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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Rockingham County Attorney's office

 

Suspended Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams will return to office on Wednesday, but his authority to make personnel decision will be limited.

Lawyers for Attorney General Joe Foster and Attorney Reams together crafted the agreement that allows the Reams to return to work. 

Foster suspended Reams from his elected post in November and opened an investigation. In March, the investigation concluded with allegations of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and misuse of public money. No criminal charges were made.

www.rocka.net / Rockingham County Attorney's Office

  Suspended Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams is one step closer to getting his job back.  On Thursday, the Supreme Court decided for now, it will not hear the state’s appeal in a lawsuit seeking to return him to office.

Reams and his attorney will likely return to court next week to argue that the Supreme Court’s decision lifts a previous lower-court order continuing his suspension.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled Thursday that suspended Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams can return to office while the Attorney General appeals a lower court's finding that the suspension was unlawful. 

The Supreme Court denied the AG's request for a stay that would have kept Reams out of office until the appeal is argued.

www.necarnegies.com

  The University System of New Hampshire voted Friday to put $54 million toward building renovations and acquisitions at UNH’s Durham Campus. 

$37 million will be spent renovating Hamilton Smith Hall, which houses UNH’s English Department, ESOL, Journalism and writing programs. The building has not been renovated in more than 30 years, and does not meet all disability and safety standards. 

Emily Corwin

  Conflict between commercial growth and historic preservation is a constant in Portsmouth, where city meetings over building heights often run late into the night. Now, city leaders hope a new 3-D model of downtown Portsmouth will bring context to the conversation.

Portsmouth is paying the Kittery archetectural rendering firm Tangram 3DS $50,000 to create this interactive map, which Portsmouth principal planner Nick Cracknell says will be used by land use and zoning boards.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Kentucky Senator Rand Paul rallied Republicans last night in Dover. The event kicked off what will be a busy weekend of politicking by high-profile members of the GOP.

In addition to  Rand Paul,  TX Senator Ted Cruz, and Utah Senator Mike Lee will take the stage at the Freedom Summit, an event organized by conservative groups Americans for Prosperity Foundation  and Citizens United.

Last night in Dover,  Rand Paul stressed the need for Republicans to broaden their appeal if they want to win in 2016. Paul says that means courting young people and minority voters.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A New Hampshire judge has ruled that the continued suspension of Rockingham County attorney Jim Reams is illegal, and ordered his reinstatement.

Attorney General Joseph Foster suspended Reams’ power to prosecute in November, as the AG investigated allegations of sexual harassment and financial mismanagement.

Don McCullough

  Sea level rise was the topic of discussion at the Coastal New Hampshire Climate Summit on Thursday.  There, scientists and city planners came together to take small steps toward solving big problems.

Dave Burdick researches Salt Marshes at UNH, where he’s a professor of Marine Wetland Ecology.   He says his recent measurements show the water level of salt marshes in Portsmouth rising at 4.3 millimeters per year – that’s two and a half times as fast as the same salt marshes were rising in 1996.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency released new preliminary flood maps for New Hampshire on Wednesday. These updated flood maps could affect property owners in flood hazard zones from Coos County to Keene, to the Seacoast. 

The state’s businesses are clamoring for a labor force better prepared in the STEM fields, says Governor Maggie Hassan. "It has been very clear to me that the number one need that businesses identify is a 21st century workforce," she says.

She says both the state’s school districts and Universities aren’t doing enough. So, she's issued an executive order to establish a 14-member taskforce to plan the future of STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education in New Hampshire.

On Wednesday the Federal Railroad Authority announced it will propose new rules this summer for railroad safety. That comes amid safety concerns on the Seacoast following a proposal to transport propane to Newington by rail. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Superior judge Richard McNamara heard arguments Monday on whether New Hampshire's Attorney General has the authority to continue the suspension of Rockingham County attorney Jim Reams. The Attorney General suspended Reams in November, and then pursued an investigation into alleged employment discrimination and financial mismanagement.  

Joe Plaia -- a former Marine MP and public defender and current chief hearings officer for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission --  will run again for the position of Rockingham County Attorney.  Plaia is the first Democrat in this majority-Republican county to seek the seat of suspended  Attorney, Jim Reams. 

Plaia  says the Rockingham County Attorney's Office needs to be modernized. "There's a lot we can do to save taxpayer dollars," Plaia says, "there's a lot we can do to reduce recidivism." 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The French manufacturing company Safran and their American collaborator, Albany International, held an inauguration ceremony for their new manufacturing plant in Rochester on Monday. Nearly the entire New Hampshire delegation – as well as the French Ambassador to the United States -- showed up for the event.

At the new plant in Rochester, workers will build carbon-fiber airplane parts – like super-lightweight blades for the next generation of jet engines.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Scott Brown visited the Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester on Tuesday. That hospital is not part of Anthem’s provider network on the health exchange and its leadership has vocally criticized the Affordable Care Act.  Brown’s appearance at the hospital coincided with Vice President Joe Biden’s arrival in Nashua.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  For 36 years the Newington company Sea-3 has imported propane from Algeria and other countries. Ships come into port, off-load the fuel, and Sea-3 stores it and sells it locally. 

Then two years ago, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in places like North Dakota led to a boom in production, and American propane actually became cheaper than foreign propane. And with that, says Sea-3s’ vice-president Paul Bogan, the company’s business model was no longer profitable.

“Essentially,” he says, “we’ve been out of business for the last couple of years.”

Flickr user "btckeychain."

  About 100 people -- both dedicated bitcoin devotees and the merely bitcoin-curious -- gathered Thursday night at the Music Hall for an hour-long symposium on the digital currency.  Event organizer Joshua Cyr says the purpose of the evening is to demystify the public about what bitcoin is.

Bitcoin being a new thing, we need to take care in how we’re describing it so that we’re describing it fully, because if people get bits of bad news and not the whole picture, it does more harm than good for the general public.

Terrafugia

  The Massachusetts-based company Terrafugia will test a flying car at the Pease Airport in Portsmouth over the next two weeks.  

The vehicle caters to recreational pilots who live near an airport and don’t want to rent a hangar. the "Transition" vehicle being tested at Pease looks like a small plane with wings that fold.  When folded, it fits into a one-car garage.  The vehicle is legal for driving on public roads, and is expected to cost $280,000. 

Watch Terrafugia's promotional video:

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Voters in the town of Newmarket have turned down a controversial new school building.  The $45 million dollar new school would have replaced the existing junior and senior high school, part of which is 90 years old.

Newmarket Principal Christopher Andriski  says the building isn't modern enough to accomodate what he calls "twenty-first century learning." It also violates fire and safety codes, as well as requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Andriski says he’s disappointed with the results:

www.rocka.net / Rockingham County Attorney's Office

The Attorney General's office has released its complaint for the removal of Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams.  

Citing interviews with former employees of the Rockingham County Attorney's Office, the 25-page redacted complaint alleges numerous cases of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, retaliation and misuse of county funds dating back 14 years. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  There’s a problem with the HVAC system at the Junior and Senior high school in Newmarket, and it’s making a high pitched squeal.  This wing of the school was built in 1924, and Principal Christopher Andriski says the exposed pipes and vents make this screeching sound all the time. The noise, he says, is the system’s way of alerting the custodian. “He’s gotta manually push a button up there,” Andriski explains.

The Attorney General’s office plans to announce the findings of its investigation into Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams next week, after  Reams is able to attend his mother’s funeral on Monday in Nebraska. 

Reams was also originally scheduled to be in court in Concord on Monday for a hearing related to his suit against the AG’s office and the Rockingham County Commission.  That hearing has now been postponed to April 7th.

Reams has been under investigation since November for his use of funds forfeited for criminal convictions.

Portsmouth’s City Council voted unanimously on Monday to pass a resolution protecting city workers from discrimination based on gender identity.  

At present, New Hampshire is the only state in New England that does not have a similar law at the state level. That’s despite existing state laws protecting individuals based on sexual orientation, gender, race, creed, marital status, or disability.  

Portsmouth’s resolution was championed by former state Rep. Jim Splaine, and included an item that would press the state to update their anti-discrimination laws. 

rjzii via Flickr Creative Commons

The US Navy will offer for lease the former Naval Prison on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The Navy has twice before sought private-sector redevelopment of the old Naval Prison, which closed in 1974.  It was built in 1908, and has been called the “Alcatraz of the East.”

The medieval-looking multi-story building is 265,000 square feet and has 11 and a half acres of waterfront land.

The new tenant would be responsible for ensuring structural stability in the now-dilapidated building, and cleaning up hazardous waste, including asbestos and lead paint.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  

  Most days, Portsmouth Police Captain Mike Schwartz starts his work day at his desk. He drinks his coffee, and reads yesterday’s police log. “So much of it is about people trying to feed their addiction,” he says, "people trying to find enough money to buy a bag of heroin.”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36783643@N05/3611830167 / Flickr name: InAweofGod'sCreation

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, announced Wednesday morning that it will give $33 million in disaster relief funding to fishery communities in the Northeast.  

New Hampshire’s fisheries were declared a federal disaster in September of 2012. About a year later, Congress approved $75 million for fishery relief nationwide, with $33 million earmarked for New England and New York.

Emily Corwin

  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s preliminary 2012 Census of Agriculture, more farms are sprouting up across New Hampshire.  In fact, the numbers show New England as a whole bucking national trends. 

While the nation has seen a decrease in farm operations by 4.3 percent since 2007, New Hampshire has seen an increase by 5.4 percent.

Residents of Newington, Greenland, Stratham and Portsmouth say they are concerned about an application by the company Sea-3 Inc. to increase transit of liquid petroleum over local industrial railroad tracks. The residents fear potential derailment of cars containing the highly flammable material.

So on Wednesday, New Hampshire’s two senators and Shea-Porter sent a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration requesting the Administration conduct an inspection of the tracks, and quickly hold a public forum on the matter.

Public works departments and institutions are gearing up for yet another snowstorm on Tuesday. But the storm’s impact isn’t just about the precipitation or wind speeds.  It’s about timing.

If Tuesday’s storm touches down in the morning and lasts through early evening as initially predicted, UNH may have to to curtail classes for a fifth time this year. That would be more cancelations in 2014 than any of the last 4 years.

Perry Smith / UNH Photographic Services

  Two graduates of UNH will represent the United States on Thursday in the final women's hockey game in Sochi. 

Coach Katey Stone will be leading the US womens hockey team against Canada, the three-time defending champion. Stone is in Sochi on hiatus from Harvard University, where she is head coach of the women’s hockey team.

Stone is the first ever female coach of the US women's hockey team, a team that has medalled every year, but hasn’t won gold since 1998. 

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