NH News

NH News
5:19 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

School Choice Bill Passes Senate Despite Constitutionality Concerns

 

The New Hampshire Senate passed a bill sponsored by school choice advocates that would create a tax credit for businesses that donate to scholarship organizations.

Many public school educators oppose the measure saying that it would sap schools of already scarce resources, but opponents in the senate tried to block the bill by calling into question its constitutionality.

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NH News
2:48 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Bill Would Rein in Risk Pools

Legislation is making its way through the Senate that would tighten regulations for groups that run public insurance risk pools like the Local Government Center.

Bill supporters want more accountability for how taxpayer dollars are spent.

Lawmakers want tighter restrictions for so-called risks pools – groups that sell insurance to cities and towns – after regulators charged the Local Government Center with violating state law.

For example, the Local Government Center failed to return surplus back to municipalities, despite what's on the books.

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NH News
6:17 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

O'Brien Pushes Welfare Fraud Crackdown

With House deadlines looming, Speaker Bill O'Brien has introduced legislation that would make significant changes to the state's welfare programs.

O'Brien believes the state must do more to fight fraud in the system.

The measure also caps a family's aid even if that family's need grows.

It's far from clear whether the Speaker's plan would save the state money.

GORENSTEIN: There’s one sweeping theme to House Speaker Bill O’Brien’s welfare proposal, which includes Food Stamps and several other cash programs.

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NH News
5:11 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Lawmaker Drops Gun At Hearing

 A member of the New Hampshire House's criminal justice committee dropped a pistol on the floor of the legislative office building at a hearing on a controversial bill dealing with abortion.

Kyle Tasker, a Northwood Republican, dropped the loaded gun, one of two .45 caliber pistols he wears in shoulder holsters, as he took his seat in a crowded hearing room.

“I just gave blood and I might not have latched it quite properly. All I could think of was, it was bound to happen one of these days, I come here too often for that not to have happened.”

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NH News
3:50 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Contentious Education Tax Credit Bill Headed to Senate

Correction: an earlier version of the story stated the tax credits would initially be capped at $3.4 million. 

The New Hampshire Senate is set to vote tomorrow on a controversial bill that would create a tax credit for businesses that donate to private school scholarship organizations. The bill’s supporters are confident that it will pass.

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NH News
3:33 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Wildfire Season Comes Early

 

The state agency responsible for protecting forests from wildfires is warning that state forests are more at risk of burning this year.

Forest Ranger Bryan Nowell says state forests are now seeing conditions that usually are more typical of mid-April.

"That's due to the fact that pretty much since the first of the year we haven’t had a lot of snow events or rain events, so all the leaves and brush and debris that’s come down over the winter has been there drying all winter long," Nowell says.

NH News, Gay marriage
5:45 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Opponents Call For Defeat of Gay Marriage Repeal

 

About two-dozen members of the pro-gay marriage group Standing Up For New Hampshire Families held a news conference to urged the defeat of the bill slated for a vote in the House Wednesday. State Rep. Mike Ball, chairman of the Manchester Republican Committee, compared the repeal effort to a segregation law, and added he can’t back his party platform’s opposition to gay marriage.

"The Republican platform is wrong on that issue. That’s the bottom line. Much as I’d like to say we are a hundred percent right, on this one we are not right. This is a civil liberties issue."  

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NH News
12:42 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Manchester P.D. Calling

The Manchester Police Department has adopted new technology to help them fight crime.

The department is using a new telephone app that they believe will help the public help the police.

If you sign up for this app, the Manchester PD can now send an alert to your phone.

The alert could contain a photograph, text or video.

Maybe a blizzard is coming, a rash of car thefts have occurred at the Mall of New Hampshire, or says Captain Nick Willard a kid is lost at a Fisher Cat’s game.

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NH News
8:07 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Mistrial in Genocide Case

Jurors deadlocked in a case over whether a New Hampshire woman played a role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The federal judge has declared a mistrial.

Federal prosecutors accused Beatrice Munyenyezi of lying on documents – concealing her role in the genocide - to gain citizenship here.

Lawyers alleged Munyenyezi encouraged killers to kill and rapists to rape.

The defense argues the case was politically motivated, that the Rwandan government is threatened by ex-pats who challenge that Hutus committed genocide against the Tutsis.

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NH News
6:08 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

State Cuts Nursing for Sick Kids; Parents Raise Alarm

Over the last year, dozens of families have lost state subsidized nursing support to care for their sick children.

Some parents say the reductions have made it hard to juggle work and keep their kids healthy.

New Hampshire hired a private company, Schaller Anderson to manage these cases.

Frustrated parents accuse the company of making decisions based on money, not the health of their children.

There are about 150 families in the state of New Hampshire with children so ill most of them need medical care every day.

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NH News
4:49 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

NH House Passes Refugee Moratorium Bill

 

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted today to pass a bill that would allow the city of Manchester to ask for a moratorium on refugee resettlement.

The bill is a seen as a victory for Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, who has been calling for a moratorium since last July.

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NH News
2:26 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

NH House Reconsiders 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period

 

The New Hampshire House has moved to reconsider passage of a controversial bill requiring pregnant women to wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion. The bill would also require them to receive explicit information on fetal development.

NH News
2:08 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Right-to-Work Redux Passes NH House

 

 The New Hampshire House of Representatives has for the second time passed a so-called right to work bill. But  the margin was well short of what would be needed to override Governor Lynch’s promised veto.

Barring unions from requiring non-members to pay for representation has been a priority for House Republican leaders. Last year governor John Lynch vetoed a Right-to-Work bill, which republicans failed to override.

Republican Marshall Quandt told colleagues this year’s version will fare no better.

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NH News
5:54 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

State Supreme Court Considers Counsel for Indigent Parents

NHPR Staff

Do indigent parents have a constitutional right to a lawyer when the state charges that parent with abuse or neglect of their child?

That’s the question put to the state’s top court.

Last year, lawmakers passed a historic budget – making cuts to General Fund spending for the first time since World War II.

One of the casualties....the $1.2 million dollars provided to indigent parents for legal representation in child abuse and neglect proceedings.

Over the past several years, 350-400 parents a year are charged, typically for neglect.

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NH News
5:00 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

How the Darjees Pay the Bills

It’s a Friday night at the Darjee home. After a long work week, Ram, his wife Saraswarti, their daughter Angel and Ram’s mother are preparing for a fun evening with relatives.

(sound up)

Sitting with the Darjees, it’s hard to imagine that just 9 months ago they were living in squalor in a refugee camp in Nepal.  Their apartment now has comfortable furnishings, colorful decorations lining the walls, a computer and lots of cooking equipment to prepare a nice meal.

(sound of cooking and talking )

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NH News
2:22 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Finance Committee Looks at Implications of Eliminating USNH Chancellor

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

 

The House Finance committee is taking a hard look at a bill that would eliminate the Chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire. University trustees say that as written, the bill will cost the universities more money.

Milton Republican Robbie Parson’s bill has the backing of House leadership, and has already been approved in a preliminary vote on the house floor.

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NH News
5:51 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Marijuana Decriminalization Clears House

 

   

 The New Hampshire House has moved to decriminalize a person’s first two possessions of less than a half ounce of marijuana. 

It passed by a single vote.

 “162 members having voted in the affirmative, 161 in the negative. The chair declines to vote."

 Republican Speaker Bill O'Brien decision to not vote against the bill sends it to the senate, where its prospects are unclear.

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NH News
4:45 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

House Votes Through Contraception Exemption

Josh Rogers NHPR

 The New Hampshire House voted to allow any employer with a religious objection to deny workers insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Adding an exemption to New Hampshire’s 12-year-old law requiring contraceptives be covered in all drug plans has become a priority for House Speaker William O'Brien. And his leadership team pushed the bill through over strong objection from Democrats and a gallery full of protesters.

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NH News
3:44 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Mixed Data on Housing Market

Photo by 'Images of Money' via Flickr Creative Commons

New data from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority paints a mixed picture of the State’s housing market. 

288 New Hampshire homes slipped into foreclosure in January. That’s a 22-percent decrease from the prior month, but still well above pre-recession levels.

“It is not a case of 'bam', we wake up one morning and the foreclosure issue is gone,” said Jane Law with NH Housing. She said the market is showing signs of a slow recovery. 

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The Two-Way
12:01 am
Wed March 7, 2012

How Do You Ship A Horse To The London Olympics? Carefully, And Via FedEx

U.S. Olympic Equestrian rider Phillip Dutton jumps with Zeizos in West Grove, Pa., in this 2010 photo. Dozens of horses will fly from America to England for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 7:08 am

The elite athletes who travel to London for this summer's Olympic Games will include petite gymnasts, huge wrestlers — and elite horses, which compete in dressage and other events. Getting these strong and delicate animals to the Olympics is no job for an amateur. In fact, it's the job of Tim Dutta, who owns an international horse transport company.

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NH News
6:19 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Contraception Fight Heading To House Floor

House Speaker William O'Brien's bill to allow any employer with a religious objection to exclude contraception coverage from employee health plans draws fire from Democrats and leaves GOP Gubernatorial hopefuls leery.

Democrats’ problems with this bill are by far the more pronounced. Gubernatorial hopeful Jackie Cilley, for instance, has urged supporters to “take to the streets” over the issue. Fellow candidate Maggie Hassan, meanwhile, took to the statehouse for a morning press conference.

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NH News
3:36 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Homelessness Numbers Fall for First Time in a Decade

Flikr / Quinet

 

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services says that homelessness has dropped by 3 percent since last year.

The numbers are from an annual one-day count on January 25th that targeted welfare offices, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and other organizations. According to Maureen Ryan of the Bureau of Homeless and Housing Services, it’s the first time in a decade that homelessness has fallen in New Hampshire. 

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NH News
10:11 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Court Orders HHS to Assess Medicaid Cuts

Hospitals hope a recent federal court ruling forces New Hampshire to spend more money on Medicaid services.

A federal judge has given the state 15 days to meet with interested parties over cuts made to the Medicaid program in 2008.

The court ruled the Department of Health and Human Services failed to measure how Medicaid cuts would affect services, a violation of federal law.

10 New Hampshire hospitals argue rates are now so low they’ve had to cut care for the poor.

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NH News
10:06 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Failing Grade Given in Mental Health Update

Mental Healthcare providers say New Hampshire is failing to meet critical targets in the 10-year improvement plan.

They say  most signs point to a crumbling infrastructure.

Since 2008, when the 10-year plan was adopted, mental health services have slipped....and then some.

At least that’s how the state’s 10 community mental health centers put it in a recent update they've published on the plan.

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NH News
6:09 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Finally, a Little Winter

Snow piles up at the intesection of Nichols & Nichols in Peterborough

In case you forgot what a New England winter is supposed to be like, Mother Nature decided to drop in with a reminder. Snow impacts everything from checkbooks to yardwork in New Hampshire, but has gone missing for most of this winter. 

While I was busy shoveling my car out, a neighbor of mine was tackling a completely different winter chore.

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NH News
7:06 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Heavy Snow Causing Hazardous Roads

Snow outside NHPR studios

After a mild winter with little snow, New Hampshire is being hit with a late-season storm.

The National Weather Service says up to a foot of snow is expected in some areas by this evening.    

There are more than 200 closings, although most schools are closed due to winter break.

New Hampshire Department of Transportation says drivers should take extra precautions.

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NH News
9:53 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

An Uncommon Priest: Father Joe Remembered

Friends and the people he served say Monsignor Joseph Desmond practiced his own brand of Catholicism – putting people before rules.

An uncommon practice in the top down Church.

The 89-year old priest was put to rest Tuesday.

Many mourners described Desmond, who served more than a dozen parishes over his 40 year career, as their friend.

Moira Valenti was just a kid, maybe 8, 9 years old.

She loved her church, St. Anne's in Manchester.

And one day she asked the man she called Father Joe a pretty complicated question.

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NH News
5:35 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Is New Hampshire Putting Skilled Immigrants to Good Use?

Many educated immigrants are unemployed or underemployed
Flikr Creative Commons / jurvetson

You’ve heard of “Brain Drain,” but how about “Brain Waste”?

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NH News
5:06 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Legislators Consider Moving Division of Weights and Measures

Flikr Creative Commons / cafemama

 

 

State Representatives and Senators heard testimony today on a bill that proposes moving the Division of Weights and Measures from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Safety.

The division certifies scales and meters for measuring food and commodities like gasoline and fuel oil when sold to consumers.

The Senator Sharon Carson of Nashua, the bill’s sponsor, says she’s heard complaints from constituents who claim the division has been heavy-handed in its enforcement.

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NH News
6:18 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Prosecutors Call First Witness in Genocide Case

U.S. Prosecutors charge a Manchester woman with lying about her role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

They say she concealed her past to become a U.S. citizen.

Government lawyers say Beatrice Munyenyezi “encouraged killers to kill and rapists to rape.”

They told jurors that their witnesses – who are being flown in from Rwanda - will make it clear Munyenyezi “acted enthusiastically in these events.”

Munyenyezi’s lawyer David Ruoff argues those witnesses are being pressured by the Rwandan government.

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