Hartford Region

School Reform
2:34 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Hartford Board of Education Chairman Calls for Investigation of Principal Steve Perry

Hartford Board of Education Chairman Matt Poland, left, and Dr. Steve Perry, Principal of Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford.
Credit WNPR

The Chairman of Hartford's School Board, Matt Poland, has called for an investigation of Dr. Steve Perry, the outspoken principal of Capital Prep Magnet School. The questions involve Perry's controversial statements on Twitter.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
5:59 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Cloud's Attorney Sheds Light on NYC Hotel Stay

Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, we reported that there were unanswered questions about a receipt for a New York City hotel room billed to the city of Hartford. On the reservation were city treasurer Adam Cloud and embattled insurance broker Earl O'Garro -- two men named in a federal investigation into nearly $700,000 in missing taxpayer money.

Now, Cloud's attorney is providing some answers. 

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You Shall Not Pass!
4:19 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Hartford Resident Sues to Reopen Flower Street

Joshua LaPorte, CT State Senator John Fonfara, Christopher Brown, and Attorney Ken Krayeske.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Christopher Brown is a cyclist in Hartford, and he's suing the Connecticut Department of Transportation for closing Flower Street. Brown described the street as "a crucial North/South route for safe bike and pedestrian travel between Capitol and Farmington Avenues." 

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Hartford Development
11:45 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

New Downtown Housing Planned for Old Hartford Buildings

111 Pearl Street in downtown Hartford, one of the buildings in question.
Credit City of Hartford

There are two office buildings in downtown Hartford that have long been vacant. Now, developers are about to buy them and turn them into something the city's core desperately needs: housing.

Hartford's recent wave of downtown investment has yielded a few lessons. One is that the city needs more rental housing downtown. More housing brings more people, and more people are what's needed to make a healthy downtown tick.

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Where We Live
4:03 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Hartford Insurance Scandal Unfolds, and Dialing Up the Future of Call Centers

WNPR's Jeff Cohen.
Chion Wolf WNPR

According to a union count, Connecticut has nearly 50,000 call center workers, mostly in the telecom industry. A growing sector for this industry is health care, especially after the Obamacare rollout.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
1:49 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Courant: O’Garro’s Wife Felt He Would Kill Her

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie broke news this weekend that Earl O'Garro had been arrested by state police earlier this month.

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Live Music
10:24 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Little Ugly: Live Performance Video

Watch videos from Little Ugly's performance on WNPR's <em>Where We Live.</em>
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Little Ugly performed live on WNPR's Where We Live from our pop-up radio storefront. If you couldn't make it to our pop-up radio storefront, relive it here.

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Hartford Insurance Controversy
11:45 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Unanswered Questions About Cloud, O'Garro, and a Trip to NYC

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford continues to buzz with questions about insurance broker Earl O'Garro, city treasurer Adam Cloud, and nearly $700,000 of missing taxpayer money. Now there are unanswered questions about a 2012 trip to New York City.

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Live Blog
9:02 am
Fri November 15, 2013

School Reform Live on Where We Live

Dr. Steve Perry during an earlier visit to WNPR.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Today on Where We Live, we're continuing an ongoing conversation about school reform. Dr. Steve Perry, principal of Hartford's Capital Prep Magnet School, joins us to talk about why he calls himself "America's most trusted educator." We'll talk about Dr. Perry's record at Capital Prep, where he says 100 percent of graduates are accepted at four-year universities. We are also joined by Paul Diego Holzer, executive director of Achieve Hartford!, which works to drive "community ownership" of school reform, among other goals. Follow along below as we live blog the conversation.

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School Reform
7:05 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Education Conversation With Dr. Steve Perry

Dr. Steve Perry on WNPR's Where We Live on September 6, 2011.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Dr. Steve Perry’s website calls him “America’s Most Trusted Educator” – and he’s made a name for himself on television and speaking tours as an advocate for school reform. He’s also Principal of Hartford’s Capital Prep Magnet School. Perry is also a magnet for controversy for his outspoken views on teacher quality. Perry joins us to talk about the state of education in America and Connecticut.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
4:38 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

State Revokes Insurance License for O'Garro, Hybrid Insurance

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

Earl O'Garro has lost his state insurance license, and his company has lost its license, too.  The state said O'Garro never responded to an extensive eleven-count complaint filed against him last month. As a result, the state has revoked the licenses he and his company held to sell insurance.

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Insurance Scandal
10:47 am
Thu November 14, 2013

O'Garro Speaks

NBC Connecticut's George Colli snagged a one-on-one interview with Earl O'Garro, the man at the center of the federal grand jury investigation in Hartford. It's worth a few minutes of your time.

Insurance
2:17 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Is Hartford Still the Insurance Capital of the World?

The City of Hartford. Capital of many things, possibly even insurance
Credit Global Jet, Creative Commons

Is Hartford still the insurance capital of the world? I conducted a non-scientific poll of the internet (aka Googled it) and came upon a few articles from the past decades: "Hartford: Insurance Capital of the World or Has-Been?" (ouch), and "Hartford is No Longer the Insurance Capital."

According to the internet, it seems we're doomed. 

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November Sunset
4:59 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

A Rainbow Blooms in the Heart of Connecticut

Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

In Hartford, we at WNPR witnessed a beautiful rainbow to the east, and a gorgeous sunset to the west on Thursday evening. People all over social media noticed it too. Here are a few of their snapshots.

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Cheating
8:49 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Investigators Confirm Test Tampering at Hartford School

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

An investigation has confirmed test tampering at a Hartford elementary school. In a report submitted this week to state education officials by an outside law firm, investigators concluded there were irregularities in more than two dozen Connecticut Mastery Tests at the Early Reading Lab at Betances Elementary School. The report was obtained by The Hartford Courant.

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Election 2013
5:15 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Official Hartford Election Results

There's a good deal of analysis to be done.

But, for now, here are the results

Election 2013
2:38 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

New Britain Elects New Mayor

Credit WNPR

New Britain elected a new Mayor Tuesday. Republican Erin Stewart, 26, upset incumbent democrat Tim O'Brien by more than 1,000 votes.

Stewart campaigned as a candidate of change, and promised to work with both Democrats and Republicans in city hall. She criticized O'Brien on the campaign trail for raising taxes, cronyism, and for abandoning monthly office hours for the mayor.

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Election 2013
1:10 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Hartford Election Results Still Unofficial

Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Here's an update for you -- I just got off the phone with the clerk's office in Hartford and they say that they don't yet have official results.

So I called Urania Petit, one of the city's three registrars.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
1:54 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

In Wake of Controversy, Hartford Treasurer Makes Changes

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Once a federal grand jury enters the picture, every little detail counts.

And so.

Yesterday, we told you that Hartford city auditors issued their report on Treasurer Adam Cloud and Hybrid Insurance Group. Among other things, they found that Cloud and finance officials ignored standard operating procedure when they wired more than $800,000 to Hybrid's troubled CEO Earl O'Garro. 

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Downtown 720
11:55 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Hartford Breaks Ground on City's First Skate Park

"Heaven," Hartford's first skate park, is located just blocks from the XL Center.
Lara Maltz Rozza

Hartford broke ground on a new skate park this week. Skaters have dubbed it "Heaven" and say it will be a space for skaters, bikers, and artists.

The park is located just above the I-84 tunnel a few blocks from the XL Center. For years it's been an informal hangout spot for skaters and artists. And now, Hartford is ready to formalize "Heaven" as the city's first official skate park.

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Host's Diary
8:43 am
Tue November 5, 2013

William Randolph Herbst

By Bain News Service, publisher [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Hearst had San Simeon. Kane had Xanadu. UConn President Susan Herbst has Scarborough Street (in addition to the expensively refurbished president's mansion in Storrs). 

You can hardly blame her for wanting a pied à terre somewhere. It's nice to be able to get away from a campus which, as far as I can tell, is up in arms against her.

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CCSU Lockdown
8:22 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Student at Center of Lockdown Apologizes

David Kyem was charged with breach of peace.
Credit New Britain Police Department

A 21-year-old student at Central Connecticut State University is apologizing for actions that led to a three-hour lockdown on campus Monday. David Kyem, the son of a CCSU geography professor, told The Hartford Courant that he’s sorry for the fear and confusion. Kyem was arrested and charged with breach of peace, and then released on $1,000 bail.

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Election Day
5:06 am
Tue November 5, 2013

New Britain Voters Choose Mayor on Tuesday

Republican challenger Erin Stewart said city government needs better transparancy.
Credit Erin Stewart

Voters in New Britain go to the polls Tuesday to choose a mayor. Incumbent Democrat Tim O'Brien is finishing up his first term as New Britain's mayor. Previously, O'Brien served almost ten years in the Connecticut House of Representatives. He said keeping property taxes flat for two years is proof that the city has turned itself around on his watch.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
12:50 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

City Auditors: Cloud Ignored Standard Procedure; Apparent Conflict of Interest

City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Before a federal grand jury began investigating the relationship between Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud and insurance broker Earl O'Garro, city auditors took a stab at it.

And, in a report just obtained by WNPR, they found two things of note.

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New Britain
12:33 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

CCSU: Suspect in Custody; Campus Gets the "All-Clear"

A photo posted to Twitter at 2:35 pm on Monday showed what appeared to be an arrest at CCSU, following a lockdown.
Credit Olivia Maffucci

Central Connecticut State University in New Britain states that a suspect is in custody, and the school has given an "all clear" to people on campus following a three-hour lockdown Monday afternoon. The school's official campus website earlier told students and personnel to “get inside buildings and stay in place.”

While at Central, WNPR's Patrick Skahill said students were told that the focus of the police investigation was James Hall, a dormitory on campus. The school confirmed that in a tweet just after 1:30 pm on Monday.

Eyewitnesses said that campus security told students to stay in place at the student center at around noon. In a tweet just after 2:00 pm on Monday, CCSU said "police are looking for a man who reportedly was carrying a gun."

Skahill spoke with WNPR's Ray Hardman just after 2:00 pm on Monday. "The police presence is very strong here right now," Skahill said, with police support coming from nearby towns such as Newington and West Hartford. Listen below.

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Insurance Scandal
3:20 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

In Hartford Controversy, Feds Serve Subpoena on Two State Agencies

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

The scope of the federal grand jury investigation involving the relationship between Hartford's city treasurer and an insurance broker continues to grow, as the state has confirmed that federal prosecutors served a subpoena on two of its departments.

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New London
12:41 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Wagner Opera Makes Its Connecticut Debut

The Connecticut Lyric Opera's production of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman"
Connecticut Lyric Opera

Wagner's opera, "The Flying Dutchman," will get its Connecticut premiere this weekend, 170 years after the opera made its debut in Dresden, Germany. The Connecticut Lyric Opera will present Wagner's early masterpiece Friday night at Trinity-on-Main in New Britain, and Saturday night at the Middletown High School Arts Center.

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Colonial game
1:21 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Before There Was Baseball, There Was Wicket

One of two wicket bats belonging to Bristol's Manross Library
Ray Hardman WNPR

Before the rise of baseball, early Americans played a host of ball and bat games, with names like rounders, stool ball and tip-cat. One of these games, wicket, was by far the most popular of them, especially in Connecticut, where for a few decades in the 1800s the sport was even more popular than baseball.

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Where We Live
11:44 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Little Ugly: LIVE on WNPR

Little Ugly performing on WNPR's Where We Live.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Little Ugly has become a staple of the Hartford music scene. They were named the "Best Indie Rock" band at the 2013 Connecticut Music Awards and were referred to as "one of the hardest working bands you'll ever encounter." Their latest release is called Where the River's Born and we'll talk with Little Ugly and hear some music.

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Insurance scandal
1:23 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Hartford Releases More Detail From Federal Subpoena

Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The City of Hartford has released more information about the federal investigation into alleged corruption at city hall. Specifically, the subpoena confirms that the federal grand jury is looking into the relationship between the city and Hybrid Insurance Group. 

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