Politics

Medical Marijuana
2:59 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

State Picks Six Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Credit O'Dea / Creative Commons

Connecticut's consumer chief has picked six medical marijuana dispensaries that will be the first in the state operating in Branford, Bridgeport, Bristol, Hartford, South Windsor and Uncasville.

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Chimpanzee Attack Victim
4:02 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Legislative Committee Blocks Charla Nash's Request to Sue

Charla Nash.
Credit Shelly Sindland / Shelly Sindland Photography

A legislative committee is not allowing a Connecticut woman disfigured in a 2009 chimpanzee attack to sue the state and seek financial damages. 

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WAMC News
12:41 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Gambling Commissioners Hear Pros, Cons Of MGM Springfield Casino

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 2:52 pm

Supporters and opponents of MGM’s $800 million casino project in Springfield had a final chance last night to sound-off in front of Massachusetts gaming industry regulators.  The state gaming commission held a final public hearing in Springfield as it prepares to award the lone casino license in western Massachusetts where MGM Springfield is the only applicant.

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Campaign Finance
11:16 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Supreme Court Strikes Down Overall Limits On Political Contributions

People wait in line for the beginning of the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term in Washington on Oct. 7. The court heard the first major case on campaign contribution limits since 2010's landmark Citizens United.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:34 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down an overall cap on the amount that large campaign donors can give to parties and candidates in a two-year election cycle.

In a 5-4 decision split between conservatives and liberals on the high court, the court said the limits were a violation of the First Amendment.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

The Wheelhouse Respects the Process

Kevin Rennie
Chion Wolf

On Tuesday, former Governor John G. Rowland took to the airwaves at his usual time on his WTIC AM talk show, despite being named in federal court as an alleged co-conspirator to a campaign finance scheme. He wouldn't comment on the accusations, only to say, "I am not going to be discussing the recent news and legal developments. I am sure that you all understand. And I want to respect the process."

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Minimum Wage
3:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

In Arkansas, Voters May Get Chance To Raise Minimum Wage

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor speaks to reporters at his Little Rock campaign headquarters on Feb. 28. A minimum wage increase on the ballot alongside Pryor could give Democrats more of a reason to show up on Election Day.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

President Obama travels to Michigan Wednesday to tout his proposal to boost the minimum wage.

Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour is one of the top agenda items for Obama and his fellow Democrats during this mid-term election year. The White House says the move would put more money in the pockets of some 28 million workers.

One test of that strategy will be in Arkansas, where proponents are trying to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in November. Arkansas has some of the lowest wages in the country and it's also home to one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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Rowland Scandal, Again
4:54 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Rowland Won't Talk; Wants to "Respect the Process"

Former Gov. John Rowland.
Credit WTIC

Former Republican Gov. John Rowland took to the airwaves on Tuesday to host his afternoon talk show on WTIC 1080. He began by saying he would not discuss the federal case that has apparently ensnared him. 

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Alaska, Too?
3:47 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Not An April Fools' Joke: Russians Petition To Get Alaska Back

Russians in Moscow's Red Square hold banners reading, "Love You Crimea!" "Together For All Time" and "Obama, Think About Alaska!" during a March 18 rally celebrating the annexation of Crimea.
Sergei Ilnitsky EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 4:35 pm

President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea is reigniting talk in Russia of taking back Alaska from the United States, which purchased the territory from a czar for $7.2 million nearly a century and a half ago.

Most of the talk is tongue-in-cheek, but it comes at a time of heightened sensitivity in the West over whether Russia is planning further incursions or land grabs.

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The New Rowland Case
1:28 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Former FBI Agent Speaks Out On Rowland and Politics

Former Gov. John Rowland in Hartford in 2009.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former Republican Governor John Rowland is again at the center of a federal investigation that has already resulted in two guilty pleas. Mike Clark is the former FBI agent who investigated Rowland the first time around, and blew the whistle on him the second.

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Corruption
10:31 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Rowland Again In the Spotlight

Former Gov. John Rowland in Hartford in 2009.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A former congressional candidate and her husband have admitted to conspiring with former Connecticut Governor John Rowland to pay him off the books for work as a campaign consultant.

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Retirement Planning
9:04 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Bill Aims to Help Low-Income Workers Save For Retirement

Credit c-George/iStock / Thinkstock

Three quarters of Americans nearing retirement have saved less than $30,000 for their retirement years, according to data from the New School for Social Research. Decades of stagnant incomes, an inability to save, and disappearing pensions are part of the reason.

One third of Connecticut residents are baby boomers, and state legislators are proposing a program to help them do a better job preparing for retirement.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Venezuelan Protests; Cyber Terrorism

Venezuelan protesters in Cologne.
Credit Jakob / Creative Commons

Speaking before the U.S. Senate last week, Republican Senator Marco Rubio continued to push for sanctions against Venezuela, where violent protests over inflation, criminal violence, and food shortages have claimed 39 lives since January.

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Suing the State
5:03 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Charla Nash Wants Her Day in Court

Charla and Briana Nash
Credit Shelly Sindland Photography

Charla Charla Nash was attacked by a 200-pound chimpanzee in February of 2009, while helping her employer, Sandra Herold, get her pet, Travis, back in his cage.

Nash says she was unaware of the danger that lurked.

She doesn't remember anything about the attack, just waking up in the hospital. Travis broke most of the bones in her face, he ripped off her lips, nose, eyelids, and her hands, leaving Nash in a coma for four months. Today, she's blind and lives in a rehabilitation facility at a cost $16,000 per month, an expense she'll have for the rest of her life.

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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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The Highway's Jammed With Broken Heroes...
3:28 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Chris Christie Says Port Authority Chairman Has Resigned

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 3:46 pm

The chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has resigned, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a press conference on Friday.

This is the latest development in an ongoing political scandal that involves the politically charged closure of the George Washington Bridge.

The New York Times reports:

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What's in a Name?
12:18 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Please, Call Me Dan...Again

Governor Dannel, er...Dan Malloy
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Funny stuff happens when you're running for office. Lots can change about people. How much sleep they get, who they spend time with...even their names.

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Election 2014
11:55 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Malloy Says He's Running Again

Gov. Malloy, just before his announcement.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy has announced he intends to seek reelection in 2014. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri March 28, 2014

The Changing Landscape of Latino America

Maria Hinojosa, host of NPR's Latino USA.
Credit santiagostudio.com

On Wednesday, a discharge petition was introduced by House Democrats in an attempt to force a vote on immigration reform. It’s an effort that is not likely to succeed, requiring the signatures of House Republicans, who have been stalwart in their opposition of immigration legislation. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Where We Teach: A Conversation With Connecticut's Teachers

WNPR's John Dankosky moderates a discussion with teachers Liz Natale, David Bosso, Ebony Murphy-Root, and David Low.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our teacher panel welcomed educators from across the state. We broadcasted live from the CPBN Learning Lab, the home of the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet High School Satellite Campus and the Institute for Advanced Media.

Are you a teacher? Why did you decide to enter this profession and what keeps you going back to school every day? Find our tweets from the discussion at #WhereWeTeach, and watch our video of the event below.

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Religion
7:15 am
Thu March 27, 2014

'I'm A Great Admirer,' Obama Tells Pope Francis

Pope Francis and President Obama at the Vatican on Thursday. It was their first meeting.
Gabriel Bouys AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 11:50 am

One leader whose popularity around the world has been eclipsed by the other met for the first time Thursday when President Obama visited Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Obama, who has seen his approval numbers decline since he took office in 2009, met for about 50 minutes with the pope, who has become one of the world's most popular leaders since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic Church a year ago.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed March 26, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Legislative Deadlines, Money In Politics, and Common Core

There are six weeks left in the legislative session.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Key deadlines are coming up for some proposed legislation at the state capitol and some have already passed. On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we talk about what bills may or may not make it out of committee.

We also discuss the role of money in this year’s statewide elections. Common Core remains in the national headlines, with Indiana actually dropping the standards.

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Politics
6:15 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer-Funded Political Convention

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 3:15 am

Ever since the Watergate era, taxpayers have been able to check a box on their federal tax returns and designate a little bit of their tax payment to help finance the presidential campaigns and wean politicians away from big donors.

The public financing program has had its ups and downs. But now President Obama is prepared to sign legislation that, for the first time, takes taxpayer money out of the fund.

First of all, let's pause to reflect on some of the great moments of American political conventions brought to you by presidential matching funds.

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Unemployment
5:12 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Biden Visits N.H. To Talk About Jobs ... But Not His Own

Vice President Biden and N.H. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan meet with employees March 25 at the New Hampshire Works center in Manchester.
Jim Cole AP

If you didn't know any better (or you got confused about what year it was), you might think Vice President Biden was back on the campaign trail, kissing grandmothers, slapping guys on the back and borrowing a woman's phone to razz her son about a basketball game.

Biden returned Tuesday to the familiar campaign grounds of New Hampshire for the first time since October 2012. And he swears he made the trip not to stake out ground for a presidential run, but rather to check out how the statewith the nation's first presidential primary helps match the unemployed with jobs.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue March 25, 2014

A Look Inside Connecticut's Family Court System

Credit AndreyPopov/iStock / Thinkstock

Earlier this month, The Connecticut Law Tribune reported that a number of the state’s guardian ad litem lawyers had withdrawn from their child custody cases. Their actions came in response to growing tension within the family courts, where parents and advocates have criticized the system -- and the lawyers in it -- for high fees and lack of oversight.

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White House
8:25 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Obama: Russia Making 'Series Of Calculations' After Crimea

President Obama, accompanied by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, speaks during their joint news conference at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on Tuesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:27 pm

(This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET.)

President Obama on Tuesday said that he believed that Russia was "still making a series of calculations" regarding any further moves after its annexation of Crimea, but that there was no expectation of dislodging it by force from the Black Sea peninsula.

"What we can bring to bear are the legal arguments, the diplomatic arguments," he said at a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte following a nuclear security summit in The Hague.

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Where We Live
9:00 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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Crimea
7:17 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Ukraine Orders Its Troops Out Of Crimea As G-7 Meets On Crisis

President Obama tours the Rijksmusuem with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (left) and others ahead of the G-7 summit in The Hague, Netherlands, which is certain to focus on the situation in Crimea.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:12 pm

Ukraine announced the pullout of its troops from Crimea after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula and took control of the military bases there. The decision comes as President Obama arrived in the Netherlands on Monday for a summit of the G-7 group of industrialized nations that is certain to focus on discussion of the international crisis.

Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said Monday that the Defense Ministry has been ordered to redeploy Ukrainian servicemen from the Crimea to Ukraine's mainland, in remarks confirmed by his office.

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Former President Speaks Out
2:44 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Jimmy Carter Issues 'Call To Action' Against Subjugation Of Women

Jimmy Carter's other books include Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, Sharing Good Times and Our Endangered Values.
Prakash Methema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:36 am

Editor's note: To hear our full interview with Jimmy Carter, tune into Weekend Edition on Sunday, March 23.

President Jimmy Carter has written more than two dozen books over the course of his career, about everything from the art of aging to how to achieve peace in the Middle East. All his writing is anchored by a deep-seated belief in the equality of all people.

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Ukraine Crisis
6:28 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Murphy: Sanctions Could Have "Catastrophic Effects for the Russian Economy"

President Barack Obama announces additional sanctions against Russia during a statement on the south lawn of the White House.
Credit White House / YouTube Screenshot

President Barack Obama expanded economic sanctions against Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine, with further sanctions on top officials of the Russian government.

"In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals," said Obama in a statement on the south lawn of the White House.

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White House
11:58 am
Thu March 20, 2014

U.S. To Impose Sanctions On More Russian Officials

President Obama on the south lawn of the White House Thursday as he spoke about new sanctions on some Russian officials.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 9:23 pm

More senior Russian officials are being added to the list of those who the U.S. will seek to penalize for their nation's interference in Ukraine's affairs, President Obama announced Thursday morning.

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