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.

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NH News
4:30 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Deadlines Loom in Health Plan Decision

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.

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Elections 2012
1:52 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Lamontagne Claims GOP Nomination

Ovide Lamontagne with his wife Bettie during last night's victory speech.
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..."

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Elections 2012
12:56 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Voters Finally Get Their Say In State's Primary

Dave DeWitt shows his support for Ovide Lamontagne in Peterborough.
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."

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NH News
5:00 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

NH Delegation Rallies Against Cuts

Employees of BAE Systems rallied today against looming budget cuts to defense spending.
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.

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NH News
5:00 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Medicaid Expansion Divides Candidates in Governor's Race

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.

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NH News
11:51 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Republicans Spar Under the Spotlight

Supporters of gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne outside Thursday's debate.
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. 

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NH News
12:23 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

International Drug Bust Has Local Ties

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.

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Around the Nation
5:17 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Unique Summer Job Hidden In The White Mountains

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.

NH News
4:44 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Homecoming for Olympian Without a Home

Olympian Guor Marial with Senator Jeanne Shaheen in her Manchester office.
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.

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NH News
4:55 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Privacy Concerns Enter Exeter Hospital Investigation

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.

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NH News
4:28 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Hassan Picks Up Endorsement from Hodes

Candidate Maggie Hassan, former Congressman Paul Hodes and State Senator Sylvia Larsen in downtown Concord.
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.

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NH News
6:00 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Mosquitoes Become Latest Public Health Battle

Ryan Naujoks checks wind levels before spraying insecticide at Rider Field in Derry.
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.

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NH News
3:30 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Testing Continues as Hepatitis C Outbreak Grows

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.

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NH News
2:03 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Housing Market Shows Signs of Life

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.

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NH News
5:55 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

First Case of West Nile Virus Reported in State

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.

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