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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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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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FULL STORY 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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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

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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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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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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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Time Served

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2014.03.05 – Meridan, Ct – Forensic Science Examiner Jill Therriault pulls a handgun from a firing chamber after firing the weapon to retrieve it’s bullets to identify marks left by the guns barrel. Since December, 2012, with the appointment of a new director, Guy Vallaro, the Crime Lab has experienced a clear reduction in backlogged cases in and clear increases in efficiencies. Said Vallaro, “In addition, we’re acutely aware of the victims associated with all of these crimes and all of the case work that comes our way. And we understand that we impact their lives and it’s important to us that we return our analysis in a timely fashion so justice can come to them.” Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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Trasher

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2014.02.14 Windsor Locks,ct – “The stupid snow is making it hard to skate lately,” said Kyle Roberts, 16, of Windsor Locks. Roberts, who is out of school for February break, said that he hadn’t jumped trash cans in front of his house before but because his usual skating places are covered in snow this idea seemed liked a good alternative. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

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In Tow

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02.13.2014 – Mansfield, Ct – How much does it weigh? “A lot,” says Shawn Allen, a 42-year-old Marine Corps veteran. Allen, who works as a tree-trimmer, says he walks several miles a day pulling the log with the goal of, “The bigger the better.” Adding, “besides, they make good mantle pieces when they’re done.”
This is the sixth log Allen has used for exercise and he has named it, “Captain Larghe.””He was my C.O. when I was in the Marine Corps,” Allen explains, “And I’m going to give it to him when it’s done.” Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com.