Lucy Nalpathanchil

Host/Reporter

Lucy is a WNPR Reporter and local host of All Things Considered. She's also a contributor to National Public Radio. Her stories have aired on several NPR newsmagazine shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.    

During her time in Connecticut, Lucy has focused on immigration including New Haven's controversial ID card program, efforts for an in-state tuition law for undocumented students, and the Becoming American series: stories of immigrants and the citizenship process.  In 2011, Lucy launched the Coming Home Project to tell the stories of returning Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans in transition. To learn more about the military, Lucy was chosen to take part in a week-long training for journalists hosted by the U.S Army at Fort Leavenworth, KS and Fort Leonard Woods, MO. Getting up at 3:30 am to participate in boot camp was most memorable! 

In September of 2014, she was selected to join military reporters around the country for a conference hosted by the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative in Washington D.C.

Lucy has worked in several states as a public radio reporter after beginning her career at WDUQ in Pittsburgh. She's received awards from Pennsylvania's Golden Quill, the New York State Associated Press, the Mayor's Asian American Advisory Board in Jacksonville, Florida, the Connecticut Associated Press and the state's Society for Professional Journalists chapter.

When she's not in the newsroom, Lucy enjoys traveling, hiking, and planning her next garden. She lives in Middletown with her family which includes two talented dogs, Sidney and Lily.

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Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

Puppies and kittens are a big draw at pet stores. Their cuteness draws customers in and helps pet store owners make money. However, that may not be the case in the future. A state task force is holding the first of two public hearings on Wednesday on whether to ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores.

Connecticut National Guard

Congress has passed a bill to ensure active duty military are paid during the federal government shutdown, but what about the National Guard? There are direct impacts on the families of 5,000 Connecticut guard members who respond to both federal and state missions.

The severely backlogged benefits office of the federal VA is about to slow down again. That's because the VA announced its furloughing nearly 10,000 VBA workers including its IT department. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal  issued a statement today in response to the news. He said many of the employees are veterans themselves.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The national unemployment rate for veterans has improved in recent years, hovering around the civilian rate of seven percent. At the height of the recession, returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were unemployed at nearly double the rate of non-veterans. A host of programs have been created to help former servicemembers support themselves after their military service ended. 

Southern Connecticut State University

The national organization responsible for accrediting graduate library programs has voted to withdraw its accreditation of Southern Connecticut State University. The chair of the university's library program is asking them to reconsider.

Collective Consciousness Theatre

The tenth annual Arts for Healing Festival began on Wednesday. Yale New Haven Children's Hospital created the festival to feature art, music, poetry and performances by patients and health care providers.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

A federal inspection of family day cares in Connecticut found numerous violations, including lack of criminal background checks, safety issues, and sanitary concerns. It's not the first time issues have been found with the way the state monitors day care facilities.

Adithya Sambamurthy / The Center for Investigative Reporting

A new report by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that since 9/11, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has prescribed opiates at an alarming rate. Between 2001 and 2012, the number of opiate prescriptions has grown 270 percent. CIR says this has contributed to the rate of overdose deaths among veterans that is double the national average.

Courtesy of CT Falconers Association

The popular "Saturday Night Live" skit performed by Will Forte introduced us to falconers but hunters in Connecticut actually practice this centuries-old sport. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has federal guidelines for states which then set up their own regulations. Connecticut legalized falconry in 2005.

Serge Melki / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut Supreme Court justices heard an appeal Tuesday that all started with a horse named Scuppy. He allegedly bit a boy, and the family sued. An attorney representing horse owners in Connecticut asked the justices to overturn an appellate court ruling. That court found Scuppy's owner to be liable, saying the species is naturally vicious.

NamUs.gov

Cold cases are frustrating to police and to family members whose loved ones disappear. Jan and William Smolinski of Cheshire have been looking for their son, Billy, for nine years. He disappeared in 2004.

Speaking on WNPRs Where We Live, Jan Smolinski says while there are missing person cases that do not involve a homicide, they suspected foul play when he disappeared. She says the night he went missing, her son called another man who was dating Billy's girlfriend. 

Oregon Department of Transportation

The state of Connecticut is choosing two clean energy projects to help diversify its energy portfolio. Governor Dannel Malloy announced Friday that a solar installation planned in Sprague and Lisbon, and a wind energy farm in Maine, have signed long-term contracts with electricity distributors Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating. The contracts require regulatory approval, and together will provide 3.5 percent of Connecticut’s total energy load.

Luis Luna, a Wallingford man who was arrested three years ago for filming police as they broke up a fight in New Haven, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city. Luna was arrested on September 25, 2010, and filed the lawsuit on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.

Tony Alter / Wikimedia Commons

The state labor department says Connecticut's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.1 percent in August. Local government job cuts, particularly in schools shut for the summer, far surpassed private sector job gains.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Homeless veterans have told the VA  that one of their top needs is finding legal assistance. The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center in New Haven is one organization that fills this need.  Now the non-profit is working to build a network of similar legal service providers.

Unidad Latina En Acción

Immigrant advocates are waiting to see whether California Governor Jerry Brown will sign the TRUST Act into law. The bill would prevent police from holding undocumented residents for immigration officials if they haven't committed serious crimes.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by ccarlstead

In 2008, 4,000 students were arrested in school. A new report from Connecticut Voices For Children finds that by 2011, the arrest rate had declined by 13.5 percent.

That's good news, according to report author Sarah Esty, but problems remain, such as schools that arrest kids for minor things, like using a cell phone, or missing class. CT Voices recommends state education officials and the legislature actually define "student arrest" to avoid circumstances that don't warrant hand-cuffing a kid.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr CC by Jimmy Wayne

But they should. Especially in cities like New Haven and Stamford where voters have a chance to pick their next mayor. In the Elm City, this is a "watershed" race. Those are the words of Paul Bass, editor of the New Haven Independent. 

That's because longtime Mayor John DeStefano is finally not running for re-election. He's been the Mayor of New Haven for twenty years!

Courtesy of Flickr CC by State Farm

This summer saw several deadly crashes involving young drivers with passengers in the car.  The latest was a crash in Hartford in August where two teens were killed. In 2008, a series of fatal accidents involving teens  spurred state lawmakers and the DMV to tighten teen driving laws. Now, the DMV is partnering with the Injury Prevention Center at CT Children's Medical Center to raise awareness about passenger safety.

Why?

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Indirect Heat

Most likely the lobster you've eaten in Connecticut this summer isn't local. The number of lobsters has declined severely in Long Island Sound over the last decade. Now local fisherman are pulling traps in preparation of a mandatory closed season in the weeks ahead.

The decision by the Atlantic States Fisheries Commission impacts all of Long Island Sound. This means lobstermen in Connecticut and New York won't be able to catch lobster from September 8 thru November 28.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

The last person a struggling parent wants to see at his or her door is a worker from the state Department of Children and Families.  Years of adversarial relationships with families have contributed to the troubled agency's reputation.  In the last year, DCF has adopted a reform that turns the old way of doing things on its head.

Amy DeRosa is a 36 year old mom with two children. She's a pretty positive person despite life handing her one challenge after another.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

The last person a struggling parent wants to see at his or her door is a worker from the state Department of Children and Families. Years of adversarial relationships with families have contributed to the troubled agency's reputation. Now, as WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, DCF has adopted a reform that turns the old way of doing things on its head.

Amy DeRosa is a 36 year-old mom with two children. She's a pretty positive person despite life handing her one challenge after another

Photo by the Women's Institute

Last July, an American Legion Post in Jewett City renovated its building to provide permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless veterans. The project in Jewett City created fifteen apartments solely for veterans. It's rural communities like Jewett City where the VA has had a hard time connecting with veterans nationwide.

Veteran advocate groups have petitioned the federal VA to change its claims process. The proposed rule change would impact veterans with PTSD who were sexually assaulted while in the military. 

Courtesy of Flickr CC by BLW Photography

An amendment to the defense budget bill before Congress could help military families who have children with developmental disabilities including autism.

Connecticut's Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families testified at a Senate hearing on Tuesday in response to a bill that would require states to do more to help children who've been exploited by sex traffickers.

Photo by Catie Talarski

There'a a push among federal legislators to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the last segregated Hispanic unit in the U.S. military. 

Photo by Catie Talarski

There'a a push among federal legislators to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the last segregated Hispanic unit in the U.S. military. 

creative commons

Pressure is building on the military to change its culture from within after an alarming Pentagon report estimates 26,000 servicemembers were sexually assaulted last year-- President Obama calls these crimes “shameful and disgraceful.”  Another layer to this problem is that very few of these assaults are actually reported. Now federal lawmakers including Connecticut’s Senator Richard Blumenthal are supporting bills to change how the military prosecutes these cases so victims no longer fear retaliation

Courtesy of Helen Pedersen Keiser

On Thursday, May 23, the photo of U.S Army Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel will be added to the State of Connecticut's Wall of Honor. It's a tribute to service members who died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Pedersen-Keel was killed March 11 in what the military calls a green on blue attack. An Afghan policeman shot him and another Special Forces soldier and wounded several others. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil sat down with Pedersen-Keel’s mother, Helen, who tells us in her own words about her son.  Click on the audio link to hear Helen Pedersen-Keiser. 

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