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 Sidebar
5:31 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

The Sidebar: Town Meeting Voters Weigh In On Political Spending

Credit Flickr - Images of Money

Voters at town meetings across New Hampshire approved resolutions urging state lawmakers to join a nationwide effort to overturn Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down limits on political spending by corporations, labor unions and special interest groups.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 28 towns had approved petition warrants supporting campaign finance reform, including Exeter, Amherst, Salem, Deerfield, Hudson, Rindge and Windham.

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NH News
1:44 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

AG's Office Outlines Pattern Of Harassment and Misused Funds In Complaint Against Reams

Credit www.rocka.net / Rockingham County Attorney's Office

The Attorney General's office has released its complaint for the removal of Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams.  

Citing interviews with former employees of the Rockingham County Attorney's Office, the 25-page redacted complaint alleges numerous cases of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, retaliation and misuse of county funds dating back 14 years. 

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Politics
5:09 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

The Sidebar: Utah House Approves Moving Primary Ahead Of New Hampshire's

Utah's Statehouse in Salt Lake City
Credit Jimmy Wayne via Flickr CC

Utah lawmakers have advanced a bill that would move the state’s presidential primary ahead of New Hampshire’s.

Legislation approved by the House Monday gives lawmakers the option of holding an online election, provided it is “held before any other caucus, primary, or other event selecting a nominee in the nation.”

If approved by the Senate and signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, the bill, HB 410, would require the state to fund the Western State Primary, at an estimated cost of $1.6 million.

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NHPR Blogs
12:33 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

The Sidebar: County Commissioner, Former Lawmaker Vie To Replace Burton In Executive Council Race

Republican Joe Kenney and Democrat Mike Cryans will face off in a special election March 11 to replace longtime District 1 Executive Councilor Ray Burton, who died in November.

A retired colonel in the United States Marine Corps, Kenney spent 14 years as a state legislator, in both the House and the Senate. He was the Republican nominee for governor in 2008 and lost to Democrat John Lynch. Kenney won a three-way Republican primary in January.

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The Sidebar
5:10 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

The Sidebar: Poll Finds Strong Support for Medicaid Expansion, Gun Background Checks

A bipartisan plan to expand Medicaid that is scheduled for a vote in the New Hampshire Senate this week has strong support from Granite Staters, according to a new poll.

New England College asked 774 registered voters if they would support a proposal backed by Gov. Maggie Hassan and a majority in the New Hampshire Senate “to extend private insurance to low-income residents, without passing the cost of coverage on to businesses.”

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News Primer
3:05 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

News Primer: Gun Bills At The Statehouse

New Hampshire lawmakers are mulling two bills that would expand background checks for gun purchases.

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation that would require private sellers to conduct sales through licensed firearm dealers who, under federal law, must perform background checks on prospective buyers.

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NHPR Blogs
2:31 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

The Sidebar: Eyes On The State Of The State

Credit Chris Jensen, NHPR News

Gov. Maggie Hassan will deliver her first State of the State address Thursday to a joint session of New Hampshire lawmakers.

Hassan ended her first year in office with decent job-approval ratings – 51 percent versus 21 percent who disapprove, according to a recent poll.

She begins her second with a heightened national profile: In December, she was elected vice chair of the Democratic Governors Association, which spent heavily to help her defeat GOP challenger Ovide Lamontagne in 2012.

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News Primer
2:19 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

News Primer: Legalizing Marijuana

Earlier this month, the New Hampshire House became the first legislative body in the United States to pass a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana use.

The legislation faces numerous – some would say intractable - hurdles, beginning with Thursday’s public hearing before the House Ways & Means Committee.

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NH News
4:09 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Jeff Bauman Among Guests to Join First Lady for SOTU

New Hampshire native and Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman will be among the guests sitting with first lady Michelle Obama during tonight’s State of the Union address.

Carlos Arredondo, a spectator who helped rush a badly injured Bauman from the scene of the April 15, 2013, attack, will also be among the more than two dozen people invited to join the first lady in her viewing box for the president's speech.

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The Sidebar
5:28 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

The Sidebar: Latest N.H. Casino Bill Builds On Failed 2013 Legislation

Credit JV via Flickr CC

Update: The Senate Ways & Means Committee approved SB 366, 4-1, this morning. Sen. Bob Odell, R-Lempster, was the lone vote in opposition to the bill, which would license two casinos. Senate President Chuck Morse said the legislation will now move to the full Senate. Morse said the Senate will likely table it and wait for the House to act on its own gambling bill. That legislation, drafted by members of the Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authorityenvisions a single casino, which Gov. Maggie Hassan supports.

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The Sidebar
6:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

The Sidebar: N.H. Legislators Will Make Another Run At Raising Gas Tax

Granite State motorists are driving more fuel-efficient vehicles, which means they’re buying less gas. Motorists purchased almost 60 million fewer gallons of gas in 2012 than they did in 2005. That translated into an $11 million decrease in revenue.
Credit Department of Safety Road Toll Bureau

A year after failing to agree on how to pay for a long list of road and bridge improvements, lawmakers will take another shot at bolstering the state’s chronically underfunded infrastructure this session.

Several bills are on the table, including one that would channel proceeds from a casino into the state’s highway fund.

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News Primer
6:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

News Primer: Fixing New Hampshire’s Mental Health System

Attacks by two psychiatric patients awaiting treatment at Manchester’s Elliot Hospital last year underscored the well-documented problems with New Hampshire’s mental health system.

In December, the state agreed to settle a federal lawsuit filed in 2012 on behalf of six plaintiffs who had cycled in and out of emergency rooms and the state mental hospital. The state has agreed to spend $30 million over the next three years to re-build its community-based system of care, once considered a national model.

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The Sidebar
6:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

The Sidebar: Is Keno The Next Big Bet For The N.H. Lottery?

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

On a recent afternoon at the Common Grounds Cafe, 200 yards from the New Hampshire border in Methuen, Mass, a handful of men sit along a short counter or at several tables in the back of the cafe.

Eyes moving back and forth from their pink and white betting slips to two wall-mounted video monitors, they wait for the next drawing of a popular electronic lottery game called Keno.

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NH News
6:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Keno Bill Sets Aside Funds to Treat Gambling Disorders

Legislation that would bring Keno to an estimated 250 bars and restaurants would, for the first time, establish a program to treat gambling addiction in New Hampshire.

An amendment to HB 485 would set aside 1 percent of the sales from Keno - about $435,000 - to the state Department of Health and Human Services for education, treatment and prevention services. William Butynski, D-Hindale, who proposed the amendment, says it’s time for lawmakers to recognize that even state-sponsored gambling such as the lottery can cause problems for a small percentage of people who play.

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NH News
6:07 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

NAFTA's Impact On New Hampshire

Credit via USTR.gov

Jon Bresler was an early supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement. As owner of Suncook Woven Labels, a textile company whose customers included Ralph Lauren, The Gap and J.C. Penney, Bresler figured anything that would break down trade barriers between the United States, Mexico and Canada would be good for business.

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