Ranked Choice Voting in New Hampshire? Lawmakers consider voting system for 2020 primary

New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary could be decided by ranked-choice voting next year if Rep. Read’s bill is favored.

Maine politicians often say we should copy the no tax policies of New Hampshire. Now some in the Granite State say they should copy Maine — by switching to ranked-choice voting.

A New Hampshire legislative committee on Wednesday heard arguments in favor of switching to a ranked-choice system. Democratic Rep. Ellen Read, who is sponsoring the bill, says no one spoke against it during the hearing, although she expects there will be opposition.

A similar bill was defeated last year, but Rep. Read says support for ranked-choice has increased after people saw how it worked in Maine.

Read says her bill would have ranked-choice voting used for next year’s presidential primary, and then for other state elections starting in 2022.

Author: Don Carrigan, News Center Maine

New Hampshire: Two year-old girl found dead outside Newport home in below-zero cold weather

download (9).jpgNewport Police Chief Jim Burroughs tells the Valley News the girl may have left the house overnight Monday and then couldn’t get back in. He said the death is not suspicious and “appears to be a bad accident.”

NEWPORT, N.H. — Police in New Hampshire are investigating the death of a 2 ½-year-old girl found outside of a house in bitterly cold weather.

Newport Police Chief Jim Burroughs tells the Valley News the girl may have left the house overnight Monday and then couldn’t get back in. He said the death is not suspicious and “appears to be a bad accident.”

The Valley News reports a neighbor said he woke up around 4 a.m. Monday to the sound of a child crying but couldn’t see anything. He said he and his girlfriend found the girl at about 7 a.m. at the bottom of a set of stairs off a screened-in porch in a back apartment of the house.

Temperatures were below zero degrees Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius) overnight.

New England: Farmington ME, NH police need public’s help finding missing man Timothy Jarvis

Timothy Jarvis is missing.

FARMINGTON, New Hampshire — Police in Farmington, N.H. are asking for the public’s help finding 22-year-old Timothy Jarvis.

Police said Jarvis’ family reported him missing. Police need to speak with anyone who has had contact with him since April of 2018.

Missing Person: Has anyone seen Timothy Jarvis? He is a 22 year old man that has been reported missing by his parents. We are looking to talk to anyone who has seen or had contact with him since April of 2018. If you have seen Timothy or been in contact with him since April, or have any information about his whereabouts please contact Detective Frye or Officer Shoer at the Farmington Police Department: 603-755-2731

Conflicts between bears, humans spike in New England; oh my!

The Northeast is home to a growing numbers of black bears, with Maine’s population of nearly 35,000 among the largest in the country.

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire saw a surge in conflicts between bears and humans this past year, as a shortage of food drove the animals to raid bird feeders and garbage dumps more frequently.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Bear Project Leader Andrew Timmons said Monday that there were around 800 reports of bear-human conflicts in 2018 compared to only 410 for 2017. There also was an increase in bear killings by the state and residents, both of which are legal.

“This is very much of what we see on really bad food years,” Timmons said. “When there is not food in the woods, this is what happens. If you look over our data over time, we’ve seen it happen … About every eight to 10 years, we get these years where there is not adequate food for bears. When that happens, those animals supplement their diets in and around people’s yards.”

The Northeast is home to a growing numbers of black bears, with Maine’s population of nearly 35,000 among the largest in the country. Vermont and New Hampshire are also seeing their populations rise.

The state killed eight nuisance bears compared to two in 2017 and residents killed 24, up from 14. While Timmons said that was a relative low number considering how many conflicts there were with humans, he acknowledged he would love to see no bear killings.

“In the best world, we would keep it to zero,” he said. “But there is a state law that allows people to protect their property. Some people are quick to utilize the state law. Others are more open to allowing us to work with them to mitigate and come up with a nonlethal resolution to these conflicts.”

Among the high profile killings this year were two bear cubs shot dead near an apartment complex in Manchester. State officials said the bears were killed because they were about to run across a busy roadway and posed a threat to motorists. Some residents complained the shooting was too close to homes.

Others were killed after they entered homes, a campground and after one killed a goat.

On top of the conflicts, Timmons said they saw a record high number of abandoned bear cubs — 55 in 2018 compared to 14 last year. Many of those young bears were brought to the state’s only rehabilitation facility in Lyme between September 26 and December 8. Many were only 10 to 15 pounds, compared to 40 pounds in a year when there were plenty of acorns, beach nuts and other forest foods for the bears.

Again, it relates to food.

There was a boon in forest foods in 2017, which led to a baby boom in 2018 with litters of two or three bears. But with so many mouths to feed and little food, some mothers abandoned their cubs. Other female bears were killed by hunters or hit by cars as they went further afield in search of food, leaving the cubs on their own.

“If females can’t produce adequate milk to support those cubs, sometimes the cubs get abandoned,” Timmons said. “The bottom line is that a lot of cubs were orphaned this year at a much higher rate than we have ever experienced. A lot of them were showing up in the fall. That’s way above the long-term average.”

Bear rehabilitation expert Ben Kilham said more could be done to help reduce the number of bear cubs without mothers, including the mandating of electric fences around chickens and livestock and other measures.

“This year, the (New Hampshire Fish and Game Department) asked hunters not to shoot sows with cubs, making mandatory in a year like this would help,” Kilham said in an email interview. “The number of conflict situations might be reduced with a statewide public education campaign to get people to make a better effort reducing food attractants. Ultimately bear human conflict is a human caused problem.”

Maine man leads New Hamphire police on multi-state chase and a Maine Father stabs son on the side of road.

Photo by: Maine State Police

A police dog tracked down a New Hampshire man hiding in the Acton woods after leading police on a high-speed chase.

Police in Rochester, N.H. say the multi-state chase started in Rochester when they tried to stop the driver of a Volkswagen Jetta Sunday night, Dec. 30, but the man refused to stop.

Christopher Landry, 24, from the Sanford/Acton area did not have permission to be driving the Jetta and does not have a valid license, according to authorities.

Landry was later then spotted reportedly driving erratically in Lebanon around 11 p.m. Maine State Police said they tried to pull him over but Landry took off speeding and led police to Acton.

A York County Deputy laid down a spike mat. Although the car slowed down, it continued moving into the wrong lane when another officer was able to use a PIT maneuver, forcing the car to stop. Landry took off into the woods on foot.

Police from multiple agencies searched for Landry, and a Maine State Police canine was able to find him laid out about one mile into the woods.

Landry was evaluated at a local hospital and then taken to York County Jail where he is being held without bail.

Landry was charged with eluding an officer, criminal mischief, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, unauthorized use of property, failing to stop for police, violating conditions of release and operating after suspension.

~

Maine Father stabs son on the side of road

Allen Sanborn, 59, of Lewiston was arrested on Friday, December 28, after police say he stabbed his teenage son.

BELMONT, Maine — An argument between a father and son turned violent in Belmont where authorities say the father stabbed his 17-year-old son on the side of Route 3.

Allen Sanborn, 59, of Lewiston was arrested on Friday, December 28.

Waldo County Sheriff’s Office says Sanborn was driving on Route 3 in Belmont with his son and another teenager when the father and son began to argue. Sanborn stopped the car, the teen got out and the two continued to argue.

Sanborn then reportedly took a knife and stabbed his son in the torso.  By the time a Sheriff’s Deputy arrived at the scene the two men were physically fighting.

Both Sanborn and his son were taken to the Waldo County General Hospital for treatment.

Sanborn is being charged with aggravated assault, domestic violence assault, and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.

No bail was set for Sanborn.

Fireballs spotted over Maine and New Hampshire: Geminid Meteor Shower peaks on Thursday!

Shortly after midnight Wednesday, many of our viewers are reporting a meteor or fireball flashed across the sky.

The American Meteor Society collects reports of fireball sightings from the public, and has received about a dozen from Maine and New Hampshire.

Around the same time, Midcoast residents in Bath and Nobleboro reported feeling the ground shake, similar to an earthquake.

It’s unclear if there’s any connection; no earthquakes have been reported by the USGS, as of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Ryan Breton

@RyanBretonWX

Several reports of a fireball or meteor last night shortly after midnight, over Maine and New Hampshire. https://fireball.amsmeteors.org/members/imo_view/event/2018/5490 

American Meteor Society

We received 12 reports about a fireball seen over Connecticut, Maine, New Brunswick and New Hampshire on Wednesday, December 12th 2018 around 05:16 UT.

fireball.amsmeteors.org

Chris Legro@OceanStWx

It was wild. Bright enough to light up the whole sky.

It’s possible this meteor was connected to the Geminid Meteor Shower, which is peaking Thursday night.

It’s the most intense of all the annual meteor showers, and while it peaks Thursday night, it’s active all week long.

stars_1-1544221997-9218

Two New England things to know this morning.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE MORNING REPORT LIVE FROM 4:30 TO 7 A.M.

1. NEW HAMPSHIRE GUNMAN IN CUSTODY AFTER 24-HOUR MANHUNT

Christopher Thomas is in custody this morning after being found by police on Farmington Road in Rochester, New Hampshire. The search began on noon Sunday when someone reported seeing a man with a rifle in the Walmart parking lot, and then disappeared into the woods. Thomas reportedly fired several shots at officers, but no one was injured. He now faces charges of reckless conduct.

Armed and dangerous man in custody after eluding police in Rochester, NH

2. SHRIMP SEASON NEWS EXPECTED THIS WEEK

Maine fisherman will find out later this week if the shrimp season will be canceled again. An advisory panel that reports to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is meeting on Thursday to make a recommendation about having a season in 2019. Seasons have been canceled the past 5 years, due to concerns about warming waters in the Gulf of Maine.