Ryan Lessard

Correspondent

Before becoming a reporter for NHPR, Ryan devoted many months interning with The Exchange team, helping to produce their daily talk show.  He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in Manchester with a major in Politics and Society and a minor in Communication Arts. While in school, he also interned for a DC-based think tank. His interests include science fiction and international relations. Ryan is a life-long Manchester resident.

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NH News
5:30 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

N.H. Groundfisheries Get $2 Million In Disaster Relief

N.H. Groundfish boats in Portsmouth
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, or NOAA, announced Wednesday that New Hampshire’s groundfishery will receive more than $2 million in federal disaster funds.

Josh Wiersma, the head of New Hampshire’s groundfish coop, says local ground fishermen, who expected less direct aid, breathed a sigh of relief at the announcement.

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NH News
2:38 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Manchester V.A. Medical Center Observes Memorial Day

The crowd attending the event in front of the V.A. Medical Center in Manchester.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  A Memorial Day observance was held in front of the Manchester V.A. Medical Center this Monday morning.

Tammy Krueger, the Director of the Medical Center, told a seated crowd of veterans and the families of deceased soldiers that more than one million servicemen and women have died in America’s wars.

“We owe a lasting tribute to those courageous men and women who stepped forward when their country called, and made it possible for us to be here today.”

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NH News
2:13 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Walt Havenstein Kicks Off Jobs Tour In Londonderry

Uni-Cast owner Henri Fine shows Havenstein around the plant. They cast aluminum parts for companies like SpaceX and General Dynamics and for the Israeli and Turkish militaries.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Republican candidate for Governor, Walt Havenstein, toured the factory floor of an aluminum casting company Wednesday. The visit marks the start of a series of similar tours as part of his Republican primary campaign.

Listen to the radio version here.

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NH News
4:30 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Thousands Of Police Turn Out For Arkell's Wake

A sea of police march into Exeter High School.
Ryan Lessard NHPR

Nearly 2,000 police officers from around the state and their region paid their respects to fallen Brentwood Officer Steve Arkell and his family Tuesday night.

Listen to the radio version here.

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NH News
3:56 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

N.H. Gas Tax Increase Becomes Law

Governor Hassan signing the bill into law.
Ryan Lessard NHPR

On a newly built bridge near interstate 93, Governor Maggie Hassan signed into law the first increase in the state’s gas tax in more than two decades.

Listen to the radio version here.

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NH News
7:10 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Police Memorial Ceremony Held One Week After Brentwood Officer Killed

The color guard stationed next to the police memorial in Concord.
Ryan Lessard NHPR

Members of law enforcement from across the state gathered in Concord Monday to observe the New Hampshire Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Ceremony. The name of Officer Steve Arkell, who was killed a week ago, was on everyone’s minds, but he will be formally added to the memorial next year. 

Listen to the radio version here.

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NH News
2:35 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Passes N.H. House

25 ft radius depicted around Manchester Planned Parenthood driveway.
Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

  The New Hampshire House passed a bill (162, 100) to create a marked buffer zone around abortion clinic entrances to keep protesters 25 feet back.

Listen to the radio version here.

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NH News
12:28 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Manchester Police Meet With Business Leaders

Chief Mara speaking before community stakeholders in the Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce met with the leadership of the Manchester Police Department Thursday to discuss safety and quality-of-life concerns in the city.

Listen to the radio version here.

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NH News
5:30 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Vigil Held For Fallen Brentwood Police Officer Steve Arkell

Hundreds stand vigil in a field behind the Brentwood Recreation Center.
Ryan Lessard NHPR

During a vigil for fallen Brentwood police Officer Steve Arkell was held Tuesday night, hundreds of Brentwood residents and members of surrounding towns gathered, candles in hand, to mourn and celebrate the life of a man who served the community he grew up in.

Listen to the radio version here.

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Education
3:46 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

How SNHU Is Edging Out Its Competition Online

  The week started with the news of Southern New Hampshire University’s new $10,000 bachelor’s degree program. Recent undergraduate enrollment numbers show the small, Manchester school is now equal in size to UNH in Durham, with a vast majority of its students online. 

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Education
5:30 am
Fri May 9, 2014

UNH Manchester Rebranding To Boost Enrollment

A giant banner with the new UNH logo now hangs in the front stairway of 400 Commercial st, UNH Manchester's university center.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

At a recent cookout behind the red-brick mill building that houses UNH Manchester, senior Derek Burkhardt describes what’s been an eight-year run to get his bachelor’s.

“I actually attended UNH Manchester right out of high school,” says Burkhardt. “But I took some time off in between school to save up some money to be able to afford school, but also to join AmeriCorps. So once I was done with that I came back to continue my education.”

Like many students here Burkhardt says he chose UNH Manchester because that’s where he lives.

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Education
5:33 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

N.H. Higher Ed: A Place Of Extremes

Some of the troubles plaguing higher education are hitting institutions a lot harder in New Hampshire. High public tuition? We have the highest. State aid to public universities? We have among the lowest. For many students, that means they're facing huge debts which will be difficult to repay. That reality is causing students and institutions to reevaluate.

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NH News
5:30 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Hillsborough County To Create Drug Court, But Will It Make A Dent?

Superior Court Judge Ken Brown in his Manchester chambers.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  About 80% of the people behind bars in New Hampshire have substance abuse issues. It’s a growing problem and one way the justice system is trying to address the problem is with drug courts—where nonviolent offenders have their sentences suspended if they take part in treatment. Five counties now operate drug courts and efforts are underway to start two more in Manchester and Nashua. The program could help reduce recidivism rates.


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NH News
5:29 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Drug Courts In A State Of Funding Flux

It’s important to note, firstly, that the cost of incarcerating someone in state prison is about $32k and in county jails about $35k. Experts say that ideally, drug courts operate on a budget that has a per capita cost of about $8-12k. Any less than that and participants may not be getting enough supervision or critical aid in education, transportation, medication etc. Any more than that and it’s probably time to bring more participants into the program. The challenge many drug courts face is funding.

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NH News
1:48 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Inside The Buffer Zone: A Look At The N.H. Bill To Keep Abortion Protesters Back

Proposed buffer zone where activists won't be able to assemble outside the Manchester Planned Parenthood if SB 319 becomes law.
Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

  The House Judiciary committee considered a bill Tuesday that would create a 25 foot buffer zone to keep anti-abortion activists clear of abortion clinic entrances. While it’s expected to become law, it may face legal challenges when the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a similar law in Massachusetts.


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