CONNECTICUT

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

Adalis Martinez isn’t eating out as much these days. She also doesn’t spend too much time in stores. And she’s washing her hands — a lot.

“When I go to the store and come out, I’m washing my hands even in my car, so that I don’t touch anything,” she said. “It’s very concerning.” 

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban the sale and breeding of certain whales held in captivity. 

A student taking an exam along with a calculator and a pencil pouch.
Chris Harbeck / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/23046603@N00

In August, the nightmares start. It's not that I don't love my job. I do. But still, like every teacher I know, I experience excitement, worry and even a little dread as the first day of school approaches. 

Connecticut lawmakers will begin the daunting task Friday of crafting a strategy to mobilize the public and private sectors to combat the coronavirus – an effort that comes as state health officials acknowledged hundreds of residents are being monitored for the illness.

The nonprofit organization representing Connecticut’s 169 municipalities says more cooperation is needed to manage environmental fallout from a family of contaminants that have remained in products for decades.

Talks between the governor’s office and the state’s two federally recognized tribes over the rights to sports betting are at an impasse.

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises in the United States amid a global outbreak of a novel coronavirus, both federal and state health officials urge communities to prepare for the spread of disease.

U.S. Surgeon General Vice Adm. Jerome M. Adams met with state leaders and health officials Monday at the Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory in Rocky Hill. 

With closely choreographed public-hearing testimony by agency heads and other officials, the administration of Gov. Ned Lamont delivered a broad overview Monday of the complexities involved in trying to legalize and regulate the sale of recreational marijuana in Connecticut.

Scientists in Meriden are working on a vaccine to protect against COVID-19.

Protein Sciences said its COVID-19 research will be based on a vaccine candidate produced in Meriden in the early 2000s to combat SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

Health care costs were rising. People couldn't afford coverage. So, in Connecticut, state lawmakers took action.

Their solution was to attempt to create a public health insurance option, managed by the state, which would ostensibly serve as a low-cost alternative for people who couldn't afford private plans.

Immediately, an aggressive industry mobilized to kill the idea. Despite months of lobbying, debate and organizing, the proposal was dead on arrival.

Amid pushback from Republicans and thousands of outraged parents, the legislature’s Public Health Committee voted Monday to advance a bill that would ban religious exemptions to mandatory immunizations in Connecticut.

Traffic flows on 1-91 southbound in Hartford in December 2019.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has said he’s dropping a plan to toll trucks on highways. The plan continued to face obstacles in the legislature.

An "I voted" sticker.
Daniel Morrison / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/danielmorrison/291582376

Connecticut is the only state in New England that doesn't permit felons on parole to vote. New legislation would change that.

The family of a Connecticut man shot and killed by police in West Haven last month has filed a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against the state and city police.

Lamont Says Truck Tolls Off The Table, Senate Dems Hedge

Feb 20, 2020

Gov. Ned Lamont effectively gave up Wednesday on Senate Democrats ever calling a promised vote on truck tolls, scolding fellow Democrats and telling reporters his administration was ready to explore alternative funding sources for transportation. But Senate Democratic leaders protested they would have been ready to vote next week, a claim Lamont did not find credible.

Hundreds of people packed into the Legislative Office Building in Hartford Wednesday ahead of a public hearing on a bill that would change the state’s childhood vaccinations laws.

Connecticut children can attend public school by either complying with required vaccinations or by obtaining an exemption from vaccination based on religious or medical reasons. A proposed bill would eliminate the religious exemption. 

Sherif Sissoko says it would have been one thing if his brother Ballaké’s car had been vandalized. But his musical instrument?

“He was traveling to India, to Israel, to China with this kora,” said Sissoko, who lives in Hartford and is also a musician. “It’s personal. It’s like a piece of yourself.”

Connecticut Towns Want Permission To Buy Clean Power On Behalf Of Residents

Feb 17, 2020

A growing list of Connecticut towns want to play a bigger role in procuring clean energy, but first they need state lawmakers to give them the authority.

Known as community choice aggregation, the model gives local governments the right to buy power on behalf of their residents, enabling them to focus on buying more renewable energy or lowering costs, or both.

Over GOP Leader’s Objections, Trump Faces Primary In Connecticut

Feb 17, 2020

Connecticut’s secretary of the state said Friday that Republicans will have a choice of at least three candidates in a presidential primary on April 28, but the party’s state chairman asserted that the GOP doesn’t want one and might go to court to stop it.

President Donald J. Trump, who won 85.6% of the vote in the New Hampshire primary this week, will be contested in Connecticut by William Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, and a former Democratic presidential candidate, Rocky De La Fuente.

A lawsuit filed Thursday in Connecticut’s U.S. District Court alleges the Trump administration’s acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Matthew Albence, is illegally serving in that position and, therefore, enforcement changes enacted under his authority are unlawful.

Paige Cox and I can relate. When it comes to climbing ice, we’re both freaked out. 

“It’s water and it melts. I’m terrified. But it’s going to be great,” Cox said.

The front page of a recent editon of the Longmeadow News
Longmeadow News

Two weekly newspapers in Massachusetts and Connecticut, are ceasing publication this month.

A group of students in a Hartford school classroom.
David DesRoches / WNPR

A new report out of Harvard University finds that when parents are choosing schools for their kids, more choice is leading to more segregation. And it points to schools in Hartford as a model for integration.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, at left, with Connecticut artist George-Ann Gowan at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv in 2017.
U.S. Embassy, Kyiv, Ukraine / U.S. Department of State

New England art is well represented in U.S. embassies around the world. And at least until recently, art from the region was hanging in the embassy at the center of President Trump's impeachment.

Sweeping Gambling Bill Is Meant To Push Lamont

Jan 31, 2020

Top leaders of the Senate Democratic majority pressured Gov. Ned Lamont on gambling expansion Wednesday by endorsing legislation that would give the state’s two federally recognized tribes exclusive rights to take bets on sports, open a casino in Bridgeport and offer a broad array of virtual casino games on smart phones and computers.

It now appears there will be no special session on truck tolls ahead of the regular General Assembly session that starts Wednesday.  

Democrats had been planning for a truck tolls vote Monday or Tuesday.

A lawyer for a Connecticut man charged with murdering his missing wife amid a contentious divorce case says his client has died after an apparent suicide attempt. 

Connecticut author, Paul Hensler, with his book about the WTIC broadcaster, Bob Steele.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

The longtime radio broadcaster Bob Steele was born and raised in Kansas City, got his start in Southern California, but made his name in Connecticut. 

Democratic Connecticut state lawmakers have released details of Governor Ned Lamont’s truck-only highway toll bill. Republicans warn it could open the door to car tolls in the future. 

Fotis Dulos has been hospitalized in critical condition, according to law enforcement officials, after being found unresponsive at his Farmington home Tuesday.

In a joint news conference, Connecticut State Police and Farmington police said Dulos was being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Dulos had been under house arrest awaiting trial for the murder of his estranged wife, Jennifer Farber Dulos. 

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