Concord: State budget writers say they have uncovered an additional $70 million shortfall in state revenues, adding a new and unexpected stress to New Hampshire’s already-dire financial situation. According to Gov. John Lynch’s top budget adviser and the Legislature’s budget office, the $70 million hole is in the Department of Health and Human Services, where administrators apparently double-counted a federal Medicaid payment. With the newly discovered gap, the state deficit now approaches $370 million over the next two years.
Jaffrey: Teleflex Medical is laying off more than a third of its workers over the next year. Teleflex, which makes medical tubing, says about 120 of its 320 employees will lose their jobs by March 2006. By then, the company will have moved its assembly operations to some of its other plants.
Concord: Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen says he won’t rule out cutting Medicaid reimbursements to doctors and other health care providers to avoid a potential $30 million deficit in his budget this year. The move would need legislative approval and has proven unpopular in the past, as when then-Gov. Craig Benson sought rate cuts two years ago. Stephen did not specify which providers would be affected or how large a cut he might seek.
Stratham: Bernard Smith of Stratham, president and part-owner of Stealth Components Inc., a firm based at Pease International Tradeport, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly defrauding the government of $385,000 in U.S. Customs import duties. According to information provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, Smith is charged with seven combined counts of conspiracy and false statements.
Nashua: Teradyne Inc. said that part of its focus in the first quarter of this year will be on finishing the move of its high-volume manufacturing, much of it Teradyne Connection Systems work, to areas such as Asia and Mexico, where it can be done less expensively. Teradyne, based in Boston, is the parent company of the Nashua-based Teradyne Connection Systems division, which laid off 250 workers last month, 200 of whom worked in Nashua. Teradyne Connection Systems will focus on research and development as well as prototype building and high-end, complex manufacturing at the Nashua location.
Manchester: Manchester Airport retained the distinction of recording the largest drop in airline ticket prices compared to 1995 among the nation’s 85 largest airports, according to federal figures released yesterday. The Air Travel Price Index also showed that Manchester fares dropped 5.8 percent during the third quarter of 2004 compared to the same period the previous year — good for the 13th sharpest drop. The U.S. Transportation Department said ticket prices for the third quarter of 2004 were 18.9 percent lower for Manchester than they were for the third quarter in 1995. The third quarter covers July through September.
Somersworth: Somersworth-based NADCO, a manufacturer of industrial tape, is considering a move to Florida to take advantage of tax breaks in the Sunshine state. NADCO Vice President Neil Doniger told Foster’s Daily Democrat that the company has two choices: expand its existing facility or move to Sarasota, Fla. On Wednesday, the light industrial company returned to the Planning Board to get a one-year extension on its approval to add a 12,500 square-foot addition to its East Willand Drive facility, which the board approved in February 2004. The board granted the extension and told Doniger the city would be sorry to see his company go, but state law precludes the city offering any incentive for the company to stay.
Manchester: The low-cost carrier Independence Air has slashed the number of its daily flights from Manchester to Washington to four, fewer than half the nine flights it offered when it began operating last July. Independence Air spokesman Rick DeLisi said the airline is restructuring its operations and finances, which includes returning between 10 and 20 leased jets to General Electric and selling a handful of others, he said. “As we’re rebalancing our fleet size, we’re rebalancing our schedules as well,” DeLisi said.
Concord: The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program is asking the state’s communities, nonprofit groups and forest lovers to submit information on any possible projects that could be eligible for funding. The LCHIP program takes applications for conserving land and historic buildings and awards grants to some local groups and communities that apply. At a time when Gov. John Lynch has asked agencies to prepare flat budgets, LCHIP directors have asked that the state budget include $6 million for LCHIP over the next two years, LCHIP directors said. In order to provide Lynch with the most accurate information they can, they said they want to know as much as possible about the projects that most need the money.