Emily Corwin

Seacoast Reporter

Emily Corwin is NHPR's Seacoast reporter, doing general assignment reporting across the region. She also covers the state's justice system, higher education, and this year, a good dose of primary politics.


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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.

Dartmouth College and Stanford University researchers who sent election information mailers to voters in Montana, California and New Hampshire may have broken election laws in at least one of those states.

The election mailers placed candidates on a spectrum from ‘more liberal’ to ‘more conservative,’ and were titled “2014 Voter Information Guide.”  Dartmouth spokesperson Justin Anderson says were designed by political science researchers whose work “seeks to determine whether individuals provided with more information about candidates are more likely to vote.”

Allegra Boverman / NHPR


Democratic congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter says the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was “terrible,” but defends her decision to back the bill. 

In a wide-ranging conversation with NHPR’s Laura Knoy at the UNH School of Law, Shea-Porter bemoaned corporate money in Washington, called for increased minimum wage, and then - got into the nitty gritty about Obamacare. "It's changed peoples' lives," she said.

Four N.H. Senate and two Executive Council candidates debated a range of issues in Portsmouth Monday night. The forum was hosted by a new nonprofit dedicated to engaging young adults in the democratic process, called The 603 Initiative.

Republican candidate for NH Senate District 21, Phil Nazzaro argued the state should reduce its taxes on business profits tax. But Longtime Democratic incumbent Martha Fuller Clark said NH needs that revenue:  

Courtesy Kaitlyn Coogan / Keene Sentinel

Governor Maggie Hassan says a company may have staged the massive house parties that broke out into riots in Keene Saturday and early Sunday morning.

After meeting with officials from the city and Keene State College Sunday, Hassan explained the parties were broadcast on social media.

"As far as we can tell," Hassan says, "there are companies now that advertise parties around certain events often near college campuses, attract people there, and the people are encouraged to do things that are then videotaped and put on social media."


Ships bearing West African flags do not pose health risks to Granite Staters, says Geno Marconi, Director of Ports and Harbors in New Hampshire.

Marconi says the Port of New Hampshire has received calls from citizens concerned about the transmission of the Ebola virus.

However, Marconi says, ships are often registered in Monrovia, Liberia, because of that country’s relaxed tax laws.

State Health Officials continue to prepare for the possibility that a patient with the Ebola virus could arrive at a New Hampshire health facility.

Deputy state epidemiologist Elizabeth Talbot says experts are working with hospitals, EMTs, primary care doctors, even pharmacists, through webinars, training videos, and the state’s multifaceted health alert system.

The 14th annual New Hampshire Film Festival will celebrate the film work of slain journalist, James Foley, who grew up in Wolfboro.

Back in 2011, just days before the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Film directors Ross Kaufman and Katy Chevigny hired a cinematographer to film the part of their documentary that would take place in Libya.   That cinematographer was photojournalist James Foley. The following year, Foley was abducted in Syria. He was executed by Islamic State militants in August.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

There’s a painted blue line surrounding the entrance to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Over that blue line, political campaigning is not allowed, but just a few inches on this side of it – politics are in motion.

Over the last few months, Shipyard unions have endorsed at least five candidates, most of them Democrats. 

A coalition of federal and regional law enforcement officials have designated Rockingham County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.  Rockingham County joins Hillsborough as a so-called “HIDTA” county.

While it may seem like an unwanted distinction, Jay Fallon, Director of the New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, says it will actually bring additional federal funds and coordination between federal, state and local organizations

  Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Scott Brown moved to New Hampshire late last year, and is now locked in a tight race with incumbent Jeanne Shaheen. Whether Brown wins or loses, he’s already having an indirect, but potentially profound effect on his new home state: as the landlord  of a nascent evangelical church in Portsmouth.

Guldfisken / flickr, creative commons

  The Portsmouth Athenaeum’s annual book sale begins on Friday at the North Church Parish. “There’s a bumper crop this year,” says Tom Hardiman, the Athenaeum’s “keeper,” or Executive Director.

Harriet Alexander

Do you live on the Seacoast? I want to know you! Join me at a pub near you for a reporter parlay of sorts.

Got a story you think I should be covering? Tell me about it. Want to know more about NHPR and the stories we do? I’ll tell you all about it.

Come get a bite, have a drink, and most importantly, bring along all your public radio nerd friends! This is a casual event to share ideas and make connections. It will not be recorded.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

No later than 11 a.m. this morning, Senator Jeanne Shaheen celebrated the four-year anniversary of the Senate's Small Business Jobs and Credit Act with a few sips of Smutty.

Smuttynose’s new brewery in Hampton was financed in part with loans from the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act. That bill, which became law in 2010, created a $30 billion lending program through the U.S. Treasury.

Shaheen hoped to shine a spotlight on that bill today because she and her opponent, former Massachusetts Senator, Scott Brown both voted on it.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  After failing to appeal the Newington Planning Board's decision to approve the propane company Sea-3’s expansion through that city's Zoning Board of Adjustment, a Portsmouth  staff attorney says they will proceed to Superior Court.

In an unusual legal maneuver, the City of Portsmouth filed their appeal in the Superior Court in June.  That appeal was stayed as the city pursued an appeal via Newington's ZBA.

In July, New Hampshire’s congressional delegation requested federal government provide an environmental impacts study. That request was denied on Tuesday.

Lisa Nugent / UNH Photographic Services

He says he may just give the $625,000 award to his wife.  

Yitang Zhang, a professor of analytic number theory at the University of New Hampshire, is one of 21 artists, scholars and professionals  to receive a prestigious MacArthur "genius" grant this year.  

Zhang rose to celebrity unexpectedly last year after discovering a finite bound on the gaps between prime numbers. The discovery is a major breakthrough on a subject that has bedeviled mathematicians since ancient times.