Hartford Region | Connecticut Public Radio
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Hartford Region

Our Hartford Region coverage includes stories about all the towns in the Greater Hartford area, ranging from Granby, Suffield and Enfield to Southington, Rocky Hill and Glastonbury.

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Illustrator Norman Rockwell was 16 years old when Mark Twain died, and while the two artists never met, they do share some fundamental similarities.  Now, the illustrator and writer will share an exhibit at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford.  American Storytellers: Norman Rockwell and Mark Twain opens today.  We're joined by Mark Twain House Chief Curator, Patti Philippon.

DMahendra, Creative Commons

Today, Long Island Congressman, Peter King, holds a hearing called "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response."

As chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, King says he wants to look into the threat of homegrown terrorism and its ties to Islam.

Casey Serin

On the day Illinois is expected to abolish the death  penalty, Connecticut lawmakers are grappling with the same question.

Democrats in this state who want to repeal the law allowing executions feel this is their year - with a Governor who says he’ll sign a “prospective” law.  But many people from both parties want to keep the punishment as a tool for prosecutors.

Flickr Creative Commons, stevendepolo

We can put a man on the moon. Why can't we make our roads look less like the moon?

Dodd Takes Hollywood

Mar 3, 2011
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Earlier this week, retired US Senator, Chris Dodd, came out of his 8 week retirement.  We talk to the Connecticut Mirror's Deirdre Shesgreen about Dodd's new gig.

Photo by Mira Hartford via Flicker Creative Commons

Looks like if you have overdue -- the wrong kind of "outstanding" --  parking tickets in Hartford, this could be your chance. From the press release it sounds like you’ll be able to pay the ticket but not the related fees. Release is below.

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HARTFORD ANNOUNCES PARKING TICKETAMNESTY PROGRAM
—NEWS ADVISORY FOR FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25—
4:00 p.m. — Mayor Segarra and the Hartford Parking Authority will announce a Parking Ticket Amnesty Program for the month of March.

Flickr Creative Commons, Tim Green aka atoach

A recent round of questions about conflicts of interest in the U.S. Supreme Court may place all three branches of government on a collision course.

Emerging Adults

Feb 28, 2011
archie4oz, creative commons

Step aside “quarter life crisis” -  there’s a new term for 20-somethings in that transition phase of their lives.  He calls it “emerging adulthood”

Dr. Jeffrey Arnett claims that in the past half century, the experience of people aged 18 to 29 has changed dramatically - at least in some societies.

Most young people now postpone marriage and parenthood until at least their late twenties, and spend their late teens through their mid-20s in self-focused exploration, trying out different possibilities in love and work.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra's decision earlier this week to intervene in the board of education's search for a superintendent continues to reverberate.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.

Chion Wolf Photo

One day after Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra upended the search for a school superintendent at the last minute possible, the chairman of the city's board of education sat down with WNPR and expressed his displeasure.

David MacDonald became chairman of the Hartford board of education just last week.  He said he was disappointed in Segarra's call on Tuesday for a national search.  MacDonald says that Segarra's concerns about the transparency of the search for a new superintendent showed great disrespect.

Debate Over Busway Heats Up

Feb 23, 2011
Capitol Region Council of Governments

Connecticut’s Transportation Committee is considering a proposal to take funds designated for a New Britain to Hartford bus project and spend it on reinvigorating train service from Waterbury to Hartford. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

The “busway” project, as it’s known, is designed to reduce the congestion on Interstate 84 by building a separate 9.4 mile road just for busses. There would be elevated platforms, similar to a train station with service every three to six minutes during peak commuter hours.

Flickr Creative Commons, Sam Howzit

Until recently, I didn't understand the degree to which Connecticut jury selection process -- called the voir dire -- differs from those of other states.

Gun Control

Feb 22, 2011
westside shooter / Creative Commons

It’s been a little more than a month since the shooting of a congresswoman made the nation stop and really think about how it talks about guns.  Well, that didn’t last long.

Here’s a case in point:  When New Haven Mayor John DeStefano announced that he's laying off some city employees, including police, it prompted protests by officers. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Hartford board of education is scheduled to meet Tuesday to pick a successor to Superintendent Steven Adamowski, who is leaving after this year.  But there's some concern in the community that the process was flawed.  The district’s spokesman has been advocating for one of the two candidates to take Adamowski’s place.

You might know the name Elizabeth Horton Sheff.  She's the Sheff in Sheff vs. O'Neill, the landmark school desegregation case in Hartford.

Chion Wolf, WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy unveiled his new two year budget yesterday.  The $19.7 budget for 2012 seeks to close a $3.2 billion deficit through tax hikes, spending cuts, and 2 billion dollars in union concessions.  

Chion Wolf/WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy presented his plan to close the state’s $3.2 billion budget gap to a joint session of the state legislature today. 

Budget Day

Feb 16, 2011
Chion Wolf, WNPR

Budget day at the Connecticut capitol used to be like Christmas morning…you were never sure what you’d be getting.

Sure, like with Santa Claus you had a pretty good idea.  I mean you’d been dropping hints for months.  But, the final budget presented by the governor always included a hint of surprise.

Chris McClane, Creative Commons

Connecticut transportation is in crisis on the ground and in the skies.

The Northeast corridor has the nation’s busiest airspace and Metro-North’s New Haven Line the most commuter traffic in the U.S. But thanks to relentless winter weather and continued delay of the MTA’s new M8 train cars, more than half of Metro North’s New Haven line trains are out of service.  The result is a  decrease in service and plenty of livid commuters. 

Chion Wolf/WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra took over last summer after Eddie Perez was found guilty of corruption and resigned his office. Now Segarra is running for mayor, and he says Perez’s political allies are targeting him. Segarra appeared on WNPR’s Where We Live with John Dankosky. He suggested that efforts by at least one of his opponents, State Representative Kelvin Roldan, have the feel of Perez politics.

The Mayor of Hartford

Feb 10, 2011
Chion Wolf

Hartford’s new mayor is dealing with piles of snow, a hole in the budget, and the everyday problems of running a city. 

Pedro Segarra took over when Eddie Perez stepped down amidst corruption charges.  At the time, he said he wasn’t planning to run for Mayor again. 

But now he is and he’s facing challengers for that job, already.

He’s also looking at a budget deficit of $40 million dollars next year.  Yesterday he got some good news from Governor Malloy about education grants from the state.  But there’s still a long way to go to fill the budget hole.

Harriet Jones

Connecticut has around 5,000 manufacturing companies. You may be picturing Pratt & Whitney or Electric Boat, but of course the vast majority of manufacturers are small businesses. WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at the challenges facing those firms in a shrinking industry.

It’s a typically busy day on the shop floor at Prestige Manufacturing in Milford. Ken Dugan has run this business for 27 years.

The 2000 election illustrated the weirdness of our presidential voting system in several different dimensions. 

Front Street in Court

Feb 8, 2011
Jeff Cohen/WNPR

The retail development known as Front Street in Hartford is finally built and looking for tenants.  But the project took years to materialize, and now it's in court.

Front Street is a publicly-subsidized development that was geared to attract area people to downtown Hartford and the adjacent Connecticut Convention Center.  Here’s how George Royster puts it. He's an attorney for the state:

“Because people coming to Hartford with no place to go would not be likely to return to the convention center or the hotel if they had no entertainment or retail or places to eat.”

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is taking the city's schools superintendent to task for issuing a series of bonuses to district employees. Segarra says he understands the bonuses total about $2.7 million -- a figure that seemed to frustrated the mayor of this cash-strapped city. In a letter to Superintendent Steven Adamowski, Segarra said he wants to know why these bonuses were issued, what criteria was used in a awarding them, and who approved them.

Flickr Creative Commons, dickuhne

There's a kind of madness overtaking us.

Will New Jobs Save Connecticut's Budget?

Feb 1, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, smemon87

Flickr Creative Commons, stevendepolo

Twenty or 30 years ago there was a Doonesbury strip featuring the president of Walden College and a rich uncle pennybags donor who wanted to give the college a new gym or fieldhouse. And the president tried, gently and awkwardly, to nudge the rich man toward the idea of a new African American Studies Center which the college actually needed. The last frame was the rich guy in full tantrum mode, fists clenched, screaming "I WANNA DONATE A GYM!"

A census on domestic violence services offered in Connecticut shows the need for them has grown in the last year.  

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