Michael Brindley | New Hampshire Public Radio

Michael Brindley

Program Director/Executive Producer, The Exchange

Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director, and as Executive Producer of The Exchange. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor. Michael started his career in journalism working as a reporter for the Derry News. Michael is a New Hampshire native, born and raised in Nashua. He studied journalism at Keene State College.

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  Former New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte says she's certain U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed, even if it means changing Senate rules to overcome a Democrat-led filibuster.

“You would hope the Senate would allow this exceptionally qualified nominee to receive an up-or-down vote,” Ayotte reportedly said on a conference call Friday.

Ayotte was tapped by President Trump to usher his nominee through the confirmation process.

She accused Democrats of “blocking the process.”

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  New Hampshire saw a surge in the demand for gun sale background checks in 2016.

State police report administering 59,592 gun sale background checks last year. That marks a 19 percent increase from the 50,034 background checks the department conducted in 2015.

State police conducted 42,650 background checks in 2014.

In New Hampshire, all gun sale background checks are administered by the State Police.

Sgt. Michael McQuade says of the 59,592 background checks last year, 591 led to a denial of sale.

   New Hampshire is experiencing a craft beer boom of late, with more breweries popping up across the state. There’s also been more interest in local, independent films.

A week-long festival that kicks off in Derry Sunday night pairs those two things together.

C. Hanchey via Flickr CC.

There’s a legal battle brewing in the city of Nashua over $1 million in arts funding.

A nonprofit Nashua Center for the Arts filed a petition in court this month to dissolve the organization. It wants to send the money left in its trust to the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, but officials in Nashua are trying to stop that from happening to keep the money in the city.

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  When the small town of Troy, New Hampshire received a gift of more than $800,000 from a former resident who died last year, it was supposed to be good news.

But for this town tucked away in the state's Monadnock Region, the money ended up dividing the community, with tensions boiling over at Town Meeting this month.

Michael Brindley

  The shortage of women pursuing careers in fields like science and engineering continues to be a challenge companies here in the Granite State and across the country.

A study last year found that nationwide, women account for roughly half of the college-educated workforce, but less than a third of those working in science and engineering.

There’s an effort to change that trend in New Hampshire by introducing young women to those fields early on.

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House Speaker Shawn Jasper says it shouldn't be a surprise House Republicans aren't backing Gov. Chris Sununu's plan to spend $18 million in the next two-year state budget to fund full-day kindergarten in New Hampshire.

Chris Jensen

  The Trump administration is looking to cut a federal program state officials say has helped boost the economy in New Hampshire’s northernmost regions.

The Northern Border Regional Commission was created in 2010, and targets economic development in rural areas of New Hampshire and three other Canadian border states.

The program is eliminated in the Trump administration's initial budget proposal, saving roughly $7 million.

Michael Brindley

  State Senator Scott McGilvray has died.

The Hooksett Democrat died Wednesday morning, though a cause is not yet clear.

He announced last month he stepping away from his job as president of NEA-New Hampshire, the state's largest teachers union, citing health reasons.

McGilvray worked as an educator in Manchester for 25 years before he was elected to the state Senate in November. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

In a statement, Governor Chris Sununu called McGilvray a dedicated public servant.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Voters will head to the polls Tuesday in more than a dozen New Hampshire communities that opted to postpone their local elections due to last week's nor’easter.

Derry, Londonderry, Litchfield and Newfields are among the communities that chose not to hold their Town Meeting elections last Tuesday.

Voters in those towns and several others will instead cast ballots Tuesday on a number of issues, including local town council races, town budgets, and infrastructure projects.

joycecraig.org

Former Manchester Alderman Joyce Craig is making another bid for mayor of the state's largest city.

The Democrat announced her candidacy Thursday.

Craig first ran for mayor in 2015, losing by just 64 votes to Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.

Speaking NHPR's Morning Edition, Craig says she would bring a new approach to some of the issues facing the city.

Candidate's Facebook Profile

The state Senate is expected to vote Thursday on a bill that would gradually increase the minimum wage in New Hampshire to $12 an hour by September of 2018.

New Hampshire currently has no minimum wage, effectively defaulting to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. 

  It’s Sunshine Week, a nationwide event organized each year by the American Society of News Editors to highlight the public’s right to know about how their government operates.

David Saad is president of Right to Know New Hampshire, a nonprofit organization that advocates for greater transparency in government.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Two major school renovation projects that had failed in the past finally got the green light from  voters during Tuesday's Town Meeting. 

Voters in Newmarket approved a $39 million renovation of Newmarket Junior/Senior High School and Newmarket Elementary School. Seacoast Online reports this was the fourth version of a school renovation project to go before voters in the last 11 years. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR / NHPR

  New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster is calling on Republican House leaders to withdraw their health care reform bill.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would increase the number of people without insurance by 14 million in the first year, and 24 million by 2026.

Speaking to NHPR's Morning Edition, Kuster said she's not surprised White House officials are disputing the figures released Monday.

  Governor Chris Sununu says legislation is needed to clarify state law with regard to whether local officials have the authority to postpone Town Meeting elections.

After several communities announced Monday they were postponing local elections slated for Tuesday due to the storm, the Secretary of State's office said state law required them to hold their elections regardless of the weather.

Sununu said towns ultimately had the right to postpone, but did so at the risk of potential legal challenges.

  While many communities have opted to postpone Tuesday's Town Meeting elections due to the storm, others are moving forward with voting.

The town of Durham is still holding its town election today, despite what’s expected to be major nor’easter that could drop as much as two feet of snow.

Town Manager Todd Selig is encouraging voters to cast their ballots early, before the storm picks up in strength later in the day.

www.bernsteinshur.com

  New Hampshire U.S. Attorney Emily Gray Rice has resigned.

Rice was among the 46 U.S. attorneys appointed by President Obama who were asked last week by the Trump administration to submit their resignations.

Rice was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in January of last year, after receiving the support of both Senator Jeanne Shaheen and then-Senator Kelly Ayotte.

In a statement, Rice said she was deeply honored to serve the people of New Hampshire.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu says the head of the state's child protective services division has been placed on administrative leave, following a report that more than 1,500 cases of suspected abuse and neglect were closed over a two-day period last year.

Voters in many New Hampshire communities will decide during next Tuesday’s Town Meeting whether to expand a property tax credit offered to veterans.

A state law passed last year gives communities the option of offering a tax credit of up to five hundred dollars to all veterans with at least ninety days of active service.

Previously, only veterans who served during wartime were eligible.

Margaret Byrnes is a staff attorney with the New Hampshire Municipal Association, and says expanding the tax credit would mean a drop in revenue for town budgets.

UNH

  As lawmakers in Concord debate changes to the state’s election laws, college students in New Hampshire are raising concerns about how they might be affected.

Of the nearly 6,000 new voters who registered in November using an out-of-state ID, many were concentrated in New Hampshire’s college towns.

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The New Hampshire Motor Speedway is losing one of its two NASCAR race weekends.

An announcement was made Wednesday that beginning in 2018, the Loudon speedway would no longer host its September event, which will be held instead in Las Vegas.

The track will continue to host its race weekend in July.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. A vote could come during today’s full House session.

But what do we know about what legal protections are already in place for New Hampshire’s transgender community?

Joni Esperian, executive director of the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights, joined NHPR's Morning Edition to talk about the issue.


A bill that would increase the minimum age for marriage in the state to 18 is up for a vote in the New Hampshire House this week.

State law currently allows girls as young as 13 and boys as young as 14 to enter into a marriage contract, with parental consent and judicial approval. The law dates back to 1907.

NHPR Staff

House lawmakers are to set to vote on a bill this week that would add gender identity to the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

New Hampshire is home to the oldest state library in the nation, and this year, it’s marking its 300th anniversary. It was founded in 1717 with just two books and a proclamation by the New Hampshire general assembly.

The New Hampshire State Library has gone through plenty of changes since then. Its current home was built in 1896, located on Concord’s Park Street, next to the Statehouse.

Morning Edition host Rick Ganley took a tour of the building to learn about the history of the state library, and the role it plays today.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

When the stepfather of Celina Cass was arrested and charged with her murder, it appeared there might finally be justice for the 11-year-old West Stewartstown girl who was found dead in 2011.

Police arrested Wendell Noyes last summer and charged him with second degree murder.

Police said he submerged Celina Cass’ body in the Connecticut River, where she was found nearly a week after she was reported missing.

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  Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire joined NHPR's Morning Edition Wednesday for reaction  to President Donald Trump addressed to a joint session of Congress.

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  Officials at Plymouth State University are still working to remove cars that were caught in a student parking lot that flooded over the weekend.

More than two hundred vehicles were in the parking lot along Route 175 in Holderness Sunday morning when the nearby Pemigewasset River overflowed due to an ice dam downstream.

  Refugee resettlement has resumed in New Hampshire after a federal judge halted President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning refugees.

A federal appeals court last week refused to reinstate the president’s order, which also bans immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

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