Tag Archives: WFSB

Hartford Area Non-Profits Celebrate WFSB’s Haney

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scottyscot1The estimate is that since he arrived on the Connecticut scene in 1998, WFSB meteorologist and show host Scot Haney has either emceed and/or served as auctioneer at over 1,500 non-profit fundraisers, golf tournaments and galas.

His celebrity presence is a sure draw and the dozens of non-profits that have him on the program know it and are grateful. On Tuesday, the organizations joined together to surprise Haney onscot2 his 50th birthday and to say thank-you for his volunteer efforts.

“I am in shock, I don’t even know what to say,” said Haney as his eyes filled tears when he realized the luncheon was not the business meeting he had expected, but rather a room full of agency and organization heads who wanted to fete the guy who has helped them raise money for the past 15 years.

Nearly every major non-profit from the area from Nutmeg Big Brother Big Sisters, Fidelco Guide scot3Dog Foundation and the Bridge, to Foodshare, The Intensive Education Academy and the Petit Family Foundation was represented at the luncheon held at Max Downtown.

“He never asks for anything,” said St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church pastor Father Tom Gallagher, who explained Haney serves each year as the auctioneer for the annual church golf tournament. “He comes in quietly, he gets loud and gets the job done and then leaves quietly.”

“He knows the need out there,” said Sister Helen Dowd of the Intensive Education Academy. “And he steps up to help.”

Besides an interesting assortment ofmugs and tee shirts form the agencies and organizations, Haney was also presented proclamations from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and U.S. Sen. Dick Blumenthal.

A Party In The House For House and Interval House

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house (5)He’s really more like 50 and 1/4 now but another WFSB personality celebrated his big “5 0” with a belated birthday bash also aimed at helping others.

Anchor and “Face the State” moderator Dennis House, who actually hit the half century mark in December, had a party at Hartford City Hall last week to benefit Interval House, which provides assistance to victims of domestic abuse.

“We raised about $12,000,” said House about the party that attracted a slew of current and former tv people including Fox Ct’s Al Terzi and a who’s who of politicians like Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, gubernatorial wanna-bes including Sen. Toni Boucher and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Joe Visconti, and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and business leaders including  Courant publisher Nancy Meyer.

A Birthday Party For WFSB’s Scot Haney

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scotcakeLots of special birthdays the past week and we plan to get to all of them but first, let’s tune in to  WFSB personality Scot Haney’s Saturday night bash at Glastonbury Hills Country Club.

Intended to be a fundraiser for the Channel 3 Kids Camp, the night, dubbed “Party Like It’s 1964″  was also a special one for the birthday boy (who turns 50 on March 27) for a couple of reasons.

Two of his favorite people were there,  his mom, Marlene,  and his “ex,” Bushnell guy Paul Martescot10

“I really am so blessed and so humbled,” said Haney as he juggled greetings from well-wishers, co-workers and fans seeking pictures with the popular meteorologist and show host.

“He wasn’t due until April but came a month early,” Marlene Haney explained.

And how wonderful a child was he?

“He was good when he was sleeping,” she joked.

Marte dashed out of his own gig at the Bushnell “Ovations” gala as soon as he could,  arriving atscot11 the party just before dinner. Marte joined Scot and the family which also included brothers Rick and Jeff  at the head table for the evening. The festivities also included a “roast” of the popular personality and an auction led by WDRC personality and a fellow birthday boy, Brad Davis who flew up from Florida to attend. But we’ll get to his 80th birthday story later!

And while the party was an altruistic event, we just had to ask Haney if there was something he would like for his birthday.

“I want to make more time to relax and more time for family and I’d like to find somebody,”he said.

And as far as a cake?

“I want strawberry shortcake,” he said. “It’s my favorite.”








‘Rudat’ Is Now ‘Lee,’ Change-Ups At WFSB

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rudatRemember tv personality Brandon Rudat who left NBC Connecticut a few years ago for the West Coast?

Well, he’s had a few gigs since then including one in Atlanta, and has now landed in Arizona with a new job and a new name.

According to TV Spy, Rudat is now at KTVK in Phoenix where he has taken the name, Brandon Lee.

According to the report, Lee is Brandon’s middle name and he has taken the new moniker “to honor his adopted family and keep a promise to his adopted father David Lee.”

Speaking of changes, WFSB has done some switching up when it comes to one of its weekendkimlucey reporters.

Former weekend anchor Tina Martin is now working four days a week in the early evening and 11 p.m. news while Kim Lucey has been moved over to the weekend morning anchor desk.

Food/Wine And The Grapevine At Mohegan Sun WineFest

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winefest5Oh yes, there was fine food ranging from cilantro Gremolata skirt steak and smoked lamb belly bacon  to fried chicken and lamb bourguignon,  and fine wines from Francis Coppola, J Lohr, Moet and Signorello at the 11th annual Mohegan Sun WineFest .

And there were celebrity chefs who were more like celebrity couples this year, with the well-known cooking personalities showing off their significant others at the three-day food and winefest1wine extravaganza.

Among the well-known peeps to see at Saturday’s sold-out Celebrity Chef Dine Around were Food Network’s Robert Irvine and wife Gail Kim (aka wrestler and fitness model La Felina), pastry chef and Sandra Bullock sis Gisine Bullock-Prado and husband, Ray Prado, and Terrance Brennan and girlfriend, Judy Lipton.

“This is a great event,” said Irvine. “It is one of my favorites and the people at Mohegan make it so easy for us,” said the “Restaurant: Impossible” host who was serving up Hudson Valley duck with preserved confit and py lentils.

Thewinefest2 (2) casino was more than hopping as crowds headed to ballroom and VIP areas for bourbon tastings, grand tastings, the dine around  and elite cru tastings, all providing the chance to break the dreaded winter cabin fever and get out of the frigid cold.

“It certainly is nicer in here,” said celebrity chef Donatella Arpaia, one of the event veterans who not only provided a cooking demonstration but also served up her signature meatballs at the dine around later in the day. “I think I have been part of this for eight or nine years and it’s one of the better ones I do participate in,” said Arpaia, one of several of the celebrity chefs who are veterans of the annual food and dining extravaganza.

Among the many celebrity chefs at the event were Kim Canteenwalla, who had a secret to share, He is planning a restaurant in West Hartford.

“We are still working on it but I have always wanted a place there,” said Cateenwalla, well-winefest3 (2)known for developing food and beverage venues at five-star resorts and co-founder of Blau & Associates.  His wife, Elizabeth Blau, hails from West Hartford, but that was all Cateenwalla wanted to share.

“It will be an American cuisine-themed restaurant but I can’t say anything else yet,” he grinned as he went back to preparing his charred octopus with roasted fingerling potatoes.

A not-so-secret secret making the grapevine was that very outgoing WFSB personality Scot Haney is turning 50 soon and is planning a very public celebration.

Haney is holding a birthday party on March 1 at Glastonbury Hills Country Club where he will turn twinefest12he landmark birthday into a fundraiser for the Chanel 3 kids Camp.

Among the special guests at the event will be WDRC radio personality Brad Davis who coincidentally, is also celebrating a landmark birthday around the same time. Davis will be in Florida celebrating his 80th birthday but plans to fly back for an overnighter to help Haney raise money for the good cause.

And speaking of radio personalities,  WTIC 96.5 FM radio personality Gary Craig was doing a bit of glowing at the dine around and it had nothing to do with the hundreds of wines being served.

It was apparently because he made the “pool.”

See Craig, who seriously dabbles in art and acting when not on the air, appears in the blockbuster “American Hustle” with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale.

And while his spoken lines are on the editing room floor, his appearance as a mobster in a bar scene is intact and he found out he is eligible for residuals when the Oscar-nominated film goes DVD.

“Make sure you watch the bar scene when you see the movie,” he advised. “You can’t miss me.”



LaBarbera Becomes Mrs. Dufour

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dufour (2)Here are some more sneak peek pix of that New Year’s Eve wedding starring  former WFSB traffic reporter and now WTNH traffic reporter/ show host  Teresa LaBarbera, now know as Teresa Dufour .

She married All-Star business owner Brandon Dufour at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury. Once the “I dos” were done, it was on to the  black tie wedding reception with a 2013/2014 party vibe thrown in for good measure.

And among the long list of tv personalities at the bash, that included one awesome snowball photo 3fight at Waterbury’s Palace Theater, were WTNH’s Anne Craig and Gil Simmons, NBC Connecticut’s Darren Sweeney, WFSBers Jill Konopka, Irene O’Connor, Hena Daniels  and former WFSBers Jessica Schnieder and Heather Hegedus.

More pix here.

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LaBarbera/Dufour Wedding Pix Coming In

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dufour (2)

Looks like the New Year’s Eve wedding oftb4 former WFSB and now WTNH traffic reporter etc. Teresa LaBarbera came off without a hitch  and with a lot of fun and good wishes.

LaBarbera is now officially Teresa tb2Dufour, taking the last name of new hubby Brandon Dufour. Here’s a quick look at some of the pictures posted so far!

And if it seemed some of the regulars were missing on your television station newscasts Tuesday night, it was probably because they were at the wedding and then the reception at the Palace Theater. The guest list included many local television personalities from several different stations!


2013. What A Java Year It Was!

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goodspeed5stage501capgrill1It’s a day of change, one year ends and the new calendar begins and for Java, 2013 was one packed with anniversary celebrations, new babies, power weddings, celebrity visits, new places to eat and old ones that closed and media comings and goings that kept the buzz factor high.

Anniversaries (and the celebratory galas that marked most of them) were the big news as some of the area’s most prominent arts venues and non-profits celebrated noteworthy milestones. Among them, the Goodspeed, CPTV and Hartford Stage marked “gold” with 50th anniversaries. Hartford Symphony Orchestra marked its 70th year while Mercy Housing celebrated its 30th and Infinity Hall (which opens a second location in Hartford in the spring) celebrates its fifth anniversary. When it came to eating, Carbone’s, an iconic landmark in Hartford’s South End marked its 75th anniversary and downtown’s Bin 228 marked 10 years in the business.

Speaking of food, the anxiously awaited Capital Grille arrived in Hartford and Salute’s Jimmy Cosgrove was named restaurateur of the year by the CT Restaurant Association. Manolo Blahnik execs George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis opened their chic Arethusa al Tavolo eatery in Bantam and Chris Prosperi moved his Metro Bis restaurant into the historic 1820 House in Simsbury. Dan Keller and Billy Carbone added to their dining dynasty, opening Sorella across the street from their DISH restaurant in downtown Hartford while West Hartford’s Dorjan Puka, well-known owner/chef, opened a second restaurant, Avert, just around the corner from his TREVA rsilo (2)estaurant there.

Gary Santorso of Silo restaurant family fame got back in the business after a brief hiatus, opening his own place, 150 Central in Bristol’s Forestville Center.

Well-known eateries, Rainforest Café at Westfarms Mall and Prospect Café in West Hartford closed, as did Mortensen’s, the family friendly haven on the Berlin Turnpike. Carmen Vacalebre also closed his Carmen Anthony’s Fishhouse on the turnpike.

Wedding bells were loud and impressive with some power couples hooking up during the year. Hartford Public Library’s President/CEO and Hartford Board of Education chairman Matt Poland and Cigna exec Jeff Capelle said “they did” at a ceremony at the Wadsworth Atheneum. The Hartford residence of wedding guests Gov. Dannel P. and Cathy Malloy served as the backdrop for the nuptials of former legislative heavyweight and now deputy OPM secretary for criminal justicelawlor (2), Mike Lawlor and David Zakur, as well as that of former Malloy political advisor Roy Occhiogrosso and Meagan Cowell.

Also saying “I do” in 2013 were FoxCT’s Rachel Frank and Laurie Perez and WTIC 96.5 FM radio’s Damon Scott.

And hours before a new year begins, WTNH personality Teresa LaBarbera plans to tie the knot with Brandon Dufour.

Babies made the news when Dr. William Petit and wife, Christine Petit, welcomed new son William Petit III into the world. WTNH anchor Anne Craig and her husband also welcomed a baby daughter while FoxCT’s  Rachel Lutzker and her husband welcomed a new son.

Tallison-demers-feat[1]here were lots of comings and goings on radio and TV during the year. Among them, WTNH’s Sonia Baghdady left that station as did Jamie Muro. WFSB’s Olessa Stepanova headed to Boston while former NBC CT/WVIT General Manager Dave Doebler headed to Chicago. WDRC FM’s Jerry Kristafer was shown the door but walked through another at WJMJ. WDRC AM’s Mary Jones retired and WRCH’s Allison Demers also left the business. Veteran radio personalities stepped up. Mary Scanlon joined WRCH and Kim Zachary joined WDRC. WCCC had a bit of a ruckus during the year with a change in music format and an unwilling departure by Mike Picozzi.

Truthhe stars hone bright in the area, the biggest and shiniest being Prince Harry’s spring trip to Greenwich where he played polo and hobnobbed with VIP guests at the Greenwich Polo Club. Project Runway’s Mondo Guerra, supermodel Kathy Ireland, sports greats Tim Wakefield and Tony Dorsett, and others including Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Justin Bieber, Jillian Michaels, Tabatha Coffey, Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen King, Jimmie Johnson, Nick Cannon and Steve Carell were all out and about the Hartford area, with some doing special guest shots at Bristol’s ESPN.

king1Hill-stead Museum’s Sue Sturtevant left the executive director’s job there and was replaced by Susan Ballek. Rob Ruggiero officially took over as producing artistic director at Theaterworks, while at Mark Twain House & Museum, Cindy Lovell took over as the new executive director. At the Bushnell, Mike Fresher left his COO job to take a post in San Antonio.

Connecticut had a couple of ‘beauty and brains’ firsts. West Hartford native Ashley Wilson became the state’s first Playboy centerfold in 2013.  Miss Connecticut, accountant and Glastonbury resident Erin Brady was crowned Miss Connecticut and went on to win the Miss USA pageant, a first for a Connecticut contestant. She represented the country at the Miss Universe pageant in Russia a few weeks ago, placing in the top 10 in the international competition.Erin Brady poses at a news conference after being crowned Miss USA 2013 in Las Vegas

When it came to reality shows, Connecticut did okay in 2013. The New Haven-based 3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra did the state proud as it advanced on the “America’s Got Talent.” And East Hartford’s Ashlee Feliciano was equally impressive as one of contenders on “American Idol.”

Savage Takes Over For WDRC Jones, Nalepa For WFSB Stepanova

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savageAs the year ends, some more changes in faces and voices on local tv and radio.

WDRC-AM ”TALK of Connecticut ” afternoon slot will be filled  with the popular syndicated program, “Michael Savage’s Savage Nation.” Savage’s program will air 3 to 6 p.m. daily, the time slot that had been filled by Mary Jones and her show.  Jones retired from the station last week.

Savage announced in the fall that his  top-rated show was moving from the evening to the  prime afternoon-drive slot beginning in January.

“Savage’s move to prime time allows us to give The TALK of Connecticut’s many Savage fans their “Champion of the Right” at a more convenient time,” said WDRC program director Grahame Winters.

And on tv, a new traffic reporter at WFSB.

Nicole Nalepa, who was an anchor/reporter at WWLP in Springfield, has taken over the morning chores of former traffic and features reporter Olessa Stepanova. Stepanova left last week for a new job at WCVB in Boston.