NH News

NH News
7:07 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Affordable Care Act Enrollment In New Hampshire: 46,642

Credit istock photo

 According to new data from the federal government, 46,642 New Hampshire residents now have insurance through the federal healthcare marketplace. That figure includes people who have enrolled since November, and others whose plans from last year automatically renewed.

About 40,000 residents signed up last year, when New Hampshire's online exchange had only one insurer. But during this enrollment period, there are five insurers offering about 40 plans. Uninsured Granite Staters have until February 15 to sign up for a plan, or they could face a tax penalty.

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NH News
5:30 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Concerns Over Bill That Changes When Officers Can Make Warrantless Arrests

Credit Sean Marshall via Flickr CC

A bill going before a House committee Thursday is raising concerns among law enforcement officials and advocates of domestic violence victims.

The bill would require officers to have "personal knowledge" that a crime has been committed to have probable cause to make an arrest without a warrant.

Amanda Grady Sexton with the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says the new wording would limit officers arriving from being able to intervene.

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NH News
5:40 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Communities Have New Teeth To Fight Lazy Landlords

As of January 1, cities and towns in N.H. have new teeth to keep landlords from letting their property get messy or run down.  On Tuesday, the city of Somersworth put this new authority to use. 

Although Somersworth has spent the last year giving itself a makeover by redeveloping much of its downtown, authorities have had a hard time getting some landlords to maintain their properties. It's a problem a lot of communities face.

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NH News
3:56 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

One Person Dead In Officer-Involved Shooting In Derry

Credit File photo/NHPR

Attorney General Joseph Foster says police were responding to a call from a woman just after 8 a.m. who said her husband had just left their home distraught, suicidal and armed with a shotgun. 

Police located his truck at a nearby intersection and the officer approached. 

The officer returned fire and the man suffered a single, fatal gunshot wound to the head. 

Authorities are withholding the names of those involved at this time. They say the officer involved did not sustain any serious injuries. 

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

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Politics
7:08 am
Wed January 21, 2015

N.H.'s Congressional Delegation Reacts To Obama's State Of The Union

Credit <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom/6685602103/in/photostream/">Barack Obama <a>/ Flickr

Reactions to President Obama’s State of the Union address predictably fell along party lines among New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says she’s encouraged by the proposals outlined by the president in Tuesday night’s speech.

“Whether it’s efforts to make higher education more affordable for young people, reforming our tax code, or investing in alternative energy sources to lower costs to create jobs, Congress should now renew our  commitment to growing our economy and helping small businesses succeed,” Shaheen said in a statement.

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NH News
6:52 am
Wed January 21, 2015

New Hampshire Considers Cross-Border Health Insurance Sales

 

A Republican state senator says allowing New Hampshire residents to buy health insurance across state lines would increase competition and lower costs, but the state Insurance Department says his proposal would not accomplish those goals.

Sen. Andy Sanborn of Bedford told the Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday that if a health plan in another state meets federal requirements under the Affordable Care Act, there's no reason why New Hampshire residents shouldn't be able to buy it. He says if a plan is good enough for Alabama, it should be good enough for New Hampshire.

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NH News
12:03 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Portsmouth Firefighter Will Be Shaheen's Guest At State Of The Union

Senator Jeanne Shaheen has invited a Portsmouth firefighter as her guest at President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address in Washington.

Bill McQuillen, who is secretary-treasurer of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, will sit in the audience Tuesday for the president's speech. Shaheen said it's an honor to host McQuillen in Washington to show her appreciate for all that he and his fellow first responders do for New Hampshire year-round.

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NH News
7:01 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Connecticut River Watershed To Share In $10M Federal Grant

The Connecticut River Watershed is sharing in a $10 million USDA grant for farmers and communities to improve soil health and conserve land for wildlife habitat and recreation.

The total grant is going to the Long Island Sound Watershed, which includes the Connecticut River watershed. The river contributes over 70 percent of the fresh water to the Long Island Sound.

The $10 million grant will be matched dollar-for-dollar by other state, local, and private funding sources for numerous conservation projects throughout New Hampshire and New England.

NH News
12:13 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Pumpkin Fest Wants To Share Responsibilities, Costs For Festival Security

Credit Let It Shine, Inc.

The organizers of the Keene Pumpkin Fest have proposed a new public safety arrangement for next year’s event.

The organizers only want to be responsible for safety and security within the festival’s footprint.

In a Facebook post, Let It Shine, Inc. – the Pumpkin Festival’s non-profit organizer – said in 2015 it would like the city of Keene and Keene State College to take charge of controlling rowdy college students in neighborhoods near the event.

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NH News
11:21 am
Mon January 19, 2015

N.H. Lottery Rolls Out Bacon-Scented Scratch Ticket

Credit NH Lottery

  The New Hampshire Lottery is selling a bacon-scented scratch ticket.

The I Heart Bacon Scratch ticket features a $1,000 dollar grand prize and ink which releases the a bacon-like aroma when scratched.

To publicize the release of the ticket, the Lottery will be giving out free bacon in Keene, Durham, Hooksett and Manchester starting on Friday.

The tickets cost $1 a piece and winning tickets will reveal either a heart or a bacon symbol.

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NH News
7:37 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Dartmouth Once Again Weighing Value Of Greek Life On Campus

Credit Allison Quantz for NHPR

Classes are back in session at Dartmouth College, which means winter recruitment for fraternities and sororities is getting underway. It’s been a controversial year for Greek life from Clemson University to Johns Hopkins, and Dartmouth has not escaped unscathed. Later this month, recommendations addressing social life are expected to be publicly released. 

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NH News
8:54 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

'Let's Break The Quietism' Implores Civil Rights Veteran At MLK Service

Reverend Arthur L. Hilson (left), Reverend Joseph Ellwanger, and Reverend Robert Fellows.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

On Sunday, clergy from local Lutheran, Congregational, and Unitarian churches -- plus a rabbi -- honored the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. at New Hope Baptist Church in Portsmouth.

Reverend Arthur L. Hilson reminded his speakers -- including Portsmouth Major Bob Lister and Police Chief Stephen DuBois -- that they stood behind the very pulpit Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. preached at in Portsmouth 63 years ago.  

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NH News
2:26 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Freezing Rain Causes Treacherous Roadways, Multiple Accidents

Credit NHPR Staff

The state’s Department of Transportation warned about slippery conditions on roadways from Manchester to Plymouth Sunday as freezing rain hit cold pavement. “Incidents are happening all over the place,” said Bill Boynton with NHDOT.  

By afternoon, a pileup on I-93 blocked traffic in both directions near I-89.

Boynton's recommendation? Watch football.

"As soon as you start using salt, the rain dissolves it," he said. That made pre-treatment impossible Sunday morning, as freezing rain moved in across the state.  

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NH News
5:49 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

At Town Hall, Ayotte Emphasizes Piecemeal Changes To ACA

Senator Ayotte at Loudon Town Hall meeting.
Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

  Senator Kelly Ayotte fielded questions on a variety of topics at a town hall meeting in Loudon on Friday.

She reiterated her support for sanctions in Iran; for immigration reform; assured one constituent that she would vote repeal Obamacare again if given the chance. However, Ayotte suggested, it may pay to be realistic.

“I also think though we should also try to take up some areas where people are saying ‘I can agree,’” Ayotte said, “like changing the forty-hour work week.”

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NH News
5:20 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

New State Rules: Beer And Other Legal Inebriants Okay On Vanity Plates

Credit www.nhbeerbus.com

The state’s new rules on vanity license plates now allow for words referring to beer and other legal inebriants.

Seacoast Online reports the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules approved a new set of rules on license plates Friday.

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NH News
5:13 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

State Supreme Court Upholds State Retirement Reforms

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

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has upheld some legislative reforms to the state retirement system, a month after upholding key provisions.

The court on Friday upheld changes to the definitions of "earned compensation" and Cost of Living Adjustments. It ruled the changes didn't retroactively reduce pension benefits earned before a law was passed, and that employees don't have a contractual guarantee that the terms of the plans will never change.

The ruling addressed a lawsuit by the American Federation of Teachers.

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NH News
6:47 am
Fri January 16, 2015

N.H. Congressional Delegation Calls For 'Transparency' On Pipeline Project

Members of the state’s Congressional delegation are calling for greater transparency before a decision is made about the route of a proposed natural gas pipeline expansion in southern New Hampshire.

U.S. Representatives Frank Guinta and Anne Kuster along with U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte sent a letter to Kinder Morgan and Federal Regulatory Commission on Thursday.

In the letter, they urge Kinder Morgen and regulators to give Granite Staters time to express any concerns about the project.

NH News
2:54 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

PSNH Granted Request For Time To Negotiate Settlement

The scrubber at Merrimack Station in Bow, pictured here while under construction, was originally estimated to cost $250 million, but wound up costing $422 million. A major proceeding to determine if PSNH could bill ratepayers for that full cost has now been stayed.
Credit PSNH / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission has agreed to put the brakes on a big decision regarding the state’s largest electric utility, Public Service of New Hampshire.

The first is how much it will be reimbursed for a scrubber on a power plant in Bow that saw more than hundred million dollars more than was initially estimated. And the second is whether they should be allowed to continue to own power-plants – period – or if instead independent, third-parties should be the only companies in the electricity generation market.

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NH News
8:29 am
Thu January 15, 2015

N.H. House Speaker Creates Pension Reform Study Group

Shawn Jasper
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

House Speaker Shawn Jasper is making pension reform a priority of the new legislative session by creating a 14-member committee to study the system that provides retirement benefits for public employees.

New Hampshire's public pension system faces a $4.5 billion unfunded liability and Republicans want to reform the system. Jasper announced the committee Wednesday and appointed Rep. David Hess, a Hooksett Republican, as chairman.

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NH News
7:31 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Pipeline Opponents Bring Fight To Concord

Homer Shannon, a resident of Windham, speaks his opposition to the proposed natural gas pipeline.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Opponents of a proposed natural gas pipeline expansion in Southern New Hampshire delivered a petition signed by 1,900 New Hampshire residents to lawmakers in Concord, Wednesday. The petition asks for one thing: more time before pipeline developer Kinder-Morgan can start its permitting process.

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NH News
5:00 am
Thu January 15, 2015

State Likely To OK Alcohol-Related Vanity Plates

Credit David Adams

On Friday, lawmakers will vote on a final rule governing what words New Hampshire drivers can have on their vanity license plates. While the Department of Safety’s interim rules did not allow drivers to receive vanity plates that refer to beer or other legal inebriants, the Department’s final recommendations reversed that decision, outlawing only illegal inebriants. 

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NH News
6:13 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Bradley Completes 'Grid' Of 4,000-Footers, Every Mountain In Every Month

Apart from being a dedicated hiker, Bradley also takes a lot of photos of the Whites.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The hard-core hikers call it the grid, the big list.

Perhaps you know someone who has walked up all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000 foot peaks. It’s a lot less likely, but maybe you’ve even met someone who has hiked them in the winter. But for the most resolute hikers, even that’s not enough. They strive to hike every 4,000-footer in every month of the year...that’s 576 hikes.

It took more than a decade, but on Wednesday New Hampshire Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley got to check off the 576th box in his grid.

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NH News
4:55 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Rand Paul Makes The Rounds In N.H.

Rand Paul speaks to business leaders in Concord at The Draft, a bar owned by State Senator Andy Sanborn (left).
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul began his day by breakfasting with state lawmakers. He then paid a quick visit to Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.

By noon he was with gun right activists at a Litchfield shooting club.

He then hit a Manchester charter school, where a called for a rollback of common core, the repeal of no child left behind, and the elimination of the department of education.

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NH News
6:16 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau Will Not Seek Re-election This Fall

Donnalee Lozeau
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The mayor of Nashua will not seek re-election this fall.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports Mayor Donnalee Lozeau will not seek a third term, after serving as head of the state’s second-largest city since 2008.

Her term will expire in January of 2016.

Meanwhile, Nashua Chamber of Commerce president Chris Williams has already announced plans to explore a run for the office.

Several aldermen are also said to be considering running.

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NH News
6:35 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Navy SEAL From N.H. To Be Buried In Arlington National Cemetery

A 31-year-old Navy SEAL from New Hampshire who died during a military parachute training exercise in Florida will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

A celebration of William "Blake" Marston's life has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Bedford Presbyterian Church. Visiting hours will be held Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bennett Funeral Home in Concord.

Marston died Saturday after landing on the grounds of an airport in DeLand, Florida.

NH News
6:19 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Sen. Ayotte Looks To Restrict Transfers Of Guantanamo Detainees

Sen. Kelly Ayotte
Credit Chris jensen for NHPR

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte wants to make it more difficult for the administration to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

She’s part of a group of Republican Senators set to unveil legislation later today to restrict those transfers.

Ayotte was critical of the administration’s decision earlier this month to transfer five Guantanamo detainees to Kazakhstan. 

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NH News
5:58 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Now You Can Text 9-1-1 In Emergencies

Credit Robert Kuykendall / Flicker CC

People in New Hampshire can now send text messages to Nine-One-One if they are having an emergency.

The new service is meant to be used only when there is no other option, such as situations when calling would put an individual at risk.

“Call if you can, text when you can’t,” explains Michael Todd, spokesman for the NH Department of Safety.

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NH News
5:11 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

2014: Manchester Crime In Historical Context

Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Overall, crime is down in the Queen City. By about 6% compared to 2013 if you look at Part 1 crime statistics, which includes violent and property crimes. Coming off of a crime wave in 2013, one might have expected a drop to occur naturally but experts say the drug problem is getting worse.

Targeted efforts by the Manchester Police Department to increase patrols in hot spots and to arrest more street level drug dealers may have played a significant role in the drop in crime.

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NH News
11:04 am
Mon January 12, 2015

N.H. Supreme Court To Review Fairness Of Addison Death Penalty

The New Hampshire Supreme Court building in Concord
Credit NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire Supreme Court for the first time will review whether the death sentence given to a man convicted of killing a police officer is fair compared to similar cases nationwide.

This marks the last phase of Michael Addison's direct appeal of his death sentence for the 2006 killing of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.

The high court unanimously upheld Addison's convictions and death sentence in November 2013. That was the first time a death sentence had made it to the court in more than half a century.

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NH News
10:55 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Hassan Appoints County Adminstrator To Lead New Substance Abuse Health Initiative

John "Jack" Wozmak
Credit Via the Cheshire County website

Gov. Maggie Hassan has tapped a county administrator with a long history of working on drug abuse and mental health issues to lead a new initiative.

Hassan named John "Jack" Wozmak of Walpole the senior director for Substance Misuse and Behavioral Health. In the position — funded by a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation — Wozmak will work with state agencies and others to coordinate the state's substance abuse and related behavioral health policies.

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