State / Region

Ruth Sterling, left, and Laconia Mayor Ed Engler, unravel a poster after it was announced Friday April 24, 2015 in Laconia, N.H., that the city will be the new host for the annual Pumpkin Festival next October.  Held in Keene since 1991, the pumpkin festival tries each year to set a record for the number of carved and lighted pumpkins. Last year's event turned violent, with alcohol-fueled parties nearby leading to injuries, property damage and more than 100 arrests. The Keene City Council rejected a permit for 2015. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Laconia to Host 2015 Pumpkin Fest

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Laconia, n.h. — The annual New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival has a new home in the city of Laconia after its longtime host city declined to issue a permit following violence that led to more than 100 arrests near last year’s event. At an official announcement in the city’s historic train station Friday, Mayor Ed Engler said Laconia’s experience hosting an …

Vt. Senate Committee Mulls Tax

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Montpelier — The Senate Finance Committee is considering an extension of the sales tax that would go into effect over the next two years. Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, says the proposal would extend the sales tax to soda, candy and bottled water starting July 1. The tax would generate about $12 million for fiscal year 2016. In all, Senate Finance is looking to …

N.H. Insurance Department Exploring Health Payment Reforms

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Concord — Health care spending is high and rising in New Hampshire, and the state should consider holding both providers and insurers accountable for improving quality and containing costs, consultants hired by the insurance department said Friday. The department hired Compass Health Analytics and University of Massachusetts Medical School researchers as part of a larger project to explore health care payment reform. According …

Fewer Bears In N.H. Fish & Game 10-Year Plan

Friday, April 24, 2015

Concord — New Hampshire’s black bear population is at a record level, according to the state Fish and Game Department. The state is home to an estimated 5,700 black bears. In its proposed 10-year management plan, Fish and …

New England Teams Up on Energy

Friday, April 24, 2015

Hartford, Conn. — New England’s governors agreed Thursday to a mix of regional and state actions to cut persistently high energy costs. Five of the region’s six governors said they will work across the region while each state pursues individual projects. New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan did not …

Local & Regional Briefs for Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Emails Show Hassan Asked Sony CEO For Campaign Cash Concord — A fundraising pitch from Gov. Maggie Hassan’s campaign to the chief executive officer of Sony Entertainment is among the documents released in last year’s Sony hack that are now posted on Wikileaks. The emails show Hassan’s campaign …

Vt. Senate Plan Keeps Prison Open

Friday, April 24, 2015

Montpelier — The Senate Appropriations Committee has scrapped plans to shutter Southeast State Correctional Facility. The committee removed language from the budget bill, H.490, that would have initiated a two-year plan to close the Windsor facility, but the committee kept language calling for the Department of Corrections to …

Vt. Proposes Ban on Ivory Sale

Friday, April 24, 2015

Montpelier — A debate in Vermont over a proposed ban on the sale of ivory and rhinoceros horns in the small New England state is bringing home much wider issues of international terrorism and animal extinction. The latest concern among supporters of the proposed ban is a move …

Vt. Senate Panels OKs School Merger Plan

Friday, April 24, 2015

Montpelier — The Senate Education Committee has unanimously passed H.361, the education reform bill, following testimony Wednesday evening from dozens of Vermont parents, teachers, school board members, administrators and citizens. The Senate version of H.361 contains generous incentives to spur more school district mergers. The goal of the …

Paid Sick Leave OK’d in House

Friday, April 24, 2015

Montpelier — The Vermont House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to the bill that would require employers to offer three days of paid time off to permanent employees starting in 2016. The House took three hours of debate on the bill before amending it and narrowly passing it …

Northern Stage Is Teaming Up With Counterpart Theaters

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dorset, Vt. — Northern Stage will wrap up the inaugural season at its new theater next spring by staging one of the comedies in Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy The Norman Conquests. Artistic director Carol Dunne this week announced the company’s plan to produce Living Together, the first Conquest play, …

Hassan: Casino Market Too Small

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Concord — Gov. Maggie Hassan on Wednesday questioned whether New Hampshire could sustain two casinos but didn’t say if she would veto a two-casino bill currently making its way through the Legislature. “I don’t think the market supports a second casino,” she said. “I’ll have to understand what …

Overhaul of Boston’s T Proposed

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Boston — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is proposing major changes to Boston’s public transit system after pounding snowstorms this winter slowed the nation’s oldest subway system to a crawl, frustrating hundreds of thousands of riders. Baker filed a bill Wednesday that would create a new Fiscal Management and …