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Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

When Gov. Ned Lamont got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week, he asked local leaders to go to communities of color and tell them to “step up and do the right thing.”

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

A hedge fund will purchase the parent company of Connecticut’s Hartford Courant, the nation’s oldest continuously published newspaper.

Alden Global Capital is poised to take complete ownership of Tribune Publishing and most of its subsidiaries, including the Courant, New York Daily News and Chicago Tribune. The deal will not become official until shareholders agree to the purchase.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

An overwhelming number of people signed up to testify Tuesday during what was expected to be a contentious public hearing on school vaccination requirements -- so many that lawmakers, by a majority vote, decided to cap the duration of the virtual hearing at 24 hours.

The limit was criticized by several Republican members of the state Public Health Committee, as well as those who testified throughout the day. 

Chris Lewis
Creative Commons

As municipalities across Connecticut continue to cut expenses to accommodate pandemic-related burdens, many are calling on the state legislature to provide much-needed assistance -- assistance they say has been owing for some time. 

Morrowlong / Creative Commons

The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, founded by actor Paul Newman in the 1980s, gives seriously ill children a chance to have some fun and build lasting happy memories. This past weekend, a fire devastated the camp. 

New Variant Of COVID Detected In Connecticut

Feb 15, 2021
Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

Connecticut’s first confirmed case of a relatively rare and more contagious variant of COVID-19 originally detected in South Africa involves a Fairfield County resident with no recent history of travel, state officials said Monday.

Connecticut Budget Debate Heats Up Quickly Over Equity

Feb 14, 2021
Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

Urban Democratic lawmakers attacked Gov. Ned Lamont’s new budget proposal Thursday, charging the two-year package does little to nothing to reverse long-standing gaps in education, health care and economic opportunity.

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.

Registries Of Disabled People Debated In Connecticut Police Reform Talks

Feb 14, 2021
Jessica Hill / Associated Press

Victoria Mitchell wishes police would have had the full picture of her son’s struggles with mental illness and reacted differently before an officer shot and killed him last year in Ansonia, Connecticut.

5317367 / Pixabay

Plumbers and electricians are essential workers with well-paying jobs.  And yet skilled trades face worker shortages and struggle to recruit young people.

This hour, we take a look at vocational education. We talk with a teacher and a student from one of Connecticut’s technical high schools.

And we ask a national expert: what can the Biden administration do to build up a new generation of tradespeople?

David Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont this week announced he’ll end an executive order that had extended civil immunity to Connecticut nursing homes and long-term care facilities during the pandemic.

The Governor’s Council on Climate Change has issued a lengthy report that contains 61 recommendations for both mitigating and adapting to climate change. Above, homes along the shoreline in Branford get swamped during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Jan Ellen Spiegel

As part of his commitment to address climate change, Gov. Ned Lamont will file legislation this week to expand the role of the Connecticut Green Bank to include financing for climate resilience and adaptation projects. It is the main component of a climate change bill that expands a few financing options for undertaking climate resilience work without stressing the state’s overall budget.

A memorial takes shape on a telephone pole near the site where 26-year-old Yale forestry graduate student Kevin Jiang was shot and killed in the Goatville section of New Haven’s East Rock neighborhood.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The shooting death of a Yale University graduate student is being highlighted by New Haven officials as part of a recent rash of gun violence in the city.

State To Close Only 'Supermax' Prison, Northern Correctional Institution

Feb 8, 2021
Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

Northern Correctional Institution, the state’s controversial “supermax” prison located in Somers, will close by July 1, the Department of Correction announced to its staff on Monday.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Connecticut has so far administered nearly half a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to eligible residents and workers, but emerging data on the vaccine rollout in individual towns and cities indicate early signs of inequity.

It’s why local health providers, community advocates and leaders are working together to identify residents who are being missed, particularly people in underserved populations within larger cities. In Hartford, collaborators are undertaking more targeted approaches to vaccine education, messaging and accessibility. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

New state data revealing town-by-town COVID-19 vaccination coverage shows that the rollout in some areas of Connecticut is happening at a faster rate than in others.

The preliminary numbers confirm what some public health experts and health equity advocates have suspected all along, which is that vulnerable and underserved communities, including Black and brown neighborhoods already suffering high infection and mortality rates, are at risk of falling through the cracks. 

Michael Jackson

Avant-garde jazz trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith has been named a 2021 United States Artists Fellow. United States Artists is a national arts funding organization based in Chicago.

Alan Light / Creative Commons

Colin interviewed Hal Holbrook on February 3, 2015, in advance of Holbrook's performance of Mark Twain Tonight in Hartford on his 90th birthday on February 17, 2015. Colin wrote at the time that Holbrook was one of the most remarkable people he's encountered of all the remarkable people he's interviewed over the years.

Holbrook was so passionate and fun to speak with that Colin never got to ask him all the many questions about the love of his life, his difficult childhood, or his time spent at Suffield Academy. He hoped for a second interview.

Holbrook died on January 23. This hour, we reair our 2015 interview with him.

Lamont Put A Quiet Freeze On New Judges. It’s About To Thaw.

Feb 1, 2021
Gov. Ned Lamont makes point at a press conference outside the Capitol in October.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Gov. Ned Lamont, who has demonstrated little interest in the political nuances, benefits and occasional hazards entailed in appointing judges, is preparing to make his first class of nominations to a trial court system that has an unprecedented number of vacancies.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Several public health proposals are making a comeback to the legislative arena this year, including a couple that have sparked significant controversy in past sessions.

The COVID-19 pandemic cut short the 2020 legislative session. Lawmakers managed only a few weeks of committee meetings and a handful of public hearings before the Capitol was shut down in late March.

More than half of all people in Connecticut who died from COVID-19 in the first wave of the disease lived in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Advocates for the elderly want to know whether someone should be held accountable for those deaths -- so they’re asking Gov. Ned Lamont to stop shielding the homes from legal action.

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As the original guitarist for the British Invasion group The Animals, Hilton Valentine will probably be best remembered for the now-iconic arpeggiated opening riff from their 1964 hit “The House of the Rising Sun.” But Valentine was a lot more than that one moment. As a guitar player and composer, he was comfortable playing folk, skiffle, rhythm and blues and, of course, rock ’n’ roll music over his long career.

Elizabeth Norman

Venture Smith was enslaved when he was just a boy. He was eventually able to buy his freedom and the freedom of his family. His iconic story of will, perseverance and strength, is central to Connecticut’s history.

This hour, we dive into to the biography of Venture Smith and the history of slavery here in Connecticut.  

CT-N (Screengrab)

On Thursday, a legislative committee took up the permanent appointment for acting Connecticut Department of Correction Commissioner Angel Quiros.

Access Health CT

Nearly 1 million people in Connecticut chose health insurance plans for 2021 through Access Health CT, the state’s Affordable Care Act marketplace, new data show.

That includes a year-over-year uptick in the number of people eligible for low-income insurance programs under HUSKY Health. Experts say some of that was likely driven by the pandemic. 

Stacy Fields, a registered nurse with Yale New Haven Health and health chair at the Greater New Haven NAACP, talks to people in the community about getting a flu vaccine through Yale's School of Medicine's Community Health Care Van, Fri., Dec. 11, 2020.
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Health providers and hospitals at this time of year would typically see rising numbers of patients coming in with fever, cough, sore throat and body aches -- classic symptoms of the flu.

“In a bad year, hundreds by this time,” said Keith Grant, director of infection prevention at Hartford HealthCare.

But this is far from a normal year. 

Westport is one of the nation’s wealthiest towns, with mansions like this one overlooking Long Island Sound.
Jacqueline Rabe Thomas / CTMirror.org

Connecticut’s tax fairness debate took another leap forward recently when the Senate’s highest-ranking Democrat proposed new taxes on high-value homes and on the capital gains of the state’s highest earners.

Dave Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

From living rooms and Zoom rooms, Connecticut watched as Joe Biden was sworn in Wednesday as America’s 46th president.

Sate Capitol
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

As dignitaries filed into their seats for President Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., roughly a dozen people affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement in Connecticut marched to the front of the state Capitol in Hartford.

Hartford Police

Some are looking at the 2021 legislative session in Connecticut as an opportunity to turn back major police reform adopted last year in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer.

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