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 Theater.  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 and two children.

Sandy Hook Ride on Washington

Twenty-six cyclists who set out from Newtown Saturday are headed to Washington, D.C. They’re riding to honor those lost at Sandy Hook, and to raise awareness about gun violence prevention.

Yale University Art Gallery

Africa Salon, Yale University’s first contemporary African Arts and Culture Festival, starts Friday night. It's part of a larger initiative to advance the university’s focus on the continent.

Reinhold Behringer / Creative Commons

The World Health Organization has selected Greater New Haven as one of 15 urban areas worldwide to pilot a planned “age-friendly city indicator guide”.  

Julia Pistell / WNPR

A public hearing on Monday at Hartford Public High School heard residents' input on a bill that would clarify state laws on police officers' authority to make arrests outside of their own towns.

Evan Schuurman / Save The Children

Two Connecticut-based agencies are responding to Cyclone Pam. The monster storm is believed to have left widespread destruction and killed an unknown number of residents on the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu. 

ctfastrak.com

CTfastrak held its first full-scale test of the new bus system during rush hour on Tuesday morning.

The 9.4 mile bus-only roadway runs from New Britain to Hartford with extended routes to Manchester on one end and out to Bristol, Southington, Cheshire, and Waterbury on the other.

Verne Equinox / Creative Commons

Roman Catholic Cardinal Edward Egan, the former archbishop of New York, has died. He was 82.

Egan headed the Diocese of Bridgeport from 1988 to the year 2000, when he was appointed by Pope John Paul the Second to lead the New York archdiocese.

Ryan King / WNPR

A requiem is historically a mass for the dead, but composer Steven Sametz says "A Child's Requiem" is something different. It's a musical message of consolation. The work is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and premieres this week in Connecticut.

Sametz weaves in words of American writers and poetry and short lines of text written by children.

"I thought it was important to give voice to that peer group most affected at Sandy Hook," he said. "I got terrific responses from around the country, some incredibly touching about how children grieve. And I wanted that to be the center of this child’s requiem."

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A Fairfield University professor is joining international calls for a full and transparent investigation into the killing of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.  

David McFadden is director of the Russian and East European studies program at Fairfield. He said he doesn’t believe Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the murder, “but there are plenty of right-wing people close to the regime, or on the fringes of the regime, that wanted him dead because he was a great opposition alternative,” he said.

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Last week’s Congressional wrangling over Homeland Security funding temporarily ended House debates in Washington on the GOP’s version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind.  

Republicans would take away much of the federal government’s authority over how states and local school districts spend federal education dollars. Some conservative critics say the bill doesn't go far enough in scaling back the federal role in education.

Democratic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro spoke out last week against the GOP version of the bill.

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AIDS Connecticut’s syringe exchange program is the first in the state to start distributing Naloxone to injecting drug users. The medication can be administered to reverse opioid overdoses.

Nicole Cho / Creative Commons

Police are trying to trace the source of a possibly bad batch of MDMA – a drug also known as Molly – after ten students and two visitors overdosed at Wesleyan University. As of Monday afternoon, eight people remained hospitalized.

Kevin Roche

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst has backed off  a new policy  that banned Iranian nationals from some engineering and science programs.

The school had said the ban was tied to federal sanctions designed to discourage Iranian citizens from entering the U.S. to prepare for careers in the energy sector of Iran, or in nuclear science or engineering.  In a statement released Wednesday, the school says after consulting with the State Department and outside counsel,  it will accept Iranian students into science and engineering programs and will develop individualized study plans based on a student's projected coursework and research. 

http://www.ecuavisa.com/

Netflix announced this week that it has begun offering a special package of films and television series to Cuban viewers. With very few homes on the island connected to the Web, limited bandwidth, and costs for the streaming service beyond most families' budgets, big challenges remain.  

But the announcement is seen as another step in the continuing thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Westfield State University

No trial date has been set yet in the federal lawsuit involving ex-Westfield State University president Evan Dobelle. Dobelle is the former president of Trinity College in Hartford.

In the 2013 federal complaint, filed three weeks before he resigned, Dobelle alleges that his constitutional and contractual rights were violated when he was placed on administrative leave and forced to resign from his post as president of WSU.

Gordon Swanson/Hemera / Thinkstock

The Department of Consumer Protection has drafted regulations that would add three medical conditions to the eleven already in place, that qualify patients in Connecticut to use medical marijuana. They include sickle cell disease, severe psoriasis, and chronic radiculopathy, a type of recurring back pain after surgery.

Commissioner Jonathan Harris said the approval process for medical conditions is rigorous, and "when you boil it down to its essence, the question is whether the palliative use of marijuana would alleviate the pain, alleviate the symptoms, complications or actually slow down the disease process."

Michael Marsland / Yale University

The head referee at Sunday night’s Super Bowl was on the field with the help of a Yale University surgeon. NFL referee Bill Vinovich suffered a life-threatening heart injury in 2006 which prevented him from doing his job. 

Four years later, he turned to Dr. John Elefteriades, who is the director of the Aortic Institute at Yale New Haven Hospital. In his book Extraordinary Hearts, Elefteriades wrote a chapter about the football referee. 

Vinovich explained that his family was his "first love," and beyond that was football and his job as a head referee. He also explained that his life had no meaning without that work, and he "would do anything to be able to return to that work." 

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.  

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.

Sophia Paris / United Nations

As U.S. and Cuba officials wrap up their first high-level talks in decades, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is leading a call for an end to the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program.

Awol Erizku / Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NYC

On the basketball court, a player is “in the paint” when he or she is inside the area closest to the hoop. Visitors to the William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut can imagine what that might feel like at an exhibition opening Friday called “In the Paint: Basketball in Contemporary Art.”

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The Connecticut Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday morning in a case over the historical records of Amy Archer Gilligan, a killer who served as the inspiration for the play and 1944 movie, "Arsenic and Old Lace."

Marquette University Law School

Yale Law School professor Tracey Meares is a member of President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which meets for the first time publicly on Tuesday.

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The Springfield, Massachusetts city council will discuss a proposal on Monday night that would restrict the city’s mayor or councilors from working for MGM for at least five years after leaving city employment. Non-elected officials considered “major policymakers” would face a two-year ban.

Gerry Lauzon / Creative Commons

Even though riots broke out around the world after satirical images of the Prophet Muhammad were published in Denmark ten years ago, one expert says analysts were surprised that cartoons could still provoke a terrorist attack like the Paris massacre.

Helder Mira / Creative Commons

A newly released investigative report describes “rampant nepotism,” and ineffective oversight of the Jumoke Academy charter school in Hartford, and its management group The Family Urban Schools of Excellence, also known as FUSE. The probe was commissioned by the State Department of Education and carried out by an independent special investigator. 

Evgeny Feldman / Wikimedia Commons

Updated at 11:36 a.m. 

A Russian activist with ties to Yale University has received a suspended sentence on fraud charges. Alexei Navalny has become a prominent political opposition leader in Russia, leading protests over the years against President Vladimir Putin. 

According to the Associated Press, thousands of protestors took to the streets outside the Kremlin in response to the conviction. Navalny was subsequently arrested for breaking the terms of his house arrest and joining the protestors.

Dave Ginsberg / Creative Commons

A national transportation research group says Connecticut’s deteriorating roads are costing state drivers more than $4 billion a year. 

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New Haven police officers who normally work on their own are patrolling with a partner now, following the fatal shooting of two New York City officers in a squad car last weekend.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Unlike other parts of the country, New England has been seeing a growing number of new farms. Connecticut is among eight states recently chosen for a federal pilot program supporting locally-grown food in schools.

Existing federal funds in this year’s Farm Bill will now allow 16 school districts to use tax dollars to purchase fruits and vegetables from Connecticut farms for school lunches. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty calls it a double-win.

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