Word of Mouth

Saturdays at 11 am, Tuesdays at 8 pm

Word of Mouth explores the nooks and crannies of New Hampshire. Airs Saturdays at 11 am and replays Tuesdays at 8 pm.

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Leave us a message: 603.513.7796

Curious about things you've seen, heard, or experienced in our state? Send us your "Only In New Hampshire" questions here!

The Executive Council is a peculiar New Hampshire institution made up of five “citizen” councilors that, together with the governor, make up the executive branch. Why do we have one? And how does it work?

 

Then, overpopulation was one of the biggest environmental issues of the 60s and 70s, arguably bigger than saving the whales, planting trees, and acid rain. But then it seemed to disappear from the conversation.

What's That Sound?

May 17, 2019

When workers at the American embassy Cuba claimed to have been attacked by a mysterious weapon that left no trace, it led to a major shift in American diplomacy toward the Caribbean socialist state. But the story has also led to a split in journalism, stemming from the sources different kinds of journalists rely on. Today, a story of weapons, nature, and truth from Outside/In.

Honor or Omen?

May 10, 2019

Over 100 years ago, in 1909, Edwin Grozier, publisher of the Boston Post, had an idea for a publicity stunt. He would send out an ebony cane with a gold top, complete with inscription, to 700 New England towns. The cane was to be given out to the town's oldest male resident (the tradition has since included women). And after that resident passed, it would find its way into the hands of the next oldest resident. 

Who Needs Counties

May 3, 2019
Library of Congress; New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station

Counties are the "forgotten" part of government, but why do they matter?

NYPL

Here begins the story of a flower, a tale of identity, pride, and hubris.  

New Hampshire like every other state has its own Supreme Court. It’s not the all-powerful arbiter of justice that the name would imply. A primer on the New Hampshire Surpreme Court from Civics 101: NH. Then, the controversial start to our Constitution.

Conversations About Guns

Apr 12, 2019

This week for our ongoing series Only in New Hampshire, we answer a listener's question about gun laws in New Hampshire. 

Plastic Parties

Apr 5, 2019

In the early 1940s, an inventor from Berlin created a container made of refined polyethylene, an odorless, non-toxic plastic that would revolutionize food storage. Then, a mystery in the woods involving a beloved New Hampshire product from Outside/In.

  

Justine Paradis

Word of Mouth explores New Hampshire through deep-dive series reported around a central theme.

Our next theme: the North Country, or the Great North Woods. Here's your chance to shape our reporting.

This is the fourth and final episode of “The Rules Are Different Here,” a four-part series on mass incarceration in New Hampshire. Listen to the full series here.

Annie Wrenn is middle-aged with blond hair she wears with bangs. She’s a little over 5 feet tall. And on first sight, you’d never guess she’s a prison guard.

Before any bill can become a law in New Hampshire, it has to have at least one public hearing, where anyone can show up and talk to their lawmakers face to face. You can tell them what you think about the bill. A lot of people have never testified at a public hearing—it’s confusing to figure when they happen and where and how to participate. So, to demystify the whole thing, Civics 101: New Hampshire is breaking down how they work. 

Town Meeting Explained

Mar 15, 2019

Town meetings are a New Hampshire institution. It’s where all the year’s business is voted on by citizens in town halls, gyms, and community centers around the state. But for the uninitiated, town meeting can be confusing. Civics 101: New Hampshire helps break it down.

Then, Sam Evans-Brown introduces us to pirate trails.

Justine Paradis

Three years ago, Samuel and Rachel purchased a wooden crate manufactured by inmates at the New Hampshire State Prison, but they wondered: was it ethically made? 

This is the third episode in our four-part series on mass incarceration in New Hampshire. Explore the full series here. 

Lobbying All The Way

Mar 1, 2019

When you visit the state house in Concord, you might notice some well-dressed people sporting bright orange name tags: lobbyists. What do lobbyists do and how does lobbying work?

Then we’re going inside drug court, a program designed to divert people with substance use disorders from prison.

Part 2: One Month Out

Feb 22, 2019

This is the second episode of “The Rules Are Different Here,” a four-part series on mass incarceration in New Hampshire. Listen to the first installment, or explore the full series.

Casey Bisson

Every town seems to have one. A obelisk. A cannon. A guy on a horse. But one New Hampshire town has something a little different.

Producer Asher Brown brings us the story of the missile in Warren as part of our Only in New Hampshire series. 

Listen to the story:

Part 1: Going Inside

Feb 8, 2019
History of Concord NH From the Original Grant in Seventeen Hundred and Twenty-Five to the Opening of the Twentieth Century

Bill Blanchard was just a kid when he first came into contact with law enforcement.

"Going Inside" is the first installment of a four-part series,"The Rules Are Different Here: A Series on New Hampshire's Prisons and Jails." The full series is available here.

Civics 101: New Hampshire, our local look at how state government works, brings us a look at the governor. Not our current governor specifically, but the office of the governor itself. What does the NH state governor do? And what makes our governor position different than in other states?

Then, a thought experiment: How fast could people go before the combustion engine and other technologies drastically increased the speed of the human race? And how did they pull it off?

The Most Diverse City In New Hampshire

Jan 25, 2019
flickr cc

Nashua is the most diverse city in New Hampshire, with the state’s largest population of foreign-born residents.  Today on Word of Mouth, we’re exploring how immigrants decide to build a life in Nashua… and what that has meant for them and for the city.

 

Then, we’re going way back in time to look at how Magna Carta shaped the American democratic project.

Yes to the Dress

Jan 18, 2019

Five people invite us to take a peek into their closets and tell us what's inside.

There's only one place in the world that you can find the axolotl—the Mexican salamander—in the wild. This creature is the living embodiment of the Aztec god of heavenly fire, of lightning and the underworld.But the wild axolotl’s fate might be bound to the Aztecs by more than myth in a story from Outside/In.

Then, the Executive Council. What is it? Why do we have it? And what does it do?

There's no easy way to ask for money. Just ask the governor of New Hampshire. In just a few weeks, Governor Sununu will present his proposed budget to the state legislature. All of this got us wondering.... what is the budget? Who writes it, and what do we spend money on? And how are New Hampshire’s spending decisions different from other states? For answers, we're turning to something new here at NHPR, Civics 101: New Hampshire, a local offshoot of our popular Civics 101 podcast.

It’s the last show of the year and thus a time to look back on where we’ve been and the stories we’ve shared. Word of Mouth producers celebrate the work they loved and the stories that stuck with them from producers and reporters around NHPR.

Favorites Mentioned In This Episode

Get Swole

Dec 14, 2018

Today, two stories about different kinds of ambition: one a desire to sculpt the body and the other a desire to sculpt legislation. NHPR reporter Todd Bookman followed one amateur bodybuilder as he prepared for his first competition. Then, we learn all about propositions - the civic kind - from Civics 101.

Today, we’re giving you an inside look at what it takes to make the podcast. A bunch of people make this show, which means that our ideas meetings almost inevitably turn into total chaos when one of us starts shouting our favorite facts about our favorite animals.

The US Congress has two houses - the House of Representatives and the Senate. But why? And what’s the difference? Also, Sam Evans-Brown tells us what are palm trees good for in an installment of "Ask Sam" from Outside/In. And finally, we get the lowdown on a Star Trek-related vanity plate.

 

You're Family Now

Nov 23, 2018

In June 1981, a bodybuilder, a stockbroker, and 10 other men entered the woods of New Hampshire to settle an argument. They called it "The First Annual Survival Game," and the details are the stuff of legend... even if they aren't all true. Then, what happens to your leaves after you rake them up and put them on the curb? And another story in our continuing series on vanity plates, this one a story far more complex than a license plate can capture.

Tipped Off

Nov 17, 2018

When it comes to restaurants, most folks think about celebrity chefs, newly-opened spots or the latest food trends. But what do we know about the people that work within them? On today's show, we're looking inside the service industry, and specifically, the practice of tipping. And we'll try to answer the question: what type of culture does tipping create? 

Seeing Double

Nov 9, 2018
Jacqui Helbert

Today on Word of Mouth, we're digging in to the fraught relationship between the gear industry and gender with Outside/In. When do women actually need something different and when are companies just looking to make more money by selling women a product that is essentially the same thing... but smaller and pink? And what do you do if the available products - pink or not -  don't fit your body at all?

NASA

Although surrounded by states with minimum wages of over $10 an hour, New Hampshire holds to the federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour, the lowest in New England. 

If you're making close to the minimum wage in New Hampshire, can you make rent?


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