NH News

NH News
4:29 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

SNHU Wins $3.9 Million Federal Innovation Grant

  Southern New Hampshire University has been awarded a $3.9 million “First in the World” innovation grant from the Federal Department of Education.

SNHU was among two dozen colleges and universities nationwide selected for the program meant to improve access to higher education for non-traditional students.

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NH News
3:24 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Hillsborough County Court Not Awarded Drug Court Grant, Wins HOPE Grant

Credit Michael Flanagan/Flickr CC

The Bureau of Justice Administration has approved funding for a new drug court in Nashua, but has rejected a grant for the same program in Manchester.

Hillsborough County Superior Court had applied for two three-year, $325,000 grants.

Each would have funded drug courts in the state’s two largest cities, but, earlier this month, only Nashua’s was approved.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Ken Brown says while he’s disappointed, the Manchester court did receive funding for a similar program called Project HOPE.

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NH News
1:24 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

N.H. PUC OKs 47% Rate Hike For Liberty Utilities

Credit Michael Kappel/Flickr CC

The state’s Public Utilities Commission has approved a 47 percent rate hike for Liberty Utilities customers.

Company spokesman John Shore acknowledged the increase is significant.

“When the rates go up like this, it’s not something we like to see, obviously. Our customers don’t like to see it. But unfortunately, it’s what the market is.”

Shore says the average customer will be paying about $50 more each month.

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NH News
1:10 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

N.H. Supreme Court Caps Retired Police Officer's 'Double Dipping'

The N.H. Supreme Court in Concord
Credit Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

The state Supreme Court has ruled against a retired police officer who argued he had the right to work part-time for several towns while collecting a pension.

After retiring as a Plaistow police officer in November of 2011, Scott Anderson continued to work in a part-time capacity for Plaistow, Atkinson and Hampstead.

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NH News
6:00 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Las Vegas Evangelicals Plant Church At Unlikely Address

The Great Bay Calvary Church band plays at 23 Friend Street, Portsmouth

  Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Scott Brown moved to New Hampshire late last year, and is now locked in a tight race with incumbent Jeanne Shaheen. Whether Brown wins or loses, he’s already having an indirect, but potentially profound effect on his new home state: as the landlord  of a nascent evangelical church in Portsmouth.

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NH News
8:30 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

As Electricity Prices Rise, Policy Makers Ponder Solutions

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, former Senator Scott Brown, Governor Maggie Hassan, and GOP nominee for Governor Walt Havenstein all addressed energy policy makers in Concord on Monday
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Lawmakers, energy developers, and policy wonks descended on downtown Concord today for the annual New Hampshire Energy summit. The event couldn’t come at a more appropriate time, last week New Hampshire electric utilities – with the notable exception of the state’s largest, Public Service of New Hampshire – announced winter rate hikes ranging from twelve to fifty percent.

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NH News
7:09 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Shaheen Goes After Brown On 'Women's Issues'

Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

Jeanne Shaheen kicked off her week of women’s themed events by collecting the endorsement of NARAL-Pro-Choice America PAC, and by telling reporters to take Scott Brown’s claims of having a pro-choice record with a grain of salt.

“He can try and say all he wants to that he has been pro-choice. The fact is that’s not the way he vote when he was in Massachusetts – check his record – and that’s not the way he has voted in Washington.”

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NH News
4:23 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

NHTI Awarded $2.5M Job-Training Grant

The New Hampshire Technical Institute at Concord's Community College has been awarded a $2.5 million federal job-training grant aimed at boosting information technology programs.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen announced the U.S. Department of Labor grant on Monday.

The grant will help create new certificate and associate degree programs in information technology such as cyber security, networking and game programming. Shaheen says those skills can be applied in growing fields including health care, energy and advanced manufacturing.

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Newscast
4:13 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

N.H. DOS Makes Changes To Concealed Carry Application

New Hampshire's Department of Safety has made changes to the state's concealed carry gun license application for the second time in two months, following complaints from gun rights groups over some of the questions.

The Concord Monitor reports the department first made changes to the application form in August, in response to a superior court decision and general suggestions.

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NH News
3:45 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

N.H. Retirement System Makes $900 Million In 2014

The past twenty years of pension fund returns.
Credit NHRS Data

  The New Hampshire Retirement System saw more than $900 million in investment returns added to its trust fund in the last fiscal year. That’s a return of 17.6%.

The state retirement system was holding $7.3 billion at the close of the 2014 fiscal year. That’s up from $6.5 billion in FY-2013.

Retirement system spokesman Marty Karlon says it’s exceeding its annual goals but the unfunded liability isn’t expected to be resolved until 2039.

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Newscast
6:35 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Gubernatorial, Senate Candidates Address Energy Issues At Summit

Credit Sam Evans-Brown

New Hampshire's gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates are addressing energy industry leaders, consumers and policy makers at an annual summit in Concord.

The New Hampshire Energy Summit being held Monday is organized by the Dupont Group and the New Hampshire Independent Energy Council, a coalition of non-utility electric generators, renewable generation developers, private transmission companies and electricity suppliers.

Gov. Maggie Hassan and her Republican challenger both will speak, as will U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Scott Brown.

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Newscast
6:15 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Jindal Joins Havenstein On Campaign Trail

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
Credit Derek Bridges via Flickr CC

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein for two education related campaign stops.

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NH News
3:41 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Historians' Estates Leave 'Bumper Crop' Of Books For Athenaeum Book Sale

Credit Guldfisken / flickr, creative commons

  The Portsmouth Athenaeum’s annual book sale begins on Friday at the North Church Parish. “There’s a bumper crop this year,” says Tom Hardiman, the Athenaeum’s “keeper,” or Executive Director.

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NH News
12:52 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Electric Co-op Latest Utility To Announce Rate Increase

Credit David DeHetre / Flickr CC

  Another utility has announced that electric rates will rise this winter. For customers of the New Hampshire Electric Coop, the state’s second largest utility, winter electricity bills will rise 12.2%

The rate increase takes place on October 1st, and will cost ratepayers using 500 kilowatt hours $12.47 cents more per month. The increase is due to increasing rates on the energy half of the electric bill, which are increasing from 8.97 cents per kilowatt hour, to 11.6 cents.

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NH News
11:35 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Man Charged In Manchester High School Lockdown Heading To Court

Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

A 21-year-old New Hampshire man charged in connection with a lockdown at his former high school in Manchester is heading to court.

Damian Johnson of Manchester will be arraigned Friday on a felony count of falsifying physical evidence and misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass, violation of probation and disrupting school in session.

Police say Manchester High School West was on lockdown for 90 minutes Thursday, after a student reported seeing Johnson with a gun tucked into his waistband. He was found in a small, occupied classroom and was arrested without incident.

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NH News
7:20 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Consumer Advocate Seeks Relief On Liberty Rate Hike

New Hampshire’s Consumer Advocate has asked regulators to soften the blow of a big rate hike expected for as many as 42,000 New Hampshire electricity customers. The average customer of Liberty Utilities, which provides electricity to towns on the Massachusetts border and in the Upper Valley, says customers, might pay as much as $50 more per month for winter if the increase is granted, a 50 percent increase.

On cold winter days, homes burning natural gas for heating fill up most of the pipelines coming into New England, and what little gas is left over becomes very expensive.

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NH News
5:00 am
Wed September 24, 2014

UNH Undergrad Seeks To Produce First Genetically Decaffeinated Tea Plant

Some genetically altered plants growing in growth mediums in a temperature-controlled room in UNH's Rudman Hall.
Ryan Lessard NHPR

Genetic engineering of plants has come a long way in recent years. It was first used to make more robust crops, then more nutritious and efficient crops. Now, scientists at the University of New Hampshire are tweaking tea plants to create an un-caffeinated variety.

Camellia sinensis is the plant from which virtually all caffeinated teas derive. UNH neuroscience major Laura Van Beaver has been working to flip one particular gene like a switch, which changes the plant in a significant way.

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Newscast
8:13 am
Tue September 23, 2014

N.H. Attorney General Monitoring Lawsuit Against Fred Fuller Oil

New Hampshire's attorney general is closely monitoring a lawsuit filed by a major supplier of home heating oil against a dealer who supplies about 30,000 customers with fuel to be sure the dealer can fulfill its obligations.

Senior Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti says he will meet next week with lawyers for Hudson-based Fred Fuller Oil, in light of a lawsuit filed by Sprague Energy. The company claims Fuller owes $4.7 million in unpaid bills and is seeking to seize Fuller's delivery trucks and other assets.

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NH News
10:25 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Report: Aging N.H. Population Will Reshape Health Care System

A New Hampshire Center for Public Policy study predicts the state's aging population will reshape its health care system.

The center's annual report, titled "What Is New Hampshire," says that by the year 2020, nearly 20 percent of the state's population will be 65 or older, a dramatic jump from 13.5 percent in 2010.

The report also notes that the economy is changing significantly.

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Newscast
10:04 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Littleton Receives Main Street Revitalization Grant

The New Hampshire town of Littleton is getting $250,000 to support a revitalization project on Main Street.

Littleton is planning to construct a multi-use bridge over the Ammonoosuc River pedestrians, bicycles and off-road vehicles.

The grant is from the Northern Border Regional Commission, which helps economic development in the North Country.

Gov. Maggie Hassan is touring the project after addressing the Littleton Economic Development Summit on Monday.

NH News
5:14 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Litigation Is Only Option For Portsmouth In Stalling Newington Propane Expansion

Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

  After failing to appeal the Newington Planning Board's decision to approve the propane company Sea-3’s expansion through that city's Zoning Board of Adjustment, a Portsmouth  staff attorney says they will proceed to Superior Court.

In an unusual legal maneuver, the City of Portsmouth filed their appeal in the Superior Court in June.  That appeal was stayed as the city pursued an appeal via Newington's ZBA.

In July, New Hampshire’s congressional delegation requested federal government provide an environmental impacts study. That request was denied on Tuesday.

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Foodstuffs
4:16 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

New Farmer-To-Locavore Business Model At Odds With State Regulations

North Country Marketplace & Salvage in Colebrook.
Chris Jensen for NHPR

A Colebrook woman is trying to make it easier for people to buy locally grown foods while giving farmers an economic boost. Her idea is a variation on the classic roadside farm stand, and it is a model that could be used around the state.

But it’s going to require a change in state law.

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NH News
8:46 am
Thu September 18, 2014

New Hampshire's Oyster Harvest Season Now Open

Credit minwoo / Flickr CC

New Hampshire may have a tiny seacoast but that doesn't stop people from hauling out oysters.

The state's Fish and Game department says oyster season is open from September through May. It's only open to Granite Staters and the shellfish can only be taken for personal consumption; no sales are allowed.

Oysters can be taken by hand or by using tongs but rakes are illegal.

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NH News
8:31 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Census Data: Fewer People Living In Poverty In N.H.

The U.S. Census Bureau is releasing new data that shows about 17,000 fewer people were living in poverty in New Hampshire in 2013 compared to the year before.

The 1.3 percent decline from about 128,500 people in poverty in 2012 to roughly 111,500 last year is the second sharpest drop in the nation, trailing only Wyoming's 1.7 percent decrease.

In New Hampshire, 8.7 percent of the population lives in poverty, compared with 15.8 percent nationally. The national rate in 2012 was 15.9 percent.

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Newscast
8:24 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Son Involved In Amherst Murder-Suicide Was Law Student

A man whom authorities say fatally shot his mother, then killed himself, was a student at Vermont Law School.

Authorities said 35-year-old Jonathan Trombly of Amherst, New Hampshire, shot his mother, 69-year-old Elizabeth Trombly, multiple times before shooting himself. Their bodies were discovered in a home Tuesday.

The Burlington Free Press reports the Vermont Law School community learned about the case in an email from President Mark Mihaly on Wednesday afternoon.

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Newscast
8:23 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Humane Society Denies Allegations By Former Executive Director

The New Hampshire Humane Society is denying allegations brought up in lawsuit filed by its former executive director, who said she was fired for reporting concerns such as allegations of animal mistreatment.

The Citizen reports its board of directors says it believes all allegations by Mary Di Maria will be found baseless and without merit. The board voted to fire Di Maria on Dec. 11, 2013.

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NH News
10:08 am
Wed September 17, 2014

UNH Math Professor Receives 2014 MacArthur 'Genius' Award After Prime Number Discovery

: University of New Hampshire professor of mathematics Yitang “Tom” Zhang is a 2014 MacArthur Fellow.
Credit Lisa Nugent / UNH Photographic Services

He says he may just give the $625,000 award to his wife.  

Yitang Zhang, a professor of analytic number theory at the University of New Hampshire, is one of 21 artists, scholars and professionals  to receive a prestigious MacArthur "genius" grant this year.  

Zhang rose to celebrity unexpectedly last year after discovering a finite bound on the gaps between prime numbers. The discovery is a major breakthrough on a subject that has bedeviled mathematicians since ancient times.

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Newscast
8:27 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Former Humane Society Director Files Wrongful Termination Suit

The former executive director of the New Hampshire Humane Society has filed a lawsuit against former and current board members, saying she was fired for reporting concerns such as allegations of animal mistreatment.

Mary Di Maria of Moultonborough says she was fired after reporting animals were being euthanized without the needed approval, surgery was being performed on animals that were not fully anesthetized and that a failure to perform timely exams on cats resulted in a number of them requiring respiratory infections.

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NH News
2:47 am
Wed September 17, 2014

N.H. House Upholds Three Hassan Vetoes

Credit Tashir Hashmi via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted to sustain three of Governor Maggie Hassan’s vetoes from the last legislative session.

The bills would have cracked down on bullying between state employees, given the legislature the power to decide privacy disputes raised during audits of state agencies, and made it illegal to disclose the name of a lottery winner.

A majority of the house, but not the needed two thirds, voted in favor of the auditing and the lottery winner privacy bill.

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NH News
5:01 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Senate Republicans Applaud Proposed Tuition Freeze, Call Funding Debate Premature

Credit Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

  Republican State Senate Leadership responded Tuesday to the University System of New Hampshire Trustees’ request to restore University funding to 2009 levels, a $16 million dollar increase between 2015 and 2016, in exchange for another two years tuition freeze.

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