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 proposal to increase New Hampshire’s minimum wage to $9.50 by 2019 goes before a House committee Tuesday.

The bill would re-establish a state a minimum wage, setting it at $8.25 next year.

New Hampshire lawmakers repealed the state’s minimum wage in 2011, and the state has since deferred to the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

That’s the lowest minimum wage in New England.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul has pledged to do everything he can from keeping current front-runner Donald Trump from becoming the GOP nominee.

"I think he’s a bad messenger. I think he sends a bad message," the Kentucky Senator said during a campaign stop in Londonderry Saturday. "I think his message is not on limiting power; it’s on give me power. I think that’s a real problem and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure he’s not the nominee."

But Paul also says he'll back Trump if he's the eventual nominee.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Sen. Kelly Ayotte seems to be growing tired of the constant questions about whether she'll support Donald Trump if he's the eventual Republican presidential nominee.

"I think it's a favorite question of the press to ask all of us what we think about Trump, but we are a long way away from Feb. 9," she said Wednesday, when asked about whether she'll support the billionaire businessman.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

When a candidate comes to your town, there’s always a huddle of reporters with microphones and cameras. 

And we hear a lot from those candidates and their supporters at an event. 

But as we get closer to our First in the Nation Primary, here on Morning Edition we’re going to be those reporters with mics, talking with people at a town hall or a diner visit.  But you’re also going to hear us in the communities hosting the candidates, to find out what’s on voters’ minds. 

We start in Nashua at a town hall meeting for Marco Rubio at Nashua Community College.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/59937401@N07/5856886727/">Images of Money </a> / Flickr

The new legislative session kicked off last week, as lawmakers began the process of again sifting through the hundreds of new bills.

Many of these proposals would affect New Hampshire’s business community, including raising the state’s minimum wage, an issue that hasn’t gone anywhere in the past.

But could there be a spirit of compromise this year?

Jeff Feingold is editor of New Hampshire Business Review.

He joined NHPR's Morning Edition to talk about the new legislative session.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is pledging to undo each of President Obama’s executive orders, including his most recent actions aimed at curbing gun violence.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Nashua Thursday, the Florida Senator said the president’s focus should instead be on enforcing existing gun laws.

"As opposed to try to add new ones that are only going to inconvenience law-abiding people because they're the only ones who are going to follow the law," Rubio said. 

Wikipedia

The president of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack is threatening legal action if the town approves a proposed medical marijuana dispensary across the street from the school.

Town officials gave conditional approval to the dispensary this week, which would be located in a former credit union on Daniel Webster Highway.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

With just a little more than a month to go before the New Hampshire primary, Republican Donald Trump continues to dominate the polls.

Now, as other GOP candidates aim their attacks at one another, it seems everyone else is now fighting for second.

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

He joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to talk about his reporting on the issue.

www.gofundme.com/garrettstrong

Friends of a Secret Service agent injured in a fatal crash last week in Wakefield say he sustained major injuries to his spinal cord and has no feeling or movement from the upper chest down.

Thirty-year-old Garrett Fitzgerald was one of four Secret Service agents injured in the crash.

Their vehicle was struck head on by a car being driven by 45-year-old Bruce Danforth, who was pronounced dead at the scene.  

The agents were part of a security detail for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Flickr

A law taking effect Jan. 1, 2016 gives first-time DWI offenders the chance to apply for a limited driver's license.

But some say the new law doesn’t go far enough.

For years, New Hampshire had imposed a mandatory minimum 90-day license suspension for anyone convicted of drunk driving.

Now, first-time DWI offenders can, for a $50 fee, petition a judge for a restricted license that would allow them to drive only to work, school, doctor’s appointments, or to a rehabilitation program.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

A peer support center for mentally ill people in Manchester is closing its doors this week.

Granite Pathways Clubhouse opened five years ago. Members help to manage the day-to-day operations and offer support to one another. They also get help finding work or going back to school. 

But New Hampshire behavioral health officials say because the program doesn’t meet the state’s definition of a peer support agency, it doesn’t qualify for funding. 

Clubhouse organizers say that meant having to shut down.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

  Colleges and universities are increasingly relying on adjunct professors. In New Hampshire, nearly 60% of college teaching positions are filled by part-time, adjunct faculty.  But increasingly, adjuncts are complaining that low pay and poor working conditions are making the job difficult to keep.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As it does at the end of each year, the Pulitzer-prize winning fact-checking service PolitiFact has named its "Lie of the Year."

With the 2016 presidential campaign in full swing, there was no shortage of debunked claims to choose from, but one particular candidate stood out in 2015. 

The former chief of police in the town of Bartlett is facing several charges, including felony counts of perjury and witness tampering.

The state Attorney General’s office says Timothy Connifey was arrested Monday.

He was chief of police for Bartlett from 2002 through January of this year.

Officials say the charges stem from the prosecution of a woman named Kate Putnam, with whom Connifey had both an intimate and business relationship.

Connifey is accused of improperly controlling the prosecution of Putnam while chief of police.

www.lbpa.com

All public schools in Nashua will be closed Monday, after officials received what they describe as a detailed threat of violence against the city's two high schools.

Superintendent Mark Conrad says he chose to shut down all 17 of the city's schools because of the specific nature of the threat.

Associated Press

The Democratic candidates for president will take the stage at Saint Anselm College in Manchester Saturday night for New Hampshire’s first debate of the primary season.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will take part in the debate, which will air on WMUR here in New Hampshire and ABC affiliates nationally.

The Democratic National Committee last week stripped WMUR of its co-sponsor status for the debate due to an ongoing labor dispute at the station.

The three Democratic presidential candidates will take the stage at Saint Anselm College Saturday night for their next debate.

This will be New Hampshire’s first debate of the primary season.

And while polls show a tight Democratic race here in the Granite State, the numbers nationally tell a different story.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

If you’re hosting a party, what kind of music would you play? What kind of food would you serve?

Those are the types of questions Ohio Gov. John Kasich faced recently at one of the more unique series of campaign events during this New Hampshire presidential primary season.

“So what’s your question – who would I invite?” said Kasich, seemingly puzzled by the question of who he would invite to a party he was hosting.

“Who would you invite? What would a party look like if you hosted a party?”

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Senator Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire’s top Republican elected official, says she disagrees with GOP candidate Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country.

“I do not believe that there should be a religious test in terms of how we decide who’s coming to our country," Ayotte said. "There needs to be a factual, risk-based assessment. We’ve not had a religious test for this and that certainly seems inconsistent with the First Amendment to me.”

But when asked whether she would support Trump if he wins the Republican nomination, Ayotte didn't rule it out.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As more details come out about the shooting in San Bernardino, terrorism threats and measures to restrict guns have become part of the debate surrounding national security.

NHPR spoke with both of New Hampshire’s Senators this morning about one of President Obama’s proposals: banning the sale of guns to those on the government’s no-fly list.

On the night of President Obama’s address, Republican Kelly Ayotte tweeted that the country needs to prevent those on the no-fly list from accessing guns.

iStockPhoto

Sticking to the facts doesn’t seem to be a top priority in the race for the White House.

Fact-checking groups have been busy debunking the claims of candidates on both the left and right.

But what happens when candidates refuse to budge from assertions that have been deemed false?

For example, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has been sticking to his claim he saw thousands of people in New Jersey celebrating on 9/11.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte says those on the no-fly list should be banned from purchasing guns.

Ayotte made her position known Sunday on Twitter, saying that those on the watch list should not be able to purchase firearms.

She also called for due process for Americans who are wrongfully on the list.  

Allegra Boverman

Rep. Ann McLane Kuster bristled when asked about her support last month of a bill that would put a pause on the U.S. accepting Syrian and Iraqi refugees while a new, more stringent vetting process was established.

"The bill would not prohibit Syrian refugees from entering the nation. I think there's been a lot of misinformation frankly about the bill," Kuster said during an interview with NHPR's Morning Edition. "It doesn't pause the program. It doesn't apply a religious test. It's a certification that the person does not pose a threat to the security of the United States."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Two members of New Hampshire's Congressional delegation have come out in opposition to Northeast Energy Direct—the controversial natural gas pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan.

NHPR/Sean Hurley

Liquid Planet Water Park in Candia is set to be auctioned off Wednesday, after its owner had chained himself to a water slide in an effort to bring attention to the park's financial woes.

The auction is scheduled for 11 a.m. and is being run by James R. St. Jean Auctioneers. The auction will be held at the park.

Dumont had chained himself to a water slide last month to save the park from being auctioned, but came down two weeks later after failing to reach a deal.

www.brookscullison.com

Almost all the big names have walked through the halls of the New Hampshire Statehouse, strolled into the Secretary of State's Office, and plunked down the $1,000 needed to file for the New Hampshire presidential primary.

  Only Republican Ben Carson is left to file, and he's set to take care of that on Friday, the last day to do so.

www.gofundme.com/w3zr3bd5

The death of an 11-month-old Alexandria boy has been ruled a homicide.

That was the determination announced Friday morning by law enforcement officials after an autopsy conducted earlier this week on Shawn Sylvester.

He died Sunday after sustaining serious injuries last Friday.

No arrests directly connected to the incident have been made and the state attorney general's office says the investigation into his death is ongoing.

Jeopardy

Manchester resident Kerry Greene is one step away from winning the "Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions."

Greene is one of three contestants remaining in the tournament. The winner walks away with $250,000.

Greene won her semi-final match Monday, and Thursday will compete in the first round of a two-night finale. The winner will be crowned Friday night.

This spring, Greene won $146,000 during a six-game winning streak on the popular quiz show.

Courtesy the NH House of Representatives

Executive Councilors chose not to reconsider the nomination of a judicial appointee whose rejection drew scrutiny from New Hampshire’s legal community.

Councilors had voted 3-2 at a meeting earlier this month to reject the nomination of long-time public defender Dorothy Graham to the Superior Court bench.

All three Republican councilors voted against confirming Graham. Councilor Joe Kenney said he couldn’t confirm an attorney who defended child sex offenders.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Lawmakers will gather at the State House in Concord Wednesday for a special session devoted solely to tackling the issue of substance abuse.

The state saw a record number of drug overdoses last year – more than 300 – and opioid, heroin, and prescription drug abuse continues to plague communities across the Granite State.

To talk about the special session, Senate President Chuck Morse of Salem joined NHPR's Morning Edition.

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