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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The House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have made right to work the law of the land in New Hampshire.

Union workers broke into raucous applause after Speaker of the House Terrie Norelli announced the tally of votes on the right to work bill brought before the full House on Wednesday.

“The House will be in order," said Norelli, as she slammed her gavel.

The bill was defeated, 212 to 141. The vote fell mostly along party lines.

A new report finds New Hampshire is facing a significant funding shortfall to maintain its roads, highways and bridges.

The state is facing a backlog of $1.3 billion to repair all state-maintained roads, highways and bridges.

That is according to the report issued Tuesday by TRIP, a national transportation research group.

Director of Research and Policy Frank Moretti says 37 percent of the state’s roads and highways are in poor condition.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

  A bill that would repeal provisions of the state’s voter ID law set to take effect this year had a hearing before the House election committee Tuesday.

Sarah Chapman has been supervisor of the checklist in New Boston for 29 years.

She told the House election committee that training an all-volunteer staff to implement the initial requirements of New Hampshire’s voter ID law was challenging enough.

For parents, keeping guns in the home means taking steps to make sure children can’t get to them.

But as recent cases in New Hampshire show, things can go wrong. The results can be tragic, but also raise questions of how hard law enforcement should come down on those parents.

Sonja Smock vividly remembers the details of the night nearly two years ago when her daughter accidentally shot her.

The gun was a Smith and Wesson 38 Special Revolver.

Courtesy of Twitter

  Governor Maggie Hassan wants to coordinate winter storm updates on Twitter.

But in doing that, she’s also acknowledged a storm naming convention that’s been somewhat controversial in the world of meteorology.

Hassan is encouraging people and media outlets to use the hasthag #NemoNH when tweeting information about the storm.

“@NHPatch, please encourage your sites to use #NemoNH tag, thank you,” Hassan tweeted earlier today.

Officials in Granite State cities and towns are checking weather forecasts today, as they decide whether to postpone events this weekend due to the impending snow storm.

Londonderry is one of several towns scheduled to hold a deliberative session this weekend. It’s part of the annual town meeting process.

Londonderry School District Business Administrator Peter Curro says a decision about whether to postpone the town’s school deliberative session will be made Friday morning.

New Hampshire Fish and Game

  New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are warning that ice conditions are unsafe on parts of Lake Winnipesaukee and other large lakes.

A recent aerial survey of Lake Winnipesaukee by the New Hampshire Civil Air Patrol revealed treacherous ice conditions on some parts of the lake.

That includes an area of open water near Welch Island.

Sgt. Dave Eskeland with New Hampshire Fish and Game says this winter season has been unusually bad for ice making.

Democratic Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster says she is working to get caught up on unpaid property taxes on her two New Hampshire homes.

  New Hampshire election officials are preparing for the cost of rolling out the next phase of the state’s voter ID law.

Starting with elections this fall, voters without identification must have their pictures taken by a poll worker before casting a ballot.

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan says his department estimates purchasing a digital camera and printer for each of the state’s 330 polling sites, plus backups, will cost roughly $85,000.

He says the department will also have to hire someone to oversee the new requirements.

Implementation of the state’s Medicaid managed care program continues to stall.

Further delays could lead to a multimillion dollar budget shortfall in the state’s largest department.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas projects a $9 million shortfall in his budget for the rest of this fiscal year.

As he explained to members of the House Finance Committee Thursday, that’s because savings from the managed care program were assumed in the department’s budget.

Courtesy of New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies

A study released this week finds that in the past several years, less state money has gone to cities and towns.  

Chris jensen for NHPR

  U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte says she is pleased the Pentagon is lifting its ban on women serving in combat roles.

Ayotte, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says the announcement "reflects the increasing role that female service members play in securing our country.”

The decision overturns a rule enacted in 1994 by the Pentagon that kept women from serving in combat roles.

Ayotte says she has seen firsthand servicemen and women working together in a range of dangerous operations.

A 29-year-old Shelburne man has died after injuring himself in a snowmobile crash and spending Tuesday night in the bitter cold.

  Opponents of a bill that would increase New Hampshire’s beer tax told lawmakers Wednesday that the move would harm an industry vital to the state’s economy.

New Hampshire-based beer manufacturers and industry advocates urged members of the House Ways and Means committee to reject the proposal. The bill would increase the tax on a gallon of beer at the wholesale level from 30 cents to 40 cents.

Michael Brindley / NHPR

  Students and staff at Saint Anselm College gathered Monday to watch President Barack Obama take the oath of office.

When asked what should be the top priority on Obama’s agenda for his second term, the students were not short on opinions.

“He really needs to get serious about deficit reduction.”

“Probably education I think. All college students are really concerned.”

“I’d really like to see him tackle climate change legislation.”

Red, white and blue streamers were strung across the student center, as big-screen TVs carried the president’s speech.

A Republican state lawmaker want to make passing a drug test a requirement for receiving welfare benefits.

Although it faces near-certain death with a Democratic majority in the House, State Representative Jeanine Notter hopes her bill at least starts a conversation on welfare reform.  

Notter is co-sponsoring legislation requiring drug testing for applicants of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. 

J. Ronald Lee / Flickr Creative Commons

 

  A study finds excessive alcohol consumption is costing the state just over $1.1 billion annually due to factors such as lost worker productivity and medical costs.

The statewide nonprofit advocacy group New Futures put together the study, which also contains several policy recommendations.

Chief among them is incorporating alcohol treatment into Medicaid expansion. But Tricia Lucas with New Futures says that is dependent on lawmakers moving forward with expansion, something they will consider this session.

courtesy University of New Hampshire

  University System of New Hampshire officials are making their pitch to restore cuts made in the last state budget that reduced support for public higher education nearly in half.

State university system Chancellor Ed MacKay relied on a timely economic catch phrase to describe the impact budget cuts have had on public higher education.

“You talk about a fiscal cliff; I think there’s no better depiction of a fiscal cliff than what we experienced in the current biennium.”

MacKay was speaking to members of the House Finance committee on Thursday.

Ryan Lessard, NHPR

A large turnout to a gun show in Manchester last weekend led to the state setting another high for background checks for handgun sales in a single day.

New Hampshire State Police conducted 611 background checks for handgun sales on Saturday.

Sgt. Sean Haggerty says that’s the most ever for a single day in New Hampshire. Saturday was the first day of a weekend gun show in Manchester.

On Sunday, state police responded to 233 requests for background checks.

At the same gun show last year, there were only 283 background checks on the first day.

A University of New Hampshire study finds that while poverty rates stabilized after the recession, recipients of the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, continued to rise.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Carsey Institute.

In 2011, 13 percent of American households relied on SNAP, a program formerly known as food stamps. That’s compared to roughly 8 percent in 2007.

Michael Brindley, NHPR

  U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen wants to lift the Congressional ban on earmarks, imposed under Republican leadership in 2010.

Shaheen says earmarks, often criticized as so-called pork spending, were a useful way for lawmakers to target money to projects in their home states.

When they were in effect, Shaheen says taxpayers could find information online about who was requesting the money and where it was going. Now, she says under the ban those decisions about spending are left to the administration.

  The head of the New Hampshire Community College System says schools could lower tuition if lawmakers can boost funding in the next two-year budget.

Chancellor Ross Gittell says if the state provides another $3 million beyond restoring cuts made in the last budget, that money would be used to reduce tuition by an average of 5 percent.

At a minimum, Gittell is urging lawmakers to restore the 20 percent cut in funding to the community college system.

Michael Brindley, NHPR

 At the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester, inventory is high and spirits are up. Just ask volunteer Bob Lodico.

Sam Evans-Brown

  A Democratic state lawmaker wants to repeal New Hampshire’s so-called Stand Your Ground law.

State Representative Stephen Shurtleff says the law goes too far in giving individuals the right to use deadly force in a public place.

Shurtleff has filed legislation to repeal Stand Your Ground in New Hampshire. The law allows people to use deadly force anywhere they have a right to be if they feel their lives are in danger.

Flikr Creative Commons / velkr0

There has been a national debate over gun control since the school massacre in Newtown, Conn. nearly a month ago.

President Barack Obama has backed a proposal to reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons.

The Exchange tackled the gun control debate on Friday morning's show. It was the final installment of a three-day series looking at possible lessons from Newtown.

State Rep. J.R. Hoell, a Dunbarton Republican and State Rep. Stephen Shurtleff, a Penacook Democrat, took part in the discussion.

If you’re a Comcast cable subscriber, expect to see an increase in your next bill.

Comcast subscribers will see an average increase of 1.6 percent in their bills, starting with their next billing period.

The higher rates go into effect January 22.

Different services will see different rates of increases.

Comcast spokesman Marc Goodman says investments in new technology and infrastructure required the increase.

A State Senator is withdrawing plans for legislation that would amend the constitution to alter New Hampshire’s education funding formula.

State Senator Nancy Stiles says lawmakers already have enough on their plates this session, starting with crafting a two-year budget.

That’s part of the reason she is postponing for a year a proposal to change the state constitution to allow for targeted aid to needy school districts.

Stiles says putting the issue off until the 2014 session also gives lawmakers time to craft the right amendment.

Michael Brindley, NHPR

Senator Kelly Ayotte says Congress needs to act now to cut spending or it will face another last-minute decision at the end of February.

“We want to fund our priorities, but there’s some things we can’t afford, programs that have been going on that maybe don’t work anymore. We really have to go through line by line and get that done.”

The deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff pushed the deadline for across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration to March 1.

AP PHOTO/NICOLE TUNG, FREEJAMESFOLEY.ORG

Family members of a freelance journalist from New Hampshire kidnapped in Syria say they are concerned about the lack of information from his captors.

During an appearance on NBC’s The Today Show on Tuesday, Diane Foley, journalist James Foley’s mother, says unlike the last time her son was kidnapped, the family has few details.

Foley, who is from Rochester, was held captive for more than a month in Libya in 2011.

New Hampshire’s two Senators have differing reactions to President Obama’s nomination of Republican Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

While praising Senator Hagel’s service in Vietnam, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte says she has concerns about positions he has taken during his time in Congress.

In a statement, Ayotte pledged to "vigorously question" Hagel on his long-standing opposition to increased sanctions against Iran.

Ayotte says she will also ask Hagel about his views regarding Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as Israel.

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