CONNECTICUT

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

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has alerted state officials to an act of anti-Islamic hate speech at the Cheshire Correctional Institution.

The lack of footage for a police shooting involving a white Derby, Connecticut, officer and a Black man is drawing attention to the cost of body cameras.

Former UConn women’s basketball star Jennifer Rizzotti has been officially welcomed this week as the new president of Connecticut Sun, the WNBA franchise owned by Mohegan Sun.

Connecticut regulators have determined that Eversource and United Illuminating failed to meet acceptable performance standards in their preparation and response to Tropical Storm Isaias last summer.

Families who oppose Connecticut’s new law eliminating the state’s religious exemption to childhood vaccines will take their fight to court, announcing their plans just hours after the governor signed the bill into law. 

The push to switch from fossil fuels to renewable forms of energy will mean a lot more demand for battery storage. It's just part of massive efforts to modernize the electric grid in New England and the nation to meet the challenge of climate change.

The fight against fossil fuel expansion in New England has a new front in Killingly, Connecticut. Climate activists want the state to reject a proposed natural gas plant there, which is tied to the company behind a controversial pipeline development currently underway in Minnesota and a recently completed natural gas line in New England.

One day after the guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin came down in the murder of George Floyd, Connecticut activists took to the streets looking to address people in the suburbs.

Pharrell Bright sat in a plastic folding chair in the middle of a gym auditorium at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford.

The Capital Preparatory Magnet School senior had just received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

"I saw a lot of the commercials that the hospital has been posting on TV and through the news and it’s saying, 'get vaccinated, it could save some lives,'" he said. "And I felt like I just heard it enough times that I was like, you know what, maybe it isn’t such a bad thing to do." 

That recycling you put out each week in the blue bin may not be going where you think it is. 

Because of contamination in curbside bins, the city of Hartford is now redirecting most of its recycling to a nearby incinerator, which means tons and tons of recyclable materials are going to waste while the city spends about $30,000 a month trying to deal with the problem.

The state House of Representatives approved a bill early Tuesday that would remove Connecticut’s religious exemption from mandatory school vaccinations, a major step for a hot-button proposal that has been raised three years in a row with no vote in either chamber until this week.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has criticized the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for recommending a pause of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations.

Shootings are on the rise in some of Connecticut’s biggest cities. Some lawmakers from those cities want more money for gun violence prevention.

Federal investigators said Tuesday that pilot error and poor engine maintenance contributed to the destruction of a vintage B-17 airplane, which crashed and killed seven people at Bradley International Airport on Oct. 2, 2019.

A health care worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine at the FEMA mobile unit in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in March.
Tony Spinelli / Connecticut Public

All six New England states are pausing use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The decisions follow a federal recommendation for a pause while investigators look into six cases of a rare and severe blood clot reported in women who received the vaccine.

Hartford police have confirmed that a 3-year-old boy died of gunshot injuries suffered in a drive-by shooting in the city Saturday afternoon. Rondell Jones was in a car with his mother and two older siblings when he was shot.

About two hours later, a 16-year-old was killed and another person injured in a shooting about a mile from the first. Investigators do not believe the two incidents are linked. The 16-year-old was later named by police as Jamari Preston of New Britain.

Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration is one step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana after Senate Bill 888, proposed by the governor himself, was voted out of the state’s judiciary committee on Tuesday. 

Connecticut’s Democratic governor and Massachusetts’s Republican governor have collaborated on legislation they say would reduce the cost of prescription drugs for their residents.

As Springfield, Massachusetts, schools get ready to open for in-school learning, Rebecca Johnson School custodian Frederick Mogilka Jr. shows a cart of classroom cleaning products to Mayor Domenic Sarno and Superintendent Daniel Warwick.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com

Many Massachusetts schools will open for full, in-person learning on April 5. Others, including Springfield, will start with a hybrid model, and bring back younger students first.

Amtrak's Northeast Regional line rolls through Connecticut past a gas power plant.
Annie Ropeik / New Hampshire Public Radio

President Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan could bring expanded or improved Amtrak train service to every state in New England.

East Windsor town officials want to know why the future of their casino project is being shoehorned into sports betting legislation.

A funeral service for Black Americans lynched and never buried was held in 2016 at a church in Springfield, Massachusetts. The story of Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker and why she produced the funeral is featured in the documentary "Ashes to Ashes."
Ben Moon / benmoon.com

Updated at 3:59 p.m. on March 31 

The documentary "Ashes to Ashes" tells the story of a friendship between an Amherst, Massachusetts, doctor and a New Haven, Connecticut, man who became an artist decades after he survived being lynched. In the film, their story coincides with a funeral service held for thousands of Black Americans who didn’t survive.

UMass Medical School student Timothy Winn prepares doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Hotel Grace homeless shelter in Worcester.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

All residents 16 and over will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine fairly soon in New England, but the date varies by state.

A couple looking at a brochure about Alzheimer's disease.
Courtesy / Alzheimer's Association

In Massachusetts and Connecticut, more than 200,000 residents age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's disease. That's according to a recent report from the Alzheimer's Association.

Another disturbing statistic from the report is that Black, Hispanic and Native Americans are at greater risk. This, combined with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, poses a greater challenge for those individuals to get the proper health care that's needed.

Minister Bernard Smith of Bethlehem Baptist Community Church addresses the crowd in Holyoke, Mass., on June 2, 2020, while march organizers confer among themselves.
Ben James / NEPR

There was stunning news this week of a series of murders in the Atlanta area, where a white man killed eight people including six Asian women.

The man charged has reportedly confessed to the killings but said he was not motivated by racism. This has sparked renewed discussion around updating and clarifying hate crime laws in Massachusetts.

The pandemic has redefined what it’s like to go to college. With the focus shifted to virtual learning, students missed out on traditional class discussions and social activities -- familiar and beloved parts of the college lifestyle. As a result, many assumed higher education would take a hit. 

 

But application rates for 2021 are showing signs of hope. Some universities, like the University of Connecticut, are even seeing record interest. 

A major trash-to-energy plant in Hartford will close next year, raising questions about what will happen with hundreds of thousands of tons of garbage. Now the operator of that plant said it will also cease operations at its nearby recycling facility, effective May 1, 2021.

Connecticut Moves Up Its Vaccine Rollout

Mar 16, 2021

Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday that he is accelerating the timetable for Connecticut’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, opening eligibility to people 45 to 54 on Friday, and then to everyone 44 and younger beginning April 5.

UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma has tested positive for COVID-19. The program announced that the Hall of Famer has no symptoms and is now isolating at home. Auriemma has had both of his COVID vaccination shots, but he had only just gotten the second dose five days ago, so he was nine days from being considered fully protected from the virus.

Connecticut public education is to get $1.1 billion from the federal rescue package. Governor Ned Lamont said he wants to use “a fair amount” of the money for summer school and children’s mental health services.

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