The Daily

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The new route for passenger rail through the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts is exceeding expectations, according to numbers from Amtrak.

The service shifted west in late December, which eliminated a stop in Amherst, and added new ones in Northampton and Greenfield. 

MGM Springfield

MGM broke ground on an $800 million casino in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts on Tuesday.

Company officials -- including Mike Mathis, MGM Springfield president; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; and state Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby -- were all in attendance.

SEDACmaps / Creative Commons

A delegation from the East African Nation of Djibouti is visiting Yale University to learn more about how climate change will affect the horn of Africa in the coming years.

Mikkel Rønne / Creative Commons

A Norwalk Board of Education member is resigning in response to criticism of a Facebook posting that featured obscenity-laced invective against the Rev. Al Sharpton and insults targeted at President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

New York National Guard

The Governor's proposal to cut state funding for honor guard details at veterans' funerals has drawn criticism. Now some legislative leaders have quickly stepped in to address the controversy. 

Diane Orson / WNPR

At least two groups are urging the Connecticut General Assembly to protect services that improve parent engagement and that help municipalities plan for early childhood education. 

Christopher Harrison / Creative Commons

Connecticut farmers will have an opportunity to become authorized to accept food stamps from customers at their farms and at farmers markets. 

Wilfredo Rivera / CPBN Learning Lab

If you walk into one of James Flynn's social studies classes at Platt High School in Meriden, you might be shocked at what you see. Kids on smart phones, tablets, laptops. They're on Twitter, Instagram, posting messages on a Facebook-like program called Edmodo.

But, oddly enough, most of them are not distracted. Students at Platt use social media as part of their curriculum. 

Noroton / Creative Commons

Lawmakers are planning changes to a controversial proposal from Governor Dannel Malloy that would enable the state to take land near transit stations.

Facebook

Former Republican congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley faces sentencing this week in a scheme to hide a role that former Governor John Rowland played in her campaign. 

Reinhold Behringer / Creative Commons

The World Health Organization has selected Greater New Haven as one of 15 urban areas worldwide to pilot a planned “age-friendly city indicator guide”.  

Governor Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy has selected Katherine Wade to be Connecticut's next insurance commissioner. Wade has over 20 years experience in the insurance industry, most recently as Cigna's Vice President of Public Policy, Government Affairs and U.S. Compliance. 

The White House

Sunshine Week is supposed to be dedicated to transparency and openness in government, but President Barack Obama's administration seems to have thumbed its nose at the idea by announcing that the executive office would not comply with Freedom of Information Act requests.  

Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

Connecticut's energy and environmental commissioner says budget cuts proposed by Governor Dannel Malloy could lead to reduced hiring, closing bathrooms at some state parks, and restricting trash collection.

Brad Bedard / Creative Commons

Connecticut is one step closer to adding more casinos. The legislature's public safety and security committee voted this week 15-to-eight in favor of the legislation

Billy Hathorn / Creative Commons

New London has fired a city employee, suspended two others and otherwise disciplined another two workers after an investigation of alleged safety violations at the city's transfer station. 

Wikimedia Commons

A high school science club wants Connecticut lawmakers to name titanium as the state’s official element.

Jessica Hill / The Associated Press

A new report says Governor Dannel Malloy's plan to save the state money by reducing the number of people on Medicaid will harm low-income families. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut lawmakers are considering an expansion of the state’s gambling enterprise, urged forward by competition from Massachusetts. Operators of Connecticut's two existing casinos believe that if this legislation passes, their business will remain competitive.

On Thursday, the legislation -- Senate Bill 1090 An Act Concerning Gaming -- was approved 15 to eight by the General Assembly's Public Safety and Security Committee. It awaits further action in the Senate to clarify details still under negotiation.

Katrina Leskanich

"Walking on Sunshine" topped music charts worldwide in 1985, catapulting the British band Katrina and The Waves to stardom. 

Sage Ross

    

Over 100 people testified before the legislature's Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

They spoke for and against a controversial bill to allow Connecticut doctors to prescribe medication to help terminally ill patients to end their lives.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is set to interview three candidates for the position of Connecticut's education commissioner. 

Wikimedia Commons

A true story: the first time I heard George Harrison’s 1970 song “My Sweet Lord,” I was listening to the radio over at the apartment of a friend of mine. I said to my friend, “That sure sounds a lot like the Chiffons’ ‘He’s so Fine.’” Shortly thereafter, I read that the owners of the copyright to “He’s So Fine” had decided to sue Harrison. After a protracted legal battle, they won their case.

WNPR illustration / Creative Commons

The mascot debates have ended -- at least in West Hartford.

The West Hartford school board has voted to drop references to Native American mascots at its two high schools. But, the schools' teams will still be called the Chieftans and Warriors.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A public hearing on Monday heard residents' input on a proposed bill that would clarify state laws on police officers' authority to make arrests outside of their jurisdiction. 

Speaking on WNPR's Where We Livepanelists broke down the origins of the bill and the issues surrounding it. 

Paul Bass / New Haven Independent

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 months in prison in a campaign fraud case. He was also fined $35,000.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut election officials are widening an investigation into whether the state Democratic Party illegally spent money to distribute campaign mailers supporting Governor Dannel Malloy’s re-election.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a request from its investigators to issue subpoenas.

Guillaume Laurent / Creative Commons

Kyle Eastwood, a hard-swinging bassist and gifted jazz and film score composer, continues to carve a brilliant career all his own, an ongoing success story that makes the day for his proud father, the legendary Hollywood actor/director, Clint Eastwood.

Bill Lile / Creative Commons

A legislative committee held a public hearing on a controversial proposal to add more casinos in the state. 

Health and Wellbeing / Creative Commons

Nobel prize winning economist Robert Shiller says the Fed has a very tricky job when it begins to signal a rise in interest rates. Shiller, who teaches at Yale, told WNPR’s Where We Live that there’s no historical precedent for the lengthy period of low interest rates that we’re living through. 

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