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Over the past few decades, birth rates across the world have been falling. Retirees are growing in number while the number of young working people is relatively flat. And that’s a problem if you need those workers to in some ways help pay for the rising cost of aging.

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Voters will head to the polls Tuesday in more than a dozen New Hampshire communities that opted to postpone their local elections due to last week's nor’easter.

Derry, Londonderry, Litchfield and Newfields are among the communities that chose not to hold their Town Meeting elections last Tuesday.

Voters in those towns and several others will instead cast ballots Tuesday on a number of issues, including local town council races, town budgets, and infrastructure projects.

 

  Five communities in New Hampshire's Seacoast have formed a campaign to provide energy efficiency and clean energy options at bulk discounts for homeowners and businesses.

Participants in "Energize 360" will get a free site visit, a Home Heating Index score, and an analysis of their energy usage specific to their home. The initiative will offer energy audits, weatherization, solar electric systems, and heat pump installations to help qualify for rebates and incentives.

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  New Hampshire would face a higher burden of proof in terminating a parent's rights under a bill before a House committee.

The House Judiciary Committee is holding a public hearing Tuesday that would require a court to find proof beyond a reasonable doubt that parental rights should be terminated. Under current law, the standard is clear and convincing evidence, which is a lower burden of proof.

Sean Hurley, NHPR

Among the groups in New Hampshire expressing concern over President Donald Trump’s proposed budget are local providers of the Meals on Wheels program.

Meals on Wheels services are administered by local organizations all over the country and is not a federal program. But those local providers receive a varying, but substantial amount of money from the federal Department of Health and Human Services. President Trump is proposing to cut that agency’s budget by 18 percent.

Portsmouth’s City Attorney is advising City Councilors not to pursue a ban on single-use plastic bags. It's the latest in what has been a persistent legal question about whether municipalities have the authority to enact such a ban.

NH Division of Resource and Economic Development

During a previously unannounced trade mission to Montreal, Governor Chris Sununu spoke warmly on Monday about hundreds of years of economic ties between Quebec and New Hampshire.

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Although the federal budget is in its very early stages, President's Trump's proposal to severely cut funding for many federal agencies has several N.H. agencies contemplating a range of possibilities -- from best- to worst-case scenarios -- and gearing up to fight possible cuts to programs they deem essential.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The House Finance Committee will be busy this week with just about two weeks remaining to complete its version of the state’s new two-year budget.

NHPR Staff

  Twenty-four towns may be receiving additional state education money under a bill before the House.

Lawmakers are voting Thursday on legislation that would provide $9 million in back payments to the districts, who allege they were underpaid by the state in recent budgets. The city of Dover sued the state in 2015 over a law that capped how much fast-growing school districts could receive in state aid.

A state court ruled the cap unconstitutional last year. The bill offers back payments to any towns affected by it.

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  Toll booth workers could be a thing of the past under a bill before the New Hampshire House.

The legislation would allow the state to implement all-electronic tolling at locations in Hooksett, Dover and Rochester. All of the locations currently have E-ZPass lanes along with traditional toll collectors.

The House Transportation Committee is taking testimony Wednesday on the bill. It's already passed the Senate.

If New Hampshire does move to all-electronic tolling, the bill gives users an option to purchase an "anonymous" transponder.

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  New Hampshire's dairy farmers will soon be one step closer to getting financial relief.

The House is taking up legislation Thursday to provide $2 million in relief payments to dairy farmers strained by last year's drought.

The bill has already passed the Senate.

The $2 million is less than farmers had initially hoped for and will come months after they first asked for relief. The drought forced many farmers to spend more on feed or reduce the size of their herds. Dairy farmers say they're already facing a financial strain due to low federal milk prices.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

  U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is holding a roundtable discussion in Somersworth to highlight her opposition to proposed cuts to the Meals on Wheels program.

The popular service that provides food to the elderly faces a sharp funding cut under President Donald Trump's budget proposal. The exact size of the cut is unknown, but White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said the government "can't spend money on programs just because they sound good."

University of New Hampshire

Monday is the vernal equinox: that’s the beginning of spring, according to astronomers. For ecologists, spring isn’t just a matter of the earth’s rotation around the sun.  

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Among the proposed cuts in President Trump's budget plan is a home heating assistance program that provides help to nearly 28,000 low-income New Hampshire residents.

Happy Friday! (And Happy St. Patrick's Day!) No shortage of stuff going on in the Granite State this week. Keep scrolling to catch up on everything from local elections to local bird celebrities and more.

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When Governor Sununu unveiled his $12 billion state budget last month he stressed some priorities: full-day kindergarten, money to hire more state troopers, and a fund to help cities and towns pay for road and school projects.

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March 20th marks the Vernal Equinox.  It's one of two points on our calendar when day and night are of equal length. More or less. It may be more of a convenient handle we put on an arbitrary point on our annual revolution around the sun, but it is significant in that it marks the point in the year where we start seeing more daylight than darkness.  So with the days growing longer, this is a great time to talk about photoperiod.

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A bill that would create a statewide child advocacy office got the full support of the New Hampshire Senate Thursday.

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A bill that would hire a full-time attorney to enforce state election laws  unanimously cleared the Senate Thursday. 

Currently the state has one half-time employee charged with investigating potential voter fraud.

Senator Bette Lasky, who sponsored the bill, says this workload is “virtually impossible” for one person to do part-time.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

For parents serving time behind bars, remaining close with their kids can be difficult.

But one nonprofit works to help connect inmates in New Hampshire with their children simply through reading.

FILE

A  bill that would reduce the number of people who can receive food stamps in New Hampshire cleared the Senate Thursday along party lines.

According to the bill's critics, an estimated 17,000 families with children could lose benefits as a result.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Republican-controlled Senate Thursday yet again killed a bill along party lines to create a state minimum wage in New Hampshire.

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State Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut says he anonymously donated $1,000 to help fund a school board’s legal defense against the department he now leads.

joycecraig.org

Former Manchester Alderman Joyce Craig is making another bid for mayor of the state's largest city.

The Democrat announced her candidacy Thursday.

Craig first ran for mayor in 2015, losing by just 64 votes to Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.

Speaking NHPR's Morning Edition, Craig says she would bring a new approach to some of the issues facing the city.

Nathaniel Boesch

The Bookshelf is NHPR's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. 

If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

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The state Senate is expected to vote Thursday on a bill that would gradually increase the minimum wage in New Hampshire to $12 an hour by September of 2018.

New Hampshire currently has no minimum wage, effectively defaulting to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. 

  It’s Sunshine Week, a nationwide event organized each year by the American Society of News Editors to highlight the public’s right to know about how their government operates.

David Saad is president of Right to Know New Hampshire, a nonprofit organization that advocates for greater transparency in government.

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  Democrats are introducing legislation aimed at protecting towns from lawsuits that postponed Tuesday's elections due to a winter storm.

The bill says any municipal elections set for Tuesday that were postponed are "legalized, ratified and confirmed." Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn is the bill's sponsor.

Dozens of towns moved their elections due to the snowstorm, despite Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's calls to hold them. He suggested towns could be open to lawsuits if they chose to postpone.

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Authorities in New Hampshire say a juvenile has been charged with murder after a man was found apparently shot to death and a woman was found with a gunshot wound in a Farmington home.

Assistant Attorney General Jason Casey says police responded to a call at the residence just after 12 p.m. Wednesday. They found two adults with gunshot wounds. The man was pronounced dead and the woman was hospitalized with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Casey says the juvenile was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder.

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