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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New Hampshire’s Department of Transportation has suspended the installation of a potentially faulty guardrail end unit, but officials say they’re waiting for more information before removing the 1,300 units already installed.

Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton says the state has been installing the Trinity ET-Plus pieces for nearly a decade.

“These are devices that are meant to absorb energy and basically give and have the guard rail attached it to collapse and veer away from it if the end unit is hit.”

Keene Police Department

Keene police have released two dozen photos from this weekend's riots and are asking the public to help identify the suspects.

"These subjects can be seen engaging in criminal acts, if identified, will be arrested and charged accordingly," the department said. 

Police said earlier this week they've already made 84 arrests connected to the riots, which took place Saturday afternoon and escalated again later that night and into Sunday morning.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

There have already been 84 arrests made in connection with the riots in Keene over the weekend, as police continue to scour video and photos on social media for additional culprits.

At a press conference in Keene City Hall, Police Chief Ken Meola said there’s been trouble at Pumpkin Festival in the past, but nothing like what the city saw this weekend.

“These were gatherings that occurred on public property, disrupting traffic, disrupting people’s lives, disrupting the quality of life, putting people in potential for some serious harm.”

In a debate Thursday morning on WGIR, Governor Maggie Hassan repeatedly went after Republican Walt Havenstein for a pledge he signed earlier this year with the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

“By singing that Koch brothers pledge, he is pledging to undo our Medicaid expansion, he’s pledging no matter what to do what the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity tell him to do.”

Brian Wallstin for NHPR

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was in New Hampshire Wednesday pushing for stronger gun laws.

Giffords was shot in the head during a campaign event in 2011, and is in the midst of a nine-state tour. She says strengthening gun laws would protect victims of domestic violence.

She made stops in Manchester and Concord on behalf of Americans for Responsible Solutions.

Executive director Pia Carusone says keeping the state’s Congressional Democrats in office is critical to the organization’s cause.

Manchester Police Department

The state Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a man convicted of attempting to murder a Manchester police officer in 2012.

In an appeal to the state’s highest court, attorneys for 25-year-old Myles Webster argued eyewitness identifications were tainted when police released his booking photo five hours before he was arraigned.

Webster was found guilty of attempting to kill Manchester Police Officer Dan Doherty, after shooting him seven times at point-blank range.

Webster was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio was in New Hampshire Tuesday to endorse Republican Scott Brown in the race for U.S. Senate.

Speaking with Brown at an event in Derry that focused on foreign policy, Rubio says re-electing Democrat Jeanne Shaheen would be disastrous.

“Your current United State Senator, if she’s reelected, God forbid, the first vote she will take is to re-elect Harry Reid as the majority leader, someone who uses the United States Senate as a platform to run interference for the failed foreign policy of this president.”

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Republican Scott Brown called on opponent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen to pull an ad he says misrepresents the so-called Women’s Right to Know bill he co-sponsored as a Massachusetts state senator.

The ad was controversial from the moment it began running.

For the Shaheen campaign, this ad is the sharpest effort yet in the race for U.S. Senate to undercut Scott Brown’s record on abortion rights.

bytemarks / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire’s unemployment tax rate went down by .5 percent at the beginning of the month.

State officials say the new rate is a result of the health of the state’s unemployment compensation trust fund, which ran a balance greater than $250 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2014.

The state’s unemployment compensation law triggers an automatic reduction to the tax rate when the trust fund maintains certain levels.

New Hampshire Employment Security Deputy Commissioner Richard Lavers says that positive trend is expected to continue into next year.

Via Lakeview's website

Officials at a brain injury rehabilitation center in Effingham are disputing allegations that residents at its facility have been subject to abuse and neglect, including a death in 2012.

Governor Maggie Hassan has ordered that no further patients be admitted as the state reviews the charges.

A pair of reports issued Monday by the Disability Rights Center of New Hampshire detail problems at Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center in Effingham.

Classes were canceled Wednesday at Bedford High School and Lurgio Middle School after officials say they received a credible bomb threat.

"Police are conducting a search of the building," according to a post from the school district this morning.

Police determined no device was ever present.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen says U.S. air strikes against ISIS in Syria were a necessary step toward defeating the terrorist group.

Senator Shaheen acknowledged the quandary of working with a Syrian government that just a year ago was forced to hand over chemical weapons it allegedly used on its own people.

But in an interview Tuesday night with NHPR’s Laura Knoy at the UNH School of Law, Shaheen, a member of the foreign relations committee, said there were no other options.

NHPR Staff

Governor Maggie Hassan says the state finished the last fiscal year with a $19.5 million surplus.

It was the first year of the state’s two-year, $10.7 billion budget.

Hassan says meals and rooms and real estate transfer tax remained strong, though cautioned revenue shortfalls from business taxes and the interest and dividends tax have put a strain on the state’s budget.

In addition, Hassan says the state Department of Health and Human Services has seen caseload growth larger than anticipated.

Sunset Power Lines
Michael Kappel/Flickr CC

The state’s Public Utilities Commission has approved a 47 percent rate hike for Liberty Utilities customers.

Company spokesman John Shore acknowledged the increase is significant.

“When the rates go up like this, it’s not something we like to see, obviously. Our customers don’t like to see it. But unfortunately, it’s what the market is.”

Shore says the average customer will be paying about $50 more each month.

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

The state Supreme Court has ruled against a retired police officer who argued he had the right to work part-time for several towns while collecting a pension.

After retiring as a Plaistow police officer in November of 2011, Scott Anderson continued to work in a part-time capacity for Plaistow, Atkinson and Hampstead.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

On the campaign trail Monday, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown continued to rail against the Affordable Care Act, taking aim specifically at the employer mandate.

During an event at North Country Tractor in Pembroke, Brown highlighted a part of the health law yet to kick in: a requirement that businesses with 50 or more full-time employees offer health insurance benefits.

The store’s owner says that’s why he’s stopped hiring at 47 employees.

Brown says it’s an example of how so-called Obamacare is hurting New Hampshire businesses.

CNN

The mother of slain journalist and New Hampshire native James Foley says the U.S. government threatened prosecution if the family attempted to raise ransom.

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Diane Foley said she was “embarrassed and appalled” by the way the American government dealt with her son’s case.

James Foley, a Rochester native, was killed by the militant group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS. A video of his murder was released in August.

www.shaheen.senate.gov

New Hampshire’s two U.S. Senators are among 16 female, bipartisan Senators who are urging the commissioner of the NFL to take a zero-tolerance stance toward domestic violence.

Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen signed the letter sent to Commissioner Roger Goodell, responding to the recent controversy over former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

In the letter, the Senators raise concerns about whether NFL officials knew the severity of Rice’s assault against his then-fiancée Janay Palmer.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The state’s newest and largest liquor store opened at the Hooksett rest area on the northbound side of Interstate 93 on Thursday.

It’s part of a complete overhaul of the rest areas on each side of the highway.

The 20,000-square-foot liquor store was bustling on its first day of business.

Liquor commission marketing director Richard Gerrish says customer convenience was at the heart of the new design.

He says that includes everything from wider aisles to a wider selection of spirits.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

A new statewide multimedia news organization is set to launch next week.

New Hampshire 1 News will begin broadcasting Monday via TV. The outlet has been broadcasting news across its network of radio stations since March.

Based out of the renovated Walker School in Concord, the network is the creation of businessman Bill Binnie.

The station held a grand opening Wednesday, and Binnie says the station’s technology is state of the art.

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

The morning after officially kicking off her campaign for re-election, Governor Maggie Hassan joined Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demulous in Londonderry to thank workers for their dedication.

Calling Market Basket a “New Hampshire institution,” Hassan said the company exemplifies fair treatment and respect for employees.

“Your efforts all summer were a heartening display of dedication, of loyalty, and really what’s possible when people come together,” she said.

Former Executive Councilor Dave Wheeler took a step toward returning to the council Tuesday, winning the GOP primary for the District 5 seat.

The Milford Republican defeated Steve Hattamer of Hollis.

Wheeler served on the council for one term, but lost his bid for re-election to Democrat Deb Pignatelli in 2012.

Pignatelli chose not to seek another term.

Wheeler will face Nashua Alderman Diane Sheehan, who defeated Jennifer Daler in the Democratic primary.  

Michael Brindley/NHPR

New Hampshire primary voters are headed to the polls to choose their candidates in several races, including the U.S. Senate.

At St. Peter’s Parish Hall in Concord, moderator John Williams says as is typically the case, a large cluster of voters showed up shortly after polls opened.

“New Hampshire voters are certainly early risers. They like to come and vote early. We also see a rush during lunch time and again during the evening between 6 and 7.”

Wikimedia Commons, User Rlaferla

The turmoil at Market Basket actually dragged down U.S. jobs numbers last month.  

In the August jobs report issued Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment disruptions at a grocery store chain in New England” is cited as having an impact on food and beverage employment numbers nationwide.

The sector saw a job loss of 17,000 last month.

laconiamulticulturalfestival.org

The 13th annual Laconia Multicultural Festival will be held Saturday.

David Stamps is one of the event’s organizers and says it has grown to include more than 80 vendors and two music stages.

But he says it also hasn’t gotten away from its roots.

“We have a lot of nonprofits who participate. We have a lot of refugees, first Americans, and many Franco-Americans. It’s just such a variety.”

The downtown festival runs from 10 to 4 and opens with a Parade of Flags.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Governor Maggie Hassan kicked off this year’s apple picking season with the ceremonial first pick Thursday at Gould Hill Farm in Contoocook.

This year’s apple crop is not expected to be quite as fruitful as last year’s.

Governor Hassan plucked a few ripe apples and encouraged families to get out to their local farms and pick some of their own.

“There are in fact great apples here in New Hampshire. We got through the winter. We’ve got a crop and we’re really really eager to have a great apple season.

A new state commission has been charged with finding ways to reduce workers compensation medical costs in New Hampshire.

Governor Maggie Hassan established the commission through an executive order on Thursday.

“New Hampshire has very high workers compensation costs overall, but we’re finding that most of that high cost resides in the actual cost of the medical care.”

A recent study found New Hampshire is the 9th most expensive state for workers compensation coverage.

The Manchester VA Medical Center will host a town hall meeting later this month aimed at getting feedback on the quality of benefits and services being offered.

The Department of Veterans Affairs says the town hall meeting, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 25, is one of several being held around the country.

Veterans, their families and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

New VA Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald says the town hall meetings are part of an effort to improve services and to hear directly from veterans.

Courtesy Kimball Union Academy

Kimball Union Academy in Meriden is mourning the loss of graduate Steven Sotloff.

"His courageous actions have and will always inspire our students and our community,” Head of School Mike Schafer said in a letter to the school community.

Republican candidates in the 1st Congressional District squared off Tuesday for their final debate before the Sept. 9 primary.

With the news earlier in the day that a second American journalist had died at the hands of the Islamic State, discussion on the conflict in Iraq was at the forefront Tuesday night.

Frank Guinta said the country needs to "eliminate and eradicate ISIS," but when pressed on whether that meant boots on the ground, the former Congressman balked.

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