N.H. town basks in its moment

George Billings, of Peterborough, N.H.

Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary vote turns the national spotlight on small towns such as Peterborough, and many welcome the attention.

Debbie Melanson tops off Michael Myers’ cup of coffee at John’s Cackle & Buzz in Ashland earlier this month. At the counter, Jean and Maria Noel. Of the upcoming primary, Jean says: ‘‘You don’t know who to believe or what to believe.’’

Special Section

Ashland - the pulse of N.H.

A series of occasional articles looking at the 2012 Republican presidential race through the eyes of residents of Ashland, N.H., a bellwether town in New Hampshire.

News Analysis

GOP fight reflects deeper war over party identity

Three major factions — social conservatives, the Tea Party movement, and the business and government establishment — are in competition to define what the party stands for.

In letter, Murray addresses ‘false rumors’ related to crash

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray has written to political supporters telling them that he has been subjected to “wild speculation’’ since his November crash.

Change sought in gauging teachers

Teachers’ job security would be tied primarily to performance under a prospective state ballot initiative that is drawing criticism from unions and education leaders.

Fees surge as banks hunt for revenue

The region’s largest banks are charging consumers as much as $50 a month if they do not maintain minimum balances or meet other requirements for certain checking and savings accounts.

Spelling makes a comeback in schools

Spelling textbooks, ejected from classrooms some 20 years ago to make way for more creative methods of studying words, are becoming popular again.

Interactive quiz

Test your spelling knowledge

There are 12 questions in this interactive spelling bee. Listen to the audio for each question, type your answer in the field, and keep track of your score.

“If you work in a restaurant or something like that, you’ll need to know how to spell.”

Max May, 12,  attending a spelling bee workshop at the Billerica library


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Accidents common at Cambridge intersection

Traffic is heavy and risk to cyclists is high at Vassar Street and Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, the intersection where a rider was killed in a crash last month.



Newt Gingrich spoke today at a town hall meeting at a restaurant in Manchester, N.H.

Gingrich says he is in race for long run

Newt Gingrich predicted that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney would probably win the New Hampshire primary — and insisted it would not matter.

Nation & World

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Representative Gabrielle Giffords led a Tucson crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance last night at a vigil marking the one-year anniversary of the shooting that left her injured and six people dead.

Giffords joins Tucson for day of remembrance

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords led a Tucson crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance as the city marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting spree that killed six and wounded Giffords and 12 others.


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Antwaun Molden is one of three Patriots defensive backs to play in all 16 games.

Patchwork secondary is part of the Patriots’ mystery

Many of the names are lesser known -- Sterling Moore, Antwaun Molden. And the Patriots are still, on the cusp of the playoff opener, seeking the right mix in the backfield.

Health and wellness

G Force

“You don’t have to eat organic to eat healthily,” said Michael Pollan. “Eating real food, whether it’s organic or not, is going to do a lot for your health.”

Doing right by your diet

Michael Pollan, a science journalist and author of ‘‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’’ and ‘‘Food Rules,’’ will be speaking later this month at the Boston Speakers Series.


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Album Reviews

The Weeknd’s soundtrack for the broken spirit

“Echoes of Silence’’ completes a trilogy of albums released in less than a year by Abel Tesfaye, whose cloudy and distant sound is as compellingly hazy as the singer himself.