New Haven Region

Our New Haven Region coverage includes stories about all the towns in the Greater New Haven area, ranging from Southbury, Wolcott and Meriden to Milford, Branford and Madison.

Chion Wolf

In the past decade, West African sounds and rhythm have become part of America’s musical mainstream.  Less well-known is music from East Africa  which blends African drumming with Middle Eastern melodic inflections.  

A music and dance ensemble will bring the sounds of Ethiopia to Connecticut this weekend. 

Endris Hassan is practicing his single stringed fiddle called the masenqo.  He's part of Fendika, a collective of musicians and dancers.

Diane Orson

New Haven is hosting voter registration drives around the city targeted especially at ex-offenders. Many people with criminal records mistakenly think they can’t vote in Connecticut.

"Are you registered?"

"Well, you all just convinced me. Now I want to register."  

Tywain Harris was recently released from prison after serving three years for selling drugs.  Today he’s headed to a job interview. Along the way, for the first time, he’s registered to vote.

The European Court of Human Rights has given final approval for a British terror suspect, wanted in Connecticut, to be extradited. 

37-year old Babar Ahmad is accused of raising funds for terrorists through an internet service provider based in Trumbull, Connecticut. 

He was arrested as part of a larger investigation that led to the 2008 conviction of former Navy sailor Hassan Abu-Jihaad. Abu-Jihaad leaked classified information through a website that Ahmad allegedly operated. 

Courtesy of Flickr CC by JimmyWayne

Some needing legal help find that their only option is to represent themselves 

Applications for President Obama’s new deferred action immigration policy for young people are to be released next week. Officials in New Haven will partner with local lawyers, Yale Law School and other organizations in the city to help undocumented youth navigate the application process. 

Under the deferred action policy announced in June, undocumented immigrants who meet certain eligibility requirements will be considered for relief from deportation. 

Courtesy of Flickr CC by USDA

Connecticut has a new, destructive resident that most likely is here to stay. As WNPRs Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer has caused state officials to impose a quarantine in one part of Connecticut.

Chion Wolf

Summer is the time when hungry families are most in need of food assistance. Kids are home from school and food donations are at their lowest.

Standing at the corner of Dixwell and Argyle in the Newhallville section of New Haven, there’s a line of people around the block in front of the Believe In Me Empowerment Corporation. They’re waiting for an emergency food bank to open. 

"Basically this program helps us, me and my mother, when we don’t have food at the end of the month. It helps us to get something in the pantry while our food stamps come."

Last week  two ratings agencies changed their financial outlook for the city of New Haven from stable to negative. Mayor John DeStefano says he can’t disagree with that.

Mayor DeStefano says he’s pleased that Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings did not downgrade New Haven’s credit ratings. The actual ratings were affirmed. But the city’s financial outlook declined.  

Helping The "Unbanked"

Jul 26, 2012

According to the FDIC, about 73,000 Connecticut households do not have bank accounts. These families often pay substantial fees to cash checks and pay bills, and may have a tough time establishing credit. There's a new state program aimed at helping the so-called "unbanked".

After bounced checks and financial difficulties, retired postal employee Juan Rosario was told by his bank that he’d never have another bank account or get a debit card.

Diane Orson

It’s been five years since New Haven became the first municipality in the country to offer an identification card to all residents, regardless of immigration status. Since then, more than 10,000 Elm City Resident Cards have been issued.

"Es muy importante. Es una identificacion legal."

John Carmona joined New Haven residents, city officials and local law enforcement at City Hall Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the Elm City Resident Card. He says the legal ID allows people to open bank accounts and get basic services.

Diane Orson

Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling is expected to have a big impact on many patients who use community health centers. Patient Millie Cejas is leaving the Fair Haven Community Health Center with medication to control her blood sugar levels.  

"He tenido que pedir la medicina. No la puedo comprar..."

Cejas says she had to ask for medicine because she couldn’t afford to pay for it.  Cejas works ten hours a week for $8 an hour, and like about a third of the patients at the clinic has no health coverage.

Diane Orson / WNPR

The town of East Haven has begun a nationwide search for a new police chief. 

Local volunteers have been asked to help, and on Tuesday the mayor drew names of applicants out of a hat. Twenty four people out of 30,000 East Haven residents entered the drawing to help in the search for a new police chief . 

Standing outside his office, Mayor Joe Maturo, Jr. selected ten names.  

"Number fourteen, Jeffrey Cofrancesco. Number seven, Glenda Gonzalez."

Diane Orson

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced it will move its headquarters to New Haven with up to $51 million in state aid. Governor Malloy announced the move on Tuesday as part of his "First Five" economic development initiative.

For years, New Haven’s Route 34 highway connector separated the Hill neighborhood and Medical district from the downtown area. Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ move is part of a project to knit New Haven back together.

Diane Orson

A highway that once divided a New Haven neighborhood is bringing neighbors back together.  We report on a public art project that’s transformed a barren underpass into a lively mural of familiar faces.

To get from downtown New Haven to upper State Street, you have to pass under Route 91.

Most people see rusty steel beams that stretch a couple hundred feet, grey cold walls and eerie lighting. But to Ben Berkowitz, the highway underpass is something different.  

"Huge blank canvases, the perfect place to turn New Haven Inside Out."

Fighting Urban Blight

Jun 12, 2012
Diane Orson

Urban blight can have an insidious impact on a local community - socially, economically and environmentally. New Haven has just acquired its first vacant property under an anti-blight ordinance.

"It's been a place for people to go and get high, a place for people who don’t have anywhere to live to sleep."

Joanne Kelly is walking back to her home, a few houses away from an abandoned property on Clay Street in the Fair Haven section of New Haven.

Former alderman Joe Rodriguez says city workers came here early this morning to clean the place up.

Keene/Cheshire Cty (NH) Historical Photos (Creative Commons)

Connecticut's Department of Transportation has released an environmental impact report for the proposed high speed rail line between New Haven and Springfield Massachusetts. 

Diane Orson

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in Connecticut Tuesday to announce that eight states, including Connecticut, will be granted waivers from the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Duncan’s first stop was New Haven where he met with educators, advocates and lawmakers to talk about school reform. Much of the discussion centered on New Haven’s teachers’ contract, which has been hailed as a model for the nation.

Diane Orson

The valedictorian of a New Haven high school has won a Gates-Millenium scholarship to college. The student is a teen mother who will attend a college that supports single moms in higher education.

"My name is Shayla McQueen. I’m 17 years old. And I’m valedictorian of James Hillhouse High School."

Shayla McQueen is also a mother.  Her son, Arlander Folson, turns two in August. 

Deans from 21 top business schools around the world will gather today in New Haven. Yale University will host the first meeting of a new global network for business education.

The international focus of the Global Network for Advanced Management is something totally new in the business school world, says Edward Snyder, Dean of the Yale School of Management.  

A former Transportation Security Administration officer pleaded guilty in federal court in New Haven Tuesday  to participating  in a prescription-drug trafficking scheme.  Several law enforcement officers have admitted their roles in the case.

30-year old Jonathan Best pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to posses with intent to distribute the painkiller oxycodone.  

Diane Orson

Each month, about 100 people are released from prison and return to the city of New Haven. Many have a tough time finding work. Large employers often won’t hire ex-offenders. New Haven has passed a new ordinance that standardizes the procedure to get street vendor or food cart permits in the city.  

37-year old Harold Williams was discharged from prison in January after serving 2 ½ years for selling drugs.  

Chion Wolf

Occupy New Haven protestors will be able to remain on the city green...for now. 

There were some tense moments on the city green right after noon on Tuesday, as police and bulldozers began dismantling the encampment Occupy New Haven protesters have called home for the past six months. On Monday U.S. District Judge Mark Kravitz said the city could remove the protesters beginning noon on Tuesday. The city apparently took that noon deadline seriously.

Xavier de Jauréguiberry (Flickr Creative Commons)

Over 5,000 works from the Yale Center for British Art are now just a mouse click away. 

The New Haven Museum has joined 150 other art museums worldwide in the Google Art Project, an ambitious collaboration to create a unique interactive online art experience. Besides works of art, the project also gathers important manuscripts, photographs, maps, video and audio guides and other artifacts into the site.

Diane Orson

Governor Malloy was in New Haven last night for a Yale conference on the future of education. In contrast to recent town hall meetings, this time the Governor was met by a receptive audience.

Governor Malloy outlined key proposals in his school reform package to nearly 200 people at the Yale School of Management’s Education Leadership Conference.

On the highly-charged issues of teacher evaluation and tenure, the Governor said there needs to be honest and frank discussion.  

Karen Apricot / Creative Commons

New Haven Promise

New Haven Promise (NHP) is a visionary program for the purposes of promoting college education as an aspiration for all New Haven Public School (NHPS) students; assisting graduating students from NHPS to pursue education after high school; and enhancing the growth, stability, and economic development of the City of New Haven.

Prehensile Eye (Flickr Creative Commons)

The Flat Duo Jets were the darling of college radio in the 80's and 90's. The duo, guitarist Dex Romweber and drummer Chris Crow Smith influenced scores of musicians with their wild, raw performances of 50's rockabilly tunes. Guitarist Jack White points to the Flat Duo Jets as a major influence on him and his own duo band the White Stripes.

Diane Orson

Connecticut lawmakers joined civil rights groups at the capitol Monday to call for an overhaul of the state’s racial profiling law.

This follows a federal investigation into discriminatory policing in East Haven, and a separate racial profiling report by the Hartford Courant.

A Beautiful and Goodly Tree

Feb 24, 2012

When Thomas Hooker and his party reached Hartford in 1636, they would have found majestic elm trees growing in the meadows along the Connecticut River.

New Haven Rejects Immigration Crackdown Program

Feb 20, 2012
Uma Ramiah

The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, or ICE, announced it will roll out a program called Secure Communities in the state this week. In New Haven, community leaders are calling on Governor Dannel Malloy to reject the initiative.

The federal government has agreed to settle a lawsuit by 11 illegal immigrants in Fair Haven who sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement for violating their civil rights.