Ryan Lessard

Contributor

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.

Ways To Connect

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.

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.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

New Hampshire police officers who pitched in after the Boston Marathon Bombings last year met in Manchester Tuesday with Senator Jeanne Shaheen.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Last week I tagged along with a man in Weare who’s tapping black birch trees for their sap. While its syrup is not as sweet as maple syrup, it can be an unexpected and tasty ingredient in home-brewed beer.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Republican candidates for U.S. Senate Karen Testerman, Jim Rubens and Bob Smith debated in Bedford Tuesday night. The tone was cordial and while some disagreed on points of policy, they were united in their criticism of the absent candidate: Scott Brown.


The New Hampshire house voted 192-140 Wednesday to kill a bill that would legalize up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

A new program helps refugees earn money by training stay-at-home moms to be entrepreneurs in the child care industry.


agrippa93 / Flickr

This week, the New Hampshire House narrowly passed a bill that would prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters with Section 8 vouchers and victims of domestic violence.

After the House initially tabled the bill last week, lawmakers amended it to more tightly define victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. They now must have a current, final protective order.

The bill goes to the Senate next where it faces a tougher debate. 

The town of Hooksett said no Tuesday to a 10-year deal with Pinkerton Academy in Derry. Only about 44% of residents voted in favor of the contract.


On Tuesday, the town of Hooksett will vote whether to approve a contract with Pinkerton Academy in Derry. If voters approve the deal, it could spell the end for the town’s century-long relationship with Manchester schools.


courtesy NH DOT and URS Corp

New details released by the Capitol Corridor rail study group during a public hearing Wednesday night point toward higher ridership than expected.


courtesy of NHLA

The New Hampshire House is slated to vote this week on a bill to prevent housing discrimination. Renters who pay with federal subsidy vouchers, known as Section 8, and victims of domestic abuse would receive new protections.


MPD

Over the last two days, police in Manchester arrested 30 street-level heroin dealers. Three were on Wednesday and at least 27 on Thursday since 5 o’clock in the morning.


Via Flickr CC

Tuesday morning, the Senate Ways and Means Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill that would raise the state’s gas tax by a few cents every four years.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Valentine's Day means you may be on the hunt for some good chocolate. How about chocolate that not only tastes good but is also high art?


Flikr Creative Commons / Renator Ganoza

Fresh results from New England Common Assessment Program tests, or NECAP, are in. 

The New Hampshire Department of Education says student performance in math, reading and writing stayed essentially the same as last year.

The DOE says that while the percentage of students in the proficient or above level went up or down a few points in each category, the changes weren’t statistically significant.

Overall, 77% of students tested were proficient or above in reading. That’s down from 79% last year. 65% in math (down from 68%) and 58% percent in writing (up from 55%).

Governor Maggie Hassan, during her State of the State Address, criticized efforts to legalize marijuana. Hassan expressed concerns about New Hampshire’s current drug problem.


Below are the most common words used in the Governor's first State of the State Address.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The 9th annual Wine Week wraps up in New Hampshire Thursday night with a big event in the Manchester Radisson from 6-9 where about 1800 wines will be featured along with several wine personalities. NHPR’s Ryan Lessard checked out two events Wednesday night where some Napa Valley winemakers and vineyard owners made an appearance and produced this audio postcard. 


Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce

The New Hampshire House will take up a bill this week that bans certain types of fireworks. Given the committee report to kill it, it’s unlikely to pass.


A ten year agreement between the Hooksett School Board and Pinkerton Academy in Derry still needs to be finalized by a town vote in March. But Hooksett eighth-graders are already choosing the Derry school over Manchester high schools for the next school year.


The Centers for Disease Control has released its annual report that grades states on their capacity to prevent public health problems. It was a mixed bag for the state.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Monday, the state observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day with bell ringing and celebration. Governor Maggie Hassan and members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation attended an event in Manchester.


Bhutanese Community of N.H.

In November, a Bhutanese refugee living in Concord killed himself. Nationally, Bhutanese refugees have the highest suicide rate of any refugee population. And here in New Hampshire, where nearly 2,000 Bhutanese refugees have resettled in the last six years, the community is scrambling to answer the questions ‘why does this happen?’ and ‘how do we prevent it?’


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

After hours of debate and despite a promised veto from Governor Maggie Hassan, the New Hampshire House voted in favor of a bill to legalize marijuana 170 to 162 Wednesday night.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Last year, robberies, burglaries and heroin addiction appear to have skyrocketed in the Queen City.

Over the summer we looked at the issue of crime in Manchester and we provided a lot of historical data from the past five years. Now that the year is done, we review some of those numbers. The most surprising development is a 45% growth in robberies compared to 2012. Burglaries spiked to unprecedented highs during the summer, but robberies continued well into the colder months. The city also saw a high number of homicides. The highest in recent memory.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Ted Gatsas began his third term as Manchester’s Mayor Tuesday. And his inaugural address included promises to improve the city’s safety and public education.


Chris Jensen for NHPR

The State Fire Marshal’s office says 2013 had the lowest fire-related deaths on record.


The U.S. Census Bureau estimates New Hampshire’s population grew by only .1% last year. That’s fewer than 2000 people added since 2012. That’s among the slowest rates of growth in the nation.


The hydroelectric power line project known as the Northern Pass has passed a major regulatory hurdle Tuesday.


Pages