Diane Orson

Managing Editor/Host

Diane Orson is WNPR's local host for Morning Edition.  She's also a reporter and managing editor for WNPR, as well as a contributor to National Public Radio. Her stories are heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Here And Now.  Diane began at WBUR in Boston and came to Connecticut in 1988 as a co-producer for Open Air New England.  She shared a Peabody Award with Faith Middleton for their piece of radio nostalgia about New Haven's Shubert Theatre.  Her reporting has  been recognized by the Connecticut Society for Professional Journalists and the Associated Press, including the Ellen Abrams Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism and the Walt Dibble Award for Overall Excellence.

Diane is also an active professional musician. She lives in Hamden with her husband. Her two children are in college.

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One Year Later
4:05 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

One Year After the Boston Marathon Bombing, a Connecticut Resident Remembers

Chief Operating Officer of the American Radio Relay League, volunteer amateur radio operator who helped with communications at the Boston Marathon.
Chion Wolf WNPR

One year after the Boston Marathon bombing, Connecticut residents who were there are looking back and remembering. Harold Kramer, Chief Operating Officer of the American Radio Relay League, talked about his experience on WNPR’s Where We Live

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Taxes
10:14 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Reverse PILOT Proposal Considered Unfair By Some Connecticut Institutions

Connecticut's state capitol building with the Bushnell Park Corning Fountain in the foreground.
Credit Helder Mira / Creative Commons

Some municipal and state leaders would like to see non-profit colleges and hospitals pay taxes to the towns where they reside. One higher education official said the particular idea currently being floated is unfair. 

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Stepping Down
10:30 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Rowland Leaves Radio Talk Show

Former Gov. John Rowland.
Credit WTIC

Former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland announced Thursday that he's stepping down from his afternoon talk show on WTIC 1080. He ended his show by saying, “Today will be my last show, as I’m leaving the station to take care of some personal issues.”

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Earning a Degree
8:57 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Connecticut to Open First P-TECH School in Norwalk

Graduates will earn a high school diploma and an associates degree in applied science.
Credit Vancouver Film School / Creative Commons

State officials are to announce today that Connecticut’s first P-TECH model school will open in September.

P-TECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School, and by the start of the next academic year there will be about 27 of these schools across the country.

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Agriculture
1:16 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Report: New England Should Develop Locally-Grown Food System

Buttonwoods Farm in Griswold from above.
Chion Wolf WNPR

A new report on sustainable agriculture policy recommends that New England build its own regional food system with locally-grown products. Cris Coffin, New England director of the American Farmland Trust, a co-author of the study, said consumers in the region want to buy local. 

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Health Insurance
10:23 am
Mon March 31, 2014

ACA Expected to Increase Demand for Primary Care Doctors; Quinnipiac University Responds

With the open enrollment deadline looming, organizations across Connecticut are helping people sign up for health insurance coverage. Health centers are open Monday in many cities, including Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Norwich, and Waterbury, with extra in-person help. 

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African Orphanage
10:42 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Connecticut-Based Non-Profit to Build a Children's Village in Tanzania

Bekka Ross Russsell of The Small Things with children.
Credit The Small Things

A Connecticut-based non-profit has received a major grant to start construction on a village for orphaned children in Tanzania. The Small Things, based in East Haven and Africa, partners with the Nkoaranga Orphanage, which cares for youngsters from birth to five years old.

When they age out of the orphanage, some kids are able to move in with family members or live in foster homes, but most are sent away to boarding schools.

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Ukraine Crisis
6:28 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Murphy: Sanctions Could Have "Catastrophic Effects for the Russian Economy"

President Barack Obama announces additional sanctions against Russia during a statement on the south lawn of the White House.
Credit White House / YouTube Screenshot

President Barack Obama expanded economic sanctions against Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine, with further sanctions on top officials of the Russian government.

"In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals," said Obama in a statement on the south lawn of the White House.

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Courts
12:59 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Church Trial of Former Yale Dean is Dismissed

Rev. Dr. Thomas Ogletree.
Credit religionnews.com

The New York Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church has announced that the case against the Reverend Dr. Thomas Ogletree is dismissed.

Dr. Ogletree, a Connecticut resident and former dean of Yale Divinity School was to have faced a church trial for officiating at the same-sex wedding of his son.

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Courts
10:46 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Witness in New York City Terror Trial May Testify in Connecticut Sentencing

Saajid Badat.
Credit Creative Commons

A witness, expected to testify today in a terrorism trial in New York,  is also believed to be the person federal prosecutors want to testify at the sentencing later this year of two British citizens imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism. 

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Exhibits
2:23 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Exhibit Highlights Traditional Arts By Refugees and New Immigrants

Lynne Williamson

A giant woven carpet, intricate hand-made lace, brilliantly colored baskets and textiles are some of the traditional arts featured at a new exhibition in Hartford.

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Understanding Death
3:10 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Remembering Dr. Sherwin Nuland, Author of "How We Die"

Dr. Sherwin Nuland.

Best-selling author Dr. Sherwin Nuland has died. His 1994 book, How We Die, took on the medical establishment and its unwinnable fight with death. 

How We Die describes the messy, often harrowing process of dying. 

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Race
6:31 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Mother of Trayvon Martin Speaks at UConn

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, speaking at UConn on Friday.
Credit UConn

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, was in Connecticut this weekend. She spoke at UConn as part of the university’s Black History Month events.

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Venezuela
2:18 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Concern for the Safety of Venezuelan Opposition Leader With Ties to Yale

Carlos Vecchio while at Yale.
Credit Uma Ramiah

After recent anti-government protests in Venezuela, Amnesty International has issued an urgent call for action on behalf of an opposition leader with ties to Yale University. An arrest order has been issued for Carlos Vecchio.

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Universal Pre-K
2:01 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Malloy's Pre-K Plan Targets "Most Vulnerable" Children

Myra Jones-Taylor, executive director of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood, speaking on Where We Live.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Malloy’s latest early childhood education proposal centers on universal access to pre-kindergarten. The phase-in plan would offer seats to 1,000 three- and four-year-olds for fiscal year 2015, and would expand to serve 4,000 additional children by 2019. 

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Influenza
11:20 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Connecticut Continues to Report High Numbers of Flu Cases

Credit Stacey Newman/iStock / Thinkstock

The weekly flu report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found flu cases trending downward nationwide for the week ending February 8. Connecticut, however, remained among six states continuing to report high numbers of cases of the flu. Over 2,600 flu cases have been reported this season.

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Courts
8:11 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Federal Authorities Want Testimony From Man Convicted in Shoe Bomb Plot

Saajid Badat.
Credit Creative Commons

Federal prosecutors want a man convicted in a failed 2001 shoe bomb plot to testify at the sentencing of two British citizens imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism. 

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Transportation
10:02 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Governor Dannel Malloy Weighs In On Metro-North

Governor Dannel Malloy appearing on Where We Live.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

With an increasing number of angry rail commuters, and calls by some state legislators for federal intervention, Governor Dannel Malloy opened the door on Monday to the possibility of putting the operation of Metro-North’s New Haven line out for bid.

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Symphonies
3:58 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Minnesota Orchestra Ends 15-Month Work Stoppage

Credit roibu/iStock / Thinkstock

After a 15-month lockout, the longest work stoppage for any symphony orchestra in U.S. history, the Minnesota Orchestra performed its first homecoming concert last week.

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Connecticut Olympian
3:47 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Ridgefield Supports Their Olympian With a Luge Screening

The luge track at Sochi will be on display at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Saturday.
Credit Digital Vision/Photodisc / Thinkstock

The Olympic Games officially get underway on Friday in Sochi, Russia, with opening ceremonies airing Friday night. Three billion are expected to watch as teams from around the world gather in Fisht Stadium to celebrate the start of the games.

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Common Core
4:21 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Federal Officials Allow for Delayed Testing Requirements in Connecticut

Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Federal education officials have granted Connecticut’s request to delay standardized testing requirements connected to the Common Core State Standards. That will allow some breathing room for teachers before new evaluations connected to the tests begin. 

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Higher Education
9:13 am
Tue February 4, 2014

New Haven Promise Reaches Out to Younger Children in Effort to Build a College-Going Culture

Student Arianna Taft with Patricia Melton, executive director of New Haven Promise.
Credit Diane Orson / WNPR

A recently-released report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that as college tuition costs soared between 2007 and 2012, demand for federal student loans increased more than 300 percent.

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Metro-North
9:37 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Upgrade to Metro-North New Haven Line Begins

Governor Malloy announces upgrades to the New Haven line alongside other officials. Behind him, from left: Senator Richard Blumenthal, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, DOT Commissioner James Redeker, and Rep. Elizabeth Esty.
Credit Office of Governor Dannel Malloy

Work on a $10 million project to upgrade the power supply for Metro North’s New Haven Line begins on Monday. The upgrade is aimed at preventing the kind of catastrophic power failure that took place in New York last fall, seriously disrupting service. 

Governor Dannel Malloy announced the project Sunday at Union Station in New Haven. “Transportation is the backbone of our economy here in Connecticut,” he said. “As governor, I’ve been clear that we need to invest in bringing our highways and mass transit systems into the 21st century after years of under-investment.”

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Music
11:56 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Perform in Connecticut This Weekend

Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The group will perform at UConn on February 1 at 8:00 pm.
Credit Lulis Leal

The South African a capella vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo will be in Connecticut this weekend. The group began performing over 50 years ago during the period of apartheid, and became a worldwide sensation after performing on Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland album in the 1980s. 

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Police Recruits
10:43 am
Thu January 30, 2014

East Haven Police Chief Looks to Stop Immediate Transfers of New Trainees

East Haven Police Chief Brent Larrabee.
Credit Town of East Haven

East Haven's police chief is asking that something be done to stop town police recruits from completing their training and immediately transferring elsewhere. According to The New Haven Register, Chief Brent Larrabee has seen 26 officers of his 53-person force leave during his two years on the job. 

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Folk Aboard
3:32 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

My Road Trip With Pete Seeger

"This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender."
Credit Joseph Holmes / Creative Commons

It was the 1980s and I was a busy musician in New York City. Mine was an eclectic musical life as both a violinist and singer. One day I was seated in a chamber orchestra playing classical violin, the next I was gigging on my electric fiddle and singing back-up in a folk/Latin band.

One day, Mike, the leader of a folk band I played with, called to say that he and I were going to drive Pete Seeger to a music festival in Washington, D.C.

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Antarctica
8:28 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Yale Student Treks to the South Pole at Record Pace

Yale student Parker Liautaud and explorer Doug Stoup in Antarctica.
The Willis Group

Parker Liautaud, 19, is a sophomore at Yale University studying geology and geophysics. He’s also a polar adventurer who just returned from an expedition, where he and another explorer broke the world record for the fastest unsupported trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole.

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Special Education
9:18 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Bridgeport Failed to Identify Students in Need of Special Education

Credit mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

The State Department of Education has determined that Bridgeport Public Schools have violated their obligation to students under the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

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East Haven
10:50 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Former East Haven Police Officer Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Former East Haven police officer Dennis Spaulding with his wife.
Credit Melanie Stengel / The New Haven Register

Former East Haven police officer Dennis Spaulding has been sentenced to five years in prison for violating the constitutional rights of members of the East Haven community, particularly Latinos.  

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Holocaust
2:06 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Film Documents Children's Rescue From the Nazis -- and One Lives in Hartford

Ivan Backer, 84, a Hartford resident rescued by Sir Nicholas Winton during the Nazi takeover of Prague.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Next Monday marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Next week in Woodbridge and Madison, there will be two screenings of the film "Nicky’s Family," a Czech documentary that tells the nearly-forgotten story of Sir Nicholas Winton, a British stockbroker who organized the rescue of 669 children just before start of World War II. 

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