News & Notes 20/07/09

Governor’s updates

Covid-19 updateAs of June 29As of July 6
Total cases statewide5,7605,914
Total current infections statewide958826
Total deaths statewide367382
New cases212 (June 23 – June 30)143 (July 1 – July 6)
Current infections: Hillsborough County586512
Current infections: Merrimack County6550
Current infections: Rockingham County194157
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Governor’s updates
On June 30, Gov. Chris Sununu issued Emergency Orders No. 57 and No. 58 amid the state’s ongoing response to Covid-19. Emergency Order No. 57 gives temporary emergency wage enhancements of $3 per hour to park management and roadside laborer employees of the New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources whose duties include restroom cleaning and trash disposal functions at facilities within Hampton Beach State Park. The order is applicable for any qualifying time worked from June 19 through Oct. 23.

Emergency Order No. 58 is an order terminating Emergency Order No. 3, which was issued on March 17, prohibiting all providers of electric, gas, water, telephone, cable and other utility services in New Hampshire from disconnecting or discontinuing service for non-payment during the Covid-19 pandemic. Under Emergency Order No. 58, Emergency Order No. 3 will terminate on July 15.

On July 6, the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR), in conjunction with the state Department of Revenue Administration and New Hampshire Employment Security, announced the opening of the New Hampshire Self Employed Livelihood Fund (SELF) application period. Sununu had announced the establishment of the fund in a June 25 press conference. The New Hampshire SELF program builds on the success of the Main Street Relief Fund. To qualify, a business must not be permanently closed or be in bankruptcy and must not be a nonprofit, a franchise or a national chain. Applications can be accessed online at and will be accepted through July 17.

Also on July 6, Sununu issued a statement in response to President Trump’s upcoming rally in Portsmouth on July 11, saying that it is “imperative” that all attendees wear masks. “I am pleased to see the campaign will be handing out face masks and hand sanitizer to all attendees, as has been true at all public gatherings … where social distancing is hard to maintain,” he said.

Details of all Emergency Orders and other announcements can be found at

All the bills
The New Hampshire House of Representatives sent several bills to the governor’s desk when it met June 30 for the last day of the 2020 session. Here are some of the highlights, according to multiple press releases from the House and the Senate:

• HB 1166, HB 1129, HB 1246, and HB 1247 — pieces of the Granite Promise Plan — include provisions for workers’ protections; annual meeting and budget provisions for municipalities, school districts and village districts; enhancements for child care scholarships and long-term care facilities, and modest protections for renters and homeowners now that the moratoriums on evictions for nonpayment of rent and foreclosures expired July 1.

• HB 1240 includes protections for victims of sexual assault by those in a position of authority in the education system, and authorizes temporary marriage officiant licenses and apportions a portion of the license fee to domestic violence prevention.

• HB 1162 is an omnibus bill encompassing several pieces of legislation aimed at increasing equity and safeguards for Granite State children and families. “This legislation … allows for unmarried couples to adopt children … and provides legal security for all children brought into the world through assisted reproduction,” chair of the House Children and Family Law committee Rep. Pat Long (D-Manchester) said in a statement. “This legislation also establishes and improves oversight of children’s services, including the office of the child advocate, and clarifies statute providing for insurance coverage during children’s early intervention services.”

• HB 731 would increase the state’s minimum wage gradually to $12 by January 2023.

• HB 1582 is an omnibus bill relative to veterans’ protections. “In this legislation we assist our veterans to start businesses, find jobs and apprenticeships matching their skill set, obtain physical and mental health services, prevent suicide, achieve license and certification reciprocation, access educational opportunities for themselves and their families, and we continue the fight to end veteran homelessness,” Sen. Jon Morgan (D-Brentwood) said in a statement.

• HB 1111 would expand broadband access across the state.

• HB 1558 is comprehensive education legislation. “The comprehensive education bill passed today is very important to our schools and the children they serve. Assuring that students have access to special education and behavioral health resources and that schools have the resources to offer needed programs will be especially important as education moves back into the classroom,” Rep. Mel Myler (D-Hopkinton), chair of the House Education Committee, said in a statement.

• Comprehensive election law bills HB 1266 and HB 1672 — “Including concern for Covid-19 as a specific reason to request an absentee ballot will provide clarity to voters in the upcoming fall election, and the provision to permanently expand absentee balloting will assure equal access to elections moving forward. I urge the governor to sign this crucial legislation,” Rep. David E. Cote (D-Nashua), chair of the House Election Law Committee, said in a statement. House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the House voting to concur with HB 1672: “The Attorney General and Secretary of State have already issued guidance allowing absentee balloting in the primary and general election for those who have concerns voting in person due to Covid-19 ensuring all New Hampshire citizens are able to vote in the 2020 elections. Spending CARES Act funds for brand new programs, such as online voter registration, is unacceptable and puts our state’s reputation of having clean and fair elections at risk.”

• HB 578, HB 1246, HB 1520, HB 1623 and HB 1639 address health care needs in the wake of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

• HB 1280 is an omnibus bill that increases prescription drug affordability and improves access to affordable health care for Granite Staters.

• HB 1494 covers a variety of workers’ protections including health and safety standards and a state death benefit.

• HB 1623 is omnibus legislation that seeks to ensure coverage and reimbursement for health care services provided through telemedicine on the same basis as services provided in office visits.

• HB 1639 addresses long-term public health crises. “Long running public health emergencies such as New Hampshire’s opioid crisis may very well be exacerbated by the economic and social impacts of Covid-19,” Sen. Tom Sherman (D-Rye) said in a statement. “This legislation takes steps to give the state the necessary funding and tools to gain a clearer picture of what works, and how we can expand treatment and recovery options.”

No indoor vaping
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has modified the definition of “smoking” in the Indoor Smoking Act to include the use of e-cigarettes and devices. Under the new law, according to a press release from DHHS, smoking is defined as “having a lit cigarette, pipe, or any device designed to produce the effect of smoking, including devices … that may include, but are not limited to, hookahs, e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, and vape pens.” The Indoor Smoking Act says all tobacco products are prohibited in enclosed workplaces and enclosed places accessible to the public, including restaurants, bars and vape shops.

The homeowner of 10 Currier Dr. in Manchester got an unwelcome surprise the night of July 2 when a car crashed through her living room while she was watching TV. According to a press release from the Manchester Police Department, the car had swerved off Wellington Road, hit a utility pole, then crashed into the home. Both the driver and the homeowner were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, though there was significant damage to the pole and the home. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Final paving work was scheduled to begin July 7 on Route 102 in Londonderry and will continue for about two weeks, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day, according to a press release from the NH Department of Transportation. There will be alternating one-way traffic between the Derry/Londonderry town line and the intersection of Michael’s Way. It is part of a $62.2 million project that encompasses work on I-93 in the Exit 4 Derry/Londonderry area and Route 102 reconstruction, according to the release.

The Stone House in Hooksett, eligible to be placed on the state and national registers of historic places as an example of an early 20th-century period house, may be demolished to make way for a storage facility, according to a press release from the Hooksett Heritage Commission, which is petitioning to stop the demolition. The commission is hosting a public hearing Thursday, July 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 16 Main St.

Jim Hansen, a fifth-grade teacher at New Searles Elementary School in Nashua, has been named New Hampshire’s recipient of the National University System-Sanford Teacher Award and will receive $10,000 in recognition of his work supporting student development and achievement, according to a press release. Hansen frequently travels to Kenya and uses his fifth-graders’ poems as learning tools for Kenyan students, then brings his Kenyan students’ poems back to New Hampshire to show his students that they have similar dreams and aspirations despite their different cultures and life experiences.

News & Notes 20/06/25

Governor’s updates

Covid-19 updateAs of June 15As of June 22
Total cases statewide5,3455,558
Total current infections statewide984929
Total deaths statewide320339
New cases321 (June 9 – June 15)233 (June 16 – June 22)
Current infections: Hillsborough County621586
Current infections: Merrimack County7466
Current infections: Rockingham County199185
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

On June 16, Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-11, establishing the New Hampshire Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency. According to a press release, the commission is composed of members of the public, representatives of the NAACP and the ACLU, as well as members of the state’s Police Standards and Training Council and Commission for Human Rights. The newly established commission is being given 45 days to engage with stakeholders in the community and develop recommendations for reforms to enhance transparency, accountability and community relations in law enforcement in the state. Its report will be posted publicly on the governor’s website.

On June 17, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 53, an amendment to Emergency Order No. 36, which had been issued on April 24, ensuring worker’s compensation coverage of state first responders who have been exposed to the coronavirus. Per Emergency Order No. 53, “first responder” includes any individual covered by the definition of “emergency response/public safety” worker and any member of the New Hampshire National Guard ordered into active state service.

On June 18, Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-12, an order directing the formal establishment of the Governor’s Youth Advisory Council on Substance Misuse and Prevention. Members of the council advise Sununu, from a youth perspective, on legislation, events and media pertaining to substance misuse. The council consists of up to 21 members, each appointed by Sununu, in grades 9 through 12 in the state. The council meets monthly and will submit a report of its activities to Sununu on or before Nov. 30.

On June 22, Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-13, an order amending Executive Order 2020-11, an order issued six days earlier that establishes the New Hampshire Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency. Per Executive Order 2020-13, a criminal defense attorney will be added as a member of the commission.

Details of all Emergency and Executive Orders can be found at

The New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families has made “substantial progress” over the past few years, according to new data released by the Department of Health and Human Services. “When I took office in 2017, New Hampshire’s DCYF was in crisis with unacceptable results for our kids,” Gov. Sununu said in a press release. “We made children a top priority, created a new set of standards, made the right investments and have exceeded expectations with our outcomes.” DCYF Director Joseph Ribsam said in the release that the department has rebuilt its Child Protection System, and in doing so has seen positive trends like caseloads going down, workforce numbers going up, and the number of children finding permanent homes going up. For example, the average assessment caseload per social worker reached 93 in January 2016 and is now at 17, and the number of overdue open assessments has gone from 3,500 in November 2015 to 747 as of June, according to the press release. Ribsam said in the release that these trends were evident even prior to the pandemic, during which fewer calls have been coming in.

Food access
A new website,, has been created to help elderly and immunocompromised patients and community members in need find food options that can be delivered to their homes. According to a press release, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health is collaborating with community partners to facilitate food distribution to those populations during the pandemic. Locally, that includes Granite United Way, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Families in Transition and the office of Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig. “It’s been difficult for some of my patients to know what resources exist,” Roshani R. Patel, M.D., a surgeon at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester, said in the release. “They are overwhelmed. Many can pay for food but can’t find a central location to see what their options are.” The website includes a list of restaurants, small grocers and farms, support and delivery help, according to the release.

Septic troubles
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has seen an increased percentage of applications to replace failed individual septic systems over the last few months compared to 2019, according to a press release. With more people staying home due to the pandemic, there is an increased use of home septic systems, and system overload may be contributing to the increased number of failures, according to the release. In addition, disposing of antibacterial cleaning materials in septic systems can also lead to premature system failure. Visit for information about proper septic system maintenance.

Ride on
The Manchester Mounted Patrol Unit — police officers Kelly McKenney and Andrew Choi along with horses General Stark and Valor — has received a $1,200 donation from Members First Credit Union, a sponsorship that helps keep the self-funded unit on patrol, according to a press release. The unit has been patrolling the city, including the downtown area, since 1999 and serves as an ambassador of the Manchester Police Department by attending public events, parades, schools and police demonstrations, according to the release. Donations like these help cover expenses associated with operating the unit. Find “Friends of Manchester Mounted Patrol” on Facebook.

Teacher of the Year
The New Hampshire Department of Education has chosen 11 semifinalists for the 2021 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year award, selected from 30 nominees, according to a press release. The semifinalists are Alyssa Balboni, third-fourth grade, Parker-Varney, Manchester; Danielle Boutin, ELL, Ledge Street School, Nashua; Sarah Carlson, third grade, Plymouth Elementary; Maryanne Cullinan, Enrichment, Great Brook Middle School, Antrim; Christina Duffy, Social Studies, Hampton Academy; Lauren Elliott, first grade, Winchester School; Steven Juster, English, Londonderry High School; Jay Keough, Criminal Justice, Spaulding High School and R.W. Creteau Regional Technology Center, Rochester; Kathleen McCaffrey-Pomerleau, second grade, Main Street School, Exeter; Benjamin Rodon, Humanities, Amherst Middle School; and Tina Sturdivant, Biology, Pinkerton Academy, Derry. This year, instead of site visits, candidates submitted videos that showed how they transitioned to remote instruction. Now the semifinalists will be tested on their public speaking skills by visiting the department to answer this question: “What is your platform and how can you use that to elevate the teaching profession?” From there, finalists will be visited in their schools in September, if schools are open, with a final recipient selected in October, according to the release.

The Warner Historical Society will present a free online talk about the effect of the railroad on farming and mill development along the Warner River on Friday, June 26, at 7 p.m., according to a press release. Email to register. During the discussion, you will be able to ask questions and talk to the presenters.

City Hall in Manchester has resumed in-person services, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to a press release. Masks are required for employees who work with the public and are strongly recommended for anyone entering the building. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available. Using online services is still recommended if possible, and processing fees will now be waived temporarily for all online services, according to the release.

Get your dog some ice cream and help the canines of Second Chance Ranch Rescue in New Boston at the same time. Throughout the month of July, Dairy Queen on Second Street in Manchester will be donating 100 percent of proceeds from every pup cup sold at the drive-thru, according to a press release.

Free bagged lunches will be available to kids under 18 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Nashua Public Library this summer, according to a press release. There will also be bags of nonperishable foods available Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The library parking lot will have a designated space with a curbside pickup sign. You can either use the intercom to request food or call 589-4600, and there is no ID required.

News & Notes 20/6/18

Governor’s updates

Covid-19 updateAs of June 8As of June 15
Total cases statewide5,0795,345
Total current infections statewide1,401984
Total deaths statewide286320
New cases449 (June 1 – June 8)321 (June 9 – June 15)
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

In the past week, Gov. Chris Sununu made multiple announcements in the state’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On June 9, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 50, which temporarily gives compensation for travel expenses for members of the General Court in New Hampshire.

In a June 11 press conference, Sununu announced the June 15 expiration of his stay-at-home order. The order had been issued back on March 26 in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the Granite State. The stay-at-home order has now transitioned into a “Safer at Home” advisory, which removes the social gathering limitation of 10 people or less, as well as the classification of “essential” versus “nonessential” businesses.

Several phased reopening guidelines for more business sectors in New Hampshire were also announced during the press conference, as part of Sununu’s “Stay at Home 2.0” plan. As of June 15, traditional gyms were able to reopen at 50 percent capacity to normal activities, such as aerobics, yoga, dance and martial arts.

Amateur sports, also on June 15, were able to move into Phase 2 of reopening, which includes the reopening of indoor athletic facilities for low physical contact sports, as well as expanding group training sessions.

Bowling alleys, small racetracks, tourist trains and organized motorcycle rides were all able to reopen on June 15, as part of the revamped guidance on outdoor attractions. Regarding New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Sununu said his office is still working with officials there on creating a viable plan for reopening with capacity guidance.

Charitable gambling facilities, museums, libraries and funeral homes also received new reopening guidance that began on June 15.

Beginning June 29, indoor movie theaters, performing arts centers and amusement parks will be permitted to reopen, all with capacity limitations. As of June 15, flexed guidance documents for those sectors are still being finalized.

On June 11, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 51, terminating Emergency Orders No. 4 and No. 24, which had temporarily prohibited landlords in the state from issuing eviction or foreclosure notices to their tenants. Both Emergency Orders No. 4 and No. 24 will terminate on July 1. Per Emergency Order No. 51, the minimum notice period for eviction notices has been extended from seven to 30 days, for those based on nonpayment of rent from March 17 through June 11.

On June 15, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 52, an order regarding public health guidance for business operations and advising Granite Staters they are safer at home. Emergency Order No. 52 also includes Exhibits A and B, which provide universal guidelines for all employees and employers and industry-specific guidelines for businesses and organizations, respectively. The order will remain in effect until at least Aug. 1.

Details of all of Sununu’s announcements and orders can be found at

Gubernatorial election

On June 12, Gov. Chris Sununu announced on Twitter that he has officially filed for re-election for a third term as governor. He’ll be running against the winner of the Democratic gubernatorial primary, held on Sept. 8, which so far features two candidates. Executive councilor Andru Volinsky also filed on June 12, as did State Senate majority leader Dan Feltes, according to press releases from their respective campaigns. The 2020 state gubernatorial election will take place on Nov. 3.

State House candidates

More than 400 Democratic candidates have filed for more than 380 seats in the New Hampshire House, according to a June 12 press release. The candidates included 114 first-time filers, 202 women and 45 educators, the release said. On the Republican side, 385 candidates have filed, according to the state’s Committee to Elect House Republicans.

College plans

At least three New Hampshire colleges and universities have announced their plans for the upcoming fall semester.

Saint Anselm College in Manchester will resume on-campus classes on Aug. 19, following the approval of its Board of Trustees, according to a June 9 press release. In a letter sent to students and faculty, College President Dr. Joseph Favazza detailed a school calendar that would include beginning classes in mid-August and ending the semester on campus prior to Thanksgiving, on Nov. 20. Final exams for the Fall 2020 semester will take place remotely. The academic calendar also includes an expanded break between the fall and spring semesters.

Rivier University in Nashua will also welcome its students back to the campus for face-to-face instruction in the fall. “While we confidently anticipate our campus reopening, the university is taking a number of steps to ensure students, faculty and staff will use best practices to create an environment that supports the health and wellbeing of our entire community,” Rivier President Sr. Paula Marie Buley, IHM, wrote in a June 9 letter to students.

Southern New Hampshire University, meanwhile, will be extending remote learning for campus students through the fall, according to a June 10 press release. The university is also reducing undergraduate campus tuition to its online rates for all students.

Manchester budget

On June 9, the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen adopted the FY2021 budget by a vote of 8-7, according to a press release. In addition, finance director William Sanders released the final FY2020 general fund expenditure and revenue forecast, which predicts an operating surplus of $1.6 million. The approved budget allocates $159 million to the city and $183 to the school district, as well as funding for all existing collective bargaining contracts and salary agreements on both the city and school district sides.

Craigslist scams

State officials are warning potential renters of property scams via Craigslist, according to a press release. The scam involves an apartment or house that is offered for rent on the popular listings website, which will often contain details and photos in an attempt to convince consumers that it’s a legitimate offer. When the scam artist, posing as a landlord, is contacted, the consumer is asked to pay a reservation fee upfront through a bank transfer or electronic money transfer service such as Cash App or PayPal. If the consumer asks to visit the property before making the payment, the “landlord” creates an excuse. “Consumers should not transfer or wire money to people they do not know,” Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald said in a statement. “Most legitimate landlords will accept a personal check or money order.” If you or someone you know may have fallen victim to this scam, you can file a complaint at or call the state’s Consumer Hotline at 271-3641.

Curbside spirits

More of the state’s Liquor & Wine Outlet stores are now offering curbside pickup, following a successful pilot program by the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, according to a press release. As of June 11, curbside and in-store pickup orders can be placed at Stores No. 81 (619 Sand Road, Pembroke), No. 33 (1100 Bicentennial Drive, Manchester), No. 74 (16 Michel’s Way, Londonderry), as well as at Store No. 73 on Interstate 95 South in Hampton and Store No. 67 on Interstate 93 South in Hooksett. Place your order at least one day in advance by visiting and selecting a 15-minute time slot between noon and 5 p.m. Orders must be a minimum of two bottles. No same-day pickup is available, but you can place orders for up to two weeks in advance.

The New Hampshire State Forest Nursery in Boscawen announced that its spring seedling sales were up 15 percent this year over last year, which was also a record year. A total of 517 orders were placed, for $193,039, and 2/3 of the orders came from New Hampshire residents, according to a press release. If you want to receive the 2021 seedling catalog, visit

Liberty House in Manchester has launched a special fundraising campaign called “Mission Renovate & Restore: Combating Veteran Homelessness, which will help raise money to increase residential capacity and expand services, according to a press release. An anonymous donor contributed $250,000, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar between now and July 30. Visit

The fireworks that were scheduled to start July 1 at Hampton Beach might be put on hold thanks to piping plovers, a protected species that has nested on the beach, right where fireworks crews would normally set up, according to a press release. Check the official Hampton Beach Facebook page for updates.

News & Notes 20/6/11

NH vigils and protests
As in cities across the nation, demonstrations and vigils related to the killing of George Floyd continued over the last week in southern New Hampshire, as well as in other parts of the state.
On June 2, hundreds of people attended a peaceful candlelight vigil at Stark Park in Manchester that was organized by Black Lives Matter.
Peaceful demonstrations were also held in both Concord and Nashua over the weekend. In Concord, almost 2,000 people attended a Black Lives Matter protest on June 6 that began at Memorial Field, and ended at the New Hampshire Statehouse, according to the New Hampshire program of the American Friends Service Committee, which organized the event along with student leaders of Concord High School.
About 1,200 people joined the Greater Nashua Area branch of the NAACP for a peaceful vigil in Greeley Park in Nashua, also on June 6, according to the Black Lives Matter Nashua Facebook page.
More Black Lives Matter demonstrations are scheduled later this week, including in both Londonderry and Merrimack on June 12. Visit
After the June 2 vigil in Manchester, the Manchester Police Department made 13 arrests (later arresting an additional three people) from a group of people gathered on South Willow Street, most of whom were charged with disorderly conduct and rioting, according to police press releases.
“It’s important for the public to understand the difference between both of last night’s events. The Stark Park event was very well organized and remained a peaceful candlelight vigil in memory of George Floyd,” Manchester Police Chief Carlo Capano said in a statement. “The acts of violence, rioting and disrupting our community in any way will not be tolerated and the two different events should not be confused.”
In a statement released the following day, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig thanked the organizers of the vigil for a peaceful event and the chief for his department’s work.

Covid-19 updates
State health officials reported June 8 that the total number of Covid-19 cases in New Hampshire is 5,079. Three additional deaths attributed to the virus were reported on June 7, for a total number of 286, or roughly 6 percent of all cases. The overall percentage of people in New Hampshire who have recovered from the virus has risen to 67 percent, or 3,392 of all the confirmed cases, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. The percentage of hospitalizations, meanwhile, continues to decrease — as of June 8, just 10 percent, or 492 people, who have contracted the virus in the state have required hospitalization.

Governor’s updates
Gov. Chris Sununu made multiple announcements in the state’s ongoing response to Covid-19 in the past week.
In a June 3 press conference, Sununu gave a PowerPoint presentation on Covid-19 data trends in New Hampshire. The data included ongoing downward trends in both positive test results and hospital bed uses in the Granite State over the last several weeks. However, Sununu predicted the positive test rate will still hover around 2 to 6 percent for at least several more weeks, due to so many people being asymptomatic with the virus.
On June 5, Sununu signed Emergency Order 2020-10, extending the state of emergency in New Hampshire due to Covid-19 for another three weeks through at least June 26. It’s the fourth extension he has issued since originally declaring a state of emergency on March 13.
Also on June 5, Sununu announced the release of several phased reopening guidelines for more business sectors as part of his “Stay at Home 2.0” plan. As of June 5, Seacoast beaches are now open for sunbathing, lounging and other traditional stationary activities. Beachgoers must still remain at least six feet apart from other groups, and parking restrictions are in place to limit the number of people. Ocean Boulevard on Hampton Beach remains closed to vehicular traffic through Labor Day.
Golf courses are now open to non-New Hampshire residents as of June 5. Pro shops have reopened, and two golfers are now allowed in golf carts instead of one.
Several types of outdoor recreational attractions, such as batting cages, disc golf, ropes courses, zip lines, natural science centers, caves, petting zoos and balloon rides were also permitted to reopen on June 5. Attractions that involve larger groups in enclosed spaces, such as amusement parks, water parks, race tracks, tourist trains and indoor attractions, remain closed but will be considered for reopening in later phases, Sununu said.
Beginning June 15, restaurants across the Granite State will be permitted to reopen for indoor dining services. Restaurants in Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham and Strafford counties will be able to reopen at 50 percent capacity, while those in the rest of the state can reopen at 100 percent capacity, provided all tables are spaced six feet apart.
Also beginning June 15, wedding ceremonies in New Hampshire can resume at indoor venues at up to 50 percent capacity, with six-foot distanced tables.
Overnight summer camps in the state will be allowed to open June 28, with several restrictions in place. All campers must be tested for Covid-19 both before and after they report for camp. Campers staying longer than two weeks must get tested a third time. No visitors will be allowed.
Details of all of Sununu’s announcements and orders can be found at

Granite Promise
On June 8, Senate Democrats announced the rollout of the Granite Promise Plan, a package of legislative reforms to help New Hampshire through the relief and recovery efforts amid the state’s ongoing response to Covid-19. The package consists of three legislative amendments, all of which have been or will be heard this week before the Senate Commerce, Health and Human Services and Election Law and Municipal Affairs committees. “The Granite Promise Plan addresses both the immediate needs of New Hampshire workers, families and communities, as well as the long-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic,” Sen. Majority Leader Dan Feltes said in a statement. “The measures include permanent increases to New Hampshire’s weekly unemployment insurance benefits, funds to shore up our unemployment trust fund, advances worker safety, supports family businesses … and improves computer systems and protections for homeowners and renters.”

Voter guidance
On June 3, state officials released guidance focused on issues related to voter registration for the September primary and the November general election. Per the guidance, all voters are eligible to request an absentee ballot if they are unable to vote in person due to being sick from Covid-19 or fear they may be exposed to the virus. Voters can contact their town or city clerk or the Secretary of State’s office to request an absentee voter registration package. On June 4, the Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee passed an amendment to HB 1627-FN, titled the Coronavirus Election Protection Act of 2020. “Ensuring fair and accessible elections to every eligible New Hampshire voter is of critical importance,” Sen. Melanie Levesque, a sponsor of the amendment, said in a statement. “It is of everyone’s interest that we do everything in our power to protect public health, ensure free and fair elections, and work with our local election officials as New Hampshire continues to passionately participate in our democracy.”

Photo: A crowd gathered at the New Hampshire Statehouse in Concord June 6 after marching from Memorial Field. Photo by Forest Simon.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has issued advisories that cyanobacteria blooms have been observed on Clough Pond in Loudon and Millville Pond in Salem. The department advises the public to avoid contact with water that has elevated cyanobacteria conditions, and to keep pets out of the water as well, as cyanobacteria can produce toxins that pose health risks to people and animals. The advisory was still in effect as of June 9 and will remain in effect until the risk has abated.

The New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton recently announced the appointment of Paul DeHart of Concord as chaplain. DeHart served in the Army as a German linguist and in the Air Force as an intelligence office and instructor, and he has also worked as a church pastor, high school teacher and hospice chaplain, according to a press release from the veterans home.

A donation collection to benefit Hero Pups will be hosted by the American Legion Post 90 Riders on Saturday, June 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Raymond. People are invited to bring gently used towels, blankets, leashes and crates to the event at 32 Harriman Hill Road. There will be hamburgers and hot dogs, a raffle and Hero Pups in training. Drive-up service will be available as well.

The University of New Hampshire at Manchester is launching a new Master of Science program in Biotechnology: Industrial and Biomedical Sciences, to promote workforce development in the growing field of biotechnology, according to a press release. The program, designed for working professionals and those with related academic backgrounds, will be available for part-time or full-time enrollment, according to the release, and graduates will gain the skills needed for jobs in biotechnology research and development, medical testing, pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturing, and more.

News & Notes 6/4/2020

Covid-19 updates
On June 1, state health officials announced that the total number of positive test results for Covid-19 in the Granite State has reached 4,685. Three additional deaths as a result of the coronavirus were reported on May 31, for a total of 245, or roughly 5 percent of all cases. Around 63 percent of all people in New Hampshire who have contracted the virus have since recovered, data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows. The number of new positive test results for the virus in New Hampshire continues to fluctuate daily, from just 34 new cases on May 26, to 101 on May 28 and back down to 39 on June 1.

Governor’s updates
In the past week, Gov. Chris Sununu made multiple announcements in the state’s ongoing response to Covid-19.
On May 26, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 48, which provides new special education requirements to support remote learning in New Hampshire. Under the order, each school district is required to hold Individualized Education Plan team meetings to consider extended school year services for every child by June 30 at the latest. Each school district must also ensure that it holds IEP team meetings for every student identified for special education services no later than 30 calendar days before the first day of that district’s 2020-2021 school year.
On May 28, Sununu announced the establishment of the Governor’s Covid-19 Equity Response Team to address the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on the Granite State. The team, composed of state leaders in racial and ethnic disparities and health equity, will work on the collection and release of demographic data, as well as the analysis of social, cultural and systemic factors related to Covid-19. The team began meeting immediately and is expected to present recommendations within 30 days of May 28, according to a press release.
Also on May 28, Sununu, in a joint statement with Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette and Adjutant General David Mikoliaties, announced the state’s plans to break down most clinical surge flex facilities across the state, starting this week. The state does plan to keep four facilities operationalized in Manchester, Plymouth, Durham and Littleton. The National Guard will help hospitals, towns and the state DHHS pack up the locations. “We have ensured we have the ability to reopen four of the flexible surge sites within 48 hours if the need arises,” Shibinette said in the statement.
Also on May 28, Sununu issued a statement following President Trump’s announcement via Twitter that day that he will extend the National Guard’s Title 32 status through mid-August. Sununu said, in part, that this will “allow our National Guard to continue to provide critical services.” Sununu had written a letter to the president on May 22, urging him to extend the Title 32 status of up to 450 New Hampshire National Guard personnel from June 24 through Sept. 30.
On May 29, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 49, extending Emergency Orders No. 2 (no dine-in restaurant services), No. 6 (temporary authorization of takeout beer and wine at restaurants with liquor licenses), No. 16 (public gatherings limited to no more than 10 people) and No. 27 (restriction of hotel services to all but essential workers) from May 31 to June 15.
Also on May 29, during a press conference, Sununu announced the release of reopening guidelines for more business sectors in the state, as part of his “Stay at Home 2.0” plan. As of May 29, behind-the-wheel driver’s education instruction was allowed to resume, as long as classroom instruction continues remotely and instructors and students wear a face mask at all times when behind the wheel. In-car time is also limited to a maximum of 60 minutes and door handles and other in-car surfaces must be disinfected before and after each drive.
In-person religious services were also able to resume on May 29, both indoors and outdoors and including weddings and funeral services. Places of worship, however, are encouraged to continue conducting services online or through means that allow participants to remain in their homes. All places of worship should limit building occupancy to 40 percent of capacity at all times.
Beginning June 5, lodging facilities such as hotels, motels, cabins, bed and breakfasts and inns will be allowed to resume services, including accepting overnight reservations from New Hampshire residents or out-of-state visitors who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement. Smaller hotels and inns can rent at full capacity, while those with 20 or more rooms must remain limited at 50 percent capacity.
Day camps in the Granite State will be allowed to open June 22, with several guidelines in place. Staff members must be state residents or out-of-staters who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement. Day camp attendees are also restricted to children who are state residents or out-of-staters who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement.
Details of all of Sununu’s announcements and orders can be found at

Hospital clusters
Manchester hospitals Catholic Medical Center and Elliot Hospital, in conjunction with the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, are each investigating a cluster of patients and staff who have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a press release. Last week, two asymptomatic patients from the same unit at Catholic Medical Center were discovered to be positive after being tested for placement in long-term care facilities. At the same time, a staff member on that unit also tested positive. CMC tested all patients on that unit out of an abundance of caution and seven patients and seven staff came back positive. None of the seven patients had shown symptoms at the time of testing. Similarly, at Elliot Hospital, five patients on the geriatric psychiatric unit have tested positive. The hospital is currently testing the remaining patients and all staff on the unit. Both hospitals remain prepared for a surge in Covid-19 patients, according to the release.

Covid-19 dashboard
State health officials have launched a new Covid-19 dashboard to help people track the impact of the coronavirus in their communities, according to a press release. The dashboard is updated daily, displaying data on virus cases, related hospitalizations and deaths, as well as additional demographic detail and county of residence. The dashboard replaces the Covid-19 Weekly Summary Report, giving residents access to the weekly report’s data on a daily basis instead of weekly. The data can be viewed on any devices, including computers, tablets and smartphones. “It is easy to access and navigate … with meaningful information about the spread of the virus,” DHHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette said in a statement. The dashboard can be viewed at

DMV road tests
The New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles resumed road tests for eligible applicants on June 1, according to a May 29 press release. Prior to scheduling a road test, applicants must complete all driver licensing requirements, including successfully passing a knowledge test. Applicants who need to complete one can request an appointment at any one of the locations currently open, including in Concord, Dover, Keene, Manchester, Nashua, Newport, Salem and Twin Mountain. For licenses expiring by July 31, in-person driver’s license renewal appointments are available, although customers are encouraged to renew online if eligible.

Manchester protest
On May 30, about 800 people participated in an organized Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Manchester. The group gathered at Veterans Park around 10 a.m. and marched peacefully throughout the city before returning to the park. No arrests were made during the protest, according to a press release from the Manchester Police Department. After the protest, a group of more than 100 people marched to the Department headquarters at 405 Valley St. At around 1:30 p.m., a truck drove up and there was a verbal altercation between its occupants and the protestors. One of the occupants got out and displayed a gun. Manchester police took that person and one other into custody. They were later identified as Scott Kimball and Mark Kimball, who were both charged with felony riot and felony criminal threatening.

Concord Hospital Otolaryngology is a new practice set to open on June 8 for patients with ear, nose and throat diseases and disorders. The office will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at the Concord Hospital Medical Offices at Horseshoe Pond, 60 Commercial St., Suite 401 in Concord.

On May 29, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, along with members of the Manchester Emergency Operations Center, received 10,500 masks donated by Taichung City, which is the Queen City’s sister city in Taiwan. “We’re so thankful for their partnership, and for their generosity,” Craig wrote on her Facebook page.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services issued an advisory on May 27 that cyanobacteria bloom had been observed on Governors Lake in Raymond. The department advises the public to avoid contact with water that has elevated cyanobacteria conditions, and to keep pets out of the water as well, as cyanobacteria can produce toxins that pose health risks to people and animals. The advisory was still in effect as of June 2 and will remain in effect until the risk has abated.

The Nashua and Manchester Doorways programs, which are part of the state’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis, have transitioned their operations to Catholic Medical Center and Southern New Hampshire Health, according to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. The transition will “strengthen and expand treatment and recovery services for individuals seeking help with substance use disorder,” according to the release.

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