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.

Contact

Ways To Connect

The sponsor of a bill that brought the Stand Your Ground law to New Hampshire says concerns about increased violence in the streets have proven to be unfounded.

On The Exchange Monday, Republican State Senator David Boutin says there is no evidence that crime spiked after the law changed in 2011.

People can now use deadly force in a public place as a first option if they feel their lives are in danger. Before the law passed, people had a duty to retreat if possible.

Courtesty of chambersandpartners.com

Governor Maggie Hassan she will nominate former Democratic state senator and Nashua attorney Joe Foster as the state’s next attorney general.

“The role of Attorney General in protecting and ensuring justice for the people of New Hampshire is one of the highest responsibilities in our state,” Hassan said in a press release Monday. “I am confident that Joe’s judgment and experience make him the ideal candidate to serve as New Hampshire’s chief legal and law enforcement officer.

9:50: Shurtleff says, “We need to have common sense any time we use deadly force.” There are some circumstances where we have to use deadly force and retreat is not possible, but “If you’re just involved in a verbal confrontation, just walk away.”

9:46: Boutin says he’s never owned a gun; when asked whether person would be held responsible if bystander shot in Stand Your Ground situation, “Police officers shoot bystanders too…Things like that can happen.”

Michael Brindley/NHPR

Veterans of the Vietnam War were recognized at a ceremony in Concord on Saturday.

But those who served say the recognition was long overdue.

Like most Vietnam veterans, Bob Williams has never forgotten how he was treated after coming home.

“Being shunned. People avoiding me, ya know? Got spit at.”

Williams served in the Air Force. And like many at an event this weekend meant to recognize the efforts of those who served, he proudly donned his jacket and hat, stating he was a Vietnam veteran.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte says states should be able to decide for themselves whether to legalize same-sex marriage.

The United States Supreme Court heard arguments this week challenging Proposition 8, a referendum passed by voters in California that bans same-sex marriage.

Senator Kelly Ayotte says it’s critical that states to be able to make their own decisions on the issue.

“Ultimately I do think this is a matter for the states and states should decide how to define marriage. New Hampshire’s already made that decision and I respect the decision.”

Since same-sex marriage became legal in New Hampshire in 2010,  2,257 couples have wedded in the Granite State.

But female couples have been far more likely to get married than men.

Nearly three-quarters of all same-sex marriages conducted in New Hampshire since 2010 have been between two women.

Data from the state Division of Vital Records show 1,634 female couples have exchanged vows in the last three years.

Keene State College

Keene State College has named Anne Huot as its tenth president.

Huot comes to Keene State from the Brockport campus of the State University of New York, where she has been the provost and vice president for academic affairs for the past six years.

She replaces Helen Giles-Gee, who stepped down last year. Jay Kahn is serving as the interim president this year.

Huot will start in July.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

At just over 6 feet tall and 325 pounds, Vince Wilfork is an imposing figure.

Putting the New England Patriots star defensive lineman in a gymnasium full of middle school students in Derry on Tuesday only magnified his stature.

Facebook

Governor Maggie Hassan is making her support for same-sex marriage clear on Facebook.

Like many, she changed her profile photo on Tuesday to a red equality sign, part of an online movement by the Human Rights Campaign.

So did Ann McLane Kuster

9:56: Huddleston on UNH School of Law, “It’s been a wonderful partnership so far,” two joint degree programs so far, our faculty have been working on research projects.”  

9:51: On money from collegiate athletics, Huddleston says college sports for overwhelming majority of schools is a “huge money loser.” Says only a handful of institutions able to generate revenue from programs. Hockey and football at UNH “make a little money” for the school.

9:50: Huddleston says UNH has had to explore public/private partnerships because of cuts to budget.

A House Finance Subcommittee wants to scale back state funding being restored to the University System of New Hampshire.

Governor Maggie Hassan has proposed restoring $20 million in fiscal year 2014 and another $15 million in fiscal year 2015 to the university system.

But Representative Dan Eaton says his subcommittee made cuts in this area.

“There’s a $6 million reduction each year in UNH from the governor’s recommended funding.”

The university system also covers Plymouth State University, Keene State College and Granite State College.

The House Finance Committee will consider Tuesday whether to approve a subcommittee recommendation to cut funding for new charter schools over the next two years.

Governor Maggie Hassan has set aside nearly $2.5 million for new charter schools in her budget proposal.

But Representative Dan Eaton said during a budget presentation Monday that his subcommittee recommends freezing funding in two areas of proposed education funding.

“Basically, there’s a moratorium on charter schools and building aid for the biennium.”

Governor Wentworth School District

A snow day isn’t what it used to be for some students in the Granite State. Many New Hampshire schools are adopting what are known as blizzard bag days.

The concept has been popular among the schools that use it, but the program has yet to take off statewide.

You're 8 years old, and you're excited that there's a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. Then you get a phone message.

“Due to inclement weather and treacherous road conditions, school is canceled for all Governor Wentworth Schools.”

You start thinking snow day. But then...

President Obama has granted New Hampshire’s request for a major disaster declaration for the blizzard that hit the state last month.

The state estimates it cost nearly 5 million dollars to respond to the storm that struck the second weekend of February.

The declaration covers the counties of Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford and Sullivan.

One eligibility requirement for disaster aid is whether counties received record or near-record snowfall. Carroll County got 30.5 inches of snow. Its previous record was 19 inches.

Vox Efx / Flickr Creative Commons

A former state representative and a union president face off Tuesday in a special election to fill a vacant House seat in Manchester.

Republican Win Hutchinson is looking to reclaim the seat he lost representing Manchester in the November election.

His opponent is Democrat Bill O’Neil, who is president of the local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The seat became vacant just after the November election.

Justin Shearer / Flick/Creative Commons

Home sale prices in New Hampshire rose sharply last month, marking the largest one-year increase in the six years the data has been tracked by the New Hampshire Association of Realtors.

The median price of single family homes sold in New Hampshire last month was $199,000.

That’s a 12.2 percent increase in median price compared to February of last year.

New Hampshire Association of Realtors President Bill Weidacher says the spike is a result of simple supply and demand economics.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

Red River Theatres in Concord is going through a transformation this week. Technicians put the finishing touches on installing digital projection equipment at the nonprofit theatre.

For Barry Steelman, going digital presents an internal conflict.

Steelman is the facilities manager at Red River Theatres. He knows the upgrade will make for a better movie-watching experience.

“They should notice a much brighter and clearer image here. Not that there was anything wrong with what was being presented here before, but this is an improvement upon that.”

Photo: Sheryl Rich-Kern

The Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation is urging federal officials to reconsider plans to shut down the air traffic control tower at the Nashua airport.

In a letter to the director of the Federal Aviation Administration, Commissioner Chris Clement says closing the tower at Boire Field would have an impact on safety.

AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, file

The Diocese of Manchester will hold a special mass at 6 this evening to celebrate the election of a new pope.

Bishop Peter Libasci will lead the mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Manchester.

Diocese Spokesman Kevin Donovan says the announcement of a new pope comes very early, compared to previous elections.

“The earliest that a pope has been elected in 100s of years was on the first day, and this is the second day, so still fairly early, which means there was consensus early on among the electors, the cardinals, electing the pope.”

Photo Credit Katja Rupp, via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is bordered by states all in varying stages of implementing their own medical marijuana programs.

As the Granite State moves forward with its own proposal, we look at those neighboring states to see how their programs compare and what issues they have that we could see here.

We meet Lori and Dave Labreck at the Salmon Falls Café in Lebanon, Maine. We’re here because they’re concerned about security. Both are patients under the state’s medical marijuana program and are able to grow the plant at their southern Maine home. They’ve asked me not to name the town.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

Journalism is in a state of transition, as all forms of media continue to adapt to an online model of storytelling.

The Boston Globe made headlines last month, when after 20 years, its owner the New York Times announced the newspaper was for sale.

Three years ago, the Times threatened to shut down the Globe because it was losing money.

But you wouldn’t know any of this talking with Rebecca Marsh.

“I think I want to work for the Boston Globe. I think that would be really cool, covering probably politics or something in arts and entertainment.”

An effort to repeal the next phase of the state's voter ID law is moving onto the full House with a favorable recommendation to pass.

The action taken by the House Election Law committee this week takes a middle-ground approach on the state’s voter ID law.

The committee voted 11-7 to recommend passage of the bill that would roll back the next phase of the law set to take effect in September.

The New Hampshire State Troopers Association criticized former Speaker Bill O’Brien for proposing additional revenue raised by increasing the gas tax be used only for infrastructure.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, the association says the state constitution allows for funding the supervision of traffic on state highways through the gas tax.

“It is extremely unfortunate to see Representative Bill O’Brien and his colleagues continuing to undermine the safety of our communities,” the association says.

N.H. Department of Education

Governor Maggie Hassan plans to nominate Virginia Barry for a second term as the state’s commissioner of education.

Hassan will present Barry’s nomination to the Executive Council on Wednesday. The reappointment to a second four-year term is subject to the council’s approval.

Barry took over as the state’s education chief in 2009. Prior to that, she was a professor at Plymouth State University. She is also a former elementary school teacher and principal.

Sara Plourde/NHPR

9:59: Gov. Hassan will be discussing her budget tonight at the the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting. 7 p.m., Shelburne Room, Town & Country Motor Inn, 20 State Route 2, Gorham.

Cigarette
SuperFantastic / Flickr Creative Commons

Several health advocacy groups object to legislation that would allow health insurance plans for small businesses to charge smokers higher premiums.

Michael Rollo with the American Cancer Society told members of the House Commerce Committee on Thursday that the bill could double health insurance premiums for many tobacco users.

New Hampshire has the fourth-lowest percentage of young people in jail.

That’s according to a study released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The study released Wednesday uses Census data and finds that nationwide, incarceration of people under 21 years old reached a 35-year low in 2010.

In New Hampshire, the rate of incarceration dropped 37 percent from 1995 to 2010.

With across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester set to go into effect Friday, hundreds of the state’s low-income families and children could lose access to federal programs.

The federal Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program would be cut by roughly 5 percent through sequestration.

Ellen Fineberg of the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire says that would mean 1,100 low-income mothers and young children in the Granite State would lose access to the program.

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering legislation that would lift a ban on a state-based health care exchange.

A law passed last year by the Republican-led Legislature bars New Hampshire from implementing its own state-based health care exchange.

Representative Edward Butler of Harts Location is the prime sponsor of a bill to lift that ban.

At a House committee hearing on the bill Tuesday, Butler says it does not advocate for a state-based exchange.

Courtesy New Hampshire National Guard

If a series of automatic cuts known as the sequester go into effect at the end of this week, the New Hampshire National Guard will be one of many local agencies impacted.

Major Greg Heilshorn says if the sequester happens, roughly 450 National Guard employees will be furloughed beginning in late April.

For the employees, it would mean the loss of one day a week, or 20 percent of their pay, through September.

“From an economic point of view, you’re looking at a potential impact of about $4 million in lost wages.”

Pages