The Daily

Economic Development
7:59 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

State Strikes Major Tax Credit Deal With United Technologies

An artist's impression of the planned new Pratt & Whitney headquarters building.
Credit Pratt and Whitney

The state of Connecticut has struck a multi-million dollar deal with United Technologies, which it hopes will safeguard the future of research and manufacturing operations here.

Under the agreement, the state will allow UTC to exercise tax credits it has already built up. The conglomerate can exchange $20 million in tax credits each year, up to a maximum of $400 million.

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Venezuela
2:18 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Concern for the Safety of Venezuelan Opposition Leader With Ties to Yale

Carlos Vecchio while at Yale.
Credit Uma Ramiah

After recent anti-government protests in Venezuela, Amnesty International has issued an urgent call for action on behalf of an opposition leader with ties to Yale University. An arrest order has been issued for Carlos Vecchio.

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Moving Violations
1:28 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

State Police to Motorists: Back Off

Credit John Steven Fernandez / Creative Commons

Connecticut State Police are launching an "educational" campaign targeting tailgating motorists on highways.

The program will run throughout March in the areas of Hartford, New Haven, Meriden, Middletown, and Old Saybrook. That includes interstates 84, 91, 95 and 691 and routes 8,9, and 15. 

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Transportation
12:45 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Metro-North Executives Say Efforts to Improve Are Underway

MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast before the state's Transportation Committee.
Credit CT-N

Two Metro-North Railroad executives said on Thursday that the rail line has slowed down its trains, installed new technology, and changed internal management, all in an effort to make commuter rail service better.

MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast and new Metro-North president Joseph Giulietti met with members of the state legislature's transportation committee to talk about reliability and safety with state lawmakers. 

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Hartford's Former Mayor
9:58 am
Thu February 27, 2014

State Supreme Court Takes the Case of Eddie Perez

Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

The Connecticut Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, according to the court's clerk.

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Sexual Abuse Allegations
9:02 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Report on UConn Professor Shows Misconduct, Delayed Action

University of Connecticut.
Credit Matthias Rosenkranz / Creative Commons

According to a report from an independent law firm, University of Connecticut officials knew of sexual abuse allegations against a music professor for a decade before taking action.

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Prison Health Care
3:46 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Connecticut Parolees May Receive Easier Access to Health Care

A new budget proposal could allow certain parolees to sidestep a federal law and access health care in the community.
Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images News / Thinkstock

When Milton Vereen got out of jail, he went to a halfway house. The idea was simple. He'd find a job. He'd look for housing. He'd reintegrate into his New Haven neighborhood and cut his ties to prison.

Except one tie was holding him back: his medical care.

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Special Election
10:28 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Holder-Winfield Wins State Senate Special Election

Gary Holder-Winfield thanked supporters at the The Greek Olive in New Haven alongside his wife, Natalie Holder-Winfield, and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, far left.
Credit Thomas MacMillan / The New Haven Independent

Democratic State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield of New Haven won a special state senate election on Tuesday. He succeeds veteran Toni Harp, who's now the mayor of New Haven.

The New Haven Independent reports that Holder-Winfield defeated Republican Steven Mullins with 76 percent of the vote. Holder-Winfield had the backing of top state Democrats for the 10th District seat, including state Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy. 

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Jazz Corridor
9:16 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Fats Waller Tribute Comes to Deep River

From left, Kevin Dorn, Bob Barta, and Dan Levinson of the sextet Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm.
Credit Jeff Barnhart

Countless musicians and band leaders over the decades have saluted Fats Waller, the legendary jazz pianist/composer/singer and comic showman whose exuberantly high-living lifestyle and robust artistry were cut short when he died from pneumonia at only 39 in 1943. 

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DEEP Commissioner
8:15 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Malloy's DEEP Commissioner Appointee Clears a Hurdle

Robert Klee.
Credit Yale World Fellows

Governor Dannel P. Malloy's newly-appointed Department of Energy and Environmental Protection commissioner is moving closer toward being confirmed.

The General Assembly's Legislative and Executive Nominations Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously, with one member absent, in favor of Robert Klee's appointment. 

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Massachusetts Gaming
7:50 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Revere Approves Mohegan Sun Casino Plan

An artist's rendering of Mohegan Sun's planned casino at Suffolk Downs, Revere
Credit Mohegan Sun

Residents in Revere, Massachusetts approved on Tuesday a plan by Mohegan Sun to build a $1.3 billion resort casino in the town. The Hartford Courant reported that the proposal won 63 percent of the vote.

It's the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority's second attempt at the new gaming market in Massachusetts -- voters in Palmer recently rejected a casino plan there.

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Health Marketplace
4:12 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Bill Could Allow Access Health CT to Negotiate Prices

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

A legislative committee wants to delay for a year when the state's insurance marketplace, Access Health CT, could begin negotiating prices with the insurance companies selling products through the exchange. 

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Pro-Life, Anti-Planned Parenthood
1:59 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Alveda King: Abortion Is a Civil Rights Issue

Dr. Alveda King

Dr. Alveda King has taken up the civil rights mantle of her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But her driving issue is abortion, and she has a vehemently pro-life stance. She says her uncle would agree with her. 

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School Reform
1:50 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

East Lyme Superintendent: Mere Slowdown of Education Reform Is Not Enough

Credit carlosbezz/iStock / Thinkstock

A local superintendent's recent letter to Governor Dannel Malloy laid out concerns about changes to Connecticut's educational system. East Lyme Public Schools Superintendent James Lombardo, a long-time veteran of Connecticut's public schools, wrote a letter to Malloy and Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor saying education reforms are pointing the state and the country in the wrong direction. 

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Minimum Wage
10:52 am
Tue February 25, 2014

U.S. Labor Secretary Touts Minimum Wage Increase in Hartford

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, at right, with Bridgeport business owner Douglas Wade, left, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
Credit Skyler Magnoli

A top Obama cabinet member was in Hartford on Monday advocating for an increase in the federal minimum wage. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez joined with Connecticut's two U.S. Senators for a round table at the Hartford Public Library. 

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Governor Throwdown
9:30 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Malloy, Jindal Spar Over Minimum Wage

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy at the White House on Monday.
Credit C-SPAN

Governor Dannel Malloy locked horns with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at a press conference after the National Governor's Association meeting.

he press conference was supposed to outline the bipartisan progress made during the conference, held in Washington, D.C. But in his remarks, Jindal criticized President Barack Obama's plans to raise the minimum wage. 

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Chemicals At School
8:45 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Is Connecticut's Pesticide Ban on School Grounds Too Restrictive?

Legislators are considering adding an exception to Connecticut's 2010 ban on pesticide use at schools.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / Valley_Photographs

Legislators are considering a change to a statewide ban of pesticide use on school grounds. It's the first of several proposed challenges to a law that's been in effect since 2010.

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Last Dry Town
8:13 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Bridgewater Will Remain Dry, For Now

Bridgewater was ready for a town referendum lifting the ban on alcohol sales. A Connecticut law may keep Bridgewater a dry town for another 21 months.
Ray Hardman WNPR

A decades-old blue law has blocked the town of Bridgewater's effort to lift an ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcohol. That means Bridgewater will, for the time being, be the last remaining dry town in Connecticut.

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Coming Home Project
4:37 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Connecticut Veterans Fired For Military Service Can Sue in State Court

Credit glegorly/iStock / Thinkstock

A recent decision by the Connecticut Appellate Court could help local veterans who have been wrongfully terminated because of their military service.

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Drones
4:32 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Connecticut Lawmakers Consider Limiting Drone Use By Police

Legislators are considering a proposal to limit drone activity by police.
Credit Baton72/iStock / Thinkstock

State lawmakers heard public testimony Monday afternoon on a bill concerning drones. Next year, the FAA is expected to widely deregulate drone usage, which is leaving many states scrambling to control the technology.

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Public Policy Divide
4:04 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Mixed Effects on Industry and Workers as Malloy Pushes for Higher Minimum Wage

Dale Doll, pantry coordinator at MACC, said she sees minimum wage workers struggling to put food on the table.
Credit Sujata Srinivasan

As the pace of the gubernatorial campaign picks up, with the position up for re-election this November, Governor Dannel Malloy is making minimum wage a top priority issue. A further increase in the minimum wage is one of the most politically polarizing debates the legislature is likely to see this session. 

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Sports
4:03 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Hurrah for Jason Collins, But the NBA Was Already Pretty Gay

By Steve Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com, via Wikimedia Commons

I'm as excited as anybody else about Jason Collins, but can the NBA really be having its Big Gay Moment when one of its stars from the past frequented gay bars, dyed his hair green and --during his playing days -- wore feather boas and a wedding dress?

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Affordable Care Act
11:34 am
Mon February 24, 2014

State's Obamacare Website Now Up In Spanish

Credit Access Health CT

We recently told you about the challenge of getting a Spanish language enrollment website up and running for the state’s Obamacare agency, Access Health CT. Now, it appears that site is live

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Transportation
11:24 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Metro-North Conductor Apologizes to Passengers With a Letter on Seats

Credit Susan Sermoneta / Creative Commons

In an unusual move, a Metro-North conductor left a note on passengers' seats Monday morning apologizing for an express train on Friday that never came.

Michael Shaw said he put 500 copies of his written apology on seats after telling passengers at the New Haven, West Haven, Milford, and Stratford stations to wait for an express train that was later canceled. In his note, he said he was "shocked and furious."

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Labor
9:55 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Minimum Wage Workers Meet with State, Federal Officials

Credit anopdesignstock/iStock / Thinkstock

Federal Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Connecticut's two senators are pitching for an increase in the minimum wage. Perez and Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are scheduled to meet on Monday with minimum wage workers at a Hartford Public Library forum. 

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Gun Control
8:48 am
Mon February 24, 2014

New Gun Law Poses New Questions About Those Who Break It

Joel Cramer.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It appears thousands of Connecticut residents may have failed to comply with the state's new gun registration law. The state banned the sale of certain so-called assault weapons after the Newtown shootings, and created a registry for residents who already own them.

Failure to register is a felony, but officials have no way to identify the new group of criminals, and no plans to round them up.

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Farming Data
7:25 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Connecticut Farm Numbers Increase, Bucking National Trend

Connecticut saw its number of farms jump over five years from 4,916 to 5,977, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The number of farms in Connecticut is growing. That's according to a new census report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In 2012, nearly 6,000 farms were operating in Connecticut -- that's up from about 4,900 just five years ago.

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Host's Diary
5:30 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Most People Are DJs, But Sometimes It's Nice If They're Not

Credit C.P. Storm / Creative Commons

Last Sunday morning, I read with interest this essay by writer Beth Boyle Machlan on the joys of driving with her kids and listening to commercial radio -- the antithesis of the modern i-music experience which involves carefully choosing and curating one's own "playlists," and never subjecting oneself to anything as vulgar and top-down as listening to a whole bunch of songs picked out by other people. 

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Hospitals
4:47 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

West Haven VA Hospital in Spotlight for Unsanitary Conditions

The West Haven VA Hospital.
Credit Connecticut VA Healthcare System

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal has asked the Connecticut VA Healthcare System to report in a month how it will ensure sanitary conditions at its West Haven hospital. Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, visited the hospital Friday morning after a VA Inspector General's report outlined several areas of concern from a June 2013 inspection at the VA hospital. 

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State Capitol
2:34 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

State Republicans Release Federal Subpoenas

Credit Chris Reed/iStock / Thinkstock

News broke Thursday that federal agents are investigating state Republicans at the Capitol. Today, Republicans formally released three federal subpoenas that they received. Here they are.

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