Ryan Delaney

Originally from Burlington, Vermont, Ryan has worked for Northeast Public Radio in Albany, The Allegheny Front in Pittsburgh, and WAER in Syracuse, where his work was honored by the Syracuse Press Club. His reporting has also aired on New Hampshire Public Radio and Vermont Public Radio.

Ryan has a degree in broadcast journalism and international relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

Editor's note: This story was reported and written before the spread of coronavirus forced widespread school closures across the U.S. — including the closure of South Central High School in Farina, Ill. We're publishing now because we think it's the kind of feel-good story many people need right now. We hope you agree.

Once a year, 15-year-old Brandt Hiestand gets a taste of the kind of independence every teenager longs for.

Not even Gary Bettman knew the name of the first black hockey player in the National Hockey League when he became league commissioner in 1993.

Bettman has since hired Willie O'Ree, who broke the NHL's color barrier when he skated for the Boston Bruins in 1958, as a league ambassador, part of what the league is doing to make its game more diverse.

Updated with comment from the school district and plaintiff — The Ferguson-Florissant Board of Education has to switch to a weighted voting system for its April elections, as ordered by a federal judge more than two years ago.

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined to hear the appeal by the Ferguson-Florissant School District, codifying a lower court ruling and bringing an end to a lawsuit first brought by the ACLU and NAACP in 2014.

It's the time of year when schoolchildren and, let's be honest, sometimes their parents, face a big decision: what gift to give their teacher for the holidays. There's the old standby, an apple on the desk. Gift cards are also convenient; and homemade cookies can earn bonus points. But many students get far more creative.

NPR Ed wants to know about the student gifts that still stand out among the cookies and cards of past holiday seasons.

Teachers, tell us: What's the most memorable gift you've received from a student? What made it great? Did it make you laugh or cry? Why have you held on to it?

Submit your story here, along with a photo. (You can also fill the form out here.) We may contact you for more information and feature your story on NPR.

The Republican effort to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act could devastate drug treatment clinics by making deep cuts to Medicaid, the government-run insurance for low-income Americans, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth said Monday.

After touring Chestnut Health Systems, an opioid addiction clinic in Granite City, Duckworth told reporters that if Republicans succeed in cutting Medicaid, millions would be hurt, among them those undergoing treatment for opioid addiction. She said Congress needs to protect Medicaid and make sure that medications used to treat addiction are affordable.

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The Federal Aviation Administration named six locations today inside the U.S. that will by flying and testing unmanned drone aircraft. But as Ryan Delaney of member station WRVO reports, many questions remain about safety and privacy.

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In three years, the federal government is expected to open the skies for the civilian use of drones. But before that, the Federal Aviation Administration will set up six drone test sites around the country. Stiff competition to get one of the sites is anticipated — driven by hopes of attracting thousands of new jobs.

When New York state passed a wave of new gun-control laws on Jan. 15, it outlawed a type of assault rifle made just over an hour's drive from the state capital.

In Ilion, N.Y., it's not hard to be across the street — or at least around the corner — from the Remington Arms factory. Remington makes several types of rifles, including the style used in the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting. In response to that tragedy, New York banned that gun, the Bushmaster AR-15, from being sold in the state.