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

Courtesy of Water Street Bookstore

Some people find themselves right now with a lot of extra quiet time in the house. You could  stew. You could tweet. Or, how about you get some reading done? 

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Crotched Mountain Foundation

The Crotched Mountain School in Greenfield is battling an outbreak of COVID-19 on its campus that has killed one resident and infected five others. The facility, which offers residential and day programs for people living with disabilities, says the outbreak is traced to a group home on its campus.

New Hampshire’s federal delegation is providing more detail on how the $2 trillion stimulus package signed into law last week will benefit the state.

Along with a previously announced $1.25 billion in aid allocated for state and local governments in response to the pandemic, U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, and U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas, say an additional $147 million will reach various corners of New Hampshire.


The driver of a pick-up truck that crashed into a group of motorcycles in Randolph last June killing seven people is requesting a bail hearing. 

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy of West Springfield, Massachusetts was indicted on 23 different charges, including seven counts of manslaughter and driving under the influence of a narcotic, for his role in the collision. 

Prosecutors allege the 25-year old drifted over the center line on Route 2, striking members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, which is made up of Marine Corps members and their families. 

When We Can't Gather

Mar 27, 2020
John Phelan/Wikimedia Commons

With the temporary closing of stores, New Hampshire’s Main Streets, the places where young and old, commuters and locals, all mix together, are suddenly silent.

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The $2 trillion stimulus package passed unanimously by the Senate on Wednesday seeks to help soften the economic damage of the coronavirus. Here’s a summary of how the bill, which the House could take up as early as Friday, would likely impact New Hampshire residents and businesses. 

Direct Payments

Centers for Disease Control

As communities prepare for an anticipated surge in coronavirus cases, local police, fire and EMT responders are making due with a dwindling supply of protective gear to limit their own exposure.

But with personal protective equipment in short supply nationwide, some departments say they will have to alter their response plans to protect their staff.  

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A proposed class action lawsuit against Newington-based gun manufacturer SIG Sauer has cleared a key procedural hurdle. In an order issued Monday, a federal court judge ruled against the company’s motion to dismiss.

Derick Ortiz of Snowflake, Arizona filed a proposed class action suit last September alleging the P320 pistol he purchased for approximately $500 could inadvertently discharge when dropped, due to an alleged design flaw.

In his lawsuit, Ortiz says he wouldn’t have purchased a P320, or would have paid less, had he been aware of the drop fire issue. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

With reports of busy hiking trails, New Hampshire’s search-and-rescue teams are urging people who head into the forest to use an extra degree of caution to avoid putting wilderness first responders at risk for COVID-19.

While conservation officers are carrying personal protective gear, performing rescues could expose rescuers to the coronavirus.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

This weekend is usually a time when New Hampshire sugar houses are open to the public for events and tastings. But this year, the 25th Annual Maple Weekend is canceled over coronavirus concerns.

And that's been a big blow to local producers.

Sue Folsom, owner of Folsom’s Sugar House in Chester, said the annual event is a huge revenue generator for both big and small maple makers.

"Oh, it is enormously important to the maple producers in this state," Folsom said. "For a lot of producers, it is the major source of income for their maple crop every year."

Courtesy of Heron Pond Farm

Two main sources of income for family farms were uprooted this week due to the coronavirus: many of the farm-to-table restaurants that source locally grown meat and produce aren’t buying at the same volume, and spring farmers markets are now closed, as well, due to the ban on public gatherings in New Hampshire.

So to keep the lettuces, kales and cabbages moving along, some local farms on the Seacoast are banding together to offer home delivery in the region.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Booms, clangs and bangs — the sounds of a healthy supply chain — continue to echo on the production floor of Hitchiner Manufacturing in Milford.

While retailers and restaurants across New Hampshire are facing a sudden disruption in business, Hitchiner, like many of the state’s manufacturers, hasn’t yet felt the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.


A Dover resident detained in Lebanon for more than six months is expected back safely in the United States late Thursday evening.

Amer Fakhoury, 56, was arrested last September after returning to his native Beirut for the first time in nearly two decades. Lebanese officials alleged that while Fakhoury served in the South Lebanon Army in the 1990s, he participated in the torture and killing of prisoners inside the Khiam prison. 

Center for Digital Archaeology/Flickr

Ask some people a simple question right now - what do you do for work? - and they aren’t totally sure how to answer.

“I as a bartender,” says Helen Leavitt, unsure what tense to use.

Tomasz Sienicki/Wikimedia Commons

As hospitals take steps to prepare for a wider outbreak of coronavirus in New Hampshire, industry experts say the virus will take a toll on their balance sheets.


New Hampshire is prohibiting all public gatherings of more than 50 people, as well as ordering all restaurants in the state to serve customers through takeout or delivery only, in the latest moves meant to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

Click here for our live coronavirus blog for the latest news updates.

Courtesy of Lucky's Coffee Garage

Until a few days ago, you could stop by Lucky’s Coffee Garage in Lebanon and get anything you need: a coffee, bite to eat, or even a glass of wine.

But in recent days, Lucky’s has rethought its role as a community gathering spot.

NHPR file

On a party line vote, Senate Democrats passed a paid family medical leave bill Thursday despite a near certain veto by Gov. Chris Sununu.

Jason Moon / NHPR

As fears over the coronavirus lead to shortages on the shelves of some products, including hand sanitizer and face masks, regulators from New York to California are using their legal authority to prevent retailers from charging exorbitant prices. 

That includes the threat of financial fines, and in some states, possible criminal charges against retailers who price gouge. 


Voters in 10 communities gave in-person sports betting the green light during Town Meeting elections Tuesday.

Under a state law passed in 2019, up to 10 in-person gambling parlors can open statewide, but before a community can serve as a host, local voters first must give approval at the ballot box.

According to the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, which is regulating sports wagering, voters in Belmont, Derry, Hampton, Hinsdale, Hudson, Newmarket, Pelham, Rollinsford, Salem and Seabrook approved a ballot question Tuesday.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

State officials have snuffed out the last place lawmakers and legislative staff were allowed to smoke indoors at the State House complex.

Courtesy of Henry Lavoie

State environmental regulators are ordering Ice Castles, a seasonal tourist attraction in North Woodstock where visitors can explore a frozen world of ice installations, to reapply for a storm-water permit after inspectors found multiple variations from a previously approved plan.

NHPR File Photo

The Ossipee Police Department’s first-ever full-time female officer is suing the town, alleging she was the target of gender discrimination and repeated instances of sexual harassment during her six years with the force.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Democrats and Republicans appear to be at a stalemate over two competing paid family medical leave bills. 

A Senate committee heard hours of testimony on Tuesday inside an overheated conference room, with both sides presenting arguments for and against the differing versions.

That included blunt remarks from Gov. Chris Sununu, who took the unusual step of testifying in support of his preferred paid family leave proposal, Senate Bill 730.

Courtesy of N.H. Fish and Game

Thomas Knight pulled up from the depths a lunker for the ages on Tuesday.

The Meredith resident caught a 37.65-pound lake trout in Big Diamond Pond in West Stewartstown. The fish, believed by fish biologists to be around 60 years old, broke the state record of 28 pounds, a mark that has stood since 1958.

“It was 15 minutes of chaos and fury,” Knight explained to NHPR when reached by phone. “What a fisherman wants.”

Creative Commons

Animal advocates filled a legislative hearing room on Tuesday as a House Committee took public testimony on four separate pet-related bills. 

Lawmakers spent the morning working on a measure that would add a definition for animal hoarding into the state’s animal cruelty statute.

Rouven74/Wikimedia Commons

Lawyers for SIG Sauer told a federal court judge in Concord Monday that a proposed class action lawsuit concerning the company’s popular P320 pistol should be dismissed because the plaintiff wasn’t harmed by the weapon.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is calling for sanctions against Lebanese officials stemming from that country’s arrest and continued detention of a Dover resident. 

Editor's note: This report includes graphic and disturbing descriptions of assault.

In the summer of 2011, Lisa Ricchio received a call from a man she knew. He said he was in Massachusetts, in pain from a recent surgery, and needed help.

"I went down to meet him, and from there, that's where my nightmare kind of began," says Ricchio, who lived in Maine at the time.

Together, they checked into the Shangri-La Motel in Seekonk, Mass. Once they closed the door, he suddenly turned violent.

Stavrolo/Creative Commons

Cat declawing will remain legal in New Hampshire after state lawmakers voted down a bill to ban the procedure.