Southern New England Prepares for Major Winter Storm

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

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for southern Connecticut beginning midday Monday, and blizzard watches remain in effect for eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island ahead of a storm with heavy snow and high winds.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for northwestern Massachusetts, where winds will be lower.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said Sunday it is preparing for a "potentially historic and destructive winter storm."

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Election Day Problems
3:00 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

As City Council Plans to Remove Her, Hartford's Democratic Registrar Plans to Fight

Credit Vox Efx / Creative Commons

As Hartford's City Council is seeking to remove all three of its registrars because of a disastrous Election Day 2014, at least one of them -- Democrat Olga Vazquez -- is planning a strong defense.

"She does not disagree with the fact that there were some serious snafus," said Leon Rosenblatt, Vazquez's attorney. "But the registrars weren't the cause of it. And the report that was written is very one-sided and incomplete." 

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Energy
2:45 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Regional Power Operator Provides Brief on State of Grid

ISO-New England's control room.
ISO-New England

New England's electricity grid operator said natural gas pipeline bottlenecks and retirement of aging power plants could put pressure on the price of energy.

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Captured On Camera
1:58 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

State Rep. Brandon McGee: Death Threats Received After Parking in Handicapped Space

A photo of State Rep. Brandon McGee's BMW parked illegally that circulated Facebook over the weekend.
Kevin Brookman wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com

An anonymous camera phone-wielding watchdog set off a Facebook firestorm against State Rep. Brandon McGee after a photo of his car parked illegally in a handicap spot circulated online. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
1:46 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

WWE Sued By Former Wrestlers Over Concussions

Wrestler Vito LoGrasso.
Credit Facebook

World Wrestling Entertainment is being sued by two of its former wrestlers who claim they suffered repeated concussions during their time with the Stamford company.

Vito LoGrasso and Evan Singleton have filed what they hope will become a class action lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia. They accuse WWE of "selling violence" and ignoring the harm to their employees, which they say includes brain damage.

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Real Escape Games
1:31 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Room Escape: A New Genre of Entertainment Comes to New Haven

Wessel Krul Creative Commons

Think of "room escape" like a fancy cocktail: one part mystery, one part problem-solving, and two parts teamwork, with a dash of adrenaline-inducing claustrophobia on top.

If you're still puzzled, then congratulations -- that's the point.

Room escape is a new form of puzzle-based entertainment that's only just begun to catch on in America. It involves transforming ordinary rooms into extraordinary playscapes: richly themed environments in which willing participants are locked inside, and forced to solve mind-bending puzzles in order to escape.

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Budget Crisis
1:11 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

$121 Million State Deficit Fueled By Falling Gas Prices

KOMUnews Creative Commons

Turns out saving at the pump isn’t great for everyone.

Governor Dannel Malloy will have to order a second round of budget cuts for fiscal year 2015 after the falling price of petroleum has contributed to a $120.9 million deficit, an $89.3 million increase from last month.

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Jazz Corridor
12:45 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Rising, Young Saxophonist Alexa Tarantino Headlines at Baby Grand Jazz Series

Alexa Tarantino, a Connecticut native, and a member of a new generation of jazz musicians, brings her talent to the international stage preforming both at home and across the globe.
Alexa Tarantino

Alexa Tarantino, a gifted, 22-year-old alto saxophonist who grew up in West Hartford, has plenty to celebrate as she performs in a duo concert with the Polish-born piano virtuoso Dariusz Terefenko at 3:00 pm on Sunday, January 25, at the Hartford Public Library’s free Baby Grand Jazz Series.

Among the causes for celebration, the versatile multi-instrumentalist/composer has recently graduated from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she earned degrees in jazz saxophone performance and education, as well as a certificate in arts leadership.

Besides the joy of graduation, the emerging saxophonist has a new CD out with Terefenko called Crossing Paths that they’ll be promoting in March on a two-week tour of workshops, clinics, and performances in some of Poland’s premier conservatories. Later this summer, the mini-Poland tour will be followed up with the duo’s appearances in Brazil.

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Trans Pacific Partnership
12:28 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Rep. Rosa DeLauro Urges Caution on Asian Trade Deal

Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
Credit Creative Commons

President Obama courted controversy with his own party in the State of the Union by again calling for a key Asian trade deal to be fast-tracked.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is opposed by some senior Democrats, who believe it will lead to a loss of jobs here. 

Obama is asking to be given the authority to negotiate the deal without congressional oversight. Connecticut’s Third District Representative Rosa DeLauro said that’s not acceptable.

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New Haven
10:16 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Immigrants Make New Haven Connecticut's Fastest-Growing City

President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, William Ginsberg.
CFGNH

A new report shows an influx of immigrants to New Haven since 2000 has made it the fastest growing city in Connecticut.

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven commissioned DataHaven to research how immigration has impacted the Elm City and the 20 towns surrounding it. Among the report findings, between 2000 and 2012--the population of Greater New Haven grew by 27,000 people. 75 percent of the new residents are foreign born and half of them are naturalized citizens. During the same period, there has been minimal growth in the region's native born population.   

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Environment Research
9:40 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Bard Professor Leads Study On Flooding And Biodiversity

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 1:54 am

A new study published this week and led by a Bard College biology professor shows catastrophic flooding can be mitigated by protecting biodiversity.  WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with the lead author, who says though the flooding was studied in Germany, there could be comparisons to the Hudson Valley.

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Sweetness and Light
9:27 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Frank Deford To The NBA: Who's On Worst?

The Atlanta Hawks' Mike Scott scores over the Detroit Pistons' Greg Monroe in a game Monday. The Hawks are currently leading the NBA's Eastern Conference.
Dave Tulis AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:58 am

Even with free agency, our professional leagues show a reliable sort of sameness from year to year. Oh sure, each season there are a few teams that surprise, but mostly, changes in the standings are evolutionary. That said, I don't believe I've ever seen a league that looks so cockeyed as the NBA is this year.

First of all, it's just plain weird to see the two historically glamorous franchises, the Celtics and Lakers, both down near the bottom of the standings, while up top are teams that previously were nondescript also-rans.

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Hartford
8:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Hartford City Council Moves to Remove Registrars of Voters

Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden in City Hall last week.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Following a disastrous Election Day 2014 in which voters at various city polling places were denied the right to vote, the city council is beginning the process of removing all three registrars of voters.

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Health Insurance
2:59 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Tax Preparers Get Ready To Be Bearers Of Bad News About Health Law

Lou Graham prepares taxes in Connecticut and is ready to answer client questions about the Affordable Care Act.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 4:17 pm

Are you thinking about tax day yet? Your friendly neighborhood tax preparer is. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen declared this tax season one of the most complicated ever, partly because this is the first year that the Affordable Care Act will show up on your tax form.

Tax preparers from coast to coast are trying to get ready. Sue Ellen Smith manages an H&R Block office in San Francisco, and she is expecting things to get busy soon.

"This year taxes and health care intersect in a brand-new way," Smith says.

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SOTU
10:55 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

'Tonight, We Turn The Page': Obama Lays Out 2015 Agenda

President Obama receives a standing ovation as he prepares to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 12:48 am

Delivering his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama faced a Congress that's now controlled by his Republican opponents. His speech included possible areas of cooperation — and a threat to use his veto power.

Tax proposals that would boost middle-class families were in the president's speech; so were calls for a new approach to immigration and a push for free education at community colleges.

Obama also called on Congress to pass a resolution to authorize using military force against the extremist group ISIS.

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White House
5:50 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

What To Expect From Obama Tonight On Education

President Obama speaks at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn., on Jan. 9. Obama is promoting a plan to make publicly funded community college available to all students.
Mark Humphrey AP

On the education front, President Obama's State of the Union address is likely to focus on three big proposals:

First, the president wants to talk about the idea he floated last week of making community college tuition-free. This is new.

The plan would benefit about 9 million full- and part-time students and would cost the federal government about $60 billion over 10 years. According to the administration's numbers, that would account for three-fourths of the total cost. States and community colleges would come up with the rest.

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Politics
3:16 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama Joins Ike, The Gipper, Bill And George II In A Club No One Wants To Be In

President Dwight Eisenhower delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of the 86th Congress in 1959. Behind him are Vice President Richard Nixon (left) and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:06 pm

President Obama begins his seventh year in office Tuesday facing a Congress where both the House and Senate are in the hands of the opposition party. He shares this in common with every other president fortunate enough to even have a seventh year in office since the 1950s.

Dwight Eisenhower in 1959, Ronald Reagan in 1987, Bill Clinton in 1999 and George W. Bush in 2007 all climbed the rostrum for this late-in-the-game challenge looking out at majorities of the other party in both chambers.

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Cities
1:13 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

The City Might Not Be To Blame For High Asthma Rates

Dr. Stephen Teach helps Jeffery Ulmer listen to his daughter Alauna's asthmatic breathing at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Alauna's mother, Farisa, holds her. The District has one of the highest rates of pediatric asthma in the country.
Jahi Chikwendiu Washington Post

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 4:15 pm

Asthma affects children regardless of where they live and whether they are rich or poor. But scientists have long thought that living in poor urban neighborhoods adds an extra risk for this troublesome lung inflammation. A new study suggests that's not necessarily the case.

Asthma is often triggered by something in the environment, so in the 1960s, scientists started looking for places where asthma was especially bad.

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Plum Island
11:32 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Conservationists Vow to Fight Sale of Plum Island

Plum Island hosted an animal testing center for years. Now, the government wants to sell it.
Wikimedia Commons

Plum Island, an 840-acre land mass in Long Island Sound, is becoming a focal point for environmentalists. That's because of government plans to sell the island to fund the construction of a new USDA animal-testing center. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
10:45 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Big Changes Ahead for United Technologies?

New CEO Greg Hayes appears to be putting his stamp on the company
Credit UTC

There’s speculation that the recent changes in personnel at United Technologies could mean the conglomerate is mulling major new acquisitions or other structural changes.

New CEO Greg Hayes is shaking up the C-suite, with the departure of Alain Bellemare, who headed up UTC Propulsion and Aerospace Systems. He won’t be replaced, but the company has elevated another executive, Mike Dumais to head of strategic planning.

Some analysts believe these shifts signal that Hayes is considering a big move, perhaps an acquisition, an inversion move, or a spin-off.

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Disease
9:47 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Diabetes Takes Disproportionate Toll on Hispanics and Blacks in Connecticut

Diabetes continues to be a disease prevalent within minority, immigrant, and, urban communities.
Oscar Annermarken Creative Commons

Connecticut’s diabetes rate ranks lower than the national average, but Hispanics and African-Americans are more than twice as likely to have the disease compared with their white neighbors, and are at greater risk of dying from diabetes-related causes.

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Discrimination
8:00 am
Tue January 20, 2015

U.S. Attorney to Investigate Discrimination in Connecticut Schools

U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly.

Discrimination claims from people across Connecticut led the U.S. Attorney’s Office to announce that it would form a working group to investigate possible civil rights violations by public and private schools and childcare programs.

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Supreme Court
1:03 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Should Judicial Candidates Be Allowed To Solicit Campaign Money?

Judge Adrian Adams is helped with his robe by his daughters during a robing ceremony Friday in Gretna, La. Adams won a race for 24th Judicial District Court in November behind a campaign that raised a modest $22,350, including several four-figure donations from attorneys and law firms. Louisiana law, like Florida law, bars judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.
Brett Duke The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 8:56 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether states, in the name of preserving judicial impartiality, may bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

There was a time when judicial elections were a pretty tame affair, with relatively little money spent, and candidates in most states limited in how they could campaign. Not anymore.

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Deflated...after a win?
11:38 am
Mon January 19, 2015

NFL Investigates Reports Of Deflated Balls After Patriots Rout Colts

Questions over out-of-regulation footballs have come up after the New England Patriots won the AFC Championship Game Sunday. Running back LeGarrette Blount ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the Patriots' 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Elsa Getty Images

Did the New England Patriots tamper with the footballs used in the AFC Championship Game? The NFL is asking that question, after the host Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, in rainy conditions Sunday.

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Environment
11:01 am
Mon January 19, 2015

New Justice Department Environment Chief Takes Helm Of Gulf Spill Case

Cruden ranks the Gulf oil spill as one of the most significant environmental disasters of our time. It "deserves ... all of our energy to make sure nothing like this ever happens again," he says.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:37 am

John Cruden served with U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam, taking his law school aptitude test in Saigon and eventually becoming a government lawyer.

Earlier this month, he started a new job running the environment and natural resources division at the Justice Department. For Cruden, 68, the new role means coming home to a place where he worked as a career lawyer for about 20 years.

Cruden has been around long enough to have supervised the Exxon Valdeez spill case, a record-setter. That is, until the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

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Music
10:53 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Can Connecticut Win NPR's Tiny Desk Contest?

Do you have what it takes to join The Pixies behind NPR's Tiny Desk?
North Country Public Radio

Back in early December of last year, NPR announced a contest aimed at finding new talent to play for its wildly popular Tiny Desk Concert series. These intimate concerts are held midday in the midst of office cubicles at NPR, and the crowd is a group of lucky producers, editors, reporters, and other NPR workers who get to spend a bit of their lunch with artists as diverse as Where We Live favorites Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, the Sun Ra Arkestra, and The Pixies

To enter, contestants just have to make a video of a performance of an original song. And -- oh, it has to be behind a desk of any kind or size.

Monday, January 19, is the last day to submit entries, so in case you've been thinking about it, fire up the iPhone and make a video! I'd really like to have bragging rights next time I'm at NPR HQ, knowing that a Connecticut artist took home the prize.

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MLK Day
3:35 am
Mon January 19, 2015

What Does Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy Look Like To A 5-Year-Old?

Elspeth Ventresca, center, and the rest of Carolyn Barnhardt's prekindergarten class at John Eaton Elementary School wear the crowns they made to celebrate Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 12:07 pm

It's morning meeting time. "When Dr. King was little, he learned a golden rule," sings a class of 4- and 5-year-olds with their teacher, Carolyn Barnhardt.

John Eaton Elementary School, a public school in Washington, D.C., is unusual. It sits in one of the District's wealthiest neighborhoods, but the majority of students hail from different parts of the city, making it one of the most racially and economically diverse elementary schools in the nation's capital.

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Football
10:14 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

New England Beats Indianapolis 45-7 In AFC Championship

Duron Harmon and Darrelle Revis of the New England Patriots celebrate Revis' interception in the third quarter of the 2015 AFC Championship Game. The Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts and will be playing in the Super Bowl Feb. 1.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 10:25 pm

As a cold rain poured down, the New England Patriots crushed the Super Bowl dreams of the Indianapolis Colts with a 45-7 victory.

The Patriots established their lead early, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter. The Colts scored one touchdown in the second quarter, but after a Patriots field goal, New England still entered halftime 10 points in the lead.

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Football
2:25 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Seattle Super Bowl Bound After NFC Title Win Over Green Bay

Luke Willson (#82) of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after scoring on a two-point conversion during the fourth quarter of the 2015 NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Seattle won 28-22.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 12:12 am

Updated at 6:33p.m. ET:

The Seattle Seahawks have defeated the Green Bay Packers to win the NFC title and earn their ticket to Super Bowl XLIX.

Seattle won 28-22 in a game that saw the Packers pull out to a commanding early lead — going into the half 16-0. Seattle gained traction, however, scoring touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters to close the gap.

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Business
9:43 am
Sat January 17, 2015

As Cities Push For Their Own Broadband, Cable Firms Say Not So Fast

Provo, Utah, is one of three cities in which Google is rolling out its Google Fiber gigabit Internet and television service.
George Frey Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 12:07 pm

Americans increasingly see decently fast Internet as more like a functioning sewer line than a luxury.

And a number of cities are trying to get into the Internet provider business, but laws in 19 states hamper those efforts. President Obama announced this week that he wants to lift those restrictions, and supporters of what is known as municipal broadband can't wait.

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Wake of Newton
4:13 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Newtown School Panel Working on Final Details of Report

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson in a WNPR file photo. Jackson is the chair of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The panel created by Governor Dannel Malloy in the wake of the Newtown school shooting is continuing to work on its final recommendations. 

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