NH voting results, Mars greenhouse, North Country Smokehouse recall, and more: Daybreak for 3/13

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SO NICE TO SEE YOU, UPPER VALLEY!

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Oh well, it's New England -- the sunshine couldn't last. It'll be mostly cloudy by late afternoon... but also warmer than yesterday, highs in the low 40s. Possible rain/snow showers in the evening. And hey, maybe the sap'll actually start to flow?

Lebanon voters reject school modernization and new high school auditorium. Well, actually, the renovations -- $20 million for projects at Mt. Lebanon, Hanover Street, and the high school -- got a majority, but not the 3/5ths needed. A measure that combined the two proposals fell short last year, too; backers had hoped dividing the two would be the charm. The school district budget passed. (VN, subscription required)

Ben Kilham gets SB nod in Lyme. Yes, that Ben Kilham -- the one who's taking care of a lot of orphaned black bear cubs at the moment. He defeated incumbent Sue MacKenzie. Judith Brotman also won a seat, while voters approved the town budget and, after some discussion about financing, the purchase of a fire truck, a police truck, an excavator, and a 1½-ton truck. (VN, subscription still required)

Plainfield voters unseat longtime SB member. Judy Belyea lost by 54 votes to Eric Brann. Residents will gather again on Saturday to decide the town's big-ticket question: whether to tear down the Meriden Library and replace it with a bigger one. 

North Country Smokehouse recalls sausages. The producer of all things smoked meat in Claremont is pulling back 2600 pounds of "Irish Brand Banger Sausage" because they're labeled gluten-free but contain wheat.

Thayer team makes NASA finals for Mars greenhouse design. The group of eight engineering students at Dartmouth are moving on to the last round in a contest to develop a reliable and effective food production system on Mars. Their design aims to feed a four-person astronaut crew.

Measles case in New Hampshire brings number of states affected in outbreak to 12. The person apparently contracted the illness abroad; took the bus from Boston to Manchester. All told, 228 cases have been confirmed around the country.

NH Gov. Sununu moves state's mental health plan forward. He signed three executive orders yesterday, including creating a commission to focus on how to reduce incarceration rates for people with mental illness -- and to improve services when they do end up in prison.

VT to roll out non-gender-specific option on drivers licenses. The state Agency of Transportation will introduce a new X option (that would be in addition to M and F). This makes VT the 9th state to take this step. "This is not a new process to our business, it’s just adding a third option," says the DMV commissioner.

Just what will it take to get broadband in VT? Local state rep. Tim Briglin, who chairs the House Energy and Technology Committee, was on VPR yesterday talking about a new bill to help towns figure out how to push for broadband on their own.

Since we're being all wonky today: Civics 101 tackles the Bill of Rights.The wonderful NHPR show points out it's not a minor thing that they weren't part of the original Constitution. Rights were “widely thought to be sort of eyewash — it was something you did that made everybody feel better but it didn’t really make much difference.” (Scroll down to listen)

SO JUST WHAT DO YOU DO ON A WEDNESDAY EVENING AROUND HERE?

Well, you learn just what those madcap curlers are all about, obviously. No, not hair curlers. The Upper Valley Curling Club wants to get you hooked on the sport that brought Olympic gold to the US last year. From 6-8 at the Barwood Arena in WRJ, they'll provide all the equipment... brooms, stones, whatever. You'll want warm clothes, a hat, gloves, and shoes with non-skid soles. Register here.

Or you go for-real madcap, and opt for dodgeball. Bethel University is not just about sitting earnestly and learning. It's also about reliving those days when your buddy Larry stared you down then drilled you from 30 feet away. You'll learn a bunch of different ways to play. Adults only -- no experience necessary. Though as the description says, "Maybe you have a grudge you want to settle?" Oh Laaaarrrrryyyy....

Don't get too wild out there... See you tomorrow.

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