Jonathan Lynch

Correspondent
Professionals eat lunch in Veterans Park in Manchester
Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Professionals from around downtown Manchester ate out Thursday afternoon at Veterans Park.

The event is the first in a series of lunches to be held over the summer. Hosted by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the program aims to rehabilitate the image of Veterans Park.

Jessica Chambers is the Parks Planner for the city of Manchester and says that the park has acquired a bad reputation:

“The park gets a bad rap for drug use, loitering, homelessness; I think that word has really detracted from the people coming by to visit it.”

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation held a meeting in Manchester Wednesday night to glean public input on expanding passenger rail service between New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

The event marked the first of three such meetings to be held as part of a study commissioned by the state to determine the viability of commuter rail expansion from Concord to Boston.

Microsoft

We recently spoke with Jamin Warren about all the controversy surrounding the launch of Microsoft's new console, the Xbox One. Here's five facts you should know about Microsoft's sleek new hardware.

1.) It Won’t Run Your Old Xbox Games

Pinball Wizard

May 28, 2013
Kapungo via flickr Creative Commons

In February of 2011, Jon Lynch visited the newly opened Pinball Wizard Arcade in Pelham, New Hampshire, where more than 200 impeccably restored pinball and vintage 80's video games are still luring gamers looking for big-time nostalgia.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, made an appearance at a Republican Fundraiser in Manchester.

The central theme of the fundraiser was the defeat Republicans suffered in the 2012 elections, and the new tack the party must take to wrest the power back from Democrats.

Jindal told the room of about 50 supporters that Republicans mustn't let their defeat lead to inaction and that the party should stay true to its values:

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown spoke at a charity event in Nashua.

Brown appeared as the keynote speaker at a gala held by the Child Advocacy Center of Hillsborough County.

The organization provides support for sexually abused children in New Hampshire.

Kristie Palestino is the Executive Director of the Granite State Children's Alliance and says the ball is a critical source of income for the group:

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Prominent Democrats and Republicans were on hand to honor Warren B. Rudman, who represented New Hampshire for two terms in Washington.

Governor Maggie Hassan and senators Jean Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte all spoke at the event.

They were joined by Rudman's former colleagues in the Senate: Judd Gregg, Bob Kerrey, Phil Gramm, and the keynote speaker of the even, senator John McCain.

McCain credited Rudman with introducing him to the people of New Hampshire during his first presidential bid, and for serving as a role model for him:

New Hampshire residents have already started to react to the capture of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

Fireworks could be heard in parts of Manchester on news of the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Tsarnaev was apprehended alive after a standoff with police Friday night in Watertown.

Reactions in the Queen City ranged from happiness over his capture to relief.

One Manchester man was elated the suspect didn’t escape justice:

Several of the taxis taken off the road earlier this week in Manchester are returning to service.

Five of the 18 taxis grounded earlier this week have returned to service in the Queen City after undergoing repairs and inspections.

Problems with the vehicles ranged from broken tie rods and cracked windshields to rear brake failure and severe body rot.

Initially, cab company owners were unable to find a state inspector to recommission the vehicles, but city police helped locate an independent garage in Manchester for the work.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Parents and children from across the state attended the annual Governor’s Easter Egg Hunt in Concord.

Governor Hassan was on hand to kick off the Easter egg hunt. She extended special thanks to the organizers of the event as well as to the state employees in attendance:

“We are so grateful for the work all of you do and we are so happy that the weather is cooperating and that your children have decided to join us too.”

A crowd of children swarmed across the Bridges House grounds, searching high and low for the multi-colored eggs.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Here's a slideshow of sights and scenes from PAX East 2013.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

The sheer volume of humanity packed into the Boston Convention Center doesn't really hit you until you're in and amongst the crowd. Everyone from game developers to Pokemon trainers and Final Fantasy cosplayers are here in force, mingling and chatting in lobbies and food courts. They've made the pilgrimage to the Penny Arcade Expo to celebrate gaming in all of its forms.

Bitcoin.org

A digital currency is getting traction with New Hampshire residents looking for an alternative to the dollar.

 What is Bitcoin?

On the front door of the Pao Café in downtown Newmarket, there’s a familiar collage of credit card stickers - Amex, Discover, Visa - and one that’s not so familiar. It reads: ‘Bitcoin accepted here.'

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Catholics held a special mass in Manchester Wednesday night to celebrate the selection of the new pope.

Parishioners gathered on short notice at St. Joseph’s Cathedral Wednesday night to commemorate the anointing of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I.

Bishop Peter Labasci was on hand to lead the mass. He asked those in attendance to welcome the new pope and to pray for his success in leading the church.

Labasci said the selection of the Argentine came as a surprise to him:

Andrew Tolland

Community college teachers demonstrated in Manchester this morning to highlight ongoing negotiations between school administrators and adjunct faculty. 

Around 15 teachers and supporters picketed in front of Manchester Community College to call attention to what they say is unfair treatment of part-time teachers by the Community College System of New Hampshire.

The adjuncts’ chief concerns are health insurance, job security, and compensation.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

37 New Hampshire students made it to the oral round of the 60th New Hampshire Spelling Bee.

The finalists appeared onstage at the Capitol Center for the Arts in front of their friends and families.

12-year-old Emma Bradley of Bow said the road to finals was difficult:

“It was pretty tough. There was a written round in the morning where you had to spell 50 words. They weren’t easy.”

Emma aced the written test but was knocked out in a later round.

A plow makes its way down Elm street in Manchester
Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Just days after digging out of one snow storm, New Hampshire is bracing for another.

When a snow storm hits, the NH DOT has to prep its equipment, schedule additional trucks and drivers, and ensure there’s enough salt and sand to treat icy roads.

That gets expensive.

But NH DOT spokesperson Bill Boynton says the highway department is still under-budget for snow removal this year:

via unisys.com

Computers have long been outperforming humans in complex tasks, including predicting the weather. Weather junkies are accustomed to telegenic meteorologists making predictions in front of dynamic maps. Where they get their data is stirring up a little storm system in the field. Producer Jon Lynch has the story.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Snow was still falling late Sunday afternoon, but most of Manchester's main roads were clear. The Queen City wasn't hit as hard as some forecasts predicted, allowing city workers to keep pace with the snow.

Downtown, most restaurants and businesses were open. Bobcats and sidewalk plows darted up and down Elm street, clearing paths for the few people who were out walking.

At the Derryfield Country Club, a couple dozen people made the best of the weather, building snowmen and sledding on one of the golf course's hills.

As the storm that lashed the Midwest powers east, New Hampshire's cities and towns prepare to deal with the clean up.

Wet and heavy are the watchwords for this weekend's storm, which promises to dump up to a foot of the white stuff on New Hampshire.

Bill Boynton of the NH DOT says the state is preparing accordingly:

Mayor Gatsas presents his budget proposal to aldermen and department heads
Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Mayor Gatsas unveiled his budget for fiscal year 2014, which raises taxes and allots more funding to schools.

Gatsas' budget pushes for the maximum amount of new revenue allowed under the city's tax cap. That's just more than a two-percent increase.

The bulk of new revenue would go towards bolstering the city's school system, which has experienced layoffs and overcrowding in recent years.

Gatsas was optimistic that the budget could be hammered out before the city's June deadline, but acknowledged it would be a difficult process:

Commissioner Christopher Clement of NH DOT testifies before the House committee
Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

The House Committee on Public Works and Highways held a hearing on a bill that would increase the state's gas tax and vehicle registration fees.

The bill would raise 800 million dollars over eight years in new revenue by increasing the state's gas tax by 12 cents over three years and tacking on five dollars to vehicle registration fees.

Representative David Campbell, the bill's primary sponsor, urged lawmakers to pass the legislation, arguing that New Hampshire's transportation infrastructure is in a state of crisis:

Hassan hugs a supporter outside of the Red Arrow in Manchester
Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Governor-elect Maggie Hassan made her first post-election appearance  in downtown Manchester.

Despite the cold weather and late-night election results, Hassan supporters gathered at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester Wednesday afternoon to congratulate the governor-elect on her victory.

Hassan says she looks forward to governing in the tradition set forth by Governor Lynch, and that she’s eager to work with those across the aisle to improve the state’s schools and economy:

Democrats seized at least two Executive seats last night, breaking Republican control over the council.

Chris Pappas defeated Bob Burns in a highly publicized Manchester-area race. The two men vied for Ray Wieczorek's seat after the Republican announced he would not seek re-election.

In his first bid for political office, Democrat Colin Van Ostern handily defeated incumbent Michael Tierney in District 2.

Young and old voters were out today at the polls.  As part of a digital reporting class in UNH's Journalism Program, students caught up with some of those voters.  Here's a little of what they heard.

Students who contributed to this report: Mairead Dunphy, MaryGrace Kelleher, Oliver Thomas, Shannon Reville, Lily O'Gara, Shelby Lefebvre and Merhawi Wells-Bogues.

Jonathan Lynch produced the audio postcard.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

A fleet of monstrous blue trucks arrived in Manchester late Wednesday afternoon.

PSNH president Gary Long and Northeast Utilities CEO Tom May were on hand to greet the Hydro Quebec crews.

To see reinforcements come around the corner with these blue trucks is very rewarding

75 two-man crews are slated to be in New Hampshire by Thursday morning, with some crews driving as long as 12 hours to help restore power.

Daniel Dumais is Director of Distribution at Hydro Quebec and was here for the ice storm in 2008.

Governor Lynch being briefed at Bedford's emergency operation center
Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Governor John Lynch toured the damage to New Hampshire in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. When the governor arrived at the Bedford Operations Center late Tuesday afternoon, he learned that most of the damage in the area had already been cleaned up.

Bedford's municipal buildings and traffic lights were spared any serious damage, though around 2,000 PSNH customers are still without power. Crews from as far as Texas are helping restore service there.

Lynch praised the efforts of the emergency responders and cited the use of new media in getting the word out about the storm:

Businesses in Manchester faced the question of whether or not to close up shop as Sandy continued to pummel the Granite State.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Candidates for governor, Maggie Hassan and Ovide Lamontagne, met in Manchester to debate business and economic development in the Granite State.

A key part of the debate centered on improving infrastructure. Both Ovide Lamontagne and Maggie Hassan agree that the state needs to improve its infrastructure and complete the widening of I-93. But they clashed over how to fund it.

Lamontagne ruled out tax increases, instead suggesting the use of federal government-backed bonds. He criticized Hassan for not doing the same:

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

The New Hampshire Police Association hosted a town hall meeting for gubernatorial candidates Maggie Hassan and Ovide Lamontagne in Manchester Sunday.

Hassan and Lamontagne weighed in on the death penalty, decriminalization of marijuana, and right-to-work legislation at the law enforcement forum.

When asked to identify the largest threat to the state's public safety, Hassan identified prescription drug abuse as a key threat. Lamontagne expressed concern over cyber attacks:

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