Sam Evans-Brown

Environment and Education Reporter

 

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for  New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. His work has won several local broadcast journalism awards, and he was a 2013 Steinbrenner Institute Environmental Media Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

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NH News
8:30 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

As Electricity Prices Rise, Policy Makers Ponder Solutions

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, former Senator Scott Brown, Governor Maggie Hassan, and GOP nominee for Governor Walt Havenstein all addressed energy policy makers in Concord on Monday
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Lawmakers, energy developers, and policy wonks descended on downtown Concord today for the annual New Hampshire Energy summit. The event couldn’t come at a more appropriate time, last week New Hampshire electric utilities – with the notable exception of the state’s largest, Public Service of New Hampshire – announced winter rate hikes ranging from twelve to fifty percent.

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NH News
12:52 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Electric Co-op Latest Utility To Announce Rate Increase

Credit David DeHetre / Flickr CC

  Another utility has announced that electric rates will rise this winter. For customers of the New Hampshire Electric Coop, the state’s second largest utility, winter electricity bills will rise 12.2%

The rate increase takes place on October 1st, and will cost ratepayers using 500 kilowatt hours $12.47 cents more per month. The increase is due to increasing rates on the energy half of the electric bill, which are increasing from 8.97 cents per kilowatt hour, to 11.6 cents.

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NH News
7:20 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Consumer Advocate Seeks Relief On Liberty Rate Hike

New Hampshire’s Consumer Advocate has asked regulators to soften the blow of a big rate hike expected for as many as 42,000 New Hampshire electricity customers. The average customer of Liberty Utilities, which provides electricity to towns on the Massachusetts border and in the Upper Valley, says customers, might pay as much as $50 more per month for winter if the increase is granted, a 50 percent increase.

On cold winter days, homes burning natural gas for heating fill up most of the pipelines coming into New England, and what little gas is left over becomes very expensive.

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Education
5:30 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

After Pilot, 'Bar Exam For Teachers' Set To Launch State-Wide

UNH students taking part in the Pilot of the new "teachers' test" familiarize themselves with the requirements
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

As early as next year, college students in New Hampshire teacher preparation programs will be taking a new test. It’s known as the TCAP, and all 14 of the state’s teacher education schools are adopting it voluntarily. While some states have opted to sign on to tests designed elsewhere, the Granite State has blazed its own trail when it comes to creating what has been compared to a bar exam for teachers.

Every student teacher who has graduated from UNH knows about the Portfolio. It was a collection of reams of lesson plans, tests, handouts; the artifacts of teaching.

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Education
4:49 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Raising The Bar? N.H. Teacher Prep Colleges Face New Requirements

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  Many teachers and teachers-of-teachers will tell you that after passing your certification exams, graduating and getting your certificate, you’re still not ready to teach.

“You have the idea of what’s going to go on, but when you walk in the idea is usually just blown to heck and back,” says Joe Cilley a high-school art teacher at Belmont high school.

“The problem is that college is theory, it’s all theory! It’s not practice,” adds Kelly Hamilton, who teaches English in Belmont.

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Environment
4:10 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

State Extends Firewood Quarantine To Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties

These box traps, which drivers will notice hanging from trees along the side of the road.
Credit Mike Gifford / EAB Trap

New Hampshire has expanded its firewood quarantine to Rockingham County and Hillsborough County east of interstate 293, after discovering an invasive beetle in Salem.

The Emerald Ash Borer – which has decimated ash trees in the mid-west – was discovered in traps mounted less than a mile from an infestation just south of the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border, in North Andover.

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Politics
10:16 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Brown Disagrees With GOP 'Personhood' Plank

Scott Brown speaking with Laura Knoy at The Rudman Center. UNH Law School, Sept 22, 2014
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Scott Brown, the GOP’s nominee for US senate, disagrees with a change the New Hampshire Republican party made to its platform last weekend.

The new plank calls for support of “the pre-born child’s fundamental right to life and personhood under the Fourteenth Amendment,” mimicking the language in proposed constitutional amendments that seek to give fetuses the same rights as people.

Monday night at a conversation hosted by NHPR and the Rudman Center at the UNH School of Law, Brown distanced himself that plank.

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Environment
9:54 am
Sat September 20, 2014

Granite Staters Travel To New York City For Climate Change Demonstration

One of many artist posters created in anticipation of the Sept 21 climate march in New York City.
Credit Via Creative Resistance

More than two hundred New Hampshire residents are headed to New York City Sunday for a massive climate change demonstration.

Organizers of the People’s Climate March – which include environmental advocacy groups, labor unions, and religious organizations – think anywhere from one to four hundred thousand people could be in attendance.

From the Granite State there are 3 full charter buses leaving from Concord,  another two are coming from Maine to pick up folks in Portsmouth.

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NH News
2:47 am
Wed September 17, 2014

N.H. House Upholds Three Hassan Vetoes

Credit Tashir Hashmi via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted to sustain three of Governor Maggie Hassan’s vetoes from the last legislative session.

The bills would have cracked down on bullying between state employees, given the legislature the power to decide privacy disputes raised during audits of state agencies, and made it illegal to disclose the name of a lottery winner.

A majority of the house, but not the needed two thirds, voted in favor of the auditing and the lottery winner privacy bill.

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Environment
5:11 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Edible Packaging? Retailers Not Quite Ready For Stonyfield's Wrapperless Yogurt

Credit Stonyfield Yogurt and Wikifoods

  A handful of companies are trying to take an idea straight out of Willy Wonka and turn it into reality: edible packaging. I mean, why dump tons of waste into landfills when the container your food comes in could be a part of the snack?

One company called WikiFoods has taken inspiration from fruit to create a frozen yogurt ball surrounded by an edible skin. But marketing glitz aside, this product shows that duplicating nature is no easy feat.

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New England News
3:51 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Upgrade Would Stretch From N.J. To Canada

Credit Spectra Energy

Developers are proposing a natural gas pipeline expansion that would beef up the lines connecting New Jersey to Nova Scotia. The possible expansion is the fourth that has been proposed for the region.

Northeast Utilities and Spectra Energy are partnering in the bid to expand two already existing gas transmission networks, the Algonquin network, and the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline.

The project would supply as much as a billion cubic feet per day, which would be a big boost to gas supplies.

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NH News
6:38 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

PUC Asked To Clarify Rules On Relationship Between Northern Pass And PSNH

Credit Michael Kappel/Flickr CC

A group representing power plants all over New England has asked regulators to weigh in whether Northern Pass is receiving inappropriate subsidies from Public Service of New Hampshire.

At issue is what’s the definition of a “competitive affiliate.” These are companies that the utility owns, and which provide similar services. The New England Power Generators Association or NEPGA, a group that represents PSNH competitors and opposes Northern Pass, argues in a filing submitted to regulators at the Public Utilities Commssion on Monday that is what Northern Pass is to PSNH.

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Politics
1:02 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Incumbents Defend In State Senate Primaries

Credit Josh Rogers / NHPR

There were nine primaries in New Hampshire’s state Senate yesterday; eight of them between Republicans.

Two Republican incumbents – David Boutin of Hooksett, and Nancy Stiles of Hampton –beat back more conservative challengers. Boutin’s race the tougher: he bested former state rep Jane Cormier by single digits.

The one Democratic primary was in Merrimack County. It was to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Senate President Sylvia Larsen. Concord School Board member Kass Ardinger – who was endorsed by Larsen – was routed by Dan Feltes, a legal aid lawyer.

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Environment
1:26 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Carbon Prices Fall For The First Time In A Year

Credit Jon Sullivan / Flickr CC

  After a year of increases, the price that power-plant owners pay to emit a ton of carbon under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, fell this quarter.

Investors, who crowded into the market last year, were less bullish in the latest auction. They took only 20 percent of carbon allowances this quarter, down from 55 percent at the beginning of 2014.

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Politics
9:40 am
Fri September 5, 2014

In Final Debate, Rubens, Smith On Offense, Brown Avoids Mistakes

Credit Josh Rogers / NHPR

In the final debate of the Republican primary for US senate, Jim Rubens and Bob Smith had one last chance to put Scott Brown on the ropes. They did their best, but Brown avoided any major missteps.

From the moment he’s come into the race Scott Brown has been seen as front-runner. Now with the primary just days away, Smith and Rubens are still trying to run him down.

When Brown, who has voiced support for an assault weapons ban in the past, evaded a question on gun control his rivals pounced.

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