State / Region

Maine’s LePage Cuts Food Stamps for 6,500 Residents

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Augusta, Maine — More than 6,000 Maine residents will lose their food stamps benefits next month under newly enforced rules that require some recipients to have a job, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew said. Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration began in October to enforce a three-month limit on benefits for childless adults in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, unless they work at least 20 hours a …

Single-Payer Effort in Vt. Enters ‘Utility’ Phase

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The push for health care reform in Vermont entered a new phase last week, when Gov. Peter Shumlin announced that he would abandon his attempt to design a system that used broad-based taxes and other public sources to replace premiums paid by employers and employees. The sticker shock of the necessary taxes and …

Budget Will Dominate Next N.H. Session

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Concord — The state budget will serve as the political battleground between Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republican lawmakers in the upcoming session, with state spending on universities, prisons and services for vulnerable populations at the center. Between a landmark mental health settlement and a loss in state revenue from a controversial hospital tax, the state is already looking at more than $100 …

Vt. Exchange Extends Dec. Deadline

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Montpelier — Vermont Health Connect quietly extended the deadline for people to buy insurance coverage that would start Jan. 1, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday. The previous deadline was Monday, but VHC officials said people who sign up for coverage before Dec. 31 can still select a Jan. 1 …

Smaller Renewable Power Projects Up 58 Percent

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Montpelier — Vermont’s reliance on solar power is continuing to increase as producers take advantage of federal tax credits and the state’s growing affection for cleaner energy sources, officials said Tuesday. The amount of power to be produced …

N.H. GOP Sharply Divided

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Concord — A group of more than 100 Republican representatives met in a closed-door meeting Tuesday to forge a path into the coming legislative session with Rep. Bill O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, as their leader. Coming out of the meeting, representatives said they plan to propose a rule change …

Corinth Lawyer Will Lead Vt. PBS

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Corinth — A telecommunications lawyer from the Upper Valley has been named the new president and CEO of Vermont PBS, public television’s statewide affiliate. Corinth resident Holly Groschner’s appointment was announced Monday, and she plans to start the …

Deadline for Single-Payer Approaching

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gov. Peter Shumlin and his team say they will release their single-payer financing plan by Dec. 30, but as of last week, the Department of Health Reform was still running numbers. The Shumlin administration continues to explore different economic scenarios and examine the results. If they’re unsatisfactory, the …

FairPoint Phone Disruptions Continue

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Middlesex, Vt. — December is normally a busy time of year at Vermont Musical Instrument Repair, with people clamoring to get their clarinets and trombones fixed up for holiday concerts. But owner Jeff Vovakes’ phone has been silent for a week. He’s one of an unknown number of …

Officials: Don’t Skip the Flu Shot

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Concord — This year’s flu virus, in some cases, has changed, but infectious disease doctor Benjamin Chan’s advice has not. In September, just after the virus made its debut for the season in New Hampshire, the state epidemiologist …

FBI’s Boston Office Warns of Corruption in New England Casino Industry

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Boston — The head of the FBI’s Boston office said Monday he’s concerned the expansion of casino gambling might lead to an increase in public corruption and financial and organized crime. Special Agent Vincent Lisi, whose office covers Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, said the industry’s …

Studies: Progesterone Fails to Help Brain Injuries

Monday, December 15, 2014

Giving people with fresh traumatic brain injuries the hormone progesterone does no good, two major studies have found. The results dash some high hopes for treating a problem that hits millions each year, from combat troops to car crash victims. Brain injuries account for more than 2 million …

Monday, December 15, 2014

Concord — Despite divided control in the Legislature, lawmakers came together in 2014 to expand Medicaid and fund road and bridge repairs. They voted against legalizing a casino and repealing the death penalty, two long-debate issues that seemed ripe for passage. Republicans and Democrats point to the session …