Dan Tuohy

Digital Engagement Producer

Dan is a long-time New Hampshire journalist who has written for outlets including Foster's Daily Democrat, The Citizen of Laconia, The Boston Globe, and The Eagle-Tribune. He comes to NHPR from the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he reported on state, local, and national politics.

He is a native Granite Stater and a graduate of Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vt.

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The commission studying marijuana legalization in New Hampshire got a crash course Monday in "Juuling"—the  e-cigarette vaping that's become a craze among high school students.

Jill Burke, interim prevention administrator for the New Hampshire Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, says some young people are using various vaping devices with oils derived from cannabis.

“It is the size of a USB stick and they’re using these products in schools and colleges, and they’re using these products with THC oils and derivatives,” she said.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Six months ago, the State Police Forensic Laboratory had a backlog of about 3,600 cases. It’s now down to 1,600, and analysts are steadily chipping away at the number of controlled drug cases.

There are a few reasons for the progress, Director Timothy Pifer says. They’ve hired two extra chemists, for one.

Another factor: Marijuana decriminalization.

New Hampshire’s state law eliminating jail time for possession of a small amount of marijuana took effect in September of 2017.

PROBartolomej Jahoda via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/F4s3N

In the debate over legalizing marijuana in New Hampshire, advocates have said it should be regulated like alcohol.

So, it makes some sense that the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission would be a potential go-to agency to regulate it, should the Granite State one day permit retail sale of recreational pot. 

Seven cities approved Keno gambling last November and 77 towns will put the question to voters at town meeting on Tuesday--and later this week, according to the N.H. Lottery, which oversees Keno 603. Thirty-six towns OK'd Keno on Tuesday, while nine rejected it. 

Click the dots on the map to see where KENO stands in New Hampshire towns:

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand has a plan to curb gun violence ... just don’t call it gun control, he says.

"Note - I don't call it gun control because that implies I'm trying to take your guns. It's reducing gun violence," he said on The Exchange on Wednesday.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu inspected historic flooding Saturday on the New Hampshire seacoast, as Atlantic waves whipped up from a nor'easter's high winds breached and eroded sea walls for a second day.

CREDIT COURTESY KEENE STATE COLLEGE/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

There's always a certain retrospective zeal to the Oscars. It's part of what will make the 90th Academy Awards this Sunday so interesting: Past meets Present, Present winks and tips its hat

NHPR File Photo

Concord Police Lt. Michael Pearl says there are many problems with arming teachers with guns--something the President has suggested--to keep schools safe.

 

Speaking Tuesday on NHPR's The Exchange, he said there are training and liability issues. He also questions how a teacher would react in a critical moment.

 

"I don’t think it’s a viable solution. There are so many other options that we could work toward for prevention and awareness and training, that that’s not part of the equation," Pearl said. 

 

UNH

Dick Umile coaches his final regular season game Saturday night. The University of New Hampshire men's hockey coach is retiring after this year - his 28th season. He is known as the winningest coach in UNH hockey history. Fans, and especially his players - know him for his whistle.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu says America’s gun law debate should be occurring in Washington, and not in Concord.

A week after a mass shooting at a Florida school, Sununu said the state's focus should be on continuing to invest in school security upgrades and in kids.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

  The U.S. Senate has confirmed Scott W. Murray as the next U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire.

Murray is currently a four-term Merrimack County Attorney.

He succeeds Emily Gray Rice, who resigned in March of 2017.

Gov. Chris Sununu recommended Murray almost a year ago for the federal post, which is a four-term year. "Scott Murray will serve this state and our nation with distinction as United States Attorney," Sununu said.

 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Lawmakers took more testimony Tuesday for and against a bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

Those who support legalizing marijuana say the time has come. Opponents argued the bill is an effort by advocates to get a toehold for the marijuana industry in New Hampshire.

 

Dr. William Goodman, Medical Director at Catholic Medical Center, opposed the bill on behalf of the New Hampshire Medical Society.

 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Lawyers for a New Hampshire woman who won a $560 million Powerball game drawing in January are in court today to try to find a way the winner can remain anonymous. She signed the back of her ticket, which means her identity will be public under state law, according to the New Hampshire Lottery.

Five of the top 10 Lottery jackpots won in New Hampshire, which are all for the Powerball game, were claimed by trusts. Here is the list, sorted by date:

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

  When it comes to marijuana policy, New Hampshire legislators continue to comb through a slew of what-if scenarios.

The review, and debate, comes on a couple of fronts:

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A bill to allow for annulment of criminal convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana in New Hampshire has received a favorable recommendation from a House committee.

The legislation was drafted after Gov. Chris Sununu, R-Newfields, signed into law a measure to decriminalize possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of pot. The law took effect Sept. 16, 2017. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A proposal to enshrine victims' rights in the New Hampshire Constitution has notable backers, including Gov. Chris Sununu, but some say it's too broad and vague.

Buzz Scherr, chairman of International Criminal Law and Justice Programs at UNH School of Law, is in this camp.

He also contends supporters are distorting the rights currently provided by state law.

NHPR File Photo

The president of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce says he's encouraged by Gov. Chris Sununu's support for studying commuter rail expansion.

Michael Skelton now hopes state lawmakers follow suit. He will not be alone.

A new business coalition, “New Hampshire Business for Rail Expansion,” was unveiled Tuesday to advocate for restoring passenger train service from Boston to Manchester. Skelton first mentioned it while speaking on The Exchange on Tuesday.

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A leader of the state agency dedicated to the welfare of children supports the intent of a proposed foster parent bill of rights in New Hampshire.

 

Christine Tappan, associate commissioner of Human Services and Behavioral Health for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, said on The Exchange on Thursday that she was surprised that the state had not already enacted something similar because of past review by stakeholders, including a foster adoptive parents association.

 

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Flu season in New Hampshire is not as bad as in other parts of the country, but doctors are starting to see an uptick in cases. 

Dr. Pamela Hofley, medical director at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester-Bedford, says New Hampshire is just starting to head into peak flu season, which lasts through April.

“The New Hampshire flu activity level is certainly widespread in the state but still we’re considered low-level activity throughout the country, although we’re just starting to see an uptick,” she says.

The one-year milestone for Donald Trump’s presidency on Saturday feels a bit like inauguration day.

Some Trump supporters in New Hampshire plan to attend a reunion-like reception Friday night hosted by a conservative group and the state Republican Party.

On the other side, critics are organizing rallies. Among other events, there are Saturday women’s marches, including ones in Lancaster and Wilton, and in Portsmouth, where an estimated 3,500 turned out a year ago to protest the President’s inauguration.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As New Hampshire supporters of President Trump celebrate his first year in office, they pay little heed to controversies that have contributed to a historically low approval rating.

 

Asked about it, Lou Gargiulo responds by pointing to a stock market rally that led to a historic Dow high this week.

 

Gargiulo, a Rockingham County chairman for Trump in 2016, says he still revels in Trump's ability to beat the odds -- and confound his critics. 

 

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted Tuesday morning in favor of legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

N.H. Banking Examiner Todd Wells says financial institutions may be even less likely to work with marijuana businesses after the federal government signaled a tougher stand on legalization.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions canceled an Obama-era memo last week that federal authorities would not pursue states that legalize pot for recreational or medical purposes.

The move comes as a New Hampshire commission is studying marijuana legalization. Wells referenced the AG's action during a commission meeting today.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's Senate President Chuck Morse says work on Medicaid expansion in 2018 will be a balancing act that weighs federal requirements, fiscal impact on the state, and critical services.

“In any case we have to make sure that we protect the New Hampshire taxpayers,” he says.

It's clear that Medicaid remains a top priority for both Republicans and Democrats on the opening day of the legislative session Wednesday.

The common ground is agreement that Medicaid expansion is playing a role in helping the state combat the opioid crisis.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

 

A commission studying marijuana legalization will be seeking data on youth pot use to establish a New Hampshire baseline.

The move comes after the panel heard testimony Monday from Andrew Freedman, the former director of marijuana coordination for Colorado, which has legalized marijuana.

"The problem is that baseline data doesn't exist in a lot of the metrics that we're looking at. He gave us some good ideas," Rep. Patrick Abrami, chairman of the commission, said after the hour-long presentation.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

Stories of alleged sexual harassment or misconduct are not just relegated to Washington or New York. They ricocheted from Congress to Concord, as Casey McDermott reported this week. Her story, "Women Lobbyists, Legislators Describe Coping with Harassment at N.H. Statehouse," pulled the curtain back on serious complaints. 

State University System Chancellor Todd Leach cites several factors behind cost-cutting measures at Keene State College.

Besides declining enrollment and competition, he says there was a perception that Keene State was in fiscal trouble due to a cut in state funding in 2010.

“We can look and see the numbers drop there,” he said on The Exchange.

When it comes to marijuana legalization, the conflict between state and federal laws appears to be cause for concern for New Hampshire banks.

Todd Wells, Chief Bank Examiner for the New Hampshire Banking Department, says it's a matter of "reputation risk" for state-chartered banks and credit unions hesitant to establish direct relationships with marijuana-related businesses.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

When Lorraine Stuart Merrill was nominated as Agriculture Commissioner in 2007, the first reporter to get her on the phone asked her how it felt to take the job when farming was all but disappearing in the state.

That wasn't the case then - and it isn't now. There's something of a boomlet going on, she says. But for Merrill it showed that she had her work cut out for her in terms of public perception.

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