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Package Stores Offer Dime Recycling Fee In Lieu Of Liquor Bottle Deposits

Mar 18, 2019
Jeff Kubina (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s package stores have proposed a 10-cent “recycling fee” as a compromise alternative to the 25-cent deposit Gov. Ned Lamont recommended last month.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The city of Hartford is going back to a familiar strategy with the hope that local businesses can capitalize on March Madness.

Beginning March 21, the NCAA Tournament returns to Hartford for the first time since 1998.

Updated at 5:48 p.m. ET

The Federal Aviation Administration says it is temporarily grounding all Boeing 737 Max aircraft operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory.

The announcement Wednesday afternoon follows decisions by many other countries to ground the planes after 157 people died in Sunday's crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8.

Grendelkhan / Wikimedia Commons

What would you do with all that time if you didn't have to drive during your daily commute?

This hour: like it or not, autonomous vehicles (AVs) will be a major part of our not-too-distant transportation future. We take a look at some of the promises and challenges of automating vehicles and ask what they will mean for the cities of our future.

MGM Springfield is trying to figure out how to keep people under 21 from getting onto its casino floor. 

Chinese telecom manufacturer Huawei is suing the U.S. government, arguing that Congress violated the Constitution when it banned government agencies from purchasing Huawei equipment.

Katie Harp / Pexels

Do you have credit card debt hanging over your head? Or maybe you've been thinking you should start saving for retirement, but you aren’t sure how to pay for it?

This hour we sit down with NPR correspondent Chris Arnold, who covers personal finance and consumer protection. NPR’s new family of podcasts, Life Kit, gives listeners practical tips for navigating life challenges from parenting to healthy eating. Arnold hosts Life Kit’s podcasts about money. They are all about figuring out how to get your finances in order in a fun and approachable way.

Lamont's 'Debt Diet' Hits An Already Lean Nonprofit Safety Net

Mar 4, 2019
Gov. Ned Lamont delivered his first budget address to the legislature on February 20, 2019.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s private, nonprofit social services community has been struggling since the early 2000s with minimal growth in state funding for the vast array of programs it provides.

Updated at 11:33 a.m. ET

The U.S. economy expanded at a solid 2.6 percent rate during the last three months of 2018, but growth was significantly lower than it had been earlier in the year, the government said Thursday.

For 2018 as a whole, the economy grew 2.9 percent, a touch below the Trump administration's projected target of 3 percent.

Image of twenty dollar bills
Martin Vorel / Libreshot

Progressive lawmakers around the country have been rallying behind a call for a $15 minimum wage, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has joined their ranks.

This hour, what would increasing the minimum wage by almost 150 percent over the next four years mean for businesses and workers here in Connecticut? We hear from an economist and get the takes of several local business owners on Democrats’ proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont's proposed budget doesn’t include a plan to increase the state income tax to help cover a $3.7 billion projected budget deficit, and that has some watchers and stakeholders wondering about the state of income inequality in Connecticut.

For 27 years, Mark Schand lay in his prison cot in Massachusetts and plotted out the retail empire he'd been envisioning since well before his arrest.

"I would lay in bed, my eyes wide open, looking at the ceiling, just thinking of a color scheme, and picture the uniform," said Schand.

Members of the Hartford Courant newsroom are moving to form a union, NPR has learned. It's the latest Tribune Publishing newspaper where journalists have been pushing to organize.

Domenic Esposito

Massachusetts’ Attorney General, Maura Healey, has filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler Family, claiming that “Purdue pharma created the [opioid] epidemic and profited from it through a web of illegal deceit.”

Updated at 9:27 a.m. ET

Job growth picked up for the 100th consecutive month in January even as hundreds of thousands of federal workers were furloughed during the partial government shutdown, the Labor Department said Friday.

Employers added 304,000 jobs last month — topping analysts' expectations and the 223,000 average monthly gain in 2018. The string of job growth underscores the long economic expansion since the Great Recession.

Excitement over the Super Bowl continues to mount here in New England, as the Patriots are set to battle the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night.

While playing in the Super Bowl is nothing new for the Pats, the ability for fans to place a legal wager on the game here in the region is new.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that a federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional.

And in New England — so far — sports betting is legal at a pair of casinos in Rhode Island: Twin River, in Lincoln; and Tiverton, just over the Massachusetts state line from Fall River.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

The partial shutdown of the government reduced federal spending by about $3 billion and cut into overall U.S. economic growth, according to a report released Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The report says that because of the shutdown, which lasted from Dec. 22 through last Friday, about $18 billion in discretionary government spending was delayed. Most of the money will be spent later, now that the shutdown has ended.

This Valentine's Day is going to be a little less sweet.

SweetHearts, the colorful, heart-shaped candies with sugary messages like "Kiss Me" and "My Love" will be scarce this year. If you're lucky enough to find them, they'll be from last year's batch.

Amazon's announcement, last year, that it is building a new headquarters in Queens, received mixed reactions.

Some were excited about the tens of thousands of jobs the tech juggernaut is promising to bring to the New York City borough. Others wonder if they will even get access to those jobs, and if the area's already overburdened infrastructure can handle the influx of population.

U.S. Department of Labor

The start of 2019 meant more workers around the region saw automatic increases to their minimum wages that were built into legislation – and it also meant new governors, like Ned Lamont in Connecticut. In his state of the state address, he addressed the fact that Connecticut’s been at $10.10 for a few years now, and he hopes to change that by moving the state’s minimum up to $15 an hour.

As the standoff between President Trump and Congress continues over funding for Trump's proposed border wall, the partial shutdown of the federal government means workers will go weeks without a paycheck. That has some looking for temporary jobs to pay their bills.

In Boise, Idaho, Chris Kirk says he's worked for the federal government for 19 years. He administers contracts for the hundreds of millions of dollars the U.S. Forest Service spends on fighting wildfires. But these days he's on furlough and looking for extra income.

Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s insurance industry has been taking stock of its year, and a new report says the state should still pride itself on being the insurance capital of the world.

Photo Courtesy of Yankee Magazine

 

New England cuisine is characterized by local farm-to-table producers, and each year Yankee Magazine scours our landscape to celebrate the best artisan New England products through the Editors’ Food Choice Awards.

Updated at 4:07 p.m. ET

The markets have been a mess, but companies are still hiring — a lot.

The economy ended the year by adding a much-stronger-than-expected 312,000 jobs in December — the biggest gain in 10 months, the Labor Department said Friday.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate jumped to 3.9 percent — the highest rate since August — as more people felt confident enough to quit their jobs and look for new ones.

Think about the last time you went to the supermarket. You probably spent no more than a few seconds choosing from all the different brands of toothpaste, frozen peas or oatmeal.

Those few seconds used to be the holy grail for brands, the moment you would get hooked forever on that Tide detergent or Heinz ketchup — an event referred to as "the first moment of truth." But lately, the moment of truth has moved to the Internet. What's more, ripples from the 2008 recession have changed us as shoppers.

More and more people have started saying: "I'm not a brand person."

Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Dannel Malloy faced many challenges in his eight year tenure. While the state budget crisis may have grabbed the headlines, other structural issues with Connecticut’s economy also consumed his attention. One of the biggest of these - the skills gap. 

The minimum wage is going up in four of the six New England states next year.

NPR's use of temporary employees has been in the news, prompting questions to the Ombudsman Office.

It's crunch time for getting packages delivered in time for Christmas, and companies like FedEx, UPS, the Postal Service and even Amazon are feeling the stress.

Online spending is expected to rise at least 15 percent over last year's record holiday season, according to Adobe Analytics.

Long before you click "buy" and type in that shipping address, most e-retailers have already anticipated your order.

In some cases, that item you just bought is already sitting in a nearby warehouse or fulfillment center and could be delivered in a couple of hours.

Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET Friday

The jobless rate remained at a nearly 50-year low of 3.7 percent in November as employers added 155,000 jobs, fewer than in October and less than expected by private analysts.

Meanwhile, wages grew 3.1 percent over the past 12 months, the same rate as in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Average earnings climbed to $27.35 an hour.

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