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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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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Delaney's Fire
8:05 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Blaze Destroys New Haven Pub

A crowd of onlookers watched as Delaney's burned to the ground on Monday evening.
David Sepulveda New Haven Independent

Firefighters are continuing to put out hot spots at a New Haven pub that went up in flames and has been declared a total loss. 

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Litchfield
12:14 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

State Sells Historic Litchfield County Jail

The former Litchfield County jail, built in 1812, is at 7 North Street in Litchfield. It's one of the oldest penal facilities in Connecticut.
LitchfieldBZ YouTube

The state of Connecticut has sold the historic former Litchfield County jail to a real estate investor for $130,000. 

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Vice Presidential Visit
2:20 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Biden, in East Hartford, Says Manufacturing Jobs Are Coming Back

Vice President Joe Biden during a visit to New Hampshire in 2012.
Marc Nozell Creative Commons

Vice President Joe Biden said manufacturing jobs are coming back to the U.S., but workers need the right training to fill those positions. 

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Election 2014
10:16 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Joe Visconti Looks for Traction in Connecticut Governor's Race

Joe Visconti.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Republican Joe Visconti, a petitioning candidate for Connecticut governor, said he's an insider with the ability to get traction this season, and that he has enough signatures to get onto the November ballot.

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Education
12:14 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Connecticut Education Commissioner Will Step Down

Stefan Pryor in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's office announced on Monday that Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor will not serve a second term. "I have decided to conclude my tenure by the end of this Administration's term," Pryor said in a statement.

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Deep River
8:05 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Good Morning! Small Earthquake Hits Connecticut

Tomislav Zivkovic/iStock Thinkstock

Some residents in southern Connecticut say they were awoken by their homes shaking, and the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed a minor earthquake.

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Weather
8:53 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Heavy Rain Causing Flooding in Connecticut

Heavy rain is moving through Connecticut on Wednesday.
Credit NOAA

Streets are flooded in parts of Connecticut and nearly 1,700 power outages are reported as heavy rain moves across southern New England. 

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Election 2014
9:46 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Tom Foley Wins GOP Nod for Connecticut Governor

Tom Foley in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Connecticut Republicans have given Greenwich businessman Tom Foley a second chance to run against Governor Dannel Malloy. The former U.S. ambassador to Ireland defeated state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney by over ten percentage points Tuesday night.

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Lyme Disease
1:30 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Blumenthal Announces Grant for Lyme Disease Testing

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, at right, reviews an intake questionnaire in 2011 at the Western Connecticut Health Network Lyme Disease Registry, alongside Amber Butler and Ramin Ahmadi (file photo).
Credit WCHN / Facebook

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal announced on Wednesday a $600,000 federal grant to improve testing for Lyme disease.

The Connecticut Democrat made the announcement in Danbury alongside researchers from Western Connecticut Biomedical Research Institute and the Seattle-based RareCyte, Inc. 

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Firefighting
10:28 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Connecticut Crews Head to California to Help Fight Wildfires

The U.S. Army battled a wildfire over Yosemite National Park last summer.
U.S. Army

A 20-person crew of firefighters from Connecticut is heading to California to help fight wildfires in the northern part of the state.

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Critter Documentation
12:02 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Snapping Turtle Outfitted With Crittercam Being Released in Old Lyme

Mystic Aquarium

Researchers from Mystic Aquarium are set to release a snapping turtle into the wild that will be outfitted with a Crittercam. The release is scheduled for Monday afternoon at Rogers Lake in Old Lyme. 

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State Parks Centennial
1:29 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Gov. Malloy Announces Free State Parks Weekend in Connecticut

Huntington State Park in Redding.
David Brooks Creative Commons

Have you been to a state park lately? On July 26 and 27, you'll be able to visit any state park in Connecticut for free.

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18th District
8:55 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Stonington State Sen. Andrew Maynard in Serious Condition After Injury

On May 17, State Sen. Andrew Maynard, left, stood with Congressman Joe Courtney at the Charles W. Morgan, boarding the ship for its first voyage in nearly 100 years. Maynard secured state bonding for a signficant share of the ship's restoration.
Connecticut Senate Democrats

A state senator from Stonington is in serious condition at a Rhode Island hospital after falling from an outside staircase at his home. 

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Flight MH17
10:54 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Obama Urges Putin to Push for Unhindered Probe of Plane Crash Site in Ukraine

President Barack Obama talks on the phone aboard Air Force One with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine about the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in eastern Ukraine on July 17.
Credit Pete Souza / White House

President Barack Obama spoke about the downed plane in eastern Ukraine from the White House Monday morning. He called for international investigators to have "immediate and full access" to the site where a passenger jet was shot down last week.

U.S. officials have been seeking to build a case that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists.

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Sexual Assault
2:39 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

UConn Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Attorney Gloria Allred, at center, with UConn graduate Kylie Angell at the podium, and other plaintiffs in the sexual assault federal lawsuit against UConn.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

The University of Connecticut has settled a federal lawsuit filed by five women who claimed the school responded to their sexual assault complaints with indifference. 

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White House
11:36 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Obama Calls for a Ceasefire in Ukraine

President Barack Obama speaking to the press last year.
White House

President Barack Obama said one American was killed on a downed plane in Ukraine on Thursday, and that the airliner was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists. He called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, where he said heavily armed and trained separatists receive Russian support.

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Animal Rescue
9:48 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Seal Pups Return to Ocean After Rehabbing in Mystic

A Gray Seal being released in Rhode Island on Thursday.
Mystic Aquarium

Two five-month-old seal pups rescued in March have returned to the Atlantic Ocean after recovering from their injuries at the Mystic Aquarium.

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Governor's Race
12:50 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Foley, McKinney Face Off in Republican Primary Debate

John McKinney, at left, and Tom Foley, at right, Republican candidates for Connecticut governor, as portrayed on their campaign websites.
mckinneyforgovernor.com/tomfoleyct.com

The two Republican candidates for Connecticut governor faced off in a primary debate on Thursday at The Hartford Courant

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New York
9:22 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Drone Use Over George Washington Bridge Leads to Two Arrests

The George Washington Bridge from above.
George Pankewytch Creative Commons

Police in New York City arrested two people for operating a drone over the George Washington Bridge that came within 800 feet of a police helicopter. 

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Student Work
12:00 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Teens Savor Hartford Comic Con, "a Divine Experience"

The Joker at Hartford Comic Con.
Joshua Gaestel CPBN Learning Lab

Students from the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School Satellite Campus at the CPBN Learning Lab in Hartford had a chance to visit Comic Con in the capital city recently. One described it as a "divine experience."

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Tough Jobs
11:54 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Listen: My Job is to Make People Cry

Bruno Passigatti/iStock Thinkstock

Have you wondered what work is like for the producer of a reality television show? Rebecca Hertz, based in Los Angeles, has worked on a number of shows, and to hear her describe it, sometimes the job is pretty harrowing.

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Ocean Life
2:12 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Rare Sighting of Beluga Whale in Massachusetts

A Beluga whale sighted in the Taunton River.
A. Lyskin IFAW

In Connecticut, we're used to seeing Beluga whales at Mystic Aquarium, but residents in Fall River, Massachusetts are getting an unusual sight in an unusual place. A Beluga whale was spotted in the Taunton River over the past several days. 

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Olmsted Legacy
7:16 am
Thu June 26, 2014

New Documentary Highlights the Work of Frederick Law Olmsted

A bird's eye view of Central Park in New York.
PBS

Frederick Law Olmsted, recognized as one of the greatest landscape architects from the U.S., is perhaps best known for contributing to the design of New York City's Central Park. He was also a Connecticut native, and was raised in Hartford's North End -- where he is also interred, in Old North Cemetery.

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Reviews
4:04 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Listen: Five Ways to Make Connecticut Better

Jumping for joy in Mystic.
m01229 Creative Commons

Known as The Land of Steady Habits, the Nutmeg State, and somewhere you can be "Still Revolutionary," Connecticut is ever-changing, if sometimes very slowly. 

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Election 2014
3:39 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Boughton Drops Out of Race for Governor

Mark Boughton during a visit to WNPR (file photo).
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton announced on Wednesday that he is dropping out of the race for Connecticut governor. Instead, he's supporting endorsed Republican candidate Tom Foley.

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Hip Hop Classic
3:15 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Listen to a Beatboxer Explain How He Jams With the Hartford Symphony Orchestra

linda369369 YouTube

Beatboxer Shodekeh has the skills to improvise along with a symphony. How does he do it?

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Massachusetts Casinos
12:51 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Tentatively Awards Casino License to MGM

A rendering of the planned downtown casino, MGM Springfield.
Credit MGM Resorts International

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted on Friday to award a western Massachusetts casino license to MGM Springfield, as soon as a repeal issue is resolved. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno called the casino one of three essential ingredients to revive the city's "urban core."

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