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.

Pages

Campaigns
6:45 am
Fri May 3, 2013

East Haven Mayor's Race

Diane Orson

Earlier this week, we reported on the mayor’s race in New Haven, where there are many new voices vying for the top post. 

Today we report on another mayors’ race in East Haven, where supporters of a long-entrenched administration are facing off against residents calling for change.

Republican Joseph Maturo, Jr. has been Mayor of East Haven for 12 of the last 16 years. He’s the longest serving mayor in the town’s history. 

"I think a lot of people who like how things are and how they’ve been may support Mr. Maturo."

Read more
News
4:11 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

New Haven Mayor's Race

New Haven mayor John DeStefano’s announcement earlier this year that he would not seek re-election has opened up the field to a host of politicians eager to fill the city’s top job.  

New Haven has had one mayor for the past twenty years.  Now lots of candidates with lots of points of view are vying for the post, says Paul Bass, editor of the New Haven Independent. 

"And they’re going to have to prove that they have support and their ideas have support in order to win. We haven’t seen that in a long time."

Read more
Elections
4:11 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

New Haven Mayor's Race

New Haven mayor John DeStefano’s announcement earlier this year that he would not seek re-election has opened up the field to a host of politicians eager to fill the city’s top job.  

New Haven has had one mayor for the past twenty years.  Now lots of candidates with lots of points of view are vying for the post, says Paul Bass, editor of the New Haven Independent. 

"And they’re going to have to prove that they have support and their ideas have support in order to win. We haven’t seen that in a long time."

Read more
News
6:55 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Abnormal Placenta May Signal Autism Risk

New research finds that abnormalities in an infant’s placenta at birth may signal that the baby is at risk for developing autism. This could help families intervene earlier to improve outcomes for autistic kids.

By the time a child is diagnosed with autism, they’re usually at least three or four years old.

But a new study finds that by examining a newborn’s placenta under a microscope, you can predict whether the child is at risk for developing the disorder.

Read more
Diagnosing Autism
6:55 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Abnormal Placenta May Signal Autism Risk

New research finds that abnormalities in an infant’s placenta at birth may signal that the baby is at risk for developing autism. This could help families intervene earlier to improve outcomes for autistic kids.

By the time a child is diagnosed with autism, they’re usually at least three or four years old.

But a new study finds that by examining a newborn’s placenta under a microscope, you can predict whether the child is at risk for developing the disorder.

Read more
Capital Punishment
11:44 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Challenging Connecticut's Prospective Death Penalty Repeal

Diane Orson

Connecticut’s Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty repeal. The law ends capital punishment for future crimes only.

Connecticut repealed the death penalty last year, but ten men who were on death row before the law passed still face execution.

Assistant Public Defender Mark Rademacher told the court that is unconstitutional.  

Read more
Capital Punishment
11:44 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Challenging Connecticut's Prospective Death Penalty Repeal

Diane Orson

Connecticut’s Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty repeal. The law ends capital punishment for future crimes only.

Connecticut repealed the death penalty last year, but ten men who were on death row before the law passed still face execution.

Assistant Public Defender Mark Rademacher told the court that is unconstitutional.  

Read more
News
12:44 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Connecticut Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Death Penalty Repeal

Connecticut’s Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday on whether the state’s death penalty repeal violates the constitutional rights of inmates currently on death row.   The law ends capital punishment for all future crimes.

When Connecticut repealed the death penalty last year, the change was “prospective”, not retroactive.  

That means capital punishment is abolished for future cases, but not for inmates already facing execution.

Read more
Capital Punishment
12:44 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Connecticut Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Death Penalty Repeal

Connecticut’s Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday on whether the state’s death penalty repeal violates the constitutional rights of inmates currently on death row.   The law ends capital punishment for all future crimes.

When Connecticut repealed the death penalty last year, the change was “prospective”, not retroactive.  

That means capital punishment is abolished for future cases, but not for inmates already facing execution.

Read more
News
8:35 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Trial Delayed For Russian Activist With Ties To Yale University

Harold Shapiro.

The trial of a Russian political activist has been delayed for a week. Aleksei Navalny studied in Connecticut as part of a global leadership training program at Yale University.

Read more
Global Affairs
8:35 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Trial Delayed For Russian Activist With Ties To Yale University

Harold Shapiro.

The trial of a Russian political activist has been delayed for a week. Aleksei Navalny studied in Connecticut as part of a global leadership training program at Yale University.

Read more
News
4:18 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Attempted Sexual Assault At Fraternity On Wesleyan University Campus

Alan Cleaver, Flickr Creative Commons

Middletown Police are investigating an attempted sexual assault at a fraternity on the Wesleyan University campus. A lawsuit is pending over a 2010 rape at the same fraternity.

About a week ago, Middletown Police responded to a call at the Mu Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at Wesleyan. Police say an individual was allegedly assaulted, but was able to fend off the attacker and flee during an attempted sexual assault. The name and sex of the victim have not been released and its not clear if it was a Wesleyan student. 

Read more
Sexual Assault
4:18 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Attempted Sexual Assault At Fraternity On Wesleyan University Campus

Alan Cleaver, Flickr Creative Commons

Middletown Police are investigating an attempted sexual assault at a fraternity on the Wesleyan University campus. A lawsuit is pending over a 2010 rape at the same fraternity.

About a week ago, Middletown Police responded to a call at the Mu Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at Wesleyan. Police say an individual was allegedly assaulted, but was able to fend off the attacker and flee during an attempted sexual assault. The name and sex of the victim have not been released and its not clear if it was a Wesleyan student. 

Read more
Immigration
8:22 am
Thu April 11, 2013

ICE Action in Connecticut to End Soon

Federal authorities say an Immigration and Customs Enforcement action in Connecticut should end soon. 27 undocumented immigrants in the state have been arrested so far.  

Glenn Formica says his cell phone starting ringing last weekend. He’s an attorney who represents people facing deportation.

"I started receiving phone calls from people saying they were being picked up by immigration."

"This is not a sweep. This is not a raid. This is a targeted immigration enforcement action."

Ross Feinstein is an ICE spokesman based in Washington, DC.

Read more
Policing in Schools
3:00 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Bill Aims to Reduce School-Based Arrests

The December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has led to calls for increased police presence in Connecticut schools.  Lawmakers heard testimony Friday on a measure concerning school-based arrests.

The bill aims to reduce the number of students arrested at school for low-level, non-violent offenses.  Schools would be required to report the number of arrests, and boards of ed would have to have written agreements with local police departments detailing the role of law enforcement in their schools. 

Read more
News
12:48 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Postal Service To Reduce Operations At Two Processing Plants

Diane Orson

The U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to reduce operations at two Connecticut mail processing plants this summer. That’s earlier than anyone expected, and could affect more than a thousand workers. 

There’s been talk for a long time about closing or cutting back operations at postal facilities in Wallingford and Stamford. But last year, USPS officials assured workers – and CT’s Congressional delegation -  that nothing would happen before 2014.

Read more
Jobs
12:48 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Postal Service To Reduce Operations At Two Processing Plants

Diane Orson

The U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to reduce operations at two Connecticut mail processing plants this summer. That’s earlier than anyone expected, and could affect more than a thousand workers. 

There’s been talk for a long time about closing or cutting back operations at postal facilities in Wallingford and Stamford. But last year, USPS officials assured workers – and CT’s Congressional delegation -  that nothing would happen before 2014.

Read more
News
6:47 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Improving Sexual Climate On Campus

Yale University has introduced new workshops for students aimed at reducing sexual misconduct and improving the sexual climate on campus. Many sexual misconduct and prevention programs for college students center on decision-making and consent.

But if you’re at the point where there’s a question about consent, then you already have a communication problem, says Yale student Matt Breuer. He’s a Communication and Consent educator at the university. He says Yale’s workshops begin with conversation about sexual pressure.  

Read more
Sexual Assault
6:47 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Improving Sexual Climate On Campus

Yale University has introduced new workshops for students aimed at reducing sexual misconduct and improving the sexual climate on campus. Many sexual misconduct and prevention programs for college students center on decision-making and consent.

But if you’re at the point where there’s a question about consent, then you already have a communication problem, says Yale student Matt Breuer. He’s a Communication and Consent educator at the university. He says Yale’s workshops begin with conversation about sexual pressure.  

Read more
Language
8:47 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Hartford Public Schools to Improve Services for ELL Students

Hartford Public Schools have signed an agreement with federal education authorities to improve supports and services for students who are English Language Learners.  

A complaint was filed with U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in 2007 on behalf of Somali-Bantu, Liberian and Spanish-speaking students in the Hartford Public Schools.   

"Students did not have appropriate amounts of supports, accommodations and services so they could understand what was being asked of them."

Read more
Education Reform
8:47 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Hartford Public Schools To Improve Services For ELL Students

Hartford Public Schools have signed an agreement with federal education authorities to improve supports and services for students who are English Language Learners.  

A complaint was filed with U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in 2007 on behalf of Somali-Bantu, Liberian and Spanish-speaking students in the Hartford Public Schools.   

"Students did not have appropriate amounts of supports, accommodations and services so they could understand what was being asked of them."

Read more
Animal Care
8:34 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Advanced Medical Care For Pets

There will be a reunion this weekend for survivors of extraordinary medical and traumatic conditions. All of the patients were treated at a hospital in Connecticut, and many are furry and have a tail.

Dogs and cats and their caregivers will gather this weekend in Stamford at Cornell University Veterinary Specialists hospital. The facility opened about two years ago to provide state-of-the-art emergency care to the sickest animals - a kind of Mayo Clinic for pets.

"Veterinary specialty medicine has advanced dramatically in the past ten to fifteen years."

Read more
Right to Die
6:39 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Bill Would Legalize Physician Assisted Suicide

The legislature’s Public Health Committee heard testimony Wednesday from supporters and opponents of a bill that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Connecticut. 

The legislation would allow a physician to prescribe medication to a patient who has six months or less to live, and has been deemed mentally competent. The patient could then take the drug to end their life. 

Critics says Connecticut’s bill lacks adequate safeguards and could lead to abuse of the disabled and elderly. 

Read more
Resettlement in Connecticut
7:59 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Iraqi Refugees in Connecticut

On the tenth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, refugees continue to flee their country for the U.S.  More than 650 Iraqis have resettled in Connecticut since 2007, 400 in the New Haven area.

Imad Al Mallack arrived in January. Speaking through an interpreter, he says he left Iraq with his wife and two young children because its so unsafe.

"Very bad security situation. Car bomb. They have a lot of bombing in Baghdad."

Read more
Higher Education
12:07 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Service Members Lose Tuition Assistance

Many service members join the military because they’re eligible for tuition assistance and the GI Bill. But service members are losing these educational benefits because of federal budget cuts.

Michael Sanzo signed up in 2004 as an Army infantryman. 

"I knew when I was 18, 19 years old that I wasn’t ready for college. I had no way to pay for it. So I made a decision. Cause I knew how important it was to have a degree."

Read more
Prescription Drugs
6:42 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Stimulant Use Among Medical School Students

Colleges have known for years that students use prescription stimulants to focus and stay awake while studying. But new research finds that the rate of stimulant use among medical school students is higher.

Jadon Webb says he and a colleague got the idea for their research while in medical school, listening to a professor’s lecture.  

"He was talking with us about life in medical school 50, 60 years ago. And in the course of talking about it, he was joking about how whenever exams came up, everyone had to use speed."

Read more
Transportation
4:16 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Tweed-New Haven Airport To Appeal Decision To Close Control Tower.

Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport will appeal a decision by the FAA to close its control tower because of across-the-board spending cuts called sequestration.

Tweed is the only airport with commercial service in New England slated to lose its control tower. U.S. Airways flies from New Haven to Philadelphia four times a day. 

Read more
Immigration
7:45 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Thousands Attend Hearing On Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Residents

Diane Orson

A huge crowd turned out last night for a transportation committee public hearing in New Haven. People testified in support of proposals to allow undocumented residents in Connecticut to obtain driver’s licenses. 

Close to 2,000 people crowded into Wilbur Cross High School. Angela Munoz of Bridgeport says she’s been driving for ten years without a license.  

"I want my driver’s license. Because I need it for pick up my children. And I need my car for my job, too."

She says her children live in fear that she’ll be arrested.

Read more
Higher Education
10:17 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Undocumented Students In Higher Education

A new report looks at the experiences of undocumented students at 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the US.  The study calls on institutions of higher education to improve policies that affect undocumented students.

Of the 65,000 undocumented students who graduate from high school each year, only about 5 to 10% go on to higher education. A new report finds inconsistency in the way colleges and universities manage undocumented students.

Read more
Municipal Elections
8:21 am
Mon February 25, 2013

New Haven School Board - Appointed Or Elected?

Local municipalities open their charters for revision at least once every ten years. New Haven is in the midst of a charter revision process, and the issue getting the most attention, is whether the school board should remain appointed by the mayor.

In New Haven, the mayor appoints the entire school board and is also a member. 

Read more

Pages