Rick Ganley

Host, Morning Edition

Rick joined NHPR as morning host in January 2009. He has a 20 year career in radio including on-air work at stations in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire in formats from rock to classical. He was co-owner of an FM station in Maine in the mid 90s. Rick spent the last ten years as Operations Manager and Morning Host of WPNH-FM, Plymouth NH and Production Director for Northeast Communications Corporations' five-station group. He also writes occasional pieces on media and music for the Hippo, Manchester's weekly paper, and voices radio and TV spots on a freelance basis.

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The national charter school movement is growing - 2.5 million students are attending roughly 6,000 charter schools.

Another 1 million students are on wait lists.

Still, there are issues: charter schools overall receive less funding than traditional public schools and are located primarily in urban areas, limiting access to students in rural communities.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

For Dakota Benedetto, trying to get a charter school approved hasn't been an easy task.

They ask for a five-year projected budget. Since the first year is kind of pre-opening, but you’re still at least a year out from when you’re writing it, you’re looking six or seven years in advance, so how much money are you going to be spending on copy paper seven years from now? That whole process of trying to juggle the numbers and get the budget to work was challenging. 

Michael Brindley for NHPR

Two new charter schools that opened this fall each have a unique philosophy toward education.

But the first few weeks for these new additions to the state’s school choice roster show just how bumpy the road to opening a charter school can be.

www.nec.edu

Tom Raffio, chair of the New Hampshire Board of Education, says with declining enrollment across the state, the continued growth of charter schools need to be looked at from a public policy perspective.

"Public schools, regular public schools are starting to lay off teachers because of the fact that there are fewer pupils. If students also go to charter schools, there will be a further diffusion of resources. So we want to look at it from an overarching perspective."

Michael Brindley for NHPR

North of the notches, the only charter school choice for students is the North Country Charter Academy, which serves high school-aged students in Littleton and Lancaster who have struggled in a traditional school setting.

Avion Erceg is one of those students.

She’s 16 years old and lives in Lincoln, and is one of about 20 students sitting at their computers in a classroom at the Littleton campus on a recent morning.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

At the Academy for Science and Design in Nashua, National Science Bowl championship banners hang on the cafeteria.

Test scores here are some of the highest in the state; 96 percent of the school’s eighth-graders are proficient in math.

Compare that to just 64 percent statewide.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

  As charter schools continue to expand in New Hampshire, one thing is clear – how to deal with special education is a big sticking point.

Town of Derry

In Derry, residents are voting Tuesday to decide whether to overturn budget cuts that were approved by the council last May.

The cuts lowered the tax rate by reducing police and fire staff positions, eliminating the human resources director position, and closing a fire station. After a summer of often heated public meetings, Tuesday’s vote comes by court order.

Hunter McGee has been covering the issue for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

He joined NHPR’s Morning Edition.

Can you recap what’s been going on in town?

Indiana Public Media via Flickr Creative Commons

The chair of the Croydon School Board says the board is prepared to go to court over a school choice dispute with the state.

The attorney general’s office has given the board until Monday to stop using taxpayer money to send a small group of students to a private school, which the state says is illegal.

Board chair Jody Underwood tells NHPR's Morning Edition there are no plans to stop the practice, which she argues is allowed under state law.

It wasn't long ago when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the top of the polls in Iowa.

Now, Walker's out of the race.

So which Republican candidate will reap the benefits?

"It’s kind of hard to tell," Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters told NHPR's Morning Edition. "Political talent here is just stretched so thin because of all the Republicans presidential candidates. Both former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and current Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaigns are saying they’re picking up some support."

NHPR Staff

With re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank stalled in Congress, several New Hampshire companies say they are feeling the impact.  New Hampshire’s two US Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen as well as 2nd District Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster support re-authorization, while 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta has yet to take a position.

Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald

On The Political Front is our occasional check-in on all things politics with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. 

Mark via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8mdNZs

New Hampshire’s first medical marijuana dispensaries are getting closer to opening.

Officials in Plymouth, Lebanon, and Merrimack have been holding hearings, gathering public input on proposals to locate dispensaries in those communities.

But federal law and tax codes could complicate things for the companies that will run the state’s dispensaries and marijuana grow centers.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Ohio Gov. John Kasich didn't take kindly to President Obama's recent decision to rename Mt. McKinley to its Native American name, Denali.

"If I become president, I’m going to name it back to Mt. McKinley," Kasich said, speaking to NHPR's Morning Edition.

The Alaskan mountain - the highest peak in North America - had been named after former President William McKinley, an Ohio native.

"This is not something we appreciate or agree with in Ohio," Kasich said. "I don’t know why (President Obama) had to do this."

NH Attorney General

Should body camera footage of a man being gunned down by police be released to the public?

That’s the question before a Merrimack County Superior Court judge, who will rule whether to release the video over the objections of the family of the man killed.


mas-concorp.com

As a new school year gets underway, more New Hampshire high schools are looking for ways to help students dealing with mental health issues.

Exeter High School is introducing new mental health services this year, in response to a rise in students dealing with issues such as depression and anxiety.

Jim Tremblay, principal of Exeter High School, joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to talk about the program.

When did you realize this was something the school needed to do?

Photo Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

Homeschooling continues to gain in popularity across the country, and by most accounts, here in the Granite State, as well.

From 2002 to 2012, the number of homeschooled children in the state jumped by nearly 30 percent.

But tracking how many children are being homeschooled in New Hampshire now is easier said than done.

That’s because parents are no longer required to file annual notifications of intent to homeschool.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen called the most Northern Pass recent proposal an important step forward, but says she’s not yet ready to endorse the project.

Speaking with NHPR’s Morning Edition, Shaheen says while she’s pleased more of the project’s power lines would be buried, she still has concerns about its impact.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

Plymouth State University’s new president has been on the job for a few weeks now, after officially taking over last month.

Donald Birx comes to higher education in the Granite State at a time when college affordability is a hot topic on the New Hampshire primary campaign trail.

He joined NHPR’s morning Edition.

NHPR staff photos

Six Republican presidential hopefuls are taking part in an education summit at Londonderry High School on Wednesday.

The summit is being put on by American Federation for Children, a conservative school choice advocacy group.

Lauren Camera, a reporter for Education Week, joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to help sort out where the candidates stand on K-12 education policy.

NHPR

On the Political Front in our Monday morning check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.

Here we are in mid-August. The days are getting a bit shorter. Is what one GOP presidential candidate, guess who, has dubbed the  Summer of Trump almost over?

Courtesy Union Leader/John Koziol

After 40 years working for the Pittsburg Police Department, Richard Lapoint is calling it a career.

Lapoint has been police chief for the Granite State’s northernmost town for the past 28 years. He’s retiring on Sunday.

He joined Morning Edition host Rick Ganley recently to take a look back at his career in law enforcement in New Hampshire’s North Country.

You began your career as a part-time Pittsburg police officer in 1975. How has the town changed over the past 40 years?

Carroll County is in the midst of a budget crisis.

Officials there are trying to figure out how to make up for a roughly $2 million budget shortfall.

This week, the Bank of New Hampshire froze the county’s $4.5 million line of credit, citing concerns over the county possibly declaring bankruptcy.

County officials insist bankruptcy is not an option, and are proposing a supplemental budget to get through the rest of the year.

Courtesy photo/Rich Pizzuti

Campaign rallies and town hall meetings featuring a presidential primary candidate have been a near daily occurrence in the Granite State over the past few months.

Behind the scenes, running these events and the planning that goes into them is no easy task.

Chris Malloy of Chris Malloy Events has been busy this primary season. He’s planned and run campaign events for Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie and Ted Cruz.

stfimprov.com

Tuesday nights in Portsmouth this summer are all about improv comedy.

Now in its 12th season, the “Stranger Than Fiction” comedy troupe puts on shows every Tuesday night at the Players’ Ring, coming up with material on the fly based on audience participation.

Fourteen Republican presidential candidates are taking part in Monday night’s Voters First Forum at St. Anselm College.

You can listen live to the forum on NHPR at 7 PM by clicking right here. 

That may sound like a lot, but organizers say it’s all about staying true to the spirit of the primary process.

Media outlets in New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina organized the forum in response to networks shutting out low-polling candidates in nationally-televised debates.

You can hear the two-hour forum live on NHPR, starting at 7 p.m.

Brady Carlson/NHPR

As brash businessman Donald Trump continues his surprising surge in the national presidential polls, behind the scenes, there’s a well-known GOP operative from New Hampshire pulling the strings.

Corey Lewandowski was the director of the conservative Americans for Prosperity here in the Granite State.

He’s now campaign manager for Donald Trump.

NHPR Staff

A report finds that while New Hampshire is second in the nation in child wellbeing, it’s among the worst states when it comes to teen substance abuse.

In the annual Kids Count report, the Granite State ranked second behind Minnesota when using factors such as economic wellbeing, education, and health.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

A celebration is planned for Saturday at the Old Allenstown Meeting House to celebrate the building’s 200th anniversary.

It will also be the first open house at the building in a decade, which has been closed while restoration efforts were underway.

A fire in 1985 caused significant damage to the building’s roof and several pews. The restoration cost nearly $200,000, a project paid for through private donations and grants.

Via the NH Rebellion on Facebook

As they make their way around the Granite State, the presidential contenders being met by potential voters frustrated with the political influence of wealthy donors.

NHPR’s digital reporter Brian Wallstin has been reporting on the issue of money in politics and where the candidates stand, and he’s here to talk about what he’s learned.

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