The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case that could determine the fate of more than 2,000 convicted juvenile murderers.

In 2012, the high court struck down as unconstitutional state laws that mandated an automatic sentence of life without any possibility of parole in these cases. The question now is whether that decision applies retroactively.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

This week, state lawmakers on the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee will meet again to discuss child welfare issues in Connecticut. One of the questions before them is whether the state should continue operating its locked facilities for juveniles in Middletown. 

Investigation Probes Amtrak Derailment In Vermont

Oct 7, 2015

Federal investigators are probing the derailment of a Washington, D.C.-bound Amtrak train in Vermont that left seven people hurt this week. The train carrying 98 passengers and four crew members derailed at about 10:30 Monday morning.

Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

The spotlight has been on Connecticut's Department of Children and Families in recent weeks after troubling video showed DCF staff improperly restraining youths at the state's two juvenile detention facilities. Despite the latest controversy,  Governor Dannel Malloy remains supportive of the agency's commissioner.

Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

Extinguishing hope that the cargo ship that went missing near the Bahamas could have survived a Thursday encounter with Hurricane Joaquin, the Coast Guard announced Monday that the ship, El Faro, sank, according to the Associated Press. The Coast Guard also found an unidentified body of one crew member.

Passenger Train Derails In Vermont

Oct 5, 2015

UPDATED AT 3:27 p.m.

An Amtrak train headed from Vermont to Washington, D.C., derailed in central Vermont on Monday after apparently striking rocks that were on the tracks. No life-threatening injuries were reported.

An Amtrak passenger train carrying 102 people derailed Monday morning in Northfield after pieces of rock ledge fell onto the tracks. Seven people were injured in the accident, including one who was airlifted to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, but emergency officials say it could have been much worse.

West Midlands Police Department / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy has signed legislation that makes a number of changes to law enforcement practices in the state.

There's a synthetic chemical that's virtually everywhere. Scientists have found it in the blood of polar bears, thousands of miles from any known possible source. It’s found in fish throughout the world. It’s found in old caulk, fluorescent light ballasts, electrical transformers, mining equipment, and even carbonless copy paper.

Lee Werling / Flickr

With recent incidents like the ones in Ferguson and Baltimore, the issue of police training and leadership has come under the spotlight. Police commissioners and chiefs have either been fired or forced to resign due to some of these incidents. But police leadership may not be solely responsible for the practices and policies employed by cops on the street.

The annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, was struck by tragedy Thursday, as a stampede near the holy city killed at least 717 people and left more than 860 injured, according to Saudi officials.

The death toll and the number of injured have risen as authorities get reports from the site; initial reports stated that more than 300 people had died. We're updating this post as new information arrives.

At Brown University, a campus-wide survey shows one in four female undergraduates said they had experienced some type of unwanted sexual contact. Further, the survey found ten percent of female undergraduate students had experienced attempted rape. For female graduate students, that number was eight percent.

The software that allegedly causes Volkswagen cars to cheat official emissions tests exists in only one type of diesel engine, according to the carmaker — and it has sold 11 million of them around the world. The company says it's setting aside 6.5 billion euros (around $7.25 billion) to fix the cars.

Providing an update to a scandal that began Friday, when the EPA said it found wide variations in emissions from VW cars that use a "defeat device" to fool emissions tests, the German company said that it's "working at full speed" to investigate the problematic software.

Vstock LLC/iStock / Thinkstock

Every week for the past seven-and-a-half years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified an average of two dietary supplements being sold to consumers that were “tainted” and “potentially hazardous,” a Connecticut Health I-Team analysis of data revealed.

It came as no surprise when a cartoonish, bulging skyscraper in London's financial district known as the "Walkie-Talkie" won this year's award for the U.K.'s worst new building.

After a unanimous vote by a panel of architectural critics at Building Design Magazine, the building officially known as 20 Fenchurch Street took the 2015 Carbunkle Cup. A spoof on the prestigious Stirling Prize awarded to great architecture, the Carbuncle is instead handed to architectural blunders.

Even as state and federal officials direct new money and staffing to water quality efforts across the state, the networks of pipes that bring water to and from Vermont homes and businesses are crumbling beneath their feet.

Photo courtesy of Page Technologies

The cities of New Haven and Waterbury and the Connecticut Department of Housing are receiving federal funds to help combat poisoning from lead-based paint in housing.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

A Connecticut firefighter has returned home from fighting wildfires in California and he said unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, are becoming a growing concern. 

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling on the federal government to improve security on trains following an attack on a Paris-bound train last week.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

For nearly three decades across the U.S., toxic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were widely used in school construction and renovation work. A WNPR investigation has found that two-thirds of schools in Connecticut could be contaminated.

Despite a 1979 ban on PCBs -- a synthetic chemical -- and their classification as a known human carcinogen by the World Health Organization, there’s no state or federal law that requires testing for the presence of PCBs in schools.

The Science of Sinkholes

Aug 24, 2015

This week a sinkhole in Interstate 93 near Concord prompted an emergency road closure and a major traffic jam. Despite the disruption it caused, the cavity doesn’t actually meet the definition of a sinkhole, but it maybe the sort of thing that the Granite State could see more of.

To answer how can a gaping hole suddenly appear in the ground, you need to start somewhere in the sky.

Dkroetsch / Creative Commons

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to impose stricter regulations on drone users after a string of recent near misses with planes and helicopters. Consumer drones have also recently hindered the work of firefighters battling wildfires in the West.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

The death toll from an industrial accident has risen to 50 in Tianjin, a port city in northeast China. Emergency crews are still working to locate missing people; 12 firefighters are among the dead, and more remain unaccounted for.

Updated 1:45 a.m. ET Thursday:

The death toll from the Tianjin warehouse explosions has risen to 44, according to China's official Xinhau News Agency.

Updated 10:50 p.m. ET

Huge explosions have rocked the port city of Tianjin in northeast China. Media reports say at least 17 people were killed and hundreds are injured. Two firefighters are missing.

Residents of Willington, Connecticut meet Tuesday to discuss the proposed relocation of a large state police firearms training facility to the small New England town.  

Authorities on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean have found debris that may be from a missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

A source familiar with the investigation tells NPR's Geoff Brumfiel that the debris appears to have come from a large passenger aircraft, but it remains unclear whether it's from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished from radar on March 8, 2014.

Office of Gov. Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law a bill that better protects underage victims of sex trafficking, while giving police more tools to identify and prosecute traffickers.

More than 1 million people die in traffic deaths around the world each year — that's drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians combined.

It's a problem in the United States: There are 11.4 deaths a year per 100,000 population. It's a problem in low-income countries like Zambia, where the comparable figure is 23.8 deaths. And it's a huge problem in the middle-income world. The Dominican Republic records 41.7 deaths per 100,000, and was ranked in 2013 as the most dangerous country in the world for drivers.


A Connecticut man who videotaped a homemade "drone" flying and firing a handgun in Clinton is now the subject of an FAA investigation.

The 14-second video shows a small hovering flying machine. It's black with four spinning propellers and there's a semiautomatic handgun strapped on top. As it hovers, it fires four shots into a wooded area before the video cuts out.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A spike in violence in the city of Hartford has already left 18 people dead this year.