WAMC News
8:33 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Mayor Sarno Defends Process For Picking New Police Commissioner

Deputy Police Chief John Barbieri was selected by Mayor Domenic Sarno ( at right) to be the next police commissioner.

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:17 pm

A 26-year veteran of the police department in Springfield, Massachusetts has been picked to be the next police commissioner.  It is a high-profile post in a city where public safety has consistently ranked as the number one issue.

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Music
4:23 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Taek Gi Lee: Connecticut Student, Pianist Extraordinaire

South Kent School's Taek Gi Lee competing in the 10th Annual Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.
Credit South Kent School

Taking his seat on the stage of Hastings’ White Rock Theatre, Taek Gi Lee prayed to God. It was the final round of the Tenth Annual Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, which was held in England earlier this month, and the 17-year-old piano virtuoso was nervous. To his right, nearly 600 sets of eyes watched him with fervor. To his left, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra -- armed with bows, mallets, reeds, and brass -- awaited their cue to begin.

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FOIA Compliance
4:20 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Connecticut Police Departments Withhold Public Information

Credit DavidsonScott15 / Creative Commons

Five municipal police departments in Connecticut and one state police troop failed to follow Freedom of Information law by refusing to release basic information upon request.

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Budget Time
3:53 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Connecticut Cities and Towns Make Their Case for Funding

Legislators listen to municipal leaders on Wednesday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Municipal leaders from across the state came to the capitol Wednesday to speak to legislators about their budget concerns. 

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Jazz Corridor
2:27 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Maestros Metheny and Charlap Return for Encore Performances

From left, Chris Potter, Giulio Carmassi, Ben Williams, Antonio Sanchez, and Pat Metheny.
Credit Pat Metheny

Pianist Bill Charlap and guitarist Pat Metheny, two consummate artists who can never wear out the welcome mat with their relatively frequent and invariably fine visits to the area, return once again to present their unique styles with their signature groups.

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Higher Education
1:44 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

How The Cost Of College Went From Affordable To Sky-High

World War II veterans and other students at the University of Iowa in 1947. That year, due to federal assistance from the GI Bill, 60 percent of the school's enrollment was made up of veterans.
Margaret Bourke-White Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:59 pm

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March Madness
1:07 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Obama Picks Michigan State To Win Men's Basketball Title

The president is a big fan of the game and still likes to shoot hoops. But has he picked the winner?
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

The nation's "first basketball fan" has Michigan State winning it all in this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball championship.

President Obama filled out his brackets for ESPN again this year. The sports network aired the president's pre-recorded appearance earlier today.

Why Michigan State?

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Medicine
8:07 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Cancer Treatments Could Hurt Your Heart

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for cancer survivors. A relatively new scientific field called "cardio-oncology" is working to change that.

Chemotherapy and radiation may save you from cancer, but they can also do a lot of damage to your heart. 

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March Madness
7:08 am
Wed March 19, 2014

There's A Reason They Call It Madness

Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:28 am

More than any other nation, America is awash in teams. There are the pro teams, the college team, the high school team, the fantasy teams.

Well, at a certain point, something has to give — and apparently, the team sport that's given way the most is men's college basketball.

Yes, college hoops has its fleeting moment in the vernal equinox. It's fun. You make out brackets — but it's not like other sports where you're familiar with the principals.

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Substance Abuse
5:45 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Addiction: A Guilford Family's Story

Justin, Tim and Mary Harmon in their Guilford home.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

A big increase in opiate overdoses nationwide has focused attention on substance abuse. Nine out of ten adults suffering from addiction said they began using drugs or alcohol when they were adolescents.

In the first of a three-part series on youth battling addiction, WNPR introduces you to the Harmons of Guilford.

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Connecticut Cheese Challenge
9:59 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Senator Murphy Puts the EU's Cheese Claims to the Test

Beaver Brook Farm's raw cow milk feta beat out a Greek sheep and goat milk feta in the Connecticut Cheese Challenge.
Credit The Matheson / Creative Commons

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy participated in the Connecticut Cheese Challenge on Tuesday. The purpose of the taste test was to prove to the European Union that American- made cheeses are just as good as their European counterparts.

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Veterans
4:08 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Here Are The 24 Heroic Stories Behind Today's Medals Of Honor

Vietnam veterans Melvin Morris (center), Jose Rodela (obscured) and Santiago J. Erevia (left) received the Medal of Honor from President Obama at the White House on Thursday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:50 am

This post was updated at 4:09 p.m. ET.

Old wrongs were righted Tuesday afternoon, as The Associated Press says, when President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 Army veterans.

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Music Interviews
1:45 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Jazz Composer Tries Something New With 'A Trumpet In The Morning'

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:46 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Marty Ehrlich is a jazz composer who plays clarinet and saxophones. But he doesn't play much on his latest album. He conducts his large ensemble performing his compositions. It's his first album devoted to his orchestral music.

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NCAA
1:14 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Is There A Method To Your March Madness?

Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin and his teammates are among the teams thought to have a strong chance of winning this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament. Are the Gators your pick?
Curtis Compton MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:45 am

The odds are that somebody in your office or shop is trying to get you to toss a few bucks into the pool and fill out the brackets for this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament, which gets underway tonight. Fans of the women's championship might also be after you.

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Tribal Land Claims
11:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Effects of Potential Connecticut Tribal Recognitions in Debate

Dancers at an event at the Pequot Museum last fall.
Credit Brandon Lavallee / Pequot Museum

Federal authorities are considering changes to tribal recognition procedures and it could have a unique impact on Connecticut. But it's unclear exactly what rights any newly recognized tribes would have.

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Bioscience Connecticut
10:49 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Jackson Labs "On Schedule and On Budget"

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine will open in the fall of 2014.
Credit The Jackson Laboratory

Connecticut officials have welcomed a report on the progress of the Jackson Laboratory site in Farmington. Jackson Labs said its new facility is on schedule and on budget.

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Farm Bill
9:33 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Malloy, Boehner in Food Stamp Fight

Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images News / Thinkstock

Governor Dannel Malloy has sharply criticized U.S. House Speaker John Boehner who accused Connecticut and other states of cheating the federal food stamp program.

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Crimea
8:16 am
Tue March 18, 2014

West Is Ruled 'By The Gun,' Putin Says As He Annexes Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:21 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Ellen Barry, Moscow correspondent for 'The New York Times,' talks with NPR's Renee Montagne
We updated this post as Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke and other leaders reacted.

Wasting no time and showing no sign that he's concerned about Western objections or economic sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea on Tuesday.

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Sandy Ground Project
6:02 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Volunteer-Built Playground in Hartford Celebrates Sandy Hook Shooting Victim

The Sandy Playground Project has built playgrounds in New Jersey and Connecticut to remember the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook and restore the east coast after Hurricane Sandy.
Credit Alan Yu / WNPR

A corner of a Hartford's Elizabeth Park became a construction site last weekend, but this wasn't just any ordinary project.

Even on a chilly day in March, hundreds of people came to watch. The organizers hope the community will continue to feel a strong connection to the playground that was built.

A group called the Sandy Ground Project is building 26 playgrounds as living memorials to the children who died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. 

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Wildlife
5:43 am
Tue March 18, 2014

For Connecticut Deer, Sunday May No Longer Be a Day of Rest

A new proposal is floating the idea of bow hunting on Sundays.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / jonnnnnn

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection hasn't done a statewide estimate for about five years, but at last count, there were around 120,000 deer in Connecticut, with the largest concentrations in Fairfield County.

DEEP officials said the numbers are getting out of control, and voiced their support for a legislative proposal that would expand deer hunting in Connecticut. 

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The End of Life
4:13 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Public Testifies on "Aid in Dying" Bill

Credit photonewman/iStock / Thinkstock

A legislative hearing was held Monday on a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to the terminally ill.  The session brought emotional testimony from those both in favor and opposed. 

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Tremors
3:07 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

It's Hard Being Live On Air During an Earthquake

KTLA anchors Megan Henderson and Chris Schauble react to an earthquake Monday morning while on air.
Credit YouTube.com

An earthquake in Southern California Monday morning rattled the usual calm demeanor of the live, on-air anchors at KTLA-TV. Fortunately, it doesn't look as though there's been much damage, and the anchors knew what to do: get under the desk. 

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Tree Trimming
2:10 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Despite PURA Request, Utilities Want to Keep Trimming

A resident holds up a "Trees Please" sign during a public hearing on "enhanced tree-trimming" earlier this month.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Last week, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority called for a "voluntary suspension" of so-called "enhanced tree-trimming" around the state. United Illuminating and CL&P quickly filed formal responses and -- surprise -- they both want to keep trimming.

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Astrophysics
1:16 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Scientists Announce A Big-Bang Breakthrough

This image released Monday by Harvard-led researchers represents the gravitational waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background in the microsecond after the Big Bang.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:19 pm

This post was update at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Researchers say they've discovered that gravitational waves rippled through the fabric of space-time in the first sliver of a second after the Big Bang — the first direct evidence for a mysterious, ultrarapid expansion at the dawn of the universe. If confirmed, it would represent one of the most profound insights in decades to emerge from the field of cosmology.

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Heroin
11:35 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Senators Blumenthal and Murphy Outline Plan to Combat Heroin Epidemic

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy joined health advocates, law enforcement, and local service providers today to talk about the growing heroin problem in Connecticut. 

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Unemployment
10:24 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Connecticut Job Numbers Tell a Complicated Story

The number of people actively seeking work declined in January.
Credit Harriet Jones

The latest employment report from the state Department of Labor showed a hopeful pick-up in job creation in Connecticut last year. But it also revealed a big loss in jobs in the first month of this year.

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End of Life Choices
9:40 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Legislature Hears Testimony on "Aid in Dying"

Supporters of the bill say they want to allow death with dignity.
Credit Nathan & Jenny / Creative Commons

The legislature's Public Health Committee is slated to hear testimony Monday on a bill which would allow physicians to help terminally ill patients to end their lives.

The so called aid-in-dying legislation is likely to draw impassioned advocates on both sides. 

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Comic books
6:20 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Fans Revive Connecticut-Based Charlton Comics 30 Years After It Closed

After Charlton went out of business, many of their artists, like John Severin, Steve Ditko, Pat Boyette, Gray Morrow and Alex Toth contributed to Mort Todd's Monsters Attack! magazine.
morttodd.com Monsters Attack #4, September 1990

What began as a joke on Facebook ended up reviving the work of a Connecticut-based comic book company that went out of business more than 30 years ago.

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Failure IS an Option
5:07 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Does Teaching Kids To Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead?

At the Lenox Academy in Brooklyn, N.Y., educators try to teach kids to see struggle as a normal part of learning.
Tovia Smith/NPR

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:00 pm

It's become the new buzz phrase in education: "Got grit?"

Around the nation, schools are beginning to see grit as key to students' success — and just as important to teach as reading and math.

Experts define grit as persistence, determination and resilience; it's that je ne sais quoi that drives one kid to practice trumpet or study Spanish for hours — or years — on end, while another quits after the first setback.

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Europe
9:10 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

New York Ukrainians Worry About 'Evil' Happenings at Home

A woman walks past the Ukrainian National Federal Credit Union in the Ukrainian neighborhood in Manhattan's East Village. New York is home to tens of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 1:10 pm

Yonkers, N.Y., is home to many Ukrainian immigrants and home to the Ukrainian Youth Center, which, despite its name, also has a full bar. It's where Rostyslaw Slabicky is glued to the news.

"The mood right now is extremely apprehensive," Slabicky says. "There's part that's fait accomplis, that Putin is basically doing what he wants and the entire world is basically standing by, not doing anything."

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