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.

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.

Courtesy: Angelica Llanos

When she was 15 years old, Angelica Llanos arrived -- undocumented -- in Norwalk, Connecticut, from Colombia. She lived with her mother and sister, finished high school, studied for two years at Norwalk Community College but had to drop out because she was ineligible for financial aid.

Miguel Cardona with his parents in Meriden.
CTMirror.org

Miguel Cardona is drawing praise from many in the academic community as a visionary choice to be the next U.S. secretary of education. President-elect Joe Biden announced his pick last week.

Officials from Metro-North and the Long Island Railroad say they've met the Dec. 31 deadline to install positive train control technology on their rail systems. It's an emergency braking system designed to safeguard against human or mechanical error.

Image of sunlight ight shining through a tree
Jannatul Hasan / Wikimedia Commons

Faith can play an important role in times of uncertainty - offering comfort and hope.  Since COVID-19 hit Connecticut, many churches, synagogues and mosques have closed across the state.  Faith leaders have moved worship online - and found new ways to bring people together.

It has not been easy.  Leaders across religious traditions are under tremendous pressure guiding their congregations through grief and trauma - while helping their communities build resilience.

In a conversation recorded earlier this month, guest host Diane Orson talks with a pastor, a rabbi and an imam who have walked into a pandemic - and it is not a joke.   They speak about what it has been like for clergy, where they turn when they’re feeling stressed, and whether their own faith has wavered.

Chion Wolf photo

With many churches, synagogues and mosques closed because of the pandemic, clergy across religious traditions have found new ways to bring people together.  

Courtesy: Merima Sestovic

Daily COVID-19 infection rates have been soaring, setting record highs in states nationwide.

Months into the pandemic, we’re exhausted and stressed. Coronavirus and our mental health is the topic of a new CPTV special, Cutline, airing Thursday, Nov. 19th at 8pm.

CT Public

Shifting back and forth between in-person and remote learning has been tough, according to Alisha Price. She teaches social studies and literacy at Hallen School in Bridgeport.

courtesy Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm

Turkey growers describe this time of year as the industry’s Super Bowl, when orders for turkeys start rolling in. But Thanksgiving will be different this year because of the pandemic.

Rick Hermonot said it’s still a little early to know how many people will order smaller turkeys from his farm in Sterling.

Courtesy: David S. Miller

For the estimated 6 to 9 million American citizens living outside the U.S., voting has always meant planning ahead. Still, 2020 is especially tricky. 

Courtesy: Colvin Family

Though music lovers may have few opportunities to perform together in person right now, it turns out that people of all ages are discovering or rekindling a passion for music making at home during the pandemic. 

TUT.by / Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut has joined with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to introduce a resolution in support of the people of Belarus.  

Max Pixel

As the nation faces a public health crisis with the coronavirus pandemic, we are also amid a long overdue and urgent national reckoning with the ongoing effects of systemic racism.  And that also profoundly affects public health and the health of children.

Still, many parents struggle to talk about racial bias with their kids.  Coming up we explore why, and talk about preparing for these important conversations. Guest host Diane Orson speaks with a developmental behavioral pediatrician, and with a TV critic about ways media shape views of race.

William Neuheisel/flickr creative commons

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Connecticut, 38% of the state’s residents were already struggling to make ends meet -- that’s according to a new report by the United Way of Connecticut. The data, from 2018, looks at families living at or near the poverty level and those who live above it but lack the income to pay for housing, food, child care and health care. 

They’re known as ALICE households -- Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.  

Neena Satija

Each year millions of students take in-person standardized tests like the SAT and ACT as part of their application process for college. But amid the pandemic, concerns over health and safety have closed hundreds of test sites nationwide. 

Alexei Navalny at a campaign stop when he ran for mayor of Moscow in 2013.
ermakov / Flickr Creative Commons

Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader with ties to Yale University, was poisoned, according to the German hospital where he is being treated. Navalny remains in a medically induced coma. The 44-year-old is known for his anti-corruption investigations against Russian state corporations and senior officials, and he participated in Russia’s 2018 presidential election.

Diane Orson / Connecticut Public Radio

Lord & Taylor, Brooks Brothers, J. Crew -- even Ann Taylor, whose first store opened in 1954 on Chapel Street in New Haven -- are among dozens of once-storied retail clothing institutions that have filed for bankruptcy.     

Connecticut Public Radio’s Morning Edition host Diane Orson spoke with Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean and professor of management practice at the Yale School of Management, to learn more.  

Yale University
Pixabay

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division says Black and Latinx students with similar academic qualifications are being admitted to Yale at higher rates than white and Asian American students, pointing to discrimination and a violation of the Civil Rights Act. 

Lawyer David Hinojosa said the evidence leading to that conclusion is -- in his words -- “almost laughable.”

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Attorney General Bill Barr faced pointed questions on a range of issues at a House Judiciary Committee hearing this week. Connecticut Public Radio’s Morning Edition host Diane Orson reached out to Jim Himes, the state’s 4th District congressman, for his reaction. Himes, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, questioned Robert Mueller last year on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

The late civil rights icon John Lewis will lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington this week. He is to be buried on Thursday. 

Back in 2015, Lewis stood by the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. He had been brutally beaten there 50 years earlier while demonstrating for voting rights, and he said there was still work to be done. 

Summer vacation is traditionally a time for kids to step away from academics and spend time with family, at camp or poolside. But the coronavirus upended this school year and Connecticut students have not physically been in class since mid-March, and that's posing fears for many families that their kids could suffer from summer learning loss. 

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. 

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