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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The eleventh annual FIRST Robotics competition kicked off regional qualifying matches Friday.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

New Hampshire Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte both say they hope a bipartisan deal can still be reached to avoid many of the worst effects of sequestration. Both Senators helped kick off the FIRST Robotics competition in Manchester Friday morning.

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen says she’s worried about how the sequester will affect the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and BAE Systems. And, she hopes it’s not too late to prevent the cuts.

Ryan Lessard, NHPR

In 1966, while working for Sanders, a defense contractor in Nashua that is today a part of BAE Systems, Ralph Baer began secretly working on his invention. He didn't have a name for it at the time so it was hard to sell to his superiors. No one knew what a "video game" was.


Courtesy of Neal Laurenza

New Hampshire is producing young programmers and designers looking to start their own video game business. And the trick is getting them to stay in the state…

Governor Maggie Hassan plans to nominate Glenn Perlow, the current Deputy Commissioner of the New Hampshire Banking Department, for the top job. She’ll do so during the Executive Council Meeting on Wednesday.

“The role of the Banking Commissioner,” Perlow says, “is vitally important for maintaining the health of our financial institutions and keeping consumers safe from predatory practices.”

He says he looks forward to working with the Governor to ensure the safe flow of credit that will help the state’s economy grow.

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

Under Governor Hassan’s budget proposal, the state would receive a new women’s prison.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The UNH School of Law hosted a symposium Wednesday on the death penalty in New Hampshire.

HotblackDesiato / flickr

Many Catholics in New Hampshire are reacting with surprise to the news that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The Granite State has an extensive history with personal firearms. And its laws reflect the state’s long-held attitudes about guns and the 2nd Amendment.

Governor Maggie Hassan has announced her pick to lead the Department of Resources and Economic Development.

New Hampshire’s Pease Air Base is in the running to be the primary station for a new air refueling tanker. Friday, Governor Maggie Hassan has added her voice to those of the Senate delegation by endorsing the air base’s candidacy.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Two years after New Hampshire legalized the sale of certain powerful fireworks, lawmakers are considering banning them. This second look was prompted by a pyrotechnic explosion in Pelham last summer that injured eight adults and five children.

New Hampshire’s number one manufacturing employer announced Monday that it will lay off 200 people in the state.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

A Manchester School Board subcommittee has approved a policy restricting class sizes. And this could be the first step in resolving the school district’s overcrowding problem.

The school board’s curriculum and instruction subcommittee approved setting clear limits to class sizes.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

More than 15 volunteers signed up to work at a Manchester non-profit for the National Day of Service.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

More than 300 people attended a pro-gun rally held at the New Hampshire Statehouse Saturday.

The State Attorney General’s office is forming a new Human Trafficking task force.

State lawmakers begin hearing bills this week. Among the proposals is a plan to reinstate straight ticket voting.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

If you’ve been paying attention to the budget struggles in Manchester’s public schools, you’ve likely come across two outspoken parents. These two fathers have taken conspicuous roles in the budget debates in the Manchester School District this past year.

New Hampshire is one of 43 states where the influenza virus is widespread according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The freelance journalist James Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire was taken captive in northern Syria on Thanksgiving Day. Now, after weeks of silence, his family is speaking out.

Thursday, Maggie Hassan will be inaugurated as New Hampshire’s 81st governor, becoming the state’s 2nd woman to be elected to the corner office.

A New Hampshire lawmaker wants to make it a requirement for those purchasing firearms to have to go through safety training first.

State representative Cynthia Sweeney filed her request for the legislation prior to the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

But Sweeney, a Charlestown Democrat, says the tragedy makes the need for training those who own firearms more pressing.

Sweeney’s legislation would make it a requirement for anyone purchasing or acquiring a firearm to attend a gun safety course.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The Manchester Police Department will begin moving to its new location next week and they’ll have about twice the square footage and room to grow.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The Manchester School District has been fighting to keep the towns of Hooksett and Candia from withdrawing their students after layoffs resulted in overcrowded, high-school classrooms. The Manchester School Board met with the Candia School Board Thursday night for a second time and the two boards walked away without a solution.

NEC Center for Civic Engagement

A new poll released by New England College shows a majority of Granite Staters favor raising taxes on families with incomes above $250,000 a year.

The newly renovated Bridges House, New Hampshire’s official but unused governor’s residence is now opened for tours.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The New Hampshire Food Bank has been struggling to keep up with the demand of a growing number of residents. And these challenges might be compounded by budget cuts proposed by Congress.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Four New Hampshire servicemen were honored posthumously with the New Hampshire Medal of Honor at the State House Friday.

The Hooksett School board voted recently to begin negotiating an early withdrawal from Manchester High Schools. Tonight will be the first, joint school board session between Hooksett and Manchester. And talks are expected to start on bitter terms.