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House and Senate budget negotiators are close to an agreement on a two-year state budget. But  business tax cuts remain a sticking point with Governor Sununu.

Negotiators removed a paid family leave program from the budget that Sununu had said would trigger a veto, and reached a deal on education funding that would send $138 million dollars more to districts over the next two years.

The Senate's top budget writer, Lou D'Allesandro, says the spending package, which also boosts medicaid provider rates, works.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson says she won't support growing calls for a special debate on climate change.

Williamson, an author and public speaker, talked to around 25 Merrimack residents Wednesday about PFAS chemical contamination. She says their drinking water concerns are tied to larger issues with the effects of corporate money on politics.

Williamson argues a debate focused just on climate change would ignore too many other problems – like child poverty, a priority of hers.

Via Atlas PyroVision's Facebook page

President Trump has said that an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods would boost manufacturing and bring jobs back to the United States.

Stephen Pelkey, CEO of Jaffrey's Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group in Jaffrey, says that for industries like his, this is not easy to do. Atlas is the largest fireworks company in New England.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

As the New Hampshire Attorney General continues to examine the legality of the state Liquor Commission’s policies for large all-cash sales at state-run liquor stores, the agency is retaining a private law firm, as well as a tax advisory company, to assist in what it calls ongoing "discussions" with the Internal Revenue Service.

Flickr/Meriwether Lewis Elementary School

 

New Hampshire is the best state in the country for child well-being, according to a national study released this week.

The 2019 Kids Count Data Book, funded by the Annie E Casey Foundation, shows New Hampshire's student test scores and children's health outcomes are some of the highest in the country and are improving.

josh rogers /nhpr

House negotiators now back the Senate’s plan to spend $17.5 million to build a 25-bed facility on the grounds of New Hampshire Hospital.

Governor Chris Sununu proposed building a new 60-bed unit in his budget; which the House, citing lack of detail, rejected.

Meanwhile, the Senate agreed with a House plan to move children out of a wing at New Hampshire Hospital, to make room for as many as 48 new beds for adults.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

 

New Hampshire's state prisons are expanding medically assisted treatment for alcohol and opioid use disorders. The program will be funded with around $2 million from a federal State Opioid Response grant focused on improving treatment and recovery initiatives across the state.

Screenshot via City of Portsmouth

Portsmouth's city council voted Monday night to begin considering a local ban on some single-use plastic products. It targets Styrofoam and it also affects city-sponsored events in terms of restricting single-use plastics like straws and plastic bags.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

As a new work requirement for beneficiaries of New Hampshire’s expanded Medicaid program takes effect this month, some in the healthcare industry say early signs are pointing to a bumpy road ahead.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

More than 100 New Hampshire lawyers have signed a letter supporting Attorney General Gordon MacDonald's nomination to become the Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

Their backing comes as scrutiny of MacDonald's record is intensifying.

Hundreds of business are in D.C. opposing tariffs this week, so how will trade discussions with China and Mexico, among other places, impact New Hampshire?  Also, we have a preview of the state's lucrative summer tourism season, and discuss what the Federal Reserve might do with interest rates. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire Fish and Game officials say they're likely to recommend charging an 80-year-old hiker who was rescued while trying to reach the summit of Mount Washington.

James Clark, of Dublin, OH, was found Friday immobile in the fetal position with signs of hypothermia. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

How are the 2020 primary candidates distinguishing themselves among New Hampshire voters. There are now 23 candidates competing for the Democratic nomination, and each is trying to carve out a space in the field. Meanwhile, the first Democratic debates are next week and not all the candidates are included.  Have you attended any campaign events? Who stands out to you, and why?  What are your top issues? 

NHPR Staff

The state legislature has approved a plan to set up an online, state-wide energy data platform.

The bill, now awaiting Gov. Chris Sununu's approval, would set up an online system with individual and community-level information about energy use.

The platform would feature data from participating customers' meters and electric and natural gas utilities. It would be regulated by the Public Utilities Commission.

Sara Ernst / NHPR

Presidential candidate Seth Moulton echoed the sentiments of local leaders gathered at Merrimack Town Hall: Increase access to PFAS testing and strengthen enforcement on the federal level.

 

Officials from Merrimack invited Moulton, as well as all the presidential hopefuls, to participate in a community discussion Monday to learn more about PFAS contamination in New Hampshire.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New subsidies for New Hampshire's biomass power plants may soon face a veto by Governor Chris Sununu. 

The bill awaiting Sununu's signature is a new version of a plan he tried to block last year.

This proposal would have utilities charge ratepayers a little extra to help keep six wood-burning power plants afloat.

Ali Oshinskie / NHPR

Budget negotiations are underway in Concord to reconcile differences in the spending plans adopted by the New Hampshire House and Senate.

Budget writers kicked off their negotiation with the Senate agreeing with the House and adding $15 million to revenue estimates. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The owners of a historic church in Grafton that was seriously damaged in a 2016 fire have agreed to sell it to the Mascoma Valley Preservation, a nonprofit group that wants to restore it.

The Grafton Center Meetinghouse was built in 1798 and served as both the town government office and a Congregational Church until 1963.

Later this summer, The Exchange will devote several shows to K-12 public education in New Hampshire. With such a large subject, we have chosen 10 different aspects of education to explore, and we want to hear from you: fill out our survey and share your thoughts and questions. 

Ali Oshinskie / NHPR

 

New Hampshire law enforcement officials have charged a woman with murder in connection with the shooting of her mother .

Jennifer Clow is charged with knowing and reckless second-degree murder for causing the death of her mother, Sally A. Miller. Authorities discovered the body of the 72-year-old Miller while conducting a welfare check on her Friday. An autopsy later found Miller died of a single gunshot wound.

Anaïs Mitchell's "Hadestown" won eight Tony Awards last week. 

This is a rebroadcast of Anaïs Mitchell's visit to The Folk Show in 2007 just before touring the folk opera around New England during its infancy.

The New Hampshire Legislature is sending a handful of medical marijuana bills, including one that would allow limited "home grow" of cannabis for qualified patients and caregivers, to Governor Sununu. 

The "home grow" option has long been debated in the Granite State, and before the state's therapeutic cannabis law went into effect more than five years ago.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

June is Pride Month, supporting the LGBTQ community, and communities across New Hampshire are holding events to celebrate. Listen here for an audio postcard from Manchester's Queen City Pride Block Party this weekend.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Hampshire lawmakers have agreed on a bill to create an independent commission to redraw the state's legislative districts.

Supporters argue the current system that puts lawmakers in charge of redistricting allows for gerrymandering, in which boundaries are drawn to benefit the party in power.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

 

The annual race up the highest peak in the northeastern United States ended Saturday in the first photo finish atop the summit of cold and windy Mount Washington.

Brittni Hutton, 29, of Lubbock, Texas, led the entire race but Heidi Caldwell, 27, of Craftsbury Common, Vermont, caught her at the finish line Saturday.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren visited voters in Windham and Manchester, New Hampshire on Friday to pitch a plan she says will fight the influence of big corporations and rebuild the middle class.

N.H. Fish and Game

  New Hampshire Fish & Game divers recovered the body of a kayaker from the Merrimack River in Concord on Friday.

Officials identified him as Alec Bronchuck, 20, of Merrimack, who was last seen Thursday.

 

He and his brother were fishing when their kayaks took on water and they swam to shore, the younger of the brothers unable to reach land, according to Fish & Game.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

New Hampshire Fish and Game officials say two people have died in two days while hiking trails in New Hampshire's White Mountains, while a third hiker rescued survived.

 

Enthusiastic clapping — and some furious flapping — marked the end to the saga of designating an official New Hampshire state raptor.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday signed a bill honoring the red-tailed hawk. As applause broke out, a bird being held just over his shoulder began flapping its wings.

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  Community members formally appealed the decision by the Diocese of Manchester to demolish St. Joseph’s Church in Laconia. This is a last ditch effort to save the building after church officials filed for a demolition permit.

 

The appeal was submitted by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Preservation Society, a nonprofit created by a handful of impassioned community members last week.

 

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