Jason Moon

Seacoast Reporter

Before joining NHPR in February of 2015, Jason held internships with a variety of public radio organizations including StoryCorps, Transom.org, and WBHM in Birmingham, Alabama. He studied philosophy, political science, and audio documentaries at Bennington College in Vermont.

The state senate passed a bill today that would allow school districts to use tax money to send students to qualifying private schools if there is no public school available in the district.

The so-called Croydon Bill was born out of a legal dispute between the Croydon school board and state officials.

Croydon, which does not have a public school for grades 5-12, began paying for a handful of students to attend a private Montessori School in nearby Newport.

A judge ruled that illegal and ordered Croydon to stop the payments.

The state Senate has passed, and then immediately tables, a bill that would increase state funding for school districts that offer full-day kindergarten programs.

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

The University of New Hampshire has announced a new scholarship program that will allow some in-state students to attend the university tuition-free.

Beginning next fall, UNH will offer free tuition to New Hampshire students who qualify for federal Pell Grants. The scholarships will go to around 285 incoming freshman and will cost the University roughly $300,000.

The announcement comes as lawmakers in Concord debate how much state support the University system should receive in the next budget.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

The University of New Hampshire has received a grant to support training for early childhood math teachers in the state.

UNH will receive two-hundred thousand dollars to support an online professional development program for pre-k through third grade math teachers in New Hampshire.

The two-year program includes online coursework, in-person coaching, and an annual conference.

The money comes from the national non-profit 100Kin10 The group’s goal is to train 100,000 K-12 STEM teachers by the year 2021.

A new poll from the University of New Hampshire shows strong support in the state for environmental protections.

Nearly three quarters of New Hampshire residents say environmental protection rules should either be left as they are or strengthened.

That’s according to research from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Tooth decay is the leading chronic disease for children in the United States. It’s also one of the easiest to prevent. As NHPR’s Jason Moon reports, one dental hygienist on the Seacoast is finding fun ways to drive home that message to kids.

NH Fish and Game Department

A total of eleven snowmobile accidents were to blame for three deaths and multiple injuries across New Hampshire this past weekend. Officials with the state Fish & Game Department say they need more officers to handle the volume of calls.

The accidents ranged from snowmobiles crashing into trees, catching fire, and falling through thin ice.

Three people, including a 15-year-old from New York died after falling through the ice on Lake Winnipesaukee in two separate incidents.

  Officials in Durham are responding to concerns from local businesses about itinerant vendors clogging the town’s sidewalks.

According to town administrator Todd Selig, several businesses in downtown Durham have raised concerns about traveling vendors -- both for what they see as unfair competition from merchants who pay no property taxes, and for pedestrian safety.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  A new poll from the University of New Hampshire shows Granite Staters are split in their opinion of President Donald Trump’s performance in office so far.

Less than a month into Donald Trump’s presidency, 48 percent of New Hampshire residents disapprove of the job he’s doing, while 43 percent say they approve of his performance.

Jason Moon for NHPR

People who live with blindness are used to finding creative ways to do things most of us take for granted. But recently a group of people with vision loss did something that surprised even them -- they went ice-skating.

CREDIT MIKE ROSS, UNH

Officials with the state University System are registering their disappointment with Governor Chris Sununu’s proposal not to increase state funding for New Hampshire’s public universities.

The University System of New Hampshire requested an increase of about 12 million dollars over the next two fiscal years. They said the increase would allow them to keep tuition flat for in-state students.

  Residents in Durham debated whether to declare the community a sanctuary city at a town council meeting Monday night.

Several residents attended the meeting to speak on both sides of the issue.

Those in favor said declaring sanctuary city status would show the town’s support for immigrants in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive orders on refugees.

But others, including Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig, said it would be a largely symbolic act with potentially dramatic consequences.

NHPR Digital via CartoDB

The state Department of Environmental Services says a residential drinking well in Rochester has tested above the state limit for PFCs, a chemical contaminant.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees garners strong reaction from around the country, officials in Durham and Portsmouth have begun discussions about potentially declaring themselves sanctuary cities.

Officials in both communities say they’ve heard from residents about the idea, possibly as part of a coordinated campaign.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

It’s been a busy year for Frank Edelblut. First, he rose from political unknown to near-upset in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Now, he’s poised to become the state’s next education commissioner. 

Edelblut’s background and philosophy would mark a significant break from his recent predecessors in that job.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office has identified the man they think was behind two decades-old New Hampshire cold-cases.

Prosecutors believe Bob Evans, who went by at least four other aliases, was behind the disappearance of Denise Beaudin from Manchester in 1981. They also believe he was the murderer of four people whose bodies were found in Allenstown. One of those victims was a child who shares Evans' DNA.

At a press conference scheduled for Thursday morning, the Attorney General says state and local law enforcement officials will discuss an apparent connection between two New Hampshire cold cases and a California murder.

A pair of bills aimed at addressing concerns over drinking water contamination went before lawmakers today.

The proposals come as several communities around the state grapple with emerging contaminants found in their water supplies.

profilestrategygroup.com

Michael Sununu, brother to Gov. Chris Sununu, is criticizing the science behind a recent bipartisan state report on the impact of climate change on the Seacoast.

In a 25 page critique, Michael Sununu calls the Coastal Risks and Hazard Report “alarmist hand wringing” that would lead to wasteful spending of public money.

playground
Brady Carlson / NHPR

Results from a new survey of public schools in New Hampshire shows that most elementary students aren’t receiving as much physical education as they should.

The survey of public school P.E. teachers was conducted by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

It found that none of the elementary school students in the schools who responded to the survey received the recommended average of at least 150 minutes of physical education each week.

Governor Chris Sununu has nominated former political rival Frank Edelblut as commissioner of the state Department of Education.

The announcement was a brief, unceremonious item on the Executive Council’s agenda Wednesday morning as Governor Chris Sununu read off a list of nominations.

“For the Commissioner of the state of the New Hampshire Department of Education I nominate Frank Edelblut of Wilton New Hampshire.”

But the choice signals a big shift in priorities for the state agency.

Via the Manchester School District website / mansd.org

Some call it the toughest job in the state of New Hampshire: superintendent of the Manchester School District. To know why, it helps to understand just how different the district is from most in the state.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A bill that would require towns to sign off on new electric transmission lines is before lawmakers in Concord.

The bill would require power companies to win approval from a town’s governing body or via referendum before building high voltage transmission lines through a community.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Parents, teachers, and city officials met in Manchester last night to discuss a projected six million dollar budget gap for the Manchester school district.

In recent years the Manchester school district, the state’s largest, has been beset by declining enrollment, reduced aid from the state, and rising pension costs. Those trends have now added up to a projected budget gap for next year of six million dollars. That’s out of a total operating budget of around 180 million dollars.

New research from the University of New Hampshire suggests some bat species have developed a resistance to a devastating fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome.

Dartmouth College and the town of Hanover are in a stand-off over a new $18 million athletic facility the college wants to build.

Last month, the Hanover Planning Board denied Dartmouth a permit for the proposed 70,000 square foot building. The structure would house training facilities for student-athletes to practice their sports during the winter.

The decision was a victory for neighbors who oppose the project for its size and proximity to a residential area.

Thomas Fearon

Governor Maggie Hassan says a cyber-security consultant will evaluate the Department of Health and Human Services’ computer network following a data breach that compromised personal information for as many as 15,000 DHHS clients.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Disputes between utility companies and local residents over new power lines are a familiar story. But on New Hampshire's Seacoast, a version of that story is playing out with a few twists. For one, the power lines would go underwater. And two, they would go through a town that prides itself on its history of opposing energy projects.

A new master plan for Portsmouth’s Prescott Park will be presented to the city council on Monday.

The plan comes from a blue ribbon committee on Prescott Park formed by the city council last year. It calls for over 14 million dollars in upgrades to the park, including a new entrance, a new performance area, and improvements to prepare the park for the effects of climate change.

City Councilor Chris Dwyer is chair of the committee that authored the plan.

The governor’s task force investigating cancer clusters on the Seacoast issued a set of recommendations Wednesday.

The task force was charged with investigating potential causes for unusually high rates of two cancers among children living in a region of the Seacoast.

Today the task force issued a set of recommendations, including one to extend municipal water to homes near the Coakley Landfill – a superfund site that was investigated as a potential cause of the high cancer rates.

Stefany Shaheen is a member of the task force.

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