cities

Heather Brandon / WNPR

Figuring out ways to bring more people to the city of Hartford has been a long-time work in progress. One plan to do that is called iQuilt, and one of its goals is to make the city more walkable. One aspect of it is facing opposition.

Flickr Creative Commons

With a 15-5 vote, Bridgeport's City Council approved a massive solar energy project this week that could bring thousands of solar panels to a former city landfill. Since dumps are no longer allowed in Connecticut, that's left a lot of city leaders wondering what to do with that old space. 

A 26-year veteran of the police department in Springfield, Massachusetts has been picked to be the next police commissioner.  It is a high-profile post in a city where public safety has consistently ranked as the number one issue.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Municipal leaders from across the state came to the capitol Wednesday to speak to legislators about their budget concerns. 

This post was updated at 7:22 p.m. ET.

Rescue workers in New York pulled an eighth body out the smoldering rubble of two Harlem buildings that collapsed because of a gas explosion that also injured more than 70 people.

Unfortunately, according to NBC New York, not everyone has been accounted for: Crews are still looking for three people who remain missing.

Stephen Nessen / WNYC

Metro-North restored all train service into and out of Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday after service had been suspended for several hours. Two apartment buildings collapsed after an explosion at Park Avenue and 116th Street adjacent to the Metro-North commuter tracks. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new law proposes making drug enforcement zones around schools smaller. It's a measure aimed at giving teeth to a law that's been on the books since 1987.

Currently, if you're convicted of possessing or selling drugs within 1500 feet of a school, you're subject to mandatory jail terms. But in urban areas, especially, that 1500-foot area encompasses vast areas of residential space.

Update at 8:15 a.m .ET, March 13:

We've begun a new post, which at this moment is headlined "Death Toll From NYC Explosion Stands At Seven, May Go Higher."

Update at 4:25 a.m. ET, March 13:

A "quick-moving, monstrous blaze" on Tuesday destroyed a nine-story apartment building that was under construction in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood.

Across the country, communities stranded in food and retail deserts are asking how they can enjoy the bounty afforded to other urban centers. One Washington, D.C., community thinks it might have an answer.

Just a 10-minute drive south of the U.S. Capitol, across the Anacostia River, sits Congress Heights. The Southeast D.C. neighborhood is less than 2 miles long and home to more than 8,000 people, many in single-family houses. But if you're looking for a sit-down meal, options are scarce.

Creative Commons

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that a majority of Connecticut residents want to see a raise in the minimum wage. The poll comes as the City of New London voted to raise the minimum wage for its own workers to $10.10 an hour, the governor's statewide target for 2017.

The Q Poll shows that 71 percent of Connecticut residents support raising the minimum wage, while 25 percent oppose the change. 

When I was growing up in Memphis in the 1960s, the Feds — and state and local officials — unveiled plans to build a short stretch of Interstate 40 to connect East Memphis with downtown.

A debate rages in Springfield, Massachusetts over who should run the police department – a five-member part-time commission, or a single all-powerful police commissioner.  A showdown vote between the city council and the mayor looms next month.

National Coast Guard Museum Association

The City of New London's ambition to host the nation's first Coast Guard Museum took a big step forward Wednesday as officials from the city, the State of Connecticut and the Coast Guard signed a memorandum of agreement.

Inside one in a series of abandoned homes along a blighted block of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, filmmaker Tom McPhee walks through the remnants of a life — broken furniture, scattered knickknacks and a flooded basement.

"This is fresh water that's coming into the basement here," McPhee points out. "All of that plumbing has been ripped away 'cause someone found a value in it, so they don't care that it's running. This is all over the city."

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will announce a decision Tuesday on the petitions from three municipalities seeking mitigation payments if an MGM casino is built in downtown Springfield.

Feng Yu/Hemera / Thinkstock

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is helping cities and towns that are facing a road salt shortage after a series of storms have hit the state. So far, 22 municipalities have informed the state that they need help getting more road salt.

It's after dark in Sochi, and a pack of stray dogs is hogging the sidewalk like they own the place. There are a dachshund mix, several random mutts and one dog that looks like it may be part chow. They're cute and look like pets; seemingly well-fed and with decent pedigrees.

That is, until a fight breaks out. It's loud but ultimately more dog park than street fight, and the dogs quickly get back to prancing around and eating abandoned leftovers.

China goes back to work Friday after a weeklong holiday marking the Year of the Horse. Traditionally, celebrations continue through the first month of the Lunar New Year.

As in years past, some 800 million viewers tuned in this year to the state TV New Year's gala program to watch Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan, French actress and singer Sophie Marceau, and other entertainers.

Jon S / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities has released its list of legislative priorities for the year. One of them would allow towns and cities to publish full public notices online, and not in newspapers. The move could save public money, but it is opposed by the state's newspapers.

With website names like Eat With, Side Tour, VoulezVousDiner and Feastly, a new food trend that is sweeping New York and other cities allows diners to enjoy fine meals inside someone else's home.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to pay Springfield, Massachusetts $25 million for the destruction of public property by the 2011 tornado.  It is a final settlement that city officials worked relentlessly to obtain.

Thomas MacMillan/Melissa Bailey / The New Haven Independent

Two incumbent state legislators and a former alderman plan on running in next month’s special election for New Haven’s open state Senate seat. The post became vacant after Toni Harp became the city’s new mayor.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Yale School of Management has moved into its new home, Edward P. Evans Hall. The huge glass palace on Whitney Avenue is an architectural landmark for New Haven, but it's also attracted some controversy.

Officials have scheduled an announcement Monday of a final settlement with FEMA for the tornado that devastated part of Springfield, Massachusetts two-and-a-half years ago

Springfield recently received final approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the claims filed from the June 1,2011 tornado.  Mayor Domenic Sarno had vowed to be aggressive in pursuing reimbursements for debris removal and other emergency expenses born by the city

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Last summer, we told you the story of plans to knock down two of the biggest and oldest public housing complexes remaining in the city of Hartford. Officials at the Hartford Housing Authority hoped that developers would think big when it came to what's next.

But it turns out they didn't think big enough. 

Like all newly elected politicians, the class of mayors being sworn in as the year begins has made many grand promises.

From New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's pledge to provide universal pre-kindergarten classes, financed through taxes on wealthy individuals, to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's push for a $15 minimum hourly wage, their agenda looks decidedly liberal.

New mayors in cities such as Boston, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh have also been talking about the importance of racial inclusion and the need to address income inequality.

HPD

The 2013 crime statistics from the city of Hartford are in. And police say most major crime numbers are down.

Chion Wolf

One hundred seventy three acres of office space in Simsbury is up for sale, formerly The Hartford, but now what? It’s not a new story. Decades ago, many corporate headquarters moved from cities to the suburbs into sprawling campuses surrounded by trees. Now with downsizing and cost cutting, many of these suburban “temples” sit empty. 

Yale University / Creative Commons

First, let's check the numbers. About 12 percent of New Haven commuters report walking to their jobs, which ranks the Elm City eighth nationally -- that's right alongside Washington D.C. and Boston.

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