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

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Congress
10:05 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Republicans Debate: Fight The President Now, Or Fight Him Later?

Republican Senator-elect Thom Tillis of North Carolina says he expects his party to challenge the president immediately on immigration, and that he hopes President Obama's Defense and Justice nominees will be acceptable to both parties.
Davis Turner Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 9:16 am

Congress returns for its final session of the year on Monday afternoon, and lawmakers have a big to-do list ahead before they can adjourn for the holidays.

Read more
Roadways
9:10 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Pilot Who Landed on Busway in West Hartford Details Scary Landing

A Cessna made an emergency landing on CTFastrak in West Hartford on Saturday.
Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian J. Foley

A pilot of a single-engine plane made an emergency landing on the CTFastrak busway in West Hartford, Connecticut, over the weekend. 

Read more
White House
7:09 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Obama To Ask For $263 Million For Police Body Cameras, Training

Officers wearing riot gear walk through a park in downtown St. Louis on Sunday.
Tom Gannam AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 8:00 pm

After a day spent meeting with his Cabinet, civil rights leaders and other officials about the mistrust of police in communities of color, President Obama will ask Congress for $263 million in part to equip local police with body cameras.

Update at 6:55 p.m. ET: Other Possible Changes

As the president confirmed his plans at the White House, Attorney General Eric Holder announced he will soon release new guidelines to limit racial profiling by authorities.

Read more
School Reform
5:03 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Teach For America At 25: With Maturity, New Pressure To Change

TFA at 25 years (from left): Matt Kramer, current co-CEO; Wendy Kopp, founder; Elisa Villanueva Beard, current co-CEO.
Courtesy of TFA

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:54 pm

This story was reported for the radio by Eric Westervelt and for online by Anya Kamenetz.

"We, the Committee of Public Safety, find Jean Valjean guilty. The sentence is death by guillotine!"

Molly McPherson, a redhead with glasses, is dressed in a blue bathrobe — in costume as Robespierre. Her seventh-graders are re-enacting the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, with a little assist from Les Miserables.

Read more
Holiday Shopping
9:56 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Black Friday Sales Down At Stores, Surge Online

Shoppers Manuel Orellano, middle, with his daughter Marcela, left, and her son Manuel, 6, shop for children's clothing at JCPenney at Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale, Calif, on Friday.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 2:33 pm

Black Friday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores in the United States was down about 7 percent from a year ago, according to ShopperTrak, but more purchases on Thanksgiving Day nearly made up the difference. Meanwhile, online retailers recorded double-digit year-on-year increases in sales.

ShopperTrak says Friday store sales hit $9.1 billion, but that shoppers spent $3.2 billion on Thanksgiving — a 24 percent increase for sales on that day from over last year. Overall, it represented a 0.5 percent drop from last year.

Read more
Higher Education
8:03 am
Sun November 30, 2014

The History of Campus Sexual Assault

A University of Virginia student looks over postings on the door of Peabody Hall related to the Phi Kappa Psi gang rape allegations at the school in Charlottesville, Va., Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 12:34 pm

"Male sex aggression on a university campus" was the title of one of the first studies published about a topic now very much in the news. Way back in 1957, sociologist Eugene Kanin posited a model where men used secrecy and stigma to pressure and exploit women.

Read more
Ho ho ho
2:07 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Has Anybody Written a Great Christmas Song Lately?

Steve Metcalf's provocative list of top pop Christmas songs no doubt shattered the calm of many a holiday gathering.  One of his indisputable assertions was that "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is "the most recent pop specimen to become a true, authentic, undisputed, genre-crossing, multi-generational, stand-around-a-piano-and-sing-and-know-at-least-most-of-the-lyrics Christmas hit standard. "

Read more
Metcalf on Music
5:36 am
Thu November 27, 2014

The Ten All-Time Best Christmas Songs (of All Time)

Marta Crowe Creative Commons

Last week, while discussing some of classical music’s great Christmas works, I casually mentioned that I might want to extend the conversation to the pop music side.

Read more
Emissions
3:12 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

EPA Proposes New Rules To Curb Ozone Levels

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy testifies at an oversight hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 23.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 1:49 pm

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled new rules today to reduce emission levels for smog-causing ozone, which is linked to asthma and other health problems.

The draft measure calls for lowering the threshold for ozone from 75 parts per billion to between 65 ppb and 70 ppb. The agency said it would take comments on an ozone level as low as 60 ppb.

Read more
Winter Sports
3:09 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

US Luge Athletes Prepare For World Cup Opener

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 12:31 pm

   

The USA Luge team is preparing for its first World Cup competition of the season. Members spoke by conference call from Austria with reporters Tuesday, including WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Read more
Courts
12:36 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

If Supreme Court Strikes Federal Exchange Subsidies, Health Law Could Unravel

Supreme Court police stand guard during a storm in March.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 2:28 pm

Exactly what would happen to the Affordable Care Act if the Supreme Court invalidates tax credits in three dozen states where the federal government runs the program?

Legal scholars say a decision like that would deal a potentially lethal blow to the law because it would undermine the government-run insurance marketplaces that are its backbone, as well as the mandate requiring most Americans to carry coverage.

Read more
Massachusetts
12:27 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Construction Begins On New Health Education Center

Holyoke Community College trustees pose in front of the building that will be renovated to become the Center for Health Education

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 12:27 pm

Under a reorganization that started two years ago, the community colleges in Massachusetts are becoming regional workforce development centers.  Holyoke Community College is building a new facility to help meet the demand for skilled workers in the health care industry.

Read more
Connecticut Business Briefs
10:25 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Frontier Pledges Quick Storm Restoration for Connecticut Customers

Credit Gary Ombler / Thinkstock

As the state hunkers down for a pre-Thanksgiving storm, Frontier Communications is assuring its customers that it will keep them connected. 

The Stamford-based company issued a statement saying it has teams standing by to restore service quickly if the weather causes outages. 

Read more
Civil Rights
6:54 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Protests Of Grand Jury Decision Fan Out Across The Country

People gather outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters on Tuesday.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 9:04 am

Updated at 6:54 a.m.

Public reaction to a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson has ranged from fire and looting close to where Wilson shot Michael Brown to peaceful protests nearby.

Other protests were held in large and small cities and college towns across America on Tuesday; photos from those scenes show a variety of demonstrators, tactics and responses.

Read more
Jazz Corridor
6:40 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Singer/Songwriter Allegra Levy Celebrates New Album in Hartford

Allegra Levy.
Deneka Peniston

With a new CD just released and herself ensconced in the middle of an extended, plum engagement at Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Hotel, Allegra Levy has many triumphant thoughts to savor. The savvy 24-year-old singer/songwriter from West Hartford flies home more than 8,000 miles for a quick stateside visit to promote her debut album in two performances, one in New York City, the other in Hartford.

Read more
Local Food
6:32 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

For More Local Turkeys To Hit Holiday Tables, You Need An Abattoir

The turkeys at Kate Stillman's farm don't have to be loaded on a trailer and driven hundreds of miles this year. They now meet their ends on the same farm where they lived their lives.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 11:22 am

It's a busy time of year for turkey farmers around the country. And these days, with the growth of the local food movement, small family farms are struggling to keep up with all the orders for birds. So, we went to find out what one New England farmer is doing to get her gobblers from the field to the table. Enter the "abattoir."

Read more
Budget Cuts
3:26 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Gov. Malloy's Deficit-Cutting Plan Takes a Chunk From DCF

Credit ngkaki/iStock / Thinkstock

Concerns are growing over $9 million in budget cuts to the Department of Children and Families that are part of Governor Dannel Malloy's rescissions to deal with a growing deficit. The cost savings align with a DCF goal to place fewer kids in group homes but critics say it's not always the best option. 

Read more

Pages