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West Farms Mall
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

For years, the Thanksgiving schedule for so many of us has gone as follows: family, football, feasting and Friday … Black Friday, that is: the day we go shopping for that new TV at the unbelievable sale price! But this Black Friday comes amid a pandemic. Suddenly, gathering in hordes at the mall doesn’t seem like the safest idea.

Back in April, members of the Connecticut National Guard assembled beds in a field hospital at Southern Connecticut State University. It was erected to accommodate regional hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut is entering its second wave of the coronavirus pandemic -- 5,271 new cases and 43 more COVID-related deaths were reported over the weekend. But health care executives want to reassure residents that there are plenty of hospital beds.

Paul Witherspoon, Shot At By Officer In New Haven Incident, Settles With Hamden

6 hours ago
Sam Gurwitt

A year and a half after Hamden cop Devin Eaton opened fire on Paul Witherspoon outside his parked car, Witherspoon has reached a legal settlement with the town.

State To Change 'Problematic' Health Care Pay Model

6 hours ago
Alabama Extension/ Flickr/Creative Commons

For decades, Connecticut and other states have used a fee-for-service model to pay for health care: The provider bills for each service, every consult, every procedure, every test, every pill.

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo and many others have come to view that system as seriously flawed. It not only contributes to skyrocketing medical costs but also fails to deliver optimum care, Lembo said. 

Congressman Joe Courtney Says He Has COVID-19

15 hours ago
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said Sunday evening he has mild symptoms of COVID-19 after testing positive for the disease now surging through Connecticut.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

As the days grow colder, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness has launched a statewide campaign to help house those who need it during a time when shelter capacity is challenged.

Analysts: Lamont, Lawmakers Face $4.3 Billion Gap In Next Two-Year State Budget

Nov 20, 2020
Gov. Ned Lamont (right) and Democratic legislative leaders announcing their budget deal in 2019, Lamont’s first year in office.
Mark Pazniokas /

State officials are facing almost $4.3 billion in red ink in the next two-year budget, due largely to the coronavirus-induced recession, according to a new report Friday from nonpartisan analysts.

Those deficits, while daunting, are significantly less imposing than the massive shortfalls Connecticut faced after the last recession in 2011 — gaps that forced a record-setting tax hike of nearly $1.9 billion nine years ago.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment

A hard-boiled private eye, a glamorous blond, and a hapless drifter all sit at a bar on the seamy side of town. It's night, the streets are wet, the shadows are long. They each nurse a drink to the notes of a mournful saxophone and a lonely piano. Smoke from the cigarettes swirls in the darkness.

We all know classic noir when we see it and hear it and read it; yet, we don't really know how to define the dark plots that expose humanity in all its moral ambiguity and loneliness.

State Panel Weighs Who Should Be First In Line For COVID Vaccine

Nov 20, 2020
Rhoda Baer/National Cancer Institute / Creative Commons

At least 10 of Connecticut’s 27 acute care hospitals have the “ultracold” storage needed to stow the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer – which must be kept at a temperature between -112 to -76 degrees Fahrenheit – and all hospitals that are part of a larger health system have indicated they have access to the icy storage and a means of transport for the immunizations, a state health official said Thursday.

William Neuheisel/flickr creative commons

Much has been made about how the pandemic we're all living through has severely hampered things like air travel, dining out and gathering for holidays. Something that’s not talked about as much is the chilling effect the pandemic seems to have had on adoptions and foster kids in Connecticut.

Nearly 60 Percent Of Nursing Homes In Conn. Now Have At Least One COVID Case

Nov 19, 2020
Donna Sullivan visits with her long-time partner, Walter Zbikowski, through a window at Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehabilitation Center in Enfield.
Cloe Poisson /

Nearly 60 percent of the state’s nursing homes have recorded at least one case of COVID-19 among residents or staff, state officials said Thursday, and plans are being made to test every resident in those facilities after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Courtesy: Merima Sestovic

Daily COVID-19 infection rates have been soaring, setting record highs in states nationwide.

Months into the pandemic, we’re exhausted and stressed. Coronavirus and our mental health is the topic of a new CPTV special, Cutline, airing Thursday, Nov. 19th at 8pm.

New Method To Save New England Salt Marshes Piloted In Mass.

Nov 19, 2020
Wenley Ferguson, director of habitat restoration for Save the Bay in Rhode Island, stands by the excavator on the Little Bay salt marsh in Fairhaven.
Eve Zuckoff /

Wearing tall rubber boots, a scientist walked along an overgrown path to the Little Bay salt marsh in Fairhaven, on Cape Cod.

“I'm going to kind of weave us up through this back zone,” said Alice Besterman, the post-doctoral researcher with the Buzzards Bay Coalition.

Julianne Varacchi / Connecticut Public

Racial justice advocacy group CT Core – Organize Now! and spoken word artist Salwa Abdussabur are hosting the first Black Haven Film Festival. The live virtual event gets underway Friday.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public

State public health officials say 145 towns are now at the highest alert level for COVID-19.

Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public

Federal workplace safety officials have fined Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London after an employee there contracted COVID-19 and later died.

There are some houseplants that are great for those gardeners who live or work in a dwelling with little natural light and are a bit forgetful about watering. One of the best is the snake plant.

Snake plant or Sansevieria also has the unfortunate common name of mother-in-law's tongue. That's due to the pointed leaf tips can pinch you unexpectedly if you touch it. The traditional snake plants stand 2- to -3-feet tall with broad, thick leaves. The leaves are dark green and some have yellow edges.

But with the boom in houseplants, there are many different types of Sansevierias that are smaller, more colorful and less likely to pinch you!

DVIDSHUB / Creative Commons

A settlement was reached in a nationwide class action lawsuit against the Army that will help veterans with less than honorable discharges struggling with behavioral health issues gain access to care they need.

Courtesy: Sierra Club

A new study of natural gas infrastructure in Connecticut says harmful amounts of methane are leaking from aging underground gas pipes. The findings add to an emerging body of science demonstrating the scale of methane leaks in America.

Courtesy: Purdue Pharma

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved an $8.3 billion settlement between Stamford’s Purdue Pharma and the U.S. Department of Justice. Connecticut is one of the states that brought suit against the drugmaker for its part in the opioid epidemic, and the state’s Attorney General, William Tong, has been outspoken in condemning the DOJ deal.

TYLER RUSSELL / Connecticut Public

Beginning Monday, Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks will add a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site open to travelers and all other community members.

The Connecticut Airport Authority is partnering with Hartford HealthCare to run the site in parking Lot 3 off Schoephoester Road. This will be the health organization’s ninth permanent testing location in the state. 

Tenants at Barbour Garden Apartments in Hartford experienced unsafe conditions including mold, mice, and leaky ceilings. The lawsuit claims that tenants experienced housing discrimination in their search for better living conditions.
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public Radio

A group of former residents from Hartford’s North End is taking on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Center for Leadership and Justice filed suit on their behalf Wednesday, claiming that HUD failed to reduce segregation when giving them options for new housing.

While her husband Jermaine is in prison, Samaris Smith has been struggling to pay the mortgage and raise five kids in the Bridgeport house the couple purchased last year. “We spent everything we had to get this,” Samaris said. Her hat says “No Days Off.”
Yehyun Kim /

When the stress and anxiety overwhelm her, Samaris Smith kneels at the altar she erected in her home and covers her head with a cloth blessed by her pastor.

Connecticut's Halfhearted Battle: Response To Lead Poisoning Epidemic Lacks Urgency

Nov 18, 2020
Melanie Stengel / C-HIT

It wasn’t until Bridgeport lead inspector Charles Tate stepped outside the house on Wood Avenue that he saw, immediately, where 2-year-old Rocio Valladares was being poisoned.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Connecticut’s two U.S. senators may have been exposed to the coronavirus in West Haven last week. Yet despite that potential exposure, both senators left quarantine this week for Washington, D.C.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

On Connecticut Public Radio’s recent election special, departing state GOP Chairman J.R. Romano pointed to the fact that Raytheon -- the parent company of East Hartford-based Pratt & Whitney -- had chosen North Carolina instead of Connecticut to build a new plant. He said that’s evidence that years-long Democratic control of state politics has been devastating to Connecticut’s economy. 

CT Public

Shifting back and forth between in-person and remote learning has been tough, according to Alisha Price. She teaches social studies and literacy at Hallen School in Bridgeport.

CT Child Advocate Report: Adult Prison System Is No Place For Minors

Nov 17, 2020
A window inside a ‘restrictive housing unit’ at Manson Youth Institution in Cheshire.
Courtesy Office of the Child Advocate

The 18-year-old didn’t want to be in jail, he told Department of Correction officials one day in 2019, as he covered the window in his cell with a sheet and mattress. He wanted to be with his family.

He was being held in a “Restrictive Housing Unit” at Manson Youth Institution in Cheshire, confined to his cell for up to 23.5 hours each day. He was upset and wasn’t responding to efforts by prison staff to calm him. Instead, he threatened to hang himself.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Kristen Record, a physics teacher at Bunnell High School in Stratford, says a lot of her students are bailing on school.

Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public Radio

The state’s new covid exposure app for cellphones has reached over 600,000 downloads in less than a week.  Launched last Thursday, the app for iPhone and Android systems lets people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19.