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Lamont Challenged After Seventh Inmate Dies From Coronavirus

7 hours ago
Barbara Fair, of West Haven, asks Gov. Ned Lamont to explain the lack of testing in the state’s prisons after an seventh inmate reportedly died of COVID-19.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

A prison-rights advocate confronted Gov. Ned Lamont at an outdoor news conference Wednesday, accusing the governor of indifference to the health of prison inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic, not long after the Department of Correction announced that a seventh inmate has died from the disease.

coronavirus testing
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

This week, we take a look at the political divide on coronavirus in Connecticut and around the country.  But could there also be a seed of pandemic bipartisanship in the state?  We playback some of the judicial greatest hits of a high-profile member of the state Supreme Court.  How might Justice Richard Palmer’s retirement change the court? And a look at some award-winning reporting.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

What began as some gastric issues last year has now progressed into painful gallstones and chronic problems for Hannah Gebhard, who lives in Naugatuck.

“It was really just a ramping up of the symptoms until I one day landed myself in the emergency room at 2 a.m. because I was in so much pain,” she said. 

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

A Connecticut man who has spent the majority of the last seven years in Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention has been freed.

Lamont Pleased With State’s Memorial Day Behavior, But Worried About Casinos

May 26, 2020

Gov. Ned Lamont gave Connecticut residents “pretty good” marks Tuesday for social distancing and careful pandemic behavior over the Memorial Day weekend but remains very concerned about plans to reopen the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos early next week.

A screenshot of one of Painter's video chats.
Connecticut Health I-Team

Families with loved ones in nursing homes–unable to visit while getting frustratingly sparse information about them–have found a champion in Mairead Painter.

Quick Quarantined Play Festival / Facebook

While certain public places are finding ways to reopen safely, theaters still have a long way to go. Socially distancing the audience is doable but probably not cost-effective. And what about the actors? Keeping 6 feet apart onstage could make for a bizarre evening of theater.

Photograph by Stephen West, originally published in Yale Alumni Magazine. / Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library

On May 1, 1970, tens of thousands of protesters gathered on the New Haven Green and the campus of Yale University. They came in support of Black Panther Party leaders Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins, who were on trial in New Haven for the murder of a fellow Black Panther, even though several other Panthers had already pleaded guilty to the murder.

Courtesy: Thompson family

A federal appeals court has reversed a decision by immigration authorities in the case of a Connecticut man facing deportation, ordering the Board of Immigration Appeals to respect the state’s pardons.

A group of friends hang out at Hammonasset Beach State Park Friday to kick off the Memorial Day weekend.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Connecticut State Parks filled with visitors under sunny skies Sunday after rain showers and clouds began the long Memorial Day weekend the day before. Restaurants across Connecticut welcomed diners outdoors during the first weekend since the state eased some COVID-19 restrictions.

COVID-19 Update: Connecticut DOT Gives A Boost To Outdoor Dining

May 23, 2020
Daniel Morrison / Flickr/Creative Commons

With rain and chilly temperatures, it wasn’t a good day for al fresco dining. But Gov. Ned Lamont announced Saturday the issuance of the first-of-its kind state permit: Mystic Pizza was granted permission to use a state highway right-of-way for outdoor dining.

Courtesy: Yale School of Public Health

On the same day the state partially reopened, Gov. Ned Lamont disbanded the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, the task force that had been charged with coming up with a plan to guide the state into a safe, methodical reopening. One of the co-chairs of that group was Dr. Albert Ko of the Yale School of Public Health.

Courtesy: Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport plans to reopen on June 1 after closing to visitors back in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Connecticut Public Radio’s Morning Edition host, Diane Orson, spoke with zoo director Gregg Dancho.

Positive COVID-19 Trends Continue As Connecticut Heads Into Holiday Weekend

May 22, 2020
Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

As the state headed into the Memorial Day weekend Friday, the number of people hospitalized in Connecticut for COVID-19 continued to decline — a “very positive” sign as this state’s economy starts to reopen, medical experts said.

Arasmus Photo / Creative Commons

Less than a month ago, a family member in Olga Gutierrez’s home in Bridgeport tested positive for COVID-19. But because she and her family are undocumented immigrants, Gutierrez said their options are limited.

“We were terrified,” she said. “We think we that we might have the virus, too. We have not been able to go to the doctor because we are uninsured and we do not have money to cover this.” 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Federal workplace safety inspectors are investigating the death or hospitalization of at least three Connecticut elder care workers due to complications from COVID-19. 

The investigations come as union officials say at least six unionized nursing home employees have died from coronavirus. 

Budapest Operetta Theatre / Bartók Plusz Opera Festival

What we’ve all been through in this pandemic has sparked renewed interest in the work of 19th-century physician Ignaz Semmelweis. He is considered to be the first person to find a correlation between hand-washing and disease prevention.

Semmelweis’ discovery was the subject of a recent Google “doodle.” It’s also the basis of a 2018 chamber opera, which is currently streaming online.

Sujata Srinivasan

Connecticut lost a staggering 266,300 jobs in April — the first full month of coronavirus-related shutdowns — more than double the positions lost in 22 months during the last recession.

And while the department officially must report a 7.9% unemployment rate — which is based on a U.S. census-based survey — flaws in that process mean the effective rate is closer to 17.5%, Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said. The state reported a 3.7% jobless rate in March.

Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror.org

In one of his most recent executive orders, Gov. Ned Lamont weighed in on the controversial question of absentee balloting. The governor says state residents can use fear of contracting COVID-19 as a reason to use an absentee ballot to vote in the presidential primary, now scheduled for Aug. 11. Republican Party Chairman J.R. Romano has been vocal in his opposition to absentee balloting. He spoke with Connecticut Public Radio’s All Things Considered host, John Henry Smith.

Hear the interview below:

Lamont Says It’s Time For The COVID Weary To Take A Breath. And Maybe A Hike

May 21, 2020
Gov. Ned Lamont briefing reporters at Gay City State Park with DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

The tone and substance of Gov. Ned Lamont’s daily COVID-19 briefing changed Thursday as he looked back on the sweeping restrictions he’s imposed since March and ahead to a Memorial Day weekend when saltwater beaches reopen for swimming.

John Billingsley / Vermont Public Radio

COVID-19 has driven New England’s higher education sector into financial "survival mode." Now colleges and universities must adapt or risk major — if not catastrophic — loss from the crisis.

Join us for an America Amplified special from the New England News Collaborative. We'll bring together voices from across the region, and we want to hear yours.

Hosta (Multiple Varieties)
Dianna Ott (Flickr) / Creative Commons

This ancient, common shade perennial flower originates from China and Japan. It grows wild in the forested mountains. It's a favorite wild spring edible, collected when the shoots are young and then roasted or sautéed. It didn't reach Europe and United States until the 1800's but now there are thousands of varieties. This shade perennial is the hosta. Hosta is the go-to shade plant for many gardeners. It grows easily with colorful leaves and pink or white flowers.

U.S. Coast Guard Academy (screengrab)

The uncertainty of coronavirus forced the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to do something it’s never done -- commission officers virtually.

Tribal Casinos To Defy Lamont And Open June 1

May 20, 2020
Leroy Garcia, owner of Modern Shave barber shop in Waterbury, gives Robert Fields his first haircut in eight weeks in defiance of the governor’s executive orders at the State Capitol on Wednesday. Fields is a lobbyist for the Connecticut Barbers Associati
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Connecticut’s two sovereign tribal nations said Wednesday they will open Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun on June 1 over the strenuous objections of Gov. Ned Lamont as he tries to manage a gradual reopening of commerce.

West Farms Mall
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Westfarms Mall reopened Wednesday after closing in March because of the coronavirus. But for the steady stream of shoppers, it wasn’t quite the same experience they might remember pre-pandemic. The mall has over 100 shops but because each corporate office makes the decision for its own stores, fewer than 30 were open -- and that meant some shoppers left empty-handed.

barbershop haircut
Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public Radio

This story has been updated.

Cat Thibodeau opened the doors of Modern Barber and Shave Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. -- as she had consistently advertised on social media. 

And the line of at least six customers on her porch in Pawcatuck seemed to validate that decision.

“I’m feeling really good,” Thibodeau said. “I’m feeling excited to see my customers after a two-month hiatus, and catch up.”

Gov. Ned Lamont
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

As Connecticut’s education partnership with Dalio Philanthropies evaporated Tuesday, an aggrieved Gov. Ned Lamont insisted his administration wasn’t done teaming with talented individuals from the private-sector.

The Country Diner
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Restaurants returned to serving dining customers Wednesday as part of phase one of Connecticut’s COVID-19 reopening plan.

In Enfield, “reopening day” marked the return of The Country Diner, a spot that’s been closed for the past two months.

Gov. Ned Lamont.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Connecticut’s continuing decline in the number of daily hospitalizations, as well as an uptick in testing capabilities, has both state officials and federal health experts confident that Wednesday’s reopening will be successful.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Two Republican state lawmakers were directly called out by Barbara Dalio as she and her husband, billionaire hedge fund owner Ray Dalio, announced they’ll end the multimillion-dollar philanthropic partnership they’d formed with the state of Connecticut. 

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