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.

Diane Orson / WNPR


As politicians continue to navigate the historic diplomatic thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba, musicians from both countries say they’re looking forward to more artistic exchange.

Cara Paiuk

A piece written for The New York Times by a mother in West Hartford has gone viral. The article in the Motherlode blog is called, “A Kindergarten Form Asks: Vaginal Birth, or C-section. Why?

Lexcie / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy said he's in active conversations with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Amtrak about the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail line scheduled to begin operation in late 2016.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former Connecticut U.S. Senator Chris Dodd's name is being floated as a possible candidate to become the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba in more than half a century.

Menemsha Films

Sir Nicholas Winton, who organized the rescue of more than 600 children just before the start of World War Two, has died in England. He was 106 years old. 

One of the people he saved now lives in Hartford.

George Chochos

Back in 1990, there were more than 300 college-in-prison programs in the U.S. By 1997, the number was down to less than ten -- eliminated as part of the nation’s movement to get "tough on crime." 

Chris Campbell / Creative Commons

A landmark state education funding trial that was delayed in January is scheduled to take place later this year.


A U.N. envoy to Syria this week has condemned what he calls the “unacceptable" use of barrel bombs by the Assad regime. On Monday, an important cultural heritage site was the target of one of those bombs.


Choirs from Singapore, Sweden, Cuba, and Jerusalem will converge in New Haven next week for the Yale International Choral Festival, a collaborative project with the International Festival of Arts and Ideas.

timlewisnm / Creative Commons

  Between regular coursework finals, advanced placement tests, and college entrance exams, junior year of high school is rough. Now piled on top is the new SBAC assessment, which has faced lots of pushback from students, families, and educators across the state.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Republican Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio drew a crowd of more than 800 people inside the Crowne Plaza in Stamford, and some protestors outside. Rubio was the keynote speaker at the 37th Prescott Bush Awards Dinner. The event raised nearly $200,000 for the Connecticut Republican party.

Public Domain

Veteran character actress Betsy Palmer has died.  

Palmer  achieved lasting, though not necessarily sought-after, fame as the murderous camp cook in the cheesy 1980 horror film "Friday the 13th."

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Republican Presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio heads to Connecticut this week.  He’ll be the keynote speaker Thursday at the 37th Prescott Bush Awards Dinner in Stamford.


Lanny Nagler

WNPR's Diane Orson sat down with Rob Ruggiero, the director of “Good People,” to discuss the play and his approach to directing. “Good People” runs May 22 to June 28 at TheaterWorks in Hartford. The following has been lightly edited for clarity.

Josh Hough / Creative Commons

Since the ISIS takeover of Palmyra in Syria, hundreds are feared killed by the so-called Islamic State. Amateur videos posted online yesterday also appear to show buildings of the ancient city damaged in the fighting.  Palmyra is considered to be one of the most important cultural centers in the world.

Rick Ciaburri / Wesleyan University

Award-winning composer and lyricist Lin Manuel Miranda addressed college graduates on Sunday as the keynote speaker at Wesleyan University's commencement.

Connecticut State Capitol / Wikimedia Commons

A bill allowing electric car-maker Tesla Motors to sell directly to Connecticut consumers has cleared the state House of Representatives.

Despite some concerns about the effect it will have on local auto dealerships, the bill passed 116 to 32 Thursday. It now awaits action in the Senate.

Algis Kaupas

The late cellist and teacher Ettie Minor Luckey will be remembered at an event later this week. She was an enthusiastic proponent of the arts along Connecticut’s shoreline.

Marc Nozell / Creative Commons

Commencements were held at colleges and universities across the state this weekend. 

Carlos Mora

A gala in Danbury this weekend honors immigrants or children of immigrants in the state who’ve overcome tough challenges in life. One honoree – Carlos Mora, Jr. – grew up undocumented and is now a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps.

A soon-to-be released documentary film called "Uncommon Ground" will be screened this weekend in Connecticut. It explores the struggle over the future of the last remaining abandoned Palestinian village on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

timlewisnm / Creative Commons

As many Connecticut high school students prepare to take SAT tests this weekend, a growing number of colleges and universities nationwide are dropping their SAT and ACT testing requirements. 

Courtesy of the New Haven Independent

About six years ago, I reported about a young fireball pitcher from New Haven named Jericho Scott. When he was just ten years old, his 40-mile-an-hour pitches were so good that one league decided he shouldn’t be allowed to pitch. The story in 2008 went flying around the Internet faster than Scott's fastball.

Ten days ago, Scott, 16 years old, was killed in a drive-by shooting in New Haven. He was a student at Wilbur Cross High School, and had continued to stand out on the ball field.

Diane Orson / WNPR

The first national spelling bee in the U.S. took place back in 1925. In recent years, spelling bees have seen a surge in popularity nationwide.

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

Testimony concluded on Thursday in Middletown Superior Court where members of an all-male fraternity are challenging Wesleyan University's new policy requiring fraternities to become co-ed.

Vin Crosbie / Creative Commons

The Yale School of Medicine is reviewing a proposed online master’s program for physicians associates after the school's first version failed to receive accreditation earlier this month.

David King / Creative Commons

Dozens of Connecticut librarians rallied at the Capitol building in Hartford Wednesday to oppose nearly $4 million in cuts in Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed two-year budget.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The State Department of Public Health has just released 2013 data on Health Risk Behaviors in Connecticut’s High School Age Youth. This week, WNPR is focusing on one particularly troubling condition described in the report: self injury.

On Wednesday, we learned about how one Connecticut school district is trying to cope with a substantial rise in the number of high school students who are cutting themselves.

In part two, we bring you the story of a Connecticut man’s journey through mental illness and self-injury to recovery. 

Natasha Vora / Creative Commons

Schools in Connecticut and across the nation are reporting a consistent rise in the number of students with mental health issues, and an increase in the complexity and severity of problems. This week, WNPR focuses attention on a particularly troubling condition: self-injury.

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.