Harriet Jones

Reporter/Editor

Harriet Jones reports on all aspects of the business world for WNPR. She's covered such diverse issues as the threat to close Connecticut's submarine base, the sub prime mortgage crisis and the impact of casinos on the state.

In 2011, she created WNPR's Small Business Project as a way to tell stories about the companies that make up 90 percent of our economy, but often get overlooked in the media.

She is the winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her reporting on Connecticut's 2010 floods.

Harriet joined WNPR in October 2000 as Morning Edition producer and reporter. Born in Scotland, she worked for the BBC for much of her early career.

She was news director at Scotland's largest commercial radio station, ScotFM, and was lucky enough to cover that country's two biggest political events in 300 years - the referendum which delivered a new parliament, and the subsequent elections.

She has also taught broadcasting for the BBC at some of their international schools in Eastern Europe, delivering courses to journalists in Romania, Albania and Bosnia.

Harriet lives in Stonington with her husband, Bob Statchen, and their three children.

Pages

Tribal Land Claims
11:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Effects of Potential Connecticut Tribal Recognitions in Debate

Dancers at an event at the Pequot Museum last fall.
Credit Brandon Lavallee / Pequot Museum

Federal authorities are considering changes to tribal recognition procedures and it could have a unique impact on Connecticut. But it's unclear exactly what rights any newly recognized tribes would have.

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Bioscience Connecticut
10:49 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Jackson Labs "On Schedule and On Budget"

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine will open in the fall of 2014.
Credit The Jackson Laboratory

Connecticut officials have welcomed a report on the progress of the Jackson Laboratory site in Farmington. Jackson Labs said its new facility is on schedule and on budget.

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Unemployment
10:24 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Connecticut Job Numbers Tell a Complicated Story

The number of people actively seeking work declined in January.
Credit Harriet Jones

The latest employment report from the state Department of Labor showed a hopeful pick-up in job creation in Connecticut last year. But it also revealed a big loss in jobs in the first month of this year.

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End of Life Choices
9:40 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Legislature Hears Testimony on "Aid in Dying"

Supporters of the bill say they want to allow death with dignity.
Credit Nathan & Jenny / Creative Commons

The legislature's Public Health Committee is slated to hear testimony Monday on a bill which would allow physicians to help terminally ill patients to end their lives.

The so called aid-in-dying legislation is likely to draw impassioned advocates on both sides. 

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Patient Care
10:04 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Hospitals Plead for Tax Phase-Out

Hospitals said in the coming year, the tax will cost them hundreds of millions of dollars.
Credit DigiDreamGrafix.com / Creative Commons

Hospital executives and employees spoke out at a legislative hearing about the imposition of a tax that they said has had a detrimental effect on patient care in recent years.

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Lingering Recession
9:54 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Youth Unemployment Remains at Record Levels

More young people may be filling out job applications in vain, with U.S. teen unemployment at 25 percent.
Credit Fort Meade / Creative Commons

Youth unemployment has persisted at record levels since the recession, in Connecticut and around the nation. That’s the finding of a new study which takes a look at the issues of young people trying to enter the workforce in the last decade.

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Aging Connecticut
10:16 am
Thu March 13, 2014

State-Sponsored Retirement Plan Attracts Supporters, Critics

Credit StockMonkeys.com on Flickr Creative Commons

Legislators want to create a state-sponsored retirement plan for private sector workers in Connecticut. A bill before lawmakers would task the state treasurer with administering a low-cost plan that residents could pay into. 

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Home Sales
9:58 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Connecticut Housing Market Posts Best Year Since 2005

Governor Dannel Malloy and his wife Cathy were one of the families to place their home on the market in 2013.
Credit CMLS

Connecticut's housing market continued to improve in January, and market-watchers said it's possible the state could see big gains in the spring selling season.

The state also saw distinct improvement in its housing market activity for the full year of 2013, with sales up six percent and prices rising 8.3 percent over the year. The numbers come from the Warren Group, a real estate data firm, and it marks the best full year results for the Connecticut market since 2005, before the market crash.

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Economic Development
11:54 am
Tue March 11, 2014

UTC Deal Questioned Over Lack of Hiring Demands

Pratt and Whitney's planned new headquarters building in East Hartford.
Credit Pratt and Whitney

The deal offered to United Technologies to redeem extra tax credits could be extended to other corporations in Connecticut. A legislative hearing Monday revealed more details about the huge economic development agreement.

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Deregulated Power
1:49 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Independent Electric Suppliers Hit Back at Critics

Credit Sarah Simpson/flickr creative commons

Connecticut's independent electric suppliers have come in for some stiff criticism this winter, after it was revealed that some were charging customers astronomical rates for power. But the suppliers themselves claim there's another side to the story.

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Doing Business
2:40 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Campaign Aims to Improve Business Climate in Connecticut

Legislative leaders address business owners at CBIA's Business Day
Credit Harriet Jones

The state's poor business climate is a perennial complaint for Connecticut's largest business organization. And now it's launched a campaign to make it an urgent priority. 

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Connecticut Business Day
1:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Business Audience Quizzes Malloy on Minimum Wage

CBIA members listen to legislative leaders during Connecticut Business Day at the Capitol
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Before he traveled to New Britain for this afternoon’s event with President Obama, Governor Dannel Malloy faced what might be his most skeptical audience on the issue of minimum wage.

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Unfunded Liabilities
12:15 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Connecticut Wrestles With "Financial Tapeworm"

Credit Simon Cunningham / Creative Commons

Warren Buffett has added his voice to the growing chorus of concern over public pension obligations. In his annual letter to shareholders, the legendary investing guru calls underfunded public pension plans a "gigantic financial tapeworm."

Buffett said he anticipates lots of bad news in the coming decade about public pensions, and he stresses the need for prompt remedial action where problems exist.

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Minimum Wage
10:12 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Majority Supports Minimum Wage Hike, According to Q Poll

Credit Creative Commons

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that a majority of Connecticut residents want to see a raise in the minimum wage. The poll comes as the City of New London voted to raise the minimum wage for its own workers to $10.10 an hour, the governor's statewide target for 2017.

The Q Poll shows that 71 percent of Connecticut residents support raising the minimum wage, while 25 percent oppose the change. 

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Economic Development
7:59 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

State Strikes Major Tax Credit Deal With United Technologies

An artist's impression of the planned new Pratt & Whitney headquarters building.
Credit Pratt and Whitney

The state of Connecticut has struck a multi-million dollar deal with United Technologies, which it hopes will safeguard the future of research and manufacturing operations here.

Under the agreement, the state will allow UTC to exercise tax credits it has already built up. The conglomerate can exchange $20 million in tax credits each year, up to a maximum of $400 million.

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Massachusetts Gaming
7:50 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Revere Approves Mohegan Sun Casino Plan

An artist's rendering of Mohegan Sun's planned casino at Suffolk Downs, Revere
Credit Mohegan Sun

Residents in Revere, Massachusetts approved on Tuesday a plan by Mohegan Sun to build a $1.3 billion resort casino in the town. The Hartford Courant reported that the proposal won 63 percent of the vote.

It's the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority's second attempt at the new gaming market in Massachusetts -- voters in Palmer recently rejected a casino plan there.

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Minimum Wage
10:52 am
Tue February 25, 2014

U.S. Labor Secretary Touts Minimum Wage Increase in Hartford

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, at right, with Bridgeport business owner Douglas Wade, left, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
Credit Skyler Magnoli

A top Obama cabinet member was in Hartford on Monday advocating for an increase in the federal minimum wage. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez joined with Connecticut's two U.S. Senators for a round table at the Hartford Public Library. 

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Governor Throwdown
9:30 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Malloy, Jindal Spar Over Minimum Wage

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy at the White House on Monday.
Credit C-SPAN

Governor Dannel Malloy locked horns with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at a press conference after the National Governor's Association meeting.

he press conference was supposed to outline the bipartisan progress made during the conference, held in Washington, D.C. But in his remarks, Jindal criticized President Barack Obama's plans to raise the minimum wage. 

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Network Controversy
12:54 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Docs Claim United Healthcare Losing Medicare Members

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

United Healthcare has lost customers in its Medicare Advantage program, according to a physicians group that's locked in a court battle with the insurer. It has been the target of heavy criticism for its decision to drop 2,000 Connecticut doctors from its Medicare Advantage network. 

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Honoring the Coast Guard
10:06 am
Thu February 20, 2014

New London Signs Agreement for Coast Guard Museum

An artists rendering of the planned museum in downtown New London
Credit National Coast Guard Museum Association

The City of New London's ambition to host the nation's first Coast Guard Museum took a big step forward Wednesday as officials from the city, the State of Connecticut and the Coast Guard signed a memorandum of agreement.

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Transportation
9:49 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Hartford-New Britain Busway is on Track, But Lacks a Marketing Budget

James Redeker of the DOT spoke about the busway during a state transportation committee meeting on Wednesday.
Credit CT-N

Connecticut transportation officials told state legislators on Wednesday that a multi-million-dollar bus corridor being built between Hartford and New Britain is on budget and on time.

But DOT Commissioner James Redeker also found himself fielding skeptical questions from members of the Transportation Committee as he pitched Connecticut's first bus-based mass transit project. 

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Military Engines
9:38 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Former Pratt Worker Pleads Not Guilty to Shipping Secrets to Iran

A U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in a test flight.
Credit U.S. Navy

A former defense worker charged with trying to ship stolen proprietary information to Iran about the Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program and military jet engines has pleaded not guilty in Connecticut.

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Economic Development
10:06 am
Wed February 19, 2014

DECD Chief Defends Underwriting of Business Assistance Loans

Catherine Smith.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development has defended her department's record on business assistance loans. Catherine Smith gave evidence before the Commerce Committee, saying 1,114 companies have been helped through DECD programs like Small Business Express.

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Legislative Session
9:16 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Minimum Wage, Standard Wage Provoke Controversy at Labor Committee

State Rep. Richard Smith of the state's labor committee.
Credit CT-N

The legislature's labor committee had a full slate on Tuesday as it considered some controversial bills. The committee heard public testimony on a wide range of legislation, but among the most disputed were the proposal to further raise the minimum wage, and another bill that would force large corporations to pay a living wage. 

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Selling Overseas
1:11 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Connecticut Sets Export Record

Aerospace engines and parts account for half the value of Connecticut's exports.
Credit Pratt & Whitney

Connecticut set a new record for exporting goods and services in 2013, one of just 16 states to do so. Connecticut is also punching above its weight in the value of the goods it sends abroad.

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Registering a Business
9:40 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Online Tool Helps Connecticut Businesses Navigate State Red Tape

Credit Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

The Secretary of the State has unveiled a new online tool for businesses to help them get off the ground.

According to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, the web resource has a very simple aim. "If you were a small business person who just wanted to start your own business for the first time," she said, "where would you start, and how would you do it?"

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Legislative Session
9:11 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Business Gives State of the State a Mixed Review

Credit Siri Stafford/Digital Vision / Thinkstock

The legislative session that got underway Thursday is expected to focus on jobs and the economy. And the governor's State of the State address contained a mixed bag of economic initiatives.

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Inequality
8:40 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Malloy Wants Higher Minimum Wage

Governor Dannel Malloy has proposed raising Connecticut's minimum wage to above $10.00 an hour.

The minimum wage in the Nutmeg State just went up last month to $8.70 an hour. Under legislation passed last year, it will rise again to $9.00 an hour next January, but according to the governor, that's not enough. 

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Labor Relations
10:24 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Nurses, Technicians at Lawrence and Memorial Ratify New Contract

Hospital CEO Bruce Cummings addresses a joint press conference with union leaders Monday evening.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Nurses and technicians at New London's Lawrence and Memorial Hospital voted Monday to ratify a contract deal struck late last week between unions and management.

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Finding Work
4:54 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

New Initiative to Give Unemployed Parents a Hand

Parent Shayna Scott on Friday described challenges during her job search.
Credit Skyler Magnoli

A new initiative, called the Work Path Fund, was launched in Connecticut to help working parents afford the costs of getting into employment. 

The search for a job is tough for everyone these days, but particularly for those parents in low-income homes who must juggle the problems of child care, lack of support, and tight resources. 

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