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.

Courtesy Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Brewing Company announced big news today - it's putting itself up for auction.

In a statement, Smuttynose owner Peter Egelston says the explosion of microbreweries onto the beer market came right as his company made a major investment in a new state-of-the-art brewing facility.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A meeting this week between Governor Chris Sununu and Hampton town officials may not have been enough to calm the waters in that town.

Last year, Hampton selectmen voted to sue the state over the cost of some services that the town provides at the popular state-owned beach.

Governor Sununu met with Hampton officials Tuesday night in an apparent effort to head off that suit, which is scheduled to be filed at the end of the month.

But Hampton Selectman James Waddell, who voted against filing the suit, says he doubts Sununu's outreach will make a difference.

Moakley Courthouse

Attorneys for a group of Indonesian immigrants facing deportation argued before a federal judge in Boston today for more time.

The group of 51 Indonesian Christians now living on New Hampshire's Seacoast fled religious persecution and overstayed their visas back in the 90s. Then, last summer, under a federal crackdown, immigration officials told them they had 30 days to leave.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A controversial school choice bill drew a large crowd at a public hearing before lawmakers Tuesday.

The bill would allow some parents to take their children out of public school and then spend the state tax dollars that would have followed that child on other forms of education, including private school tuition.  

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig was among those who spoke against the measure.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu and a bipartisan group of legislators will officially kickoff the campaign for a new amendment to the New Hampshire Constitution at the State House on Tuesday.

Jason Moon for NHPR

It was a packed house at the Teatotaller café in Somersworth as five transgender panelists shared their stories and took questions from an audience.

A public housing complex for people who are chronically homeless could open in Rochester later this year.

Last year, a doctor in Rochester donated her old medical office building to the Rochester Housing Authority.

Stacey Price, director of the housing authority, says they’re hoping to transform the space into 8 housing units for people who are chronically homeless.

Town officials in Rye are considering a law requiring dog owners to use a leash on public property.

The proposal was spurred by an incident last month, in which a dog was shot at a public park in Rye after it began fighting with another owner's dog. The man who fired the shots has been charged with reckless conduct.

A leash law has the support of the town's chief of police who says his officers spend too much responding to dog-related calls.

Selectmen will decide later this month whether to put a leash law on the ballot for voters this March.

http://www.goffstown.k12.nh.us/

Homeowners in Goffstown will see an unexpected reduction in their property tax rates this year.

During an audit last month, school officials in Goffstown discovered a series of accounting errors in the school budget that led, over a number of years, to a $10.1 million surplus.

School board members decided Monday night to return that money to taxpayers via a one-time drop in property tax rates. According to the school district’s projections, a $200,000 home in Goffstown could see their tax bill drop by about $1,200.

The city of Rochester is exploring launching a Safe Station program modeled after the one in Manchester.

The idea behind Manchester’s program is that anyone who wants help fighting their addiction can walk into any city fire station, at any time, and get connected with treatment services.

Rochester Mayor Caroline McCarley has been closely following the program and wants it, or something like it, in her city.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A bill that would reorganize the Department of Education got the approval of the Senate Education Committee Tuesday.

The bill would rename the department’s divisions and reshuffle some of the responsibilities between them.

It would also give the commissioner more power to make changes in the future, provided the changes are approved by legislators.

Mike Ross, UNH

A new scholarship program will help some New Hampshire high schoolers major in STEM fields at UNH.

The program will provide mentorship, scholarship money, and even help finding a job after graduation for 30 high schoolers in Manchester and Dover with academic talent and financial need.

It’s a joint effort by UNH and the National Science Foundation to meet the demand for a skilled workforce in New Hampshire.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has approved a controversial school choice bill by a vote of 184-162.

Photo Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

In an email sent to legislative leaders last week, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office wrote that Senate Bill 193 is constitutional.

That opinion comes days before the bill is to be voted on by the House of Representatives.

Photo Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

A new bill would increase the level of oversight over homeschool students in the state.

Each year, homeschool students in New Hampshire are required to demonstrate their educational progress. They can do that in a lot of different ways, including with a standardized test or an evaluation by a teacher.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

The New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation is hosting free, guided hikes on New Year’s Day as part of a national event called First Day Hikes.

The department is offering five different hikes, from Silver Lake State Park in the southern tier, to Milan State Park in the North Country.

Each is free, family–friendly, and guided by either park staff or volunteers from conservation groups.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Some lawmakers in New Hampshire want the state to celebrate Indigenous People's Day, instead of Columbus Day, next year.

The bill was introduced by Democratic State Rep Wayne Burton.

He says he hopes people would use the new holiday to reflect on the history of people who lived here for thousands of years before European settlers arrived.

flickr/bcgrote

A new bill aims to give public sector workers more protections when it comes to workplace accidents or deaths.

David Fernandez via Flickr

Some state lawmakers are looking to reduce the number of requirements needed to become a school nurse.

A new bill in the statehouse would roll back a set of requirements for school nurses that went into effect in 2016. Those requirements include having a bachelor’s degree and at least 3 years of experience in pediatric nursing.

Under the new bill, the only requirements would be that the applicant is a registered nurse in the state and is approved by the local school board.

Republican state representative Carol McGuire is one of the sponsors of the bill.

Marty Watts / Aira

It’s a Saturday night in at the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth. Hundreds of people are here to experience some vintage Christmas charm at the annual Candlelight Stroll.

Gene Lavoie, dressed in her puffy white coat, is eager to join them. But first, she puts on a pair of futuristic looking glasses.

Lavoie is visually impaired. She has some sight, but not enough to get around on her own. She’s hoping the new glasses she just put on will help that.

***This story has lots of sound -- we highly recommend listening.***

A former Portsmouth police officer and the city of Portsmouth have agreed to settle a lawsuit regarding an alleged violation of whistleblower rights.

In 2014, Portsmouth police officer Jon Connors gave an interview to the Portsmouth Herald. He told them he often saw fellow officer Aaron Goodwin at the home of his wealthy neighbor, Geraldine Webber.

A judge would later rule that former-Officer Goodwin exerted undue influence over Webber to get her to change her will to benefit him.

Mount Washington Auto Road

New research from UNH says the effects of climate change on New Hampshire could start to accelerate by the middle of the century.

File Photo

People exposed to the chemicals known as PFCs at the former Pease Air Force base could soon be taking part in a new national health study.

A defense spending bill signed into law by President Trump on Tuesday included an amendment on PFCs backed by New Hampshire’s congressional delegation.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Last weekend, as the first snowflakes of winter fell on New Hampshire, a local icon on the Seacoast was setting out for an afternoon swim. "Creekman," as he’s known to some, has been making long distance cold-water swims for charity for a decade now. But as NHPR’s Jason Moon reports, those swims are more than displays of physical prowess – they’re a chance for a beloved character to come alive.

A new report on the environmental health of Great Bay and surrounding waterways says those ecosystems continue to decline.

The report comes from the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, or PREP. The group is funded by the EPA and administered by UNH. Every five years, they rate the health of the Seacoast’s estuaries using 23 indicators.

Reaching Higher NH

A new analysis of a controversial school voucher bill says it could cost the state millions of dollars over the next several years.

The bill in question would allow parents to take the state money that normally follows a child to public school, and spend it on other forms of education -- including private schools or home schooling.

Two recent incidents have brought the number of work related deaths in New Hampshire this year to at least ten.

Last Sunday, a 35 year old Epsom man was killed when a tree he was harvesting fell on him. On Monday, a 23 year old from Loudon died in a work-related incident at a wood-burning energy plant. Both cases are being investigated by OSHA.

Brian Mitchell is with the New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health. He says that while the total number of workplace deaths in the state is down from recent years, the number isn’t low enough.

University of New Hampshire

Last May, the atmosphere on campus at UNH was tense.

A video showing a confrontation between students about racist stereotypes on Cinco de Mayo went viral. So did images of students wearing blackface. Swastikas and racial slurs started showing up graffitied on campus. Then, sculptures installed to show solidarity for minority students in the midst of all this were vandalized.

The Manchester school board has extended the contract of superintendent Bolgen Vargas.

Vargas took over the leadership of the state’s largest school district just over a year ago, at a time when Manchester schools were facing a budget shortfall and a long term decline in enrollment.

But School Board member Leslie Want says so far he’s handled the challenges well.

“He has a tremendous sense of urgency that we’ve not had in the district for a long time. He’s just not satisfied with the status quo or with putting out the daily fires.”

Jason Moon for NHPR

Democratic Executive Councilor Chris Pappas kicked off his congressional campaign with an event in Manchester Tuesday night.

Pappas spoke to supporters at the Puritan Backroom Restaurant, which his family owns and operates.

The former state representative told the crowd he’s willing to work across the aisle to get things done.

Pages