FOIA

Legislative Session
10:13 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Newspapers, Municipalities Still Divided Over Legal Notices

Credit Jon S / Creative Commons

The state's daily newspapers, and its towns and cities, remain divided over how to change the state’s laws on printed legal notices.

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Energy
10:59 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Environmental Group Challenges New England's Energy Policy Coordination

Credit Daniel Oines / Creative Commons

An environmental advocacy group is challenging how energy policy is coordinated by New England's six governors. The Conservation Law Foundation has submitted public records requests to the region's six states.

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Where We Live
8:16 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Checking In With Senate President Don Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey

Senate President Don Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Today, conversations with Connecticut’s top two lawmakers - Senate President Don Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey - about two big issues: Freedom of Information and taxes.

Williams has announced his retirement after 20 years in the legislature after this session ends. We talk about his tenure, which included the aftermath of the scandal that sent Governor John Rowland to jail. And about his testimony over proposed legislation that would limit access to public records.

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FOIA Compliance
4:20 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Connecticut Police Departments Withhold Public Information

Credit DavidsonScott15 / Creative Commons

Five municipal police departments in Connecticut and one state police troop failed to follow Freedom of Information law by refusing to release basic information upon request.

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Newspapers
7:08 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Papers Fight Proposals to Alter Publication of Legal Notices

Mike Killian stands in the building that once housed the presses of the Meriden Record-Journal.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

As newspaper advertising revenue continues its slump across the country, publishers are trying to hold on to one line of stable cash: the printed legal notice. In Connecticut, municipal leaders are pushing for a change in state law that would allow them to save money and cut back on those notices. And newspapers are pushing back. 

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Privacy
4:01 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Still Has Limited Access to Records

Dr. Hank Schwartz, member of Gov. Dannel Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

This week, The New Yorker published an article by Andrew Solomon featuring an extended interview with Peter Lanza, the father of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza.

A member of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission said the interview does provide more information on the killer's medical and psychological background, but the commission has had limited access to other information while putting together its report.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed March 12, 2014

The Wheelhouse Talks FOI, Peter Lanza, and Daylight Saving Time

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse brings you news from the capitol and across the state.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's been a busy week in the news. In 2014 campaign news, the number of Republican candidates for governor went from six to five and then right back up to six. At the state capitol, lawmakers held two public hearings at the same time, both of which ironically had to do with Freedom of Information legislation.

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Wake of Newtown
5:15 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Legislation to Restrict Public Information After Sandy Hook

State Sen. Eric Coleman chairing the Judiciary Committee hearing.
Credit CT-N

Two legislative committees met at the same time on Monday to discuss two very similar bills that would limit access to public documents. The bills are part of the state's response to the 2012 shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

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Connecticut Legislature
1:15 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Government Administration and Elections Committee Meets to Weigh Recommendations

The Connecticut State Capitol.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Connecticut legislature's Government Administration and Elections Committee met Monday to discuss an act that would implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know. 

Some legislators acknowledged they're struggling over whether to support the proposed legislation, which would limit public access to 911 audio tapes, additional types of crime scene photos, and law enforcement audio recordings.

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Connecticut Legislature
1:03 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Judiciary Committee Meets, Considers Privacy Task Force Recommendations

State Sen. Eric Coleman.
Credit CT-N
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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:36 am
Mon March 10, 2014

The Scramble: Losing at Jeopardy, Finding Lost Dogs, and Winning Back Lost Freedom of Information

Credit Shawn M. Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

Amanda Hess is one of our favorite social critics. She writes for Slate and lately, well always, she's thinking about the depiction of women in mass media, including a statistical disparity between the performances of men and women on Jeopardy

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Sandy Hook
8:08 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Keyword Searches for Newtown Commission Open Window Into Process

Credit State of Connecticut

The governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is continuing its work. As it does, the law firm that advises it has done a lot of legwork itself, making a searchable database out of the thousands of pages of the Connecticut State Police Newtown investigation.  

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Freedom of Information
1:10 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Victim Privacy Task Force Meets to Discuss Final Report

James Smith, president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.
Credit CT-N

The state's Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know met on Friday to consider approval of its final report, which passed by a 15-2 vote and now heads to the General Assembly.

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Wake of Newtown
3:17 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Sandy Hook Commission Speaking With Representative of Lanza's Family

Scott Jackson, Mayor of Hamden, is chair of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Credit CT-N

The head of the governor's commission studying the Newtown shootings said he is direct contact with the family of gunman Adam Lanza. 

The commission that met Friday is hoping to learn more about Lanza's medical history.

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Government Transparency
3:23 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Progress, But More Work Needed on Statewide Transparency Efforts

Kevin Lembo is the State Comptroller.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been one month since State Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced the expansion of Open Connecticut -- an online source for state finances -- to include financial information for Connecticut’s quasi-public agencies and federal programs.

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Where We Live
8:52 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Understanding Connecticut's Quasi-Public Agencies

State Comptroller talks about quasi-public agencies on <em>Where We Live</em>.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Established in 1965, the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority has earned its title as the oldest quasi-public agency in our state. Now, it’s one of eleven quasi-public entities in Connecticut, agencies like Connecticut Innovations, Inc.; the Connecticut Development Authority; the Connecticut Lottery Corporation; and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority -- to name a few. 

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Sandy Hook Investigation
2:15 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Newtown State Police Investigation Actually Concluded In September

Credit State of Connecticut

The state police have released the results of their investigation into last year's Newtown shootings. But some remain critical of how long it took them to do so.

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Newtown Investigation
3:14 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

What Does State Police Newtown Report Reveal About Lanza's Medical History?

Lt. Paul Vance, spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, in Newtown on December 14, 2012.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Last month, the state prosecutor who investigated the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown released his much-awaited report.

Now, the state police have released a report of their own into the shooting that left 20 children and six educators dead. Officials said they are redacting the state police file, which is several thousand pages long.

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Year In Review
2:53 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

What Was the Top Story of 2013?

How will you remember 2013?
Credit WNPR

What is your top story from 2013? We wrapped up the year on WNPR's news roundtable The Wheelhouse by asking this question. The following are some of your picks for story of the year as well as some other notable events up to this point.

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Freedom of Information
2:51 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Task Force on Privacy and the Public's Right to Know Meets, Votes on Recommendations

Garvin Ambrose, State Victim Advocate, addresses the task force Tuesday morning.
Credit CT-N

Connecticut's Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know met for most of the day on Tuesday to piece together recommendations for the General Assembly in advance of a January 1 deadline. 

The task force voted 14-3 on a recommendation to allow the public to privately review certain crime scene photos, 911 audio tapes, and other information related to homicides in Connecticut. 

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Sandy Hook Investigation
6:24 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Task Force Tries to Balance Victim Privacy and Public Information

Don DeCesare, the panel's co-chair.
Credit CT-N

A state task force met today as it works to find ways to balance victim privacy with freedom of information laws. But consensus is still hard to come by.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 27, 2013

The Newtown Report: Privacy, Public Information and Mental Health Policy

One of the photos of the Lanza residence released by the State's Attorney office.
Credit State of Connecticut

This week, the long-awaited report was released on last year’s shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. On our weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse, we discuss the report and other evidence that may soon be released to the public. Also on the day the report came out, we had yet another campus scare, this time at Yale University.

Note: During the show, Colin mentioned this New York Times story about a death in St. Augustine, FL. That story presents what we see as a compelling reason for the public release of crime scene documents and 911 calls. This story was also the subject of a PBS Frontline documentary, which you can watch here via CPTV. - jd

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Freedom of Information
5:30 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Closed Investigation of Sandy Hook Shooting Prompts Nuanced Legal Questions

A photo from the Lanza home in Newtown from the summary report of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting investigation.
Credit State of Connecticut

State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky's summary report on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting said that the investigation is now closed, and there will be no criminal prosecution in the case. None of the evidence points to collaboration in the crime, and the shooter is considered solely responsible.

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Sandy Hook Investigation
2:07 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Judge Orders Release of Newtown 911 Tapes

The Associated Press is reporting that a state court judge has ordered the release of 911 recordings from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. But the tapes won't be immediately unsealed.

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Newtown Report
9:08 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

No Motive In Newtown Report, But Many Details About Lanza

An image from a Connecticut State Police report on the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School shows a scene at 36 Yogananda St. in Newtown, Conn., where Adam Lanza killed his mother before driving to the school and killing 26 students and staff last December.
AP

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 7:49 pm

Investigators say they haven't determined why Adam Lanza killed 26 students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December. But they know he acted alone in that attack and his mother's murder, according to a summary report released weeks before the one-year anniversary of the shooting rampage.

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Newtown Report
5:56 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Long-Awaited Report On Newtown School Shooting Closes Case

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 6:05 pm

A report on the Newtown, Conn., school shooting released Monday says we may never know what motivated Adam Lanza to kill twenty children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly a year ago. The long-awaited summary report from the Connecticut State's Attorney mentions that Lanza was a troubled young man who didn't seem to connect with people. He did not share his plans with anyone before the rampage. The report rules out criminal prosecution and closes the case. It was shared with Newtown family members before being released to the public.

Newtown
3:07 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Newtown Report Released

An image taken in the home of Adam Lanza, provided in a recently released report on the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown.
Credit State of Connecticut

Connecticut officials released a final report summary examining the shooting last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School, leaving 20 school children and six educators dead. The report said that the gunman, Adam Lanza, had an obsession with mass murders, but that investigators did not discover any evidence he had indicated an intent to carry out such a crime.

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Newtown
11:56 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Judge Will Listen to Sandy Hook 911 Recordings

New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott ruled Monday that the 911 tapes should remain sealed while under review.
Credit CT-N

After a hearing on Monday, New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott said he will listen to the 911 recordings from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last year, and consider whether they can be released to the public. Prescott's decision will come soon after he hears the calls, but it will not be Monday.

The recordings were ordered by the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission to be provided to The Associated Press in September. State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III requested a stay while he appeals the order.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:22 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Barnes Preps for Possible Shutdown; Security Tightens; FOI Commission Meets

Ben Barnes.
Credit Uma Ramiah / WNPR

Today at The Wheelhouse Digest, there's a lot of talk of shutting down and tightening up. Maybe it's the cooler weather, or maybe it's a new mentality pushing us to block things from happening. In that vein, there's an effort at hand to consider the Associated Press's request to release 911 recordings in the wake of the Newtown shooting last year. Read about that and more in today's digest.

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Freedom of Information
3:31 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Legislator Walks Back Michael Moore Comment, Stands By Vote

A big question since the massacre at Sandy Hook is how much, if any, information from the crime scene should be released to the public. That debate continues. The question at hand isn't should the state have passed a bipartisan, sweeping new law to exempt crime scene evidence from public disclosure. The question is should it have done so in secret, at the end of the legislative session, without public hearing.

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