Heather Brandon

Digital Content Editor

Heather Brandon is digital content editor for WNPR. She previously worked as a producer for Where We Live, The Colin McEnroe Show, and news broadcasts. Heather lives in Hartford with her husband and three children. She has a master's degree in public policy from Trinity College, and a bachelor's degree in urban studies from Bryn Mawr College. 

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Historic Sites
9:41 am
Wed October 1, 2014

State Establishes Shoreline Park in Southeast Connecticut

Seaside in Waterford closed in the 1960s, according to state library records.
Artondra Hall Creative Commons

Connecticut is establishing its first shoreline state park in 50 years.

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Election 2014
11:36 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Teachers Union Endorses Malloy After Internal Debate

Sheila Cohen, president of the Connecticut Education Association, in a file photo.
Credit CEA

Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy appears to be mending fences with teachers, many of whom were angered by remarks he made about tenure and by the roll-out of his public education reform initiative.

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Pension Payments
8:18 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Despite Federal Conviction, Rowland's State Pension Will Continue

Former Gov. John Rowland leaves federal court in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland's state pension of nearly $53,000 a year will not be affected by his second felony conviction. 

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Thermal Plume
9:56 am
Mon September 29, 2014

State Probing Millstone Water Dumped Into Long Island Sound

Millstone Power Plant.
Credit Northeast Utilities

State environmental officials are taking a closer look at the impact of more than two billion gallons of water discharged into Long Island Sound from Connecticut's nuclear plant.

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Campus Sexual Assault
9:56 am
Fri September 26, 2014

UConn Makes Changes in Wake of Sexual Assaults

UConn President Susan Herbst in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

University of Connecticut president Susan Herbst said the school has made significant changes to better prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus.

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Moneyball
2:59 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Report: Hartford Stadium Project Could Give City "Considerable" Benefits

Urban Design Associates

A consultant for Hartford's city council says the baseball stadium development "has the potential to create a new neighborhood" with "considerable" benefits for the city.

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Wake of Newtown
12:05 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Reviews Draft Recommendations

Scott Jackon, mayor of Hamden, chairs the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission meeting on Tuesday.
Credit CT-N

The panel created by Governor Dannel Malloy to review the Newtown school shooting reviewed its recommendations at a meeting on Tuesday. 

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission discussed draft language proposed by groups' recommendations on law enforcement, safe school design and operation, and mental health. 

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Funding Education
11:19 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Connecticut Most Reliant State in U.S. on Property Taxes to Fund Public Education

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities says a range of actions are needed by the state to address education funding issues.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

A new report by The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities says the state remains the most reliant in the nation on the property tax to fund pre-K to 12 public education. 

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Middle East
10:35 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Obama: Airstrikes in Syria "Not America's Fight Alone"

President Barack Obama speaks on Tuesday morning on the White House lawn.
whitehouse.gov

President Barack Obama said the participation of five Arab nations in airstrikes against militants in Syria "makes it clear to the world this is not America's fight alone."

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Remembrance
9:20 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Emmy-Winning Actress Polly Bergen, of Southbury, Dies at 84

Polly Bergen with Fred MacMurry in "Kisses for My President," 1964.

Emmy-winning actress and singer Polly Bergen died at her home in Southbury, Connecticut on Saturday. Bergen played the terrorized wife in the original 1962 film "Cape Fear," and the first woman president in the 1964 film "Kisses for My President." She was 84 years old.

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Civil Rights
8:19 am
Sat September 20, 2014

On 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act, What Have We Accomplished?

Panelists talk at the University of Hartford about education and health care access disparities.
Lorraine Greenfield

All week, the University of Hartford hosted events marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The programs were designed to encourage reflection on what was accomplished back then, as a way to ask ourselves, “What can we do now?”

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Conspiracy Trial
3:55 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland Found Guilty on All Counts in Conspiracy Trial

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson, center, outside the federal courthouse in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has been found guilty on all seven counts in his federal conspiracy trial. The announcement was made shortly after 2:30 pm on Friday.

Federal prosecutors charged Rowland earlier this year in a seven-count indictment because of what they described as “his efforts to conceal the extent of his involvement in two federal election campaigns.”

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Conspiracy Trial
6:32 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Closing Arguments End in Rowland Trial; Jury Begins Deliberation

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland leaves the federal courthouse in New Haven with his wife, Patty. (File photo)
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

Closing arguments ended on Thursday afternoon in the federal criminal trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland, and now the case is in the hands of the jury.

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Storm Preparedness
2:09 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Connecticut Hospitals Struggled During Sandy

Credit scantaur/iStock / Thinkstock

A new federal report finds hospitals in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey were not prepared to meet the challenges of Superstorm Sandy. 

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Conspiracy Trial
12:38 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Rowland Declines to Testify in His Own Defense as Trial Nears End

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland outside the federal courthouse in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has told the court that he will not testify in the federal criminal trial against him, and the defense has rested its case.

That happened Wednesday morning, but not before more heated argument. Prosecutors allege that Rowland took part in an off-the-books scheme to get paid for work on the 2012 congressional campaign of Republican Lisa Wilson-Foley. They say he did work on the campaign, but he was paid by Wilson-Foley’s husband, Brian Foley, and his nursing home company, Apple Rehab.

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New Haven
10:55 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Islam Critic, Invited By Yale Group, Meets Protests

Ayyan Hirsi Ali.
American Enterprise Institute

A Muslim women's advocate critical of Islam has brought her message to Yale University, where she was warmly greeted by her audience, and by protests days earlier. 

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Election 2014
4:59 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Gov. Malloy, Tom Foley Discuss Connecticut's Transportation Challenges

Metro-North passengers wait for a train in Stamford, Connecticut, in September 2013, during a service disruption.
Kevin Ortiz Metropolitan Transportation Authority

At a transportation forum in North Haven, Governor Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley outlined their plans to fix Connecticut's transportation problems.

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Warehouse Fire
2:56 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Bridgeport Fire Leads to Environmental Damage

No serious injuries have been reported in the fire at a Bridgeport industrial building.
Titus YouTube

A fishing ban has been imposed on all commercial and recreational fishing from Norwalk to Milford until the environmental impact of a massive overnight fire in Bridgeport can be evaluated. The fire has also forced evacuation of residents and cut electrical power.

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Sandy Hook
11:31 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Newtown Selectwoman Wants Study of Town Response

Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Newtown's first selectman is recommending the state conduct a full after-action study to find out what worked and what didn't in her town's response to the December 2012 school shooting. 

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Conspiracy Trial
3:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Brian Foley Says Rowland Did "Real Work" for His Business

Brian Foley outside the federal courthouse in New Haven on Monday.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The attorney for former Governor John Rowland took aim at his chief accuser in court Tuesday morning, trying to establish the idea that Rowland was unaware of any scheme to hide payment for his campaign work.

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Insider Trading
11:18 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Mathew Martoma Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison

Mathew Martoma.
Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images News / Thinkstock

Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager with Stamford-based SAC Capital Advisors, has been sentenced in New York to nine years in prison. He was convicted earlier this year of helping the firm earn more than $250 million illegally through insider trading.

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Conspiracy Trial
6:00 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Brian Foley Testifies He Hid Campaign Work By Rowland

Brian Foley outside the federal courthouse in New Haven.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Brian Foley, the husband of a 2012 Republican congressional candidate, told jurors that he wanted to hire former Connecticut Governor John Rowland for campaign services, but the risk of hiring a convicted felon posed a big political hurdle.

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Standardized Testing
12:38 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Malloy Looks to Reduce Time Connecticut Students Spend on Standardized Tests

Credit Alberto G. / Creative Commons

Appealing to the U.S. Secretary of Education, Governor Dannel Malloy is taking action to try to reduce the amount of time students in Connecticut spend taking standardized tests.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Diverse, Durable, and Edible: Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants in the world.
Héctor García Creative Commons

Bamboo is a lot of things: fast growing, durable, edible, and attractive. Coming up, we take a look at this increasingly popular wood with bamboo experts and enthusiasts. What makes bamboo special?

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Civil Disobedience
12:30 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Fast Food Workers Strike; 13 Arrested in Hartford

A protester is arrested in Hartford on Washington Street.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Workers from Hartford and New Haven area major fast food restaurants went on strike Thursday as part of a national effort to gain attention for workers' rights. In Hartford on Washington Street, protests partially blocked traffic, and several protesters were arrested.

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Conspiracy Trial
4:11 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Rowland Trial Gets Underway; May Hinge on Cryptic Email

Former Gov. John Rowland.
Credit WTIC

Former Governor John G. Rowland's federal conspiracy trial gets underway in New Haven on Wednesday. He's facing charges of violating federal campaign laws by allegedly hiding his role as a campaign consultant in a 2012 congressional race.

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Overshare
3:36 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Netflix Looks for Ways Users Can Share Habits Selectively on Facebook

Gabriela Pinto Creative Commons

Perhaps you've seen an option on Netflix, the video rental and streaming company, to share your movie watching habits with others via Facebook. Did you opt in? Like many people, perhaps you didn't. 

Netflix is now trying something new that it hopes will work better to let you share viewing interests with your social circle. 

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Election 2014
11:56 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Malloy, Foley Spar in First Debate of 2014

Tom Foley, left, and Gov. Dannel Malloy, right, engage in debate moderated by Ray Hackett, opinion page editor of The Norwich Bulletin.
CT-N

The first debate between Connecticut’s two major party candidates for governor produced few surprises, as Tom Foley and Dannel Malloy tackled recurring issues, including gun control and economic development. 

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Utilities
2:56 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Connecticut Utility Rate Increases Discussed at Hearing

Kenneth Bowes of Connecticut Light and Power during the PURA hearing.
Credit CT-N

A fight is brewing over a request by Connecticut's largest utility to raise rates by $232 million to upgrade equipment following destructive storms. The first of three related public hearings took place on Wednesday.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Talking About Suicide

Robin Williams in a scene from the 2006 film, "The Night Listener."

The recent death of actor Robin Williams left many people shocked, and it re-started the conversation about suicide, its warning signs, and ways to get help. We revisit a show we did about the illness last year.

We also hear a moving story about depression from author Andrew Solomon, who shared it at The Connecticut Forum earlier this year.

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