Jason Moon

Seacoast Reporter

Jason is NHPR's Seacoast reporter, and he also covers education. 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.

City officials in Portsmouth have upheld a decision to prohibit a couple from renting out a second home through AirBnB.

Portsmouth couple Matthew Beebe and Barbara Jenny bought the house next door with the intention that one day their daughter will live in it.

In the meantime, they planned to rent out the house through AirBnB. But before they got the chance, the city served them with a cease-and-desist letter.

The city says the home, which is in a residentially zoned area, can’t be used for short-term rentals without a special exemption.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The New Hampshire Attorney General says a Belmont police officer was justified in using deadly force during an altercation with a man in September.

The AG says the incident began when Belmont police officer Evan Boulanger approached Joseph Mazzitelli at a gas station. At the time, there was an active warrant for Mazzitelli’s arrest.

Surveillance footage from the gas station shows Mazzitelli, after speaking briefly with the officer, lunging into his car and emerging with a pistol pointed at his own head.

Jason Moon for NHPR

State and federal environmental officials held a meeting in North Hampton Wednesday night to update residents on efforts to address contamination at the former Coakley landfill site.

For three hours, scientists with the EPA and the state Department of Environmental Services laid out the work that has been done and that will be done to monitor and address contaminated water at a former landfill on the Seacoast.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Two state representatives from the Seacoast are raising concerns about Eversource’s plan to buy a water utility company.

Eversource, New England’s largest energy company, announced back in June that it had plans to buy Aquarion, the region’s largest private water company.

The deal spans three states and is valued at about $1.7 billion.

Democratic Representatives Mindi Messmer of Rye and Renny Cushing of Hampton say it’s a bad deal for New Hampshire rate payers, and they've been working to stop it.

Mike Ross, UNH

Local chapters of the ACLU and the NAACP are asking the University of New Hampshire to emphasize issues of racial diversity and equity in the search for the university’s next president.

In an open letter to the presidential search committee, Devon Chaffee of the New Hampshire ACLU and Rogers Johnson of the Seacoast NAACP say the hiring of a new UNH president is the single greatest way to redirect the university.

They are urging the committee to use that opportunity to hire someone who will “foster a more socially conscious and inclusive campus.”

Democratic State Rep. Mindi Messmer has announced she’s running for Congress.

Messmer is a first-term legislator from Rye who has made a name for herself through her work on drinking water contamination in the state.

Messmer is a scientist who runs her own environmental consulting firm.

She says she wants to bring that scientific background to Washington to defend environmental regulations that are being rolled back by the Trump administration.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A controversial school choice bill cleared a major hurdle in the State House Tuesday, receiving a positive recommendation from the House Education Committee on Tuesday by a 10-9 vote.

The bill would allow parents of some children to spend tax dollars to educate their children with non-public school options like private school or home school. But the bill looks considerably different than when it was originally introduced several months ago.

evmaiden via Flickr Creative Commons

A bill that would allow New Hampshire parents to use state funding to send their children to private schools faces a key vote Tuesday.

The House Education Committee will vote on the controversial bill that’s been the subject of debate among lawmakers and school reform advocates.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Former White House chief strategist and head of Breitbart News Steve Bannon spoke to New Hampshire Republicans last night at an event in Manchester.

As people arrived at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester to hear Bannon speak, many of them were greeted by "boos" from across the street.

Dozens of people like Hassan Essa, who recently ran for alderman in Manchester, stood in a line with glowing signs that read "no hate in Granite State."

Essa said he just couldn’t understand why some people would pay as much $750 to hear Bannon speak.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is hosting a job fair next week.

The shipyard is hoping the fair will help them fill about 160 open positions.

The positions range from chemists and electricians to painters and pipefitters.

In a statement, shipyard commander Captain Dave Hunt says their workload is increasing and they need the extra help to keep up.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard repairs and refits nuclear-powered submarines.

The facility already employs more than 5,500 civilian employees. The fair will run Nov. 14 from noon to 8 p.m. in Eliot, Maine.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Local crack shots Kylie and Ryan Hodsdon won big at this year’s Big Buck Hunter World Championship in Las Vegas.

As we reported earlier this year, the Hodsdons are the “king and queen” of a Dover-based Big Buck Hunter league.

In Big Buck Hunter, players use plastic shotguns to shoot deer that gallop across a TV screen.

Jason Moon for NHPR

As New Hampshire’s coastline prepares for a world with rising seas and stronger storms, communities and homeowners have different options, none of them simple: seawalls, raised structures, a retreat from the shoreline.

But some scientists in New Hampshire are pitching a more natural approach. All it takes is a little grass and some time.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A key legislative vote on a controversial school choice bill was postponed today.

For weeks, Republican lawmakers have been working to revamp a sweeping school choice bill that was first proposed last year in the State House.

The bill would allow some families to take their children out of public school and then spend tax dollars that would have gone to that public school on other educational purposes.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A controversial school choice bill faces an important vote before lawmakers tomorrow.

The bill would create a type of school voucher system in the state, where parents could take their children out of their local public school and then spend the tax dollars that would have gone to that public school on other educational purposes, like private school tuition or home school supplies.

The proposal was hotly debated last legislative session and ultimately tabled by lawmakers.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Early this week, coastal communities in New Hampshire will experience an event known as King Tide. A King Tide occurs when the sun and moon align and their combined gravitational pull creates an especially high high-tide.

A federal judge has ordered the release of an Indonesian immigrant living on the Seacoast and detained by ICE.

Terry Rombot was one of about two-dozen Indonesians who were told by officials back in August that they had 30 days to buy plane tickets and leave the country.

They have been living in New Hampshire for decades after fleeing religious persecution, but they never received any official status.

Instead they had been living under an informal agreement with ICE, where they agreed to stay out of trouble and check in each month.

Former New Hampshire AFL-CIO president and current state Rep. Mark MacKenzie is the latest Democrat to enter the race for the state’s 1st Congressional District.

MacKenzie worked as a Manchester firefighter for 25 years after signing up as a 21 year old.

He also served as president of the New Hampshire chapter of the country's largest labor union for 25 years. He lost reelection to that post in 2015 after a controversy over voting process.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The Manchester School District is planning to dramatically redesign the student experience at one of its high schools.

The details are yet to be worked out, but key concepts of West High's makeover include breaking up the normal school schedule so that students can do more learning outside the classroom, like through internships with local businesses. The plan also calls for every student to receive a personalized learning plan that's tailored to his or her particular needs.

Bolgen Vargas is the Manchester Superintendent of Schools.

evmaiden via Flickr Creative Commons

Debate about a controversial school voucher bill is again heating up.

The bill would create a type of universal school voucher system in the state, where parents could take their children out of public school and then spend the tax dollars that would’ve gone to that public school on other educational purposes. Things like private school tuition or home school supplies.

youtube.com

Last week, police in Bristol arrested a man in connection with two explosions that rocked the town earlier this month. Those blasts were caused by something called binary explosives, designed for use in target practice.

Bristol Police Lieutenant Kris Bean says on the evening of October 7th, not long after sunset, his department was suddenly flooded with 911 calls.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Last night in Durham, parents, teachers, and students from the Oyster River School District met for a conversation about diversity and discrimination.

The event comes several weeks after allegations of racist bullying in the school district.

As NHPR’s Jason Moon reports, the event last night was a time for people to share their stories and to chart where to go from here.  

Parents, teachers, and school administrators will gather in Durham tonight for a forum on diversity.

The event is being organized by the Oyster River School District.  It's in response to a pair of alleged racist bullying incidents from early in September.

College Board

New national data on the price of college shows once again New Hampshire’s public universities have the highest sticker prices for in-state students anywhere in the country.

maurafornh.com

Maura Sullivan is the latest Democrat to enter the contest to replace Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.

Standardized tests scores for New Hampshire students are down slightly from last year.

According to the results for the Smarter Balanced tests released today, there was a 3 percent drop in the number of students in grades 3 - 8 proficient in English Language Arts compared to last year. In math, there was 2 percent drop.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire 11th graders taking the SAT showed a slight improvement in math scores.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders drew hundreds at a fundraiser for local Democrats Sunday night.

The former presidential candidate drew on many of the same themes from his campaign, including single payer healthcare, an increased minimum wage, and campaign finance reform.

The 2017 Black New England Conference began Friday at the University of New Hampshire.

The event brings scholars, writers, and activists together to discuss the history and present-day experience of African Americans in New England.

JerriAnne Boggis with the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire helped organize the event.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will be back in the state this weekend.

Senator Sanders is scheduled to attend a fundraiser held by the Strafford County Democratic Committee on Sunday evening.

The group says proceeds from the event will pay for mailings and voter registration efforts.

A recent UNH poll shows Sanders remains popular among Democrats in New Hampshire.

This will mark his second visit to New Hampshire in as many months.

Former Stafford County Attorney Lincoln Soldati announced Wednesday that he is running as a Democratic candidate for New Hampshire’s 1st District House seat.

Soldati, a Democrat and Portsmouth native, spent 17 years as Strafford County Attorney.

In 2009 he was elected mayor of Somersworth, but he resigned the post in 2011 after his house burnt down and he was unable to rebuild.

Last year, Soldati traveled to North Dakota to join Native Americans and others who were opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. He says that experience inspired him to run.

People who rent out their homes through AirBnb in New Hampshire will soon have less paperwork to deal with.

Lodging booked through AirBnb is subject to the state’s rooms & meals tax just like any hotel.

Up until now, anyone using AirBnB to rent out a room or other space in their home has had to do things hotel owners have to do – get a tax license, collect the right amount of tax from each rental, and then submit that to the state each month.

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