Press Releases



WIC Nutrition Program Increases NH Breastfeeding Rates

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program is announcing record high breastfeeding rates for women enrolled in the NH WIC program. The data shows the NH WIC Program reached its highest rate ever of 66.6% of all women initiating breastfeeding during 2007.


“The WIC Program stands out as a model in promoting breastfeeding as the healthiest way to feed infants,” said DHHS Director of Public Health Dr José T. Montero. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses breastfeeding as one critical strategy for reducing childhood overweight and obesity, including using breastfeeding peer counselors to increase the initiation and duration rates of breastfeeding among low-income women. Breastfeeding is one of the target areas addressed in New Hampshire’s Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) obesity prevention plan.”


The recent study shows the rate of almost 67% for women breastfeeding any length of time is significantly higher than New Hampshire’s rate 10 years ago of 47.1%. Highest rates were seen in Black and Hispanic women, women aged 30-39 years old, and women who had an education beyond high school. Highest rates in the State were seen in Carroll, Grafton, and Merrimack counties.


Research shows both babies and mothers gain many health benefits from breastfeeding. Breast milk is easy to digest and contains antibodies that can protect infants from bacterial and viral infections. Research indicates that women who breastfeed may have lower rates of certain breast and ovarian cancers.


The WIC nutrition program provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and nutrition foods to low to moderate-income families with pregnant women, infants and preschool children. Breastfeeding support includes trained and certified nutrition staff and breastfeeding peer counselors. All WIC agencies in New Hampshire support mothers returning to work or school by providing breast pumps.


For more information about applying for WIC call 1-800-942-4321.


DHHS Warns of Potential Scam

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Family Assistance (DFA) is alerting residents about a potential scam. DHHS received notification that clients receiving assistance in the State of Wisconsin have allegedly received phone calls requesting the card number and PIN for accessing their cash and food stamp benefits. The caller may have coerced the client by posing as a State employee.


“At this point in time, we do not know of any such instances in the State of New Hampshire,” stated DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “However we want to advise all recipients of cash and food stamp assistance to not disclose any information about their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card or benefits.”


This issue is under investigation. DHHS is taking steps to ensure that the public and local New Hampshire authorities are aware of the situation.


“Please note that our Department takes our clients’ confidentiality very seriously,” said DFA Director Terry Smith. “We would not be calling to request information of this nature, as we already have it.”


If you have been contacted or have questions about this, please contact DHHS at 271-4243.


"Newsout" symposium March 21 to explore options, strategies to cope with decline in New England news coverage


BOSTON, Mass. - Dramatic declines in the quantity or quality of local news, and the impact on participatory democracy in New England communities is the topic of a daylong collaboration among public officials, journalists and concerned citizens set for Sat., March 21.

"Newsout: Options and strategies for New England communities when the newsroom lights dim," is a one-day participatory conference co-sponsored by the New England News Forum (NENF) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Boston University College of Communication and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The conference will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Boston University's College of Communication, 640 Commonwealth Ave., . A $45 registration fee includes a box lunch. A $45 registration fee includes a box lunch and one-year membership in the NENF.


Featured speakers are Steve Clift, founder of Publicus.Net, in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Joe Bergantino, director of new New England Center for Investigative Journalism; Jane Stevens, a Donald W. Reynolds fellow at the University of Missouri; Carol Amick, former editor of the Bedford [Mass.] Minuteman weekly, a one-time Massachusetts state senator; and Steve Collins, a reporter with The Bristol Press, a Connecticut daily which nearly closed in January.

Across the country many newspapers are closing their doors or reducing the size of staffs as they scramble to stay afloat amid declining revenues. In the last 18 months, some 15,000 U.S. working journalists have lost their jobs through retirement, buyouts or layoffs.

"The impact is greatest at the local and state levels" explains Meredith McCulloch, Interim director of the News Forum. "As the number of reporters declines, the watchdog role of the press is reduced. The information that citizens need to participate in government is less and less available. Who will watch the school board? Check public records before planning, zoning and conservation boards? Champion those in need? Connect the dots on critical regional issues?"

Advertising, and the revenue it brings, is migrating from newspapers to a wide variety of web sites. This creates a revenue shortfall for newspapers, which is compounded by the recent economic downturn. Newspapers simply no longer have the funds required to cover local and state government as in the past. Many are working on a new financial model for the press, but no clear solutions are on the horizon.


The New England News Forum (NENF) is collaboration among news professionals, citizen journalists, educators and the public to promote vigorous, trusted, accountable journalism - and accountable government. It aims to increase public trust and deepen public understanding of the news media by promoting the practice of trusted, thorough, and accountable journalism.

NENF is a member organization based with the journalism program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and initially funded by a seed grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

NENF is an independent resource which can help define, research, advise -- and hopefully strengthen and expand -- the relationship between news producers and news consumers. Its website offers journalists, web-news entrepreneurs and active citizens a place to engage in discussion, to share and resolve disagreements over media issues such as privacy, coverage, access, accuracy, bias and emphasis.

For more information, contact the New England News Forum at UMass Amherst
by phone at (413) 577-4370 or email to or go to
the website,


Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta's Public Schedule (January 31-February 8, 2009)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

11:00 a.m. – General Cable's Award Ceremony for IndustryWeek’s Best Plan Award; 345 McGregor St.; Manchester

3:30 p.m. – Stop Internet Predators press conference; SEE Science Center; 200 Bedford St.; Manchester

7:00 p.m. – Regular Meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen; Aldermanic Chambers; One City Hall Plaza; Manchester


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

11:00 a.m. – Blood Week proclamation presentation; New England Red Cross Blood Services Center; 425 Reservoir Avenue; Manchester


Please contact Mark Laliberte at (603) 624-6500 or for more information about any of these events.




NetRight Daily: Gregg (R-NH) accepts Cabinet Position

According to top New Hampshire sources, Senator Judd Gregg has been offered and accepted the position of Secretary of Commerce. Get the full story on this appointment. Here are today's top stories on NetRight Nation and other relevant information:

Congress Whip: Be sure to check this site out. We need to know which Senators are going to support the Stimulus vote this week. There is a list of phone numbers for each of the Senators so give them a call! The goal is to get them all on the record on where they stand on spending away America's future.

The Union Payoff Begins: The AP is reporting that the Great Union Payoff has begun, with President Barack Obama set to repeal 4 Bush Administration executive orders that protected workers’ rights.

Comrade of the Month: This is a new monthly award that will be given out by Club for Growth. Check out the candidates in the running for this months award.

Be sure to check out this cartoon from earlier this week: