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.

J.P. Chan / MTA

Metro-North announced immediate improvements to address safety concerns at critical curves and moveable bridges. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy was in Washington, D.C. on Monday to talk about Connecticut’s education reform initiatives. He spoke at a forum hosted by the conservative free-market think tank, the American Enterprise Institute. 

polica/iStockphoto / ConnPIRG

With the holiday shopping season underway, the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group has released its annual report on toy safety. Director Abe Scarr cautioned that parents and guardians need to watch out for toys with toxic chemicals on store shelves.

Daniel Cohen / @danielcohen on Twitter

A Metro-North train on the Hudson line derailed Sunday morning in the Bronx. Four people were killed and more than 60 people were injured.

It's been a difficult year for Metro-North. In May, two commuter trains collided outside of Bridgeport, injuring more than 70 people. Just weeks later, a track foreman was killed by a train near West Haven. Then in September, a power failure disrupted travel on the New Haven line for nearly two weeks.

Rick Reinhard / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s food pantries and soup kitchens continue to see rising numbers of people in need of food assistance. Nancy Carrington is president of the Connecticut Food Bank. She said though there’s been slight improvement in job growth in the state, its not affecting people at the lower end of the pay scale.

Grammy-winning violinist Mark O’Connor, nationally celebrated duo Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, and premier fiddler Bruce Molsky are among the musicians who will be in Connecticut on Sunday December 1 to perform during a concert called Strings For Newtown. The program begins at 3:00 pm at Newtown Congregational Church.

carlosbezz/iStock / Thinkstock

As the number of Hispanic students in Connecticut's schools continues to rise, the achievement gap between these students and their white classmates remains. Gaps can be found in every grade, in every subject, in just about every school district in the state. The highest percentage of English language learners can be found in the town of Windham. In the past year, there have been big changes there to the way Hispanic students are being taught.

Stagophile / Creative Commons

Fairfield University has opened the state’s first off-campus home for college students recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. The university's Recovery House differs from other substance-free college housing because it’s designed specifically for students who are actively trying to stay sober.

Michelle McCandless / U.S. Navy

President Obama signed a bipartisan bill Wednesday that offers financial incentives to states if schools stockpile epinephrine. Epinephrine is the emergency medication considered the primary treatment for a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis.

Diane Orson, WNPR

Only about a third of Connecticut’s eligible voters made it to the polls for last week’s municipal election. Meet Arturo Perez-Cabello, a recently naturalized citizen who voted for the first time on election day and won a seat on his local school board. 

Sphilbrick / Creative Commons

University of Connecticut officials will soon vote on a proposal to limit the number of credits freshmen students can transfer from the state’s community colleges. 

Dannie Price

Each of the three singers has a solo career, but when they come together, the women of the Juice Vocal Ensemble perform a wide range of music. Alto Kerrie Andrew spoke with CPTV. "We can sing very difficult virtuosic new music," she said, "or we can sing folky stuff, or have a go at a bit of beat boxing, or be told what to in an opera or improvise, or work with electronics. So we like to think that’s fairly individual for our group, that we’re pretty diverse."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

An investigation has confirmed test tampering at a Hartford elementary school. In a report submitted this week to state education officials by an outside law firm, investigators concluded there were irregularities in more than two dozen Connecticut Mastery Tests at the Early Reading Lab at Betances Elementary School. The report was obtained by The Hartford Courant.

The Connecticut Mirror

In this week’s election, the small Working Families Party won coalition control of Bridgeport’s Board of Education. The nine-member school board will now have a five-member voting bloc that opposes School Superintendent Paul Vallas and his education reform efforts.

Melissa Bailey / New Haven Independent

New Haven residents will decide today who will be the city’s next mayor. State Senator Toni Harp is facing Alderman Justin Elicker. The winner will replace the retiring Mayor John DeStefano, who served 20 years in office.

New Britain Police Department

A 21-year-old student at Central Connecticut State University is apologizing for actions that led to a three-hour lockdown on campus Monday. David Kyem, the son of a CCSU geography professor, told The Hartford Courant that he’s sorry for the fear and confusion. Kyem was arrested and charged with breach of peace, and then released on $1,000 bail.

Brad Willis / Creative Commons

Residents in Palmer, Massachusetts will vote Tuesday on whether to support or reject a proposal by Mohegan Sun to build a $1 billion resort casino in their town. Polls show that support for the idea of a casino in Palmer continues to increase, but that does not guarantee a win for casino supporters. 

Kudumomo / Creative Commons

Chief judges in the region, including Connecticut’s Chief Judge Janet Hall, say they oppose plans to convert a federal prison in Danbury into a men’s facility. The facility is the only federal prison in the northeast for women. 

Никита Баталов / Creative Commons

Russian investigators have charged Alexei Navalny with a new crime. Navalny is a Russian opposition leader with ties to Yale University.

Des Colhoun / Creative Commons

One year ago on Halloween eve, there was a surprising discovery on the New Haven green. It was just days after Superstorm Sandy, and trees had blown down all around town. A giant oak tree toppled over on the green, and there, tangled in its roots, were centuries-old human bones.

Uma Ramiah

America’s 27th President, William Howard Taft, has been in the news recently. New research finds that a diet prescribed for the nation's portliest president looked very similar to today’s low-carb, low-calorie diets. William Howard Taft was a Yale man who weighed 225 pounds when he graduated from college.

Jan Ellen Spiegel / WNPR

This week marks one year since Superstorm Sandy slammed into the northeast, causing deaths, destroying homes and businesses, and reshaping Connecticut’s shoreline. The storm also caused leaders to rethink our response to major environmental events.

Visual Law Project

Yale Law School’s Visual Law Project has created a film about Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut. The documentary film sheds light on the hidden world of supermax prisons, where inmates may be held in solitary confinement for weeks, months, and even years at a time. The film is called "The Worst of the Worst."

BBC

It's been a year since two terror suspects were extradited from Britain to a supermax prison in Connecticut. Government authorities say Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan operated a group of websites that allegedly recruited fighters, and provided cash, military equipment and training to terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya. 

University of Connecticut

Seven women who say they were victims of sexual assaults while students at the University of Connecticut have filed a federal discrimination complaint against the school. Their attorney, Gloria Allred, says the complaint to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights alleges UConn failed to respond appropriately to the women's allegations. 

BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons

News has been pretty rough lately, between the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. Now comes word that America’s favorite cookie can produce similar effects on the brain as addictive drugs. New research from Connecticut College finds that the Oreo cookie is just as addictive as cocaine, at least for lab rats.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s back to work for hundreds of thousands of furloughed government employees. President Obama has signed legislation ending the partial government shutdown and averting a U.S. default. But U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said there’s no reason to celebrate.

Diane Orson / WNPR

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. said the town has met its deadlines thus far under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Civil Rights. The investigation into East Haven's police department began in 2010. In a 2011 report, federal authorities found that police there intentionally targeted Latinos for traffic stops, and used excessive force against those taken into custody.

Coventry Regional Farmers' Market

Connecticut farmers say their business has been disrupted during the ongoing government shutdown. Bonnie Burr, assistant director for Cooperative Extension at the University of Connecticut, said farmers are frustrated by the closure of agencies run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Burr works with communities around the state on economic development opportunities. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

State education officials plan to submit Connecticut’s grant application for next Race to the Top competition this week. But as the federal government shutdown drags on, state-level officials have no one to answer questions about the federal requirements. Ninety-four percent of the employees at the U.S. Department of Education are on furlough.

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