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Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday morning New Hampshire news update

Hassan to sign bill on mental health settlement

CONCORD (AP) - Gov. Maggie Hassan will sign into law a bill that expands mental health services in New Hampshire to comply with a court settlement. ...

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Hassan to sign bill on mental health settlement

CONCORD (AP) - Gov. Maggie Hassan will sign into law a bill that expands mental health services in New Hampshire to comply with a court settlement.

The bill authorizes expenditure of about $11 million in state and federal funds to strengthen community-based mental health services and provide coverage to thousands of Granite Staters under the bipartisan health care expansion plan.

The federal lawsuit charged the state with needlessly confining people in mental wards and hospitals because it lacked community treatment options.

Hassan will sign the bill in the Governor and Council Chamber at the Statehouse at noon Friday.

Earlier in the day, Hassan will speak at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway Champions Breakfast - an annual event hosted by Speedway Children's Charities to benefit the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and David's House.


Portsmouth holding discussion on opiate abuse

PORTSMOUTH (AP) - The police department in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is hosting a discussion on opiate addiction called "Community Access to Recovery Day."

The event at 10 a.m. Saturday is the first for the department, which is working with Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Seacoast Mental Health and others. The idea is to invite those affected by drug abuse to receive information on available services and resources in their community.

The open invitation includes those who are actively battling addiction and need help, and friends and family who wish to learn more about what's available for their loved ones.

There will be an "Amnesty Box" where attendees are encouraged to bring any illicit or prescription drugs or paraphernalia to be turned in anonymously with no questions asked.

The event is at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.


FairPoint unions begin strike vote meetings Friday

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Nearly 2,000 union employees of telecommunications firm FairPoint in northern New England are set to begin voting on whether to authorize a strike.

A meeting about the strike authorization vote is scheduled for Friday in South Burlington, Vermont. More meetings are set for Saturday in Bangor, Maine and Sunday in Portland, Maine and Manchester, New Hampshire.

The workers' contracts expire Aug. 2. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers System Council T-9 and Communications Workers of America Local 1400 began negotiating April 25.

The vote is required in advance of a work stoppage, but doesn't require the union members to strike. Union leadership could make that decision later.

The company says service to customers will continue if there is a strike. Company officials say their offers to the union have been fair.


Hassan signs marriage law

CONCORD (AP) - New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed a bill that clarifies the law to recognize gay marriages that took place in other states prior to New Hampshire enacting its gay marriage law.

The law makes it clear that New Hampshire recognizes gay marriages from the date of marriage. The bill also allows gay couples living in states that don't recognize gay marriage to come to New Hampshire, get married and the marriage will be recognized by New Hampshire.

Gay couples who entered into civil unions in other states could get married in New Hampshire without dissolving the civil unions.

Hassan, who supports gay marriage, said Thursday that the law helps ensure that all married couples in New Hampshire receive the fair and equal treatment under the law that they deserve.