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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White House
2:10 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

President Obama Closes the Year With a Press Conference

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Alan Gross, who was en route to the United States from Cuba, in the Oval Office on December 17.
Pete Souza White House

President Barack Obama claimed an array of successes in 2014, citing lower unemployment, a rising number of Americans covered by health insurance, and an historic diplomatic opening with Cuba. 

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Natural Gas
2:47 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

New York State to Ban Fracking Over Health Concerns

From left, Dr. Howard Zucker, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at an October meeting.
Kevin P. Coughlin Office of Governor Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced on Wednesday that it will ban hydraulic fracturing in the state, following a long-awaited health impact study.

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State Parks
11:59 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Architect Seeks Ideas for Waterford's Seaside

Victor Solanoy Creative Commons

Around 100 people attended a meeting in Waterford on Monday night to discuss ideas for a proposed new state park. 

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Higher Education
10:48 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Quinnipiac's Irish Famine Museum to Launch Digital Database

"Burying the Child" by Lilian Lucy Davidson.
Ireland's Great Hunger Museum Quinnipiac University

Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University is launching a digital database with about 1,500 articles and illustrations related to Ireland and the Great Famine.

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Mayflower II
9:31 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Mayflower Replica Heads to Mystic Seaport for Restoration Work

The Mayflower II in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in a 2013 photo.
Robert Linsdell Creative Commons

The replica of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America has set sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts, to another historic port in Connecticut where it will undergo a restoration. 

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National History
8:50 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Congress Approves Historic Coltsville Park in Hartford

Colt's Armory in Hartford around 1906.
Library of Congress

Connecticut officials are celebrating congressional approval of a new national park in Hartford centering on the historic Colt firearms factory building with the blue, onion-shape dome. 

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Live Music
1:40 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

The Meadows Brothers Perform at WNPR

Ian Meadows of The Meadows Brothers, who sings and plays guitar.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Connecticut-based music duo The Meadows Brothers recently visited WNPR's Where We Live to perform and record some live music. 

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Smoking Survey
1:37 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

E-Cigarettes Make Inroads With Children in Connecticut

Credit Sodanie Chea / Creative Commons

A study from Yale School of Medicine said a quarter of high school students in Connecticut have tried an electronic cigarette. 

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Still Revolutionary
8:21 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Key Issues Forum Focuses on Innovation

Dan Haar moderates the Key Issues Forum.
CPBN

The Hartford Courant presented a Key Issues Forum on Thursday morning in collaboration with the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network. 

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Local Music
2:22 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

The Soothing Sounds of Northampton's Winterpills

Winterpills members Philip Price and Flora Reed in WNPR's studios.
Heather Brandon WNPR

Colin McEnroe has been working for an age to get Winterpills to appear on his show. A new album was recently released by the band, Echolalia, allowing WNPR a perfect reason at last to bring in members Philip Price and Flora Reed.

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Lady Cora Jams
1:35 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Downton's Elizabeth McGovern Plays Sadie at Hartford's Infinity Hall

Elizabeth McGovern fronts the band Sadie and the Hotheads.
Sky Arts sadieandthehotheads.com

Elizabeth McGovern doesn't want her role as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, to overshadow her identity as a musician. But she does admit it drives people to come see her band. Sadie and the Hotheads have just released a new album, Still Waiting. They'll be at Hartford's Infinity Hall on December 14.

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Trains
2:40 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Officials Highlight Regional Rail Line in Massachusetts and Connecticut

Downtown Springfield, Massachusetts.
Expos1225 Creative Commons

Massachusetts and Connecticut officials are riding the rails on Monday to highlight upgrades in the so-called "knowledge corridor" through southern New England. 

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Transportation
2:43 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Metro-North Says It Needs New Infrastructure to Meet Punctuality Goal

Metro-North Railroad workers repair a damaged section of track after a Bronx derailment in December 2013.
Patrick Cashin Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The president of Metro-North told Governor Dannel Malloy that the commuter rail line cannot reach its target of 95 percent on-time service, and that the best way to achieve the goal of punctuality is to continue to rebuild the rail system. 

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Public Health
1:06 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Connecticut Legislative Hearing Focuses on Ebola Response

State Rep. Susan Johnson, center, co-chairs the state legislature's Public Health Committee. Pictured is a discussion of hospitals and health care discussion last month.
Connecticut House Democrats

Connecticut lawmakers held a hearing on Monday to learn more about the state's protocols for handling any future Ebola cases. 

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Roadways
9:10 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Pilot Who Landed on Busway in West Hartford Details Scary Landing

A Cessna made an emergency landing on CTFastrak in West Hartford on Saturday.
Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian J. Foley

A pilot of a single-engine plane made an emergency landing on the CTFastrak busway in West Hartford, Connecticut, over the weekend. 

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Three-Wheelers
8:59 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Manufacturer Seeks Connecticut's OK to Sell New Vehicle

The Slingshot is a reverse tricycle with two wheels in front and one in back.
Facebook

The maker of a new vehicle called the Slingshot is meeting with state motor vehicles officials to discuss whether they may sell the three-wheeler in Connecticut. 

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White House
6:26 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Watch: President Obama Unveils Executive Action on Immigration

President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on November 1, 2014.
Pete Souza White House

President Barack Obama is pushing the limits of his authority to shield from deportation millions of immigrants illegally in the United States, but the fate of millions more will still be left unresolved. 

Obama is set to announce Thursday that he is sidestepping Congress with his own action on immigration. Watch live below tonight starting at 8:00 pm.

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Cities
3:01 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Group Details Burdens on Connecticut Cities

Connecticut cities in CCM's latest report.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

An advocacy group for Connecticut's cities and towns is calling attention to what it describes as the disproportionate burdens on poor communities. 

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Sexual Harassment
10:07 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Yale Removes Cardiovascular Research Center Director

Michael Simons, MD.
Credit Yale School of Medicine

The New York Times reports that Yale Medical School has removed the director of its Cardiovascular Research Center, Dr. Michael Simons, after a university committee found he had sexually harassed a postdoctoral researcher. 

Simons was the former chief of cardiology at the Yale School of Medicine. 

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Demographic Shifts
3:38 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

College-Educated Young May Be Squeezing Connecticut's Urban Housing

Hartford, Connecticut.
Wonderlane Creative Commons

The number of college-educated people aged 25 to 34 moving to U.S. city centers has surged, up 37 percent since 2000, even while those cities’ populations have shrunk slightly, according to a report from economist Joe Cortright at City Observatory, a think tank based in Portland, Oregon.

The Hartford metro area saw a 25 percent increase of educated young adults living within three miles of its city center between 2000 and 2010, according to the think tank.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 13, 2014

The Young and Restless in Connecticut

Downtown Hartford on the Connecticut River.
Ricky Aponte Creative Commons

More young people are moving to the heart of cities, according to a report from think tank City Observatory. This includes cities that we usually think of as “economically troubled,” like Buffalo, Cleveland, and, yes, even Hartford. Some of these cities have been losing their overall population, but gaining in their numbers of college graduates in their 20s and 30s.

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Gun Safety and Sales
8:27 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Connecticut Religious and Civic Leaders Press Gun Manufacturers

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A coalition of municipal leaders, police and clergy gathered in Bridgeport on Monday, calling on gun manufacturers to make their weapons safer.

Public entities like police departments make up a significant share of the U.S. gun industry’s market. 

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Connecticut Governor
2:26 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Gov. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Wyman Declare Victory in Connecticut Race

The Connecticut State Capitol.
Jim Bowen Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman declared victory in the Connecticut governor's race on Wednesday at the state Capitol. 

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Close Race
1:46 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Tom Foley Concedes in Connecticut Governor's Race

Tom Foley admits that he probably lost, but did not concede, at the Hyatt in Greenwich. With him at left is his wife Leslie Fahrenkopf Foley, at right his running mate Heather Somers.
Mara Lavitt WNPR

Republican Tom Foley conceded the Connecticut governor's race on Wednesday afternoon to incumbent Governor Dannel Malloy.

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Fourth Congressional District
9:43 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Democrat Jim Himes Keeps U.S. House Seat, Tops Dan Debicella

Rep. Jim Himes in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Democratic Rep. Jim Himes has defeated Republican Dan Debicella to claim a fourth term representing Connecticut's Gold Coast in Congress. 

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Fifth Congressional District
7:56 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Elizabeth Esty Holds Off Mark Greenberg to Win Second Term in Fifth District Race

Rep. Elizabeth Esty in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Democratic U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty has held off a challenge from Republican Mark Greenberg to claim a second term representing northwestern Connecticut in Congress. 

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Election Day 2014
10:42 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Election 2014 Live From Real Art Ways

The Funky Dawgz from UConn perform at Real Art Ways.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Polls are closed across Connecticut. Results were estimated to take a little while as many races were tight.

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Election Night 2014
9:23 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Photos: What I Want From My Next Governor

What I want from my next governor ...

In a word, what do you want from your next governor? 

We asked people visiting our election night coverage at Real Art Ways that question. Below, see their answers. 

These photos are a collaboration of Chion Wolf and Josh Nilaya.

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Voting Problems
7:51 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Denise Merrill: "The Vote Should Go On" in Connecticut

Denise Merrill in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Secretary of State Denise Merrill said she will be filing a complaint on Tuesday evening due to what she called "gross dereliction of duties" by Hartford registrars. 

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Election Day 2014
6:45 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Two Hartford Polling Places to Stay Open Until 8:30 pm

Gov. Dannel Malloy's lawyer, Bill Bloss, outside court on Tuesday.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

A Connecticut judge ordered two Hartford polling places to stay open a half hour late until 8:30 pm on Tuesday because of Election Day problems, which Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy's campaign said deprived people of their right to vote. 

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