Conspiracy Trial
3:21 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Closing Arguments End in Rowland Trial; Jury Begins Deliberation

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland leaves the federal courthouse in New Haven with his wife, Patty. (File photo)
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

Closing arguments were conducted on Thursday afternoon in the federal criminal trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland. 

The attorneys are done. A verdict in the case is now up to the jury.

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Metcalf on Music
11:53 am
Thu September 18, 2014

The Alliance (Don’t Call It a Merger) Between the Hartford Symphony and the Bushnell

Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" will be a part of the HSO's season opener. Masayo Ishigure, at center, will perform on koto in October. At right, a scene from "Porgy and Bess," which the HSO will perform in a concert with a chorus.
Photo illustration by Heather Brandon. Center image by longislandwins. Right image by OperaVictoria. Creative Commons

In a few weeks – October 16 to be precise – the Hartford Symphony will open its new season with a program that is vintage Carolyn Kuan: the “1812 Overture,” a concerto for a traditional Japanese instrument called the koto, and a big concert version, with massed choral forces from around the city, of Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” 

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Campaign Finance
10:07 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Northeast Utilities CEO's Campaign Plea Judged "Offensive and Disturbing"

Northeast Utilities CEO Thomas May

The Chairman and CEO of Northeast Utilities didn’t violate campaign finance laws when he urged his employees to give money to help re-elect Governor Dannel Malloy. That was the judgment this week of the State Election Enforcement Commission.

But the Commission did have strong opinions about Thomas May’s actions. “The content of the solicitation by Mr May is both offensive and disturbing, and violates the spirit and the intent of the Connecticut state contractor ban,” said the judgment.

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Middle East
8:20 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Connecticut House Members Mostly Reject Training of Syrian Rebels

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the McKeon amendment to arm and train Syrian rebels.
Ron Cogswell Creative Commons

Four of Connecticut’s five members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday against President’s Obama’s plan to help arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in their fight against the extremist group known as the Islamic State. The measure was approved by the House by a vote of 273 to 156.

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Hardware City
8:19 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Remembering New Britain's Industrial History

Fafnir Bearing Company.
New Britain Industrial Museum

What was Hardware City like in its heyday? Today, it’s hard to imagine: a packed downtown, with 35,000 factory workers, and life revolving around the factories.  

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Art Show
8:10 am
Thu September 18, 2014

New Haven Art Show Lets Attendees Take Art Off The Wall

Artwork by Anita Soos

Nearly 150 pieces of artwork from established Connecticut artists will go home with new owners this weekend as part of the "Somewhat Off the Wall" art show in New Haven.

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Europe
7:41 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Scotland's Historic Decision: Should It Stay Or Should It Go?

A man played bagpipes on a "short walk to freedom" march in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Thursday as polling in the independence referendum began.
Paul Hackett Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 10:47 am

Scots decide today whether to end 300 years of union with Great Britain and go it alone as they cast ballots in a historic referendum that is sure to have a lasting impact no matter the outcome.

Public opinion polls in recent days have suggested that Scotland is evenly split on the question and that the vote could be extremely close. The options are to vote "yes" or "no" to the question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The results are expected on Friday.

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Baseball
10:41 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

The Numbers Are In, and Hartford Says Stadium Plan Will Cost Taxpayers "Zero"

Residents gather to hear more detail about the proposed Hartford stadium deal.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

After months of debating whether the city should build a minor league baseball stadium and other surrounding projects, the question still remains: Can one of the state's poorest cities afford this? 

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Football
8:47 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Two More NFL Players Placed On 'Exempt List' Over Domestic Violence

Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy waves to fans as he arrives for an NFL football practice in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 11, 2014.
Chuck Burton ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 8:44 pm

Two more players were benched by NFL teams on Wednesday over allegations of domestic violence.

First, the Carolina Panthers placed their star defensive end Greg Hardy on the exempt list and then the Arizona Cardinals deactivated running back Jonathan Dwyer.

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Springfield
6:43 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Climate Action Planners Confront Biomass Project

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:16 pm

Activists who have been working for months on a climate change plan for Springfield, Massachusetts say they must factor in an unwanted development — the possible construction of a wood-burning power plant in the city.

Neighborhood representatives, community organizers, and people from health-focused organizations have been brainstorming ways to improve the environment and reduce greenhouse gases with a goal to present a plan to the Springfield City Council by the end of the year.

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Baseball
4:13 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

As Twins Leave and Rockies Enter, Rock Cats Say Change Won't Alter Development Plans

Credit Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

As public debate continues over whether to build a new Hartford stadium for the New Britain Rock Cats, there's this news: the club's affiliation with the Minnesota Twins is over, and it is now linked with the Colorado Rockies. 

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Parenting
3:37 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Kids' Perception Of Parents' Favoritism Counts More Than Reality

If a child feels like the odd person out, it could mean more problems in the teenage years, psychologists say.
iStockphoto

We all know which kid Mom and Dad liked best, and odds are you're thinking it's not you.

But does that really make a difference? It can, researchers say, but not always the way you might think.

Less-favored children are more likely to be using drugs, alcohol and cigarettes as teenagers, according to researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

But what matters is not how the parents actually treat the children, but how the kids perceive it.

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Internet Traffic
3:12 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

Nuala O'Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, testifies on net neutrality issues before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:17 pm

Now, we wait.

The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule-makers should treat Internet traffic is closed, after a record 3.7 million comments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the first 800,000 and found that fewer than 1 percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.

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Newborn Health
2:41 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Listen: For Connecticut Parents in Distress, a Safe Haven

Kelly Pabilonia
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The recent discovery of a dead newborn in trash can in East Hartford has restarted a conversation about the state's Safe Haven law. It allows parents in distress who are unable to care for their infants to leave them at a hospital emergency room. 

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Armed Forces
2:15 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Obama Rules Out Another Ground War In Iraq

President Obama speaks at U.S. Central Command, at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:13 pm

President Obama reiterated that he will not commit U.S. troops to fight another ground war in Iraq, adding that U.S. airstrikes, combined with expertise, would be more effective in defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State.

"As your commander in chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama said at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

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Storm Preparedness
2:09 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Connecticut Hospitals Struggled During Sandy

Credit scantaur/iStock / Thinkstock

A new federal report finds hospitals in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey were not prepared to meet the challenges of Superstorm Sandy. 

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Zoning the Morning Star
1:15 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Environmental Worries Pepper Zoning Debate in "Satan's Kingdom"

A proposed industrial development could rezone nearly 60 acres in Canton and New Hartford's Satan's Kingdom.
Wikimedia Commons

A proposed industrial development on 60 acres near the Farmington River is generating pushback from residents in New Hartford and Canton.

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Conspiracy Trial
12:38 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Rowland Declines to Testify in His Own Defense as Trial Nears End

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland outside the federal courthouse in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has told the court that he will not testify in the federal criminal trial against him, and the defense has rested its case.

That happened Wednesday morning, but not before more heated argument. Prosecutors allege that Rowland took part in an off-the-books scheme to get paid for work on the 2012 congressional campaign of Republican Lisa Wilson-Foley. They say he did work on the campaign, but he was paid by Wilson-Foley’s husband, Brian Foley, and his nursing home company, Apple Rehab.

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Europe
11:55 am
Wed September 17, 2014

For Scotland's 16-Year-Olds, The First Vote Will Be On Independence

Scotland lowered the voting age to 16 for Thursday's referendum on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or opt for independence. It was widely assumed the teenagers would overwhelmingly vote for independence, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Scott Heppell AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:03 pm

It's lunchtime at Drummond Community High School in Edinburgh. The kids are all wearing the uniform of a smart black blazer, white shirt and blue tie. Some 16- and 17-year-olds are here with their cheese sandwiches and their baked potatoes.

They get to cast ballots Thursday in what looks to be a close vote on whether Scotland will become independent or remain part of the United Kingdom.

Here's what some of them are saying:

"Scotland will be a richer country if there's a 'yes' vote" for independence, says Calum Preston. "It's just a fact."

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Genius Grants
11:24 am
Wed September 17, 2014

MacArthur Foundation "Geniuses" Have Connecticut Ties

MacArthur Fellow Ai-Jen Poo.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Creative Commons

The MacArthur Foundation named the 2014 class of MacArthur Fellows, commonly referred to as the “genius grants.” This year’s class of 21 Fellows announced Wednesday includes New Haven native Ai-Jen Poo. Also winning a grant is Mary Bonauto, who served as co-counsel in the case that brought marriage equality to Connecticut in 2009.

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Industry Revival
9:18 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Why a Banker is Re-opening a Textile Mill in Connecticut

The main offices of the American Woolen Company in Stafford Springs.
J Holt WNPR

The slow death of the textile industry in the U.S. was underscored last December by the closure of the last operating mill in Connecticut, the historic Warren Mills in Stafford Springs. That same mill is celebrating its re-opening under new owners. 

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Ebola
8:47 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Will Obama's Plan Bring The Ebola Outbreak Under Control?

President Obama meets with Emory University doctors and health care workers during his visit Tuesday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 7:50 pm

It is the biggest anti-Ebola effort yet.

After months of calls by aid workers for the global community to do something about the escalating crisis, President Obama has announced plans for a massive international intervention.

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Jazz Corridor
6:34 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Chick Corea Serves Top-Shelf Jazz at Hartford’s Infinity Hall

Chick Corea performs.
Sakurai Toshi

On the jacket cover of his latest CD, The Vigil, Chick Corea, portrayed as an ever vigilant knight on horseback, is equipped with a new suit of shining armor with a trusty lance at his side, a jazz Lancelot whose Holy Grail is, was and always shall be the pursuit of constant renewal and enlightenment.

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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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Conspiracy Trial
3:00 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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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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