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Puerto Rico

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Carlos Giusti / Associated Press

Connecticut has released more funding to help evacuees from Puerto Rico -- but the state isn’t recommending that people call 211 to connect with the aid.

The state is making $75,000 available to help evacuees with housing costs. It comes after a recent string of earthquakes on the island that led to an uptick in people coming to Connecticut.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

This November, 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in the 2020 election, making them the largest minority voting bloc in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center. But Latinos are a diverse electorate—with roots from more than two dozen countries. 

This hour, what are President Trump and the Democrats doing right now to reach these voters?

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The state is setting aside money for Puerto Ricans arriving in Connecticut after being displaced from the island by natural disasters.

Carlos Giusti / AP Photo

The impact of the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico is now being felt in Connecticut -- at least when it comes to helping those who had to leave the island.

Weeks after a powerful earthquake and dozens of aftershocks rocked Puerto Rico, citizens whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the quakes will be granted access to some financial relief, officials announced on Thursday.

President Trump "declared that a major disaster exists" in the southern regions of Puerto Rico and "ordered Federal assistance to supplement Commonwealth and local recovery efforts," the White House said in a statement.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s Department of Education said it’s ready to help school districts take in Puerto Rican students evacuated from the island because of recent earthquakes.

Carlos Giusti / AP Photo

President Donald Trump has signed an emergency declaration so that Puerto Rico can receive federal help after a series of earthquakes devastated parts of the island. That gives the U.S. government’s Federal Emergency Management Agency the OK to move onto the island and coordinate a public assistance effort.

Carlos Giusti / Associated Press

The island of Puerto Rico remains in a state of emergency as it recovers from a string of earthquakes that have rattled the island in recent days. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake centered near Puerto Rico’s southern coast caused major damage in the early hours of Tuesday morning. 

Nobody knows exactly how many fighting roosters there are in Puerto Rico. The breeders who raise them for cockfights say at least half a million. Two hundred and fifty of those live in neatly lined cages in José Torres' backyard in the mountain town of Utuado, and should the police show up to take them when cockfighting is banned at the end of this year, he has no plans to give them up.

Steven Senne / Associated Press

Two years after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, the response to the crisis on the U.S. mainland is only now coming into focus. 

National Hurricane Center / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

As another major storm approaches Puerto Rico, the people on the island are still thinking of when Hurricane Maria made landfall there in 2017.

As the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, prepares to leave office Friday in the face of massive public protest against his administration, the island's political leaders are scrambling to decide who should replace him.

Rosselló, who was ensnared in a scandal over the publication of leaked e-mails in which he and other government officials disparaged women and gay people, as well as victims of Hurricane Maria, said he would resign at 5 p.m. August 2.

Puerto Rican evacuee Rita Rivera addressed reporters inside the Catholic Charities, Institute For The Hispanic Family in Hartford Tuesday July 30, 2019 about problems evacuees face nearly two years after Hurricane Maria leveled Puerto Rico.
Jade Allen / Connecticut Public Radio

Money that almost went back to the state is now in the hands of survivors of Hurricane Maria.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Members of the Puerto Rican community in Connecticut are glued to the drama unfolding daily on the island, as protest leads to change in Puerto Rico's government.

Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo / Associated Press

After more than a week of mass protests, Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rosselló says he will step down. This hour, we ask: what happens next?

We hear the latest from on the ground in Puerto Rico, and talk with Connecticut residents with ties to the island. 

Did you participate in the #RickyRenuncia protests?

Updated at 2:05 a.m. ET

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation amid a scandal over sexist, homophobic and otherwise offensive text messages he and his inner circle exchanged. The leaked texts set off mass demonstrations and widespread calls for his departure.

"I was willing to face any challenge, fully understanding that I would prevail against any accusation or process," Rosselló, a Democrat who was elected in 2016, said late Wednesday.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

For almost two weeks now, Puerto Ricans have taken to the streets of San Juan to call for the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello. He was already a controversial figure in the wake of Hurricane Maria, but a recent leak of private messages sent between members of his administration has sparked a massive response that’s now reaching far beyond the island.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Puerto Ricans are vowing to continue their protests of the island’s leadership until one major demand is met.

U.S. authorities have unsealed a corruption indictment against two former top officials in Puerto Rico for directing some $15.5 million in contracts to favored businesses, allegedly edging out other firms for the lucrative government work despite allegations of being unqualified.

The two former Puerto Rico leaders — Julia Keleher, who was the secretary of the island's department of education before stepping down in April, and Ángela Ávila-Marrero, who led Puerto Rico's Health Insurance Administration until last month — were arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The United States Senate has passed legislation that would provide Puerto Rico with more disaster relief money. But its ultimate passage has been delayed.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Federal legislators are fighting over additional disaster aid for Puerto Rico.

There are few things Democrats and Republicans in Congress usually agree on, but one of them is rushing federal money to victims of natural disasters.

That sentiment crumbled this week when the Senate failed to advance two separate disaster funding bills. Both included bipartisan funding to help relieve damage across the country from flooding, wildfires, tornadoes and hurricanes. But a fight over assistance for Puerto Rico has derailed getting a deal on the entire package.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut lawmakers want Congress to send more disaster relief dollars to Puerto Rico.

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

A new education bill seeks to add African-American studies to the social studies curriculum in Connecticut public schools. High school students testifying before the legislature this week said loud and clear that Black history is more than just Rosa Parks, slavery and civil rights.

César Díaz felt lucky that only a couple of leaks had sprung in his ceiling, even though Hurricane Maria tore the zinc panels off much of his roof. His real troubles began about a year after the storm, when a crew hired by Puerto Rico's housing department showed up to make the repairs.

"They weren't very professional," Díaz said. "They didn't wear gloves, and they asked if I had an extra piece of wood."

Within days, there were new leaks. Not only in the living room but in the bedroom, over his daughter's crib.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A new federal report says Connecticut experienced one of the largest year-to-year percentage increases in homelessness. But state officials and advocates say Hurricane Maria had a major impact on those numbers.

Jason D. Neely

It began as a six-month assignment covering the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. But NPR reporter Adrian Florido has been on the ground in Puerto Rico for more than a year now.

This hour, we check in with Florido. What changes has he observed since arriving on the island?

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Researchers in Puerto Rico say hurricanes Irma and María made long-lasting and ongoing impacts to forest and coastal ecosystems.

Officials in Puerto Rico have been saying for months that they are prepared should another hurricane strike their island, even one as big as Hurricane Maria, which made landfall with devastating fury last fall.

But on Tuesday afternoon, an attorney for Puerto Rico's government admitted in a San Juan courtroom that, in fact, the island's emergency management agency does not yet have a document outlining a hurricane-specific response plan.

When he gets a text message from Alex Cora, Joseamid Rodriguez is all goosebumps. He pulls out his phone to show a recent text exchange with the Red Sox manager, in which Rodriguez congratulates Cora for clinching a spot in the playoffs, then pulls up his arm to prove he gets goosebumps.

“He’s a person who always answers our texts, and it makes you feel so proud,” he says. “When a friend writes who now has such a high position as manager of the Red Sox — my hairs are standing right now!”

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