Fairfield Region

Sandy Ground Project
6:02 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Volunteer-Built Playground in Hartford Celebrates Sandy Hook Shooting Victim

The Sandy Playground Project has built playgrounds in New Jersey and Connecticut to remember the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook and restore the east coast after Hurricane Sandy.
Credit Alan Yu / WNPR

A corner of a Hartford's Elizabeth Park became a construction site last weekend, but this wasn't just any ordinary project.

Even on a chilly day in March, hundreds of people came to watch. The organizers hope the community will continue to feel a strong connection to the playground that was built.

A group called the Sandy Ground Project is building 26 playgrounds as living memorials to the children who died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. 

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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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Connecticut First
6:12 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Metro-North Improvement Plans Emerge; Keno Repeal Gets a Hearing

Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti sent his 100-day plan to state Transportation Commissioner James Redeker on Monday. Giulietti is promising to rebuild a culture of safety at Metro-North to serve as the railroad’s "unshakeable foundation." He agreed to a 100-day plan to improve the railroad’s safety and operational performance in meeting with Governor Dannel Malloy last month.

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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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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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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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Connecticut First
5:41 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

NTSB Recommendations to Metro North; Salt Shipments Arrive

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for speed-limit signs in more places on Metro-North Railroad and cameras in the control cabs to monitor engineers and the tracks. In a letter dated Tuesday and sent to new Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti, the agency calls for permanent signs to warn engineers in advance of areas where speed restrictions are enforced, as an additional reminder to slow down. 

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WAMC News
2:47 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

NTSB Issues Safety Recommendations To Metro-North

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:36 am

A federal agency has issued safety recommendations following December’s fatal Metro-North commuter train derailment in the Bronx. The recommendations come in the form of a letter to Metro-North’s president.

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Transportation
11:48 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Fairfield Rail Commuter Event Draws Complaints About Metro-North

Over 100 people attended a Metro-North commuter speakout in Fairfield on Tuesday night.
Credit @CTRailCommuters

Over 100 people attended a forum in Fairfield on Tuesday night intended for Metro-North commuters to talk about problems plaguing the rail service. Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker attended the event at the Pequot Library and took questions.

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Connecticut First
6:00 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Malloy's Universal Pre-K Plans Unveiled; Metro-North Officials Meet

Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, the Executive Director of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood, appeared on WNPRs Where We Live to discuss plans for universal pre-K. Just over 1,000 seats would be added next school year for children from low-income families. Jones-Taylor said a quality pre-K program sets children up for future success. The first phase of the program would cost $13.8 million, which has been built into Malloy’s budget proposal.

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Metro-North
9:10 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Malloy Meets With New Metro-North President, Agrees to a Review

A train prepares to leave the station along the Metro-North New Haven Line.
Credit Patrick Cashin / MTA

Governor Dannel Malloy met on Monday with Joseph Giulietti, the new president of Metro-North Railroad, and Thomas Prendergast, chairman and chief executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Malloy said Connecticut and the MTA agreed to establish an independent review before work is done on Metro-North's power or electrical lines, in order to avoid outages like what happened last September.

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Transportation
10:02 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Governor Dannel Malloy Weighs In On Metro-North

Governor Dannel Malloy appearing on Where We Live.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

With an increasing number of angry rail commuters, and calls by some state legislators for federal intervention, Governor Dannel Malloy opened the door on Monday to the possibility of putting the operation of Metro-North’s New Haven line out for bid.

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Connecticut Olympian
3:47 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Ridgefield Supports Their Olympian With a Luge Screening

The luge track at Sochi will be on display at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Saturday.
Credit Digital Vision/Photodisc / Thinkstock

The Olympic Games officially get underway on Friday in Sochi, Russia, with opening ceremonies airing Friday night. Three billion are expected to watch as teams from around the world gather in Fisht Stadium to celebrate the start of the games.

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Winter Olympics
2:51 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

A Homemade Wooden Luge Track Launches Teen To Sochi

Tucker West started in luge when he was 6.
Brett West

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 11:10 pm

It's single-digit cold as Brett West steps into the snow in his backyard in Ridgefield, Conn., and points to a wooden monstrosity. It stands 32 feet high and looks kind of like a wooden roller coaster.

"The whole thing's made of wood — two-by-fours, four-by-fours and 3-quarter-inch plywood, all pressure-treated lumber, with a lot of screws."

The homemade track was the first training ground for his son, Tucker, an 18-year-old who is the youngest member of the U.S. luge team in Sochi.

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Connecticut First
1:41 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

More Snow on the Way; Metro-North Upgrades Coming

A Winter Storm Watch has already been issued for Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning for the next snow storm that could start out as sleet and bring another eight inches of new snow. Temperatures will be in the low 20s on Monday night.

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Metro-North
9:37 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Upgrade to Metro-North New Haven Line Begins

Governor Malloy announces upgrades to the New Haven line alongside other officials. Behind him, from left: Senator Richard Blumenthal, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, DOT Commissioner James Redeker, and Rep. Elizabeth Esty.
Credit Office of Governor Dannel Malloy

Work on a $10 million project to upgrade the power supply for Metro North’s New Haven Line begins on Monday. The upgrade is aimed at preventing the kind of catastrophic power failure that took place in New York last fall, seriously disrupting service. 

Governor Dannel Malloy announced the project Sunday at Union Station in New Haven. “Transportation is the backbone of our economy here in Connecticut,” he said. “As governor, I’ve been clear that we need to invest in bringing our highways and mass transit systems into the 21st century after years of under-investment.”

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Special Education
9:18 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Bridgeport Failed to Identify Students in Need of Special Education

Credit mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

The State Department of Education has determined that Bridgeport Public Schools have violated their obligation to students under the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

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Metro-North
12:18 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Malloy: Metro-North Outage Was "Totally Avoidable"

MTA signal maintainers clearing switches after a snowfall.
Credit Marc A. Hermann / MTA

Governor Dannel Malloy called Thursday night's Metro-North maintenance failure "totally avoidable." The outage brought the entire network of commuter trains to a halt for just under two hours in frigid temperatures. 

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Connecticut First
9:41 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Yale Fraternity Members Sued; Esty Stepping Down from DEEP

Credit WNPR/CPTV

Eighty-six current and former members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at Yale University are being sued over an accident at a Yale-Harvard football game in 2011. Nancy Berry, 30, of Salem, Massachusetts, was killed after being struck by a rental truck that was heading to the fraternity’s tailgating party outside the Yale Bowl. Lawyers for Barry’s family and another woman who was injured in the accident sued the fraternity members late last month. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed January 8, 2014

The Wheelhouse Kicks Off 2014

Not even a polar vortex can stop The Wheelhouse in 2014.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

With two major holidays falling on Wednesdays, it seems like forever since our weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse has gotten together. Well, we’re back with a New Year’s edition - where we start looking ahead to the 2014 campaigns.

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Connecticut First
6:26 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Cold Temperatures Continue; Metro-North President to Retire

Credit WNPR/CPTV

Governor Dannel Malloy is urging communities to open warming centers for those needing assistance. Officials with the Department of Transportation say they have crews out on the state's roads, but they're reminding motorists to drive with caution. By Wednesday afternoon, temperatures will rise into the 20s, and highs will be above 30 across most of the state by Thursday afternoon.

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Transportation
11:19 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Metro-North President to Retire

Howard Permut.
Credit Patrick Cashin / MTA

Metro-North President Howard Permut is stepping down. The New York Times reports that he announced his retirement Monday afternoon. 

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Aerospace Contracts
8:00 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Sikorsky to Pay Damages Over Canadian Delays

Sikorsky's Cyclone maritime helicopter at the Paris Air Show.
Credit Creative Commons

Sikorsky will pay damages to the Canadian government over a delay in fulfilling a helicopter order. But Canada said it will continue with the contract despite the difficulties.

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Metro-North
8:46 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Transportation Committee Hears Details of Metro-North's Problems

James Redeker speaks before the Connecticut legislature's Transportation Committee on Wednesday.
Credit CT-N

The Connecticut legislature's Transportation Committee held a public hearing on Wednesday to learn more about the recent problems with Metro-North. The Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker addressed the Transportation Committee. 

Transportation Committee member Jonathan Steinberg, a State Representative from Westport, told Redeker, "Thank you, Commissioner, for submitting to our version of shoot-the-messenger." 

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Metro-North
12:25 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Federal Officals Announce Thorough Analysis of Metro-North

Metro-North crews replace ties and improve drainage along a right-of-way in The Bronx in August 2013.
Credit J.P. Chan / MTA

Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation is applauding Thursday’s announcement by the Federal Railroad Administration that it’s conducting an analysis of every aspect of the Metro-North Commuter Railroad. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 10, 2013

DOT Commissioner James Redeker

Commissioner James Redeker
Chion Wolf

It’s a snowy commute this morning. That means you’ll be sharing the road with Connecticut Department of Transportation crews, plowing and treating the roads.

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Live Blog
8:56 am
Tue December 10, 2013

James Redeker Live on Where We Live

James Redeker, CT DOT Commissioner.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

James Redeker, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, joins us to talk about the latest in infrastructure. What with Metro-North woes, CTfastrak progress, talk of changes to the I-84 viaduct in Hartford, and more emphasis on transit-oriented development, is the state doing everything it can to improve the quality of our trains, buses, bridges, and roads? Check in below to see what Redeker has to say.

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Metro-North
11:32 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Changes, Improvements Announced for Metro-North

Metro-North Signal Department workers consult circuit diagrams, make signal changes and test the system at Spuyten Duyvil.
J.P. Chan MTA

Metro-North announced immediate improvements to address safety concerns at critical curves and moveable bridges. 

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Metro-North Derailment
5:33 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

N.Y. Train Crash Spotlights Push For Automatic Safety System

A police officer stands guard at the scene of a Metro-North passenger train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York on Dec. 1.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 11:36 am

A commuter train crash that killed four passengers in New York is raising questions about whether a high-tech safety system could have prevented the derailment.

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Metro-North Derailment
9:15 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Time-Lapse Video Shows Track Repairs Underway

Credit Daniel Cohen

A time-lapse video created over two days shows the track repair work underway at the site of a Metro-North train derailment where four people died and 63 people were injured. 

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