Jason Moon

Seacoast Reporter

Before joining NHPR's newsroom in February of 2015, Jason held internships with a variety of public radio organizations including StoryCorps, Transom.org, and WBHM in Birmingham, Alabama. He studied philosophy, political science, and audio documentaries at Bennington College in Vermont.

Jason lives in New Hampshire's Upper Valley region and covers a variety of topics including health, and is the host and reporter behind Bear Brook, an investigative podcast. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu announced the creation Monday of a new school safety task force.

The news comes following the school shooting in Florida and threats of violence at schools here in New Hampshire.

According to a statement from the Governor’s office, the new task force will include representatives from the state, law enforcement, schools, and local governments.

It will spend the next few months developing stronger safety protocols for New Hampshire schools.

 

Jason Moon for NHPR

Town officials in Epping held a school safety forum at the local high school last night. The meeting came just a day after a juvenile was arrested in relation to a threat made at the school.

The meeting drew a strong crowd of parents, teachers, and students. They heard from school administrators and local police, like Police Chief Michael Wallace, about the security precautions already in place.

“Every incident is different, but we like to feel that we have at least taken the steps necessary to ensure the safety of kids – that is first and foremost.”

Jason Moon for NHPR

After the latest mass shooting at a school in Florida, there's one idea most policy makers seem to agree on: If you see something, say something. But as NHPR's Jason Moon reports, school officials and parents in one New Hampshire town are finding that's a lot more complicated than it might seem.

A proposal to amend the state constitution is stirring debate among lawmakers and legal experts in New Hampshire.

The so-called Marsy’s Law amendment would insert specific rights for crime victims into the state constitution.

As NHPR’s Jason Moon reports, a well-financed campaign has brought the same debate to more than a dozen other states at the same time.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The town of Hampton has made good on its threat to sue the state of New Hampshire over services provided at the state-owned Hampton Beach.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Rockingham County Superior Court reads like a laundry list of all the complaints some town officials in Hampton have been raising for years.

They range from the maintenance of the sidewalks on Ocean Boulevard, to the revenue generated by parking spaces, to fire and ambulance services provided at the beach.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A bill that seeks to limit the political activity of state commissioners had a public hearing today.

The bill would prohibit the heads of state agencies from doing things like donating to a candidate or participating in a campaign while they’re in office.

Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn is the prime sponsor.

Jason Moon / NHPR

 

A bill to provide legal protections for transgender people will get a second public hearing Tuesday.

 

The bill’s first hearing drew so many people that it had to be moved into Representatives Hall, the largest room in the State House. Then, it went on for so long that the House Judiciary Committee decided it would need more than one day.

 

Jason Moon for NHPR

The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would ban gay conversion therapy for minors.

They did that – even though they voted the same bill down just last month. It was legislative do-over made by possible by one representative’s simple mistake.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Executive Council voted today to give Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut a raise.

Edelblut's salary will increase from $93,759 a year to $99,928 a year.

Edelblut was confirmed as commissioner one year ago. The Department of Education requested the raise.

The vote came without discussion and fell along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats against.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A proposal to amend the New Hampshire constitution had its first public hearing at the state house today. The amendment is designed to give crime victims more rights in the criminal justice system.

Today’s hearing drew some big name supporters but also some unexpected opponents. NHPR reporter Jason Moon was at the hearing and he joins me now to talk about it.

So, what is this victims’ rights amendment? What sort of rights would it give a victim?

The wife of state Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut is urging lawmakers to oppose a bill that would ban gay conversion therapy for minors.

On Monday Kathy Edelblut sent an email to all state reps urging them to oppose the ban on gay conversion therapy. That's a controversial process where certain therapists claim they can change a young person's sexual orientation.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A public hearing was held Wednesday for a bipartisan bill that would create legal protections for transgender people.

The hearing drew such a crowd that it had to be moved to Representatives Hall. The large, stately room that seats 400 was mostly full.

Jason Moon for NHPR

One of the state’s most iconic brands, Smuttynose Brewing Company, has hit hard times. Earlier this month the company announced it would be put up for sale at an auction after 24 years of craft brewing in New Hampshire.

NHPR’s Jason Moon recently spent an afternoon with co-owners Peter Egelston and Joanne Francis to talk about how we got here and what’s ahead for the company they built. 

A new poll shows widespread support in New Hampshire for a constitutional amendment that would give crime victims more say in courtroom proceedings.

According to the poll, 85 percent of New Hampshire voters would support a constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law.

The amendment would require that victims be notified of all court proceedings involving their offender. It would also give them the right to be heard in things like sentencing hearings or plea deal negotiations.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Dozens of parents, and their children, came to the State House Thursday to oppose a bill that would increase oversight for homeschoolers.

Interested in purchasing a well-known New Hampshire brewery? You’ll need a quarter million dollars to just get a seat at the upcoming Smuttynose auction.

An information packet for potential bidders released Thursday describes the sale as an "opportunity to buy an ongoing enterprise." It stresses that the brewery continues to operate and plans to do so through the transition to a new owner.

NHPR File Photo

 

Governor Chris Sununu has announced the members of a new advisory council on diversity and inclusion.

 

The council includes representatives of state agencies, the university system, the ACLU, law enforcement, and others.

 

The group will be chaired by Rogers Johnson of the NAACP.

 

Sununu announced the creation of the council in December, following several high profile incidents of racial bias around the state.

 

The council's first meeting is scheduled for Feb. 8.

The full list of membership is below.

Jason Moon for NHPR

It’s a feeling many in today’s economy can relate to: starting out in a career is just harder than it used to be.

One group that’s very familiar with that idea is commercial fishermen. In New Hampshire, dozens of boats used to head out every morning to fish for cod and haddock. Today that number is down to just a handful.

For our series The Balance, which looks at the cost of living in New Hampshire, Jason Moon tells us about two young fishermen who, in spite of the odds, are trying to live a vision of an iconic New England profession. 

New Hampshire’s plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act has been approved by the federal government.

The Every Student Succeeds Act is the federal law that replaced No Child Left Behind in 2015.

ESSA gives states more flexibility to define their own goals and add their own metrics beyond standardized testing.

New Hampshire’s plan, developed by the state Department of Education under Commissioner Frank Edelblut, looks to take advantage of that flexibility.

Jason Moon for NHPR

It's been nearly five months since a racist bullying incident shocked the Oyster River School District community.

Parents and school administrators met Wednesday to talk about what's been done in response, and priorities going forward.

It was this past September when a 7-year old black student was bullied with racist language while riding the school bus home. The incident shocked many, including Oyster River Superintendent Jim Morse.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

The mayors of Dover, Rochester, and Somersworth are teaming up to address homelessness.

The mayors are putting together a homelessness task force that will include city officials, business leaders, and local non-profits.

Dover Mayor Karen Weston says the collaboration stems from a recent effort to establish a warming shelter during a cold snap.

“Because of the 10 or 14 days where we had sub-zero temperatures, many people became aware of these folks in these tent cities that are freezing.”

Courtesy ReVision Energy

A new solar panel installation at Phillips Exeter Academy is now the largest at any school in the state.

The array of more than 1,500 solar panels was installed by Revision Energy. The company says it will provide the majority of the electric load for the private school’s new field house.

Christina Zlotnick with ReVision Energy says the continued decline in solar energy costs has more businesses interested in projects like this one.

Courtesy Red Bull

A ski jumper who helped breathe new life into a historic ski jump in Coos County is now heading to the Olympics.

Last year Sarah Hendrickson became the first person to hit the Nansen Ski Jump in Milan in decades. The jump used to host Olympic trials and national championships but over the years had fallen into disrepair.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Some schools around the state will soon be getting security upgrades as lawmakers Friday approved about $10 million in grants for school safety projects.

The money comes from a surplus in last year’s state budget. It will pay for 170 different projects at schools around the state. Most are security upgrades, like improved locks, alarm systems, or surveillance cameras.

Governor Chris Sununu urged lawmakers to approve the funds at a hearing Friday morning.

Courtesy Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Brewing Company announced big news today - it's putting itself up for auction.

In a statement, Smuttynose owner Peter Egelston says the explosion of microbreweries onto the beer market came right as his company made a major investment in a new state-of-the-art brewing facility.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A meeting this week between Governor Chris Sununu and Hampton town officials may not have been enough to calm the waters in that town.

Last year, Hampton selectmen voted to sue the state over the cost of some services that the town provides at the popular state-owned beach.

Governor Sununu met with Hampton officials Tuesday night in an apparent effort to head off that suit, which is scheduled to be filed at the end of the month.

But Hampton Selectman James Waddell, who voted against filing the suit, says he doubts Sununu's outreach will make a difference.

CREDIT U.S. COURT OF APPEALS

Attorneys for a group of Indonesian immigrants facing deportation argued before a federal judge in Boston today for more time.

The group of 51 Indonesian Christians now living on New Hampshire's Seacoast fled religious persecution and overstayed their visas back in the 90s. Then, last summer, under a federal crackdown, immigration officials told them they had 30 days to leave.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A controversial school choice bill drew a large crowd at a public hearing before lawmakers Tuesday.

The bill would allow some parents to take their children out of public school and then spend the state tax dollars that would have followed that child on other forms of education, including private school tuition.  

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig was among those who spoke against the measure.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu and a bipartisan group of legislators will officially kickoff the campaign for a new amendment to the New Hampshire Constitution at the State House on Tuesday.

Jason Moon for NHPR

It was a packed house at the Teatotaller café in Somersworth as five transgender panelists shared their stories and took questions from an audience.

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