New Hampshire’s poverty rate the nation’s lowest

New U.S. Census figures show New Hampshire as having the lowest share of poor people in the nation.

The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that 46.5 million Americans – or more than 1 in 7 – were living in poverty last year. That makes the sixth straight year the nation’s poverty rate has stood still at 15 percent.

In New Hampshire, the poverty rate for 2012 was 8.1 percent, the nation’s lowest. Mississippi had the highest share of poor people, at 22 percent, followed by Louisiana, New Mexico and Arkansas.

For the last year, the official poverty line was an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four.


Officials predict fall-foliage tourism to break record

New Hampshire is expecting more tourists to spend more money in the state this fall.

The state Division of Travel and Tourism said Tuesday that favorable economic conditions and lower gas prices could mean a record fall season.

Officials expect about 7.8 million visitors by the end of November, which is about 2 percent more than last year. Spending is expected to increase by about 3 percent to more than $1 billion.

Most of the fall visitors to New Hampshire come from other New England states, the mid-Atlantic states and Canada, though fall has the largest number of visitors from outside the region.

The projections are developed by the Institute for New Hampshire Studies based on factors that include spending patterns, gas prices, weather and the previous year’s activity.


Educator faces charge for his marijuana ‘gift’

A special education assistant who police say gave marijuana to a middle school principal for being named “Providence Principal of the Year” is facing a drug-related charge.

The Providence Journal reports that 57-year-old Christopher Michael Sheehan gave Nathanael Greene Middle School Principal Nicole Mathis a package containing 15.5 grams of marijuana last Thursday.

Mathis told police it was “a gift” for winning the principal’s award.

Sheehan, of Providence, was arraigned Monday in district court on charges of unlawful delivery of marijuana in a school zone. He has been released on $10,000 surety bail.


Man who ran unlicensed dental office sentenced

A 27-year-old Rhode Island man has been sentenced to probation for running an illegal and unlicensed dental office out of his apartment.

The Providence Journal reports that Ray Guillen pleaded no contest Monday in Superior Court to charges of operating a dental practice without a license and maintaining a common nuisance.

Police discovered the dental practice when they responded to Guillen’s second-floor apartment for a suspected domestic assault. Police found a dentist chair in the living room, x-ray equipment, dental tools and drugs including steroids and morphine.

Guillen told police that he had studied dentistry and had treated family members. Guillen’s attorney says his client has a doctorate in dentistry from the Dominican Republic.


Ceremony signals launch of skyscraper construction

Ground was broken Tuesday for a redevelopment project intended to transform a hole that’s marred Boston’s busiest shopping district for years into a gleaming 625-foot mixed-use skyscraper.

Mayor Tom Menino and officials from developer Millennium Partners participated in a ceremony to launch construction of the $630 million project at the site of the former Filene’s department store in Downtown Crossing.


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