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.

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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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U.S.-Cuba Relations
11:57 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Rep. Rosa DeLauro Calls for End to Program Enticing Cuban Doctors to Defect

A Cuban doctor administers a vaccination to a woman at a camp for displaced Haitians in Port-au-Prince in 2010.
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.

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Storrs
12:16 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

"In The Paint": Basketball-Inspired Art Exhibit Opens at UConn

A mixed-media installation with seven regulation-size basketball rims, 24-karat gold-plated nets by Awol Erizku.
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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Courts
11:30 am
Wed January 14, 2015

State Supreme Court to Rule on "Arsenic and Old Lace" Records

Amy Archer-Gilligan in 1901.
Credit Creative Commons

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."

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White House
10:31 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Obama Task Force on Policing Includes Yale Law Professor

Tracey Meares, a professor at Yale Law School.
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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Springfield
12:06 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Springfield Looks to Balance Ethics and Casino Jobs

Springfield City Councilor Michael Fenton in City Hall. Fenton proposed an ethics ordinance that would limit public officials' ability to get jobs at a new MGM casino in the city.
Facebook

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.

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Free Speech
2:58 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Cartoons Are Still Shaking the World, Surprising Some

A participant in a Paris vigil on January 7 holds a sign in support of free speech ("And I blaspheme if I want to!!").
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.

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FUSE Scandal
9:06 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Report Finds "Rampant Nepotism" At Hartford Charter School Organization

Jumoke Academy was managed by The Family Urban Schools of Excellence.
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. 

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Russia
11:36 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Yale World Fellow and Putin Opponent Convicted in Russia

Russian activist and former Yale World Fellow Alexei Navalny
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.

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Transportation
9:48 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Condition of State Roads, Bridges Evaluated in Research Group's Report

A flooded road in Granby, Connecticut.
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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Police Safety
9:48 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Changing Safety Protocols for New Haven Police After Fatal New York Shootings

A New Haven police car patrols the streets.
Credit Facebook

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.

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School Food
9:53 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Connecticut Schools Chosen for Farm-to-Cafeteria Program

Several Connecticut schools are taking part in a farm-to-school pilot program.
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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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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