Got a Snow Day? Varied Approaches to School Closings in Connecticut Towns

Water Street in Stonington during Tuesday's storm.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Approaches to getting information and making decisions for Connecticut school closings vary widely among the state's towns. For some school districts, it’s almost like a science. 

Take Torrington, for example. The district pays about $3,000 a year to a weather alert service in Burlington for daily weather updates and for consulting services. This helps officials determine if and when to close school due to bad weather.

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Winter Storm
7:11 am
Wed January 28, 2015

As Nor'Easter Lifts, Life Slowly Gets Back To Normal In Hard-Hit Areas

Students play football at the Quad, on the campus of Harvard University on Tuesday in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Maddie Meyer Getty Images

A day after a monstrous winter storm spun its way across the Northeast, life is slowly getting back to normal.

Some residents of Massachusetts are digging out of almost 3 feet of snow. The AP reports that a travel ban has been lifted and Boston's highways are filling up with traffic.

Still, the AP adds:

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Biocontainment
5:16 am
Wed January 28, 2015

A New Way to Contain GMOs in the Lab, and Maybe One Day, in the World

Researchers tested their biocontaiment idea with E. coli, a bacteria used in pharmecuticals.
Wikimedia Commons

Yale researchers have developed a new way to biologically contain genetically modified organisms, a finding that could have future impacts in agriculture and medicine.

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Waze
3:36 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Officers Ask Map App To Remove Police-Tracking

Waze's police reporting tool is one of several features in the app. Users can also share reports of traffic and construction in real time.
Waze

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 8:33 am

Waze, the popular navigation app boasting more than 50 million users worldwide, has a new critic: police officers. Over the last few weeks, law enforcement officials have been urging the app and its owner, Google, to disable a feature that allows users to report when they've spotted a police officer, in real time, for all other Waze users to see.

Sergio Kopelev, a reserve sheriff in Orange County, Calif., is one of the law enforcement officials behind the push to remove Waze's police-tracker. He says he first discovered the feature through his family.

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January Nor'easter
2:28 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Photos: Eastern Connecticut Digs Out

Downtown Mystic saw almost two feet of snow.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Eastern Connecticut got the brunt of the storm Monday night into Tuesday, with some areas recording two feet of snow by early morning.

Snow continued to fall through the day, and forecasters said the region could expect up to nine more inches before the storm moves on.

But the power remained on, and most people were cheerful as they began to dig out.

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Rhode Island
2:15 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

With The Major Storm Subsiding, Residents Begin Digging Out

A snow blower clears off a side walk in downtown Providence Wednesday morning
John Bender RIPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 8:44 am

A blizzard raked across Rhode Island Tuesday.  The National Weather Service reports Providnece broke its daily maximum snowfall record with 14.2 falling on Tuesday. Gov. Gina Raimondo is lifting the state’s travel ban at 8:00pm Tuesday, but urging residents to stay off the roads. The governor rode a snow plow Tuesday morning and reports that the roads and interstates are not safe for travel.

The Rhode Island DOT has more than 400 vehicles plowing the roads. Raimondo said there have been six to eight accidents including a DOT vehicle that flipped over.

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Blizzard Conditions
2:02 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Storm Comes to Gradual End; Gov. Malloy Lifts Statewide Travel Ban

Snow-covered cars in a Vernon parking lot Tuesday morning.
Tucker Ives WNPR

Blizzard warnings eased early Tuesday for parts of Connecticut, but central and eastern parts of the state saw continuing snowfall and strong winds through midday. By noon, most counties were downgraded to a winter storm warning as a powerful nor'easter made its way across the state.

A statewide travel ban lifted in Connecticut at 2:00 pm. Local roads were opened in Litchfield and Fairfield Counties early Tuesday morning, but Governor Dannel Malloy asked residents to wait before getting on the roads if possible. State bus service will resume Wednesday, and state employees return to work in the morning.

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Homelessness
1:17 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

State Activates Plan During Storm to Protect the Homeless

Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Before this winter storm, the state activated its severe cold weather protocol. It’s an effort to make sure no resident is without shelter during a weather emergency.

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Voice and Verse
1:14 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

A Poem in Honor of #Blizzard2015

Anthony Quintano Creative Commons

Calling in to WNPR's Where We Live on Tuesday, Michael from Middletown shared a poem he wrote in honor of Blizzard 2015. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
10:04 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Utility Workers Question Repair Strategy

Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Widespread power outages haven’t yet hit the state as it continues to weather a massive nor'easter, but utility linemen said the state’s power companies have less capacity to deal with problems than they had four years ago. 

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Mail Service
8:15 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Postal Service Suspends Mail Service in Connecticut and Nearby States

Kate Ter Haar Creative Commons

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night? Not exactly. The U.S. Postal Service said it won't be delivering mail to a large swath of the northeast. 

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Blizzard
7:20 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Amtrak Service Suspended in Connecticut

The snow isn't as bad as expected in western Connecticut, but rail service is still suspended.
Credit MTA Metro-North Railroad

Amtrak says it's suspending service north of New York and reducing its schedule for trains operating south of New York due to the massive winter storm.

Northeast Regional and Acela Express services are operating on a reduced schedule between New York and Washington. The Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, also is reduced. 

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Snowstorm
6:53 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Winter Blizzard Skirts New York City, But Still Walloping Northeast

A woman cross country skis on snow-covered roads during a winter blizzard in Boston, Mass. Tuesday.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 4:04 pm

First the good news: Forecasts of a historic winter storm for the country's most populous city have failed to materialize.

Forecasters had called for up to 30 inches of snow in New York City, but as a new day dawned, meteorologists had downgraded the system to a winter storm from a blizzard and tempered their forecasts, saying when it was all done, the city would have about 12 inches of snow on the ground.

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Blizzard Conditions
5:20 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Gov. Malloy Declares State of Emergency, Statewide Travel Ban

Gov. Dannel Malloy meets with officials in the state Emergency Operations Center Monday morning.
Office of Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy is asking residents to prepare for a significant snowstorm impacting Connecticut Monday evening through Tuesday. He declared a state of emergency, opened the Emergency Operations Center, and issued a travel ban on state highways as of 9:00 pm Monday.

Malloy said Bradley International Airport is closing to passengers at 7:00 pm Monday night. He said the last Metro-North train would leave Grand Central Station in New York City at 9:00 pm.

"Although storms can be unpredictable, this storm has the potential to have a significant impact on the state and we need to be prepared," Malloy said. "Just as the state is monitoring and preparing, the public should do the same."

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Boston
4:41 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Accused Bomber's Lawyers Say Boston Jury Pool Is Too Biased

A memorial at the site of the first explosion in the Boston Marathon bombing. Defense attorneys say too many people in the potential jury pool have some kind of personal connection to the case.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 11:02 am

The search for jurors in the case of accused Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is taking longer than expected.

Defense attorneys say it's nearly impossible to find open-minded, unbiased jurors around Boston. They're asking yet again for the judge to move the trial somewhere else.

From the beginning, defense attorneys have argued the entire jury pool has been poisoned by what they call "a narrative of guilt" from a "tidal wave" of media coverage. Now, Tsarnaev's lawyers say jurors' own comments on a court questionnaire prove widespread bias.

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Music
3:50 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Carnegie Hall Live: The Chicago Symphony Plays A Colorful Concert

Riccardo Muti leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Todd Rosenberg Courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 2:59 pm

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra arrives at Carnegie Hall with a program that portrays choppy waters and changing tides, opening with Mendelssohn's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture followed by Debussy's La mer.

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Storrs
3:31 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

UConn Cancels Classes in Advance of Winter Storm

UConn students may find some extra time for sledding on Horsebarn Hill on Tuesday.
Christine Creative Commons

The University of Connecticut announced plans to close on Monday afternoon in advance of the winter storm.

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Snowball
12:56 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Snow Cancels Everything, Except Hartford's City Council Meeting

A meeting in city council chambers in a WNPR file photo.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The governor has declared a state of emergency. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has declared a snow emergency. City schools let out at noon, and most city employees were dismissed then, too. There's a parking ban in effect. Even Winterfest at Bushnell Park is closing early.

But Monday night's Hartford city council meeting must go on. 

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New York
11:58 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver To Cede Power, Temporarily

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 7:05 am

The speaker of the New York state Assembly plans to temporarily cede power to a small group of top lawmakers as he fights federal corruption charges.

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Drive My Car
9:13 am
Mon January 26, 2015

For Tesla, a Fight in Connecticut to Open Stores and Sell Cars

A Tesla Motors Store in Toronto, Canada. Currently, Tesla is not allowed to sell its product directly to consumers from storefronts in Connecticut.
Wikimedia Commons

When Art Linares wanted to buy a Tesla, it wasn't as easy as walking into a store and taking a test drive. Instead, he had to go to New York -- because in Connecticut, it's illegal for a car manufacturer to sell directly to a customer.

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Ahead of the Storm
8:55 am
Mon January 26, 2015

CL&P to Customers: Prepare to Lose Power

Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Emails and calls are some of the ways Connecticut Light and Power has begun reaching out to its customers ahead of the expected massive snowstorm, mindful of criticism over lengthy outages during past storms. 

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Blizzard Conditions
8:30 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Southern New England Prepares for Major Winter Storm

Most likely storm totals for parts of Connecticut and New York.
National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for southern Connecticut beginning midday Monday, and blizzard watches remain in effect for eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island ahead of a storm with heavy snow and high winds.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for northwestern Massachusetts, where winds will be lower.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said Sunday it is preparing for a "potentially historic and destructive winter storm."

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White House
8:18 am
Mon January 26, 2015

'Quad Copter' Flew Into, Crashed On White House Grounds, Secret Service Says

The Secret Service released this photo of a "quad copter" that crashed on the White House grounds Monday. The agency says the copter's operator reported crashing it this morning.
Secret Service

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 3:34 pm

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The Secret Service has identified a device that was found overnight on the White House grounds as a "quad copter." The agency says the person who had been operating the device reported that it crashed after they lost control.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, the Secret Service said an individual called around 9:30 this morning to "self-report" the crashed copter. The agency adds that the person has been cooperative, and that the incident seems to stem from "recreational use of the device."

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Defense Secretary
5:04 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Hagel: Stress Of 'Nonstop War' Forcing Out Good Soldiers

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 8:58 am

Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, speaking to NPR's Morning Edition, says he's concerned about retaining qualified U.S. military service members amid the "stress and strain" of more than 13 years of continuous warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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India
9:18 am
Sun January 25, 2015

U.S. And India Announce New Ties On First Day Of Obama's Trip

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama meet at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Sunday, the first day of Obama's three-day trip to India.
UPI Landov

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 12:03 pm

Updated at 8:25 a.m. ET

President Obama announced Sunday that the U.S. and India have made progress on civilian nuclear trade. In a joint news conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Obama said the countries had agreed to more cooperation in other areas as well, including defense and climate change.

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Deflate-Gate
4:09 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

Patriots' Coach: Team 'Followed Rules' On Inflation Of Footballs

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks during an NFL football news conference at Gillette Stadium, on Saturday in Foxborough, Mass. Belichick defended the team against allegations they had cheated by using underinflated footballs in a championship game.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 5:24 pm

New England Patriots' Head Coach Bill Belichick defended his team and quarterback Tom Brady against accusations of cheating amid the so-called "Deflategate" controversy that erupted last weekend when underinflated footballs were used in

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Infrastructure
2:32 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

Four Connecticut Transportation Proposals From Gov. Malloy

An elevated portion of I-84 in Hartford.
Ryan King WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy announced Thursday he’d like to widen Interstate 84 in Danbury, one of many initiatives he's proposed this month.

Already in place in the state’s transportation overhaul is an expansion of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail -- slated for completion in 2016 -- as well as the opening of CTfastrak, a Hartford-New Britain rapid busway that will launch in March.

Meanwhile, Connecticut Department of Transportation research and public discussion surrounding the eventual replacement of the I-84 viaduct in Hartford is underway.

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Sports
9:46 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Fat Bikes: The Winter Sport Of The Future?

With tires twice the width of the standard mountain bike, fat bikes are made for snow. Some ski facilities are trying to cash in on the bikes, which are becoming a popular alternative to cross-country skiing. (Citizen 4474/Flickr via Compfight cc)

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 8:14 am

On a snowy December afternoon, I dropped by the Onion River Sports shop in Montpelier, the capital of Vermont. Kip Roberts, who  manages the store, said that two years ago, fat bikes went from an oddity to a hot item.

“It exploded, and we couldn’t get our hands on them quick enough,” Roberts said. “And that growth happened all across the country. Almost everyone that’s a major bicycle company has a fat bike now. And some of them have multiple models.”

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Coastal Planning
9:45 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Battle With The Sea: Rhode Island Develops State-of-the-Art Planning Tools

The head of the EPA Northeast Region, Curt Spalding, took a guided walking tour of Wickford Village in North Kingstown to learn about a climate change adaptation pilot project there. He also visited Westerly, South Kingstown, and Warwick.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 9:31 am

Just this week, the U.S. Senate went on the record that climate change exists. Local and state officials in Rhode Island haven’t been waiting around to take the lead from Washington. They not only know climate change is real, but they’re also planning for its impacts. As part of our Battle With The Sea series, Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza went on a tour with the Environmental Protection Agency’s northeast director to see how plans are in place.

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New York
9:44 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Canadian Pair Rescued After Frosty Night In Adirondacks

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 8:20 pm

Two Canadian hikers lost in the Adirondack High Peaks spent a frigid night in the snowy wilderness before being rescued by rangers.

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Ukraine
8:58 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Ukraine Rebel Leader Claims New Attack On Mariupol

Ukrainian servicemen stand guard on a street near a burning building after a shelling by pro-Russian rebels of a residential sector in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, on Saturday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 1:30 pm

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

A main leader of Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine reportedly says the separatists have launched an attack on the port city of Mariupol, where rocket fire killed at least 15 people in an open-air market and residential area.

"Today an offensive was launched on Mariupol. This will be the best possible monument to all our dead," Alexander Zakharchenko was quoted as saying by Russia's RIA news agency.

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