CONNECTICUT

Coverage of Connecticut from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

There’s a primary next week. And though absentee balloting has been the talk, the question now is whether the power outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias will affect in-person voting.

Writer Tochi Onyebuchi of New Haven in 2017.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPM

In "Riot Baby" — a new novel from New Haven writer Tochi Onyebuchi — a young Black girl named Ella discovers she has powers that can help rid the world of police brutality and structural racism. 

As Connecticut’s utilities struggle to address a million power outages across the state, there’s no official assessment yet as to when they might be able to restore electricity to most homes. And now state regulators have announced an investigation into whether the state’s largest power company, Eversource, underestimated the threat posed by Tropical Storm Isaias.

Isaias ripped through the state Tuesday with wind speeds gusting to 70 mph, felling trees and bringing down power lines in almost every town. 

Power outages were reported across Connecticut after Tropical Storm Isaias ravaged the state with high winds Tuesday. Downed trees blocked roads and brought down power lines in many towns with winds as high as 70 mph. Utilities say it may take several days for full restoration of power. 

Caravan 4 Justice activists and protesters gather at the north side of the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford to demonstrate against the systemic abuse of police power perpetrated against the black community, June 7, 2020.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

It’s been more than four months since Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her home by Louisville Metro Police as they executed a no-knock search warrant. She was a 26-year-old Black woman who worked as an emergency medical technician and aspired to become a nurse.

After a tumultuous week filled with legislative outrage, sniping between energy companies, and consumer sticker shock at rising utility bills, state regulators on Friday announced they would temporarily suspend a controversial rate increase for energy company Eversource.

Some of the more controversial aspects of police reform that’ve been debated on the streets of Connecticut are now law.

The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford.
Photo Phiend / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/photophiend

This week, the Connecticut Senate passed a police accountability bill, which its colleagues in the House passed last week. It changes how misconduct cases are investigated, clarifies when deadly force can be used, and bans chokeholds in most cases.

DON MCCULLOUGH / CREATIVE COMMONS

The delicate balancing act of anticipating electric demand before and during the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown electricity suppliers, regulators and customers an unwelcome surprise this summer: massive jumps on electric bills. 

Oz Griebel, the exuberant Hartford business leader who waged uphill races for governor as a Republican in 2010 and an independent in 2018, has died from complications arising from being struck by a motor vehicle while jogging on July 21 in Pennsylvania. He was 71.

A divided state Senate shouldered past the fierce opposition of Connecticut police unions early Wednesday to vote 21-15 for final passage of a police accountability bill that both capitalizes on and addresses the outrage over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Some shoreline cities and towns in Connecticut are reviving a controversial practice by restricting beach access to residents only on weekends in response to COVD-19.

Connecticut state senators will consider a police reform bill on Tuesday, which includes a controversial change that would allow officers to be sued for misconduct. The measure has drawn intense lobbying from supporters and opponents ahead of the special session.

Sabrina Buehler didn’t expect to make much from her Airbnb rental in North Stonington this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Black Lives Matter murals have been popping up across the country since the killing of George Floyd by police. In Hartford, a mural is tucked away in the city’s North End, with another in the works downtown. And in Stamford, the affirmation Black Lives Matter has been painted on a main street.

Gov. Ned Lamont pledged Monday to add teeth, including a $1,000 fine, to his 14-day quarantine policy for travelers coming to Connecticut from coronavirus hot spots around the nation.

In a glimpse of the sporting “new normal,” Connecticut’s top pro soccer club hosted a league game in the middle of a pandemic.

Hartford Athletic held its home opener at Dillon Stadium, four months after it was supposed to be played.

Tanisha Wright (30) looks for an opening as she's guarded by Chiney Ogwumike (13) in a July 2018 Lynx vs Sun game at Target Center.
Lorie Shaull / Creative Commons / flickr.com/people/number7cloud/

The Connecticut Sun continue preparations for the 2020 WNBA season despite recent controversial comments from Georgia Senator and Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler about the Black Lives Matter movement. 

18 Attorneys General File Suit Over ICE Rule

Jul 13, 2020
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

A coalition of 18 attorneys general — including those representing Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island — is suing the Trump administration to block a new federal rule that bars international higher education students from studying in the United States if they are taking online-only courses this fall. 

Clauses in police union contracts often protect officers from the consequences of their misconduct. That’s according to a new analysis from the ACLU of Connecticut.

Connecticut’s Department of Education says that state COVID-19 data will guide the decision-making process regarding how K-12 students should learn in the fall, but Thursday's numbers inched in the wrong direction:  The state reported 101 new positive COVID-19 test results and an uptick in the number of hospitalizations by two.

Many colleges plan to resume in-person learning in the fall. Others, including prestigious schools like Harvard, are going all online. In the midst of a pandemic, returning to dorms or even a classroom is a hard choice to make for some students and professors.

Data shows Connecticut is succeeding in slowing the spread of COVID-19, even as cases of the virus spike in other states.

Connecticut school districts say access to technology has kept tens of thousands of students from being able to learn at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rolling seven-day average of positive COVID-19 cases in Connecticut was less than 1% over the past week, lower than every other state except Vermont, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday.

With fewer than 100 new confirmed infections a day, 885 contact tracers are able to follow up on 96% of all reported cases within 48 hours, but fewer than half of those contacts result in interviews useful in the prevention of outbreaks, Lamont said.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont suggested he will slow down the timetable to fully reopen bars in the state.

Searching For Grace While Black And Blue

Jul 5, 2020
Andréa Comer, with her husband Bradford Comer, a lieutenant at Virginia Union University who has served in law enforcement for more than a decade.
Devon Fagan / Courtesy of the author

Twenty-two. That’s how old I was when Yusef Hawkins was killed by a bat-wielding, gun-toting mob of white men in New York. Eleven years later, it would be Amadou Diallo, who reached for his wallet and was met with 41 bullets.

Eric Garner died during an arrest in New York City six years ago -- in a police chokehold, saying the words “I can’t breathe.” In the years since, the Black Lives Matter movement has become a national force, and Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, has become an activist, speaking out across the country against police brutality. 

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut wants the U.S. military to stop purchasing products that contain PFAS, a toxic chemical commonly found in firefighting foam, food service ware, carpets, rugs and cosmetics.

Racial disparities in Connecticut have been amplified by coronavirus. That’s according to a new report from the non-profit Data Haven. 

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