Sarah Gibson

Reporter

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on New Hampshire's southern tier.

Sarah came to New Hampshire from New York City, where she was a producer at WNYC. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, her stories have appeared on WBAI, Alaska Public Media, and in The Village Voice. Prior to journalism, Sarah worked with non-profits in North Carolina and studied History at Brown University. She grew up in rural Vermont.

Ways to Connect

Army Corps of Engineers, New England District

The Environmental Protection Agency is requiring the city of Manchester to alert residents when it discharges raw sewage into the Merrimack River. The change is part of a large agreement Manchester is finalizing this year with the EPA to ensure the city's wastewater and stormwater systems comply with the 1994 Clean Water Act. 

Courtesy photo

Merrimack County Sheriff Scott Hilliard is continuing at his job despite being arrested on a charge of drunk driving this weekend.

Hilliard was off duty when Tilton police arrested him on Friday.

Hilliard previously served as Chief of Police in Northfield and is in his seventh term as County Sheriff. He was released on bail and will appear in court later this month.

Electric Tobacconist via Flickr CC / www.electrictobacconist.com/

A law signed by Governor Sununu last month explicitly prohibits all vaping devices - including e-cigarettes, vape pens, and e-liquids - on school grounds and in areas that prohibit indoor smoking. 

Michael Brindley for NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Education and members of the state Board of Education are defending their right to approve alternative programs granting credit to high school students, despite objections from lawmakers and educators.

 

The state board voted on Thursday to approve a response from the Department of Education on its proposed program, Learn Everywhere, which would require high schools to grant students for extracurriculars outside of school.

 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Governor Sununu signed a bill on Wednesday aimed at supporting New Hampshire's struggling dairy industry. 

 

The law establishes the Dairy Premium Fund, a New Hampshire-specific logo for dairy products to be sold at a premium in grocery stores and increase revenue for participating farmers.

 


Ali Oshinskie / NHPR

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office released a 25-page report Wednesday summarizing its investigation into a high-profile attack involving children in Claremont in 2017.

 

The report revolves around the events of August 28, 2017, when a group of 13 and 14 year olds were accused of tying a rope around an 8-year-old biracial boy's neck and pushing him off a picnic table, leading to serious injuries.

Britta Greene / NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has denied a request by the New Hampshire Attorney General's office to release records about its investigation into a high-profile alleged racially-motivated attack in Claremont two years ago.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

An armed man has died and a police officer has been injured after a shooting Thursday morning in Weare. 

 

Officer William Lewis, 27, was among the police officers who responded to a domestic violence call on Buckley Road at 1:45 am Thursday morning. 

 

According to Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, when the officers arrived, they escorted an adult female from the house. The other resident, Jeffrey Clough-Garvin, 43, allegedly barricaded himself inside the house and shot Officer Lewis in the arm.

 

Governor Sununu has signed a bill to expand free breakfast for low-income students. The new law requires schools to offer free breakfast to students from families whose income formerly qualified them for reduced-price breakfast.

 

The reduced price was $0.30 per meal; advocates said when totaled for an entire school year, this was prohibitive for poor families with multiple kids.

 

N.H. DES

 

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is conducting its most extensive sampling of private wells in the state's history.

Over the next year, DES will sample 500 pre-selected wells for hundreds of contaminants with the goal of understanding overall water quality in private wells across the state.

DES will test for everything from bacteria and metals to PFAS chemicals, which have been linked to health problems.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

This summer, towns in southern New Hampshire are breaking ground on what will become the state’s largest regional water system. It is being built in part with money from massive settlements between New Hampshire and gas companies, including ExxonMobil, that used to produce MtBE, a chemical that polluted local drinking water. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is urging New Hampshire voters to push presidential candidates on their policy platforms and campaign fundraising.

Speaking to a crowd of over 500 in a sweltering Derry middle school gym on Saturday, Warren urged voters to ask candidates how they’re running and funding their campaigns.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Residents of Manchester are getting a chance to give input on the city's upcoming master plan.

The city will explain the project and start gathering public input Wednesday night from 6 to 7:30 at City Hall. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Former Republican House Speaker Bill O’Brien is running for U.S. Senate.

He’ll face off with at least one other Republican candidate, retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, hoping to unseat Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen in 2020.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

 

If you drive Route 4 through Northwood, you pass a cluster of colorful cabins by a small lake: the Cottages at Harvey Lake. Generations of travelers have gone there to relax, despite it being just a stone’s throw from one of the busiest roads in the state.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Middle and high-school aged students in New Hampshire will now be able to access free menstrual products.

Governor Chris Sununu today signed into law a bill sponsored by Democrats that requires public schools to provide tampons or pads in all gender neutral and female restrooms. 

Courtesy TFMoran.com

 

A major building initiative by Southern New Hampshire University is nearing completion in downtown Manchester.

 

The university and city on Monday are unveiling a six-story parking garage which will be able to hold 1,700 vehicles in the Manchester Millyard. 

Courtesy of Flickr/Elke Mader

 

The towns of Peterborough and Jaffrey are considering a joint project to buy and manage a group of wells for their municipal water systems. 

 

A company based out of Chicago owns the parcel in question, named the Cold Stone Spring. It encompasses over 500 acres in Sharon and Jaffrey and includes three wells that have already received approval from the Department of Environmental Services to pump 577,000 gallons of water per day. Collectively, the towns expect to pump around 200,000 gallons per day.

 

James Sarmiento / Flickr

Governor Chris Sununu vetoed a bill yesterday that would have given local school boards the final say in what learning counts towards a high school diploma.

Click here for more on Governor Sununu's latest vetoes

The Democratic-backed bill was meant to curtail a proposed initiative from the State Board of Education called Learn Everywhere.

Sarah Gibson / NHPR

Parents and advocates for children packed a Concord School Board meeting on Monday to give input on the district’s policies on sexual harassment, abuse and community safety.

The meeting came after revelations that the district mishandled allegations against Primo “Howie” Leung, a former special ed teacher, who is now facing charges of sexually assaulting a Concord student.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is speaking out against a federal lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

The case, Texas v. U.S., will be heard in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday. It is brought by 18 states that say the individual mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional. 

A ruling in their favor could overturn the Affordable Care Act entirely, a goal of many Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration.

Via Concord High School website

 

The Concord School Board is holding a meeting Monday, July 8, to gather public input on its policies on sexual harassment, abuse, and community safety. 

 

The meeting comes after revelations the district mishandled allegations against Howie Leung, a former special ed teacher, who is now facing charges of raping a former Concord student.  

 

The district suspended a student in 2014 who had raised concerns about Leung, and allowed him to continue working even after additional allegations emerged last December.

 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Thousands of motorcyclists rode to Randolph on Saturday to honor the seven bikers killed in a June crash there. NHPR’s Sarah Gibson talked to some of those motorcyclists before they embarked from Laconia.  

The “Ride for the Fallen 7” began in Laconia and travelled up I-93, ending at The Inn at Bowman for a memorial service near the site of the crash.

 

 


Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

People attending Fourth of July celebrations around the state on Thursday stood a good chance of running into a candidate for president.

 

Democratic candidates Amy Klobuchar, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Republican candidate Bill Weld, started out at the Amherst parade. Most moved next to Merrimack. And by 5 pm, Gillibrand, Gabbard, and Delaney were strolling down Laconia’s North Main Street, flanked by volunteers chanting their names and waving signs. 

 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

A planned visit from Vice President Mike Pence was abruptly canceled today. 

Pence had planned to visit the Granite Recovery Center in Salem to discuss the opioid crisis.

A spokesman for his office said a last-minute situation required the Vice President to remain in Washington. He said it was not an emergency.

According to a copy of his planned remarks, Vice President Pence intended to press the Trump administration’s case for combatting the opioid crisis by curbing illegal immigration.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

School districts hoping for a boost in state aid are back to the drawing board after Governor Sununu's budget veto Friday. 

Democrats said the proposed $140 million increase would be paid for, in part, by rolling back business tax cuts. And many districts said new money would allow them to make building improvements and rehire staff.

This spring, Franklin schools laid off 10 staff because of a tight budget. Superintendent Daniel DeGallo hoped to rehire them if the state sent more aid.

Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

Vice President Mike Pence is in New Hampshire Tuesday to discuss the opioid crisis. Pence will meet with public officials and recovery advocates at the Granite Recovery Center in Salem.

The Center runs twelve alcohol and drug rehab programs throughout the state. Its founder, Eric Spofford, regularly hosts Republicans on the campaign trail.

After a meeting with Spofford and alumni of the recovery center, Pence plans to deliver remarks on opioids and illegal drugs.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

A private water utility company is getting pushback for its plans to build a major commercial well in Hampstead.

The Hampstead Area Water Company (HAWC) wants a permit from the Department of Environmental Services (DES) to build a new well near Angle Pond. The well would pump up to 160 gallons per minute, a rate twice as fast as HAWC's existing wells in Hampstead and Atkinson.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has vetoed a bill aimed at curbing wage violations in the construction industry.

The bill backed by Democratic state lawmakers would have made it easier for the Department of Labor to quickly stop a project if the contractor was under investigation for wage theft, or for failing to pay workers' compensation.

Supporters said the bill was needed to curb widespread underpayment of wages, particularly of undocumented immigrant workers.

Courtesy of the Manchester Equity Review Team.

 

The Manchester Equity Review Team, a group tasked with improving equity in the city's public schools, is recommending the district increase racial diversity among staff and change how it disciplines students.

In the last decade, Manchester has struggled with a decline in state aid and major demographic shifts; the percentage of Latino students, English language learners (ELL's) and students on free and reduced lunch in Manchester have nearly doubled.

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