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 bill requiring New Hampshire health care workers undergo random drug testing went before a House committee on Tuesday.

The bill comes after a former Exeter Hospital medical technician was accused of infecting more than 30 patients with Hepatitis C. Officials say David Kwiatkowski injected himself and then reused the needles.

Opponents of the bill say going after other innocent employees is not the answer.

Gary Cahoon operates Friendship Manor, a retirement home in New Ipswich.

Courtesy of geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/koop/cek/

Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop died at his home in Hanover today. He was 96.

Koop served as surgeon general of the United States from November 1981 to October 1989.

It was during that time when he became known as “America’s Family Doctor.”

Shortly after his tenure as surgeon general was over, he returned to his alma mater. In 1992, he established the C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth College.

Friend and Dartmouth colleague Joseph O’Donnell describes Koop as the founder of the field of pediatric surgery.

A New Hampshire man is up for a national service award.

Paul Moore of Bedford is one of 23 finalists for the Congressional Medal of Honor’s Citizen Service Before Self Honors. The finalists were announced Monday.

A Democratic lawmaker wants to ease financial pressure on the state retirement system by cracking down on the practice known as double dipping.

Representative Daniel Sullivan says his bill is meant to curb the practice of public employees retiring, then coming back to work in part-time positions while collecting a pension.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

  The Free State Project is holding its annual Liberty Forum at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua this weekend. 

At the forum, you see a lot of people expressing their passion for freedom.

Some open carry firearms in holsters. Others proudly wear t-shirts bearing the slogan “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Jillian Batty? She makes sweets.

"I make everything in kitchen at home. I make brittles, and caramels, and fudge," she says.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

Gun owners came out to the capitol in force Thursday to object to a bill that would make it illegal to open carry a pistol or revolver in a public building without a permit.

Holding up a copy of the New Hampshire constitution, Steven Stefanik of Manchester told lawmakers their oath required them to reject the bill.

“You can make laws, but you can’t go against the Constitution, and I just read you article 2A: we all have the right to keep and bear arms, any place, anytime we want to protect ourselves, our state, our families and our property.”

A bill that would give New Hampshire cities and towns the option of allowing licensed school employees to carry concealed firearms in schools went before a House committee Thursday.

Supporters say creating gun-free zones at schools make children and teachers vulnerable.

Angela Joy of Dover is a parent of two.

“I want my children protected. If I feel that in their school and in their community that they need an armed person, then I want that option.”

New Hampshire lawmakers will no longer be hitting the slopes of state-owned Cannon Mountain for free.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday killed legislation that would have exempted the free ski passes lawmakers received in the past from the definition of a gift.

House Minority Leader Gene Chandler says the intent of the long-held practice was for lawmakers to experience first-hand a park they oversee in the budget.

“But now I think it’s gone past having an explanation about how it might be a good idea and it’s just flat out gonna look bad if we do it.”

Flickr - Images of Money

  Several bills being considered by the House would boost the state’s minimum wage.

One would make it $9.25 an hour. Another would set it at $8 an hour and tie annual recalculations to the rate of inflation.

The U.S. Army vis Flickr Creative Commons

The House passed legislation last week that would limit the awarding of the state’s Medal of Honor to those killed in action.

The bill holds special meaning for one member of the House.

Representative Skip Rollins says he kept the promises he made to his son before he was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007.

He made sure his son, Specialist Justin Rollins, was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He welcomed his girlfriend into the family and watched over his dog.

Michael Brindley, NHPR

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen says delaying former senator Chuck Hagel’s appointment as Secretary of Defense has real national security implications.

Shaheen believes Hagel will ultimately be confirmed as the next defense secretary, but not until after the Senate returns from its break a week from Monday.

But she says delays to the process by her Republican colleagues do not serve the country well.

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen introduced legislation this week that would extend military benefits to same-sex military families.

Shaheen says the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act of 2013 is named after the New Hampshire National Guard Chief Warrant Officer who died Sunday.

“As she was dying of breast cancer, she knew her wife and her daughter were not going to be able to get the benefits that she had earned on her active duty and guard service and that’s not right. It needs to change and this legislation is designed to do that.”

Photo Credit Katja Rupp, via Flickr Creative Commons

On the same day when Governor Maggie Hassan proposed relying on millions in revenue from a casino to fill budget holes, Representative Steve Vaillancourt says he has an alternative.

Legalize and tax marijuana.

Courtesy of worditout.com

The following is the full text of Governor Maggie Hassan's budget address, as prepared for delivery.

Madam Speaker, Mr. Senate President, Madam Chief Justice, honorable members of the House, Senate and Executive Council, my fellow citizens:

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. 

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