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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Housing Migrant Kids
10:33 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Migrant Children May Be Sheltered in Massachusetts

M. Hoffmann/UNHCR The Migration Policy Institute

According to the independent think tank The Migration Policy Institute, 85 percent of the Central American migrant children who have arrived in the U.S. over the past few months are reunited with relatives here. Most go to places with established communities of Central American families, including cities in Connecticut like New Haven and Hartford. Others go to Massachusetts.

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Courts
2:56 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

UK Man Sentenced for Taliban Support

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

A British citizen imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism was sentenced in federal court in New Haven today.

Babar Ahmad was given 12 and half years in prison, with credit for the ten years he’s already served.

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Medicine
3:17 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Medical Marijuana to Become Available Later This Summer

Various strains of medical marijuana.
Credit AudioVision / Creative Commons

Later this summer, medical marijuana will become legally available to patients in Connecticut.  

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Courts
10:43 am
Mon July 14, 2014

British Citizens Imprisoned in Connecticut for Supporting Terrorism to Be Sentenced Soon

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

Two British citizens imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism are to be sentenced in federal court in New Haven this week.

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Contraceptive Coverage
10:20 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Blumenthal Calls on Hobby Lobby to Adhere to Connecticut Law

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal in a WNPR file folder.
Av Harris WNPR

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal released a letter on Monday to the CEO of Hobby Lobby calling on the company to follow Connecticut law and offer its employees in East Haven and Manchester full contraceptive coverage.

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New Haven
10:13 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Central American Migrant Children Arrive in Connecticut

Anabelia Diaz, 17, at left, and Hazel Menecos Jimenez, 13.
Diane Orson WNPR

A group of Central American migrant children who made the perilous journey through Mexico into the U.S.… are staying now in the New Haven area.  They'’re among the estimated 50,000 unaccompanied youngsters who have inundated the U.S. border since last October.

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Musical Theatre
6:21 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Curtain Up: “Gypsy” Opens at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Leslie Uggams as Rose in a production of "Gypsy" at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre.

Tony and Emmy award-winning actress Leslie Uggams stars as Rose in a production of "Gypsy" opening Thursday night at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, the professional producing arm of the drama department at the University of Connecticut. 

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Light and Sound
5:48 am
Sat July 5, 2014

The Art of Fireworks Displays

Fireworks by Grucci at the Sir Sidney Poitier bridge renaming ceremony
Fireworks by Grucci

Wet weather in the forecast prompted some Connecticut towns to postpone their fireworks displays. Among them is the town of Westport, which moved its event to July 7.

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Supreme Court Ruling
4:42 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Sorting Through the Hobby Lobby Decision

Customers enter a Hobby Lobby store in Antioch, Calif., this past spring.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

In a five-to-four decision Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that requiring so-called closely-held, for-profit corporations to pay for contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act, violates a federal law that protects religious freedom. 

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Regulating Drugs
5:05 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Pharmacists to Play Key Role Dispensing Medical Marijuana in Connecticut

Credit Gordon Swanson/Hemera / Thinkstock

About 200 pharmacists and physicians gathered on Wednesday in Southington for the first Medical Cannabis Symposium in Connecticut.

Connecticut is only the state in the country with legalized medical marijuana laws that requires an on-site pharmacist to dispense the drug.

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Policing Youth
9:44 am
Tue June 24, 2014

How Effective Is Bridgeport's Youth Curfew?

A Bridgeport street at night.
826 Paranormal Creative Commons

The trial of the alleged killer of a 14-year old Bridgeport youth began Monday. Justin Thompson was one of three teens killed amid a spate of deadly violence in the city in 2012.

Following calls by residents for better police protection, Bridgeport imposed a youth curfew that year. For the past two years, kids under age 18 have needed permission from a parent or legal guardian to be on the streets after 11:00 pm on weeknights, and after midnight on weekends.

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School Management
12:44 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Hartford Charter School Organization CEO Resigns

Michael Sharpe.
Credit Facebook

The CEO of a charter school organization in Hartford has resigned following revelations that the academic credentials he’ had claimed in school materials, biographies, and legislative testimony are untrue.

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Bias
3:44 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

It's Not a Good Idea to Mention Your Religion on Your Resume

Credit lucky336/iStock / Thinkstock

Researchers at the University of Connecticut find that employers are less likely to respond to a job application if a resume mentions an applicant’s religion.

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Courts
9:33 am
Thu June 19, 2014

British Terror Suspects Imprisoned in Connecticut to Be Sentenced in July

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

Federal prosecutors filed court papers this week in advance of the July sentencing of two British citizens imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism.

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University Jobs
9:40 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Concern Over Faculty Layoffs at Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University's Arnold Bernhard Library and clock tower.
Credit Wikimedia User: Wasted Time R / Creative Commons

The Connecticut chapter of the American Association of University Professors said it's deeply concerned about the way Quinnipiac University recently laid off members of its faculty.

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Light and Dance
11:49 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Multi-Media Spectacle Inside Stony Creek Quarry

The quarry, prepared for this year's "Terra Tractus."
Terra Tractus

A multi-media spectacle of light, music, theater and dance begins performances next week inside the Stony Creek quarry along Connecticut’s shoreline. 

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Racial Profiling
8:39 am
Tue June 10, 2014

East Haven Reaches Civil Rights Suit Settlement

Michael Wishnie, at far right, speaks in the basement of St. Rose of Lima Church in Fair Haven. Father James Manship is at far left, and Marcia Chacon near left.
Credit Diane Orson / WNPR

The town of East Haven, Connecticut has agreed to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit involving its police department. The suit alleged police misconduct against Latinos.

For years, Latinos in East Haven complained of systematic abuse and harassment at the hands of the town’s police force.

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Author Visit
2:01 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Children's Book Authors, Illustrators Visit Newtown

Newtown's C.H. Booth Library is hosting children's book authors and illustrators on June 6 and 7.
Ross MacDonald and Tony DiTerlizzi

Some of America's favorite children’s book authors will visit Newtown this weekend including the creators of Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Ella Enchanted, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. They’ll go to schools and talk with students on Friday and participate Saturday in panels and workshops.

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Reducing Gun Violence
8:36 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Connecticut Faith Leaders Press Gun Manufacturers On Safety and Weapons Distribution

Gun locks on display.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Following the recent mass killing in California, faith leaders in Connecticut gathered on Monday to call on gun manufacturers to take steps aimed at reducing gun violence. 

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Manufacturing
8:20 am
Fri May 30, 2014

DIY Dulcimer Kits Are a Musical Hit in Connecticut

Students at the Middle School of Plainville play dulcimers in teacher Laurel Schwartz's class.
Diane Orson WNPR

The word dulcimer means "sweet sound." There’s no better way to describe this American folk instrument.

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California
10:05 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Shooting Victim's Father Blames Tragedy on Failure to Act After Newtown Massacre

Richard Martinez.
Credit YouTube.com

The grieving father of a college student at the University of California, Santa Barbara who was killed last Friday in a mass shooting said his child died because lawmakers failed to respond to the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. 

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Arts in Schools
5:56 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Bridgeport Students Work With Legendary Artist Chuck Close

A work in progress by eighth grader T'Zaih Hanks -- a portrait of fellow student Yan Carlos Camacho.
Bridgeport Schools

Three years ago, members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities identified eight of the lowest-performing schools in the country, and enrolled them in a new program called the Turnaround Arts Initiative. The goal: to prove that arts education could improve academic achievement and overall school culture.

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Commencement Speeches
10:42 am
Mon May 19, 2014

John Kerry Delivers Class Day Address at Yale

Secretary of State John Kerry speaking at Yale University commencement.
Yale University

Secretary of State John Kerry was in New Haven Sunday to address Yale University graduates. Kerry delivered the Class Day lecture.

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High Schools
10:27 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Connecticut High School Graduation Rates Increase

JECO Photo Creative Commons

New data from the State Department of Education show high school graduation rates continuing to improve in Connecticut. 

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New Law
3:46 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Governor Malloy Signs Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Gov. Malloy signed several bills into law on Monday, including one aimed at addressing sexual assault on college campuses in the state.
Governor Dannel Malloy

Governor Malloy has signed into law a bill that attempts to address and prevent sexual assault on all public and private colleges and universities in Connecticut. 

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Rick in Space
10:20 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Rick Mastracchio Receives Honorary UConn Degree From Space

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio speaks to graduating UConn students from space.
NASA

Commencement season is underway, and graduates of Quinnipiac University, Western Connecticut State University, and UConn were among those to receive their diplomas this weekend. Four hundred graduates of the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut had the chance to hear a commencement speech delivered from a unique perspective -- from space.

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Campus Sexual Assault
9:30 am
Mon May 12, 2014

A Victim's Thoughts, Four Years After a Sexual Assault

Olin Library at Wesleyan University in Middletown.
Joe Mabel Creative Commons

A bill that attempts to address and prevent sexual assault on all public and private colleges and universities in Connecticut was enacted by the legislature last month and has been signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy’. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal has also released a report proposing what he calls a College Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights. 

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Legislative Session
8:59 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Legislative Wrap-Up: Fracking Waste Moratorium Passes; Hospital Conversions Possible

The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford.
Cliff Creative Commons

The General Assembly's session ended overnight with lawmakers finishing up work on a measure spelling out details of the $19 billion state budget. 

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Middle East
7:29 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Near-Term Settlement In Syria Not Likely, Says Former U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford

Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford.
Credit U.S. Department of State

Robert Ford, who was U.S. Ambassador to Syria until he stepped down in February, will be speaking at the World Affairs Council of Connecticut Luminary Award event on Wednesday. His visit coincides with an announcement this week by U.S. officials that they plan to allow Syria’s main opposition alliance to open a diplomatic mission in Washington.

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Labor at Yale
6:19 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

What Do Yale Grad Students Want? A Union

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

From NPR West in Culver City, California it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath. Hundreds of graduate assistants at Yale University say they want to be allowed to decide whether to unionize. Grad students at two nearby universities recently formed unions after two very different types of organizing campaigns. One sailed by in a matter of weeks. The other took many years.

Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports from New Haven.

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