The Road To Perfection

With a decisive 69-54 win over the Texas A&M Aggies in their NCAA Elite 8 game at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in the Lincoln Regional Monday night, the UConn women’s basketball team (38-0) is two games away from a perfect season. A win over Stanford in the national semi-final in Nashville Sunday night would send [...]

UConn Women Beat BYU In Sweet 16

The UConn women defeated the BYU Cougars, 70-51, before a packed house at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska, in an NCAA Sweet 16 game in the Lincoln Regional. Stefanie Dolson was given the assignment to guard BYU’s 6’7″ center, Jennifer Hamson.  After a tight first half, with eight lead changes and three ties, [...]

Troops Welcomed Home

Three Connecticut National Guard units were officially welcomed home in a Freedom Salute Ceremony at the Governor William A. O’Neill Armory in Hartford Tuesday night. Troops with the 143rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, the 1048th Transportation Company, and detachments with the 2-104th Aviation Regiment, were recognized for their service and sacrifice for their country. Friends [...]

New Conference, Old Champions

After winning 18 Big East titles, the UConn women steamrolled their way through the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship tournament this past weekend at the Mohegan Sun Arena with three decisive wins in as many days, going 34-0 on the season. They defeated Cincinnati 72-42, Rutgers 83-57, and Louisville 72-52. To read John Altavilla’s tournament [...]

UConn Seniors Swan Song

On Saturday, UConn All Americans and fan favorites Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley were honored at Senior Day ceremonies before a packed house at Gampel Pavilion on the Storrs campus. Each player was escorted into the arena by their parents to thunderous applause and cheering by the faithful fans and students.  Hartley, grinning from ear [...]

Mondays at Milano

On the second Monday of the month, Milano Salon & Day Spa in Bloomfield offers free services to women undergoing treatment for cancer with a program called Mondays at Milano.  The project, created by a non-profit called Cut Out Cancer, was inspired by the award-winning documentary, Mondays at Racine, about a similar program at a [...]

Puppy Love

Jessica and Tom Catropa, of Monroe, were among a group of several families gathered in a commuter parking lot in Danbury on Saturday as the Rescue Road Trips transport truck arrived, carrying several dozen rescue dogs from Texas.  The Catropas were waiting to meet Chloe, a 5-month-old lab mix. Her adoption was arranged through L.A.B. [...]

Feeling The Heat

As an antidote to winter’s cold, Bikram yoga offers a warm alternative.  Developed by Bikram Choudhury, the technique is sometime referred to as “hot” yoga since it is practiced in a studio heated to 105 degrees. On a recent visit to the Bikram Yoga studio in Middletown, practitioners worked through Bikram’s 26 poses and two [...]

A Place of Remembrance

On a recent visit to Memphis, Tennessee, to cover a UConn women’s basketball game, I took time to visit the National Civil Rights Museum, the site of the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot to death on April 4, 1968. The Lorraine is undergoing a renovation and access to the [...]

Learning Hip-Hop

Students at Charter Oak International Academy in West Hartford, are learning about hip-hop culture, dance, music and urban art.  Austin Dailey, CEO of Red Supreme Productions, a DJ and dance entertainment business, has been teaching hip-hop dance moves during gym classes this week.  The school is using grant funding for the program, titled Move It! [...]

Elvis Lives

During a recent visit to Memphis, Tennessee, to cover a UConn women’s basketball game, I had time to make a visit to Graceland, the iconic residence of the late Elvis Presley, the King of Rock ‘n Roll. I created a photo essay during my tour through the mansion using the Instagram filter and offer it [...]

Cold Weather Care

Melissa Greenbacker can’t take a day off because of arctic-like temperatures.  She has 20 calves to take care of at Greenbacker Farm in Durham.  At 7:00 a.m., as the sun is just peeking over the horizon, Greenbacker dresses in layers and heads out into frigid 5-degree weather to care for her young charges who live [...]

Huskies Vanquish Knights

The UConn women’s basketball team added another game to the win column when they visited the University of Central Florida Knights at UCF Arena in Orlando, Florida, on New Years Day.  In UConn’s second game playing in the new American Athletic Conference, they moved into the Knight’s house, with a large Husky fan section in [...]

Holy Land Cross Rises Again

A new 57-foot cross was lifted into place Friday afternoon atop Pine Hill, the site of the former Holy Land, U.S.A.,  in Waterbury, replacing a similar one that marked the religious attraction for many years. The new cross, which will be illuminated with 5,000 LED bulbs in a lighting ceremony Sunday evening, will be visible [...]

Pistapaug Mountain Trail

The Pistapaug Mountain trail leads hikers on a moderate climb to the top of the 700-foot mountain, a traprock ridge in Durham.  Once on top, views of Pistapaug Pond unfold below with rolling hills and farmland dotted with red barns visible on the other side.  The trail is maintained by the Connecticut Forest & Park [...]

Sugar Plum Dream

In 2004, former Courant photographer John Long produced a picture page on Gabrielle Collins, of West Hartford, who was a young dancer studying at the Ballet Theatre Company Academy.  Collins, 8 1/2 at the time, was rehearsing for her role as a mouse in the Academy’s production of “The Nutcracker.”  Long’s photos captured the young [...]

Anita Schorr, Holocaust Survivor

Anita Schorr, 83, of Westport, is a Holocaust survivor.  On Tuesday, she visited Vinal Technical High School in Middletown, to share her story.  Born in Czechoslovakia, she is the only member of her family to have survived the Nazi’s attempt to obliterate the Jews.  At age 13, she was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp and [...]

End Of An Era

The Kogut family has farmed at Hemlock HIll Christmas Tree Farm in Somers for 27 years, developing a loyal clientele of families who make cutting their Christmas tree there an annual tradition.  The Koguts will close the farm for good at the end of the season when the lease on the 60-acre spread expires.  It’s [...]

Idyllic I-Park

I-Park is an artist’s retreat nestled on 450 wooded acres in East Haddam where artists can go for four-week residencies to create in peaceful seclusion.  Six artists are chosen by jury for each residency, including writers, visual artists, musicians, sculptors, architects and landscape designers.  Artists live in the park’s main house and work in assigned [...]

Destiny Africa Children’s Choir

Destiny Africa Children’s Choir gave a sneak peek of their upbeat show in two short performances at Nayaug Elementary School in Glastonbury Tuesday, previewing what to expect when the choir, from the Kampala Children’s Centre in Uganda, performs a free 90 minute concert at Glastonbury High School on Friday, December 6 at 6:30. The choir [...]

A Soldier’s Surprise

Marine Lance Cpl. Dan Coppinger-Donovan surprised his siblings, Mary Barden, 11, a sixth-grader, and Charles Barden, 9, a fourth-grader, at the Ann Antolini Elementary School’s 13th annual Veteran’s Day celebration Friday morning. Coppinger-Donovan had been serving in the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean for several months and hadn’t seen his family since leaving home on [...]

Tune-Up For The New Season

The defending national champion UConn women’s basketball team dispatched  Philadelphia University with a lopsided score of 93-28 in a fast-paced exhibition game at the XL Center Tuesday night.  It was the second of two pre-season games in which UConn easily rolled over lesser opponents before the new season gets underway on Saturday when they meet [...]

Ohhhhh and 7

Bright sun and warm temperatures notwithstanding, the Huskies performance at UCF in Orlando on Saturday was anything but warm and sunny.  More like a pre-Halloween scare fest.  They suffered another blowout as the UCF Knights skewered them, 62-17 at Bright House Networks Stadium.  For the gory details, see Dez Conner’s account here. With five games [...]

Dances With Fire

  Chelsey Cayer and Jackie LaMattina are fire dancers who perform under the name, Wick’d Fire. They joined forces in 2010 after discovering they had a mutual interest in the ancient art of fire dancing.  Cayer, a stay-at-home mom who runs a craft business from her Mansfield home, and LaMattina, who works by day as [...]