CONCORD – Flags at the Statehouse flew at half-staff on Thursday, in honor of the passing of state Sen. Scott McGilvray.
The 51-year old first-term Democratic lawmaker from Hooksett died Tuesday after a long illness.
McGilvray was also president of the state’s largest teacher’s union, the New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association. He also taught social studies for two decades at Manchester Memorial High School and served as the school’s football coach.
The state Senate’s Thursday session began with a moment of silence and the lighting of a candle to remember McGilvray. Senators also shortened their session and avoided any contentious debates.
Senate President Chuck Morse said that McGilvray “sat beside us for far too short a period of time in this session.”
Morse added that McGilvray will be remembered for “his dedication to education, his dedication to youth sports as a beloved football coach, and his service to his community…..
No doubt the whole community will greatly suffer the effects of his loss.”
Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn, the top Democrat in the chamber, said McGilvray “was with us for a short time in the Senate. Much like his life it was far too brief. He just got here and was learning his way, but he taught us quiet respect and personal modesty and a hunger to learn.”
“More than anything else he was a teacher and a coach,” Woodburn added. “Scott had a tremendous ability to put people at ease and put others ahead of himself.”
McGilvray was elected in November. He represented District 16, which includes the towns of Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, Hooksett and Wards 1, 2 and 12 in Manchester. A special election to fill the vacant seat will likely take place in August or September.
In the state Senate chamber, a candle is lit to mark the passing of Sen. Scott McGilvray, on March 23, 2017
WALES, Maine — State Police rearrested a Wales man for stealing electricity from a Central Maine Power pole and transformer.
A trooper caught Nicholas Gagne, 36, climbing the pole Thursday morning after receiving a tip. Gagne allegedly spotted the trooper and fled into an outbuilding before being arrested.
This is the second time State Police arrested Gagne for stealing electricity.
The first incident occurred in January when an investigation revealed that Gagne was climbing up the power pole outside of his house and connecting jumper cable clamps to the transformer so he could run a power line to his house.
CMP had attempted to disconnect the power at the residence a number of times but Gagne kept reconnecting it, police said.
Gagne faces a violation of bail charge as well as new theft and criminal mischief charges.
Granite Staters continue to wonder the kind of impact this winter's snow and rain will have on the drought the state has been in since last summer.
We are still in a drought, but there is reason to be optimistic.
Recent updates to the drought monitor continue to show a shrinking 'severe' zone. Factoring in last week's snowstorm, the severe drought area shrunk by nearly 35 percent in this week's update.
New Hampshire has not had an incredible amount of precipitation so far this year. In fact, since January 1, Concord is running approximately an inch of precipitation below normal.
However, the winter is a very good time of year to catch up on deficits. Evaporation rates are at their lowest. A slow and steady melt can help refill streams and rivers without the impacts of disruptive spring floods.
In order to completely erase the drought, a very wet spring will be necessary.
If we head back into a dry pattern, these improvements could easily be reversed, particularly because the last few years have been relatively dry.
Either way, the effects of the drought will be long-lasting, particularly in southern areas.
The graphic below shows a comparison of the drought monitor from the height of the drought last fall and the latest update.
WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP House leaders delayed their planned vote Thursday on a long-promised bill to repeal and replace "Obamacare," in a stinging setback for House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump in their first major legislative test.
The decision came after Trump, who ran as a master dealmaker, failed to reach agreement with a bloc of rebellious conservatives. Moderate-leaning Republican lawmakers were also bailing on the legislation, leaving it short of votes.
The bill could still come to a vote in coming days, but canceling Thursday's vote was a significant defeat. It came on the seven-year anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act, years that Republicans have devoted to promising repeal.
Those promises helped them keep control of the House and Senate and win the White House, but now, at the moment of truth, they are falling short.
"No deal," House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said after he and his group of more than two dozen rebellious conservatives met with Trump to try to get more concessions to reduce requirements on insurance companies.
The Republican legislation would halt Obama's tax penalties against people who don't buy coverage and cut the federal-state Medicaid program for low earners, which the Obama statute had expanded. It would provide tax credits to help people pay medical bills, though generally skimpier than Obama's statute provides. It also would allow insurers to charge older Americans more and repeal tax boosts the law imposed on high-income people and health industry companies.
The measure would also block federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year, another stumbling block for GOP moderates.
In a danger sign for Republicans, a Quinnipiac University poll found that people disapprove of the GOP legislation by 56 percent to 17 percent, with 26 percent undecided. Trump's handling of health care was viewed unfavorably by 6 in 10.
The survey was conducted March 16 to 21 with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
GOP leaders had targeted Thursday for the climactic vote, in part because it marks the seventh anniversary of Obama's signing the measure into law. With the House in recess awaiting the outcome of the White House meeting, C-SPAN aired video of that signing ceremony.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., couldn't resist a dig.
"You may be a great negotiator," she said of Trump. "Rookie's error for bringing this up on a day when clearly you're not ready."
In a count by The Associated Press, at least 30 Republicans said they opposed the bill, enough to defeat the measure. But the number was in constant flux amid the eleventh-hour lobbying.
Including vacancies and expected absentees, the bill would be defeated if 23 Republicans join all Democrats in voting "no."
Obama declared in a statement that "America is stronger" because of the current law and Democrats must make sure "any changes will make our health care system better, not worse for hardworking Americans." Trump tweeted to supporters, "Go with our plan! Call your Rep & let them know."
Tension has been building in advance of the critical vote, and a late-night meeting of moderate-leaning members in Speaker Ryan's office Wednesday broke up without resolution.
A key moderate who had been in the meeting, Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, issued a statement saying he would be voting "no" on the health bill. "I believe this bill, in its current form, will lead to the loss of coverage and make insurance unaffordable for too many Americans," said Dent, a leader of the Tuesday Group of moderate-leaning Republicans.
Congressional leaders have increasingly put the onus on the president to close the deal, seemingly seeking to ensure that he takes ownership of the legislation — and with it, ownership of defeat if that is the outcome.
Moderates were given pause by projections of 24 million Americans losing coverage in a decade and higher out-of-pocket costs for many low-income and older people, as predicted by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
MANCHESTER — A Manchester man was sentenced to two to four years committed in state prison for a sex trafficking bust dating back to May 25, 2015.
The Manchester Police Department investigated allegations of sex trafficking within the city. The investigation led to information that several victims had been forced to trade sexual acts for money by being physically abused, threatened, and having heroin regulated, by their traffickers. As a result, three people were arrested.
Gregory Worthley, 28, was arrested for his role in the case and sentenced to two to four years stand committed at the Hillsborough County Superior Court North on the first count and 5-10 years suspended sentence on the second count.
Nathanial Clark, 37, and Amber Ford, 27, have already been sentenced in this case.
“Sex traffickers target vulnerabilities, such as drug addiction, in order to recruit and to overcome a victim’s will," the Manchester Police Department commented. "Too often, these criminals will continue to control and exploit their victims through brutal force and by maintaining an environment of fear within their victims. HSI commends the continued partnership from the Manchester Police Department and the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office to combat this vile result of the opioid epidemic.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Though a handful of players have already said they won't attend, officials announced the New England Patriots will visit the White House on April 19 to celebrate their Super Bowl LI victory.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced the date at the beginning of his daily press briefing on Thursday.
"I'm proud to announce that on April 19th, the anniversaries of the battles of Lexington and Concord, the New England Patriots will be visiting the White House to celebrate their latest, in what will probably be a continuation of many more to come, Super Bowl win," Spicer told reporters, smiling.
It's a tradition for professional sports teams to visit the White House some time after a championship win.
However, several players have already said, for their own reasons, they won't attend.
These include corner and team captain Devin McCourty, running LeGarrette Blount, tight end Martellus Bennett — who is now on the Green Bay Packers — and defensive end Chris Long, a free agent.
All four players cited political stances or gave statements saying they "don't support" the person in the White House as reasons to skip.
Two other players, defensive tackle Alan Branch and linebacker Dont'a Hightower, have also said they're likely to opt out of the visit.
However, not attending White House visits isn't unprecedented for professional athletes. For example, in 2015, Tom Brady said he had a scheduling conflict and couldn't attend.
April 19 will be the Patriots' fifth trip to the White House.
Just days before President Trump's inauguration, the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs visited while former president Barack Obama was still in office.
MERRIMACK — Fire officials deemed a building containing oil and wood heating units a total loss after ashes spilled from the wood burner causing a fire.
The fire started in a building behind a garage on 108 Amherst Road when the owners went to turn on the wood burner after the oil heating unit failed to work Thursday. A fire started and engulfed the building which also contained diesel fuel.
Firefighters responded to the scene and controlled the fire within 20 minutes.
No injuries were reported, but the building's damage is estimated at $25,000.
KEENE — A Keene man was indicted for animal cruelty after allegedly strangling two of his then-girlfriend's cats.
Dale A. Johnson, 22, of Keene is charged with two counts of cruelty to animals for an incident dating back to Jan. 4 at his then-girlfriend's, Shannon Fitzpatrick, 22, home on Mechanic Street, according to Lt. Steven Tenney of the Keene Police Department.
Johnson and Fitzpatrick were allegedly fighting when Fitzpatrick realized her cats, Bo and Honey, were missing, the Keene Sentinel reports.
Fitzpatrick and her father filed the report with police. After they were able to receive a warrant for Johnson's arrest, they arrested him at his address on Hurricane Road in Keene on Jan 14. He did not immediately admit to the strangling, Lt. Tenney said.
Domestic violence and pets prove to be an ongoing issue around the globe, let alone the Granite State.
Studies have found that between 25 percent and 40 percent of battered women are unable to escape abusive situations because they worry about what will happen to their pets or livestock if they leave, according to the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
New Hampshire's stalking law, states that "causing injury to a person's pet, or to a pet belonging to a member of that person's immediate family" constitutes a course of conduct. "Course of conduct'' means two or more acts over any period of time. If the victim can prove that the defendant abuser has engaged in two or more acts under RSA 633:3a, the victim may be eligible for a stalking order of protection. Like a domestic violence order of protection, the plaintiff may ask the court to grant custody of his/her pets or to restrain the defendant from abusing the pets, the coalition explained on its website.
LEBANON — Police arrested a Vermont woman for drug possession after checking on a "suspicious vehicle" at a local shopping plaza.
Patricia McCarthy, 52, of Windsor, Vt., had been sitting in the driver's seat of a vehicle at the Miracle Mile Plaza at 7:35 p.m. Tuesday. Police said when they spoke with McCarthy, they found her in possession of controlled drugs methamphetamine and Buprenorphine, both class A felonies.
Police said McCarthy is currently out on bail on a possession of cocaine charge from when she was arrested March 17 in Vermont.
McCarthy is being held on $2,000 cash bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at the Lebanon district court.
LONDONDERRY — Officials flew a Massachusetts man to a Boston hospital after his car rolled over into the median of a New Hampshire highway.
Jeffrey Texter, 44, of Andover, Mass., remained trapped inside his gold 2014 Toyota Camry following the accident on Interstate 93 near the exit 4 on ramp.
Londonderry Fire and Rescue extricated Texter from his car. He was then flown to Massachusetts General Hospital by DHART medical helicopter.
Police restricted the northbound side of I-93 to one lane of travel for about one hour and completely shut down travel for about 25 minutes while the helicopter landed at the scene.
This case remains under investigation and anyone with any information about this incident is asked to call Trooper A. Richards at 603-223-4381.
Are you a fan of maple syrup or maple candy?
Well you are in luck, because March is Maple Month in New Hampshire and sugar houses across the state are celebrating by putting on maple sugar themed events.
Weekends through April 2, tasting and demonstrations will take place across the Granite State.
Listed below are some events taking place this weekend for you and the family to enjoy:
- Prescott Farm: Laconia, Saturday March 25. Maple making tour, demonstration and tasting. $10 per person with online pre-registration or $12 at the door
- Kearsarge Maple Festival: Warner, March 25 and 26. The festival will showcase nine different area sap houses as well as a series of special events in the town’s historic village. Free to the public.
- Mount Washington Valley: North Conway, March 25 and 26. Guided tours through the Sugar Bush offered weekend afternoons. Enjoy a wagon ride through the woods, learn about the history of sugaring, how to identify maple trees, tap for sap, collection and sample tasting. Suggested donation: $5/per person.
- Maple Madness II at Throwback Brewery: North Hampton, March 26 from noon-4 p.m. Throwback Brewery will host maple demonstrations from Syrup By The Sea as well as limited edition maple beers and homemade food with New Hampshire made maple syrup. Live music starting at 1 p.m. Free to the public.
- Parker's Maple Barn: Mason, March 25 and 26. Tours of the sugar house will run every half hour from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free to the public.
MANCHESTER — The opioid epidemic plaguing the Queen City has shown improvements since the opening of 10 Manchester Safe Stations.
Mayor Ted Gatsas held his State of the City Address on Wednesday to inform the public of Manchester's successes and a look at its future.
Gatsas said during the address that the Manchester Safe Station program is saving lives and families.
"The simplicity of the Safe Station program is what has made it successful. Safe Station is your connection to recovery, and it’s available to anybody from anywhere 24-hours a day/7-days a week in a place, at a fire station, where people feel comfortable asking for help," he added.
Since opening May 4, 2016, the program has helped 1,383 participants — 1,002 of them first-timers as of Friday.
Safe Station, which has served people ranging in age from 18-70, continues to see a high and steady number of visitors. As of March 16, officials responded to 25 overdoses and four suspected fatalities compared to a year ago when there were 34 overdoses and six suspected fatalities.
"If things continue on this trend, we will once again, for the third month in a row, be at a number 40 percent-plus lower than 2016," Firefighter Chris Hickey said.
Gatsas announced the busiest Safe Station day yet occurred on Father's Day.
"You hear that and your heart sinks. Children persuading their parents to get help – that’s an awful thing to imagine – and unfortunately, it’s all too common," Gatsas said.
However, Gatsas said the city is making progress in the fight against the opioid crisis with the help of Safe Stations.
The program has become so popular that other states trying to bring the program to their communities have reached out to Manchester. These places include Brooklyn, N.Y., Lee County, Fla., Cincinnati and LA County, Calif.
Gatsas also touched upon public safety, infrastructure, economic development and education during his Wednesday address.
- Chief Nick Willard reported a 22 percent decrease in overall crime due to a proactive police presence on the streets. Police, however, have seen an increase in reported aggravated assaults.
- The Board of Aldermen approved a request for the continued $3 million in funding for the Annual Road Replacement Fund. Over the past two years, the city sealed, repaved and resurfaced over 90 miles of road. This year they plan improve upon 50 more miles of roads.
- The Manchester School District welcomed a new superintendent - Dr. Bolgen Vargas.
- Northwest Elementary School Principal Shelly LaRochelle was named principal of the year and Parker-Varney Elementary School received a national innovation and change award.
- The city completed two major renovation projects last year — The Flats at Hanover and the conversion of the Citizens Bank building on Elm Street completed by Binnie Media owner Bill Binnie.
- The Dean Kamen's Advanced Regional Medical Institute development is on the horizon for Manchester. This $300 million investment is a collaborative between Kamen’s DEKA, the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
CONCORD - The New Hampshire Democratic Party is accusing Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of improperly promoting his family business by tweeting about the Waterville Valley ski resort from his official account.
The governor's office fired back, saying the NHDP is trying to "politicize" the state's tourism.
A group of investors led by the Sununu family purchased the ski area in in the White Mountains in 2010. Sununu ran the resort for years, but resigned as CEO in December, days before his inauguration as governor. But relatives remain on the resort's board of directors.
On Saturday, using his official governor's twitter account, Sununu tweeted a picture of himself on the slopes, saying it was great to be back at Waterville and that he was "enjoying the best snow NH has to offer."
Best ski day! Great to be back at @waterville enjoying the best snow NH has to offer. Everyone should be in the white mountains this weekend pic.twitter.com/nj53VTg9hG— Chris Sununu (@GovChrisSununu) March 18, 2017
The NHDP filed a complaint Wednesday with the Executive Branch Ethics Committee arguing Sununu violated rules against using his position to secure advantages for himself or others.
David Abrams, the governor's communications director, told NH1 News on Thursday that "Governor Sununu posts to his social media accounts as he travels all across the state. It’s troubling that the Democrats would look to politicize our state’s tourism."
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced the recall of nearly 22,466 pounds of beef, venison and ostrich jerky products from Whiskey Hill Smokehouse LLC.
The FSIS cited misbranding and undeclared allergens as the cause of the recall. The affected jerky contains soy, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product labels.
The jerky shipped nationwide including distribution through wholesalers and sold over the Internet and by catalog.
The products being recalled come from the following brands:
- “Bakke Brothers Brand HONEY GLAZED BEEF JERKY”
- “Bakke Brothers Brand CHILI ‘LICIOUS BEEF JERKY”
- “Bakke Brothers Brand SCORPION PEPPERED BEEF JERKY”
- “Bakke Brothers Brand CAROLINA REAPER PEPPERED BEEF JERKY”
- “PAINTED HILLS GRASS-FED BEEF JERKY Sweet Honeycomb”
- “Mt. Shadow Foods, LLC Peppered Beef Jerky”
- “Mt. Shadow Foods, LLC Honey Jalapeño Beef Jerky”
- “WHISKEY HILL SMOKEHOUSE TROPHY SERIES OSTRICH JERKY”
- “MAUINUI VENISON GOURMET JERKY”
- “The Jerky Hut PEPPERED GOLDEN NUGGETS BEEF JERKY”
- “HOT The Jerky Hut GOLDEN NUGGETS Sweet & Tender BEEF JERKY”
- “Bakke Brothers Brand HONEY JALAPEÑO BEEF JERKY”
- “Bakke Brothers Brand PEPPERED BEEF JERKY”
- “Bakke Brothers Brand GHOST PEPPERED BEEF JERKY”
- “Bakke Brothers Brand GARLIC LOVERS BEEF JERKY”
- “The Jerky Hut SWEET WITH HABANERO BEEF JERKY”
- “The Jerky Hut GOLDEN NUGGETS Sweet & Tender BEEF JERKY”
Consumers who have bought affected products are being asked to throw them away or return them to place of purchase.
For full information of the lot numbers of the affected products, click here.
CANDIA — Candia police are searching for a suspected car believed to be involved in a Wednesday shooting.
Police received several reports of shots fired from a car around 5:40 p.m. An investigation revealed that someone fired shots at two different locations on South Road minutes apart from each other.
No shell casings or bullet holes had been found as of Thursday afternoon.
Police released a description of the suspected car, calling it a dark-colored hatchback, possibly a Volkswagen, with a loud exhaust. Even though the car description is similar to the one police are looking for in Derry when shots were fired Tuesday, Police Chief Michael McGillen said the two cases are not connected.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Candia Police Department at 603-483-2318.
Sears Hometown Stores will not be going anywhere for the foreseen future.
Sears Hometown Stores operate under Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc., which separated from Sears Holdings Corp. in October 2012 and is a completely separate, publicly-traded company, according to Fishman Public Relations representative.
“Hometown stores are independent and not part of the Sears closings,” said Edward Gregory, owner of Hometown Stores in Claremont, Rochester, Seabrook, Wakefield, R.I., Middletown, R.I., and Gloucester, Mass. "(Stores like mine are) totally independently-owned and operated — a differently traded public company."
Gregory said the closings of other Sear's store will make them try harder to let people know they are independent from the public company and that they will not be closing any of their stores.
NH1 News posted a list of Sear's stores that are uncertain of their future Wednesday.
The following Sears locations are NOT in jeopardy of closing:
- Center Conway, Hometown Stores, 529 Eastman Road.
- Claremont, Hometown Stores, Suite 10.
- Gorham, Hometown Stores, 161 Main St..
- Littleton, Hometown Stores, 831 Meadow St.
- Rindge, Hometown Stores, 4 Sears Drive.
- Rochester, Hometown Stores, 306 North Main-space C&d.
- Seabrook, Hometown Stores, 1 Batchelder Road.
- Swanzey, Hometown Stores, 15 W. Swanzey Road.
- Walpole, Hometown Stores, 32 Ames Plaza Lane Unit 3.
In President Donald Trump's proposed budget, innovation and manufacturing could face cuts.
WalletHub.com, a personal finance website, says innovation is a big driver of economic growth in the U.S., with the country spending about $514 billion on research and development in 2016.
The proposed cuts led WalletHub to rank the "2017’s Most & Least Innovative States," to give credit to the states who contribute the most to the U.S.'s innovative success. WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 18 factors, ranging from share of STEM professionals to average Internet speed.
Check out New Hampshire which made it in the top 10.
Most Innovative States:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
Least Innovative States:
- West Virginia
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
CONCORD – A bill that would help dairy farmers hurt by last year’s drought is a step closer to making it to governor’s desk.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelming passed the measure, which would distribute $2 million to a fund for struggling dairy farmers across the state.
The bill recently received unanimous backing in the Environmental and Agriculture Committee, but it under went nearly an hour of debate in the full House. Opponents argued that the entire agriculture industry suffered from the drought and that it was unfair to give preference to dairy farmers.
But supporters countered that without these funds, there would be a severe impact on the dairy industry, which would touch all Granite Staters.
The House did add an amendment to the bill which originated in the state Senate. That provision limits state aid to farmers who have already collected federal disaster relief funds.
The bill now goes back to the Senate. If senators approve the amendment, the measure would head to the Corner Office. If not, a conference of committee would be needed to hammer out the differences between the two chambers.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives in session on March 23, 2017
LONDONDERRY — Interstate 93 northbound is shut down near the Exit 4 on ramp after a car rolled over into the median.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation is asking drivers to seek alternative routes to avoid the crash.
CRASH ALERT UPDATE: In Londonderry on I-93 NB all lanes is closed near the Exit 4 on ramp seek an alternate route— nh dot i93 (@nhdoti93) March 23, 2017
The Londonderry Fire Department and EMS are on scene as well as State Police.
Traffic is backed up on I-93 at this time.
NH1 News will update this story as more information becomes available.