Emily Corwin

Southern New Hampshire Reporter

Emily Corwin covers news in Southern New Hampshire, and reports on the state's criminal justice system. She's also one of eight dedicated reporters with the New England News Collaborative, a consortium of public media newsrooms across New England. 


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Evan Mallett is hovering over some plants in a Victorian-era greenhouse in Portsmouth, N.H.

Mallett, a chef at the Black Trumpet Bistro, is collecting medicinal herbs, which he infuses in alcohol to make his own bitters, a bittersweet alcoholic concentrate used to flavor cocktails.

Mallett says he often forages in the woods for ingredients like wild chamomile, dock and burdock root for his bitters, too.

The "homemade bitters" trend is relatively new.

As of Tuesday, $245 million dollars in capital projects are on the way in New Hampshire, now that Governor Maggie Hassan signed the capital budget into law. The biggest line item in that budget is a $38 million dollar new women’s prison.

The prison will be located next to the mens’ prison, in Concord.   Jeff Lyons with the Department of Corrections says that’s for certain.  But what the prison will look like, and who will build it? That, Lyons says, is yet to be decided:

Emily Corwin / NHPR

With almost 60 farmers markets across the state, demand for local food is growing.  But local farmers still struggle to make a profit growing local food. In fact, about three quarters of all farms in New Hampshire gross less than $10,000 from sales each year.

This is the first installment in our summer business series investigating how a changing market place is affecting New Hampshire farmers.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  The Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth was bustling on Thursday with its annual 4th of July American Celebration. 

Crowds are gathered around a lemonade vendor, dolling out plastic cups covered in condensation. Nearby, the doors of restored historic houses have been flung open, and visitors go inside for shade.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  One hundred twenty-four people from over 50 nations gathered in Portsmouth on Independence day to become American citizens.

Senior Senator Jeanne Shaheen spoke before the jubilant crowd. After urging the new Americans to contribute to the nation by participating in civic life, she brought up the immigration reform bill the US Senate signed last week:

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shahean says NSA leaker Edward Snowden ought to return to the United States.  At a tourism event Tuesday morning in Portsmouth, she said she backs Obama’s efforts to extradite Snowden so he can be tried in court: I think Edward Snowden has released critical information in a way that has violated the law, he needs to come back to the US, explain his situation, appear before a court of law, and see the outcome of that kind of a trial.  Shaheen says she approves of actions in Washington that prevent him from receiving asylum from other nations. Snowde

Emily Corwin

This holiday weekend, 186,000 visitors are expected in the state, and New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen says a federal public/private partnership could help those numbers grow even bigger.  She stopped by Portsmouth Tuesday morning to talk with the state’s tourism industry leaders.  

  Back in 2009, Congress passed the Travel Promotion Act, which created Brand USA, a tourism promotion corporation that is funded equally with private dollars and federal matching grants. Senator Shaheen says Brand USA is going to bat for New Hampshire.

A New Hampshire native will be among the pro cyclists setting out on the Tour de France this weekend.   

Thirty year old Brentwood resident Teddy King arrived late to cycling – compared to other pros, at least.  He was already in college at Middlebury, when he took up the sport. But now, his mom Margie King says, he’s hit the big time:

Oh my gosh, yes, Teddy has raced at least two major tours in Europe, two Giro D’Italias, which are the same length, same distance, but they just don’t have the same cache that the Tour de France has.

Twelve chefs are converging on the Brandmore Farm in Rollinsford this Sunday for a Farm-a-Q, a local food BBQ open to the public. 

Portsmouth chef and restaurateur, Evan Mallett, organizes the event.  He says all of the food is grown locally.

We try to unite chefs, farmers and consumers around heirloom vegetables, heritage breed animals, and now endangered fisheries, too.

The event raises funds for two organizations: Slow Food Seacoast and Heirloom Harvest. The groups also hold an annual high-end multi-course barn dinner.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  PSNH’s new route for Northern Pass transmission lines has left the energy company with thousands of acres of land that it no longer needs for the hydroelectric project.   It had bought the properties to align with its original route proposal.  At a press conference held by PSNH on Thursday, company president Gary Long was asked what the company plans to do with all that land.


  PSNH has announced a new route for their controversial hydroelectric project.

In the northern part of the state, the new route veers east from Pittsburg, Clarksville and Stewartstown to Dixville. Then, it drops south to Drummer in the middle of the state, before bending back west to Northumberland on existing rights of way.

PSNH president Gary Long says PSNH owns all of the property or easements necessary to connect power lines from Canada down to Deerfield.

A New Hampshire lawyer says one of the key changes following today’s overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act has to do with income taxes. 

Let’s say you’re in a same-sex marriage recognized by the state of New Hampshire.  Your spouse works for a company that covers both of your health benefits. Before Wednesday, when the Supreme Court overturned DOMA, you had to pay federal income taxes on those health benefits. 

New Hampshire lawyer John Rich says, that’s because in the eyes of IRS, your same-sex spouse was not considered a member of your family: 

Abby Kessler

  Governor Maggie Hassan signed a bill into law today that gives New Hampshire auto equipment dealers new protections in their contracts with vehicle manufacturers.

The new law makes it harder for manufacturers to close down dealerships, and increases dealers’ reimbursements for warranty repairs. It also limits required building renovations to every 15 years.  

The biggest victors may be the state’s farm equipment dealers, who were not included in the state’s previous auto dealers bill of rights.

The State Employees Association is sending negotiators back to the bargaining table, after a tentative agreement had been reached with the state. The $35 million agreement would give state workers their first raise in 5 years, but requires state employees to pay health care deductibles for the first time. 

Staff from the state’s Division of Economic Development along with five New Hampshire small businesses are drumming up sales at the 50th International Paris Air Show this week. 

It’s been thunder storming in Paris  – that’s the word from the state’s Division of Economic Development. Two of their staff are attending the Paris Air Show this week along with five New Hampshire companies: Corfin in Salem; Transupport in Merrimack; TechResources of Milford; Wire Technologies of Lisbon and RDF Corp of Hudson.   

State employees may be getting their first raises in 5 years, after labor unions reached tentative agreements with the state Tuesday night. 

Wages will rise 1.5 percent this July, then 2.25 percent in both 2014 and 2015.  But, workers will have to contribute to their dental plans, and pay a gradually increasing health insurance deductible.

That is: IF union leadership signs off on the agreements. State Employees Association president Diana Lacey says the master bargaining team will present the agreement to her union’s leadership Thursday night:

Emily Corwin

  Negotiators for the House and Senate reached an agreement Tuesday on a $125 million capital budget which includes $38 million for a new women’s prison. 

The new women's prison is slated to be built in Concord, behind the current men’s prison.

Commissioner Wrenn with the Department of Corrections has sought a new women's prison for the last four state budgets. But this year, he says, he had the support of Governor Hassan, and both chambers.

New Hampshire ranks 43rd in the nation for Gross Domestic Product growth in 2012, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

GDP grew only .5 percent in 2012 – that’s down from 2.2 percent growth the year before. That means New Hampshire lags behind VT, MA and RI – and the national average.

The historic Moffat-Ladd House in Portsmouth is celebrating its 250th anniversary on Saturday. 

There will be costumed skits, weaving demonstrations, and an heirloom plant sale at the mansion, which was built in 1763 by merchant and timber trader, John Moffat.  The house was built for his son Samuel, whose bad business decisions led him to flee to the Caribbean just five years after the house was built. It then went to his wife’s family.  

Museum director Barbara Ward says the mansion’s windows and clapboarding is undergoing restoration:

Farmers markets in Concord, Dover, Hanover and elsewhere in the state are kicking off the season this week.

Some markets opened in May, others won’t open until July but Gail McWilliam Jellie at the state’s Department of Agriculture says many are getting under way this weekend:

I’m gonna guess that you’ll find at least 15 or 20 markets open as of this weekend.

And, McWilliam Jellie says, more markets will follow suit over the following weeks.  She adds that when markets open depends on the availability of the venue and the farmers:

New Hampshire Fish and Game is out angling for future fishermen.  With annual fishing licenses at $35 for state residents and $53 for nonresidents, Mark Beauchesne at the department says some people want to try it before they buy it.

But, he says, once they get their line in the water…

You know if somebody gets hooked, then they’re hooked for life.

It’s that time of year again when hopeful hunters apply for the New Hampshire Moose Hunt Lottery.

Mark Ellingwood at NH Fish and Game says only 275 Granite Staters will win a permit to hunt moose in the state, out of about 14,000 applications.  The deadline for applications for those 275 permits is Friday, May 31st. 

Ellingwood says the lottery is the fairest way to allow hunting without destroying the moose population.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

On Thursday, 300 or so members of New Hampshire’s tech community gathered at Arms Park in Manchester to celebrate entrepreneurship in the state. 

Crowded under a tent in the rain, the state’s budding entrepreneurs networked with funders like Borealis Ventures – NH’s major venture capital firm.  Jamie Coughlin, the ABI Innovation Hub’s CEO, says the annual so-called Party-at-Arms isn’t just a fundraiser for his organization. It’s also a way to galvanize the startup ecosystem.

New Hampshire likely won't recover all of the jobs it lost in the great recession until 2014. But Massachusetts has already made a full recovery. New Hampshire's Center for Public Policy Studies will present its biannual economic forecast Thursday at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.  

NHCCPS Economist Dennis Delay describes the New Hampshire forecast as landing somewhere between guardedly positive, and downright disappointing. 

In a floor vote Wednesday, the New Hampshire House passed a bill known around the state house as the “auto-dealers bill of rights.”

The bill puts limits on the demands vehicle manufacturers can make on dealers – ranging from compensation rates for parts to frequency of facility upgrades.

Democratic Representative Ed Butler of Carroll urged his colleagues to vote for the legislation.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Whether a casino would be a boon for businesses in Salem  depends on a number of factors. Based on anecdotal evidence from a trip to Washington County, PA, these are a few important ones.

1. Is your business a restaurant or shopping mall within a half mile of the casino? 

2. Does the casino bring in out-of-town visitors?

3. Are casino employees local residents? 

To get the whole story, have a listen:

Geraldine Pajak and her friend Pauline Stripp feed dollar bills into a Gladiator-themed slot machine at The Meadows in PA.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

What would a casino at Rockingham Park mean for Salem city government? We traveled to Western Pennsylvania to find out. There, a $550 million casino and racetrack called The Meadows has injected millions into local government.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A team of reporters at NHPR is gearing up for a series next week that looks at what a casino at Rockingham Park – could mean for the town of Salem. To prepare for that series, our economy reporter Emily Corwin traveled to Washington County in Western Pennsylvania. The racetrack and casino there, called The Meadows, is run by Millennium Gaming. That’s the same company that already has an option to buy Rockingham Park, if legislation passes.

Beginning next month, New Hampshire residents will be able to watch broadcast television on their digital devices, thanks to a controversial new service called Aereo, which is now expanding to Boston and beyond. 

A subscription costs a dollar a day, or 8 dollars per month, and will be available in Belknap, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham and Strafford counties beginning May 15th. Those who have not subscribed already can do so beginning May 30th.