PROJes Via Flickr CC /

When you’re on vacation or in an unfamiliar part of town looking for something to eat, you might look up restaurant reviews on Yelp to help narrow your choices. But now, prisoners across the country are also gravitating toward the platform and describing their experiences in jail. Review platforms like Yelp have become an unexpected online space for people to make the prison system more transparent while simultaneously fulfilling a personal and therapeutic void.

hillary h via flickr Creative Commons

USA Today recently published the U.S. Senate handbook, a 380 page document of rules intended to keep Senate offices running smoothly. On today’s show, from carpet color to telephone hold music, we reveal the handbook’s most confounding regulations.

Plus, ‘tis the season of ghosts, witches, and vampires. We’ll explore how cultures around the world interpret the supernatural.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

3.19.14: Big Data, ICANN & Body Farm

Mar 19, 2014

Today on Word of Mouth, we're unpacking big data. Should we fear or embrace it? Then we get a lesson on ICANN - what it is and how the decision made by the Obama administration not to renew its contract to oversee see it actually affects the way the internet functions. Finally, bodies! How do you study the effects of certain conditions on human remains? With a body farm, of course.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

In 2004, the Center for Women in Government released a report about women in top appointed positions in all 50 state governments. NH ranked last in percentage of such appointments. After a back and forth with Gov. Craig Benson’s office, NHPR's Raquel Maria Dillon reports, an updated survey then placed NH seventh. 

NH Furloughed Workers Urged To File For Benefits

Oct 4, 2013
bytemarks / Flickr Creative Commons


The New Hampshire Employment Security agency says employees who have been furloughed or temporarily laid off during the federal government shutdown may file for unemployment benefits and should open their claim this week.

Employment Security Commissioner George Copadis said people should apply as soon as possible. He said if individuals waits to file, they won't be able to request or receive benefits for previous weeks.

Federal employees must apply for benefits in the state in which they work.

About 120 New Hampshire National Guard members are back at work after being furloughed as part of a federal government shutdown.

The military technicians received exemptions and were allowed to go back to work Thursday. About 100 of them work at the Pease Air National Guard Base; the rest are Army guardsmen.

About 330 other National Guard members remain on furlough.

There are about 2,800 troops in total.

jacqueline.poggi / Flickr Creative Commons

With a partial Government closing now in effect – some services will continue, such as the military and the mail. But others won’t- from National forests and Parks to federally-backed loans.   We’ll look at the politics and the economics of this, and gauge reaction in the granite state.


NakedSwanTrader via Flickr Creative Commons

The 2002 film Minority Report, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, imagines a futuristic crime unit that uses data provided by psychics to apprehend criminals before they commit crimes.


E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What is the gist of President Obama’s new plan to tackle global warming and how does the green community feel about what the White House is proposing?  -- Bill Kemp, Seattle WA

The story of the development and deployment of the atomic bomb is generally told as a narrative driven by powerful men like Oppenheimer, Truman, and Stimson, operating at the highest levels of government. What few people know is how many women played a crucial role – albeit unknowingly – in one of the most significant turning points in history. Denise Kiernan interviewed several women who worked in Oak Ridge, Tennessee – a secret, government-built town created as part of the Manhattan Project. Their stories, combined with detailed reporting, come together in her new book called The Girls of Atomic City.

Code for America

The non-profit Code for America brings together coders, artists, and designers to create easy to use applications that address the specific needs of local communities.  Mick Thompson, engineer in residence and 2012 fellow at Code for America joined us to talk about how code and collaboration leads to better lives for citizens.

stoven2 via Flickr Creative Commons

The last few weeks of 2012 were dominated by media coverage of the fiscal cliff crisis. News outlets covered everything from the projected impact of the cliff to shouting matches between legislators. Lost in the mix throughout the crisis were important, but less sensational news stories. Joshua Keating is an associate editor at Foreign Policy and he joins us to talk about some of these backseat news items.

I am I.A.M. via Flicker Creative Commons

Canada, as the old Robin Williams joke goes…"is like a really huge loft apartment above a really great party.” Americans tend to think of Canada as a punch line…or the mystical country where healthcare is free and Justin Bieber came from.

Civics for Citizenship

Aug 29, 2012
adam (THEO) via Flickr Creative Commons

One goal of our schools is to prepare young people to become informed and engaged citizens. Yet there is growing concern that students are not being prepared to participate in democracy, to learn from the historical actions of American government, or – critically - to understand the U.S. Constitution. We’ll take a look at efforts to address this here in New Hampshire.


Nepotism Inquiry Yields Little

Aug 1, 2012

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.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

In this seven week series, NHPR’s StateImpact reporter Amanda Loder explores how N.H. residents feel about the state’s economy and the role state government should play in economic recovery.

Listen to series reports on-air Tuesday mornings through August 14, and any time online at StateImpact NH

Series stories

Jury Still Out on N.H. Court Overhaul

Jun 25, 2012
Orangesparrow / Flickr Creative Commons

Let’s say your teenager gets caught shoplifting. Or maybe your Uncle Morty dies and you’ve got to settle his estate.

Recently CNET reported that the FBI had been lobbying congress for a law that would require social networking companies and other web-based communication systems to make sure their systems are surveillance-compatible. FBI director Robert Mueller seemed to confirm that in an appearance last week before the senate judiciary committee.

The expansion of forensic databases by US federal agencies. DNA collection of convicted felons is a well- publicized procedure. Recently released documents reveal that the department of homeland security and other federal agencies will be required to collect DNA from any person over the age of fourteen who has been detained -- regardless of criminal activity -- and that plans to include children under 14 are being explored.  

marcn / Flickr Creative Commons

Proposed legislation would create a new verification system in order to avoid fraud. Another bill would reduce the amount of time someone could receive assistance. But advocates for the poor say the State already does a good job of preventing fraud and these proposals would hurt people already in dire need. 


Sarah Mattson: Policy Director for New Hampshire Legal Assistance

(Photo by James Gordon via Flickr Creative Commons)

Produced by Jonathan Lynch

Ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? Well, you may want to get used to it. While the US government has been putting un-manned drones to heavy use in war zones in recent years, the flying robots will soon be soaring American skies. / Flickr/Creative Commons

We talk about the balance of power in New Hampshire government.  A number of bills have appeared in the state legislature that would seek to constrain the judiciary; from eliminating the state supreme court to avoiding constitutional review of laws. Today we investigate the friction between the legislative and judicial branches of our state government.


David Campbell: Democratic State Representative from Nashua

Brandon Guida: Republican State Representative  from Chichester

The streets of Beijing and Shanghai feel like an entrepreneurial free-for-all, full of mom-and-pop stores and street vendors selling snacks and cheap toys.

But when you pull back the curtain, you see a different picture: a country where the government still controls huge swaths of the economy.

When you're in China, there's a good chance you're doing business with the government every time you:

  • make a call on your cellphone (the government owns the country's biggest cellphone network)
<a href="">~MVI~</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Citizens have a role to elect their representatives in, but then what is the role of the representative? Where should federal power end and state power begin? And in the end, who is really in charge, the citizen, the representative or the courts? The country, the state, the town or the citizen?


  • Max Latona, Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. Anselm College


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