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.

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.

Southern New Hampshire University has announced it will freeze tuition for the next academic year.

The freeze applies to SNHU’s online degree program as well as its on-campus undergraduate program.

The current sticker price for an undergraduate student living on campus at SNHU is currently around $44,000.

This marks the fifth year without a tuition increase at the private university.

Typical annual increases at other private universities have been around three percent in recent years.

Next school year, some high school students on the Seacoast will be able to hit the snooze button a few more times. The Oyster River and Portsmouth School Districts recently voted to move the start of their school days to 8:15 and 8:30, respectively. Research shows the change can help students get more sleep, but the decision was not without controversy.

“Get your clothes on, ok? Get dressed. Then come on down and meet me for breakfast.”

It’s 6:30 a.m. at the MacManes household in Durham, and that means it’s time to get ready for school.

Authorities have identified a father and son in a deadly shooting in Dover on Saturday.

According to the state Attorney General’s office, 55 year-old Brenton Davis was killed by his 76 year-old father John Davis after the two exchanged gunfire on Saturday morning in their Dover home.

Authorities say it appears Brenton Davis shot his father several times before John Davis returned fire.

The father was hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

Authorities say Brenton Davis had a history of mental illness.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

A bipartisan bill designed to improve cross-border travel between Canada and the U.S. has passed Congress and is headed to the president's desk.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that the town of Durham can tax parking spaces rented for profit by a religious institution.

At issue were 24 parking spots that the St. George’s Episcopal Church in Durham rents to UNH students for 300 dollars a semester.

Churches are generally tax-exempt, but New Hampshire’s highest court ruled the parking spaces are taxable because they were rented to students for “their own private and secular purpose.”

Jason Moon for NHPR

Thirty-five projects for land conservation and historic preservation have been awarded grants by the state’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. LCHIP was created by the legislature in 2000 to provide matching grants for conservation and preservation projects across New Hampshire.

This year, a total of 3.5 million dollars went to fund projects that range from the conservation of Nashua’s last working farm to the restoration of Laconia’s Colonial Theatre.

Governor Maggie Hassan addressed the recipients, touting her support of state funding for the program.

Jason Moon for NHPR

New Hampshire has long lagged behind other states when it comes to the availability of full-day kindergarten. Legislators are likely to take up the issue this year, as they have in years past. But the ideas being debated in Concord this year likely won’t change the situation for school districts who can’t already afford to offer a full-day kindergarten program.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Yesterday, a new report was released with suggestions for how Seacoast communities should prepare for the effects of climate change. The document could influence town planning and development in the region for years.

The report came from the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission, which was created by the legislature back in 2013. It had 37-members representing Seacoast towns, state agencies, and private-sector interests.

The Portsmouth School Board voted Tuesday night to make the start of the school day about an hour later for middle and high school students.

Next year, middle and high schoolers in Portsmouth will start the school day at about 8:30. The current start time is 7:30.

Research shows the extra time can make a big difference for students in everything from emotional well-being to academic performance.

Board member Patrick Ellis voted in favor of the change.

unh.edu

Last week, students, faculty and staff at the University of New Hampshire received an email from UNH president Mark Huddleston condemning a recent spike in incidents of hate speech on campus. NHPR’s Jason Moon visited campus to see how the school community was responding to the letter.

University of New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston sent a campus-wide email Tuesday condemning what he says has been a recent increase in hate incidents on campus.

The New Hampshire Attorney General has given a positive review to one aspect of the proposed acquisition of Wentworth Douglass Hospital in Dover by the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Because of Wentworth Douglass’ charitable work in the Dover area, the proposed acquisition was subject to a review by the state Attorney General’s office.

File Photo

New Hampshire’s Community College system asked lawmakers for an increase in state funding at a budget hearing in Concord today. College officials say the increase is needed to avoid a hike in tuition.

Officials with the state Community College system are asking for about 49 million dollars for next fiscal year and 52.5 million for the year after. That’s up from their current annual budget of 44 million dollars.

New data released today by the U.S. Department of Education shows students — in New Hampshire and elsewhere — who graduate from career training programs at public universities tend to earn more than those who attended private, for-profit institutions.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Population growth on New Hampshire’s Seacoast has led to rising real estate prices that can often mean more tax revenue for towns in the region. But three Seacoast towns are finding it can make fiscal sense to forego development in favor of conservation.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The Portsmouth School Board held a public hearing last night on whether to push back the start of the school day for middle and high schoolers next year.

Among the roughly 60 parents and teachers who attended last night's meeting, there was broad agreement that a later start time could benefit students. A growing body of research suggests later start times can help teens get more sleep and be more productive during the school day.

Portsmouth superintendent Steve Zadravec outlined two proposals to push middle and high school start times back by an hour.

The Conservation Law Foundation is suing the Pease Development Authority over water contamination issues at the former Pease Air Force base in Portsmouth.

The Conservation Law Foundation says the Pease Development Authority failed to seek required federal storm water runoff permits from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Conservation Law Foundation lawyer Tom Irwin says the federal Clean Water Act requires the PDA to have a storm water runoff management plan.

New research from the University of New Hampshire suggests a person’s political leanings can influence how they perceive some of the impacts of climate change.

In a recent study, researchers at UNH started with the basic, factual premise that there has been an increase in flooding in New Hampshire over the last ten years.

But according to the survey conducted of more than 2,000 New Hampshire residents, your political leanings play a big role in determining whether you agree with that fact.

The Portsmouth School Board will hold a public hearing Wednesday evening on whether the school day should begin later for the city’s middle and high school students.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Today, millions of Americans around the country are performing their civic duty at the voting booth. But here in New Hampshire, there’s growing concern that students aren’t learning enough about the historical foundations behind that tradition. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

With just days remaining before voters head to the polls, both presidential campaigns are sprinting to the finish line in New Hampshire. And, perhaps not surprisingly, each camp feels it has the winning strategy to get out the vote. But what does that look like on the ground?

There are a few towns and cities across New Hampshire that -- time and again -- almost perfectly mirror how the state votes as a whole. Political junkies call a town like this a "bellwether." 

One of the state's most tried and true bellwether communities is the city of Rochester. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

Donald Trump’s rally at the Radisson in Manchester was scheduled to begin at noon. But the fact that he was running more than hour and a half late may have actually worked in his campaign’s favor.

“I need to open with a very critical breaking news announcement…”

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