Lynch nominates liquor commission member
CONCORD (AP) — New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch said he will nominate Merrimack police Chief Michael Milligan to serve as a liquor commissioner on a three-member board that has seen its share of turmoil.
Lynch planned to recommend Milligan at the Governor and Council meeting yesterday. The Executive Council must confirm the nomination.
Last year, Commissioner Richard Simard was removed after being charged with driving while intoxicated. Commissioner Mark Bodi was reinstated and reprimanded after ordering video surveillance equipment returned to a bar owner before an investigation was completed.
The commission regulates the sale of alcohol.
Lynch said Milligan has strong management skills and can work effectively with law enforcement and government leaders.
Milligan has served with the Merrimack Police Department since 1978. He became chief in 2007.
Ayotte files bill aimed at Afghan contractors
CONCORD (AP) — New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is co-sponsoring legislation she said would make it easier for U.S. officials to stop contractors who are funneling money to Afghan warlords.
Ayotte, a Republican, and her co-sponsor, Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, call their legislation "No Contracting with the Enemy."
They filed it in reaction to recent reports from government agencies that found that some contractors in Afghanistan have been providing money to the Taliban in exchange for protection and other services.
Ayotte said it often takes months to stop the flow of funds once the contractors are identified, but her bill would help cut through the red tape.
Council examines vendor fees for Bike Week
LACONIA (AP) — The City Council in Laconia is considering cutting Bike Week vendor fees for people who sell their wares outside of "The Weirs" boardwalk area during the annual gathering.
The fee would drop for those vendors from $450 to $150. City officials feel the idea would be to attract more vendors during the nine-day event in June.
Vendor fees generate much of the money the city earns during Bike Week.
Most of the activity is centered at The Weirs, but some vendors set up outside of that area.
The Citizen reported the fees have been deemed by some non-Weirs area businesses as a detriment to their participating in Bike Week activities.
The City Council plans to hold a public hearing on the proposed fee changes on Feb. 28.
Romney leads GOP pack in early poll
DURHAM (AP) — A new poll shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the early leader in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary.
The WMUR Granite State Poll, done by the University of New Hampshire, puts Romney well ahead of other possible candidates, but a majority of voters surveyed said they are still trying to decide who they will vote for.
The poll says 40 percent of likely Republican primary voters would support Romney and 10 percent would vote for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giulian.
Those earning single-digit support from responders to the UNH poll were 7 percent for Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and 7 percent would back former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Another 6 percent would support former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 6 percent would vote former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
The poll of 757 randomly selected adults was conducted from Jan. 28 through Feb. 7 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Man accused of hitting police cruiser, DUI
NORTHFIELD (AP) — A Manchester man has been arrested on drunken driving and other charges after police say he struck the side of a state police cruiser on Interstate 93.
A trooper was sitting in his cruiser with the emergency lights on at the side of the interstate on Sunday when he said a passing vehicle hit the front driver side of the cruiser.
The trooper said the vehicle — a Chevy Lumina — continued without stopped.
No injuries were reported.
The vehicle was pulled over more than a mile south of the accident.
The driver — 26-year-old David Gile — faces charges of driving while intoxicated, having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle and conduct after an accident.
House to vote on bill repealing pro-union law
CONCORD — The House is scheduled to vote this week on legislation that repeals a law that requires public employers to honor existing provisions of an expired union contract until a new contract is in place.
The bill would eliminate automatic extensions, commonly called evergreen clauses, but would not prevent unions and employers from negotiating the extensions.
The 2008 law had strong support from employee unions, who said the extensions were necessary to keep some employers from walking away from negotiations.
heir bosses said it would mean maintaining current wages and paying step increases regardless of the economic conditions.
The Senate has already passed it.