WNPR

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

Last year, the city of New Haven announced the start of an ambitious 5-year education reform program. Schools were assigned levels, or “tiers". That’s something that might not affect kids as much as teachers and school administrators. 

With summer vacation just a few weeks away, we visited a lower-performing “Tier Three” school to talk with educators and parents about what’s changed this year.

A new report finds noticeable academic progress in fifteen low-performing Connecticut districts where there’s been intensive intervention by the state.  Test scores in these districts show substantial improvement over time, particularly among minority students.

Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Waterbury and Stamford are among fifteen school districts that are part of the Connecticut Accountability for Learning Initiative or CALI.  All were identified as needing improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act.  

A bill that would raise the starting age for kindergarten has passed out of the Appropriations Committee.  Critics are concerned that it does not provide an alternative for kids whose families cant afford an extra year of preschool.

The idea is to require children entering kindergarten to be five years old by October 1st. This new law would take effect in 2015, and supporters say it would improve teaching and learning because right now, the age range in kindergarten is too wide. 

Connecticut commuters reacted with cautious relief Monday to news of the death of Osama bin Laden. Some say they’re concerned about a possible backlash.

Police look on as Connecticut commuters rush to catch trains at New Haven’s Union Station. Madison businessman Jim Morrissey says he’s not sure yet what Osama bin Laden’s death will mean for Americans.  

A controversial bill that would have relaxed restrictions for online ticket brokers will not go forward in this legislative session.  Lawmakers say they need more time to determine what’s best for Connecticut consumers.

Ticket scalping was legalized in Connecticut in 2007.  Now there’s a flourishing online ticket resale market.  Resale brokers supported a bill that would have required entertainment and sports venues to only sell tickets that could be resold.

Ticket Resale Debate

Apr 16, 2011
Andycox93, Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would ease restrictions on companies that resell concert, theater and sports tickets online.  But opponents say that would hurt consumers.

Connecticut’s general prohibition on ticket scalping was repealed in 2007.  And in the past few years, a lucrative online secondary ticket-sellers market has flourished.  

via WikiMedia Commons

The Deputy Chief Executive of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange was in New Haven on Tuesday.  She spoke about African capital markets at a special Yale University event.

Nicky Newton-King says its important to talk about, in her words, the “elephants in the room."  "Things that we don’t talk about that we should talk about if we’re trying to improve and  position capital markets on my continent to be really meaningful global players."

Vice President Joe Biden has announced new steps to help colleges and universities fight sexual violence on campus. This comes as federal authorities are investigating whether Yale University has failed to properly respond to complaints of sexual harassment and assault.

Speaking at the University of New Hampshire on Monday, Vice President Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan spelled out the legal obligations of colleges and universities under federal civil rights laws.  

Diane Orson

Federal authorities are investigating a complaint that Yale University has failed to adequately respond to allegations of on-campus sexual harassment and misconduct. Students describe a “sexually hostile” environment at the school.

Sixteen current and former Yale University students filed the complaint under Title IX, with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

21-year old Yale student Alexandra Brodsky:

As jury selection continues for the second trial in the 2007 triple murder in Cheshire, the attorney who represented the first defendant is speaking out about his client’s case.  

Attorney Thomas Ullmann says zealous legal representation in all cases is a foundation of our criminal justice system.

"Its what differentiates our system of government and the protection of individual rights from many other countries."

Advocates for Latinos will gather in Hartford on Wednesday to talk with lawmakers about issues affecting the state’s Hispanic community. As WNPR's Diane Orson reports, 2010 census figures show a big jump in Connecticut’s Latino population.   

The number of Hispanics in Connecticut increased nearly 50 percent in the last decade. State Representative Andres Ayala:

After decades of fleeing to the suburbs, Connecticut’s residents are moving back into cities.  That’s according to redistricting data gathered during the 2010 census.  

New Haven gained the most residents in the past decade. Stamford added the most new homes of any city. Hartford’s population grew by 2.6%, only the second time that city’s seen gains since 1960. And Bridgeport’s population grew by 3.4%, it’s first gain since 1950.  

Nancy Eve Cohen

Record-setting snowfall and sub-zero temperatures in the Northeast have led to increased demand for firewood this heating season. There’s also been an uptick in complaints by consumers who say they’re getting less firewood than they pay for. As part of a collaboration with Northeast stations, WNPR’s Diane Orson reports. 

Northeast environmental reporting is made possible, in part, by a grant from United Technologies.

Diane Orson

Record-setting snowfall, sub-zero temperatures and treacherous travel conditions have meant plenty of missed school days this year.  Educators are worried that lost classroom time may affect preparation for standardized tests. 

State Department of Education spokesman Tom Murphy says he’s seen school closings, late openings and early dismissals in other years, "but this is really beyond what we’ve seen ever.  And it couldn’t happen at a worse time in our high schools, when we have our end of course exams" 

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