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Hartford Politics
10:23 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Hartford Probate Judge, Possible Mayoral Candidate, Calls Stadium "An Insult"

Credit The Connecticut Mirror

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is running for his second full term this year, and a lot of people are looking to unseat him. One is Luke Bronin, the governor's former legal counsel; another is attorney John Gale; and a third is city Councilman Joel Cruz.

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Being a Teen
4:12 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

What’s the Hardest Part About Being a Teen?

Shamoya Hanson is a senior at the Journalism and Media Academy in Hartford.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Some things teenagers have to deal with just don’t change. Heartbreak, hormones, heightened social anxiety -- it's all just part of the package. 

But things that are unique to the 2015 teen experience -- social media, texting, and ephemeral messaging -- take regular teen issues to a whole new level. This isn’t breaking news, but teens are saying that adults still don’t fully get it. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
12:30 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Employer Health Coverage Decline Is Long-Term

Credit vichie81/iStock / Thinkstock

When the Affordable Care Act came into being many people wondered about the future of employer sponsored health coverage, but it turns out that company coverage has been declining for more than a decade. 

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Addiction
10:27 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Connecticut ERs Adopt Guidelines to Prevent Painkiller Abuse

U.S. Navy Wikimedia Commons

Over the last four years, local emergency departments saw a 50 percent increase in opioid overdoses. Often, it's hospital emergency rooms that treat people who are suffering from chronic pain. Now, Connecticut hospital ERs are looking at ways to manage pain but also prevent the abuse of prescription painkillers.

Several medical associations in Connecticut have endorsed voluntary guidelines for local emergency departments to reduce the inappropriate use of opioids.

Carl Schiessl, Director of Regulatory Advocacy with the Connecticut Hospital Association, said directors of emergency rooms gather monthly at CHA. He said it was at one of those meetings where the idea for the guidelines came up. 

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Fraud
8:59 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Venezuelan Hedge Fund Manager Gets 13 Years in Prison for Connecticut Fraud Scheme

Kuzma/iStock Thinkstock

A Venezuelan hedge fund manager has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for running a massive Connecticut-based investment fraud scheme that involved hundreds of millions of dollars.

Francisco Illarramendi  expressed remorse during his sentencing Thursday in federal court in Bridgeport. He pleaded guilty to several fraud and conspiracy charges four years ago in what federal prosecutors have called their biggest white-collar criminal case ever in Connecticut.

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Wrongful Imprisonment
8:02 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Wrongfully Incarcerated Connecticut Man Is Now $6 Million Richer

Kenneth Ireland will receive $6 million compensation from the state.
Credit Connecticut Innocence Project

The state of Connecticut has awarded $6 million to a man who was wrongfully imprisoned. Kenneth Ireland served more than two decades in prison --- for a rape and murder that he did not commit.

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Connecticut Legislature
4:47 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

State GOP Lawmakers Say Democrats Have Weakened Campaign Finance Laws

Republicans joined Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides to talk about campaign finance.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Republican legislative leaders held a press conference Thursday to call for changes in the state’s campaign finance laws, though leading Democrats said talking to them first might have been a better strategy. 

Joined by rank and file legislators, Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said state Democrats have consistently worked to undermine and erode the clean elections laws they worked to pass in 2005 after the conviction of former Governor John Rowland.

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Marathon Trial
4:43 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Jury Selection Resumes in Tsarnaev Trial; Attorneys Argue, Venue Change Unlikely

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Voice of America

A federal prosecutor in the trial of accused Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has accused a defense lawyer of trying to "encourage" a hung jury. 

It's the latest turn in the jury selection phase, which has already taken much longer than expected.

Judge George O'Toole Jr. had set last Monday as the date for opening statements, but he has yet to seat a jury of 12 to hear the case. The trial resumed Thursday after two days of delay because of a massive snowfall in the Boston area.

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Waterbury Muslims
4:35 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Waterbury Board of Education to Discuss Adding Two Muslim Holidays to School Calendar

A member of Waterbury’s Islamic American Society of Connecticut estimates there are around 2,000 families who identify as Islamic within the greater Waterbury area.
Credit jackof/iStock / Thinkstock

The Waterbury School board will consider whether to recognize two Muslim holidays on the school calendar on Thursday night. 

According to The Republican-American, a petition with nearly 300 signatures is seeking recognition of the holidays Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. The petition asks that the days be recognized on the school calendar and that teachers and staff avoid scheduling tests, field trips and other events on those days.

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Performance
2:45 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Hartford's CONCORA to Perform a Musical "Kiss" in Time For Valentine's Day

Connecticut Choral Artists, or CONCORA.
CONCORA

Just before Valentine’'s Day, lovers of choral music have the chance to hear the premiere of a work called “"Un Bacio (A Kiss)”" in early February.  

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Diversity in Higher Ed
1:38 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Top U.S. Colleges Look to Diversify Their International Population

Not only are top American universities, like Harvard University, receiving thousands of applications from within the United States, but the number of international students applying is growing as well.
Mathleu Thouvenin Creative Commons

As top-tier universities in the United States have worked to overcome reputations for serving only the children of the American elite, there is now a push to do the same amongst international applicants looking to study in the U.S.  

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Northeast Flooding
12:35 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

U.S. Army Corps: Teamwork Vital to Manage Coastal Flood Risk

The Army Corp of Engineers presents a comprehensive study to promote environmental consciousness and coperation between private and governmental sectors.
Cindy Cornett Seigle/Flickr

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has dire predictions for many of the coastline communities in Connecticut and Long Island.

A report released on Wednesday, "North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study: Resilient Adaptation to Increasing Risk," took two years and covered 31,000 miles of coastline along ten states. It says climate change is putting the region at risk of more flooding and more superstorms like Sandy in 2012.

Joeseph Vietri, with the ACE, said western Long Island and western Connecticut are particularly vulnerable, which is a problem because they're such heavily populated areas. "Not all of them have the ability and the wherewithal to pick up and just move," he said. "So there are entire cities, towns, and villages that are under direct threat."

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New Britain
11:43 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Documentary Profiles Inventor's Obsession With Jan Vermeer's Painting Technique

Inventor Tim Jenison spent years recreating Vermeer's "The Music Lesson" using the same technique he believes Vermeer used in his masterpieces.
Tim Jenison

The New Britain Museum of American Art will show a documentary film on Thursday about one man's quest to duplicate the painting technique of Dutch master Jan Vermeer. "If my idea was right, we're seeing color photographs, more or less, from 350 years ago," said inventor Tim Jenison.

In the documentary "Tim's Vermeer," Jenison is convinced Vermeer used optical gadgets to achieve his almost photographic paintings, and becomes obsessed with figuring out exactly how.

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Journalism
9:56 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Connecticut Woman's Libel Claims Dismissed in Federal Appeals Court

A New York ceremonial courtroom.
Credit Douglas Palmer / Creative Commons

A New York federal appeals court has rejected a Connecticut woman's claims that media outlets libeled her by refusing to delete stories about her arrest after charges were dismissed.

The ruling by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pertained to the August 2010 arrest of Lorraine Martin. The court said her arrest's deletion from legal records doesn't make news accounts of the arrest false or misleading.

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Confirmation Hearing
9:04 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Loretta Lynch Pledges Tough Enforcement on White Collar Crime

Nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch, was questioned during a confirmation hearing about her stance on white collar crime.
Douglas Plamer/Flickr

Although the headlines focused on immigration and marijuana, President Obama’s nominee for attorney general has also pledged to get tough on white collar crime, and corporate malfeasance. 

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Commuter Rail
8:05 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Good News, Bad News for Metro-North

Metro-North was praised for its handling of winter storm service, and criticized for another derailment.
WalkingGeek Flickr Creative Commons

Metro-North received something this week that it's not used to: praise. The commuter rail line was commended by transportation advocates for its handling of this week's snow storm and getting passengers to their destination before the storm hit.

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January Nor'easter
8:01 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Connecticut May Pursue Disaster Declaration Over Storm

Mystic's Amtrak station was deserted with no train service Tuesday.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Connecticut may apply for a federal disaster declaration for the towns most heavily affected by Tuesday’s blizzard, but Governor Dannel Malloy has said he’s not sure whether it will succeed.

Malloy visited Stonington in the far southeastern corner of the state Wednesday to see the cleanup efforts for himself.

Like many towns in Eastern Connecticut, Stonington was clobbered with more than two feet of snow and heavy gusting winds. 

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Metcalf on Music
8:00 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Older Than That Now: Dylan Sings Frank

Bob Dylan performs in Hamburg in 1984.
Heinrich Klaffs Creative Commons

As near as I can determine, Frank Sinatra never sang a Bob Dylan tune. No lush Gordon Jenkins arrangement of “I Want You”; no swinging, finger-snapping treatment of “Sad-Eyed Lady”; no symphonic Nelson Riddle big-band rethinking of “Masters of War.”

As of Tuesday, February 3, however, the reverse will not be true. That’s the day Dylan’s new album, Shadows in the Night, is due to be released. The album is just ten tunes, and all of them are standards that Sinatra recorded, and in some cases made famous.

To be certain that the release is duly noted by all the relevant demographics, Dylan has granted a long interview on the project (reportedly the only one he gave) to AARP Magazine. It will be in the February issue.

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Kids' Mental Health
4:04 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Connecticut and California Groups Unite to End Social Isolation in Schools

No One Eats Alone Day aims to enable students to help each other and form their own connections without adult interference.
BeyondDifferences.org

Laura Talmus experienced that most unthinkable of events for a parent. Her daughter, Lili, died in her sleep after only 15 years of life. Her death was due to complications with a cranial facial syndrome, but her mother, Laura, said that while Lili was alive, she also suffered from an often-unnoticed affliction: social isolation.

“When Lili passed away, it was a group of her peers who came up to me and said that they had really not realized that by leaving Lili out from a lot of the social structure of middle school, but particularly at lunch, they felt terrible and they wanted to know what they could do,” Talmus said.

So Talmus and Lili's classmates got together and went to other middle schools to see if students noticed anyone eating alone or without friends. The response, she said, was overwhelming.

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State Budget
12:50 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Gov. Malloy Makes Budget Cuts After Inconclusive Lunch Date

Governor Dannel Malloy in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Last week, Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced cuts to social services and health care in his second round of emergency rescissions to cut down the state budget deficit.

Malloy’s office projected a $121 million deficit last week. On Monday, the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis estimated the deficit is closer to $202 million.

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Springfield
12:42 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Bishop Calls Plan on Cathedral High School’s Future Optimistic, But No Decision Yet

Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of the Springfield Catholic Diocese speaking on plan addressing Cathedral High School's future.
Kari Njiiri NEPR

The head of the Springfield Catholic Diocese says a plan addressing the future of the tornado-damaged Cathedral High School has been worked out. But Bishop Mitchell Rozanski is refusing to say what that is…for now.

Rozanski says a workshop this past weekend involving parents, alumni, and faculty produced a plan he calls both optimistic and realistic. But the bishop says he now needs do his homework and due diligence, and won’t announce his decision until mid-February.

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Winter Storm
9:56 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Uncertain Science of Weather Forecasting Impacts Connecticut Municipalities

This week's blizzard is captured from satellite imagery near peak intensity around 1:45 am on Tuesday, January 27.
NASA/NOAA

With meteorologists predicting the latest storm would bring 15 to 30 inches of snow across Connecticut, cities and towns prepared for the worst. But the latest storm brought a mixed bag.

Eastern Connecticut was clobbered, while western parts of the state were not hit nearly as hard as expected.

Speaking on WNPR’s Where We Live, Mayor Mark Boughton said the forecasters who predicted two feet of snow in Danbury got it wrong, and that means that people may not believe him when the next storm heads our way.

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Jazz Corridor
9:18 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Elm City’s Gift to Jazz World Celebrates at Big Apple’s Village Vanguard

Wayne Escoffery moved from London to New Haven, Connecitcut and is currently in pursuit of his musical aspirations in New York City.
Gulnara Khamatova wayneescofferymusic.com

Tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, one of the best and the brightest of New Haven’s major contributions to the international jazz scene, hopes that his many friends and fans in Connecticut will show up to help him celebrate several major milestones in his life and career as he leads his new band in a six-night stint from February 3 to February 8 at the Village Vanguard.

Along with the sheer joy of playing once again at the Vanguard, a jazz shrine located in Greenwich Village, Escoffery, a formidable saxophonist, composer, bandleader and consummate sideman, is celebrating his 40th birthday on every one of those nights in the venerable venue.

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Biocontainment
5:16 am
Wed January 28, 2015

A New Way to Contain GMOs in the Lab, and Maybe One Day, in the World

Researchers tested their biocontaiment idea with E. coli, a bacteria used in pharmecuticals.
Wikimedia Commons

Yale researchers have developed a new way to biologically contain genetically modified organisms, a finding that could have future impacts in agriculture and medicine.

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January Nor'easter
2:28 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Photos: Eastern Connecticut Digs Out

Downtown Mystic saw almost two feet of snow.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Eastern Connecticut got the brunt of the storm Monday night into Tuesday, with some areas recording two feet of snow by early morning.

Snow continued to fall through the day, and forecasters said the region could expect up to nine more inches before the storm moves on.

But the power remained on, and most people were cheerful as they began to dig out.

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Blizzard Conditions
2:02 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Storm Comes to Gradual End; Gov. Malloy Lifts Statewide Travel Ban

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 lifted in Connecticut at 2:00 pm. Local roads were opened in Litchfield and Fairfield Counties early Tuesday morning, but Governor Dannel Malloy asked residents to wait before getting on the roads if possible. State bus service will resume Wednesday, and state employees return to work in the morning.

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Homelessness
1:17 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

State Activates Plan During Storm to Protect the Homeless

Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Before this winter storm, the state activated its severe cold weather protocol. It’s an effort to make sure no resident is without shelter during a weather emergency.

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Voice and Verse
1:14 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

A Poem in Honor of #Blizzard2015

Anthony Quintano Creative Commons

Calling in to WNPR's Where We Live on Tuesday, Michael from Middletown shared a poem he wrote in honor of Blizzard 2015. 

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School Closings
12:49 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Got a Snow Day? Varied Approaches to School Closings in Connecticut Towns

Water Street in Stonington during Tuesday's storm.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Approaches to getting information and making decisions for Connecticut school closings vary widely among the state's towns. For some school districts, it’s almost like a science. 

Take Torrington, for example. The district pays about $3,000 a year to a weather alert service in Burlington for daily weather updates and for consulting services. This helps officials determine if and when to close school due to bad weather.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
10:04 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Utility Workers Question Repair Strategy

Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Widespread power outages haven’t yet hit the state as it continues to weather a massive nor'easter, but utility linemen said the state’s power companies have less capacity to deal with problems than they had four years ago. 

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