Ed G (Flickr Creative Commons)

State officials are expressing concern about a series of recent blunders by the Schooner Amistad, including the decision to sail to the Caribbean during hurricane season. 

The ship will be featured in a NBC miniseries on the pirate Blackbeard, starring John Malkovich. Amistad America will be paid $250,000 but will have to film in Puerto Rico during Hurricane season:

"I complained about it because we're talking about a tall, wooden ship. There essentially is no real safe harbor for that in a hurricane," said North Stonington State Representative Diane Urban.

Kudumomo on Flickr Creative Commons

Piper Kerman brought a suitcase of cash across international borders as the 20-year-old girlfriend of an international drug trafficker.

By the time she was 34, Piper outgrew her need for adventure, but not the crime that landed her in prison more than a decade later, despite that she was living a respectable life with a boyfriend, family, and artisanal soap business in New York City's West Village.

In Hartford, school district officials say test scores held firm and showed some healthy gains. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the way you talk about test scores can be just as important as the scores themselves. It wasn't the press release Matt Poland would have written. "I would have written it with both the good and the not-so-good sharing common billing."

Cool Insights on Flickr Creative Commons

It’s the set-up for countless plots in tv and the cinema: The low-wage worker accidentally gets his hands on the big boss’ paycheck and is flabbergasted by the numbers he sees.

Outside of Hollywood, here’s the reality: Workers on Wall Street earned an average bonus of $121,900 last year while the per capita average income was $42,693.

But we knew that, right, that people who work in the financial industry in the “money-making” part of our economy are going to make more than, say, schoolteachers.

Photo by the Women's Institute

Last July, an American Legion Post in Jewett City renovated its building to provide permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless veterans. The project in Jewett City created fifteen apartments solely for veterans. It's rural communities like Jewett City where the VA has had a hard time connecting with veterans nationwide.

 But the hospital has apparently had a change of heart. Last month, St. Francis told the city that it would no longer fund the program. But Raul Pino, the city's health director, says the hospital has let him know it has reversed its course. "They have informed us that they are funding the program on a month-to-month basis." Pino says the hospital will also conduct an analysis of the program to see if it is running efficiently.

Chion Wolf

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It's been more than a half century since the state built two big public housing developments in Hartford -- nestled in neighborhoods that now include middle-class housing, the University of Hartford, and expensive single family homes. The housing developments are called Westbrook Village and Bowles Park. Over time, the units have grown too old and expensive to repair.

Veteran advocate groups have petitioned the federal VA to change its claims process. The proposed rule change would impact veterans with PTSD who were sexually assaulted while in the military. 

Hispanic Bar Association Scholarship

Jun 30, 2013
Chion Wolf

Social Enterprise is a big idea that straddles for-profit and non-profit worlds, with an aim to make a difference. Today, local business leaders and entrepreneurs are working to make our state a social enterprise “hub.”  But can we turn from a place with lots of non-profits struggling for access to a very small pot of money - to an entrepreneur driven, socially conscious business community? This hour, we’ll talk to social enterprise guru Robert Egger, and also to a new Hartford business incubator who are looking to support social entrepreneurs.

St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center is cutting funding to a Hartford program that targets infant mortality. The hospital says the recently-passed state budget is to blame. The Maternal Infant Outreach Program is almost 30 years old and is jointly funded by two hospitals and the city of Hartford. It serves about 450 pregnant women a year.

creative commons

Connecticut was one of the first states to have its own Freedom of Information Commission, designed to administer and enforce FOIA laws. But things are changing.

A last minute bill passed at the legislature, limiting the release of information about Newtown - but does that set a precedent for future crime scenes?

It’s definitely got people talking about the future of FOI - and spurred the creation of a new task force to see if our current laws are relevant in a new internet age.

Connecticut's Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families testified at a Senate hearing on Tuesday in response to a bill that would require states to do more to help children who've been exploited by sex traffickers.

Danbury Man Wants to Take Anonymous Out of Recovery

Jun 5, 2013

Ladies of Twain

Jun 4, 2013

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Caviar Takes Its Toll

May 9, 2013

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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!

The Giving Tree

Apr 30, 2013