EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 13, 2013


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Shaheen wantsto limit spendingon oil portraits

CONCORD (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is proposing a limit on taxpayer spending for oil painting portraits of government officials.

Her bill, co-sponsored with Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, would specify that taxpayer money can only be used for portraits of those in the line of succession for the presidency. And even in those cases, there would be a $20,000 limit.

Shaheen says when vital services and programs are facing cuts, taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for lavish official portraits of agency heads, members of Congress and others that can cost more than some Americans make in a year. She cited news reports that show such portraits can cost upward of $50,000.

N.H. has firstfemale federal judge

CONCORD (AP) — The U.S. Senate has confirmed the first woman to serve as a federal district judge in New Hampshire.

The Senate yesterday approved Landya McCafferty by a vote of 79-19.

McCafferty has served as U.S. magistrate judge for New Hampshire for three years, and has clerked for two judges at the First Circuit Court of Appeals. She also prosecuted professional misconduct cases at the state Supreme Court and worked as a public defender and a civil litigator.

New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte said she is exceptionally qualified and experienced.

“We look forward to her service as the first woman to hold this position in our state now that the Senate has cleared her historic nomination,” they said in a joint statement.

Shaheen called McCafferty an “innovator,” saying as magistrate, “she has become a nationally recognized expert and teacher on how to use technology to achieve a more efficient and paperless workflow in the federal court system.” For the past decade, she has lectured at continuing legal education seminars on ethics and other topics.

The judicial vacancy was created earlier this year when U.S. District Judge Steven McAuliffe assumed “senior status,” a form of semi-retirement.

Residents have more insurance options

CONCORD (AP) — Another insurance company plans to offer health plans under the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire.

For now, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the only health insurance company offering plans through the new online markets required under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law.

But Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter announced yesterday that nonprofit Minuteman Health of Massachusetts has been given federal approval to expand into New Hampshire and form a new program that will offer plans under the law.

Those policies would be available next year for coverage starting in 2015.

Harvard Pilgrim also has indicated it will offer plans for coverage starting in 2015.

Police ID driversin fatal accident

COLUMBIA (AP) — New Hampshire State Police have identified the driver who died after suffering a medical condition and colliding with an oncoming vehicle in Columbia.

Police said 74-year-old George Motard of Lancaster was traveling north on Route 3 on Tuesday when he struck a southbound pickup truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the pickup, 24-year-old Brendan Kelly of Newport, Vt., suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Police are still investigating.