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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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. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

For over ten years, the city of Portsmouth has been trying to decide whether and where to build a second downtown parking garage.  On Monday night, city councilors voted unanimously to bond a $23 million new garage.

Of the 150 or so people who packed City Hall, more than 50 testified in favor of the garage; four testified against it.  Pressure was on for the three city councilors who had indicated uncertainty over the project.

Garage Enthusiasts

Brookings Institution

The Brookings Institution has ranked NHTI – Concord’s Community College -- as the nation’s most value-added two-year college.

The report compares how well two and four-year colleges boost student’s economic outcomes. That’s in contrast to many college rankings, which assess schools’ ability to attract top students.

Brookings Fellow Jonathan Rothwell says the study focused on alumni’s midcareer salaries, their occupations, and their ability to repay student loans.  

https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Strafford_County,_New_Hampshire_Genealogy

The mayors of Dover, Somersworth and Rochester have created a commission to pool municipal resources. 

As cities go, these cities are on the small side, with populations from 12,000 to 30,000. Rochester Mayor T.J. Jean says he hopes together, the tri-city commission can find economies of scale through collective purchasing and other measures. 

"Each community is going to send two representatives to bring ideas and discuss ideas on how we might be able to work together so we aren’t all spending the same amount of money on the same things," he says.

gavel
SalFalko, Mentus Media / Flickr Creative Commons

 

For more than a decade leaders in New Hampshire’s courts have been trying to modernize the state’s judicial system. In 2001 they began a major effort to digitized files. More recently, they’ve consolidated the lower courts.

On Thursday, the House begins hearings on an effort to speed up felony prosecutions.

Although the bill would create a trial phase in just two counties, debate over the proposed change is rippling through the state’s criminal justice community.

 

How It Works Now

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Congressman Frank Guinta worked the counter -- and met with lobbyists from the National Association of Convenience Stores during a stop at Cumberland Farms in Portsmouth.

He said he would work to make sure compliance with federal regulations like the new food labelling law isn’t unwieldy for convenience stores:

I will now,  when I’m back in Washington,  take a look at the current rule. And there’s legislation to fix that – proposed legislation -- so I’m going to take a look at all of that.

dla3lat at MarineTraffic.com

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a report including details about a 2013 collision between a 473 foot cargo tanker docked in Portsmouth and the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge.

The authors report the vessel needed maintenance and was not adequately attached at the wharf.

New Hampshire Director of Ports and Harbors, Geno Marconi, says he knew the port was not responsible, because saw the collision from the dock:

Wikimedia Commons

Allegiant Air's flights will arrive and depart as scheduled at Portsmouth's airport at Pease.

 The Teamsters International Airline division had planned to strike Thursday beginning at 3 a.m.

The strike was stalled when Allegiant Air was granted a temporary restraining order against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224, which represents the Allegiant pilots.

Wikimedia Commons

A labor dispute between the Las Vegas airline Allegiant Air and its pilots could affect passengers flying out of Portsmouth Airport.

Allegiant Air is the only commercial airline serving Portsmouth International. Airport manager Bill Hopper says airline let him know that its pilots’ union, Teamsters International, is planning to strike at 3am Thursday morning.

For now, Hopper says, the airport is planning business as usual “and we’ll see how things are in the morning.”

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Governor Hassan paid a visit to the fourth graders in Hampton Falls who proposed a bill naming the Red Tailed Hawk the state’s official raptor.

The raptor bill failed a couple weeks ago after a debate in the House in which one representative invoked abortion and others called the bill frivolous.  

Now, Sen. Jeff Woodburn says he'll attach the raptor language to a bill naming the bobcat the state's official wildcat to "right a serious wrong."

On Tuesday in the Lincoln Akerman school library, Governor Hassan addressed the fourth graders.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Soon Granite Staters may be able to buy refillable beer growlers not only at breweries, but at restaurants and retailers. 

A bill that succeeded in the House heads to the Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday.

The growler license would cost $240 and is limited to liquor licenses that sell at least 200 beer labels. Prime sponsor, Representative Kermit Williams says "we’re hoping is if a restaurant wants to do this they would become more of a craft beer specialist."

Sara Plourde

  On Tuesday the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill repealing a law that would create a 25 foot buffer zone around facilities where abortions are performed.

The bill follows a Supreme Court decision striking down similar law in Massachusetts.

The New Hampshire law never went into effect after it was challenged in Federal court.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Kathleen Souza, is an anti-abortion demonstrator. She says she would have introduced the bill even absent a Supreme Court decision.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Last year, 29 year old Robert Wilson was accused of a felony-level crime and faced the possibility of three and a half to seven years in prison. On Monday, after representing himself “pro se," the jury found him not guilty. 

Generally speaking, this doesn’t happen. Litigants represent themselves frequently in civil court, but rarely do criminal defendants argue by themselves before a jury. Wilson had even refused stand-by council.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

While addiction and related crimes are on the rise in Grafton County, the county’s Drug Court is struggling to fill enough seats.  That’s even though clients who get a drug court offer can avoid incarceration, get access to affordable high-level addiction-treatment programs, and often have their conviction vacated after completion.

It's Lonely In Here

Hasbro

  The boardgame company Hasbro has announced Portsmouth will be a property the new “Here and Now, US Edition” Monopoly gameboard.

The new board is being released in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the original Monopoly boardgame. Cities on the new gameboard received over 4 million votes on the website Buzzfeed.

Portsmouth Mayor Bob Lister facetiously says he’s sure Portsmouth’s place on the gameboard will bring a lot of awareness to the public about Monopoly. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A new state prison for women, originally slated to open in the fall of 2016, is running $12 million over budget and will be delayed by one year.

The building was supposed to cost $38 million and take two years to build. Contractors broke ground in August.

Now, Jeff Lyons with the Department of Corrections says, “the project is costing more than it was originally anticipated to cost, so we now have to look at our options.” 

Town of Rye

Some Seacoast towns voted down major capital projects, although residents in New Castle, it turns out, will have a second chance at one of their warrant articles.

In Rye, residents voted not to spend $4 million dollars to renovate their town hall. In North Hampton, a simple majority favored a $7 million new library, and safety complex: but a super majority was needed to pass the measure.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

To function, town governments in New Hampshire rely on an informed citizenry. But getting informed can be overwhelming. Deliberative sessions take all day, warrant articles can be technical and hard to understand, and candidates can be numerous.

Now, civic-minded residents are finding ways to help.

Tom Vagliery via Flickr CC

On Wednesday members of the House will vote on a bill that prohibits minors from using tanning facilities. 

The bill requires indoor tanning operators to obtain proof that customers are over the age of 18. They would also have to sign a consent form acknowledging the risks of indoor tanning.

The American Pediatric Association and the World Health Organization’s Cancer research agency have recommended the measure. It’s already law in nine other states and the District of Columbia.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 On Wednesday the New Hampshire House will vote on whether schools should be able to compel students to disclose their social media activity.

The bill bans schools from demanding access to a student’s user name and password or requiring students to “friend” school officials on Facebook.

It would apply to private and public schools, K through colleges and universities. Prime Sponsor, Merrimack Rep Katherine Rogers says schools that demand access to a student’s social media accounts without a search warrant are denying that student the civil right to privacy.

The city of Portsmouth has been hauling snow from town and dumping it on Peirce Island, just across from the Naval Shipyard. But now, Public Works Director Peter Rice says the island is filling up. 

 Everything but the road is covered in mountains of snow on Peirce Island.    At the very end of the road, a snow pile towers two or three stories high.  If you peer over the hill to the park below – you see the pile doubles in size.

“This is unprecedented. We’ve never seen this before, like this. This has been amazing,” Lister revels.

Ibew Fairpoint via Flickr CC

New Hampshire FairPoint workers who have been on strike since October will vote on a new labor agreement Saturday. Ratification meetings will take place in both Manchester and Portsmouth.

Vermont workers cast their on Friday; Maine workers will follow suit on Sunday.

The new agreement comes after more than a month of negotiations led by a federal mediator.

 

Union representatives say ratification of the contract will be announced Sunday night. If successful, more than 1,700 striking workers could be back to work as early as next week.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

  The NH House is backing a bill that seeks to remove a potential financial incentive for county prosecutors who pursue liquor law violations.

The bill is fallout from mismanagement in the office of former Rockingham County Attorney, Jim Reams. Among other things, the state accused Reams of misusing fees his office collected while prosecuting liquor violations. Reams said current law allowed him to collect and spend the liquor fines.

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