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.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Senator Maggie Hassan is criticizing the Trump administration’s plan to roll back the Clean Power Plan, an environmental policy of the Obama White House.

Senator Hassan made the remarks as she toured Brayton Energy in Hampton. The company designs high-efficiency, low-emission turbine engines.

Hassan says the Clean Power Plan, which required states to cut back on CO2 emissions would’ve helped protect New Hampshire from the effects of carbon pollution.

NH Department of Health and Human Services

State health officials say residents on public water in Merrimack and Bedford have been exposed to perfluorochemicals, or PFCs, at rates higher than the general population, but lower than in some other exposed communities.

Blood tests from more than 200 residents in the two towns found levels of the chemical known as PFOA were roughly double what's found in the general population.

The contamination is thought to have come from a nearby Saint-Gobain performance plastics plant.

Jim Richmond

Federal regulators will allow the non-profit nuclear watchdog group C-10 to weigh in on a regulatory review of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant.

C-10 has raised concerns about how the plant's owner, NextEra Energy, is addressing concrete degradation caused by a chemical reaction.

Seabrook is the only nuclear power plant in the country known to be affected by this chemical reaction.

NextEra Energy has 25 days to appeal the decision.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency said the Coakley Landfill, a superfund site in North Hampton, does not currently pose an unacceptable risk to human health.

That message came as a surprise to some members of a task force charged with investigating a cancer cluster on the Seacoast. They have been arguing for months that the EPA needs to be more proactive in addressing contamination at the site.

NHPR’s Seacoast Reporter Jason Moon recently sat down with All Things Considered host Sally Hirsh-Dickinson to talk more about this.

Ryan Johnson / Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Department of Education says it has received an overwhelming number of applications for a new robotics grant program.

The department says nearly 100 schools have applied for the newly created New Hampshire Robotics Fund, which gives schools a financial boost to launch robotics teams.

Shannon McCracken teaches science, technology, and art at Farmington High School. She says the grant would offer new opportunities for her students.

File Photo

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought by a Hampton fisherman over the cost of fishing regulations.

David Goethel was hoping to challenge in court the federal government’s at-sea monitoring program.

The program puts regulators on fisherman’s boats to make sure they are adhering to catch limits, but fishermen are responsible for the costs of the program, at an estimated $700 a trip.

Goethel says those costs are stifling and illegal, but on Monday the Supreme Court announced it would not hear the case.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Today on the Statehouse Lawn, donations of food and water streamed in for Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria.

The New Hampshire Food Bank, the National Guard, Gov. Chris Sununu and over a hundred volunteers from AmeriCorps and state agencies collected and sorted the donations from cars as they rolled past the collection points.

NHPR’s Jason Moon stopped by to see the operation in person.

By Tuesday afternoon, volunteers had collected more than 250 pallets worth of food and water. One pallet can hold over 1,500 bottles of water.

Police in Portsmouth say they are planning to crack down on loud motorcycles.

According to state law, an idling motorcycle should be no louder than 92 decibels. But knowing whether a motorcycle exceeds that limit requires police to have specialized gear and training.

Portsmouth Police Captain Frank Warchol says in the past, his department has relied on state police to catch offenders.

Now, in response to complaints from residents, Warchol says the Portsmouth PD is investing in the equipment and training it needs to enforce the law on its own.

Cheryl Senter

A Hampton selectman is surveying local businesses in an effort to discover exactly how much the town contributes to state coffers through the rooms and meals tax.

New Hampshire's tax on rooms and meals is levied by the state and then redistributed to towns on the basis of population. Cities and towns get more money if they have more people.

Hampton Selectman Regina Barnes says that formula is a bad deal for her town, because with its many restaurants and hotels, it puts more in than it gets out.

New data is available from the federal Department of Education on the costs and performance of New Hampshire’s universities.

The new numbers are available on the College Scorecard, an online tool created by the federal government. It’s designed to let students easily compare stats like average annual costs and graduation rates from one school to another.

Saturday, visitors to the White Mountain National Forest can enjoy the public land for free.

September 30th is National Public Lands Day in the U.S. and the White Mountain National Forest is celebrating by waiving day-use fees for visitors. Fees for camping and other activities will remain in place.

Tiffany Benna with the U.S. Forest Service says the day is a great excuse to make a trip before chilly weather sets in.

The town of Durham is lobbying the state to adopt a new holiday.

Earlier this month, Durham became the first town in the state to establish an Indigenous Peoples’ Day - in lieu of Columbus Day.

Now town councilors there are urging the governor and state lawmakers to consider doing the same.

Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig says the debate in Durham was good for the community, and that a similar one could be good for the state.

A judge on Tuesday ruled that a water pollution lawsuit against the Pease Development Authority can proceed.

The lawsuit is by the Conservation Law Foundation, or CLF, against the management of the Air-Force base turned business district at Pease.

At issue is storm water runoff. The CLF says the 3,000 acre property is discharging polluted rainwater into Great Bay without the proper permits from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Tom Irwin with CLF says it’s a problem that’s only gotten worse as development at Pease has continued.

A Phillips Exeter student who had earlier been reported missing has been found alive and safe in Hartford, Connecticut, according to family friends.

Authorities had been searching for 17-year-old Jed Breen after he left a hospital in Exeter where he had been treated for dehydration.

The original post continues below:

Police in Exeter and officials with Phillips Exeter Academy are searching for a missing 17-year-old student.

Authorities say Jed Breen was last seen Tuesday afternoon after being treated at a local hospital for dehydration.

Centers for Disease Control

Over the last week, state health officials have detected West Nile Virus in mosquito samples from Brentwood, Madbury, and Rye.

Sarah MacGregor, president of Dragon Mosquito Control says in response her crews have sprayed for mosquitoes near schools and in public parks in Rye. Her company is working with the other towns as well.

“The past three weeks we’ve seen an increase in the mosquito population, particularly in the Seacoast – which, we’d want to see mosquitoes waning this time of year.”

Jason Moon for NHPR

The first few weeks of school in the towns of Durham, Lee, and Madbury have been clouded by allegations of racist bullying  on a school bus.

NHPR’s Jason Moon recently sat down with the superintendent of the school district and the parents of the alleged victim to hear how each are grappling with the situation.

The Oyster River School District will be requiring diversity training for all staff in the wake of an alleged racist bullying incident earlier this month.

Superintendent Jim Morse says the trainings will be led by a member of the state health department who specializes in racial minority affairs. Morse says the training will be required for every district employee, including himself.

Wikimedia Commons

Phillips Exeter Academy and the Exeter Police Department have announced a new agreement concerning the reporting of sexual assaults on campus.

A new memorandum of understanding between the prestigious prep school and the local police department outlines procedures they say will help keep students safe from abuse of all kinds.

Downtown Portsmouth.
Squirrel Flight via Flickr/Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/squirrelflight/1355544138/in/photostream/

The Portsmouth City Council has banned the use of what it calls ‘synthetic toxic pesticides’ in public spaces, citing concerns about public health.

The new policy is largely aimed at weed killing chemicals the city sprays on sidewalks and streets.

Portsmouth city councilor Jim Splaine put forward the motion, which was approved Monday night.

“We may be tonight adopting New Hampshire’s first very clear and strong position against synthetic toxic pesticides. This is a step in the right direction.”

Jason Moon for NHPR

Volunteers with the New Hampshire Beach Monitoring program are taking measurements of the state's beaches ahead of Hurricane Jose.

As volunteer Sherri Townsend explains, scientists want to know how the storm will impact the topography of the beach.

"We're just measuring if there's any changes in where the berm is, and how high the berm is, and the slope of the berm -- which is the high point, when the storm surge comes up."

The Durham Town Council voted Monday night to create a holiday called Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

After lots of public comment and a spirited debate, the Durham town council voted 7-2 to establish the new local holiday. It will be celebrated annually on the same day as Columbus Day.

Durham Town Councilor Kenny Rotner voted in favor of the resolution. He argued the move will have no legal effect on Columbus Day, which is a federal holiday.

A new report shows New Hampshire has made big strides in connecting public schools to broadband Internet. But there are some districts in the state who lack access.

Concord joins Portsmouth, Nashua, Keene, and Lebanon in announcing its support for the international climate agreement known as the Paris Accord.

President Trump said he would pull the U.S. out of the agreement earlier this summer.

Rob Werner is a Concord city councilor.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The town of Hampton is taking the state to court. Officials there want the town reimbursed for services it provides at the state owned beach.

Local and state officials have long disagreed about exactly who is responsible for what at Hampton Beach, which is in the town of Hampton but owned and operated by the state.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party is gathering Saturday in Manchester for its mid-term state convention.

Party chairman Ray Buckley says a big part of the event will focus on training what he says is a new generation of Democrats.

“In the off-year conventions it’s a great opportunity for Democrats across the state to gather, to exchange skills, and learn the abilities to expand our grassroots operation.”

The event is being held at Manchester’s Memorial High School.

biologycorner / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire students will be introduced to new standardized tests this spring.

In recent years, New Hampshire has worked with a consortium of other states to create its standardized tests - what's known as the Smarter Balanced and the NECAP system.

Now, with the help of an assessment company, the state is crafting its own test, the New Hampshire Statewide Assessment System, or SAS.

Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut says the new system will be more tailored to New Hampshire and it will take significantly less time for students to complete.

Carsey School of Public Policy

New research from UNH shows fewer children in New Hampshire are living in poverty.

The report from the Carsey School of Public Policy finds the rate of childhood poverty in New Hampshire is the lowest in the nation, at just under 8 percent. It says that number is down from last year, and on par with pre-recession levels.

Oyster River School District

The Oyster River School District is grappling with a racially charged incident that took place on a school bus earlier this month.

Superintendent Jim Morse says he was taken aback by the revelation that an elementary school student from a biracial family had been bullied with racist language by another student on the bus.

He says the episode was out of character for the district which includes the towns of Durham, Madbury, and Lee.

A new report says the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is in poor condition and unable to keep up with the demands of the Navy.

The report comes from the legislative watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office. It paints a bleak picture of the nation’s four public naval shipyards, including the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

It says the aging facilities together have racked up deferred maintenance costs of almost 5 billion dollars.

USA - NH - New Hampshire State Police
Dave Conner / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire Division of State Police is reviewing its policies on immigration.

State Police Col. Chris Wagner says right now there is no policy for how troopers should address immigration status during a traffic stop or other encounter.

Wagner says with a national conversation about immigration ongoing, he wants a clear policy in place as soon as possible so that troopers and the public will know what to expect.

Pages