Frankie Graziano | Connecticut Public Radio
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Frankie Graziano

If you read any of Frankie Graziano’s previous biographies, they’d be all about his passion for sports. But times change – and he’s a family man now.

Part of the reason for the biographical “tone-change” is a slight deviation in Frankie’s career path. In 2016, he moved over to news from the sports world. He became a Connecticut Public reporter. And that’s currently where he works as a breaking news reporter.

He’s been on-the-scene to get state residents the latest available information on major local happenings over the past four years – like the vintage plane crash at Bradley International Airport in 2019 and the recent landmark police accountability legislation that passed through the state capitol.

Other highlights from his time at Connecticut Public include some long-term storytelling he was able to do after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, which led thousands of evacuees from the island to escape to Connecticut.

Frankie also played a crucial role in the  station’s continuing coverage of a police shooting in Wethersfield. Anthony Jose Vega Cruz, 18, died two days after being shot by former Wethersfield police officer Layau Eulizier Jr. on April 20, 2019. Much of this work went into Collision Course, a 2020 New England Emmy award-winning documentary produced by Vanessa de la Torre.  You can also hear Frankie’s national stories on NPR -- including one that was produced out of his basement about sports in the age of COVID-19.

Prior to going to work for Connecticut Public, Frankie produced over 1,200 hours of sports content for Connecticut Public Television and CPTV Sports. There, he worked to showcase thousands of local student-athletes -- whether it be during state championship events broadcast live on television or if they’d been honored with the network’s statewide UChoose Student-Athlete of the Week. He also put together a “Tip-Off Classic” featuring Connecticut’s top boys and girls high school basketball squads.

Frankie graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and History. While in school, he created a program on UConn’s student television station. He also interned at WFSB Eyewitness News Ch. 3. He covered collegiate baseball in Torrington during the summer.

Frankie is the husband of Colleen Graziano, APRN. He’s also “Daddy” to Charlie and Annie. They live in Glastonbury; Frankie (born Francesco Graziano Jr.) is originally from Torrington. His parents are from Italia: his mother Rosa Maria emigrated to America in 1967 and his father Francesco Sr. made his move to the United States shortly after marrying “Rosie” in 1975.

First And Last Tavern
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

First came the return of outdoor dining at Connecticut restaurants, and now the state is allowing indoor dining.

It’s part of Phase 2 of the state’s reopening from what was essentially an economic shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

self-isolation connecticut
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

COVID-19 has brought death much closer to everyday life for many in Connecticut and around the world. But it’s also had a big impact on how we memorialize and mourn the dead.

Office of the Chief State's Attorney

The Wethersfield Police Department hasn’t yet started an internal investigation into the shooting death more than a year ago of an 18-year-old driver.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Glastonbury High School seniors are receiving their diplomas now, even though the governor has paved the way for group graduation ceremonies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Office of the Chief State's Attorney

In his resignation letter submitted to the Wethersfield Police Department, Layau Eulizier Jr. wrote that he never thought the day he shot and killed 18-year-old Anthony Jose Vega Cruz would be his last on active patrol in Wethersfield.

Office of the Chief State's Attorney

The officer who shot and killed a Wethersfield teenager after an April 2019 traffic stop has voluntarily resigned from that town’s police department.

foxwoods casinos reopening coronavirus
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Connecticut’s two casinos are taking paying customers for the first time in two months.

Tribal leadership shuttered the casinos March 18 for the first time in their history over fears of the spread of COVID-19.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

The federal government has sided with a group of Connecticut athletes who have sued the state’s governing body of high school sports over the inclusion of transgender athletes in girls events.

U.S. Coast Guard Academy (screengrab)

The uncertainty of coronavirus forced the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to do something it’s never done -- commission officers virtually.

The Country Diner
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Restaurants returned to serving dining customers Wednesday as part of phase one of Connecticut’s COVID-19 reopening plan.

In Enfield, “reopening day” marked the return of The Country Diner, a spot that’s been closed for the past two months.

wedding postponed coronavirus
Jessica DeStefano

With wedding season 2020 happening amid a global pandemic, Connecticut’s engaged couples are facing unforeseen challenges.

Hairstylist Georgeanne DaCosta
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Some nonessential businesses in Connecticut will reopen in about a week after being closed down for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order that shuttered them on March 16 to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak. But a recent announcement that businesses like hair salons and barbershops would be included in the first reopening wave has workers worried about the spread of coronavirus in their workplace.

Hartford High School
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday officially canceled in-person schooling for Connecticut students for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year.

NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public/NPR

The impact of the coronavirus on sports is stark -- from golf’s Masters Tournament being postponed to the cancellation of the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournament. The COVID-19 pandemic has athletes scrambling to find competition and the fans who watch them struggling to find their fix.

Shady Oaks Assisted Living
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Given that Connecticut’s long-term care facilities house those most vulnerable to infectious diseases, the coronavirus has had a devastating impact. According to the CT Mirror, 57.6% of all COVID-19 deaths in Connecticut have happened in the state’s nursing homes, forcing facilities to take drastic measures to try to keep the disease out.

Trader Joe's
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The state now has money to help some Connecticut residents with child care costs -- workers who continue to be public-facing in the age of COVID-19.

The state Office of Early Childhood is using federal dollars to set up CTCARES for Frontline Workers, a program benefiting employees considered to be front-line workers amid the pandemic.

Berlin Mosque
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

Praying together in a mosque could put Muslims at risk of catching COVID-19, so mosques are closed to the public.

That makes for a very different celebration of the holy month of Ramadan in 2020. It means that special evening prayers must be done at home.

Osborn Correctional Institute
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

With over 500 inmates and staff testing positive for COVID-19, there’s concern that people in Connecticut prisons are at high risk.

One 80-year-old man incarcerated in a medium-security prison had a lawsuit filed on his behalf to get immediate release.

grocery store supermarket
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

Grocery store workers want help from the state to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their workplaces.

They’re asking the governor to label them ‘front line workers’, a move that would help them blunt the impact of the coronavirus.

Brewery Legitimus
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The state recently tossed a lifeline out to more than 100 craft brewers as part of an effort to keep people in their homes. Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order on April 2 allowing liquor permittees to deliver alcohol to state residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

domestic violence shelter t-shirts
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A nonprofit that houses victims of domestic violence is faced with a need it characterized as “relentless.” That need comes at a time when the potential for abuse increases with families staying at home to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Church
Jim McIntosh / Creative Commons

For Catholics marking Holy Week – the final days of lent leading up to the Easter celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ – worship is much different than last year.

coronavirus
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

A local health official believes the peak of coronavirus infections in Connecticut will happen later this month into early May -- later than the doctor’s network initially predicted.

Bernie Sanders
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the running for the Democratic presidential nomination, but his decision Wednesday to remain on the ballot could force Connecticut to nevertheless hold a primary under the threat of COVID-19.

Newtown Bee local newspaper
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The publisher of the long-running Newtown Bee has announced the suspension of the weekly print newspaper, making it the latest casualty of the economic uncertainty surrounding coronavirus.

The Newtown Bee won’t be printed and distributed until further notice, which breaks a tradition that stretches back to 1877. 

Noah Salzman / Creative Commons

Besides the occasional outdoor run or a trip to get groceries, Team USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher is hunkering down like the rest of us. Unlike the rest of us, the coronavirus pandemic means she’s forgoing a trip to the Olympics this summer.

expecting parents
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

One Hartford woman looks at the COVID-19 pandemic as the “icing on the cake” for her challenging pregnancy.

Lauren Perrault, 33, is used to husband Gabe Peterson, 35, being by her side at the doctor’s office. 

Personal protective equipment
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

Personal protective equipment -- or PPE -- for health care workers combatting COVID-19 is in short supply.

Despite a run on this type of gear, doctors and nurses have to move forward with treatment.

George W. Bush White House

The threat of COVID-19 transmission is hampering our ability to celebrate the lives of those who die as the epidemic continues.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The essential duties of a hospital chaplain happen on-site where patients are treated, so it’s hard to work from home at a time when employers are encouraging social distancing to combat the spread of coronavirus.

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