Associated Press

The Democratic National Committee has announced its criteria for the first debate to be held after voting begins in the 2020 presidential campaign, including a new pathway to the stage based off delegate pledges.

As they have before, qualifiers will need to meet polling and grassroots funding thresholds to participate in the Feb. 7 debate in Manchester, New Hampshire.

But new for next month is a pathway centered around delegates.

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A lawyer for a woman awaiting re-sentencing with her husband for holding U.S. marshals at bay from their fortress-like home in 2007 says she is ashamed of her actions and is seeking a divorce.

Elaine Brown, now 78, was sentenced to 35 years in prison after the standoff at the couple's 100-acre property in Plainfield, New Hampshire.

Her husband, Edward Brown, received a 37-year sentence.

NHPR Photo

A report released by the state attorney general's office found that a New Hampshire prep school rocked by sexual abuse claims is providing support to students but that its policies around investigating a crime and assisting a victim can be improved.

The report by a third party is the second on St. Paul's School following accusations of abuse by 20 former faculty members over several decades.

Rather than bringing the charges over the abuse, the attorney general's office entered an agreement with the school to put it under government oversight.

CDC

New Hampshire health officials say the state has marked its first flu-related death this season.

WMUR-TV reports the Department of Health and Human Services said an adult in Rockingham County died after contracting the virus.

Health officials say flu activity has been widespread in New Hampshire and 45 other states.

Courtesy

A New Hampshire sheriff has been found guilty of drunken driving.

A judge sentenced Merrimack County Sheriff Scott Hilliard on Tuesday to spend five days in the Belknap County jail.

Hilliard was also found guilty of transporting an alcoholic beverage. Hilliard was arrested in August in a restaurant parking lot in Tilton after officers responded to a call about a driver swerving on the road.

Youth Services Center

A class action lawsuit alleges decades of abuse at New Hampshire's state-run youth detention center.

The lawsuit filed Saturday comes six months after two former counselors were charged with repeatedly raping a teenage boy at the Youth Development Center in Manchester in the late 1990s.

The victim in that case is now the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit filed by attorneys representing 35 others who say they were abused between 1982 and 2014.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

An official representing a tiny New Hampshire community whose tradition of being among the first to cast ballots for president in primaries and the general election was endangered says it now has enough people to go ahead.

Tom Tillotson says Dixville Notch has a necessary fifth resident to vote in the first presidential primary on Feb. 11.

Dank Depot via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/9c93J6

Medical marijuana would be available to more patients under a pair of bills approved by the New Hampshire House, but a more expansive bill has died in the Senate. 

House voted Wednesday to add insomnia and opioid use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions, though the latter would carry significant restrictions.

Jack Rodolico / NHPR

A spokeswoman for Pamela Smart, a former high school employee serving a life without parole sentence for recruiting her teenage lover to kill her husband in 1990, says Smart will once again ask New Hampshire's governor and the Executive Council for a hearing.

Gov. Chris Sununu and the council that approves government appointments, contracts and pardons rejected her request last year for a hearing for parole consideration or reduced sentence.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire is moving closer to allowing police or family members to petition a court to temporarily take away guns from people who may present a danger to themselves or others.

As the legislative session got underway Wednesday, the House voted 201-176 to make New Hampshire the 18th state to pass a so-called "red flag" law.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Best-selling author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson has laid off her entire 2020 campaign staff but is pushing ahead with her Democratic presidential bid.

Williamson's New Hampshire state director and senior campaign adviser Paul Hodes confirmed Thursday that he had been laid off and “that the others in the national campaign have been laid off.”

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The New Hampshire Lottery says that more than 6,000 people registered to bet on sports in the state in the first day since the launch.

New Hampshire became the second New England state to offer sports betting on Monday. The state now offers sports betting online and on mobile devices.

Rhode Island launched sports betting a year ago.

NHPR Staff

New Hampshire safety officials say traffic fatalities in the state were down by more than 30% in 2019.

State police and the Office of Highway Safety said that as of Dec. 31, there were 99 traffic-related fatalities and 88 fatal crashes.

At the same time last year, there were 143 traffic-related fatalities and 130 fatal crashes. Both categories were down by more than 30 percent. Impaired driving, speeding and distraction continue to be the top contributing factors to crashes and fatalities in New Hampshire.

TSA

The TSA says a New Hampshire man was caught trying to bring a loaded handgun onto a plane at Boston's Logan International Airport.

Transportation Security Administration officers spotted the .45-caliber handgun when the man's belongings entered the X-ray machine on Monday.

The gun was loaded with one bullet in the chamber. An additional magazine was also found. In all, there were 14 bullets.

National Audubon Society

Loons are finding New England to their liking, with record numbers seen this year in several states. New Hampshire documented 313 pairs of the iconic bird known for its black head and haunting calls at dusk.

Vermont also saw an all-time high of 101 nesting pairs, and that's the highest number recorded since 1978.

Numbers declined slightly this year in Maine, which has the largest common loon population in the eastern United States.

But those numbers are still twice what they were in the 1980s.

U.S. Attorney

A federal judge in New Hampshire has dismissed a request to vacate the 39-year prison sentence for a traveling medical technician who infected patients in multiple states with hepatitis C through tainted syringes.

The judge agreed with prosecutors Wednesday that David Kwiatkowski waited too long to ask. Kwiatkowski was sentenced in 2013 for stealing syringes filled with painkillers and replacing them with saline-filled ones tainted with his blood.

In January, he asked to be released, saying his former lawyer was ineffective.

Bloomsberries vis Flickr CC

State officials are seeking more time to prepare for the latest court challenge to New Hampshire’s public school funding system.

The ConVal, Mascenic, Winchester, and Monadnock school districts sued the state earlier this year, arguing it has failed in its duty to provide and pay for an adequate education. A superior court judge ruled in June that the state’s education funding system is unconstitutional, but the state has appealed the ruling.

Joe Sestak, the former Pennsylvania congressman and retired Navy admiral who hoped to turn his military experience into an asset as a Democratic presidential candidate, said Sunday he was ending his bid for the party's nomination.

In a statement posted on his Twitter site, Sestak offered his thanks to supporters "for the honor of running for president" as "I end our campaign together."

"Without the privilege of national press, it is unfair to ask others to husband their resolve and to sacrifice resources any longer," he wrote.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced Monday that he's ending his Democratic presidential campaign, saying it's become clear that he won't have a shot at being his party's nominee.

The two-term governor and former state attorney general tried to make the case that he was the best bet to beat President Donald Trump because he was the only Democratic candidate to win in a state that Trump won in 2016. But he got a late start, announcing his candidacy in May and joining nearly two dozen other Democratic candidates competing for attention and campaign donations.

Sean Hurley for NHPR

Some New Hampshire counties are cutting back as demand for Meals on Wheels and other food programs for seniors exceeds funding.

As of Sunday, the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council has eliminated dessert to save money after state and federal funding ran out. The nonprofit group has had to dip into its reserves to make up for a $125,000 shortfall.

New Hampshire’s insurance commissioner is stepping down less than two years after his appointment. In a letter to the governor Monday, Commissioner John Elias said deciding to resign on Dec. 31 was a difficult decision, but the best one for his family.

Elias joined the Insurance Department in 2016 and became commissioner in June 2018. He worked for insurance companies in Ohio before coming to New England in 2014 as vice president of Great Falls Insurance Company in Maine.

UNH

Max Brosmer threw two touchdown passes and New Hampshire defeated Maine 28-10 in a regular-season finale Saturday.

Brosmer was 24-of-34 passing for 241 yards. He threw 35 yards to Dylan Laube for the game's first score three plays after the Black Bears (6-4, 4-4 Colonial Athletic Association) fumbled. Evan Gray added a 4-yard scoring run to cap a 72-yard drive for a 14-7 halftime lead.

Derek Kyler and Drew Estrada teamed for two late touchdowns as Dartmouth scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to rally past upset-minded Brown 29-23 on Saturday, clinching a tie for the Ivy League title.

The Big Green (9-1, 8-1) entered the final period trailing 23-14 before Kyler found Estrada with a TD pass from the 9 and later a 39-yarder. Kicker Connor Davis passed to Hunter Hagdorn for a two-point conversion for the final score.

ASMFC.org

New England shrimp are still in bad shape despite a fishing shutdown that is unlikely to end soon, new data shows.

The region's shrimp fishing industry, long based mostly in Maine, has been shut down since 2013 because of concerns about the health of the population. Recent surveys off Maine and New Hampshire say signs are still poor, scientists with the regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission said.

Via Kearsarge.org

A New Hampshire school district will test all its drinking water after one faucet was found to have high levels of a toxic chemical that has raised health concerns.

Kearsarge Regional School District Superintendent Winfried Feneberg said Tuesday the district shut down all faucets at the middle school and is providing bottled water.

The moves come after one faucet at the middle school was found to have levels of the chemical known as PFOA at 153 parts per trillion, well above the state drinking water standard.

House Intelligence Committee video

U.S. State Department officials were informed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was feeling pressure from the Trump administration to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden even before the July phone call that has led to impeachment hearings in Washington, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press.

House.gov

Mark Sanford dropped his challenge to President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, saying the focus on impeachment has made it impossible for his campaign to gain traction.

"You've got to be a realist," Sanford said outside the New Hampshire statehouse. "What I did not anticipate is an impeachment."

Jason Moon / NHPR

Julián Castro's presidential campaign is closing down his presence in New Hampshire.

The last day for Castro's New Hampshire team is Nov. 11, according to a person familiar with the campaign's plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The person did not say how many staffers were being laid off.

The move comes as some in the crowded 2020 Democratic field reassess their operations in the early voting states.

Police in New Hampshire have arrested two people in connection with a Facebook message about a possible threat to a high school, which they believe was posted by the relative of an unwitting account holder and appears to be an act of revenge.

Police said they became aware of the message directed at Concord High School on Sunday that involved a possible shooting.

Police said the relative gained access to the account holder's site and posted the message.

At least a dozen New Hampshire communities, including the cities of Manchester and Nashua, are postponing Halloween trick-or-treating because of the wet, windy weather in the forecast.

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