Litchfield Region

Our Litchfield Region coverage includes stories about all the towns in Litchfield County, ranging from Salisbury, Colebrook and Barkhamsted to New Milford, Bridgewater and Plymouth.

Election 2014
8:35 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Elizabeth Esty and Mark Greenberg Meet in Second Debate

Elizabeth Esty and Mark Greenberg debated in Waterbury on Tuesday.
File Photo

Democrat Elizabeth Esty and her republican challenger, Mark Greenberg, touched on a wide array of issues during their second debate: the economy, transit, climate, and Social Security. That last topic has been a point of contention among the two candidates following a controversial television ad from the Esty campaign.

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Remembrance
9:52 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Fashion Icon Oscar De La Renta Dies At 82

Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow with models Karlie Kloss (left) and Daria Strokous after his Spring 2015 collection was modeled Sept. 9 during Fashion Week in New York. De la Renta died on Oct. 20.
Diane Bondareff AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 10:18 am

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET.

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who designed gowns for first ladies and for Hollywood stars died Monday at his home in Connecticut. He was 82.

A statement from de la Renta's stepdaughter and her husband, Eliza Reed Bolen and Alex Bolen, did not give a cause of death, though the designer had been treated for cancer.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Connecticut Summit Promotes Climate Stewardship; a Taste of Iceland in Litchfield County

Kenneth Lu Creative Commons

Last month, hundreds of thousands showed up for the People’s Climate March in New York City, the largest climate march ever seen in U.S. history. There, climate activists worked their way through the busy streets of New York, calling on Americans to act on global climate change. Today, we talk to someone who was at the march. We’ll also preview today’s Climate Stewardship Summit at the University of St. Joseph.

Also, radio personality Gerri Griswold and Icelandic singer-songwriter Lay Low join us to talk about the upcoming Iceland Affair and Fire and Ice Music Festival.

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Rural Communities
12:07 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Task Force Tackles Opiate Addiction in Litchfield County

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington.

Earlier this year, the heroin epidemic in this country was front and center. It's not in the headlines anymore, but that doesn't mean the problem of opioid addiction, fueled by abusing prescription drugs or heroin, has gone away.

Torrington received a lot of attention for the number of overdose deaths there in 2013.  Late last year, community stakeholders came together to form the Litchfield County Opiate Task Force. One of the task force's biggest initiatives to combat the problem throughout the entire county was the creation of a community case manager to work at the local hospital.

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Litchfield
12:14 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

State Sells Historic Litchfield County Jail

The former Litchfield County jail, built in 1812, is at 7 North Street in Litchfield. It's one of the oldest penal facilities in Connecticut.
LitchfieldBZ YouTube

The state of Connecticut has sold the historic former Litchfield County jail to a real estate investor for $130,000. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Live From Litchfield's White Memorial Conservation Center

The boardwalk at White Memorial.
claumoho Creative Commons

For 50 years, the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield has provided a hands-on look at the natural diversity of northwestern Connecticut. With workshops, educational programs -- even its own Nature Museum -- the center has been teaching visitors about the various species and habitats found on the surrounding land. 

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Jazz Corridor
9:10 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Cyrus Chestnut Displays Piano Prowess at Prestigious Litchfield Jazz Festival

Cyrus Chestnut.
Cyrus Chestnut

Graced with the robust technique of a premier concert hall pianist, Cyrus Chestnut is totally absorbed in exploring and celebrating the seemingly unlimited sonic potential of his grand instrument, using its keyboard and pedals to generate resonant, thickly-textured, amazingly agile, nuanced orchestral effects. 

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Jazz Corridor
10:57 am
Wed July 9, 2014

How Litchfield Jazz Festival's Vita West Muir Transformed a Dream Into a Crown Jewel

Vita West Muir.
Litchfield Performing Arts

Maybe what accounts for Vita West Muir’s stunning success with founding and leading the celebrated Litchfield Jazz Festival since 1996 is the way she was taught by her Jesuit professors to think in a clear, cool, logical manner while she was majoring in biology and philosophy at Fordham University.

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Superior Court
12:09 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Connecticut Planning $81 Million Litchfield County Courthouse in Torrington

A rendering of a new Litchfield County Courthouse project in Torrington.
Gov. Dannel Malloy

The state is planning to build an $81 million courthouse in Torrington to replace Superior Court buildings in Litchfield and Bantam. 

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Hate Crime
9:29 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Torrington Students Accused of Vandalizing School

Torrington High School.
Credit nwcc.commnet.edu

Three Torrington High School students have been charged with painting racist and sexual graffiti on the school in March.

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Made in Connecticut
3:46 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Ovation Guitars to Cease Production in Connecticut

Ovation Guitars in New Hartford.
warriors-bikers-people-places-things.blogspot.com

Connecticut's historic Ovation guitars will no longer be made in the state. The New Hartford factory will close this summer.

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Heroin Epidemic
6:06 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Demand for Heroin in Connecticut Keeps Cops and Counselors Busy

Credit Mark Wragg/iStock / Thinkstock

Over the last six years, heroin use nationwide has nearly doubled. In Connecticut, attention has focused on the city of Torrington, where there are reports of multiple fatalities last year from heroin overdoses. 

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Northwest Corner
5:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Robin Hood Radio Tries To Save Local Community Radio

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

Morning Edition reports on Robin Hood Radio — a group concentrating on independent local radio.

Trains of History
3:24 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Is It Time to Bring Passenger Service Back to a Historic Connecticut Railroad?

A train on the Housatonic Railroad in Canaan, Connecticut in 2004. Legislators are exploring the possibility of investing in the historic tracks and reopening them to passenger service.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A group in Connecticut would like to see passenger service restored to the Housatonic Railroad and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty seems willing to explore the idea. The 90-mile-long Housatonic Railroad was chartered prior to the dawn of the Civil War and runs from Massachusetts to Danbury. Currently, it serves only freight trains. Its last passenger train ran in 1971.

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Curling Returns
4:50 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Norfolk Curling Club Rises From the Ashes

The Norfolk Curling Club opens it's new facility this weekend, after a fire destroyed the original building nearly two years ago
Ray Hardman WNPR

In December 2011, the popular Norfolk Curling Club was destroyed by a fire. After months of fundraising and planning, the curling club celebrates the grand opening of their new facility this weekend. 

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Spotlight on the Arts
3:58 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

A Collage Style Performance on the Meaning of Love

Larry Hunt.
Credit Ann Lee

When Charlie Chaplin and other silent film stars faced the challenge of carrying over their talents into "talkies," these proved to be much-anticipated events. On Friday in Bethlehem, international mask artist Larry Hunt, a local, will actually let his voice do the real talking on stage. Hunt has built a career on non-verbal storytelling, and has performed at venues around the world for over 25 years.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:38 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Debt Ceiling Impact in Connecticut; Federal Courts Operating for Now; Living in Stolen Luxury

Keith Phaneuf, budget reporting guru.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's all about cash money in The Wheelhouse Digest. While the government is coming close to hitting the debt ceiling again, with federal dollars in a state of seizure, someone else is in the news for stealing public money from a Connecticut town, and leading a "double life." Can anyone make an honest dollar anymore? That and more below.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
12:22 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Shutdown Impact; UConn Affordability; Winchester Schools Fiscal Crisis

Credit Uma Ramiah / WNPR

It's day three of the federal government shutdown. While lack of funding is having a major impact across the country and here in Connecticut, it's not the only financial reality getting new attention. UConn's affordability is under scrutiny today, and one school system in the state is struggling to stay open after suffering a massive theft under investigation. This is The Wheelhouse Digest.

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Grand Theft Apples
7:57 am
Tue September 24, 2013

It's Apple Picking (and Stealing) Season

It's prime-apple season, and we're not talking about the new iPhone.
erin_can_spell Flickr Creative Commons

Welcome to autumn in New England. The weather is getting crisper, you can get pumpkin flavored lattes, beer and donuts, and it's prime apple-picking season. 

Most apple pickers do it the legal way. You get a bag, pick the ripest, biggest apples you can find, and then you pay for them. Apparently, some people are forgetting that last step.

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News
7:31 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Searching for a Teachable Moment in Torrington

TV cameras persist in Torrington nearly a week after vicious online comments about an alleged statutory rape victim went viral. Now the town is wrestling with some difficult questions. School district officials say they’re doing their best to protect student confidentiality and to move forward.

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Social Media
7:31 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Searching for a Teachable Moment in Torrington

TV cameras persist in Torrington nearly a week after vicious online comments about an alleged statutory rape victim went viral. Now the town is wrestling with some difficult questions. School district officials say they’re doing their best to protect student confidentiality and to move forward.

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Social Media
4:58 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

After rape, cyberbullying allegations in Torrington, calls for a national conversation

After allegations of statutory rape and cyberbullying surfaced in Torrington last week, online activists across the country are pushing for a national conversation on rape and sexual culture. But teenagers in Torrington continue to post mean-spirited comments and pictures online in support of the alleged perpetrators.

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Coming Home Project
4:37 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Battle Continues Over Yellow Ribbons on Litchfield Green

Yellow ribbons are back on the town green in Litchfield after being taken down recently by a group that oversees the historic district. The ribbons, which show support of the military, were removed in late summer by the borough warden and burgesses. The members voted to take four of them down without telling town residents who have maintained the ribbons, specifically the families of servicemembers. No reason was given.

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Remembrance
8:07 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Former Waterbury State's Attorney John Connelly Dies

Chion Wolf

Former Waterbury State’s Attorney John Connelly died Sunday. He was a tough prosecutor who won cases against four of the eleven men currently on Connecticut’s death row.

John Connelly was State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Waterbury for more than 25 years. He served briefly as Commissioner for Public Safety in 1998.

Connelly was known as an outspoken, sometimes controversial prosecutor.   

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Testing
3:53 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Teachers And Staff Suspected Of Cheating At A Waterbury Elementary School

An investigator for the State Department of Education has begun to question teachers and staff at a Waterbury elementary school about suspected cheating on the 2011 Connecticut Mastery Tests.  This is the latest in a string of cheating scandals nationwide.

17 teachers and other employees at Hopeville School in Waterbury have been placed on leave as an investigator looks into possible test tampering.  A preliminary review showed many wrong answers on this year’s CMTS had been erased and corrected.  

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Where We Live
10:59 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Matt Wilson Is an "Ambassador of Good Feeling"

Photo by Steven Sussman (Litchfield Jazz Festival)

The New York Times called drummer Matt Wilson an “ambassador of good feeling.” It’s a role he takes both seriously...and not all that seriously at all. Drummers have a long history of being the cut-ups in the band and Wilson carries that tradition forward, bringing a sense of humor and adventure to the music. He’s been known to play toy drums onstage - but he’s also played with some of the most seriously talented musicians around - Charlie Haden, John Scofield...and the late Dewey Redman, who he recorded this with back in 1996.

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Clean Energy
8:18 am
Thu July 21, 2011

Residents Appeal Wind Project In Colebrook

Chion Wolf

A group of Connecticut residents is appealing a decision by the state’s Siting Council to approve the construction of three large wind turbines in the town of Colebrook. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports

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Agriculture
1:35 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

Small Connecticut Farm's Plan to Evolve, Improve Business

Photo Courtesy Cricket Hill Garden

Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston, Connecticut is one of the only farms in the country cultivating a rare perennial variety ... the Chinese tree peony. As part of WNPR's Small Business Project, Andrew Huston spoke with members of the family who run the garden about their plans to improve the business.

In the coming weeks, the woody shrubs lining Cricket Hill Garden’s woodland terraced garden will burst with large, fragrant, colorful blossoms.

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