Press Releases



NH Receives Shipment of Strategic National Stockpile

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today the State has received from the federal government a shipment of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to assist in responding to the international outbreak of the H1N1 virus. The SNS, which includes large quantities of antiviral medicines such as oseltamivir and zanamivir, will be added to the State’s current supply of antivirals.


“Earlier this week the Governor requested a portion of the SNS to be sent to New Hampshire,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “This is yet another step we are taking to ensure we have the resources we need to treat people who may become ill with this virus.” DHHS has a strategy that will be implemented to assist in dispersing the supplies to local communities. The SNS is used to support hospitals, doctors and physicians as their supplies are depleted.


On Thursday, New Hampshire identified two probable cases of the virus. The cases are considered probable pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. Both individuals are employees at Concord Hospital. They have responded well to treatment and are recovering at home. A third individual from the Upper Valley is also being considered a probable case at this time. DHHS Division of Public Health continues to use surveillance to monitor for additional cases.


“We still don’t know just how severe this illness will be or how much it will spread,” said Public Health Director Dr. José Montero. “It is critically important that people continue following the steps we have recommended to help stop the spread of this illness. Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should call a doctor and isolate themselves from other people. Proper hand washing can help prevent contracting the virus, and people should cough or sneeze into their sleeves.”


The symptoms of swine flu are similar to seasonal influenza, including fever, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, chills, headache and muscle aches, and fatigue. Some patients have also reported diarrhea and vomiting and severe illness, including pneumonia and death, have been reported as well.


For questions about swine flu, possible symptoms, travel information or other issues related to this illness residents can call 1-888-330-6764 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. daily. For more information on swine flu, visit or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at


Shea-Porter to Honor Service Academy Nominees Sunday  

NEW HAMPSHIRE – On Sunday, May 3rd, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter will congratulate the students who are the 2008 Service Academy Nominees. The students will receive a Certificate of Recognition from the Congresswoman for their achievements.


Each year, Congresswoman Shea-Porter nominates a few highly-qualified applicants to four of the five service academies, the Military Academy (Army), the Naval Academy (Navy and Marines), the Air Force Academy, and the Merchant Marine Academy. The Coast Guard Academy was not part of the nomination process for this round but it will be in the future.


WHAT: Congresswoman Shea-Porter Honors the 2008 Service Academy Nominees


WHEN: Sunday, May 3rd 2:00 p.m.


WHERE: Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s Dover Office

104 Washington Street
Dover, NH 03820



WH Media - Background on Naturalization Ceremony For Active Duty Service Members

Friday, President Obama delivered remarks at a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members. This ceremony recognizes the contributions made by immigrant members of the U.S. armed forces who choose to join the American family as citizens.


Mike Aytes, Acting Deputy Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the Department of Homeland Security, will present the home countries of the candidates for citizenship, and Secretary Janet Napolitano will administer the oath of citizenship.


President Obama will then present Peter Lemon with the Outstanding American by Choice award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens.


The audience will be composed of the service members and their families. Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are also expected to attend.


Service members becoming American citizens:

Anthony Barber Agraviador, U.S. Army, SPC, E-4, Phillipines

Born in the Phillipines, Agraviador joined the U.S. Army in 2008. He is currently assigned to 335th Trans. Det. 24 BN in Fort Eustis.


Alex Almendras Burton, U.S. Army National Guard Reserve, Bolivia

Almendras entered the U.S. at the age of 11 in 1998. He is a member of the U.S. Army National Guard Reserve.


Priscella Decoda Beacher, U.S. Army, PFC, E-3, Jamaica

Born in Jamaica in 1987, Beacher immigrated as a child of a U.S. citizen in 2006. She is currently enlisted with the U.S. Army and is stationed at Fort Lee.


Carlyle Christophe Campbell, U.S. Navy, E-1, Jamaica

Born in Jamaica in 1977, Campbell immigrated as a spouse of a U.S. citizen in 2007. Mr. Campbell is currently serving in the U.S. Navy and is stationed in Norfolk.


Jeanne Ginette Ebongue Tapo, U.S. Navy, E-2, Personnel Specialist Seaman, Gabon

Born in Gabon, Africa, Ebongue joined the U.S. Navy in 2007.Her present command is the USS Enterprise (CVN-65).


Ricardo Kelene Fender, U.S. Army, E-2, Jamaica

Fender entered the U.S. at the age of 18 in 2005 and was accepted into the U.S. Army Reserves in 2008.


Christian Karl Glenn, U.S. Coast Guard, E-5, Germany

Glenn entered the U.S. at the age of 3 in 1986 and serves in the U.S. Coast Guard.


Xaverie Caroline Hildebrandt, U.S. Army, E-4, Cameroon

Born in Cameroon, Hildebrandt entered the U.S. at the age of 17 in 1991. She joined ROTC in high school and then the U.S. Army.


Donaven Jack, U.S. Marine Corps, Sgt E-5, Micronesia

Born in Micronesia, Jack now serves in the U.S. Marine Corps.


Przemyslaw Lesniewica, U.S. Navy, E-3, Poland

Born in Poland, Lesniewica came to the U.S. to be part of a youth ministry in Wisconsin. He now serves in the U.S. Navy.


Juan Miguel Leyva Marrero, U.S. Marine Corps, L Corporal E-3, Cuba

Born in Cuba, Leyva entered the U.S. at the age of 15 in 2000 and later joined the U.S. Marine Corps.


Anthony Marcus McKoy, U.S. Marine Corps, E-3, Guyana

Born in Guyana, McKoy entered the U.S. at the age of 10 in 1995 and later joined the U.S. Marine Corps.


Nijinsky Orlando Mendez Belmonte, U.S. Navy, Airman Recruit, E-2, Bolivia

Mendez entered the U.S. at the age of 18 in 2007 and later joined the U.S. Navy.


Abdul Goffur Guillermo Mondol Romero, U.S. Marine Corps, Sergeant, Nicaragua

Mondol entered the U.S. at the age of 5 in 1985 and joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001.


Alejandro Nunez, U.S. Navy, E-5, Mexico

Nunez is the son of migrant field workers in Mexico. He joined the U.S. Navy after a recruiter came to his high school.


Chryshann Pierre, U.S. Army, Specialist, Bahamas

Pierre entered the U.S. at the age 9 in 1990. She serves in the U.S. Army and will apply for a warrant officer position once she becomes a citizen.


Leonardo Porras, U.S. Navy, Colombia

Porras was born in Colombia in 1973. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2003 and is currently stationed at Little Creek Amphibious Base.


Jose Miguel Quijano, U.S. Marine Corps, PFC, Peru

Born in Peru, Quijano entered the U.S. at the age of 11 in 2000. He later joined the U.S. Marine Corps.


Hazzell Abigail Ramos, U.S. Marine Corps, Corporal, Nicaragua

Ramos came to the U.S. at the age of six and later joined the U.S. Marine Corps.


Jorge Fancisco Sifuentos Velasco, U.S. Army, PFC, E-3, El Salvador

Born in El Salvador, Sifuentos moved to Louisiana at a young age. He later joined the U.S. Army.


Eder Asael Valle Hernandez, U.S. Navy, NE-3, Mexico

Valle entered the U.S. at the age of 2 in 1990. He later joined the U.S. Navy.


Armel Possi Yepmo, U.S. Air Force, Cameroon

Born in Cameroon, Yepmo entered the U.S. at the age of 26 in 2008. He serves in the U.S. Air Force.


Can Yurdagul, U.S. Army National Guard, Turkey

Born in Turkey, Yurdagul entered the U.S. at the age of 11 in 2000. He joined ROTC and now serves in the U.S. Army National Guard.


Jeonathan Ezequiel Zapata, U.S. Navy, NE-4, Nicaragua

Zapata entered the U.S. at the age of 9 in 1996. He later joined the U.S. Navy.



Biography of Peter Lemon, recipient of the Outstanding American by Choice award:

Seven years after he became a naturalized American, Canadian-born Pete Lemon was serving in a U.S. Army Ranger platoon based in the jungles of Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam. The 19 year old Specialist was hoping to get a good night’s rest on the night of April 1, 1970, when his Fire Support Base came under attack. Exhausted, scared, and fighting for his life, Lemon was bleeding from numerous shrapnel wounds in his head, back, and neck from an enemy mortar that exploded near his foxhole. Specialist Lemon was fortunate. That same mortar round had literally vaporized one of his close friends and fellow soldiers.


The battle raged for more than three hours at Fire Support Base Illingsworth, one of two small American outposts in the remote jungle region. Close to 400 enemy soldiers swarmed the small American position, and they had chosen the area of the perimeter defended by Pete's Platoon as their point of attack. Already the young soldier had successfully fought back two waves of enemy soldiers, survived the mortar attack, watched three friends die, and carried another wounded comrade to safety.


Pete Lemon furiously fought through two successive waves of enemy advances, determined that if he could survive THIS assault, the worst would be over. He was wounded a second time, when a third wave appeared poised to over run the perimeter. It seemed that all hope for survival was lost. "I said to myself, 'You're not going to make it through this one'," Pete later recalled. Determined to go down fighting, the intrepid soldier found a working machine gun and jumped to the top of the dirt wall embattlement and, in a fully exposed position, continued to fire at the enemy.




“Governor John Lynch...has said he opposes same-sex marriage...[the same-sex marriage bill is] a big win for Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley, and a New Hampshire politico describes to me ‘insane behind-the-scenes wrangling,’ with two votes switching in the last 24 hours.”


POLITICO On The Lynch-Buckley Same-Sex Marriage Feud



New Hampshire Senate Passes Gay Marriage Bill


Ben Smith

April 29, 2009


How fast is this moving?


The New Hampshire State Senate just passed a bill making same-sex marriage law -- by a single vote, 13-11.


The same bill already passed the House, and now goes to the desk of Governor John Lynch, a Democrat who has said he opposes same-sex marriage, but hasn't said how he'd act on the legislation.


Now Hampshire reports that it's a big win for Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley, and a New Hampshire politico describes to me "insane behind-the-scenes wrangling," with two votes switching in the last 24 hours.





NH Patients, Advocates Unveil TV Ad Urging Governor to Allow Medical Marijuana 

Ad Featuring New Hampshire Patient to Air All Week Following Senate's 14-10 Vote to Pass Medical Marijuana Bill


CONCORD, N.H. — Patients and advocates announced a new TV ad urging Gov. John Lynch to allow passage of a bill to protect seriously ill New Hampshire patients from arrest for using medical marijuana with their doctor's recommendation at a press conference today.


The ad began airing Wednesday after the state Senate voted 14-10 to pass the bill, which the House had already voted in favor of 234-138 last month. Supporters say the ad, which features Sandra Drew, a retired nurse who uses medical marijuana to relieve the symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, will air for about a week on WMUR and Comcast during several timeslots.


"I'm not a criminal," the Allenstown resident says in the ad. "It shouldn't be a crime to treat my pain."


The 30-second ad is available online here:


Matt Simon, executive director for the NH Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy, said the ad is intended to remind the governor of the overwhelming support for medical marijuana both in the Legislature and among the public. A 2008 Mason-Dixon poll showed 71 percent of state voters in favor of such legislation.


More importantly, he said it should remind Lynch that suffering Granite Staters desperately need this law.


"The House and Senate spent a lot of time studying this issue, and they were clearly convinced," Simon said. "If Governor Lynch studies the issue and considers the plight of seriously ill New Hampshire patients, we are confident he will also be convinced they should be protected from arrest if their doctors recommend marijuana."


Also at the press conference was Scott Turner, a Nashua resident and medical marijuana patient with degenerative disc and joint disease.


"I came to Concord today because this bill is going to be something that has a major effect on people's lives," Turner said. "My heart literally drops when I think of the possibility that Governor Lynch might veto this."