Open Choice Rally
5:27 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Thousands Of Hartford Students On Waiting List For High-Performing Schools

Hartford parents and citizens rallied in front of the state Department of Education to demand more choices for students who are on a waiting list to be placed in either an interdistrict magnet school, or through Hartford's Open Choice program, sending them to a good school in a nearby town.
Credit Josh Nilaya / WNPR

  Concerned parents gathered for a rally in Hartford this afternoon. At issue is the large number of Hartford students currently waiting for a seat in a high-performing school.  

Back in 2007, Hartford public schools began an ambitious plan to give students more access to quality schools, by placing them in either an interdistrict magnet school, or through the open choice program, sending them to a good school in a nearby town. Spots are limited and there is a waiting list.

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Business
2:59 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Berlin Limousine Firm Ordered to Pay $500,000 in Back Wages

Credit Anja Peternelj/iStock / Thinkstock

A Berlin limousine firm has been ordered to pay its drivers half a million dollars in back wages and damages, after it failed to pay overtime for several years.

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Fifth District
12:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Roraback's Biggest Rowland Complaint in 2012 Was Lack of Disclosure

Former Governor John Rowland faces charges stemming from his involvement in the 2012 congressional race.
Credit Shawn Sienkiewicz / The Hartford Courant

Federal prosecutors allege that former Governor John Rowland used his radio show on WTIC-AM to prop up Lisa Wilson-Foley's candidacy during the 2012 race in Connecticut's Fifth Congressional District. 

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Emmy Nominations
11:56 am
Thu July 10, 2014

HBO And 'Game Of Thrones' Haul In The Most Emmy Nominations

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were unveiled Thursday by Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly. Big winners included HBO, for Game of Thrones, and Netflix, for Orange Is the New Black.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:06 pm

Cable network HBO has received 99 nominations for the 2014 Emmy Awards, running its streak as the network with the most Emmy nods to 14 years. HBO's Game of Thrones got 19 nominations, one ahead of the FX miniseries Fargo.

NPR's Neda Ulaby reports for our Newscast unit:

"HBO also got nominated for its movie The Normal Heart, for its drama True Detective and, in a surprise, for its comedy Silicon Valley.

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Middle East
9:02 am
Thu July 10, 2014

On Opposite Sides Of Israeli-Gaza Border, Feeling The Same Fears

Several families share this one-room underground shelter in Ashkelon, Israel, not far from the border with Gaza. The children say they're afraid to go outside.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:39 pm

More than 50 Palestinians have been killed and 450 wounded in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, rockets continue to fly toward Israel from Gaza, but so far, no Israelis have been reported killed.

For people living in and around the Gaza Strip, this conflict has turned daily routines upside down. Life is punctuated by sirens and explosions.

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Bluegrass Music
8:10 am
Thu July 10, 2014

The Rosenthals Bring Their Bluegrass Fusion to the Elm City

Jazz trumpeter Daniel Rosenthal and his father, roots-music master Phil Rosenthal.
David Leifer The Rosenthals

Roots-music master Phil Rosenthal and his son, jazz trumpeter Daniel Rosenthal, gave a unique concert on Wednesday night in New Haven.

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Nutrition
6:56 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Combining Food Stamps and Job Training in Connecticut

Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield.
Credit Asnuntuck Community College

One of Connecticut's community colleges has received additional funding to help food stamp recipients get jobs. 

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Musical Theatre
6:21 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Curtain Up: “Gypsy” Opens at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Leslie Uggams as Rose in a production of "Gypsy" at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre.

Tony and Emmy award-winning actress Leslie Uggams stars as Rose in a production of "Gypsy" opening Thursday night at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, the professional producing arm of the drama department at the University of Connecticut. 

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Schooner Spat
2:47 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

The Amistad Bows Out of Sailfest, Citing Local News Coverage

Sailfest visitors will no longer be able to tour The Amistad.
Ed G Flickr Creative Commons

As New London gathers for its annual Sailfest, the operators of The Amistad say the famed schooner will no longer take part in the annual event.

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For-Profit Hospitals
1:58 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

St. Mary's Hospital Opts for Tenet Healthcare Deal

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

A fifth hospital in Connecticut has announced plans to give up its not-for-profit status, and join the for-profit Tenet Healthcare group.

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Refugee Influx
1:47 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

What's Causing The Latest Immigration Crisis? A Brief Explainer

Demonstrators from opposing sides confront each other while being separated by police officers on July 4, outside a U.S. Border Patrol station in Murrieta, Calif.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:28 pm

It's turning into the largest influx of asylum seekers on U.S. soil since the 1980 Mariel boatlift out of Cuba.

Since October, more than 52,000 children — most from Central America and many of them unaccompanied by adults — have been taken into custody. That's nearly double last year's total and 10 times the number from 2009.

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Everyday Football Fouls
1:44 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Flop Life: What If We All Acted Like We Were In The World Cup?

In a new video, people casually bump into one another in cafes and groceries, sparking histrionics like those seen in the World Cup.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 8:13 am

The flailing about, the protests, the sheer agony — what if everyone behaved like international soccer stars who can evidently be slammed to the ground by a fingertip?

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Health care innovation
11:48 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Forum Explores Innovation as a Way to Improve Nation's Health Care System

The speed of sequencing genes has increased by six orders of magnitude in the last 25 years, according to Dr. Edison Liu.
Credit The Jackson Laboratory

Connecticut Congressman John Larson sponsored a health care forum on Monday at the legislative office building in Hartford. 

"Improving Our Health Care System Through Science and Innovation" was a chance for a panel of prominent health care leaders to tout how innovations in their area of expertise are saving lives and pulling down the cost of health care.

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Jazz Corridor
10:57 am
Wed July 9, 2014

How Litchfield Jazz Festival's Vita West Muir Transformed a Dream Into a Crown Jewel

Vita West Muir.
Litchfield Performing Arts

Maybe what accounts for Vita West Muir’s stunning success with founding and leading the celebrated Litchfield Jazz Festival since 1996 is the way she was taught by her Jesuit professors to think in a clear, cool, logical manner while she was majoring in biology and philosophy at Fordham University.

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World Cup
10:19 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Brazil Reels From Thrashing That Bounced It From World Cup

A fan screams as she watches Brazil lose to Germany, in a live telecast Tuesday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The host nation is reeling from its loss in the World Cup semifinal.
Bruno Magalhaes AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:45 pm

"The worst game I saw in my life" is how one Brazilian fan describes it. Another says it's simply a tragedy. Some angry fans burned Brazil's flag in the street.

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Crime and Punishment
9:21 am
Wed July 9, 2014

New London CEO Guilty of Violating Clean Water Act

Credit Flickr Creative Commons / manoftaste.de

The former CEO of a New London company has pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act. According to federal prosecutors, the infractions date back to 1986 and involve toxic discharges into the city's sewer system.

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Mental Health
8:25 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Connecticut Hospitals Responding to Psychiatric Restraint Numbers

Pamela Spiro Wagner and her art.
Davis Dunavin WNPR

Pamela Spiro Wagner's apartment is full of art she's made while in psychiatric care. One piece dominates the room. It looks like a painting at first. It shows a threadbare seclusion room and a restraining bed.

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Middle East
7:23 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Israel Continues Gaza Offensive, Hints At Ground Operation

Smoke and debris rise after an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip Wednesday. Since the Gaza offensive began Tuesday, Israel has attacked more than 400 sites in Gaza.
Ariel Schalit AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 3:21 pm

Update at 2:42 p.m. ET

Israeli leaders are signaling that a ground invasion might be imminent as the offensive on Gaza intensifies, killing at least 53 people and wounding 465 others.

The toll comes from the Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry.

Reporter Daniel Estrin tells NPR's Newscast unit that Israel's military struck at least 200 Hamas targets on the second day of its offensive on the Gaza Strip. The operation is in response to rocket attacks from Gaza toward Israeli cities.

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Courts
2:36 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Judge Rejects Rowland's Request to Dismiss Charges

Credit Kuzma/iStock / Thinkstock

A judge has denied a request by former Gov. John G. Rowland to dismiss federal charges that accused him of trying to create secret consultant roles with two congressional campaigns. 

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Immigration
2:27 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Obama Seeks $3.7B To Handle Immigration Crisis

Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas, on June 18. The White House on Tuesday sought $3.7 billion to deal with the immigration crisis at the border.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 4:12 pm

Update at 3:33 p.m. ET

The White House said it's asking Congress for $3.7 billion to address the humanitarian crisis along the border with Mexico.

The statement said the funds would cover domestic enforcement, repatriation and reintegration of migrants, transportation costs, additional immigration judges, prosecutors and litigation attorneys to "ensure cases are processed fairly and as quickly as possible."

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Fast and Feathered
1:59 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Listen Closely: There's Something Hidden in This Hummingbird's Chirp

Creative Commons / David~O

Here's the thing about hummingbirds: Almost nothing they do is like a regular bird. A hummingbird's heart beats about 1,200 times a minute while exercising. 

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Disease
1:41 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Smallpox Virus Found In Unsecured NIH Lab

Not something you'd want to find: Smallpox viruses infect a cell.
Science Source

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:10 pm

Scientists cleaning out an old laboratory on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md., last week came across a startling discovery: vials labeled "variola" — in other words, smallpox.

Under international convention, there are supposed to be only two stashes of this deadly virus: one at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and another at a similar facility in Russia.

The CDC swooped in to collect the vials and carted them off to a secure lab at its Atlanta headquarters.

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World Cup
12:30 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

World Cup Fever Grips Brazilians Living in Danbury

A view of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Jorge in Brazil Creative Commons

On Tuesday, Brazil faces Germany in a World Cup semifinal match. For thousands of Brazilians living in Danbury, the game is a chance to gather, eat barbeque, and cheer on their native team. 

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200 years old
12:24 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Celebrating Sam Colt Is a Delicate Affair

Jack Hale, senior warden at the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Guns have a long history in Connecticut. They've also been the focus of a great deal of recent debate. Both that history and the debate are now at the heart of delicate discussion: how do you plan a birthday party for Sam Colt, the man who made the gun that won the West? 

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New York
9:22 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Drone Use Over George Washington Bridge Leads to Two Arrests

The George Washington Bridge from above.
George Pankewytch Creative Commons

Police in New York City arrested two people for operating a drone over the George Washington Bridge that came within 800 feet of a police helicopter. 

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War Wounds
8:41 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Years Home, Female Iraq Vets Endure the Wounds of War

After work, Eunice Ramirez finds comfort in a walk at Walnut Beach, Milford.
Tony Bacewicz Connecticut Health I-Team

It’s been nine years since Eunice Ramirez served in Iraq, but she still suffers from war wounds: post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, respiratory problems, and frequent crying triggered by her memories.

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World Cup
7:58 am
Tue July 8, 2014

The One American On The Field At Today's World Cup Semifinal

Referee Mark Geiger will be the U.S. presence at the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:35 am

The United States will have a presence at today's semifinal World Cup match between Brazil and Germany. It won't be the U.S. National Team on the field, but American referee Mark Geiger. FIFA selected Geiger to be on the officiating crew of the high-stakes match. It's the first time a U.S. referee has been used this late in a World Cup.

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World
7:01 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Israel Expands Attacks On Gaza As Rockets Target Israeli Cities

Israeli soldiers stand on their tanks near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 5:36 pm

Updates at 5:32 p.m. ET

Israel said Tuesday it is expanding its operations against Hamas "and other terrorist organizations" in the Gaza Strip amid an escalation of violence that saw a barrage of rockets fired from the enclave toward Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other parts of the country.

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Veterans
4:48 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Wait Times for VA Health Care Growing in Connecticut

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal wants the VA to explain why veterans are waiting longer than 30 days to be seen in Connecticut and nationwide.

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RX: Take a Chill Pill
7:07 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Stressed Out: Americans Tell Us About Stress In Their Lives

Aly Hurt/NPR

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:57 am

Everyone seems to talk about feeling stressed out. But what's the reality of stress in America these days?

NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a nationwide poll in March and early April to find out.

Our questions zeroed in on the effect of stress in Americans' lives. We asked about people's personal experiences with stress in the preceding month and year. We also asked about how they perceived the effects of stress, how they cope with stress and their attitudes about it.

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