Todd Bookman | New Hampshire Public Radio

Todd Bookman

Senior Reporter

Todd started at NHPR in 2009 as an intern, and in 2011, took over the health beat. He spent two years at WHYY in Philadelphia covering health and science, before returning to NHPR in 2016 as a general assignment reporter with a focus on business and economics. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

Ways to Connect

Photo of crosses erected at roadside memorial.
Sean Hurley / NHPR

The National Transportation Safety Board says multiple factors--from a breakdown in DMV record keeping to driver intoxication--are all to blame for a catastrophic 2019 crash in the small town of Randolph, N.H. that left seven motorcyclists dead.

Police car
Dan Tuohy/NHPR

The City of Manchester says it has paid a disgraced former police officer $181,700, ending a years-long battle between the municipality and Aaron Brown, who was fired for sending racist text messages.

City officials say the payment was made on November 20, less than two weeks after the Board of Aldermen approved the transfer of funds.

Carol Robidoux / Manchester Inklink

Less than a day after announcing it had found a suitable location for an emergency homeless shelter, the city of Manchester now says a private developer purchased the building overnight. City officials claim the buyer, local real estate developer Ben Gamache, didn’t want the space to be used as a shelter.

photo of man hunting a gamebird
Upland New England

The coronavirus is sending more residents into the woods and onto the water, as they seek to reconnect with the land or just get out of the house.

N.H. Fish and Game processed more than 87,600 resident fishing licenses through September, a 35 percent jump from the same period last year.

The agency has processed more than 7,700 resident hunting licenses this year, an 18 percent increase from 2019.

The artist Larissa Fassler is the daughter of an architect, an upbringing which in part explains her own interest in the way residents are shaped by the places they live.

picture of tents on lawn outside courthouse
Todd Bookman/NHPR

Homelessness is often an invisible issue, with people living under bridges, in the woods or alongside railroad tracks.

But that’s not been the case in Manchester recently.

Santeri Viinamäki/Creative Commons

A Hookset man has pleaded guilty to federal hacking charges after breaking into the computer systems of multiple government agencies and a drug treatment facility.

Photo shows downtown Woodstock
Ken Gallager/Creative Commons

A group of more than 30 residents of Woodstock have joined together to sue a new gun range, alleging that it’s a public nuisance and potential safety hazard. 

The civil lawsuit filed in Grafton County Superior Court alleges that sound from the Gold Bess Shooting Club, which formally opened Oct. 31, is “unacceptable and completely destroys each plaintiffs’ quiet enjoyment of their respective properties.”

Photo of man holding sign that says the people demand housing
Todd Bookman/NHPR

On the day state officials are scheduled to clear out a homeless encampment in Manchester, a group of protestors turned out in support of people experiencing homelessness who for months have stayed on the lawn of the Hillsborough County Superior Courthouse.

Photo of tent with other tents around it.
Todd / Todd Bookman/NHPR

It’s a desperate scene outside the Hillsborough County Superior Courthouse, with November weather not helping.

Approximately two dozen tents are clustered between the sidewalk and edge of the courthouse, a pop-up homeless encampment just a block from Manchester’s main commercial street. As rain falls, people who have called this space a temporary home since the summer are making plans to move on.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Rather than replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, as some advocates were lobbying for, the city of Manchester will recognize both holidays on separate days beginning next year.

On Tuesday, the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted 11-1 to mark the first Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day, while keeping the second Monday as Columbus Day. The board voted down a request to mark both holidays on the same day.

North Woods Law

The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case that pits the privacy rights of individuals against the rights of a free press, with a reality television show about state Fish and Game officers serving as the backdrop.

Courtesy of Draftkings

Sports gambling has netted the state $4.6 million in tax revenues since launching last December.

N.H. Lottery Commission officials say that revenue figure would likely be higher if the pandemic hadn’t forced the cancellation of professional and collegiate sports games, and shortened some seasons.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A former Berlin police officer is facing criminal charges for allegedly photographing and videotaping a patient in psychiatric distress at a hospital.

Philip Pelletier, 31, is accused of taking the photographs while working an overtime shift at Androscoggin Valley Hospital in early 2019.

Photo showing inside of empty music call
Courtesy of Tupelo Music Hall

The state is awarding $11.5 million to live music venues, stadiums and theaters as they face financial losses and an uncertain winter of cancelled and limited performances due to the pandemic.

Photo of courtroom with defendant on video conference
David Lane/Union Leader (Pool Photo)

A public defender who suffered serious injuries after an alleged assault by an inmate inside of the Valley Street Jail in Manchester is suing Hillsborough County, claiming a corrections officer on duty failed to respond to the disturbance, and that the room in which the assault took place was locked from the outside, leaving him defenseless.

Photo of Mark Brave
Courtesy

Mark Brave, who ran on a platform of a more community-focused approach to law enforcement, has won the election for Strafford County Sheriff, becoming the first known Black person in state history to hold the position of sheriff.

Brave, a Democrat from Dover, defeated Paul Callaghan, a Republican from Rochester. Both men currently serve as lieutenants in the Strafford County Sheriff’s Office.

In a statement, Brave said he was humbled by the support he received. 

For months, Stephen Ordway had March 13 circled on his calendar.

That was opening day for Dos Mexican Eats, his new restaurant in Dover, N.H.

Then eight short days after selling his first burrito, the pandemic forced Ordway to close down.

"It was terrible," Ordway said. "That's an understatement."

Like millions of Americans who lost their source of income due to COVID-19, Ordway filed for unemployment benefits this year. The payments — roughly $750 a week — served as a financial lifeline for the new business owner.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen celebrates her third U.S. Senate win
Todd Bookman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s incumbent senior Sen. Jeanne Shaheen cruised to a third term Tuesday, beating challenger Bryant "Corky" Messner in a race called just minutes after all polls closed.

photo of boy loading donated food into truck of van
Courtesy of N.H. Food Bank

The head of the New Hampshire Food Bank is criticizing the quality of ingredients received through a federal program launched during the pandemic, saying it received nothing but processed pork products for a number of consecutive weeks.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

After months of debates, ad buys and social media quips, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and his Democratic challenger state Sen. Dan Feltes spent the last weekend of the campaign doing some retail style politicking. 

Police car
Dan Tuohy/NHPR

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has ruled that a confidential list containing the names of more than 270 police officers with sustained findings of misconduct on their records is not protected from release under the state’s Right to Know law. 

Courtesy

The race for Strafford County Sheriff includes two candidates who both support a range of police accountability reforms.

Paul Callaghan, 54, is currently a lieutenant and investigator at the Strafford County Sheriff’s Office. The Republican from Rochester backs a list of policy recommendations released this summer by a New Hampshire commission formed in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, including more training on de-escalation techniques and the release of a long-secret list containing the names of discredited officers. 

Photo shows downtown Woodstock
Ken Gallager/Creative Commons

A new shooting range slated to formally open this weekend is raising fears about noise in the town of Woodstock, New Hampshire.

Opponents, though, appear to have little recourse as the mountain town of fewer than 1,500 residents has no noise ordinance on the books, and state statute protects shooting ranges from nuisance claims.

Photo of SIG Sauer sign outside company headquarters
Todd Bookman/NHPR

Firearms manufacturer SIG Sauer is expanding its operations in New Hampshire with the help of a $21.1 million state treasury bond and nearly $2 million in other financial incentives. 

The deal comes as SIG Sauer, already one of the largest firearms-makers in the country, races to fill a $580 million U.S. Army contract for hundreds of thousands of pistols, as well as other military orders and surging private sales. 

The New Hampshire Attorney General says it is opening a criminal investigation into a circuit court judge for allegedly altering court paperwork with white out while she was under a separate investigation by the judicial branch for failing to recuse herself from a case involving a lawyer with whom she had a “long-standing close friendship.”

Patrick Feller/ Flickr Creative Commons

Citing concerns about the safety of victims of domestic and sexual violence, the New Hampshire Superior Court system says it will no longer automatically stream their testimony from courtrooms.

Since jury trials resumed in the state in August following a months-long pause due to the coronavirus, members of the public have been able to watch proceedings through video links.

Get stories like this in your inbox - sign up for our newsletter today.

Lisa McCauley via Flickr / https://flic.kr/p/9VUmRa

A Strafford County grand jury has indicted a former Dover Police officer for allegedly stealing drug evidence in 2016.

R.J. Letendre is accused of taking a “significant” quantity of marijuana-laced Jolly Rancher candies from a Dover home during an arrest, according to County Attorney Tom Velardi.

Get stories like this in your inbox...sign up for NHPR's Rundown Newsletter today.

Photo of Jeanne Shaheen speaking to crowd of supporters outside.
Josh Rogers/NHPR

This February, just before the state presidential primary, New Hampshire Democrats gathered for a rally in Manchester. At that moment, the room was divided over who should be the party’s nominee for president.

But at the state level, there was no question about who’s in charge. 

Via LRGHealthcare on Facebook

LRGHealthcare, which operates Lakes Region General Hospital and Franklin Regional Hospital, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a huge debt load and other financial strains compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pages