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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The New Hampshire House has passed a new version of the rules that govern what counts as renewable energy. The bill would expand the definition of renewable to include thermal energy.

The Senate has unanimously voted against a bill that would have prohibited the use of International Baccalaureate curriculum in New Hampshire Schools.

The state's IB program became controversial after parents in Bedford and Merrimack complained that it has political, anti-american overtones.

But even Senators who have concerns, like Republican Jim Forsythe, decided Wednesday not to supersede local schools’ decision to use IB.

Sam Evans-Brown

Tonight selectmen in Rye will hear from the town's lawyer about the legality of a new cycling ordinance in that town. Cycling - both for commuting and recreation - is on the rise, but so too is the number of cars on the road, and recently on the seacoast, tensions between cyclists and drivers have flared.

Health Options at Tropical Food Market

Most people know how we should be eating: more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, fewer candies, fats, and calories. But putting that into practice can be tough.

When you walk into the convenience store and a bag of potatoes chips is a dollar, and a salad is six, which are you going to buy?

Sam Evans-Brown

Students and Faculty at Chester College are demanding the resignation of college President and former Manchester Mayor Bob Baines.

Last week some of the world’s top engineering students converge at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway to race hybrid cars. The cars are student designed and built, and for some of those students, a good showing at Loudon is a ticket to ride.

Most gear-heads want their cars to sound like finely tuned performance machines that normally power around the Loudon race track and not like over-sized lawn mowers.

Flkr Creative Commons / PSNH

Public Service of New Hampshire has asked for a change in how much it charges consumers for electricity.

PSNH asked the Public Utilities Commission for a ten percent decrease in the price it charges for electricity. But any savings consumers might see would be eaten up by a simultaneous increase in the Stranded Cost Recovery charge.

Flkr Creative Commons / US Fish and Wildlife

Today is the first day of a quintessential Granite State tradition: turkey hunting season.

Flkr Creative Commons / Plug in America

This week some of the world’s top engineering students converge at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway to race hybrid cars. The cars are student designed and built, and for some of those students, a good showing at Loudon is a ticket to ride.

The Occupy Movement held May-Day rallies all over the across the country yesterday. In New Hampshire the protest was focused on immigration reform.

Around ninety protesters in Dover were entertained by music from the “Leftist Marching Band”, as they rallied to support immigrants in the Granite state

Immigration activist Eva Castillo MC’ed the Event.

"We have to press our congress-people and our senators to pass immigration reform," Castillo called from Dover's city hall steps,"Every day that goes on without immigration reform families get split apart."

Flkr Creative Commons / Steve Rhode

The Senate Finance committee has voted unanimously to recommend banning a so-called “internet tax”. The bill would clear up the confusion surrounding the state’s Communications Services Tax.

Salem Senator Chuck Morse says two months ago, internet providers approached him to say that the state was starting to get serious about collecting taxes on internet. So he decided to do something about it.

"The amendment is very simple," Morse says, "New Hampshire is making a statement, it will not tax the internet, that’s it."

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

All eyes were on the State Senate today, where lawmakers voted down a bevy of bills that would regulate abortion and allow employers to opt out of covering contraception.

State lawmakers have traditionally rejected such measures, but the issue has become a point of friction between the house and Senate. That friction is set to continue.

Flkr Creative Commons / KeithCarver

For some Granite Staters the loon represents the state in a very emotional way, and supporters of the bird were out in force on Tuesday, defending a bill that would ban lead fishing gear. The bill was being heard by the House Fish and Game Committee, and attendees over-flowed out the door of a double capacity hearing room. 

 

The City of Manchester has filed suit Monday over the plan that redraws house districts. The lawsuit has been brewing for months.

In a statement, Manchester Mayor Republican Ted Gatsas called the redistricting plan unacceptable. The suit claims the new map would deprive city residents of two to three state representatives. Earlier this year the house passed a plan that combines two Manchester wards with the town of Litchfield.

 

Thursday was the funeral of Greenland Chief of Police, Michael Maloney. Maloney was killed last week  by alleged drug-dealer Cullen Mutrie while serving a search warrant. 

The story of Michael Maloney’s death has gripped the granite state during the past week: tackling one last job only days from retirement, killed while dragging a fellow officer to safety, amid gunfire that wounded four other officers.

The story of his life that has emerged in the days since the shooting paint a picture of a patrolman’s chief, a cop’s cop and a family man.

Flkr Creative Commons / PSNH

 

For customers of the state’s largest electric utility, Public Service of New Hampshire, electric rates are going up this week. Resident Power, the new utility in town, is using that fact to beat the drums and let New Hampshire residents know they can save money on their electric bills.

That could mean trouble down the line for PSNH.

Sam Evans-Brown

 

A senate committee has voted to send a bill that would allow communities to ask for a one year moratorium on refugee resettlement for further study.

The committee voted 3-1 to refer the bill to interim study, with Senator David Boutin from Hooksett dissenting. That vote is a polite way of asking the full senate to let the measure die quietly.

Committee Chair Senator Jack Barnes says he doesn’t think the state legislature has the authority to pass this bill.

Flikr Creative Commons / gdahlman

 

The Conservation Law Foundation has asked to help defend the Department of Environmental Services in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of Great Bay area communities.

The suit is an attempt to block rules that would require the towns to upgrade their wastewater treatment plants.

The CLF’s Director, Tom Irwin, says the suit is a stalling tactic, aimed to delay measures needed to help the Great Bay recover its health.

 

State and Managed Care company officials met today with the executive council to discuss the contract that would change the state’s Medicaid Program. The councilors have serious concerns, and many questions.

The $2.2 billion dollar proposed contract is the biggest in the history of the state. Supporters say Managed Medicaid would streamline services for the some 130,000 people in the program. Health-care providers worry the new contract may hurt their patients and their business.

Roger Wood / NHPR

GREENLAND, N.H — Attorney General Michael Delaney says 48-year-old Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was the officer killed during a drug raid-turned-shootout that left four other officers wounded.  

Delaney confirmed early Friday that Maloney was the officer killed as authorities were conducting a drug investigation in the small town of Greenland.  

Sam Evans-Brown

 

The cold, dark New Hampshire winter is tough on vegetables, and vegetable growers. Farmers race the frost in the fall and chomp at the bit in the spring waiting for snow to melt. But  a federal grant program has been changing the way that some Yankee farmers grow food.

Sam Evans-Brown

 

A bill that would allow communities to ask for a one-year moratorium on refugee resettlement has made it to a Senate Committee, but critics of the bill are piling up.

Sam Evans-Brown

Budget writers have targeted the University System of New Hampshire over the past two years. As a result the UNH Cooperative Extension has taken it on the chin.

<a href=”http://www.401kcalculator.org”>401k</a> via Flickr

 

The senate is considering a proposed constitutional amendment that would bar a personal income tax.

The amendment passed the house but is facing head-winds in the Senate.

Top Senate Republicans seemed skeptical during a hearing on the income tax ban.

They say they’re focused on putting an education funding constitutional amendment before the voters next fall.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley put House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt on the defensive, asking if he thought the House is overwhelming the public with amendments.

Photo courtesy of: <a href="http://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/">geiselmed.dartmouth.edu</a>

Dartmouth has named its medical school the Geisel  School of Medicine. The school’s philanthropist namesake is one of the college’s most famous alums: Dr. Seuss. Theodore Geisel did not get his “doctor” title at Dartmouth College – he gave it to himself later as a satirist – but he did pick up his penname, Seuss, at the Ivy League school.

A Senate Committee has recommended killing a bill passed by the House of Representatives that would make it easier to challenge voters at the polls.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced cuts to the catch limits on Atlantic Cod for the 2012 fishing year. But New Hampshire fishermen got a reprieve, since the cuts could have been much worse.

Sam Evans-Brown

 

The New Hampshire legislature is considering a bill that would expand the state’s renewable portfolio standards. That means more money to subsidize renewable energy.

Supporters say the measure is a real boost to the state’s wood industries, but critics doubt whether the new subsidies are worth the price.

There’s a little something for everyone in the new Renewable Portfolio Standards.

 

The Department of Transportation announced that the cost of EZ pass transponders will drop by more than half starting in April. The transponders will soon cost $8.90 cents, down from $20.95.

DoT Spokesman Bill Boynton says the drop in price will not only help new EZ pass users, but anyone needing to replace a transponder as well.

 

An official with Obama administration came to Manchester today to tout the achievements of the Affordable Care Act.

At an event organized by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, New Hampshire residents told their stories of how the health-care law had improved their lives.

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