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Cops Search For Stolen Vehicles; Students Get Scholarships; NH Gives; More: PM Patch NH

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Cops Search For Stolen Vehicles; Students Get Scholarships; NH Gives; More: PM Patch NH


CONCORD, NH — Here are some share-worthy stories from the New Hampshire Patch network to discuss this afternoon and evening.

Nashua Woman Accused Of DWI After Leaving Multiple Merrimack Accidents: America Alcaraz, 22, is accused of DWI, conduct after an accident, and other charges. Police say her BAC was more than twice the legal limit.

Portsmouth City Council Adopts Budget For Fiscal Year 25 : The FY25 Operating Budget, which represents 82% of the total budget, is $118,554,293, an increase of $5,988,681 or 5.32% over FY24.



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New Hampshire

New Hampshire remains New England's lone holdout against legalizing recreational marijuana

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New Hampshire remains New England's lone holdout against legalizing recreational marijuana


CONCORD, N.H. — Legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in New Hampshire died on the House floor Thursday after advancing further than ever in New England’s only holdout state.

The House has passed multiple legalization bills over the years only to have them blocked in the Senate. This year, both chambers passed legislation, and the Senate approved a compromise worked out by negotiators from both chambers. But the House declined to go along, instead voting 178-173 to table it and let it die as the session ended.

The House-passed version had included a 10% tax, while the final version kept the 15% favored by the Senate, as well as the state-run franchise model the Senate wanted and the House strongly opposed.

Rep. Jared Sullivan, a Democrat from Bethlehem, said the compromise did little to change what he called an “ugly” Senate bill. He described it as “the most intrusive big-government marijuana program proposed anywhere in the country, one that ignores free market principles, will stifle innovation in an emerging industry and tie future generations of Granite Staters to an inferior model indefinitely.”

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Sullivan also pushed back against the suggestion that the law could have been tweaked next year to better reflect the House’s stance.

“Does anyone in here actually believe that we will be able to reel in a newly empowered government bureaucracy after they’ve spent millions of dollars?” he said. “Does anyone honestly believe it will be easy to pull back power from an unelected agency once they have it?”

Supporters had urged colleagues to pass the bill, suggesting that New Hampshire becoming the 25th state to legalize marijuana could be a tipping point for the federal government. Supporters also pointed to polls showing more than 70% of the state’s residents believe it should be legal.

“This bill does address what the people of our state want,” said Sen. Shannon Chandley, a Democrat from Amherst. “And besides being the will of the majority, it allows us to do what is really necessary, and that is to regulate.”

Devon Chaffee, executive director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, said lawmakers appear content in ignoring the will of their constituents and to continuing to needlessly ensnare people, including many Black residents, in the criminal justice system.

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“Marijuana legalization is not just a political squabble about the economic benefits,” she said in a statement. “The war on marijuana has real-life impacts.”

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, a past opponent of such bills, had signaled more openness to the idea but stopped short of saying he would sign the latest measure.



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New Hampshire to tighten voting laws, peddling MAGA election misinformation

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New Hampshire to tighten voting laws, peddling MAGA election misinformation


New Hampshire lawmakers are set to make it harder for eligible voters in the state to register to vote, now requiring proof of citizenship documents — either passport, birth certificate, or naturalization papers — to register.

Republicans in the state’s legislature passed a bill through both chambers to axe the state’s previous citizenship scheme, which permitted an affidavit in cases when citizen voters couldn’t obtain documents. In many other states, a Social Security number or affidavit is commonly used in place of document requirements.

Republican sponsors of the bill echo former President Donald Trump and other conspiracy theorists’ baseless claims that undocumented or noncitizen voting was widespread in the 2016 and 2020 elections. This widely debunked misinformation has propelled numerous states to tighten their voter laws, most directly impacting eligible voters from already disenfranchised backgrounds.

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New Hampshire, which already limits voters to exclusively in-person registration, would become one of the most restrictive states in the U.S., the only one to require physical citizenship documentation to register voters.

Per local paper Seacoast Online, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, a Republican, has not publicly stated a position on the bill, which heads to his desk. Sununu recently made news for flipping his stance on Trump, announcing his support for Trump’s 2024 campaign after supporting Nikki Haley and blasting Trump’s argument that he is immune to criminal prosecution. 

The bill will disenfranchise citizen voters, the Nashua, New Hampshire City Clerk Dan Healey told Bolts Magazine. 

“We’re very concerned with denying eligible voters the right to vote on election day because there’s really no cure in place for them to then be able to vote,” he said. “As far as I can see, it’s unnecessary . . . they’re trying to cure something that’s really not a problem.”

There are several reasons that voters may not have immediate access to proof of citizenship documents, with a recent study from the Brennan Center for Justice finding that around 9% of Americans, and 11% of people of color, don’t have these documents readily available. Nearly 4 million Americans say their proof of citizenship documents are lost or destroyed.

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Among other groups who struggle to provide such documents are out-of-state students, recent arrivals and elderly Americans.



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Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- June 13, 2024 – On The Water

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Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- June 13, 2024 – On The Water


Touch of Gray Charters is finding haddock to 25-inches from 180 to 215-feet of water on Jefferies ledge.

With sizeable striped bass keyed in on Mackerel, and bottom fishing for Haddock on fire, summer fishing doldrums still seem far away in northern New England. Striped bass to 45-inches have been reported in Maine, while bottom fishing excursions to deep water are finding an array of haddock and pollock. Meanwhile, offshore-oriented anglers are now pursuing their first tuna of the 2024 season.

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Based out of Newington NH, Captain Andy from Adventure and Catch Charters was on the way to tuna grounds at Stellwagen Bank when contacted for this week’s report. Capt. Andy had heard positive reports of tuna at Stellwagen, and was on his way to target the offshore Thunnus species this afternoon.
 
Earlier this week, Captain Andy said that he and his customers had found haddock willing to bite at Jeffreys ledge in approximately 225’ of water. Squid were the bait of choice for hungry haddock, as well as pollock from 25 to 30-inches. Unfortunately, dogfish, a less-desirable by-catch, have moved in and mixed in alongside the haddock and pollock this week.

Inshore, Captain Andy also mentioned that mackerel were the primary forage for striped bass in the Piscataqua River; he caught schoolie and slot-sized fish chasing live mackerel in the past week. Although he was using live bait, not artificials, any stripers on sustained surface feeds of Mackerel would undoubtedly be susceptible to a broad array of topwater plugs and swimming lures for anglers who prefer tossing artificials.

Southern Maine Fishing Report

Crossing over into Maine, more fish on mackerel were reported at the mouth of the Saco river, according to Brandy at Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard. Pogies are also present in this area, and boat anglers are targeting fish holding here on the tube & worm, with bass caught up to 45-inches!

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Surf anglers are also able to join in on the action all around Southern Maine. Brandy mentioned she had found fish from the surf in the Wells Harbor area, catching on small, white topwaters, soft plastic paddletails, and straight-tailed soft baits such as the ever-popular Lunker City Sluggo®. She had heard of fish up to 38-inches being caught in the surf in the past week! The abundance of a broad array of bait in this area should make blitzing striped bass a very viable target for shore-bound surf and boat-based anglers alike.

Maine Women Hunters organization aboard Touch of Gray charters
Captain Paul of Touch of Gray Charters recently took out a group from the Maine Women Hunters organization; they were lucky enough to spot breaching whales, and catch many keeper-sized haddock with a single wolffish mixed in.

On the groundfishing front, Brandy’s report mirrored that of Captain Paul Hood of Touch of Gray Fishing Charters. Captain Paul has found haddock to 25-inches from 180 to 215-feet of water on Jefferies ledge. The current calmer conditions have allowed his clients to reach these fish with sea clams and soft artificials weighed down with only 16 ounces of lead.

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Maine!

 

New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

In the coming week, inshore anglers should be able to have their fill of striped bass fishing, no matter if they are hiking the shoreline, or chasing blitzing fish from boats. Plentiful pogies and mackerel, especially around the mouth of the Saco river, should keep schoolie, slot, and over-slot sized bass occupied for the time being.

Ground fishermen inclined to venture further out in search of table fare will be able to quickly fill limits of haddock and pollock from 180 to 225’ of water on sea clams and squid. With rising water temperatures, increasingly abundant dogfish are the only adversity groundfishing anglers must contend with.

For offshore anglers, tuna are now an option. Confirmed reports from Stellwagen should keep those targeting tuna satisfied during these earliest stages of the season.

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