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.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

The chairman of the Governor’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion is raising questions about the announcement of UNH’s new president, James Dean.

Rogers Johnson, who is also president of the Seacoast NAACP, has called for more transparency in the search process.

Now he says the unveiling of UNH’s choice for president seems to emphasize his ability to raise revenue for the institution.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State Senators heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would expand the state’s only existing school choice program.

Under the existing system, businesses in New Hampshire can get a tax break when they make donations to scholarships which can be used on a number of educational purposes, including private school tuition, college courses, and homeschool expenses.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Lawmakers are continuing in their attempt to hammer out the details of a controversial school choice bill that was first introduced over 14 months ago.

Senate Bill 193 received yet another set of tweaks on Wednesday. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

On the Seacoast, crews are working to repair damage from winter storms in time for the summer tourist season.

At North Hampton State Beach, repairs are being made to a collapsed parking lot and sidewalk.

A new national study finds high school graduation requirements in New Hampshire don’t align with criteria for college admissions.

The research from the Center for American Progress finds that in many states, including New Hampshire, there’s a gap between what is required to graduate from high school and what is required to start at the local public university.

New research from the University of New Hampshire shows a slight increase in the rate of child abuse nationwide.

The report from the Crimes Against Children Research Center shows that from 2015 to 2016, child physical abuse increased by 5%, while child maltreatment fatalities increased by 8%.

UNH professor and author of the report David Finkelhor says the results are troubling, but he cautions against reading too much into the single data point.

Maine DOT

After more than six months of delays, the new Sarah Mildred Long Bridge connecting Portsmouth and Kittery is scheduled to open this Friday.

The $160 million lift bridge was originally scheduled to open last September.

Ted Talbot, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Transportation says they haven't yet determined who is at fault for the delayed opening.

"What we do at the end of most projects, this one included, we'll sit down with a contractor and identify some key components, some key areas that we need to talk about."

Jason Moon for NHPR

Superintendents, school board members, teachers, and parents held a press conference Thursday morning to voice their concerns about a bill that would create "education freedom savings accounts."

The bill, known as Senate Bill 193, would allow parents to use public money to educate their kids outside of public schools, including at home or at private schools.

Jason Moon for NHPR

New research from UNH says nuisance flooding of roads on the East coast has increased by 90 percent over the last two decades.

Nuisance flooding occurs as a result of normal tidal activity. It's the kind of flooding that can happen on sunny day with calm weather.

The new report estimates that nuisance flooding is already causing over 100 million hours of delays for drivers each year. As oceans rise, the report says, so could that number.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A crowd of several hundred people turned out for the March for Our Lives event in Portsmouth on Saturday.

The rally featured speeches from students from several high schools in the region, as well as teachers, parents, and elected officials.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The New Hampshire senate has approved a constitutional amendment designed to give victims more rights in the criminal justice system.

The amendment, known as Marsy’s Law, would give crime victims a larger voice in court proceedings.

Among other things, it would give victims the constitutional right to be notified of any change in the status of their offender, the right to confer with the prosecutor, and the right to protection from the accused.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The state Fish & Game Department is warning anglers not to eat the fish from a river on the Seacoast. As NHPR's Jason Moon reports, they're citing concerns about chemical contamination.

Each year, Fish & Game stocks Berry's Brook in Rye with several thousand brown trout.

The river begins in Greenland near the Coakley Landfill. That's a superfund site known to have high levels of perfluorochemicals, or PFCs, which are suspected carcinogens.

Courtesy of the N.H. Lottery Commission

The electronic gambling game Keno was approved by roughly three-quarters of the towns that voted on it last week.

The state Lottery Commission says 55 out of 71 towns approved Keno on Town Meeting day.

State lawmakers legalized the game last year as a way to raise money for full-day kindergarten, but left it up to individual communities to decide whether to allow it.

Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the state Lottery, says he’s pleased by the number of towns that approved Keno.

Hanover High School

Hanover Police Chief Charles B. Dennis announced the arrest of a 14-year-old Canadian girl in connection with a threat posted on Instagram about a shooting at Hanover High School.

Hanover police coordinated with authorities in Brantford, Ontario - south of Toronto - after the location of the social media threat was determined to be in their jurisdiction, police said.

The threats came from an Instagram account titled "hanoverhighschooting."

Ellen Grimm for NHPR

A constitutional amendment designed to give crime victims more rights is leaving a Senate committee with a positive recommendation.

The amendment, known as Marsy’s Law, would give crime victims constitutional rights in the criminal justice system.

Supporters envision it as a parallel to the Miranda rights of the accused. Opponents argue it could interfere with due process for criminal defendants.

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee signed off on the amendment by a 4 to 1 vote. It’s expected to get a vote by the full Senate this Thursday.

woodleywonderworks via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5p1N5a

All thirteen of New Hampshire’s cities now offer full-day kindergarten. On Monday night, Concord became the final city to join the list.

The Concord school board has been debating full-day kindergarten for years. The election of new board members, along with new funding from the state, finally tipped the scales.

Board member Chuck Crush says he’s excited for what a full-day program will mean for kids and for economic development in the city.

The state Lottery Commission says it won’t appeal a court decision that allowed the winner of a half-billion dollar Powerball jackpot to remain anonymous.

The Lottery Commission and the anonymous winner, identified only as Jane Doe, had been at odds over whether a lottery winner’s name was subject to right-to-know laws.

Last week, a Hillsboro Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the lottery winner -- meaning her identity will remain a mystery.

Chelsey Puffer

After a week of uncertainty following a public auction of the Smuttynose Brewery, a new owner has been announced. Smuttynose is now owned by Runnymede Investments, a venture capital and investment firm based in North Hampton. The purchase was made for an undisclosed amount.

Runnymede is installing a new CEO at the brewery, Rich Lindsay, who has experience at other breweries including Samuel Adams and Night Shift Brewing.

The Air Force is announcing new efforts to address water contamination at the former Pease Air Force Base.

Pease is the site of the largest known perfluorochemical contamination in the state. In 2014, a drinking well was closed there after at least 1,800 people were exposed to PFCs at levels far above health advisory limits. Some evidence has linked PFCs to cancer.

Jason Moon for NHPR

On Town Meeting day tomorrow, several communities across New Hampshire will vote on whether to offer full-day kindergarten in their local school districts.

It will be the first time towns vote on the issue since lawmakers in Concord approved a program that provides state money for full-day kindergarten.


An auction to sell the Smuttynose Brewery Friday ended in uncertainty about the business’s future.

A crowd of current employees, bank officials, and mystery bidders gathered on the floor of the Hampton brewery Friday afternoon for the auction. 

Courtesy Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Brewing Company will be sold at auction Friday afternoon in Hampton.

The iconic New Hampshire craft brewer announced in January that it could no longer pay its bills and needed new ownership to survive.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted Tuesday to kill a bill that would have increased oversight for homeschool students.

House bill 1263 would have required that homeschool students have their annual assessments reviewed by either state officials or nonpublic school principals.

Currently, parents of homeschool students don’t have to share the results of the assessments with anybody.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down a bill Tuesday that would have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The language from the bill imagined Indigenous Peoples’ Day as “a time for New Hampshire residents to reflect on the continuing struggles of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.”

Flikr Creative Commons/ evmaiden

For over a year now, education policy watchers in Concord have focused their attention on a controversial bill that would create Education Savings Accounts.

But meanwhile, another bill popular with the school choice proponents has been making its way through the legislature, largely unnoticed.

The Manchester School District says a student was arrested last Friday for making threats on social media about school shootings.

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas says despite the arrest there was no immediate threat to any students in the district.

This is the third arrest made in connection to school threats in New Hampshire following the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school last month.

On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office announced it was filing charges against a former teacher at St. Paul’s School in Concord for witness tampering and conspiracy to commit perjury. They are the first charges to be filed in connection with the AG’s investigation into the elite prep school over allegations of sexual misconduct over several decades.

NHPR's Jason Moon has been following the story and has this breakdown of what the charges are, and what they tell us about the broader investigation into St. Paul's School.

Via USGS.gov

A bill that would force the cleanup of a hazardous landfill on the Seacoast hit a stumbling block in a House committee Tuesday.

The bill would require the groups that dumped hazardous waste at the Coakley Landfill in Greenland in the 70s and 80s to start cleaning it up.

The leaders of eight elite prep schools across New England are calling on lawmakers to take meaningful action to make schools safer.

In a joint statement, the schools, which include St. Paul’s and Phillips Exeter, say they stand in solidarity with the families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, in calling for legislative and regulatory actions to protect students.

St. Paul’s Rector Michael Hirschfeld says the schools were moved to speak out because of the activism of their students.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu announced the creation Monday of a new school safety task force.

The news comes following the school shooting in Florida and threats of violence at schools here in New Hampshire.

According to a statement from the Governor’s office, the new task force will include representatives from the state, law enforcement, schools, and local governments.

It will spend the next few months developing stronger safety protocols for New Hampshire schools.

 

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