Elm City’s Gift to Jazz World Celebrates at Big Apple’s Village Vanguard

Wayne Escoffery moved from London to New Haven, Connecitcut and is currently in pursuit of his musical aspirations in New York City.
Gulnara Khamatova wayneescofferymusic.com

Tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, one of the best and the brightest of New Haven’s major contributions to the international jazz scene, hopes that his many friends and fans in Connecticut will show up to help him celebrate several major milestones in his life and career as he leads his new band in a six-night stint from February 3 to February 8 at the Village Vanguard.

Along with the sheer joy of playing once again at the Vanguard, a jazz shrine located in Greenwich Village, Escoffery, a formidable saxophonist, composer, bandleader and consummate sideman, is celebrating his 40th birthday on every one of those nights in the venerable venue.

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Football
9:46 am
Sat January 31, 2015

All Is Not So Well In The NFL Ahead Of Super Bowl Sunday

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaking at a pre-Super Bowl news conference in Phoenix.
David J. Phillip AP

Another day, another controversy.

It's been that kind of a year for the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell talked about it all Friday at his annual State of the League address in downtown Phoenix.

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Being a Teen
4:12 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

What’s the Hardest Part About Being a Teen?

Shamoya Hanson is a senior at the Journalism and Media Academy in Hartford.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Some things teenagers have to deal with just don’t change. Heartbreak, hormones, heightened social anxiety -- it's all just part of the package. 

But things that are unique to the 2015 teen experience -- social media, texting, and ephemeral messaging -- take regular teen issues to a whole new level. This isn’t breaking news, but teens are saying that adults still don’t fully get it. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
12:30 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Employer Health Coverage Decline Is Long-Term

Credit vichie81/iStock / Thinkstock

When the Affordable Care Act came into being many people wondered about the future of employer sponsored health coverage, but it turns out that company coverage has been declining for more than a decade. 

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Campaigns
11:00 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Mitt Romney Won't Run For President In 2016

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who has made two previous bids for the presidency, says he will not run in 2016.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:05 pm

Updated at 11:58 a.m.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney isn't running for president in 2016, he told supporters in a statement.

"After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I've decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee," he said in the statement and in a conference call with supporters.

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Addiction
10:27 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Connecticut ERs Adopt Guidelines to Prevent Painkiller Abuse

U.S. Navy Wikimedia Commons

Over the last four years, local emergency departments saw a 50 percent increase in opioid overdoses. Often, it's hospital emergency rooms that treat people who are suffering from chronic pain. Now, Connecticut hospital ERs are looking at ways to manage pain but also prevent the abuse of prescription painkillers.

Several medical associations in Connecticut have endorsed voluntary guidelines for local emergency departments to reduce the inappropriate use of opioids.

Carl Schiessl, Director of Regulatory Advocacy with the Connecticut Hospital Association, said directors of emergency rooms gather monthly at CHA. He said it was at one of those meetings where the idea for the guidelines came up. 

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Fraud
8:59 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Venezuelan Hedge Fund Manager Gets 13 Years in Prison for Connecticut Fraud Scheme

Kuzma/iStock Thinkstock

A Venezuelan hedge fund manager has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for running a massive Connecticut-based investment fraud scheme that involved hundreds of millions of dollars.

Francisco Illarramendi  expressed remorse during his sentencing Thursday in federal court in Bridgeport. He pleaded guilty to several fraud and conspiracy charges four years ago in what federal prosecutors have called their biggest white-collar criminal case ever in Connecticut.

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Tree Health
8:53 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Invasive Pest Harms Hemlocks In The Catskills

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:15 am

A new study has found hemlock trees in the Catskill region have been declining in health amid an invasive pest infestation.

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Wrongful Imprisonment
8:02 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Wrongfully Incarcerated Connecticut Man Is Now $6 Million Richer

Kenneth Ireland will receive $6 million compensation from the state.
Credit Connecticut Innocence Project

The state of Connecticut has awarded $6 million to a man who was wrongfully imprisoned. Kenneth Ireland served more than two decades in prison --- for a rape and murder that he did not commit.

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Courts
5:51 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Study Finds Court Fees Also Punish The Families Of Those Who Owe

David Silva, who owed about $30,000 in court fines and fees, says that a lot of his financial burden fell on his family and friends.
Courtesy of Emily Dalton

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 7:57 pm

A new report on the growth of court fines and fees that are charged to often-impoverished offenders is focusing on another group that pays: their families.

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Code Switch
5:34 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Challenging The Whiteness Of Public Radio

Chenjerai Kumanyika worries that having a "public radio" voice won't allow him to sound like himself.
Linda Tindal Courtesy of Linda Tindal

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 10:07 am

Editor's Note: This essay originally appeared on Transom.org, with a shorter version published on BuzzFeed. Author Chenjerai Kumanyika will join Code Switch — along with African-American public radio journalists — in a Twitter chat Thursday moderated by lead blogger Gene Demby. Join Code

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Connecticut Legislature
4:47 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

State GOP Lawmakers Say Democrats Have Weakened Campaign Finance Laws

Republicans joined Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides to talk about campaign finance.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Republican legislative leaders held a press conference Thursday to call for changes in the state’s campaign finance laws, though leading Democrats said talking to them first might have been a better strategy. 

Joined by rank and file legislators, Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said state Democrats have consistently worked to undermine and erode the clean elections laws they worked to pass in 2005 after the conviction of former Governor John Rowland.

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Marathon Trial
4:43 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Jury Selection Resumes in Tsarnaev Trial; Attorneys Argue, Venue Change Unlikely

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Voice of America

A federal prosecutor in the trial of accused Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has accused a defense lawyer of trying to "encourage" a hung jury. 

It's the latest turn in the jury selection phase, which has already taken much longer than expected.

Judge George O'Toole Jr. had set last Monday as the date for opening statements, but he has yet to seat a jury of 12 to hear the case. The trial resumed Thursday after two days of delay because of a massive snowfall in the Boston area.

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Waterbury Muslims
4:35 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Waterbury Board of Education to Discuss Adding Two Muslim Holidays to School Calendar

A member of Waterbury’s Islamic American Society of Connecticut estimates there are around 2,000 families who identify as Islamic within the greater Waterbury area.
Credit jackof/iStock / Thinkstock

The Waterbury School board will consider whether to recognize two Muslim holidays on the school calendar on Thursday night. 

According to The Republican-American, a petition with nearly 300 signatures is seeking recognition of the holidays Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. The petition asks that the days be recognized on the school calendar and that teachers and staff avoid scheduling tests, field trips and other events on those days.

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Performance
2:45 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Hartford's CONCORA to Perform a Musical "Kiss" in Time For Valentine's Day

Connecticut Choral Artists, or CONCORA.
CONCORA

Just before Valentine’'s Day, lovers of choral music have the chance to hear the premiere of a work called “"Un Bacio (A Kiss)”" in early February.  

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Congress
1:56 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

McCain Calls Protesters 'Low-Life Scum' At Senate Hearing

Protesters interrupt the start of a Senate Armed Services hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday, as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger prepares to testify.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 2:46 pm

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., lashed out at anti-war demonstrators protesting the presence of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at a Senate hearing, calling them "low-life scum."

Kissinger, 91, and other former secretaries of state in both Republican and Democratic administrations, were at the Senate Armed Services Committee, which McCain chairs, for a hearing on global security challenges.

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Diversity in Higher Ed
1:38 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Top U.S. Colleges Look to Diversify Their International Population

Not only are top American universities, like Harvard University, receiving thousands of applications from within the United States, but the number of international students applying is growing as well.
Mathleu Thouvenin Creative Commons

As top-tier universities in the United States have worked to overcome reputations for serving only the children of the American elite, there is now a push to do the same amongst international applicants looking to study in the U.S.  

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Northeast Flooding
12:35 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

U.S. Army Corps: Teamwork Vital to Manage Coastal Flood Risk

The Army Corp of Engineers presents a comprehensive study to promote environmental consciousness and coperation between private and governmental sectors.
Cindy Cornett Seigle/Flickr

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has dire predictions for many of the coastline communities in Connecticut and Long Island.

A report released on Wednesday, "North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study: Resilient Adaptation to Increasing Risk," took two years and covered 31,000 miles of coastline along ten states. It says climate change is putting the region at risk of more flooding and more superstorms like Sandy in 2012.

Joeseph Vietri, with the ACE, said western Long Island and western Connecticut are particularly vulnerable, which is a problem because they're such heavily populated areas. "Not all of them have the ability and the wherewithal to pick up and just move," he said. "So there are entire cities, towns, and villages that are under direct threat."

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Mexico
11:49 am
Thu January 29, 2015

At Least 3 Dead, Dozens Injured In Explosion At Mexico City Maternity Hospital

In this video frame grab image taken from Milenio TV via APTN, police look at the scene where a gas tank truck exploded outside a maternity and children's hospital in Mexico City on Thursday.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 12:38 am

Update, 12:27 a.m.

The death toll is now at 3 with the death of a second infant in the hours following the blast, according to The Associated Press, and eight children and seven adults remain in critical condition.

"The blast occurred at 7:05 a.m. when the truck was making a routine delivery of gas to the hospital kitchen and gas started to leak. Witnesses said the tanker workers struggled for 15 or 20 minutes to repair the leak while a large cloud of gas formed.

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New Britain
11:43 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Documentary Profiles Inventor's Obsession With Jan Vermeer's Painting Technique

Inventor Tim Jenison spent years recreating Vermeer's "The Music Lesson" using the same technique he believes Vermeer used in his masterpieces.
Tim Jenison

The New Britain Museum of American Art will show a documentary film on Thursday about one man's quest to duplicate the painting technique of Dutch master Jan Vermeer. "If my idea was right, we're seeing color photographs, more or less, from 350 years ago," said inventor Tim Jenison.

In the documentary "Tim's Vermeer," Jenison is convinced Vermeer used optical gadgets to achieve his almost photographic paintings, and becomes obsessed with figuring out exactly how.

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Journalism
9:56 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Connecticut Woman's Libel Claims Dismissed in Federal Appeals Court

A New York ceremonial courtroom.
Credit Douglas Palmer / Creative Commons

A New York federal appeals court has rejected a Connecticut woman's claims that media outlets libeled her by refusing to delete stories about her arrest after charges were dismissed.

The ruling by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pertained to the August 2010 arrest of Lorraine Martin. The court said her arrest's deletion from legal records doesn't make news accounts of the arrest false or misleading.

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Confirmation Hearing
9:04 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Loretta Lynch Pledges Tough Enforcement on White Collar Crime

Nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch, was questioned during a confirmation hearing about her stance on white collar crime.
Douglas Plamer/Flickr

Although the headlines focused on immigration and marijuana, President Obama’s nominee for attorney general has also pledged to get tough on white collar crime, and corporate malfeasance. 

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Commuter Rail
8:05 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Good News, Bad News for Metro-North

Metro-North was praised for its handling of winter storm service, and criticized for another derailment.
WalkingGeek Flickr Creative Commons

Metro-North received something this week that it's not used to: praise. The commuter rail line was commended by transportation advocates for its handling of this week's snow storm and getting passengers to their destination before the storm hit.

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January Nor'easter
8:01 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Connecticut May Pursue Disaster Declaration Over Storm

Mystic's Amtrak station was deserted with no train service Tuesday.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Connecticut may apply for a federal disaster declaration for the towns most heavily affected by Tuesday’s blizzard, but Governor Dannel Malloy has said he’s not sure whether it will succeed.

Malloy visited Stonington in the far southeastern corner of the state Wednesday to see the cleanup efforts for himself.

Like many towns in Eastern Connecticut, Stonington was clobbered with more than two feet of snow and heavy gusting winds. 

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Metcalf on Music
8:00 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Older Than That Now: Dylan Sings Frank

Bob Dylan performs in Hamburg in 1984.
Heinrich Klaffs Creative Commons

As near as I can determine, Frank Sinatra never sang a Bob Dylan tune. No lush Gordon Jenkins arrangement of “I Want You”; no swinging, finger-snapping treatment of “Sad-Eyed Lady”; no symphonic Nelson Riddle big-band rethinking of “Masters of War.”

As of Tuesday, February 3, however, the reverse will not be true. That’s the day Dylan’s new album, Shadows in the Night, is due to be released. The album is just ten tunes, and all of them are standards that Sinatra recorded, and in some cases made famous.

To be certain that the release is duly noted by all the relevant demographics, Dylan has granted a long interview on the project (reportedly the only one he gave) to AARP Magazine. It will be in the February issue.

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Sequester Reversal
6:24 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Obama's Budget Would Undo Broad, Automatic Cuts Made In 2013

President Obama speaks to the media after the automatic budget cuts associated with the sequester took effect in March 2013.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 9:07 am

When President Obama meets with House Democrats tonight during their retreat in Philadelphia, officials say he'll lay out the details of his budget proposal, which will include reversal of large cuts to federal spending instituted in 2013.

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Kids' Mental Health
4:04 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Connecticut and California Groups Unite to End Social Isolation in Schools

No One Eats Alone Day aims to enable students to help each other and form their own connections without adult interference.
BeyondDifferences.org

Laura Talmus experienced that most unthinkable of events for a parent. Her daughter, Lili, died in her sleep after only 15 years of life. Her death was due to complications with a cranial facial syndrome, but her mother, Laura, said that while Lili was alive, she also suffered from an often-unnoticed affliction: social isolation.

“When Lili passed away, it was a group of her peers who came up to me and said that they had really not realized that by leaving Lili out from a lot of the social structure of middle school, but particularly at lunch, they felt terrible and they wanted to know what they could do,” Talmus said.

So Talmus and Lili's classmates got together and went to other middle schools to see if students noticed anyone eating alone or without friends. The response, she said, was overwhelming.

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Historical Accuracy
1:39 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Congressman Joe Courtney Turns Glaring Mistake in "Lincoln" Into a Teachable Moment

"Lincoln" screenwriter Tony Kushner incorrectly portrayed 2 of Connecticut's 4 congressmen as voting against the 13th amendment.

One hundred fifty years ago this Saturday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 13th amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery. To commemorate, Connecticut's Second District Congressman Joe Courtney has issued a resource guide for students that details Connecticut's part in passing the amendment. The guide also corrects a glaring mistake in Steven Spielberg's 2013 movie "Lincoln."

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State Budget
12:50 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Gov. Malloy Makes Budget Cuts After Inconclusive Lunch Date

Governor Dannel Malloy in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Last week, Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced cuts to social services and health care in his second round of emergency rescissions to cut down the state budget deficit.

Malloy’s office projected a $121 million deficit last week. On Monday, the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis estimated the deficit is closer to $202 million.

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Springfield
12:42 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Bishop Calls Plan on Cathedral High School’s Future Optimistic, But No Decision Yet

Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of the Springfield Catholic Diocese speaking on plan addressing Cathedral High School's future.
Kari Njiiri NEPR

The head of the Springfield Catholic Diocese says a plan addressing the future of the tornado-damaged Cathedral High School has been worked out. But Bishop Mitchell Rozanski is refusing to say what that is…for now.

Rozanski says a workshop this past weekend involving parents, alumni, and faculty produced a plan he calls both optimistic and realistic. But the bishop says he now needs do his homework and due diligence, and won’t announce his decision until mid-February.

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Mexico
9:59 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Mexico Officially Declares 43 Missing Students Dead

A relative holding a picture of one of the missing students, wipes a tear from her face during a press conference in Mexico, City.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Mexico's attorney general made it official last night: The 43 college students who went missing last fall are dead.

That's the conclusion they've reached based on confessions of the alleged perpetrators and forensic evidence.

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