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3rd Annual Pooch Plunge

The Bristol Parks and Recreation Department held their 3rd Annual Pooch Plunge at Rockwell Park Monday evening. About 30 dogs, and their owners, came out to cool off and take the plunge as a good way to end the summer season.

 

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Connecticut Open – Day 4

New Haven, CT   8/20/14 Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) serves to Andrea Petkovic (GER) during their ,atch on day four of the 2014 Connecticut Open Tennis Tournament at the Connecticut Tennis Center on the Yale campus in New Haven Wednesday afternoon. Flipkens lost the first set 4-6 but won the second on a tie-break 7-6(4) and they are in the third now.  Photo by JOHN WOIKE | woike@courant.com

New Haven, CT 8/20/14 Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) serves to Andrea Petkovic (GER) during their ,atch on day four of the 2014 Connecticut Open Tennis Tournament at the Connecticut Tennis Center on the Yale campus in New Haven Wednesday afternoon. Flipkens lost the first set 4-6 but won the second on a tie-break 7-6(4) and they are in the third now. Photo by JOHN WOIKE | woike@courant.com

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Sunflowers Around the World

2014, August 06 - ENFIELD, Ct. - Brittany Alexander strikes a pose while her mom, Sue Read, holds a light reflector during a modeling portfolio shoot with photographer Dan Minicucci Wednesday evening at the Pleasant View Farm sunflower field in Enfield. The field has drawn many onlookers along Moody and Taylor Streets in Enfield. Both mom and daughter are from Enfield. Photo by JOHN WOIKE | woike@courant.com

2014, August 06 – ENFIELD, Ct. – Brittany Alexander strikes a pose while her mom, Sue Read, holds a light reflector during a modeling portfolio shoot with photographer Dan Minicucci Wednesday evening at the Pleasant View Farm sunflower field in Enfield. The field has drawn many onlookers along Moody and Taylor Streets in Enfield. Both mom and daughter are from Enfield. Photo by JOHN WOIKE | woike@courant.com

MORE SUNFLOWER PHOTOGRAPHS HERE

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Sun Cycles

07.01.2014 - East Hartford, Ct. - In the last race of three for the night, Category A riders power through a turn in a course set up for bike races every Tuesday night at Rentschler Field. About a hundred racers compete at the criterium races, or "crits," sponsored by Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

07.01.2014 – East Hartford, Ct. – In the last race of three for the night, Category A riders power through a turn in a course set up for bike races every Tuesday night at Rentschler Field. About a hundred racers compete at the criterium races, or “crits,” sponsored by Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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“Like Being in a Cloud.”

2014.08.11 - Bolton, Ct. - "It was pretty surreal out there this morning. You could see about as far as you could cast," said Ed Miller, about fishing in the fog this morning on Bolton Lake, "It was like being in a cloud." Miller, who said he doesn't fish often enough took a trip out on the lake today after giving himself a day off for his birthday. Photograph by Mark Mirko |mmirko@courant.com

2014.08.11 – Bolton, Ct. – “It was pretty surreal out there this morning. You could see about as far as you could cast,” said Ed Miller, about fishing in the fog this morning on Bolton Lake, “It was like being in a cloud.” Miller, who said he doesn’t fish often enough took a trip out on the lake today after giving himself a day off for his birthday. Photograph by Mark Mirko |mmirko@courant.com

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Sun and Stars

 

2014.08.08 - Uncasville, CT - Taliek Brown and Jim Calhoun share a laugh as they catch up on the sidelines before the start of Calhouns' Celebrity Classic basketball game at the Mohegan Sun Arena Friday night in Uncasville. Photo by JOHN WOIKE | woike@courant.com

2014.08.08 – Uncasville, CT – Taliek Brown and Jim Calhoun share a laugh as they catch up on the sidelines before the start of Calhouns’ Celebrity Classic basketball game at the Mohegan Sun Arena Friday night in Uncasville. Photo by JOHN WOIKE | woike@courant.com

VIEW ALL 39 PHOTOGRAPHS HERE
FULL STORY HERE

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Noyes School of Rhythm

PORTLAND – In a leafy woodland setting by a lake, the Noyes School of Rhythm carries on a 95-year-old tradition. During their stay each summer, ladies discard their confining contemporary clothes, slip on diaphanous tunics and assume Greek names like Pegasus, Selene, and Persephone.

Noyes-School-of-Rhythm-15The experience is uplifting and for many a way of passage from childhood to adulthood returning each year to celebrate all life has to offer.

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A Decision Delayed

2014.07.24 - New London, Ct. - With an item from the evening's agenda projected on the screen behind her, New London Board of Education President Peg Curtin prepares to read a motion to hold off on deciding what to do about Terrence P. Carter until it the board can conduct its own investigation. At issue are charges that Carter falsified his resume that included crediting himself with an PhD. Photograph by Mark Mirko |mmirko@courant.com

2014.07.24 – New London, Ct. – With an item from the evening’s agenda projected on the screen behind her, New London Board of Education President Peg Curtin prepares to read a motion to hold off on deciding what to do about Terrence P. Carter until it the board can conduct its own investigation. At issue are charges that Carter falsified his resume that included crediting himself with an PhD. Photograph by Mark Mirko |mmirko@courant.com

MORE PHOTOS HERE
FULL STORY HERE

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Calfé Culture

07.14.2014 - Mansfield, Ct. - With a shouldered shade umbrella, Deanna Carola of the Farmers Cow Calfe and Creamery, sets up the restaurant's outdoor seating area for the day's ice cream consumers. "Calfe" manager Justeen Bligh says "people love" the cow and "little kids come and moo at it the second they see it."  Six local dairies provide "Every single drop of milk," used by the eatery, says Bligh, where visitors can sample 38 ice cream flavors and 30 milk flavors. "Kids will walk past the soda case to see our milk flavors," says Bligh. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

07.14.2014 – Mansfield, Ct. – With a shouldered shade umbrella, Deanna Carola of the Farmers Cow Calfe and Creamery, sets up the restaurant’s outdoor seating area for the day’s ice cream consumers. “Calfe” manager Justeen Bligh says “people love” the cow and “little kids come and moo at it the second they see it.” Six local dairies provide “Every single drop of milk,” used by the eatery, says Bligh, where visitors can sample 38 ice cream flavors and 30 milk flavors. “Kids will walk past the soda case to see our milk flavors,” says Bligh. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Fire and Rain

 

07.03.2014 - New Britain, Ct. - (L) New Britain Rock Cats Media Manager Pat O'Sullivan and John Randall, of the Rock Cats television production team, watch from the press box as fireworks explode over New Britain stadium during a rain delay in tonight's double header against the Binghamton Mets. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

07.03.2014 – New Britain, Ct. – (L) New Britain Rock Cats Media Manager Pat O’Sullivan and John Randall, of the Rock Cats television production team, watch from the press box as fireworks explode over New Britain stadium during a rain delay in tonight’s double header against the Binghamton Mets. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Canton High

06.20.2014 - Canton, Ct - With a photograph of Grant Imahara from "Mythbuster" on his cap, because "people think I look like him," Canton High School student Wyatt Campbell photographs Athan Chekas and Dakota Bybee before Canton's graduation ceremony. . Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

06.20.2014 – Canton, Ct – With a photograph of Grant Imahara from “Mythbuster” on his cap, because “people think I look like him,” Canton High School student Wyatt Campbell photographs Athan Chekas and Dakota Bybee before Canton’s graduation ceremony. . Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Kickin’ It

06.19.2014 - East Hartford, Ct - Alex Morgan (bottom, smiling) is mobbed by her U.S. Women's National Team teammates after she scored the second of her two goals in their 2-2 tie against France. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

06.19.2014 – East Hartford, Ct – Alex Morgan (bottom, smiling) is mobbed by her U.S. Women’s National Team teammates after she scored the second of her two goals in their 2-2 tie against France. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

MORE PHOTOS HERE
FULL STORY HERE

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“You Can”

06.03.2014 - Old Wethersfield, Ct - Saying, "You're gonna do this all by yourself because you can," Greg Scruggs helps his daughter, Jenelli Reyes, 4, learn how to ride a bike in the shade and soft grass of Mikey's Place Playground. Reyes has been riding a bike with training wheels and today received this bike from her Aunt. After getting the hang of it she said the feeling of riding a bike was, "great." Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

06.03.2014 – Old Wethersfield, Ct – Saying, “You’re gonna do this all by yourself because you can,” Greg Scruggs helps his daughter, Jenelli Reyes, 4, learn how to ride a bike in the shade and soft grass of Mikey’s Place Playground. Reyes has been riding a bike with training wheels and today received this bike from her Aunt. After getting the hang of it she said the feeling of riding a bike was, “great.” Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Big Toy

06.02.2014 - Willimantic, Ct - "It's like a big version of a kid's toy," says climber Danny Carroll (above) as yea and a crew from Coleman Brothers Shows assemble the Century Wheel, a 90-foot tall ferris wheel with fifteen gondolas at Jillson Square. The show runs Wednesday through Sunday. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

06.02.2014 – Willimantic, Ct – “It’s like a big version of a kid’s toy,” says climber Danny Carroll (above) as yea and a crew from Coleman Brothers Shows assemble the Century Wheel, a 90-foot tall ferris wheel with fifteen gondolas at Jillson Square. The show runs Wednesday through Sunday. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Got to be a joker

05.19.2014 - Hartford, Ct - Dressed as "Larry the Stag," mascot for The Hartford, Scott Bruzik, returns to his office at The Hartford after attending a free concert by the Hartford Symphony Brass Quintet. The event was attended by over 100 people including students from Trinity Episcopal Day School and Grace Academy Hartford. The free concert is one of two free concerts open to the public and hosted by The Hartford in HartBeat Park. The HSO String Quartet will perform June 4. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

05.19.2014 – Hartford, Ct – Dressed as “Larry the Stag,” mascot for The Hartford, Scott Bruzik, returns to his office at The Hartford after attending a free concert by the Hartford Symphony Brass Quintet. The event was attended by over 100 people including students from Trinity Episcopal Day School and Grace Academy Hartford. The free concert is one of two free concerts open to the public and hosted by The Hartford in HartBeat Park. The HSO String Quartet will perform June 4. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Eagles Fall To Hornets 4-3

East Hartford jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings but East Catholic’s rally fell short in a 4-3 loss at home in Manchester Thursday afternoon.

Christian Caballero of East Hartford puts the tag on Josh Zbierski of East Catholic at the plate as he tried to score from second base during their baseball game Thursday afternoon. East Hartford held on for a 4-3 victory.

Christian Caballero of East Hartford puts the tag on Josh Zbierski of East Catholic at the plate as he tried to score from second base during their baseball game Thursday afternoon. East Hartford held on for a 4-3 victory.

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Battle Of The Undefeated

On Monday afternoon UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said “There’s no matchup for Kayla McBride and Jewell Loyd. I don’t think anybody in the country has figured out how to guard those two. And I’m not sure we’re going to be able to guard them either.” Maryland thought they had a plan but Notre Dame dispatched them easily with an 87-61 victory. Now two undefeated teams will compete for the national championship Tuesday night. For Lori Riley’s story on the rivalry click here:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Kayla McBride (21) drives up court as Maryland Terrapins guard Laurin Mincy (1) reaches in for the ball during the first half of the 2014 NCAA Women's Final Four in Nashville, TN., Sunday night. McBride scored 28 points and Notre Dame easily advanced with an 87-61 victory.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Kayla McBride (21) drives up court as Maryland Terrapins guard Laurin Mincy (1) reaches in for the ball during the first half of the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Nashville, TN., Sunday night. McBride scored 28 points and Notre Dame easily advanced with an 87-61 victory.

Notre Dame and UConn did not play each other this year and the rivalry has become more intense over the years so Tuesday nights game should be a beauty. For more photos of how the two teams reached the final click here:

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Be The Media

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03.26.2014 – West Hartford, Ct – Editing a video to be broadcast on West Hartford Community Television, students Kate Chritton, 9, and Avi Jacobs, 9, work with mentor Sophya Esponda during a Be The Media workshop sponsored by WHC-TV and held at the West Hartford Public Library. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Coaches Against Cancer

Nearly forty people signed up to have their heads shaved for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation fund-raiser at Vaughn’s Public House Tuesday night in Hartford.

Juliette LaRock (C) reacts as Jane Dunbar (L) holds up her ponytail which was just cutoff during a fund-raiser for The St. Baldrick's Foundation at Vaughn's Public House in Hartford Tuesday evening. Nearly forty people, mostly young girls, attended the event that was started by Jon Cohn, a Manchester soccer coach, who learned of the foundation in 2009. Juliette's twin sister Camille (R) looks on as her ponytail is prepared for cutting. The St. Baldrick’s head-shaving events began as a challenge between businessmen and have grown from one event in 2000 to over 1,300 events in 2012, raising critical funds for childhood cancer research. Events take place in pubs, restaurants, schools, churches, parks, malls, military bases, firehouses and any other place you can imagine, according to their website.

Juliette LaRock (C) reacts as Jane Dunbar (L) holds up her ponytail which was just cutoff during a fund-raiser for The St. Baldrick’s Foundation at Vaughn’s Public House in Hartford Tuesday evening. Nearly forty people, mostly young girls, attended the event that was started by Jon Cohn, a Manchester soccer coach, who learned of the foundation in 2009. Juliette’s twin sister Camille (R) looks on as her ponytail is prepared for cutting. The St. Baldrick’s head-shaving events began as a challenge between businessmen and have grown from one event in 2000 to over 1,300 events in 2012, raising critical funds for childhood cancer research. Events take place in pubs, restaurants, schools, churches, parks, malls, military bases, firehouses and any other place you can imagine, according to their website.

For more photos click here:

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Dirt Floor Recording Studio

The hills are alive, with the sound of music…. Alright, I mean the woods are alive, in Chester anyway where Eric Lichter has made quite a name for himself producing music at his Dirt Floor Studio. For the whole story by Jason Simms click here:

James Maple and Eric Lichter goof around in the studio while cutting a new single for Maple's upcoming recording. Lichter is the owner and operator of Dirt Floor recording studio in Chester. Eric Lichter grew up in CT and after living in NYC for much of his 20s returned to open a recording studio, now located in a historic home in downtown Chester. This operation is different because he records to tape using vintage equipment, he coaches artists and he'll play whatever instrument needed.

James Maple and Eric Lichter goof around in the studio while cutting a new single for Maple’s upcoming recording. Lichter is the owner and operator of Dirt Floor recording studio in Chester. Eric Lichter grew up in CT and after living in NYC for much of his 20s returned to open a recording studio, now located in a historic home in downtown Chester. This operation is different because he records to tape using vintage equipment, he coaches artists and he’ll play whatever instrument needed.

The place is set back from the road on a shared driveway that splits halfway up. I walked into the house and Springsteen was playing on the turntable, a man with a ‘fro from the 70′s stepped up and greeted me with a smile, hi, I’m Eric Lichter. It was like a flashback to the seventies, he reminded me of a young Bob Dylan with the hair and sunglasses, or was it Sly Stone or, Jimi. Wasn’t sure but I could tell there was a good vibe going on as I was introduced to James Maple, Dustin Meadows and Studio Manager Scott “Skip” Lyons. Maple was there to cut a new song and I had the privilege to spend the next couple hours emersed in the artistry as they weaved a song from bare acoustic guitar, raw vocals and a variety of instruments that both Lichter and Maple would play for background harmony. For more photos click here:

Here’s a short video I put together of my time spent with the crew at Dirt Floor:

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Championship Weekend

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03.22.2014 – Uncasville, Ct – East Catholic players John Lambert, Khalid Thompson, Pat McPadden and Winston Morgan celebrate in the final seconds of their 87-60 win over Weaver. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

East Catholic boys and Capital Prep girls came out of Mohegan Sun Arena State Champions on Saturday. East Catholic defeated Weaver 87-60. Capital Prep defeated Weaver 69-53.

Game Photos are HERE

Lori Riley’s Capital Prep story is HERE.

Tom Yantz’s East Catholic story is HERE.

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POTUS Photos

06.27.2008 - Unity, NH - Barack Obama worked the crowd and still had time to smile for the cameras following his appearance in Unity, N.H. Friday afternoon with Hillary Clinton. Photograph by Stephen Dunn | sdunn@courant.com

06.27.2008 – Unity, NH – Barack Obama worked the crowd and still had time to smile for the cameras following his appearance in Unity, N.H. Friday afternoon with Hillary Clinton. Photograph by Stephen Dunn | sdunn@courant.com

Photographers show up hours before POTUS is to arrive. We must pass security. That takes time. We get wanded by magnetometers and inspected by bomb sniffing dogs. We are ushered, guided, and ordered by secret service and handlers. And then we wait.

On some Connecticut visits Courant photographers are designated “pool photographers” granting them better access to the president on the condition that we share whatever we photograph with other media. We join the traveling press corps and ride in the official motorcade. The status grants us closer and more fluid movement around the president. Somewhat closer that our colleagues standing in the back of the room.

Presidents arrive in a flash of activity like a midsummer thunderstorm . The police, secret service, politicians and the traveling press arrive at once. Then POTUS arrives. And as quickly as he arrives, he leaves. The police, secret service and traveling press leave too.

My first experience photographing President Jimmy Carter was not a success.

12.10.1978 - Hartford, Ct - President Jimmy Carter waves among a gaggle of politicians outside the Hartford Hilton. MICHAEL McANDREWS | mmcandrews@courant.com

12.10.1978 – Hartford, Ct – President Jimmy Carter waves among a gaggle of politicians outside the Hartford Hilton. MICHAEL McANDREWS | mmcandrews@courant.com

 

I knew President Jimmy Carter liked to press the flesh. He would wander up to shake, squeeze, wave, touch and smile his way down along line of fans pressed against the barricades, eager to be close to the most powerful man in the country. I’ve seen it. I wanted to photograph that ritual up close when he came to Hartford December 10th, 1978.

I planted myself at the fence hours before he was to arrive. The crowds grew. So did the excitement. Soon people were standing 4 deep behind me.

We all waited together.

He got out of his limo surrounded by politicians and Secret service and raised his right hand in a wistful way to acknowledge the crowd. Then he was gone, ushered into the Hartford Hilton in one swift smooth motion. The idea for the picture didn’t work this time.

I got a picture of his arm and the back of his hand. That was my first attempt at photographing a visiting president.

19.16.1980 - Hartford, CT - President Jimmy Carter, from the roof of his limo, waves to fans outside the Old State House in Hartford. MICHAEL McANDREWS | The Hartford Courant

19.16.1980 – Hartford, CT – President Jimmy Carter, from the roof of his limo, waves to fans outside the Old State House in Hartford. MICHAEL McANDREWS | The Hartford Courant

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What’s So Funny About an Angry Chicken?

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2014.03.11 – Hartford, Ct – (L-R) Cindy Satkowski of Ellington, Myléne Claire Poitras, of Middletown, Henry Strom of Portland, Carlie Klimkiewicz of Ellington, Katie O’Neil of Glastonbury and Nicole Folio of Stafford Springs participate in a Laughter yoga class led Tuesday night by Laura Le at Hartford ArtSpace. Asked by Le to describe how they felt during a class-ending exercise, answers ranged from “relaxed,” “very much less stress,” “invigorated,” and “peaceful.” Laughter Yoga was created in the mid-1990’s by Dr. Madan Kataria, in Mumbia, India, has grown to include 6,000 laughter clubs in 65 countries. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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