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.



NH News
1:57 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

House Bill Would Outlaw GPS Tracking

Flikr Creative Commons / avlxyz


The state House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban the use of GPS devices to secretly track people. The bill would make such tracking illegal someone without a court order.

This was a bill that seemed destined to disappear: in committee it was voted 14 – 0 to refer it for more study. With an election coming up, that would almost certainly mean that the bill would never be seen again.

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NH News
2:38 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

NECAP Scores Are In; Math and Reading Up, Writing Down.

Flikr Creative Commons / Renato Ganoza


New Hampshire students continue to improve academically, according to the results of the latest round of standardized tests.

The New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP, test students in grades 3 through 8 and eleventh graders.

The test shows that 67% of all students are proficient in math, up two percentage points from last year. 79% are proficient in reading, and only 54% are proficient in writing.

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NH News
4:48 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Senate Puts the Brakes on Looser Gun Laws

Flikr Creative Commons / velkr0

After hearing nearly four hours of public testimony, a senate committee set aside a trio of bills that would loosen gun laws. 

The first bill would give the legislature the exclusive power to prohibit guns on public property – like colleges and the state-house. That would mean that if UNH wanted such a restriction, it would have to get lawmakers to agree.

For Ed Mackay, the chancellor of the University of New Hampshire system, that’s not a good recipe.

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NH News
5:09 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Senate Passes Tighter Eminent Domain Rules

The New Hampshire Senate has voted to strengthen the rules for taking private property by eminent domain. But there are questions as to what the wording of the final Senate bill really means.

Mark McCulloch lives in North Stratford, way up North on the Vermont-New Hampshire Border.

His house is smack in the middle of the route for the hydro-electric transmission project, Northern Pass, the 180 mile transmission line that would bring electricity from Canada to New England.

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NH News
5:22 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

House Committee Wants Out of No Child Left Behind

A House Committee has voted to recommend that New Hampshire pull out of No Child Left Behind.

Republican lawmakers on the House education committee cited local control and small government as reasons to withdraw the state from No Child Left Behind.

The vote was along party lines.

The dissenting democrats say they too are frustrated with the federal education laws, but are concerned about the federal money the state would lose if it withdrew from the program.

If the bill passes the state would forfeit $63 million in federal grants.

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NH News
6:04 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Lawmakers Consider Education Tax Credits

Lawmakers heard testimony Monday about a bill that would give public school students an average of $2,500 for homeschooling or private school attendance.

The funds would come from a tax credit given to businesses that donate to state-certified scholarship programs.

 “In the last decade eight states have launched education tax credit programs to expand educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of students,” said House Majority DJ Bettencourt, who sponsored the legislation.

“Education tax credit programs have saved money in other states,” said Bettencourt.

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NH News
6:00 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Competing Studies Dispute Northern Pass Jobs Claims

Sam Evans-Brown


An industry group has put out a new study that disputes Public Service of New Hampshire’s claims about the number of jobs the Northern Pass project will create.

The study cuts PSNH’s jobs prediction in half.

A trade group representing power plant owners commissioned an independent analyst to study how many jobs the Northern Pass project might create.

That analysis found that the project could expect to create just over 600 jobs in New Hampshire, about half of the 1,200 jobs figure released by Northern Pass.

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NH News
5:45 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Traumatized Refugees Struggle to Make New Hampshire Home

Flikr Creative Commons / IRIN Photos


Every year New Hampshire takes in hundreds of refugees from all around the world.

They have fled wars, persecution, and even torture in their home countries, and some bear scars – both inside and out. After the trauma they have endured some refugees arrive with undiagnosed mental illness, but identifying and treating these patients is no easy task.

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2:37 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Spotlight on the Proposed House Districts

The New Hampshire House has passed its redistricting plan. Below are three maps to help  you see what's proposed and how it's different from today's voting districts.

  • The first map shows the proposed House districts, including the "floaterials" which appear as green overlays on the map
  • The second is the proposed districts without the floterials, colored by the number of representatives which would be elected from each district.
  • The third is the previous districts, color coded in the same way.

New Districts with Floterials New Districts without FloterialsPrevious Districts


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NH News
7:14 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

House Passes Redistricting Plan

Sam Evans-Brown

 The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a redistricting plan, but not before defeating a counter proposal from fellow republicans

A breakaway group of republicans made a strong showing with a revised map of house voting districts

The alternative map would keep Manchester whole, instead of lumping one of its wards with the town of Litchfield.

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NH News
3:41 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

NH House Eyes Pulling out of No Child Left Behind

Flikr Creative Commons / xMizLitx


A house committee heard public testimony on a bill that would withdraw the state from the federal education requirements under No Child Left Behind.

But pulling out would mean the state would forfeit more than $60 million in federal money.

The sponsor of the bill, twenty-year-old representative Weeden from Dover,  says that No-Child-Left-Behind, or NCLB, has created a culture of teaching to the test that has reduced the quality of education overall.

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NH News
1:50 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

House Committee Takes up Eminent Domain

NHPR Staff Photo


The House judiciary committee heard testimony today about three bills that would make it more difficult for a private utility to use eminent domain to acquire land. 

Opponents of the Northern Pass project sponsor the bills, saying the planned electric transmission lines would not benefit to the state.

Republican representative Baldasaro from Londonderry gave testimony in favor of tightening up eminent domain rules.

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NH News
4:39 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

NH Lawmakers: Don't Cut Off Cod

Flikr Creative Commons / drocpsu


New Hampshire’s congressional delegation signed a letter asking federal regulators not to lower the catch limit on Atlantic Cod.

The federal lawmakers say that fishermen in the Granite State already have their backs against the wall.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen says lowering the catch limit on Cod could lead to the loss of 90% of the fishermen’s revenue.

Shaheen: it has potential to almost wipe out our fishing industry in New Hampshire because so much of their revenue comes from cod and inshore ground fishing.

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Campaign 2012
12:33 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Gingrich Ready to Move On to South Carolina

Marc Nozell


Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich wants to put New Hampshire in the rear view mirror.

His followers are already looking forward to South Carolina.

Gingrich supporter Warren Kindler from Epping isn’t surprised that Gingrich didn’t fare well in New Hampshire. 

Kindler: Mitt’s had a long time to campaign in New Hampshire he’s very well known, he’s fairly well liked he’s a neighboring ex-governor, former governor

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9:19 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Newt Supporter: "We'll see in South Carolina"

Newt Signs at the Radisson Hotel Ballroom
Todd Bookman

The ballroom here at the Radisson hotel has yet to get really crowded, but Newt supporters in attendance remain enthusiastic. One supporter, Glenn Fiscus,  is unsurprised with Newt's poor showing in New Hampshire saying, "Romney did a hatchet job on him in Iowa," referring to the attack ads run by a pro-Romney group in that state. When asked how he liked Newt's chances going forward, Fiscus nods knowingly and says, "We'll see in South Carolina." A pro-Newt group in South Carolina has spent $3.2 million on a negative ad campaign in South Carolina.