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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Todd Bookman/NHPR

A Plymouth District Court judge heard three hours of arguments on Thursday about whether evidence obtained by drug-sniffing dogs utilized by U.S. Border Patrol and Customs agents can be used to prosecute drug crimes in New Hampshire State Courts.

The legal dispute stems from multi-day checkpoints staged last summer on Interstate 93 in the town of Woodstock, New Hampshire, which is approximately 90 miles from the international border.

In new guidelines released by the Trump Administration, states including New Hampshire will now be allowed to impose work requirements on some recipients of Medicaid.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Captain Lynne Blankenbeker wrapped up her 31-year active duty military career earlier this month. But instead of easing into retirement, the trained nurse and Concord resident is entering the Republican primary for the state’s 2nd Congressional District.

Blankenbeker launched her campaign in a pub in front of supporters, where she talked up her health care and military experience.

Courtesy

Portsmouth businessman Deaglan McEachern announced his candidacy for Congress in an email blast on Wednesday, becoming the seventh Democrat to enter the race in the First District.

McEachern is a well-known name in state Democratic circles: his father Paul ran for Governor several times. Deaglan, 34, is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and UC Berkeley, who went on to row competitively for Cambridge University and the U.S. national team.

“As Americans, we are stronger when we pull together,” he writes on his website.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House on Tuesday approved a bill that would create a family medical leave insurance program in the state.  

The measure--HB 628--would allow workers to voluntarily pay into a fund that could cover up to 12 weeks of paid time off.

Speaking on the House floor, Representative Douglas Ley, a Democrat from Jaffrey, told colleagues that without family medical leave, employees can be left to make a difficult choice.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Residents on the Seacoast are digging out from Thursday’s powerful nor’easter. Along with wind and snow, many low-lying homes in Hampton were hit with flood waters. 

But people are taking the storm mostly in stride.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

It was too cold for a philosophical debate about the existence of God.

“Maybe August next time?” joked Mayor Dana Hilliard on Tuesday afternoon, as a small crowd watched the atheist flag rise over the Ten Commandments monument on an ice-covered traffic island in downtown Somersworth.

Ken Teegarden via Flickr CC

The new year means New Hampshire businesses will pay lower taxes.

Two key state business taxes were first reduced in 2016, the result of a compromise between then Governor Hassan and Republican lawmakers. The deal allowed for further tax cuts as long as revenues didn’t decline.

But the state’s relatively strong economy has pushed receipts up, triggering a new round of business tax cuts for 2018.

“This is all part of a process of trying to make the state more competitive,” says Greg Moore with Americans For Prosperity-New Hampshire.

sskennel via Flickr Creative Commons

Two New Hampshire hospitals will receive less Medicare reimbursement next year due to relatively high rates of patient injuries and infections.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, the federal government penalizes hospitals that have high rates of what are considered preventable hospital-acquired injuries, such as infections or bed sores.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Next legislative session, New Hampshire lawmakers will again debate whether to include “gender identity” under the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

New Hampshire statute currently bars discrimination based on factors including age, race, religion and national origin. Last year, the GOP-majority in the New Hampshire House narrowly voted down a bill that sought to add gender identity to the list.

Brady Carlson

With temperatures plunging across the state, most folks are doing their darndest to hunker down indoors.

But the brutally cold weather isn't scaring some kids away from enjoying the snow.

NHPR's Todd Bookman caught up with 10 year-old twins Jacob and Jaimeson LaPaige - and their saint of a mom, Cassie - during an afternoon of sledding in Concord.

Take a listen:

Faith/FLICKR

Next legislative session, New Hampshire lawmakers will again take up the question of how young is too young to get married.

The minimum legal age for marriage in the state right now is 13 for girls and 14 for boys, though at that age the couple would need permission from both a judge and from parents.

Last year, lawmakers attempted to raise the marriage age to 18, but that effort was shot down after some in the New Hampshire House voiced concerns about its impact on young members of the military.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After a high profile case of animal cruelty, New Hampshire lawmakers are working on legislation to tighten commercial breeding regulations.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The story of Christina Fay and her dogs is a story of sharp contrasts. There is the $1.5 million dollar mansion where Fay lived with dozens of European Great Danes.

Fay compared these big, valuable dogs to works of art, her “Rembrandts and Van Goghs.” She painted herself as a high-end breeder, set on improving the bloodline.

Credit mikecogh via Flickr Creative Commons

A former doctor at the Valley Street Jail in Manchester is surrendering his medical license after facing accusations of substandard care in the treatment of inmates.

During his seven years overseeing care at the facility, Dr. Matthew Masewic faced a number of federal lawsuits and complaints over his handling of inmate medical needs.

Those included claims that he failed to sign off on needed medications for inmates, failed to maintain adequate medical records and failed to supervise nursing staff.

Federal Communications Commission/Flickr

The New Hampshire Democratic Party is criticizing Governor Chris Sununu’s support for the repeal of so-called net neutrality laws, arguing the FCC’s decision could harm consumers, as well as the state’s longshot bid to lure Amazon’s second headquarters to the state.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

People living with either physical or intellectual disabilities often face financial hardships. Good paying jobs can be out of reach, while the costs for transportation or assistive devices such as a wheelchair can be prohibitive.

A new investment account for New Hampshire residents may ease some of that burden. Similar to a “529” college saving account, qualified participants can now invest money and use those funds on a range of needs.

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.  

Wikimedia Commons

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.  

Twitter

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.

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