Emily Corwin

Seacoast Reporter

Emily Corwin is NHPR's Seacoast reporter, doing general assignment reporting across the region. She also does beat reporting on the state's justice system. Emily reports regularly on New Hampshire’s prison system, higher education, and regional politics. Previously, Emily worked on NPR's StateImpact project covering business & economy in New Hampshire. Emily received the 2013 Gracie Award for “Best Hard News Feature,” for her reporting on New Hampshire’s state prison for women.

Before coming to NHPR, Emily was the associate programmer for Public Radio Remix, with Roman Mars (of 99% Invisible). She hosted and produced Youthcast, a podcast from the Public Radio Exchange; and worked on other freelance projects in Boston. Emily studied cello performance and music composition at the California Institute of the Arts. She fell in love with public radio while schlepping between gigs on Los Angeles freeways.

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Kentucky Senator Rand Paul took a diagonal path from West Lebanon to Windham this weekend, making six stops in 36 hours. Tilton was his second-to-last stop of the day on Saturday.

The city of Portsmouth's effort to is trying to overturn a neighboring town’s approval of a controversial propane rail project. On Tuesday, a Superior Court judge heard arguments from attorneys on both sides.

The controversial Sea-3 rail expansion project would ship propane from fracking sites in the American West to their expanded Newington facility.  And it would run through Portsmouth. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Throughout the 2016 presidential season, NHPR will bring you profiles of the people and places behind the scenes of the New Hampshire Primary. We start with Geno's Chowder and Sandwich Shop, an iconic campaign stop in Portsmouth for candidates looking to meet voters - and maybe sample a lobster roll.

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The state Department of Health and Human Services says it's still determining if it can proceed with another round of blood tests for people exposed to contaminants at Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth. 

RICH BEAUCHESNE/SEACOASTONLINE

A retired Portsmouth police officer who was placed under a gag order after talking to a local newspaper is suing the city, as well as the city’s Police Chief and Police Commission.

The police department put retired officer John Connors under a gag order almost a year ago, after he talked to the Portsmouth Herald about Detective Aaron Goodwin.

Goodwin inherited $2.7 million from an elderly Portsmouth woman who lived next door to Connors. Goodwin was fired last month after an independent investigation.  The inheritance is now pending in probate court.

The Port of New Hampshire will get $5 million to make it easier for ships to turn around.  The money is part of the state’s capital budget that Governor Hassan signed into law this week. The capital budget also includes increased funds for the new women's prison in Concord.

Port Project

Back in 1984, the Army Corps of Engineers recommended five port improvement projects. Four have been completed. With this additional $5 million from the capital budget paired with $14 million more from the feds, the final project can get underway. 

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

From now on, any community college student in the nation will automatically be accepted to New England College in Henniker. The private, 4-year college revealed their new enrollment policy this week.

Brad Poznanski, NEC’s director of admissions, says so long as the student is in good academic standing, no application is necessary.

In 2014, 18 out of 44 transfer students came to NEC’s on-campus program from community colleges.

Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is campaigning this week in New Hampshire. By some measures, the former Hewlett Packard CEO is doing very well compared to her primary opponents. But when it comes to pounding the pavement, she faces one basic challenge: introducing herself to voters.

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Rockingham County will pay an $80,000 settlement to a whistleblower in the Attorney General's investigation of former prosecutor Jim Reams.  The settlement with Jerome Blanchard comes after Blanchard filed a claim against the county for wrongful termination. It includes $54,000 in lost pay and damages, and $26,000 in attorneys fees.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

On Sunday night, the U.S. Womens Soccer team goes up against Japan in the World Cup Final. Ten year old soccer player Abby Bentley of Newmarket is looking forward to the game. NHPR's Emily Coriwn met up with Bentley at a summer camp held by Seacoast United in Hampton, N.H.

Courtroom One Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Police and defense attorneys now have a second list of officers who – for more than two years- may not have been properly certified to give breath tests.

Mirko Isaia / Flickr, creative commons

Portsmouth will host its first Pride festival this weekend. Festival organizers say the festival has been in the works since early winter.  Now that the Supreme Court upheld gay marriage in all 50 states, Seacoast Outright board chair Chuck Rhoades says, "I think there’s a little extra oomph, a little extra joy, and another reason to celebrate."

Seacoast Outright is a nonprofit that supports LGBT youth.  The organization faced funding and volunteer shortages last year. With a new board and director, Rhoades says, the group is revitalizing. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

For the first time this year, the Exeter Classic – a “criterium” style bike race – offered equal prize money in their pro women's race as their pro men’s race.  In September, the Portsmouth Criterium will also offer an equal purse to women for the first time.

Top female bike racers say regional race directors in New England and Northern California are pushing national and international governing bodies toward equality for women as they make room for women’s races and attract sponsors for equal prize money.

NHPR Staff

Funding for public higher education is a core issue in the budget battle now being waged between the Governor and the Legislature. Meanwhile, budget woes are brewing on the state's community college campuses, too, where students, faculty, and senior administrators don’t agree on how to balance the books.

State health officials have analyzed the first 100 out of about 500 blood samples taken from people exposed to a contaminant found in one of the wells on Pease International Tradeport.

The first 100 blood tests show concentrations of Perfluorochemicals PFOS and PFOA that are higher than the average American’s, but lower than other exposed groups like those drinking water downstream from a West Virginia DuPont factory.

New Hampshire Health And Human Services will discuss the results of the first 100 blood samples provided by individuals who spend time on the Pease Tradeport.  

A total of 433 people have been tested for the perfluorochemical “PFOS” after the city of Portsmouth discovered a high concentration of the contaminant in the Haven well on Pease.  The well has since been shut off.

Runs With Scissors via Flcikr/Creative Commons

USDA Undersecretary, Kevin Concannon visited New Hampshire this week to talk poverty and food policy with social service providers, meet with high school students, and visit a farmers market. I caught up with him and asked about local food and SNAP benefits; local food in schools -- and how behavioral economists are influencing the USDA's "Smarter Lunchrooms" program. 

Deborah Brown / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strafford-County-Courthouse

Every year, police officers who operate breathalyzer equipment have to get re-certified through an online course. 

Over the last year and a half, a software error re-certified about 110 officers who may not have been given the entire test.

Emily Corwin

Ohio’s Republican Governor and potential presidential candidate John Kasich stopped in Portsmouth Thursday to test his appeal with a handful of Seacoast Republicans. Kasich was the 10th presidential hopeful to luncheon with Renee Plummer and her politically active friends. Some consider Plummer the region’s most active Republican networker.

Kasich, a longtime congressman, former Fox TV host, and current Ohio governor, says he knows how to navigate Washington bureaucracy. And, he said – his administration would be sensitive to issues like mental illness and drug addiction. 

Three New Hampshire counties are on track to begin next year a streamlined system for processing felonies that removes the automatic probable cause hearing.

Today, all arrests begin in a local court, and anyone charged with a crime gets a probable cause hearing. But according to a bill passed by the House Wednesday, felony crimes will begin in the county courthouse starting in July of next year. Defendants will then have to petition a judge for a probable cause hearing -- that’s when the court determines if its more likely than not the crime occurred.

A community advisory board concerned about water contamination on Pease Tradeport heard from two epidemiologists Tuesday night in Portsmouth.  

Courtney Carignan studies environmental contaminants at Harvard’s School of Public Health. She says even though the contaminant found in a well at Pease is in a sort of regulatory limbo with the EPA, the contaminant's health effects are known.

Seacoast Charter School

An Arts and Music Charter School on the Seacoast that had faced closure is now likely to stay open.

The Seacoast Charter School has been trying to raise money to stay open since it learned its current lease from Sanborn Regional School District in Kingston wouldn’t be renewed.  The school needed to raise $125,000 by the end of May to lease a new space in Stratham. 

Seacoast Charter School Principal Peter Durso says the school met that goal through the efforts of teachers, parents, and some deep pocketed youngsters.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Former New York Governor George Pataki announced his bid for president this morning at a rally in Exeter. The Exeter town hall was sweltering and packed with perhaps as many New Yorkers as Granite Staters.

NH DHHS

As of this week, the state has tested the blood of 260 adults and children who were exposed to contaminated well water at the Pease Tradeport.  But some parents are questioning why their children are asked to sign a consent form before being tested. 

About a year ago, water tests revealed that a potentially harmful contaminant had been leaching into well water on the former Pease Airforce Base.  It was from old firefighting foam that was used as early as 1970.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

It was just over a year ago, at Keene area School District’s annual board retreat, and Deputy Superintendent Reuben Duncan was expecting the usual conversations about curriculum and finances. The teachers, he says, had something else in mind.

  In five or ten years, Duncan says, elementary school students were coming in without the skills they used to have. “They were coming in without vocabulary, without being able to interact appropriately with other kids, with hygiene issues, not being able to use the bathroom,” he recalls. “And then, there’s the aggressive behaviors.”

Sara Plourde for NHPR

There are many factors that affect the way a family with children lives. We've selected ten of these - factors which affect income, access to resources, and stability - and combined them to illustrate how families are doing at either end of the income spectrum.
 
This graphic illustrates how the top 25% and bottom 25% compare, and how the bottom 25% compares with the average of all New Hampshire families. 

Notes on the data:

yelp.com

The co-owner of the Meat House grocery franchise will spend one month in jail after pleading guilty to fiduciary fraud.

Jason Parent pleaded guilty to Mismanagement of Property on Thursday.

Two years ago the Meat House LLC used $26,000 raised for a Veterans’ Charity to make payroll, including $14,000 in paychecks made out to Parent and co-owner Justin Rosberg.

Parent will face 30 days in the Rockingham County Jail followed by an 11 month suspended sentence. 

Rosberg,  pleaded guilty to the same charge in January.

http://www.seacoastcharterschool.org

A Kingston charter school that focuses on arts and music is facing possible closure.  

Currently, the school leases space from Sanborn Regional School District. The district extended the lease last year, but says they did not renew the lease because building’s fire and safety violations are too expensive to repair. 

Superintendent Brian Blake says the district intends to leave the building vacant.

Gavin Peterson / Flickr, Creative Commons

UNH Law Professor and Sports Journalist Michael McCann will teach a social science course to UNH Undergrads next year called “Deflategate.” 

The course will cover the intersection of sports law and journalism. Professor Michael McCann says it will include the Aaron Hernandez, Donald Sterling and "Deflategate" scandals, in addition to more general issues like union membership, contracts, and privacy rights.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Two cities and eleven individuals will have the chance to weigh in on propane company SEA-3’s controversial project in Newington. 

The state’s Site Evaluation Committee is in the middle of evaluating whether to approve SEA-3’s request to expand. SEC evaluations can take up to a year, and SEA-3 has requested an exemption to speed it up. 

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