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Where We Live
11:37 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Ladies of Twain

The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford was in danger of being shut down back in 2008 after years of bad financial management.  But the struggle to save the 19 room mansion has been one that’s been going on for much longer.

It’s taken years of research, a lot of money and a little bit of luck to restore the house and make it a destination for visitors - who get to experience what it looked like when Mark Twain smoked cigars in his billiard room.

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Where We Live
11:01 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Reimagining Journalism

Jeremy Keith (Wikimedia Commons)

Remember when you used to learn about what was happening in your community when the newspaper hit your front stoop? That world has, of course, changed—and journalism professor Dan Kennedy says we’re now in a “post-newspaper” age.

Papers haven’t gone away, but their staffs and scope have shrunk, and what’s bubbled up to fill the gap is a new type of digital journalism with a new business model. Kennedy went looking for examples of this change around the time of the economic downturn, and found a pretty interesting lab experiment - Connecticut.

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Housing
12:40 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Hartford-Area Landlord Settles Discrimination Suit

Fair housing advocates are celebrating a victory. They recently won a settlement from a Hartford-area landlord who allegedly denied apartments to people using public assistance to pay their rent. The Connecticut Fair Housing Center claimed the landlord, Paul Rosow, discriminated against people who received disability checks and housing assistance.

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Comcast Theatre
4:44 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

City Wants To Prevent Underage "Vodka Guzzling Fest" At Comcast Theatre

Hartford's outdoor concert season is about to start.  And while that's fun for a lot of people, some call it a scheduled mass casualty event.  Binge drinking is a serious concern for law enforcement and public health officials. 

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Summer Concerts
4:44 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

City Wants To Prevent Underage "Vodka Guzzling Fest" At Comcast Theatre

Hartford's outdoor concert season is about to start. And while that's fun for a lot of people, some call it a scheduled mass casualty event. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, binge drinking is a serious concern for law enforcement and public health officials.

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Gun Control
1:35 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

State Sees Spike, Some Backlog, In Gun Permitting

State officials are dealing with a new wave of paperwork as they work to implement new gun laws. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, residents who want permits and background checks may have a longer wait than usual. Before the December Newtown shootings, the state would typically have between 800 and 1,400 pending pistol permits to process each month.

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Segarra Administration
10:37 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Caviar Takes Its Toll

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has made headlines recently for questionable city spending -- like dining on caviar at taxpayer expense. Now, it looks as though the city council is taking concrete action to push back. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, it's likely the council will reject Segarra's appointment for the city's chief operating officer.

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Science Class
3:30 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

House Considers Bill On Dissection Choice

The legislature is considering a bill that would allow students to opt out of dissecting a dead animal at school. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. State Representative Diana Urban supports the bill.

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Gun Control
12:39 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Hartford Gun Buyback On Tap

Last December, the Capitol Region Gun BuyBack coalition traded more than $10,000 in gift cards for over 180 working guns -- an effort to get those firearms off the streets.

In a couple of weeks, they're hosting another gun buyback -- and officials say it's not just about public safety...but about public health. Joining us now is Dr. David Shapiro from St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, one of the partners in the program. 

Corruption
2:18 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Hartford Taxpayers Pay For Caviar, Rack of Lamb For Mayor And Friends

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra says city employees will no longer be able to use their credit cards for business entertainment. WNPR's Jeff Cohen has more. When someone issues a controversial audit at 5:02 p.m. on a Friday, it's kind of sign that they don't want you to read it.

That's what happened last week, when the city of Hartford released its internal audit of its credit cards. City officials have been fending off claims of abuse. A New Year's Eve dinner for Mayor Pedro Segarra, his spouse, and six others at Max Downtown was what first drew headlines.

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Where We Live
11:05 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Celebrating Brazil's Culture: Samba, Capoeira, Community

Chion Wolf

The music, culture and movement of Brazil is evocative of a certain kind of lifestyle to many Americans - like me - who’ve never been there. The beach at Ipanema, dense rainforests, a lyrical language and laid-back people.

But the real Brazil is booming and complex, one of the world’s emerging economies.

Connecticut is also home to many thousands of Brazilian immigrants - who occupy an uneasy space as part of a Latin American diaspora with a different language and cultural heritage.

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Where We Live
12:50 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Connecticut Libraries Creating Community

Catie Talarski

Libraries might be changing faster than just about any other part of public life. These civic institutions were known for more than a century for their voluminous stacks of books and quiet spaces - now, they’re all about public events, high-tech connectivity, even 3-D printing!

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Immigration
2:49 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants Stalls

Courtesy of CT DMV

Many undocumented immigrants in Connecticut want to apply for a state driver's license.

As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports,  legislation to allow them to do so stalled in a legislative committee.  Now proponents are pushing lawmakers to find another way to get the legislation before the full General Assembly. 

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National Hockey League
3:57 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Courant: From Wolfpack To Whale, and Back Again

It may be time to say goodbye to the Whale...again. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Hartford's minor league hockey team could soon have a new name. The team used to be known as the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Then, in 2010, it was renamed the Hartford Whale -- a throwback to the city's onetime NHL Whalers. "It was sort of about embracing the Whaler past." That's Paul Doyle, a reporter with the Hartford Courant. He says Howard Baldwin, who operated the franchise, did his best to bring the Whalers back from the dead. They left the state in 1997.

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News
3:26 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

New Sentencing Proposals For Young People Convicted of Serious Crimes

Two bills that would change the way Connecticut sentences juveniles convicted of serious crimes are making their way through the legislature.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, they come in response to U-S Supreme Court rulings that say treating young people like adults could violate the constitution. The proposed bills come with the recommendation of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission -- a mix of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, corrections officials and others.  And both of them deal with the lengthy adult sentences imposed on juveniles and hinge on the idea that kids are different than adults, and should be treated that way.  One is called house bill 6581.  For those people in prison serving lengthy sentences for crimes they committed when they were younger than 18, this bill would give them a second-look.  That means it would mandate a parole hearing after a good portion of their sentences had been served. Sarah Russell is a law professor at the Quinnipiac School of Law.

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Where We Live
10:41 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Changing Health Outcomes

Chion Wolf

A few weeks ago, the Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP released a report showing significant health, economic, and educational disparities between White and minority populations....so significant that they’re calling it a modern day “urban apartheid.”

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Where We Live
10:28 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Pope Francis and the Future of the Catholic Church

sarahstierch, creative commons

One in 10 adults in the United States is a lapsed Catholic, according to a 2009 report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

This might change, say some religious scholars. They think that the newly appointed Pope Francis is going to bring people back to the church. He’s focusing on the poor, wearing simple vestments, washing women’s feet.  A far stretch from his predecessor.

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Health Care
4:27 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Hospitals, Administration at Odds Over Budget Cuts

Ben Barnes.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Hospital Day at the Capitol drew more than 600 hospital workers to Hartford today. They were protesting Governor Malloy's proposed budget, which they say would cut state spending on hospitals by $550 million over the next two years. The cuts would include the payments hospitals get for treating the uninsured.

But on WNPR's Where We Live, the administration's budget chief Ben Barnes said he's not sure the plan should actually be called a cut. "In recent years," Barnes said, "hospitals have received very very large increases each year, so we've discontinued providing large increases but I think overall, we're looking at a flat-funding scenario over the next few years."

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Gun Control
4:29 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Implementing New Gun Laws, Waiting For New Paperwork

Governor Dannel Malloy signed new laws that say people who own assault weapons and high-capacity magazines will have to register them with the state by January 1. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the state says creating the registration process is going to take some time.

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Policing in Schools
3:00 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Bill Aims to Reduce School-Based Arrests

The December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has led to calls for increased police presence in Connecticut schools.  Lawmakers heard testimony Friday on a measure concerning school-based arrests.

The bill aims to reduce the number of students arrested at school for low-level, non-violent offenses.  Schools would be required to report the number of arrests, and boards of ed would have to have written agreements with local police departments detailing the role of law enforcement in their schools. 

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Where We Live
11:36 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Redefining Disability

taberandrew, creative commons

If you take a look at movies or TV, you’d think that having a disability is the worst fate possible-- maybe even worse than death.  Better to not be born at all than struggle through life unable to walk, hear, see or talk.

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Where We Live
10:23 am
Thu March 28, 2013

SCSU President Mary Papazian

SCSU

It's an unusual time to be the president of a state university in Connecticut.

The Malloy administration has been trying to overhaul the system of state colleges and universities, the legislature is trying to reign in spending by the Board of Regents which oversees that system. A tuition increase is going into effect, which has drawn protests from students and even some faculty, who feel that the University of Connecticut is getting preferential treatment to the State Universities and Community colleges.

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Where We Live
12:00 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Retiring Research Chimps, And Our Unique Human Evolution

Tambako the Jaguar, Creative Commons

We all know the story. Monkeys in a science lab, top secret research, something goes terribly wrong. It’s no surprise that most cinematic attempts to depict research like this ends up focusing on what happens to the humans.

But what about the ethics of this research, and what it means for the test subjects? In many cases, chimpanzees have been seen as viable in research because of their close relationship to humans.

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Language
8:47 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Hartford Public Schools to Improve Services for ELL Students

Hartford Public Schools have signed an agreement with federal education authorities to improve supports and services for students who are English Language Learners.  

A complaint was filed with U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in 2007 on behalf of Somali-Bantu, Liberian and Spanish-speaking students in the Hartford Public Schools.   

"Students did not have appropriate amounts of supports, accommodations and services so they could understand what was being asked of them."

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Gun Control
1:20 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Biden, Bloomberg Talk Newtown And Guns

As a federal push for an assault weapons ban seemingly fades, gun control advocates at the state level are keeping the pressure on. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference today with the vice president and Newtown families calling for tougher gun laws.

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Taxes
3:46 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Sharkey: Malloy's Car Tax Proposal Doesn't Have Legislative Support

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's plan to get rid of the car tax for most of vehicles in the state will not likely pass the legislature. That's according to the office of Democratic House Speaker Brendan Sharkey. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. A spokesman for Sharkey says that the car tax is one of the most regressive taxes the state has. On that, he's in agreement with Malloy. But Sharkey doesn't think that the governor's plan is the right one. So he's asking a legislative committee to study the issue further.

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Where We Live
10:35 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Working For Equality

susieqc3, Flickr Creative Commons

Women's rights pioneer Marcia Ann Gillespie was in state for Women’s Day at the capitol.  We talked to her about her rise to prominence as the editor-in-chief of Essence magazine, and the fight for gender and racial equality.  

But first, Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity started out as a small grassroots organization... And next year will turn 25. It is building in eight different cities and towns in the region and completing its 200th home. Habitat’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.  

 

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Gun Control
4:38 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Malloy Says Democrats Can Pass Gun Legislation Without Republicans

Governor Dannel Malloy says he wants bipartisan agreement on a plan to ban the sale of the kinds of weapons used in the Newtown shooting last December. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the governor says that if he doesn't have Republican support, there's more than enough Democrat leverage to push a plan through.

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Coming Home Project
2:28 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Trumbull Resident Honors Veterans and Their Families

Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

Forty men and women from Connecticut died in the Iraq War. Trumbull resident Mike Mastroni created the Connecticut Fallen Heroes Foundation to remember veterans killed after 9-11 and to honor their families.

WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with him in Hartford about his decision to get involved in this way.

More about the Connecticut Fallen Heroes Foundation can be found here. The state of Connecticut has also created a website to remember local veterans who died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

 

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The Faith Middleton Show
4:20 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

A Look at Libraries

Calsidyrose/flickr creative commons

Think about your local library. Do you still picture a dusty old building full of dusty old books? Do you imagine little old ladies with their glasses down at the ends of their noses, shushing you every time you speak?

Today we’ll check in with the libraries of the 21st century. Ebooks, the Internet, audiobooks. Music, movies, videogames. Coffee bars, couches, comic books… And no shushing? It’s a whole new world in the world of libraries.

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