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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Snow Plow
Nedra / Flickr Creative Commons

A winter storm is headed our way for the weekend.

Rob Carolan with Hometown Forecast says snow will start falling Saturday morning, between 6 and 8.

“This is mainly going to be a storm for the southern half of the state. It looks like south of the White Mountains is where the worst of it is going to be, particularly the Merrimack Valley and the Seacoast,” he said.

He says that region could see as much as seven inches.

Ben Baldwin

    

As we all know, winter weather is a reality of life here in New Hampshire. More snow appears to be headed our way this weekend.

But until the storm actually gets here, it’s often hard to know if it’s going to be a wintry mix or freezing rain, or how dangerous driving conditions could be in certain areas of the state.

Credit Kinder Morgan / http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/TGP_Northeast_Energy_Direct_Fact_Sheet.pdf

Opponents of a proposed natural gas pipeline expansion in Southern New Hampshire are set to go before the town council in Merrimack Thursday night.

Debra Huffman is a Merrimack resident, and says the group's goal is to raise awareness of the potential impact of the project on the town.

"Many, many residents in Merrimack don't even know this pipeline is coming and they don't even understand what this pipeline is," she said. "It's very different from a distribution line that they might be used to. This is a transmission line, which is a very different sort of installation."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

County attorneys in New Hampshire have traditionally been elected, but a proposal going before state lawmakers seeks to change that.

A bill filed this session proposes to amend the state constitution to make the office of county attorney an appointed position, instead of elected by the voters.

A hearing on the bill is scheduled for the Senate Judiciary Committee later this morning.

Sean Marshall via Flickr CC

A bill going before a House committee Thursday is raising concerns among law enforcement officials and advocates of domestic violence victims.

The bill would require officers to have "personal knowledge" that a crime has been committed to have probable cause to make an arrest without a warrant.

Amanda Grady Sexton with the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says the new wording would limit officers arriving from being able to intervene.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom/6685602103/in/photostream/">Barack Obama <a>/ Flickr

Reactions to President Obama’s State of the Union address predictably fell along party lines among New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says she’s encouraged by the proposals outlined by the president in Tuesday night’s speech.

“Whether it’s efforts to make higher education more affordable for young people, reforming our tax code, or investing in alternative energy sources to lower costs to create jobs, Congress should now renew our  commitment to growing our economy and helping small businesses succeed,” Shaheen said in a statement.

NHPR Staff

For the second straight year, a group of activists are marching across the Granite State to raise awareness for their goal of getting money out of politics.

Members of the New Hampshire Rebellion have covered more 300 miles over the past ten days, with marches starting in Portsmouth, Nashua, Keene and Dixville Notch.

Those four marches are set to converge in front of the Statehouse in Concord later today, marking the fifth anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

NHPR Staff

A bill going before New Hampshire lawmakers would require employers to offer workers 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.

House Democrat Mary Stuart Gile of Concord is one of the sponsors, and says under the legislation, businesses with fewer than 15 employees would be exempt.

"Essentially, this bill is looking at workers in the service areas and who work part-time," she said. "For example, under our bill, people who work in offices but are not full-time workers would be able to have paid sick days."

NHPR Staff/Photo of Jeb Bush courtesy World Affairs Council, Chris Christie photo courtesy NJ National Guard

There’s still a year to go before any ballots are cast in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.

Still, that hasn’t stopped Republicans expected to make a run for president from hitting the campaign trail in the Granite State.

Chris Galdieri is an assistant professor of politics at St. Anselm College who specializes in presidential races.

He joins Morning Edition to give us a roundup of how the field of candidates is taking shape.

Members of the state’s Congressional delegation are calling for greater transparency before a decision is made about the route of a proposed natural gas pipeline expansion in southern New Hampshire.

U.S. Representatives Frank Guinta and Anne Kuster along with U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte sent a letter to Kinder Morgan and Federal Regulatory Commission on Thursday.

In the letter, they urge Kinder Morgen and regulators to give Granite Staters time to express any concerns about the project.

A report this week found New Hampshire schools must do more to graduate students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

The STEM Task Force report issued Tuesday came up with a wide range of recommendations to prepare students for careers in those fields.

You can read the report here.

AP/Dick Morin

    

The New Hampshire Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Thursday that for the first time center on the fairness of a death penalty in the state.

Michael Addison is the state’s lone death row inmate. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 2008 for the murder of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.

Thursday’s arguments will focus on whether Addison’s death sentence was fair compared to similar cases nationwide.

Buzz Scherr is a law professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The mayor of Nashua will not seek re-election this fall.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports Mayor Donnalee Lozeau will not seek a third term, after serving as head of the state’s second-largest city since 2008.

Her term will expire in January of 2016.

Meanwhile, Nashua Chamber of Commerce president Chris Williams has already announced plans to explore a run for the office.

Several aldermen are also said to be considering running.

In her inaugural address last week, Governor Maggie Hassan made the push for extending commuter rail from Boston to Nashua and Manchester.

"We must find a consensus way forward on rail that will build on our many advantages and help set the stage for a new generation of economic growth by keeping more of our young people right here in the Granite State," Hassan said. 

Chris jensen for NHPR

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte wants to make it more difficult for the administration to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

She’s part of a group of Republican Senators set to unveil legislation later today to restrict those transfers.

Ayotte was critical of the administration’s decision earlier this month to transfer five Guantanamo detainees to Kazakhstan. 

    

President Obama announced last week he wants to make community college free for students across the country.

Now, that would come with a hefty price tag – the federal government would have to pick up $60 billion in costs over the next decade, with participating states paying for the other 25 percent.

Students would also have to maintain a 2.5 GPA.

The ambitious initiative has sparked a lot of discussion in higher ed circles.

Kelli True / NHPR

    

The head of the state Republican Party was elected to her second term over the weekend.

Jennifer Horn first won the party’s chairmanship in 2013, and now with division among Republicans in the House and a big presidential primary looming, she’s taking on the role for another two years.

Jennifer Horn joins Morning Edition to talk about her re-election.

So you’ll be at the helm of the state Republican Party for another two years. What do you see as the biggest challenge heading into your second term?

www.unh.edu

While production of certain types of produce is seasonal, demand doesn’t stop when the growing season ends.

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire may have taken a step toward a solution to that dilemma.

In a study, they successfully grew bulbing onions planted in fall for a spring harvest with the aid of low tunnels.

Becky Sideman is a researcher with the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station.

She joins Morning Edition to talk about her findings.

A Concord man serving as a United States Navy SEAL died over the weekend during military parachute training.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports 31-year-old William Marston died Saturday during a training exercise in Florida.

He served in the Navy for six years, and was part of a SEAL team on the East Coast.

Martson graduated from the Derryfield School in Manchester in 2001.

N.H. Fish & Game

Winter is most certainly upon us, so it’s an ideal time to brush up on some popular cold-weather outdoor activities.

New Hampshire Fish & Game, in cooperation with the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation, is offering a workshop next month for just that purpose. There’s training on everything from ice fishing to tracking wildlife on snowshoes to basic winter outdoor survival skills.

But here’s the twist: The program is for women only.

The “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” workshop will be held February 14.

Several accidents led to the closure of the northbound side of the F.E. Everett Turnpike in Merrimack.

As of 9 a.m., New Hampshire DOT says there are now alternating lane closures to get traffic through.

"We do have the speeds on the interstates downposted to 45 mph," said DOT spokesman Bill Boynton. "As usual, with winter maintenance, there's a lot of variables involved. Three of them are timing, temperature, and intensity and those all hit this morning."

Null Value

The number of robberies and burglaries were down significantly in Manchester last year.

That’s according to a preliminary year-end crime report released by the department this morning.

Robberies were down 21 percent in 2014, compared to the previous, while the city saw burglaries decline by 18 percent.

Cases of arson and sexual assault were down last year.

Flikr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

    

Dartmouth College has charged 64 students accused of cheating in a sports ethics class with violating the Ivy League school’s honor code.  

Rob Wolfe has been reporting on this story for the Valley News and he joins Morning Edition to talk about what we know so far.

So what exactly are the 64 students accused of doing?

With Boston a step closer to hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics, there’s hope the event could have a spillover effect on the New Hampshire economy.

New Hampshire’s tourism director Victoria Cimino tells WMUR her office will be watching whether Boston ultimately is chosen as host.

She says having the Olympics in New England would be an exciting opportunity for the region.

The U.S. Olympic Committee last night chose Boston’s bid as its entry in the global competition.

Boston beat out Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

NHPR Staff

The new legislative session kicked off Wednesday, and by all accounts, the most pressing issue for lawmakers will be crafting a new, two year state budget.

The state is looking at potentially more than $100 million in new costs, and that’s before taking into account a possible multi-million dollar deficit in the current budget.

Republican Neal Kurk of Weare is the chairman of the House Finance Committee joined Morning Edition to talk about the task ahead for lawmakers.

photologue_np via flickr Creative Commons

The Seacoast area is expected to see the greatest job growth in New Hampshire over the next decade.

That’s according to a report issued Wednesday by the state employment office.

The report projects 10-percent job growth statewide, with 14.7 percent growth in the Seacoast region, while only 4.8 percent in the North Country.

The report cites the dispersed population and geographic isolation of the North Country as major reasons for its slow projected growth.

Manchester will open an emergency warming shelter Wednesday night.

The shelter is in response to frigid temperatures and will be at the former police station on Chestnut Street.

It will be open through Friday, with hours of 6 pm through 7:30 am.

Manchester and Rochester schools also have announced a two-hour delay Thursday morning.

New Hampshire’s unemployment tax rate will go down by 1 percent in the first quarter of this year, state officials said Tuesday.

The new rate of 3.4 percent is expected to save employers more than $37 million over the next three months.

The lower rate is triggered when the state’s unemployment compensation trust fund maintains a balance of $275 million or more during the previous quarter.

This comes after the rate was lowered in the final quarter of 2014 by point-five percent.

www.kickstarter.com

A documentary is in the works that chronicles the Market Basket saga that unfolded last summer.

“Food Fight – Inside the Battle for Market Basket” is a project directed by Portsmouth filmmaker Jay Childs.

You can learn more about the film on the project's Kickstarter page.

He was there with his camera to capture the story as workers protested and customers boycotted the firing of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.

Jim Legans via Flickr CC

A campaign is set to launch soon aimed at raising awareness of a new law taking effect later this year banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving.

Come July, drivers in the Granite State will have to use a hands-free device if they want to talk on their cell phones.

Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton says a group has been working on ways to make sure drivers aren’t caught off guard by the change.

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