cities

Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

How Effective Are Charter Schools?

The charter school issue is contentious but how good of a job do they do at educating children?
Chion Wolf WNPR

The recent FUSE scandal has raised questions about charter school oversight. Is this type of problem representative of the overall charter school system? We take a look at just how effective these schools are and how much oversight they have. We're joined by experts and we want to hear from you, especially if you have experience in the charter school system.

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Show me the money
2:35 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

For Development Around Stadium, Hartford Wants Federal Funding

Here's what Hartford city hall says the neighborhood could look like.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford officials recently held a pre-bid conference for developers and others interested in building a new minor league stadium and its surrounding neighborhood. While the city fielded questions about available land and other infrastructure improvements it has in mind, one big question sticks out: "Have you identified promising sources of federal or state funds?"

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Youth Migrants
3:15 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Bridgeport and New Haven Weigh Whether to House Migrant Children

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp in a file photo.
Credit Melissa Bailey / New Haven Independent

The mayors of Connecticut's cities will take part in a conference call this week to discuss whether their communities have space to host some of the children from Central America who have been flooding the U.S. border.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch are hosting the call on Friday. Harp said they will make the request to their counterparts in Hamden, Meriden, New Britain, East Hartford, Waterbury, Hartford, West Haven, Norwalk, and Stamford.

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Taking Aim At Segarra
7:11 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Protesters Rally, Speak Against Hartford Baseball Stadium Proposal

Protesters at Hartford City Hall.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

About 50 people opposed to plans for a new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford held a march and protest Monday. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Is Boston Fit to Carry the Olympic Torch?

2012 London Olympics.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Creative Commons

We’ve spent a lot of time considering whether it’s a good idea to build a new minor league ballpark in Hartford to lure a team up the road from New Britain.  

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

A Conversation With Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson.
Chion Wolf WNPR

A few months ago, I was asked to be part of a panel discussion about politics, and sat next to Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson.

During the panel, he said something that you don’t often hear out of municipal leaders in Connecticut -- that maybe one of our problems is that we have too many towns, or at least not enough cooperation between the ones we do have.

Regionalization -- it’s sometimes a dirty word in towns that value their “home rule” -- but it’s also seen as increasingly necessary as a way to provide public services at the best possible cost.

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WAMC News
10:27 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Springfield Mayor Renews Call For Moratorium On Refugee Resettlements

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:22 pm

The Mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts has renewed a call for an end to new refugee resettlements in Springfield.  Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal said the mayor has raised concerns that need to be addressed.

     Mayor Domenic Sarno first called for a moratorium on refugee resettlements in Springfield 10 months ago, but then backed off amid criticism from social service providers and advocates for immigrants. Sarno said his office recently learned that up to 70 refugees will be settled in Springfield in the coming year.

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Policing Youth
9:44 am
Tue June 24, 2014

How Effective Is Bridgeport's Youth Curfew?

A Bridgeport street at night.
826 Paranormal Creative Commons

The trial of the alleged killer of a 14-year old Bridgeport youth began Monday. Justin Thompson was one of three teens killed amid a spate of deadly violence in the city in 2012.

Following calls by residents for better police protection, Bridgeport imposed a youth curfew that year. For the past two years, kids under age 18 have needed permission from a parent or legal guardian to be on the streets after 11:00 pm on weeknights, and after midnight on weekends.

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Bringing Baseball Downtown
5:04 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Stadium Deal Not Approved Yet, But Hartford Goes Out to Bid

A rendering of a proposed Rock Cats stadium in Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

There's a lot of work yet to be done before a minor league baseball stadium in the state's capital city becomes a reality. For starters, it has to be approved by the Hartford city council, and that won't likely happen until later this summer.

Mayor Pedro Segarra, however, isn’t waiting around for the city council to act.

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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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WAMC News
7:40 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Springfield Budget For New Fiscal Year Approved Without Cuts

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno's recommended budget was approved by a unanimous vote of the Springfield City Council

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:34 pm

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts has a budget in place for the fiscal year that begins July 1st.  The city’s elected officials are in agreement that following years of recession-forced spending cuts, the budget for fiscal year 2015 moves the city forward.

The $581.9 million budget recommended by Mayor Domenic Sarno was adopted by the Springfield City Council Monday night by an 11-0 vote with two councilors absent.  The vote wrapped up the least contentious budget season in the state’s third- largest city in recent years.

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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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Head Injuries
5:34 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Head Injury Risk Rose In Cities After Bike-Sharing Rolled Out

John Rose NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 12:20 pm

Editors' Note: This post has been revised to clarify and correct reporting on the findings of the bike helmet study. The researchers looked at head injuries, not just brain injuries, so the descriptions have been changed to head injuries throughout. The lead researcher said in response to follow-up questions that the study was designed to look at the risk of head injuries as a proportion of all injuries related to bicycling, so the headline and descriptions of the work have been changed to reflect that distinction.

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Development Deals
2:10 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

City Explains Hartford's Secrecy Around Proposed Stadium

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

For the better part of a year and half, Hartford city officials negotiated a plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city behind closed doors, saying the deal needed that kind of confidentiality, lest it fall apart. 

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Western Massachusetts
2:26 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Gambling Regulators in Massachusetts Begin Review of Proposed Springfield Casino

A rendering of the a public plaza at the proposed MGM casino in Springfield, showing a partially preserved historic building.
MGM Resorts International

State gambling regulators considering awarding the state's first casino license to MGM Resorts International have given its proposed $800 million casino in Springfield high marks for its finances and its building and site design.

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Playing Ball
2:02 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Rock Cats Ballpark Economics, By the Numbers

A rendering for a proposed baseball stadium in Hartford for the Rock Cats.
City of Hartford

There are a lot of numbers that jump out when it comes to the proposed new minor league ballpark in Hartford – the 600 permanent, full-time jobs, the more than 9,000 seats, the 25-year deal, the $500,000 annual rent payment to the city. But there’s also the price tag itself. 

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Minor League Baseball
12:26 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Should the Rock Cats Move to Hartford?

The New Britain Rock Cats stadium.
Doug Kerr Creative Commons

Hartford city officials held a news conference on Wednesday to discuss what Mayor Pedro Segarra called a "major sports announcement." A deal is in place to move the New Britain Rock Cats minor league baseball team to Hartford.

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Downtown Campus
2:13 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

UConn, City of Hartford Mark Development Agreement

The former Hartford Times building on Prospect Street will be refurbished and incorporated into a UConn Hartford campus.
Peter Morenus UConn

UConn officials and the city of Hartford marked a development agreement milestone on Tuesday. The university is capping an effort to move its West Hartford campus to a new location called UConn Hartford.

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Verse and Voice
12:46 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

The Cause

brankomaster Creative Commons

When you jump off a bandwagon, it rolls on
toward the cities’ high places,
and you’re left without music on an empty road,

nothing to guide you. Not even the moon
drenches each milepost. No joyous faces
when you jump off a bandwagon. It rolls on,

its pipers shrill, its drummers too loud,
yet you listen: thick notes, then thin traces
and you’re left without music on an empty road.

Just you versus you—your pro, your con,
your rabbits in hats, your sleeves, your aces
when you jump off. A bandwagon? It rolls on.

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Mental Health 101
10:19 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Empathy Lessons: Training Police to Understand People With Mental Illness

Somerville Police Officer Eli Kim, left, tries to book Officer Samir Messaoudi — playing the role of a man with schizophrenia — while Cambridge Police Officer Fred Cabral does the sound effects of voices in Messaoudi’s head.
Cambridge Police Department

Earlier this month, Somerville Police Officers Alan Monaco and Timothy Sullivan responded to a call about a fight between two young men. They found one of them, Mike, in an agitated state.

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Chicago
9:15 am
Thu May 29, 2014

'Oh My Jesus!': Shots Fired During NPR Interview In Chicago

Police cordon off the area around a shooting in Chicago Wednesday. The violence broke out down the street from where NPR's David Schaper was conducting an interview about urban renewal efforts.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 2:41 pm

An NPR interview in Chicago included an all-too-real example of the city's violence when a burst of gunfire erupted down the street from where NPR's David Schaper was conducting an interview Wednesday. He had been speaking to a neighborhood activist when a gunman opened fire nearby.

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Forceful Arrest
1:28 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Bridgeport Police Respond to Arrest Video

A Bridgeport police officer was captured on video striking a teen while on the ground on Stratford Avenue.
Maria Diaz YouTube.com

Bridgeport police are defending the actions of a police officer shown in an Internet video forcefully arresting a teenager. 

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Sister Cities
7:53 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Stratfords of the World Unite In Connecticut This Summer

Alan Yu and Heather Brandon for WNPR Creative Commons

People from the six places called Stratford are coming to Connecticut this summer.

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Global Hotels
9:24 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Starwood Gets $30 Million Hospitality Package From State

Starwood's headquarters at Harbor Point in Stamford.
Credit Starwood

The Starwood Hotel group said it will create 340 new jobs at its Stamford headquarters, bringing its total workforce in the city's Harbor Point to more than 1,300.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Climate Change Is Here; How Do We Adapt?

International Space Station view of a winter storm forming in Australia.
NASA

The National Climate Assessment released earlier this month paints a bleak picture of the effects of climate change on not only the world - but right here in the northeast. “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the report says.

We’re teaming up with The Colin McEnroe Show for a big discussion on climate change and how we’re adapting to a changing world.

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Elevated Highways
10:12 am
Wed May 21, 2014

New Plan for I-91 Viaduct In Springfield Said to Address Residents' Concerns

An elevated portion of I-91 through Springfield, Massachusetts.
Rusty Clark Creative Commons

Massachusetts transportation officials said a new construction plan for replacing the Interstate 91 viaduct in Springfield will cause fewer traffic headaches than a previous version. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Big Ideas (That Didn't Work)

Fire Island Inlet Bridge (part of the Robert Moses Causeway).
Credit tsaiproject / Creative Commons

If you watch "House of Cards," you might have noticed a main storyline about a bridge from Long Island to Connecticut. Sounds crazy, right? Well, here's the thing: it was a real idea!

From bridges, to highways, to malls, Where We Live takes a look at some outlandish project ideas that -- for some reason or another -- just never worked. Why isn’t there a bridge connecting Connecticut and Long Island? And why wasn't the New Haven Galleria mall ever built?

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WAMC News
10:37 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Job Training Planned In Springfield Neighborhoods Hit By 2011 Tornado

The South End Community Center was destroyed by the tornado on June 1, 2011. People in the neighborhood will get job training funded by a federal disaster recovery grant

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 7:47 pm

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts is soliciting bids from organizations to do workforce training in poor neighborhoods hit by the tornado three years ago.

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Transportation
3:05 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Across The U.S., Bicycle Commuting Picks Up Speed

The ranks of bicycle commuters are growing, though men are almost three times more likely than women to ride to work.
Tobias Ackeborn iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 10:55 am

As bicycling goes, America is far behind Copenhagen, the promised land where roads look like bicycle highways as people pedal to work. But commuting by bike in the U.S. is catching on — though geographic, income and gender disparities persist.

In Chicago, busy Sheridan Road is the start of the Lakefront bike trail on its north side. That's where you can find plenty of bicyclists commuting to work early in the morning.

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WAMC News
12:31 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Massachusetts Gaming Commission To Hold Final Public Hearing On MGM Springfield Casino

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis addressed the Massachusetts Gaming Commission during a public hearing in Springfield April 1, 2014

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 12:31 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to hold a final public hearing in Springfield today on the casino proposed by MGM.   It is a last chance for commissioners to gauge public sentiment before completing a lengthy evaluation of the sole resort casino applicant in western Massachusetts.

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