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In 2017, nearly 40,000 people died from gun violence in the U.S. according to the CDC.

Aswad Thomas is a survivor. A victim of a Hartford shooting outside a convenience store in 2009. He is also one of the people featured in the documentary The Sweetest Land, which looks at the epidemic of gun violence in the city of Hartford.

This hour, Thomas joins us along with the documentary’s director. What steps can local policymakers and public health take to effectively address gun violence? We take a closer look and we want to hear from you.

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

It's been nearly two months since Anthony Jose "Chulo" Vega Cruz died after being shot by a Wethersfield police officer. The shooting remains under investigation by the Hartford state's attorney's office. The 18-year-old would've graduated from Hartford Public Schools and Our Piece of the Pie's Opportunity Academy on Friday. In what was an emotional day for family, classmates, and faculty of the former student, the school took time to honor Vega Cruz. 

Actress and singer Doris Day made nearly three dozen films and more than 600 recordings. At the height of her career, she topped both the billboard and the box office charts. Day died of pneumonia on Monday at the age of 97.

Carlos Mejia / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Two recent police shootings in Connecticut highlight, once again, tensions between police and the public.

As lawmakers debate ways to hold police accountable, residents wrestle with trusting law enforcement. What issues need be addressed to mend relationships and build stronger communities?

This hour, we listen back to a conversation we hosted with community members at the Arroyo Recreation Center at Pope Park in Hartford.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The state’s attorney investigating the fatal Wethersfield, Conn. police shooting said she wants to go back to the beginning of the traffic stop and understand why police pulled over 18-year-old Anthony Jose “Chulo” Vega Cruz.

The Boston Celtics drafted John Havlicek in 1962, and he played for the team for 16 seasons — eight of them as NBA champions. He was voted one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.

Havlicek died Thursday in Jupiter, Fla., at age 79. The cause of death wasn't immediately available, but Boston media report he had Parkinson's disease.

The Celtics released a statement honoring Havlicek:

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

The option for terminally ill residents to choose when and how they they die isn’t coming to Connecticut this year.

The state Public Health committee did not hold a vote on a medical aid-in-dying bill Monday, which means it won’t advance by Wednesday’s legislative deadline.

Supporters of the proposal called the decision “beyond disappointing” while those who are against the idea say it’s a relief that the bill won’t go any further.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Only a small number of states have aid-in-dying or death-with-dignity laws that allow terminally ill patients to end their lives, and Connecticut supporters want that option, too. But opponents argue it could be dangerous, especially for people with disabilities.

Rep. Ezequiel Santiago Of Bridgeport Dies Of Heart Attack

Mar 15, 2019
Rep. Ezequiel Santiago
Connecticut House Democrats / Facebook

Rep. Ezequiel Santiago, D-Bridgeport, who began the 2019 session as the new co-chair of the Banks Committee after a decade in the General Assembly, died Friday morning after being stricken by an apparent heart attack, legislators said.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's been rough going here for the famous for a little while. This week, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced his stage four cancer diagnosis. Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver retired from public life because of his dementia diagnosis. And then there are the deaths: Actor Luke Perry at 52. The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint at 49. Actress Katherine Helmond at 89.

Also this hour: a look at Netflix's new not-exactly-the-X-Men, but-still-adapted-from-a-comic-book series, The Umbrella Academy.

Death first visited me on a Thursday.

I had a brown 'n' serve roll in my hand and a Vesuvius of buttered mashed potatoes on my plate. It was Thanksgiving and my 7th birthday, 1983.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

While the total number of people who died from any overdose in 2018 is slightly down from the year before, fentanyl showed up in more than 75 percent of deaths—making it more common than heroin.

Chion Wolf

Today, we remember Peter Tork of The Monkees. This show originally aired April 25, 2013.

John Lennon said they were the greatest comedy team since the Marx Brothers.

Gene Roddenberry based the look of the character Chekov on them. The Jimi Hendrix Experience got its first U.S. concert work as their opening act.  Their TV show generated the money that launched the movie career of Jack Nicholson.

A child died from influenza this week, becoming the first pediatric flu death in Connecticut this season.

Officials from the state Department of Public Health announced the child’s death in a statement Friday while stressing the importance of vaccinating children against influenza.

Updated at 10 p.m. ET

The man who served in the U.S. Congress longer than anyone else in history has died.

John Dingell, a Democrat who represented Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives starting in 1955 until January 2015, died Thursday at the age of 92, his wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, confirmed. John Dingell served for 59 years in Congress and cast more than 21,000 roll call votes. He was undefeated in 30 elections.

Former president George H.W. Bush was remembered by his grandson as gracious, decent and humble, as he received his final public memorial ceremony at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston on Thursday. The funeral came after several days of remembrance in the nation's capital.

Bush died last week at the age of 94. He will be buried in a private ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

Publicdomainpictures.net

The death of a pet can be devastating --yet when you lose an animal companion--you’re sometimes expected to “just get over it.”  This hour, we talk about human attachment to pets. Have you experienced the death of a beloved animal? How comfortable were you talking about your grief with others?

George Herbert Walker Bush died late Friday. For many in the community surrounding Walker's Point in Kennebunkport, Maine, the former president was much more than the leader of the free world — he was their beloved friend and neighbor.

Pixabay

The death of a pet can be a devastating emotional experience. Yet from the outside, we often don’t view someone losing a pet to be on the same level of loss as the death of a human friend or relative.

On Tuesday, December 4, Where We Live will explore the emotional impact of the death of pets.

Kathrine Holte

The repeated incidents of mass shootings are shocking. Yet, they're sanitized and abstract for most of us who haven't been directly touched by gun violence.

The response to mass shootings has become predictable: anguished adults, candlelight vigils, and photos and remembrances of the victims in happier times. It's never about the carnage or the lingering impact on survivors or their families, communities,  medical doctors, nurses and psychiatrists who care for them. 

Pixabay

We all regret and we should not regret that we regret.  I regret buying that pair of pink sneakers that I'll never wear. I can't take the sneakers back but I can call the brother that I regret not speaking to for several months. 

Updated 4:35 p.m. ET on Friday

The Borderline Bar & Grill could be counted on for a good time.

Updated 2:00 p.m. ET

A large crowd of Jewish and non-Jewish mourners gathered Tuesday under a vaulted white ceiling, tall chandeliers and stained glass windows inside Pittsburgh's Rodef Shalom to honor Cecil and David Rosenthal. At 59 and 54, the brothers were two of the youngest victims and are among the first of the 11 victims of the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue to be laid to rest.

Updated at 7:15 a.m. ET

An Indonesian airliner carrying 189 passengers and crew has crashed into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff from Jakarta. The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation confirms it has found the wreckage of the Lion Air jet — a Boeing 737 Max 8 that was delivered to the company in August.

Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

Paul Allen, who co-founded tech giant Microsoft with Bill Gates, died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Seattle on Monday. He was 65 years old.

Allen's death was announced in a statement released by his investment firm, Vulcan.

The late Sen. John McCain was honored by family, friends and high-profile politicians at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, following days of public memorials in Arizona and Washington, D.C.

Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush were among those paying tribute during the 2 1/2-hour funeral service, offering touching — and sometimes humorous — personal anecdotes about their time spent with McCain.

McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, also delivered a heartfelt eulogy.

Aretha Franklin returned to her hometown church today.

The Queen of Soul died on August 16 from pancreatic cancer. For the past few days, fans gathered to pay their respects at Detroit's Charles H. Wright's Museum of African-American History. But today, long lines gathered outside New Bethel Baptist Church where Franklin's late father was the pastor for many years and where she sang in the choir. Franklin, dressed in a pink dress and gold studded heels, lay in repose in the church sanctuary.

Ben Davol, right, was Senator John McCain's Connecticut director during the 2000 Republican presidential primary.
Courtesy Ben Davol

As tributes to Senator John McCain pour in, the Connecticut director for McCain's 2000 presidential campaign remembers his nearly lifelong interest in the late senator.

Arizona senator and former Republican presidential nominee John McCain died Saturday at the age of 81.

McCain leaves behind his wife of more than three decades, Cindy; seven children, including three from his first marriage, to Carol Shepp; and his 106-year-old mother, Roberta McCain.

Aretha Franklin: The 'Fresh Air' Interview

Aug 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin was more than a woman, more than a diva and more than an entertainer. Aretha Franklin was an American institution. Aretha Franklin died Thursday in her home city of Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. Her death was confirmed by her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. She was 76.

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