Brownfields
8:17 am
Mon September 1, 2014

State Announces $27 Million in Redevelopment Money

Included in the grants and loans is money for several housing development projects in the state.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / kylewbrown

The state has announced a total of $27 million in grants and loans for 20 environmental remediation and redevelopment projects in Connecticut.

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Iraq
10:20 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Iraqi Forces Reportedly Enter Besieged Northern City Of Amerli

In Amerli, people try to board an Iraqi Army helicopter aid flight bringing in supplies to the town on Saturday. The town, which includes some 20,000 Shiite Turkmen, has been surrounded by Sunni Islamic State fighters for two months.
AP

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 10:43 am

Iraqi security forces backed by Shiite militias and U.S. airstrikes have reportedly entered the northern town of Amerli, where Islamic State militants have laid siege to the town for weeks, prompting fears of a sectarian massacre.

Reuters and BBC report that Iraqi Army and volunteer fighters entered the town on Sunday after defeating the Sunni rebels, also known as ISIS or ISIL, east of the city. The Islamic State, which claims to enforce a pure version of Islam, has apparently targeted Amerli because of its large Shiite Turkmen population, seen by them as apostates.

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Texas
8:33 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Rick Perry's Legal Trouble: The Line Between Influence And Coercion

Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked on August 19 in Austin. Perry is charged with abuse of office and coercing a public official.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 12:33 pm

The day he was booked, Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a big smile for his mug shot — which was then printed up on t-shirts to demonstrate just what a farce he thought the indictment was. In a press conference, the scorn dripped from Perry's voice as he took up the sword — defender, not of himself, but of the state's constitution.

"We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country," he said. "It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's constitution."

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Football
4:59 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Michael Sam, First Openly Gay NFL Draft, Is Dropped By Rams

St. Louis Rams draft pick Michael Sam watches pregame festivities before the start of the South Dakota State-Missouri NCAA college football game on Saturday, in Columbia, Mo. Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, was released by the St. Louis Rams Saturday.
L.G. Patterson AP

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 6:07 pm

Update at 6 p.m. ET

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted to an NFL team, has been released by the St. Louis Rams, the team has announced.

ESPN.com writes:

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Music News
8:15 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Taking The Tuba Above And Beyond The Low End

On a new record called Connections: Mind the Gap, tuba player Bob Stewart sums up his career with a showcase of the instrument's versatility.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 12:33 pm

On a hot, humid afternoon, Bob Stewart has called a rehearsal at his Harlem apartment. Six musicians are in a circle in the living room — on one side, trumpet and trombone; on the other, cello, viola and violin; and in the middle, the elephant in the room — Stewart's tuba.

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Governing
7:48 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Justice Department Supports Native Americans In Child Welfare Case

Chase Iron Eyes, an attorney with the Lakota People's Law Project, is calling for a turnaround of child welfare and foster care systems.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

The Justice Department has weighed in on a class-action lawsuit in South Dakota pitting Native American tribes against state officials, and come down resoundingly in support of tribes.

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Retail
3:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Holiday Gas Prices Lowest In Four Years

A graphic produced by Gasbuddy.com shows regional variation of gas prices.
GasBuddy.com via USEIA

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:52 pm

Some good news heading into the long weekend: Labor Day gas prices are at their lowest level in four years.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the nationwide average for retail regular was $3.45 per gallon on Aug. 25 — that's the lowest average price for a Monday ahead of Labor Day since 2010, and it's about $0.25 per gallon less than at the end of June this year. The current price is down from the record average of $3.83 for the 2012 holiday.

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Ukraine/Russia Conflict
2:05 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

White House Says "Continuation," Murphy Says "War"

Sen. Chris Murphy on WNPR's Where We Live in December, 2013.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate, Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy wants to call it what it is: a war.

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Air National Guard
1:13 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Identified as Pilot in Fatal F-15 Crash

Japanese Air Self Defense Force Lt. Col. Miyake Hideaki, 306th Tactical Fighter Squadron commander, and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot, 67th Fighter Squadron commander, shake hands during a press conference on Komatsu Air Base, Japan, in 2013.
Staff Sgt. Amber E. N. Jacobs U.S. Air Force

The Massachusetts Air National Guard has released the name of the pilot who died Wednesday when his F-15 crashed in rural Virginia. 

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Europe
11:43 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Britain Raises Terror Alert Level, But Cites No Specific Threat

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a news conference in London on Friday after the U.K. raised its terror alert level.
Paul Hackett PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:07 pm

British Prime Minister David Cameron is warning that the threat to the U.K. from international terrorism is "greater and deeper" than ever before, as London raised its terror warning level in response to what it said were plans by the Islamic State and other extremist groups to attack the West.

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Energy
11:27 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Federal Regulators Rap Faulty Water Pump at Millstone

The Millstone Power Plant in Waterford.
Credit Northeast Utilities

Federal regulators say they could impose more inspections and greater oversight of Connecticut's nuclear power plant due to repeated problems with a critical water pump. 

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Casino Diversification
9:38 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Foxwoods Bets on Retail

The concourse now has floor-to-ceiling glass facades
Harriet Jones WNPR

Foxwoods unveils its newly revamped retail concourse on Friday, the first of two big retail projects the gaming giant has in progress.

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Code Switch
9:35 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Plea To Ferguson's Leaders: To Help Heal, Acknowledge Our Hurt

The Rev. Willis Johnson (left), pastor of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, speaks to the Rev. Michele Shumake-Keller after the panel discussion in Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday. Johnson said he hoped the event would be a step to healing a "community in trauma."
Whitney Curtis for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:49 pm

  • Listen to NPR's Michel Martin recap the event on Morning Edition

(Editor's Note: NPR's Michel Martin was invited by St. Louis Public Radio to moderate a community conversation on Thursday around race, police tactics and leadership following the shooting death of Michael Brown. The following story is based on what happened at the event.)

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Rethinking Poverty
8:42 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Rep. Ryan Calls For 'Culture Of Inclusion' To Tackle Poverty

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan speaks during a news conference at the Union League Club of Chicago on Aug. 21.
John Gress Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:00 am

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, used to have a habit of describing the American people in two categories. There were the "makers" — people paying taxes — and the "takers" — people getting government benefits.

Today, the Wisconsin Republican says he was wrong, and that the country needs to overhaul how it thinks about poverty. In his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea, he offers ways to redirect federal spending to fighting poverty.

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Assault Weapons
8:14 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Connecticut Law: Failure to Register Weapons a Misdemeanor, Not a Felony

Credit Brian nairB / Creative Commons

Connecticut's new gun control law says gun owners who failed to register their now-banned assault weapons by a January deadline face a misdemeanor charge, not a felony as described by Republican governor candidate Tom Foley in Wednesday night's debate. 

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Ukraine
7:53 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Ukrainian Prime Minister Says Government Will Seek NATO Membership

A pro-Russian rebel walks in a passage at a local market damaged by shelling in Petrovskiy district in the eastern Ukrainian town of Donetsk.
Mstislav Chernov AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:17 pm

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says his government has sent parliament a bill that allows Ukraine to open a path toward membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

"The main and only goal of Ukraine's foreign policy is to join the European Union," Yatsenyuk said in a statement.

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White House
8:29 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

'We Don't Have A Strategy Yet' On Islamic State, Obama Says

President Obama said Thursday at the White House that the U.S. doesn't yet have a strategy on how to deal with the Islamic State militant group.
Michael Reynolds EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:02 pm

President Obama says the U.S. doesn't "have a strategy yet" on how to deal with Islamic State militants who now control vast swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria, but he added that the militant group was continuing to lose arms and equipment because of targeted U.S. strikes against its members in Iraq.

"I don't want to put the cart before the horse," Obama said at a White House news conference Thursday. "We don't have a strategy yet."

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Missouri
7:35 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Zero-Tolerance Policing Is Not Racism, Say St. Louis-Area Cops

Police arrest a woman in Ferguson, Mo., protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown. Most officers in Ferguson and nearby Jennings are white, but the neighborhoods they police are predominantly African-American.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 11:57 pm

The protests that followed the shooting death this month of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., have rekindled long-standing complaints about racist policing, especially in the St Louis area.

Many male African-American residents there say police scrutinize them unfairly. "Every time you see a cop, it's like, 'OK, am I going to get messed with?' " says Anthony Ross. "You feel that every single time you get behind your car. Every time."

Now, police officers in and around St. Louis are becoming more vocal about defending themselves against the charges of bias.

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Housing for Families
3:47 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Hartford Cuts Funding to Homeless Shelter

The Marshall House Family Shelter in Hartford lost some city funding.
Salvation Army

The city of Hartford recently cut $100,000 from a homeless shelter as part of its effort to keep taxes down and avoid layoffs. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said he's still hoping find money to undo the cut. 

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Electronic Devices
2:59 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?

LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 3:46 pm

Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Americana
11:26 am
Thu August 28, 2014

"Woody Sez," the Life and Music of Woody Guthrie at Theaterworks in Hartford

David Lutken is the devisor of "Woody Sez" and portrays the lead character.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Legendary American folk singer/activist Woody Guthrie, is best known for his classic song, "This Land is Your Land." All of his music gives voice to a restless and profoundly American search for freedom: artistically, politically, and personally.

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Security Breach
10:34 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Russian Hackers Reportedly Hit JPMorgan, Other Banks

JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York. The bank is one of several reportedly targeted by Russian hackers.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 11:21 am

The FBI says it's working with the Secret Service to investigate reports that Russian hackers breached security at JPMorgan Chase and other financial institutions, stealing customers' account information in possible retaliation for U.S. government sanctions on Moscow.

"We are working with the United States Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyberattacks against several American financial institutions," FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell said in a statement late Wednesday.

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Air National Guard
10:00 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Fighter Jet Based in Westfield, Massachusetts Crashes in Virginia; Details Unclear

Colonel James Keefe addresses the media at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts.
Credit Henry Epp / NEPR

An F-15C jet based at the Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts crashed Wednesday morning in Virginia, according to a statement from Barnes. Many details remain unclear about the crash. 

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Polygamy
9:47 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Federal Judge Strikes Down Part Of Utah's Polygamy Ban

Kody Brown poses with his wives (from left) Janelle, Christine, Meri and Robyn in a promotional photo for TLC's reality TV show Sister Wives.
Bryant Livingston AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:03 am

A federal judge on Wednesday finalized a ruling that strikes down part of Utah's ban on polygamy.

The case is high profile partly because the suit was brought forth by the Brown family, the stars of the TLC show Sister Wives. It's also important because as it works its way through the appeals process, it has the potential to become a landmark.

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Planet Money
8:44 am
Thu August 28, 2014

A Mall With Two Minimum Wages

Wetzel's Pretzels employee Emperatriz Orozco hands out free samples at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:20 am

The Westfield Valley Fair Mall straddles two cities. One side of the mall is in Santa Clara, but walk a few feet down the mall, and you're in San Jose. In 2012, San Jose voters agreed to raise the city's minimum wage from $8 to $10 an hour.

Philip Sandigo manages a shoe store on the $8-an-hour side. When San Jose raised the minimum wage, he lost about half his staff.

They went to the stores on the side of the mall that paid $2 an hour more.

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Election 2014
11:56 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Malloy, Foley Spar in First Debate of 2014

Tom Foley, left, and Gov. Dannel Malloy, right, engage in debate moderated by Ray Hackett, opinion page editor of The Norwich Bulletin.
CT-N

The first debate between Connecticut’s two major party candidates for governor produced few surprises, as Tom Foley and Dannel Malloy tackled recurring issues, including gun control and economic development. 

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Utilities
2:56 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Connecticut Utility Rate Increases Discussed at Hearing

Kenneth Bowes of Connecticut Light and Power during the PURA hearing.
Credit CT-N

A fight is brewing over a request by Connecticut's largest utility to raise rates by $232 million to upgrade equipment following destructive storms. The first of three related public hearings took place on Wednesday.

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Juno the Whale
2:25 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Watch: Charismatic Beluga in Mystic Entertains Kids, Highlights Research

Juno, a 12-year-old beluga at Mystic Aquarium, is drawing attention to the aquarium's field research.
Mystic Aquarium

A new viral video depicting a juvenile beluga whale playing peek-a-boo with a child is drawing attention to Mystic Aquarium's arctic animals.

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Jazz Corridor
1:44 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli Shows Old Lyme Fans Why Everybody Loves Him

Bucky Pizzarelli.
Brian Wittman

Many years ago, a young pianist named Bill Evans recorded an LP called Everybody Digs Bill Evans, one of those rare album titles that is forever memorable and also somehow a concise summation and mini-portrait of the artist himself.

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Healthy Workplace
1:23 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Work-Related Illnesses Fall in Connecticut

Credit Fuse / Thinkstock

The number of workers sickened on the job in Connecticut has declined slightly, according to a new study by UConn. Occupational illnesses in the state, however, remain more prevalent than the national average. 

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