Todd Bookman

Reporter

Todd started at NHPR in 2009 as an intern, and in 2011, took over the health beat. He spent two years at WHYY in Philadelphia covering health and science, before returning to NHPR in 2016 as a general assignment reporter with a focus on business and economics. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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Todd Bookman/NHPR

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission is seeking to ban the president of one of the state’s largest labor unions from entering any state liquor store for the next six months.

The effort is an escalation in an ongoing dispute between the state agency and some of its workers over the proper handling of large all-cash transactions and allegations of bootlegging.

JJBers via Flickr/Creative Commons

A major ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last month means that states that impose a sales tax can now require businesses located outside of their borders to collect that tax and turn the money over. It’s a big deal for New Hampshire, one of the few states without a sales tax.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State lawmakers will return to Concord on July 25th for a special legislative session in response to an online sales tax ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Executive Council approved Governor Chris Sununu’s request on Wednesday.

NHPR Staff

The Executive Council will vote Wednesday on Governor Chris Sununu’s request for a special legislative session this summer.

The call for a session stems from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, in which the majority of justices ruled that states that impose a sales tax can require businesses in other states to collect and remit that tax on their behalf.

Bernard Spragg via Wikimedia Commons

It can be hard to get excited about something as abstract as a soybean or steel tariff, but that doesn't mean you can just ignore it.

Via Wikimedia Commons

A Plaistow-based construction company has won a $13-million contract for work at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Methuen Construction is the winner of a competitive bidding process to upgrade and repair pumping facilities at the Shipyard. The federal contract was announced by the U.S. Navy and hailed by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan as a win for Granite State business.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Nori and Sarah Kozuma opened up the Horseshoe Cafe on Newmarket’s main drag last year.

The Bay Area-transplants, married and heavily tattooed, divide the duties: Sarah handles the baking, including fresh breads, spreads, and a few pastries. Nori is the one-man coffee department, doing everything from importing to roasting.

“So I’m still baby roaster. We normally say about 10 years to be called a roast master,” Nori says with a laugh.

While he may classify a novice, Kozuma knows more about coffee than he’s letting on.

File photo

Backers of Right to Work legislation in New Hampshire are praising Thursday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Janus v. AFSCME. In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled that public sector unions cannot charge non-members for the costs of collective bargaining.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

There’s a field in Peterborough that makes all the other fields jealous. It’s about a mile from downtown, roughly 20 acres, with a small stand of trees in the southwest corner.

It’s a great-looking field. Stand in the middle, and you’re rewarded with views of Mt. Monadnock.  

Stan Fry believes there’s just one thing missing from this place.

TaxRebate.org.uk/Flickr

If you are having trouble buying a home in New Hampshire right now, you are not alone.

New data released by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority shows that a dearth of single family homes is driving up prices, with many sellers receiving multiple offers above the listing price.

SCOTUS

A major U.S. Supreme Court ruling out Thursday could force New Hampshire businesses to collect a sales tax on behalf of other states.

 

The case of South Dakota v. Wayfair centers on how to treat items sold online, and whether states that impose a sales tax, such as South Dakota, can require businesses who sell goods to South Dakota residents to collect and remit those taxes.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A bipartisan bill raising the marriage age in New Hampshire to 16 is now law after a signing ceremony in Concord.

The measure, which was backed by Governor Chris Sununu and championed by Cassie Levesque, a teenage Girl Scout from Barrington, raises the age from 13 for girls and 14 for boys.

Gavel
SalFalko, Mentus Media / Flickr Creative Commons

A former employee for the Town of Londonderry says she was the target of discrimination and harassment, and claims reports of sexual misconduct went unanswered by town officials.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court this week, the former employee, who held jobs with the town’s assessing and planning departments, alleges that she was the target of bullying and harassment by supervisors and co-workers.

Bea Lewis/Pool Photo

A Wolfeboro woman found guilty of animal cruelty for her mistreatment of dozens of Great Danes will avoid jail time.

Christina Fay was sentenced last month to serve 90 days, but a Carroll County Superior Court judge on Thursday modified that sentence after Fay submitted a plan for counseling.

[You can read NHPR's previous coverage of this case here.]

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission is making a bet on itself. The state agency is investing heavily in refurbished outlets and supermarket-sized new facilities. It’s part of a long-term strategy to increase sales and ward off competition from other states.

Lawmakers who count on liquor profits to help fund state government are watching closely to see if these expensive projects pay off, with some concerned about the early results.

Kandy Jaxx / Flickr

The state’s unemployment rate ticked up to 2.7 percent in May, a tenth of a percent higher than the April figure.

New data released on Tuesday by the New Hampshire Employment Security office show more than 2,000 jobs were added to payrolls last month. That was offset by slightly larger growth in the New Hampshire labor force.

Eric Molina via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4wWBoY

The Department of Health and Human Services is cancelling a funding opportunity for needle exchange programs because the grants would appear to violate state law.

Needle exchanges were legalized in the state last summer, but the new statute said groups that provide clean syringes to injection drug users must be “self-funded” to operate in New Hampshire.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr/Creative Commons

A long-festering dispute between New Hampshire Liquor Commission management and the union employees who staff the state-run stores erupted in front-page headlines this week.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

One of the most hyped young baseball players in the country right now happens to have a Fisher Cat on his uniform.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the son of soon-to-be Hall of Famer Vlad Sr., is playing third base for the minor league New Hampshire Fisher Cats this season.

He’s generating national attention, and a buzz around the Manchester ballpark.

Even casual baseball fans have probably heard about Guerrero Jr. by now. The 19-year old hits baseballs, and he hits them hard.

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

Companies attempting to grow human organs will be exempt from paying two state business taxes for the next 10 years after a measure easily cleared both the New Hampshire House and Senate on Wednesday.

The bill comes in the wake of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, a Manchester-based non-profit created by inventor Dean Kamen, receiving an $80 million grant last year from the U.S Department of Defense.

JOE SHLABOTNIK / FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

The New Hampshire Legislature is scheduled to vote this week on a bill that cuts the Liquor Commission’s budget for the next fiscal year. The size of that cut, though, is far less than what’s called for under state statute.

Since 2015, there’s been a law in place that automatically reduces the Liquor Commission’s budgeted appropriation if the state-run liquor stores don’t generate a targeted amount of revenue for the general fund.

Courtesy U.S Department of Agriculture

The town of Londonderry is suing pharmaceutical makers for their alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis, joining hundreds of other municipalities across the country.

Courtesy Revision Military

A military and tactical gear company says it will set up its United States headquarters at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth.

Wikimedia Commons

The New Hampshire Motor Speedway is cleared to stage a country music festival this summer after a Superior Court judge ruled the terms of 1989 agreement do not apply to property acquired in more recent years.

A group of concerned neighbors and the previous owners of the Loudon race track signed the agreement, which stipulated that the track couldn’t host concerts unless they were held in conjunction with a race.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s two U.S. Senators are split on an upcoming confirmation vote for Gina Haspel to lead the CIA.

Democrat Jeanne Shaheen says while she believes the use of torture is inconsistent with the nation’s values, she will vote for Haspel, citing her extensive experience within the CIA.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A controversial animal cruelty bill appears dead after lawmakers in the New Hampshire House and Senate failed to reach a compromise.

The two chambers passed substantively different versions earlier this year despite hearing relatively similar testimony from animal welfare groups, law enforcement and so-called hobby breeders.

Shunichi kouroki via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/pQoYLt

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission, which operates the state’s liquor stores, says it plans on getting into the business of shipping wine directly to consumers.

But at the same time, in its role as a regulator, the commission has been taking steps to limit out-of-state wine retailers from selling to New Hampshire customers, making the business of ordering a favorite Bordeaux a lot more complicated.  

Bea Lewis/Pool Photo

A Wolfeboro dog breeder found guilty of animal cruelty has been ordered to serve 90 days in jail.

However, if Christina Fay's attorneys can present a counseling program that the judge finds acceptable, that sentence will be reduced to 30 days.

Fay’s sentence was handed down on Friday in Carroll County Superior Court by Judge Amy Ignatius, who presided over a two-week trial that resulted in guilty verdicts on all 17 counts of animal cruelty.  

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A Wolfeboro dog breeder found guilty of mistreating her 84 Great Danes will be sentenced in Carroll County Superior Court on Friday.

In a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors, the State is requesting the judge sentence Christina Fay, who was found guilty on 17 cruelty counts, to a year in jail, forfeit all of her dogs, and be barred from ever owning an animal for the remainder of her life.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Patrick Donovan is an Ivy League graduate, a standout football player, and a successful private practice attorney. You’d never hear him say that, though.

During his swearing in ceremony on Tuesday in Concord, the 54-year old was praised by colleagues in the legal community for his modesty, work ethic, and temperament.

“He questions incisively, he reasons logically, and he analyzes precisely,” said Judge Joseph LaPlante. “He speaks persuasively, but more important than all of these, Patrick listens carefully.”

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