Harriet Jones | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Harriet Jones

Managing Editor

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

As a reporter she's covered such diverse issues as the opioid crisis, immigration policy, homelessness, workforce development and income inequality.

In 2011, she created the station's Small Business Project as a way to tell stories about the companies that make up 90 percent of our economy, but often get overlooked in the media.

She is the winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her reporting on Connecticut's 2010 floods.

Harriet joined WNPR in October 2000 as Morning Edition producer and reporter. Born in Scotland, she worked for the BBC for much of her early career.

She has also taught broadcasting for the BBC at some of their international schools in Eastern Europe, delivering courses to journalists in Romania, Albania and Bosnia.

She was news director at Scotland's largest commercial radio station, ScotFM, and was lucky enough to cover that country's two biggest political events in 300 years - the referendum which delivered a new parliament, and the subsequent elections.

Harriet lives in Stonington with her husband, Bob Statchen, and their three children.

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Special Note to Readers and Listeners: 

June 30, 2020

Our newsroom works hard each day to be thoughtful about the news and how we cover it. Here, and throughout public media, we take pride in being non-partisan, accurate, impartial, and independent. In pursuit of those aims, we also hold ourselves accountable. 

Harriet Jones has been a trusted voice at Connecticut Public Radio for years. She is currently managing editor -- which means she runs our daily news operation. On June 25, 2020, her husband, Bob Statchen, began active campaigning as the Democratic candidate for the 18th state senatorial district in the 2020 election.

In an effort to avoid real and perceived conflicts of interest, and after earlier consultation with NPR, we are taking the following steps:

  • Jones will not report on, or edit reports on, Connecticut’s 2020 statehouse races.
  • She will not participate in her husband’s campaign.
  • She will not cover or edit political issues of concern in her husband’s race.

I'll be responsible for the newsroom duties from which Harriet is recusing herself. 

This follows our practice from 2018, when we developed similar plans after careful consideration internally and with guidance and advice of NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices and the NPR ombudsman.

Transparency is an essential part of our work. That’s why we’re sharing this with you now. We’ll obviously revisit this issue as the campaign season progresses, and we welcome your feedback.

Jeff Cohen
News Director
Connecticut Public Radio
jcohen@ctpublic.org

Courtesy: CPTV

Gary Bimonte will be laid to rest this week in a private burial service after a Mass at St. Michael’s church in New Haven. The pizza legend was the youngest grandchild of Frank Pepe, whose Wooster Street restaurant is a fixture in the city. Bimonte died suddenly of a heart attack last week.

Twitter

Hartford police have confirmed that a 3-year-old boy died of gunshot injuries suffered in a drive-by shooting in the city Saturday afternoon. Rondell Jones was in a car with his mother and two older siblings when he was shot.

About two hours later, a 16-year-old was killed and another person injured in a shooting about a mile from the first. Investigators do not believe the two incidents are linked. The 16-year-old was later named by police as Jamari Preston of New Britain.

Eversource will have a new CEO. Jim Judge is stepping down from the top job at the state’s largest utility company. He’ll be replaced from within by Joe Nolan, the man who has been heading up Eversource’s efforts to build out wind power in recent years. Judge, who helmed the company through recent heavy criticism over its handling of power restoration following Tropical Storm Isaias, will remain as chair of the board of directors. The change is effective early next month.

The contamination of 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine will have a knock-on effect on supply in Connecticut from next week, the office of Gov. Ned Lamont said Wednesday.

No vaccine that's already been shipped to the state has been recalled, and the administration says none of the J&J product currently in Connecticut is compromised in any way. But the allocation of fresh J&J doses arriving next week will be just 6,400. Last week the state's allocation was 53,900.

Tony Spinelli / Connecticut Public

Insurance giant Chubb has broken its silence over The Hartford’s rejection of its takeover offer, but the company did not make clear whether it intends to return with a sweetened bid.

Ned Lamont, Kamala Harris
Mark Mirko / The Hartford Courant

Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Connecticut Friday afternoon and spent time in New Haven to promote the latest round of federal coronavirus relief.

Onasill ~ Bill / Creative Commons

With The Hartford’s rejection of a takeover offer from Chubb comes speculation about the next move in a potential insurance industry consolidation that could get personal for Connecticut. 

Most analysts believe the Swiss giant -- with its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey -- will come back with an improved bid for the Connecticut insurer.

The board of directors of Connecticut insurer The Hartford has unanimously rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from rival Chubb. The Swiss based insurance company had made an offer that valued The Hartford at around $23 billion. But The Hartford says such a deal is not in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.

Connecticut Public

Storied Connecticut insurance company The Hartford says it is considering a takeover bid from fellow insurer Chubb. The Swiss company has offered $65 a share for the Hartford, valuing the company at approximately $23 billion.

Gov. Ned Lamont has said he doesn’t support a push by Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney to raise taxes on high-end homes. Looney has proposed what he’s calling a mansion tax to increase property tax on homes worth over $430,000; the money could go to supporting struggling cities. But Lamont told the Connecticut Business and Industry Association Tuesday that he won’t back new taxes and he doesn’t think the bill is going anywhere.

Courtesy: UConn

UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma has tested positive for COVID-19. The program announced that the Hall of Famer has no symptoms and is now isolating at home. Auriemma has had both of his COVID vaccination shots, but he had only just gotten the second dose five days ago, so he was nine days from being considered fully protected from the virus.

A picture tweeted by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy of sunrise outside the Senate chamber, just after the vote on the American Rescue Plan.
Courtesy: Sen. Chris Murphy

The passage of the massive $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will give a boost to Connecticut’s chances of emerging from the pandemic without major fiscal damage, according to the Lamont administration.

A Hartford HealthCare worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Starting Monday, everyone in Connecticut 55 and over can begin scheduling COVID-19 shots. That’s an expansion from the previous rules, which limited vaccinations to people over the age of 65, first responders and medical workers. Vaccination is also being opened up to educators and child care workers. The online scheduling tool opened up at midnight.

One of Connecticut’s largest independent banks, People’s United, is be acquired by M&T Bank based in Buffalo, NY in a $7.6 billion deal.

As Britain’s exit from the European Union becomes a reality, the British Consul General to New England will be hosting a virtual visit to Connecticut this week to talk about trade opportunities. Dr. Peter Abbott and First Secretary of Trade Policy Tom Nickalls, will meet with Connecticut officials and business leaders, and the event includes a town hall-style meeting with Connecticut exporters about transatlantic business.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

As expected, Connecticut’s two U.S. senators joined their Democratic colleagues and seven Republicans in voting to convict former president Donald Trump in his impeachment trial. Because of the necessity to reach a two-thirds majority, the 57-43 vote was insufficient to return a guilty verdict on the charge of having incited the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

A 22-year-old student at the University of New Haven has died due to complications from COVID-19. Joshua Goodart was a cybersecurity and networks major from Oxford. The senior became ill over winter break and was hospitalized last month. The university said he had not yet returned to campus for the spring semester. Goodart passed away February 6. The university's Student Government Association has announced it will host a physically distanced candlelight vigil on Friday, Feb. 12, that will be streamed online. UNH will award Goodart's degree posthumously at Spring Commencement.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

As forecast, Connecticut is contending with its first major storm of 2021. The weather system had dumped up to 16 inches of snow on parts of the state by late Monday.

CVS has opened its first vaccine clinics in Connecticut. The first two, in Putnam and Waterford are in areas that are currently underserved for vaccine access, according to the Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain. It says the goal eventually is to make the vaccine available in all 180 of its pharmacies in the state. Walgreens is also rolling out vaccine clinics at its locations, and both chains say they’re hiring in anticipation of high demand for the service. Currently the rollout is limited by the restricted number of vaccine doses being distributed by the federal government.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Students from Naugatuck High School, along with some of their parents and supporters, staged a demonstration in town Wednesday after racist social media posts from a fellow student were revealed.

More than 100 members of the Connecticut National Guard are being deployed to Washington D.C.. Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement their mission will be to "aid and facilitate the peaceful transition of presidential power."

The deployment includes members of the Connecticut National Guard Military Police, along with two explosive-detection dog teams.

In addition, the state's Air National Guard has its C-130 aircraft and crews on alert, if they're needed to move personnel around the country.

A task force reviewing jury selection practices in the state has given its recommendations to Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court Richard Robinson. Robinson says he anticipates implementing many of the measures, and says they will have a profound effect on the ability of the judicial branch to ensure fair and impartial justice. Proposed legislation based on the report would increase the pool of people eligible to serve as jurors, including legal permanent residents who are not citizens and people with previous felony convictions.

Most employees in Connecticut will see a new, small deduction coming out of their first paycheck for 2021. The ongoing deduction of 0.5 percent is going to fund the state’s new paid leave program.

Connecticut's state Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in a long running legal battle over whether or not the town of Ledyard has the right to collect property taxes on slot machines that a company rents to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation's Foxwoods casino.

The town argued that it could collect taxes because the slot machines are owned by an outside company, not by the tribe. During arguments before the court, one of the lawyers for WMS Gaming said disputes over what the town could or could not tax on tribal land go back to at least 2001.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

About 200 employees at Pfizer’s Connecticut lab helped work on the COVID-19 vaccine that the company said has proved 90 percent effective against the virus in a large-scale trial.

A Yale physician who specializes in health disparities is among the co-chairs of President-elect Joe Biden's coronavirus task force. Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine. Her research focuses on promoting health and health care equity for marginalized populations, and supporting health care workforce diversity and development. Dr Nunez-Smith served on Gov. Ned Lamont's Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group. She will co-chair the national task force along with Vivek Murthy, a former U.S.

Democratic elected officials in Connecticut were among those quick to issue congratulations as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were finally declared president- and vice president-elect by The Associated Press Saturday.

Some of the state's largest cities have announced they'll revert to Phase 2 of reopening in an attempt to control surging coronavirus infection rates. Bridgeport, Stamford, New Haven and Norwalk are the latest to reimpose stricter controls on restaurants and other businesses. It also means no more indoor performances, and a maximum of 25 people at gatherings. Bridgeport city officials have said they'll announce more restrictions later today, which could include a curfew policy and other measures to deter gatherings.

The state is launching a new online dashboard showing which schools have coronavirus cases among staff and students. It will show the previous week’s case count in a searchable database that can show the totals for individual schools. Districts have now been reporting their data to the state for the last six weeks. Some districts have also been making their numbers public on their own websites, but this will be the first time the data has been available centrally for the whole state.

Gov. Ned Lamont’s approval rating is up in a new poll from Sacred Heart University. The survey, reported in the Hartford Courant, shows more than 53 percent of people approve of his overall job performance. That’s up from 41 percent in April. His handling of the coronavirus pandemic scores even better -- more than 70 percent of those questioned said they approved of how he’s navigated the crisis.

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