Hannah McCarthy

Couch Fellow

Hannah McCarthy is the Couch Fellow at NHPR. She will spend a year working as a reporter in the newsroom, and as a producer on "Word of Mouth," and "Outside/In." Hannah received her M.A. in journalism from New York University, where she studied longform non-fiction writing and audio production. While in New York, Hannah worked as a reporter for Bedford + Bowery and interned at WNYC's "Death, Sex and Money" podcast.

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Keene joined ten other towns in the state Thursday by passing an anti-discrimination protection for transgender city employees. 

Keene City Council voted unanimously to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of factors in their city employee anti-discrimination policy.

Councilwoman Bettina Chadbourne was one of the co-signers on the resolution request. She says it was clear to her and her fellow council members that the transgender population was particularly vulnerable.

The American Lung Association released its annual State of the Air report Wednesday, and New Hampshire is doing better than it has in two decades. 

Air quality in state has improved overall since last year’s report card. Jeff Underhill, a Chief Scientist with the state Environmental Services Air Resources Division, says that’s due to a handful of factors, including cleaner cars and pollution controls for power plants.

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The House held a hearing Wednesday on a bill that would cut business taxes in the state.

The state projects that it will lose about eighty million dollars in revenue by 2021 if the tax cut passes, assuming the economy follows current trends.

But supporters argue that the cut would have positive impacts on local businesses. Bruce Berke, the New Hampshire Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says that cutting taxes will lead to growth.

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House lawmakers met Tuesday to review a bill that seeks to provide $36 million for road and bridge repair in the state. 

There are six highway districts in New Hampshire – but not all are created equal. That was the argument from the Department of Transportation as they argued for a formula change in the way highway repair money is handed out.

How many retirees represent Merrimack County in the Legislature? What percentage of state reps are under the age of 35? And how does the State House's male/female ratio vary by political party?

The makeup of the New Hampshire House of Representatives has a major impact on daily life in the state. After all, these are the people who make the laws that govern us.

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New Hampshire has the largest state legislature in the country - by a lot. The 400 members of the House of Representatives are supposed to be “citizen legislators” - people who are just like the constituents they represent. They earn $100 a year, making them essentially volunteers, albeit volunteers with major responsibility and time commitment...and volunteers who don’t always show up.

Just ask Rep. Jim Belanger, chairman of the House Municipal and County Government Committee.

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Officials with the state parks department presented plans for a new Franconia Notch trail Thursday. 

The trail would begin near an existing viewing plaza, dedicated to the iconic, now-fallen, rock formation known as the Old Man of the Mountain.

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The American Society of Civil Engineers has released their 2017 report card on New Hampshire’s infrastructure -- and the state is far from the honor roll.

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Among the dozens of agencies and groups watching the state budget process this spring are the two organizations representing public higher education in New Hampshire: the University System, and the Community College System. In recent years, the two have fared differently when it comes to state support.

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Some in New Hampshire’s struggling dairy industry have had to adapt to survive. One old farm, though, has found a way to keep the family business going.  

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New Hampshire lawmakers met Friday to discuss policy changes to better protect at-risk kids. The effort comes on the heels of an outside review that faulted the state’s child protection agency. 

The Child Protection Act applies to cases when there’s clear evidence of child abuse or neglect, but a special legislative commission hopes to introduce a middle step between unfounded and founded reports of abuse. John DeJoie, with Child and Family Services, was part of a group that suggested another option for state health officials.

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The New Hampshire House voted Thursday to distribute $2 million dollars to dairy farmers hurt by last year’s drought.

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A New Hampshire House subcommittee voted Wednesday to eliminate $18 million dollars in kindergarten funding from Gov. Chris Sununu’s state budget proposal. 

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In a tie vote on Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee put the brakes on a bill that would make it harder to get food stamps in New Hampshire. 

The state senate voted Thursday against a bill that would have allowed people to register online to vote. 

A Senate committee had already voted against the bill- which only seemed to strengthen the conviction of Senator Lou D’Allesandro as he argued for using federal funds to establish an online voter registration system.

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The New Hampshire Insurance Department released the findings of a study Thursday that takes a look at how insurance companies are handling drug and alcohol abuse treatment claims.

The study, which examines the insurers Cigna, Anthem, and Harvard Pilgrim, was intended, in part, to determine if they were complying with federal parity law. In other words, do the companies provide comparable coverage for mental health, substance use disorders, and medical and surgical care?

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Ona Judge, a runaway slave who evaded George Washington himself, lived most of her on New Hampshire’s Seacoast after gaining her freedom. Her story isn't well known, but there are many who are working to keep Judge’s history – and the history of the black community in Portsmouth – alive.

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The Brookline Icebreakers try not to live up to that name. 

During one sunny Saturday at Lake Potanipo in Brookline, New Hampshire, club president Jon Lavoie pointed to the ice fishermen in the middle of the lake. For a snowmobiler, they are the best barometer of ice safety.

New Hampshire Senate
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The New Hampshire Senate voted Thursday to keep campaign contributions flowing from LLCs, but moved to tighten restrictions on political advertising. 

Senator Dan Feltes argued in vain Thursday in favor of his bill, which would have closed what he calls the Limited Liability Corporation loophole. The bill sought to prevent multiple LLCs with the same owner from collectively exceeding the individual campaign contribution limit.

The majority instead voted with Senator Andy Sanborn, who owns several LLCs himself.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

Over eighty people turned out in Concord Tuesday to testify on a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. 

More than once, Representative Don LaBrun had to call for decorum in a room packed with supporters and opposition alike. Members of transgender, medical and religious communities turned out to testify on a bill that would prohibit discrimination based upon “gender identity,” adding the term to the long list of factors such as age, race and disability.

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center issued a serious warning for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines Thursday morning.

Intrepid winter hikers and skiers are cautioned against braving the terrain, most of which has a high avalanche danger through the day. Eight inches of new snow fell overnight, increasing the likelihood of both natural and human-triggered avalanches.  As wind speeds increase over the course of the day, large avalanches in many areas are likely.

NHPR Staff

A new bill proposing that grandparents play a bigger role in guardianship cases involving their grandchildren had its first hearing at the State House Tuesday.

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A bill doing away with the permit requirement for carrying a concealed firearm is headed to Governor Chris Sununu’s desk after the House voted in favor of it Thursday. 

Plenty of lawmakers didn’t make it to through the snow to the State House Thursday, but the House still managed to pass a bill to repeal New Hampshire’s concealed carry law.

Speaking just before the roll call, Representative John Burt urged the House to vote as it had before.

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Dairy farmers in the Granite State hurt by the recent drought are one step closer to a helping hand after the senate voted in favor of a financial relief program Thursday.

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Gov. Chris Sununu helped to announce a new partnership on Wednesday aimed at reducing the stigma of addiction.   

Speak Up New Hampshire is the latest campaign from the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Hampshire. Joined by the Bureau for Drug and Alcohol Services, the Governor’s Commission, and various addiction treatment and prevention organizations, the Partnership is now concentrating on reducing the stigma of addiction in the Granite State.

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A paid family and medical leave bill won’t be voted on this year, despite community and bipartisan support. Representative Mary Gile, the primary sponsor of the bill, is still holding out hope for its future.

The bill, which would establish a paid family and medical leave insurance program in New Hampshire, was given a consolation prize in committee on Tuesday. Legislators voted to retain the bill, meaning that it will move to a subcommittee for further deliberation, and be voted on next year.

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It's a rite of passage in New Hampshire -- every year, hundreds of fourth graders make a pilgrimage to Concord for a State House tour. In this audio postcard, students from Woodland Heights Elementary School in Laconia learn the basics of law making -- and how to make their voices heard.

Scroll down for a 360 degree photo of the students in the N.H. Senate chamber.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

At the New Hampshire State House, lawmakers don’t limit debate to bills and the budget. Control of square footage in the building itself can be as controversial as any partisan policy. I took a tour with a man who has a set of keys to the shared rental.

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A proposal to establish a paid family and medical leave insurance program had its first hearing Wednesday at the State House. The idea has been in the works for a while, but some advocates think New Hampshire is finally primed for the idea.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

While many Trump supporters made the pilgrimage to Washington D.C. for the inauguration, some chose to celebrate a little closer to home. Joe and Pat Hagen hosted a viewing party at their bed and breakfast in Chester, New Hampshire, where guests shared their hopes for the next four years and toasted to the new president. 

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