Paige Sutherland

Reporter

Paige Sutherland reports from a political town hall in Londonderry in 2014=5
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Before joining NHPR, Paige was a freelance writer for Boston's NPR affiliate WBUR, a freelance political reporter for WATD, and a general assignment reporter at the Boston bureau of The Associated Press.

A graduate of the graduate journalism program at Northwestern University, Paige received her undergraduate degree in Philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Hundreds of New Hampshire residents turned out Tuesday to weigh in on the State budget, with more than 400 people signed up to testify during the hearing.

While waiting their turn activists filled the chamber and hallways wearing shirts that read  “addiction kills” or printed stickers with “people can’t wait.”The hearing went well into the night with 30 people left to speak around 11 p.m.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Officials from the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services are asking Senate budget writers to restore funding that was cut in the House proposal.

The $11.2 billion spending plan passed in April significantly under or level funded services for substance abuse, developmental disabilities and seniors.  

Courtesy of Mt. Washington

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's ruling that an out-of-state hiker was responsible for his 2012 rescue. 

 Then 59-year-old Edward Bacon of Michigan will now have to pay the state more than $9,100.

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The state’s highest court has ruled that the 2006 killing of a Manchester police officer by Michael Addison is punishable by death.  

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 The state’s highest court will weigh in Thursday on whether Michael Addison’s death sentence is considered fair. This is the first time the N.H. Supreme Court has ever ruled on such an issue.

The court opinion looks into whether the death penalty sentence given to Addison is out of line based on similar cases nationwide.

Michael Addison, who was convicted in the 2006 killing of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs,  is the only one on death row in the state. The last person to be executed was more than 75 years ago.

Courtesy of Fish and Game

The New Hampshire Supreme Court is set to issue its ruling on whether an out-of-state hiker should have to pay for his rescue back in 2012.

Earlier this year, a Concord district court judge agreed with Fish and Game that Edward Bacon of Michigan acted negligently after he set out on a five-day solo hike in the White Mountains with an artificial hip that he had previously dislocated multiple times.

The current bill rings in at more than $9,100.

If the court rules against Bacon, he says he plans to never hike in New Hampshire again.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire House has again rejected casino gambling, killing the bill by a vote of 208 to 156.

On Wednesday, more than a dozen lawmakers spoke for or against the measure – many others left the chamber saying “they have heard this all before.”

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A bill repealing New Hampshire’s long-standing law requiring a concealed firearms permit was repealed by the House 212 to 150 on Wednesday.

In a statement Governor Maggie Hassan said before the vote that she would veto the bill, adding that the permitting system allows for local law enforcement to better keep the community safe.

But Republican John Tholl of Whitefield, a former state police officer, told his colleagues these public safety concerns are overblown.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will be jumping into the Democratic race for president, according to Vermont Public Radio.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Republican Carly Fiorina stopped in Concord for the first leg of her four-day campaign tour in the Granite State. 

On Tuesday the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard mingled with state representatives and business leaders at The Barley House in downtown Concord. 

Fiorina has never held political office and lost a bid for a U.S. Senate seat in California by more than 10 points in 2010, but says her executive background makes her a strong candidate.

Courtesy of VPR

New Hampshire veterans may not have to travel so far to receive services.

That’s after the Department of Veterans Affairs changed its policy to driving distance rather than straight line distance when calculating eligibility for its choice program.

Director of the medical center Deborah Amdur said about 800 more Granite Staters will now be able to get care in their community on the V.A. ‘s dime. The policy change, which effects anyone who lives 20 miles or more from a V.A. hospital, will take effect immediately. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On her second day campaigning in the Granite State, Hillary Clinton sat down for a roundtable discussion in Concord.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Update: Despite Monday's wet, dreary weather Randy Pierce hit his goal of breaking four hours, crossing the finish in 3 hours and 50 minutes. 

When 30,000 runners line up this morning in Boston, many will be running for some cause or some loved one, and that’s the case for Nashua runner Randy Pierce, but he's doing it with an extra challenge -- he's blind.

And with the record-breaking snowfall, subzero temperatures and icy conditions, training this winter without being able to see was no easy task.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Jeb Bush headlined Politics and Eggs this morning at St. Anselm College in Manchester. During the former Florida Governor's two-day trip to the Granite State, he also attended a Politics and Pie in Concord Thursday.

Bush says if elected President he would fix the country's "troubled" education system, strengthen relationships with our allies abroad and do a better job of controlling the border while streamlining legal immigration. Bush also told the crowd that besides the country's current shortfalls, he is optimistic but calls for immediate change.

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Note: This is a two-part story. Scroll down to hear and read what Republicans had to say.

Democratic voters:

While Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley have made many trips to New Hampshire and several other candidates have said they could run, right now Hillary Clinton is the only sure thing.

New Hampshire’s Democratic committeewoman, Kathy Sullivan, co-chaired Clinton’s winning 2008 primary campaign and remains a loyalist.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Standing before a banner that read “Tell It Like It Is” and a giant American flag,  Chris Christie used Wednesday's nearly two hour event in Londonderry to cast himself as a politician for telling the truth and letting his own character be his guide.

“My mother taught me a very simple lesson when I was a kid, be yourself because then tomorrow you don’t have to try to remember who you were trying to be yesterday,” Christie told the packed room at the Lions Club.

N.H. Attorney General

  Lawyers for Nathaniel Kibby, who is  charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Conway teenager over the course of nine months, will appear in court today to finalize a trial date.

The 34-year-old Gorham man faces more than 200 indictments in Carroll County where he allegedly kidnapped the then 14-year-old victim and in Coos County where he is suspected to have held and sexually abused her in his mobile home. 

But last month a judge consolidated the charges and assigned the case to Belknap County.

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Potential presidential candidates will be flooding into the Granite State this week, with nearly 20 GOP White House hopefuls expected to attend a Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua over the weekend.

Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Rick Perry are just a few of the likely candidates slated to speak at the Nashua Crown Plaza Hotel for the First of the Nation Summit. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, who are the only official candidates so far in the race, are also scheduled.

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Local, state and federal officials combined forces in Dover on Friday to try to figure out how best to combat New Hampshire’s ongoing heroin epidemic.

The Heroin Summit, which focused on truth and hope for solutions, attracted dozens of medical professionals, social workers, police officers and state and federal legislators.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Senate is weighing a bill that would give those who report overdoses immunity from possession charges if they remain on scene.

The measure aims to encourage people to call 911 by removing the fear of facing any jail time.

Devon Chaffee, head of the New Hampshire ACLU, says 22 states currently have a similar law on the books.

“If a person dies of a potential overdose, as we know, they can’t go into treatment, so what this bill is really about is providing second chances for those individuals,” she told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A bill aimed to decriminalize marijuana in New Hampshire is now being considering by the state Senate.

Under the measure, those found with a half an ounce of marijuana or less would receive a $100 fine rather than be charged with a crime. Currently all other New England states have similar laws already on the books.

But in New Hampshire no decriminalization bill has ever passed the Senate, and Governor Maggie Hassan said if it passes she would veto it.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Every two years New Hampshire lawmakers are given the task of producing a budget for the state.  The aim is to craft one that best serves Granite State residents, spends within the state’s means as well as adheres to the party lines of those in the majority.

This session with a Democratic Governor and Republican controlled House and Senate – the budget process will fluctuate quite a bit before it is signed into law by June 30th.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Dr. Ben Carson was in New Hampshire on Monday for the first time as a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

But the former brain surgeon told reporters that he is waiting until May to decide whether to jump into the GOP race where he could face up to a dozen other challengers. 

During his visit, Carson first stopped in Manchester where he was a keynote speaker at a forum focused on affordable healthcare. But the Republican spent most of the speech criticizing the Affordable Care Act – saying it was thoughtless and even questioning its motivations.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

After the House passed its $11.2 billion dollar budget, the Senate will now have its chance to look at it.  But Senate President Chuck Morse says his chamber's version won't differ too much from the House's.

“There was a lot of good work that wen t into the budget up onto those changes were made to make the final balancing. We will take a look at the whole thing, but I’m sure there will be more we agree upon than disagree on,” he said Thursday in his office. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A $11.2 billion budget was signed off on Wednesday by the New Hampshire House.

Although the plan is a modest increase from the last biennial, it cuts hundreds of millions from what the Governor proposed.

The reductions include $6 million less for substance abuse treatment programs as well as $53 million less for developmental disabilities.

Denise Colby of Belmont says these cuts would force her to quit her job to care for her six-year-old autistic son.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The House version of the $11.2 billion budget passed along party lines with reductions to the Governor's proposed funding for social services still left on the books. 

Advocates for the developmental disabled filled the capitol, but those in favor of more funding for substance abuse treatment drew out the largest crowd.

Three-hundred – that is the number of lives that were lost in New Hampshire last year from drug-related deaths, and that is the same number of people who came to the State House on Wednesday to advocate for more funding.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

  

Martin O’Malley returned to New Hampshire this week, but the former Maryland Governor did a little more than campaign for the White House during his visit.

At a meet-and-greet in Nashua, O’Malley played to the crowd, quite literally, sing and strumming the guitar to “This Land Is Your Land” for dozens of young Democrats.

The ex-mayor of Baltimore also riled up the crowd during his speech – calling for a stronger middle class economy based on higher wages and equal pay.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said Monday that despite recent negotiation setbacks, she has no regrets in joining 46 other Republican Senators earlier this month in signing a letter addressed to Iran.

The letter warned Iranian leaders that any nuclear deal signed with President Obama would not last past his second term if Congress was not allowed to weigh in.

The Senators have received flak from colleagues across the aisle, arguing that the letter only stalled negotiations further putting the country at risk.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in New Hampshire for the first time since he announced his bid for President on Monday.

Ted Cruz made his first stop at a VFW hall in Merrimack where he told the hundred plus crowd that the country needs a president who honors the logic of the founders.

“This country was built on a promise. It was built on an extraordinary idea that our rights don’t come from government they come from God and our founding documents, the declaration, the constitution were designed to rein in government and protect those God-given rights, ” Cruz said on Friday.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The state’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers,  are behind the House Finance version of the state's spending plan, which passed committee along party lines Thursday. 

The $11 billion budget trimmed hundreds of millions from Governor Maggie Hassan’s proposal including reducing spending for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation and University funding.

AFP State Director Greg Moore said the budget isn’t perfect but it is fiscally responsible.

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