Snow Begins to Taper; Statewide Travel Ban Lifts at 2:00 pm

Snow-covered cars in a Vernon parking lot Tuesday morning.
Tucker Ives WNPR

Blizzard warnings eased early Tuesday for parts of Connecticut, but central and eastern parts of the state saw continuing snowfall and strong winds through midday. By noon, most counties were downgraded to a winter storm warning as a powerful nor'easter made its way across the state.

A statewide travel ban will be lifted in Connecticut as of 2:00 pm, Governor Dannel Malloy said during a noon public briefing. Local roads were already opened in Litchfield and Fairfield Counties early Tuesday.

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Medical Decisions
2:51 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Connecticut Supreme Court: Teen Can't Refuse Chemotherapy

Jackie Fortin, at center, is Cassandra C's mother, pictured with attorneys James Sexton, Mike Taylor and Cassandra's attorney, Joshua Michtom
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

In a swift ruling on Thursday, the Connecticut Supreme Court decided that a teen recently diagnosed with cancer can't refuse life-saving chemotherapy.

According to the ruling, state officials are not violating the teen's rights by forcing her to undergo chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. The teen, known as Cassandra C, will be free to make her own medical decisions when she turns 18 in September.

For the past month, Cassandra has been held at a local hospital, undergoing chemotherapy treatment against her wishes. Doctors said chemotherapy would give her an 85 percent chance of survival and without the treatment, she could die.

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Obituary
2:25 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Remembering Acclaimed Pianist and Teacher Claude Frank

Claude Frank, 1925-2014.
Credit Columbia Artist Management

Claude Frank died late last month. According to The New York Times, the acclaimed pianist and teacher died from complications from dementia. He was 89.

As a teacher, Claude Frank encouraged his students to explore the entire piano repertoire, including new and avant garde works. As a performer, Frank tended to focus on only a handful of composers, especially the music of Beethoven. 

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How Cold Is It?
11:40 am
Thu January 8, 2015

NASA Map Shows Just How Cold It Is In Eastern U.S.

NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided a look at the frigid eastern two-thirds of the U.S. on Wednesday that shows a blanket of northern snow, lake-effect snow from the Great Lakes and clouds behind the Arctic cold front.
NASA

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 11:24 am

There's a cold front across much of the U.S. – with temperatures in places like New Orleans at around 29 degrees and Houston about 34 degrees. This map from NASA tells us just how cold it was on Wednesday.

The image was captured at 11 a.m. EST. Here's NASA's explanation:

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Je Suis Charlie
10:22 am
Thu January 8, 2015

France Observes Moment Of Silence For 'Charlie Hebdo' Victims

General Secretary of the Elysee Palace Jean-Pierre Jouyet, head bowed foreground at left, and the Elysee Palace staff observe a minute of silence on Thursday for victims of the shooting at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris on Wednesday.
Philippe Wojazer AP

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 4:41 pm

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

The bells of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris tolled, public transport was halted and many in France stood in the rain today for a minute of silence observed on behalf of the eight journalists and two others killed in a deadly attack at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

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Marketing Controversy
9:54 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Connecticut Brewery Seeks to End Uproar Over Gandhi-Bot

The Woodbridge-based New England Brewing Company's label for Gandhi-Bot.
New England Brewing Co. Facebook

A Connecticut brewery that drew condemnation in the U.S. and India for its beer that carries the name and likeness of Mohandas Gandhi said it's received threats and is seeking a way to end the uproar. 

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Medical Decisions
7:56 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Can Connecticut Force A Teenage Girl To Undergo Chemotherapy?

Jackie Fortin's daughter, Cassandra, last summer.
Courtesy of Jackie Fortin

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 5:58 pm

Update at 3:05 ET: The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday afternoon that the state can require Cassandra to continue treatment.

Her mother, Jackie Fortin, said she's disappointed by the decision. "She knows I love her and I'm going to keep fighting for her because this is her decision," Fortin said. "I know more than anyone, more than DCF, that my daughter is old enough, mature enough to make a decision. If she wasn't, I'd be making that decision."

Here's our original story, reported Thursday morning:

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France
10:36 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

2 Suspected Gunmen In 'Charlie Hebdo' Attack Remain At Large

A police bulletin sought the public's help in finding two suspects in the deadly attack on a satirical magazine's Paris offices Wednesday. Pictured are brothers Cherif (left) and Said Kouachi.
La prefecture de Police

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 12:07 pm

French police have taken an 18-year-old suspect identified as Mourad Hamyd into custody after he surrendered to authorities, according to multiple French news outlets. Hamyd had been sought in relation to a murderous attack on a satirical magazine's Paris office Wednesday, but it's not certain whether he was involved.

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State of the State
5:07 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Transportation Takes Center Stage in Second Term For Gov. Malloy

Gov. Malloy delivers a brief inauguration address at the state armory earlier on Wednesday. He later delivered a state of the state address.
Jessica Hill The Associated Press

Governor Dannel Malloy has confirmed that investment in transportation infrastructure will be the signature issue of his second term. 

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Marketing Energy
4:40 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Northeast Utilities Renames Itself Eversource Energy

The outgoing Northeast Utilities name and logo.
Credit Northeast Utilities

Northeast Utilities is adopting a new name as part of a rebranding effort. 

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General Assembly
4:05 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Gov. Malloy Takes the Oath of Office, and Other Inauguration Day Events

Gov. Malloy takes the oath of office on Wednesday.
Jessica Hill The Associated Press

Democrat Governor Dannel Malloy took the oath of office for a second term on Wednesday, which also marked the opening day of this year's General Assembly session. 

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Alternative Energy
2:38 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Big Ambitions for Alternative Fuel Pellet Business in Norwich

Dr. Michael Curtis of Frog City Fuels in Norwich, Connecticut.
Harriet Jones WNPR

These days of falling oil prices may be causing alternative fuel suppliers a few sleepless nights. But one tiny company in Eastern Connecticut is forging ahead with plans to break into the fuel pellet market with a surprising new ingredient. 

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Television
2:22 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

'Empire': A World Of Unbuttoned Shirts And Dishy Music Stories

Jamal (Jussie Smollett) welcomes home his mother (Taraji P. Henson), but she has about as much more on her mind as this look makes it seem like she does.
Chuck Hodes Fox

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 1:04 pm

Empire comes to Fox with an interesting pedigree: It was created by Danny Strong (who's written multiple award-winning projects for HBO) and Lee Daniels, who made Precious and The Butler — both films with a sheen of prestige, but both films to which people reacted in complex ways. It stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, who are both past Oscar nominees. The executive music producer is Timbaland, who's worked with all kinds of folks, including Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.

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France
2:15 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

At Least 12 Die In Shooting At Magazine's Paris Office; Suspects Named

Police forces gather in street outside the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Wednesday, after armed gunmen stormed the offices.
Martin Bereau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 10:13 pm

Updated at 10 p.m. ET.

At least 12 people were killed during a shooting at the headquarters of the satirical Charlie Hebdo weekly in Paris, police say. Two key suspects remain at large (see our latest post for updates).

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Cutting the Cord
2:10 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

ESPN Ventures Onto the Web

ESPN on the web: the cord-cutter's dream?
ESPN

It’s news that might be keeping some cable executives up at night: for the first time, viewers will be able to stream ESPN over the web. 

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Springfield
1:55 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Final Decision On Cathedral High School Now Expected By Mid-February

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno speak at a Dec. 16,2014 rally to urge Bishop Mitchell Rozanski to rebuild Cathedral High School

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 6:10 pm

An announcement about the long-term fate of the historic Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts is now expected by mid-February.  Advocates of rebuilding the school that was wrecked in the 2011 tornado are encouraged by word the school will operate for one more year, at least, at its temporary campus. 

       Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski will begin a series of meetings on January 24th in what will amount to the final due diligence on whether to rebuild the Catholic high school with a 130-year- history in Springfield. 

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Connecticut Legislature
1:52 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

State Sen. Andrew Maynard Receives Standing Ovation as Senate Opens

The Connecticut State Capitol.
David Wilson Creative Commons

Wednesday marked the opening day of the 2015 General Assembly session. The State Senate began its legislative session with State Sen. Andrew Maynard in attendance. 

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Jazz Corridor
11:51 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Guitarist Sinan Bakir’s Luxuriant Solo Ideas Take Root at Middletown’s Buttonwood Tree

Sinan Bakir
Sevim Yolacti

Guitarist/composer Sinan Bakir, a Nutmeg State transplant who’s originally from Ankara, Turkey, has set Gold Medal standards of excellence in expression in recent years with his two acclaimed recordings and live performances in many venues stretching from Connecticut to New York.

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Flu Fighters
10:58 am
Wed January 7, 2015

As Flu Season Ramps Up, Focus Falls on New Vaccine Made in Meriden

A retouched photograph of the H1N1 virus.
Wikimedia Commons

This year's flu shot might not work as well as in previous years, so focus is now on a new vaccine created in Connecticut.

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Satire
10:25 am
Wed January 7, 2015

'Charlie Hebdo,' A Magazine Of Satire, Mocks Politics, Religion

Stephane Charbonnier, the editor of Charlie Hebdo, poses with his magazine on Sept. 19, 2012. The magazine, which was attacked today, is part of a long tradition of French satire.
Michel Euler AP

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 7:48 am

Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French magazine that was the target of a deadly attack today, is part of a long tradition of French satire dating to the days before the French Revolution.

The left-wing magazine is known for its biting takedowns. Its past targets include the political right wing, capitalism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

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Cassandra C
8:57 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Connecticut Court to Hear Case of Teen Refusing Chemotherapy

Connecticut Supreme Court in Hartford.
Diane Orson WNPR

The Connecticut Supreme Court will decide whether state officials were right to force a 17-year-old girl to undergo chemotherapy against her and her mother's wishes. 

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Soccer
10:38 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Jordanian Prince To Challenge 4-Term FIFA Chief For Presidency

FIFA Vice President Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein says he will challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency of soccer's governing body.
Lai Seng Sin AP

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 10:42 am

FIFA Vice President Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein will challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency of soccer's governing body.

"I am seeking the presidency of FIFA because I believe it is time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport," he said in a statement on the website of the Jordan Football Association, of which he is president.

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Hospital Errors
9:07 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Connecticut Hospital Reports Of Surgical, Medication Errors Climb

c-hit.org

Connecticut hospitals reported record numbers of patients killed or seriously injured by hospital errors in 2013, with large increases in the numbers of falls, medication mistakes and perforations during surgical procedures, a new state report shows.

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Music
7:42 am
Tue January 6, 2015

The Needle Drop's Anthony Fantano Recommends New Ear Candy

Anthony Fantano in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Anthony Fantano, host of The Needle Drop, came by WNPR studios and shared a few of his latest favorite musical sounds.

Appearing on WNPR's Where We Live, Fantano told host John Dankosky that it's been the best musical year that he can remember.

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Affordable Tuition
7:35 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Student Tuition Now Outweighs State Funding At Public Colleges

During the fiscal years 2003-2012, "median tuition rose 55 percent across all public colleges," while state funding decreased by 12 percent, the General Accountability Office reports.
Imeh Akpanudosen Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 7:45 pm

Driven by higher tuition fees and tighter state funds, America's public colleges now get more money from their students than from all state sources. That's according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, which says tuition revenue reached 25 percent of the colleges' total in 2012.

The numbers are stark, with the GAO saying that from fiscal years 2003-2012, "state funding decreased by 12 percent overall while median tuition rose 55 percent across all public colleges."

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Oil Prices
4:23 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Crude Oil Dips Under $50 A Barrel, A Price Last Seen In 2009

U.S. gasoline prices have fallen sharply since last summer, driven by surging oil production and other factors. The price for a barrel of U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell below $50 Monday.
David N. Goodman AP

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 6:45 pm

The price for a barrel of U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell below $50 Monday, matching levels seen in the spring of 2009. The drop is linked to both OPEC's boosted production and a stronger dollar.

Oil's latest fall came along with a dip on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 330 points to finish at 17,501 — a drop of 1.86 percent that's also seen as a reaction to new instability in Europe.

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Defense Procurement
2:12 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Sen. Chris Murphy Pursues Strengthened "Buy American" Legislation

Senator Chris Murphy

Senator Chris Murphy said he believes he can get debate this session on one of his signature issues – making the U.S. government buy American more often.

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Campaign 2015
12:45 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Hartford's Mayor Pedro Segarra Wants Another Four Years

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra to seek another term.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has said he’s running for a second term in office.

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Boston Bombing
11:09 am
Mon January 5, 2015

What To Expect In The Trial Of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

A motorcade carrying Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rolls away from federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, after a final hearing before his trial begins Monday. (Steven Senne/AP)

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 1:15 pm

The terrorism trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is underway, with the beginning of jury selection on Monday morning.

WBUR’s David Boeri will be covering the trial every day and joined Morning Edition to discuss what can be expected in what he says will be a long and complicated trial.

The Trial’s Essential Facts

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FUSE Scandal
9:06 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Report Finds "Rampant Nepotism" At Hartford Charter School Organization

Jumoke Academy was managed by The Family Urban Schools of Excellence.
Helder Mira Creative Commons

A newly released investigative report describes “rampant nepotism,” and ineffective oversight of the Jumoke Academy charter school in Hartford, and its management group The Family Urban Schools of Excellence, also known as FUSE. The probe was commissioned by the State Department of Education and carried out by an independent special investigator. 

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Beer Naming
9:00 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Craft Brewers Are Running Out Of Names, And Into Legal Spats

With so many craft breweries now in operation, just about every beer name you can imagine is taken. That's making it harder for newcomers to name that brew without risking a legal fight.
Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 4:49 pm

Columbia? Taken. Mississippi? Taken. Sacramento? El Niño? Marlin? Grizzly? Sorry, they're all taken.

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