Laura Knoy

Host, The Exchange

Laura is well known in New Hampshire for her in-depth coverage of important issues and is widely regarded for her interviews with presidential hopefuls. Laura is a graduate of Keene High School in New Hampshire. Prior to hosting The Exchange, Laura worked in public radio in Washington, D.C. as a local reporter and announcer for WAMU and as a newscaster for NPR. Before her radio career, she was a researcher for USA Today's "Money" section, and a research assistant at the Institute for International Economics. Laura occasionally guest hosts national programs such as The Diane Rehm Show and Here and Now. In 2007 Laura was named New Hampshire Broadcaster of the Year by the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.

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SigEp NV Alpha '03 / Flickr Creative Commons

For some students pledging that fraternity or sorority is a rite of passage, creating a sense of belonging and friendship on campus.  But after a series of recent ugly incidents - including hazing, binge drinking, and sexual assaults - some colleges are looking harder at Greek organizations and whether some are getting out of control.  We’re examining the big picture, nationally and in New Hampshire.  

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lehcar1477 / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire’s farm legacy extends to the very beginning of our state’s history, when farmers from over-crowded areas in southern New England started to move north in search of more open land. While the soil in New Hampshire was not as fertile as they’d hoped, farmers did take root in the state and are still here. And while the country overall has seen a trend toward fewer, bigger farms, new data from show the reverse in New Hampshire and New England: over the past five years, the state’s number of farms has grown 5%, for a total 30% increase over the past decade.

afagen / Flickr Creative Commons

In mid-March, with the sap has hardly running, November seems a lifetime away. But in the political world, eight months goes by quickly, especially for those preparing for mid-term elections. Although the filing period isn’t until June, there’s already a solid list of Republicans hoping to face the three Democratic incumbents. In the 1st Congressional District, former Congressman Frank Guinta and former UNH business school Dean Dan Innis look to go against Carol Shea Porter. In Congressional District 2, state Rep.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

We’re looking at the stories of the week: former U.S. Senator Bob Smith launches his campaign to regain his old seat, a state Senate committee approves a 4 cent gas tax increase, and Granite State Unemployment dips below five percent.

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EasternMennoniteUniversity / Flickr Creative Commons

We finish a two-part series on the teaching profession, with a look at how we prepare our teachers.  After criticism claiming credentialing standards in the U.S. are lax, many states, including New Hampshire, are trying to raise the bar and turn out more qualified teachers. Some say more in-classroom experience is key. But there are challenges to such changes, including the expense.  

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hegtor / Flickr Creative Commons

In Ukraine, tensions are growing. More forces are massing around the Crimean peninsula of the country, threats of war keep getting louder and allies of both countries are figuring out how to react if war begins. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in New Hampshire, residents with direct ties to the country worry and wait.  A Nashua engineer born in the eastern city of Kharkiv, an area with close ties to Russia, keeps in touch with his parents and other residents living in Ukraine.

hmoloshok / Flickr Creative Commons

With two stubborn, diametrically opposed sides, the country’s abortion debate has moved very little in either direction since Roe v. Wade 40 years ago. While polls indicate most Americans do not support overturning the landmark supreme court decision to allow abortions, many do support some limitations on the procedure. And it’s in this direction that many state legislatures have swung recently, with a record number of restrictions passed since 2010.  While this trend is changing the landscape for abortion access in some parts of the country, New England continues to be an exception.

Granite State politicians weigh in on the politics in Washington that led to the shutdown and debt-ceiling standoff and discuss the agreement forged yesterday to open the government and avoid default.

Guests:

  • Ray Buckley- Chairman of New Hampshire Democratic Party
  • Gene Chandler- Republican House Minority Leader from Bartlett.
  • Andy Smith - Director of the UNH Survey Center and Associate Professor of Political Science

Callout:

Sara Plourde / NHPR

We’re looking at the stories of the week: disagreement over when to issue ID cards for medical marijuana, wood pellet manufacturers are taken by surprise by demand,  and former Senator Bob Smith prepares to kick off his campaign to regain his old seat.

GUESTS:

NHPR Staff

In a highly-watched decision yesterday, the justices upheld Addison’s conviction of “capital murder” for killing a police officer. But the court said at a later date would it rule on Addison’s death sentence itself. We’ll look at this decision, what it means for the capital punishment debate in New Hampshire and its possible ramifications.

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rbcullen / Flickr Creative Commons

Today, defining a good teacher has become far more complex than we might remember from our own schooldays. Many states now rely on student test scores as a major way to assess teacher quality, while others also use classroom observations, student evaluations, and lesson plan reviews. Backers of tougher assessments argue that since U.S. students as a whole are lagging behind other industrialized nations, something needs to be done.  But others worry that these data-driven judgments diminish what’s really important:  teachers using their skills and creativity to engage with students .

About a decade ago, Marion Nestle made waves when she published her groundbreaking book “Food Politics,” now considered by many to be one of the founding documents of the movement to reform the American food system.   In it, Nestle criticized the high quality, low quantity eating habits encouraged by the food industry and how many lawmakers in Washington have been influenced by the deep pockets of big agriculture and big food.

MMBOB / Flickr Creative Commons

Upon first glance, the numbers look good, the U.S. jobless rate now sits at 6.6%, a full 1.6% better than last year. But dig deeper into those numbers and you find a different story: currently 4 million Americans have been out of work for more than half a year, and in New Hampshire that makes up nearly 32% of the jobless. But now, the stress of long-term unemployment is being felt even more as the extensions usually given after 6  months were dropped in December leaving 1,300 in New Hampshire and nearly 2 million nationwide without benefits.

CubaGallery / Flickr Creative Commons

Childhood has always had its fears - from monsters under the bed, to sleep-away camp, to schoolyard bullies. But normal jitters, about these and other childhood challenges, become an issue when they interfere with regular activities, from riding the bus to going to bed at night. And this kind of debilitating anxiety seems to be on the rise: now affecting close to 1 in 5  kids.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

We’re looking at the stories of the week: the gas-tax debate revs up, the House puts off a vote on a bill to ban hand-held use of cell phones while driving,  and the city of Rochester repeals its panhandling ordinance under pressure from the ACLU.

GUESTS:

Ann McLane Kuster / Flickr Creative Commons

Second District Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster was swept into office in the last election amid a storm of anti-incumbent feeling in the Granite State. In her victory speech, she promised to work in the spirit of bipartisanship.

Thomas Fearon / NHPR

In the 1990s, New Hampshire topped national rankings for its mental health system. Over the past twenty years, however, care has deteriorated to the point of crisis. With the erosion of community-based care, a ‘revolving door’ pattern of hospital admissions, and an alarming number of mentally ill Granite Staters in our prisons and jails. And so, in early 2012, the Disabilities Rights Center filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of six plaintiffs who had experienced prolonged stays in state institutions.

gramola2three / Flickr Creative Commons

A recent report finds that a growing number of elderly patients outlive their hospice stay, costing Medicare millions, and raising questions about how we look at end of life care. Some say these conversations should start long before a terminal diagnosis. That they say will end up helping them live more comfortably in their final days, all while reducing the bottom line.

In this new approach to the Civil War, Wineapple provides the reader with a sense of the passions and tragedies of the era, including character studies of the vibrant and flawed personalities behind the scenes.

GUEST:

  • Brenda Wineapple – teaches literature at both New York's New School University and Columbia University.  Wineapple is also professor of modern literary and historical studies at Union College.  Her previous book is White Heat: the Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
Sara Plourde / NHPR

We’re looking at the stories of the week: a bill to expand background checks for gun purchases,  an explosion at the New Hampshire Ball Bearing plant in Peterborough, and the Granite State’s official state dog’s first appearance at the Westminster dog show.

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H.GrahamSmith / Flickr Creative Commons

Long a problem in New England and around the country, heroin has recently caused a rise in overdose deaths and drug-related crime, and increased concern over contamination.  We’ll find out what’s fueling this increase, how it’s affecting our region and different strategies states are adopting to combat it.

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fernandocabo / Flickr Creative Commons

The Cold War might be over but the two former enemies are hardly on warm terms. Sore points for the U.S. include Russia’s shielding of NSA-leaker Edward Snowden, its anti-gay laws, and its support for the Syrian regime. But Putin-led Russia has its own complaints against the West, and seeks greater respect on the world stage. Now, These geopolitical dramas form the backdrop to the Sochi Olympics, considered a chance for Russia to boost its global reputation.

GUESTS:

governor.nh.gov

Last week, Governor Maggie Hassan stepped up to the front podium in Representatives Hall and delivered her first State of the State speech.  Hassan addressed her victories and challenges of her first year, and outlined  her hopes for year two:  she underlined a desire for a ‘high end’ casino, stood firm on her stance against legalizing marijuana and tried to reach out to both sides of the aisle to get work done.But bipartisanship hasn’t been always come easy for the governor.

Sara Plourde

The week of February 3rd was one headlined by political orations, snowy frustrations and Olympian ovations. Yesterday, Governor Maggie Hassan gave her first State of the State speech calling for one high-end casino, and standing firm against legalizing marijuana. UNH President Mark Huddleston gave an address of his own, defending a new $25 million athletic complex. A former high-ranking official for the Diocese of Manchester will face prison time due to theft charges, while oil company owner Fred Fuller gets a bill from a state bailout last month.

NHPR

In her state of the state address this afternoon, Hassan’s expected to look back at progress made in her first year in office, and ahead to what she hopes to accomplish. We’ll take stock of how she’s done with some of her top priorities including Medicaid expansion, casino gambling, the state budget and the mental health system.

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limconcon / Flickr Creative Commons

After yet another casino bill failed last year, new versions have emerged – with new regulations attached in hopes of appeasing opponents.  Supporters say a casino would bring in much-needed revenue to the state. But opposition remains among those worried about social costs, and those who question whether it would be profitable, given expanded gambling elsewhere in New England.

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LendingMemo / Flickr Creative Commons

Just many places across the country, the New Hampshire’s recover from the recession has been slow. Recently, though, many are pointing to signs of an upswing. Housing prices are going up, while foreclosures are going down.  Consumer confidence is better than it has been in a while, and unemployment is now at 5.1% - 11th best in the country. But all is not perfect:  many in the Granite State worry about high energy costs, the Affordable Care Act’s effect on business, and uneven progress in different regions of the state.

Chance Agrella / Flickr Creative Commons

In his State of the Union address, President Obama lamented that women make 77 cents to every dollar a man makes. A new bill in New Hampshire looks to narrow that gap. However, disagreement remains about what’s behind the difference, whether it’s the choices that women make, outright discrimination, or a combination of these and other factors.

GUESTS:

Sara Plourde / Flickr Creative Commons

We’re looking at the stories of the week, from statehouse debates about keno and marijuana legalization, to the Business and Industry Association’s list of bills it feels are anti-business, to the Republican National Committee’s affirmation of New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary, and a look at conditions that are affecting and reducing New Hampshire’s moose population.

GUESTS:

Vaporizers_ / Flickr Creative Commons

Those hoping for the legalization of marijuana in New Hampshire now say they have momentum on their side, coming from several different directions. First, after years of defeats, supporters saw their first real victory in the Granite State last year when medicinal pot was voted into law. Second, marijuana legalization has now passed in two states, Colorado and Washington. And third, a new legalization bill this year passed the house by a slim margin.

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