NHPR Staff

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012: UNH student Elizabeth (Lizzi) Marriott goes missing. Her last cell phone activity was recorded at approximately 10 PM, when she told friends she was heading to Dover, N.H. 

Thursday, October 11th, 2012: Police start search for Marriott's body on Peirce Island near Portsmouth.

Friday, October 12th, 2012: Lizzi Marriott's family offers a ten thousand dollar reward for information in her disappearance. 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A legislative committee has approved New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan's proposal to freeze hiring, equipment purchases and out-of-state travel.

Hassan asked the Fiscal Committee Thursday to approve the freeze, as past governors have done when confronted with potential budget deficits. 

"Given the fact that revenues currently remain ahead of plan for the year, this is an unprecedented action that will help protect our budget," Hassan told lawmakers.

The state’s unemployment rate ticked down one-tenth to 4.4% in April, according to new data from New Hampshire Employment Security.

Construction, retail and hospitality sectors all posted gains, but the state shed about 900 jobs in local government.

The total number of employed residents was up 2,200 to 714,640, while the labor force increased by 1,040 to 747,380.

The overall rate is down nearly a full point from last April. Nationally, unemployment stands at 6.3%.

For our week-long series A Matter of Degrees, NHPR reporters and programs produced stories about the issues facing colleges and universities throughout New Hampshire.

This first map links to most of the content. Play arrow icons represent radio and video stories, stars are web-only and print features.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

All week long, our NHPR News, The Exchange, and Word of Mouth will be taking a look at higher education in New Hampshire for our special series, A Matter of Degrees. 

We're also letting students from around the state weigh in during Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and will be posting their reflections right here.

Monday's Student Minute:

State Senator Peter Bragdon says he's stepping down from the Senate next month.

This comes as the Milford Republican has been reappointed to lead the Health Trust for another two years.

Bragdon took the job with the former Local Government Center in August.

He stepped down as Senate president in September to avoid what he described as the appearance of a conflict of interest, but stayed on as a state Senator.

He says doing both jobs in the short-term was possible, but long-term, it was impractical.

The Education Doc via Flickr CC

All this week, NHPR's reporters and programs presented A Matter of Degrees. This special series examined the uncertain future of New Hampshire's colleges, and how they are trying to stay relevant, competitive, and worth the cost.

Here’s today’s question for you:

With all you’ve heard about rising tuition, high student debt, and the push for colleges to innovate, would you choose to go to school in New Hampshire?

Sara Plourde for NHPR

The 2014 Regional Edward R. Murrow awards winners have been announced, with NHPR capturing four in our region.

For Feature Reporting, Word of Mouth Producer Zach Nugent won for his story The Search For The Next Big Dog Star, which followed regular dogs as they auditioned for the role of Sandy in Prescott Park's production of Annie. 

www.scottbrown.com

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown says he’s forming an exploratory committee to look into a possible run against Democrat Jeanne Shaheen for the New Hampshire Senate seat.

After months of speculation, Brown made the announcement Friday afternoon at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua. 

 During his remarks, he referenced his connections to New Hampshire and offered criticism of the Affordable Care Act. 

The minimum wage would go up a dollar to $8.25 an hour next year under a bill approved by the Democratically-controlled House. The measure, which passed 173-118, increases the wage to $9 in 2016, and starting in 2017, ties it to the inflation rate.

Supporters say the move helps the working poor.

Opponents argue increasing the wage will hurt business and reduce employment. The measure faces an uphill fight in the GOP-held Senate.

Right now, New Hampshire doesn’t have its own minimum wage, and relies on the federal rate of $7.25. 

NHPR's Health Reporter Todd Bookman was awarded second place in the 2013 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism by the Association of Health Care Journalists. The organization recognized Todd's series Planning For The End: A Look At Advance Directives in the small market Consumer/Feature category.

Josh Rogers

In a race that was too close to call Tuesday night, Republican Joe Kenney declared victory this morning in a special election to fill the vacant District 1 Executive Council seat.

He fills the seat left vacant by longtime North Country Executive Councilor Ray Burton, who died late last year.

Kenney took 51 percent of the vote, just enough to defeat Democrat and Grafton County Commissioner Mike Cryans.

Sherwin Sleeves for NHPR

You know our very own Sean Hurley. He's the voice behind some of NHPR's most memorable stories, like the one about that soccer game in Sandwich, and that one about the guy building his very own castle

Josh Rogers

Bob Smith says he's back in New Hampshire, running for his old U.S. Senate seat, because too many people in Washington have no sense of urgency or vision to restore the nation to greatness.  

“It’s not about me, nor is it about any other candidate. It’s not about any political party, it’s not about republicans or democrats, its about saving the united states of America.”

April 11, 2013

Nearly 24 years after the courts first ordered a new facility for female inmates, the New Hampshire House has approved a capital budget with $38 million set aside for a 224-bed women’s prison in Concord.

NHPR’s Emily Corwin tells us how a class action lawsuit is driving lawmakers to act now.

May 9, 2013

Fiddleheads are the whimsical, tightly coiled spiral of fern sprouts that push their way up from under the layers of winter debris on the forest floor. They are also a regional and seasonal delicacy, once you find them. Reporter Sam Evans-Brown catches up with people who harvest the sprouts to learn why fiddlehead patches are such closely guarded secrets.

Aug. 26, 2013 – Aug. 28, 2013

Advance directives—sometimes called living wills—let people decide who can make medical decisions for them and what invasive treatments should be avoided at the end of life. Many in the healthcare system say they are vital plans that ensure a patient’s voice is heard, but only 25% of Granite Staters have signed advance directives.

In this series, Health Reporter Todd Bookman digs into why so few people set up advance directives, examines efforts to increase that number, looks at the impact of not having a completed advance directive.

April 2, 2013

During the 2013 legislative session, state lawmakers intensely debated whether to raise New Hampshire’s gas tax.  The current rate hasn’t gone up in nearly 20 years.  During the debate, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Transportation repeatedly pointed toward a backlog of more than a billion dollars in maintenance projects and 1600 miles of roads that need to be rebuilt.  But New Hampshire is a state historically opposed to raising taxes and lawmakers ultimately decided not to pass a higher rate.

New Hampshire is one of seven court districts where a powerful Mexican drug kingpin faces indictment. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the alleged leader of the Sinaloa cartel, was arrested last weekend in Mexico on charges of drug trafficking.

In September 2012, New Hampshire prosecutors announced the arrest of four other high ranking members of the Sinaloa cartel—including a cousin of Guzman—after an international investigation involving FBI undercover agents and the Boston Police Department.

February 17, 2013

New Hampshire is a gun-friendly state where gun owners face few restrictions. We also have very little gun violence and after the massacre in Newtown we decided to examine our state’s complicated gun culture. The newsroom produced the documentary A Loaded Issue that included a look at our state’s gun laws, the business of manufacturing guns, how parents are prosecuted in accidental shootings, the culture around open carry and the efforts to repeal the state’s Stand Your Ground law.

February 11, 2013 - February 15, 2013

New Hampshire is a gun-friendly state where gun owners face few restrictions. We also have very little gun violence and after the massacre in Newtown we decided to examine our state’s complicated gun culture. The newsroom produced a series titled A Loaded Issue that included a look at our state’s gun laws, the business of manufacturing guns, how parents are prosecuted in accidental shootings, the culture around open carry and the efforts to repeal the state’s Stand Your Ground law.

March 14, 2013 - May 24, 2013

During the 2013 legislative session New Hampshire grappled with the question of whether to allow the state’s first casino.  NHPR followed the debate at the State House but also wanted to better understand the larger implications.  We sent a reporter to Washington, Pa. where Millennium Gaming runs a casino.  The company hopes to build a casino in New Hampshire.  Throughout our coverage we learned how the area has benefited, but also looked into the social costs of gambling.

A group of developmentally disabled New Hampshire residents, along with the agencies that provide services for them, are heading to court later this week. They’re seeking to block the state’s plan to shift management of those services to private, out-of-state entities…a move the state says is necessary to cut costs. As NHPR’s Todd Bookman reports, the fight puts Governor Maggie Hassan, who has a disabled son, in a difficult position.

February 5, 2013 – November 14, 2013

The most critical issue New Hampshire faced in 2013 was how to adopt and roll out the ACA. And those decisions didn’t come easily. State lawmakers must still decide whether to expand Medicaid and because of New Hampshire’s small size, only one insurance company offers plans on the federally-run online marketplace. Reporter Todd Bookman followed the twists and turns of the ACA and produced a mix of daily and feature stories to illustrate our state’s complicated relationship with the law.

July 10, 2013

In the past few years there’s been a resurgence in American moonshine, including high-end bottles on liquor store shelves. The movement comes thanks in no small part to the Discovery Channel reality show, Moonshiners. And while ‘White Lightning’ may have its roots in Appalachia, in the deep shade of New Hampshire’s forest, there’s at least one illegal operation.

October 28, 2013

Abigail Hernandez has now been missing for 19 days.  Although local police and the FBI have combed thousands of acres and followed hundreds of tips, they say they still don't know what happened on the afternoon of October 9th when Hernandez disappeared. 

Despite this, the Hernandez family and the local community remain hopeful. On Saturday night nearly 500 people attended a flashlight vigil in Schouler Park in downtown North Conway.  It was meant to light the way home for Abby.  Sean Hurley was there and has this report.

October 10, 2013

By October, competitive pumpkin growers have put in months of labor, gallons of water, and now, finally, they're getting ready for weigh-ins. NHPR’s Todd Bookman reports that in one family, bragging rights are also on the line.

TB: The Pattersons, Erin and Matt, live off a quiet road in New Ipswich. Dirt driveway on the left, beige house in the middle, pumpkins on the right.

MP: So this is it, this is Lola.

TB: Lola is the prize of the patch this year. She sits heavy in the garden, bigger than you can get your arms around.

July 29, 2013

They are everywhere. We are surrounded by them.  You are probably one yourself.  Of the range of people you can know in the world, the neighbor occupies a curious spot.  As Sean Hurley writes, here in New Hampshire we have our own special kind of neighbor. 

November 6, 2013

NHPR's newsroom broadcasts 19 newscasts each weekday and six over the weekend.  Our hosts strive to provide a mix of statewide and regional news along with weather and sports.  On November 6, 2013 we had two locally-produced stories from NHPR reporters on the major news stories of the day.  Our host then rounds out the newscast with a weather update.

Written Rundown:

Insurance Company Practice of ‘Fail First’ Called Into Question

On Town Meeting Day Wind Farms Prove To Be Divisive

Governor Pushes For Casino At House Hearing

Examining Gambling’s Potential Social Costs

Lighting The Way For Missing Teen Abigail Hernandez

The Common Core State Standards:  Not Yet In Place, Already Controversial

Self Defense Or Because I Can?  Open Carry Laws In New Hampshire

Reporter Debrief:  Breaking Down A Big Day In Health Care News

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