto the ice but couldn't pull himself up or break a path through the ice.

Wright ran into the pond and pulled the man to safety.

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NH News
1:45 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

PSNH Asks For Time To Negotiate Settlement On Scrubber, Selling Power Plants

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Public Service of New Hampshire wants to seek a settlement on two major proceedings currently before utility regulators.

The first decision facing the Public Utilities Commission is how much ratepayers should have to spend to reimburse the cost of a $422 million scrubber on its coal-fired power plant in Bow. The second is whether it’s in customers’ best interest to allow PSNH to keep its power plants, or if the utility should sell them.

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NH News
2:00 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Concord Community Music School Brings Christmas Spirit To Executive Council

The Concord Community Music School's Scholarship Vocal Ensemble performed for the Executive Council
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

Members of the Concord Community Music School’s Scholarship Vocal Ensemble performed Christmas songs for members of the Executive Council Tuesday morning.

You can listen here to their performances of "The First Noel" and "Joy To The World."

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NH News
1:32 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Keene Theater Plans To Show 'The Interview'

An independent theater in Keene plans to screen “The Interview” on Christmas day.

Alex Meadow is the owner of Keene Cinemas, and says he pushed to get rights to show the movie as soon as Sony announced this week it had reversed its decision to pull the film.

“I mean, it’s a movie. And it’s satire. And satire has a place in society, by all means. And we’re also not going to make our decisions business-wise on fear. So I’m not going to be held back by these threats and whatnot from showing a movie.”

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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

As Drug Sentences Spike, 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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