Heather Brandon

Digital Content Editor

Heather Brandon is digital content editor for WNPR. She lives in Hartford with her husband and three children. Heather previously worked as a producer for Where We LiveThe Colin McEnroe Show, and news broadcasts. She created and authored the Hartford and Springfield blog Urban Compass, which focused on local urban development, politics, and community building.

Prior to writing the blog, Heather co-owned a graphic design and website development business, and founded and edited an all-volunteer youth zine.

Heather grew up in Pittsburgh and relocated to New England in 1994. She has a master's degree in public policy from Trinity College, and a bachelor's degree in Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College. 

Ways to Connect

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut’s persistent transportation woes are getting attention in two recent reports. The studies highlight how aging infrastructure is causing problems for highway travel in the state.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A proposal by Democratic state legislators to suspend Connecticut’s public campaign financing system for the 2016 elections was criticized by election reform advocates this week. Republican legislative leaders, too, expressed their skepticism that it would make a difference during an appearance on WNPR.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Standing under the columns of the elevated portion of I-84 in Hartford, known as the viaduct, Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Tuesday that his office released an economic analysis examining the benefits of rebuilding the highway.

The analysis found that replacing the crumbling overpass could pay off almost double the lower estimates of potential replacement cost. 

Dominic Chavez / World Bank

More than two dozen U.S. governors are publicly opposing the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the wake of attacks in Paris last week.

But in Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy said the state will continue to welcome refugees who undergo a rigorous security screening. 

ccho flickr.com/photos/ccho / Creative Commons

New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said his department is operating as though attacks like those in Paris could happen in New York City. And on Long Island, just outside New York City, officials are increasing police patrols at shopping malls and other large public spaces in the wake of the Paris attacks.

President Barack Obama held a press conference from a global summit in Turkey on Monday. He said reducing the territory controlled by the Islamic State group, or ISIS, in Iraq and Syria will reduce the flow of fighters and lessen the threat it poses. Watch his address and press conference below.

CPTV Sports

The Hartford Yard Goats unveiled the team's mascots on Friday, bright green and blue furry goats called Chompers and Chew Chew. 

Ryan Stavely flickr.com/photos/rstavely / Creative Commons

A mandate to install new safety equipment on railroads, called Positive Train Control, may be delayed by three to five years if a vote passes in the Senate. The House approved a bill delaying the measure.

Aundrea Murray / WNPR

A poll from Quinnipiac University released on Wednesday found that Connecticut voters disapprove of the job Governor Dannel Malloy is doing, 58 to 32 percent. It's his lowest approval rating ever.

Gage Skidmore/Frank Plitt / Creative Commons

A poll from Quinnipiac University released on Tuesday found that Donald Trump leads in a Republican presidential primary race in Connecticut, at 34 percent. But he trails leading Democrats in general election matchups.

Dan Schultz / WNPR

Widening highways can be a controversial topic. Some say it just encourages congestion, but the governor said it’ll improve the state's bottom line.

The White House

Pope Francis is visiting Washington, D.C. this week. His first visit to the U.S. began formally on Wednesday with an arrival ceremony at the White House and a personal meeting with President Barack Obama. 

Goody Clancy

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is making efforts to figure out how to develop land in certain parts of the state to encourage more use of public transportation.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Voters headed to the polls for municipal primaries on Wednesday in 23 cities and towns in Connecticut. Some cities experienced problems with absentee balloting and minor issues with voting machines.

Stephanie Rivkin / Facebook

State wildlife officials are still on the lookout for a black bear that was videotaped licking the leg of a hiker in Burlington, Connecticut.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The mayoral campaign season is reaching an important milestone next month: primary day. In Hartford, incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra, who lost the endorsement of city Democrats, will face challenger Luke Bronin. Segarra gathered the necessary signatures to petition onto the primary ballot.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The state’s transit administrator admitted this week that he used a screen name other than his own to comment on The Hartford Courant website. Governor Dannel Malloy said the official shouldn’t have done it – but said he doesn’t think the state has a social media policy for its employees, either.

Office of Gov. Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy is promoting his deputy chief of staff to his administration's top job. The change is official on Monday, September 28.

Michael Raphael / FEMA

The state's unemployment rate has fallen to 5.4 percent, according to the Department of Labor. The department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday the state added 4,100 jobs in July.

John Phelan / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in favor of a full repeal of the state's death penalty on Thursday.

The decision comes more than three years after a repeal of the death penalty for crimes committed after the law was enacted. It means that eleven people currently on death row in the state will be spared execution.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Interstate fishery managers on the Atlantic coast are signing off on a management plan for a species of crab that is growing in value and volume of catch.

MGM Springfield

Casino developer MGM Resorts International has filed a lawsuit against three top Connecticut officials, including Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy.

State of Connecticut

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Tuesday the state's plans to invest in its first "road diet" in East Hartford, improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure along a major corridor.

Jan-Mallander / Creative Commons

About 100,000 customers lost power in Rhode Island on Tuesday following severe early-morning thunderstorms. In Connecticut, Eversource reported about 5,000 outages as of mid-day.

Connecticut Senate Republicans

Connecticut Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano is calling for the resignation of Joette Katz, Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families. This follows a report revealing urgent safety problems at two state-run juvenile detention facilities.

Alan Grinberg / Creative Commons

Lawmakers in Congress are debating the Student Success Act, which would replace and update the No Child Left Behind law. The Republican House bill passed without the support of Connecticut lawmakers, or any Democrats at all.

Charlie Smart / WNPR

The Hartford Yard Goats unveiled their team logo on Wednesday, featuring a feisty goat chewing on a baseball bat.

The nostalgic colors and lettering refer to Hartford sports history -- the Whalers -- and the old New Haven-Hartford-New York train line logo. A "yard goat" is a term for a type of rail car.

janp013/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut lawmakers passed two bills on Monday aimed at reforming the state's criminal justice system. 

orudorumagi11 / Creative Commons

The state legislature left some work to do after the regular session ended, but it did change the way the car tax is applied across the state. 

Speaking on WNPR's Where We Live, panelists broke down the way the state budget would affect the tax and how complex it appears to be.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut House Speaker Brendan Sharkey called for new leadership at Quinnipiac University this week, citing problems caused by students living in residential neighborhoods.