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PHOTO GALLERY: 6-car crash closes two lanes of Everett Turnpike

NASHUA — A six-vehicle accident shut down two lanes of the Everett Turnpike and sent six people to the hospital on Tuesday.

Nashua Fire Rescue said they responded to the Everett Turnpike southbound just south of Exit 5 at about 7:13 p.m. for a multi-vehicle accident that occurred during heavy rain.

Upon arrival, they found six vehicles and debris spread out over a quarter-mile stretch of the highway. 

Three ambulances were called to the scene to transport two adults and four children to a local hospital for the treatment of minor injuries.

Officials said the highway remained open, but two left lanes were closed while crews removed debris from the scene.

N.H. State Police are investigating the cause of the accident.


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Self-driving car company OK'd to expand testing in Boston

BOSTON (AP) — A self-driving car company has been given the go-ahead to expand testing in Boston.

The city says nuTonomy has received approval to expand the test area across the Seaport and Fort Point neighborhoods on city-owned roads.

The autonomous car company has completed about 230 miles of test-driving at Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park. The park is an industrial and business area with no stoplights. Nutonomy reported it had no crashes or incidents.

Company officials say additional tests will include traffic signals and bridges and will require increased interaction with vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

NuTonomy's general counsel tells The Boston Globe the company hopes to be on the new test roads soon, depending on weather conditions. The company can only test during daylight hours in fair weather.


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Duck rescued from NH chimney highlights importance of reuglar maintenance

PELHAM — An unlikely visitor dropped into a chimney at a New Hampshire home, prompting police to remind residents to keep up with their chimney cleaning and maintenance.

Pelham Police Animal Control said in a Facebook post Monday that a duck became trapped in a chimney after flying in through a malfunctioning cap.

They reminded residents to stay on top of chimney-related cleaning and maintenance to prevent similar incidents. 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends chimney-users have their chimneys inspected yearly to check for soundness, deposits, and correct clearances. 


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Dale Earnhardt Jr. called 'huge impact' on NASCAR after announcing retirement

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. abruptly announced his retirement at the end of the season Tuesday, a decision that will cost NASCAR its most popular driver as the series scrambles to rebuild its fan base.

READ: Hendrick Motorsports says Dale Earnhardt Jr. will retire at end of season

 

At a news conference, Earnhardt said he "wanted the opportunity to go out on his own terms." After missing much of the 2016 season due to concussion-like symptoms, he acknowledged that time off played a role in his decision. He wanted retirement to be his choice rather than something that was decided for him.

"Having influence over my exit only became meaningful when it started to seem most unlikely," Earnhardt said. "As you know, I missed a few races last year and during that time I had to face the realization that my driving career may have already ended without me so much as getting a vote on the table. Of course, in life we're not promised a vote, and that's especially true in racing."

He informed Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick on March 29 of his plan to retire. Earnhardt said telling his boss of nearly 10 years was the toughest part of his decision.

Colorful, candid and talented, Earnhardt has been plagued by concussions the last several years and he missed half of last season recovering from a head injury. He had delayed contract talks on an extension to drive the No. 88 Chevrolet, and the two-time Daytona 500 winner will now call it quits when the season ends in November.

"You deserve everything, all the awards and accolades," Hendrick said. "There will never be another Dale Earnhardt Jr. You're the one."

The news shocked and saddened drivers throughout the paddock.

"Dale Jr. has had a huge impact on our sport — and you can see that every week with his legion of fans and Junior Nation," Jeff Gordon said in a statement released by Fox Sports, where he now works as an analyst after spending much of last season filling in for the injured Earnhardt. "He has a tremendous sense of the history of NASCAR and, while he shares his father's name, Dale has made a name for himself with his accomplishments in racing."

A third-generation racer, Earnhardt turns 43 in October, is newly married and has said he wants to start a family. He has lately become a vocal advocate for research into sports-related brain injuries, and the hit he took last June led to months of rehabilitation that gave him a new perspective on his life. The concussions left him with nausea, double vision, anxiety and other symptoms that he has discussed in great detail.

His wife, Amy, posted on Twitter shortly after the announcement: "I'm so proud of Dale for working so hard to get back and even prouder for his courage & self awareness to make the decision to retire. I'm sure God has many other great plans for him and us!"

The news was the latest blow to the stock car series, which lost two other popular drivers in Gordon and Tony Stewart to retirement the past two years. Now Earnhardt, the last of the true country boys, is following them out the door. Born and raised in North Carolina, Earnhardt has deep roots in NASCAR. His late Hall of Fame father, Dale, won seven titles and, known as "The Intimidator," was one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history. Earnhardt's grandfather, Ralph, ran 51 races at NASCAR's highest level.

Earnhardt has won NASCAR's most popular driver award a record 14 times. He has 26 career Cup victories and is a two-time champion of NASCAR's second-tier Xfinity series, where he plans to race twice next year. But the son of the late champion has never won a Cup title. Now in his 18th full-time season at the Cup level, he made his 600th career series start earlier this year.

Earnhardt has driven for Hendrick since 2008 after a nasty split with Dale Earnhardt Inc., the team founded by his father but run by his stepmother. He was unhappy with the direction of DEI since his father's 2001 death in a last-lap accident at the Daytona 500, and a frosty relationship with his stepmother led him to bolt to NASCAR's most powerful team.

Earnhardt is not off to the greatest start this season, with only one top-five finish so far. He took another hit Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway when a mechanical issue caused him to crash.

"I feel good. We'll get in here and find out," he said as he walked to the care center.

After his long layoff last season, Earnhardt discussed his comeback before this year's Daytona 500 in February and said whenever he made his decision to retire it would be "the right thing to do." He also said he wanted time to become confident about his health before considering a new contract.

"For the longest time, I let racing be who I was instead of what I did," he added. "I've got a whole other life beyond driving, and I really believe that. I have got a lot of things I'd love to do. Outside of having a family, there's a lot of things in business that I'd love to see if I can succeed at. I think we got a glimpse of what that would be like. It looks pretty awesome."

Still, it's clear that Earnhardt won't be far from the track. On Tuesday, he said he wants to be part of the "future of this sport" for many years to come and that he would stay involved in racing at some level.

"I do have ambition to work," Earnhardt said. "I'm not going to quit working. There's a feeling to being an asset to something. I don't have to be the guy holding the trophy, but being a part of that success, I really enjoy. I really enjoy making people happy and doing stuff as a team. I think I can replicate that in the next chapter of my life."


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Judge blocks Trump order on sanctuary city funding

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday blocked any attempt by the Trump administration to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities" that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration authorities, saying the president has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the preliminary injunction in two lawsuits — one brought by the city of San Francisco, the other by Santa Clara County — against an executive order targeting communities that protect immigrants from deportation.

The injunction will stay in place while the lawsuits work their way through court.

The judge said that President Donald Trump cannot set new conditions for the federal grants at stake. And even if he could, the conditions would have to be clearly related to the funds at issue and not coercive, Orrick said.

"Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves," the judge said.

A Justice Department attorney, Chad Readler, had defended the president's executive order as an attempt to use his "bully pulpit' to "encourage communities and states to comply with the law."

The Trump administration had further argued the lawsuits were premature because the government hasn't cut off any money yet or declared any communities to be sanctuary cities.

Meanwhile, mayors from several U.S. cities threatened with the loss of federal grants emerged from a meeting Tuesday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying they remain confused about how to prove their police are in compliance with immigration policies — a necessary step for them to receive grant money.

During a recent court hearing, the Trump administration and the two California governments disagreed over the order's scope.

San Francisco and Santa Clara County argued that the order threatened billions of dollars in federal funding for each of them, making it difficult to plan their budgets.

But Readler, acting assistant attorney general, said the threatened cutoff applies to three Justice Department and Homeland Security grants and would affect less than $1 million for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco.

In his ruling, Orrick sided with San Francisco and Santa Clara, saying the order "by its plain language, attempts to reach all federal grants, not merely the three mentioned at the hearing."

"And if there was doubt about the scope of the order, the president and attorney general have erased it with their public comments," the judge said.

The Trump administration says that sanctuary cities allow dangerous criminals back on the street and that the order is needed to keep the country safe. San Francisco and other sanctuary cities say turning local police into immigration officers erodes trust that is needed to get people to report crime.

The order also has led to lawsuits by Seattle; two Massachusetts cities, Lawrence and Chelsea; and a third San Francisco Bay Area government, the city of Richmond. The San Francisco and Santa Clara County lawsuits were the first to get a hearing before a judge.

San Francisco and the county argued that the president did not have the authority to set conditions on the allocation of federal funds and could not compel local officials to enforce federal immigration law.

The sanctuary city order was among a flurry of immigration measures Trump has signed since taking office in January, including a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and a directive calling for a wall on the Mexican border.

A federal appeals court blocked the travel ban. The administration then revised it, but the new version also is stalled in court.


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Judge allows $12m lien against Manchester business owner Michael Gill

MANCHESTER — A judge on New Hampshire's Superior Court has allowed three businessmen to file a $12 million lien against property owned by Michael Gill as part of a defamation lawsuit against Gill for statements he displayed on electronic signs outside of his businesses.

READ: Judge orders Michael Gill to remove public statements accusing attorney of attempted murder

 

According to the Union Leader, court documents showed that Justice Brian T. Tucker granted a motion this month allowing Dick Anagnost, William Greiner and Andy Crews to proceed with attachments on Gill’s home and business properties.

The three N.H. businessmen are seeking $20 million in damages in a lawsuit filed in 2016 over statements posted by Gill alleging their involvement in the sales of guns and drugs. 

READ: Judge rules in favor of defamation lawsuit against NH businessman Michael Gill

 

Gill has continually said he has evidence to support his claims, but in his ruling, Tucker said that Gill failed to provide evidence that any of his sources had knowledge of the claims. 

 

 


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As rainy weather puts a damper on school vacation, enjoy these 5 NH indoor locations

Trying to get out of the house while the kids' are on spring vacation but the rainy weather is putting a damper on the day? Visit these five New Hampshire locations offering indoor fun for the whole family.

READ: Track the rain hour-by-hour on NH1's Futurecast 

5. Seacoast Science Center in Rye at 570 Ocean Blvd.

This science center gives the family an opportunity to hold a sea star, pet a chain catshark, learn about marine animals and much more.

Admission

Ages 13-Adult: $10
Seniors & Military: $8
Ages 3-12: $5
Under age 3: FREE
Members: FREE

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4. Cowabunga's in Hooksett at 1328 Hooksett Rd.

This fun zone full with inflatables will leave your kids entertained for hours, offering slides, bounce houses and obstacle courses.

Admission

Adults: FREE
Children walking-17: $10
Children not walking: FREE

Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

3. Kahuna Laguna Indoor Water Park in North Conway at 2251 White Mountain Highway

The biggest indoor water park in New Hampshire is encouraging families to dive into the fun. This 40,000-square-foot park offers water attractions including slides as well as a Tiki Tide Cafe.

Admissions

Ages 2-Adult day pass: $50
Under age 2: FREE 
Observation pass: $10 per day

Open Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday noon to 9 p.m.

2. SEE Science Center in Manchester at 200 Bedford St.

Enjoy two floors of hands-on science fun with exhibits, daily demonstrations, the LEGO Millyard Project on display and more.

Admissions

Ages 3-Adult: $9
Under age 3: FREE

Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

1. Krazy Kids Indoor Play & Party Center in Pembroke at 60 Sheep Davis Rd.

This kids' play center focused on activity and movement, giving child of all ages the opportunity to have a blast climbing a giant structure, racing through inflatable obstacle courses and having fun in the Atomic Rush.

Admissions

Ages 17-Adult: FREE
Ages 2-16: $12
Under age 2 and walking: $10
Under age 2 and not walking: FREE

Open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

After we get through those rainy days, enjoy the nicer weather expected later in the week.

READ: Nicer weather is expected to end NH school vacation week


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Family rescued from Lake Sunapee in NH after canoe flips over

SUNAPEE — A family was rescued from Lake Sunapee after their canoe flipped over Monday.

Sunapee police said they responded to the area of Great Island using the Sunapee Police patrol boat for a report of an overturned boat and the sound of children crying.

Officers said they found an overturned canoe with three people in the water. They stabilized the vessel and pulled a 43-year-old male and two children, ages 5 and 8, from the lake. 

Police said they were transported to Burkehaven Harbor in Sunapee, where they were treated for hypothermia by members of the New London Ambulance service. All three individuals were wearing appropriate flotation devices.


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World's last male rhino getting help from Tinder dating app

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The world's last male northern white rhino has joined the Tinder dating app as wildlife experts make a last-chance breeding effort to keep his species alive.

"I don't mean to be too forward, but the fate of the species literally depends on me," the rhino's profile says. "I perform well under pressure."

The campaign called "The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World," by a Kenyan wildlife conservancy and the dating app, focuses on the rhino named Sudan.

The 43-year-old and his last two female companions are unable to breed naturally because of issues that include old age.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the app aim to raise $9 million for research into breeding methods, including in-vitro fertilization, in an effort to save the species from extinction.

"We partnered with Ol Pejeta conservancy to give the most eligible bachelor in the world a chance to meet his match," said Matt David, head of communications and marketing at Tinder. "We are optimistic given Sudan's profile will be seen on Tinder in 190 countries and over 40 languages."

The conservancy's website had crashed by Tuesday evening.

Sudan lives at the conservancy, protected by guards around the clock, with the two females, Najin and Fatu.

"The plight that currently faces the northern white rhinos is a signal to the impact that humankind is having on many thousands of other species across the planet," said Richard Vigne, the conservancy's chief executive officer. "Ultimately, the aim will be to reintroduce a viable population of northern white rhino back into the wild, which is where their true value will be realized."


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FDA: Avoid fake 'miracle' cancer treatments sold on internet

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — U.S. regulators are warning consumers to avoid 65 bogus products hawked on the internet with false claims that they can cure, treat, diagnose or prevent cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration says these products , mostly sold on websites and social media sites, can be harmful, waste money and result in people not getting approved, effective treatments.

The pills, creams and teas are untested and not approved by the FDA, which called them a "cruel deception." Some contain ingredients that can be risky or interact dangerously with prescription drugs. The FDA on Tuesday posted the warning letters it sent to 14 manufacturers, telling them to remove their fraudulent claims describing the products as drugs, or face stiff penalties.

"Anyone who suffers from cancer, or know someone who does, understands the fear and desperation that can set in," FDA consumer safety officer Nicole Kornspan said in a statement. "There could be a great temptation to jump at anything that appears to offer a chance for a cure."

Many of the treatments are touted with illegal claims, such as "miraculously kills cancer cells in tumors," ''more effective than chemotherapy," and "treats all forms of cancer," the FDA said. Often, they're advertised as safe, natural products or dietary supplements.

Some of the products are marketed for cats and dogs.

The FDA said it has issued more than 90 warning letters over the past decade to companies selling fraudulent cancer products. The agency said many of those companies stopped selling the products or making fraudulent claims, yet numerous unsafe products are still for sale because it's easy for scammers to switch to new websites.


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Lawyers want Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction dismissed

BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for former NFL star Aaron Hernandez are formally asking that his first-degree murder conviction be dismissed in Massachusetts now that he has died.

A spokesman for the Bristol district attorney's office says the motion was filed by defense attorneys on Tuesday in Superior Court. He says prosecutors will oppose the motion.

Hernandez hanged himself at a maximum-security state prison last week, just days after he was acquitted of fatally shooting two Boston men in 2012. He was serving life without parole in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player.

Courts in Massachusetts have held that when a defendant dies before having an appeal heard, the conviction is vacated. Hernandez's appeal hadn't yet been heard when he hanged himself.

Hernandez's funeral was held Monday.


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Victory for full-day kindergarten bill, but defeat for school choice measure

CONCORD – A bill that would increase state funding for full-day kindergarten passed a crucial test Tuesday in front of the House Education Committee.

But the committee killed for the rest of the year a measure that would allow parents to use public taxpayer money to pay for their children’s tuition at private or religious schools.

And as the House panel was meeting, the Senate Education Committee shot down a push by New Hampshire Department of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut to reorganize the department.

By a 15-4 vote, the House committee passed SB 191, a bill that would increase funding for the expansion of full-day kindergarten across the state. The vote came one week after Gov. Chris Sununu appeared before the committee to urge them to approve the state Senate bill, which was modeled after his proposal for full-day kindergarten.

Sununu raised the issue last year as he campaigned for governor, and highlighted full-day kindergarten expansion state-wide in his early January inaugural address. In his budget address in February, the governor called for $9 million per year over the two-year budget to be handed out in grants to communities with high levels of low-income students or those learning the English language.

The bill the House Education Committee passed amended the Senate bill, increasing the full-day kindergarten funding to $14.5 million per year. The measure next heads to full House of Representatives for a vote before going on to the House Finance Committee.

In a statement after the Education Committee’s vote, Sununu said “today’s actions are a significant step forward for New Hampshire. Full-day kindergarten is good for children, families, and a critical tool in retaining our workforce.”

School choice bill doesn’t pass test

After passing the full-day kindergarten legislation, the committee then sidetracked SB 193, the bill that would have given the Granite State one of the country’s most sweeping school choice laws. The measure would have allowed parents to take the approximate $3,500 in public taxpayer funds that schools receive per student and convert that money into personal “scholarships.” Parents could then use those dollars to pay for tuition at private or religious schools, or pay for the costs of homeschooling or tutoring their kids.

And unlike voucher style programs implemented in other states, the “scholarships” in the state Senate bill would be available to families of any incomes. Supporters said the bill would give parents more choice in the education of their children, but opponents argued that the measure would harm the public school system by diverting taxpayer dollars.

The bill passed the state Senate along party lines, but the House committee voted to retain the measure, which means the legislation won’t be voted on until next session.  

Democratic Rep. Mary Heath of Manchester said “this bill undermines public education."

"Our New Hampshire Constitution is clear that public funds cannot be used for sectarian purposes," she added.

Even the GOP backers of the bill on the committee supported sidetracking the measure until the next session, saying it will give them extra time to come up with a bill that stands a better chance of passage.

But State Sen. John Reagan of Deerfield, the author of the Senate school choice bill, told NH1 News the vote by the House committee was “a tragic loss for both parents and students.”

In a separate hearing, a bill by Reagan to reorganize the state Department of Education was vote down by a three-to-two vote. The plan was originally proposed by Edelblut, who Sununu nominated in January as Education Commissioner. The Senate Education Committee instead voted to study Edelblut’s reorganization plan.


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NH1 First Alert Weather: Warming trend for NH

Wednesday will be another dreary day, but the steadiest rain should be during the morning. Rain totals will top an inch and some towns, with a few spots seeing closer to two inches of rain. An onshore wind will keep it cool for the entire day. Highs will be in the 50s for most, nearing 60 along the Vermont border. The rain will taper to scattered showers during the afternoon, and it will likely end completely in western New Hampshire.

By Thursday, we'll start to shake the clouds, but it may take a while to do so in eastern areas. The most sunshine will be in the Connecticut River Valley, with temperatures around 70 degrees there. Coastal areas may stay near 60 with a continued onshore wind.

Friday may become very warm and a bit 'muggy' after a shower or downpour passes through. Highs for most should be in the 70s, with the warmest spots of southern New Hampshire approaching 80 degrees.

The weekend looks like a split decision. Saturday may still be mild with highs in the 70s, but a front will pass through, ushering in cooler air and a gusty wind. Clouds and cooler weather likely return for Sunday.

In addition to our NH1 News accounts, you can follow me @RyanBretonWX on Twitter and Facebook. Download the NH1 News app for the latest Granite State news and weather.


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Nicer weather is expected to end NH school vacation week

Nothing is worse than spring break spent indoors. Most New Hampshire schools are on vacation this week, and better weather is ahead.

Wednesday will be another damp day. The steadiest rain will be during the morning. Scattered showers will continue into the afternoon, but it will remain cloudy and cool, with high temperatures generally in the 50s.

We start to turn the corner on Thursday. Clouds will dominate, but we'll find some sunny breaks developing, especially inland. The coolest temperatures and most clouds are likely near the coast, where highs may only be in the lower 60s. However, farther inland and away from the coast, sunny breaks will boost temperatures into the 65 to 70 degree range during the afternoon. Most of the day will be dry, except for some drizzle in the morning.

A warm front will be moving through on Friday. With it, we'll have a few spotty showers or a rumble of thunder, but once it passes through, partial sunshine will boost temperatures into the 70s. It may actually feel a bit 'muggy' during the afternoon, with dew points rising to near 60 degrees, which is often when we start to feel more humid, especially early in the warm season.

The weekend forecast is more of a dilemma. A cold front is expected to pass through during the weekend. We may salvage Saturday as another warm day, despite a gusty wind. Sunday likely will turn cooler with more clouds at times, but even if it does turn cooler, most of the time should be dry.


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Police: NH man served arrest warrant at jail for littering, possession of heroin

WOLFEBORO — A man was served an arrest warrant at a New Hampshire jail for possession of heroin and littering. 

Jacob Brooks, 22 of Ossipee, was served at the Rockingham County Jail in Brentwood on a warrant for possession of a controlled drug, heroin, a felony, and littering, a misdemeanor.  

Chief Dean J. Rondeau was unable to specify what Brooks illegally threw on the ground.

Brooks was previously at the jail for violation of parole, but received bail Tuesday.

Brooks was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled for arraignment on May 11 at the Carroll county Superior Court in Ossipee. 


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Somersworth man pleads guilty to burglarizing 10 homes during crime spree

DOVER — A Somersworth man pleaded guilty Tuesday to burglarizing 10 homes during a crime spree.

Daniel Sterritt worked with Sean Laughton of Somersworth to steal and pawn items between Oct. 15 and 23 of 2014. They targeted homes in Dover, Durham, Rochester and five other communities in New Hampshire and Maine.

Under a capped plea agreement, Sterritt has agreed to spend 7-and-a-half to 15 years in prison.


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Family seeks help finding dog that ran away near Ellacoya State Park in NH

GILFORD — A family is seeking help finding their four-legged friend.

Trish Booth, of Gilmanton, was home cooking dinner when her family arrived home with some bad news. 

Her husband and their children left to go for a hike at Ellacoya State Park around 5:30 p.m. Monday. But, when the family arrived at the park, one of the children went to open the door of the car, with her leash in hand, when Roxie, the black lab and pit bull mix, sprinted off. 

Booth's daughter told her that Roxie ran across Route 11 and into the woods near the guardrail. 

The 14-month-old lab mix was wearing her purple collar with tags when she ran off. Booth described her as small for a lab and very friendly. She is also micro-chipped.

The family lives in Gilmanton, which is about a half hour drive from Ellacoya State Park.

 


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Food shortage leading to starvation of orphan bear cubs in New England

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Wildlife experts from Vermont and New Hampshire are finding more starving bear cubs than usual, and experts are blaming an increase in births a year ago and a food shortage in the fall.

READ: Vermont rescues starving bear cubs after wild food shortage

 

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Program Manager Scott Darling says in a typical year, wardens and biologists find one starving bear cub, usually an orphan.

New Hampshire bear rehabilitator Phoebe Kilham says she's caring for six yearling cubs this year — four from Vermont and two from New Hampshire. She says some years they don't get any.

Darling says it's possible more starving cubs will be found because it will be several weeks before the state's forests can grow new sources of food.

 


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Court finds in favor of NH sex offender who challenged convictions

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Supreme Court has sent the case of a man found guilty of breaching his sex offender registration requirements back to a trial judge to vacate most of his convictions and sentence.

Max Wilson, of Antrim, was sentenced to 5 ½ years in prison in 2015. He was looking after a teenager. State law prohibits registered sex offenders from volunteering care, instruction or guidance of a minor. He was found guilty of four counts of prohibition from child-care services.

The court said in a ruling Tuesday a judge was wrong to rule against a defense motion alleging double jeopardy and sent the case back.

Wilson had cared for the boy in Concord and Hopkinton in 2014. He agreed to mentor him after the death of his grandfather and didn't disclose his criminal history to the family.


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Sununu says fixing 'disarray' in state's mental health services 'not an option but a mandate'

CONCORD – Using blunt language, Gov. Chris Sununu made a personal pitch to end New Hampshire’s shortage of treatment for people battling severe mental illness and to overhaul the state’s problem plagued child protective services agency.

And the governor said that even with a multi-million dollar price tag, the crisis must be addressed, adding “dollars cannot get in the way of quality services and quality outcomes in mental health.”

Doing something governors rarely do, Sununu testified Tuesday in front of a legislative committee. Joined by Senate President Chuck Morse, the governor testified in front of the state Senate Health and Human Service Committee in support of an amendment introduced by the committee’s chairman, Majority Leader Jeb Bradley.

The amendment would beef up an existing state House of Representatives bill that would require the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a 10-year mental health plan.

Sununu told the committee that taking action is “not an option but a mandate.”

And as he called for action, the state’s first Republican governor in a dozen years also criticized his Democratic predecessors in the Corner Office, saying “To be blunt about it, these problems could have and should have been addressed long ago and I can’t speak for previous administrations but I can tell you in my first 100 days here it has come to stark light to me just how in disarray our mental health system truly is.”

Around 45 people per day in the Granite State are waiting for an inpatient psychiatric care bed. Bradley’s amendment calls for 20 new beds for people suffering from severe mental illness, with 40 additional beds for people in transition.

"You hear the stories of people waiting not just a few days, not just a week, but sometimes up to four weeks, four weeks, that they're housed, maintained in a hallway, getting no mental health services whatsoever," Sununu explained.

This was the governor’s second pitch in the past four days for additional beds. Last Friday he toured Concord Hospital’s emergency department, which is often crowded with patients waiting for admittance to inpatient psychiatric care at New Hampshire Hospital.

Since settling a federal lawsuit over inadequate care in late 2013, state officials have worked towards improving mental health services. Last July a new 10-bed crisis unit opened at New Hampshire hospital, but emergency rooms across the state still face an overload of patients waiting for those beds to open up.

Bradley’s amendment also calls for fixes to the state’s Division of Children, Youth and Families. His proposal calls for direct oversight of DCYF by a newly created associate commissioner position, and a new office of child advocate.

Sununu’s been calling for months for corrective action at DCYF, which faces a severe shortage of social workers that an independent review said was putting children at risk.

"We've let these challenges, these issues go unaddressed for too long, and if we choose to wait any longer, the price tag will only increase," the governor said. "It could cost taxpayers more and could cost more lives."

Bradley estimated that the changes called for in his amendment could cost approximately $9.4 million in the first year.

 

Gov. Chris Sununu and Senate President Chuck Morse testify in front of the state Senate Health and Human Service Committee in support of an amendment introduced by the committee’s chairman, Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, on April 25, 2017


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