Emily Corwin

Seacoast Reporter

Emily Corwin is NHPR's Seacoast reporter, doing general assignment reporting across the region. She 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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David Adams

On Friday, lawmakers will vote on a final rule governing what words New Hampshire drivers can have on their vanity license plates. While the Department of Safety’s interim rules did not allow drivers to receive vanity plates that refer to beer or other legal inebriants, the Department’s final recommendations reversed that decision, outlawing only illegal inebriants. 

The USS Norfolk, her crew of 16 officers and 122 enlisted personnel arrived at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Friday to undergo the process of inactivation. During its 31 year history, the Norfolk completed 15 deployments and covered 30,000 nautical miles. 

At the Shipyard in Kittery, crews will defuel the nuclear-powered ship. They will drain hydraulic systems and oil tanks, and remove tools, parts and furnishings.

Next, the sub will be towed to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard where it will be dismantled.

University of New Hamshire / Lucy Hodder has stepped down as counsel to the Governor to direct UNH Law School's new Health Law and Policy Program

The UNH School of Law announced its new Health Law and Policy program Friday.

The health law program will bridge the University’s Law School in Concord, and College of Health and Human Services, in Durham.

It aims to align curricula with the state’s growing health sector.

Interim Law School dean, Jordan Budd, says while the school does a good job already placing lawyers, this will help it do better.

Crystal Paradis / Vital Design

  A ten-year employment forecast in New Hampshire shows the Seacoast region gaining jobs faster than any other region in NH.

According to a report published by New Hampshire’s Economic Security Agency earlier this week, jobs in the Portsmouth/Salem region are predicted to grow 14.7 percent over the next 10 years –faster than anywhere else in the state. New Hampshire economist Dennis Delay says that’s a bit of a surprise.

Joe Gratz / flickr, creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/63126465@N00/117048243

  Former Rockingham County prosecutor Jerome Blanchard begins work Monday as a criminal defense attorney with Russman Law in Exeter.

Blanchard was a primary whistleblower in the state’s investigation into former Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams. Blanchard was later fired by Patricia Conway, a longtime prosecutor in Reams’ office who was elected County Attorney in November.

Jeff Finn / Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/44459766@N02/6385935213

It was a record year for red-bellied woodpeckers in New Hampshire. That's the word from New Hampshire's birders as the international Christmas Bird Count tradition comes to a close.

Overall, bird enthusiasts from 21 regions across the state are reporting both high individual bird counts, and high species counts.  

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Autopsies completed Wednesday confirmed the identities and cause of death of the couple found dead at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Tuesday morning. 

The Attorney General's office believes Mark Lavoie, 50, shot and killed his wife, Katherine Lavoie, 49, then commit suicide with a single gunshot wound to his head.

  Granite Staters greeted the New Year with festivities across the state, including First Night celebrations. 

In Portsmouth, Jeff Day estimates he’s spent the last 20 New Years Eves running his chainsaw through blocks of ice right here in Portsmouth’s Market Square. This year, he’s working with thirteen 300-pound cubes. 

"We're gonna make an iceburg, we're gonna have some penguins on there, some sliding, some sitting there," he says.

Day, who owns a diner in Rumney, won second place at the World Ice Art Championships in 2006.

NHPR / Emily Corwin

An investigation is underway into a murder-suicide involving a husband and wife at a Dover hospital this morning.

According to the attorney general’s office, Dover police responded to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital just after 6 this morning for a report of shots fired.

Officers found the husband and wife both dead in the hospital’s critical care unit.

While the investigation is ongoing, it appears the husband murdered his wife and then took his own life. 

flickr, creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/11388184@N05/8325737221/

  Thanks to snow blowing, most lifts and at least half the trails are open at New Hampshire's major downhill ski resorts. Now, upcoming cold temperatures will mean more cross country trails can open up, too.

Gunstock will begin blowing snow onto its cross country trails on Monday night.  Marketing Director Bill Quigley says getting snow onto these narrow, tree-lined trails requires the assistance of a local farmer. "They actually load the snow into a manure spreader," he says, "and then we drag it around with a snowcat and a tractor to spread it on the trails."

A lifelong champion for uninsured women and their children has died.  Avis Goodwin passed away on Saturday in York Harbor, Maine on Saturday at age 95. 

As Director of Social Services at Wentworth Douglass Hospital in 1969, she started the state’s first prenatal care clinic for uninsured women. It is now a nonprofit called the Goodwin Community Health Center in Somersworth.

  The Portsmouth City Council has voted down a measure that would have created a temporary legal exception for drivers of the ride-sharing company, Uber.

City Attorney Bob Sullivan established the previous week that online ride-sharing does qualify as a taxi service in Portsmouth, and could be subject to taxi inspection and medallion requirements.

But in a 5-4 vote Monday night, City Councilors rejected the 60-day protection for Uber’s drivers proposed by Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

  For the first time in five years, New Hampshire came in at the top of the class for on-time graduation: 88 percent of students graduated high school in four years. Vermont had held that title previously.

That’s the report from the New England Secondary School Consortium, which consists of five New England States: Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. NESSC  released its latest high school graduation and college enrollment data last week.

University of New Hamshire

The University of New Hampshire has appointed Deborah Merrill-Sands to be dean of the Paul College of Business and Economics.

In a recent press release, UNH Provost Lisa MacFarlane called Merrill-Sands a "leading authority on women's leadership and women's workforce issues.”

The dean’s seat was vacated over a year ago, when Daniel Innis resigned to make a bid for U.S. Congress.

Merrill-Sands, who is currently the dean of the Graduate School of Business at Mills College, will begin her role in Durham this March. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

New Hampshire's new $38 million prison – which is being built in Concord as I write this – may be too small.

 The fact that the state’s prison population has been growing steadily is well known. What’s new is a striking increase in the number of female inmates in state prison over the last six months. It’s 13 percent higher compared to 2013. That’s roughly four times the rate of increase among male inmates. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  A new skating rink at the Strawbery Banke museum in Portsmouth opened for its first full day on Saturday.

Twenty-four year old Portsmouth resident Melissa Towle was lacing up her boots Saturday afternoon with her stepdaughter.

I haven't ice-skated since I was about her age so I'm just hoping I don't hurt myself!

The rink took two years in development:  advocates overcame a pricey legal battle waged by wary neighbors, and raised over $450,000 dollars.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

About 80 people gathered in Market Square in Portsmouth Friday night to show solidarity with African American victims of police brutality.

A few people of color stood among a largely white crowd. Some stood quietly, others chanted "We Shall Overcome." 

PaMela Ramsay held a sign reading “Black Lives Matter.” She’s a third generation Portsmouth Native, and African American. "It's always been very white here," she said, "and it's extremely encouraging, extremely emotional, and I'm just so happy to see all these people who would support people of color."

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has said the state can increase public employees’ pension contributions, even after workers have spent 10-plus years on the job.

The ruling reverses a Superior Court decision, which could have required the state to refund $75 million dollars in pension contributions to some 25,000 public employees.

Maddie DeSantis

  When it comes to our state’s economic future, policymakers and business leaders bemoan New Hampshire’s aging population and the state’s failure to lure young people back to the state after college.  Usually, jobs are seen as the antidote. But in Somersworth, a youth renaissance is taking place thanks not to any employer – but to the strength of twelve millennials’ childhood bonds.

First, picture Somersworth. It’s got a couple pizza and sub shops, a pawn shop, a thrift store, and like in a lot of old New England mill towns, that’s about it.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Standing in Market Square Friday afternoon, you could hear a hoarse striker’s voice cracking as he chanted along to “what do we want?” “A contract.” “When do we want it?” “Now.”

About 100 striking FairPoint workers were rallying  to mark the 50th day of the strike. These unionized telecommunications workers haven’t seen a paycheck since they walked off the job in October. Many have spent the time attending rallies as far away as Montpelier, Vermont and Portland, Maine.

Matt M. / flickr, creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/41348459@N00/3457301638

  This week the Portsmouth police department launches a new program called “Cops on Corners,” in an effort to make department operations more transparent.

Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald says the community events are a response both to local tensions and a national conversation arising out of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. He says “the goal here is to get out in front of the public, go neighborhood by neighborhood --because different neighborhoods have different issues -- and just meet with people.”

PSNH / flickr, creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33314439@N05/6279908349

  Now that virtually all of the 300,000 energy customers who lost power in Wednesday’s storm have their lights back on, New Hampshire's power companies are looking to the future. 

Via the organization's website

The nonprofit Seacoast Family Promise had  hoped to provide training, medical and social services at a new day center in an Exeter neighborhood. But after two months of back and forth, the town’s Zoning Board of Adjustment voted the proposal down Tuesday night.

Although the nonprofit says all guests would have passed criminal background and illegal drug tests,  neighbors continued to worry the center would reduce property values and impact neighborhood safety. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The last of the scrap metal has been loaded onto a cargo ship and is headed out of Portsmouth this weekend. The scrap company Grimmel Industries had operated on the port for about 10 years. 

The Pease Development Authority voted earlier this year not to renew the scrap company’s lease after years of pressure from  the scrap yard's neighbors and environmental advocates.


Exeter superintendent of schools Michael Morgan is not giving many details about what he's calling "an incident involving the inappropriate use of personal technology." His primary responsibility, he says, is to protect students' privacy. 

On Wednesday, Exeter Police Chief Richard Kane told Seacoast Media Group  “the police department is actively investigating.” 

Sara Plourde / NHPR

  First district Republican Frank Guinta came out on top yesterday in his third matchup with incumbent Democrat, Carol Shea-Porter. NHPR’s Emily Corwin reports Guinta edged Shea-Porter by 3 points.

After her defeat Carol Shea-Porter was unexpectedly upbeat, saying “I love election day! And I love  the people that I got to see, I’m proud of the constituent services we did, I’m proud of the work we did in the office in Congress, but I love the campaign side too!” 

If you are seeking nuance or restraint, you wont find it at a  get out the vote rally on the Sunday before a tight election.  

Here’s State GOP chairman Jennifer Horn last night in Manchester:

"This is our time. We need to crush it. We need to grab it.  We need to run with it, push their heads under over and over again until they cannot breathe anymore, until the elections are over Tuesday night."   

Paul via Flickr CC

Where I grew up in Connecticut, children trick or treat on Halloween night, after dark, for as long as they possibly can.   I called my hometown’s clerk to double check: municipal government has nothing to do with it.

Yet in my current home of Portsmouth, the city website declares “the date and time for 'Trick-or-Treat' activities in Portsmouth this year will be Thursday, October 30th, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.”

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  College campuses used to be the domain of the Democrats. Two years ago, Democrats got 62 percent of the vote among 18-29 year olds.  And with midterm election turnout particularly low among college students, it didn't make sense for the GOP to spend time campaigning there.

“Traditionally in midterm elections, the GOP has said ‘we don’t think it’s worth expending the resources,’” says 32 year old Andrew Hemingway, a recent Republican candidate for Governor and manager of Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign in New Hampshire.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Democrat Jeanne Shaheen was joined on the campaign trail this weekend by one of her party’s biggest stars: Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Senator who defeated Scott Brown in 2012. While Shaheen’s campaign stops targeted core Democratic constituencies – college towns and union halls --  Scott Brown’s campaign sought votes a bit farther afield.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren made one thing clear to the crowd at the University of New Hampshire.  Scott Brown is not from here.