The Daily

Veterans
7:11 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Free Screenings for Veterans to Combat Cancer Killer

Jake Martins is a Vietnam war veteran and cancer survivor
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil

This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would start covering the cost of lung cancer screenings. Clinicians are applauding the decision including staff at Middlesex Hospital where it offers free lung screenings to veterans during the month of November. 

Jake Martins served in the U.S. Marine Corps during Vietnam. He described smoking as a habit for much of his life. "For 53 years, four packs day," he said. 

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Metcalf on Music
6:56 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Puccini: Don't Forget the Kleenex

Giacomo Puccini.
Creative Commons

The first truly modern composer?

Stravinsky? Schoenberg?

I say a case can be made for Giacomo Puccini.

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Polish Stories
5:52 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Polish Stories Project: WWII Vet Henry Kawecki Married His German Sweetheart

Henry and Gertrude Kawecki, married 69 years
Catie Talarski

Henry Kawecki was born on April 30, 1924 in Warsaw, Poland. At 90 years old, he's seen more than most. In fact, he could write chapters of a history book.

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Climate Change
4:05 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

U.S. and China Announce Historic Climate Change Agreement

Flickr Creative Commons / why 137

A new agreement between China and the United States to reduce carbon emissions will send strong signals to the global community, according to a Wesleyan professor who has studied climate change for the Obama administration.

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Exploration
11:54 am
Wed November 12, 2014

For First Time in Human History, Spacecraft Lands on Comet

This image was captured when the Philae lander was just 3km from the surface of the comet.

The European Space Agency made history on Wednesday morning, landing the first man-made object on the surface of a comet. 

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Obamacare
10:02 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act Begins This Week

A barber in a television ad for Access Health CT.
Credit Access Health CT

Open enrollment for the second year of the Affordable Care Act begins this Saturday. By the state's calculations, the first year of Obamacare cut the number of uninsured in Connecticut in half. Of those who remain, remove the roughly 70,000 people who won't ever enroll in health insurance, and that leaves about another 70,000 to go. 

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Jazz Corridor
8:09 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Guitar Gods Rule Supreme From Worcester to Hartford and Norfolk

Pat Metheny
Credit Jimmy Katz

Guitar gods Pat Metheny, a master maker of melody and texture, and the thunderous, Thor-like, lightning-tossing duo of Eric Johnson and Mike Stern rule supreme in the next few days in the Jazz Corridor with individual appearances ranging from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Hartford and Norfolk.

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World War II
6:32 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Connecticut Veteran Witnessed Major WWII Battle From Unique Vantage Point

Herb Philbrick (in white Navy Cap) saluting the Flag at Wethersfield's Veteran's Day Ceremony
Ray Hardman WNPR

On Tuesday, I attended the Wethersfield Veteran's Day Ceremony at town hall. Among the many veterans in attendance, I had the chance to talk with Herb Philbrick, 97, who served in the Navy during World War II. Philbrick was a Chief Machinist Mate, and among his many memories of serving his country, he clearly remembers watching the battle of Iwo Jima, including the now iconic raising of the American Flag on Mount Surabachi from his ship, the U.S.S. Oceanus.

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Coming Home Project
3:26 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Sen. Blumenthal Pushes Dept. of Defense to Help Iraq War Veterans Exposed to Chemical Weapons

U.S. Army Sgt. Travis Livesey assigned to 731st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and an Iraqi Policemen, EOD, carefully arranges unexploded ordnance for disposal on Crazy Horse Range, Ramadi, Iraq, Feb. 17, 2011.
Credit U.S. Army

On Veteran's Day, Connecticut's U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal called on the Department of Defense to explain why it covered up instances when Iraq War veterans were exposed to chemical weapons. The Senator is also asking for the DOD to assist these veterans in seeking benefit claims for their injuries.

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That's Cold, Man
3:22 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Those Fall Shivers in Connecticut Aren't From the "Polar Vortex"

A typical polar vortex from November 2013.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Polar vortex is a phrase you've probably heard a lot, but what does it actually mean?

"I think, sometimes, people sort of misunderstand the polar vortex and they think it's this giant amoeba of cold that sits over the North Pole that just gets dislodged and heads right over Chicago," said Ryan Hanrahan, meteorologist at NBC Connecticut. "That's not really what happens."

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Wildlife Research
11:29 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Will Some Bats in Vermont Survive the Mysterious White-Nose Syndrome?

A little brown bat found in New York in 2008 with white-nose syndrome.
Ryan von Linden New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Researchers in New York and Vermont are still scrambling to understand the disease known as white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungus that has killed millions of bats since it was first identified near Albany, New York in 2006.

Caves in the Adirondacks, the Black River Valley, the Champlain Valley, and Vermont have been especially hard-hit.

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Spotlight on the Arts
10:59 am
Tue November 11, 2014

How One Connecticut School Went From Funeral Parlor to Top Arts School in the Nation

Choreographer's Showcase 2013, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.
GHAA

Nearly 20 years ago, I made my first visit to the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts at its original site, just past Colt Park in Hartford, heading south on Wethersfield Avenue.

I pulled into a parking lot protected by a tall, chain-linked fence. It acted like a divider between a worn-out apartment building in the deteriorating neighborhood, and the old funeral parlor that had been resurrected as Hartford’s arts magnet high school.

The school has come a long way since then. Last month, it was honored as the nation’s top arts school by the Arts Schools Network.

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Power Marketplace
9:08 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Big Electric Rate Hikes on the Way for Winter in Connecticut

Your meter may not be spinning any faster, but you'll pay more.
Sarah Simpson Creative Commons

Both of Connecticut’s electric utility companies want to raise rates sharply in January. 

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Gun Safety and Sales
8:27 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Connecticut Religious and Civic Leaders Press Gun Manufacturers

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A coalition of municipal leaders, police and clergy gathered in Bridgeport on Monday, calling on gun manufacturers to make their weapons safer.

Public entities like police departments make up a significant share of the U.S. gun industry’s market. 

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New Haven
2:14 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

As Ebola Spreads in Sierra Leone, New Haven Launches Campaign to Help

Sierra Leone ambassador Ibrahim Conteh in New Haven last week.
Aliyya Swaby New Haven Independent

Amid news of an alarming increase in new Ebola cases in Sierra Leone, the city of New Haven has announced plans to try and help its sister city there.

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Screening for Cancer
1:03 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Medicare Costs for Breast Cancer Screenings Soar, but Benefits Remain Unclear

Dr. David Gruen, director of Women's Imaging at Stamford Hospital, reviews 3D images.
Stamford Hospital

Medicare-funded breast cancer screenings jumped 44 percent from $666 million to $962 million from 2001 to 2009, yet those added costs did not improve early detection rates among the 65 and older Medicare population, according to a Yale School of Medicine study published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Bridgeport
12:20 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Ex-Worker at Bridgeport Housing Authority Sues, Claiming Fraud

Subsidized apartment housing in Bridgeport.
Credit City of Bridgeport

An ex-employee has sued the Bridgeport Housing Authority, claiming she was fired to cover up $2 million in fraud and mismanagement she discovered. 

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Disease
8:36 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Ebola Panic Brings Back Memories of Early Days of AIDS for Yale Researcher

Gregg Gonsalves.
Yale University

A Yale researcher says the current panic over Ebola in the U.S. brings back some bad memories.

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A Radio Legend Passes
9:02 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Why Everyone Who Loves Public Radio Should Thank Tom Magliozzi

Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk
Richard Howard

Car Talk is the most important program in the history of public radio.

There, I said it.

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Elephants
2:10 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Limits On Ivory Sales, Intended to Protect Elephants, Stir Debate

Creative Commons

The Quinnipiac Law Review will hold a symposium this weekend about ivory trafficking, focusing on controversial ivory laws that went into effect last February.

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Destination Retail
9:56 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Foxwoods Readies Outlet Mall

An oculus that will let natural light into the quarter-mile-long mall building
Harriet Jones WNPR

In the week that Massachusetts removed the last challenge to its new gaming industry, voting down a potential repeal, one of Connecticut’s casinos showed off exactly how it’s preparing for competition from the north.

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Music
11:19 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Celebrating Composer Irving Fine

Irving Fine at Tanglewood in 1962.
Library of Congress

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer Irving Fine. Concerts and celebrations are taking place in New York, Washington, and coming up this weekend, here in Connecticut.

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The Business of Governing
10:31 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Catherine Smith Looks Forward to Economic Development 2.0

DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith
Credit Chion Wolf

Economic development was a major part of the campaign rhetoric this election season, and it seems destined to be a high-profile part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s second term.

WNPR sat down with the administration’s economic development chief, Catherine Smith to talk about what a second term will look like.

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Whaling City Politics
8:45 am
Thu November 6, 2014

In Reversal, New London Mayor Will Seek Second Term

Now that the 2014 elections are over, the race for New London mayor begins.
Credit Office of Mayor Finizio / Facebook

After previously saying he would not seek a second term, Democratic New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has changed his mind.

Finizio made his announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday. After announcing in April he would not run for re-election, "many New Londoners came to me, at my office, at my house, on the street, urging me to reconsider and run for re-election," Finizio wrote.

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Metcalf on Music
7:41 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Pump Down the Volume

Noise can hurt.
Dishpig Eldritch

Music can theoretically unfold at every conceivable volume, from barely audible to ear-splitting. Increasingly, however, for reasons that I sort of understand but not entirely, music these days tends to be experienced at one of two basic levels: Loud, and Insanely Loud.

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Early Voting Measure
4:54 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Connecticut Voters Reject Ballot Measure to Change Election Laws

Denise Merrill, Connecticut's Secretary of the State, brought up the ballot initiative in 2012 Gov. Malloy's support.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut voters rejected a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have opened the door to more early voting options. 

The question on Tuesday's ballot would have given state officials new authority to pursue changes to election laws like having multiple voting days and expanded use of absentee ballots.

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Connecticut Legislature
2:29 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Mixed Fortunes for Democrats in State Senate

Polling in Essex on Tuesday.
Credit Mara Lavitt / WNPR

Southeastern Connecticut saw some notable races in the state legislature, with one state senate seat changing hands, and another staying with the incumbent, despite the fact he's currently hospitalized. 

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Connecticut Governor
2:26 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Gov. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Wyman Declare Victory in Connecticut Race

The Connecticut State Capitol.
Jim Bowen Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman declared victory in the Connecticut governor's race on Wednesday at the state Capitol. 

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Close Race
1:46 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Tom Foley Concedes in Connecticut Governor's Race

Tom Foley admits that he probably lost, but did not concede, at the Hyatt in Greenwich. With him at left is his wife Leslie Fahrenkopf Foley, at right his running mate Heather Somers.
Mara Lavitt WNPR

Republican Tom Foley conceded the Connecticut governor's race on Wednesday afternoon to incumbent Governor Dannel Malloy.

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Ballot Question Defeat
1:05 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Casino Opponents in Massachusetts Consider Their Options

MGM's plans for downtown Springfield include a tower
Credit MGM Springfield

By a 20 percent margin, voters in Massachusetts refused to repeal the state’s casino law. The defeat of the ballot question comes as a relief to those bankrolling projects that were approved in three different Massachusetts communities.

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