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Down on Om Street

Over 1000 people gathered on LaSalle Road in West Hartford Saturday morning for a large-scale, outdoor, group yoga practice called Om Street.

West Hartford, CT - 07/25/15 - Bonita Weisman, of West Hartford, participates in the annual Om Street group event on LaSalle Road in West Hartford Saturday morning. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

West Hartford, CT – 07/25/15 – Bonita Weisman, of West Hartford, participates in the annual Om Street group event on LaSalle Road in West Hartford Saturday morning. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

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Grad Central

Friends and family of Central Connecticut State University graduates packed the XL Center Saturday for commencement.

Hartford, CT -  5/16/15 - Graduate William Bostic, of Windsor, takes a dramatic selfie at the conclusion of Central Connecticut State University commencement Saturday at XL Center.  Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN bhorrigan@courant.com

Hartford, CT – 5/16/15 – Graduate William Bostic, of Windsor, takes a dramatic selfie at the conclusion of Central Connecticut State University commencement Saturday at XL Center. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN bhorrigan@courant.com

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Rally for Charter Schools

Hundreds gathered at the Capital Thursday afternoon to rally for expansion of charter school access for Connecticut students. Two new charter schools (set to open in September) in Stamford and Bridgeport are in danger of not opening and expansion of existing schools is also not guaranteed. Turnout was impressive at that Capitol as the voice of the charter school movement was heard. Hartford, CT - 5/07/15 - A rally to save two new Connecticut charter schools that may not open in the fall, takes place on the steps of the Capitol Thursday afternoon. Here, Booker T. Washington Academy (New Haven) first graders embrace. Clockwise from center: Nasir Christie, Coi Bell and David Johnson. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN bhorrigan@courant.com

Hartford, CT – 5/07/15 – A rally to save two new Connecticut charter schools that may not open in the fall, takes place on the steps of the Capitol Thursday afternoon. Here, Booker T. Washington Academy (New Haven) first graders embrace. Clockwise from center: Nasir Christie, Coi Bell and David Johnson. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN bhorrigan@courant.com

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CT American Idol Returns Home

After months of performance on the road and competition on the television show “American Idol,” Nick Fradiani returned to his native Guilford Friday. The show of support was overwhelming even to Nick, who is now a finalist on the hit show. Nick received a hero’s welcome at his alma mater Guilford High School, playing a song in the same gymnasium that he played high school basketball. From there, Fradiani went to Bishop’s Orchard, where he scooped a new flavor of ice cream, “Fradiani Frenzy.” Lastly, a parade guided Fradiani to the Guilford Town Green where he gave a performance to thousands.

Guilford, CT - 5/01/15 - Guilford native and American Idol finalist Nick Fradiani returns home for a pep rally at Guilford High School. Here he takes a photo with Guilford High student. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN bhorrigan@courant.com

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CT State Latin Day

The 34th annual Connecticut State Latin Day was held Friday at the Holiday Hill resort in Prospect.  Latin students, most clad in togas, from 52 middle and high schools from across the state took part in the day-long event that included activities that reflected ancient Greek and Roman culture.  Students competed in academic competitions in grammar, history, mythology, and geography, and took part in workshops like sculpting, fresco, Roman coins, calligraphy and Greek dancing. There were also athletic games and competitions including tug-of-war, discus (Frisbee) and a decimated marathon of 2.6 miles. Students were able to rotate through various games like volleyball, bocce and badminton throughout the day.

The day concluded with chariot races with chariots built by the students. The annual event is run by the Classical Association of Connecticut, a state-wide organization for Latin and Greek teachers and professors. “We do Latin Day to let people know that Latin is alive and well,” said Amy White, chairperson of the event and a Latin teacher at Ellington High School. The theme of this year’s event was “Non semper ea sunt quae videntur” (Things aren’t always what they  seem.)

PROSPECT 05/01/15 Dressed in togas, Mark Zebrowski (right) pulls the rope with classmate Luke Devine (second from right) as they fight against Stratford High School in a tug-of war contest at the 34th annual Connecticut State Latin Day at the Holiday Hill resort in Prospect Friday. Latin students from fifty-two middle and high schools across Connecticut competed in academic and athletic contests throughout the day. Rocky Hill won this heat of the tug-of-war.  CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

PROSPECT 05/01/15 Dressed in togas, Rocky Hill High School students Mark Zebrowski (right) pulls the rope with classmate Luke Devine (second from right) as they fight against Stratford High School in a tug-of war contest at the 34th annual Connecticut State Latin Day at the Holiday Hill resort in Prospect Friday.  Rocky Hill won this heat of the tug-of-war. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

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UConn Buzzer Beaters

The UConn men’s basketball team has a history of winning at the buzzer. These nail-biting moments turn the volume up to 11 inside the arenas but they also give the sports photographers fits. In Friday’s AAC quarterfinal game against Cincinnati, the choice was easy: focus on Boatright. He nailed a 3 pointer with 0.2 seconds left on the clock.  All five players on the floor grabbed their point guard and danced across the court in a giant group hug. Classic. Next match-up is Tulsa in the semi-finals. Can they top this?

UConn Ryan Boatright 's 3 at the buzzer wins it for UConn and the team celebrates. Rodney Purvis, Amida Brimah, Daniel Hamilton, and Omar Calhoun, left to rt.

UConn Ryan Boatright ‘s 3 at the buzzer wins it for UConn and the team celebrates. Rodney Purvis, Amida Brimah, Daniel Hamilton, and Omar Calhoun, left to rt. STEPHEN DUNN|sdunn@courant.com

REMEMBER THIS ONE?With the clock winding down, Kemba Walker worked the floor and got off this shot at the buzzer to break a tie with Pitt and win the game in the 2011 Big East Tourney. They went on to win the NCAA championship that year.

REMEMBER THIS ONE?With the clock winding down, Kemba Walker worked the floor and got off this shot at the buzzer to break a tie with Pitt and win the game in the 2011 Big East Tourney. They went on to win the NCAA championship that year. STEPHEN DUNN|sdunn@courant.com

AND THIS?  Only a year ago, Ryan Boatright screams at the buzzer and is held aloft by Kentan Facey as his team become national champions.

AND THIS? Only a year ago, Ryan Boatright screams at the buzzer and is held aloft by Kentan Facey as his team become national champions.  STEPHEN DUNN|sdunn@courant.com

 

 

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Boar’s Head Festival

The 48th Annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival was held last weekend at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford. The event, which celebrates the Epiphany through music, dancing, pageantry and live animals. The event included a cast, choir and orchestra of more than 250 people, 16th century period costumes and a giant angel puppet created by Hartford artist Anne Cubberly.

HARTFORD 01/11/15 A giant angel puppet created by artist Anne Cubberly, is raised up as the shepherds cower, during the 48th Annual Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival was held at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church Sunday. This is the fourth of five performances this weekend of the celebration of the Epiphany that includes a cast, choir and orchestra of more than 250 people.  CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

HARTFORD 01/11/15 A giant angel puppet created by artist Anne Cubberly, is raised up as the shepherds cower, during the 48th Annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival was held at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church Sunday. This is the fourth of five performances this weekend of the celebration of the Epiphany that includes a cast, choir and orchestra of more than 250 people. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

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UConn Men Take Two in Florida

After some shaky performances at home to start the season, a January trip to Florida may have been just what the doctor ordered to jumpstart the Huskies’ season. After a slow start in both contests, the UConn men showed guts in grinding out victories in Gainesville against the University of Florida and in Tampa in beating the University of South Florida on Tuesday night.

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From Elation to Frustration

UConn fans in the student section, who had been cheering wildly seconds before, look stunned as Texas player Jonathan Holmes hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give 7th ranked Texas a shocking 55-54 win Sunday before 10,167 at sold-out Gampel Pavilion. With 2.2 seconds left and the Huskies in the lead, it was all over for Texas and the fans rejoiced. But they would be wrong. A clutch 3-pointer at the horn changed everything.

The photo says it all. Take a close look and feel their pain.

STORRS 11/30/14- UConn fans in the student section, who had been cheering seconds before, look shocked as Texas player Jonathan Holmes hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Texas a shocking 55-54 win Sunday.

STORRS 11/30/14- UConn fans in the student section, who had been cheering seconds before, look shocked as Texas player Jonathan Holmes hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Texas a shocking 55-54 win Sunday.

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Stealing Sunshine

The UConn women got a post-Thanksgiving respite from the chill of New England and traveled to the Sunshine State to steal some rays and some basketballs. After a cool start against the College of Charleston, the Huskies heated up and went on to dominate Vanderbilt and Wisconsin-Green Bay to claim the Gulf Coast Showcase title.

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Stanford Snaps UConn Win Streak

The Stanford Cardinal halted the Husky 47-game win streak in its tracks Monday night in Stanford, California.  A masterful defensive effort against Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and a cool night shooting for UConn, dropped the Huskies to 1-1 for the season.

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Stanford, CA – 11/17/14 – UConn forward Breanna Stewart (30) is tied up by Stanford forward Kailee Johnson (32) at Roscoe Maples Pavilion Monday night. The Huskies 47-game winning streak was snapped as Stanford bested UConn 88-86 in overtime. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

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Election Day – Connecticut 2014

An election day that started early and went well into the next morning, gave us many visual moments of intrigue.  Here are a few that the Courant photographers captured.

Malloy claims victory

– 11/4/14 – Hartford, CT – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy claims victory at 12:30 am as he took the stage with Lt. gov. Nancy Wyman and his wife, Cathy, right. The Malloy family is behind them. The Society Room on Pratt Street in downtown Hartford served as campaign headquarters for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on election night Tuesday.  STEPHEN DUNN|sdunn@courant.com

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Farewell Landon

The most decorated American international footballer has hung up his boots for the US national team. There has long been debate (voiced by yours truly) about what Landon Donovan could be, or could have been as a player. His club football cameos in Europe were largely disappointing (loans at Everton aside). His eagerness to return to Major League Soccer (a third tier domestic league, here in the US) was questioned. He did after all, unlike so many of his countrymen before him, possess the technique and the speed to compete at a high level in Europe. What is not up for debate however, is the fact that no other player has matched the impact on the national team that Donovan has. Skill, heart and leadership were up for display when Landon donned the US jersey.  And he was clutch. He scored goals on the biggest stages. I remember the bars in which I celebrated his goal against Portugal at Japan/South Korea 2002…his goal against Algeria at South Africa 2010. Not in good form at the time, Donovan was controversially left off the 2014 World Cup roster. Still, he finishes with an incredibly productive 57 goals in 157 international appearances for the starts and stripes. Landon made his final appearance for the US in a friendly against Ecuador Friday night in East Hartford. Following the game, Landon made a lap around the field applauding those who applauded him for so many years. Finally he made his way to the American Outlaws (a supporters club for the US national team) section of Rentschler Field and emotionally greeted them.  It was evident that he savored the moment and hated to head to the locker room. Landon Donovan, you will be missed. LD BLog

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Godzilla Comes Home

 

West Hartford rescued Godzilla, the iguana missing since July 28, who was high in a tree on Lemay Street Wednesday morning. Godzilla, owned by Andrew Frazer of Riggs Avenue, was spotted in the road by neighbor Gregg Gabinelle before he scurried up a tree, Frazer said. West Hartford firefighters Matthew Lyons and Lt. Jarrad Smith worked together to get Godzilla in a cage and then reunited him with Frazer, who "couldn't be more happy." Frazer noted that the rescue was just in time as the days are turning colder -- not a good thing for an iquana.

Godzilla, the iguana missing since July 28.

West Hartford firefighters rescued Godzilla, the iguana missing since July 28, who was high in a tree on Lemay Street Wednesday morning. Godzilla, owned by Andrew Frazer of Riggs Avenue, was spotted in the road by neighbor Gregg Gabinelle before he scurried up a tree, Frazer said. West Hartford firefighters Matthew Lyons and Lt. Jarrad Smith worked together to get Godzilla in a cage and then reunited him with Frazer, who “couldn’t be more happy.” Frazer noted that the rescue was just in time as the days are turning colder — not a good thing for an iquana.

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Bringing Blimp Back

Obsessed. That’s what Russ Magnuson and his small group of volunteers are when it comes to the Goodyear ZNPK-28 Blimp Control Car at the New England Air Museum. His crew has logged 21 years and close to 24,000 hours to date working on the rare airship.  And they still are not done! This is the only WWII configured K28  blimp car in the world.

The Goodyear ZNPK-28 Blimp Control Car that has been undergoing complete restoration for the past 21 years at the New England Air Museum.

The Goodyear ZNPK-28 Blimp Control Car that has been undergoing complete restoration for the past 21 years at the New England Air Museum.

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Resurrection

The resurrection of Holy Land U.S.A. in Waterbury began last December with the installation of a new 52-foot high cross overlooking I-84. Two weeks ago Holy Land opened its arms again by welcoming the public to an informal open house… a one-day glimpse of the former religious theme park. Both the devout and the curious flocked to the iconic hilltop on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.  Photographs by Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

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A visit to Faulkner’s Island

A visit to Faulkner’s Island located 3 1/2 miles offshore from Guilford Harbor is a rare event. The whole island is a wildlife preserve and the public is only allowed several times a year during open house sessions. The highlight of the 3 acre island is the lighthouse that rises 90′ above the waters of Long Island Sound. The Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse, built in 1802,  is the state’s second oldest lighthouse tower, and is the only active light station on an island in the state.

Bill Lincoln of Guilford, right, is treasurer of the Faulkner's Light Brigade, a group that is charged with the care, education and preservation of the island and it's lighthouse.

Bill Lincoln of Guilford, right, is treasurer of the Faulkner’s Light Brigade, a group that is charged with the care, education and preservation of the island and it’s lighthouse.

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An Evening In White

As the late summer sun sunk low in the sky, a flash mob of about 280 guests dressed all in white converged on a vacant lot on Main Street in Durham Sunday evening for An Evening In White, a fundraiser to benefit the United Churches of Durham and the local food pantry. The event was inspired by Diner en Blanc, which originated in Paris in 1988, according to Lisa Davenport, one of the organizers.  Guests were instructed to bring their dinner, china, silverware, drinks and centerpieces and the organizers provided tables, chairs and table linens. The location was not disclosed until a few hours before the event, creating an air of spontaneity and excitement.  FoxCT’s Tony Terzi served as master of ceremonies and live jazz was provided by the Jack Riotte Trio.

 

DURHAM 09/07/14 Guests at An Evening in White hold sparklers aloft as a full moon rises over the scene in a vacant lot on Main Street in Durham Sunday.  CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

DURHAM 09/07/14 Guests at An Evening in White hold sparklers aloft as a full moon rises over the scene in a vacant lot on Main Street in Durham Sunday. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

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Goshen Fair

Goshen again played host to one of the premier country fairs in Connecticut on Labor Day weekend.goshen_14_blog

Goshen, CT – 08/30/14 – Connor Johnson, of New Milford, carries fresh milk at the Goshen Fair Saturday. Photos by Brad Horrigan.

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Labor Day weekend beaches: hazy, hot, humid… sparse

Brian Gundaker and his wife, Christie Gundaker, enjoy the sunshine as they explore Bradley Point Park and the boardwalk in West Haven with their month-old daughter, McKenzie, on Sunday afternoon. The couple recently moved to New Haven from Miami. While not quite South Beach in Miami, the air temperature was 82 degrees and the water temperature 74 degrees. Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

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Exciting Weekend: Kvitova Wins Again

“Kvitova will win in straight sets,” said the New York Post photographer sitting next to me before the match even began. He was right. No contest. Petra Kvitova beat Magdalena Rybarikova in the Ct. Open singles finals, 6-4,6-2, held at the Ct. Tennis Center Saturday.  Kvitova has now won the event twice in the last 3 years and will compete in the U.S. Open in New York this week. The two close friends played before a lower than average crowd of 3,285 Saturday but overall attendance for the event was up, 47,140 from 45,796 in 2013.

NEW HAVEN 8/23/14- Petra Kvitova raises her hands as she defeats Magdalena Rybarikova inn the Ct. Open singles finals held at the Ct. Tennis Center Saturday.

NEW HAVEN 8/23/14- Petra Kvitova raises her hands as she defeats Magdalena Rybarikova inn the Ct. Open singles finals held at the Ct. Tennis Center Saturday.

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Plainville Hot Air Balloon Festival

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A spectator captures the launching of several hot air balloons at sunrise Sunday morning at the 2014 Plainville Fire Company’s Hot Air Balloon Festival at Norton Park. About a dozen balloons were launched in near perfect conditions. Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

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Connecticut Open – Day 6

Magdalena Rybarikova defeated Camila Giorgi in straight sets (6-2, 6-4) Friday afternoon in New Haven to advance to the women’s final at the 2014 Connecticut Open.

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New Haven, CT – 08/22/14 – Magdalena Rybarikova saves a point in the second set of her victory over Camila Giorgi Friday. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN

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