Harriet Jones

Reporter/Editor

Harriet Jones reports on all aspects of the business world for WNPR. She's covered such diverse issues as the threat to close Connecticut's submarine base, the sub prime mortgage crisis and the impact of casinos on the state.

In 2011, she created WNPR's Small Business Project as a way to tell stories about the companies that make up 90 percent of our economy, but often get overlooked in the media.

She is the winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her reporting on Connecticut's 2010 floods.

Harriet joined WNPR in October 2000 as Morning Edition producer and reporter. Born in Scotland, she worked for the BBC for much of her early career.

She was news director at Scotland's largest commercial radio station, ScotFM, and was lucky enough to cover that country's two biggest political events in 300 years - the referendum which delivered a new parliament, and the subsequent elections.

She has also taught broadcasting for the BBC at some of their international schools in Eastern Europe, delivering courses to journalists in Romania, Albania and Bosnia.

Harriet lives in Stonington with her husband, Bob Statchen, and their three children.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:43 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Fuel Affordability Gap Widens in Connecticut

Credit Operation Fuel

The number of households unable to afford heating bills in the state will rise again this winter. That’s the message from Operation Fuel, the non-profit that aims to help low-income families with utility bills. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
10:53 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Gas in Connecticut Hits Four-Year Low

Credit Mike Mozart / Creative Commons

It's official: a gallon of gas now costs less than $3.00 in Connecticut. According to AAA's statewide survey, it's the first time in over four years that the average price has dipped below that mark. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
11:24 am
Tue December 9, 2014

UTC Appoints New CFO

UTC's new CFO, Akhil Johri.
Credit United Technologies

United Technologies is bringing back a long-time executive to serve as chief financial officer.

Akhil Johri succeeds Greg Hayes, who became president and CEO of the conglomerate last month after the unexpected departure of CEO Louis Chenevert. 

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Development
10:18 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Talks Imminent Over Union Station Future in New Haven

Union Station in New Haven
City of New Haven

Transportation officials and representatives from New Haven city government will sit down this week to discuss long-range plans for Union Station. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
11:38 am
Mon December 8, 2014

WSJ: Chenevert Ousted Over Personal Priorities

UTC's headquarters in Hartford.
Credit DanielPenfield / Creative Commons

The Wall Street Journal is the first to take a guess at the mystery surrounding the departure of United Technologies CEO Louis Chenevert.

The paper reported this weekend that the company board engineered his abrupt ouster because of concerns that he was spending too much time on his private interests.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
1:50 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

National Park Status for Coltsville Heads to the Senate

The iconic Colt dome in Hartford.
Library of Congress

A bill that would make Hartford’s Coltsville into a national park has passed in the U.S. House. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
3:03 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Electric Suppliers Sued in Connecticut

Credit Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

A West Hartford law firm has filed suit against several independent electric suppliers in the state, accusing them of price gouging and deceptive business practices. 

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The Business of Health Care
2:27 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Hospitals Hike "Facility Fees" on Privately-Insured Patients

scantaur/iStock Thinkstock

Hospital groups in Connecticut have defended the increasing practice of charging facility fees. These are charges that may be billed separately to patients, and vary depending on where the care was delivered.

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Power Crunch
1:14 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Buyer Beware as Electric Rates Soar

Connecticut's Consumer Counsel, Elin Swanson Katz.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Consumers who are scrambling to lower their electric rates in the new year are being urged to exercise caution. Looming rate increases from Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating have many considering signing up for an alternative supplier for the first time. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
3:23 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Connecticut Attorney General to File More Comment on Utility Rate Hike

Attorney General George Jepsen in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Attorney General George Jepsen has welcomed the cut that regulators look likely to make to Connecticut Light and Power’s requested rate hike, but he said they should go further. 

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Affordable Care Act
1:32 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Connecticut's Medical Device Makers Hoping on Tax Repeal

An operating room table.
Credit Dario Lo Presti/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut’s medical devices industry could benefit from the change in control in Washington next year as Republicans vow to repeal a tax that was put on device makers almost two years ago.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
10:25 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Frontier Pledges Quick Storm Restoration for Connecticut Customers

Credit Gary Ombler / Thinkstock

As the state hunkers down for a pre-Thanksgiving storm, Frontier Communications is assuring its customers that it will keep them connected. 

The Stamford-based company issued a statement saying it has teams standing by to restore service quickly if the weather causes outages. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
2:27 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Market Rewards UTC Shakeup

Credit Oleksiy Mark/iStock / Thinkstock

United Technologies' stock has bounced back just a day after the departure of CEO Louis Chenevert. Shares in the Hartford based conglomerate ended Monday down 1.4 percent, following the shock announcement that former CFO Greg Hayes would take over the top slot. 

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Corporate Leadership
2:15 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Mystery Surrounds UTC Change of Command

New UTC CEO Greg Hayes
Credit UTC

Investors and employees have been left baffled by the sudden resignation of Louis Chenevert, the chief executive of United Technologies. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:31 am
Mon November 24, 2014

UTC's Chenevert Retires

UTC CEO Louis Chenevert

Louis Chenevert, the chief executive officer of United Technologies Corporation, has announced his retirement.

He will step down immediately, and he'll be succeeded by current chief financial officer Greg Hayes.



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Connecticut Business Briefs
2:02 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Connecticut Lawmakers to Retailers: Hands Off Thanksgiving!

Steven Depolo Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers say they want to make another effort to save Thanksgiving. In the face of widespread store openings, Representative Matt Lesser said he’ll once again introduce a bill that would make stores pay their employees 2.5 times their normal rate on Thanksgiving. 

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Rail Safety
2:59 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

DOT's James Redeker: Metro-North Can Achieve Safety and On-Time Performance

Credit Sean Marshall / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s transportation commissioner has rejected criticism that his department is more concerned with reliability than with safety on the Metro-North Railroad. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
1:44 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

State Adds Jobs; Unemployment Rate Remains Steady

Credit Wavebreak Media / Thinkstock

Connecticut employers added 3,600 jobs in October, with the biggest gains coming in the retail sector. The state’s unemployment rate, which is based on a separate survey, remained steady from September at 6.4 percent. In the first ten months of the year, Connecticut has added 18,300 jobs, up from 13,700 in the same period of 2013.

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Insurance Capital
12:33 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Resigns

Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi.
Credit State of Connecticut

Connecticut's insurance commissioner is moving on for a job in the financial services industry. Thomas Leonardi will leave the agency in December.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:54 am
Wed November 19, 2014

State Seeks Input on Public Retirement Plan

Credit iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut officials are seeking public input on a proposal to create a state-administered retirement plan for private sector workers. 

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Global Engagement
2:08 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Ambassador Samantha Power Sees Hope in New Congress

Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations.
Samantha Power Facebook

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told a Connecticut audience on Monday that she’s hopeful of meaningful cooperation with Senate Republicans as the Obama administration shapes its foreign policy. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:20 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Gov. Malloy: Expanded Gaming Up to Connecticut Legislature

hareshd5000 Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy said he’s not among those who are calling for expanded gaming in Connecticut to counter new competition from Massachusetts. The governor told reporters that the decision whether to allow more gambling facilities is a legislative matter, and he won’t be playing a lead role.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:12 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Pfizer, Merck in Cancer Drug Partnership

Cancer cells in a 3D rendering. Merck and Pfizer will initially target lung and ovarian cancer.
Credit iStock / Thinkstock

Pfizer has signed a major cancer drug deal with German firm Merck. The news dampens speculation that Pfizer is still interested in a renewed bid for British drug maker AstraZeneca. 

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State Senate Dilemma
2:39 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Kevin Rennie, Rob Simmons at Odds Over State Sen. Andrew Maynard's Benefits

Columnist Kevin Rennie in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Republican columnist Kevin Rennie took issue with one of his own in his latest Hartford Courant column, scolding former Congressman Rob Simmons for suggesting that the injured Andrew Maynard be awarded a pension and health benefits should he be incapable of serving the term to which he’s just been elected.

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Business
12:53 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Gender Wage Gap in Connecticut Exceeds National Average

Phil Whitehouse Creative Commons

Women’s position in the workplace in Connecticut has improved significantly over the last 15 years, according to a new report. But the study, commissioned by the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, says too many disparities still remain, particularly for women of color. 

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Power Marketplace
9:08 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Big Electric Rate Hikes on the Way for Winter in Connecticut

Your meter may not be spinning any faster, but you'll pay more.
Sarah Simpson Creative Commons

Both of Connecticut’s electric utility companies want to raise rates sharply in January. 

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Destination Retail
9:56 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Foxwoods Readies Outlet Mall

An oculus that will let natural light into the quarter-mile-long mall building
Harriet Jones WNPR

In the week that Massachusetts removed the last challenge to its new gaming industry, voting down a potential repeal, one of Connecticut’s casinos showed off exactly how it’s preparing for competition from the north.

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The Business of Governing
10:31 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Catherine Smith Looks Forward to Economic Development 2.0

DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith
Credit Chion Wolf

Economic development was a major part of the campaign rhetoric this election season, and it seems destined to be a high-profile part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s second term.

WNPR sat down with the administration’s economic development chief, Catherine Smith to talk about what a second term will look like.

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Connecticut Legislature
2:29 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Mixed Fortunes for Democrats in State Senate

Polling in Essex on Tuesday.
Credit Mara Lavitt / WNPR

Southeastern Connecticut saw some notable races in the state legislature, with one state senate seat changing hands, and another staying with the incumbent, despite the fact he's currently hospitalized. 

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Ballot Question Defeat
1:05 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Casino Opponents in Massachusetts Consider Their Options

MGM's plans for downtown Springfield include a tower
Credit MGM Springfield

By a 20 percent margin, voters in Massachusetts refused to repeal the state’s casino law. The defeat of the ballot question comes as a relief to those bankrolling projects that were approved in three different Massachusetts communities.

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