NH News

NH News
1:53 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Hospitals Take State To Court Over Medicaid Reimbursement

The Attorney General’s Office Thursday argued a federal judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by 10 hospitals against the state.

Hospitals are suing over the state’s decision to cut how much it pays doctors and hospitals for treating low-income Medicaid patients.

They say those cuts violate New Hampshire’s agreement with the federal government to provide care to the poor.

But Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Smith says hospitals have no legal authority to question state reimbursement rates.

Read more
NH News
6:24 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Kids Lose Private Health Insurance

New data from the U.S. Census shows that in 35 states the number of children enrolled in private health insurance has declined.

Between 2009 and 2010 1.6 million kids lost coverage.

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute can’t pinpoint the primary cause behind the drop in private insurance.

Carsey’s Jessica Bean says unemployment is a likely culprit.

Read more
NH News
6:10 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

AG Wants Hospital Suit Thrown Out

Tomorrow, the Attorney General will argue that a federal judge should throw out a lawsuit filed by 10 hospitals suing the state.

The state is arguing hospitals don’t have legal standing to challenge how much New Hampshire pays medical providers.

In 2008, the state began lowering how much it pays doctors and hospitals to treat low-income Medicaid patients.

The move was made to help shore up state finances during the Recession.

But Scott O’Connell, an attorney representing the hospitals says the state skipped a step.

Read more
NH News
2:39 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Woodstove Changeout Project for Southern NH

Pellet Stove in Action at Armstrong Hearth and Home
Sam Evans-Brown

The American Lung Association announced a project that will pay individuals in Southern New Hampshire to swap out their old woodstoves.

The money for the program comes from a company’s settlement with the EPA.

The project provides consumers from Merrimack, Hillsborough, and Rockinghman counties vouchers  to replace old, inefficient wood stoves, with new clean burning ones.

The vouchers are worth anywhere from one to three thousand dollars, and can be used for pellet stoves, or wood-burning stoves.

Read more
NH News
7:12 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Public Pension Changes Could be Costly

A new estimate from the state’s public retirement system shows a change in benefits could prove costly. 

Earlier this fall, lawmakers asked the retirement system to run some numbers.

They wanted to know how much it would cost employers- that’s the state, cities and towns - if New Hampshire went from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.

Going from a system where the employers are responsible for guaranteed benefits, to one where employers only guarantee they pay a certain contribution.

Read more
NH News
5:45 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Local Investors Step in to Save Book Store

Flikr Creative Commons / drocpsu

The push to support local businesses – Buy Local campaigns – are gaining steam, and Invest-Local is no exception.

In Portsmouth, so called “Locavestors” have come together to save a community book store.

RiverRun bookstore sits near the center of downtown Portsmouth.

It’s a bright shop, with big windows looking out onto historic Congress Street.

Customers Nancy Pollard and Elria Ewing are in browsing for replicas of old maps of downtown.

They love their local bookseller.

Read more
NH News
1:04 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

New Hampshire Activists in DC to "Take Back the Capitol"

Some participants in the Occupy New Hampshire protests are heading to Washington DC to take part in what’s being called “Take Back the Capitol.”

Krista Rand of Suncook says she’ll be there. The unemployed civil engineer wants Congress to promote jobs in her field by putting more federal dollars toward roads and bridges. “We all know that the state of our infrastructure in this country is quite abysmal. The American Society of Civil Engineers rates our infrastructure a D, and our bridges a C, so that’s really a problem," she said.

NH News
4:29 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Medicaid Tax Confusion Hits November Revenues

On first glance, New Hampshire’s November revenue numbers look terrible.

For the month, the state is $57 million dollars in the hole.

But NHPR’s Dan Gorenstein reports, there may be room for optimism.

You’d think, given November’s shortfall, Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon would be alarmed.

But Hodgdon, the head of what is effectively the state’s finance office, is actually pretty bullish about last month’s report.

Read more
NH News
12:00 am
Fri December 2, 2011

NH this Weekend: Local Merriment

Shoppers on Main street, Concord NH
From MainStreetConcord.com

Holiday shopping isn't all about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Parades and tree lightings get people into downtown shopping districts and provide a real boost to local businesses. Amy Diaz, Editor of the Hippo tells us how- and where- to go local this weekend. 

 

NH News
5:12 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Arriving in America: A Bhutanese Story

The Bhutanese are by far the largest group of refugees in New Hampshire. Since 2008 the US has resettled almost 800 men, women and children in Concord, Manchester, and Laconia

Before then, many Bhutanese lived for nearly two decades in camps in Nepal. 

As part of our series on immigration, we will follow one Bhutanese family as they spend their first year in the Granite State.

Keith Shields has our first installment.

(sound)

Read more
NH News
4:50 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

November Revenues In Doubt

Lawmakers are bracing themselves that when the state releases November revenues, New Hampshire could be tens of millions in the red.

The source of the shortfall- hospitals.

Without getting too deep into the details, the most recent budget made significant changes to a tax paid by hospitals.

That change cost them $120 million dollars.

A coalition of hospitals is now suing the state.

In the short-term some facilities might withhold what they owe on what’s called the Medicaid Enhancement Tax.

Read more
Breaking
12:01 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

House Sustains "Right to Work" Veto

The State House has voted 240-139 to sustain Governor John Lynch's veto on so-called "right to work" bill.

Stay with NHPR and NHPR.org for details throughout the day.

NH News
5:45 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Farm Therapy Comes to NH

, Treating mental illness can take many forms. There are drugs, group therapy, and art therapy and the list goes on.

A new program in the Concord area is getting promising results by taking clients to a typical New England farm.

Mental health care doesn’t just take place in sterile offices or on therapists’ couches.

Some of the real breakthroughs happen out in the real world.

A new program in the Concord area is getting clients out to a local farm.

Read more
Memorial Bridge Design
3:55 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Memorial Bridge Plan Moves Forward

Evening view of Memorial bridge.
Rik Koenig, via Flickr creative commons

The Governor and Executive Council are expected to approve a contract for replacement of the Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.

If approved, the bridge will be in place by July 2013. The total price tag is $81 million dollars. New Hampshire, Maine and the Federal Government will split the cost.  Speaking at a Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Project Manager Keith Coda with DOT said  the new bridge will closely replicate the old span.

Read more
NH News
12:00 am
Fri November 25, 2011

Plaid Friday: Go Local

Shift Shopping logo

You may know the Friday after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, but on the Seacoast, today is also Plaid Friday.

Plaid Friday began last year as a way to encourage shoppers to discover local stores. David Boynton is the Executive Director of Seacoast Local, an organization that promotes independent businesses. He explains what Plaid Friday is about to NHPR’s Rick Ganley.

NH News
2:36 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Study Finds Sharing Between Towns on the Rise

dougtone / Flikr Creative Commons

In this era of belt-tightening small towns are increasingly using partnerships to trim their budgets.

A pair of surveys conducted by the New Hampshire Municipal Association finds that a trend of sharing services is growing.

Over half of New Hampshire municipalities participated, and 40 percent of respondents share ambulance and EMT services.

Not unexpectedly many small towns share things like transfer stations and parks and recreation departments.

Read more
NH News
5:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Super Committee Process Worries NH Farmers

New Hampshire conservation groups and agricultural interests are holding their breath, watching Washington this week.

The Farm Bill – which pays for crop subsidies, conservation grants, and nutrition programs like food-stamps – is up for reauthorization.

But, as NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown reports, this time around, the rules of the game have changed.

The Farm Bill is a big bill.

According the Congressional Budget Office, by itself it accounts for 2% of all government spending.

Read more
NH News
11:06 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Illegal Workers; an ICE Agent's View

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, is the investigative arm of the US Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of ICE is to enforce federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. As part of that mission, the agency conducts crackdowns on businesses who hire illegal workers. In the past two years, the agency has made a shift in its actions, directing more resources on identifying and fining employers rather than large scale raids on employees.

NH News
6:25 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Occupy New Hampshire Hits Peterborough

Occupy movement hits Peterborough
Donna Moxley NHPR

People from across southwestern New Hampshire gathered at a park in Peterborough Thursday to rally for the job creation and improvement to the state’s roads and bridges.

As part of a national protest, more than 100 New Hampshire residents turned out in Peterborough to declare an “economic emergency” for the ninety nine percent.

They focused on the country’s decaying transportation infrastructure and high unemployment rate, Peterborough resident Joe Graley urged Congress to pass President Obama’s jobs plan

Read more
NH News
4:49 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Governor Tours Highway Improvements

Photo: Roger Wood

Governor John Lynch got a first hand look at two major projects on the Spaulding Turnpike in Southern New Hampshire.  

The Governor personally toured the expansion projects now underway on the pike on the Northern end in Rochester, and the Southern end between Newington and Portsmouth. The widening projects are intended to relieve traffic congestion on both ends of the Spaulding, especially at the Little Bay Bridge over Great Bay.

Read more
NH News
1:28 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Shaky Outlook for NH Economy

secretlondon123/Flikr Creative Commons

 

A forecast released today warns that the New Hampshire economy is skating on thin ice.

The report from the New England Economic Partnership says that acceleration from private-sector job creation has been partially offset by a shrinking public sector.

Economist Dennis Delay also says that employment and the housing market have not rebounded as quickly as expected.

He says that if growth had continued at the same pace as in 2008, there would be fifty-thousand more jobs in the state than there are today.

Read more
Perry in Manchester
2:57 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Perry Plays Up Outsider Role

Perry speaks to workers at GSM plant in Manchester
Jon Greenberg, NHPR

Texas governor Rick Perry is stumping in the state today.  The Republican presidential hopeful urged workers at a manufacturing plant in Manchester to put pressure on congress to change. 

Rick Perry has been targeting the Washington establishment in recent days.  He issued a plan to cut the salaries of senators and congressmen in half.  Asked how he would get congress to go along, he said the public would need to browbeat them into agreement.

Perry said the counties around DC are some of the wealthiest in the country.

Read more
NH News
8:00 am
Wed November 16, 2011

Trials for Latinos at Nashua High School

Deanna Couture

Between 2000 and 2009 New Hampshire’s Latino population grew by 79 percent.

These changes have created new challenges for some New Hampshire schools.

SFX: announcements, and hall noises

Walking through the halls of Nashua South High school, it’s clear where everyone stands. Literally.

Students Talking: This is the Spanish corner, yeah basically yeah this is the Spanish corner, like Dominican, Puerto Rican, right there is the Mexican corner, for real. (Spanish chat fades away, hall SFX continues)

Read more
NH News
5:30 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

House Democrats Warn of GOP Agenda

House Democrats are raising alarms that a handful of bills they oppose could be voted on later this month. The announcement comes before lawmakers return to Concord November 30th. 

Speaker Bill O’Brien has taken the unusual step to call the full House together several times this fall already. The chamber is returning in two weeks to take up education funding constitutional amendments.

Democrats say they aren’t sure if Republicans will use that session day to push a number of controversial bills.

Read more
NH News
9:18 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Guest Workers Help to Fill the Skills Gap in NH

Nursing students at Manchester Community College
Courtesy Photo, MCC

With today’s unemployment levels, it’s hard to imagine that New Hampshire companies are still hiring guest workers from abroad.

NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown reports that even in a flooded labor market, skilled immigrants continue to plug a gaping hole in the New Hampshire economy.

Universal Software is an IT consulting firm with branches all around the world.

SFX: Office Ambiance

Its Nashua offices are quiet, with plenty of empty cubicles waiting to be filled.

Read more
Gambling veto
5:18 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Lynch Vows Gambling Veto

Governor John Lynch promises to veto any bill that would allow casinos or similar forms of gambling in the state.

Governor Lynch struck preemptively.  In a letter to the Republican leaders in the House and Senate, he said more gambling would increase social service costs and, with casinos likely to come to Massachusetts,  fail to raise as much revenue as backers predict.

The governor’s spokesman, Colin Manning said furthermore, any expansion will lead to proliferation.

Read more
NH News
5:38 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Regulators Want LGC to Turn Over Control To Neutral Party

State regulators suggested the Local Government Center turn over control of its operation and assets to a neutral party.

The Securities Bureau Director says that’s the best way to address fundamental problems within the organization.

The Local Government Center, the group that provides insurance to cities and towns, faces four charges it violated state laws.

The Securities bureau alleges that LGC owes municipalities upwards of $100 million dollars.

Read more
NH News
4:49 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Executive Council Refuses Another Term For Consumer Advocate

The Executive Council refused to give New Hampshire Consumer Advocate Meredith Hatfield another term.

Some on the all Republican council feel she’s been too political in her opinions.

The Executive Council voted three to two against re-appointing Meredith Hatfield to represent the interest of consumers against the state’s public utilities.

Councilor Chris Sununu, of Newfields, says he was concerned about her stance on the Laidlaw Biomass Plant in Berlin as well as some of her opinions on the PSNH power plant in Bow.

Read more
NH News
4:27 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Airport Access Road Set to Open

Jonathan Lynch

Governor Lynch and other New Hampshire politicians were on hand to dedicate the newly completed Manchester Airport access road.

The new, two mile stretch of highway connects the airport to both the Everett Turnpike and Route 3.

Planning for the road began about 25 years ago.
 
Now that it’s done, the Department of Transportation estimates people will be able to shave about 10 minutes from their drive to the airport.

Read more
PSNH Defends Grid
1:15 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

PSNH Defends Power Grid

In the wake of recent power outages after a freak snow storm, Public Service of New Hampshire is defending the quality of its distribution grid.   The electric utility says there are no perfect solutions.

Top state and federal officials have called for public hearings on the factors that left hundreds of thousands of customers without power.  PSNH President Gary Long says he welcomes those hearings.  Long says the power company has invested heavily in its network of poles and wires and the system has never been stronger.

 

Read more

Pages