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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While production of certain types of produce is seasonal, demand doesn’t stop when the growing season ends.

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire may have taken a step toward a solution to that dilemma.

In a study, they successfully grew bulbing onions planted in fall for a spring harvest with the aid of low tunnels.

Becky Sideman is a researcher with the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station.

She joins Morning Edition to talk about her findings.

A Concord man serving as a United States Navy SEAL died over the weekend during military parachute training.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports 31-year-old William Marston died Saturday during a training exercise in Florida.

He served in the Navy for six years, and was part of a SEAL team on the East Coast.

Martson graduated from the Derryfield School in Manchester in 2001.

N.H. Fish & Game

Winter is most certainly upon us, so it’s an ideal time to brush up on some popular cold-weather outdoor activities.

New Hampshire Fish & Game, in cooperation with the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation, is offering a workshop next month for just that purpose. There’s training on everything from ice fishing to tracking wildlife on snowshoes to basic winter outdoor survival skills.

But here’s the twist: The program is for women only.

The “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” workshop will be held February 14.

Several accidents led to the closure of the northbound side of the F.E. Everett Turnpike in Merrimack.

As of 9 a.m., New Hampshire DOT says there are now alternating lane closures to get traffic through.

"We do have the speeds on the interstates downposted to 45 mph," said DOT spokesman Bill Boynton. "As usual, with winter maintenance, there's a lot of variables involved. Three of them are timing, temperature, and intensity and those all hit this morning."

Null Value

The number of robberies and burglaries were down significantly in Manchester last year.

That’s according to a preliminary year-end crime report released by the department this morning.

Robberies were down 21 percent in 2014, compared to the previous, while the city saw burglaries decline by 18 percent.

Cases of arson and sexual assault were down last year.

Flikr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

    

Dartmouth College has charged 64 students accused of cheating in a sports ethics class with violating the Ivy League school’s honor code.  

Rob Wolfe has been reporting on this story for the Valley News and he joins Morning Edition to talk about what we know so far.

So what exactly are the 64 students accused of doing?

With Boston a step closer to hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics, there’s hope the event could have a spillover effect on the New Hampshire economy.

New Hampshire’s tourism director Victoria Cimino tells WMUR her office will be watching whether Boston ultimately is chosen as host.

She says having the Olympics in New England would be an exciting opportunity for the region.

The U.S. Olympic Committee last night chose Boston’s bid as its entry in the global competition.

Boston beat out Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

NHPR Staff

The new legislative session kicked off Wednesday, and by all accounts, the most pressing issue for lawmakers will be crafting a new, two year state budget.

The state is looking at potentially more than $100 million in new costs, and that’s before taking into account a possible multi-million dollar deficit in the current budget.

Republican Neal Kurk of Weare is the chairman of the House Finance Committee joined Morning Edition to talk about the task ahead for lawmakers.

photologue_np via flickr Creative Commons

The Seacoast area is expected to see the greatest job growth in New Hampshire over the next decade.

That’s according to a report issued Wednesday by the state employment office.

The report projects 10-percent job growth statewide, with 14.7 percent growth in the Seacoast region, while only 4.8 percent in the North Country.

The report cites the dispersed population and geographic isolation of the North Country as major reasons for its slow projected growth.

Manchester will open an emergency warming shelter Wednesday night.

The shelter is in response to frigid temperatures and will be at the former police station on Chestnut Street.

It will be open through Friday, with hours of 6 pm through 7:30 am.

Manchester and Rochester schools also have announced a two-hour delay Thursday morning.

New Hampshire’s unemployment tax rate will go down by 1 percent in the first quarter of this year, state officials said Tuesday.

The new rate of 3.4 percent is expected to save employers more than $37 million over the next three months.

The lower rate is triggered when the state’s unemployment compensation trust fund maintains a balance of $275 million or more during the previous quarter.

This comes after the rate was lowered in the final quarter of 2014 by point-five percent.

www.kickstarter.com

A documentary is in the works that chronicles the Market Basket saga that unfolded last summer.

“Food Fight – Inside the Battle for Market Basket” is a project directed by Portsmouth filmmaker Jay Childs.

You can learn more about the film on the project's Kickstarter page.

He was there with his camera to capture the story as workers protested and customers boycotted the firing of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.

Jim Legans via Flickr CC

A campaign is set to launch soon aimed at raising awareness of a new law taking effect later this year banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving.

Come July, drivers in the Granite State will have to use a hands-free device if they want to talk on their cell phones.

Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton says a group has been working on ways to make sure drivers aren’t caught off guard by the change.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

A new law meant to ensure women and men are paid equally takes effect Jan. 1.

The so-called Paycheck Fairness Act includes a provision that makes it illegal for employers to forbid workers from talking about their salaries.

Retiring state Senator Sylvia Larsen was a key sponsor of the bill and says the law also extends from one to three years the time workers have to file wage discrimination complaints.

“To be underpaid for years on end with no resolution was unfair. I think the Paycheck Fairness Act certainly corrects that problem.”

A Hudson concrete manufacturer faces $230,000 in fines for alleged safety violations involving its workers.

Acting on a worker complaint, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration says an inspection at Concrete Systems Inc. yielded more than two dozen safety violations.

Those included workers in danger of being crushed, falling, or suffering from hearing loss.

The office says two of the violations were willful, meaning the company intentionally disregarded the law.

NHPR / Emily Corwin

An investigation is underway into a murder-suicide involving a husband and wife at a Dover hospital this morning.

According to the attorney general’s office, Dover police responded to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital just after 6 this morning for a report of shots fired.

Officers found the husband and wife both dead in the hospital’s critical care unit.

While the investigation is ongoing, it appears the husband murdered his wife and then took his own life. 

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Members of the Concord Community Music School’s Scholarship Vocal Ensemble performed Christmas songs for members of the Executive Council Tuesday morning.

You can listen here to their performances of "The First Noel" and "Joy To The World."

An independent theater in Keene plans to screen “The Interview” on Christmas day.

Alex Meadow is the owner of Keene Cinemas, and says he pushed to get rights to show the movie as soon as Sony announced this week it had reversed its decision to pull the film.

“I mean, it’s a movie. And it’s satire. And satire has a place in society, by all means. And we’re also not going to make our decisions business-wise on fear. So I’m not going to be held back by these threats and whatnot from showing a movie.”

A flood watch is in effect for New Hampshire through Wednesday night into the evening on Christmas.

A storm is expected to drop 1-2 inches of rain, which may cause some localized flooding.

Hometown Forecast Services Meteorologist Gary Best says much of New Hampshire will see light rain and drizzle throughout Wednesday afternoon.

He says the heavier rain moves Wednesday night, along with milder temperatures and an increasing south wind.

J. Stephen Conn via Flickr CC

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper continues to add to his leadership team.

On Tuesday, Jasper named Republican Steve Schmidt of Wolfeboro as Deputy Majority Leader.

Schmidt is entering his third term in the House and recently retired from as an executive with Verizon.

Jasper has already named Jack Flanagan of Brookline as Majority Leader.

Members of the House will convene for their first session on January 7.

Courtesy Kaitlyn Coogan / Keene Sentinel

The group that organizes the Keene Pumpkin Festival says it will review a $90,000 bill for overtime costs related to riots that happened near the festival this October.

City officials say the bill is to pay for police, firefighters and public works employees who had to stay to deal with the mayhem that ensued a few blocks away from the festival.

Ruth Sterling organizes the event for the nonprofit group Let It Shine, and says its board will meet next week to decide how to move forward.

She did not say whether the group plans to pay the bill.

State officials have delayed action on a $13 million contract with FairPoint Communications amid concerns about how the company’s ongoing labor dispute is impacting services.

The contract was set to go before the Executive Council today, but the commissioner of administrative services agreed to put it off until next month.

Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern says he’s received numerous complaints from FairPoint customers about issues with their phone and internet service.

Ibew Fairpoint via Flickr CC

Two members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation are urging officials with FairPoint to settle its labor dispute with workers in northern New England.

More than 1,700 FairPoint workers in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont have been on strike since Oct. 17.

In a letter sent to FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu, Senator Jeanne Shaheen and 2nd District Congresswoman Anne Kuster urged the company to return to the bargaining table.

In the letter, Shaheen and Kuster say the ongoing dispute has disrupted service to customers, including for emergency responders.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

FairPoint workers marked the tenth week of their strike with a rally on the Statehouse plaza in Concord Friday.

The workers held signs in protest and weren’t shy about sharing their reaction to a recent statement by FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu accusing the union of not bargaining in good faith.

“If I say ‘Sunu’ you say liar!” said Glenn Brackett, leading the chant.

“Liar!” the crowd of 200 responded.

Brackett is on the union’s negotiating team, and says it’s the company that refuses to consider a fair deal.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard plans to hire more than 700 new employees next year.

The shipyard, based in Kittery, Maine, is recruiting applicants for a number of positions, including engineers, technicians and shipfitters.

Shipyard commander Capt. William Greene says the expansion is needed to keep up with the increased workload of overhauling nuclear submarines, and to make up for about 200 workers who are retiring or leaving for other jobs.

Once the positions are filled, the shipyard's workforce will grow to more than 5,000 civilian employees.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Member of the Brentwood Police Department are raising money to help fund a trip Washington, D.C. in May, when fallen officer Stephen Arkell will be honored.

Arkell’s name will be added to the Wall of the Fallen at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial.

The part-time officer was killed in May of last year, responding to a domestic disturbance call.

A nonprofit organization seeking to open a day center for the homeless in an Exeter neighborhood has appealed a decision by the town zoning board rejecting its application.

Seacoast Family Promise currently operates out of the Stratham Community Church, but the group says it has outgrown its space.

The day center in Exeter would provide training, medical, and social services.

Neighbors raised concerns about whether the center would reduce property values and impact neighborhood safety.

Construction is set to begin next year on a poultry processing plant in East Concord, after the city’s planning board gave the project the green light.

The Concord Monitor reports the board voted last night to OK the 5,500 square foot plant, which will be located just off Exit 16 of I-93.

The vote came despite opposition from neighbors concerned about odor and other pollution from the plant.

Fournier Foods, the company proposing the plant, agreed to several conditions intended to address those concerns, among them that waste cannot be deposited in onsite dumpsters.

Kelly Ayotte in Portsmouth
Cheryl Senter / NHPR

New Hampshire U.S Senator Kelly Ayotte says she has serious concerns about President Obama’s decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.

President Obama announced plans today to open an American embassy in Havana, along with the loosening of economic and travel restrictions, after the release of an American contractor held in captivity for five years.

Ayotte says the policy shift strengthens the Cuban regime and reduces incentives to respect the human rights of its citizens.

Two people have been taken into custody after police responded to reports of shots being fired in Hooksett Wednesday afternoon.

The Manchester police SWAT team and state police also responded to the area near Poultry Products in Hooksett.

Front Street in Hooksett was shut down as police searched the area.

According to Manchester police, two individuals with long rifles and handguns in their possession were apprehended and will likely face felony reckless conduct charges.

No other details are available at this time.

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