NEW HAMPSHIRE

Coverage of New Hampshire from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

A "now hiring" sign.
Steven Depolo / CREATIVE COMMONS / flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo

New numbers released by the state of Massachusetts show the unemployment rate dropping to a level not seen in almost 20 years. 

Wednesday marked "ice-out" on Lake Winnipesaukee – the day when the cruise boat Mount Washington can safely reach all of its ports.

It's pretty standard timing for this traditional sign of spring. But overall, state records say New Hampshire lakes and ponds may be thawing earlier as temperatures warm.

 

Answering perhaps the most significant question of the early 2020 election season, former Vice President Joe Biden will launch his presidential campaign on Thursday.

The move, confirmed by a person familiar with his plans, sets up the 76-year-old lifelong politician as a front-runner in the crowded Democratic contest as the party fights to determine who's best positioned to defeat President Donald Trump next year .

 

Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan swung through the first-in-the-nation primary state Tuesday, telling a group of business leaders and politicos at Saint Anselm College that he's seriously considering running for president in 2020. 

 

Hogan called for more Republicans to challenge President Donald Trump in the primary ("the more, the merrier," he said), as he believes a bigger field would help Trump be a better candidate and grow the Republican Party.

The New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College played host Monday night to a televised forum with a few 2020 presidential candidates: Five Democrats, over five hours, in front of 500 or so college students. NHPR’s Todd Bookman reports on how this made-for-TV take on a New Hampshire tradition came together.

New Hampshire wildlife officials have the same message every spring when it comes to bears.

Bring in bird feeders, they say, get chickens inside some kind of bear-proof enclosure and make sure trash is stored away.

But the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has been running into a very human problem: apathy. 

Noelle Franco rehearses a scene in "Deployed."
Ruby Summers

A new play called "Deployed" is based on the words of dozens of women who served in the U.S. military in places like Vietnam, Okinawa, Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

New Hampshire is a step closer to allowing betting on sports. A plan to authorize up to 10 sites for sports betting easily cleared the New Hampshire House on Tuesday.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders brought his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination back to New Hampshire this weekend. Sanders, who won the 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary in a blowout, told voters they could make good on the promise of his longshot run four years ago.

Nuclear regulators say they plan to approve a new license for Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant next week.

It comes after an extra public hearing on concerns they were moving too quickly to approve the license extension through 2050.

New Hampshire legislators on Wednesday voted to move forward a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state. The House voted 209-147 to pass a measure that would allow possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.

Methodist Pastor Becca Girrell.
Courtesy of Becca Girrell

Leaders of the United Methodist Church voted this week to uphold restrictions prohibiting gay clergy and same sex weddings.

Editor's note: After this story was posted Monday afternoon, Mount Washington recorded a peak wind gust of 171 miles per hour - the highest since 1985, and a new February record for the summit.

The original story continues below: 

The Mount Washington Summit Observatory saw some of its highest winds in more than a decade Monday.

Meteorologist Tom Padham said the strong gusts, forecast up to 165 miles per hour, had been buffeting the 6,288-foot-elevation weather station all day.

A handful of potential and declared 2020 presidential candidates are spending Presidents Day Weekend criss-crossing New Hampshire.

NHPR's reporters are on the trail, and filed these reports.

Note: Bookmark this page for more news from candidate events through the weekend  

New England activists and lawmakers say the Environmental Protection Agency's new plan to manage harmful PFAS chemicals isn't aggressive enough.

The EPA says this plan is a broad roadmap of goals for protecting people from exposure to the huge class of likely toxic PFAS chemicals.

These industrial chemicals were used for decades to make non-stick, waterproof and stain-resistant coatings, as well as firefighting foams and other industrial products.

Federal regulators still appear poised to re-license Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, despite requests to delay.

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearing on the issue Wednesday night was packed with industry workers and residents from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., spoke at Manchester Community College during her first presidential campaign swings in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

With some formalities out of the way, Massachusetts lawmakers try to get moving. And the state is due for some more attention this week on the national stage.

Opponents of legalizing recreational marijuana made a pre-emptive strike against a bill that would do just that in New Hampshire.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu have announced plans to create a bi-state voluntary paid family leave program. Scott said the proposal will help attract new workers to both states without the need to implement a state-mandated program.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told more than 400 people who gathered at Manchester Community College on Saturday that her life experience informs policy goals like lifting the minimum wage, making education more affordable, and increasing inheritance taxes to pay for affordable housing.

Warren argued that the country needs leadership committed to ensuring that what she called "the rules," aren’t tilted to benefit the wealthy and well-connected.

“Rules matter, rules made in Washington matter, and that’s why I’m in this fight, that’s it.”

High ranking members of the Colombian National Police found themselves in Exeter, N.H., in the spring of 2009. They were there to visit arms maker Sig Sauer, which had just secured a contract worth up to $306 million to provide Colombian law enforcement with nearly 100,000 pistols. 

Screenshot of a Sig 5040 grenade launcher mounted on a rifle.
Small Arms Defense Journal

It’s an eye-catching statistic in an otherwise routine data dump.

Through the first ten months of 2018, sales of New Hampshire-made weapons to Saudi Arabia soared. 

Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey, then a member of the U.S. House, spoke on the chamber's floor on December 18, 1998, the day before the votes on articles of impeachment.
Screen Shot / C-SPAN

Twenty years ago this Wednesday, the U.S. House voted to impeach President Bill Clinton. The generally party-line votes split New England's congressional delegation.

Researchers in Puerto Rico say hurricanes Irma and María made long-lasting and ongoing impacts to forest and coastal ecosystems.

New census data show that New Hampshire saw a substantial inflow of people from other states between 2013 and 2017.

 

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found a new way to make sustainable fuel out of sunlight.

The process is an artificial form of photosynthesis – where plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into energy.

Here, researchers combined cobalt and urea – both cheap and abundant – to make a yellow material that absorbs sunlight.

That lets the material reduce carbon dioxide from the air into component parts that can be stored as a combustible liquid fuel.

The U.S. government released its Fourth National Climate Assessment report at the end of last week that shows the effects of climate change are already here – both in New England and all over the country.

Jennifer Jacobs is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New Hampshire, and she’s the lead author on that report’s chapter on transportation and infrastructure.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Jacobs about her work and what it means for New Hampshire.

Eversource has lost a bid to buy a major water company in Connecticut. Shareholders at Connecticut Water voted overwhelmingly Friday to merge with California-based SJW Group.

Eversource was competing with SJW to make the acquisition. The energy giant argued they'd offer more local control and a complementary service area.

A federal judge ruled in Concord Tuesday that a man held in immigration custody in New Hampshire for more than eight months will get a hearing.

 

A polling place in Hadley, Massachusetts on Election Day, November 6, 2018.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

Get the latest on all the New England states' ballot measures and races for governor, Senate and House.

Pages