Brian Wallstin

Digital Journalist

Brian has more than 20 years of experience in journalism.  He has done in-depth investigative reporting for a variety of publications, including The Houston Press where he was a staff writer for more than eight years.  As Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri, he taught and mentored undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Journalism.  He has held several editorial positions, including four and a half years as City Editor for  the Columbia Missourian, and has been a contributor to NHPR.org, notably during the 2012 elections.    Brian has a B.J. from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.  

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The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on whether a lawsuit over the state’s handling of child abuse and neglect cases should be open to the public.

The details of these types of lawsuits are almost always sealed by court order.

But attorneys for an adoptive family of two young victims of sexual abuse told the court that the case should be heard in open court.

All Things Considered host Peter Biello spoke with NHPR digital reporter Brian Wallstin, who has reported on this case and attended the hearing at the Supreme Court.

 A hearing before the state Supreme Court on Tuesday will center on a sensitive question: Should lawsuits involving child abuse and neglect be open to the public?

 

The issue stems from a series of high-profile cases in New Hampshire in which two children died and two others were sexually abused. Almost without exception, the details of these types of lawsuits are sealed by court order, making them among the most secretive legal proceedings in the state.

 

A non-profit organization that trains volunteers to represent child victims in neglect and abuse cases is asking lawmakers to grant it immunity from civil and criminal liability.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As a former lobbyist for the New Hampshire banking industry, Jerry Little had little trouble raising money for his 2014 campaign for state Senate.

 

Of the more than $100,000 in contributions Little collected, more than a third came from donors with ties to the financial sector. Little, a Republican, went on to win his race by a comfortable margin.

 

Three weeks after the First in the Nation Presidential Primary, nine months before the November election, and New Hampshire is already on to a new round of political ads.

It began today with a 30-second spot from Sen. Kelly Ayotte, which features her 11-year-old daughter, Kate.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Here's a twist in an election year in which the role of money is a dominant theme: A Super PAC created to blunt the influence of Super PACs in key political races is jumping into the Senate contest between Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Gov. Maggie Hassan.

With the 2016 presidential campaign now entrenched in Nevada and South Carolina, local television stations are closing the books on the New Hampshire Primary.

Sara Plourde/NHPR

One of the more closely-watched Senate contests of 2016 won’t be bound by a so-called people’s pledge after all.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the Republican incumbent, and Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan have failed to reach an agreement to limit the influence of outside political groups in the race.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For months after announcing his White House bid, Bernie Sanders didn’t run a single campaign commercial on television. But he was everywhere online: emails, social media posts and paid ads on desktop computers and mobile devices.

Sanders has spent $10 million building a presence on the Internet, more than anyone else running for president this year. While the Vermont senator has hardly turned his back on TV, he’s betting that the voters most likely to embrace his vision for the country are online, not in front of a 50” flat-screen.

Donald Trump likes to point out that, unlike everyone else running for president in 2016, he’s got the money to pay his own way to the Republican nomination.

Bernie Sanders may be running an unconventional campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. But to close the sale with New Hampshire voters, he has put his money on a rather conventional means: television advertising.

Brian Wallstin for NHPR

When Bill Binnie launched WBIN-TV in 2011, less than a year after losing the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat, his goal was to bring more competition to New Hampshire political coverage.

Binnie had another incentive, of course: The tens of millions of dollars spent on political advertising during the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Every four years, New Hampshire Primary candidates and their supporters buy up hours of commercial time on local TV in hopes of attracting potential voters.

But, this year, all the advertising has not translated into more support, especially on the Republican side.

NHPR’s digital reporter Brian Wallstin has been tracking the primary-ad war and he’s giving NHPR's All Things Considered the lay of the land.

So, here we are – a little more than two months before the primary. Are viewers sick of all the political ads yet?

Compared to some of his rivals, Marco Rubio hasn’t been seen much in the Granite State, either in person or on TV.

That’s about to change.

New Hampshire’s medical board adopted emergency rules for opioid prescribers Wednesday, but rejected many of the changes sought by Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Brian Wallstin/NHPR

For years, Chris Clough prescribed more pain medication than almost anyone else in New Hampshire.

Along the way, state regulators say, he broke nearly every rule in the book.

Turn on the television in New Hampshire these days, and you won’t have to wait long before Jeb Bush, John Kasich or Chris Christie pops up on your screen. 

Republican donors in New Hampshire are beginning to loosen their purse strings for their party’s primary contenders.

Granite Staters contributed more than $220,000 to GOP presidential candidates in the third quarter of 2015. That’s $70,000 more than Democrats took in, and a big change from earlier in the year, when Republican candidates were out-raised in New Hampshire by a two-to-one margin.

Flikr Creative Commons / Dvortygirl

One patient received opioids from 64 prescribers across three states. Another received thousands of painkillers from 11 different prescribers. In a third case, a patient being treated for opioid dependence filled two dozen prescriptions for oxycodone from clinicians at 18 separate practices.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office is investigating marketing claims by the manufacturers of prescription opioids, action that could lead to lawsuits against the companies for deceiving physicians and patients about the drugs.

States would receive four dollars in federal money for every dollar they invest in substance abuse prevention and treatment under a plan announced today by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The plan, outlined in a conference call with reporters, would direct $10 billion in new federal funds to drug and alcohol addiction programs over 10 years.

If you have any lingering doubt that Super PACs will play an outsized role in the New Hampshire primary, consider this: More than three quarters of the television advertising aimed at first-in-the-nation primary voters this year has been reserved not by candidates, but by independent political groups.

Kate Harper

Recent polls have Hillary Clinton trailing Bernie Sanders in the Granite State Democratic presidential primary, but that hasn’t stopped New Hampshire Democrats from joining forces to raise money with the former Secretary of State.

Be.Futureproof / https://flic.kr/p/4xcHp9

A series of physician-training sessions aimed at reducing the amount of opioids prescribed to patients who may go on to become addicted will kick off in Bedford in November.

Southeastern New Hampshire Services in Dover offers inpatient substance abuse treatment along the same stretch of County Farm Road as a nursing home and a day care center.

www.drug-alcohol.com

  When the Department of Corrections begins offering naltrexone to male inmates sometime this fall, it will put New Hampshire among the more than 20 states that use the drug to treat incarcerated addicts.

New Hampshire, however, will launch the program using the oral version of naltrexone, which studies show faces more barriers to success than the extended-release injections used in other prisons and jails across the country.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As hosts of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, Granite Staters often claim a reputation for political sophistication and civic engagement. But a new report finds that relatively few residents are politically involved and, when Election Day rolls around, they are more likely to accept the status quo and stay home rather than cast a ballot.  

Josh Rogers/NHPR

Sen. Andy Sanborn has called for New Hampshire's so-called "drug czar" to resign, two days before a legislative committee will decide whether to extend the official's contract.

The number of health insurers in New Hampshire shrank by one this morning with the news that the state’s two largest players, Anthem and Cigna, have agreed to merge in a deal worth more than $48 billion.

When it comes to 2016 presidential campaign spending in New Hampshire, there’s one clear winner so far: The state Democratic Party. 

Roughly 30 percent of total candidate spending in New Hampshire so far this year has gone to the state party, and it came as a single, $100,000 expense: Hillary Clinton’s purchase of the party’s so-called "voter file." 

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