Diane Orson | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Diane Orson

Host

Diane Orson is WNPR's local host for Morning Edition.  She's also a reporter for WNPR, as well as a contributor to National Public Radio. Her stories are heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Here And Now.  Diane began at WBUR in Boston and came to Connecticut in 1988 as a co-producer for Open Air New England. She shared a Peabody Award with Faith Middleton for their piece of radio nostalgia about New Haven's Shubert Theater. Her reporting has  been recognized by the Connecticut Society for Professional Journalists and the Associated Press, including the Ellen Abrams Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism and the Walt Dibble Award for Overall Excellence.

Diane is also an active professional musician. She lives in Hamden with her husband and two children.

Courtesy: Beinecke Library

Yale historian David Blight says when he first saw a collection of family scrapbooks of the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, he was astonished.

Blight had been fascinated by Frederick Douglass all of his life. He’d written a book and edited autobiographies about the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day. But the scrapbooks offered new insights into Douglass’ life and eventually inspired Blight’s 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.  

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

Bridgeport is once again facing a federal criminal investigation into its City Hall. Mayor Joe Ganim was reelected to run the city in 2015 after having spent seven years in prison for corruption while previously in office. 

Catherine Statchen / Connecticut Public Radio

Protesters gathered at a Black Lives Matter rally in Stonington Borough Sunday to raise awareness about a racist attack on a Black worker at the Mystic Quality Inn on June 26. 

Courtesy: Cristian Padilla Romero

Thousands of DACA recipients in Connecticut are breathing a sigh of relief after learning the U.S. Supreme Court blocked efforts by the Trump administration to end the program that protects them from deportation and allows them to work and study in the U.S. 

Courtesy: Madina Mamadjonova

As COVID-19 continues to spread in ICE detention facilities, researchers are raising concerns that the agency may not be accurately reporting infections and deaths from the virus.

One Connecticut man who has been deemed medically vulnerable remains inside an Alabama detention center. 

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.

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.

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.

John Fasolo
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

Imagine going to the hospital with what feels like a cold. You’re admitted. The next thing you find out is that days have passed while you were sedated on a ventilator fighting a severe case of COVID-19. And you’ve survived. 

Dr. Steven Marans
Courtesy: Yale School of Medicine

The coronavirus has swiftly led to dramatic changes in our daily lives. And that, in turn, has meant new levels of stress for many people.

Unlike other singular traumatic events, the pandemic is ongoing. And as Connecticut begins to reopen its economy, people will have to find ways to continually adapt to unpredictable and changing conditions.

Dr. Raymond Foley
Courtesy: UConn Health Center

Doctors caring for critically ill COVID-19 patients have had to find new ways to treat a fierce and mysterious virus, and at the same time comfort patients who are isolated without loved ones near them.

Connecticut Public Radio’s Diane Orson spoke with Dr. Raymond Foley, medical director of the intensive care unit at UConn John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington.

Merima Sestovic
Courtesy: Stamford Health

Stamford has been hit hard by COVID-19. The latest data show more than 2,300 confirmed cases, the most of any city or town in the state of Connecticut. 

Connecticut Public Radio’s Diane Orson reached out to Merima Sestovic, a nurse at Stamford Health, to hear how she and other front-line medical workers have been managing during the pandemic.

Dr. Faiqa Cheema
Courtesy: Hartford HealthCare

After weeks in lockdown or under shelter-in-place orders, some states across the U.S. are beginning to loosen restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Connecticut Public Radio’s Diane Orson reached out to Dr. Faiqa Cheema, an infectious disease specialist at Hartford HealthCare, for her thoughts on what’s next for Connecticut.

Dave Wurtzel/Connecticut Public

When Connecticut schools closed in mid-March to slow the spread of the coronavirus, most school nurses thought they'd be out of work for a while. But when COVID-19 drive-thru testing began in the Bristol-Burlington region, school nurses from the local health district stepped up to help staff the specimen collection station.

Dr. Patrick Broderick
Courtesy: Nuvance Health

The coronavirus has hit many hospital emergency rooms like a storm. Connecticut Public Radio’s Diane Orson spoke with Dr. Patrick Broderick, chair of emergency medicine at Danbury Hospital -- part of Nuvance Health in Fairfield County.

yale new haven; nurse; sara newman;
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

As the number of critically ill coronavirus patients began to rise in New Haven, several floors of Smilow Cancer Hospital were converted into intensive care wards. Sara Newman has been a nurse for 39 years and is the nurse manager overseeing the vast majority of Yale New Haven Hospital’s sickest COVID-19 patients. 

passover dinner
Courtesy: Congregation Mishkan Israel

Sundown marks the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover, or Pesach. It’s a time when families gather for a Seder meal and the annual recounting of the Jews’ deliverance from slavery to freedom. But this year is different from all other years. Social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic means most homes will not be physically open to welcome family and friends.

Hank Bolden, Atomic Vet
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

Hank Bolden is an 83-year-old undergraduate at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut. He is also an atomic vet — one of thousands of soldiers exposed to secret nuclear weapons tests during the Cold War.

Bolden is one of only a few African-Americans still here to tell the story.

prison
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

As advocates continue to warn that overcrowded prisons and detention centers nationwide aren’t prepared to handle an outbreak of COVID-19, among the people affected by such conditions are those detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. 

casino
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos have closed their doors amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. Connecticut Public Radio spoke with Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
NIAID-RML

There’s a lot that the medical community is still learning about coronavirus, but one thing seems clear: Older adults, especially those with chronic health conditions, are at higher risk for infection.

We spoke with Dr. Manisha Juthani, an associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine, to learn more. She’s an expert on infectious diseases in older people.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The state estimates that 200,000 legal immigrants in Connecticut and their children could be affected by the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule, which took effect Monday. 

Trinity College

Ugandan-American musician Samite Mulondo combines music and storytelling in his performances. This hour, Samite returns to our studios to talk about his newest piece, The Story Of Mutoto, which he performs at the University of Saint Joseph this weekend.

And  Hartford’s art house theater Cinestudio celebrates fifty years of showing films this week. We talk with Cinestudio’s founders, James Hanley and Peter McMorris.

Courtesy: The New Haven Museum

The New Haven Clock Company Factory opened on Hamilton Street in the mid-1800s. At its peak, it was the largest timepiece manufacturing facility in the world. Hundreds of Connecticut workers built clocks and pocket watches -- and later fuses during World War II. 

Ballake Sissoko kora instrument
B. Peverelli

Sherif Sissoko says it would have been one thing if his brother Ballaké’s car had been vandalized. But his musical instrument?

“He was traveling to India, to Israel, to China with this kora,” said Sissoko, who lives in Hartford and is also a musician. “It’s personal. It’s like a piece of yourself.”

Voting booth
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Presidential hopefuls have been flooding New Hampshire’s airwaves with ad buys ahead of Tuesday’s primaries. The Wesleyan Media Project in Middletown tracks political advertising in real time during elections. 

Co-director Erika Franklin Fowler spoke with Connecticut Public Radio’s Diane Orson for Morning Edition.

Hank Bolden is an 83-year-old undergraduate at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut. He is also an atomic vet — one of thousands of soldiers exposed to secret nuclear weapons tests during the Cold War.

Bolden is one of only a few African-Americans still here to tell the story.

In 1955, Bolden was in his late teens and stationed in California. One day he was told he'd been chosen to participate in a special military exercise. "I had no idea what I was selected for," he said.

Nestled in the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library at Yale University is an audio and video collection featuring many of the major musical figures of our time. 

The Oral History of American Music includes interviews with a wide range of musical figures, from Charles Ives to Laurie Anderson.

In New Haven, Democratic nominee Justin Elicker won a lopsided victory over incumbent Mayor Toni Harp, who had continued her reelection effort after losing the primary in September.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The city of New Haven has a new mayor. Justin Elicker was sworn in Wednesday, Jan 1.

In his inaugural address, Elicker said the city is growing at a rate not seen since the 1920s.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The head of a statewide association of nonprofits is calling on Connecticut officials to increase payments to the organizations.

Gian-Carl Casa said right now nonprofits of all types are facing what he describes as “a perfect storm.”

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