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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Americana
11:26 am
Thu August 28, 2014

"Woody Sez," the Life and Music of Woody Guthrie at Theaterworks in Hartford

David Lutken is the devisor of "Woody Sez" and portrays the lead character.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Legendary American folk singer/activist Woody Guthrie, is best known for his classic song, "This Land is Your Land." All of his music gives voice to a restless and profoundly American search for freedom: artistically, politically, and personally.

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Higher Education
9:59 am
Thu August 21, 2014

UNH/Lyme Academy Merger to Offer Students New Forms Of Expression

Students at work at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme.
Lyme Academy

University of New Haven President Steven Kaplan said the school’s recently announced merger with the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts will offer students from both institutions an opportunity to explore new forms of expression. 

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Higher Education
10:50 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Visual and Performing Arts Center to Open Soon at WCSU in Danbury

A new School of Visual and Performing Arts will open at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
Western Connecticut State University

Western Connecticut State University in Danbury is home to the only School of Visual and Performing Arts in the Connecticut state university system. Its proximity to New York offers a chance to attract an impressive faculty. Later this month, WestConn will open a new Visual and Performing Arts Center.

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Non-Profits
1:34 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

More Concerns About the Amistad Schooner

The Amistad.
Ed G Creative Commons

State legislators are raising concerns about what the closure of an organization called Ocean Classroom Foundation may mean for the Amistad, the state’s flagship 79-foot schooner.

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Arts Partnership
9:32 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Hartford Symphony Appoints Orchestra Management Director

Stephen Collins.
Credit Connecticut DECD

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra has appointed a Director of Artistic Operations and Administration.

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Connecticut River
11:24 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Water Testing in Northern States to Keep Long Island Sound Healthy

The Connecticut River seen from Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation in Massachusetts.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A first-of-its-kind, large-scale, one day water-testing event took place Wednesday along the Connecticut River and its major tributaries. 

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Bluegrass
9:55 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Podunk Bluegrass Festival in the Land of Steady Habits

The Claire Lynch Band, a headline performer at the Podunk Bluegrass Festival.
Facebook

When you think of Connecticut, bluegrass music may not immediately jump to mind, but there is a bluegrass scene here in the Land of Steady Habits. Starting on Thursday night, fans will gather at the Hebron Fairgrounds in Hebron for the Podunk Bluegrass Festival. 

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Election 2014
2:36 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Petitions Due Wednesday for Connecticut's Third-Party Candidates

Third-party candidates for governor Joe Visconti and Jonathan Pelto signed each other's petitions at the state capitol.
Arielle Levin Becker The Connecticut Mirror

Wednesday is the deadline for two candidates hoping to petition their way on to the November gubernatorial ballot to submit voters’ signatures.

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Victim Privacy
3:18 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

East Haven Mayor's Release of Harassment Complaint Upsets Accuser

Credit filmfoto/iStock / Thinkstock

The East Haven town employee who alleges that Mayor Joseph Maturo sexually harassed her at work was shocked to learn that her name was released to the media this week by the mayor’s office, according to her attorney. It’s unusual for these kinds of complaints to be released.

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Remembrance
2:20 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Documentarian Robert Drew Dies at 90

Credit www.realscreen.com

Documentary filmmaker Robert Drew has died at his home in Sharon, Connecticut. A pioneer of the modern documentary, Drew broke new ground with his 1960 political film "Primary" whose subject was John F. Kennedy.

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New Haven
7:00 am
Thu July 31, 2014

A Jazz Bass Player Who Can "Call the Pitches"

Jeff Fuller

The New Haven Jazz Festival kicks off Thursday evening with an event honoring Connecticut musician/composer Jeff Fuller

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Data on Violence
1:57 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

New Data Released on Intimate Partner Violence in Connecticut

Credit Thinkstock

On average, 14 people die each year in Connecticut as a result of intimate partner violence. There have been 188 intimate partner homicides in the state since the year 2000.

These are among the statistics in this year's annual report by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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New London Schools
12:38 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

New London Board of Education to Investigate Incoming Superintendent

Terrence P. Carter.
Credit New London Public Schools

The New London Board of Education has voted to launch an independent investigation into allegations that the city’s incoming superintendent may have misrepresented, or allowed others to misrepresent his credentials. 

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Reversing Outsourcing
11:33 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Sen. Murphy Urges Support for Bring Jobs Home Act

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy hopes for a strong vote in the Senate this week on the Bring Jobs Home Act. The bill would take away the ability for businesses to get a tax break for sending jobs overseas, and instead incentivizes companies to bring jobs back to the United States.

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Charter School Probe
7:14 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Federal Investigators Look for State Education Department Emails

Stefan Pryor, Commissioner of the State of Department of Education, in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

As federal investigators continue their probe of a troubled Hartford charter school group, agents are now seeking to obtain all department correspondence, including Commissioner Stefan Pryor's emails that relate to FUSE, Jumoke, Michael Sharpe or Hartford's Milner School.

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Equitable Opportunity
9:54 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Landmark State Education Lawsuit Delayed

Credit State Education Resource Center

The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding has agreed to delay the start of a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools. 

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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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