Southern New England Under Watches for Major Winter Storm

Most likely storm totals for Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for southern Connecticut, eastern Massachusetts, and Rhode Island for a storm with heavy snow and high winds Monday and Tuesday.

A winter storm watch is in effect for elsewhere in Connecticut and Massachusetts, including Cape Cod.

The snow is expected to begin Monday afternoon in Connecticut. Many areas could see a foot or two of snow in the two-day storm, less in western areas and on Cape Cod. 

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India
9:18 am
Sun January 25, 2015

U.S. And India Announce New Ties On First Day Of Obama's Trip

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama meet at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Sunday, the first day of Obama's three-day trip to India.
UPI Landov

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 12:03 pm

Updated at 8:25 a.m. ET

President Obama announced Sunday that the U.S. and India have made progress on civilian nuclear trade. In a joint news conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Obama said the countries had agreed to more cooperation in other areas as well, including defense and climate change.

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Deflate-Gate
4:09 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

Patriots' Coach: Team 'Followed Rules' On Inflation Of Footballs

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks during an NFL football news conference at Gillette Stadium, on Saturday in Foxborough, Mass. Belichick defended the team against allegations they had cheated by using underinflated footballs in a championship game.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 5:24 pm

New England Patriots' Head Coach Bill Belichick defended his team and quarterback Tom Brady against accusations of cheating amid the so-called "Deflategate" controversy that erupted last weekend when underinflated footballs were used in

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Infrastructure
2:32 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

Four Connecticut Transportation Proposals From Gov. Malloy

An elevated portion of I-84 in Hartford.
Ryan King WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy announced Thursday he’d like to widen Interstate 84 in Danbury, one of many initiatives he's proposed this month.

Already in place in the state’s transportation overhaul is an expansion of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail -- slated for completion in 2016 -- as well as the opening of CTfastrak, a Hartford-New Britain rapid busway that will launch in March.

Meanwhile, Connecticut Department of Transportation research and public discussion surrounding the eventual replacement of the I-84 viaduct in Hartford is underway.

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Sports
9:46 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Fat Bikes: The Winter Sport Of The Future?

With tires twice the width of the standard mountain bike, fat bikes are made for snow. Some ski facilities are trying to cash in on the bikes, which are becoming a popular alternative to cross-country skiing. (Citizen 4474/Flickr via Compfight cc)

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 8:14 am

On a snowy December afternoon, I dropped by the Onion River Sports shop in Montpelier, the capital of Vermont. Kip Roberts, who  manages the store, said that two years ago, fat bikes went from an oddity to a hot item.

“It exploded, and we couldn’t get our hands on them quick enough,” Roberts said. “And that growth happened all across the country. Almost everyone that’s a major bicycle company has a fat bike now. And some of them have multiple models.”

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Coastal Planning
9:45 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Battle With The Sea: Rhode Island Develops State-of-the-Art Planning Tools

The head of the EPA Northeast Region, Curt Spalding, took a guided walking tour of Wickford Village in North Kingstown to learn about a climate change adaptation pilot project there. He also visited Westerly, South Kingstown, and Warwick.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 9:31 am

Just this week, the U.S. Senate went on the record that climate change exists. Local and state officials in Rhode Island haven’t been waiting around to take the lead from Washington. They not only know climate change is real, but they’re also planning for its impacts. As part of our Battle With The Sea series, Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza went on a tour with the Environmental Protection Agency’s northeast director to see how plans are in place.

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New York
9:44 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Canadian Pair Rescued After Frosty Night In Adirondacks

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 8:20 pm

Two Canadian hikers lost in the Adirondack High Peaks spent a frigid night in the snowy wilderness before being rescued by rangers.

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Ukraine
8:58 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Ukraine Rebel Leader Claims New Attack On Mariupol

Ukrainian servicemen stand guard on a street near a burning building after a shelling by pro-Russian rebels of a residential sector in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, on Saturday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 1:30 pm

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

A main leader of Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine reportedly says the separatists have launched an attack on the port city of Mariupol, where rocket fire killed at least 15 people in an open-air market and residential area.

"Today an offensive was launched on Mariupol. This will be the best possible monument to all our dead," Alexander Zakharchenko was quoted as saying by Russia's RIA news agency.

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Local Brewers
4:40 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

New England Brewing Company Decides to Rename Gandhi-Bot Beer

New England Brewing Co. has announced it will rename it's popular IPA, Ghandi-Bot.
New England Brewing Co.

A Connecticut brewery says it will no longer use the name and likeness of Mohandas Gandhi on one of its beers following complaints that the marketing was offensive.

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Voicemail Project
3:06 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

The WNPR Voicemail Project: Teens On the Edge

chiesADIbeinasco Creative Commons

WNPR has an experimental radio project and we want you to get involved. The idea is simple: we provide a theme; you call our hotline and tell a story.

The theme: What's so hard about being a teen?

On Friday, January 30, WNPR's Where We Live will talk about the challenges of being a teenager.

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Election 2015
1:46 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

In Hartford, Griebel Considers City Council Run

Oz Griebel in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Oz Griebel runs the MetroHartford Alliance and ran for governor in 2010. Now, he's considering a run for Hartford's city council. 

"I am considering a run, but considering is the operative word," Griebel said.

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Mental Health
12:09 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Early Intervention Program Offers Hope for New Haven Area Youths With Psychosis

Alberto Bocchetta, Giorgio Tamburini, Pina Cavolina, Alessandra Serra, Andrea Loviselli and Mario Piga Wikimedia Commons

Yale University and the state are now offering a new treatment to young people living in the New Haven area who are experiencing psychotic symptoms. The treatment is also the subject of a soon-to-be-released study.

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U.S.-Cuba Relations
11:57 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Rep. Rosa DeLauro Calls for End to Program Enticing Cuban Doctors to Defect

A Cuban doctor administers a vaccination to a woman at a camp for displaced Haitians in Port-au-Prince in 2010.
Sophia Paris United Nations

As U.S. and Cuba officials wrap up their first high-level talks in decades, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is leading a call for an end to the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program.

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Climate Change
10:06 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Senate Says Climate Change Real, But Not Really Our Fault

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., was the only senator to vote against an amendment calling climate change "real and not a hoax."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:20 pm

Breathtakingly broad as its jurisdiction may be, the U.S. Senate does not usually vote on the validity of scientific theories.

This week, it did. And science won. The Senate voted that climate change is real, and not a hoax. The vote was 98-1.

The vote was about an amendment to the bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The near-unanimity of the climate change judgment was notable, because so many senators have cast doubt on ideas of "global warming."

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Injury
9:24 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Former WWE Fighters Suing Over Alleged Brain Damage

WWE fighter Bray Wyatt, "The Eater Of Worlds," jumps on fighter "Dean Ambrose."
Courtesy of WWE

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 7:12 pm

Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET on Jan. 23.

Two former World Wrestling Entertainment fighters are suing the company, alleging that it ignored signs of brain damage and injuries.

The lawsuit, dated Jan. 16, was filed by Vito "Big Vito" LoGrasso and Evan Singleton, who wrestled under the name "Adam Mercer."

The suit alleges that LoGrasso has sustained serious neurological damage as a result of wrestling. He says he has headaches, memory loss, depression and hearing impairment. Singleton also says he has tremors, convulsions and migraines.

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Health
8:56 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Connecticut Agency to Hand Out Free Water Testing Kits

Peg Creative Commons

Connecticut's Department of Public Health is providing free private well testing for a limited number of homeowners.

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Inclusive Playgrounds
7:55 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Connecticut Gets Its First "Bankshot" Basketball Court for All Abilities

A Bankshot court in Huntley Park, IL.
Bankshot

A group of West Hartford residents is working to renovate Jonathan's Dream, a public playground for children of all abilities. Recent funding makes it possible for them to bring a set of unusual basketball hoops to the playground, called Bankshot, aimed at all ages and abilities.

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Middle East
7:40 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Saudi King Abdullah, Who Laid Foundation For Reform, Dies

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud is seen in September 2011.
Ahmed Abdelrahman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 12:46 pm

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia has died. He was 90 and had been hospitalized for a lung infection.

Abdullah was born before Saudi Arabia was even a country. It was the early 1920s, and his father, Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, set out to conquer the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula. In one famous battle, ibn Saud surrounded the capital of a rival tribe.

"Famously, instead of executing everybody, he invited them to be his guests," says Robert Lacey, author of two books on Saudi Arabia.

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Global Metro Monitor
2:10 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Connecticut Cities Retain Legacy Wealth, But Fail to Grow

Corporate headquarters help to make Hartford the fourth-richest city in the world.
Cliff Creative Commons

Connecticut’s urban areas remain among of the most economically productive areas in the world, even while they struggle to recover from the great recession. In fact a new study from the Brookings Institution pegs Hartford as having the second highest economic output in the country, and the fourth highest in the world.

The Global Metro Monitor takes the economic temperature of 300 major cities around the world. Greater Hartford lies fourth in the world in terms of gross domestic product per capita, a measure of how much economic value is produced compared to the size of a metro area, including corporate profits as well as personal incomes. Only Zurich, Oslo and San Jose rank higher. Bridgeport, whose metro area include Fairfield County, lies eighth.

But another story is told by the most recent data on recovery from 2014. 

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Super Bowl
1:40 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Broadcaster Al Michaels Gets Ready To Provide 'Lyrics' For The Super Bowl

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:28 pm

When the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots meet in the 2015 Super Bowl on Feb. 1, the broadcast booth will be anchored by a man who has done the play-by-play for eight previous Super Bowls. Al Michaels, the announcer for NBC's Sunday Night Football, knows how to put emotion into his broadcasts.

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Hospital Deal
1:25 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Connecticut, Tenet Agree to Renew Talks for Hospital Deal

Credit vichie81/iStock / Thinkstock

Tenet Healthcare said it is open to resuming talks with the state of Connecticut over its failed deal to buy five hospitals. The company pulls no punches in its response to Governor Dannel Malloy’s invitation.

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Metcalf on Music
1:18 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

A Grammy Brought a Smile to Roomful of Teeth

Roomful of Teeth.
Roomful of Teeth

Last year, a little known new-music vocal octet came out of nowhere to win the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.

If that group had been called, say, the Contempo Voices or Sounds of Today, or something more or less conventional like that, it might have had a slightly tougher time coming to the attention of the restless Grammy voters.

But in fact the group is called Roomful of Teeth. And the music it makes is as original and as attention-getting as its name.

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Storrs
12:16 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

"In The Paint": Basketball-Inspired Art Exhibit Opens at UConn

A mixed-media installation with seven regulation-size basketball rims, 24-karat gold-plated nets by Awol Erizku.
Awol Erizku Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NYC

On the basketball court, a player is “in the paint” when he or she is inside the area closest to the hoop. Visitors to the William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut can imagine what that might feel like at an exhibition opening Friday called “In the Paint: Basketball in Contemporary Art.”

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Children
11:21 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Call for Child Writers About Experiences With Connecticut's DCF

Credit Dwayne Bent/flickr creative commons

Connecticut Voices for Children has launched a campaign to create a book by children writing about their experiences with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

Addressing potential contributors in a flyer, Connecticut Voices for Children says, "The book will be shared with the public, advocates, and government officials to help them better understand your experiences and create better laws based on your suggestions." Children who wish to can remain anonymous.

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Deflate-Gate
10:30 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Denies Knowledge Of Deflated Footballs

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, seen here on Jan. 18, says he "had no knowledge" about the controversy over deflated footballs "until Monday morning."
Elise Amendola AP

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says he had "no knowledge" about the controversy surrounding his team and deflated footballs.

"In my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player or staff member about football air pressure," he said in an opening statement at a news conference today.

Belichick added that he had "no knowledge of this situation until Monday morning."

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Massachusetts Gaming
10:16 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Mohegans Join Lawsuit Against Massachusetts Regulators

Mohegan Sun's proposed design for its license bid at Suffolk Downs racetrack.
Credit Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun is joining a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission after the decision last year to award Greater Boston’s casino license to a rival. 

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Medical Decisions
7:30 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Cassandra C Could Leave Hospital While Waiting for Next Chemo Treatment

Cassandra C, 17, was ordered to continue her chemotherapy treatment despite her objections.
Jackie Fortin

Cassandra C, 17, is being forced by the state to undergo chemotherapy treatment for her Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Under a court order, DCF has had temporary custody of Cassandra since mid-December.

DCF now says it is exploring other options for her while she continues treatment. Cassandra's next chemotherapy treatment won't happen for several weeks, so she may be allowed to leave the hospital and live in a group home. While there, she would continue to receive other treatments DCF says she needs.

Cassandra's attorney, Joshua Michtom, said on WNPR's Where We Live that Cassandra is in her hospital room with someone at guard at all times. For her, he said, being anywhere other than her one room in the hospital would be preferable.

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Standardized Tests
3:39 am
Thu January 22, 2015

The Past, Present And Future Of High-Stakes Testing

PublicAffairs Books

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:57 pm

After a long stretch as the law of the land, annual standardized tests are being put to, well, the test.

This week, the Senate education committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and, specifically, on testing. The committee's chairman, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has released a draft bill offering a lot more leeway to states in designing their own assessment systems.

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Health Care
3:34 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Senator 'Astounded' That Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Poorest Patients

Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo., is changing its name to Mosaic Life Care. It was the focus of an NPR and ProPublica investigation into its billing practices.
Steve Hebert for ProPublica

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:11 pm

NPR and ProPublica have been reporting about nonprofit hospitals that seize the wages of lower-income and working-class patients. Now, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says hospitals could be breaking the law by suing these patients and docking their pay. And he wants some answers.

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Civil Rights
5:56 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Justice Dept. Will Reportedly Clear Ferguson Police Officer In Brown Case

Demonstrators remember Michael Brown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, marching from the apartment complex where Brown was killed to the Ferguson police station. A federal inquiry has found no evidence that officer Darren Wilson violated Brown's civil rights, sources tell NPR.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.

"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."

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Homelessness
4:18 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Connecticut Looks to End Homelessness Among Vets and Disabled

Connecticut reporters gather post-press conference for further questions with Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Aundreá Murray

State officials gathered at the capital city on Wednesday to announce a new initiative aimed at ending homelessness among veterans and the disabled within the next two years.

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