Weekly N.H. News Roundup: Dec. 7, 2018

Dec 6, 2018

After a dramatic day of voting and re-voting, N.H. lawmakers re-elect Secretary of State Bill Gardner for a 22nd term, by the slimmest of margins.  Police arrest a man for threatening Governor Sununu in connection with online statements targeting the state's Jewish community.  And more than 200 people turn out for a final public hearing on a proposed 10-year mental health plan and call on lawmakers to fully fund the plan.  

GUESTS: 

Dave Solomon - Statehouse reporter for The Union Leader. 

Dean Spiliotes - Civic Scholar in the School of Arts and Sciences at SNHU.

Dan Tuohy - NHPR Digital Engagement Producer.

Related Reading

N.H. Secretary of State Bill Gardner ekes out a victory -- with a four vote margin -- over challenger Colin Van Ostern.  As NHPR's Casey McDermott reports, this year's race in some ways resembled Gardner's first campaign for the office in 1976.  This will be his 22nd term as secretary of state. 

A Concord man who claims he suffers from schizophrenia is arrested after allegedly sending email to the CIA through its website, one of which included death threats against Gov. Sununu and members of the state's Jewish community. 

A Dover High School teacher is placed on administrative leave while the school investigates cellphone footage showing students singing a KKK-themed holiday jingle. The story made national news

Governor Sununu's judicial nominee is confirmed after a somewhat testy reception.  Meanwhile, the Governor's "Save Our Summers" Commission  releases a report that fails to endorse moving the start of all public schools until after Labor Day, despite the Governor's support for that change. Still, Gov. Sununu praised the Commission for releasing what he called a "roadmap" for policy makers. 

More than 200 people attend the final public hearing on a proposed 10-year mental health plan. Many shared stories about their families' struggles with mental illness, and Peter Evers, CEO of Riverbend Community Mental Health, pressed for an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates to address a workforce shortage that has plagued the state.  

Bear cubs are the latest victims of a fall famine that has severely impacted the behavior of wild animals in the region, including mice, squirrels, and turkeys. But, as reported in this Union Leader column, longtime bear advocate Ben Kilham is determined to help them: "Right now, we are basically a hotel for these cubs," said Kilham, who hopes to raise money to contruct a new heated building with an outdoor fenced enclosure for the cubs.