New York
8:40 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

'Black Lives Matter,' NYC Mayor Says After Grand Jury Doesn't Indict Officer

Eric Garner (right) poses with his children. A grand jury has decided not to indict a New York police officer over Garner's death in July.
Family photo via National Action Network AP

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 1:34 pm

A grand jury has decided not to indict a New York police officer in the death of Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk this past July.

"It's a very painful day for so many New Yorkers," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The encounter between Garner and officer Daniel Pantaleo caused an uproar after video footage of the incident was released. It showed Garner repeatedly gasping, "I can't breathe," as Pantaleo and other officers took him to the ground.

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Fair Compensation
8:16 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

In Hartford Eminent Domain Case, Property Owner Wants More Money

One of several properties being taken from a private landowner by the city of Hartford.
City of Hartford

The real estate investor who owns land the city wants to take for its $350 million baseball stadium development project said the city's $1.9 million offer is "wholly inadequate."

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Details
3:22 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

For Hartford Stadium Development, Another Do-Over

A rendering of a planned stadium in downtown Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

If you like process, you'll love this story.

Earlier this week, we reported that the city of Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission had to do a do-over and re-vote on part of the $350 million plan to build a baseball stadium and related development Why? Because it didn't follow state law and give proper notice on an important stadium zoning vote in late October. So, it's voting again.

Now, a second city board, the Hartford Redevelopment Agency, has to re-vote, too. 

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Mental Health
2:18 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Biological Explanations for Mental Health Symptoms Make Clinicians Less Empathetic

Credit Commerce Marketing Communications Photography / Texas A&M UNiv

A new Yale University Study reveals a negative bias toward mental health patients whose symptoms are explained biologically.

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Topline
1:28 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

How Ebola Impacted National Confidence in Hospitals and Health Agencies

Army Medicine Creative Commons

WNPR's Where We Live is kicking off a new, biweekly series in partnership with the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at UConn. The series, called Topline, aims to explore new topics using data pulled from the center's opinion polling archives. 

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Development
1:20 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Drive-Through Zoning Issue Generates Controversy Near Vacant Hartford Lot

A vacant lot at Farmington and Girard Avenues in Hartford.
Farmington Avenue Alliance

Will a McDonald's open in Hartford's West End? Not if neighbors and the city of Hartford have their way. 

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Power Crunch
1:14 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Buyer Beware as Electric Rates Soar

Connecticut's Consumer Counsel, Elin Swanson Katz.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Consumers who are scrambling to lower their electric rates in the new year are being urged to exercise caution. Looming rate increases from Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating have many considering signing up for an alternative supplier for the first time. 

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Jazz Corridor
9:24 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Festive Fusion in Big Band Jazz Concert at Hartford’s Infinity Hall

The New England Jazz Ensemble performs in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 2012.
Lee Everett Fine Line

Packed with top regional instrumentalist/composers, The New England Jazz Ensemble has long been a band for all seasons, a non-profit collective of devoted modern jazz practitioners who are also right at home celebrating traditional Christmas fare in the bright, bona fide spirit of jazz.

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Sexual Assault
9:21 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Jimmy Carter Says Yale University Mishandled Sexual Assualts

Yale President Peter Salovey, left, listens to former President Jimmy Carter, right. Carter was at Woolsey Hall at Yale University to discuss his latest book.
Yale University

America's 39th President Jimmy Carter, 90, was critical of Yale University's handling of sexual assaults during a visit to the campus this week. 

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Pearl Harbor
8:13 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Families of Pearl Harbor Casualties Want the Navy to Send Home Their Remains

Swansea, New Hampshire resident Edwin Hopkins with his parents before he enlisted in the Navy.
Tom Gray

This Sunday marks the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Thousands of Americans died that day, including over 400 sailors aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma. Guilford resident Tom Gray and his family thought their relative, Edwin Hopkins, was one of the missing. 

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Middle East
8:13 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Kerry: Coalition Offensive Against ISIS Having 'Significant Impact'

Secretary of State John Kerry, left, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, center, and Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari prior to a round table meeting of the global coalition to counter the Islamic State.
Virginia Mayo AP

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 1:00 pm

Meeting with representatives of nations that have joined the United States in its fight against the so-called Islamic State, Secretary of State John Kerry said the offensive was having "significant impact."

Reuters reports:

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Business
6:43 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Holiday Shoppers Are Filling Their Carts, Online

Workers pack items Sunday at an Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif. Cyber Monday online sales jumped 8.5 percent over 2013.
Noah Berger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:45 pm

This weekend, Will Falls decided to skip the local mall near Raleigh, N.C., and shop online instead.

"No standing in line, no finding a parking spot," he says. "Just get comfortable and go at it."

Millions of Americans did the same — Falls helped contribute to an 8.5 percent increase in online shopping Monday compared with 2013, according to data from IBM.

That growth stands in contrast to an 11 percent drop in sales reported by the National Retail Federation at brick-and-mortar stores over the Black Friday weekend compared with a year ago.

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Technology
6:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Twitter Targets Trolls With New Rules On Abuse

An image from a Twitter video shows how a user would report harassment under a new process announced Tuesday.
Twitter

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 8:48 pm

Saying it wants to build "a safer Twitter," the company is announcing changes to two areas: how it handles harassment and the tools that let users block people who've sent abusive messages. One woman who has experienced such abuse calls the change "a big step up."

Twitter announced the changes in a blog post Tuesday, which reads in part:

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Connecticut Business Briefs
3:23 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Connecticut Attorney General to File More Comment on Utility Rate Hike

Attorney General George Jepsen in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Attorney General George Jepsen has welcomed the cut that regulators look likely to make to Connecticut Light and Power’s requested rate hike, but he said they should go further. 

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Arts Funding
2:44 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Connecticut Arts Organizations Receive NEA Grants

The Litchfield Jazz Festival is among the organizations receiving NEA grants.
Nathan Turner Litchfield Jazz Festival

Several performing arts and literary publications in Connecticut have been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, totaling $290,000.

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Transportation
2:43 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Metro-North Says It Needs New Infrastructure to Meet Punctuality Goal

Metro-North Railroad workers repair a damaged section of track after a Bronx derailment in December 2013.
Patrick Cashin Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The president of Metro-North told Governor Dannel Malloy that the commuter rail line cannot reach its target of 95 percent on-time service, and that the best way to achieve the goal of punctuality is to continue to rebuild the rail system. 

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Athletes and Protest
2:22 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

A Brief History Of Racial Protest In Sports

Members of the St. Louis Rams raise their arms in a "hands up, don't shoot" pose as they walk onto the field before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders.
L.G. Patterson AP

On Sunday, five St. Louis Rams players jogged onto the field with their arms raised by their heads, a stream of fog behind them: hands up, don't shoot.

The players — Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Stedman Bailey — were invoking the gesture that's been widely used in protesting the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. This followed the announcement that a grand jury would not indict Wilson in Brown's death, and the release of a hefty batch of evidence shown to the jury by St. Louis prosecutor Robert McCullough.

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White House
12:44 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Reports: Ashton Carter Emerges As Obama's Top Pick For Secretary Of Defense

Ashton Carter answers a reporter's question during a March 2013 news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea.
Lee Jin-man AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 3:06 pm

President Obama is likely to nominate Ashton Carter as his next secretary of defense, CNN, The Associated Press, The Washington Post and

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Calling All Musicians
12:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Introducing Our Tiny Desk Concert Contest

Introducing our Tiny Desk Concert Contest.
NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 10:30 am

Want to play a Tiny Desk Concert? Now's your chance: NPR Music and Lagunitas are holding a contest, and the winner gets to perform at my desk here at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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Bottles, Bottles, Everywhere
8:25 am
Tue December 2, 2014

"Washed Ashore" Exhibit at Mystic Aquarium Features Ocean Trash

An exhibition features ocean creatures sculpted from collected beach refuse.
Mystic Aquarium

A new exhibition at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut is using trash from the ocean to create art. It's an effort to highlight the importance of recycling plastic.

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Orion
5:45 am
Tue December 2, 2014

NASA Prepares To Test New Spacecraft (That You've Likely Never Heard Of)

The Orion capsule is poised to make its first test flight Thursday. If all goes as planned, the unmanned vehicle will orbit Earth twice before splashing into the Pacific Ocean.
Kim Shiflett NASA

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 3:43 pm

NASA is about to launch a new spaceship into orbit, and Mallory Loe has never heard of it.

"I mean, technically, NASA doesn't have another spaceship, do they?" she asks incredulously during a visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

She's hardly the only one who doesn't know about this new spacecraft. In fact, none of a half-dozen tourists NPR interviewed in the museum's lobby was aware of the Orion spaceship.

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Politics
3:47 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

After Lawsuit Regarding Baseball Stadium, Hartford Changes Course

Credit Lenny Baker / Creative Commons

It's time for a do-over.

The city of Hartford will hold a second meeting on zoning changes related to its $350 million baseball stadium development, because its first meeting did not meet state public notice requirements. 

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Utilities
3:19 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Connecticut Regulators Propose Slashing CL&P Rate Increase

Credit Невідомий / Creative Commons

Connecticut regulators say that a power utility's request to raise consumer costs by more than $230 million should be cut nearly in half. 

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Internet Ire
3:15 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

GOP Staffer Resigns After Comments About Obama Daughters

President Obama, joined by his daughters Malia, right, and Sasha, center, speaks at the White House, in Washington during the presidential turkey pardon ceremony on Wednesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 2:58 pm

Elizabeth Lauten, the GOP staffer who criticized President Obama's daughters, has resigned, The Washington Post, NBC News and USA Today are reporting.

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Malloy Administration
1:50 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Gov. Malloy Appoints Natasha Pierre as State Victim Advocate

Natasha Pierre.
Credit University of Connecticut

Governor Dannel Malloy has appointed Natasha Pierre as Connecticut's new state victim advocate, an office that represents crime victims and helps ensure they get the services they need. 

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Affordable Care Act
1:32 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Connecticut's Medical Device Makers Hoping on Tax Repeal

An operating room table.
Credit Dario Lo Presti/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut’s medical devices industry could benefit from the change in control in Washington next year as Republicans vow to repeal a tax that was put on device makers almost two years ago.

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Math and Gender
1:16 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Why Does the Putnam Math Competition Give a Separate Prize to Women?

Trane Devore Creative Commons

While the rest of us struggle to balance our post-Black Friday checkbooks, America’s top college mathematicians are preparing for one of the most advanced and prestigious math events in the world. Yes, it’s time again for the annual William Lowell Putnam Competition.

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Public Health
1:06 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Connecticut Legislative Hearing Focuses on Ebola Response

State Rep. Susan Johnson, center, co-chairs the state legislature's Public Health Committee. Pictured is a discussion of hospitals and health care discussion last month.
Connecticut House Democrats

Connecticut lawmakers held a hearing on Monday to learn more about the state's protocols for handling any future Ebola cases. 

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Infection Control
11:52 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Half of Connecticut Hospitals Exceed Infection Rates, New Data Show

Phalinn Ooi Creative Commons

State health inspectors visiting Stamford Hospital in late 2012 turned up several infection-control violations, including the improper drying and storage of endoscopes, instruments used to look inside the body.

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Going Digital
11:08 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Girl Scout Cookies Will Soon Be Just A Click Away

In this undated photo released by the Girl Scouts of the USA, Girl Scouts Bria and Shirell practice selling cookies on one of two new digital platforms. It's the first time the organization has allowed the sales of cookies using a mobile app or personalized websites.
Girl Scouts of the USA AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 1:56 pm

Thin Mints, Do-si-dos and Samoas just became easier to buy: Girl Scouts will now be able to use Digital Cookies to sell the treats online.

"Girls have been telling us that they want to go into this space," said Sarah Angel-Johnson, chief digital cookie executive for the Girl Scouts of the USA. "Online is where entrepreneurship is going."

Her comments were reported by The Associated Press.

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