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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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. 

Credit: Gateway Tech/World Affairs Council via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Primary is starting to heat up, with several prominent Republican presidential hopefuls expected in the Granite State this weekend.

NHPR’s Morning Edition producer Michael Brindley sat down with Dante Scala, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire.

A flood of potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates will be coming through the state this weekend. Can you just run through the list of who we’re going to see?

Town of Salem

Voters said no to capital projects in several communities at Town Meeting on Tuesday.

In Salem, a proposed $23.5 million public safety complex failed to get the 60 percent needed to pass.

The building would have housed the town’s police and fire departments.

And in Plaistow, voters rejected a proposed a new, $11 million police station.

Proposals to build a new town hall in Barrington and to renovate the town hall in Dunbarton also failed Tuesday.

Brian Snyder/Reuters/Landov

The first four days of the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev have been filled with emotional testimony from family members of those killed and survivors who suffered devastating injuries.

Nashua resident Karen Brassard is among those who have been watching in the courtroom.

She suffered serious injuries to her legs while watching the Marathon near the finish line. Her husband and daughter were also injured.

She’s been traveling to Boston as often as she can to be there for the trial.

A bill going before the House of Representatives Wednesday is getting strong opposition advocates of open government.

The legislation would allow cities and towns to charge people for the time it takes to respond to public records requests.

The bill goes before the House with a favorable recommendation from the judiciary committee.

Democratic state Representative Pat Long is the bill’s prime sponsor. He’s also an alderman in Manchester.

NHPR Staff

UPDATE: Sen. Ayotte released the following statement regarding her signing the letter:

    

Town Meeting is Tuesday for many communities around the state, and one of the big decisions for voters will be to approve their town’s operating budget.

A bill filed in the state legislature this session would change how those budgets are approved during Town Meeting.

Republican State Senator Nancy Stiles is the bill’s prime sponsor.

She joins Morning Edition to talk about her proposal.

Jack Rodolico/NPR

A Superior Court judge is set to hear arguments Monday morning in a lawsuit seeking to order the town of Grafton to reprint its ballots for tomorrow’s Town Meeting.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports a lawsuit filed late last week argues selectmen engaged in electioneering by including the board’s opposition to 20 petitioned articles on the town warrant.

The lawsuit was filed by a group in town associated with the Free State Project.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

For the second straight year, voters at Town Meeting in Hooksett will be asked to approve a 10-year contract allowing some students to attend Pinkerton Academy in Derry.

Voters rejected a proposal last March that would have required at least 75 students to attend Pinkerton in the first five years, and 90 percent of all students attending after that.

Hooksett officials are hoping this deal has a better chance Tuesday, with some of those minimums removed.

Town of Salem

Voters in Salem will decide at Town Meeting Tuesday whether to approve a $23.5 million public safety complex.

The new building would house both the police and fire departments.

New Hampshire Union Leader correspondent Adam Swift has been covering this issue. He joins Morning Edition to talk about his reporting.

Can you go through some of the details of this proposal?

A 15-year-old high school student in Exeter faces a felony charge after police say he sold explicit photos of underage female classmates.

The investigation into the incident began in October, when school staff first reported the male student’s activities to police.

An arrest was made after police seized the student’s iPad and conducted a forensic examination of its contents.

Police say the boy turned himself in to police and was released to a parent.

He is expected to appear in juvenile court at a later date.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cc_chapman/4878972642/in/photostream/" target="blank">CC Chapman</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

There’s been no shortage of controversies recently when it comes to questions of whether teams are playing by the rules, as well as the on- and off-the-field conduct of professional athletes.

But how do leagues respond when these situations arise?

A panel discussion Thursday night at the University of New Hampshire School of Law co-sponsored by Sports Illustrated will explore personal conduct and fair play policies in professional sports.

An aldermanic committee in Manchester has signed off on a ride-sharing ordinance that would cover companies like Uber.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the administration committee voted 3-2 last night in favor of the policy.

Under the proposal, Uber’s third-party drivers would have to register with the clerk’s office and undergo state criminal background checks and drug testing.

The ordinance still needs the support of the full board and will go through several stages of review.

www.bbc.com

All four members of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation say they plan on attending Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress this morning.

Several Democrats have said they plan on boycotting speech, which was organized by House Republican leadership without the involvement of President Obama.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill that would set the state’s minimum wage at $8.25 an hour next year will go before a Senate committee Tuesday.

Under the bill backed by seven Democratic state Senators, the increased minimum wage would take effect at the beginning of 2016.

The bill calls for further increases to $9 an hour in 2017 and $10 an hour in 2018.

Under Republican leadership, lawmakers repealed the state’s minimum wage in 2011.

Cigarette
SuperFantastic / Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers will hear arguments Tuesday on a bill that would ban smoking in a car when a minor is present.

The legislation would make it illegal to smoke tobacco products in a vehicle with a passenger under the age of 18.

State Senator David Watters is the bill’s prime sponsor.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr Creative Commons

Morning Edition speaks with two experts on changes to the child restraint law this month. Scroll down to see our more recent conversation with disability rights advocate Mike Skibbie.

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2/10/15

Some New Hampshire school officials are raising concerns about a newly revised state law meant to limit the use of restraint and seclusion on students.

Daniel Peters

A photography exhibit focusing on aviation in New Hampshire recently opened at the state library in Concord.

It will be on display through Feb. 25.

Rita Hunt works in the Bureau of Aeronautics for the state Department of Transportation, and joined Morning Edition to talk about aviation in the state and the exhibit.

People don’t often think of New Hampshire as a state with a rich aviation industry, but there’s a lot going on here.

www.seacoastsciencecenter.org

The Seacoast Science Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue Team just wrapped up its inaugural year.

The team took over responding to rescue calls for seals and other stranded mammals in coastal New Hampshire last January.

The New England Aquarium in Boston previously handled those duties.

Ashley Stokes is rescue coordinator for the Marine Mammal Rescue Team.

She joins Morning Edition to talk about the group’s efforts.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

    

Former New York Governor George Pataki is in New Hampshire this week, as he weighs a run for president in 2016.

He joins Morning Edition to talk about his visit to the Granite State.

You’ve said you may be running for president, but you’ve said that before. What’s different this time?

NHPR Staff

After bowing out of a third run for president, Mitt Romney is now set to deliver the commencement address at a New Hampshire college this spring.

Saint Anselm College says the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee will also receive an honorary degree at the ceremony in May.

Romney had been hinting at another run for president, but made clear last week he decided not to join the long list of high-profile Republicans said to be considering running in 2016.

NHPR Staff

    

New Hampshire’s nursing home advocates are pushing back against a proposed $7 million cut in Medicaid reimbursement rates.

The cut is part of a plan recently unveiled by state officials to close a $58 million shortfall in the current Department Health and Human Services budget, which ends in June.

John Poirier is president and CEO of the New Hampshire Health Care Association, which represents more than 90 nursing homes and assisted living centers across the state.

He joins Morning Edition to talk about his concerns with the plan.

Snow Plow
Nedra / Flickr Creative Commons

Following a string a major winter storms, the state’s budget for snow cleanup and removal is running ahead of where it normally would be this time of year.

Department of Transportation Spokesman Bill Boynton says the total cost of last week’s blizzard came in at $2 million.

“Well certainly, it’s been a challenging last week or so with three major events,” Boynton said Monday. “We’ve spent $26 million going into today out of a $45 million budget, but we’ll keep going out there for as long as it takes.”

NHPR / Ryan Lessard

Manchester is the state’s largest city, and it’s also the most racially diverse.

In the wake of tensions between police and citizens in several large cities, the Manchester Police Department recently held a public forum to talk about policing in a diverse community.

David Mara is chief of the Manchester Police Department.

He joins Morning Edition to talk about the issue.

When you first talked about the idea behind the forum, you said you didn’t want to have a Ferguson in 10 years. What did you mean by that?

Derrick Coetzee / Flickr CC

A winter storm is expected to blanket all of New Hampshire with several inches of snow today.

Rob Carolan with Hometown Forecast says the hardest snow will hit right during the Monday morning commute.

“The afternoon commute may be a little better,” he said. “By that time, the snow should have lightened up considerably.”

He said. the state’s southern half will likely see seven to fourteen inches of snow.

“There may be a few areas that do better than that in the Merrimack Valley towards the Seacoast,” he said.

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