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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The New England office of the EPA has awarded grants to Keene State College and the Nashua Regional Planning Commission for projects that aim to reduce kids' exposure to toxins.

Keene State College will use the $25,000 for a project that trains citizen scientists to monitor and reduce air pollution from wood smoke, which exacerbates childhood asthma.

 

A group of New Hampshire lawmakers has issued their recommendations for repurposing the Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC), the state’s juvenile detention facility in Manchester.

The committee convened in response to a juvenile justice bill passed this summer to address underutilization of the facility, which currently houses around 30 juveniles whom the court deems to be delinquent and violent.

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The city of Manchester is reinventing itself. Some think its best hope lies in the high-tech industry based in the booming Millyard. But for others, old-school, neighborhood relationships are still the way to move Manchester forward.

Nowhere are these opposing visions more on display than the race between Republican Ted Gatsas and Democrat Gray Chynoweth for the District 4 seat on the Executive Council.

Congressional 1st District candidates Eddie Edwards and Chris Pappas met last night at a debate in Manchester hosted by WMUR-TV

Despite toeing their party lines, the two candidates both said they were ready to work across the aisle and bring New Hampshire ideals to a broken system in Washington.

Some highlights of the debate include:

jimmywayne / Flickr Creative Commons

The University of New Hampshire is expanding its free tuition program.

The program, called Granite Guarantee, offers free tuition to New Hampshire students whose family income makes them eligible for federal pell grants.

Granite Guarantee has been in place at UNH for two years; 800 freshmen have used it so far.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

New Hampshire is weeks away from having a 36-bed drug treatment center for youth.

The Youth Substance Use Disorder Treatment Center, or SUD, is in a renovated wing of the Sununu Youth Services Center, a youth detention center in Manchester. 

With cinder block walls and small bedrooms, the wing has retained an institutional look, but it is entirely separate from the secure detention center, with a separate entrance, parking lot, a space for yoga and meditation, and outdoor fields.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

1st Congressional District candidates Eddie Edwards and Chris Pappas met on Wednesday morning at a debate hosted by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce debate.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Governor Sununu unveiled a $24 million plan on Tuesday to tackle New Hampshire's nursing shortage.

The Governor says he expects a major surplus in state funds this year and that the majority of it should go to expanding college nursing programs.

FILE

Federal prosecutors in Hillsborough County have begun to toughen penalties for fentanyl traffickers as part of a nationwide program called  "Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Surge pilot program during a stop in Concord this summer.

NHPR

All 24 seats in the New Hampshire Senate are on the ballot this year. Republicans currently hold a four seat majority there, but Democrats hope a strong showing at the polls could give them control of the chamber, for the first time in nearly a decade. 

This week, we're checking in on a handful of swing seats in the Senate, places where the outcome on Election Day will be critical to the balance of power in the State House next year.

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Students from across the state convened at Manchester Community College over the weekend for the state's first Youth Forum on Race and Racism.

The gathering, organized by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, was meant to help students develop plans for addressing issues of race and racism at their schools.

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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