This Week in N.H. News: What You Missed While You Were Digging Out From The Storm
Maybe you've been stuck inside the last few days. Or maybe you're not among the lucky ones who had a snow day and, in turn, have been busy with other things this week. Or maybe you read about the second round of snow that might be on deck this weekend and want to make sure you have a full reading list in case you're stuck inside again. In any case, keep scrolling — we've got you covered.
Listen To This
People who live with blindness are used to finding creative ways to do things most of us take for granted. But recently a group of people with vision loss did something that surprised even them – they went ice-skating. NHPR’s Jason Moon brings the scene to life here.
On The #NHpolitics Front
Gov. Chris Sununu crossed one major item off his new gubernatorial to-do list this week: his budget proposal. (In other words, by spelling out how he wants the state to spend its money, Sununu essentially outlined what programs and policies he wants the state to prioritize in the next two years.)
If you missed Sununu’s speech, you can catch the full thing here – plus more. NHPR reporters added notes of our own to give you more details on the items he mentioned, from full-day kindergarten to workforce development programs to water contamination funds. If you’re wondering how this all works – or why it matters in the first place – NHPR’s The Exchange has you covered.
And if you have any questions for Sununu (about the budget, his first month in office or anything else) send ‘em our way. We’re sitting down with the governor next week, and we want you to be a part of that conversation.
Beyond the budget, a lot of other stuff was going down at the Statehouse this week...
- The governor rolled out his judicial selection commission, or the group of people he’ll rely on for formal advice as he picks out possible judges. (He’s poised to fill several vacancies on the state’s circuit courts and will get to nominate at least two to the state Supreme Court – a rarity, as his predecessor didn’t get to nominate any.)
- New Hampshire is one step closer to allowing firearms owners to carry concealed weapons without an additional permit, and the proposal’s on its way to Sununu’s desk for a signature.
- The years-long effort to make New Hampshire a “Right-to-Work” state hit a bit of a snag this week, as a House committee voted against passage of a bill that would prevent unions from forcing non-members to pay collective bargaining fees.
- Advocates packed into a hearing to urge lawmakers to put more money into the state alcohol fund, which is meant to be used for substance abuse prevention and treatment.
- The Legislature decided to put the brakes on a paid family and medical leave program, at least for this year.
- An aid package meant to help dairy farmers struggling amid the state’s drought got an initial OK from the Senate and is now heading to the House for further review.
- Lots of bills proposing lots of changes to the state’s elections – from tightened residency requirements to expanded absentee voting – were up for discussion this week.
- One of those voting bills would get rid of just four words in existing state law but could have wide implications when it comes to defining who’s a resident – which, in turn, could affect not just election rules but lots of other policy areas.
- While the idea of repealing same-day registration drummed up interest among the new governor and some lawmakers, it looks like it’s here to stay – for now.
Also Worth A Click
- Just how wintry was it this week? Well, there were snowboards and an “epic” snowball fight in Market Square at least “2.5 Gnomes” of the white stuff on the ground in Durham — as measured by the #UNHgnome, which is a thing that apparently exists. (Seacoast Online, @LordSnively.
- And while lots of people got to enjoy a snow day, plenty of other Granite Staters did have to report to work. Among them: postmen and plow drivers. (Seacoast Online)
- Lots of players will be lacing up for the Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship, but few will be able to match the long-running rivalry between a pair of friends who’ve been facing off on the rink since the 1950s. (Concord Monitor)
- If you’ve ever wanted to own an old-timey movie theater, now might be your chance. The 102-year-old Peterborough Community Theatre is up for sale. (NHPR)
- New Hampshire’s struggling to retain young people and keep up the needs of its aging population – but, according to local planners and advocates, communities don’t necessarily have to think of this as an either/or choice when designing communities with the needs of these age groups in mind. (NHPR)
- How’s this for setting your sights high? (Like, really high.) A group of students from Kennett High School are sending a locker they built to NASA for use aboard the International Space Station. (Conway Daily Sun)
- Durham residents are debating whether to become a “sanctuary city.” (The official vote is likely to come up in several weeks.) (NHPR)
- If you’re looking for an excuse to tune into Nickelodeon: One local 10-year-old will be lending her voice to a new cartoon on the kids’ network. (Seacoast Online)
- In the wake of a court ruling pausing part of President Trump’s recent travel ban, New Hampshire refugee resettlement agencies were hustling to bring in some of the people who had been blocked by the initial order. (NHPR)
- Dover’s celebrating a pretty big birthday, and locals are looking for some help making sure its founding documents don’t get lost in translation ahead of the big 4-0-0. (Fosters)
- Nashua Soup Kitchen’s new director knows lots of people in need of meals might have trouble getting to the soup kitchen itself – so he’s trying to figure out how to bring the food to them, instead. (NHPR)
- Space continues to be pretty metal, as documented by UNH researchers: “A giant black hole ripped apart a nearby star and then continued to feed off its remains for close to a decade.” (UNH Today)
- And if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the state of things this week or just in general, you might take some comfort in knowing one Keene State professor is taking a very serious look at the idea of “tranquility” and how to spread it around in outdoor spaces. (Union Leader)
Need Weekend Plans?
Took a break from plowing to cheer on this baby porcupine, who was determined to get through the snow at #Millerstatepark @NHStateParks pic.twitter.com/rRkqeVFH6Z — Meredith Ann (@merebear514) February 10, 2017
Take a cue from this guy and just enjoy the snow. (@merebear514)
Catch up on some tweets – the other kind. Bird enthusiasts across the state will be taking part in the Backyard Winter Bird Survey this coming Saturday and Sunday, organized by the New Hampshire Audubon.
Try your hand at “human chess." Full disclosure: It's unclear whether helmets are needed in case of full-contact “checkmate,” though. (NewHampshire.com)
Trek down to Massachusetts for the New England Winter Blues Festival or to Portsmouth for a dance collaboration billed as “a mass action to end violence against women and girls,” among plenty of artistic options to round out your plans. (The Sound)
And, at the very least, don’t forget to look up at tonight’s “Snow Moon.” (NewHampshire.com)