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environment

Bridge Tender Mike Dorsey runs through the controls of the Grand Avenue Swing Bridge in New Haven. "People don't usually look up here," Dorsey said. "They just ride right through not even knowing that we're up here."
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

When a boat needs to pass under a low bridge on a river, that bridge needs to move out of the way. A drawbridge lifts up so a boat can pass under. A swing bridge pivots out of the way so a boat can pass by. But these decades-old bridges don’t operate on their own. They rely on a small group of “bridge tenders” who specialize in a peculiar and slow-moving job.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

A proposal from the city of New Britain to convert a large, protected watershed into a rock quarry for the mining company Tilcon has been withdrawn.

Adam Metallo / Smithsonian Institution

They can weigh over a hundred tons, live their entire lives underwater, and some even hunt using sound through a method known as echolocation. Yet, whales are also complex social creatures who share much in common with humans.

This hour we talk with paleontologist Nick Pyenson about why he has dedicated his life to studying whales, or as he puts it, “Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures.” Pyenson’s new book, Spying on Whales, takes readers on a scientific quest to understand the evolutionary journey of whales from dog-sized land mammals to the ocean giants of today.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A dreaded part of Interstate 84 running through Waterbury, which is notorious for bottlenecks and traffic jams, enters a new, bigger, chapter this week.

What You Need To Know About K2

Aug 20, 2018
Diane Orson / Connecticut Public Radio

New Haven, Connecticut was the site of more than 100 overdoses last week -- drawing national attention to the city and to a synthetic drug known as K2.

But what exactly is this drug? And how did it wind up in the hands of so many here in Connecticut? This hour, an addiction psychiatrist from Silver Hill Hospital joins us to answer our questions.

Seth Eastman

Researchers at UConn are teaming up with local history groups to create a state “Blue Trail.” The idea is to build an interactive outdoor museum on Connecticut’s coast, that’s accessible through your phone.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Sophie Zezula, 10, unveiled her “Snow Straw” at a Ridgefield invention convention five months before American cities began outlawing plastic straws and five months before lawmakers in other Connecticut towns like Hamden and Stonington revealed that they were pondering a ban.

Courtesy Connecticut DOT

Repair work on a century-old bridge in Norwalk has dug up something even older: the remains of a 17th-century American Indian trading fort.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

State officials say they’ll fight a White House proposal to loosen pollution standards for new vehicles. Many leaders are fearful the Republican idea will put federal mandates ahead of state law.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission / Creative Commons

The owner of the Millstone nuclear plant is praising a state decision it says could let it sell its electricity more competitively.

possan / Creative Commons

A Republican member of Congress is introducing a bill he says will patch up crumbling infrastructure, while also fighting climate change. It’s called a carbon tax. The idea centers around putting a price on pollution and funnelling money collected back into roads and bridges across America.

Wikimedia Commons

The planet Mars will swing really close to Earth Friday night, making our neighbor’s bright red-orange light outshine Jupiter’s in the night sky.

U.S. Fuel Cell

A new report offers New England states a roadmap for creating a future transportation system that is cleaner and more accessible.

Lux Machina / Creative Commons

A legal battle continues over a legislative move sweeping $165 million from energy efficiency programs into the state’s general fund. A federal judge is expected to decide whether that move was constitutional.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

In Connecticut, a debate is underway about what to do with a protected stretch of watershed land between a public drinking water supply and an old stone quarry.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Stonington could be one of the first American towns to ban the use of plastic straws.

The town’s board of selectmen has put together a committee to explore how to implement a ban on plastic straws and single-use plastic bags. Stonington first selectman Rob Simmons said the committee will be established next week and then within 90 days, he’s expecting the town to ditch the plastics.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The town of Stonington is considering a move to ban all single-use plastic bags and straws. It wouldn’t be the first Connecticut town to contemplate bagging the bag -- Greenwich recently passed a ban and Westport did away with them years ago.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said he welcomes the resignation of Scott Pruitt, who headed up the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

More and more ticks in Connecticut are testing positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It’s a trend the head of the state’s tick-testing lab doesn’t see abating.

Photo by Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The trees are dense, the path is narrow, and everywhere, there’s the sound of water. I hike to a clearing and hear a waterfall dashing against rocks below, sending clouds of mist wafting over my trail. This is my first stop on a journey down New England’s southernmost “wild and scenic” river, the Eightmile.

Betsy Kaplan / WNPR

In 1955, Connecticut experienced catastrophic flooding that killed more than eighty people. Two back-to-back hurricanes  - Connie and Diane - dropped over two feet of rain across Connecticut. The rains overwhelmed the Naugatuck, Farmington, and Quinebaug Rivers and their tributaries too quickly for many to escape its wrath. After the flood, Connecticut enacted flood control measures that led to several new dams. 

woodleywonderworks / Creative Commons

A last-minute budget move criticized as a “hidden tax” on electric and gas utility customers goes into effect next week. It will take more than $75 million in energy efficiency money collected from consumers and, instead, sweep that money into the state’s general fund.

pixabay

Despite First Amendment protections separating the press from unchecked presidential power, President Trump is pushing limits beyond any president before him.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Offshore wind energy got a big boost this week, when Connecticut officials announced the state’s first-ever procurement of the renewable resource. The move is part of larger offshore wind acquisition, which also involves Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

vladdythephotogeek / Creative Commons

Officials in Connecticut and New York are praising a federal court decision, which says the Environmental Protection Agency needs to do more to control air pollution.

Lori Mack / CT Public Radio

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are assessing the damage caused by multiple tornadoes and storms that hit Connecticut last month. Two people died and more than 120,000 homes and businesses lost power.

Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC)

Amid the high-profile deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain came news of a new CDC report outlining a rise in U.S. suicide rates. This hour, we take an in-depth look at the numbers with Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Plus: On the heels of last month’s violent storms, we hear about efforts underway to restore one of the state’s most damaged -- and beloved -- outdoor areas: Sleeping Giant State Park.

And finally: In search of a good ol' non-fiction murder mystery? Or, better yet, one with a Connecticut twist? Look no further than New London’s The Day. A little later, reporter Karen Florin and digital news director Carlos Virgen take us behind the scenes of the newspaper's new crime podcast, Case Unsolved. Have you been listening?

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

State officials are appealing to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, for help recovering from a May 15 storm, which caused widespread damage in Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven counties.

billandkent / Creative Commons

Mosquito season has begun -- and state officials say they’re on the lookout for two viruses that can get people sick: West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis. Meanwhile, another mosquito-borne illness, the Zika-virus, is yet to be acquired in the state.

Zaian / Wikimedia Commons

For months, Cape Town, South Africa was on the brink of disaster. After severe droughts, the city warned that “Day Zero” was coming--the day the city would run out of water entirely. Now, the date for Day Zero, originally predicted to be in April or May 2018, has been pushed indefinitely to 2019.

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