New Hampshire News Briefs For March 24 - The Caledonian-Record - St. Johnsbury, VT
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New Hampshire News Briefs For March 24

NH House voting on plan to expand Medicaid to 50K

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire could soon join the states that have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover a group of poor adults eligible for federal subsidies under the health care overhaul law.

The House votes Tuesday on a bipartisan Senate plan to use federal Medicaid funds to buy private health coverage for an estimated 50,000 adults for the next two-and-a-half years. Democrats control the chamber and are expected to pass the bill over objections by House Republicans.

House Republicans want to cap the program and block its implementation until federal permission is received to spend Medicaid money on private health coverage.

Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, supports the Senate plan.

New Hampshire is one of six states that have not decided whether to expand Medicaid.

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Summit to feature NH climate change research

GREENLAND, N.H. (AP) -- The latest on local climate change is up for discussion at the Third Annual Coastal New Hampshire Climate Summit next month.

The summit is a forum among scientists, agencies, municipal leaders, watershed organizations and citizens concerned about increased precipitation, sea level rise, and increased frequency and severity of coastal storms in New Hampshire. The theme of this year's session is "Collaborating for Solutions: Choices Ahead."

The summit is scheduled for Thursday, April 10, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center in Greenland.

The goals are to learn about current local climate change research and climate adaptation efforts; to identify needs and gaps in current climate knowledge and adaptation and mitigation efforts; and to foster and facilitate collaboration on current and future climate work.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Robert J. Johnston, director of the George Perkins Marsh Institute and a professor in the Department of Economics at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. He will speak on the economic trade-offs in coastal adaptation.

The summit is being hosted by the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

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UNH starts online international criminal law degree

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The University of New Hampshire School of Law has developed an online degree program in international criminal law to meet a growing need to prosecute cases in human and drug trafficking and intellectual property theft.

In the United States, there are more than 600,000 people working in professions related to international criminal law and justice. UNH Law says it is offering the first degree program that offers a focused and specific pathway to career advancement in this field.

UNH said the program holds particular promise for current members of the military with advanced credentials and those considering transitioning to the civilian world.

Specific topics will cover issues such as intellectual property crimes, international white-collar crime, cybercrime, the criminal prosecution of individuals for human rights violations, and global counter-terrorism efforts.

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NH investigates Nashua officer who shot suspect

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire authorities are investigating a police officer who shot someone during an altercation in Nashua.

The attorney general's office and state police say the shooting happened around 7 p.m. Saturday. Authorities say that in the course of an investigation, the officer got involved in an altercation with a suspect and fired his gun, hitting the suspect.

Both the officer and suspect were injured, but their injuries were not life-threatening.

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Northern NH leadership group seeking applicants

BERLIN, N.H. (AP) -- Leaders and aspiring leaders throughout New Hampshire's North Country are invited to apply for a 9-month program covering such topics as education, arts and culture, and rural health and poverty.

The group, Leadership North Country, is starting its 11th year. The 2014-2015 program starts in October and runs through June 2015.

Program participants gain information and experience through interactive presentations and panels, insider tours, and informed conversations with experienced leaders from a wide variety of areas.

The organization was founded by a concerned group of regional advisors and modeled after highly successful state and regional leadership programs nationwide.

Applications are available through the White Mountains Community College website,, under the "Workforce Development" heading.

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NH Fish and Game to hold series of adventure talks

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are offering a series of outdoor adventure talks in April that will feature fishing, birds of prey and a film festival.

Topics include taking your fly fishing to the next level on April 2, New Hampshire raptors April 10 and an introduction to kayak fishing April 23.

The midweek talks will be held at Fish and Game's headquarters in Concord. They are free, open to the public and start at 7 p.m. Registration is not required.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival at Concord's Red River Theatres April 16 will take viewers on a hair-raising ride down the rapids. The film festival is co-sponsored by Fish and Game and Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Tickets can be purchased at the theater and are $10 for students and $12 for others.

The raptor presentation April 10 by Kevin Wall of New Hampshire Audubon will feature live birds of prey. It will teach attendees how to distinguish the state's different raptor species.

During the Introduction to Kayak Fishing session April 23, kayak instructor Shawn Roche will explain the pros and cons of different kinds of kayaks used for fishing. He will also discuss various fishing accessories for kayaks, including rod holders, fish finders and anchoring systems.

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NH man charged with hitting 3 police cruisers

SALEM, N.H. (AP) -- Police say a New Hampshire man crashed into three police cruisers, causing minor injuries to two Salem officers.

Police say they found 30-year-old Luis Figueroa passed out in the front seat of a running car stopped on a road in a condominium complex on Friday night.

When the officer woke him, police say he sped off, hitting several parked cars, before driving head-on into a police cruiser, pushing it back about 15 feet. Police say he hit two other cruisers as he tried to get away.

Figueroa was arrested after a brief struggle. Authorities say they found a large bag of prescription Xanax pills stuffed into his pants.

He's charged with driving while intoxicated, assault, resisting arrest and other charges.

It's unknown if he is being represented by an attorney.

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NH celebrates Maple Weekend

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire's maple syrup producers opened their farms and sugar houses to the public for the state's annual Maple Weekend.

More than 100 members of the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association participated in the events Saturday and Sunday in every part of the state.

They explained how they turn sap to syrup and offered free samples of syrup, along with other treats ranging from maple-glazed doughnuts to coffee brewed with sap. Some locations let children help collect sap, and others have pancake breakfasts, petting farms and horse-drawn hayrides.

It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. Last year, United States maple syrup production totaled 3.3 million gallons, up 70 percent from 2012, when high temperatures limited sap flow. Vermont led all states with 132,000 gallons. New Hampshire produced 124,000 gallons, up from 76,000 in 2012 and 120,000 in 2011.

Below-freezing nights followed by warm days are necessary to start the sap flowing, a period that usually begins in late February or early March. Those conditions have arrived later in some parts of the state this year.

Those who miss this weekend's open houses will have another chance. More than a dozen producers will also open their operations to the public the weekends of March 29 and April 4.

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NH teacher charged with sexual assault

CLAREMONT, N.H. (AP) -- Police say a high school teacher in the New Hampshire city of Claremont has been arrested on sexual assault charges after he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

Twenty-nine-year-old Christopher LeBlanc, of Claremont, was charged on Friday with three counts of felonious sexual assault.

The math teacher at Stevens High School was placed on paid administrative leave this week.

He is being held at the Sullivan County House of Corrections and is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday. It was not immediately known if he is being represented by an attorney.

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NH students cancel 'Assassins' game

MERRIMACK, N.H. (AP) -- High school students in the New Hampshire town of Merrimack have cancelled a game called "Assassins" after police and school officials raised safety concerns.

The game involved seniors shooting other students with water guns.

WMUR-TV reports ( ) that some of the players got into a minor car accident and two teenagers were charged with reckless driving.

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