Paige Sutherland

Southern New Hampshire 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.

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Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Department of Transportation is warning New Hampshire House budget writers from voting to slash more than $88 million in funding from the Governor’s proposed budget.

The House Finance Committee is expected to vote on the bill Thursday morning.

Deputy Commissioner of the department Patrick McKenna said he is appalled by the cuts,  adding that it would result in the loss of more than 600 jobs, the closure of hundreds of bridges and would drastically affect the state's infrastructure by limiting road maintenance and plowing. 

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The Department of Health and Human Services is warning House budget writers against cutting $160 million from the Governor’s proposed budget.

So far the House Finance Committee is proposing roughly $117 million less from the H.H.S budget. Meanwhile a proposal to cut more than $28 million from the state’s mental health services remains on the table.

Deputy Commissioner of the department Marilee Nihan tells the committee these cuts are “aggressive.”

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The former New Hampshire state supreme court Chief Justice is stepping down from the UNH School of Law Warren B. Rudman Center.

John Broderick , who was Dean of the UNH Law School before he left that post to lead the Rudman Center last year, told NHPR that he and university administrators differed over the Rudman Center's future.

"I love the Rudman Center and what it stood for and its potential, and I can assure you I would never have left a job I love that much and a center that I helped found if I was getting support from the university," Broderick said. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is making stops in the Granite State Monday as he continues to flirt with the idea of whether to run in next year’s presidential race.

The Senator says having the funds to support a competitive campaign is one of the major issues holding him back.

Courtesy of Loon Mountain

The owner of 16 major ski resorts including New Hampshire’s Bretton Woods, Loon Mountain and Mount Sunapee is considering leaving the ski industry.

The real estate investment trust CNL Lifestyle Properties says it is still weighing its options, which may include a private buyout or listing the properties as a publicly traded exchange.

The firm owns resorts from Maine to California including Sunday River and Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine, Okemo Mountain in Vermont, Brighton in Utah,  Crested Butte in Colorado and Sierra-at-Tahoe in California..

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was in the Granite State Friday making several stops in Manchester including to meet with law enforcement and statewide agencies to advocate for her new legislation on human trafficking.

If passed the Senator’s bill would funnel more funding into treatment programs as well as cleanse a victim’s record of offenses such as prostitution or drug smuggling that occurred while being trafficked.

U.S. Department of State

Two prominent staffers in U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office will be leaving to lead Hillary Clinton’s efforts in New Hampshire as she prepares for her likely 2016 presidential bid.

Mike Vlacich was Shaheen’s 2014 campaign manager and Kari Thurman served as the campaign’s political director.

Vlacich received national attention last fall after defending Shaheen’s seat against well-funded Republican challenger Scott Brown.  

Shaheen, who was in the Granite State this week, tells NHPR she wishes her fellow employees all the best.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted down a bill in a 2-1 margin Thursday that would mandate paid sick leave.

Under the measure, businesses with 15 or more employers would be forced to offer workers 40 hours of paid sick leave annually.  

Republican Len Turcotte of Barrington said mandatory sick leave would only lead to harmful regulatory policies for employers.

“Employee contracts between an employer and an employee is an agreement that is freely reached and should be reached between the two parties without bureaucratic inference,” Turcotte his fellow colleagues.

Jim Cole / AP

The killer of Pamela Smart’s husband will be a free man this spring.

William Flynn, who turned 41 today,  was unanimously granted parole Thursday after the New Hampshire Parole Board cited his decade of good behavior – adding that he was an “exemplary” inmate throughout his 25 years in prison.

At sixteen Flynn pleaded guilty to conspiring with his former teacher and lover Pamela Smart to shoot and kill her husband, Greg Smart, in Derry in 1990. Smart is currently serving a life sentence.

NHPR

The New Hampshire House voted in a nearly a 2-1 margin to reject a bill to require criminal background checks on all commercial firearm sales.

Prior to the vote, Republican John Burt from Goffstown, argued that requiring criminal background checks would be a waste of time.

“All this bill is going to do is interrupt law-abiding citizens, that’s all any gun legislation does, because the criminal will always have his gun,” Burt said yesterday.

NHPR

For the sixth time the New Hampshire House has OK’d a bill that would decriminalize marijuana.

The bill, which cleared the House by 297 to 67 yesterday, would make the possession of half an ounce of marijuana subject to a violation rather than jail time.

Republican Adam Schroadter of Newmarket told colleagues the harm associated with this plant is not enough to justify a criminal penalty.

NHPR

The New Hampshire House backed a measure to put fetal homicide on the state’s books.

The bill, which was approved 208 to 155, would allow prosecutors to charge anyone in the death of a fetus over eight weeks.

To the bill’s lead sponsor, Republican Leon Rideout of Lancaster, this issue is personal. Nearly two years ago his daughter was seven and a half months pregnant when a driver ran a stop sign and struck her car – ending her pregnancy.

New Hampshire residents may have to pay five more dollars for marriage licenses after the House passed a bill Wednesday that would put the added revenue into domestic violence prevention programs across the state.

Currently residents pay $45 for a license, which hasn’t been increased in roughly 22 years.

Democrat Renny Cushing of Hampton says, despite the state making domestic violence a crime last year, New Hampshire ranks last in funding domestic violence prevention programs.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

It will be a busy week at the New Hampshire State House with more than one hundred bills slated for votes by Friday. The bills range from decriminalizing up to a half an ounce of marijuana to tacking $5 onto marriage licenses to fund domestic violence prevention.

Nineteen other states, including the rest of New England, have adopted similar measures to make the possession of marijuana a violation rather than a crime. Should it pass the house, and decriminalization bills have before, it will face an uphill climb.

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