New England in Brief

Saturday January 5, 2013

Vt. and N.Y. groups seek more review
of nuke waste storage

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Twenty-four anti-nuclear and environmental groups are joining the states of Vermont and New York in calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to do a more thorough study of the impacts of storing spent nuclear fuel on the grounds of nuclear power plants.

The groups range from the Vermont-based New England Coalition to Washington-based Beyond Nuclear to California’s San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace. The groups want a more thorough look at risks of fire and leakage at the expanding dry cask storage sites for highly radioactive nuclear waste at reactors around the country.

They want a moratorium on licensing and relicensing of reactors until the risks are resolved.

N.H. Democrat Hassan sworn in
as 81st governor

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Democrat Maggie Hassan is now New Hampshire’s 81st chief executive and the second female to lead the state.

Hassan was sworn about 12:15 p.m. Thursday by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Linda Dalianis, who is the state’s first female chief justice.

The 54-year-old business attorney from Exeter succeeds popular Democrat John Lynch, the governor since 2005 who retired after serving four two-year terms. Hassan won in November by beating conservative Republican Ovide Lamontagne, whom she characterized as too extreme for New Hampshire.

Despite the harshly negative tone of the campaign, Hassan has called for bipartisanship and has included Republicans in her transition team.

Yankee buys
McLean Publishing

DUBLIN, N.H. (AP) -- The publisher of Yankee Magazine and The Old Farmer’s Almanac has acquired the assets of McLean Communications, which publishes New Hampshire Magazine and other publications.

Yankee Publishing Inc. said Friday that McLean will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yankee and remain at its current headquarters in Manchester.

McLean also publishes New Hampshire Business Review, Parenting New Hampshire, New Hampshire Home, and a number of custom publications, such as annual publications for the Manchester and Nashua Chambers of Commerce.

McLean’s president and publisher said Yankee was her first choice of buyers when she learned that McLean’s parent company, Independent Publications Inc., of Pennsylvania, planned to sell. Yankee’s president said the two companies are compatible and complementary with different business models and strengths. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Vt. church gets opposition to its plan
to accept homeless

BURLINGTON (AP) -- A Vermont church that houses preschool children is getting some opposition from parents over its proposal to act as a homeless shelter in the winter.

Burlington’s Development Review Board approved a zoning permit for the shelter last month at the North Avenue Alliance Church. The paperwork needs to be signed and then held through a 30-day appeal period.

Organizations that work with the homeless told parents at a meeting Wednesday that people would be screened and bused to the church’s gym hours after the preschool, which uses the gym, closed. But some parents felt uncomfortable with the idea.

The church is considering the use of an annex instead, where Sunday school is held. But that would require it to reapply for zoning permits with the city.

Vt. mayor wants ban on assault weapons
at gun show

BARRE (AP) -- The mayor of Barre wants a ban on military-style assault weapons being sold at an annual gun show following the mass shooting at a school in Connecticut.

The Barre Fish and Game Gun Show will be held at the Barre Auditorium in February. Mayor Thom Lauzon is asking show organizers to ban the display and sale of military-style assault firearms and high capacity magazines at this year’s show.

Lauzon says he supports the gun club and responsible gun ownership but is making the request "as a father" following the Dec. 14 killings of 20 children and six educators at a grade school in Newtown, Conn.

Gun show officials say they will not comment until they meet with the mayor.

N.H. receives $30M more revenue in Dec.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire’s tax receipts for December are $30 million above estimates, thanks to payments expected in other months.

The state got $14 million in hospital taxes in December that were expected earlier in the year. Also, a $10 million payment expected this month was paid in December.

Total revenues for the year lag $13 million behind projections largely due to unpaid hospital taxes. Taxes on business and property sales also were above estimates last month, but tobacco and telecommunication tax receipts continue to lag.

The state took in $203 million during the month, bringing the total collected this fiscal year to $864 million.

Massachusetts seeks 19,000 ‘missing’ welfare recipients

BOSTON (AP) -- State officials say they are trying to confirm the addresses of 19,000 welfare recipients in Massachusetts after voter registration information mailed to their listed addresses last summer were returned as undeliverable.

The Department of Transitional Assistance contacted 477,000 welfare recipients who were on their books from June 2011 to May 2012, after settling a voter-rights lawsuit.

The agency said in a statement that it is trying to contact its clients to ensure that they are still living in Massachusetts and therefore eligible to collect benefits from the state. If they have moved out of state, they are not eligible.

Some who did not confirm their addresses have already been stripped of benefits.

Critics of the agency say it’s more proof that it needs reform.

Vermont breaks up unlicensed hunting preserve in Fairlee

FAIRLEE (AP) -- The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says wardens have broken up an unlicensed captive hunting facility in Fairlee where people paid up to $6,000 to hunt exotic animals such as buffalo, sika deer, and Texas dall sheep.

The state on Friday charged 51-year-old Steven Hill and 21-year-old Chiaki Ito, both of Fairlee, in the case after two undercover game wardens paid $750 each to hunt a Spanish goat and wild boar.

Hill and Ito are charged with operating the "Hunt the Ridge" captive hunting facility. They are alleged to have charged visitors up to $6,000 to hunt exotic wild animals.

The state says about 200 animals remain on the property.

Hill and Ito scheduled to appear in court next month in Chelsea.


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