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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.

Cloe Poisson / Connecticut Mirror

A coalition of 74 cities and towns met this week to discuss the future of the state’s trash. The discussions come as the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority announced it will close its Hartford trash-to-energy plant by July 2022. That closure has some municipal leaders asking a big question about our garbage: Should residents pay for each bag they throw out?

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The youth sports shutdown in Connecticut -- one caused by the coronavirus pandemic -- may soon end.

A Muslim civil rights group has asked the Connecticut Department of Correction to terminate the employment of an officer who allegedly posted Islamophobic content on social media.

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, posted a video Sunday outlining its demand that the DOC terminate Officer Anthony Marlak.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said impeachment may be the only alternative to remove President Donald Trump from office after last week’s violent pro-Trump assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A petition to disbar Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol has at least 7,500 signatures from Yale and Harvard law school alumni.

The petition says the Republican senators incited violence by “repeating dangerous and unsubstantiated statements regarding the election.”

JOE RAEDLE / Getty Images

The pandemic-induced recession has left Connecticut legislators with one of their tightest credit card limits in recent history — less than one-seventh their 2020 level.

But it remains to be seen whether they’ll accept that or challenge both Gov. Ned Lamont and Wall Street to borrow more to assist colleges, businesses, municipalities and social services.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

The associate dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Southern Connecticut State, Jonathan Wharton, was also once a congressional staffer. In the aftermath of the invasion by pro-Trump extremists into Congress, he talked with All Things Considered host John Henry Smith about what happened in the previously hallowed hallways he once roamed, as well as what it all means going forward.

popo.uw23 / flickr creative commons

Youth sports have been shut down in Connecticut since November, and the governing body of high school sports in Connecticut hopes to resume athletics Jan. 19 -- but there’s still no green light from the state Department of Public Health.

Last summer, Sammy Bajraktarevic (right), owner of Luce Restaurant in Middletown, and server Alex Cirikovic set up socially distanced tables for a dining area in the restaurant’s parking lot as part of reopening amid the pandemic..
Cloe Poisson /

Restaurant owners say recent data released by the Connecticut Department of Public Health that appears to show COVID clusters centered on eateries doesn’t paint an accurate picture. It’s sparked yet more controversy in the continuing debate over dining during the pandemic.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

As the first round of COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Connecticut nursing homes came to a close Friday, state and public health officials said there remains hesitancy among some nursing home workers to take the vaccine. 

Luis Magana / Associated Press

The nation was glued to the footage from the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, as a mob broke windows and doors, streaming into the rotunda and the House chamber. Images of legislators lying under desks and wearing gas masks as the building was evacuated were unprecedented and shocking. In Connecticut, both those who oppose and those who support President Donald Trump had strong reactions.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Two New Haven County residents under the age of 25 years old have tested positive for a new, more transmissible variant of SARS-CoV-2, the type of coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Medical experts say this variant, scientifically labeled B.1.1.7 and first discovered in the United Kingdom, appears to spread more easily and quickly. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.” 

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

After an insurrection in the U.S. Capitol building that left five people dead and forever imprinted images of lawless chaos inside one of the deepest symbols of American order and democracy, a coalition of Connecticut lawmakers on Thursday called upon Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office. 

COVID-19 Pandemic Introduces New Factors To CT’s Teacher Shortage

Jan 7, 2021
Desks are set up at a gym for alternate learning classes on Thursday, Sep. 3, 2020 at Carrigan Intermediate School in West Haven. Part of the gym is available for one class at a time with a wall between them.
Yehyun Kim /

With three kids attending schools where the learning model is different from the district where she teaches high school math, Kristle Rodriguez has struggled at times to balance the needs of her students and her children.

Jean-Francois Brousseau (Flickr / Creative Commons)

January is a good time of year to spruce up your houseplant collection. While having a lush, dark green foliage houseplant is soothing, there are some ways to add color to your houseplant jungle without needing lots of light. 

A Chatty State-Of-The-State, Prerecorded In A Pandemic

Jan 6, 2021
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Gov. Ned Lamont opened his third year in office Wednesday with a recorded State of the State Address broadcast to a largely empty state Capitol and a state still partly closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

CT Legislature Opens With Less Pomp, More Circumstance

Jan 6, 2021
Matt Ritter being sworn in as a House Speaker outside the State Capitol.
Yehyun Kim /

The Connecticut General Assembly opened its 2021 session in extraordinary fashion Wednesday, taking the oath of office in two socially distanced ceremonies on the grounds of the state Capitol, applauded by friends and heckled by protesters.

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

As a mob supporting Republican President Donald Trump breached security perimeters at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation were among those caught inside. Lawmakers inside the House chamber were told to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired in the rotunda. 

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

Transportation workers, mail carriers, teachers, first responders, grocery store employees and others are positioned to be the next groups of people eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Connecticut.

State officials said during a public meeting Tuesday that the state’s Phase 1B vaccination distribution could begin as early as this month and include up to 800,000 workers and residents. 

Baylor, Kim Mulkey
Brandon Wade / AP Photo

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team’s big showdown with rival Baylor University slated for Thursday is the latest casualty of the coronavirus.

A casket sits in a parlor at the DeLeon Funeral Home in Hartford. DeLeon’s clientele is largely from the Hispanic community and they have seen a spike in funerals in April and early May due to the COVID19 pandemic, according to owner Kevin Davidson.
Cloe Poisson /

Out of the $6 billion in federal coronavirus relief heading to Connecticut, $41 million will be set aside to help families with funeral costs.

Last year, protestors at the State Capitol chanted “Open now!” They plan to be back on Wednesday for the opening of the new session.
Cloe Poisson /

The Connecticut General Assembly will begin its 2021 session Wednesday outside a state Capitol still closed to the public due to COVID-19. The forecast calls for a high of 40 degrees, winds of up to 15 miles per hour and perhaps 2,000 protesters.

Volunteers load bags of apples into cars that pass through the food drive at Rentschler Field during an April distribution.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Foodshare announced that its emergency drive-thru food distribution will return to East Hartford’s Rentschler Field on Jan. 12.