The Exchange | New Hampshire Public Radio

The Exchange

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For months now, speculation has been growing about who will run in the Democratic and Republican Presidential primaries, fueled by politicians' visits to such states as New Hampshire and Iowa. The list of potential Democratic contenders appears long and  includes Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachussetts.  Only a few Republicans who have made names for themselves as critics of President Trump appear on the list so far as possible opponents of Trump, including Ohio Governor John Kasich.  Join us for a preview of the 2020 primary contest. 

We start off with the top stories of this week: questions around the propriety of spending by Governor Sununu's inauguration committee; and a House committe vote to ban guns in Representatives Hall (with final vote by the full House yet to come).

But for much of the show, we'll look back at some of the top stories of 2018, including a Powerball winner's fight to remain anonymous;  allegations of  sex abuse at Dartmouth College; and midterm results, with gains both statewide and nationally for Democrats. 

Don't miss this extensive coverage of the top news of 2018, with photos and links to stories, put together by NHPR's digital engagement producer Dan Tuohy. 

At the end of the year, the Exchange team likes to bring back the most popular, and beloved, shows of 2018. This year, we chose our top ten, based on our own favorites and listener engagement, and asked you to vote for the five you want to hear during the holiday week. Check out the shows you chose, and tune in starting December 26th to hear them all. 


The Brexit agreement on Britain's withdrawal from the European Union appears to be on the brink of defeat. Facing fierce opposition in Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May decided to delay a vote on an agreement reached after nearly two years of negotiations. The plan would have kept Britain, for the most part, within the European Union's customs and trade system for the next two years.  Now, the country's economic and political future appear uncertain. We'll discuss what led to this situation, what might happen next, and how the uncertainty surrounding Brexit might have global repercussions.

Wikimedia Commons

Jonah Goldberg, senior editor at the National Review, and one of the most influential voices in American conservatism, has challenged some members of his own party, particularly those who have shown unquestioning loyalty to President Trump. Still, Goldberg has not taken the route of some other prominent Republicans, who have abandoned the GOP because of Trump. 

Meanwhile when it comes to the Mueller probe, Goldberg is witholding judgement: "I'm on nobody's side... if the truth or facts or evidence is on Trump's side, I'll defend that," he wrote recently.  "If its's not on his side, I won't be either."   

We talk with Goldberg, also a familiar voice from NPR's Morning Edition, while he's here in New Hampshire headlining the Libertas Award Dinner at the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy. 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: Dec. 7, 2018

Dec 6, 2018

After a dramatic day of voting and re-voting, N.H. lawmakers re-elect Secretary of State Bill Gardner for a 22nd term, by the slimmest of margins.  Police arrest a man for threatening Governor Sununu in connection with online statements targeting the state's Jewish community.  And more than 200 people turn out for a final public hearing on a proposed 10-year mental health plan and call on lawmakers to fully fund the plan.  

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: Nov. 30, 2018

Nov 29, 2018

A new federal report on climate change includes some dire news for this region but a leading author of the report says there are some hopeful signs to be found in how some local communities are adapting and working to mitigate the effects. The race for N.H. Secretary of State enters its final lap. And a jury delivers its verdict in an art forgery case involving a prominent collector and a N.H. mother and son. 

ecksunderscore on Flickr


With winter weather here, superintendents around the state have had to make the call on whether or not to close schools in their districts.  And even with advances in forecasting, it can be a tough decision to make.  We ask how they do it  and also why some districts use so-called "blizzard bags," which allow students and teachers to work from home.   

Mark Bogacz / NHPR

Joshua Johnson, host of NPR's 1A, has been hosting focused, incisive conversations about all manner of subjects since early 2017, and recently he paid a visit to New Hampshire to host a few hours of the program here.

While he was here, NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with him on stage at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. They discussed the art of interviewing, how he started in public radio, and the place of public radio in the media landscape.

Lakes Region General Hospital is just the latest hospital in New Hampshire to close its unit that cares for women in labor and delivers babies. It's the ninth hospital since 2000 to do so. We examine what's behind this national trend and how the state is responding. Among the solutions: freestanding birth centers and maternity training for emergency dispatchers. 

Creative Commons CCO

Gone are the days when shopping required visiting multiple establishments -- the butcher, the baker, the fishmonger. Now, we can find just about everything under one roof. But there are major changes underway in how we gather food -- including both high-tech innovations and the revival of some traditional ways of shopping.  We take a deep dive into shopping trends -- from meal kits and in-store drinking and dining to no-frills shopping and self-scanning. What grocery stores do you gravitate to -- and why?

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After months of campaigning, candidates await results as voters have their say.  As the polls close around the state, we'll look back at the main themes and pivotal moments of this election season -- both nationally and in New Hampshire. We'll examine how candidates approached such issues as immigration, energy, and gun violence.  Also of interest:  How they handled the nonstop news surrounding President Trump, who campaigned hard these recent months in rallies across the country.    

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: Nov. 2, 2018

Nov 1, 2018

Faith leaders around the state hold vigils in solidarity after a shooter kills eleven people at a Pittsburgh synagogue. In a final series of debates, Congressional and gubernatorial candidates intensify their messages days before the election. And Red Sox fans celebrate another World Series victory.


Anna Brown - Director of Research and Analysis, Citizens Count, a non-partisan non-profit organization promoting civic engagement.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In our morning show, we'll check in on various election issues, including the contest between Republican incumbent Governor Chris Sununu and Democratic challenger, former state senator Molly Kelly. And we'll preview The Exchange forum that will take place live that same evening at 7 p.m. at Manchester Community College.  For information on attending the evening event, visit here.

wikimedia commons

The investigation into the Massachussetts gas explosions is ongoing. But opponents of this energy source are energized, and supporters are on the defense. We look at what the Bay State disaster says about existing regional infrastructure, and how it might affect current pipeline proposals.


Among the 59 recommendations released earlier this summer by a special task force on school safety, one can be especially helpful in thwarting attacks, according to safety officials: An anonymous tip line - so that anyone seeing danger signs can report concerns without fear of retaliation.

Often potential attackers exhibit danger signs - and the sooner these are picked up on and reported to the right people, the more likely violence can be stopped, according to Perry Plummer, Director of N.H. Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  

Britta Greene for NHPR

In July, Governor Sununu's School Safety Preparedness Task Force released a report with more than 50 recommendations addressing school safety, covering such issues as improving school culture by expanding social and emotional learning programs and fortifying school building by installing security cameras and special "Columbine" locks. (Scroll down to read the full report.)

Taking A Toll: The Opioid Crisis And N.H.'s Children

Sep 21, 2018
CCO Public Domain

We follow up on the recent series by NHPR's Morning Edition team, called "Taking A Toll," on the opioid epidemic's affect on kids. The series looked at a range of impacts on children and also talked to a wide array of Granite Staters who are trying to help. 


Sean Hurley NHPR

American seniors are being duped out of billions of dollars a year, and con artists are getting more sophisticated all the time.  We're looking at what types of scams are on the rise, why prosecution of these cases can be difficult, and how best to prevent them. 


Senator John McCain held more than 100 town-hall style meetings during his 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns in New Hampshire and became known for his "Straight Talk Express" tour of the state, engaging freely with voters and the press and casting himself as a candid politician willing to take on special interests.  McCain died on Saturday at his home in Arizona after a months-long battle with brain cancer.

One year after a white nationalist rally turned deadly in Virginia, we sit down with Granite Staters who watch these movements and reflect on the state of civil discourse in our state and our country.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand will appear on NHPR's The Exchange Tuesday, Aug. 14, as part of the show's coverage of the 2018 primary elections.

Marchand, the former mayor of Portsmouth, is running for the Democratic nomination for governor. Also running is former state Senator Molly Kelly. Kelly was given the opportunity to appear with Marchand, but declined the show's invitation.

The winner of the Democratic primary on Tuesday, Sept. 11 will take on Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who is running unopposed.

Public Domain Pictures/ Alex Grichenko

This year, New Hampshire is experiencing a 22 percent increase in traffic fatalities. With the relatively recent introduction of a hands-free driving law, and vehicle safety features increasing every year, it raises the question: What is driving this increase in traffic deaths? We check in with some of the people on the front lines of New Hampshire's highway safety, and ask what we can do to prevent more fatalities on our roads and highways. 

For the first time since 1996, the Libertarian Party has major party status and will be on the ballot. There's also a primary battle brewing between two Libertarian candidates for governor. On Tuesday, we sit down with Aaron Day of Bedford and Jilletta Jarvis of Sandown to talk about the issues facing New Hampshire -- and find out how they would address them if they were elected governor. 


A Check-Up For The Affordable Care Act

Jul 27, 2018

This controversial health care law has undergone some changes since it was signed eight years ago, particularly under the Trump Administration.  We find what that means for the Granite State and what's in store for the Affordable Care Act in the months ahead. 

Associated Press

By August 13, New Hampshire must submit its application for $23 million in federal funds to help fight the opioid crisis.   It's far from a blank check, however. The 81-page application includes numerous requirements and focuses on medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, as well as prevention and recovery services.  Whether that includes mental health services and other approaches that address underlying causes of addiction is unclear.  Also, even as opioids continue to get much of the attention, methamphetamine has emerged as the new lethal drug.  Still, the influx of millions in funding is heartening for many on the frontlines of this opioid crisis. 

Call Me American: A Memoir by Abdi Nor Iftin

Jul 16, 2018

As a child in Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin learned English by watching American action-hero films and listening to American pop stars.  His love of all things American  earned him the nickname Abdi American. But when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, familiarity with Western culture became something to hide.  Abdi began sending secret dispatches to NPR about worsening conditions in Somalia. After a long and arduous journey, Abdi found his way from Mogadishu to Maine, where he works as an interpreter while attending college.  

We'll talk with Abdi about his life here in the United States and about life in Somalia, one of the countries covered under the travel ban recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Most of his family remains in Somalia. 


Last week, the city of Dover became the first New Hampshire municipality to raise their smoking age from 18 to 21. The new city ordinance prohibits anyone under 21 from buying, using or possessing tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices. We look at what kind of impact this law may have on the Dover community, and the state as a whole, and look at similar legislation in Maine and Massachusetts. 

Later in the hour, an update on marijuana legalization across New England. 

Studies have shown that reading over summer vacation keeps kids' brains active and reduces stagnation or setbacks in reading levels (known as the "summer slide"). But how often do kids and teenagers read for pleasure these days? We talk with educators, librarians and authors about why independent reading is so important, what books appeal to kids nowadays, and what strategies help encouraage kids to open a book this summer.

A Review of Recent SCOTUS Rulings

Jun 24, 2018

It's been a busy few weeks at the U.S. Supreme Court. We'll focus on several recent decisions  addressing online business, digital privacy, religious freedom, and sports betting.  The online-sales ruling in particular has made big waves here in New Hampshire.