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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Economic Development
8:56 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Commission on Connecticut's Future Meets

Catherine Smith, Commissioner of the DECD.
Credit CT-N

The Commission on Connecticut's Future met on Thursday morning to revisit economic development topics in the state. At its last meeting, economist Patrick Flaherty presented jobs data and workforce trends. Catherine Smith, Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development, presented a slideshow called "Focus on Economic Growth."

Minutes of the December meeting are available here.

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Benefit Corporations
1:55 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Social Entrepreneur Supporters Lobby Connecticut Lawmakers to Recognize B-Corps

Kate Emery of The Walker Group speaks before the Commerce Committee.
Credit CT-N

Supporters of social entrepreneurship are once again lobbying lawmakers to create a new business structure in the state. They want Connecticut to pass a law allowing social enterprises to register as B-Corps, or benefit corporations. That would set them apart from other business entities that don't have a declared social mission. 

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Malloy Press Conference
3:46 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Capitol Press Briefing With Governor Malloy

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy held a press briefing following the Connecticut State Bond Commission special meeting on Thursday. Follow along with the proceedings below.

Gambling
2:01 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Meeting of the Task Force to Explore Expanding Video Slots in Connecticut

Credit CT-N

A task force of state legislators met on Thursday to consider the possibility of expanding video gaming in Connecticut. Co-Chairs of the task force are State Representative Peggy Sayers (D-Windsor Locks, Windsor) and State Senator Andres Ayala (D-Bridgeport).

Wildlife
11:02 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Second Beaked Whale Found Beached in Eastern Long Island

True's beaked whales are known mainly from stranded specimens, accoridng to the NOAA Fisheries Service.
NOAA

Biologists are investigating the death of a second True's beaked whale that washed ashore on Monday in eastern Long Island, found on a beach in the Hamptons.

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Public Safety
12:41 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Malloy Names New Public Safety Commissioner

Dora Schriro was appointed as Commissioner for the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protetion.
Credit Governor Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Monday that Dr. Dora Schriro is the state's new public safety commissioner. Schriro is the Commissioner of Correction for New York City, and will be the first woman to serve as commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. 

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Ice Crystals
2:30 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

What's in a Snowflake?

Credit Catie Talarski / WNPR

The winter storm hitting Connecticut is bringing "light, fluffy snow" to many parts of the state. Have you wondered what exactly makes the snow fluffy? 

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Homelessness
9:27 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Homeless Youths Study Sheds Light on a "Virtually Invisible" Population in Connecticut

Homeless youth are often not connected to services that could help steer them away from the risks of poverty, crime, and addiction.
frankiefotografie/iStock Thinkstock

A study released this month explores homelessness among youths in Connecticut. The report, called “Invisible No More,” was co-authored by two researchers, Derrick Gordon and Bronwyn Hunter, of The Consultation Center at Yale University School of Medicine. They found that homeless youths are a virtually invisible population in the state, often not connected to services that could help steer them away from the risks of poverty, crime, and addiction. 

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Data
10:13 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Incomes Across Connecticut: Poorest in City Centers; Flush in Fairfield County

Credit WNYC

An interactive map showing median household incomes in neighborhoods across the U.S. shows that Connecticut is poorest in its urban centers, and wealthiest in Fairfield County. The numbers come from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates, assembled elegantly by the data news team at WNYC.

Power Broker
12:30 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

From New Haven Son to New York's Master Builder, Robert Moses Turns 125

Robert Moses with a model of the Battery Bridge in New York City, which was built as a tunnel instead when the public opposed the potentially blocked view.
Credit C.M. Stieglitz / Creative Commons

Wednesday marks the 125th birthday of New Haven native Robert Moses, a powerfully influential shaper of the modern city. Moses famously carried out most of his work in appointed positions in New York City, both as head of the Triborough Bridge Authority and through public housing projects. 

Moses is credited with transforming New York City -- and many cities that followed suit or took his advice, like Hartford -- into a place dominated by the automobile. He frequently recommended demolishing older, poor neighborhoods in order to carve a path for an elevated highway.

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Utterances of Note
3:08 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

The Year in Quotes: 2013

Malala Yousafazai's words in July to the United Nations General Assembly were marked as among the top ten most notable quotes of the year.
Credit United Nations

Yale University librarian Fred Shapiro released his eighth annual list of the top quotes of the year. This time around, the quotes reflect a theme of change, he said.

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Freedom of Information
2:51 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Task Force on Privacy and the Public's Right to Know Meets, Votes on Recommendations

Garvin Ambrose, State Victim Advocate, addresses the task force Tuesday morning.
Credit CT-N

Connecticut's Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know met for most of the day on Tuesday to piece together recommendations for the General Assembly in advance of a January 1 deadline. 

The task force voted 14-3 on a recommendation to allow the public to privately review certain crime scene photos, 911 audio tapes, and other information related to homicides in Connecticut. 

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Cambridge
2:54 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Harvard University Evacuates, Then Clears Four Buildings; Concern Over Explosives

Harvard University Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris addresses evacuated students in Annenberg Hall Monday morning after unconfirmed reports of explosives in four campus buildings.
Credit Jessica C. Salley / The Harvard Crimson

Four buildings at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts were evacuated Monday after there were unconfirmed reports of the presence of explosives. Thayer, Emerson, and Sever Hall were cleared in the early afternoon, and campus police said students may return. The Science Center was cleared shortly before 3:00 pm. No explosives have been found yet, according to The Harvard Crimson.

Final exams in the affected buildings, which were to take place Monday morning, were postponed. Access to Harvard Yard was restricted to those with Harvard identification.

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WNPR Special Broadcast
6:06 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Newtown: One Year Later

The shootings on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut affected everyone in the state. As we remember the events of that day, and consider events that have occurred since, join us for a special live broadcast on the one-year anniversary.

We start at 9:00 am with reflection and remembrance, and pause at 9:30 am for the statewide ringing of the bells. Then stay with us for two hours of call-in discussion hosted by John Dankosky and Colin McEnroe, when you'll hear some of our special reporting from the week and voices from around the state.

At noon, Ray Hardman hosts an hour-long music special. 

Data
5:54 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Guns in America: By the Numbers

Credit Digital Vision / Thinkstock

As the slogan goes, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people." But the people who do get killed are frequently the ones pulling the trigger.

Matthew Miller at the Harvard School of Public Health, who will appear Friday on WNPR's Where We Live, found that gun owners are more likely to die by suicide than non-owners. Across the U.S., the more available guns are, the more frequently suicide occurs.

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Live Blog
8:56 am
Tue December 10, 2013

James Redeker Live on Where We Live

James Redeker, CT DOT Commissioner.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

James Redeker, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, joins us to talk about the latest in infrastructure. What with Metro-North woes, CTfastrak progress, talk of changes to the I-84 viaduct in Hartford, and more emphasis on transit-oriented development, is the state doing everything it can to improve the quality of our trains, buses, bridges, and roads? Check in below to see what Redeker has to say.

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News
8:28 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Colonel Killed in Action to Receive Full Military Burial Friday

Col. Francis J. McGouldrick, Jr.
Credit via Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

The remains of an Air Force colonel from New Haven missing during the Vietnam War have been identified and will be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, according to the Department of Defense. 

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Metro-North Derailment
9:15 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Time-Lapse Video Shows Track Repairs Underway

Credit Daniel Cohen

A time-lapse video created over two days shows the track repair work underway at the site of a Metro-North train derailment where four people died and 63 people were injured. 

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The World Grieves
5:16 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Reactions to Nelson Mandela's Death

Credit South Africa The Good News / Creative Commons

President Barack Obama reflected in a statement Thursday evening on the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela. "We will not see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," he said. "It falls to us to carry forward the example that he set."

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Environment
9:42 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Council on Environmental Quality Gets An Earful About Bamboo

Credit CT-N

The Council on Environmental Quality met Thursday to hear public opinion on how the state's environmental laws might be improved. 

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Economic Development
9:14 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Commission on Connecticut's Future Meets to Discuss Industry, Sustainability

Economist Patrick Flaherty of the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office of Research presented jobs data Monday morning.
Credit CT-N

The Commission on Connecticut's Future meets Monday morning to discuss economic renewal in the state. The commission is examining the manufacturing industry and defense-related industries along with environmental sustainability. A report is due to the governor by this time next year. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Organ Donation: Providing Life After Death

Caitlyn Bernabucci, LifeChoice Donor Services
Chion Wolf WNPR

Every day, around 80 people receive organ transplants in the U.S. But an average of 18 people die daily due to a shortage of much-needed organs, like kidneys, livers, hearts and lungs, even corneas.

One body donor can impact the lives of more than 50 people.

This hour, a conversation on organ donation and transplantation. Do you have personal experience with organ donation? Are you a donor or recipient? Why did you choose to be a donor? 

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Freedom of Information
5:30 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Closed Investigation of Sandy Hook Shooting Prompts Nuanced Legal Questions

A photo from the Lanza home in Newtown from the summary report of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting investigation.
Credit State of Connecticut

State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky's summary report on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting said that the investigation is now closed, and there will be no criminal prosecution in the case. None of the evidence points to collaboration in the crime, and the shooter is considered solely responsible.

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Newtown
11:56 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Judge Will Listen to Sandy Hook 911 Recordings

New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott ruled Monday that the 911 tapes should remain sealed while under review.
Credit CT-N

After a hearing on Monday, New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott said he will listen to the 911 recordings from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last year, and consider whether they can be released to the public. Prescott's decision will come soon after he hears the calls, but it will not be Monday.

The recordings were ordered by the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission to be provided to The Associated Press in September. State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III requested a stay while he appeals the order.

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You Shall Not Pass!
4:19 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Hartford Resident Sues to Reopen Flower Street

Joshua LaPorte, CT State Senator John Fonfara, Christopher Brown, and Attorney Ken Krayeske.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Christopher Brown is a cyclist in Hartford, and he's suing the Connecticut Department of Transportation for closing Flower Street. Brown described the street as "a crucial North/South route for safe bike and pedestrian travel between Capitol and Farmington Avenues." 

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Disaster Relief
1:25 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

AmeriCares Ships $1 Million in Medical Aid to the Philippines

To date, Americares has delivered $1 miilion in medical aid to the Phillipines. The challenge for Amerciares, and other relief organizations is distributing the aid to the hardest hit areas.
Matthew McDermott Americares

Nearly two weeks ago Typhoon Haiyan, perhaps the strongest storm on record, ravaged the Philippines. Survivors in the hardest-hit parts of that island nation are still in need of the most basic supplies, like food, water and shelter. On Wednesday, Philippine officials estimated the death toll from the storm at 4,000.

Stamford, Connecticut-based AmeriCares has been in the Philippines since the day after the typhoon, delivering medical supplies, and helping to rebuild hospitals.

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Newtown
2:13 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

GE Donates $15 Million for Newtown Community Center

Main Street in Newtown.
Credit John Phelan / Creative Commons

General Electric has donated $15 million to Newtown to build and operate a community center. Town officials said that following the shooting deaths last December of 20 children and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, it was clear the town lacked a central meeting space.

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Marijuana Law
11:47 am
Tue November 19, 2013

State Reveals Applicants for Medical Marijuana Licenses

Credit O'Dea / Creative Commons

Thirty-seven companies have applied to the state for the right to produce or dispense medical marijuana. The Department of Consumer Protection said it expects to award licenses under the state's new medical marijuana law early next year. 

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Casinos
8:54 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Milford, Massachusetts Votes on Foxwoods Casino Plan

A rendering of the Foxwoods proposed resort casino in Milford, Massachusetts.
Credit Town of Milford, Massachusetts

The town of Milford, Massachusetts will get a chance to vote today on a plan by Foxwoods to build a $1 billion resort casino. Foxwoods wants to bid for one of three casino licenses that will be issued in the Bay State next year. 

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Springfield
12:42 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Springfield Sees Renewed Potential for Downtown Market-Rate Housing

Springfield, Massachusetts may see a casino downtown as well as new housing.
Expos1225 Creative Commons

A renewed effort is underway to examine the potential for market-rate housing in downtown Springfield. On Thursday, the city along with Laurie Volk of Zimmerman/Volk Associates released a study showing strong promise for the success of housing in the area where a casino development may take place.

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