Associated Press

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

The New Hampshire House has once again shut down the idea of opening casinos in the state.

A bill to allow two casinos narrowly passed the Senate in March. But the House voted 289-63 on Wednesday to kill the bill, then voted by a similar margin to go even further and "indefinitely postpone" it so the idea can't come back again in any form later this year.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

State spending on job training would triple to $6 million under a bill given preliminary approval by the New Hampshire House.

The job training bill would add $4 million to an existing fund using money that would otherwise go to the state's trust fund for unemployment benefits.

 

A vigil is planned for a New Hampshire woman who was reported missing and later found dead in the Lamprey River.

The body of 25-year-old Nicole Davis was pulled from river in Epping on Tuesday afternoon. She was last seen Sunday.

Police say she had been camping with friends in Raymond, was drinking and went for a walk. They believe she drowned; her death was ruled accidental.

An autopsy was planned Wednesday. A vigil was planned for Wednesday night on the Raymond Town Common.

 

Manchester VA Medical Center

A U.S. Air Force veteran has sued the director of New Hampshire's veterans hospital over the display of a Bible.

The Christian Bible became part of a memorial table at the Manchester VA Medical Center. It was removed in January after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation said some patients complained.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife

 

University of New Hampshire researchers say they've discovered a new strain of canine distemper virus in wild animals in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Over one year, pathologists diagnosed canine distemper virus infection in eight mammals: fishers, gray foxes, a skunk, a raccoon, and a mink.

Pathologists found all of the animals were infected with a distinct strain of the virus that had been identified only in a single raccoon in Rhode Island in 2004. 

Mike Ross / UNH

 

Starting next fall, students applying to the University of New Hampshire will no longer be required to submit standardized test scores with their application in a three-year pilot program starting with incoming freshmen in 2020.

Admissions director Rob McGann says data shows that grades earned in high school over four years bear a much greater relationship to how well a student will do in college than SAT or ACT tests do.

Smithsonian

 

A video game pioneer from Manchester, New Hampshire, is being honored five years after his death with a statue in the city's millyard.

Ralph Baer created both the precursor to "Pong" and the electronic memory game Simon, and led the team that developed the first home video game console.

His work as chief engineer for Sanders Associates, now BAE Systems, led to The Brown Box, a console that connected to a television that was licensed by Magnavox in the early 1970s.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The USS California has arrived for scheduled maintenance at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The Virginia-class attack submarine traveled up the Piscataqua River to the shipyard on Sunday. It'll undergo system upgrades and maintenance in coming months.

The nuclear-powered submarine, which is homeported in Groton, Connecticut, traveled 42,000 nautical miles on its last tour that wrapped up in the fall.

The submarine has crew of 15 officers and 115 enlisted personnel. It's the seventh Navy ship — and the first submarine — to be named for the Golden State.

 

BOEM.gov

 

All 10 U.S. senators in coastal New England reintroduced a proposal Friday to bar oil and gas drilling from the region's shores.

The group said President Donald Trump's administration was stalling on the release of a new draft of its five-year offshore leasing plan. The group of senators, led by Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, said that means the Atlantic continental shelf off of New England is still at risk of being opened up to drilling.

 

Actor Peter Mayhew, who played shaggy, towering Chewbacca in several of the "Star Wars" films, has died, his family said Thursday. He was 74.

Mayhew died at his home in Texas on Tuesday, according to a family statement. No cause was given.

The 7-foot-3 Mayhew played the beloved and furry Chewbacca, sidekick to Han Solo and co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, in the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Supporters of a bill to repeal the death penalty are starting daily candlelight vigils outside of the New Hampshire Statehouse to express their hope that Gov. Chris Sununu will sign it, or allow it to become law.

 

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department conservation officers have come to the aid of a 16-year-old who became ill while out on a hike with over 20 students in Easton.

An emergency beacon was activated in the area of Clay Brook on Monday afternoon. The beacon was registered to The Mountain School of Vershire, Vermont.

Officers learned that students and three adult chaperones were camping in the area. One adult was able to hike out and drive to a home to call for assistance.

State Police

 

New Hampshire state police say a man's been charged with assault following a road-rage incident in Grafton in which a driver was shot.

Police said two vehicles were traveling north on Route 4 on Monday afternoon when a confrontation led to a collision. Both vehicles pulled to the side of the road and the confrontation continued between the two men, turning into a minor physical assault.

Police said one of the drivers, who is 46, was shot in the abdomen with a handgun. He underwent surgery and is expected to survive.

Pool photo / Deb Cram

 

A man with four wives in four different states pleaded guilty to bigamy charges in Strafford County Superior Court on Monday. 

Michael Middleon was sentenced to 12 months in prison, with all of that time suspended pending good behavior. Middleton, who gained notoriety as the 'Cupid of Chaos,' is also ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation. 

Proseuctors say that the 43-year-old married a Georgia woman in 2006, an Alabama woman in 2011 and a New Hampshire woman in 2013.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Hampshire Democrats are looking for help from their party's presidential candidates in overturning a law they claim will make it harder for some college students to vote.

At campaign events across the state, White House hopefuls are being pressed to speak out against the 2018 law. It subjects college students who come from other states to residency requirements such as getting a New Hampshire driver's license if they study and vote in the state.

NHPR

 

A man who pleaded guilty in the 2001 stabbing deaths of two Dartmouth College professors when he was 16 is scheduled to ask a judge for a shorter sentence.

James Parker and 17-year-old Robert Tulloch, of Chelsea, Vermont, posed as students conducting a survey. Parker pleaded guilty to second-degree murder to killing Suzanne Zantop and agreed to testify against Tulloch, who stabbed her husband, Half Zantop.

NOAA

 

A group organized by the federal government is recommending reductions and changes for lobster gear off the East Coast to try to protect a rare species of whale.

The North Atlantic right whale population counts only about 411 individuals, and its numbers have fallen by dozens in this decade. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration created the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team to help reduce injuries and deaths caused when whales are entangled in fishing gear.

 

A recent opinion by the U.S. Justice Department has put a handful of states in danger of losing at least $220 million in annual lottery profits that they use to fund college scholarships, senior citizen services and a variety of other programs.

Sean Hurley

 

It's another sign of spring in New Hampshire: Lake Winnipesaukee is ice-free.

Dave Emerson, of Emerson Aviation, made the declaration Wednesday morning. Emerson's family has been tasked with declaring "ice out" since 1979.

Ice Out is declared when the 230-foot MS Mount Washington, a cruise boat, can make it to every one of its ports: Center Harbor, Wolfeboro, Alton, Weirs Beach and Meredith.

Jason Moon / NHPR

 

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 .

 

A New Hampshire probate judge is going to reconsider whether he has jurisdiction over the estate of the millionaire grandfather of a Vermont man accused by relatives of shooting him to death in Connecticut in 2013.

Earlier this month Nathan Carman, of Vernon, Vermont, argued in court documents that the estate of his grandfather John Chakalos was limited to one-half interest of a New Hampshire condominium. Carman argues his grandfather was a Connecticut resident. A similar request was denied last year.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

New Hampshire authorities investigating a suspicious death in Hampton have released the victim's name but not how he died.

The Attorney General's office says Hampton police officers responding to a 911 call on Saturday found 34-year-old Juan Astacio unconscious in his apartment with obvious injuries. He was taken to a hospital where he later died.

An autopsy was conducted Monday. The manner of death was ruled a homicide but the cause is being withheld pending further investigation.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

There are no policy positions on his website. He has virtually no paid presence in the states that matter most. And his campaign manager is a high school friend with no experience in presidential politics.

 

The Department of Defense says a member of the U.S. Air Force from New Hampshire has died in a non-combat-related incident.

The death of 24-year-old Staff Sgt. Albert J. Miller of Richmond, New Hampshire, at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar was announced Saturday.

The incident that led to Miller's death Friday is under investigation.

Miller was assigned to the 736th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. He was supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel.

   

The National Weather Service says a combination of warm temperatures, rain and melting snow are fueling flood danger this weekend in northern New England.

Meteorologist James Brown says minor flooding is expected on Saturday and Sunday in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

 

A New Hampshire man has been accused of voting in the state and in Florida during the November 2018 general election.

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald says Robert A. Bell was charged with knowingly checking in in Atkinson, New Hampshire, and casting a ballot there, after having already cast a ballot in Palm Coast, Florida.

Bell was released on bail Friday. He's scheduled to be arraigned in Rockingham County Superior Court on May 3.

It wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer and a listed number was disconnected.

  

Jason Moon / NHPR

 

The 2016 death of a Northfield Highway Department worker has led to the passage of bill aimed at improving workplace safety for New Hampshire's public sector employees.

The bill, which passed the House last month and won unanimous support Thursday in the Senate, would require municipalities, school districts, state agencies and other public employers to report serious workplace injuries to the state Department of Labor within 24 hours and deaths within eight hours.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says unions representing state employees have walked away from the contract mediation process.

The unions declared an impasse in February after months of negotiating, moving the process to mediation. But Sununu said Thursday that union negotiators have refused to continue and accused them of "irresponsible antics" that are hurting state workers.

A spokesman for the largest union, the State Employees Association, did not return a call seeking comment. Union officials earlier called the contract proposed by the governor "pathetic."

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 

A New Hampshire auto shop owner facing deportation to Lebanon for crimes committed 14 years ago has been denied a pardon that would have allowed him to remain in the country.

Humane Society

 

New Hampshire lawmakers are still trying to tighten the state's animal cruelty laws in response to the seizure of dozens of Great Danes in Wolfeboro nearly two years ago.

The House Environment and Agriculture Committee held a public hearing Wednesday on a bill that would require an initial court hearing within 14 days of animals being seized. And, those convicted of cruelty would have to pay a $2,000 bond per animal within 14 days or forfeit ownership of the animals.

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