Alex McOwen

News Intern

Alex McOwen is NHPR’s All Things Considered intern. She got her start in public radio as an intern for NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! in Chicago. She is a graduate of McGill University where she studied anthropology and communications and worked as a producer for the school’s student television station.  

Sarah Gibson/NHPR

In their effort to woo voters before next month’s primary, Democratic Presidential candidates have come out with an array of policy plans, including ones to revitalize the rural United States. NHPR’s Sarah Gibson has been looking at what these plans might mean for rural New Hampshire and talking to voters about their concerns.

Andy Schafermeyer / N.H. Fish and Game

Saturday is Free Fishing Day in New Hampshire, the day when residents and non-residents alike can fish any inland water in the state without a fishing license, free of charge.

Scott Decker, Inland Fisheries Program Supervisor at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, says Free Fishing Day is a great way for people to try out the sport of ice fishing.

He advises people going out this weekend to check ice depths, as last weekend's warm temperatures have created variable conditions across the state.

Dartmouth College

Today, Dartmouth Professor Jennifer Sargent takes over as the chairwoman of New Hampshire’s Adult Parole Board. Her appointment comes nine months after a major audit of the board that found significant shortcomings, including the absence of standardized rules, insufficient technology, and understaffing.

NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with Sargent earlier today to discuss the progress the board has made since the 2019 audit, and to find out what work is still to be done.

(Editor's note: this transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.)

Ron Sher; PREP King Tide Photo Contest

Two years after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the island nation is still recovering.

Thomas O’Donovan, Director of the Water Division for New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services, was a first responder during Hurricane Maria. He says, there are lessons that coastal New Hampshire can learn from Puerto Rico as we deal with our own climate threats like higher tides, extreme storms, and rising sea levels here at home. 

Youth Services Center

A class action lawsuit filed Saturday alleges decades of abuse at New Hampshire's state-run youth detention center, known as the Sununu Youth Services Center.

The suit comes six months after two former counselors were charged with repeatedly raping a teenage boy at the Manchester center in the late 1990s.

(Scroll down for full interview with attorney Rus Rilee)

Rus Rilee, the attorney representing the 36 alleged victims, says more victims have come forward since the suit was filed over the weekend. 

Alex McOwen/NHPR

As of the New Year, New Hampshire residents now have three gender options for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards.  

In addition to “Male” and “Female,” Granite Staters are now able to choose “Other” as well, which will be marked with an “X” and signify a non-binary gender identity, meaning neither male nor female.  

This afternoon, a group of non-binary advocates from around the state gathered at the Concord DMV to officially change the gender marker on their licenses to the newly-enacted “X” option. 

@CollegeCon2020 on Twitter /

College students from around the country are in Manchester this week as part of College Convention 2020, and they're hearing pitches from several presidential candidates. The event is hosted by New England College.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The monks of Saint Anselm College appeared in court this morning for the first hearing in their lawsuit against the college's board of trustees over the question of who has ultimate authority to amend the school's bylaws.

Click here for NHPR's previous coverage of this story

Director of Charitable Trusts, Tom Donovan, has been granted a motion to intervene in this case. He says in addition to the court proceedings, outside mediation would also make sense.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen called last night's US air strike that killed Iran's top general Qassem Soleimani a "significant escalation."

She said the US needs a strategic plan in place that prepares for any potential response from Iran, and that the plan needs to be clear.

“Mixed messages lead to the potential for miscalculations that can lead to further escalation and war,” she says. “That is not what we want to see here."

The day after Christmas is one of the busiest days of the year for Goodwill donations.

After unwrapping presents on Christmas, many Granite Staters will spend time today cleaning out their closets. Trendy Stanchfiel of Goodwill Northern New England, they will gladly accept any gently used clothing, shoes, electronics, or household wares.

"It also helps keep things out of the trash stream," she says, "It is about giving things the ultimate amount of life that they can have."

Shoshanna via Flickr Creative Commons /

With the Hanukkah and Christmas holidays overlapping this year, the past few days have been very busy ones for New Hampshire's interfaith families.

Hemera Collection

AAA is predicting a record-breaking number of cars on the road in New England this holiday season.

Pat Moody at AAA Northern New England says they're expecting just under 5 million travelers in New England alone, a 3 percent increase from last year.

These are the highest projected numbers in nearly 20 years, since AAA began tracking holiday travel.

Moody says roads are busier this year because holiday cheer is at an all-time high due to low unemployment levels and improvements in disposable income and net worth.

Ravi Shah via Flickr Creative Commons /

With Christmas nearly here and Hanukkah already underway, New Hampshire shoppers are rushing to the stores to get their last-minute gifts.

(Editor's note: Click the play buttons to listen to these last-minute shoppers in their own words)

Shopper Sheila Bartlet from Gilmanton says she's going to be more prepared next year:

Other shoppers, like Claire Fisher from Concord, don't mind the last-minute rush:

Shoppers Victor and Janet Morrin from Newmarket say they've made last minute shopping a holiday tradition: 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The threat of climate change can be stressful for anyone, but for the climate scientists who study it day in and day out, that constant stress can take a toll on mental health.

Dr. Susanne Moser is a human geographer who specializes in psychological responses to climate change. She is a researcher out of Antioch University New England in Keene, and she recently co-authored a new paper titled "The Emotional Toll of Climate Change on Science Professionals."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Last week the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to approve two articles of impeachment against President Trump: one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress.

New Hampshire Congressman Chris Pappas, a Democrat representing the 1st Congressional District, announced Sunday that he will vote for both articles of impeachment. 

Speaking on NHPR's The Exchange earlier today, Pappas said he takes his oath of office seriously, and wanted to take plenty of time to get acclimated with the details of this case before making his decision. 

Saint Anselm College

In 1889, the Bishop of Manchester invited a group of Benedictine monks to form a college. That college is now known as St. Anselm. From the start, those monks were empowered by the school’s charter to govern the school.

One of the monks fulfilling that role today is Abbot Mark Cooper. Like most of the Benedictines, the 70-year-old Cooper has taken a “vow of stability” to live and work on campus, where he’s been for the last 50 years. 

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

WBUR has released a poll showing South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg leading the pack in the New Hampshire primary race.

The poll also looked at how New Hampshire primary voters, both Democrat and Republican, feel about topics like immigration and impeachment.

Sara Willa Ernst/NHPR

Monday night, the Laconia City Council passed an ordinance that effectively bans short-term rentals, like AirBnB, from operating within the city's residential neighborhoods.

The city council was split on the vote, with three councilors in favor and three against. Mayor Edward Engler broke the tie, passing the ordinance 4-3.

Sneha Nagarajan

A delegation of ten students from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business is attending the United Nation's COP25 Climate Change Conference in Madrid. Countries attending the conference hope to negotiate more ambitious plans to limit global warming.

Hannah Payson, associate director of the Tuck School’s Center for Business, Government and Society, is attending the conference with the students.

“It’s really kind of like a bustling city,” she says. “You hear all these different languages spoken from around the world.”

Paul W Hayes / Flickr Creative Commons

A new survey of New Hampshire's military veterans seems to indicate that the state's effort to create a better environment for veterans is working, but more work remains to be done.

(Scroll down to read the summary of the findings.)

The survey was conducted by the New Hampshire Commission on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Peggy LaBrecque, the chair of the commission and the commandant of the New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton, spoke with All Things Considered host Peter Biello to discuss the survey's results. 

Alex McOwen/NHPR

As the impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine unfolded this week, some teachers turned the moment into a civics lesson. Some had students watch the proceedings in class and invited discussion.  But how do teachers navigate a conversation like that?  And what do they hope students took from it?

NHPR All Things Considered host Peter Biello spoke with Dave Alcox, a social studies teacher at Milford High School, and three of his students, Jack Hansen, Jordan King and Kat Raiano, to see how they've talked about impeachment in their classroom. 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Tuesday night’s cold snap filled many of New Hampshire’s homeless shelters, and some had to turn people away.

Hundred Nights in Keene had just opened the doors of their cold weather shelter on Monday.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Candidates have until the end of this week to file with the New Hampshire Secretary of State to get on the ballot for the 2020 first-in-the-nation presidential primary. But there’s been some attention on the decision by a few candidates – or potential candidates – to not file in person, or at all.

NHPR’s Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers and All Things Considered host Peter Biello sat down to discuss the implications of that decision.

So we're nearing the end of New Hampshire's filing period. What is the filing period? What is its purpose?

Peter Biello/NHPR

Novelist Alex Myers came out as transgender in the mid-90s, when society's understanding of what it means to be transgender was less clear than it is today. 

In his new novel, "Continental Divide," Myers writes about 19-year-old Ron, who was born female, and grew up in Tamworth, New Hampshire. Ron decides to reinvent himself as a man by moving west to work on a ranch in Wyoming. Alex Myers is an English teacher at Philips Exeter Academy. NHPR's Peter Biello stopped by his classroom earlier this week to talk about "Continental Divide," and the challenge of coming out as transgender. 

Republican George Hansel narrowly beat out Democrat Mitchell Greenwald for Keene’s open mayoral seat on Tuesday.

Hansel, a 33-year-old businessman, hopes to grow Keene’s economy, establish a comprehensive housing plan, and work to stabilize the city’s tax rate.

After a tight race, Laconia has elected Democrat Andrew Hosmer as the city's new mayor. Hosmer ran on a platform promoting economic development, affordable housing, and better schools.

So the turnout for this race was about 29 percent, which is more than double the turnout of two years ago. What about this election do you think got the people of Laconia particularly excited this time around?

Peter Biello/NHPR

Earlier this week, Thomas Starr took a walk along Route 108 in Durham, looking for a path to town landing, by the Oyster River. The path veers away from the bridge and drops down closer to the water.

"You see how the road dips down here? That's a concern, where that could flood," says Starr.


Starr is professor of graphic and information design at Northeastern University, and he thinks a lot about flooding, especially the kind attributed to climate change. 

Impeachment is something we're hearing a lot about in the news. But where are we actually in the process? What's the difference between impeachment and an impeachment inquiry? And how helpful is it to compare what's happening now to impeachments past?

NHPR has a podcast for that. It's called Civics 101.

NHPR's Peter Biello sat down with Civics 101 co-host Nick Capodice to learn more. 

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. 

Steve Hooper

Writer Stacia Tolman worked for many years as a high school English teacher at a private school in New Hampshire’s Monadnock region.

Now, she’s drawn on her observations of high school social dynamics to write her debut young adult novel, The Spaces Between Us.

The story centers on the relationship between Serena Velasco and Melody Grimshaw, high school students and best friends with a common goal: to escape their dull, lifeless hometown in rural New York.