New Guy At WFSB

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zimmiAnother tv change alert! New guy coming to WFSB!

Ohio native Mark Zinni will be co-anchoring  the 5:30p.m. news with Denise D’Ascenzo. 

In the announcement by news director Dana Neves Thursday,  Zinni will also  “report during the day, and introduce folks to some different and interesting topics around Connecticut,” apparently also taking over some of the duties being left behind by departing reporter Kate Rayner.  


Zinni may not be from these parts but is well-acquainted with New England.   He’s worked in nearby Providence, Salt Lake City and is leaving an anchor position in Cleveland to come to WFSB.  He has won several AP Awards for reporting in both Ohio and New England, according to Neves, and is involved with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Care Alliance Health Center, AIDS Care Ocean State, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the Animal Protective League of Cleveland and the East Bay Coalition for the Homeless in Rhode Island. 


His  first day at WFSB is October 1.

Best Pizza In Ct Goes Beyond New Haven

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pepes1 (2)As a CT pizza fan, the norm is the best is in New Haven.

Not anymore according to a list of “101 Best Pizzas in America” list released by The Daily Meal.

While the usual Pepe’s  ( white clam#1)  and Sally’s (tomato pie #5) in The Elm City are, of course, still at the top of the list, you might be surprised at some new additions not only in New Haven but in the unexpected towns of Derby and Stamford.

For the complete list go here.

More TV Changes, This Time WFSB

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rayner (2)Morning news team reporter Kate Rayner is leaving WFSB.

News director Dana Neves confirmed Tuesday that Rayner  will leave the station in mid-September.

Before coming to WFSB, Kate worked as the South Carolina Bureau Chief for WJBF News Channel 6 in Augusta, Georgia.

Neves said a replacement will be named in the next few days.

TV Changes At CT Stations

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Former Connecticut tv personality Kathryn Hauser has left News 12 Connecticut to join Boston CBS owned station WBZ.

“Kathryn is an outstanding journalist with deep connections to the New England region, and will be a great addition to the ‘BZ News team,” said Mark Lund, president and GM of WBZ.

Hauser worked at the Connecticut station since 2009.

Alison Morris has left her anchor seat at FOX CT.alison_morris

She joined the Connecticut station in 2010.

And Jeff Valin, who was seen on FOX CT, WTNH and NBC Connecticut, has moved on to Ohio where he is weekend anchor at WBNS-10 in Columbus.

What’s “The Best” According To CT Mag

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Courtesy of Connecticut Magazine

It’s that time of year again, and we’re not talking “unofficial end of summer” or “back to school and the regular work grind” time. But rather Connecticut Magazine’s 17th annual “Best Of” issue, the one where editors (with some reader input) rate the best places to eat, play and shop.

If you are in the Hartford area or don’t mind a bit of drive, lucky you! You have lots of “best of” choices to savor.

Let’s start by shopping!

Hartford’s own Stackpole Moore Tryon Tuesdaysstackpole was named best when it came to “Women’s Wear” while Lux Bond & Green, with several locations in the area, was judged “Best Fine Jewelry.”

West Hartford’s Kimberly Boutique was voted “Best Casual Jewelry.”

In the “Fun and Leisure” category, Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park in Portland was judged  “Best Action Park” and Crocodile Cove at Lake Compounce in Bristol  “Best Water Park.”

“Best Beer Garden” went to East Side Restaurant in New Britain, with On20 in Hartford named the “Best Draft Cocktail” award. And speaking of drinks, City Steam in Hartford was deemed “Best Happy Hour”  while Vinted in West Hartford was named  “Best Wine Bar.”

Middletown’s Oddfellows Playhouse garnered the “Best Children’s Theater” award with “The Kate” in Old Saybook named best small concert venue. Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford was named “Best Large Concert Venue.”

woodntapIn the “Food and Drink” category, Plan B with locations in West Hartford and beyond was named “Best Burger” and “Sweet Maria’s ” in Waterbury “Best Cake.” Rein’s in Vernon was named “Best Deli” and Dottie’s Diner in Waterbury and Woodbury “Best Doughnuts.” (watch for A La Carte online and in the Courant to read about those award-winning doughnuts and beyond!)

Doogies in Newington was named “Best Hot Dog” and in the “Best Ice Cream” category it was Arethusa Dairyarethusa11 Farm in Litchfield.

Wood ‘n Tap, with several locations including Hartford, was tapped  as having the “Best Nachos”  and Sixpence Pie company with locations in Southington and New Haven named, what else but “Best Pie.”  Bartaco, with several locations including one in West Hartford, grabbed the “Best Tacos” award and as far as “Best Wings,”  it was “J. Timothy’s in Plainville.

The “Best Consignment Furniture” went to Middlebury Consignment with RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison named as “Best Independent Bookstore.”

Over the Moon in Avon won “Best Kids Boutique” and when it came to “Best Toys,” the award went to Kiddly Winks in Canton.

shrineMohegan Sun and Foxwoods split awards in the “Casinos ” category with Foxwoods being named “Best Fine Dining” for its Paragon Restaurant.” Foxwoods Grand Theater was named  “Best Large Entertainment Venue” and its Shrine named  “Best Nightclub”

Mohegan Sun took the “Best Small Entertainment Venue” with its Cabaret Theater and “Best Shopping”  at its The Shops at Mohegan Sun.

For the complete list go here.



Infinity Music Hall & Bistro Cuts The Ribbon In Hartford

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infin1Not since, well, since who knows when,  has there been such an anticipated happening in Hartford as there was Thursday when the long awaited Infinity Music Hall & Bistro held it official ribbon cutting.
Considered the crown jewel of the Front Street development project, it was one happy crowd that turned lunchtime into a happy hour at the impressive theater and restaurant,  all anxious to get a sneak peek of the place  and celebrate the opening of what is expected to be one the city’s biggest draws.
“I’m thankful and excited and it’s another win for Hartford,” said a beaming Hartfordinfin3 Mayor Pedro Segarra as he worked a room full of business leaders, politicians including Gov. Dan Malloy and U.S. Congressman John Larson, theater officials including CEO and owner Dan Hincks and Front Street neighbors including Matt Fleury from the CT Science Center and Riverfront Recapture CEO/president Joe Marfuggi.
For Helen Nitkin, who with her late husband Brad and their Greenwich-based  HB Nitkin Group, launched the Front Street entertainment and restaurant district, Thursday’s ceremonies were bittersweet.
infini8“I just wish he were here to see this,” said Nitkin, sporting a special ring and watch, gifts her late husband gave her and piece she only wears when she comes to Front Street.  “He would be so happy to see how this all came together.”
If pride could be measured, Hincks would surely be the winner as he graciously gave guests a tour of the impressive 500-seat theater that 90-seat bistro, did television interviews and juggled hundreds of handshakes and congratulations from well-wishers .
“I have two daughters and this feels like my third,” grinned Hincks, who opened his first Infinity Hall in Norfolk several years ago.
Acknowledging that  many feel it will be up to the theater to attract the crowds to Front Street, Hincks said his plan is to simply do the best job her can. “We want to succeed and I think Hartford is ready for it,” Hincks said. “We’ll draw the people with good quality talent and performances and our neighbors will benefit.”
Featured entertainer at the ribbon cutting ceremonies was Jonathan Edwards, best known for his 1972 hit, “Sunshine.” A regular headliner at the Norfolk location, Edwards said he was thrilled to be at the Hartford party. “I’d cheat on Norfolk and perform here too,” he grinned. “It’s a beautiful theater.”




Another Precious Summer Weekend Hartford, Make It Count!

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Darn it, the summer is almost gone and as kids get ready to head back to school and adults get readycalendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1] for the annual goodbye to kicking back a bit, we have only  a few summer weekends to savor.

Begin the weekend Thursday, Aug. 21 with Creative Cocktails at Real Art Ways.

The monthly Happy Hour this month includes dance lessons, art, food, beverages and Ice Cream Dream and Little Gem Cantine food trucks. The Creative Cocktail Hour goes from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information go here.

Did we mention the kids are going back to school soon? Depending on your personal feelings, it could be a time of celebration. Connecticut Science Center has it  covered with its the 4th annual Back 2 School Bash on Saturday and Sunday, August 23 and 24.

Back2SchoolBash_Slider[1]Meet and greet Mr. Potato Head and have fun with Radio Disneyfor Pirate and Princess: The Power of Doing Good, as well as Jake the Pirate and Sofia the Princess themed music, activities and prizes. There will be arts & crafts, face painting, live science and tons of kids’ entertainment.There will also a Wild About Balloons Magic Show and a special appearance by Dora the Explorer. For more information go here.

It’s Hot Air Balloon Festival time again  in Plainville this weekend. The festival, sponsored by theballs Plainville Fire Company, opens Friday at Norton Park with an arts and crafts fair, food booths, entertainment and of course a  balloon night glow followed by a fireworks show at dusk. Get up early and head over to the park at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23  and Sunday, Aug. 24  for the early morning balloon take-offs and the rest of the festival events. For more information go here.

Katharine-Hepburn-Cultural-Arts-Center[1]Hard to believe but it has been five years since the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center opened in Old Saybrook. On Saturday, Aug. 23, the center will celebrate with its annual Summer Gala beginning at  5:30 p.m. The gala will include live entertainment, outdoor cocktails, dinner catered by Max Catering, dancing  and auctions. For more information go here.

And fair time is up and running all over the state and this weekend you can head to Terryville, Chester or Brooklyn to enjoy the best a good old fashioned fair has to offer. For more information go here. cow

For foodies, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is showing off the area’s best cooking talent at its second annual  Chef’s Challenge on Aug. 24

The competition, which will be held at Cheney Hall, features six chefs from local restaurants and businesses. They include Shawn Bittman of A Villa Louisa, Dotti Cannon of Brown Sugar Catering, Tony Sousa of Hartford Road Caf?, Tim Sheffield of Waterview Cafe at Manchester Country Club, Llord Tilley of The Main Pub and defending champion Corey Wry of CW’s Chops ‘N’ Catch. For more information  go here.

And speaking of food, eat out and help a good cause on Sunday, Aug. 24 from 5 to 10 p.m. Dine at Sorella, Salute or Vito’s By the Park that evening and the restaurants will donate 10 percent of the proceeds to the Bushnell Park Foundation  and its efforts to restore the Spanish American War Memorial there. For more information go here.