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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Washington Examiner1 / Flickr Creative Commons

For an hour and five minutes, President Barack Obama addressed the country for his 5th State of the Union address.  Obama lauded progress the country has made from decreasing unemployment to smaller deficits. He talked about recent successes of the Affordable Care Act and spoke out about progress that still needs to be made: higher wages for women, and raising the minimum wage. And he showed a little extra swagger saying that if congress won’t go along with his ideas, then President Obama will go at it alone.

Gun Store / Flickr Creative Commons

A new bill would prohibit gun sales to some with mental illness. Supporters say it’s a common sense public safety measure. But there has been fierce opposition from some gun-rights groups, and from advocates who say the mentally ill are being unfairly singled out and are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence.

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How's Housing?

Jan 24, 2014
Jer*ry / Flickr Creative Commons

Six years after the collapse of the housing bubble, New Hampshire’s housing market is once again on the rise. But with new regulations making it more difficult to get a loan and rental prices going through the roof, some question whether this new market is just another bubble. Will the government’s new blueprint for sustainable housing hold up in the real world?

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Sara Plourde / NHPR

We’re looking at the stories of the week, from statehouse debates about gun control and animal cruelty, to the republican nomination for Ray Burton’s Executive Council seat, to continued scrutiny over a state representative’s run-in with some ducks.

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artbucher / Flickr Creative Commons

The legislature is again considering a repeal of the state’s capital punishment statute. While supporters say that their cause has gained momentum over recent years, others argue that the death penalty still plays an important role in state’s justice system.

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New Hampshire Public Radio / Flickr Creative Commons

You would think that the commissioner of the state’s largest agency has one of the biggest to-do lists of the year, and for Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas, you’re probably right. A new year brings new challenges for Toumpas: with Medicaid, there’s the implementation of its managed care program, as well as the continuing debate over its expansion.

rob.ewart / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire Transportation Commissioner Christopher Clement has long pointed out that when it comes to our infrastructure, we’re not doing too well. Nearly 40% of the state’s roads are considered in poor condition, and almost one hundred and fifty bridges are red listed. Although Clement remains ‘revenue agnostic’ over where the funding comes from, others have a clear idea: raising the gas tax, which hasn’t been raised in New Hampshire in over twenty years.  Supporters say this would be the most comprehensive and fair solution.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

We're looking at the top news of the week, from recreational marijuana's first overcome hurdle, to a rejection of license plate scanners, and hearings have begun on domestic violence legislation.

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Paul W Hayes / Flickr Creative Commons

After more than a decade of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, American troops are coming home.  For many, it’s a wonderful time, to return to family and a normal life. But for veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, the transition is a rough road.   In New Hampshire, more a quarter who fought in these wars say they’ve struggled with PTSD, and a fifth with some kind of brain injury.

Wendy Longo photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Behind the numbers are the experiences of America's poor, which, more often than not, go unheard. This divide is the problem that N.H. writer and activist Dan Weeks addressed in the project he undertook last year, to travel around some of the poorest areas of the country by bus and see poverty close up, as well as the ways that it intertwines with a lack of political voice. Today we'll talk with him about the series of articles he wrote for The Atlantic on his trip and what he saw.

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nh.gov/dot

A lot of government officials like to speak up about what they’ve accomplished, but our guest today, Christopher Clement, has been speaking up for what he has not been able to do. For the last two and a half years, Clement has served as New Hampshire’s Transportation commissioner, and during that time he’s expressed his frustration over numbers that he says speak for themselves. The department is paving 200 fewer miles of roads each year, there are 145 “red-listed” bridges and nearly 40% of our roads are considered in poor condition.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

We’re looking at some of the top stories of the week, from the reconvening of the legislature for the second half of their session  and dealing with bills from minimum wage to Medicaid Expansion, to the polar vortex with its icy grip on the Granite State, to Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas' third inaugurated, and a Bedford coffee roaster that receives national recognition as one of the best in the country.

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JasonWalton / Flickr Creative Commons

A recent report places New Hampshire in the middle of the pack nationally when it comes to programs and policies to conserve energy, and that we’re behind the other New England states. We’ll look at the costs, regulations and the possible outcomes down the road.

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bobmendo / Flickr Creative Commons

A new report paints a complex picture, including that the number of un-sheltered homeless has jumped by twenty percent over the past year.  We’ll look once again at this stubborn problem and ongoing efforts to address it.

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http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/04/5-facts-about-the-minimum-wage/ / Pew Research Center

As more states increase their minimum wages beyond the federal level, New Hampshire’s has remained at the same at seven dollars and twenty-five cents an hour. Now, some state lawmakers want to raise it, saying it will help lift workers out of poverty and boost the economy. Opponents though, warn of unintended consequences, including layoffs and slower job growth.

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lindalu23 / Flickr Creative Commons

We’re sitting down with a panel of leading lawmakers to talk about their top issues for 2014.  These will include some repeats from last year such as Medicaid expansion, a gas tax increase, and casino gambling.  Other major debates will include guns and mental health, as well as cell phone use while driving.

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Next week on The Exchange:

Sara Plourde / NHPR

We're looking at the news of the past weeks, from a $72 million budget surplus to new laws in effect and bills under consideration.

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  • Norma Love - State House Reporter for the AP
  • Garry Rayno - State House Reporter for the Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News
  • Dean Spiliotes - Civic Scholar in the School of Arts and Sciences at Southern New Hampshire University and author of the website NHPoliticalCapital.com

Stories of the week:

truthout.org / Flickr Creative Commons

Twenty-fourteen is when the rubber hits road for the ACA, with new deadlines and new requirements kicking in. These include the so-called individual mandate, which says everyone must carry health insurance or pay a penalty.  We’re talking about what to expect in the Granite State in 2014.

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  • Todd Bookman- NHPR’s health reporter
  • Jay Hancock – reporter for Kaiser Health News

Dartmouth professor Charles Wheelan joins us to discuss his best-selling book “Naked Economics: Undressing The Dismal Science”.  Wheelan presents the economic principles behind Federal Reserve policy, the government’s response to the recession, international trade, and more.

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  • Charles Wheelan -  Professor at Dartmouth College, author of the international best-sellers Naked Statistics and the recently revised and updated Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science  
Sara Plourde / NHPR

In a year-long series called “250 Years In The Making: Stories From 13 New Hampshire Towns," NHPR’s Keith Shields has traveled all across the Granite State, learning the unique stories of these towns and how their tales also reflect the broader narrative of new Hampshire history.

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Mansfield has spent his literary life writing stories that connect people to the land where they live. In his latest book, he explores the idea of one’s ‘dwelling’ - from mansions to condos to sheds and how, as he says, "they succeed or fail to shelter us, body and soul.”

GUEST:

  • Howard Mansfield: noted New Hampshire author, whose latest book is “Dwelling In Possibility”

Next week on The Exchange:

Sara Plourde / NHPR

We're looking at some of the top stories of the week, from the onset of winter weather, to the continued heat-up of the 2016 political conversation.

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Healthnewsnet / Flickr Creative Commons

Since Edward Jenner’s discovery of a smallpox vaccine in the 18th century, vaccinations have at times been controversial. Today, while vaccines have been proven to inoculate against a host of dangerous diseases, the debate continues. We’ll look at what underlies this debate today.

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storycorps.org

We're speaking with David Isay, StoryCorps founder and frequent contributor to NPR. His StoryCorps project's mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories about their lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews. They are all preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and many have aired on NPR's Morning Edition. David Isay has written a new book, "Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps".

acuoptimist / Flickr Creative Commons

A new documentary by New Hampshire filmmaker Doria Bramante follows exiles from the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan as they abandon their twenty-year effort to return home from Nepalese refugee camps and decide to seek a new life in America. Many of these refugees have resettled in the New Hampshire cities of Concord, Manchester, and Laconia. Today we take a look at their incredible journey…along with the challenges and successes of starting over in the Granite State.

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Sara Plourde / NHPR

In a year-long series called “250 Years In The Making: Stories From 13 New Hampshire Towns," NHPR’s Keith Shields has traveled all across the Granite State, learning the unique stories of these towns and how their tales also reflect the broader narrative of new Hampshire history.

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Next week on The Exchange:

Sara Plourde / NHPR

New Hampshire joins seven other states in the Northeast in asking the EPA to crackdown on air pollution coming into the region. The investigation continues into charges against Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams, including complaints from female employees. And after more debate than you might expect, UNH has introduced a new logo.

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