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.

Ways to Connect

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Greyhound used to be the symbol of American mobility; of transportation for all. To prove it, they made killer commercials.

…Go Greyhound and leave the driving to us !! America is discovering the comfort and convenience of Greyhound…   [jingle]

New data from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority suggests the state’s housing market continues to show signs of a slow recovery.

The number of New Hampshire homes sold in May of this year jumped up from 2011-levels. That’s good. The bad news is that the average price of those properties is down two-point-four percent from a year ago, falling to $205-thousand dollars.

The 351 new foreclosures in May probably won’t help. Until the glut of properties on the market clears up, housing prices will remain low.

Public health officials say six more Exeter Hospital patients have tested positive for Hepatitis C. That brings the total number of infections to 27.

Local, state and federal law enforcement are still investigating the cause of the outbreak. An Exeter Hospital employee is suspected of exposing patients to the liver-destroying virus by mishandling needles.

Bruce A Stockwell / Flickr Creative Commons

Exchanges are the marketplaces where consumers will basically window-shop the various health care policies available in different states.

The Federal government granted each state funds to begin studying and implementing these exchanges, but New Hampshire’s Executive Council gave that money back, nearly $1,000,000.

Republicans, including House Speaker Bill O’Brien, say that the exchanges will simply cost too much to run. He points to the experience of other New England states.

Photo by Chickenlump, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire’s gubernatorial candidates are weighing in on the Supreme Court’s ruling, and they stand, pretty much, where you'd expect.

The two leading GOP contenders for the state’s corner office didn’t like the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court ruling, and that hasn’t really changed.

Ovide Lamontagne, the current front runner, says that as Governor, he would do everything possible to slow down or block the law’s implementation.

The Legislature has overridden Governor Lynch’s veto of a voter ID law. The bill allows a variety of forms this fall—including student IDs. Starting next year, only government issued identifications, including driver’s licenses, military ID’s and passports will be accepted.

Representative David Bates of Windham told colleagues that tighter restrictions are needed to ensure fair elections.

Dennis Sylvester Hurd / Flickr Creative Commons

With 15 vetoes, the most ever by a Governor in a single session, John Lynch hasn’t been shy about wielding his power. Now, Republicans will work to override some of those measures when they gather in Concord on Wednesday.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

The President told the crowd inside Oyster River High School how great it was to be back in New Hampshire. This was his first official campaign stop in the Granite State, a state he carried in 2008.

Obama says the promises he made four years ago still stand.

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.

DJWhelan / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. John Lynch has made no secret of his opposition to medical marijuana in the state. He says Senate Bill 409 poses health dangers to patients, lacks oversight and could lead to more pot in the hands of minors.

The governor vetoed a similar measure in 2009.

bytemarks / Flickr Creative Commons

Twenty-three hundred jobs were added to New Hampshire payrolls between April and May, but the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains stuck at 5%.

There was good news for Coos County: the North Country’s rate dipped below 8% for the first time this year.

Grafton County has the State’s lowest unemployment at 4.1%.

All in all, the data met expectations, says Bob Cote, a researcher with NH Employment Security.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sskennel/4526014600/">SSkennel</a> / Flickr

After a lifetime of health challenges, the last thing Katrina wanted to hear was that she’d contracted Hepatitis C. 

“I was devastated,” says the 41-year old, whose last name is being withheld at her request.

She also suffers from diabetes and kidney failure, and believes she got Hep C about five years ago, possibly from sharing razors with a female roommate.

Because Hep C can live in the body for decades without producing symptoms, it’s sometimes called the silent killer.

Produced with Emma Ruddock

Todd Bookman/NHPR

After last Tuesday’s storms in southwestern New Hampshire, White Brook Road in Gilsum is no longer a road.

Toben Hansen / Flickr/Creative Commons

The House and Senate reached agreement today on a medical marijuana bill

This final version would allow patients with a doctor’s prescription to possess up to six ounces of marijuana. Medicinal use would only be granted to people with debilitating conditions or terminal diseases.

Senator James Forsythe, a Republican from Strafford, believes the bill is designed to ensure public safety.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

As a farmer in Bhutan, Laxmi Narayan Mishre provided food and stability for his family.

But when ethnic tensions flared in the small Himalayan country, his land was seized.

With his wife and ten children, Mishre would spend the next two decades living in a cramped refugee camp in neighboring Nepal. Rumors swirled about a possible resettlement to America, and what life would be like here.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

This weekend, the Canterbury Shaker Village opens its doors for the season.

It’s 600 acres of stillness, of restored buildings and manicured fields. But there’s one thing missing.

“Visitors come here expecting to see Shakers,” says Funi Burdick, Executive Director of the Village.

Xiabo Song, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Charles Wheelan’s unconventional advice for graduates got us talking about the twists and turns of our own post-graduate lives. The path life takes, as we know, zigs as often as it zags…so Virginia Prescott asked a few colleagues to record what they wish they’d been told on that expectant day.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Students from Bedford High School packed a Senate hearing to show their support for the International Baccalaureate program.

Bedford was the first school in the State to adopt IB, which supporters compare to rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

In March, the New Hampshire House overwhelmingly backed a measure that would effectively prohibit schools from using the controversial curriculum.

A fishing license in New Hampshire goes for $35. That money helps fund the State’s six fish hatcheries, where the vast majority of trout that anglers reel in are raised. 

Before Facebook and MySpace transformed how we interact virtually, there was another kind of Internet — a 1980s network, where users connected via phone lines and communicated through simple lines of text.

And while that may sound outdated, that version of the Internet is still very much alive.

'A Lot More Elegant'

Pat McNameeking, a college student in Concord, N.H., is one champion of this throwback social network known as SDF, or Super Dimensional Fortress.

Less than twenty-four hours after one of the bloodiest episodes in New Hampshire Law Enforcement history, a new class of police cadets graduated from the academy.

Friends and family of New Hampshire’s newest law enforcement agents filled the room to see the 157th police academy class receive their certificates.

But the mood in Concord was bittersweet as Governor John Lynch addressed the crowd.

New Hampshire lawmakers have reached agreement on a Congressional redistricting plan. With two incumbent Republicans in Congress, both wanted to keep their districts as GOP-leaning as possible.

Under the final plan, six towns will switch districts. Sanborton, Tilton and Campton move east from District 2 to District 1; while Deerfield, Northwood and Center Harbor will shift west to District 2.

After 18 months of federal and state review, Northeast Utilities has completed a $5-billion purchase of Boston-based NStar. The deal makes PSNH’s parent company the largest utility in New England.

During a conference call, CEO Tom May said the acquisition would help his company pursue the Northern Pass project.

"The new NU will, because of the financial strength of the combined companies, actually have credit rating upgrades, which should make it a lot easier to finance this project," said May.

Lawmakers hear testimony about school building aid

The State may be getting close to ending a school building aid moratorium.

Both the House and Senate have approved measures to restructure how aid is distributed. That’s good news for both schools districts and taxpayers.

“We need a change that will be both affordable for the State, as well as provide the necessary assistance to communities to keep their schools in good condition,” says Ed Murdough with the Department of Education.

Both bills call for the State to rank projects. Unsafe, overcrowded schools would get priority.

After sailing through the Senate, a bill that would have created a ‘Sexual Offender Management Board’ hit a wall in the House today.

The bill calls for the creation of a 19-member board that would evaluate policies toward sex offenders.

Advocate Chris Dornin told the House Criminal Justice Committee that laws are often rushed through after a high-profile child murder or molestation.

The most recent State budget slashed funding for legal services for the poor. Last week, the House passed a bill that would put even more aid at risk.

The legislation would change how something called IOLTA works.

IOLTA stands for ‘Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts’.

When a client hands money over to a lawyer for a short period of time, say, while a real estate deal is being closed, the lawyer puts the money into a pooled account. That account earns interest.

Mead in New Hampshire

Mar 29, 2012
Photo by Todd Bookman for NHPR

Starting a small business is always a challenge.  Starting a meadery? Yeah, that’s not easy either. Just ask Michael Fairbrother

“I talk to people about mead, and they go, ‘What kind of meat do you make?’ I’m like, ‘No, I don’t make meat. I make mead.’ And they don’t understand what that is.”

In 2010, Fairbrother opened Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry, NH.

He’s more than happy to explain that mead is a wine made from honey, not grapes. And like traditional wine, you can’t rush it.

Gambling in New Hampshire ran up against a stacked deck in the Statehouse today. 

The House has voted to kill a bill that would have brought four casinos and 14,000 video slot machines to the state. The bill would have used gambling revenue to reduce business taxes.

Supporters urged quick action to offset the recent approval of three casinos in Massachusetts.

"Since Massachusetts passed its own expanded gaming bill, doing nothing is no longer an option," says Representative David Campbell, a Democrat from Nashua.

The House rejected that plan by 40 votes. 

jphilipg via Flickr Creative Commons

You can add transportation to the long list of issues hitting a roadblock in Washington. Funding for New Hampshire’s I-93 expansion may get stuck in the beltway traffic jam.

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