Heather Brandon

Digital Editor

Heather Brandon is digital editor for WNPR. She lives in Hartford with her husband and three children. Heather previously worked as a producer for Where We LiveThe Colin McEnroe Show, and news broadcasts. She has a master's degree in public policy from Trinity College, and a bachelor's degree in urban studies from Bryn Mawr College. 

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Bruce Fingerhood / Creative Commons

The recent derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in Philadelphia has brought attention across the northeast to safety on the rail lines. A computerized system to slow or stop trains automatically, called Positive Train Control, could help avoid accidents like this in the future.

Yusuf Syed

Adnan Syed, who was convicted for murder in 2000, and whose case was the subject of the podcast Serial, was granted a post-conviction hearing in a court order released Monday.

On WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, attorney Rabia Chaudry spoke about the development, which came sooner than Syed's legal team expected.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Some conversations about public media, and the role of public radio stations in particular, have been making their way across social media this week. 

Ryan King / WNPR

For decades, the elevated section of highway through Hartford along I-84 has been a major feature of the city's landscape. It's now viewed as a barrier, dividing the city in two. It's also aged out of its usefulness.

This week, the Connecticut DOT is inviting the public to take a look at what it's calling the I-84 Hartford Project. Anyone can drop by the Open Planning Studio at a downtown Hartford church to meet planners and engineers who are looking at alternatives to redesign I-84.

YouTube

Quinnipiac University's president has apologized for jokingly telling students at a party he would buy nearby residential houses, inflaming already sore town-gown relations. 

Office of Dannel Malloy

A non-partisan working group to help find funding options for Connecticut's transportation infrastructure overhaul met for the first time on Tuesday.

Creative Commons

Several governors from New England visited Connecticut on Thursday to talk about regional energy infrastructure challenges. 

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Wednesday the creation of a state council to set goals related to Connecticut's efforts to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Office of Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy on Friday named the state's interim education commissioner, Dr. Dianna Wentzell, to the role permanently.

City of Stamford

Earlier this week, Connecticut DOT officials shut down a state-owned parking garage at the Stamford Transportation Center. A chunk of concrete fell from one of the parking decks to the deck below over the weekend. Fortunately, no one was injured.

The garage is almost 30 years old, and has been part of a redevelopment plan of the state’s for a very long time -- a plan that will probably involve replacing the parking garage. But for now, it’s closed for evaluation, and that’s thrown off about a thousand commuters who rely on the rails to get to work.

It points to a bigger question: what will the state do about developing around transit stations? Are we stuck planning primarily for cars? 

Don Harder / Creative Commons

The Board of Regents announced on Wednesday that the Meriden branch of Middlesex Community College will remain open, after the state legislature made an effort to block efforts to close it.

Cristian / Creative Commons

State transportation officials shut down a state parking garage at Stamford's downtown train station late Monday. The decision came after chunks of concrete fell over the weekend from the garage's third deck to the second deck below.

Tintazul / Creative Commons

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's inspector general said Metro-North maintenance crews get little or no supervision and fail to document their work.

The New England Council

New England can reclaim its title as a manufacturing hub by working together to nurture the development of the advanced manufacturing industry. That's the conclusion of a new report being released Wednesday by the nonpartisan New England Council

Aundrea Murray / WNPR

The I-84 viaduct in Hartford needs to be replaced, but the state still has to figure out how that’s going to happen -- and it's currently considering options.

Banco Carregosa / Creative Commons

Two men from Massachusetts and Connecticut have been charged in an insider trading scheme that prosecutors say netted more than $1 million. 

UTC

United Technologies Corp. has announced a change in leadership at Sikorsky Aircraft, less than a month after announcing it may spin off the helicopter-making subsidiary.

UTC on Thursday appointed Robert Leduc as president of Sikorsky, moving predecessor Mick Maurer to the newly created role of UTC senior vice president of strategic projects. 

Lee Cannon / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy’s transportation plans have been in the news a lot since the start of the new year. He’s set a bunch of goals -- some of them far off in the future -- but hasn’t yet figured out a way to pay for them.

We’re starting to see signs of Malloy’s efforts to figure it out in the form of proposed bills at the state legislature. 

Ryan King / WNPR

CTfastrack begins service this weekend. The 9.4 mile bus-only roadway runs from New Britain to Hartford, looking to lure some driving commuters to consider mass transit.

Facebook

Former Republican congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley will serve five months in prison for her role in a campaign consulting scandal involving former Governor John Rowland.

According to reports from inside the federal courtroom in New Haven, Judge Janet Bond Arterton disputed Wilson-Foley's claim that she was a "minor player" in the crime.

MGM Springfield

MGM broke ground on an $800 million casino in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts on Tuesday.

Company officials -- including Mike Mathis, MGM Springfield president; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; and state Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby -- were all in attendance.

Mikkel Rønne / Creative Commons

A Norwalk Board of Education member is resigning in response to criticism of a Facebook posting that featured obscenity-laced invective against the Rev. Al Sharpton and insults targeted at President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Noroton / Creative Commons

Lawmakers are planning changes to a controversial proposal from Governor Dannel Malloy that would enable the state to take land near transit stations.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut lawmakers are considering an expansion of the state’s gambling enterprise, urged forward by competition from Massachusetts. Operators of Connecticut's two existing casinos believe that if this legislation passes, their business will remain competitive.

On Thursday, the legislation -- Senate Bill 1090 An Act Concerning Gaming -- was approved 15 to eight by the General Assembly's Public Safety and Security Committee. It awaits further action in the Senate to clarify details still under negotiation.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A public hearing on Monday heard residents' input on a proposed bill that would clarify state laws on police officers' authority to make arrests outside of their jurisdiction. 

Speaking on WNPR's Where We Livepanelists broke down the origins of the bill and the issues surrounding it. 

Paul Bass / New Haven Independent

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 months in prison in a campaign fraud case. He was also fined $35,000.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Hamden mayor who led Governor Dannel Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is leaving public office to take a job in the governor's administration. 

Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

A federal judge has denied a bid from former Governor John Rowland for a new trial in the criminal case that could send him to prison for up to three years. 

U.S. Congress

Former Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords visited Connecticut to push for new gun control legislation designed to help domestic violence victims. 

Julia Pistell / WNPR

A public hearing on Monday at Hartford Public High School heard residents' input on a bill that would clarify state laws on police officers' authority to make arrests outside of their own towns.

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