Connecticut

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As the electoral circus leaves New Hampshire, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will recap the results and news from the first primary of 2016. This early in the process, the losers may be as interesting as the winners. Which candidates will call it quits after Tuesday?

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Bankruptcy filings provided another hopeful economic sign for Connecticut last year. Filings in the state dropped in 2015, compared to the year before. 

Chion Wolf / Wnpr

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill wants people who are doing business with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles to be automatically registered to vote.

The Democrat announced Monday in Hartford that she submitted a proposal that would allow eligible DMV customers to be automatically registered unless they choose to opt out.

Conn. Unions React To Malloy's Layoff Plan

9 hours ago

Union leaders in Connecticut say they're concerned that lawmakers are looking first to state employees for savings in Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget.

Lori Pelletier, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said state lawmakers should consider other parts of the budget before they start cutting state jobs.

“We need to look at how many contractors does the state of Connecticut have that are duplicating the services that state employees do already,” she said. “These are the things we need to look at before we start laying off.”

Lori Mack / WNPR

Several people quarantined in Connecticut after returning from West Africa during the Ebola epidemic in 2014 have filed a class-action lawsuit against state health officials, saying they were essentially imprisoned based on politics and not any legal or scientific reason. 

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Governor Dannel Malloy’s transportation goals for the state include a plan to widen the entire length of I-95 in Connecticut. The state’s transportation commissioner said on WNPR Friday that the widening plan is actually tied to congestion pricing to discourage highway use.

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Kent is a small town. Like other small towns, it doesn't have a police force. Residents rely on state troopers.

That's part of the reason why Selectman Jeffrey Parkin wants to arm school personnel. He said it could be the difference between life and death if someone walks into a school and starts shooting.

Paul Gionfriddo

Paul Gionfriddo leads Mental Health America but he has deep roots in Connecticut. He’s a former state representative and mayor of Middletown who now advocates for people with mental illness. During his time in the legislature, he worked on laws and policies that contributed to the nation's current mental health crisis. His book Losing Tim explores his own son’s struggle with schizophrenia and the mental health system that failed him.

unWillington.com

The legislature's Public Health Committee heard from state officials about the various proposals on the table for a new state police firing range.

Metro-North Sets Ridership Record For 2015

Feb 3, 2016

New York transit officials say ridership increased on the nation's two largest commuter railroad systems last year. Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials Tuesday said there were a record number of riders on the Metro-North Railroad in 2015. They say more than 86 million people rode on the commuter rail system that connects New York City, its northern suburbs in the Hudson Valley and Connecticut.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Recently, a group of us gathered on stage at Watkinson School for a conversation about humor and comedy.

The conversation had two fields on inquiry. The first was the very strange business of trying to be funny as a way of putting food on the table. It's a weird job. It's not so much a matter of trying to be funny as it is of trying to figure out what's funny about the thing sitting in front of you. 

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Connecticut's Department of Correction is changing the way it rewards prison inmates for good behavior.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo is projecting a $7.1 million budget deficit in the current $20 billion fiscal year budget and warning that state revenues may continue to erode.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Plunging oil prices are proving to be a boon for about six million homeowners in the northeast who heat their homes with oil. And they may also lessen the appetite for conversion to other fuels -- a movement that had been gaining ground. 

Tomorrow the Connecticut General Assembly will begin the 2016 legislative session. Lawmakers are facing some tough issues this year. The state budget has a big gap that needs to be closed. There’s the lockbox to protect funding for transportation projects. And GE is taking its headquarters out of Fairfield and relocating to Boston which will be a big hit to the state’s coffers. Susan Haigh, Capitol reporter for the Associated Press, joins us from the AP offices in Hartford to give us a preview of some of the top issues lawmakers will take on this year.

CT Senate Democrats/Creative Commons

Should Connecticut require paid family and medical leave? The state Department of Labor will report back to lawmakers this legislative session on how the state could implement the proposed law. 

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President Barack Obama will personally bestow the nation’s highest honor on eight of America’s leading innovators, including doctors Jonathan Rothberg and Cato Laurencin. 

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New London saw an unprecedented number of heroin overdoses Thursday, leading health officials to warn of a potentially lethal type of the drug being sold in the city.

The city of Bridgeport, Connecticut said it will make its financial information available to the public through a new website. The site, scheduled to be launched in the spring, will carry real-time information on the city’s revenue and its expenses.

The Northern Pass project is bidding for a contract to sell a portion of its energy to the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The three states have requested proposals in a process they are calling the "Clean Energy RFP" which they hope will drive down the cost of large-scale renewable energy, by buying in bulk.

The program is accepting bids from utility scale wind, solar and large-scale hydropower projects, as well as hydrogen fuel-cells and even battery storage.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

With another legislative session about to begin, Governor Dannel Malloy has announced new proposals under his Second Chance Society initiative. One of his ideas will change how the state defines a juvenile delinquent.

Brian Owens

During the day, 24-year-old Brian Owens is a design engineer at a local Connecticut contracting firm. After hours, he creates art.

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Dr. Bill Petit spent Sunday, July 23, 2007 playing golf with his father. The day was sunny and hot and a great day to be outside. His wife and two daughters spent the day at the beach. Life was good - until it wasn't.

Within 24 hours, his wife and daughters would be murdered, his home burned, his belongings gone. The trauma would render him unable to return to his medical practice. 

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Preliminary data obtained by The Associated Press show that officers in Connecticut fired stun guns at blacks and Hispanics at a higher rate than at white suspects, and warned but didn't fire at white suspects at a higher rate than they did blacks or Hispanics.

Rep. Esty's office

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says progress is being made in Afghanistan. She recently returned from a visit there and to Kuwait as part of a bipartisan delegation. 

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Connecticut’s unemployment rate jogged upward in December, even as the state added 300 jobs. 

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Connecticut has received a $54 million federal grant to improve shoreline infrastructure and make portions of the state more resilient.

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Connecticut will miss the brunt of the winter storm affecting the mid-Atlantic region, but not all parts of the state will be untouched. The worst will be along the shoreline with the possibility of six to ten inches in some parts. Meanwhile, northern Connecticut may see no accumulation at all.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Dannel Malloy's budget office is projecting Connecticut will end the current fiscal year with a deficit, despite a recent special legislative session that attempted to fix the fiscal problem.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

In August, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced that the state had effectively ended chronic homelessness among Connecticut veterans. 

Through an initiative known as Zero: 2016, the state is aiming to end all chronic homelessness – the most persistent kind -- by the end of this year

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