Diane Orson

Managing Editor/Host

Diane Orson is WNPR's local host for Morning Edition.  She's also a reporter and managing editor for WNPR, as well as a contributor to National Public Radio. Her stories are heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Here And Now.  Diane began at WBUR in Boston and came to Connecticut in 1988 as a co-producer for Open Air New England.  She shared a Peabody Award with Faith Middleton for their piece of radio nostalgia about New Haven's Shubert Theatre.  Her reporting has  been recognized by the Connecticut Society for Professional Journalists and the Associated Press, including the Ellen Abrams Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism and the Walt Dibble Award for Overall Excellence.

Diane is also an active professional musician. She lives in Hamden with her husband. Her two children are in college.

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Higher Education
1:22 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

New Haven Promise Moves Forward

New Haven Promise scholars celebrate their achievements at an event in August
New Haven Promise

President Barack Obama convened a Summit on College Opportunity at the White House Thursday, aimed at helping more students prepare for and graduate from college.

Patricia Melton, executive director of New Haven Promise, a scholarship and support program for New Haven public school students, was there.

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Education
1:27 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

A Conversation With Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor

Stefan Pryor in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor attended his final State Board of Education meeting Wednesday. He announced earlier this year he’d leave the post, and will depart in January. A process is underway to select an interim commissioner.

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Theatrical History
12:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Happy 100th Birthday to New Haven's Shubert Theater!

The Shubert Theater in New Haven.
Shubert Theater Facebook

This year marks the 100th anniversary of New Haven’s Shubert Theater. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:08 am
Thu December 4, 2014

A Mini-Musical About the Shubert Theater, 100 Years Old

Credit Toby Simkin/flickr creative commons

If you charted the course of American musicals, a major stop on this extraordinary journey would be The Shubert Theater in New Haven. The Shubert was considered Broadway's try-out house, a stop where our local audiences determined whether New York producers had a hit or a disaster on their hands. How did this happen? Who got the nod and who earned thumbs down? 

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Overturned Sentence
11:47 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Court Ruling in Italy Reverberates in Connecticut

Stefan Schmidheiny.
Credit asbestosinthedock.ning.com

Reaction to a recent ruling by Italy’s highest court is being closely watched here in Connecticut. 

The Italian Supreme Court has thrown out the case of billionaire Stefan Schmidheiny, former owner of the Eternit company. 

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State Budget
10:52 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Despite Improving Economy, State Could Face Billion-Dollar Deficit

Credit moodboard / Thinkstock

Despite an improving economy, Connecticut could be facing budget deficits of more than a billion dollars over the next three years. 

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ISIS
3:35 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Joe Courtney: Recent Events in Middle East Give "Validation" to Support of Rebels

Rep. Joe Courtney discusses his support of Syrian rebels and other priorities for the coming session.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Rep. Joe Courtney from Connecticut's second congressional district was the only member of the delegation to vote in favor of arming and training Syrian rebels in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.

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Immigration
2:11 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

New Haven Undocumented Worker Calls Immigration Action an Important Step Forward

Jose Luis Piscil and family in New Haven City Hall.
Diane Orson WNPR

President Obama’s executive action on immigration could affect as many as five million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Jose Luis Piscil, an undocumented stone worker from Mexico who lives in New Haven, has been in the U.S. for eight years. He has no criminal record, and is in the midst of deportation proceedings.

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Metro-North
8:17 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Federal Report Recommends Attention to Sleep Disorders for Safer Railroads

On December 1, 2013 a Metro-North train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx.
Steve Guttman Creative Commons

The National Transportation Safety Board released a report Wednesday recommending better training for the nation's doctors in identifying and treating sleep disorders. This follows last year's deadly Metro-North derailment in the Bronx that it blames on an engineer's sleepiness. 

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Congressional Check-In
3:44 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Jim Himes on Wall Street Regulation and Transportation Deficiencies

Rep. Jim Himes will represent the 4th district for his 4th term.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Connecticut's Fourth District Congressman Jim Himes was in the running to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee but lost out to New Mexico congressman Ben Ray Lujan.

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Congressional Check-In
11:49 am
Tue November 18, 2014

No Longer a Freshman, Elizabeth Esty Plans to Stay the Course

Rep. Elizabeth Esty returns to Congress for her second term.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Despite being a political target of national Republicans, Connecticut's Fifth District Democratic Representative Elizabeth Esty survived her first re-election campaign.

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Wellness
1:37 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Hartford Surgeon Discusses Disproportionate Barriers to Health

Dr. Nissin Nahmias.
Credit vcu.edu

Though all people and communities deserve equal opportunities to be healthy, there are many barriers to good health in communities across the U.S. Low-income communities, particularly those of color, face a disproportionate number of barriers.

St. Francis Hospital in Hartford co-hosts a town hall meeting on Tuesday titled, "Is Food Making Us Sick? A Conversation About Food and Our Health" with a panel of experts who will talk about food and health. WNPR's Diane Orson spoke with bariatric surgeon Dr. Nissin Nahmias, whose work centers on people struggling with obesity.

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Sexual Harassment
10:07 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Yale Removes Cardiovascular Research Center Director

Michael Simons, MD.
Credit Yale School of Medicine

The New York Times reports that Yale Medical School has removed the director of its Cardiovascular Research Center, Dr. Michael Simons, after a university committee found he had sexually harassed a postdoctoral researcher. 

Simons was the former chief of cardiology at the Yale School of Medicine. 

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Middlefield
9:15 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Making Music Together: The Eastern Connecticut Recorder Society

The Eastern Connecticut Recorder Society practices together in Middlefield.
Diane Orson WNPR

Amateur musicians have loved playing music since the word was first derived from the Latin - ‘amare’ – meaning ‘to love’.  Once a month in Connecticut,  a group of amateur recorder players meet to improve their technique and sight-read skills, and to enjoy the experience of making music.

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Gun Safety and Sales
8:27 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Connecticut Religious and Civic Leaders Press Gun Manufacturers

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A coalition of municipal leaders, police and clergy gathered in Bridgeport on Monday, calling on gun manufacturers to make their weapons safer.

Public entities like police departments make up a significant share of the U.S. gun industry’s market. 

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New Haven
2:14 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

As Ebola Spreads in Sierra Leone, New Haven Launches Campaign to Help

Sierra Leone ambassador Ibrahim Conteh in New Haven last week.
Aliyya Swaby New Haven Independent

Amid news of an alarming increase in new Ebola cases in Sierra Leone, the city of New Haven has announced plans to try and help its sister city there.

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Disease
8:36 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Ebola Panic Brings Back Memories of Early Days of AIDS for Yale Researcher

Gregg Gonsalves.
Yale University

A Yale researcher says the current panic over Ebola in the U.S. brings back some bad memories.

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Music
11:19 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Celebrating Composer Irving Fine

Irving Fine at Tanglewood in 1962.
Library of Congress

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer Irving Fine. Concerts and celebrations are taking place in New York, Washington, and coming up this weekend, here in Connecticut.

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Election 2014
10:14 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Education a Telling Microcosm of the Connecticut Gubernatorial Race

iStock Thinkstock

Tuesday is Election Day, and Connecticut’s gubernatorial battle is down to the wire, with the two major candidates locked in a dead heat.

The race between incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy and Republican challenger, businessman Tom Foley, has been fierce and negative. They’ve attacked each other’s views on the economy, taxes, jobs, and more. The third candidate in the race, Joe Visconti, has now thrown his support behind Foley.

But education may prove to be the most telling microcosm of the 2014 election.

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Development Plans
4:49 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Development on Former New Haven Coliseum Site Gets $21.5 Million State Boost

Gov. Dannel Malloy announces a state investment in New Haven's Downtown Crossing.
Paul Bass New Haven Independent

Governor Malloy announced on Thursday a $21.5 million investment in phase two of New Haven’s Downtown Crossing plan.

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Ebola Outbreak
4:16 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Milford School Leader Defends Decision to Bar Student Amid Fear of Ebola

Meadowside Elementary School in Milford.
Credit Milford Public Schools

A Connecticut school superintendent is defending her decision to bar a third-grader from returning to school after visiting West Africa amid fears the young girl may have been exposed to the Ebola virus.

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On Stage
9:54 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Two Actors Journey Through "Annapurna" at Hartford's Theaterworks

Vasili Bogazianos and Debra Jo Rupp in "Annapurna" at Theaterworks.
Theaterworks

After 20 years apart, a woman tracks down her ex-husband, a poet living in a grungy trailer in the Colorado mountains. Their raw, funny, heartbreaking reunion unfolds in a new play called "Annapurna" by Sharr White, currently running at Theaterworks in Hartford.

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Higher Education
11:59 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Rally Calls on Yale to Allow Graduate Assistants to Unionize

Sarah Eidelson Yale Unions

Governor Dannel Malloy joined more than 1,000 union workers, local and state officials on the streets of New Haven at Yale University on Tuesday. The support of labor and the city of New Haven are seen as critical for Malloy in the upcoming election.

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Election 2014
1:02 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Himes and Debicella Debate Foreign Policy in Stamford

Jim Himes, left, and Dan Debicella.

Fourth District Democratic Congressman Jim Himes and Republican challenger Dan Debicella met to debate foreign policy and international security on Monday night. The event was held at the World Affairs Forum on UConn’s Stamford campus.

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Film Festival
12:52 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Festival of Ibero American Cinema in New Haven Includes Tribute to Raul Julia

Raul Julia in "Kiss of the Spider Woman."

A showcase of the latest work by Hispanic, Portuguese, and Latino filmmakers opens Tuesday in New Haven: the New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema. There will be screenings and events featuring many of the visiting filmmakers. Everything is free and open to the public.

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Higher Education
10:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Where Should Universities Draw the Line on Ebola-Related Research and Student Safety?

Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Yale Alumni Magazine

Yale-New Hospital received word late Friday from the Centers for Disease Control confirming preliminary test results showing the patient hospitalized in isolation last week with Ebola-like symptoms does not have the Ebola virus.

The patient is one of two unidentified Yale doctoral students who returned recently from a research mission in Liberia. Though the student did not come directly in contact with Ebola patients, Yale officials say the hospitalized student did come in contact with one person who eventually developed Ebola.

The scare has raised questions about educational research, foreign exchange, and study abroad travel to countries with Ebola outbreaks.

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Crime
12:05 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Fatal Shooting Following Stabbing Incident Aboard Connecticut Casino-Bound Bus

Lt. Paul Vance.
Credit Connecticut State Police

A man who stabbed passengers aboard a casino-bound tour bus in Connecticut has been fatally shot by state police. Two people suffered stab wounds, and a third was injured while tackling the suspect.

State Police Lieutenant Paul Vance said passengers on the bus traveling north on Interstate 95 in Connecticut called 911 Tuesday evening to report a man with a “cutting object” who was assaulting passengers.

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Election 2014
11:19 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Surprise Agreement on Gun Control During Fifth Congressional District Debate

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, left, and Mark Greenberg.
Credit File Photo

Views by candidates vying for the Fifth Congressional District seat differed on a range of issues at Thursday night’s debate, including social security, government spending, and foreign policy. But it was on gun control where – surprisingly – they agreed.

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Election 2014
8:47 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Malloy, Foley Tied at 43 Points in Latest Poll

Tom Foley, left, and Dannel Malloy are tied in the latest Q Poll.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday finds incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy and Republican businessman Tom Foley in a 43 – 43 percent dead heat in the race for Connecticut governor.

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Election 2014
5:42 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Gov. Christie Returns to Connecticut, Stumping for Tom Foley

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at a political event in Arizona on October 3.
Credit Republican Governors Association

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was back in Connecticut on Monday to campaign for Republican businessman Tom Foley in his close race against incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy.

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