Camila Vallejo | Connecticut Public Radio
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Camila Vallejo

Intern

Camila Vallejo assists the All Things Considered production team to bring you all the news you need throughout the week. Before joining Connecticut Public, Camila interned with The Hartford Courant, Univision 18 and worked as editorial assistant for her alma mater's alumni magazine, UConn Magazine. 

Camila enjoys a good cup of tea, snuggling with her two cats and highlighting restaurants across the state on her Instagram food blog, CT Fooditude. 

Gov. Ned Lamont is urging public utility regulators to reject a motion that would resume utility disconnections for customers struggling to pay their bills. The motion was filed by Eversource and United Illuminating. It would put an end to a shutoff moratorium that gave relief to customers during the COVID pandemic. Lamont along with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said it’s too early to resume shut-offs. The state is also asking the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to consider extending repayment terms past 24-months for the COVID repayment plan.

The Mohegan Tribe calls the nomination of Native American Deb Haaland to lead the federal Department of the Interior, “historic.” The Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico answered questions Tuesday at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. If confirmed, she’d be the first Native American to hold the position, and also the first to be appointed to the cabinet. Mohegan officials said the appointment is a gleam of hope for Indigenous People and their inclusion in the federal government.

In anticipation of imminent low temperatures, Gov. Ned Lamont has activated the state’s severe cold weather protocol starting Thursday at 3 p.m. until at least Feb 17th at noon. Under the protocol, state agencies and towns are asked to coordinate with 211, a point of contact for individuals in need of shelter or transportation to shelters. Anyone in need of shelter is urged to call 211 to be connected with available resources. Lamont said he may extend the protocol if cold temperatures continue past the end date.

The U.S. Marshals Service has joined the search for Qinxuan Pan, named as a person of interest in the recent murder of Yale University student Kevin Jiang. The U.S. Marshals service is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to Pan’s arrest. He is currently charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and vehicle theft. He is believed to be in the Georgia area.

True Colors, the Hartford-based nonprofit offering an array of resources for LGBTQ youth over the last 22 years, has abruptly closed its doors. 

The number of COVID-related deaths in Connecticut has surpassed 7,000 after an additional 44 deaths were reported Thursday. Meanwhile, current hospitalizations are down by 21 patients with a total number of 995 in treatment statewide. About 1,500 new positive cases were confirmed with a daily positivity rate of 3.55 percent.

A file photo of a recent power outage in Winsted, Conn.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Connecticut is waking up on Christmas morning to heavy rainfall and strong winds as a cold front moves through, according to the National Weather Service. More than 33,000 customers are without power as of 6:30 a.m.

With the pandemic limiting indoor gatherings, Connecticut legislative leaders are considering an outdoor swearing-in ceremony for state lawmakers next month. If possible, lawmakers will be outside the Capitol building on January 6. CTNewsjunkie reports incoming House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said leaders hope to provide freshman lawmakers with at least some kind of experience for their first swearing in.

Undergoing the worst financial crisis in its history, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering drastically cutting services for next year. Hearst Connecticut reports MTA proposed a service reduction of 50 percent for Metro-North -- including the New Haven line -- and the Long Island Railroad; and 40 percent for NYC subways and buses. The changes would also cut 9,400 jobs across the corporation.

Rep. Steven Stafstrom of Bridgeport has been reappointed as House chairman of the Judiciary Committee. New House Majority Leader Jason Rojas and incoming House Speaker Matt Ritter announced the decision Wednesday, commending Stafstrom for his commitment to justice. Stafstrom was first elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives during a special election in 2015.

The governor's office reported 802 new coronavirus cases in Connecticut Friday. The positivity rate is 2.4 percent, the highest since early May, and 187 patients statewide are currently hospitalized with the virus. The Connecticut Department of Public Health also launched a weekly color-coded COVID-19 alert map showing the conditions in individual towns. The map has four categories -- Gray, Yellow, Orange and Red with Red having the highest case rate. In addition to the map, the DPH also submitted its draft plan for mass coronavirus vaccination to the CDC.

With 20 new coronavirus cases as of this week, Trinity College is one of the first colleges in the state to switch to full remote learning. The Hartford Courant reports that students who have tested positive are in isolation as of Wednesday, and more than 50 other students are being quarantined. All classes will be online at least through Monday, and athletic facilities will be closed. But campus testing centers will continue running as usual.