Remembrance
2:39 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Singer Joe Cocker Dies At Age 70

Singer Joe Cocker, famous for his powerful and raspy voice, has died at age 70.
Ron Wolfson Landov

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:02 pm

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Record Settlement
1:52 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Connecticut Executives of Alstom Implicated in Global Conspiracy

Assistant U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Michael Gustafson.

The U.S. Justice Department has announced a settlement with French company Alstom that marks the largest-ever criminal fine levied in the U.S. over foreign bribery laws. Some of the conspiracy took place in Connecticut. 

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State Administration
1:43 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Gov. Malloy Taps Bridgeport Senator to Run DMV

From left, Andres Ayala with Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Gov. Dannel Malloy, and outgoing Commissioner Melody Currey.

Governor Dannel Malloy is tapping a Bridgeport state senator as his new commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Motor Vehicles. 

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Religion
10:51 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Pope Francis, At Christmas Gathering, Blasts Vatican's Bureaucrats

Pope Francis delivers his message during a meeting with cardinals and bishops of the Curia at the Vatican on Monday. The pope said the Curia suffered from "spiritual Alzheimer's" and careerism.
Andreas Solaro AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:14 pm

Pope Francis blasted the Vatican's top bureaucrats at an annual Christmas gathering, accusing the cardinals, bishops and priests who make up the Curia of "spiritual Alzheimer's" and of lusting for power at all costs.

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School Food
9:53 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Connecticut Schools Chosen for Farm-to-Cafeteria Program

Several Connecticut schools are taking part in a farm-to-school pilot program.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Unlike other parts of the country, New England has been seeing a growing number of new farms. Connecticut is among eight states recently chosen for a federal pilot program supporting locally-grown food in schools.

Existing federal funds in this year’s Farm Bill will now allow 16 school districts to use tax dollars to purchase fruits and vegetables from Connecticut farms for school lunches. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty calls it a double-win.

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New York
9:51 am
Mon December 22, 2014

NYC Police Deaths: Details On Suspect; Rift Between Mayor And Police

People sing as they take part in a prayer vigil at the site where two police officers were shot to death in the Brooklyn borough of New York this weekend.
Carlow Allegri Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:59 pm

Updated at 1:56 p.m. ET

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says tensions in the city are at their worst since the 1970s. Bratton spoke two days after Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed two police officers in New York. Brinsley had been arrested at least 19 times and reportedly had tried to hang himself last year.

The tragic shooting has also exposed fault lines in the relationship between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city's police department.

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Community
8:40 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Pakistani-Americans Hold Vigil at State Capitol for Peshawar School Children

Many were worried about the safety of family and friends in Pakistan.
Sujata Srinivasan WNPR

The Pakistani community in Connecticut strongly condemned the massacre of scores of school children by Taliban gunmen in Pakistan on December 16. Nearly 100 members of the Pakistani-American Association of Connecticut held a vigil at the Connecticut State Capitol last Friday.

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Coltsville
8:23 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Hurdles Remain Before Hartford's Coltsville Is a National Historical Park

It could take years to transform the Coltsville section of Hartford into a National Historical Park.
Aaron Knox Creative Commons

Congress recently gave final approval to a defense spending bill that includes language creating the Coltsville National Historical Park -- but much work remains before the park is a reality.

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Soccer
7:49 am
Mon December 22, 2014

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Finishes Second In Brazilian Tournament

United States' Abby Wambach fights for the ball with Brazil's Bruna Benites during a final match of the International Women's Football Tournament in Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday. The game ended in a draw, giving Brazil the tournament victory.
Eraldo Peres AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:57 am

The U.S. Women's National Soccer team finished its 2014 season with a second-place finish Sunday in the rainy final of the International Tournament of Brasilia. Brazil and the U.S. played to a 0-0 draw.

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Religious Beef
7:13 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Nuns On The Ranch Give A Heavenly Twist To Beef

Sister Elizabeth feeds Yoda, a water buffalo calf at the ranch. The nuns bought the buffalo to make mozzarella.
Sonja Salzburg for Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 9:36 am

Many beer aficionados are familiar with the rare breweries run by Trappist monks. The beer is highly sought after, but it's not the only food or drink made by a religious order. Many abbeys and convents have deep roots in agriculture, combining farm work with prayer.

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Energy
6:45 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Heating New England Homes: The Good And Bad News

Low heating oil prices mean New Englanders don't have to bundle up at home this year, but they will have to watch their rising electric bills.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 8:34 am

Falling oil prices are perhaps nowhere more welcome than in northern New England, where most homes burn heating oil in their furnaces. But cheaper heating oil is refilling consumers' pockets just as high electric prices are emptying them out.

For example, a heating oil truck delivers 600 gallons of heating oil every two weeks to an old, four-story brick building in Concord, N.H. At last year's oil prices, each refill would have cost around $2,200. Right now, it's more than $300 cheaper.

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Drug Research
3:43 am
Mon December 22, 2014

A Family's Long Search For Fragile X Drug Finds Frustration, Hope

Katie Clapp shares a laugh with her son Andy Tranfaglia, 25, at their home in West Newbury, Mass. Andy has a rare genetic condition called fragile X syndrome.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 8:17 am

For a few weeks last year, Michael Tranfaglia and Katie Clapp saw a remarkable change in their son, Andy, who'd been left autistic and intellectually disabled by fragile X syndrome. Andy, who is 25, became more social, more talkative and happier. "He was just doing incredibly well," his father says.

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Basketball
7:47 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Eyeing Title, Dallas Mavericks Add Rajon Rondo

(Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) After spending his whole career with the Celtics, Rajon Rondo will join a talented Mavs team that won the title in 2011. (Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 7:47 am

The Dallas Mavericks are thinking “win now.” The Boston Celtics are thinking “eh, win later.” And with those things in mind, the teams completed a five-player deal on Thursday that sent point guard and four-time NBA all-star Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks.

Only A Game’s Doug Tribou spoke with Bill Littlefield about the deal.

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New York
8:51 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Gunman Made Anti-Police Posts Before Killing NYPD Officers

Officer Rafael Ramos (left) and Wenjian Liu (right) were killed on Saturday in an ambush by a gunman in a Brooklyn neighborhood.
NYPD EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 2:22 pm

The gunman who ambushed and killed two New York City police officers in their patrol car before committing suicide reportedly posted messages on social media suggesting the assault was revenge for deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of authorities.

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Medicine
3:09 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Connecticut Company Ships Ebola Vaccine to NIH for Testing

Protein Sciences will ship its ebola vaccine to the National Institutes of Health for testing next week.
Huntstock Thinkstock

Meriden-based Protein Sciences has completed work on a preliminary Ebola vaccine, and will ship its creation to the National Institutes of Health on Monday.

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White House
2:10 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

President Obama Closes the Year With a Press Conference

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Alan Gross, who was en route to the United States from Cuba, in the Oval Office on December 17.
Pete Souza White House

President Barack Obama claimed an array of successes in 2014, citing lower unemployment, a rising number of Americans covered by health insurance, and an historic diplomatic opening with Cuba. 

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Sounds of the Past
2:06 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Modern Technology at UConn Breathes Life Into Antique Instruments

Sina Shahbazmohamadi works with a 3D-printed instrument piece and measurement device at UConn's Center for Clean Energy Engineering in August.
Peter Morenus University of Connecticut

They just don’t make 'em like they used to, unless you put a bunch of Ph.D.s in a room with a 3D printer. 

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Language
11:53 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Advocates Push for Changes to Bilingual Education in Connecticut

A bilingual classroom in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Education

The population of English language learners in Connecticut has increased by nearly 50 percent in the past ten years. According to the data, these students are falling behind. 

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Technology Investment
9:44 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Claire Leonardi Leaves Connecticut Innovations

Claire Leonardi.
Credit Sujata Srinivasan / WNPR

The head of Connecticut Innovations, Claire Leonardi, has announced her resignation from the quasi-state agency. Leonardi has led Connecticut’s technology investment arm for almost three years. 

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Stellar Cocoons
8:45 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Observatory in Chile is Wesleyan Radio Astronomer's Answer to Hubble

The Atacama Large Millimeter Array in northern Chile has 66 antennae, seen here in June 2014.
A. Marinkovic Creative Commons

A Wesleyan astronomer has just returned from a conference in Tokyo, Japan, where she discussed research from the ALMA space telescope -- a radio observatory partly funded by the National Science Foundation -- which is just finishing construction.

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Employment Recovery
8:25 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Connecticut Sees Best Jobs Year Since 1997

More people are finding positions, as employers begin to hire.
Credit Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s jobs recovery continued strongly in November, with employers adding 4,600 new positions. 

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Science
7:58 am
Fri December 19, 2014

7 Miles Beneath The Sea's Surface: Who Goes There?

The research vessel Falkor in August 2013.
Courtesy of Mark Schrope

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:11 am

A ship full of marine scientists is floating over the deepest part of the world: the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. They're sending down probes to study life in one of the most hostile environments on the planet.

This week the researchers are targeting the two deepest spots in the trench — the Sirena Deep and the Challenger Deep — which each extend down about 7 miles beneath the ocean's surface.

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Col. Claus
7:11 am
Fri December 19, 2014

NORAD's Santa Tracker Began With A Typo And A Good Sport

Col. Harry Shoup came to be known as the "Santa Colonel." He died in 2009.
Courtesy of NORAD

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:45 pm

This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.

Shoup's children, Terri Van Keuren, 65, Rick Shoup, 59, and Pam Farrell, 70, recently visited StoryCorps to talk about how the tradition began.

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Public Health
8:56 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Does a New Surgeon General Mean a New Conversation About Guns?

Dr. Vivek Murthy testifies at a hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, February 4, 2014, on the matter of Murthy's nomination to the office of Surgeon General of the United States.
United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
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Defense Industry
8:43 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

U.S. Defense Budget Benefits Connecticut Contractors

A Sikorsky helicopter.
mitchell.alaska Creative Commons

Connecticut's U.S. senators visited Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford on Thursday to highlight the impact the 2015 defense budget will have on the state. 

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Business
4:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

New Popularity Of L.L. Bean Boots Sparks Scramble To Fill Orders

A surge in popularity of L.L. Bean boots has the Maine company scrambling to fill orders.
Murray Carpenter NPR

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:32 pm

L.L. Bean's iconic rubber and leather boots — long worn by practical and preppie New Englanders — have swung back into fashion with young people and are more popular than ever.

The recent surge in demand has the company scrambling to fill orders, upgrading its manufacturing equipment and adding a third shift at its Maine boot factories.

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Demographics
4:10 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Immigration Is Driving Broad Demographic Shifts In U.S., Report Says

Navy Petty Officer Jimmy Dial (left) sits with his daughter, Kimberly, beside U.S. Army soldier Henri Blandon and his daughter as the men's wives and the girls' mothers become U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony last month in Ontario, Calif.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:38 pm

Native-born Americans are making up a smaller percentage of those living in some areas of the U.S. as immigration moves to become the key factor in population growth within the next quarter-century, according to a new analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts that examined county-level census data.

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Television
3:24 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

A Tribute To Stephen Colbert, A Self-Proclaimed 'Junkie For Exhaustion'

Stephen Colbert will host his final episode of The Colbert Report Thursday after nine years on air.
Pool Getty Images

After nine years, Stephen Colbert is retiring the character he created for The Colbert Report, the conservative, self-important blowhard who opines about the news and the media. The final episode airs Thursday. Colbert will take over as host for The Late Show, replacing the retiring David Letterman.

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Cyber Attack
3:02 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

White House Says Any Response To Sony Attack Needs To Be 'Proportional'

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:26 pm

The White House says the devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures was done with "malicious intent" and was initiated by a "sophisticated actor" but it would not say if that actor was North Korea.

Spokesman Josh Earnest says the matter is still under investigation.

"Regardless of who is found to be responsible for this, the president considers it to be a serious national security matter," Earnest says.

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Viral Research
2:22 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

NIH Allows Restart Of MERS Research That Had Been Questioned

A transmission electron micrograph shows Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus particles (colorized yellow).
NIAID

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:26 pm

Some researchers who study the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome got an early Christmas present: permission to resume experiments that the federal government abruptly halted in October.

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