Massachusetts
8:24 am
Wed December 17, 2014

A Closing Conversation With Gov. Deval Patrick

Gov. Deval Patrick with WBUR's Bob Oakes (left). (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:48 am

With only a few weeks now remaining now in Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration, WBUR’s Bob Oakes sat down with the outgoing Massachusetts governor for the last time in his executive office on Beacon Hill.

The conversation began with a look back to Patrick’s first inaugural address in 2007. In that speech, Patrick spoke of lifting up the poor and stabilizing the middle class.

Listen above to Gov. Patrick’s full conversation on WBUR’s Morning Edition.

Interview Highlights

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New York
8:20 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Former New York Governor George Pataki 'Very Seriously' Considering Presidential Run

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:06 am

Former New York Gov. George Pataki says he is "very seriously" considering a run for the White House.

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Massachusetts
8:20 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Springfield City Council Sets New Property Tax Rates

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:10 pm

New property tax rates have been set in Springfield, Massachusetts.  For the first time in many years, the rates for both homeowners and business property owners have been reduced, as property values continue to recover from the Great Recession

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Congress
1:45 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Senate OKs Judicial Nominees, Tax Extensions Before Republican Takeover

Senator Harry Reid of Nev. on Tuesday, walks to one of his final meetings as the Senate Majority Leader. In January, Republicans take over the majority.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:27 am

In what The Associated Press called a "final flurry of accomplishment" Tuesday night, lawmakers were able to push through a bill that extended a package of tax breaks, which had expired at the end of 2013, and confirmed 12 more judicial nominees. NPR's Ailsa Chang reported the confirmations also marked a big accomplishment for the Obama administration.

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Hospitals
5:56 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Waterbury Hospital CEO Calls on Gov. Malloy to Help Salvage Tenet Deal

Darlene Stromstad, CEO of Waterbury Hospital.
Credit fosters.com

Five hospitals in Connecticut are contemplating their next steps after Texas-based Tenet Healthcare withdrew a bid to buy the hospitals last week.

The CEO of one of the biggest hospitals in the failed deal said they're now looking to Hartford for help. 

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Labor
4:29 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Metro-North Gets Record Fine in Retaliation Case

A Metro-North car.
Susan Sermoneta Creative Commons

The U.S. Labor Department has ordered the Metro-North Railroad to pay a record fine for taking disciplinary action against an employee who reported getting injured on the job. 

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Rhode Island
3:58 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Rhode Island Governor-Elect Taps Stefan Pryor as First Commerce Secretary

Stefan Pryor in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Rhode Island's governor-elect Gina Raimondo has picked Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, a fellow Yale alum with experience leading economic-development efforts in New York and New Jersey, as her choice to be Rhode Island's first commerce secretary.

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Pennsylvania
3:02 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Suspect In Shooting Spree Near Philadelphia Has Been Found Dead

Police cordon off a wooded area during the search for suspect Bradley William Stone in Pennsburg, Pa., Tuesday.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:12 pm

Bradley Stone, who police say went on a shooting rampage that killed six people in Montgomery County, Pa., has been found dead. Police had been looking for Stone, 35, for more than 24 hours; they found his body today.

Member station WHYY passes along this update from the Bucks County District Attorney's office:

"Authorities have confirmed that suspected mass killer Bradley Stone is dead, his body found in the woods near his Pennsburg home."

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State Parks
11:59 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Architect Seeks Ideas for Waterford's Seaside

Victor Solanoy Creative Commons

Around 100 people attended a meeting in Waterford on Monday night to discuss ideas for a proposed new state park. 

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Environmental Law
11:57 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Strengthening Connecticut Environmental Law to Target First-Time Offenders

The state is inspecting gas stations more frequently, leading to more frequent environmental violations.
John Phelan Creative Commons

Should state regulators be more aggressive in punishing first time violators of environmental law? That's a question the Council on Environmental Quality hopes lawmakers wrestle with in the upcoming legislative session. 

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Pakistan
10:30 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Taliban Gunmen Storm School, Kill Dozens In Pakistan

A Pakistani girl, who was injured in a Taliban attack on a school, is rushed to a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Tuesday.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:21 pm

(This post was last updated at 2:07 p.m. ET.)

Taliban militants stormed a school in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, leaving scores of students dead.

Quoting Pakistani officials, multiple media outlets say the death toll is at least 140, including at least 80 students in grades 1 through 10.

A little before 8 p.m. local time, police announced that the operation had ended after the gunmen were killed. Security personnel, police official Abdullah Khan told the AFP, were now in the process of sweeping the rest of the building.

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Spotlight on the Arts
9:47 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Watch: Inside the Creative Process With Pilobolus

"On The Nature of Things" by Pilobolus Dance Theater.
Robert Whitman

Regarded as one of the most imaginative and athletic dance companies on the planet, Pilobolus thrives on taking audiences where the rest of the dance world dares not.

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Australia
9:39 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Thousands Lay Flowers At The Site Of Hostage Siege In Sydney

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his wife, Margie, pay their respects at the Martin Place memorial site on Tuesday in Sydney, Australia.
Jennifer Polixenni Brankin Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:32 am

A day after a hostage siege left two people plus a gunman dead, Australians left thousands of bouquets of flowers at a makeshift shrine.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

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Union Hire
9:25 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Chris Donovan Heads for Union Post

Chris Donovan in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Former House Speaker Chris Donovan has a new job. CT News Junkie reports Donovan will take up a position with the Connecticut Education Association. 

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Podcasts
8:35 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Next Time, on Serial...One Bad Haircut

Eva. Sadie. Next time, on Serial...
Credit Jeff Cohen

As the inaugural season of Serial comes to an end, speculation about the second season heats up. What will the story be about? Will it be another crime mystery?

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Olympics
8:14 am
Tue December 16, 2014

U.S. Olympic Committee To Hear Boston 2024 Bid

After Tuesday's meeting, Boston could be one step closer to landing the Olympics. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:14 am

Picture the Olympic flame at night, reflecting off Boston Harbor. Picture rowers slicing up the Charles River, the sun warming the russet roofs of Harvard behind them.

That imagery may be part of the presentation Tuesday, as representatives from Boston try to persuade the United States Olympic Committee, or USOC, to choose Boston over three other U.S. cities for consideration for the 2024 Summer Games.

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Manufacturing
6:27 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Massachusetts Announces Funds To Train Machinists

Mass. secretary for Housing and Economic Development is seen touring a state-funded training center for machinists at Springfield Technical Community College

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:36 pm

The Patrick administration today announced more funding to help strengthen the advanced manufacturing industry in Massachusetts.

       Massachusetts will distribute $1.5 million to be shared by five regional workforce development agencies across the state to help recruit and train 280 unemployed or underemployed people for careers in precision manufacturing.    A vocational high school in western Massachusetts will get $400,000 to equip its machine shop with state of the art equipment.         

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Bushmaster
5:31 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Newtown Lawsuit Aims to Hold Gun Makers, Sellers Responsible

A Bushmaster rifle was found in a Sandy Hook elementary school classroom after Adam Lanza's attack.
Credit State of Connecticut

An injured teacher and the families of nine others who were killed in Newtown in 2012 are planning to file suit against the gun industry. 

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Topline
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Americans Love Local Business, But Do They Spend Accordingly?

Mark Hillary Creative Commons

It’s the holiday season, meaning it’s time for Americans to hit the stores for Christmas sales and New Year's bargains. This November and December, millions of shoppers will peruse the aisles of big-box stores and chain retailers, hoping to find the coolest gifts and lowest prices.

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Photography
2:57 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Watch: Connecticut Photographer Explains 19th-Century Tintypes

A tintype photograph of John Dankosky.
Chion Wolf WNPR

In the age of Snapchat and Instagram, smartphones and tablets, it’s almost impossible to imagine a time when horses carted around darkrooms, and photo portraits took several hours, rather than a few minutes or seconds.

But such a time existed. And one Connecticut photographer is set on bringing it back. 

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State Parks
2:53 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

State Seeks Ideas for Waterford's Seaside

Seaside sits on prime coastal land.
Artondra Hall Creative Commons

The team that will work to develop a new state park at the former Seaside Regional Center in Waterford will be introduced on Monday evening.

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Wake of Newtown
2:45 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Newtown Families to Continue Congressional Lobbying

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty, whose district includes Newtown, marked the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy with a promise to continue to push for gun safety legislation.

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Australia
1:52 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

3 People, Including Gunman, Killed In Sydney Cafe Siege

A hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after she escaped from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, on Monday.
Rob Griffith AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 3:13 pm

(Last updated at 1:48 p.m. ET.)

Just as the siege entered its second day, police stormed a chocolate shop in downtown Sydney, ending a more than 12-hour hostage standoff that began during morning rush hour.

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Continental Shelf
1:39 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Denmark Claims Part Of The Arctic, Including The North Pole

A map of the area Denmark is claiming.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 2:51 pm

Denmark, together with Greenland, today will claim around 350,000 square miles of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean, in an area around the North Pole that is slightly larger than the size of Texas and Oklahoma combined.

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Brain Games
12:23 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Researchers Say More Needs to Be Done Analyzing Effectiveness of Brain Games

mrbichel Flickr Creative Commons

Can playing a game make a person smarter, more alert, and better able to learn? Well, the science on that question isn't clear.

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Higher Education
10:48 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Quinnipiac's Irish Famine Museum to Launch Digital Database

"Burying the Child" by Lilian Lucy Davidson.
Ireland's Great Hunger Museum Quinnipiac University

Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University is launching a digital database with about 1,500 articles and illustrations related to Ireland and the Great Famine.

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Senate
4:19 am
Mon December 15, 2014

'Warning Shot': Sen. Warren On Fighting Banks, And Her Political Future

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. (right), a member of the Senate banking committee, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the House financial services committee, express their outrage to reporters that a $1.1 trillion spending bill that was passed in Congress contains changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that regulates complex financial instruments known as derivatives.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

Sen. Elizabeth Warren failed to stop a change in bank regulations last weekend, but she raised her profile yet again.

The Massachusetts Democrat tells NPR that her fight over a provision in a spending bill was a "warning shot." She intends to continue her fight against what she describes as the power of Wall Street, even though that fight brought her to oppose leaders of her own party.

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Connecticut Legislature
7:43 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

State Sen. Looney: Confident in State Sen. Maynard's Return

State Sen. Martin Looney appears on WFSB.
Credit WFSB

Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney said he’s visited with his injured colleague Andrew Maynard, and he’s confident he’ll be able to return to his position.

But speaking on WFSB’s "Face the State," Looney couldn’t confirm when that might happen.

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Mental Health
3:08 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

When Focusing on Academics, Not Emotional Health, Isn't Enough

Sarah Eagan, Connecticut's child advocate, in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been two years since a gunman killed his mother at home and then opened fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 first-graders, six educators, and himself.

But experts are still hashing out just how parents and educators should handle children like Adam Lanza. 

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Haiti
11:55 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Haiti's Prime Minister To Step Down

Anti-government protesters carry the body of a demonstrator who was shot to death during clashes with the National Police in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Saturday. Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe says he will step down in response to protesters' demands.
Dieu Nalio Chery AP

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 3:11 pm

Haiti's Prime Minster Laurent Lamothe has bowed to pressure from anti-government protesters pushing for long-delayed elections and calling for his ouster, saying he will step down.

"I am leaving the post of prime minister this evening with a feeling of accomplishment," Lamothe announced in Port-au-Prince, the capital of the impoverished Caribbean nation.

The prime minister said he leaves office after accomplishing the "remarkable work" of the government.

"We put this country on a dynamic of deep and real change for the benefit of the population," he said.

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