Lucy Nalpathanchil

Host/Reporter

Lucy is WNPR's All Things Considered Host and Correspondent. She reports on news stories in the Connecticut region and contributes to National Public Radio.  

While at WNPR, her stories have 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!

Lucy has worked in several states as a public radio reporter since starting out 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 around New England, and planning her next garden. She also enjoys cheering for her hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.  She lives in Middletown with her family which includes two talented dogs, Sidney and Lily.

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Coming Home Project
5:23 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

HUD Grants Come to Connecticut to Help Homeless Veterans

Courtesy of South Park Inn

This month, the federal government awarded the state $1.46 million dollars from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and the VA. The grants are known as HUD VASH and they're used to help veterans avoid homelessness.

The housing voucher program has existed for four years. Since then more than 400 vouchers were allocated to housing authorities across the state to help chronically homeless veterans, including women veterans with children.

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Coming Home Project
5:47 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Reaching Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury or TBI has been called the signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense Department data indicates more than 233,000 veterans have been diagnosed with at least a mild brain injury. But the number is even higher because not all veterans seek help. A non-profit and the VA have partnered to offer support to these servicemembers in Connecticut.

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Coming Home Project
4:52 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Analysis of Defense Department Records Show Veterans Wrongfully Discharged

March 23, 2012-An analysis of Department of Defense records shows that hundreds of veterans have been wrongfully discharged since 2008. The Vietnam Veterans of America allege that service members were incorrectly diagnosed with “personality disorder.”

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Coming Home Project
2:07 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Defense Department Mistakes Keep Contracts From Disabled Veterans

Photo by Chion Wolf

A 2004 law requires a certain percentage of federal contracting dollars to go to small businesses owned by service disabled veterans. But a recent inspector's report from the Department of Defense finds that in 2010, more than two dozen contracts were awarded to companies that weren't eligible.  

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Prison
5:51 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

State Supreme Court Rules Prisoners Can Be Force-Fed

State Department of Correction

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that state prison officials can restrain and force-feed inmates to protect them from life-threatening dehydration and malnutrition. Meanwhile, as WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the inmate who filed suit against the Department of Correction for force-feeding him is on a hunger strike once again. 

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Coming Home Project
3:45 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

DOD Budget Proposal Could Change Mission of Connecticut's 103rd Airlift Wing

Courtesy of The National Guard

Governor Dannel Malloy and other governors signed a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta voicing their concern with the DOD's proposed budget, specifically disproportionate cuts facing Air National Guard units. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports on how the budget will impact Connecticut's force.

Major General Thad Martin of the Connecticut National Guard anticipates there will be no reduction of the 1144 Guardsmen and women who serve with Bradley's 103rd Airlift Wing.  The Defense Department releases firm numbers on Tuesday.

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Coming Home Project
10:59 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Legislative Committee Considers Bill to Help Keep Veterans Out of Jail

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center

The General Assembly's Veterans Committee is considering a bill that could strengthen programs to keep veterans out of jail. Veterans who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars face a variety of challenges when they return home including physical and mental health issues. 

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Coming Home Project
10:47 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Business Boot Camp Gives Veterans a New Start

Black Knights Services

A version of this story aired on NPR's "All Things Considered" on February 29, 2012

A few months ago, WNPR reported on a unique training program for veterans at the University of Connecticut. A consortium of business schools run The Entreprenuership Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, which teaches veterans to be their own boss.

As part of our Coming Home project, WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil follows up with an EBV grad who is now a small business-owner.

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Immigration
5:38 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Support Grows for West Hartford Man Detained By Immigration Officials

ICE officer in the field, courtesy of ICE.gov

***UPDATE: Sujito Sajuti was released Friday, February 17. Immigration attorney, Rafael Pichardo says Sajuti was granted a stay of deportation meaning he can stay as long as he checks in with ICE on a regular basis. He was also granted a work authorization so he can be lawfully employed in Connecticut. Pichardo says Sajuti is looking forward to seeing his wife again. They've been apart for two months. LN

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Immigration
4:21 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

ICE Will Pay Hefty Sum for 2007 Fair Haven Raids

The federal government has agreed to settle a lawsuit by 11 illegal immigrants in Fair Haven who sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement for violating their civil rights. 

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Connecticut Casinos
3:06 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Connecticut Tribes Hope to Win Big With Online Poker

By Lucy Nalpathanchil

Connecticut has two casinos that generate millions of dollars a year for the state. 

And after the U.S Department of Justice cleared the way for online gambling, the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots and state officials are closely watching to see what kind of impact internet gambling will have. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports for NPR's Morning Edition. It’s a weekday but plenty of people are sitting at slot machines or playing table games at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

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Coming Home Project
12:21 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

UConn Opens OASIS for Veterans

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Copepodo

Veterans who are students at the University of Connecticut at Storrs will come back from winter break to a space just for them. It's called OASIS, or Operation Academic Support for Incoming Servicemembers.

The idea goes back to 2007, when the state Department of Veterans Affairs decided servicemembers who enrolled in college needed a place on campus where they could seek out support as they transitioned back to civilian life.

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Coming Home Project
3:31 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

VA Commissioner Highlights Programs to Combat Suicide Among Veterans

Photo by Tyler Antrim

A lot of attention has been paid lately to troops coming home from Iraq now that the war is over. 

But thousands of soldiers who have served post 9-11 are home already and many continue to struggle in civilian life.  One of these struggles is combating suicidal thoughts.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs finds that eighteen veterans die by suicide each day. In Connecticut, Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, Linda Schwartz says in the last year, an estimated fourteen veterans in the state committed suicide. But she stresses suicide is often underreported.

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Coming Home Project
2:57 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

UConn Seeks Veterans and Active Duty for PTSD Study

A University of Connecticut professor has been studying two treatment therapies for post traumatic stress disorder. The study focuses on the military community which sees a disproportionate number of PTSD cases.

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Coming Home Project
5:54 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Wreaths for Connecticut's Fallen Soldiers

Families who have lost a loved one killed while serving their country were honored today at the State Capitol. It's the second year for the ceremony organized by the Connecticut Fallen Heroes Foundation 

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Higher Education
3:21 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

More Than 100 Undocumented Students Benefit From In-State Tuition Law

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons Photo by No Division

It's been several months since a new law went into effect allowing illegal immigrants to pay the in state tuition rate at public colleges and universities in Connecticut.

As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, more than one hundred undocumented students have signed affadavits to qualify for the rate this semester.

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Immigration
12:46 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

New Deportation Guidelines for ICE, USCIS

Courtesy of Flickr CC, by Grand Canyon NPS

The head of US Citizenship and Immigration Services visited the Hartford Public Library late last week. The library was recently awarded another federal grant for its immigrant outreach program. As WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, Director Alejandro Mayorkas also took time to address new deportation guidelines.

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Coming Home Project
8:01 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Homeless Veterans Get Rest, Chance to Restart Lives at Hartford Shelter

Courtesy of South Park Inn

After a decade of wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, more young veterans are back from combat with nowhere to live. New numbers just released from the federal VA and HUD find in the last year, 13,000 homeless veterans were between the ages of 18 and 30.

They make up nine percent of homeless veterans nationwide but their numbers are only expected to rise as troop drawdowns continue.  In Connecticut, there are anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 veterans who are homeless each day.

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Coming Home Project
1:27 pm
Thu October 27, 2011

A Home for Wounded Veterans and Their Families

Courtesy of Friends of Fisher House Connecticut

Most people have heard of Ronald McDonald houses that provide a place for sick children and their families to stay while seeking medical treatment. But chances are you haven't heard of a Fisher House. Now there's an effort to build one in West Haven.

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Animal Transport
11:54 am
Tue October 25, 2011

Beluga Whale Travels on Fed Ex Plane to Connecticut

Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium By Keith Pamper

Partnerships are common at zoos and aquariums for breeding programs but what does it take to transfer animals across the country safely?  Especially if the animal you're talking about is a 2100 pound beluga whale?

Kristine Magao, Supervisor of Belugas, at Mystic Aquarium spoke with WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil about the recent journey of Naluark, a male beluga whale who came to Mystic from Chicago's John G Shedd Aquarium.

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Coming Home Project
6:45 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

A Therapy for Veterans and Others With PTSD

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Ars Electronica

Airdate: October 17, 2011 A recent Pew Center study of U.S military in the post 9-11 era found 37 percent of veterans suffer from post traumatic stress. For those diagnosed with PTSD and who are getting care at a VA facility, one of the treatments used is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing or EMDR. It's therapy to resolve trauma related disorders.

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Coming Home Project
3:24 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Changes to Post 9-11 GI Bill Will Pay for Vocational Training

Veterans who have served in the last decade are eligible for benefits under the Post 9-11 GI bill. As WNPRs Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, recent changes to the bill will help veterans pay for vocational training.

Under the current GI bill, veterans can get all or part of their college tuition paid for depending on years of military service. But not all veterans chose four-year schools.

There are several thousand veterans in the community college system in Connecticut. David Welsh is a Veterans Advisor at Tunxis Community College in Farmington.

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Coming Home Project
11:51 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Afghan Surge: "The Untold Story"

US Navy photo by (SCW) F. Julian Carroll

A briefing with a three star Army General was the first order of business Tuesday at the journalists conference at Ft Leavenworth. Lieutenant General William B Caldwell was all set to appear before us via video teleconference from Afghanistan but technology got in the way. The link up didn't work properly so he spoke with reporters using the old fashioned telephone conference.

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Coming Home Project
12:09 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Drinking From the Fire Hose

Lucy Nalpathanchil

It's Military 101 on the first official day of the journalists conference at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Inside Lewis and Clark Hall, men and some women stream through wearing the Army combat uniforms: tan, grey and green camouflage that blends well in the desert. Occasionally, you see officers from other countries like Brazil, Botswana, and Singapore, who are also here to study at the Command and General Staff College.

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Coming Home Project
8:17 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Bootcamp Turns Veterans Into Entrepreneurs

Jeremy Pollack.

Recent college graduates are finding it difficult to get a job at a time when the national unemployment rate remains stagnant at nine percent. But imagine if you're a veteran just back from serving overseas. You're trying to find employment while carrying the physical and mental effects of war. A consortium of schools including the University of Connecticut are helping turn disabled veterans into small business-owners. As part of WNPR's Coming Home Project, Lucy Nalpathanchil introduces us to a entrepreneurship 'bootcamp'.

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Coming Home Project
12:40 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Welcome to Fort Leavenworth

Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

Bridging the gap between the media and the military: that's the goal of a week-long conference hosted by the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Fort Leavenworth Combined Arms Center. Seventeen journalists including myself were accepted into the program because of our interest and backgrounds covering military issues.

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Women's Health
12:01 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Advocates Say Backlog of Rape Kits Exists Nationwide

Courtesy of Jackson Films

Advocates for sexual assault victims contend there's a backlog of untested rape kits nationwide. 

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Coming Home Project
3:49 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

"Stand Down" Brings Veterans To Rocky Hill For 16th Year

More than 1,000 veterans from all over Connecticut were expected in Rocky Hill Friday for an annual event called Stand Down; it's an outreach event hosted by the state Department of Veteran Affairs to help veterans in need. Stand Down is in its 16th year, an event VA Commissioner Linda Schwartz looks forward to every year. Here, she is welcoming nursing students who volunteered at the event. "Hey, hey!' 'Hi Commish.' 'It's the Yale School of Nursing!"

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Disaster Response
5:22 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Water and MREs Roll Off FEMA Trucks at Rentschler Field

KOMU News Flickr Creative Commons

Post Tropical Storm Irene, there are many communities still without water and power, but they have somewhere to go to get necessary supplies: Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The stadium parking lot has been transformed into a distribution site for food and water run by the Connecticut National Guard.

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Coming Home Project
5:54 pm
Mon August 22, 2011

Student Veterans Seek out OASIS on College Campuses

Veterans are among college students heading back to class this fall. At the University of Connecticut, more than 400 students have military experience. They're considered non-traditional students given the fact many enroll after multiple deployments. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports on one way campuses are working to accommodate their needs. 

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