industry

Insurance Industry
1:28 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Connecticut's Share of Insurance Industry Continues to Decline

Hartford, Connecticut, known as the Insurance Capital.
Credit Cliff / Creative Commons

A new analysis shows employment in the insurance industry is steadily recovering nationally. Connecticut’s share of the industry, however, has continued to decline.

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Comic Con
6:18 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

As Superheroes Go Mainstream, Comic Cons Get Corporate

Anna Swope, dressed as a stormtrooper from Star Wars, and her husband Stephen Goss, dressed as the films' Boba Fett, wait to use an ATM while attending the Fan Expo convention in Vancouver, B.C.
Darryl Dyck AP

Darren Tompkins attended his first comic convention (or comic con) in Roanoke, Va., back in the mid-1980s. At the time, these gatherings were only for die-hard comic fans — people who might invest in a Batman or Joker costume to wear once a year.

"Really, it was just a small ballroom filled with cardboard boxes," Tompkins says. "I mean, there weren't any actors or famous people or panels or anything. It was just a place for comic book dealers to get together and sell their wares."

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Technology Industry
8:33 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Microsoft Will Cut As Many As 18,000 Jobs

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:23 am

A large layoff is under way at Microsoft, as the technology company says it will cut 13,000 jobs in the next six months. All but 500 of the layoffs are related to the Nokia phone division the company acquired in April. Microsoft says it might shed as many as 18,000 jobs as it restructures itself.

The company says it will complete most of the layoffs by the end of this year, and complete the restructuring by next June.

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Medicine
3:17 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Medical Marijuana to Become Available Later This Summer

Various strains of medical marijuana.
Credit AudioVision / Creative Commons

Later this summer, medical marijuana will become legally available to patients in Connecticut.  

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Customer Service
1:15 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Comcast 'Embarrassed' By The Service Call Making Internet Rounds

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:38 pm

When a customer service call is described as "Kafkaesque" and "hellish," you pretty much know how it's going to go down before even taking a listen. But in case you haven't heard the condescending, tedious call that's lit up the Internet, here it is:

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Aerospace
9:44 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Connecticut Companies at World's Biggest Air Show

Farnborough Air Show

Connecticut aerospace companies are front and center at the world’s largest air show on Monday. The Farnborough Air Show in England alternates with Paris each year to host the biggest names in the world of aerospace.

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International Trade
9:32 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Connecticut Creates Deep Water Port Authority

Gov. Dannel Malloy signs the Connecticut Port Authority legislation in New London
Harriet Jones WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law a bill that will create a comprehensive port authority for the state of Connecticut.

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Made in Connecticut
9:27 am
Fri June 13, 2014

How Connecticut Manufacturing Businesses Have Beat the Odds For 100 Years

Bill Potvin at Hosmer Mountain Soda continues to sell flavors that are uniquely New England.
Sujata Srinivasan WNPR

The odds were never in favor of small businesses. Data from the Small Business Administration shows that only about one-third of all start-ups make it beyond the first ten years. 

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Succession at The Stag
12:55 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Liam McGee Steps Down as CEO of The Hartford

Retiring Hartford CEO Liam McGee.
Credit The Hartford

Liam McGee has announced he will relinquish day-to-day control at The Hartford Financial Services Group, after treatment earlier this year for a brain tumor.

McGee will be succeeded as CEO by Christopher Swift, who steps up from his position as Chief Financial Officer. Another internal candidate, Douglas Elliot, will become President. McGee will stay on as executive director of the board until the next shareholders' meeting.

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LEGO Heists
3:21 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Leggo My Legos! Australian Toy Stores Hit By Series Of Thefts

An Australian detective says a recent string of Lego thefts sounds like the work of organized criminals.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 12:11 pm

Toy stores in Australia have been hit by a series of high-dollar Lego heists, and a police detective thinks the thefts might be the work of a crime syndicate specifically targeting the toys.

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Laying the Keel
12:36 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Michelle Obama Sponsors New Electric Boat Sub

First Lady Michelle Obama signs her initials on a plate that will be mounted on the USS Illinois
Rhode Island Public Radio

First Lady Michelle Obama visited Rhode Island to help lay the keel for a new submarine being built by Groton's Electric Boat.

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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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International Trade
2:08 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Middlefield Firm Wins Top National Export Award

tcly/iStock Thinkstock

A Middlefield company has been presented with the President's Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

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Pharmaceuticals
8:36 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Pfizer Drops $119 Billion Bid For AstraZeneca

William Vazquez AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 7:57 am

It would have been the biggest deal the pharmaceutical industry has seen in more than a decade. But for now, it's off the table.

Pfizer has withdrawn its offer to buy British drug company AstraZeneca for about $119 billion.

American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which makes Lipitor and Viagra, has been circling its smaller rival AstraZeneca for months.

AstraZeneca, which makes Nexium and Crestor, has rejected every offer saying Pfizer undervalues the company, and that it wants to remain independent.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Bringing Manufacturing Jobs Back to Connecticut

John Dankosky speaks with (from left) Chris Murphy, Kris Lorch, and Sonny Morneault.
Lydia Brown WNPR

This hour, we kick off our year-long Made in Connecticut series with a conversation about keeping jobs in and bringing jobs back to Connecticut. Senator Chris Murphy joined us, along with WNPR’s Harriet Jones, and some folks from the local manufacturing industry, to take an in-depth look at the present and future of manufacturing in our state.

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Pharma Wars
11:52 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Pfizer's Quest for AstraZeneca May Be Over

Pfizer CEO Ian Read
Credit Pfizer

Pfizer's bid for rival pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca looks likely to fail, after the UK business turned down its latest offer.

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Music Manufacturing
12:18 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Organ Company In Hartford Still Pulling Out All the Stops After 100 Years

Anne Wysocki, a voicer at Austin Organs, tunes a chimney flute that will be added to an organ in Cincinnati originally built by Austin in 1929.
Shana Sureck WNPR

If you ask Michael Fazio how long he’s been in the pipe organ business, he’ll say, “How do I get out of it?”

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Technology
3:41 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Are Filmmakers Using Drones Illegally? Looks Like It

Jeff Blank, of Los Angeles-based Drone Dudes, prepares a quadcopter for takeoff. The drone has to chase a motorcycle down a hill.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 12:11 pm

It is illegal in the U.S. to operate a drone for cash. That's the position of the Federal Aviation Administration — which is in charge of protecting air space. But at least one industry has decided that it doesn't care and it's going to put drones to work anyway: the film industry.

Drone Startups Hit Hollywood

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Verse and Voice
3:14 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

From the Heart to the Plate

Stephanie Nobert New Britain Industrial Museum

All thanks to Landers, Fray and Clark,
the turn of the century had launched
many irons, coffee percolators, samovars,
Another in that list is their variety of toasters.

The smallest of the house would sit
and watch so the bread won't burn to a crisp.
It was done with the assistance of a lever
if the bread was too hot for them to handle.

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Turkey
7:13 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Death Toll Nears 285 In Turkish Coal Mine Explosion

Rescue workers carry a man from the coal mine in Soma, western Turkey, site of a disaster that has killed 245 people.
Emrah Gurel AP

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 4:08 am

This post was updated at 4:00 a.m. ET Thursday:

The death toll in Turkey's worst mining disaster has risen to 282. Rescue teams recovered eight more bodies on Thursday. Hope is fading for the estimated 150 miners trapped below ground.

This post was updated at 7:10 p.m. ET.:

Crowds angered over a mine explosion in western Turkey that claimed at least 274 lives clashed with police on Wednesday near the site of the disaster in Soma.

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Pharma Wars
5:01 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Pfizer's Read Defends Astra Zeneca Bid

Pfizer CEO Ian Read from a company video
Credit Pfizer

Pfizer's chief executive will face questioning by politicians in the UK this week over the company's bid for rival pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca.

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Verse and Voice
4:01 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The Spirit Level

Doug Kerr Creative Commons

a terza rima for the New Britain Industrial Museum

Hard hittin' New Britain, some of my students intone
to describe their home for a few years or a lifetime
in that depressed part of Hartford County once known

by relics in unphotographable pre-European times
as a fertile hunting and fishing ground by the Tunxis,
Quinnipiac, Wangunk, Podunk and Mattabesett tribes

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Ovation Factory Closing
1:24 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Guitarist Joel Weik Has a Unique Perspective On Ovation Guitars

Guitarist Joel Weik prefers Ovation Guitars in an amplified "live concert" setting.

Last month, Fender Musical Instruments announced it will close the Ovation guitar factory in New Hartford in the coming weeks. For now, that means all Ovation guitars will be made in factories overseas. 

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Made in Connecticut
11:56 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Connecticut Aerospace Companies Face Technological Leap

Pratt and Whitney's Pure Power geared turbo fan engine PW1100G.
Pratt and Whitney

Companies that supply planes and engines to commercial airlines are about to see a boom in business unlike anything that the industry can remember. There are more customers than ever before for airline flights, and alongside that, engine technology has taken a big leap forward. That means unprecedented investment, and Connecticut is at the epicenter of that change. 

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Green Power
11:04 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Fuel Cell Industry Still Strong, Say Advocates

A fuel cell installed in New York by ClearEdge Power,
ClearEdge

The market for fuel cells is growing, according to industry experts, despite the recent bankruptcy of one of Connecticut's largest fuel cell manufacturers.

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Defense Procurement
11:45 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Electric Boat Celebrates Historic Contract

Electric Boat in Groton is preparing to work on the largest contract ever awarded by the U.S. Navy.
Electric Boat

Electric Boat expects to hire more than 500 extra employees as it gets ready to work on the largest contract ever awarded by the U.S. Navy. The workforce can still expect pain in the short term.

The contract for ten Virginia class submarines represents five years of steady work building two submarines a year at the Groton yard, something that's been hard to come by in recent decades.

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Pharmaceuticals
8:29 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Tax Breaks Could Be Biggest Prize In Pfizer Deal For AstraZeneca

For now, Pfizer's world headquarters remains in New York. But a deal for AstraZeneca could turn Pfizer British.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 7:00 pm

Pfizer finally fessed up and told the world that it wants to buy British drugmaker AstraZeneca. It wasn't a very well-kept secret.

The New York-based drugmaker confirmed publicly that it approached AstraZeneca in January about getting together. AstraZeneca, based in London, rebuffed the New Yorkers.

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Submarine Building
9:20 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Electric Boat Snags Biggest-Ever Navy Contract

A Virginia Class submarine built by Groton's Electric Boat.
Electric Boat

The U.S. Navy has given Groton shipyard Electric Boat the largest shipbuilding contract ever awarded.

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Air Force Contracts
2:26 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Space X To Protest No-Bid National Security Contracts

Elon Musk, chief executive officer and chief designer of SpaceX.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 6:17 pm

SpaceX will launch an official protest against the Air Force for its no-bid national security launch contracts to Boeing and Lockheed, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a televised press conference.

He said his company thought the process was "unfair" and that he wanted to shine a light on the process.

"As I've said, sunlight is the best disinfectant. If everything's fine, then I guess that's great," Musk said. "But that seems unlikely to me."

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Economic Development
6:49 am
Fri April 25, 2014

UTC Tax Package Headed to Malloy's Desk

A rendering of planned new headquarters for Pratt and Whitney.
Credit Pratt and Whitney

A $400 million tax relief package for United Technologies is on its way to Governor Dannel Malloy's desk after the legislation passed the state senate.

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