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.

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Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Congress passed a bill to prevent traffic controller furloughs by granting $253 million to the Federal Aviation Administration. And it may also keep the contract towers slated for closure, like the one in Nashua, running through the end of the year.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The White House says Dzohkhar Tsarnaev, the surviving marathon bombing suspect, will not be tried as an enemy combatant. That comes after New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte weighed in saying that not declaring him an enemy combatant might be a national security mistake.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

A series of panel discussions on budget issues helped kick off the opening of the Warren B. Rudman Center at the UNH Law School Monday. The event was jam-packed with big names…

Repair crews will start working seven day weeks Sunday to bring the Sarah Long Bridge back into service. 

Updated damage assessments have extended the expected repair date to roughly May 25th, according to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton.

“They’re gonna be working from dusk til dawn, seven days a week. And once they get the staging in place there may be a reevaluation as to whether they should go or can go 24 hours a day.”

Johannes Hirn

A Manchester man who heads a civil engineering firm says he remembers the older brother of the two marathon bombing suspects.

The new owners of the Telegraph of Nashua newspaper laid off a total of about 25 staffers Wednesday, according to Michael Power, the community outreach administrator in the states’ Office of Workforce Opportunity.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Child advocacy groups held a small rally at the statehouse Wednesday night where Governor Maggie Hassan proclaimed April to be Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce

The Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce announced that it will no longer host fireworks festivals due to safety concerns in the wake of last year’s bomb threat.

The Jaffrey Festival of Fireworks was one of the largest fireworks events in New England for the past 22 years. Co-Chair Cyndy Burgess says the Jaffrey police performed a security assessment and filed a report to the chamber.

wallyg / Flickr Creative Commons

Three hundred seventy-seven New Hampshire residents were competing in Boston today when two explosions erupted in the crowds near the finish line of the race. An untold number more were in Boston as spectators or volunteers.

Ronald and Karen Brassard of Epsom and their daughter were injured in the blast, but are going to be fine, according to a relative.

New Hampshire Public Radio

Former gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne has taken a job in Washington D.C. And this may take him out of the running for future political races.

Courtesy of Rye Police Dept.

  Bedford Police say they have a warrant for a Massachusetts man allegedly involved in the burglary and subsequent assaults of Eduardo Quesada and his wife Sofia on November 24th.

The United States Navy will name a new combat ship after the city of Manchester.

Courtesy of Marisela Rodriguez

Over the weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested at least four undocumented immigrants in Nashua and Manchester. The arrests occurred less than a day after an immigration reform rally was held in Nashua. Immigration activists are calling foul and continuing demonstrations.

A West Virginia-based publishing company has acquired the Telegraph of Nashua newspaper.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Labor Unions and activist groups held a rally for immigration reform in front of Nashua City Hall Saturday.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The FAA announced Friday it will postpone one hundred forty nine contract control tower closures until June.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The Nashua Airport tower will shut down this Sunday because of recent federal budget cuts. New Hampshire Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster visited the tower Wednesday afternoon to speak out against the sequestration cuts.

Courtesy of Manchester Police Dept.

The Manchester City Clerk’s office suspended the licenses of all 18 of its city taxis Tuesday following a day of inspections.

All Manchester taxis have been taken off the road after collectively failing their annual inspections, according to the Manchester Police Department.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

A new form of cremation that proponents claim is more environmentally friendly may soon be legal in New Hampshire. It goes by many names including Resomation, Aquamation, bio cremation, and non-flame cremation. The scientific term is alkaline hydrolysis and it’s a process that uses a lye-like solution and hot water to liquefy human remains. But the jury is still out on whether the local funeral industry will adopt it.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The Nashua Airport tower will close April 7th. It’s on a list the Federal Aviation Administration released Friday.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Budget cuts from Sequestration will soon be felt by air traffic controllers across the country as the Federal Aviation Administration plans to close more than 230 control towers. Nashua’s airport is on that preliminary list and, if it closes for good, many air traffic controllers may need to find work in different fields.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard says a small fire occurred inside the USS Miami sub Monday afternoon. 


The former shipyard worker who started a fire on the USS Miami submarine was sentenced Friday to a little more than 17 years in federal prison.

The House Ways and Means Committee is considering, Thursday, a smaller tax increase on gas and diesel fuel to pay for highway improvements.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Arts and cultural enthusiasts from around the state gathered in Concord Wednesday to talk about the economic impact of cultural non-profits. And analysts say the arts and culture sector is a $115 million industry for the Granite State.

The Hooksett School Board is holding an election Tuesday to fill a seat vacated by the former Chair. And the two candidates running are divided on where to send their 680 high school students.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee held its first public hearing on the budget Thursday night at the State House. And several members of the public spoke out in defense of state-funded programs ranging from legal assistance to mental health.

Courtesy of NHDES

New Hampshire’s wastewater infrastructure is in need of $1.7 billion in investment over the coming decade according to the Department of Environmental Services.

The Executive Council has confirmed Governor Hassan’s appointees for the commissioner of both the Banking Department and the Department of Resources and Economic Development.

The council voted unanimously to confirm Jeff Rose as DRED Commissioner and Glenn Perlow as Banking Commissioner.

Rose, a Republican, held positions in both the public and private sector, most recently as head of communications for BAE Systems in Nashua. Perlow is moving up from the number two spot in the Banking Department.

The Senate heard arguments Tuesday for a bill that would send more than $200 million to higher education.