Lori Mack | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Lori Mack

Morning Edition Host

Lori Connecticut Public's Morning Edition host.

She came to WNPR after working as News Operations Coordinator for WCBS Radio in New York City, covering stories for one of the nation's largest AM news stations. She went on to work as a reporter and afternoon news anchor with WWYZ and WATR in Waterbury, Connecticut. Lori also helped to start a morning drive show for the Fox News Radio Network in New York.

She lives in Branford with her daughter.

Ways to Connect

A five-year-old girl was found safe inside a stolen car early this morning. Wolcott police say the girl was in the backseat of the car when it was stolen from Cumberland Farms on Meriden Road around 11:30 last night. Investigators say an 11-year-old boy was also inside, but jumped out before the car took off. Wolcott’s police chief says he found the abandoned car with the child inside at around 1:45 this morning. Police are actively searching for the people involved.

Frederick-Douglass Knowles II
Petra Rolinic

April is National Poetry Month. It’s a time to celebrate poets and their craft. So we asked Hartford’s poet laureate, Frederick-Douglass Knowles II, if he would share his talent and his thoughts about why poetry matters, especially right now. 

The state of Connecticut is warning residents to watch out for scams related to COVID-19 vaccines. Connecticut officials say they’ve recently learned of a scheme in which fraudsters sent a fake survey offering rewards for opinions about the vaccine. But, to get the reward, consumers have to give their credit card information. It’s one of three scams the state is flagging. Officials say that residents should be on alert, that they shouldn’t pay anything to sign up for the vaccine, and that they should beware of unsolicited ads or texts related to the vaccine.

Tony Spinelli / Connecticut Public

Kim Steinberg had already registered her business in January on the state’s website so she could get her employees vaccinated. Now most won't qualify until May. 

Connecticut supermarket workers say they’re disappointed in Gov. Ned Lamont's announcement to change the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to an age-based plan. Union leaders say their members continue to be exposed to the coronavirus everyday as they work on the front lines selling food and supplies to shoppers, who at times have refused to follow safety protocol.

A museum visitor walks by the display of a bell once belonging to the pirate ship Whydah Gally at the Whydah Pirate Museum, in Yarmouth, Mass.
Steven Senne / AP Photo

In 1984, the Whydah Gally was discovered on the ocean floor off the coast of Cape Cod. It was the first authenticated pirate ship ever found, and it brought to life the tales of treasure from what is known as the “Golden Age of Piracy.”

The disgraced former police chief of Bridgeport is fighting to keep his pension. Armando Perez pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to cheat to get his promotion to chief. State Attorney General William Tong sued to revoke his pension in November.

The number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Connecticut since the pandemic began has topped 250,000. In the latest numbers released by the state Monday night, hospitalizations decreased by 73 and the positivity rate is below 4 percent. There were 73 more reported deaths. The winter storm did put a pause on roughly 10,000 vaccination appointments Monday.

Connecticut's largest COVID-19 vaccination site in East Hartford is up and running. Pratt & Whitney's old runway has been converted into a 10-lane drive-thru clinic. The Community Health Center is hoping to administer between 7,000 and 10,000 vaccinations a week. Officials say the Pfizer vaccine will be available by appointment only to qualified residents, which currently include frontline health care workers, first responders and people 75 and over.

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

The U.S. Capitol has seen countless protests and a number of violent incidents over its two centuries. But what we observed last week, when a mob of President Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol intent on stopping the count of electoral votes, has been called unprecedented.

Lieutenant governors in Connecticut and Rhode Island are quarantining after potential COVID-19 exposures. Connecticut Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz is self-isolating after a member of her staff tested positive for the virus. Bysiewicz, who was in close contact with the person, tested negative Thursday.

President Donald Trump has been heard on tape asking Georgia’s election chief to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state. Trump suggested in a telephone call Saturday that the official find enough votes to hand Trump the victory. That conversation was the latest step in what’s being called an unprecedented effort by a sitting American president to reverse the outcome of a free and fair election that he lost.

Some New Haven public school students will return to their physical classrooms later this month for the first time since last spring. The city's superintendent of schools announced on the district website that officials are preparing for "a limited return of students to a hybrid learning model" starting Jan. 19.

Another Connecticut inmate has died from complications related to the coronavirus. The Department of Correction said in a press release the 69-year-old male had been transferred from the agency’s MacDougall-Walker Medical Unit to an outside hospital for treatment December 21, where he died Saturday morning. The man is the 14th inmate to die of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Connecticut continues phase 1A of its COVID -19 vaccine roll-out. Many health care workers are scheduled to get their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine Monday. Meanwhile, about 200 nursing homes in the state are preparing to get their first round by the end of the week. Gov. Ned Lamont has said the state’s on track to finish vaccinating about 22,000 nursing home residents and an estimated 210,000 health care workers by the end of the month.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public

President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the federal Department of Education -- Miguel Cardona -- has deep roots in Connecticut public schools.

Longtime Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is expected to become Connecticut’s next tax commissioner. Boughton, a three-time Republican candidate for governor, is the longest serving mayor of Danbury. In his most recent bid, he proposed phasing out the state’s income tax. Governor Ned Lamont’s selection was praised by Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff who issued a joint statement last night.

Governor Ned Lamont’s deputy communications director has tested positive for COVID-19. Rob Blanchard said in a Tweet Sunday that he's quarantining for the next two weeks and cooperating with public health officials in the contact tracing process.

Foxwoods Resort Casino says it will temporarily lay off 130 employees and close some of its hotels and gaming areas due to the ongoing pandemic. Foxwoods officials say heightened spread of COVID-19 and state restrictions have spurred a “significant” reduction in volume at the casino. The Day reports that the casino hopes to rehire furloughed workers — including support staff members — after New Year's.

Governor Ned Lamont has received a letter signed by 35 Connecticut doctors and a nurse urging him to close gyms and pause indoor dining to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed as coronavirus cases surge. But Lamont says hospital capacity is currently adequate and field hospitals can be set up quickly if needed. Health officials say 71 percent of the state's hospital beds are now occupied.

Senator Richard Blumenthal will be calling on Congress Monday to provide relief to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to prevent cuts to Metro-North. The MTA is asking for a $12 billion federal bailout. Without it, train service could be cut by half, including on the New Haven line. Ridership on Metro-North is down by about 80 percent because of the pandemic.

Connecticut is nearing 5,000 coronavirus-related deaths. In the latest numbers released Friday, 35 more deaths were reported over the last two days. Meanwhile, the number of Connecticut residents hospitalized with COVID-19 has topped 1,000, the first time it's been that high since mid-May. The latest data released also showed the number of nursing home residents who've been infected since the pandemic began topped 10,000.

Governor Ned Lamont is calling Connecticut’s latest COVID numbers "disturbing." The state reported 21 new coronavirus-linked deaths yesterday. Meanwhile, 96 percent of the state's towns and cities are under a red alert for COVID cases. The positivity rate stands at 6.5 percent. In response, Lamont has put a pause on all club and team sports beginning Monday until mid-January. Officials say too many COVID cases have been linked to athletics.

Connecticut's U.S. senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are both self-isolating after a member of the governor's staff tested positive for COVID-19. Gov. Ned Lamont and several top members of his administration are also quarantining after his chief spokesperson Max Reiss tested positive for the virus. The news came late Friday following a press conference that included the governor, lieutenant governor and both U.S. Senators.

The unions representing Connecticut correctional employees are urging the Department of Correction to temporarily suspend in-person visits at facilities throughout the state. The unions representing more than 5,000 DOC employees say they’d like to figure out a better visitation system that limits the number of people in one room as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The unions are also asking for additional COVID testing hours to ensure adequate time for mandatory testing of staff.

Pratt Street in Hartford remains empty during the lunch rush on November 4, 2020.  At the end is Dish Bar & Grill, one of several Connecticut restaurants permanently closed due to COVID-19.
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

Connecticut has reverted to a modified Phase 2 reopening plan after an increase in coronavirus cases. Among the changes, indoor dining at restaurants had to drop back to 50% capacity. They’re also required to close by 10 p.m., which is a change from the governor’s initial order to close at 9:30. 

California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have been added to the state’s travel advisory list. That brings the total number of states and territories considered hot spots for the virus to 42. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

People detained in jails pretrial or those serving a sentence for a misdemeanor offense are eligible to vote in Connecticut. Yet, out of the more than 3,000 eligible inmates, most are not expected to have their votes counted in the upcoming election. 

Students in Danbury will not return to the classroom today. The city, which is on Connecticut's "red alert" list, is postponing in-person learning as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb. Danbury schools aren't the only ones still being impacted by the coronavirus. It's led to a continuation in virtual learning at schools in Montville, Southington and Waterbury.

Yale University is shutting down all varsity athletic activities until at least next Wednesday following a cluster of Covid-19 cases. The Yale Daily News reports six members of the Yale men’s hockey team have tested positive for the virus. The University’s COVID-19 coordinator informed students of the outbreak in an email Tuesday night.

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