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FILE - In this Saturday, March 26, 2011 file photo, Amy Bouchard, owner of Wicked Whoopies, far left, puts the final dollops of filling on an over-1000-pound Whoopie Pie before adding the top devil's food layer at the Maine Mall in South Portland, Maine. Maine's legislature voted in favor of making the Whoopie Pie the state snack. When New Hampshire lawmakers this month shot down as frivolous a group of fourth-graders' effort to name the red-tailed hawk the official state raptor, the pols got pasted as insensitive bullies. But in a state with an official tree, bird, dog, animal, insect, amphibian, butterfly, saltwater fish, freshwater fish, rock, mineral, gem and, yes, tartan, some say the legislators have a point. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File)

Surplus symbols: How many state bugs and beans do we need?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Maine celebrates its whoopie pies. North Carolinians proudly dance their Shag. In Kansas, even dirt is official: Harney silt loam is the state soil. So was it really out of line when a group of fourth-graders asked their lawmakers last month to make the red-tailed hawk New Hampshire’s state raptor? Some legislators insisted on shooting down the kids’ hawk idea …

Scott Brown requests investigation into New Hampshire National Guard

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Former U.S. senator Scott Brown has asked the governor to open an investigation into the New Hampshire National Guard, following a story last week that raised concerns about disciplinary practices under the current leadership. In a letter sent to Gov. Maggie Hassan yesterday, the former Massachusetts legislator and retired Guard colonel said he …

300 bodies on the State House lawn to be a ‘wake-up’ call to N.H. lawmakers

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

When Amber Blevens came out of jail for the fifth and final time, a window opened. It was fleeting, but it was a real opportunity for her to give up heroin and regain control of her life. Most, if not all addicts have a window like this, said Blevens’s stepmother, Kriss Blevens. To …

Voting extended as millions choose new president

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Nigeria extended voting into today because of technical glitches as millions turned out to vote in a presidential election that analysts say is too close to call. Nearly 60 million people have cards to vote, and for the …

Senate bill would add 30-day residency requirement to vote

Friday, March 27, 2015

New Hampshire voters would be required to live in the state for 30 days prior to voting if a bill passed by the Senate on Thursday goes into effect. The bill’s supporters called it a reasonable effort to avoid “drive-by” voting and other voter fraud, but its opponents …

4-year-old’s death outside day care leads to bill

Friday, March 27, 2015

A year after a 4-year-old girl died outside her day care after her coat got stuck on a branch and choked her, the New Hampshire House has approved a bill that would increase penalties for providers accused of negligence. The bill was created in memory of Willa Shine …

Havenstein tapped to lead N.H. arm of Americans for Peace Prosperity and Security

Friday, March 27, 2015

Walt Havenstein has found a second act in New Hampshire politics after falling short on his bid for governor last fall, in a new role as the state chairman for a national group pushing for more substantive dialogue …

Plan would take money from renewable energy fund, university system for DOT

Friday, March 27, 2015

House budget writers decided yesterday to take $50.8 million from the state’s renewable energy fund and millions more from the university system to help plug a hole in the state highway fund. The House Finance Committee voted 14-9 …

Senate approves new restrictions on welfare purchases

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Republican-led Senate voted yesterday to prohibit more than 12,000 New Hampshire welfare recipients from using their cash benefits to buy alcohol, tobacco, firearms and several other items. “We want to help people who are in need,” said Republican Sen. Jeanie Forrester, the bill’s prime sponsor. “But it’s …

After seven years, Jose Montero to step down as state’s public health director

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The way José Montero sees it, “public health happens at the community level.” So when Montero looks back on his time at the helm of the state’s public health division, there’s one moment that sticks out most vividly …

N.H. Senate approves bill at center of Eversourse Energy settlement agreement

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Senate approved legislation yesterday that is at the center of a settlement agreement calling on Eversource Energy to sell off all its power plants, including Merrimack Station in Bow. The bill will allow for low-cost bond financing that would decrease Eversource customers’ carrying costs from 10 percent …

N.H. Senate delays workers’ compensation reform deal

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Senators have pushed off a deal to reform New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation insurance laws. The chamber voted yesterday to send a tentative deal, which would have given providers three years to bring down costs on their own without government price fixing, back to a committee for further discussion. …

Shaheen and Ayotte to IRS: Provide paper tax forms to public

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A decrease in the number of available paper tax forms has caught the attention of the state’s congressional delegation. U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen introduced a resolution yesterday urging the Internal Revenue Service to provide taxpayers with printed materials needed to file their taxes correctly and …