Middlesex and New London Region

Our Middlesex and New London Region coverage includes stories about all the towns in Middlesex and New London Counties, ranging from Cromwell and Clinton to Voluntown and Stonington.

Electric Boat

A labor union for 2,200 workers at submarine maker Electric Boat has agreed to a new, five-year contract through 2019 that includes annual pay raises of three percent or more. 

J. Barry O' Rourke / Ali Ryerson

“We’ve switched over to the dark side for real now.” No, that’s not an ominous utterance from Dick Cheney. It’s the celebrated flutist Ali Ryerson joking on the phone when discussing her touring quintet’s contemporary, plugged-in sound that marks a giant switch for her from the modern mainstream palette that has long been a hallmark of her acclaimed artistry.

Billy Hathorn / Creative Commons

New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has asked the state for help because the city is running out of cash, and won't be able to make its $1.7 million payroll this week. 

Northeast Utilities

Federal regulators have granted permission to Connecticut's nuclear power plant to use warmer sea water for cooling at one of its two stations in Waterford. 

Sharon Farmer/sfphotoworks / sweethoneyintherock.org

Three members of the legendary a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock are finishing up a unique residency at Wesleyan University.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

A new bioscience incubator will be created in an empty building on the Groton campus of drug giant Pfizer. The state will also move its data center to the site.

Tiffany Terry / Creative Commons

A group of Native American students from Alaska visited Mystic Aquarium this week as part an academic exchange program studying beluga whales.

The five high schoolers are from Point Lay, an Inupiat Native American village of about 250 people on Alaska's northern coast. They're on the second leg of a two-part academic exchange program. 

The Matheson / Creative Commons

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy participated in the Connecticut Cheese Challenge on Tuesday. The purpose of the taste test was to prove to the European Union that American- made cheeses are just as good as their European counterparts.

Tracy M. Brown / Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium staff and visitors are mourning the loss of a 33-year-old female beluga whale that died after a prolonged respiratory illness. 

Creative Commons

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that a majority of Connecticut residents want to see a raise in the minimum wage. The poll comes as the City of New London voted to raise the minimum wage for its own workers to $10.10 an hour, the governor's statewide target for 2017.

The Q Poll shows that 71 percent of Connecticut residents support raising the minimum wage, while 25 percent oppose the change. 

carlosbezz/iStock / Thinkstock

A local superintendent's recent letter to Governor Dannel Malloy laid out concerns about changes to Connecticut's educational system. East Lyme Public Schools Superintendent James Lombardo, a long-time veteran of Connecticut's public schools, wrote a letter to Malloy and Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor saying education reforms are pointing the state and the country in the wrong direction. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, we check back in with two musical acts that we’ve featured on the program before. Goodnight Blue Moon’s Elm City roots are evident in their music. Their new EP, A Girl I Never Met, features a song that’s based on a poem found in a Fair Haven history book. Goodnight Blue Moon join us in studio to talk about the new release and to play some music.

National Coast Guard Museum Association

The City of New London's ambition to host the nation's first Coast Guard Museum took a big step forward Wednesday as officials from the city, the State of Connecticut and the Coast Guard signed a memorandum of agreement.

National Coast Guard Museum Association

Like many cities, New London has plans to revitalize its downtown. One project local leaders hope will bring in  tourist dollars is the construction of a National Coast Guard Museum on the city’s waterfront.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Nurses and technicians at New London's Lawrence and Memorial Hospital voted Monday to ratify a contract deal struck late last week between unions and management.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, we check back in with two musical acts that we’ve featured on the program before. Goodnight Blue Moon’s Elm City roots are evident in their music. Their new EP is called, A Girl I Never Met and it features a song that’s based on a poem found in a Fair Haven history book. Goodnight Blue Moon join us in-studio to talk about the new release and to play some music.

We're also be joined by another Connecticut musician: Daphne Lee Martin. Her upcoming album Frost is a follow-up to last year’s Moxie, which we featured on the show last year. Daphne joins us to talk about Frost and to catch up on her success since she last joined us.

John Waller

An opera written by a Jewish composer while in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II will be performed this weekend in Connecticut. In an egregious bit of Nazi Propaganda, the concentration camp known as Theresienstadt was falsely presented to the world as a model Jewish settlement.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

More than 40 employers took part in a hiring fair in Groton Tuesday aimed specifically at veterans. It was part of the Hiring Our Heroes campaign run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

La Grua Center

The Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations will speak in Stonington Thursday evening. Mohammed Alhakim is expected to talk about the challenges to Iraq's reconstruction.

US Navy / Creative Commons

The world's first nuclear-powered submarine is 60 years old. The Nautilus was christened on January 21, 1954, by first lady Mamie Eisenhower before a crowd of 20,000 people in Groton.

Young Poet's 'Shrinking Women' Goes Viral

Jan 14, 2014

[Youtube]

Lily Myers intended her poem “Shrinking Women” to be a personal one.

But a video of her recital at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational was posted to the poetry website Button Poetry and to The Huffington Post, where it went viral.

With more than 3 million views, it continues to circulate across social media websites.

Alan Villers

Mystic Seaport hosts its annual Sea Chanty Blast and Pub Sing this Saturday. The event brings together some of the best chanty singers and groups from the northeast.

Sujata Srinivasan

As I drove across the East Haddam swing bridge, car tires rumbling over the open grate, it was hard to imagine that the 19th-century Goodspeed Opera House – looking like a wedding cake on the Connecticut River – was anything but a place for musical theater. Yet in addition to being a performance space, it served as a passenger terminal for a steamboat line. It was the town’s general store, post office, dentist’s office, and even a parking garage.

Thanks to a series of very fortunate events, Goodspeed's restoration in 1963, after a period of neglect, was followed by 19 productions that went on to Broadway, receiving more than a dozen Tony awards. In 2006, another fortunate event – a set of strategic business decisions – saved the Goodspeed yet again. 

Greenbelt Management

In January, the state's Department of Consumer Protection will begin awarding the first ever licenses to medical marijuana producers and dispensers in Connecticut. While the licenses are awarded by the state, it's been left up to individual towns to decide if they want to host one of these facilities. Two communities in Connecticut have taken very different approaches to this new industry.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro warned that the state's economy will suffer because of the decision not to extend unemployment benefits in the federal budget deal reached last week.

DeLauro voted, she said, reluctantly, against the Murray-Ryan budget compromise precisely because it does nothing to help the long term unemployed. On Wednesday, she brought together some of the people who will be affected for a discussion in Middletown.

Harriet Jones

Nurses and technicians go back to work Thursday at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, after the hospital lifted its lockout order.

The move comes after a stand off of more than two weeks. Staff were locked out over the Thanksgiving weekend following a four-day strike.

Mark Milloff

When he’s not playing professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, artist Mark Milloff sculpts, paints, and envisions gigantic pastel drawings. He also moonlights as a musician. But all things being equal, he’d rather be fishing.

Harriet Jones

There's been no progress yet towards ending the labor dispute at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London. Talks between unions and management scheduled for today were canceled.

Senate Democrats

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital has written to its workers detailing what it's called its last, best and final offer.

It's the latest move in a labor dispute that has seen a four-day strike by about 800 nurses and technicians, followed by a still-ongoing lockout.

Paul Kolnik

Like so many holiday traditions, "The Nutcracker" is upon us once again. With numerous Connecticut productions of the classic fairy tale ballet, the 12th annual production by the Eastern Connecticut Ballet is a stand-out for a number of worthy reasons.

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