Ryan Lessard


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.


8:21 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Smith Supporters Trickle In

Marc Nozell New Hampshire Public Radio

Kevin Smith supporters finally outnumber media and campaign staff. People are hitting the bar, and the gourmet food buffet featuring tomato basil crackers, tabouli and hummus. Still, the Derryfield Country Club is far from full.

Early numbers are coming in with 5% of the precincts reporting and Smith is already far behind his primary opponent Ovide Lamontange. Smith has about 2.5 thousand votes (23.5%) and Lamontange has about 8 thousand (75.4%).

Elections 2012
6:30 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Romney Rallies in Nashua

About 4,000 supporters in Holman Stadium, Nashua came to see Romney and his wife Ann.
Ryan Lessard NHPR

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney spoke at a rally in Nashua on Friday night.

Approaching the stage of a crowded baseball stadium in Nashua to the Kid Rock song Born Free, Mitt Romney and his wife greeted their supporters with smiles and waves.

(Music and cheers…)

Romney said the latest job numbers from August reflect what he calls the president’s poor management of the economy.

“There were four times as many people who dropped out of the work force as the net new jobs created under this president.”

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NH News
3:12 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

July's Foreclosure Numbers Up From Last Year, But Going Down

Foreclosure deed records over the past three years by month.
NH Housing Finance Authority

New Hampshire foreclosure numbers from July are up from the previous year. 

New Hampshire had 269 foreclosures in July. That’s up 13 percent from July of last year. However, it’s a decrease compared to the month before. In fact, it’s the third monthly decline in a row so far this year. The numbers come from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey.

“Even though it’s higher than last July, it’s still more on a steady downward curve.”

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NH News
5:34 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Governor Brings Attention to Food Bank Shortages

Pallets of donated food in the warehouse of the NH Food Bank.
Ryan Lessard NHPR

Thursday, Governor John Lynch issued a proclamation declaring September “Hunger Action Month.”

The New Hampshire Food Bank has been experiencing a food shortage in recent years.

Governor Lynch declared the month of September to be “Hunger Action Month” in an effort to raise awareness about the shortage.

“Each year, more than 143,000 individuals in New Hampshire rely on food being provided by the Food Bank.”

Melanie Gosselin, the Executive Director of the Food Bank, says the needs are still great for many in New Hampshire.

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NH News
6:01 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Manchester Begins The School Year After $8 Million Budget Shortfall and Teacher Union Impasse

Manchester School District Superintendant Dr. Thomas Brennan. He will be stepping down from his position at the end of the school year.
Ryan Lessard NHPR

Most schools around the state begin classes this week.  The state’s largest district in Manchester begins classes Wednesday.  The district has more than 15,00 students at 22 schools.  But they begin the school year after a year of suffering some of the state’s most severe budget cuts.

When the first school bells ring, Wednesday morning, students in Manchester will come back to school with fewer teachers.

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NH News
4:55 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Gubernatorial TV Spots Analyzed

Scene from gubernatorial candidate Jackie Cilley's Pledge Zombie ad.

You might have seen more than a few political TV ads this summer. Many candidates are gearing up for the general election this November, but New Hampshire still has a Primary coming on September 11th. Granite Staters will be voting to winnow the field of candidates for governor, and these candidates are using TV commercials as part of their campaign strategy.

To analyze these ads we spoke with…

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NH News
5:15 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

New Hep C Case Has Investigators Casting Wider Net

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday the confirmation of another patient infected with Hepatitis C while receiving treatment at Exeter Hospital.

This new case, confirmed by the Department of Public Health Services, brings the total number of infected up to 33. That includes David Kwiatkowski, the former hospital employee charged with stealing drugs and refilling the used syringes with saline solution. They were later reused on patients.

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Elections 2012
4:59 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Top Dem Of House Budget Committee Targets Ryan Plan In N.H.

Chris Van Hollen speaking at Politics and Eggs in Bedford
Ryan Lessard NHPR

Democratic Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen from came to New Hampshire Wednesday to talk about the federal budget with prominent state democrats and business leaders on behalf of the Obama campaign.

As the top Democrat in the House Budget Committee, Chris Van Hollen has spoken out against Paul Ryan and his budget. Now, he is doing the same thing, this time for the Obama Presidential Campaign, by visiting swing states like New Hampshire.

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NH News
5:14 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

N.H. Unemployment Slightly Up in July

Sara Plourde NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Employment Security says unemployment is slightly up for the month of July.

More than 4,400 jobs were lost between June and July, bringing the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 5.4 percent. That’s an increase of .3  percentage points. The total number of employed residents was just shy of 700,000.

The New Hampshire unemployment rate is still well below the national rate of 8.3 percent, which also went up a tenth of a percent from June.

NH News
1:41 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Prisoners Sue State for Unequal Treatment of Women

Women's State Prison in Goffstown
Cheryl Senter NHPR

Four female inmates are suing the Department of Corrections for what they say is a disparity of opportunity compared to the male prisoners in the state.

Four women in Goffstown and Concord prisons have filed a suit alleging that the Department of Corrections is out of compliance with the 1987 federal court order that required the state to provide female prisoners with services male inmates already receive.

These services include vocational education, mental health treatment and housing programs.

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NH News
2:14 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Exeter Hospital Provides an Extra Day of Hep C Testing

CDC Social Media Flickr

Exeter Hospital is expanding its testing clinics to a third day, in its effort to explore the scope of the Hepatitis C outbreak.

The hospital where the Hepatitis C outbreak began is now offering testing from seven in the morning to six at night, Monday and Tuesday, and from seven to noon on Wednesday. The state is also offering free clinics through August eighteenth.

The state declared a public  health incident ahead of the clinics as more than three thousand people were sent letters recommending they get tested.

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NH News
1:57 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Bass: SERVE Act Does Not Infringe 1st Amendment

Congressman Charlie Bass flanked by various veterans groups.
Ryan Lessard NHPR

New Hampshire Congressman Charlie Bass is celebrating the enactment of a law he backed to curb protests at military funerals Thursday.

At a statehouse news conference, Bass, flanked by veteran groups, said the new law strikes the right balance.

“I think that we have a fundamental obligation to ensure that fallen service members receive the honor and respect that they deserve.”

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NH News
5:08 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

DHHS: West Nile Virus Found in 26 Mosquito Batches

Eighteen new batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus in the greater Manchester, Nashua and Salem areas.

The state epidemiologist says this is the first announcement of West Nile Virus from the state this year. The city of Manchester has already reported 8 mosquito batches that tested positive. That brings the state total so far to 26, 23 in Manchester alone. 2 batches tested positive in Nashua and 1 in Salem.

Last year New Hampshire only found a total of 9 positive batches.

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NH News
3:01 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

FairPoint: Internet Outage Resolved After 12 Hours

FairPoint internet service is back up and running in New Hampshire and Maine after being down since late last night.

The cause and scope of the outage is still unknown, according to FairPoint’s Public Relations Manager Jeff Nevins.

“What we do know is that it’s intermittent for some. That some people can get on and have been able to access the internet…”

The DSL internet service was restored at about two o’clock today. FairPoint Communications services more than six hundred and thirty five thousand access lines in New Hampshire and Maine.

NH News
5:53 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Gov Lynch to Nominate 6 Circuit Court Judges

Governor John Lynch announced Tuesday he will nominate six people to the state’s circuit courts during the Governor and Council meeting that will take place Wednesday morning at ten in Manchester.

The Governor’s nominees include Paul Moore of Bedford, Mark Weaver of Greenland, Lawrence MacLeod of Lebanon, Jennifer Lemire of Stratham, Julie Introcaso of Manchester and Susan Carbon of Chichester. All were recommended by the Governor’s Judicial Selection Commission. Lynch spokesman, Colin Manning, says the Governor believes all the nominees are well-suited to serve the public.

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