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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Remembrance
9:20 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Emmy-Winning Actress Polly Bergen, of Southbury, Dies at 84

Polly Bergen with Fred MacMurry in "Kisses for My President," 1964.

Emmy-winning actress and singer Polly Bergen died at her home in Southbury, Connecticut on Saturday. Bergen played the terrorized wife in the original 1962 film "Cape Fear," and the first woman president in the 1964 film "Kisses for My President." She was 84 years old.

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Civil Rights
8:19 am
Sat September 20, 2014

On 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act, What Have We Accomplished?

Panelists talk at the University of Hartford about education and health care access disparities.
Lorraine Greenfield

All week, the University of Hartford hosted events marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The programs were designed to encourage reflection on what was accomplished back then, as a way to ask ourselves, “What can we do now?”

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Leveling the Playing Field on Education and Health Care

Leveling the Playing Field panel, University of Hartford
Lorraine Greenfield

All this week, the University of Hartford has hosted events marking the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The programs have been designed to encourage reflection on what was accomplished back then, as a way to ask ourselves, “what can we do now?”

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Middle East
8:20 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Connecticut House Members Mostly Reject Training of Syrian Rebels

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the McKeon amendment to arm and train Syrian rebels.
Ron Cogswell Creative Commons

Four of Connecticut’s five members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday against President’s Obama’s plan to help arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in their fight against the extremist group known as the Islamic State. The measure was approved by the House by a vote of 273 to 156.

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Warehouse Fire
2:56 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Bridgeport Fire Leads to Environmental Damage

No serious injuries have been reported in the fire at a Bridgeport industrial building.
Titus YouTube

A fishing ban has been imposed on all commercial and recreational fishing from Norwalk to Milford until the environmental impact of a massive overnight fire in Bridgeport can be evaluated. The fire has also forced evacuation of residents and cut electrical power.

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Pedestrian Safety
11:43 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Yale Crosswalk Awareness Influenced By Fab Four

http://ehs.yale.edu/Safety-Bulletin-September-2014

The Beatles’ 1969 Abbey Road album cover is the inspiration for a new Yale University campaign promoting pedestrian safety around campus. 

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Domestic Violence
8:28 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Gov. Malloy Calls for Removal of Firearms When Restraining Orders Issued

Governor Dannel Malloy speaking at a campaign event in Meriden.
Credit CT-N

Advocates for victims of domestic violence are applauding Governor Dannel Malloy's call for the immediate removal of firearms at the time a judge issues a temporary restraining order.

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Election 2014
1:10 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Q-Poll: Foley Leads Malloy By Six Points

A new Quinnipiac Poll is released less than two months before the 2014 election for governor.
Credit Connecticut State Capitol / Wikimedia Commons

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday gives Tom Foley, the Republican challenger in the governor’s race, a six-point lead over incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy. This news comes less than eight weeks before Election Day.

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Insider Trading
11:18 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Mathew Martoma Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison

Mathew Martoma.
Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images News / Thinkstock

Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager with Stamford-based SAC Capital Advisors, has been sentenced in New York to nine years in prison. He was convicted earlier this year of helping the firm earn more than $250 million illegally through insider trading.

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Conspiracy Trial
9:39 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Rowland's Aggressive Sales Pitch Under Scrutiny During Trial

Former Gov. John Rowland, center, exits federal court last week with his wife and daughters.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

The fourth day of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland’s corruption trial gets underway on Monday in federal court in New Haven. 

Prosecutors charge that Rowland allegedly devised ways to work for two political campaigns by drafting sham contracts with businesses owned by the candidates to serve as cover. Rowland has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, falsifying records, and other charges.

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Law Enforcement
1:00 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

New Training Helps State Troopers Save Lives

Tourniquets and gauze can help to stop severe bleeding quickly.
Defense Imagery Management Operations Center U.S. Department of Defense

Connecticut state troopers say new training they've received on how to prevent death by controlling early bleeding from major injuries has helped to save lives.

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Education
10:21 am
Tue September 2, 2014

In Wake of FUSE Scandal, Connecticut Charter Schools Face Greater Scrutiny

Jumoke Academy, which was managed by an organization called FUSE.
Helder Mira Creative Commons

As a new academic year gets underway, Connecticut’s charter schools face stronger scrutiny by the State Department of Education. New oversight policies will require charter schools to begin to operate more like traditional public schools.

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Americana
11:26 am
Thu August 28, 2014

"Woody Sez," the Life and Music of Woody Guthrie at Theaterworks in Hartford

David Lutken is the devisor of "Woody Sez" and portrays the lead character.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Legendary American folk singer/activist Woody Guthrie, is best known for his classic song, "This Land is Your Land." All of his music gives voice to a restless and profoundly American search for freedom: artistically, politically, and personally.

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Higher Education
9:59 am
Thu August 21, 2014

UNH/Lyme Academy Merger to Offer Students New Forms Of Expression

Students at work at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme.
Lyme Academy

University of New Haven President Steven Kaplan said the school’s recently announced merger with the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts will offer students from both institutions an opportunity to explore new forms of expression. 

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Higher Education
10:50 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Visual and Performing Arts Center to Open Soon at WCSU in Danbury

A new School of Visual and Performing Arts will open at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
Western Connecticut State University

Western Connecticut State University in Danbury is home to the only School of Visual and Performing Arts in the Connecticut state university system. Its proximity to New York offers a chance to attract an impressive faculty. Later this month, WestConn will open a new Visual and Performing Arts Center.

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Non-Profits
1:34 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

More Concerns About the Amistad Schooner

The Amistad.
Ed G Creative Commons

State legislators are raising concerns about what the closure of an organization called Ocean Classroom Foundation may mean for the Amistad, the state’s flagship 79-foot schooner.

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Arts Partnership
9:32 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Hartford Symphony Appoints Orchestra Management Director

Stephen Collins.
Credit Connecticut DECD

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra has appointed a Director of Artistic Operations and Administration.

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Connecticut River
11:24 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Water Testing in Northern States to Keep Long Island Sound Healthy

The Connecticut River seen from Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation in Massachusetts.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A first-of-its-kind, large-scale, one day water-testing event took place Wednesday along the Connecticut River and its major tributaries. 

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Bluegrass
9:55 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Podunk Bluegrass Festival in the Land of Steady Habits

The Claire Lynch Band, a headline performer at the Podunk Bluegrass Festival.
Facebook

When you think of Connecticut, bluegrass music may not immediately jump to mind, but there is a bluegrass scene here in the Land of Steady Habits. Starting on Thursday night, fans will gather at the Hebron Fairgrounds in Hebron for the Podunk Bluegrass Festival. 

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Election 2014
2:36 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Petitions Due Wednesday for Connecticut's Third-Party Candidates

Third-party candidates for governor Joe Visconti and Jonathan Pelto signed each other's petitions at the state capitol.
Arielle Levin Becker The Connecticut Mirror

Wednesday is the deadline for two candidates hoping to petition their way on to the November gubernatorial ballot to submit voters’ signatures.

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Victim Privacy
3:18 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

East Haven Mayor's Release of Harassment Complaint Upsets Accuser

Credit filmfoto/iStock / Thinkstock

The East Haven town employee who alleges that Mayor Joseph Maturo sexually harassed her at work was shocked to learn that her name was released to the media this week by the mayor’s office, according to her attorney. It’s unusual for these kinds of complaints to be released.

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Remembrance
2:20 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Documentarian Robert Drew Dies at 90

Credit www.realscreen.com

Documentary filmmaker Robert Drew has died at his home in Sharon, Connecticut. A pioneer of the modern documentary, Drew broke new ground with his 1960 political film "Primary" whose subject was John F. Kennedy.

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New Haven
7:00 am
Thu July 31, 2014

A Jazz Bass Player Who Can "Call the Pitches"

Jeff Fuller

The New Haven Jazz Festival kicks off Thursday evening with an event honoring Connecticut musician/composer Jeff Fuller

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Data on Violence
1:57 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

New Data Released on Intimate Partner Violence in Connecticut

Credit Thinkstock

On average, 14 people die each year in Connecticut as a result of intimate partner violence. There have been 188 intimate partner homicides in the state since the year 2000.

These are among the statistics in this year's annual report by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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New London Schools
12:38 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

New London Board of Education to Investigate Incoming Superintendent

Terrence P. Carter.
Credit New London Public Schools

The New London Board of Education has voted to launch an independent investigation into allegations that the city’s incoming superintendent may have misrepresented, or allowed others to misrepresent his credentials. 

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Reversing Outsourcing
11:33 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Sen. Murphy Urges Support for Bring Jobs Home Act

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy hopes for a strong vote in the Senate this week on the Bring Jobs Home Act. The bill would take away the ability for businesses to get a tax break for sending jobs overseas, and instead incentivizes companies to bring jobs back to the United States.

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Charter School Probe
7:14 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Federal Investigators Look for State Education Department Emails

Stefan Pryor, Commissioner of the State of Department of Education, in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

As federal investigators continue their probe of a troubled Hartford charter school group, agents are now seeking to obtain all department correspondence, including Commissioner Stefan Pryor's emails that relate to FUSE, Jumoke, Michael Sharpe or Hartford's Milner School.

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Equitable Opportunity
9:54 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Landmark State Education Lawsuit Delayed

Credit State Education Resource Center

The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding has agreed to delay the start of a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools. 

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Housing Migrant Kids
10:33 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Migrant Children May Be Sheltered in Massachusetts

M. Hoffmann/UNHCR The Migration Policy Institute

According to the independent think tank The Migration Policy Institute, 85 percent of the Central American migrant children who have arrived in the U.S. over the past few months are reunited with relatives here. Most go to places with established communities of Central American families, including cities in Connecticut like New Haven and Hartford. Others go to Massachusetts.

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Courts
2:56 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

UK Man Sentenced for Taliban Support

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

A British citizen imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism was sentenced in federal court in New Haven today.

Babar Ahmad was given 12 and half years in prison, with credit for the ten years he’s already served.

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