The Daily

Doing Business
2:40 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Campaign Aims to Improve Business Climate in Connecticut

Legislative leaders address business owners at CBIA's Business Day
Credit Harriet Jones

The state's poor business climate is a perennial complaint for Connecticut's largest business organization. And now it's launched a campaign to make it an urgent priority. 

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Literature Awards
2:18 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Yale's 2014 Windham Campbell Prizes Announced

Yale President Peter Salovey announced the winners of the 2014 Windham Campbell Prizes during a press conference at the Beinecke Library.
Credit YouTube screenshot

Yale University announced the winners of its annual Windham Campbell Prizes. The eight writers were revealed by Yale President Peter Salovey during a press conference at Yale's Beinecke Library. Each winner will receive $150,000 to help them focus on writing.

Among the winners were playwright and television writer Kia Corthron, who has been struggling financially.  "I have been so broke that I needed Medicaid in order for necessary surgery last summer," she told the committee.

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Wealth
10:02 am
Fri March 7, 2014

There Are Over 1,000 Billionaires Worldwide -- and Connecticut Has 13 of Them

Credit hynci/iStock / Thinkstock

Thirteen Connecticut residents appear on this year's list of the nation's billionaires, compiled by Forbes Magazine. The list, released annually, includes 1,645 billionaires worldwide. 

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Legislative Session
6:20 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Poll Shows Support for Bill to Aid Suicide for Terminally Ill

Credit photonewman/iStock / Thinkstock

A new poll shows Connecticut voters strongly support legislation allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients.

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Outstanding Institutions
3:58 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Connecticut Museums and Libraries Among National Medal Finalists

The Hartford Public Library sits on Main Street in downtown Hartford
Hartford Public Library

Each year, the federal agency that supports libraries and museums recognizes 30 outstanding institutions for service to the community. This year, four finalists are in Connecticut. 

They include the Otis Library in Norwich, the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, and Mystic Aquarium in Mystic.

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Exhibits
2:23 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Exhibit Highlights Traditional Arts By Refugees and New Immigrants

Lynne Williamson

A giant woven carpet, intricate hand-made lace, brilliantly colored baskets and textiles are some of the traditional arts featured at a new exhibition in Hartford.

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Demonstrations
7:54 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Advocates Protested for Hours During President Obama’s Visit

A woman held a sign saying "Stop the raids and deportations" at CCSU during President Obama's visit.
Chion Wolf WNPR

President Obama pushed for a higher federal minimum wage in front of a friendly audience indoors at Central Connecticut State University on Wednesday. While that was happening, a smaller and different audience of around 100 people stood outside in the cold chanting and holding up signs.

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Minimum Wage
5:47 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Obama Says Minimum Wage Hike Is Common Sense

President Barack Obama visited CCSU in New Britain to talk about raising the minimum wage.
Chion Wolf WNPR

President Obama traveled to Connecticut on Wednesday to call for a raise in the federal minimum wage by nearly three dollars an hour. 

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Understanding Death
3:10 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Remembering Dr. Sherwin Nuland, Author of "How We Die"

Dr. Sherwin Nuland.

Best-selling author Dr. Sherwin Nuland has died. His 1994 book, How We Die, took on the medical establishment and its unwinnable fight with death. 

How We Die describes the messy, often harrowing process of dying. 

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Barack Obama
2:12 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

President Obama Visits Connecticut, in Tweets

President Barack Obama speaking at CCSU.
Credit whitehouse.gov

President Barack Obama visited Connecticut on Wednesday to urge an increase in the federal minimum wage. He arrived at Bradley International Airport via Air Force One, accompanied by a Connecticut delegation, and drove down I-91 with a motorcade.

Below is a collection tweets from around the state as the president arrived, and then came to New Britain with great anticipation to deliver his speech. 

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Connecticut Business Day
1:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Business Audience Quizzes Malloy on Minimum Wage

CBIA members listen to legislative leaders during Connecticut Business Day at the Capitol
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Before he traveled to New Britain for this afternoon’s event with President Obama, Governor Dannel Malloy faced what might be his most skeptical audience on the issue of minimum wage.

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Spider Venom
11:43 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Could Tarantula Venom Cure Your Aches and Pains?

Researchers at Yale have identified what they say is a more efficient way to screen thousands of spider neurotoxins against different pain receptors in the body. Above, the Peruvian Green Velvet tarantula.
Credit Yale University

Spider venom could be the next big thing to cure pain, according to research reported in the March issue of Current Biology from Yale University.

There are a lot of different components in venom. And here’s a cheery thought: not every part is out to kill you. 

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Keno, or no?
10:07 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Keno Finally Gets a Public Hearing

With a $500 million projected state surplus, chances are keno will be repealed in Connecticut.
Credit purple_onion / Creative Commons

The General Assembly's Public Safety and Security committee heard public testimony Tuesday on a bill that would repeal last year's law establishing keno in Connecticut.

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Minimum Wage
5:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Economists' Views Differ on Whether Minimum Wage Would Hurt Job Growth

Reverend Samuel Saylor of Hartford spoke at a rally outside the Connecticut State Capitol last May to support raising the minimum wage.
Credit Connecticut Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

President Barack Obama will be in Connecticut on Wednesday with four governors to push for a higher minimum wage of $10.10 an hour.

The increase is controversial, but what might actually happen if it goes up? Increasing the minimum wage is a contested political issue, but it's also an economic question that can be studied.

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Wants To Raise The Wage
11:55 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Obama Comes to Connecticut to Sell Minimum Wage

President Barack Obama
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

President Obama will visit Connecticut Wednesday to call for an increase in the minimum wage. The president wants the raise the base pay rate by nearly three dollars an hour.

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Where We Teach
2:42 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

What It's Like to Be a Teacher in Connecticut Today

WNPR hosted approximately 70 teachers in the CPBN Learning Lab to talk about what it's like to teach today.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Why do teachers want to teach? In the era of education reform, teacher evaluations, and standardized testing, it's a question that some teachers are asking themselves.

Last week, WNPR's Where We Live hosted an evening panel discussion with teachers from across the state in order to accommodate their schedules which don't line up with a live morning call-in show. 

We invited educators to join us in the audience and there was a general sentiment of openness to new evaluation methods and ways of measuring performance. But they also expressed a desire to balance it with support from administrators. The teachers on the panel said they are interested in getting better at teaching, and so they want feedback and support, not a stern visit that comes with a score and an up or down vote.

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Decibels
12:36 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Should Noise in Connecticut Movie Theaters Be Regulated?

Credit Kenneth Lu / Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a proposal that would establish a maximum decibel level at movie theaters across the state. The General Assembly's Public Safety and Security Committee heard testimony during a public hearing on Tuesday, including from Joseph Masher, the chief operating officer of Bow Tie Cinemas.

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Transportation
12:31 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

New Management, New Plan for Metro-North

Credit Connor Harris / Creative Commons

Metro-North's new president, Joseph Giulietti, sent a letter to Connecticut's Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, outlining intended operational  improvements.

The plan follows a terrible year for the railroad in 2013, including a derailment and collision in Bridgeport that injured 76 people and a derailment in The Bronx, New York, in which four people were killed.

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Unfunded Liabilities
12:15 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Connecticut Wrestles With "Financial Tapeworm"

Credit Simon Cunningham / Creative Commons

Warren Buffett has added his voice to the growing chorus of concern over public pension obligations. In his annual letter to shareholders, the legendary investing guru calls underfunded public pension plans a "gigantic financial tapeworm."

Buffett said he anticipates lots of bad news in the coming decade about public pensions, and he stresses the need for prompt remedial action where problems exist.

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Minimum Wage
10:12 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Majority Supports Minimum Wage Hike, According to Q Poll

Credit 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. 

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Foley Leads GOP, Ties Malloy
7:50 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Q Poll Shows Dead Heat in Race for Connecticut Governor

Tom Foley, left, and Dannel Malloy.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has consistently dodged questions about whether he'll run for re-election in 2014. According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, if he does run, he'll have a race on his hands.

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Natural Gas
6:23 am
Tue March 4, 2014

A Fracking Conundrum in Connecticut: What to Do With All That Waste

A well head after fracking equipment has been taken off location.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

As America witnesses a record boom in gas production, Connecticut lawmakers are once again trying to figure out what to do with fracking waste.

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Ukraine Crisis
5:18 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Ukrainian Americans Living in Connecticut Worried for Ukraine's Future

A Crimean self-defense group in Simferopol, Ukraine, on March 2.
Credit Elizabeth Arrott/Voice of America / Creative Commons

As Russian troops tighten their control on Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, Ukrainians living in Connecticut are anxious about the future of their home country.

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Ethics
3:10 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Auditors: No State Law Violation By Merrill's Office

Secretary of State Denise Merrill.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's Democratic and Republican auditors said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill's office did not violate any state laws by emailing a monthly newsletter highlighting activities from her office. 

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Health Equity
9:18 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Hypertension: Disparities Widen for Black Women

Blood pressure screenings are part of a long-term solution to hypertension among black women, according to experts.
Credit College of DuPage

Hypertension rates among women in all eight Connecticut counties increased from 2001 to 2009, with disparities widening for African American women compared to whites and Hispanics, according to a C-HIT analysis of data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

In fact, nearly one out of every two African American women living in Connecticut suffers from hypertension, a life-threatening condition that can lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney disease, research shows.

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Tracing Your Roots
6:39 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Proposal Could Allow Adoptees to Access Birth Certificates

The legislation would allow adopted adults to access their birth certificate.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / Katelyn Kenderdine

A proposal that went before the Public Health Committee could allow adopted children access to their birth certificate if they are age 21 or older.

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Race
6:31 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Mother of Trayvon Martin Speaks at UConn

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, speaking at UConn on Friday.
Credit UConn

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, was in Connecticut this weekend. She spoke at UConn as part of the university’s Black History Month events.

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Radiation
6:22 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Potassium Iodide Pills to Be Distributed Near Millstone Nuclear Plant

Potassium iodide tablets.
Credit stripes.com

Connecticut is about to receive about 1.3 million potassium iodide pills to be distributed to towns in a ten-mile emergency planning zone around Millstone Power Station in Waterford. The pills protect against radiation in a severe nuclear plant accident.

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Spotlight on the Arts
4:21 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Cheers to Picasso and Other Art World Legends

Studio at the rue des Grands-Augustins, 1990-96 by Red Grooms

Red Grooms dreams big, and draws large. Using paint, colored pencils, charcoal, and crayon, his super-sized canvases about life within the art world won’t just warm your heart; they will enlarge it three-fold.

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Common Core
3:03 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Education Committee Holds Forum on Implementing Common Core Standards

State Sen. Andrea Stillman.
Credit CT-N

An informational forum took place on Friday at the State Capitol focusing on Connecticut's controversial Common Core standards. Introducing the event, State Sen. Andrea Stillman described the forum as "a chance to see, hear, and digest information."

Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor told lawmakers that the state wants to be flexible with its approach to reform, knowing that local districts are struggling to make sweeping changes while also revising the way teachers are evaluated. 

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