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

A $100,000 grant is available for a New Hampshire school seeking to increase its energy efficiency.

The money comes from the U.S. Department of Energy and is flagged for state energy projects. This is the first time New Hampshire has made the funds available to schools.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

On Saturday, Laconia Middle School became a training ground for police, firefighters, and EMS personnel from across Belknap County.

The Laconia Police Department organized the training to test local emergency response in case of an active shooter. Police departments across the state conduct these regularly, but trainings at schools have ramped up in the last several years, in part due to funding from the Department of Homeland Security.

Scroll through the slideshow above to see photos from the training.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

 

The Laconia Police Department is conducting an active shooter exercise Saturday at Laconia Middle School.

New Hampshire police run these exercises regularly, but this one is meant to train officers from departments throughout Belknap County.

Police Chief Matthew Canfield says, when incidents occur in a rural state, it's critical to coordinate multiple departments.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

As Election Day approaches, the race between 1st Congressional District candidates Chris Pappas and Eddie Edwards is heating up. 

The candidates met at a packed AARP forum on Thursday to discuss Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, prescription drug prices, and paid family leave. 

They had starkly different takes on how to support seniors, with Democrat Chris Pappas saying he would "protect and strengthen" government programs, and Republican Eddie Edwards advocating for the free market over government control. 

Courtesy of USCIS

Forty New Hampshire residents became official U.S. citizens on Thursday.

They took the oath of allegiance at a naturalization ceremony in Manchester organized by the U.S Citizen and Immigration Services.

The new citizens came originally from 24 different countries, from Somalia to Nepal to Canada.

They now live in 18 different towns across New Hampshire.

SPSOA UNION/Flickr/CC

 

 

The Manchester Police Department has been ordered to develop a better policy on granting police paid days off.

 

Major Joyce Craig ordered an internal audit into the practice of so-called "chief days" this summer. Those are paid days off for police personnel that do not count toward vacation time.

 

The audit found that 466 "chief days" had been awarded since 2009, but it did not reveal the amount of money it cost the city.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Eddie Edwards, the Republican nominee in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District, picked up a big endorsement Monday.

House Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed Edwards, who's running against Democrat Chris Pappas for the open seat this year.

Ryan said in a statement that Edwards will be "a voice for common-sense policies, smaller and more efficient government, and ideas that expand economic opportunity throughout the Granite State."

Johannes Thiel via Flickr cc

 

A group convened by Governor Sununu to study whether schools should start after Labor Day is meeting for the first time on Tuesday.

In August, the Governor issued a "Save our Summers" executive order calling for a commission to study the impacts of a later start date.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

The Goldman Sachs Foundation is launching a program at Manchester Community College to train small business owners.

Ten Thousand Small Businesses, offers a 10-week intensive course and certificate to entrepreneurs, free of cost. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Actor Alec Baldwin was in Manchester on Sunday night to fire up Democrats at the state party’s annual fundraiser. The event, now called the "Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner," used to be called the Kennedy Clinton Dinner.

Baldwin is known for his impression of President Trump on Saturday Night Live and support of liberal causes, but he has also been criticized for sexist and homophobic remarks.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Ham radio and Morse code enthusiasts are gathering at the Deerfield Fairgrounds this weekend for the New England Amateur Radio Festival.

 

The event has come to New Hampshrie for decades, but this year for the first time, a program called New England Tech Trek is catered specifically to middle and high schoolers.

Courtesy of Leigh Maynard

 

Librarians in Hopkinton are finding new ways to encourage reading after a fire damaged the town library in August.

With the library building undergoing significant repairs, Hopkinton has set up a small, makeshift library of about 3,000 books in a community center.

But it doesn't have the vast array of puzzles, books and reading nooks that families are used to.

So this week, librarian Leigh Maynard opened four "Story Stops" in town.

Allegra Boverman

 

First Congressional District candidates Eddie Edwards (R) and Chris Pappas (D) met today in the first of five general election debates.

In the forum at NHPR's studios, the two came down on opposite sides of nearly every issue, except for the question of personal identity.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan were in Manchester on Tuesday to discuss a major opioid bill awaiting President Trump's signature.

The U.S. Senate passed the sweeping legislation, called the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, last week. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

This fall, Manchester's trees aren't just turning orange, red, and yellow - they're also turning blue.

With the help of local volunteers, New York City-based artist Konstantin Dimopoulos is coloring the trunks of about 100 city trees at the Currier Museum and Victory and Pulaski Parks.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

The candidates for New Hampshire's First Congressional seat campaigned in opposite sides of the district Thursday night.

In Manchester, Democrat Chris Pappas talked about economic opportunity. And in Dover, Republican Eddie Edwards discussed solutions to treating substance misuse and addiction.

Pappas made his campaign stop at a carpenter training facility to discuss his proposals for improving opportunity for middle class workers.

PAIGE SUTHERLAND/NHPR

New Hampshire is sending about $11 million to full-day kindergarten programs this year.

The money is the result of SB 191. The law, passed last year, mandates that the state help cover costs of full-day kindergarten, covering at least $1,100 - or 7 percent - of per pupil costs.

After over two years of contract negotiations, Manchester and its firefighters have reached a tentative agreement.

On Tuesday, the Board of Mayor and Alderman approved a three-year contract that is now headed to union members for a vote.

The decision comes after a tense month of many firefighters taking sick leave, and fewer firefighters working each shift.

James Jordan / Flickr CC

State health officials have identified a batch of mosquitoes in Manchester with the virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

This is the third detection of EEE in New Hampshire this season, and the first in Manchester since 2013. There have been no reports of human cases of the virus so far.

EEE is less common but more serious than the mosquito-born West Nile Virus. Symptoms are flu-like and appear four to 10 days after being bitten.

Via audio-luci | Flickr Creative Commons

 

New Hampshire's new student assessment tool - known as PACE - is continuing to expand.

The New Hampshire Department of Education announced Tuesday that it has received a five-year waiver from federal officials so schools piloting the assessment tool can continue to use it.

The Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) focuses on periodic assessments of student learning, rather than end-of-year, statewide tests.

Courtesy of Manchester Library

 

The Manchester Library is eliminating fines for overdue children’s and young adult materials.

The move is part of a trend in New Hampshire and across the country that aims to increase accessibility for young and low-income patrons. It was inspired by conversations over the last year among library staff, families, and students and teachers in the Manchester School District.

The Manchester Library has over 10,000 patrons between the ages of 5 and 17.

Appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office is continuing its investigation into the death of a man in Epping during a confrontation with a state trooper.

The man who was killed has been identified as 40-year-old Walter Welch, Jr. of Epping.

An autopsy revealed that he died of gunshot wounds to the head but the details are still under investigation.

The AG’s office says on Saturday night, a trooper responded to a 911 call about an erratic driver in a white pickup truck near Route 101.

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

The sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are being felt on New Hampshire's college campuses.

At the University of New Hampshire, faculty and students staged a #BelieveHer walkout in support of survivors this week.

Amy Culp runs the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) at UNH. She says the Kavanaugh hearings have had ripple effects on campus:

John K via Flickr CC

 

The Department of Education has received $1.6 million in federal funds to help schools pay for upgrades to water systems found to have lead.

The grant is coming through the N.H Department of Environmental Services, which received the money as part of a 2013 settlement with Exxon Mobil.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

A live storytelling event featuring New Hampshire refugees is coming to Manchester’s Palace Theater this Sunday.

The event, called “Suitcase Stories,” is organized by the International Institute of New England, which resettles refugees in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Seven people from Manchester - mostly resettled refugees - will get on stage and tell their stories.

Winslow Townson / AP

A development site in Salem has become the base of operations for crews replacing pipelines after the explosions in Massachusetts.

Joe Faro, the CEO of Tuscan Brands, has temporarily donated 60 acres of the Tuscan Village site to make way for equipment and work tents.

He says around 2,500 Columbia Gas crew members are staying in regional hotels and coming to the site on a daily basis.

Null Value

The rate of violent crime continues to fall in the U.S. and in New Hampshire, according to FBI statistics released this week.

The new numbers put New Hampshire as the third-safest state in the country, after Vermont and Maine. New Hampshire's rate of "violent crime"- a broad category that includes burglary, aggravated assault, rape, and murder - is 198.7 per 100,000 people.

Construction is wrapping up on a new drug treatment facility at the John H. Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester.

The 36-bed facility at the detention center will provide services to people ages 12 to 18 with substance use disorder.

www.massfiretrucks.com

As the city of Manchester and its firefighters’ union try to reach a new contract, cuts have been made at city fire stations.

Starting Sunday, Manchester Fire Chief Dan Goonan reduced the number of firefighters per shift from 46 to 37.

Goonan said the cuts were necessary because the fire department is over budget.

The reason for the budget problems is a drastic increase in overtime expenses.

Overtime has ballooned in the last month as many firefighters call in sick and others work overtime to fill the vacancies.

Courtesy of Carla Gomez

Not far from downtown Nashua, Carla Gomez is hosting a 77th birthday party for her uncle.

 

Three generations of the family mill around the house with new friends, eating and chatting in a kitchen bedecked with balloons and ribbons.

 

There’s a lot of laughter here today, but there’s also some reflection; the last time they celebrated this birthday, the family was living in Puerto Rico.

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