Michael Brindley

Morning Edition producer

Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor. Michael started his career in journalism working as a reporter for the Derry News. Michael is a New Hampshire native, born and raised in Nashua. He studied journalism at Keene State College.

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A mall in Concord may seem like an unusual place for the city's newest live-performance space.

The Steeplegate Mall is a poster child for the economic challenges facing malls across the country, struggling to compete with online shopping and a resurgent downtown.

But the opening of the Hatbox Theatre this month could mark a new beginning for the Steeplegate.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

For minor league baseball players working toward making it to the big leagues, life isn’t always so glamorous.

Jon Berti is a 26-year-old second baseman for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and is one of many players chasing that dream.

Berti has been with the Toronto Blue Jays organization since being drafted in 2011. He’s played everywhere from Vancouver, to Lansing, Mich., to Dunedin, Fla.

He’s been with New Hampshire since 2014, though spent some time with the Blue Jays’ triple-A affiliate Buffalo last season.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte had what she described as a cordial meeting with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland Wednesday.

Ayotte is among a group of Republicans who have been willing to meet with President Obama's nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia, but who remain opposed to holding hearings or a vote.

In a statement released after Wednesday’s meeting, Ayotte says she thanked Garland for her service, and spoke with him about his background and judicial philosophy.

People living in poverty are often at greater risk for serious health problems. And for many, legal problems can be a contributing factor to those medical issues.

The National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership estimates one in six Americans have at least one civil legal problem that negatively affects their health.

A medical-legal partnership here in New Hampshire ended in 2011 in part due to state budget cuts, but is now up and running again.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

A New Hampshire-based bakery chain is showing its support for Equal Pay Day Tuesday by giving female customers a break on their bills.

Women who visit The Works bakery locations in Concord, Keene, Portsmouth and Durham today will be charged only 79 percent of their bills.

Men will still have to pay full price.

That’s meant to highlight the oft-cited statistic of women earning 79 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts.

www.audio-luci-store.it on Flickr Creative Commons

A bill going before a Senate committee Tuesday would allow towns to send students to non-religious private schools for grade levels not offered by the school district.

The bill seeks to clarify a legal dispute between the town of Croydon and the state Department of Education.

Croydon has no middle or high school, and has been paying for a handful of students to attend a private Montessori school.

Flickr/Håkan Dahlström

With concern growing about the chemical known as PFOA contaminating drinking water systems in southern New Hampshire, residents are now looking for ways to test their own water.

State environmental officials are testing private wells near the Saint-Gobain plastics plant in Merrimack, but many outside that one-mile radius want to know if their water is safe to drink.

It turns out, however, there are no labs here in New Hampshire that test for the chemical, which some studies have linked to certain types of cancer.

Steven Depolo/Flickr

Distribution of bottled water continues Monday for residents of Merrimack and Litchfield whose wells may be contaminated with the chemical known as PFOA.

The state is offering a month’s worth of water to all 400 homeowners within a one-mile radius of the Saint-Gobain Plastics Plants in Merrimack.

State environmental officials say the plant is the likely source of high levels of PFOA that’s been found in nearby wells.

Distribution of water began Sunday, and continues Monday at the Litchfield Transfer Station between noon and 7 p.m.

New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

New technology is giving history buffs an easier way to tour the Granite State's past.

The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources this week launched a new, mobile-phone friendly map for its historical highway marker program.

Elizabeth Muzzey, director of the Division of Historical Resources, joined NHPR's Morning Edition to talk about how it works.

AP Photo/Kathleen Ronayne

The recent death of a homeless man in a New Hampshire jail has brought renewed attention to the practice of jailing people for minor crimes when they can’t afford bail.

Twenty-six year old Jeffrey Pendleton was found dead in his cell at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections in Manchester last month.

Ceyhun (Jay) Isik / https://flic.kr/p/cG7qFL

State environmental officials continue to investigate to what extent drinking water systems in southern New Hampshire have been contaminated with the chemical known as PFOA.

More water sample results are expected soon, as the state now says Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in Merrimack is likely the source of that contamination.

The community that’s been most affected is the town of Litchfield, across the Merrimack River from the plant.

kristv.com

Using polls to track the horse race has always been a part of the political dialog in the national media, perhaps now more than ever.

But is there a risk in reporting too much on polls?

Doug Usher is a pollster and managing director at Purple Insights.

Sharon Morrow

Terminally ill patients in New Hampshire may soon have the right to request experimental drugs that haven’t gotten federal approval.

Supporters of the so-called “Right to Try” bill say it give patients with only months to live a way to go around the FDA approval process in the hopes of getting potentially life-saving drugs.

Plymouth State University

Plymouth State University has announced plans to build a new $33 million residence hall and conference center.

The 350-bed residence hall is expected to open in the fall of 2017.

The university says the seven-story, 95,000 square foot building will help to accommodate growing enrollment.

In a statement, the university said the facility will feature a first floor, 4,300 square foot conference center.

 

School officials are defending their decision not to notify parents and students after the dean of students at a New Hampshire public high school was arrested at the school and charged with heroin possession in February.

The Concord Monitor reports that 36-year-old Rekha Luther of Manchester was arrested at Pembroke Academy on Feb. 17 and charged with four felony counts of possession drugs, including heroin and steroids.

The newspaper reports that she and her lawyer did not return calls seeking comment.

State environmental officials continue to investigate the presence of the chemical PFOA in the drinking water of some southern New Hampshire communities.

Results are in for a total of 107 wells in Litchfield and Merrimack and while almost all water sources contain some background levels of PFOA, a total of 26 wells are above the 100 parts-per-trillion threshold the state has set as qualifying for free bottled water.

File Photo

New rules that took effect last month shift the costs of at-sea monitoring to local fisherman.

Critics say these new fees threaten the very existence of New Hampshire’s dwindling fishing industry and will put people out of business. There’s now a lawsuit pending on the issue.

Jeff Feingold, editor of the New Hampshire Business Review, joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to talk about the issue.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan is discouraging all nonessential official state travel to North Carolina, after the state passed what she calls "reprehensible" legislation overturning anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, and transgender people. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire's top elected Republican, says women should not be punished for seeking out an abortion if it were banned.

Ayotte was weighing in on a controversy sparked Wednesday by the comments of her party's presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump.

"Women should not be punished, and I'm glad Mr. Trump has retracted his troubling comments," Ayotte said in a tweet Wednesday evening.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

  A state commission has given the green light to an interim plan that will provide around-the-clock coverage at the state Division of Children, Youth and Families.

The Commission of Child Abuse Fatalities unanimously approved the proposal Monday.

The commission was formed to examine issues within DYCF, which came under scrutiny following the recent deaths of two young children.

The $1.8 million plan re-purposes existing state money to hire 18 new child protective workers and supervisors to cover nights and weekends.

youtube.com

The Lebanon City Council has suspended its city manager and is now moving to fire him.

Councilors voted behind closed doors on March 11 to suspend Dennis Luttrell with pay and benefits following a performance review.

The council says it is now moving to fire Luttrell, who was hired in September. 

He has until Thursday to request a hearing prior to his termination.

The decision was announced on a statement posted on the city's website Tuesday.

Joe Shlabotnik/flickr

A large turnout is expected for a meeting in Merrimack Wednesday night where state officials will update residents on their investigation into the chemical contamination of some local water supplies.

The state Department of Environmental Services has expanded the radius of its probe after three private wells tested for high levels of the chemical PFOA.

DES has now collected samples from approximately 100 private wells within a mile of the Saint-Gobain plastics plant in Merrimack, where the chemical was first detected.

Public meetings will be held in Merrimack and Litchfield this week, where state environmental officials have been investigating chemical water contamination.

Results released by the Department of Environmental Services late last week showed high levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic or PFOA, in three private wells.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas is running for governor.

Gatsas launched a campaign page on Facebook making his candidacy official.

WMUR reports he's expected to make a formal announcement and file his candidacy paperwork Thursday.

Gatsas was sworn into his fourth term serving as Manchester's mayor in January.

Courtesy of the U.S. Senate

The chief of police in Manchester has been named to a national task force aimed at addressing the opioid and heroin abuse crisis.

Chief Nick Willard is part of a 24-member joint task force announced Tuesday by the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties.

Willard is the only law enforcement member on the task force, which is made up of mayors, commissioners, and other elected officials.

NH-ACLU

A homeless man jailed for marijuana possession and unable to come up with the $100 cash bail was found dead in his cell at the Valley Street Jail in Manchester Sunday.

Jeffrey Pendleton, 26, was found unconscious in his cell during a routine head count. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

In a press release Monday, jail officials say there were no apparent signs of distress.

An investigation into the cause of death is ongoing.

Concerns about possible chemical contamination of drinking water in the town of Merrimack have gotten the attention of environmental advocate Erin Brockovich.

Brockovich and a law firm announced Wednesday they are looking into the issue in the town as part of a regional investigation that includes communities in New York and Vermont.

Nottingham PD

Nottingham State Representative Kyle Tasker has resigned.

The Republican was serving his third term in the New Hampshire House when he was arrested last week.

He faces four felony charges, including one count of using a computer to lure a minor for sex.

House Clerk Paul Smith read Tasker’s letter of resignation at the start of this morning’s House session.

www.fireapparatusmagazine.com

Tuesday is Town Meeting day, and if history is any indication, getting voters to sign off on multi-million dollar infrastructure projects could prove challenging.

Last year, voters in towns across New Hampshire turned down proposals to replace aging police and fire stations, construct new town buildings, and renovate old schools.

And New Hampshire’s rapidly aging population may have a lot to do with that.


sau21.org

Many New Hampshire voters may feel a bit of déjà vu when they head to the polls for next week’s Town Meeting.

That’s because many of the projects up for votes Tuesday are reworked versions of multi-million dollar municipal projects vote that failed before.

In North Hampton, officials are asking voters to approve a new public safety complex for the town’s police and fire departments.

Barrington voters are again weighing a proposal to build a new town hall there.

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