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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Lauren Chooljian/NHPR

Large all-cash transactions. Out-of-state customers going store to store to buy enormous quantities of Hennessy cognac. Employees unsure about how to handle potentially illegal liquor sales.

Courtesy NH State Police

Law enforcement officials say a massive drug sweep on Thursday resulted in 151 arrests and the seizure of more than 550 grams of heroin and fentanyl.

The Granite Shield operation involved dozens of partner agencies who fanned out across the state, targeting opioid and other drug dealers.

After receiving allegations about potential money laundering taking place at state-run New Hampshire liquor stores, Gov. Chris Sununu says the source of the allegations--an elected official--may have acted improperly in gathering information.

Andru Volinsky, Letter to Governor and Attorney General

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky is calling for an investigation into the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, alleging that the state’s liquor stores are engaging in business practices that could “unquestionably facilitate money laundering related to criminal activities.”

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Lawyers representing the New Hampshire woman who won $560 million playing Powerball were in court on Tuesday, asking a Superior Court judge to let her name be kept secret, despite her having already signed the back of the ticket.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

On Tuesday, a  New Hampshire woman will ask a Superior Court judge to let her cross her name off the back of a $560-million winning lottery ticket. It’s not that she doesn’t want the money. It’s what comes with the sudden wealth that she’s trying to avoid.

The single winning Powerball ticket for the January 6th drawing—the seventh largest prize in U.S. history—was sold at Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack. But rather than come forward and claim her prize, the winner instead has filed a lawsuit requesting that she get to stay out of the spotlight.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The state Attorney General’s office says disclosing the name of lottery winners in New Hampshire “is not something done for the sake of curiosity or sales promotion,” but instead is a crucial step to ensure the Lottery Commission operates with integrity and accountability.

nh.gov

The New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton is suspending outside visitors due to an outbreak of a norovirus.

The suspension was announced Friday after multiple residents became sick with a highly contagious intestinal virus. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and headaches.

Veterans Home officials say they consulted with the state Division of Public Health about the temporary halt, which is in place to protect residents from acquiring new infections, as well as spreading the virus outside of the facility. 

A Superior Court judge will hear argument next Tuesday in the case of a New Hampshire woman who wishes to remain anonymous after winning a $560 million lottery jackpot.

[You can read NHPR’s previous coverage of this story here.]

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a bill that would give targeted tax breaks to businesses that focus on generating human organs. The measure comes after the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, a Manchester-based non-profit entity led by noted inventor Dean Kamen, was chosen by the U.S. Department of Defense for an $80 million grant focused on manufacturing tissues and organs.

Courtesy of Chad Witko

Rollinsford doesn’t attract many high profile visitors. It’s a rural community on the New Hampshire-Maine border, with a small downtown and modest houses along Main Street. Perhaps the quiet appeal of the place is to thank, in part, for why a rare bird has taken up residence there.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

State lawmakers are seeking to tighten commercial breeding regulations following a string of high profile animal abuse cases.

Senate Bill 569 would redefine what constitutes a commercial kennel, as well as create new inspector positions within the Department of Agriculture.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Along a party-line vote, the Republican-controlled New Hampshire Senate voted down a bill on Thursday that sought to ban so-called “bump stocks” in the state.

On the Senate floor, GOP Sen. Sharon Carson said the bill was poorly worded, and wouldn’t accomplish its goal of preventing mass shootings.

Jeff Kubina via Wikimedia Commons

The state of New Hampshire is weighing in on an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case that could reshape how sales tax is collected across state lines.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

In the back of the Stratham Market Basket, his apron spotted with blood, Tom Brady reflects on his peculiar rise to fame.

“When Drew Bledsoe was there, nobody even knew my name.”

They do now. Fifteen years after football’s Tom Brady took over for Bledsoe, launching a Hall of Fame career and a Patriots dynasty, Market Basket’s Tom Brady can’t go anywhere without seeing or hearing his own name.

Not that he minds.

“Not at all. Only if he loses,” he says.

NHPR Staff

Backers of a bill to include “gender identity” in the state’s anti-discrimination statute are holding a rally in Concord Wednesday in advance of a scheduled public hearing.

The measure - House Bill 1319 - would expand protections for transgender people in areas of employment, housing and public accommodations. The state’s anti-discrimination law currently includes factors such as age, race, religion and national origin.

Courtesy

Jeff Rapsis is a hard man to shut up once he gets going on his favorite subject. Ask him about how silent movies used to be staged, and Rapsis overwhelms you with information, a walking Wikipedia entry with actor anecdotes and deep history at his fingertips. He’s been into the genre since he was a kid growing up in Nashua.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting last October, New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a ban on so-called “bump stocks” in the state.

When Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more during a country music concert, guns found in his hotel room were reportedly equipped with bump stock accessories that sped up their firing rate.

via woodmontcommonsnh.com

Nearly 300 years since its founding, the town of Londonderry is about the get something it’s never had before.

Private developers are looking to reshape a pocket of town with new shops, housing and the promise of walkability: in short, a classic New England Main Street conjured up from scratch.


Brian Allen via Wikimedia Commons

Women across the country will participate in marches this weekend, including at several events in New Hampshire.

Last year’s Women’s March came on the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. For many progressives, it was the start of a resistance movement. Organizers of this year’s local events, including Anne DiCicco from Hollis, say their political efforts have matured.

Amazon.com

Amazon has chosen 20 finalists for its much-coveted second headquarters, and New Hampshire didn't make the cut.

Boston, however, made the cut. The list of 20 finalists also includes New York City.

If Governor Chris Sununu is hurt by Amazon’s rejection, he’s not letting it show.

For months, Sununu has been a vocal champion of the state’s efforts to lure the online retailer’s highly prized second headquarters to Londonderry. 

Kandy Jaxx / Flickr

The state’s unemployment rate dipped to 2.6% in December, down a tenth of a point from the previous month.

New numbers from New Hampshire Employment Security show that the state shed nearly 2,000 jobs during December, but that was offset by a larger decline in the overall labor force.

The largest private sector  job losses were in retail trade, construction, as well as leisure and hospitality. Public sector employment decreased by 900 jobs during the month.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A Plymouth District Court judge heard three hours of arguments on Thursday about whether evidence obtained by drug-sniffing dogs utilized by U.S. Border Patrol and Customs agents can be used to prosecute drug crimes in New Hampshire State Courts.

The legal dispute stems from multi-day checkpoints staged last summer on Interstate 93 in the town of Woodstock, New Hampshire, which is approximately 90 miles from the international border.

In new guidelines released by the Trump Administration, states including New Hampshire will now be allowed to impose work requirements on some recipients of Medicaid.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Captain Lynne Blankenbeker wrapped up her 31-year active duty military career earlier this month. But instead of easing into retirement, the trained nurse and Concord resident is entering the Republican primary for the state’s 2nd Congressional District.

Blankenbeker launched her campaign in a pub in front of supporters, where she talked up her health care and military experience.

Courtesy

Portsmouth businessman Deaglan McEachern announced his candidacy for Congress in an email blast on Wednesday, becoming the seventh Democrat to enter the race in the First District.

McEachern is a well-known name in state Democratic circles: his father Paul ran for Governor several times. Deaglan, 34, is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and UC Berkeley, who went on to row competitively for Cambridge University and the U.S. national team.

“As Americans, we are stronger when we pull together,” he writes on his website.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House on Tuesday approved a bill that would create a family medical leave insurance program in the state.  

The measure--HB 628--would allow workers to voluntarily pay into a fund that could cover up to 12 weeks of paid time off.

Speaking on the House floor, Representative Douglas Ley, a Democrat from Jaffrey, told colleagues that without family medical leave, employees can be left to make a difficult choice.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Residents on the Seacoast are digging out from Thursday’s powerful nor’easter. Along with wind and snow, many low-lying homes in Hampton were hit with flood waters. 

But people are taking the storm mostly in stride.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

It was too cold for a philosophical debate about the existence of God.

“Maybe August next time?” joked Mayor Dana Hilliard on Tuesday afternoon, as a small crowd watched the atheist flag rise over the Ten Commandments monument on an ice-covered traffic island in downtown Somersworth.

Ken Teegarden via Flickr CC

The new year means New Hampshire businesses will pay lower taxes.

Two key state business taxes were first reduced in 2016, the result of a compromise between then Governor Hassan and Republican lawmakers. The deal allowed for further tax cuts as long as revenues didn’t decline.

But the state’s relatively strong economy has pushed receipts up, triggering a new round of business tax cuts for 2018.

“This is all part of a process of trying to make the state more competitive,” says Greg Moore with Americans For Prosperity-New Hampshire.

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