Heather Brandon

Digital Content Editor

Heather Brandon is digital content editor for WNPR. She previously worked as a producer for Where We Live, The Colin McEnroe Show, and news broadcasts. Heather lives in Hartford with her husband and three children. 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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18th District
8:55 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Stonington State Sen. Andrew Maynard in Serious Condition After Injury

On May 17, State Sen. Andrew Maynard, left, stood with Congressman Joe Courtney at the Charles W. Morgan, boarding the ship for its first voyage in nearly 100 years. Maynard secured state bonding for a signficant share of the ship's restoration.
Connecticut Senate Democrats

A state senator from Stonington is in serious condition at a Rhode Island hospital after falling from an outside staircase at his home. 

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Flight MH17
10:54 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Obama Urges Putin to Push for Unhindered Probe of Plane Crash Site in Ukraine

President Barack Obama talks on the phone aboard Air Force One with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine about the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in eastern Ukraine on July 17.
Credit Pete Souza / White House

President Barack Obama spoke about the downed plane in eastern Ukraine from the White House Monday morning. He called for international investigators to have "immediate and full access" to the site where a passenger jet was shot down last week.

U.S. officials have been seeking to build a case that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists.

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Sexual Assault
2:39 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

UConn Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Attorney Gloria Allred, at center, with UConn graduate Kylie Angell at the podium, and other plaintiffs in the sexual assault federal lawsuit against UConn.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

The University of Connecticut has settled a federal lawsuit filed by five women who claimed the school responded to their sexual assault complaints with indifference. 

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White House
11:36 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Obama Calls for a Ceasefire in Ukraine

President Barack Obama speaking to the press last year.
White House

President Barack Obama said one American was killed on a downed plane in Ukraine on Thursday, and that the airliner was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists. He called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, where he said heavily armed and trained separatists receive Russian support.

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Animal Rescue
9:48 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Seal Pups Return to Ocean After Rehabbing in Mystic

A Gray Seal being released in Rhode Island on Thursday.
Mystic Aquarium

Two five-month-old seal pups rescued in March have returned to the Atlantic Ocean after recovering from their injuries at the Mystic Aquarium.

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Governor's Race
12:50 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Foley, McKinney Face Off in Republican Primary Debate

John McKinney, at left, and Tom Foley, at right, Republican candidates for Connecticut governor, as portrayed on their campaign websites.
mckinneyforgovernor.com/tomfoleyct.com

The two Republican candidates for Connecticut governor faced off in a primary debate on Thursday at The Hartford Courant

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New York
9:22 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Drone Use Over George Washington Bridge Leads to Two Arrests

The George Washington Bridge from above.
George Pankewytch Creative Commons

Police in New York City arrested two people for operating a drone over the George Washington Bridge that came within 800 feet of a police helicopter. 

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Student Work
12:00 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Teens Savor Hartford Comic Con, "a Divine Experience"

The Joker at Hartford Comic Con.
Joshua Gaestel CPBN Learning Lab

Students from the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School Satellite Campus at the CPBN Learning Lab in Hartford had a chance to visit Comic Con in the capital city recently. One described it as a "divine experience."

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Tough Jobs
11:54 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Listen: My Job is to Make People Cry

Bruno Passigatti/iStock Thinkstock

Have you wondered what work is like for the producer of a reality television show? Rebecca Hertz, based in Los Angeles, has worked on a number of shows, and to hear her describe it, sometimes the job is pretty harrowing.

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Ocean Life
2:12 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Rare Sighting of Beluga Whale in Massachusetts

A Beluga whale sighted in the Taunton River.
A. Lyskin IFAW

In Connecticut, we're used to seeing Beluga whales at Mystic Aquarium, but residents in Fall River, Massachusetts are getting an unusual sight in an unusual place. A Beluga whale was spotted in the Taunton River over the past several days. 

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Olmsted Legacy
7:16 am
Thu June 26, 2014

New Documentary Highlights the Work of Frederick Law Olmsted

A bird's eye view of Central Park in New York.
PBS

Frederick Law Olmsted, recognized as one of the greatest landscape architects from the U.S., is perhaps best known for contributing to the design of New York City's Central Park. He was also a Connecticut native, and was raised in Hartford's North End -- where he is also interred, in Old North Cemetery.

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Reviews
4:04 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Listen: Five Ways to Make Connecticut Better

Jumping for joy in Mystic.
m01229 Creative Commons

Known as The Land of Steady Habits, the Nutmeg State, and somewhere you can be "Still Revolutionary," Connecticut is ever-changing, if sometimes very slowly. 

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Election 2014
3:39 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Boughton Drops Out of Race for Governor

Mark Boughton during a visit to WNPR (file photo).
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton announced on Wednesday that he is dropping out of the race for Connecticut governor. Instead, he's supporting endorsed Republican candidate Tom Foley.

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Hip Hop Classic
3:15 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Listen to a Beatboxer Explain How He Jams With the Hartford Symphony Orchestra

linda369369 YouTube

Beatboxer Shodekeh has the skills to improvise along with a symphony. How does he do it?

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Massachusetts Casinos
12:51 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Tentatively Awards Casino License to MGM

A rendering of the planned downtown casino, MGM Springfield.
Credit MGM Resorts International

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted on Friday to award a western Massachusetts casino license to MGM Springfield, as soon as a repeal issue is resolved. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno called the casino one of three essential ingredients to revive the city's "urban core."

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Governor's Race
9:50 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Foley Reacts to Pelto's Announcement; Agrees on Education and "Corporate Welfare"

Tom Foley
Chion Wolf WNPR

Tom Foley, Republican candidate for Connecticut governor, said on WNPR's Where We Live that he agrees with third-party candidate Jonathan Pelto on education policy and his approach to corporate welfare, and doesn't see a threat from him in the upcoming election.

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Western Massachusetts
2:26 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Gambling Regulators in Massachusetts Begin Review of Proposed Springfield Casino

A rendering of the a public plaza at the proposed MGM casino in Springfield, showing a partially preserved historic building.
MGM Resorts International

State gambling regulators considering awarding the state's first casino license to MGM Resorts International have given its proposed $800 million casino in Springfield high marks for its finances and its building and site design.

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School Shootings
2:12 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

The Bodyguard Blanket: Sensible, or a Sign of Resignation?

Children wearing the Bodyguard blanket in a promotional photo.
Business Insider ProTecht, LLC

A new product is out called the Bodyguard blanket, designed to provide protection for children and teachers while at school. It's a bullet and tornado-projectile resistant item, resembling a yoga mat, that a child or adult can fasten around the shoulders and waist.

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Governor's Race
1:08 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Mark Boughton and Mark Lauretti Face Ballot Signature Deadline

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti.
Credit City of Shelton

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti faced a looming deadline Tuesday to submit thousands of signatures from registered Republicans in order to appear as a lieutenant governor candidate on the GOP primary ballot.

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Transportation
3:13 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Malloy Pledges Bridge Operations Review to Address Metro-North Disruptions

The Walk Bridge in Norwalk has gotten stuck twice in recent days.
WalkingGeek Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy, Senator Richard Blumenthal and other leaders met in New York City on Monday to discuss the latest problem for Connecticut rail travel. The 118-year-old Walk Bridge in Norwalk has gotten stuck in the open position twice in recent days, leading to major Metro-North and Amtrak delays.

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Hartford Stage
10:02 am
Mon June 9, 2014

"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" Wins Best New Musical Tony Award

Jeferson Mays, left, and Bryce Pinkham in "A Gentleman's Guide" at Hartford Stage.
Joan Marcus

"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," originally a Hartford Stage production, received the best new musical Tony Award on Sunday night.

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Technology
12:53 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Listen: How the Internet Works

Lit-up servers serving.
Tristan Schmurr Creative Commons

Have you ever wondered how your favorite cat video reaches your computer? Some questions stump even the most techno-savvy adults. 

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Minor League Baseball
12:26 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Should the Rock Cats Move to Hartford?

The New Britain Rock Cats stadium.
Doug Kerr Creative Commons

Hartford city officials held a news conference on Wednesday to discuss what Mayor Pedro Segarra called a "major sports announcement." A deal is in place to move the New Britain Rock Cats minor league baseball team to Hartford.

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Downtown Campus
2:13 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

UConn, City of Hartford Mark Development Agreement

The former Hartford Times building on Prospect Street will be refurbished and incorporated into a UConn Hartford campus.
Peter Morenus UConn

UConn officials and the city of Hartford marked a development agreement milestone on Tuesday. The university is capping an effort to move its West Hartford campus to a new location called UConn Hartford.

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Race for Governor
9:30 am
Tue June 3, 2014

John McKinney Wants to Retain Connecticut's Young Population

John McKinney.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Why is John McKinney running for governor? "Because I love Connecticut," he said Tuesday on WNPR's Where We Live, adding that he wants his three children to be able to stay in Connecticut, too.

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Student Work
7:45 am
Tue June 3, 2014

East Haven Students Produce Short Film On Energy Conservation Lessons From Birds

The African masked weaver bird nest has energy conservation lessons for homeowners, captured in a student-made short documentary.
Hanay Creative Commons

A group of students at East Haven High School created a short documentary, “Weaving the Way: Lessons From the Weaver Bird.” The film recently won outstanding documentary short at the Connecticut Student Film Festival.

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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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Massachusetts
10:06 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Philadelphia Inquirer Co-Owner Dead in Boston-Area Plane Crash

Lewis Katz.
Credit temple.edu

Lewis Katz, co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, is among the seven people killed in a plane crash Saturday night in Bedford, Massachusetts, according to the paper's editor. Bill Marimow confirmed Katz's death to Philly.com on Sunday, saying he learned the news from close associates.

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Forceful Arrest
1:28 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Bridgeport Police Respond to Arrest Video

A Bridgeport police officer was captured on video striking a teen while on the ground on Stratford Avenue.
Maria Diaz YouTube.com

Bridgeport police are defending the actions of a police officer shown in an Internet video forcefully arresting a teenager. 

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Superior Court
12:09 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Connecticut Planning $81 Million Litchfield County Courthouse in Torrington

A rendering of a new Litchfield County Courthouse project in Torrington.
Gov. Dannel Malloy

The state is planning to build an $81 million courthouse in Torrington to replace Superior Court buildings in Litchfield and Bantam. 

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