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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Sean Hurley, NHPR

With House lawmakers set to vote on proposed two-year state budget Tuesday, one program that’s facing a potentially significant cut is the Meals on Wheels program.

The House Finance Committee is recommending a $10.6 million cut in general non-Medicaid appropriations, a 50 percent reduction to the fund that helps pay for Meals on Wheels.

Roberta Berner is director of the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council.

She joined Morning Edition to talk about how the proposed cuts could affect the people her program serves.

PSB

A three-part documentary series premieres Tuesday on PBS explores groundbreaking fetal surgery being done at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Twice Born: Stories From the Special Delivery Unit” follows four families as they go through in utero surgery to save the lives of their children.

The second and third installments air April 7 and April 14.

www.whiteriver.va.gov

The number of female veterans receiving care at VA facilities has doubled in the past decade.

That figure is expected to grow, with close to 200,000 women having served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That growth means the need to offer specialized care for female veterans is more pressing than ever.

Carey Russ was recently named manager of the Women Veterans Program at the White River Junction VA Medical Center.

She joined Morning Edition to talk about her new role.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan joined Morning Edition Friday to talk about her reaction to the moves made Thursday by the House Finance Committee.

You’ve made clear your opposition to many of the recommendations made in the House budget. What particular proposals give you the greatest concern?

The House budget that was proposed earlier this week made unnecessary, very harmful cuts that will pull us backwards and will make it much more difficult to make the kind of economic progress we need to.

www.gofundme.com/JusticeForBrielle

  UPDATE: The bill cleared the full Senate Thursday by a voice vote. It now heads to the House. 

The death of a 3-year-old girl in Nashua last November has raised questions about state oversight and what actions should be taken when cases of child abuse are reported.

Katlyn Marin, the mother of Brielle Gage, has been charged with murdering her daughter.

Court records show the girl and her four siblings were placed in foster care in April of last year after Marin and her boyfriend were charged with felony child abuse.

    

At least 300 people died from drug overdoses in New Hampshire last year, the most ever in the state.

A report cites the synthetic opioid fentanyl and heroin as the top two drugs having caused those deaths.

Laconia is among the communities where that spike in overdoses has continued into 2015.

Chris Adams is chief of police for Laconia, and joined Morning Edition to talk about how the city is handling the problem.

What are your officers are seeing out there?

Like in New Hampshire, states across the country are rolling out new assessments this spring aligned with the Common Core.

But whether parents have the right opt out of those tests can vary state by state.

A study released earlier this month found that while some states have clear guidelines on whether children are required to participate, other states’ policies are still evolving.

Julie Rowland is a researcher for the Education Commission of the States.

meridiannh.com

It’s Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote freedom of the press and the public’s right to know.

The Concord Monitor has spent the week reporting on its efforts to obtain public records and review how taxpayer dollars are spent.

Many schools across New Hampshire this week are administering the new Smarter Balanced exam for the first time.

This is the first week of a 12-week testing window for schools to give the assessment.

The rollout hasn’t gone completely as planned, after some students were accidentally given a practice version of the exam.

Officials at three Manchester schools said some students will have to retake the test.

Heather Gage is director of educational improvement for the state Department of Education.

Courtesy

A decision on whether to put an end to the city of Keene’s annual Pumpkin Festival could be made this week.

The city council is scheduled to decide Thursday whether to issue a permit to the nonprofit group Let It Shine, which organizes the event.

The festival was marred last by riots that occurred just outside the event’s footprint downtown. Dozens of arrests were made.

Ella Nilsen is a reporter for the Keene Sentinel. She joined NHPR’s Morning Edition producer Michael Brindley to talk about her reporting on the issue.

Courtesy/Alyssa Grenning

A new home for 3S Artspace in Portsmouth opens this week.

The renovated facility will feature a music venue, an art gallery, artist studios, and a restaurant.

Chris Greiner is executive of director of 3S Artspace.

He joined Morning Edition to talk about the new facility.

You’ve talked about this new art space filling a unique niche that’s lacking on the Seacoast. Many already see the area as having a rich arts and culture scene, so what do mean by that?

Cigarette
SuperFantastic / Flickr Creative Commons

Senate lawmakers are expected to take up legislation this week that would ban smoking in a car when a minor is present.

The bill will go before the Senate Thursday, but comes with a 3-2 recommendation from the Health and Human Services committee to kill the legislation.

The bill would make it a violation to smoke tobacco products in a car when a child under the age of 18 is in the vehicle.

Upper Valley Rideshare

In the Upper Valley, Route 120 is notorious for its traffic issues.

According to state transportation data, nearly 30,000 cars travel each day along the stretch between Lebanon and Hanover.

There’s effort underway to ease that traffic by encouraging more workers to carpool.

Susan Berry is manager of Upper Valley Rideshare.

She joined Morning Edition to talk about the program.

When did you realize this was a problem that needed to be addressed?

Appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

Police in Nashua are investigating a homicide that occurred late Thursday night.

Police say they found 49-year-old Benjamin Marcum injured on the ground in a bike path shortly after 11.

He was brought to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine his cause of death, but police believe it was a homicide.

Police are asking for the public’s help as they search for a suspect in the case. 

Credit: Gateway Tech/World Affairs Council via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Primary is starting to heat up, with several prominent Republican presidential hopefuls expected in the Granite State this weekend.

NHPR’s Morning Edition producer Michael Brindley sat down with Dante Scala, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire.

A flood of potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates will be coming through the state this weekend. Can you just run through the list of who we’re going to see?

Town of Salem

Voters said no to capital projects in several communities at Town Meeting on Tuesday.

In Salem, a proposed $23.5 million public safety complex failed to get the 60 percent needed to pass.

The building would have housed the town’s police and fire departments.

And in Plaistow, voters rejected a proposed a new, $11 million police station.

Proposals to build a new town hall in Barrington and to renovate the town hall in Dunbarton also failed Tuesday.

Brian Snyder/Reuters/Landov

The first four days of the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev have been filled with emotional testimony from family members of those killed and survivors who suffered devastating injuries.

Nashua resident Karen Brassard is among those who have been watching in the courtroom.

She suffered serious injuries to her legs while watching the Marathon near the finish line. Her husband and daughter were also injured.

She’s been traveling to Boston as often as she can to be there for the trial.

A bill going before the House of Representatives Wednesday is getting strong opposition advocates of open government.

The legislation would allow cities and towns to charge people for the time it takes to respond to public records requests.

The bill goes before the House with a favorable recommendation from the judiciary committee.

Democratic state Representative Pat Long is the bill’s prime sponsor. He’s also an alderman in Manchester.

NHPR Staff

UPDATE: Sen. Ayotte released the following statement regarding her signing the letter:

    

Town Meeting is Tuesday for many communities around the state, and one of the big decisions for voters will be to approve their town’s operating budget.

A bill filed in the state legislature this session would change how those budgets are approved during Town Meeting.

Republican State Senator Nancy Stiles is the bill’s prime sponsor.

She joins Morning Edition to talk about her proposal.

Jack Rodolico/NPR

A Superior Court judge is set to hear arguments Monday morning in a lawsuit seeking to order the town of Grafton to reprint its ballots for tomorrow’s Town Meeting.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports a lawsuit filed late last week argues selectmen engaged in electioneering by including the board’s opposition to 20 petitioned articles on the town warrant.

The lawsuit was filed by a group in town associated with the Free State Project.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

For the second straight year, voters at Town Meeting in Hooksett will be asked to approve a 10-year contract allowing some students to attend Pinkerton Academy in Derry.

Voters rejected a proposal last March that would have required at least 75 students to attend Pinkerton in the first five years, and 90 percent of all students attending after that.

Hooksett officials are hoping this deal has a better chance Tuesday, with some of those minimums removed.

Town of Salem

Voters in Salem will decide at Town Meeting Tuesday whether to approve a $23.5 million public safety complex.

The new building would house both the police and fire departments.

New Hampshire Union Leader correspondent Adam Swift has been covering this issue. He joins Morning Edition to talk about his reporting.

Can you go through some of the details of this proposal?

A 15-year-old high school student in Exeter faces a felony charge after police say he sold explicit photos of underage female classmates.

The investigation into the incident began in October, when school staff first reported the male student’s activities to police.

An arrest was made after police seized the student’s iPad and conducted a forensic examination of its contents.

Police say the boy turned himself in to police and was released to a parent.

He is expected to appear in juvenile court at a later date.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cc_chapman/4878972642/in/photostream/" target="blank">CC Chapman</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

There’s been no shortage of controversies recently when it comes to questions of whether teams are playing by the rules, as well as the on- and off-the-field conduct of professional athletes.

But how do leagues respond when these situations arise?

A panel discussion Thursday night at the University of New Hampshire School of Law co-sponsored by Sports Illustrated will explore personal conduct and fair play policies in professional sports.

An aldermanic committee in Manchester has signed off on a ride-sharing ordinance that would cover companies like Uber.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the administration committee voted 3-2 last night in favor of the policy.

Under the proposal, Uber’s third-party drivers would have to register with the clerk’s office and undergo state criminal background checks and drug testing.

The ordinance still needs the support of the full board and will go through several stages of review.

www.bbc.com

All four members of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation say they plan on attending Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress this morning.

Several Democrats have said they plan on boycotting speech, which was organized by House Republican leadership without the involvement of President Obama.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill that would set the state’s minimum wage at $8.25 an hour next year will go before a Senate committee Tuesday.

Under the bill backed by seven Democratic state Senators, the increased minimum wage would take effect at the beginning of 2016.

The bill calls for further increases to $9 an hour in 2017 and $10 an hour in 2018.

Under Republican leadership, lawmakers repealed the state’s minimum wage in 2011.

Cigarette
SuperFantastic / Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers will hear arguments Tuesday on a bill that would ban smoking in a car when a minor is present.

The legislation would make it illegal to smoke tobacco products in a vehicle with a passenger under the age of 18.

State Senator David Watters is the bill’s prime sponsor.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr Creative Commons

Morning Edition speaks with two experts on changes to the child restraint law this month. Scroll down to see our more recent conversation with disability rights advocate Mike Skibbie.

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2/10/15

Some New Hampshire school officials are raising concerns about a newly revised state law meant to limit the use of restraint and seclusion on students.

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