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A Helping Hand

2015-08-06 - Hartford, Ct. - Saying later that she did not seem to be aware of the active fire scene, Hartford Police Department officer Vinnie Marfella helps a woman (who asked not to be identified) cross Franklin after she passed a police line and walked down a sidewalk adjacent to a burning building. Officer Marfella stopped her before she got too close to the three-story building housing residences, a bodega and a tailor. Firefighters were warned to stay away from the front of the building for fear of collapse. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mirko@courant.com

2015-08-06 – Hartford, Ct. – Saying later that she did not seem to be aware of the active fire scene, Hartford Police Department officer Vinnie Marfella helps a woman (who asked not to be identified) cross Franklin after she passed a police line and walked down a sidewalk adjacent to a burning building. Officer Marfella stopped her before she got too close to the three-story building housing residences, a bodega and a tailor. Firefighters were warned to stay away from the front of the building for fear of collapse. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mirko@courant.com

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The Sorceress

07.18.2015 - Hartford, Ct.  - Julia Frederick dresses for her role as The Sorceress during a rehearsal of "Swan Lake" in the Hartford studio of Albano Ballet Company. Frederick, 70, is being cast in the role traditionally given to men. The Albano Ballet Company's Summer Dance will be performed August 3rd at Mohegan Sun; a performance that will include "Ishtar" and "The Minister's Black Veil." Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

07.18.2015 – Hartford, Ct. – Julia Frederick dresses for her role as The Sorceress during a rehearsal of “Swan Lake” in the Hartford studio of Albano Ballet Company. Frederick, 70, is being cast in the role traditionally given to men. The Albano Ballet Company’s Summer Dance will be performed August 6 at Mohegan Sun; a performance that will include “Ishtar” and “The Minister’s Black Veil.” Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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K-9 Day Afternoon

07.25.2015 - Mansfield, Ct.  - Ray Oullette of the New Britain Police Department hoists his dog "Pup" over a log while slogging through a water-filled pit in The Connecticut K-9 Olympics. Now in it's 24th year, the competition includes K-9 units from local and state police departments and Department of Corrections. Money raised goes to the Hometown Foundation, "CHIPS" Program, and Shriners Children's Burn Centers. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mark@markmirko.com

07.25.2015 – Mansfield, Ct. – Ray Oullette of the New Britain Police Department hoists his dog “Pup” over a log while slogging through a water-filled pit in The Connecticut K-9 Olympics. Now in it’s 24th year, the competition includes K-9 units from local and state police departments and Department of Corrections. Money raised goes to the Hometown Foundation, “CHIPS” Program, and Shriners Children’s Burn Centers. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mark@markmirko.com

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Boomin’

07.04.2015 - Willimantic, Ct. - Replicating "Washington Crossing the Delaware" by artist Emanuel Leutze, Steven Sweeney, dressed as a sword-wielding George Washington, stands in the middle of a boat pulled on a trailer during the Boom Box Parade in Willimantic. The Boom Box parade is an annual July 4th tradition for Willimantic started in 1986, after a marching band could not be found for Windham's Memorial Day Parade. Local radio station WILI plays music on the air, while people march and watch, playing their radios. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

07.04.2015 – Willimantic, Ct. – Replicating “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by artist Emanuel Leutze, Steven Sweeney, dressed as a sword-wielding George Washington, stands in the middle of a boat pulled on a trailer during the Boom Box Parade in Willimantic. The Boom Box parade is an annual July 4th tradition for Willimantic started in 1986, after a marching band could not be found for Windham’s Memorial Day Parade. Local radio station WILI plays music on the air, while people march and watch, playing their radios. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Blue Skies, Bluegills

05.08.2015 - Stafford, Ct.  -  Cameron Ravetto, 4, fishes with his grandfather James Ravetto on Staffordville Lake. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

05.08.2015 – Stafford, Ct. – Cameron Ravetto, 4, fishes with his grandfather James Ravetto on Staffordville Lake. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Main Frames

05.08.2015 - Stafford, Ct.  -  With the first outdoor show for Arts on Main starting tonight, Lisa Zelonka of Three Graces Vintage hangs an exhibit by Ohio photographer James Pilbeam in her shop. In addition to Main Street business hosting art shows for tonight's event, the blues band One Eyed Johnny & The Gravediggers is scheduled to appear in Stafford's Haymarket square. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

05.08.2015 – Stafford, Ct. – With the first outdoor show for Arts on Main starting tonight, Lisa Zelonka of Three Graces Vintage hangs an exhibit by Ohio photographer James Pilbeam in her shop. In addition to Main Street business hosting art shows for tonight’s event, the blues band One Eyed Johnny & The Gravediggers is scheduled to appear in Stafford’s Haymarket square. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Human Service

05.06.2015 - Hartford, Ct. - Proclaiming, “Arrest me, I don’t care,” 68-year-old Heddy Castelano sits outside the chambers of the Connecticut House of Representatives expressing her frustration with proposed budget cuts to the Department of Developmental Services. Moments earlier, Barter ordered Castelano and over 100 others gathered outside the chambers, relocate as the House came to session. Castelano’s daughter, Jessica, is 40-years-old, developmentally delayed and suffers from a seizure disorder. And has been on a DDS waiting list for residential services for 23-years. Castelano came to the capitol today, with hundreds of others, to gathering outside of the Hall of the House to show support for people with disabilities, mental health issues and poverty. "We're here to facilitate people participating in the process. Not deprive them of their rights," said Barter. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

05.06.2015 – Hartford, Ct. – Proclaiming, “Arrest me, I don’t care,” 68-year-old Heddy Castelano sits outside the chambers of the Connecticut House of Representatives expressing her frustration with proposed budget cuts to the Department of Developmental Services. Moments earlier, Barter ordered Castelano and over 100 others gathered outside the chambers, relocate as the House came to session. Castelano’s daughter, Jessica, is 40-years-old, developmentally delayed and suffers from a seizure disorder. And has been on a DDS waiting list for residential services for 23-years. Castelano came to the capitol today, with hundreds of others, to gathering outside of the Hall of the House to show support for people with disabilities, mental health issues and poverty. “We’re here to facilitate people participating in the process. Not deprive them of their rights,” said Barter. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Dynasty – Ten Titles

For the past three weeks or so, I’ve been holed up trying to edit more than 20 years of photographs of the UConn women’s basketball team for a book on the 10 NCAA Championships they’ve won. A daunting task in many ways since we were limited to about 10-12 pages per chapter. Daunting, too, given the reality of how technology has changed from their first victory against Tennessee in 1995, when our photographers were still shooting film, to this year when Cloe Poisson and Michael McAndrews covered them during each round digitally shooting both stills and video to try to satisfy the enormous appetite of our readers online, in print and through social media.

My how times have changed.

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Minneapolis, MN 4.2.1995 UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma has enjoyed the ride that led to his first national championship. His players hoist him perfectly on their shoulders and carry him off the court. Photo by Brad Clift / The Hartford Courant

To view more photos and history of the UConn women’s basketball team click the View More link:

Passages from the Hartford Courant’s book,“Dynasty: UConn Women’s Ten-Title Season”, were used in each chapter here were written by John Altavilla, Hartford Courant UConn women’s basketball beat reporter.

To purchase the book go to this pre-order page:

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High Jumpers

03.31.2015 - Tolland, Ct.  - Tolland High School high jumpers Austin Enman (l-r), Devin Shelton and Wade Allen drill during practice. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

03.31.2015 – Tolland, Ct. – Tolland High School high jumpers Austin Enman (l-r), Devin Shelton and Wade Allen drill during practice. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Out on a Limb

03.11.2015 - Bloomfield, Ct.  - "Work with me here, I'm trying to help you," said Vincent Boyce, a City of Hartford gardener, as he tried to coax a kitten from a tree in Elizabeth Park. The kitten was one of three apparently abandoned cats that found by walkers Wednesday afternoon in the western edge of the park. Boyce was unable to get the kitten out of the tree, walker Nina Sakun of Hartford took home one of the cats. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

03.11.2015 – Bloomfield, Ct. – “Work with me here, I’m trying to help you,” said Vincent Boyce, a City of Hartford gardener, while trying to coax a kitten from a tree in Elizabeth Park. The kitten was one of three apparently abandoned cats found by walkers Wednesday afternoon in the western edge of the park. Walker Nina Sakun took one of the kittens home and Boyce was unable to remove this from the tree. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Buffalo Shoveler

03.02.2015 - Mansfield, Ct.  - "We used to play on it as kids. My brother tried to get me to jump off it with an umbrella," says Bruce Potter, 77, shoveling snow in his driveway in front of a billboard featuring a buffalo. The billboard frame, he says, has been next to his residence since before, my dad built the home in 1927. "They tell me I'm too old to be out here but, what the hell, you gotta die somehow." The week's forecast calls for temperatures climbing into the 40's by midweek with a chance of rain on Wednesday. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

03.02.2015 – Mansfield, Ct. – “We used to play on it as kids. My brother tried to get me to jump off it with an umbrella,” says Bruce Potter, 77, shoveling snow in his driveway in front of a billboard featuring a buffalo. The billboard frame, he says, has been next to his residence since before, my dad built the home in 1927. “They tell me I’m too old to be out here but, what the hell, you gotta die somehow.” The week’s forecast calls for temperatures climbing into the 40’s by midweek with a chance of rain on Wednesday. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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UConn Defeats SMU 81-73

03.01.2015 - Hartford, Ct.  - UConn's Rodney Purvis celebrates after dropping two-points and getting fouled by Ryan Manuel of SMU in the second half. Purvis scored a team and career high 28-points as the Huskies defeated No. 21 Southern Methodist University 81-73 for their first win against an AP-ranked team this season. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

03.01.2015 – Hartford, Ct. – UConn’s Rodney Purvis celebrates after dropping two-points and getting fouled by Ryan Manuel of SMU in the second half. Purvis scored a team and career high 28-points as the Huskies defeated No. 21 Southern Methodist University 81-73 for their first win against an AP-ranked team this season. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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UConn defeats UMass 4-0

02.20.2015 - Hartford, Ct.  - UConn players (L-R) Joey Ferriss Cody Sharib and Joona Kunnas celebrate a third period goal by Sharib that defeated Massachusetts 4-0. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

02.20.2015 – Hartford, Ct. – UConn players (L-R) Joey Ferriss Cody Sharib and Joona Kunnas celebrate a third period goal by Sharib that defeated Massachusetts 4-0. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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900 Victories

Blog-LeadWith less than one minute remaining in the game against Cincinnati (L to ) Moriah Jefferson, Breanna Stewart, Kia Nurse and Saniya Chong entertain associate head coach Chris Dailey as they don placards with her and Geno Auriemma’s faces and glasses that signify the milestone the UConn Huskies reached Tuesday night with a 96-36 victory at the XL Center. Auriemma won 900 faster than any coach in Division I history in just his 1,034th game. He also became the first man to win 900 in women’s basketball. And all around him on Tuesday was joy and celebration.

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Frosty Fort

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01.27.2015 – Putnam, Ct. – Last weekend, Putnam resident Eric Belske built a snowman with his 6-year-old son, Lucas. As today’s snow fell, Belske prepared for this coming weekend’s activity with his son: building a snow fort. It was Lucas’ first snowman, said Belske,”He named him Frosty.” Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

 

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On Frozen Pond

01.15.2015 - Hartford, Ct. - UConn seniors Richard Weiss (left) and Tom McDougall play ice hockey on Swan Lake near UConn's Chemistry building. McDougall, a Psychology major, and Weiss, an Economics major are taking classes during UCOnn's winter intersession. McDougall, who says he has been playing hockey since he was 3-years-old, said his "parents put me in all sorts of sports, but hockey was always my true passion." Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

01.15.2015 – Hartford, Ct. – UConn seniors Richard Weiss (left) and Tom McDougall play ice hockey on Swan Lake near UConn’s Chemistry building. McDougall, a Psychology major, and Weiss, an Economics major are taking classes during UCOnn’s winter intersession. McDougall, who says he has been playing hockey since he was 3-years-old, said his “parents put me in all sorts of sports, but hockey was always my true passion.” Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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“Winter is Not Just About Skiing.”

01.01.2015 - Tariffville, Ct.. - Erik Eckilson of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, walks to the shores of the Farmington River before paddling with 14 other boaters as part of a "New Year's tradition." "To have a good year, if you're a whitewater boater, you have to be in the water on the first," said participant Ian Scott of Branford, Ct. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

01.01.2015 – Tariffville, Ct.. – Erik Eckilson of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, walks to the shores of the Farmington River before paddling with 14 other boaters as part of a “New Year’s tradition.” “To have a good year, if you’re a whitewater boater, you have to be in the water on the first,” said participant Ian Scott of Branford, Ct. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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A Walk on the Dark Side

10.19.2014 - Andover, Ct. - Dark Walk clown Brian Biel (L) gives a "startle scare" to Amy Paiva as he jumps out from behind a hidden door in the haunted circus section of this year's Dark Walk. Dark Walk Director Jim Wieloch says  pacing the scares and disorienting scenes with rich and distracting scene-details are part of what creates Dark Walk's unsettling experience. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com.

10.19.2014 – Andover, Ct. – Dark Walk clown Brian Biel (L) gives a “startle scare” to Amy Paiva as he jumps out from behind a hidden door in the haunted circus section of this year’s Dark Walk. Dark Walk Director Jim Wieloch says pacing the scares and disorienting scenes with rich and distracting scene-details are part of what creates Dark Walk’s unsettling experience. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com.

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First Night

10.17.2014 - Storrs, Ct. - UConn basketball coaches Kevin Ollie (L) and Geno Auriemma shake hands during First Night. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com.

10.17.2014 – Storrs, Ct. – UConn basketball coaches Kevin Ollie (L) and Geno Auriemma shake hands during First Night. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com.

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Evening Lights

10.16.2014 - Middletown, Ct. - Their fishing excursion to Butternut Hollow Park drawing to a close, Phillip Pope and his grandson Nathan Pope, 17, head to their car as the days clouds are painted with the setting sun and lights illuminate the pond's fountains. The two fish together "two to three times a week," said Pope, who was with his grandson today while Nathan's dad attended a meeting, "We're always together." Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com.

10.16.2014 – Middletown, Ct. – Their fishing excursion to Butternut Hollow Park drawing to a close, Phillip Pope and his grandson Nathan Pope, 17, head to their car as the days clouds are painted with the setting sun and lights illuminate the pond’s fountains. The two fish together “two to three times a week,” said Pope, who was with his grandson today while Nathan’s dad attended a meeting, “We’re always together.” Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com.

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Rowing on the River

In late August, Amanda Aronson, a supporter of the Aurora Women & Girls Foundation, took part in a Dragon Boat race to help raise awareness and funds for the organization. Inspired by that experience, she then recruited women to row as part of a beginner Women’s Rowing Group that has been meeting since September.

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Aurora’s mission is to be a catalyst for positive change for women and girls in Hartford county, and the creation of this rowing group is proof that a “ripple effect” can be experienced when women take part in empowering activities. Two women from the original Dragon Boat team are on the Thursday morning rowing group and the other women represent mothers with flexible work schedules from around Hartford County–many of whom have long-wanted to row but couldn’t due to traditional rowing times.

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At The Window

09.25.2014 - Willimantic, Ct. - Alice Mott, 82, mother of Cheryl Preston, the owner of A Cupcake for Later, pauses while folding cupcake boxes in the window of her daughter's bakery. "I Like to watch the people walk by. How they dress. What they do," she says about her view of Willimantic's Main Street. Mott, a lifelong resident of the area says she comes in to her daughter's shop to help out "almost everyday." Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com.

09.25.2014 – Willimantic, Ct. – Alice Mott, 82, mother of Cheryl Preston, the owner of A Cupcake for Later, pauses while folding cupcake boxes in the window of her daughter’s bakery. “I Like to watch the people walk by. How they dress. What they do,” she says about her view of Willimantic’s Main Street. Mott, a lifelong resident of the area says she comes in to her daughter’s shop to help out “almost everyday.” Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com.

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It’s Apple Picking Time

09.19.2014 - Farmington, Ct. - Minutes after the Apple Store in Westfarms opened, Kara McQueeney of Bristol dances out of the store with her new iPhone 6. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant .com

09.19.2014 – Farmington, Ct. – Minutes after the Apple Store in Westfarms opened, Kara McQueeney of Bristol dances out of the store with her new iPhone 6. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant .com

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Bridgeport Factory Fire

09.12.2014 - Bridgeport, Ct. - Wearing a mask to "protect" herself and standing in front of a home with melted sidings, Ana Serrano looks out over the simmering remains of a five-alarm fire that destroyed two factories and forced 400 people to leave their homes. Small amounts of chemicals have been detected in the air, a state environmental official said, although they are not believed to pose any health risk. The U.S. Coast Guard announced a temporary ban on fishing in Bridgeport Harbor and Long Island Sound from Norwalk to Milford. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com.

09.12.2014 – Bridgeport, Ct. – Wearing a mask to “protect” herself and standing in front of a home with melted sidings, Ana Serrano looks out over the simmering remains of a five-alarm fire that destroyed two factories and forced 400 people to leave their homes. Small amounts of chemicals have been detected in the air, a state environmental official said, although they are not believed to pose any health risk. The U.S. Coast Guard announced a temporary ban on fishing in Bridgeport Harbor and Long Island Sound from Norwalk to Milford. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com.

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