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 Theater.  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 and two children.

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Author Visit
2:01 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Children's Book Authors, Illustrators Visit Newtown

Newtown's C.H. Booth Library is hosting children's book authors and illustrators on June 6 and 7.
Ross MacDonald and Tony DiTerlizzi

Some of America's favorite children’s book authors will visit Newtown this weekend including the creators of Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Ella Enchanted, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. They’ll go to schools and talk with students on Friday and participate Saturday in panels and workshops.

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Reducing Gun Violence
8:36 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Connecticut Faith Leaders Press Gun Manufacturers On Safety and Weapons Distribution

Gun locks on display.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Following the recent mass killing in California, faith leaders in Connecticut gathered on Monday to call on gun manufacturers to take steps aimed at reducing gun violence. 

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Manufacturing
8:20 am
Fri May 30, 2014

DIY Dulcimer Kits Are a Musical Hit in Connecticut

Students at the Middle School of Plainville play dulcimers in teacher Laurel Schwartz's class.
Diane Orson WNPR

The word dulcimer means "sweet sound." There’s no better way to describe this American folk instrument.

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California
10:05 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Shooting Victim's Father Blames Tragedy on Failure to Act After Newtown Massacre

Richard Martinez.
Credit YouTube.com

The grieving father of a college student at the University of California, Santa Barbara who was killed last Friday in a mass shooting said his child died because lawmakers failed to respond to the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. 

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Arts in Schools
5:56 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Bridgeport Students Work With Legendary Artist Chuck Close

A work in progress by eighth grader T'Zaih Hanks -- a portrait of fellow student Yan Carlos Camacho.
Bridgeport Schools

Three years ago, members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities identified eight of the lowest-performing schools in the country, and enrolled them in a new program called the Turnaround Arts Initiative. The goal: to prove that arts education could improve academic achievement and overall school culture.

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Commencement Speeches
10:42 am
Mon May 19, 2014

John Kerry Delivers Class Day Address at Yale

Secretary of State John Kerry speaking at Yale University commencement.
Yale University

Secretary of State John Kerry was in New Haven Sunday to address Yale University graduates. Kerry delivered the Class Day lecture.

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High Schools
10:27 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Connecticut High School Graduation Rates Increase

JECO Photo Creative Commons

New data from the State Department of Education show high school graduation rates continuing to improve in Connecticut. 

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New Law
3:46 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Governor Malloy Signs Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Gov. Malloy signed several bills into law on Monday, including one aimed at addressing sexual assault on college campuses in the state.
Governor Dannel Malloy

Governor Malloy has signed into law a bill that attempts to address and prevent sexual assault on all public and private colleges and universities in Connecticut. 

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Rick in Space
10:20 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Rick Mastracchio Receives Honorary UConn Degree From Space

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio speaks to graduating UConn students from space.
NASA

Commencement season is underway, and graduates of Quinnipiac University, Western Connecticut State University, and UConn were among those to receive their diplomas this weekend. Four hundred graduates of the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut had the chance to hear a commencement speech delivered from a unique perspective -- from space.

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Campus Sexual Assault
9:30 am
Mon May 12, 2014

A Victim's Thoughts, Four Years After a Sexual Assault

Olin Library at Wesleyan University in Middletown.
Joe Mabel Creative Commons

A bill that attempts to address and prevent sexual assault on all public and private colleges and universities in Connecticut was enacted by the legislature last month and has been signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy’. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal has also released a report proposing what he calls a College Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights. 

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Legislative Session
8:59 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Legislative Wrap-Up: Fracking Waste Moratorium Passes; Hospital Conversions Possible

The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford.
Cliff Creative Commons

The General Assembly's session ended overnight with lawmakers finishing up work on a measure spelling out details of the $19 billion state budget. 

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Middle East
7:29 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Near-Term Settlement In Syria Not Likely, Says Former U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford

Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford.
Credit U.S. Department of State

Robert Ford, who was U.S. Ambassador to Syria until he stepped down in February, will be speaking at the World Affairs Council of Connecticut Luminary Award event on Wednesday. His visit coincides with an announcement this week by U.S. officials that they plan to allow Syria’s main opposition alliance to open a diplomatic mission in Washington.

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Labor at Yale
6:19 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

What Do Yale Grad Students Want? A Union

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

From NPR West in Culver City, California it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath. Hundreds of graduate assistants at Yale University say they want to be allowed to decide whether to unionize. Grad students at two nearby universities recently formed unions after two very different types of organizing campaigns. One sailed by in a matter of weeks. The other took many years.

Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports from New Haven.

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Higher Education
9:50 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Yale Graduate Assistants Call For Process to Decide On Unionization

Members of Yale's Graduate Employees and Students Organization marched on Wednesday to the office of Yale President Peter Salovey.
Diane Orson WNPR

More than 1,000 graduate assistants at Yale University are calling for a process to decide on unionization.

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Public Schools
10:41 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Proposal Voted Down to Merge Elementary Schools

Credit FrankJuarez / Creative Commons

According to unofficial tallies, a proposal to consolidate elementary schools among the three Connecticut towns that make up the Region 12 school district has been voted down, according to the Waterbury Republican American.

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2010 Heist
1:45 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Three More Charged in Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Theft

The Eli Lilly warehouse in Enfield.

Federal authorities have charged three more Florida men in the 2010 theft of millions of dollars worth of prescription drugs from an Eli Lilly warehouse in Connecticut. 

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UConn Union
1:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Labor Leader Cites Lawmakers, School in Helping Grad Employee Union Form

Julie Kushner, director of the UAW Region 9A.
Credit uaw.org

A long-time organizer with the United Auto Workers said University of Connecticut graduate employees won union recognition last week in what she called "the fastest-moving campaign ever." That’s due, in part, to the support of state lawmakers, and the school’s decision not to interfere.

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Allergy Medications
11:33 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Proposal Would Allow Schools to Stock Epinephrine

An epinephrine autoinjector, or EpiPen.
Vu Nguyen Creative Commons

A bill that would allow schools in Connecticut to stock emergency medication for severe allergic reactions has been referred to the Appropriations Committee. 

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Infrastructure
10:49 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Malloy Announces Major Connecticut Transportation Projects

The William H. Putnam Memorial Bridge over the Connecticut River.
Denimadept Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Tuesday several major transportation projects across the state that are set to begin this spring.

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Real Estate
9:29 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Sale in Greenwich of What May Be the Most Expensive Single-Family Home in U.S.

The view from the Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich.
realtor.com

When the Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich went on the market last spring at an asking price of $190 million dollars, it was the most expensive single-family home ever to hit the American market. Many people thought it wouldn’t close at nine figures. But it has.

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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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