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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Allegra Boverman

Gov. Chris Sununu has come out in favor of the repeal of so-called “net neutrality” rules by the Federal Communications Commission, saying that “over regulation protects monopolies and hurts consumers.”

Todd Bookman/NHPR

New Hampshire Democrats are backing a bill that would allow money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to be used to combat the opioid crisis.

The “RESCUE Act” would permit the governor or the state legislature to declare a public health emergency, triggering the release of 10 percent of the Rainy Day Fund, which currently totals around $100 million.

Senate Democrats say the money is needed to address the opioid crisis, and make up for a lack of funding from Washington.  

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A group of residents are taking legal action to try to block a three-day country music festival scheduled for next summer at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, but officials for the track say they are confident the event will go on as planned.

Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The ACLU of New Hampshire says the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints on Interstate 93 this summer staged far inland from the Canadian border violated the state’s Constitution.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A Wolfeboro dog breeder has been found guilty of 10 counts of animal cruelty in a case that gained international attention.

In June, police raided the 13,000-square-foot home of Christina Fay, removing 75 European Great Danes from her care. Law enforcement described a squalid scene inside the home, with animals coated in their own waste, floors slick with urine, and many dogs in need of immediate medical care.

 New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan is joining other female Democratic lawmakers in calling on Senator Al Franken to resign. The Minnesota Democrat has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct in recent weeks.

“It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women, and he should resign,” Hassan says in a statement today.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Several dozen people attended a public hearing Monday evening in Portsmouth to weigh in on a proposed increase in the state’s highway tolls.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

On a small bit of land in Somersworth, New Hampshire, two very different symbols will soon share space. At ground level, a monument of the Ten Commandments, and just above it, the “atheist flag” will blow in the breeze.

The dueling symbols bring up questions of belief, inclusion, and the separation of church and state.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

All six Democratic candidates for the state’s 1st Congressional District participated in a forum in Manchester on Saturday hosted by the N.H. Democratic Party.

They are vying to fill the seat currently held by Democrat Carol Shea-Porter, who isn’t seeking re-election in 2018.

Inside the Manchester Public Library, lesser known candidates were given the chance to introduce themselves, while well-known names talked up their credentials.

Rochester City Attorney Terence O’Rourke told the audience to win next November, the party must broaden its appeal.

Jarek Tuszyński/Wikimedia

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case concerning law enforcement's access to cell phone tracking data, and what constitutes a reasonable search under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.

New Hampshire’s Attorney General Gordon MacDonald joined 18 other state Attorneys General in support of the government’s position that law enforcement doesn’t need a search warrant to obtain cell phone tracking data kept by wireless providers.  

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Governor Sununu says he supports the GOP tax bill working its way through the Senate, calling it a “net positive” for the majority of low and middle income families in America.

Sununu met Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence to talk about the tax plan, as well as New Hampshire’s Medicaid program and ongoing opioid crisis.

The city of Manchester is paying $275,000 to settle a civil lawsuit after a man was arrested for taking a video recording of police.

The ACLU of New Hampshire brought the civil rights case on behalf of Alfredo Valentin, who was arrested in March of 2015 after using his phone to record the actions of Manchester police in a public space. Though Valentin did not interfere with the police activities, officers arrested and charged him with criminal wiretapping.

On October 9th, 2015, a man named Feky Sumual walks into Stateline Guns, Ammo & Archery, a gun shop in Plaistow, New Hampshire, where he buys seven 9-millimeter handguns.

Because of the number of guns involved, and because 9-millimeters are common in gun smuggling rings, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms begins to investigate.

Doug Kerr/Flickr

Members of the Executive Council could vote next week on the first broad increase in the state’s highway tolls in more than a decade. The plan would spare in-state commuters the brunt of the hikes.

Under a proposal, the cash toll rate on I-93 in Hooksett would go from $1.00 to $1.50. On the Spaulding Turnpike, the Dover and Rochester tolls would rise to $1.00 from $0.75. In Hampton, the Interstate 95 toll would increase from $2.00 to $2.50.

Jack Rodolico/NHPR

A group of Manchester residents exposed to elevated levels of lead dust has reached a settlement with property developer Brady Sullivan.

Several dozen residents of the Mill West apartment complex in Manchester sued Brady Sullivan, contending that the company’s construction project in 2015 in lower levels of the mill building kicked up dangerous levels of lead-dust into luxury apartments on higher floors.

They also say Brady Sullivan, after making complaints about the lead exposure, would not let them out of their leases.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

To compete with the Walmarts of this world, small businesses have to offer something the retail giants can't. For Joe Galvin, that’s an impressive collection of well-used vintage vinyl.

“We sell the old scratched up stuff...has some flavor to it,” he says with a laugh.

Galvin runs the Krypton Pop Culture Emporium in downtown Exeter. Along with records, he’s got comic books, GI Joe toys from the 1960s, and all manner of pop memorabilia.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The burned out shell of Lemay and Sons’ slaughtering facility still sits untouched, the charred studs visible like a rack of overcooked ribs.

On October 6th, a fire ripped through the main production building of this family-run business, where locally raised cows and pigs have been turned into beef and bacon since 1963. No one was hurt in the fire, and no cause has yet been determined.

Rick Lemay, youngest of six and current operator of the business, says since the fire, he’s felt and seen an unexpected outpouring of support from the community.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Think bagpipes, and you likely think Scotland. But one of the world’s largest bagpipe manufacturers happens to call Nashua, New Hampshire home.

That company, however, is facing an unexpected wrinkle in its international supply chain.

Via UNH Wildcats website

The University of New Hampshire football team had an interesting weekend.

After getting blanked in the team’s finale on Saturday 15-0 to the Albany Great Danes, the Wildcats’ playoff hopes were in doubt. The team finished with a 7-4 regular season record, and would need to earn an at-large invitation to compete in the Football Championship Subdivision tournament.

President Trump has nominated Merrimack County Attorney Scott Murray to be the next United States Attorney for New Hampshire.

Murray is serving his fourth term as Merrimack County’s head attorney. Before that post, he was the city of Concord’s top prosecutor for nearly two decades. Murray is a graduate of UNH and earned his law degree at the former Franklin Pierce Law Center, now the UNH School of Law.

Courtesy: Northern Pass

Northern Pass cleared another hurdle Thursday, receiving a Presidential Permit from the United States Department of Energy.

This is one of the final major federal approvals necessary for the Eversource-backed Northern Pass project, which seeks to bring hydropower from Quebec through New Hampshire on its way to Massachusetts.

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There are some obvious reasons, and some not-so-obvious for why low income people in rural New England struggle to find affordable housing.

For starters, there is simply a lack of inventory, as developers often prefer to build larger homes where there is more potential profit.

But a new study from UNH’s Carsey School of Public Policy finds that town zoning policies often present a roadblock to low-income housing by setting minimum lot sizes in rural communities.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Lyric, Hamlet, ZZ and Spook. Fantasia and Joue. To Christina Fay, they were works of art, animals lovingly cared for in her Wolfeboro mansion.

To prosecutors, these European Great Danes—75 in total—all removed from Fay’s care in June, were victims of mistreatment and cruelty.

There were 40 hate crimes reported in the state last year, the highest number of bias-related incidents since 2010.

The annual hate crimes statistics figures released by the FBI on Monday finds that fifteen of the hate crimes reported in the state last year were associated with race or ethnicity.

Manchester voters opted for a new mayor on Tuesday, but decided to keep their old flag.

While the race between Ted Gatsas, the incumbent, and challenger Joyce Craig rightfully earned the most attention, residents of the Queen City were also asked to weigh in on whether to adopt a new city flag.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

President Donald Trump was elected last year with a promise to put America first: to renegotiate or possibly scrap trade deals he argues aren’t benefiting the United States.

In northern New Hampshire, where the state bumps against the Canadian border, those policies are now playing out in the lumber industry, leaving loggers and sawmills on both sides of the border adjusting to a new economic landscape.

Jamelah E./Flickr

Two Berlin businesses are cancelling an Election Day-related raffle after learning the drawing violates state law.

Scene Street, a consignment shop, and Tech Pro, a computer repair store, each planned to give anyone who entered wearing an “I Voted” sticker on Election Day a raffle ticket for various prizes.

The State Attorney General, however, ordered the businesses to cancel the promotions, citing a 1973 law that prohibits using items of value to encourage a vote.

istock photo

November 1st marks the start of the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act. This is the window where people who purchase their own health insurance can shop for and select a plan for 2018. There is no shortage of confusion concerning ObamaCare, including what’s changed and what hasn’t. NHPR’s Todd Bookman joins All Things Considered Host Peter Biello to discuss open enrollment in New Hampshire.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The hospitals will keep their respective names on the building. Employees and patients won’t see any immediate changes. But six months after announcing their intentions to collaborate, Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health are combining forces under a new umbrella group called SolutionHealth, creating a nearly 500-bed regional health care system, one of the largest in the state.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Local economies don’t turn on a dime. When a factory town loses its factories, and workers lose their jobs, it can take decades for a community to get back on its feet.

That’s been the reality in places like Berlin and Gorham: two former paper mill towns in the North Country now trying to reinvent themselves.

Businesses, officials and residents are hoping that ATV tourism can provide a much-needed financial boost. 

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