Sarah Gibson | New Hampshire Public Radio

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.

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Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Federal officials are still looking into the causes of vaping-related deaths around the country, but in New Hampshire, schools are continuing to see a surge in teenage vaping.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a quarter of high schoolers here are vaping at least occasionally. That’s nearly twice the national average. And schools and public health advocates are struggling to find a way to get teenagers to stop.


Wikimedia Commons

 

Congress is expected to vote on a government spending bill this week that would allow money earmarked for opioid use disorder to be used to treat other addictions. The provision, authored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, comes in response to concerns that federal money coming into New Hampshire was too narrowly tailored to the opioid crisis.

John K via Flickr CC

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is sponsoring a bipartisan bill to restore tax-exempt status to water infrastructure projects, citing unexpected tax hikes in southern New Hampshire and across the country after the Republican-backed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

The legislative Fiscal Committee voted today to block a $10 million grant from the federal government for public charter schools.

The funds would have been the first installment of a $46-million grant to help the New Hampshire Department of Education double the number of charter schools in the state over the next five years.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren drew a stark ideological contrast between herself and political rivals on Thursday in a speech on her economic plans at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Merrimack Valley High School’s former mascot - a depiction of a Native American man in a headdress - will be removed from some parts of the school but remain in others. The compromise came after hours of public comments and discussion at a school board meeting on Monday night.

The school replaced its Native American mascot with a lion fifteen years ago, responding to concerns that the image was hurtful and offensive.

Sarah Gibson / NHPR

After at least two overdoses by teenagers in their care, the state health department canceled its contract with the organization Granite Pathways, which was running a drug treatment facility at the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Manchester's Board of Aldermen has given approval for the federal government to support refugee resettlement in the city.

President Trump issued an order earlier this fall requiring states and local municipalities to opt in by before federal funds go to support refugee resettlement agencies there. Governor Chris Sununu gave state-level consent last month. Municipalities have until December 20th to opt in.

The board of alderman in Manchester voted on Tuesday to do just that.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Governor Sununu signed an executive order on Wednesday aimed at streamlining the process for schools to recoup costs of providing Medicaid-eligible services.

The order will expedite the licensing and credentialing process for providers who work in schools but lack a license as a Medicaid participating provider, thus making their services ineligible for Medicaid reimbursement. 

Courtesy of American Medical Response

 

More people in Manchester and Nashua have been using Narcan this year to revive someone who has overdosed on opioids

The data comes from American Medical Response, which provides emergency response services in southern New Hampshire.

AMR says that for the fourth consecutive month, a record number of people have used Narcan after an overdose before first responders arrive. 

Courtesy of SAU 55

 

The superintendent of the Hampstead and Timberlane School Districts is suing the SAU, alleging they failed to pay him appropriately for overtime hours.  

Dr. Earl Metzler is one of the highest paid superintendents in the state, and an unusual policy at SAU 55 allows him to bill the SAU for comp time accrued while working on non-scheduled workdays.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

New Hampshire is terminating its contract with the state's sole addiction treatment facility for youth and temporarily suspending all admissions after teenagers staying there overdosed and were rushed to the hospital earlier this week.

On Wednesday, DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers told reporters that swift action was neccessary against Granite Pathways, the organization running the center.

FILE

 

A former prosecutor fired by Hillsborough County Attorney Michael Conlon is suing Conlon for wrongful termination.

NHPR Staff

 

A group of lawmakers is asking the New Hampshire Department of Education to respond to its concerns about a $46 million federal grant to expand public charter schools, before deciding whether to accept it.

Sarah Gibson / NHPR

Students and Democratic lawmakers are urging the Community College System of New Hampshire to reconsider its decision to lay off ten faculty and staff at NHTI, the community college in Concord.

NHTI has seen a decline in enrollment over the last several years, including an eight percent dip this semester. But the overall Community College System (CCSNH) is getting 20 percent more state funds over the next biennium, compared to the last state budget.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

The city of Manchester is nearing the final stages of a major strategic planning process for its 22 public schools. 

 

The process began over a year ago, when business and education leaders formed a group called Manchester Proud with the goal of improving the city’s public school system and making the district more attractive to young families. 

 

Courtesy of Carisa Corrow

 

The Merrimack Valley High School's use of a former mascot - a Native American man with a headdress - is causing controversy once again. 

The school got rid of the mascot 15 years ago amidst heated debate, responding to concerns that the image was offensive. The image has returned in the last two years on banners, walls, and the gym floor, as Merrimack Valley High School celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Senator Maggie Hassan is meeting with students in Nashua on Tuesday to discuss a bill she's sponsoring to expand early college programs for high-schoolers.

The bill - Fast Track To and Through College - is inspired by New Hampshire's own college high school dual enrollment program, Running Start, which allows high schoolers to enroll in community college classes that count toward college credit. 

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

 

Hundreds of veterans, their families, and state officials gathered on Monday under a gray sky for a ceremony at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. The annual event included remarks from veteran's affairs officials, Gov. Chris Sununu, and all four members of New Hampshire's congressional delegation.

Sen. Maggie Hassan thanked veterans and current members of the military for their service.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Lawmakers are holding up $10 million of a charter school grant from the federal government, citing concerns over how the grant will affect existing public schools and the state budget.

The money is part of $46-million grant made to the New Hampshire Department of Education, with the goal of doubling the number of charter schools in the state over the next five years.

Ceyhun (Jay) Isik / https://flic.kr/p/cG7qFL

 

Lawmakers from southern New Hampshire want to give the state more control over commercial wells run by water companies. The move comes after the town of Hampstead discovered that a private companies' rate of pumping water was contributing to residential wells running dry.

Sarah Gibson/NHPR

Last Democratic presidential primary, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire decisively, getting 60 percent of the vote and galvanizing his supporters across the country. But this year, many Sanders supporters say they see another progressive option in Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Recent polls show the two candidates are largely drawing from the same pool of voters for their support.

As Primary Day draws closer, how are those voters navigating that choice?

Concord High School Principal Tom Sica has resigned, following months of public pressure and an investigation into the district's mishandling of allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sica has been on paid leave since June, after revelations that he had suspended a student in 2014 for raising concerns about Howie Leung, a former special ed teacher now facing charges of sexually assaulting a Concord student.

Casey McDermott / NHPR

 

A group of lawmakers tasked with studying violence in schools says the state needs to give districts better standards for reporting violent incidents and staff need better training to handle student behavior.

 

The Committee to Study Violence in New Hampshire Schools looked at the increase in reports from teachers who say they were injured by students. 

Via Concord High School website

Terri Forsten, the superintendent of the Concord School District, has resigned. Forsten has been on administrative leave since September, after public outcry over her handling of allegations of sexual misconduct by a former teacher. The school board officially accepted her resignation on Friday night.

Via Concord High School website

 

An attorney hired by the Concord School Board to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by former special ed teacher Howie Leung has issued recommendations for how to deal with sexual misconduct in the district.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Manchester’s long-shuttered Rex Theater is opening again this week. The revamped theater is owned and operated by the Palace Theater just a few blocks down the street.

Standing on the balcony, Executive Director Chuck Stergioux points to group of technicians and contractors installing lights and the sound system before the Rex opens to the public on Thursday.

Stergioux says the place has transformed since a year ago. With a $1.7 million loan from the city, they installed a new roof and a new floor. But they kept the exposed brick wall.

Photos via the candidates' campaign websites

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig is running for re-election next month. Her challenger, former Republican state representative Victoria Sullivan, says Mayor Craig has failed to tackle concerns about homelessness, crime and quality of life. While the two candidates disagree over the nature of the challenges facing the city, public safety is on the minds of many voters this campaign season.

Pelham Police

A Manchester man charged with attempted murder is facing an additional charge after allegedly assaulting his public defender.

Dale Holloway was charged with multiple felonies earlier this month after allegedly shooting two people at a wedding in a church in Pelham.

NHPR

 

A group of New Hampshire lawmakers voted on Thursday to delay a proposal from the State Board of Education that would require high schools to grant students credit for extracurriculars approved by the Board.

The program, called Learn Everywhere, faced fierce opposition from Democrats and many educators for nearly a year. 

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