CONNECTICUT

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

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.

Health care advocates and immigrants rights groups are urging Connecticut lawmakers to expand the state’s Medicaid program eligibility to undocumented immigrants.

Proposed legislation in the state human services committee would allow anyone who meets state residency and income thresholds to enroll in HUSKY Health plans, regardless of citizenship status. 

U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday to support the passage of stricter gun laws.

Essential workers infected by the coronavirus want Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system updated to meet their needs.

Connecticut is now the eighth state to have a law that prohibits discrimination against anyone because of the way they choose to wear their hair. Governor Ned Lamont signed the CROWN Act into law at a ceremony in Hartford on Wednesday.

Gov. Ned Lamont has announced he will lift capacity restrictions for most businesses in Connecticut on March 19.

Sports betting in action.
Thomas Schlosser / Creative Commons

Connecticut took a step toward legalizing sports gambling this week, and it could motivate Massachusetts lawmakers to move ahead with their legislation on the issue.

After years of private negotiations with the two tribal nations who operate casinos in Connecticut, the state has reached an agreement with at least one of them on legalized sports betting.

Gov. Ned Lamont hinted this week he will be announcing changes to restaurant capacity and travel restrictions when he holds his regularly scheduled coronavirus press briefing on Thursday. He says the state is in a better place now that COVID transmission rates have dropped.

The state of Connecticut and the Mohegan tribal nation are close to announcing an agreement on expanded gaming.

The deal could include a license to operate sports betting in Connecticut -- once it is legalized.

Senate Confirms Miguel Cardona As U.S. Secretary Of Education

Mar 2, 2021

The U.S. Senate voted 64-33 Monday to confirm Connecticut’s Miguel Cardona as the U.S. Secretary of Education.

With the mass vaccination of school employees set to begin this week, officials are concerned that teachers eager for shots will bypass the special clinics being planned by local health districts and instead schedule their own appointments on hospital websites or the federal portal.

The state official in charge of Connecticut’s vaccine rollout believes Governor Ned Lamont’s decision to switch to an age-based plan is the quickest and most equitable way to get shots in the arm.

Legalizing recreational marijuana will be a major priority for Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and the state lawmakers this year.

Kim Steinberg had already registered her business in January on the state’s website so she could get her employees vaccinated. Now most won't qualify until May. 

Unions for Connecticut’s grocery workers said they’re disappointed to be left out of Governor Ned Lamont’s changes to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan.

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill wants lawmakers to support constitutional amendments that would allow for early voting and no-excuse absentee ballots.

Governor Ned Lamont said Connecticut’s priority for COVID-19 vaccinations will now be based on age instead of essential workers. He said starting next Monday the rollout will extend to residents 55 and older.

Eversource Energy is expecting regulators to allow the utility company to charge customers to pay back millions of dollars in costs from their response to Tropical Storm Isaias last summer.

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness finds that almost 30% of people in their shelters first became homeless after release from the state Department of Corrections. Lawmakers are considering legislation that could make it easier to find housing after leaving prison.

A still image from a TV ad by the Connecticut Education Association promotes COVID-19 vaccines for educators.
Connecticut Education Association / YouTube

Though Connecticut educators are considered essential workers, they are not yet eligible for vaccination against COVID-19.

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