Heather Brandon

Digital Editor

Heather Brandon is digital 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 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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NTSB

A federal report stemming from the investigation into the May 2013 derailment of a Metro-North Railroad train that injured scores of passengers in Bridgeport said that bolts on brand-new M-8 cars are too weak.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends that Metro-North replace thousands of bolts on the fleet of more than 400 new Kawasaki rail cars on the New Haven line and New Canaan branch.

The NTSB said the bolts were not to blame for the derailment, but that their failure made the two-train collision worse, because a piece of one car sliced into the passenger compartment of another.

Cindy Cornett Seigle/Flickr

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has dire predictions for many of the coastline communities in Connecticut and Long Island.

A report released on Wednesday, "North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study: Resilient Adaptation to Increasing Risk," took two years and covered 31,000 miles of coastline along ten states. It says climate change is putting the region at risk of more flooding and more superstorms like Sandy in 2012.

Joeseph Vietri, with the ACE, said western Long Island and western Connecticut are particularly vulnerable, which is a problem because they're such heavily populated areas. "Not all of them have the ability and the wherewithal to pick up and just move," he said. "So there are entire cities, towns, and villages that are under direct threat."

Douglas Palmer / Creative Commons

A New York federal appeals court has rejected a Connecticut woman's claims that media outlets libeled her by refusing to delete stories about her arrest after charges were dismissed.

The ruling by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pertained to the August 2010 arrest of Lorraine Martin. The court said her arrest's deletion from legal records doesn't make news accounts of the arrest false or misleading.

Tucker Ives / WNPR

Blizzard warnings eased early Tuesday for parts of Connecticut, but central and eastern parts of the state saw continuing snowfall and strong winds through midday. By noon, most counties were downgraded to a winter storm warning as a powerful nor'easter made its way across the state.

A statewide travel ban lifted in Connecticut at 2:00 pm. Local roads were opened in Litchfield and Fairfield Counties early Tuesday morning, but Governor Dannel Malloy asked residents to wait before getting on the roads if possible. State bus service will resume Wednesday, and state employees return to work in the morning.

Office of Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy is asking residents to prepare for a significant snowstorm impacting Connecticut Monday evening through Tuesday. He declared a state of emergency, opened the Emergency Operations Center, and issued a travel ban on state highways as of 9:00 pm Monday.

Malloy said Bradley International Airport is closing to passengers at 7:00 pm Monday night. He said the last Metro-North train would leave Grand Central Station in New York City at 9:00 pm.

"Although storms can be unpredictable, this storm has the potential to have a significant impact on the state and we need to be prepared," Malloy said. "Just as the state is monitoring and preparing, the public should do the same."

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for southern Connecticut beginning midday Monday, and blizzard watches remain in effect for eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island ahead of a storm with heavy snow and high winds.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for northwestern Massachusetts, where winds will be lower.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said Sunday it is preparing for a "potentially historic and destructive winter storm."

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.

Jackie Fortin

Cassandra C, 17, is being forced by the state to undergo chemotherapy treatment for her Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Under a court order, DCF has had temporary custody of Cassandra since mid-December.

DCF now says it is exploring other options for her while she continues treatment. Cassandra's next chemotherapy treatment won't happen for several weeks, so she may be allowed to leave the hospital and live in a group home. While there, she would continue to receive other treatments DCF says she needs.

Cassandra's attorney, Joshua Michtom, said on WNPR's Where We Live that Cassandra is in her hospital room with someone at guard at all times. For her, he said, being anywhere other than her one room in the hospital would be preferable.

ISO-New England

New England's electricity grid operator said natural gas pipeline bottlenecks and retirement of aging power plants could put pressure on the price of energy.

Marquette University Law School

Yale Law School professor Tracey Meares is a member of President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which meets for the first time publicly on Tuesday.

U.S. Geological Survey

Scientists on Monday recorded five small earthquakes within five hours in the same area of eastern Connecticut, including a 3.1-magnitude tremor felt more than 60 miles away in Massachusetts. 

Facebook

The Springfield, Massachusetts city council will discuss a proposal on Monday night that would restrict the city’s mayor or councilors from working for MGM for at least five years after leaving city employment. Non-elected officials considered “major policymakers” would face a two-year ban.

CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy announced that $5.75 million was approved Monday by the state Bond Commission to improve railroad stations on the Hartford Line and the New Haven Line. 

Connecticut House Democrats

Norwalk State Rep. Bruce Morris will be leading the General Assembly's Black and Latino Caucus in the new session. 

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

In a swift ruling on Thursday, the Connecticut Supreme Court decided that a teen recently diagnosed with cancer can't refuse life-saving chemotherapy.

According to the ruling, state officials are not violating the teen's rights by forcing her to undergo chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. The teen, known as Cassandra C, will be free to make her own medical decisions when she turns 18 in September.

For the past month, Cassandra has been held at a local hospital, undergoing chemotherapy treatment against her wishes. Doctors said chemotherapy would give her an 85 percent chance of survival and without the treatment, she could die.

New England Brewing Co. / Facebook

A Connecticut brewery that drew condemnation in the U.S. and India for its beer that carries the name and likeness of Mohandas Gandhi said it's received threats and is seeking a way to end the uproar. 

Northeast Utilities

Northeast Utilities is adopting a new name as part of a rebranding effort. 

Jessica Hill / The Associated Press

Democrat Governor Dannel Malloy took the oath of office for a second term on Wednesday, which also marked the opening day of this year's General Assembly session. 

David Wilson / Creative Commons

Wednesday marked the opening day of the 2015 General Assembly session. The State Senate began its legislative session with State Sen. Andrew Maynard in attendance. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Anthony Fantano, host of The Needle Drop, came by WNPR studios and shared a few of his latest favorite musical sounds.

Appearing on WNPR's Where We Live, Fantano told host John Dankosky that it's been the best musical year that he can remember.

CintheaFox / Creative Commons

We're nearing the end of another news-filled year. Take an entertaining and informative look back at 2014 as we benefit from the wisdom of the WNPR audience: below are ten most-viewed stories you shouldn't miss from our newsroom. 

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. 

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.

Victor Solanoy / Creative Commons

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

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.

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. 

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. 

The Meadows Brothers Perform at WNPR

Dec 12, 2014
Chion Wolf / WNPR

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

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. 

CPBN

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

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