Washington, a charmingly scenic town about 40 miles west of Concord, boasts that it’s the first town in the brand new United States named after George Washington. Its picturesque common is, at 1,507 feet in elevation, the highest town center in the state, and its 1,100 or so hearty residents are scattered around nearly 50 square miles of rugged landscape crisscrossed with rural, often-unpaved roads.
Its Currier and Ives perfection, though, masks the fact that Washington is also home to a nest of criminal scofflaws headed by a ruthless gang leader, one Barbara Gaskell.
…After sentencing Gaskell to the 21st-century equivalent of a public stockade, state bureaucrats informed her and other town officials that a new election will be held at a date chosen by the state and that the secretary of state “will appoint an election monitor to directly observe all aspects of your conduct” in that election.
Yes, an “election monitor”! The sort of thing usually reserved for scofflaw nations considered unlikely to adhere to the law!
On Wednesday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant appointed the state’s Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to a U.S. Senate seat, replacing Sen. Thad Cochran. With that appointment, Vermont is now the only state to never send a woman to Congress.
Senate Bill 421 would lift the present three-month cap for contraceptive prescriptions, raising it to 12 months. Under the proposed law, doctors would prescribe 12 months of the medication, and insurance carriers would be mandated to cover it without imposing co-pays. Newly prescribed patients could walk into pharmacies and leave with a year’s supply of contraceptives.
The bill, championed by Planned Parenthood and health care industry groups, is meant to address a long-standing problem for those taking “the pill” – forgetfulness. Often distributed in packs of 28, and designed to be taken daily, the oral contraceptives require diligence to be effective. Having to obtain refill prescriptions every several months can prove difficult for some, setting up potential delays and lapses in use. Missing a week or even days can carry side effects for women who rely on the pill, or lead to unplanned pregnancy.
…Around a quarter of all women who use contraceptives report missing days due to difficulty getting prescription renewal, according to a 2011 study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Supporters say the bill would benefit low-income people with less time to organize renewed prescriptions.
The bill’s supporters argued that checkpoints are inefficient and said that according to one trooper, fewer than 1 percent of drivers who are stopped are charged with drunk driving.
Supporters also said checkpoints can erode relations between police and the public because drivers don’t like being stopped, and that because officers get paid overtime it makes the practice expensive as well.
The Merrimack County delegation voted in the summer of 2016 to spend a total of $6.8 million to transform the jail into a transitional center.
…The finished facility will house minimum-security inmates and provide both inpatient treatment and housing for work release. Multiple classrooms, a visitation area, segregated living quarters and a small dining hall make up the space that will be used by up to 34 men and 34 women at one time.
Monday through Friday, participants attend classes that teach them about substance abuse recovery, trauma recovery, cognitive therapy and fundamental life skills.
In the past, any progress [Stephanie Barry] made in drug rehabilitation facilities was quickly undone when she returned to the real world and found herself re-immersed in the social circles that had fueled her addiction in the first place.
…Now, Barry comes during her lunch break from work to go to meetings and volunteer. She said part of staying sober for her is more than just getting clean – it’s creating a new life and social identity.
Through Hope for N.H. Recovery, she’s been able to find peer supports who helped her craft her resume when she was looking for a job and helped her find affordable housing when she needed to find a place to live.