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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New housing data suggests the New Hampshire market may be stabilizing, even while residential prices remain low.

The median sale price last month was $210,000. That’s the same price from August 2011--a signal that the number of houses for sale continues to outpace demand.

But a report from the New Hampshire Association of Realtors says the number of units sold is up more than 20% from last year. And gains are being seen in each of the state’s ten counties.

Nearly 80 years after the deaths of bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde, a few, shall we say, "tools of their trade" are going up for auction. Among them are his Colt .45 and her .38 Special, which could each go for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer eventually caught up with Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in 1934, a newsreel announcer declared "the inevitable end: retribution. Here is Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, who died as they lived: by the gun."

Gamma Man / Flickr/Creative Commons

State health officials announced today that three animals have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. 

Along with two emus in Fitzwilliam and a horse in Derry, a man in northeastern Massachusetts has also tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus. Officials are warning residents of Seabrook, South Hampton and Newton to be on alert.

Jose Montero is the state’s Director of Public Health.

Alex E. Proimos / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Affordable Care Act says that every state has to select a health plan that will basically serve as a model for other plans.

So, if the model plan covers, say, infertility treatment, eyeglasses or autism services—those same benefits must be included in other plans.

This requirement only applies to the individual and small group markets, where about 200,000 New Hampshire residents shop for insurance.

foshydog / Flickr/Creative Commons

A national study released today ranks New Hampshire the 17th slimmest state. 

The 'F as in Fatreport is produced by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It finds that last year, 26.2% of Granite Staters were obese, up slightly from 2010 figures.

The study also found that more than 12% of high school students in New Hampshire are obese.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

New Hampshire Republicans gathered today for a unity breakfast. Over eggs and sausage, Republicans at the Manchester Country Club talked jobs and the economy. Party leaders stressed a need to work together before the November election. And the governor of Louisiana called for a conservative agenda in the New Hampshire statehouse.

Keynote speaker Bobby Jindal told the crowd that with Ovide Lamontagne as governor, New Hampshire can better compete for new business.

A day after the primary elections, lawmakers were back at the statehouse discussing health insurance. At issue is what insurance companies will have to cover under the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA calls for states to select something called a private insurance Essential Health Benefit benchmark by September 30th. Simply put, lawmakers in Concord need to pick an insurance plan that will serve as a model for most other insurance plans offered in the state.

And they have less than three weeks to do it.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Both Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith came into the race with strong conservative credentials. But Smith couldn’t overcome the name recognition and money of the front-runner.

At the night’s campaign headquarters in Concord, Bettie Lamontagne introduced her husband to a crowd of raucous supporters.

"Please welcome the love of my life, my best friend, and the person we all believe should be the next governor of the great state of New Hampshire, Ovide Lamontagne..."

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Voters in southwestern New Hampshire are showing support for their candidates in today’s primary.There are a few local races in the Monadnock Region, but most eyes are on the governor’s race.

Janine Lesser is casting her vote for Democratic candidate Jackie Cilley.

"I believe that she has managed to change the conversation about the fiscal structure in the state, and you don’t get a candidate like that very often," says Lesser. "I think she is the strongest of the candidates, and I’m excited about her."

Todd Bookman / NHPR

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation took part in a rally today protesting looming cuts to defense spending. The event took place in Nashua at BAE Systems, a defense contractor and one of New Hampshire’s largest employers.

Senator Kelly Ayotte told the crowd that across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, could weaken the country’s military.

"We cannot create a national security crisis on top of our fiscal crisis," says Ayotte.

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

When the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act, it said states must be given a choice about expanding their Medicaid programs.

Option A: Keep things as they are.

Option B: Enroll more people, and the Federal government will help you pay for their care.

Democrat Jackie Cilley likes that second option. She says that if New Hampshire doesn’t grow its Medicaid rolls, poor people will continue to slip through the cracks, and that Republican lawmakers in Concord would bear the blame.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Both Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith are known for being strong social conservatives. Lamontagne is a champion of the pro-life movement. And Kevin Smith has long been one of the loudest voices opposing gay marriage in the state. But during last night’s debate at Saint Anselm College, both tried to play down these hot-button issues. 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

The Department of Justice announced a major drug bust today involving members of a Mexican cartel. 

Undercover agents from the FBI and Boston Police Department tracked the suspects for three years as part of Operation Dark Water. Posing as European drug traffickers, they met with members of the Sinaloa Cartel at undisclosed locations in New Hampshire, Florida and the Virgin Islands.

In New Hampshire's White Mountains, hikers can seek refuge from the elements at one of the Appalachian Mountain Club's high huts. Along with a bunk and blanket, overnight guests get hearty meals prepared by staff members. Those employees haul up supplies on their backs, and serve as stewards of the alpine terrain.

FieldWorkPhotos.com

Distance runner Guor Marial has called New Hampshire his home for 11 years. But after qualifying for the London Olympics, he had no home country to represent. The refugee isn’t a U.S. citizen, and couldn’t run for South Sudan. The world’s newest country wasn’t sending a team.

But with the help of Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Marial was allowed to run as an independent athlete in the marathon, where he finished 47th.

Patient privacy has become the latest front in the Hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital.

As part of their ongoing investigation, the State’s Division of Public Health is seeking access to the private health records of Exeter patients. But the Hospital says the request violates privacy laws, and is asking the courts to intervene.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan picked up the endorsement of Paul Hodes today.

The former two-term congressman told a small crowd of supporters in Concord that Maggie Hassan is the best choice for restoring New Hampshire values. Hodes says she’s the only candidate that can bring together Democrats, Independents and what he calls reasonable Republicans.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Mosquitoes get West Nile Virus from birds, and then they give it to us. It’s Ryan Naujoks's job to stop that. He works for Dragon Mosquito Control, a private company that municipalities like Derry hire to spray insecticides.

"I’m at Rider Field right now, and everything is locked up," Naujoks says over the phone. "Rider Field…"

Eventually, someone from the Town of Derry comes and unlocks the gates. Naujoks fires up the sprayer.

The truck makes a lap around the field emitting a small puff of white smoke.

More than 1,200 patients potentially exposed to the outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital were tested at public clinics last week, according to officials at Health and Human Services.

Anyone who received treatment in Exeter’s intensive care unit or operating rooms between April, 2011 and May of this year has been asked to get tested.

Former employee David Kwiatkowski is accused of reusing syringes of pain medication at the hospital during that time period.

So far, 32 patients have tested positive for matching strains of the blood-borne virus.

Diana Parkhouse / Flickr/Creative Commons

New housing data released today show a continued upswing in residential sales. Twelve-hundred-and-sixty homes were sold in July. That’s a jump of about 20% from a year ago.

John Rice with NH Association of Realtors believes that with sales on the upswing, housing prices may be starting to turn the corner.

“If they are not as low as they are going to get, they’ve got to be close to it," says Rice.

The median sale price in July was $215,000, basically the same as it was in 2011.

Gamma Man / Flickr/Creative Commons

Health officials announced today that a Manchester resident has been infected with West Nile Virus.

It’s the first confirmed infection since September, 2010 in New Hampshire.

West Nile Virus first appeared in the state in 2000. Since then, four other humans have contracted the mosquito-borne virus.

National data from the CDC shows that the number of confirmed cases has risen dramatically in recent weeks.

There have also been 41 deaths; more than half in the state of Texas, where over 500 cases have been reported.

From ryunrunning.com

Track and field has a numbers problem. As in, there are just too many of them. The 60, 26.2, 4-by-8, 2-oh-3, 5, 8, 10k…

Back in the 1950s, there was one number that mattered.

"I think there are only a handful of achievements like breaking 4 minutes for the first time, in any sport, that comes close to what Roger Bannister has done." 

A nepotism inquiry by House Speaker Bill O’Brien has turned up little evidence of improper hiring in state government.

The probe comes in the wake of last month’s scandal at the Department of Employment Security. Two high ranking officials are accused of hiring their daughters, and then having them laid off by subordinates so that they could collect unemployment benefits.

Speaker O’Brien requested that all agency heads disclose any family members working within their respective departments.

After five years of crisscrossing the country as a traveling medical technician, David Kwiatkowski landed at New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital in the spring of 2011. A full-time job in the hospital's cardiac unit soon followed.

It was at Exeter that federal prosecutors say the 33-year-old began to divert syringes of the drug Fentanyl. They say Kwiatkowski, who was arrested July 19, would inject himself with the painkiller, and then refill syringes with a saline solution. He is hepatitis C-positive, meaning those tainted needles might have spread the liver-damaging virus.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

New Hampshire’s White Mountains are known for their fierce terrain and wild weather. But atop the high peaks, there are some comforts.

Since 1888, the Appalachian Mountain Club’s high huts have provided hearty meals and a warm bunk for guests. Staff at the eight facilities carry up supplies, and also serve as educators and stewards of the alpine terrain.

To get a better feel for this unique summer job, we sent NHPR’s Todd Bookman up to the Greenleaf Hut.

EBT Friendly Farmer's Markets

Jul 25, 2012
Photo Credit Ianmalcm, Via Flickr Creative Commons

At New Hampshire’s eighty or so farmer’s markets, you can choose from organic produce, local honey and freshly baked breads.

WiscDeptNatlResources / Flickr/Creative Commons

The idea for doubling the value of food stamps at farmer’s markets came to Gus Schumacher in 1980. He was in Boston helping his brother, a farmer, clean up at the end of the day.

"I was packing up a box of pears at the Dorchester Fields Corner Farmer’s Market. And the box fell apart, and all the pears went into the gutter."

Schumacher figured he’d have to throw away the pears.

Public Health officials have announced that approximately 6,000 more patients of Exeter Hospital need to be tested for Hepatitis C. Anyone who had inpatient surgery or treatment in the ICU between April, 2011 and May, 2012 are encouraged to attend a testing clinic at Exeter High School this weekend.

Last week, 32-year old David Kwiatkowski was charged with stealing syringes of pain medication before  reusing them on patients in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, where we has employed as a medical technician.

More details are emerging today about the former Exeter Hospital employee who has been charged in connection with the Hepatitis C outbreak. Thirty patients have tested positive for a strain of the virus that matches that of 32-year old David Kwiatowski. He’s been accused of stealing syringes of pain medication, injecting himself and then returning the needles. He’s facing federal charges of tampering and acquiring a controlled substance by fraud.

On Thursday, the Department of Justice announced the arrest of David Kwiatowski. The 32-year old was arrested at a Massachusetts hospital, where he is receiving treatment for an undisclosed medical condition. US Attorney John Kacavas says the charges include tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

“What we’ve been able to uncover is evidence that this defendant was diverting Fentanyl, at the least and perhaps other drugs as well.”

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