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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Connecticut Senate Republicans

Connecticut Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano is calling for the resignation of Joette Katz, Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families. This follows a report revealing urgent safety problems at two state-run juvenile detention facilities.

Alan Grinberg / Creative Commons

Lawmakers in Congress are debating the Student Success Act, which would replace and update the No Child Left Behind law. The Republican House bill passed without the support of Connecticut lawmakers, or any Democrats at all.

Charlie Smart / WNPR

The Hartford Yard Goats unveiled their team logo on Wednesday, featuring a feisty goat chewing on a baseball bat.

The nostalgic colors and lettering refer to Hartford sports history -- the Whalers -- and the old New Haven-Hartford-New York train line logo. A "yard goat" is a term for a type of rail car.

janp013/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut lawmakers passed two bills on Monday aimed at reforming the state's criminal justice system. 

orudorumagi11 / Creative Commons

The state legislature left some work to do after the regular session ended, but it did change the way the car tax is applied across the state. 

Speaking on WNPR's Where We Live, panelists broke down the way the state budget would affect the tax and how complex it appears to be.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut House Speaker Brendan Sharkey called for new leadership at Quinnipiac University this week, citing problems caused by students living in residential neighborhoods.

CT-N

The Connecticut Republican leadership recapped the 2015 legislative session at the State Capitol on Thursday. House Republican Leader Themis Klarides urged the governor to veto the budget if it wasn't the plan he wanted.

CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy touted accomplishments related to property tax reform and investments in transportation during a press conference on Thursday at the State Capitol, while reporters questioned him repeatedly on his earlier promise not to raise taxes. 

CT-N

State Senate Democrats are recapping the 2015 legislative session during a press conference in Senate President Martin Looney's office.

Michelle Lee / Creative Commons

Connecticut's House of Representatives passed a $40 billion state budget after Democratic leaders worked through the night to secure enough votes.

The bill, which needed 72 votes, was approved Wednesday morning 73 to 70. It now heads to the Senate, which by law must act on the package by midnight when the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn for the summer.

Photo Phiend / Creative Commons

Rank-and-file Connecticut lawmakers will be briefed Monday on a tentative two-year budget agreement reached between Governor Dannel Malloy and the General Assembly's Democrats early Sunday. 

A vote on the latest, proposed $40 billion fiscal package is expected later on Monday. Listen to WNPR's Where We Live for an update from legislators.

Photo Phiend / Creative Commons

A bill that creates a multi-step process for possibly opening a new tribal casino in Connecticut is heading to the governor, among other bills awaiting action at the Capitol.

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. 

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