Emily Corwin

Southern New Hampshire Reporter

Emily Corwin is NHPR's Southern New Hampshire reporter, doing general assignment reporting across the region. She also covers the state's justice system.

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  The New Hampshire American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the constitutionality of Manchester’s panhandling ordinance in federal court.  

The organization claims the ordinance violates panhandlers’ rights to free speech and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. Legal Director Gilles Bissonette says the ordinance is “particularly problematic,” because it targets the individual standing peacefully in a public space, “not a motorist that is potentially causing an obstruction.”  He adds that restrictions on speech in public places deserve heightened scrutiny.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/">Mike Cophlan</a>

  Health practitioners across the state say the drug methadone should be available behind bars – especially to patients already on the medication. But jails and prisons in New Hampshire do not offer the drug to recovering addicts, many of whom rely on it to stay sober.    


Emily Corwin

Residents of Litchfield grilled a panel from the Department of Environmental Services Thursday night with questions about water contamination in their town.

This was round two in a series of public information sessions after the contaminant PFOA was found in groundwater surrounding the Saint-Gobain plastics plant in Merrimack. 

Two weeks ago, DES told residents they would get free bottled water only if their wells tested over 100 parts per trillion of this contaminant.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

If you move from Korea, Pakistan, or Senegal to New York City, you’ll find a whole neighborhood of shops with foods from home. Move to New Hampshire from just about anywhere else -- and there’s pretty much just Saigon Market.

Saigon Market opened twelve years ago in Manchester, but had to close in 2013 after owner Thanh Ho’s lease was not renewed.

NH Bar Association

Former New Hampshire Public Defender Dorothy Graham has taken a job with the New England office of the Federal Public Defender. Graham, who was nominated by Gov. Maggie Hassan last year to serve as a judge on the state Superior Court, saw her hopes for the bench scuttled after a conservative website accused her of a “history of trying to get child rapists off on technicalities.”

Read Emily Corwin's story about Graham's nomination and rejection.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

In New Hampshire, pretty much only rape and murder convictions can land a defendant behind bars for the rest of his or her life. Burglary? With a record? You might get fifteen years. Unless you’re Kevin Balch.

  More than 500 people showed up at a Merrimack Elementary School last night for the first public information meeting about a water contaminant found in private wells in the town.

There, the state’s Departments of Health and Human Services, and Environmental Services told the packed auditorium that the state would offer voluntary blood tests to the handful of residents whose wells test over a certain threshold. 

On Thursday, DHHS public information officer Jake Leon told NHPR "it's still early. It's hard to know what we're going to do."  

 

 New information from the Census Bureau pinpoints the fastest growing counties in New Hampshire. 

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About 130 advocates of the Capital Corridor Rail Project convened at the Nashua Library Monday night. Their goal: figure out how to get lawmakers to include rail in a 10-year transportation bill. 

Earlier this season, the House voted to strip the bill of $4 million of federal funds.  Now, rail advocates are hoping the Senate will reverse that decision. The money in question would go toward design and permitting to extend rail service from Boston to Nashua and Manchester.

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  A Kentucky-based attorney is criticizing the NH Department of Environmental Services for its response to possible water contamination in Merrimack.

As the drug-related death toll rises in the United States, communities are trying to open more treatment beds. But an ongoing labor shortage among drug treatment staff is slowing those efforts.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Summer may be a ways off yet, but in Portsmouth, restaurant owners Matt Louis and Jay McSharry are already anxious about staffing their kitchens. That's because there’s a shortage of line cooks in restaurants all across the country, especially on the Seacoast, where unemployment is particularly low.

“Come May when the beaches open, it’s a mad sprint to make sure you have enough staff to be ready for summer,” McSharry says.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

John Kasich’s second-place finish in Tuesday’s Republican primary was perhaps the biggest surprise in a night that seemed full of foregone conclusions.  

While the Ohio governor took just 16 percent of the vote, his campaign is “the story coming out of New Hampshire," said his state chair John E. Sununu. “Nobody thought he could finish in the top tier let alone break through and beat Jeb Bush and Chris Christie and Marco Rubio and beat Ted Cruz."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

During primaries, candidates usually try to appeal to their party’s hardliners. In New Hampshire, John Kasich has been doing the opposite: pitching himself as a mainstream politician with a bipartisan record. 

Ask a Kasich supporter what they like about him? You’ll hear something like this:

"Middle of the road...Not an ideologue...He’s more moderate.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte is calling for ABC News to include Carly Fiorina in the last GOP Presidential debate before the New Hampshire Primary. Fiorina is the only remaining GOP candidate to be excluded from the debate, which takes place Saturday.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  For the past three days, the presidential candidates have been busy getting out the vote in Iowa. That is: everyone except John Kasich.  The Republican Ohio governor has been in New Hampshire since Friday, where, for once, he had the campaign trail to himself. 

Sara Plourde / NHPR

As New Hampshire tries to address an epidemic of opiate abuse, leaders in the state often focus on increasing the number of treatment beds and programs. But many in the state say staffing those programs may be much harder than building them.

Addiction treatment programs have been facing staffing shortages across the country for many years. In New Hampshire, things are particularly bad.  


Rebecca Lavoie / NHPR

If you live in New Hampshire's North Country, or along the Vermont border, you’ve probably had a chance to meet the candidates. But that was then. Now, two or so weeks from Primary Day, the action is all down south.

POOL

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to reconsider the case of New Hampshire’s only person on death row, Michael Addison.

In October, Addison’s attorney David Rothstein filed a petition with the nation’s Supreme Court arguing that in allowing and refusing certain pieces of evidence during trial, the New Hampshire Supreme Court violated the eighth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects citizens from cruel and unusual punishment.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

On Monday, as for the last 16 years, an audio recording of Martin Luther King Jr.’s only speech made at Dartmouth College played in room 105, Dartmouth Hall in Hanover. In this same room, King lectured students and Upper Valley residents in 1962.

Evelyn Ellis is Vice President of Institutional Diversity and Equity at Dartmouth. She recalls standing before a crowd here, as the school celebrated the speech’s 50th anniversary.

Crystal Paradis

Actor and writer Lena Dunham and retired U.S. women’s soccer star Abby Wambach began two days of campaigning for Hillary Clinton on Friday. They join Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Al Franken, and other celebrities crisscrossing the state these days on Clinton’s behalf.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Depending how you look at it, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s campaign is going either very well, or quite poorly. His campaign has more endorsements in New Hampshire than any other candidate; yet his polling remains quite low. And on the campaign trail, Rand Paul’s mind often seems to be somewhere else.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

The University of New Hampshire at Manchester and White Mountains Community College are partnering to allow students in certain programs to pay community college tuition rates for a four-year degree.

The program will be available to students with an Associate's degree in Criminal Justice or Internet Technology from White Mountains Community College.  After receiving that degree, students could go on to receive a Bachelor's degree from UNH Manchester while continuing to pay only the Community College tuition costs. 

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

At a recent campaign event with nearly 1,000 people in Portsmouth, Hillary Clinton called on four children to ask questions – one third of the questions she took that hour. Why?

Perhaps Clinton is after softball questions, as Time proposes.  Perhaps the campaign sees interactions with children as a way to convey the candidate as warm and relatable. Or maybe Hillary Clinton just has a soft-spot for kiddos. 

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Republican candidate for Congress, Daniel Innis, is asking supporters to donate to a Manchester drug treatment center instead of his campaign.

While Hillary Clinton enjoys wide support in the Democratic presidential race across much of the country, in New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders still poses a threat. In Portsmouth Tuesday, Clinton spoke to a crowd that included voters weighing both candidates.

Most Rite Aid drug stores in New Hampshire will now stock Narcan.

If administered early enough, the drug can save lives by reversing an overdose.  

Pharmacies with a standing doctor’s order can distribute Narcan to anyone who asks for it – just like a flu shot. On Monday, Rite Aid became the first pharmacy franchise to get a standing order for Narcan at all its pharmacies in the state. The company has committed to stocking drug at most of its 69 NH locations.  

After Bernie Sanders announced his proposal to make college free, college affordability has been front and center in the Democratic primary. When it comes to broad goals, the candidates agree. But as for the best way to get there, that’s where they differ.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

  The Human Rights Campaign has ranked seven of New Hampshire’s eight biggest cities below average when it comes to gay and transgender rights.

s_falkow via Flickr Creative Commons

 

 Governor Hassan has nominated Manchester Attorney David Ruoff as Superior Court justice, after three Republican councilors blocked the confirmation Manchester attorney, Dorothy Graham.

Chris Sununu, who is running for Governor, argued Graham’s twenty years as a Public Defender made her unqualified to be a judge.  The councilors stood by their decision despite vocal pushback from the legal community.

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