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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After Keene officials rejected the license for the city’s annual Pumpkin Festival earlier this month, there’s been no shortage of other Granite State communities vying to host the event.

Laconia, Exeter, Franklin and Portsmouth are among those said to be interested.

And in Claremont, a citizens group has been meeting regularly to come up with a formal proposal.

That group is set to bring its proposal before the Claremont City Council tomorrow night.

Michael Charest heads up the Claremont Citizens Group.

Josh Rogers via Twitter

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes her first stop in the Granite State Monday since formally announcing she’s running for president.

The former First Lady is in Keene Monday afternoon, where she’ll tour Whitney Brothers, a children’s furniture manufacturer.

And on Tuesday, Clinton will visit New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, where she’ll hold a roundtable with students and educators.

redjar/flickr

New Hampshire U.S.  Senator Jeanne Shaheen is leading an effort to put a woman on the $20 bill.

Shaheen introduced legislation earlier this week to convene a panel of citizens to recommend a woman whose likeness would be featured on a new $20 bill.

Shaheen says her proposal complements the Women on 20s campaign, which hopes to make the change by the year 2020.

That marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote.

New Hampshire Republican Party

The state Republican Party kicks off its First in the Nation Leadership Summit in Nashua Friday.

Virtually every Republican thought to be considering a presidential run is scheduled to speak at the two-day event.

James Pindell covers the New Hampshire primary for the Boston Globe.

He joined Morning Edition to give us his take on this weekend’s summit.

The Associated Press

A free online course this fall focused on the New Hampshire Primary is likely to attract political junkies from the Granite State and beyond.

"FIRST! Understanding New Hampshire Presidential Primary" is the University of New Hampshire’s first Massive Open Online Course. It's open to anyone, anywhere.

It will explore the history of the First-in-the-Nation primary, and follow the 2016 primary as it unfolds.

The course will be taught by UNH political science professors Andrew Smith and Dante Scala.

Courtesy photo

It was quite a run for Kerry Greene of Manchester.

She won six straight games on the quiz show “Jeopardy!”

Her streak came to an end last night, but she walked away winning $146,598.

Her appearances on the show were actually taped back in January, so she’s had to wait until now to share the experience with friends and family.

You come across as so calm and cool on the show, you really do.

That’s what I’ve been hearing online actually, to the extent that someone called me “robotic.”

Jane Flavell Collins/AP

A jury found admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all counts yesterday, including 17 making him eligible for the death penalty.

The bombings left three people dead and wounded more than 260 others.

Karen Brassard of Nashua was injured in the first blast near the finish line, along with her husband and daughter.

She was in the courtroom when the verdict was read and joins Morning Edition to share her reaction.

Selbe B via Flickr/CC

Now that officials in Keene have formally denied a permit for this year’s pumpkin festival, other New Hampshire communities are exploring the possibility of hosting the event.

Paul Shea with Great American Downtown of Nashua says he’s reached out to the festival organizer to explore whether the city could be a new home for the festival.

University of New Hampshire School of Law

A decade after its inception, a program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law is being looked at as a national model as an alternative way to prepare new lawyers for the field.

The Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program was created in 2005.

Latest numbers show that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with being on the autism spectrum.

That’s higher than previous estimates of 1 in 88 children in 2012, according to the CDC.

Perspectives of Autism” is a panel discussion being held at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester Tuesday night. It will focus on the symptoms of autism and support that is available.

A bill that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in New Hampshire goes before a Senate committee Tuesday.

The proposal cleared the House by a wide margin, 297 to 67, last month, but the bill faces a tougher challenge in the Senate.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has threatened to veto such legislation.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Adam Schroadter, a Newmarket Republican, says he’s seen more support this year from those who had opposed similar efforts in the past.

Nashua Police Department

 

Senator Kelly Ayotte says she has accepted the resignation of her state director, after he was arrested Friday, charged with solicitation of prostitution.

Nashua police say David Wihby was one of 10 men arrested as part of a special sting operation last week at two city hotels. Police say the men thought they were responding to advertisements by women placed online.

Wihby was charged with a misdemeanor and was released on $2,000 personal recognizance.

He is scheduled to be arraigned May 11.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

With the House having passed its $11.2 billion two-year state budget this week, it’s now up to the state Senate to come up with its own version of a spending plan.

Jeanie Forrester is a Republican from Meredith and chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

She joined Morning Edition host Rick Ganley to talk about the task ahead.

There’s a perception by some that the Senate will simply start from scratch, without any regard for what the House ended up passing. How accurate is that?

At a meeting this week, Seacoast residents raised concerns about the way the state has handled its investigation into water contamination at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth.

Jeff McMenemy is a reporter for the Portsmouth Herald who has been covering this issue. He joins Morning Edition to give us the latest.

For those who haven’t been following, what type of contamination are we talking about? When did this first come up?

Keene Police Department

Keene police have arrested a man they say fired a gun during a domestic dispute Wednesday morning, prompting a lockdown at nearby Keene State College and Wheelock School.

Tyler Day, 22, is facing five felony charges, including reckless conduct and criminal threatening, as well as three misdemeanors. He is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon at Keene district court.

Police say they responded to the area of Proctor Court around 9:30 Wednesday morning for a report of a domestic disturbance.

Rebecca Lavoie, NHPR

NHPR's Morning Edition is checking in occasionally with New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation.

Tuesday morning, host Rick Ganley spoke with with Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

UPDATE: Sen. Shaheen will hold a town hall meeting Thursday night in Colebrook at 5:30 at the Tillotson Center for the Arts.

The Senate recently passed its budget, but you’ve raised some concerns with the plan. How confident are you that House and Senate lawmakers can now come together and agree on a budget?

Sean Hurley, NHPR

With House lawmakers set to vote on proposed two-year state budget Tuesday, one program that’s facing a potentially significant cut is the Meals on Wheels program.

The House Finance Committee is recommending a $10.6 million cut in general non-Medicaid appropriations, a 50 percent reduction to the fund that helps pay for Meals on Wheels.

Roberta Berner is director of the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council.

She joined Morning Edition to talk about how the proposed cuts could affect the people her program serves.

PSB

A three-part documentary series premieres Tuesday on PBS explores groundbreaking fetal surgery being done at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Twice Born: Stories From the Special Delivery Unit” follows four families as they go through in utero surgery to save the lives of their children.

The second and third installments air April 7 and April 14.

www.whiteriver.va.gov

The number of female veterans receiving care at VA facilities has doubled in the past decade.

That figure is expected to grow, with close to 200,000 women having served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That growth means the need to offer specialized care for female veterans is more pressing than ever.

Carey Russ was recently named manager of the Women Veterans Program at the White River Junction VA Medical Center.

She joined Morning Edition to talk about her new role.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan joined Morning Edition Friday to talk about her reaction to the moves made Thursday by the House Finance Committee.

You’ve made clear your opposition to many of the recommendations made in the House budget. What particular proposals give you the greatest concern?

The House budget that was proposed earlier this week made unnecessary, very harmful cuts that will pull us backwards and will make it much more difficult to make the kind of economic progress we need to.

www.gofundme.com/JusticeForBrielle

  UPDATE: The bill cleared the full Senate Thursday by a voice vote. It now heads to the House. 

The death of a 3-year-old girl in Nashua last November has raised questions about state oversight and what actions should be taken when cases of child abuse are reported.

Katlyn Marin, the mother of Brielle Gage, has been charged with murdering her daughter.

Court records show the girl and her four siblings were placed in foster care in April of last year after Marin and her boyfriend were charged with felony child abuse.

    

At least 300 people died from drug overdoses in New Hampshire last year, the most ever in the state.

A report cites the synthetic opioid fentanyl and heroin as the top two drugs having caused those deaths.

Laconia is among the communities where that spike in overdoses has continued into 2015.

Chris Adams is chief of police for Laconia, and joined Morning Edition to talk about how the city is handling the problem.

What are your officers are seeing out there?

Like in New Hampshire, states across the country are rolling out new assessments this spring aligned with the Common Core.

But whether parents have the right opt out of those tests can vary state by state.

A study released earlier this month found that while some states have clear guidelines on whether children are required to participate, other states’ policies are still evolving.

Julie Rowland is a researcher for the Education Commission of the States.

meridiannh.com

It’s Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote freedom of the press and the public’s right to know.

The Concord Monitor has spent the week reporting on its efforts to obtain public records and review how taxpayer dollars are spent.

Many schools across New Hampshire this week are administering the new Smarter Balanced exam for the first time.

This is the first week of a 12-week testing window for schools to give the assessment.

The rollout hasn’t gone completely as planned, after some students were accidentally given a practice version of the exam.

Officials at three Manchester schools said some students will have to retake the test.

Heather Gage is director of educational improvement for the state Department of Education.

Courtesy

A decision on whether to put an end to the city of Keene’s annual Pumpkin Festival could be made this week.

The city council is scheduled to decide Thursday whether to issue a permit to the nonprofit group Let It Shine, which organizes the event.

The festival was marred last by riots that occurred just outside the event’s footprint downtown. Dozens of arrests were made.

Ella Nilsen is a reporter for the Keene Sentinel. She joined NHPR’s Morning Edition producer Michael Brindley to talk about her reporting on the issue.

Courtesy/Alyssa Grenning

A new home for 3S Artspace in Portsmouth opens this week.

The renovated facility will feature a music venue, an art gallery, artist studios, and a restaurant.

Chris Greiner is executive of director of 3S Artspace.

He joined Morning Edition to talk about the new facility.

You’ve talked about this new art space filling a unique niche that’s lacking on the Seacoast. Many already see the area as having a rich arts and culture scene, so what do mean by that?

Cigarette
SuperFantastic / Flickr Creative Commons

Senate lawmakers are expected to take up legislation this week that would ban smoking in a car when a minor is present.

The bill will go before the Senate Thursday, but comes with a 3-2 recommendation from the Health and Human Services committee to kill the legislation.

The bill would make it a violation to smoke tobacco products in a car when a child under the age of 18 is in the vehicle.

Upper Valley Rideshare

In the Upper Valley, Route 120 is notorious for its traffic issues.

According to state transportation data, nearly 30,000 cars travel each day along the stretch between Lebanon and Hanover.

There’s effort underway to ease that traffic by encouraging more workers to carpool.

Susan Berry is manager of Upper Valley Rideshare.

She joined Morning Edition to talk about the program.

When did you realize this was a problem that needed to be addressed?

Appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

Police in Nashua are investigating a homicide that occurred late Thursday night.

Police say they found 49-year-old Benjamin Marcum injured on the ground in a bike path shortly after 11.

He was brought to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine his cause of death, but police believe it was a homicide.

Police are asking for the public’s help as they search for a suspect in the case. 

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