CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The House's tax writing committee is holding a hearing on a new Senate plan to legalize casino gambling in New Hampshire.
The latest plan goes before the Ways and Means Committee on Thursday. It would legalize two casinos sharing a total of 5,000 video slot machines and 240 table games. The House killed a bill a month ago that would have legalized one casino licensed to have 5,000 video slot machines.
The latest bill includes $25 million in revenue sharing with communities. House gambling supporters had talked of adding that to the House bill had it survived. Gambling supporters say it is a way to share money with communities.
Opponents argue the money is a false promise since future legislatures can end the aid if they choose.
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University of New Hampshire sources more seafood
DURHAM, N.H. (AP) -- Skate wing tacos, ceviche and locally grown kelp will be on the menu as the University of New Hampshire experiments with bringing more local seafood to its dining halls.
The university is hosting a Sustainable Seafood Dinner on April 16 to highlight locally caught seafood and New England's fishing community. The dinner is part of a six-week pilot program to increase the amount of local seafood served at the university, which been working with Red's Best, a Boston-based seafood processor.
The goal is to not only provider fishermen with a reliable market but also give students access to and education about local seafood.
David Hill, UNH Dining assistant director, said the project is a natural extension of the school's "local harvest" commitment to connect with regional food producers. "And educating our customers about local fishers and undiscovered seafood supports the university's education mission, as well," he said.
The dinner, from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., will be free for anyone with a UNH dining plan and open to the public for a charge of $22.95 for adults and $11.50 for children under age 10. The menu will include scallops, lobster and oysters, as well as what officials call "under-loved but abundant" local seafood.
The pilot program and dinner are a collaboration between UNH Dining, Slow Food UNH, the Sustainability Institute, NH Sea Grant and the Norwest Atlantic Marine Alliance.
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New Hampshire bill aims to nip false patent claims
By NORMA LOVE
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire lawmakers are considering making it harder for companies with false patent claims to demand that businesses pay licensing fees or be sued.
Sen. Sharon Carson is sponsoring legislation she hopes will identify false claims so businesses don't feel their only recourse is to pay up to avoid costly litigation rather than test the validity of the patents in federal court. She says her bill attempts to identify patent trolls: companies that buy up patents of questionable validity and use them to demand licensing fees from other companies.
Vermont passed the nation's first law last year to make it harder for patent trolls to operate. Now, other states and Congress are considering laws to shield businesses from aggressive patent infringement claims.
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New Hampshire senators address state's heroin woes
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire's U.S. senators are working with law enforcement leaders and public health officials to address the state's heroin epidemic.
The state has seen the number of deaths from heroin overdose go from zero in 1993 to 67 deaths last year. New Hampshire State Police say 13 percent of all traffic stops and arrests that led to blood or urine tests involved heroin, and both law enforcement and corrections officials say a broader "epidemic of addiction" is driving crime in the state and straining corrections and court resources.
Ayotte, a Republican and former attorney general, is holding a roundtable discussion on April 23 in Manchester. She has supported a law enforcement grant program aimed at ending heroin abuse and related crimes, questioned federal officials about efforts to curb drug trafficking and says further urgent action is required.
"By bringing together local, state and federal officials, we can help identify solutions that will substantively address this growing crisis and protect New Hampshire families," she said.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, also has called for increased investment in law enforcement grants and programs related to education and drug abuse treatment. Shaheen, who met Friday with law enforcement officials and drug abuse treatment providers in Salem, says fighting the epidemic will require a multifaceted approach. She asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder last week for federal assistance for local law enforcement and prescription drug monitoring.
"Fighting this epidemic will require a multifaceted approach that provides more resources and assistance for law enforcement, improves prevention and education efforts and increases our focus on treatment and recovery," she said.
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Keene State College inaugurates 10th president
KEENE, N.H. (AP) -- Keene State College has inaugurated its 10th president.
Anne Huot officially took over as president Friday during a ceremony focused on the theme of achieving a shared vision for student success.
Huot, who grew up in Manchester, was most recently provost and vice president for academic affairs at of the State University of New York at Brockport. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of New Hampshire and her graduate degrees at the University of Vermont, where she received a master's degree in medical technology and a doctorate in cell and molecular biology.
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Snowmobile crash victim ends up with stick in head
PITTSBURG, N.H. (AP) -- Authorities say a Concord man was seriously injured when he fell off his snowmobile in northern New Hampshire and ended up with a stick stuck in his head.
New Hampshire Fish and Game says 34-year-old Joshua Carlson was riding off a designated trail in Pittsburg Saturday afternoon when he fell off the snowmobile and struck a tree. He was taken to Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Officials say carelessness and environmental factors appear to have played a role, and they remind residents that it is illegal to ride off designated trails.
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7th grader wins New Hampshire Geographic Bee
KEENE, N.H. (AP) -- A New Hampshire seventh grader has won a trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the finals of the National Geographic Bee next month.
Kevin Owens from Ross A. Lurgio Middle School in Bedford on Friday won the state-level competition in which 100 students from around New Hampshire competed at Keene State College.
Second place went to Daniel Taylor of Hampstead Academy in Hampstead and Joseph DePalma of Daisy Bronson Middle School in Littleton came in third.
Owens won $100 and a paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national finals May 19 to 21.
The national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
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New Hampshire to digitize historic records, photos
By RIK STEVENS
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Civil War nurse Sarah Low met Abraham Lincoln on April 20, 1864, writing in her diary that the president shook hands with everyone at a crowded White House reception. One year later, the Dover woman would see Lincoln again, this time as he lay in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.
"The flowers on the coffin that had been beautiful the day before were faded and it seemed forlorn that they had not been replaced by fresh ones," she wrote on April 20, 1865. "Lincoln's face looked very thin and shrunken, the face was dark and it seemed to me that he looked like a murdered man."
Her writings, which challenge norms and vividly describe the carnage of the war between the states, are among 2 million pages of documents and 250,000 photos the New Hampshire Historical Society is working to digitize, transcribe and post on a website that will take the state's rich history to the Internet. The New Hampshire History Network is part of a $10 million endeavor that also includes upgrades to the society's century-old Beaux-Arts building. So far, $5.5 million has been raised.
"The project is to make as much of the collection available digitally as possible," said Bill Dunlap, the society's executive director. "So some kid in the boondocks, sitting in his own house, can get access in a way he never could before."
The collection sparkles with some of the brightest names in American history, all linked to New Hampshire. George Washington informs Gen. John Stark, a New Hampshire native and Revolutionary War hero at Bennington, Bunker Hill and Saratoga, that he can't fill Stark's request for funds.
"There is not a single farthing in the Military Chest," Washington laments in the letter dated Jan. 3, 1781. "P.S. I have not been able to obtain any money for my own expenses, or table for more than three months."
Stark gets good news from John Hancock, who advises him in an Oct. 5, 1777, missive that he's being promoted to brigadier. The letter is signed in Hancock's distinctive hand.
David Morrissette, social studies department chairman at Berlin High School, said the project will benefit students and teachers.
"There's such an emphasis on primary source analysis in history with artifacts and documents and it's difficult in some of the more rural areas -- Berlin and even farther north -- to get your hands on them," Morrissette said. "The big publishers do provide collections, but there's a cost."
The digitizing and transcription is meticulous work that involves society staff reading and rereading the originals, then consulting with one another to make sure they've got it right. Katelynn Vance, the society's digital project manager, said one of the project's goals is to better protect the originals.
"You can't just let them out for the public to handle because it would destroy them eventually," Vance said.
Ultimately, Dunlap said, the society hopes to include artifacts from the state's 206 local historical societies. The project is modeled after the 12-year-old Maine Memory Network.
The sweep of voices in the collections includes the famous and the obscure, all with different perspectives on touchstone moments in American history. Just before hostilities between the states begin, Jefferson Davis pens a mournful note to former President Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire, under whom Davis served as secretary of war. Davis, who in January 1861 was a senator from Mississippi, tells Pierce his state will secede.
"Civil war has only horror for me, but whatever circumstances demand shall be met as a duty and I trust be so discharged that you will not be ashamed of our former connection or cease to be my friend," Davis writes.
Malia Ebel, the society's reference librarian and archivist, said she especially admired letters from Low, who described the terrible suffering she saw as a nurse.
"Nearly opposite my table he's a man, who will die to night (sic)," Low wrote to her mother on Oct. 21, 1863. "He was brought in two or three weeks ago wounded through the lungs.
"The man opposite I pity more than any man I have ever seen."
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'Women and Investing' program offered
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation has started an educational program called "Women & Investing."
Barry Glennon, director of the bureau, said the initiative is designed for women of all ages, including those facing significant life and financial transitions, such as widowhood; divorce; job loss; retirement; first-time employment; career re-entry, inheritances and other changes.
He said research shows that nearly all women will be financially responsible for themselves or their families at some point in their lives, but many are under-prepared to face these challenges. Since women generally have a longer lifespan than men, the need for financial education may be greater.
The first offering of the "Women & Investing" program will be at GoodLife Programs & Activities (Centennial Senior Center) in Concord on April 17 and 24. The free, two-part workshop with lunch runs from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on both dates.
Registration is required by April 10. Interested participants can contact GoodLife at (603) 228-6630, email registergoodlifenh.org or view their website: www.goodlifenh.org
The bureau also is available to work with local groups to offer free workshops.
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New Hampshire archaeology to be discussed
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The New Hampshire Archaeological Society is offering some talks about the Shakers, the Manchester mills, Strawbery Banke and other topics this month.
The theme for April is "Brush Up on Archaeology," and focuses on the many disciplines involved in being an archaeologist.
Other topics include the history of Crown Point Road, a military supply route from Charlestown, N.H., through Vermont; a demonstration dig outside of the Division of Historical Resources in Concord; and Paleo-Indian culture in New Hampshire.
"Uncovering artifacts is only part of archaeology. The real find is discovering more about how people lived their lives, whether in the past century or a hundred thousand years ago," said Richard Boisvert, New Hampshire state archaeologist.
A complete listing of New Hampshire Archaeology Month events is available online at nhas.org/archmth.html.
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Man arrested in Londonderry home invasion
LONDONDERRY, N.H. (AP) -- Police say a New Hampshire man has been arrested in armed home invasion in the town of Londonderry.
Police say a caller reported seeing a man wearing a mask and plastic bags over his shoes walking up to a home on Friday. The caller then said he heard a female screaming and the man ran away.
The woman told police that the man came into the residence, pointed a gun at her and ordered her and her young child into a room. Police say it appears that that he then rummaged around the home before running away.
Police arrested 29-year-old Joshua Magee of Derry a short time later.
Magee was being held on $50,000 bail. It was not immediately known if he is being represented by a lawyer.