Space Flight
6:03 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Boeing And SpaceX Win $6.8 Billion In NASA Contracts

In an image provided by NASA, astronaut Randy Bresnik prepares to enter Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft for an evaluation at the company's Houston Product Support Center. NASA awarded Boeing with a $4.2 billion contract Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 7:29 pm

NASA has chosen Boeing and SpaceX to build the vehicles that will transport its astronauts to the International Space Station, putting the two American companies on a course to take over a job that NASA has recently relied upon Russia to perform: carrying out manned space flights.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says vehicles from the two companies are expected to be ready for service by 2017.

Announcing its decision Tuesday, the space agency included these details:

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Veterans Affairs
5:16 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

State Veterans Commissioner Is Heading to Federal VA

Linda Schwartz is the outgoing Commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Veterans Affairs.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state's Veterans Commissioner has waited a long time for this day. On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate approved Linda Schwartz to a high level position at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Massachusetts Casinos
4:34 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

A Win for Wynn Keeps Mohegans Out of Massachusetts

Wynn Resorts Proposed Casino in Everett, MA

Casino mogul Steve Wynn is the big winner in the race to build a gaming industry in Massachusetts. He beat out Connecticut's Mohegan Sun in the competition for the Greater Boston license, likely the most lucrative awarded by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

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Baseball Economics
4:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

New Dollar Figures On Proposed Hartford Ballpark

Credit Zane Hollingsworth (Flickr Creative Commons)

A day before a significant public hearing on whether to build a new minor league baseball stadium in the city of Hartford, Mayor Pedro Segarra has released new numbers explaining just how much it will cost.

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Personal Privacy
3:10 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Connecticut's Attorney General Raises Privacy Issues With Apple Watch

The Apple Watch.
Credit Apple Inc.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has raised concerns about the privacy protections with Apple's new Apple Watch. 

Jepsen wrote to CEO Tim Cook on Monday asking about the recently introduced product's ability to store, collect and use consumers' health information. He told The Associated Press Tuesday morning he's not seeking a confrontation with Apple, but wants to meet with executives to make clear his position on privacy issues.

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Grant Funding
2:53 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Host of Science Friday Settles on Allegations of Federal Grant Misuse

Ira Flatow will pay nearly $150,000 to settle allegations he and his program misused funds from the National Science Foundation.
Credit Science Friday

Ira Flatow, public radio host of the popular Science Friday program, and his for-profit corporation, will pay $145,531 to resolve allegations his company misused grant money from the National Science Foundation.

The settlement stems from a 2009 National Science Foundation award of nearly $1 million to Flatow's privately-owned company, ScienceFriday, Inc., for the purposes of "extending the impact of its weekly radio program to a new and younger audience through the use of cyber-space platforms and interactive tools such as Facebook and Twitter."

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Album Release
2:36 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Hartford Band Features Local Spots in New Video

West End Blend performs on WNPR's Where We Live earlier this year from Telefunken in South Windsor, CT.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Hartford's West End Blend has released its first EP, making you want to raise your hands and get up off your chairs. As shown in the music video to their title track "What It's All About," the 14-piece band is much more than a toe-tapping, head-nodding experience.

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Conspiracy Trial
1:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

John Rowland Got Paid, But For What Job?

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland (file photo).
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

One of the main questions for the jury in the case of former Governor John Rowland is this: was his consulting contract with a nursing home business the real deal, or was it a “pretext” designed to funnel him money for work on a 2012 congressional campaign?

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New Haven
10:55 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Islam Critic, Invited By Yale Group, Meets Protests

Ayyan Hirsi Ali.
American Enterprise Institute

A Muslim women's advocate critical of Islam has brought her message to Yale University, where she was warmly greeted by her audience, and by protests days earlier. 

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Global Economy
10:37 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Like It Or Not, Scotland's Drama May Hit Your Wallet

The Saltire, the flag of Scotland, flies near the Union Jack in Gretna in Scotland. Some economists say Thursday's vote on Scotland's independence could have wide-ranging economic impacts.
Andy Buchanan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:37 pm

Does news of Scotland's independence vote make your eyelids feel heavy?

Americans may feel a yawn coming on when told of a political squabble playing out in a distant land less populated than metro Atlanta.

But economists say this Thursday's vote is no snoozer. You may wake up to find its outcome has triggered another global financial upheaval.

To understand the risks to your economic health, let's first review a couple of basics:

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Conspiracy Trial
8:52 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Prosecution Rests Its Case Against Rowland

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland leaving the New Haven federal courthouse with his family.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

The prosecution has rested its case in the federal campaign corruption trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland.

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Islamic State
8:42 am
Tue September 16, 2014

U.S. Begins Airstrikes In Support Of Iraqi Ground Forces

Members of Iraqi security forces are seen during a fight with Islamic State militants Sunday on the outskirts of the city of Ramadi.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:01 pm

The United States has begun its first-ever airstrikes in direct support of Iraqi ground forces, in the opening move of what could be a protracted fight against so-called Islamic State militants in the region.

NPR's Tom Bowman, on Morning Edition, says the airstrikes, south of Baghdad, targeted an Islamic State position after Iraqi soldiers fighting them requested the assistance.

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Energy
8:35 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Conn. Supreme Court Backs Wind Energy Regulation

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 5:47 pm

The Connecticut Supreme Court has sided with a state agency regulating wind energy, rejecting a challenge by opponents of a wind power project.

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Transportation
8:07 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Metro-North Settles With Four Bridgeport Crash Victims

Metro-North Railroad crews rebuilt the tracks following a derailment in Bridgeport on May 17, 2013.
Credit Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Creative Commons

Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a Bridgeport train crash last year have settled with the commuter railroad.

Lawyers in the case say the four passengers reached agreements with Metro-North on Friday and are the first plaintiffs in the lawsuit to settle. Terms weren't disclosed. Metro-North previously settled with several others injured in the crash who didn't go to court.

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Video Games
8:01 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Minecraft's Business Model: A Video Game That Leaves You Alone

Will Davidson and his Minecraft creation, modeled off the Santa Cruz Mission
Steve Henn

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:32 pm

Minecraft is deceptively simple video game. You're dropped into a virtual world, and you get to build things. It's like a digital Lego set, but with infinite pieces.

It's simplicity makes it a big hit with kids, like 10-year old Will Davidson. Last year, Will built a Spanish mission for a school report. He modeled his off the Santa Cruz Mission. "I made a chapel over here," Davidson says. "I also have a bell tower."

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Massachusetts
5:35 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Catholic Church Leaders Call For Casino Repeal

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 4:24 pm

The state’s four Roman Catholic Bishops are urging Massachusetts voters to repeal the state’s casino law.

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Honoring Soldiers
5:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Medals Of Honor Recognize Harrowing Battle And A Dying Act

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins receives the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House. He describes the battle that earned him the medal as the toughest he saw in three tours of duty in Vietnam.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 9:43 am

President Obama on Monday awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, to two soldiers who served in Vietnam: Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins, who survived a harrowing battle and 18 body wounds; and Army Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat, whose dying act saved his fellow soldiers.

In January 1970, President Obama said Monday, Sloat was on patrol with his squad in Vietnam.

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Election 2014
4:59 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Gov. Malloy, Tom Foley Discuss Connecticut's Transportation Challenges

Metro-North passengers wait for a train in Stamford, Connecticut, in September 2013, during a service disruption.
Kevin Ortiz Metropolitan Transportation Authority

At a transportation forum in North Haven, Governor Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley outlined their plans to fix Connecticut's transportation problems.

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WAMC News
1:38 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Gambling Regulators Nearing Decision On Greater Boston Casino

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 12:31 pm

Gambling industry regulators in Massachusetts resume deliberations today on awarding the state's most lucrative casino license.

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Cities
12:09 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Yale's Rudd Center Plans Major Move to Downtown Hartford

Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford, where the Rudd Center is moving January 1.
Henk Sijgers Creative Commons

A nationally recognized research center dedicated to food policy and issues of obesity will leave Yale University at the end of the year and partner with the University of Connecticut.

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Bicycle Transportation
10:17 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Metro-North Broadens Test for Bicycles on Trains

Metro-North Railroad says two bike racks will be installed on 50 train cars by November.
Credit Paul Kimo McGregor / Creative Commons

Metro-North Railroad is launching a pilot program to offer its broadest tryout yet of bicycle racks on trains.

Judd Everhart, spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Transportation, said Metro-North will install two racks apiece on 50 cars by November.

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Election 2014
9:56 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Connecticut's Esty Calls On Republican Opponent To Apologize For Email

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.)

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 2:01 pm

A Connecticut Congresswoman is calling on her Republican opponent to apologize for including the beheading of an American journalist in an email to supporters.

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Disease
8:18 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Children Treated for Respiratory Virus in Hartford

Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford.
Credit C-HIT

Officials at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford said they're treating children with symptoms similar to those of a serious respiratory illness suspected of sickening dozens of boys and girls in at least 12 other states. 

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Springfield
6:27 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Mayor Blocks Appeal Against Biomass Plant

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 1:26 pm

The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts won’t authorize an appeal to block construction of a wood-burning power plant.

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Football
4:55 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

Hannah Storm, A Pro, Fan And Mother, Gives NFL An Earful

ESPN's Hannah Storm aimed a sharply worded op-ed segment at the NFL Sunday, taking the league to task for its handling of the Ray Rice incident. She asked, "What exactly does the NFL stand for?"
YouTube

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 8:23 am

This has been called a long and tough week for the NFL. But ESPN's Hannah Storm asked some tough questions on Sunday's SportsCenter that show how hard the week has been for the league's fans — especially for parents who struggle to reconcile their love for the game with its off-field violence.

A lifelong football fan who's also the mother of three daughters, Storm didn't hold back on her emotions when discussing the NFL's response to what she calls the "horrific Ray Rice elevator video" – and how it also dominated conversations in her home.

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Islamic State
8:57 am
Sun September 14, 2014

ISIS 'Are Not Muslims, They Are Monsters,' Cameron Says

A frame grab from a video released by the Islamic State shows an IS militant holding a knife before purportedly executing British aid worker David Cawthorne Haines.
Islamic State Video EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 8:01 pm

Vowing justice for murdered aid worker David Haines, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron says his killing by extremist group the Islamic State is "an act of pure evil." A video purporting to show Haines' beheading was released Saturday.

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Basketball
11:23 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Phoenix Mercury Wins WNBA Title In A Sweep Of Chicago

The Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi celebrates the team's championship win Friday with DeWanna Bonner (24) and Penny Taylor (13), after beating the Chicago Sky in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.
KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI AP

Overcoming an injury to their star center, the Phoenix Mercury won its third WNBA title last night, beating the Chicago Sky in three games. An eye injury suffered in game two forced Phoenix center Brittney Griner to sit out.

"Phoenix got 24 points each from Candice Dupree and the sublime guard Diana Taurasi – the Finals MVP – to win," NPR's Tom Goldman reports. "The Mercury dominated this year, they won a record 29 regular-season games. They're fitting champions."

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Politics
9:34 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Obama's Hawkish Plan For Islamic State Puts Doves In A Quandary

President Obama's plan to degrade and destroy the Islamic state poses a challenge for members of his own party, who have traditionally provided the anti-war voices in Congress.
Saul Loeb AP

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 3:47 pm

President Obama arguably won the Democratic primary in 2008 because of his strong opposition to the Iraq war. Now he's arguing he doesn't need congressional approval to ramp up a bombing campaign in Iraq and expand air strikes into Syria.

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Code Switch
5:40 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Why Michael Che's New Role Could Change More Than 'SNL'

Daily Show correspondent Michael Che will become the first black co-anchor of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update.
Paul Marotta Courtesy of Michael Che

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 1:27 pm

It seems some TV networks have gotten the message on late-night diversity and others have not.

Friday's news — that Saturday Night Live hired comic Michael Che to join Colin Jost behind the anchor desk on its popular "Weekend Update" segment — shows NBC's venerated late night comedy franchise may, finally, stand among those in the first group.

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Warehouse Fire
2:56 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Bridgeport Fire Leads to Environmental Damage

No serious injuries have been reported in the fire at a Bridgeport industrial building.
Titus YouTube

A fishing ban has been imposed on all commercial and recreational fishing from Norwalk to Milford until the environmental impact of a massive overnight fire in Bridgeport can be evaluated. The fire has also forced evacuation of residents and cut electrical power.

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