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In Hartford, a state court judge has allowed a civil case over whether former Mayor Eddie Perez can collect his city pension…to continue. Attorney General George Jepsen said he's pleased with the decision. He says a judge could eventually consider whether Perez is entitled to a portion of his pension. "At some point, if the issue goes to trial, the issue of how much of Mayor Perez's pension should be revoked will be something the judge will consider." Perez was found guilty last year on corruption charges.

Advocates for Latinos will gather in Hartford on Wednesday to talk with lawmakers about issues affecting the state’s Hispanic community. As WNPR's Diane Orson reports, 2010 census figures show a big jump in Connecticut’s Latino population.   

The number of Hispanics in Connecticut increased nearly 50 percent in the last decade. State Representative Andres Ayala:

After decades of fleeing to the suburbs, Connecticut’s residents are moving back into cities.  That’s according to redistricting data gathered during the 2010 census.  

New Haven gained the most residents in the past decade. Stamford added the most new homes of any city. Hartford’s population grew by 2.6%, only the second time that city’s seen gains since 1960. And Bridgeport’s population grew by 3.4%, it’s first gain since 1950.  

Courtesy Kenneth Gosselin/The Hartford Courant

Courtesy Rick Hartford/Hartford Courant

Chion Wolf/WNPR

In Hartford, convicted former Mayor Eddie Perez is gone from city hall.  But he’s not gone from city politics.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, former Perez allies are questioning the judgment of current Mayor Pedro Segarra. Segarra says it’s kind of strange to be criticized by allies of the man who's going to prison. “To blame me for transactions that were done by the previous administration by members of the previous administration are a little bit incoherent.” Perez was found guilty of taking a bribe from a city contractor last year.

Outdoor Enthusiast: Beware of the Hair!

Mar 28, 2011
CPBN Media Lab

Location: The setting that Mohawk State Forest offers is so serene and untouched that it's hard to believe it's located right off of Route 4. According to the Department of Environmental Protection, the Mountain covers 3,943 acres, making it one of the state's largest parks. 3,703 of those acres make up Mohawk State Forest, the six largest state forest in Connecticut. Its spectacular views of the Berkshire Mountains in western Connecticut are some of the most breath-taking in the state.

Looking For The Elusive Mountain Lion

Mar 28, 2011
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Forests across much of the Northeast are still home to bobcats, and Canada Lynx can still be found in Maine. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently declared the region’s biggest wild cat – the eastern mountain lion -- is officially extinct. That might sound like the end of the story, but a growing number of biologists think mountain lions could return to reclaim their territory in the Northeast. As part of a collaboration with Northeastern Public Radio stations, Brian Mann has our story.

Campaign Finance

Mar 28, 2011

In just a few hours the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in an Arizona case that may affect Connecticut's public campaign finance system.  We talk to Deirdre Shesgreen of the Connecticut Mirror about her recent article.

Harriet Jones

The state’s main economic development agency gets a new chief this week. On Thursday, insurance executive Catherine Smith will take up her post as Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. As she prepared for her new role, she sat down with WNPR’s Harriet Jones.

Many people might feel daunted by the challenge that Catherine Smith has taken on. But she says when the call came from Governor Dannel Malloy, she didn’t hesitate.

Towns Compete to See Who Loses the Most

Mar 25, 2011
Rennett Stowe, Flickr Creative Commons

Fourteen cities and towns in Connecticut are part of a new progam, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to see which town can reduce its energy use the most. 

It's getting harder to find a place that has live jazz on a regular basis.  Even harder to find is a place that presents jazz and serves Chinese and Japanese cuisine.  But for the last decade or so West Hartford's Szechuan Tokyo has successfully managed this tri-fecta of music and food from two cultures.  But now, sadly the establishment closes its doors for good this weekend.  We talked to Paul Lewis, the owner of Szechuan Tokyo.

StemConn 2011

Mar 24, 2011

Stem cells hold the promise of treating a host of diseases in the future. Today in Farmington, some of the top Stem Cell researchers in the country gathered to share the latest discoveries in this new technology.

Every two years, Connecticut hosts StemConn, a full day symposium that looks at the latest research and trends in this promising technology. Stem cells have the ability to regenerate and replenish various tissue in the body, which could potentially treat diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

So, What Makes A Town "Rural?"

Mar 24, 2011
tiredofh2o/Flickr Creative Commons

WASHINGTON--In 2009, Bolton and Vernon were moving full speed ahead on a vital $25 million sewer project to replace inadequate septic systems serving the area's residents. But as construction was about to start, local officials got bad news from Washington: $2 million in federal aid was suddenly being yanked.

Out in Connecticut: Ray Tessier

Mar 23, 2011

I’m Ray Tessier and I’m Canadian . . . well, I’m a US citizen now, but  I come from Canada.  It was unusual how it happened.  My mother married a Navy man and because he went right in the Navy after they got married my mother stayed in Canada.  So we had a house there, we had a place and when my father got out, we stayed there.

One year ago today President Obama signed into law his health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Today at the state Capitol a host of supporters, including most of Connecticut's Washington delegation, will join together to celebrate the anniversary.  We checked in with Judith Stein, the executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, to hear how this law has affected Connecticut residents over the past year.

Malloy Expects To Get Money For Transportation

Mar 22, 2011
Brent Moore

Governor Dannel Malloy was in Washington D.C. today (Thursday) to meet  with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. They discussed Connecticut’s application for high-speed rail funding. WNPR's Jason Cunningham reports.

Governor Malloy says he's confident that Connecticut will receive a portion of the $2.4 billion in federal transportation funding released last week. Speaking by phone to reporters he said he'll continue to pursue the $100 million in transportation funding that Florida’s Governor passed up.

Courtesy of Aetna

Insurers in Connecticut say they’re in dialogue with state officials as the new federal health care exchanges are constructed. The exchanges are due to go into effect in 2014. 

The Malloy administration has put new efforts into implementing the federal health care reform law, and special adviser to the governor, Jeanette DeJesus says many stakeholders, including the insurers are active in the process.

WNPR’s Small Business Project is taking an in-depth look at the health care crisis facing small employers. In the second of our two reports, WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on what’s being done to address the problem.

Almost everything about health care reform is controversial. But one thing everyone does agree on. It’s time to act.

One of the biggest financial concerns most small businesses face is providing health care. This week, WNPR’s Small Business Project is taking a two-part look at the health care crisis facing small employers. In the first of her reports, Harriet Jones talks to the businesses that are feeling the pinch.

Adchem Manufacturing Technologies in Manchester is a very successful Connecticut small business, employing 35 people.

Flickr Creative Commons, vixjohnson

"Street newspapers" are designed, written and sold by the homeless. They are small, usually no more than a few pages, and feature articles, photographs and poetry about what it's like to live in shelters or on the street. They're easy to find in cities like Portland, Oregon or Providence and as WNPR's Patrick Skahill reports, now Hartford has its own street newspaper.

Harriet Jones

Governor Dannel Malloy has talked a lot about the importance of big business in his first few weeks on the job, and he’s sat down with many of the state’s largest employers. Monday in New London he visited with a small company, that ten years ago was just one man and his computer. WNPR’s Harriet Jones went along.

A workforce training initiative in Eastern Connecticut has become the first in the country to offer college credits for free online work-skills courses. 

For six years, CT Works Careers Centers in Eastern Connecticut have offered their clients free three-month licenses to access over five thousand skills training courses via computer. The courses are concentrated either in IT skills or in health care certifications. John Beauregard of the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board says the service is already a success.

Paul J. Everett, Creative Commons

As the world watches the nuclear crisis unfolding in Japan, Federal lawmakers, including Connecticut's Washington delegation are rethinking nuclear power.  We talk to the Connecticut Mirror's Washington correspondent Deirdre Shesgreen.  So what are Connecticut lawmakers saying?

STEPHEN DUNN / HARTFORD COURANT

The equinist, creative commons

Yesterday at the State Capitol, the General Assembly's Judiciary heard testimony on a number of marijuana related bills being considered by the state legislature this year, including the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of Marijuana, and the use of marijuana for medical purposes.  Joining us to talk about this is Stamford state representative Gerald Fox, the house chair of the Judiciary committee.

State Launches E-Waste Recycling Program

Mar 15, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Computer and T.V. manufacturers are constantly improving technology. Which means consumers regularly buy new stuff and throw out the old. The problem is computers and televisions contain toxic materials that are dangerous and end up in landfills or are shipped to developing countries. The state of Connecticut is now being very careful about where this waste ends up.

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