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Wealth Gap
5:55 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

One in Seven Connecticut Children Living in Poverty

Credit Lance Neilson

The rate of child poverty in Connecticut held steady in 2013, from the year before. But that stabilization follows a huge rise in the last decade. One in seven children in the state lives in a poor family. 

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Student Loan Debt
10:11 am
Fri September 19, 2014

With College Tuition Prices in Connecticut on the Rise, Can You Afford to Pay?

Getting through college is proving more and more challenging financially, according to a new report.
Bossi Creative Commons

A new report on student debt in Connecticut reveals the challenges students and their parents experience trying to pay for a college education.

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U.S. Economy
6:26 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Federal Reserve To Markets: Nothing To See Here; Move Along

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen.
Susan Walsh AP

The Federal Reserve's policy makers just eyeballed the economy, and saw nothing new.

On Wednesday, they announced wage-and-price hikes remain low and growth continues at a moderate pace. That means interest rates can stay super low for a "considerable time," while the Fed's bond-buying program can wrap up next month, as expected.

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Internet Traffic
3:12 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

Nuala O'Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, testifies on net neutrality issues before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:17 pm

Now, we wait.

The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule-makers should treat Internet traffic is closed, after a record 3.7 million comments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the first 800,000 and found that fewer than 1 percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.

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Industry Revival
9:18 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Why a Banker is Re-opening a Textile Mill in Connecticut

The main offices of the American Woolen Company in Stafford Springs.
J Holt WNPR

The slow death of the textile industry in the U.S. was underscored last December by the closure of the last operating mill in Connecticut, the historic Warren Mills in Stafford Springs. That same mill is celebrating its re-opening under new owners. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:17 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Gig-ecticut Is Coming

Elin Katz is Consumer Counsel, State of Connecticut
Chion Wolf

The number one lesson with infrastructure is build more than you think you need. If you don't, you spend forever catching up. In Connecticut, this is especially true about mass transit. We didn't build any for decades and now we're so far behind that even becoming semi-respectable is going to take decades.  

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:44 am
Mon September 15, 2014

How to Protect and Grow Your Money

Credit Dave Dugdale/flickr creative commons

While more people are saving, a startling number of people have no pensions or savings as they head toward retirement years. If you are lucky enough to have investments, the key question for our show is, how do we protect and grow our assets at the same time? Too conservative means you miss the gains; too risky means you can lose a bundle if the market sinks, and never make it up if retirement is near.

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Energy Grid
3:21 am
Wed September 10, 2014

New York Says It's Time To Flip The Switch On Its Power Grid

A worker repairs electrical lines in Plainview, N.Y., after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. A proposed plan to overhaul the state's power grid could help the system better withstand severe weather and enable energy to be stored and managed more efficiently.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 11:18 am

In the power business, it's all about managing the peaks.

During the hottest days of summer, electric utilities run at full capacity to keep giant cities comfortably cool. But most of the rest of the year, half that capacity goes unused — and that's highly inefficient.

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Technology
2:40 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Apple Shows Off Larger iPhone 6; Unveils New Apple Watch

Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch Tuesday in Cupertino, Calif. Apple unveiled the long-awaited smart watch, which comes in two sizes and requires an iPhone.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 4:03 pm

After months of rumors and dozens of fan-created images of what an Apple watch might look like, today the tech giant will show us what it's been working on. Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled a new smart watch at a splashy event in Cupertino, Calif., called the Apple Watch

We'll be updating this post with news from Apple today, including tweets from NPR's Laura Sydell, who's at the event at the Flint Center.

Update at 2:40 p.m. ET: Apple Watch Price: $349

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Technology
7:52 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Size Matters: Why Apple Is Expected To Unveil A Bigger iPhone

The Samsung Galaxy Mega (from left), Samsung Galaxy S4 and Apple iPhone 5 are shown. Apple is expected to announce larger models of its smartphone on Tuesday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 11:04 am

You may have noticed that after years of getting smaller, smartphones are getting bigger. It's a trend that's mostly been led by Samsung. Apple's late CEO, Steve Jobs, famously knocked the idea that people wanted larger phones. But on Tuesday, Apple is expected to announce bigger iPhones and is relenting to the reality that we're talking less on our phones and using them more like a mini computer.

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Demonstrations
10:29 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Across The Country, Fast-Food Workers Rally For $15-An-Hour Pay

Protesters demonstrate outside a McDonald's in Chicago. Hundreds of workers from McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's and other fast-food chains were expected to walk off their jobs Thursday to push the companies to pay their employees at least $15 an hour, according to labor organizers.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 10:58 am

Fast-food workers in cities across the country, from Los Angeles to Chicago to Hartford, Conn., rallied for higher wages during a day of demonstrations Thursday.

Union organizers, backed by the Service Employees International Union, are building a campaign for $15-an-hour pay.

At the corner of 87th Street and South Wabash in Chicago, an intersection that has a McDonald's on one corner and a Burger King on the other, workers chanted "$15 an hour" or sang "We Shall Not be Moved" as they blocked traffic.

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Labor
6:28 am
Fri September 5, 2014

In Market Basket's Win, Did Workers Change The Game?

Market Basket meat manager Bob Dietz of Methuen, Mass., (center) and other workers celebrate after watching a televised speech last month by restored Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas at a store in Chelsea.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 10:58 am

Labor unions are looking for lessons in the recent worker victory at New England supermarket chain Market Basket. By using Internet technology to rapidly coalesce around a single demand, nonunion workers forced a sale of the company to their beloved CEO.

"I've never seen anything like it, that's for sure. And they prevailed, which is even stranger. They took on this and forced these people to sell their shares to this one guy," says Dennis Irvin with United Steelworkers Local 12012. "It's amazing, totally amazing!"

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Civil Disobedience
12:30 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Fast Food Workers Strike; 13 Arrested in Hartford

A protester is arrested in Hartford on Washington Street.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Workers from Hartford and New Haven area major fast food restaurants went on strike Thursday as part of a national effort to gain attention for workers' rights. In Hartford on Washington Street, protests partially blocked traffic, and several protesters were arrested.

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Tobacco
11:58 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Drugstore Chain CVS Kicks Tobacco Habit A Month Early

An unnamed CVS employee removes tobacco products from the store shelves in East Greenwich, R.I.
AP

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 4:59 pm

CVS Caremark has pulled cigarettes from its shelves a month ahead of schedule.

In February, CVS, one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, said it would stop selling tobacco products by October, despite the profits they brought the company. Now cigarettes in the company's stores are history.

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Election 2014
8:03 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Republican PAC Airs TV Ad Slamming Malloy Tax Hike

Grow Connecticut released an ad Tuesday criticizing Malloy's tax increases.
YouTube

A Republican political action committee has launched a TV ad attacking Governor Dannel Malloy's tax policies. 

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The Wealth Gap
7:27 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Young People, Minorities Watching Wages Stagnate in Recovery

Most workers in Connecticut have not seen a real wage increase in over a decade.

Income inequality is getting greater in Connecticut as the recovery continues. That’s the message from a new report which says the state needs to use tax policy to help poorer families catch up. 

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Paid Sick Days
7:01 am
Tue September 2, 2014

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

Women are more likely to take time off to care for a sick child or elderly adult, making mandatory paid sick leave a hot partisan topic.
Shutterstock

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 1:23 pm

Got the flu? Or a new baby? Perhaps a little one with chicken pox? In most countries, your employer must pay your wages if you stay home sick or to care for others. Not in America.

But a growing grass-roots movement aims to change that — starting with paid sick leave.

Already the movement has met some success. This past weekend, California became the second state in the country to mandate sick leave for employees.

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Working Hours
12:42 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Who's In The Office? The American Workday In One Graph

Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:36 am

Researchers often look at the number of hours worked, but rarely do they ask the question of when. Fortunately, the government conducts an annual study called the American Time Use Survey that tracks how people spend their days.

The interactive graph below shows the share of workers who say they're working in a given hour, grouped by occupation. Play with the different job categories to see how the average workdays differ from one another.

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Planet Money
8:44 am
Thu August 28, 2014

A Mall With Two Minimum Wages

Wetzel's Pretzels employee Emperatriz Orozco hands out free samples at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:20 am

The Westfield Valley Fair Mall straddles two cities. One side of the mall is in Santa Clara, but walk a few feet down the mall, and you're in San Jose. In 2012, San Jose voters agreed to raise the city's minimum wage from $8 to $10 an hour.

Philip Sandigo manages a shoe store on the $8-an-hour side. When San Jose raised the minimum wage, he lost about half his staff.

They went to the stores on the side of the mall that paid $2 an hour more.

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Utilities
2:56 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Connecticut Utility Rate Increases Discussed at Hearing

Kenneth Bowes of Connecticut Light and Power during the PURA hearing.
Credit CT-N

A fight is brewing over a request by Connecticut's largest utility to raise rates by $232 million to upgrade equipment following destructive storms. The first of three related public hearings took place on Wednesday.

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Healthy Workplace
1:23 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Work-Related Illnesses Fall in Connecticut

Credit Fuse / Thinkstock

The number of workers sickened on the job in Connecticut has declined slightly, according to a new study by UConn. Occupational illnesses in the state, however, remain more prevalent than the national average. 

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Consumers
3:44 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Many Homeowners Still Qualify For Mortgage Relief

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, says many homeowners who could qualify to refinance their mortgages under HARP are suspicious.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 11:47 am

The financial crisis pushed millions of Americans from their homes. And housing advocates complain that the government did more to prop up big banks on Wall Street than it did to help average people on Main Street.

But many of those people on Main Street could still qualify for a government program to help them save money by refinancing their mortgages.

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Consumers
3:29 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Grocers Lead Kids To Produce Aisle With Junk Food-Style Marketing

A kids healthy snacks display at Giant Eagle.
Courtesy of Giant Eagle

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:09 pm

Despite all the cheerleading for healthy eating, Americans still eat only about 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. And our veggie consumption, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls short, too.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri August 22, 2014

America: The "No-Vacation Nation"?

One in four Americans gets no paid time off.
Krystal International Vacation Club Creative Commons

Research shows that using your vacation time can have some major benefits. For one, it’s better for productivity, and -- as one study shows -- it can even be better for your health. But are Americans taking enough time off, or are we really a "no-vacation nation"? 

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Back to School
7:16 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Notebooks And Pencils And Pens, Cha-Ching!

On the left, supplies on the back-to-school list for third-graders in Arlington, Texas; on the right, the items fifth-graders need in Palmer, Alaska.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 9:12 am

Millions of families are heading to Target or Wal-Mart this month to make sure their kids have what they need for the first day of school. And, as many parents know, those glue sticks and gym clothes can really add up.

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