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John Amis / Associated Press

Connecticut lawmakers will again consider a controversial bill that would get rid of religious exemptions from vaccinations for schoolchildren.

CT Budget Leaders Want To Use Massive Savings To Expand COVID-19 Relief

17 hours ago
en. Cathy Osten of Sprague and Rep. Toni Walker of New Haven, Democratic leaders of the Appropriations Committee.
Keith M. Phaneuf / CTMirror.org

While the rosy revenue projections have drawn a lot of attention recently, another factor — savings — is pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into Connecticut’s coffers.

Pixabay.com

Winter is a good time to plan for better garden soil. Soil is the soul of your garden. As goes the soil, so grows your plants. In my new book, The Complete Guide to No-Dig Gardening, I talk all about growing vegetables, herbs and flowers without tilling, turning or disturbing the soil. There are many good reasons for gardening this way. 

Several activist organizations met in front of New Haven’s City Hall to mark President Joe Biden’s inauguration earlier that day and push for racial, economic, and social justice.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Celebrations of President Joe Biden’s inauguration took place throughout Connecticut Wednesday night, including one by Unidad Latina en Accion, or ULA. The organization celebrated in the form of a demonstration, hosting a two-part event: a march and car caravan in New Haven and a virtual roundtable of speakers from advocacy groups across the state.

Dave Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

From living rooms and Zoom rooms, Connecticut watched as Joe Biden was sworn in Wednesday as America’s 46th president.

Sate Capitol
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

As dignitaries filed into their seats for President Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., roughly a dozen people affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement in Connecticut marched to the front of the state Capitol in Hartford.

Robert Caughron

Today’s inauguration festivities in Washington, D.C., will feature a new work by a composer who studied at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School.

Sodanie Chea / Creative Commons

State lawmakers want to ban all flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products for good this legislative session to cut off their popularity with kids and teens.

Anti-smoking and public health advocates hope the bill will ultimately reduce vaping and tobacco addiction among youth, as well as address some racial health disparities. 

Hartford Police

Some are looking at the 2021 legislative session in Connecticut as an opportunity to turn back major police reform adopted last year in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer.

New Haven School Buses Roll Past Protesters

Jan 19, 2021
Protest scene as some in-person schooling resumed in New Haven.
Leigh Busby / @busbyleigh Instagram

School buses headed out of the First Student company campus before dawn Tuesday morning to cries of “What disinfectant do you use?” and “We are here for you.”

The percentage of Hartford students in racially integrated schools dropped significantly this academic year amid the challenge of the COVID pandemic and a major change in the operation of the regional school choice lottery, according to figures provided by the state Department of Education.

Weeks After The Election, Secretary Of The State’s Efforts To Monitor Disinformation Campaigns Ended

Jan 19, 2021
A resident drops an absentee ballot on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 at West Hartford Town Hall.
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

In the immediate aftermath of the Nov. 3 election, an intelligence analyst named Hannah Glidden was working for the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s office under a novel contract. Her job was to flag any social media talk of voter fraud or disinformation about the election in Connecticut.

It didn’t take long to find some.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Martin Luther King Jr. in Connecticut, a nonprofit organization led by Simsbury High School students, unveiled the town’s newest memorial in honor of the civil rights icon on Monday. 

 A police officer peers through a window of the State Capitol building on January 17 in Hartford. Extra police protection has been placed around the State Capitol for possible protests following the riot in Washington DC on Jan. 6.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

State and local law enforcement agencies blocked off and locked down the Connecticut State Capitol complex Sunday in anticipation of pro-Trump protests that never came to pass.

Judge Approves Shorter Sentence For Convicted Murderer-Turned-Prison Mentor

Jan 16, 2021

A Hartford Superior Court judge granted a sentence modification on Friday to Clyde Meikle, a man serving a 50-year prison sentence for killing his cousin in 1994.

John Minchillo / AP Photo

Images of the mob that attacked the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6 show a dizzying array of political and religious symbols among the crowd. There were flags, logos, sweatshirts and tattoos. Philip Gorski is a professor of sociology and religious studies at Yale University and author of American Babylon: Christianity and Democracy Before and After Trump. He spoke recently with Connecticut Public Radio’s Diane Orson.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Connecticut student-athletes have gotten the OK to play again.

A board of control for the governing body of state public high school sports, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, approved a return to play that’ll allow students to practice January 19 with games beginning February 8.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

In early March, Vic Gara came down with severe muscle aches, headaches and a rising blood pressure, indicators of COVID-19 that weren’t well understood early on in the pandemic.

“Taking a shower, just the water hurt my body,” he said. “I couldn’t sleep. I slowly became hypoxic. I just couldn’t breathe.” 

Eventually, he was admitted to Hartford Hospital, where he was quarantined immediately and separated from his wife, Laura. 

Brian Foley / Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

Police plan to have a massive presence at a demonstration possibly taking place Sunday at the state Capitol in Hartford, anticipating it could be much larger than a typical protest there.

Connecticut Plan Lays Out Options For Reaching Zero-Carbon Power By 2040

Jan 14, 2021
Connecticut's draft integrated resources plan emphasizes that the Millstone nuclear facility, seen here, plays an “outsized role” in pathways to decarbonization.
JJBers / Flickr/ Creative Commons

Getting Connecticut to a zero-carbon electric supply is attainable by 2040, but it will require significant regional reforms, according to a new assessment of the state’s future energy needs. 

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

The U.S. Capitol has seen countless protests and a number of violent incidents over its two centuries. But what we observed last week, when a mob of President Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol intent on stopping the count of electoral votes, has been called unprecedented.

Pixabay.com

Houseplants are popular for adding lush greenery indoors. But what if you don't have space for large floor or tabletop houseplants? The solution is trailing or climbing houseplants. 

Well, less than two weeks into 2021 and the surprises just keep coming. Among the more pleasant ones so far: The popular app TikTok seems to have been taken over by sea shanties. Yes, sea shanties -- those catchy, sometimes bawdy songs of the sea. Just a few measures into one of these ditties and you can almost picture a ragtag group of sailors hoisting the jib in time with the rhythmic pounding of the shanty.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Severe storms. Heat waves. Rising seas. New England is already seeing the impacts of climate change, and scientists project they will become more severe and deadly, shaping how we live and work in the northeastern U.S.

In a special ahead of Inauguration Day, the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified look at climate change in our region and how President-elect Joe Biden’s administration could affect future climate action. Biden has proposed the most ambitious climate platform of any incoming U.S. president in history.

For Some Transgender People, Pandemic Paves Path To Transition

Jan 13, 2021
Kyle Jones said she feels more at home in her body since beginning her transition in early 2020.
Cloe Poisson

Kyle Avery Jones had recently come out as transgender to her parents and friends when her final semester at the University of Connecticut began in January 2020. She wore androgynous clothes to school, sought out gender-neutral bathrooms, and limited her socializing to queer-friendly weekend gatherings off-campus.

Volunteer Marti Simmons
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Foodshare has been distributing food at Rentschler Field in East Hartford since the pandemic began. This site, which has served more than 227,000 households, reopened on Jan. 12, 2021, after Foodshare initially announced it would shut it down for the winter. With assistance from members of the Connecticut Air National Guard, Foodshare workers and volunteers distributed donated food on Tuesday to a line of cars estimated at 1,200. Some of those in the drive-thru line waited over an hour to collect food for friends and neighbors who couldn’t make the trip.

Amar Batra / Connecticut Public Radio

J.R. Romano announced Tuesday night that he has resigned as chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party. Last October, Romano had said he would step down at the end of his term in June. The immediate resignation marks a surprise development.

He said in a short email statement that he decided his resignation was best for the party. In an interview, he refused to elaborate, saying his statement said it all.  

“That’s why my statement was concise, it’s exactly how I feel,” Romano said. “The party needs a new face, it needs a new voice.”

A Hartford HealthCare worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

 


As Connecticut prepares to transition into Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout, there’s growing concern about reaching diverse communities who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 illness and death. To address the problem, Dr. Jorge Moreno, an internist and assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine, posted a video about his experience with the vaccine. 

In a series of changes to initial guidelines, Trump administration officials announced Tuesday that states should vaccinate all residents 65 years and older sooner rather than later.

Federal health officials are also encouraging states to expand the next phase of vaccine distribution to all adults who have preexisting conditions that put them at an increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

Police Prepare For Possibility Of Protests At State Capitol This Weekend

Jan 12, 2021
Courtesy: Brian Foley

With news that supporters of President Donald Trump are planning armed marches in state capitals across the country this weekend, Connecticut leaders are preparing for potential unrest here, wary of the riot in Washington, D.C., last week.

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