Casey McDermott

Investigative & Data Reporter/Editor

Credit John W. Hession

Casey McDermott covers politics and policy, with a focus on data and accountability reporting.

Prior to joining NHPR, Casey worked at The Concord Monitor and held internships at ProPublica, the Student Press Law Center and the Chronicle of Higher Education. 

She studied journalism and sociology at Penn State but spent most of her days (and nights) in the newsroom of the independent student newspaper, The Daily Collegian. The Collegian was recognized nationally for its work during Casey's time as its managing editor and editor-in-chief.

A special task force on the state's opioid crisis has given the initial stamp of approval to a bill that would impose stricter criminal penalties for the distribution of fentanyl.

Sharon Morrow

The manager for New Hampshire’s prescription drug monitoring program told lawmakers Tuesday that more funding would help the system to better handle an expected increase in use that could come with efforts to more closely monitor opioid prescribing.

As part of a special legislative session on heroin and opioid misuse, Gov. Maggie Hassan and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley have each proposed giving the program $100,000 in state money to help with technology upgrades that would encourage more widespread use.

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

A group of New Hampshire mayors and mayors-elect rallied around Hillary Clinton’s newly released infrastructure plan Monday, expressing optimism that the Democratic presidential candidate’s proposals will provide a long-awaited boost to local development.

GIF created using footage from Wayland Fire Department

 Each year, Goffstown Fire Chief Richard O’Brien and firefighters around the state find themselves responding to a cornucopia of cooking incidents. Oven fires, stovetop fires, not to mention the occasional turkey fryer that boiled over and quickly became engulfed in flames.

Getty Images

When discussing New Hampshire’s opioid epidemic, the focus is often on the big numbers — the hundreds of drug deaths, the thousands of pain prescriptions, the weeks it can take to get treatment.

But at the first meeting of a new task force looking at the issue in New Hampshire, those who testified brought those statistics to a personal level.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

The Obama Administration is trying to ease concerns raised by some of the nation's governors, including Maggie Hassan, about the screening process for Syrian refugees brought to the United States.

Hassan last week called for a pause in Syrian refugee resettlement and has complained of poor communication from federal officials about the process. According to spokesman William Hinkle, Hassan brought up some of those concerns on a call with other governors and federal officials last week.

File Photo / NHPR

 

 Senator Jeanne Shaheen is calling for an additional $600 million in emergency federal funding to tackle opioid and heroin misuse across the country — and she says, as in previous public health crises, the federal government needs to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to this issue.

“We’re really looking at, how can we have a coordinated effort? The federal government did that in fighting Ebola. They’ve done that in other health emergencies,” Shaheen said. “We’re saying that this is a health emergency, and we need to ramp in the same way to fight it on all fronts.”

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Just 23 people have applied for the state’s medical marijuana program since a pre-registration period opened Nov. 2. That's according to Department of Health and Human Services division director Mary Castelli, who spoke Friday at a meeting of the state’s Therapeutic Cannabis Advisory Council.

Dispensaries aren't set to open for several months, but DHHS offered people a chance to pre-register as a way to access medical marijuana as quickly as possible once the substance is available.

FILE

Both of New Hampshire’s Congressional representatives voted Thursday in favor of a bill to add extra screening steps for refugees resettling the United States from Syria and Iraq.

Rep. Annie Kuster, a Democrat, was one of 47 members of her party who sided with 242 Republicans to pass the bill.

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

George Pataki’s polling average in New Hampshire is hovering under one percent, and he was shut out of the most recent "undercard" debate — but he’s not planning to bow out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination anytime soon.

  John Kasich, the Ohio governor and Republican presidential hopeful, stopped by NHPR's offices in Concord recently for an interview with The Exchange.

On the way up to the studio,  we caught up with Kasich (and a few new friends) — asking him, specifically, for a quick pitch on why he should be president. Here's what he had to say.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The 8 a.m. “Politics and Eggs” forum was somewhat more subdued than the booming campaign rallies Donald Trump has held in other parts of the state.

But the crowd gathered in at the Manchester Radisson Wednesday morning was — to borrow a favorite descriptor from the candidate himself — still pretty “huge.”

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A judge heard arguments Thursday in a case challenging the state's decision to hold off on issuing medical marijuana identification cards to patients.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

 When Tim Pifer started out two decades ago as a drug chemist with the state, it didn’t take long at all to process the drug samples dropped off by law enforcement.

“There literally was a time when we’d take the drugs in, and we’d tell the officers to go downstairs and have a coffee, and we’d give you the drugs back,” Pifer recalled Friday.

Not so anymore.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Carly Fiorina became the fourth major presidential candidate to file for the 2016 New Hampshire primary when she stopped by the Secretary of State’s office early Thursday afternoon. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A 64-year-old New Hampshire woman with terminal lung cancer has sued the Department of Health and Human Services over the state’s rollout of its medical marijuana program.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

For most presidential candidates, getting on the New Hampshire ballot is a fairly straightforward affair: Show up at the State House, bring $1,000 to cover the filing fee, and sign a form affirming  you’re registered with your chosen political party.

For Bernie Sanders, that last part has proven slightly more complicated.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The presidential candidates who start parading through Secretary of State Bill Gardner’s office this week might do well to pay special attention to the desk that’ll be on display nearby — its original owner is to thank (or blame) for why they’re spending so much time in New Hampshire these days.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Retired state workers under age 65 will have to pay 5 percent more in monthly premiums beginning in January, under changes approved by lawmakers Tuesday morning.

Andrew Walsh, NHPR

By now, those on the front lines at the Secretary of State’s office have come to expect two distinct types when it comes to presidential candidates.

There are the ones who treat the ballot filing period like a campaign event. They bring along throngs of supporters and make sure to call ahead to check that they won’t have to share the spotlight with any competitors.

And then there are the ones who just show up.

GIF created using footage from CNBC

So, what did we learn from Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate? The candidates are happy to chime in as media critics, particularly if they don’t feel like answering the question before them.

Chris Jensen/NHPR

Here's an issue with bipartisan consensus: Both parties agree the opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing challenges facing New Hampshire. But Democrats and Republicans in the State House are not quite yet reading from the same script on how to tackle this problem.

Jim Cole / AP

If you’d like to understand what a decline in civics education means for the future of the country’s political system, David Souter suggests a sports analogy.

“As somebody said a while back – you know, if you go to a baseball game and you don’t know what the rules of the game are, it’s incomprehensible. If you know something about the three strikes rule, it’s maybe a little bit more comprehensible,” the retired United States Supreme Court justice told an audience at Nashua Community College Monday afternoon. “Well, the same thing goes for government.”

DD via Flickr Creative Commons

A little less than three dozen people showed up to a forum last night in Dover to discuss a proposed medical marijuana dispensary in town – but, for the most part, the crowd didn’t come to push back on the plans.

Screenshots from Brigade App

Maybe you’re looking for somewhere to sound off on the fate of the Manchester teachers’ contract, or the expansion of rail service from Boston, or marijuana legalization — or even the future of the midnight voting tradition in Dixville Notch. Well, you’re in luck: There’s an app for that.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

New Hampshire voters might not have seen much of Lincoln Chafee before he bowed out of the presidential race Friday. If you happen to be involved with your local Democratic town committee, however, you might be on a first-name basis with the former candidate.

Back in May, right after Chafee announced he was mulling a run for president, the members of the Amherst and Milford Democrats wasted no time reaching out.

“We picked up the phone and called his home number,” committee chair Shannon Chandley recalled Friday. “’Do you want to come to our potluck?’”

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Kelly Ayotte that’s meant to address one particularly troubling side effect of the nation’s opioid crisis: growing drug dependence among infants.

The bill requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to review how it deals with “neonatal abstinence syndrome” (or “NAS”). It also calls upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help states improve public health monitoring and data collection around NAS.

istock photo

Following a recent wave of mergers in the insurance industry, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is raising “serious concerns” about the potentially harmful impact of these deals on consumers. She nodded specifically to the projected effects of the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger on New Hampshire’s insurance market.

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

There’s been a particularly competitive, expensive campaign season brewing in recent months that could have implications for the future of North American policies on trade, energy, the environment, immigration and more.

We are, of course, referring to the race playing out among our neighbors to the north. Canadian federal elections were held Monday — and, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, voters provided the country's Liberal Party with enough seats to upend the Conservatives. 

Credit Kinder Morgan / http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/TGP_Northeast_Energy_Direct_Fact_Sheet.pdf

It's one of the more, shall we say, parochial questions presidential candidates have faced on the campaign trail this year: What do you think of the proposed gas pipeline that may be routed through New Hampshire?

The pipeline is officially known as the Northeast Energy Direct Project.  And the question of whether it should run through the southern part of the state has been posed to a number of both Republicans and Democrats, including Jeb Bush. 

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