Todd Bookman

Health Reporter

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.



NH News
11:56 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Bass Fishing Newest High School Sport In N.H.

Winnisquam High School show off their haul at Thursday's first N.H. high school bass tournament.
Todd Bookman NHPR


This was no place for marching bands, pep rallies or cheerleaders. Fifty four teams, each composed of two students, met on the dark waters of Lake Winnipesaukee under threatening skies.

“I’ve got a spinning rod set up, I’m going to be fishing mostly spinners,” says Campbell High School Junior Connor Perry. “My other teammate is going to be fishing mostly some worms. See what works out today, got to see what they want.”  

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NH News
11:44 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Group Looks To Counter 'Misinformation' About Refugee Resettlement Efforts In N.H.

Innocent Munguiko, a refugee from Democratic Republic of the Congo, now resides in Concord.
Credit Hank Osborne / Lutheran Social Services

Lawmakers and members of the public met in Concord today to learn more about refugee resettlement efforts in New Hampshire. The breakfast gathering was organized by Lutheran Social Services, a non-profit that offers new refugees a range of services including short-term housing and English-language training.

Steve Duprey, a prominent real estate developer, helped launch a work-skills program in conjunction with Lutheran Social Services for new arrivals. He says it is one of the best moves he’s made in business.

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4:43 am
Mon May 6, 2013

New Hampshire Not Alone In Health Exchange Setbacks

Credit via WUKY

The new health exchanges are often described as something akin to Orbitz or Travelocity. A central place--a website--where insurance can be researched, compared, and purchased.

“Competition in markets, of course, is the way in this country we try to make reasonable prices and good quality available to people and so that is one of their roles,” says Professor Timothy Jost with Washington and Lee University in Virginia.

Jost says another key role of the exchanges is subsidies.

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NH News
4:25 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Pot Decriminalization Bill Snuffed In N.H. Senate

An effort to decriminalize a small amount of marijuana in New Hampshire was voted down in the Senate today. The legislation would have made possession of up to a quarter ounce a violation, subject to a $200 fine.

Senator Donna Soucy, a Democrat from Manchester, says the policy has merit with some lawmakers in the upper chamber, but the bill has serious technical flaws.

She pointed to a provision that anyone under 18 found in possession complete an approved drug awareness program. However, no such program exists in the state. 

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NH News
3:08 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Proposed Ban On Private Prisons In State Defeated

On a 13-11 vote, the New Hampshire Senate has blocked a House-backed measure to prohibit private prisons in the state. 

Senate Republicans killed the prohibition effort, saying that the legislature needs to be able to keep all options on the table. Senator Andy Sanborn told colleagues that private prisons can be more efficient, lowering overall corrections costs.

"I believe we have an obligation to prove to the tax payers of New Hampshire, every day, that we are trying to spend their money wisely."

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NH News
3:00 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

White Potato Poised To Become State Vegetable

Credit noii's / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state senate approved a bill Thursday declaring the white potato as New Hampshire’s official state vegetable.

The bill comes in recognition of the spring of 1719, when settlers in what is now the Town of Derry were the first to plant the tuberous vegetable in the new world.

Virginia had challenged that first-in-the-nation status, but the U.S. Potato Board has substantiated the claim and Virginia has since yielded.

The bill now heads to the Governor for signature.

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NH News
2:17 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

State Officials Urge Caution When Foraging For Mushrooms

State officials are warning residents to be cautious when consuming wild mushrooms. The Department of Health and Human Services says only experts in wild mushroom identification should forage.

"We want to make sure everyone knows about the dangers of wild mushrooms potentially being poisonous especially since they may encounter them doing outdoor spring activities," says Dr. Jose Montero, Public Health Director for New Hampshire.

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9:45 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Sunshine Having An Impact On Drug Company Payments To Doctors In N.H.

Credit robson / Flickr/Creative Commons

As part of the Affordable Care Act, pharmaceutical company payments to doctors will become public information starting in 2014. But a slice of those disclosures is already available, and the impact of transparency is being felt across New Hampshire.

In the last four years, New Hampshire doctors and nurse practitioners have taken in $5.8 million in money from drug companies.

But in 2012, for the highest earning doctors, there was a noticeable decline. In fact, every one of the top 10 recipients in the state saw his or her total compensation go down or hold flat last year.

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NH News
6:07 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Senate Takes A Look At $2 Billion Budget For DHHS

Senate budget writers turned their attention Monday to the state’s biggest agency, the Department of Health and Human Services.

The proposed budget for DHHS comes in at just more than $2 billion. It seeks to restore the CHINS program and increase payments to hospitals for uncompensated care.

The budget also lays out $24.5 million over the next two years to shore up the state’s troubled mental health system.

Senator Lou D’Allesandro questioned if the state can wait that long for a fix.

Commissioner Nick Toumpas replied there really is no choice.

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NH News
4:22 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Prescription Drug 'Take-Back' Day In New Hampshire

Credit Ian Turton / Flickr/Creative Commons

On Saturday, New Hampshire citizens are able to turn in expired, unused or unwanted medication as part of Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Officials say drugs left unsecure in a home can lead to abuse and accidental poisonings. Environmental experts caution that pharmaceuticals can harm aquatic life if they end up in the water supply.

This is the 6th take-back day in the state. Previous efforts have yielded more than 18,000 pounds of unwanted medication.

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4:36 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

N.H. Residents Breathing Easy

A report out today from the American Lung Association says that New Hampshire’s air quality continues to improve.

The level of smog is falling in Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties. Both received a grade of ‘C’ this year compared to a ‘D’ in 2012.

Cheshire and Grafton earned an ‘A’, ranking them among the cleanest areas in New England. Coos County also saw its grade improve.

The figures come from readings taken by the Environmental Protection Agency between 2009 and 2011.

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4:16 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Money To Implement Portion Of Health Law In N.H. Put On Hold

State lawmakers today put off a key vote on whether to accept Federal funds meant to support a partnership health exchange.

Earlier this month, the Feds awarded the state’s Insurance Department $5.4 million to pay for implementation of the Consumer Assistance portion of the new health exchange marketplace.

But on an 8-2 vote, members of the Joint Fiscal Committee tabled the motion, effectively delaying use of the portion of funds allocated for this fiscal year, roughly $340,000.

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4:48 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Insurance Company Practice Of 'Fail First' Called Into Question

Amanda St-Amour inside her home in Merrimack. "There's only so much I can do as one person versus the health care industry."
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

“I have Crohn’s Disease, I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and I had a stroke. From all of this, I am on medication for depression as well.”

Chalk it up to bad genes: Amanda St-Amour struggles with a lot of health conditions.

She’s 30, lives in Merrimack, and pulls out a small laundry basket full of pill bottles.

“Basically, I take about 1, 2, 3…15 pills a morning.”

Recently, one pill has gone missing from the stack. It’s a drug called Trilipix, which St-Amour has taken for years to keep her triglyceride levels down.

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NH News
5:53 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

A Runner, And A Race Volunteer Tell Their Boston Marathon Story

There are so many stories from yesterday's events in Boston--stories of loss and horror, of runners and spectators and first responders and friends.

Here is how Lisa and Ross Ramey saw the events: she as a finish line volunteer, her husband running in his first Boston Marathon, just half a mile from the finish when tragedy struck.

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11:29 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Report: More Than 96,000 In N.H. Eligible For Health Insurance Tax Credits

A report out today estimates that 96,000 New Hampshire residents will be eligible for health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. The credits will be available starting in January, 2014, when the individual mandate kicks in.

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