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.

Courtesy Stephanie Santiago

The Hartford state’s attorney has cleared a Wethersfield police officer in the 2019 shooting death of 18-year-old Anthony Jose Vega Cruz.

The threat of COVID-19 exposure remains high, and it’s becoming clear that people could get sick if they show up to work. Groton’s Electric Boat is one of the state’s largest employers, and some of its workers aren’t happy with the submarine builder’s response to the potential spread of coronavirus.

school closing coronavirus
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

COVID-19 school closures mean uncertainty for students who usually rely on the lunch period for a guaranteed meal.

Pomperaug High School senior swimmer Ethan Waskiel, 17, tries to get someone to open the front door as hundreds of high school student-athletes, parents and coaches protest the cancellation of winter sports.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Student-athletes and their coaches are upset with Connecticut’s high school sports association for its decision to cut the winter sports season short due to the spread of COVID-19. In Cheshire Wednesday, some of them protested outside the offices of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. 

Senior Maddi Larkin held up a sign that read, “Corona is not a reason to cancel the tournament.”

Her Sheehan High School team from Wallingford was about to play in the quarterfinals of the CIAC Class MM girls basketball tournament.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Hartford HealthCare has set up a COVID-19 command center in Newington for workers to answer questions from Connecticut residents who want to know more about the disease.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

139 wins, 0 losses.

That’s the mark -- including seven postseason titles -- the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team finishes with as members of the American Athletic Conference.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Advocates for undocumented immigrants want federal law enforcement to stay out of state courthouses. Members of the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance and several others protested Monday on the steps of the state Supreme Court. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Jim Calhoun’s University of Saint Joseph men’s basketball team played its first NCAA Division III Tournament game Friday, 16 months after the Blue Jays had their first game.

PxHere

A study centered on veterans with “other-than-honorable” discharges reveals that they are routinely denied health care benefits – even if they’re potentially eligible.

Many military veterans need help with medical issues after their service career ends. For that treatment, they can go to a medical center operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Talks between the governor’s office and the state’s two federally recognized tribes over the rights to sports betting are at an impasse.

earthquake puerto rico
Carlos Giusti / Associated Press

Connecticut has released more funding to help evacuees from Puerto Rico -- but the state isn’t recommending that people call 211 to connect with the aid.

The state is making $75,000 available to help evacuees with housing costs. It comes after a recent string of earthquakes on the island that led to an uptick in people coming to Connecticut.

ncaa saint jospeh student athletes
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Jim Calhoun-led men’s basketball team from the University of Saint Joseph has made it to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time. The program is only 2 years old.

researcher facility
Jackie Filson / Connecticut Public Radio

Scientists in Meriden are working on a vaccine to protect against COVID-19.

Protein Sciences said its COVID-19 research will be based on a vaccine candidate produced in Meriden in the early 2000s to combat SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

Terry Miller, center, running in a preliminary girls 55M dash race in New Haven, Saturday February 21, 2020
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Two runners mentioned in a lawsuit over the participation of transgender athletes in Connecticut high school sports raced against each other Saturday at a state track championship in New Haven. 

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Residents of Wethersfield say they want to know more about their local police department’s plan to surveil major roadways.

FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2019, file photo, Bloomfield High transgender athlete Terry Miller (second from left) wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood (far left) and others in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor meet.
AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb

The families of female athletes from three Connecticut schools are suing the state’s governing body of high school sports in order to stop transgender athletes from competing against the girls.

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference is targeted in the lawsuit over the success of two track champions from Bloomfield and Cromwell high schools.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The town of Wethersfield will step up public surveillance in 2020 by installing cameras at several traffic locations. But the enhanced law enforcement is alarming to people who have criticized the way Wethersfield’s police department operates.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

The high school sports teams in Killingly, Connecticut, are the Redmen again.

That name -- and “Redgals,” the nickname for the school’s girls teams -- was replaced last year at the urging of students and local Native Americans.

But now, at a time when many American schools are moving away from Native American mascots, Killingly has chosen a different direction.

Carlos Giusti / AP Photo

The impact of the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico is now being felt in Connecticut -- at least when it comes to helping those who had to leave the island.

The high school sports teams in Killingly, Conn., are the Redmen again.

That name – and "Redgals," the nickname for the school's girls' teams — was replaced last year at the urging of students and local Native Americans.

But now, at a time when many American schools are moving away from Native American mascots, Killingly is choosing a different direction.

xl center
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont wants money to fix up Hartford’s XL Center.

It’s part of his budget proposal, and the request is meant to spark a $100 million renovation of the 45-year-old building in downtown Hartford.

Connecticut house chamber
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

Labor advocates want to make sure hourly service workers in Connecticut have hours and wages they can depend on.

Ned Lamont at the 2020 State of the State address
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

Proposals on how to introduce sports betting in Connecticut are beginning to take shape now that the 2020 legislative session has begun.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

The city of Hartford used a special exhibition between the powerhouse University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball team and the best American pros as an opportunity to showcase area businesses.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Fotis Dulos has been hospitalized in critical condition, according to law enforcement officials, after being found unresponsive at his Farmington home Tuesday.

In a joint news conference, Connecticut State Police and Farmington police said Dulos was being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Dulos had been under house arrest awaiting trial for the murder of his estranged wife, Jennifer Farber Dulos. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The death of Kobe Bryant was fresh on the minds of basketball fans who went to an exhibition game Monday between the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team and Team USA in Hartford.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Three fatal shootings by police officers in Connecticut have occurred in the early weeks of 2020. In light of these incidents, State Sen. Gary Winfield said lawmakers have an opportunity to address police use of force in the upcoming legislative session.

WFSB

The body of a University of Connecticut student has been recovered by campus police.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s Department of Education said it’s ready to help school districts take in Puerto Rican students evacuated from the island because of recent earthquakes.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Killingly High School sports teams will once again be known as “Redmen” despite a long battle to ditch the name that’s offensive to Native Americans.

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