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

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

 At a public hearing on the state budget Tuesday, senators heard testimony in support of increasing funding for public schools and health care workers.

Many spoke in support of a bill that would boost state aid for health care programs, address worker shortages, and increase Medicaid reimbursements.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Senator Maggie Hassan and other lawmakers want to send more federal money to police to combat the opioid crisis.

A bill called the POWER Act would help state and local agencies buy portable electronic devices that screen and immediately identify chemicals including opioids and methamphetamines.

Hassan says right now, police have to rely on specific labs to identify the chemicals in seized substances, and it can take weeks to get results back.  

Sarah Gibson / NHPR

On Saturday, survivors of sexual abuse at St. Paul's School gathered for the first time on campus for an apology that some called a first step and others a missed opportunity.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar is holding a roundtable discussion at Revive Recovery Center in Nashua on Monday about her plan to improve addiction and mental health services across the country.

NHPR File Photo

Alumni of St. Paul's School in Concord are hosting a service on Saturday to reckon with the legacy of sexual abuse on campus.

Revelations about decades of abuse at St. Paul's have prompted multiple lawsuits and investigations, but until this weekend, no campus event has formally acknowledged and welcomed survivors.

On Saturday, a group called "Alumni Doorways" is hosting a service of "lament and apology" at the chapel, open to trustees and alumni.

John Phelan / Wikipedia Creative Commons

 

 

A former ConVal high school student charged with making a school shooting threat has pleaded guilty to avoid potential state prison time.

Last November, 18-year old Anthony Wheeler posted a photo on snapchat of his friends with BB guns that appeared real, warning students not to go to school the next day.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

 

Wayne Messam, one of the most recent Democrats to join the 2020 presidential race, made his first trip to New Hampshire on Thursday night.

The mayor of Miramar, a suburb of Miami, arrived on his own to a Masonic lodge in Raymond to speak with 20 voters.

“What I am is a practical everyday person from a hardworking family that understands if Americans are given an opportunity and a chance, they’ll take advantage of it,” he said, before spending the next two hours mapping out his policies and taking questions.

Flickr/Marco Verch

Lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that would require schools to provide tampons and pads in restrooms for free.

The proposed legislation began when Rochester high schooler Caroline Dillon realized last year that her peers were skipping school when menstruating because they couldn't afford menstrual products.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

Proposed legislation to prohibit discrimination in New Hampshire's public schools is gaining momentum.

The House Education Committee voted Tuesday to approve a bill that would allow any student who alleges discrimination to bring a case against a school or school district in the local courts.

www.BackgroundNow.com / Flickr/Creative Commons

A Cheshire County judge has dismissed an emergency request from the state to strike down part of an ongoing lawsuit over how New Hampshire funds public education.

The lawsuit - brought by the ConVal and Winchester school districts in March - says the state is not fulfilling its constitutional obligation to fund an adequate education, and that it needs to triple the amount of money it sends to districts.

Manchester Fire Department

 

Four months into the state's new addiction treatment program, Manchester says it's still overwhelmed with the number of people seeking help in the city.

From January to March 2019, 541 people went to Manchester's Safe Stations for help with addiction, a 30 percent increase from the same time last year.

Over half of those people did not live in Manchester.

 

Five towns in southern New Hampshire will start getting drinking water from Manchester by the end of 2020.

That's according to an agreement finalized this month among members of the new Southern New Hampshire Regional Water Project.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats Facebook

Manchester will soon be home to the country’s first professional baseball field that’s gone organic. 

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats field at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester is working with the nearby dairy company Stonyfield Organic to make its field permanently pesticide-free over the next two years.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Former Texas Congressman and Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke made his second trip to N.H. on Thursday, stopping in Derry and Concord before speaking to voters at Nashua Community College.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

For schools across New Hampshire, special education is a growing need and a growing cost. Nowhere is that more apparent than in Manchester, the state’s largest district, where special ed expenditures have nearly tripled in the last twenty years.  

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

A local labor union is urging lawmakers to support legislation to combat what it says is a growing problem with workers compensation and wage theft in New Hampshire.

Members of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters say companies are using a loophole to underpay workers and underreport employees, by misclassifying these employees as independent contractors.

Sarah Gibson / NHPR

Derry and its surrounding towns are kicking off their 300th year anniversary this weekend with bagpipes, craft demonstrations and history lectures.

The region was originally inhabited by Penacook Abenaki people, before it was colonized in 1719 by a group of Ulster Scots (Scots-Irish) families fleeing religious persecution from Northern Ireland.

They named it the "Nutfield Settlement," and their journey marked the beginning of more than a century of Scots-Irish immigration to the U.S.

Sarah Gibson / NHPR

  The New Hampshire House approved a $12.9 billion state budget today.

The budget passed by the Democratic majority does not include many of Gov. Chris Sununu's proposals.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

On Thursday, the Democratic-led House will vote on its version of the state budget. The budget, which is expected to pass, includes a $160 million increase in state aid to schools - the largest since the state ramped up funding twenty years ago in response to the Claremont lawsuits.

 

But with Governor Sununu’s veto pen at the ready, the budget faces an uphill battle in the next few months.

 

Southern New Hampshire University is expanding its operations to Tucson, Arizona, where it says a new center will meet the needs of students living in mountain and pacific time zones.

SNHU is the largest non-profit university in the country and most of its 130,000 students take classes online.

It says the Tucson center will eventually hire 350 staff to provide student support and academic advising catered to the 20,000 students living in the western U.S.

From @VSullivan4NH

 

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig has at least one opponent in her re-election campaign this fall.

Speaking on Monday at the Manchester Millyard to a group of supporters holding signs and umbrellas, Victoria Sullivan announced her campaign for the mayor's seat.

Sullivan has been active in local and state politics for years. She served as a Republican state representative from 2014 until 2018, when she lost her seat to a Democratic newcomer.

 

 

A Cheshire Superior Court judge has denied a preliminary request by the ConVal and Winchester school districts for expedited funding from the state.

 

In a lawsuit filed last month, the two districts argued that New Hampshire is not meeting its constitutional obligation to fund an adequate education for every student in the state.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

A bill to restrict guns on school grounds passed the House on Thursday in a mostly partisan vote.

Under the proposed rules, anyone carrying a gun on school property or school buses would be fined and charged with a misdemeanor unless they're a member of the military or a law enforcement or school resource officer.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Teacher salaries make up a big chunk of school budgets in New Hampshire. Pittsfield has never been able to offer high salaries, but with creative projects in the past few years, it’s attracted good teachers and high praise. With recent state cuts, though, many say that’s become impossible to sustain.

Courtesy of N.H. DOE

 

New Hampshire’s work to improve early childhood services is getting a big boost with a nearly $4 million planning grant from the federal government.

Researchers at UNH will team up with the state Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education to figure out the best way to coordinate and publicize services for kids.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

A school funding lawsuit against the state got its first hearing at the Cheshire County Superior Court on Friday morning. The two plaintiffs, the Contoocook Valley and Winchester School Districts, argue that the state is not fulfilling its constitutional obligation to fund an adequate education for all New Hampshire students.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

The city of Berlin has been making some tough decisions lately. As state aid for education declines, Berlin is struggling to keep its schools open. And it’s not alone. Some towns have brought lawsuits against the state, claiming it isn’t covering enough education costs. 

Three people are dead after a standoff with police at the Quality Inn on John E. Devine Drive in Manchester.

The incident began Wednesday night, when Manchester police and federal drug enforcement agents went to the Inn to arrest Stephen Marshall, of Manchester, and another man for drug-related charges.

According to Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati, Marshall exited the hotel through a first-floor window and began shooting at officers with a semi-automatic.

Winchester School District

 

The Winchester School District is joining a school funding lawsuit against the state. Winchester, which is located in the southwest corner of New Hampshire, is the third district that's party to the lawsuit, brought earlier this month by the ConVal School Board.

The ConVal lawsuit claims the state is not meeting its constitutional obligation to pay for an adequate education and that it has downshifted these costs to local taxpayers.

Sarah Gibson / NHPR

Last week, the ConVal School District sued the state, claiming that lawmakers are failing to fund an "adequate education" and that local taxpayers are shouldering more than their fair share.

This isn’t the first time New Hampshire has seen an education funding lawsuit. Districts across the state - from Claremont to Pittsfield - made similar arguments in court decades ago. And they won.

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