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Veterans Memorial in Middletown

The Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial was dedicated Thursday at Veterans Memorial Park in Middletown.

Faces of the soldiers who are being honored by  the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial which was dedicated Thursday at Veterans Memorial Park in Middletown.

Faces of the soldiers who are being honored by the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial which was dedicated Thursday at Veterans Memorial Park in Middletown.

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Umbrellas Under Siege

With high winds and heavy rain pedestrians on Main Street in Hartford fought to keep their umbrellas open and over their heads Tuesday afternoon April 15.

With high winds and heavy rain pedestrians on Main Street in Hartford fought to keep their umbrellas open and over their heads Tuesday afternoon.

With high winds and heavy rain pedestrians on Main Street in Hartford fought to keep their umbrellas open and over their heads Tuesday afternoon.

 

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Feeding Children Everywhere

Students at Manchester’s East Catholic High School gathered in the school gymnasium to make 40,000 healthy meals for Feeding Children Everywhere, a non-profit social charity.

East Catholic High School students Charlie Riordan, 16, left, of Coventry gives a high five to a classmate over fellow sophomore Ashley Balfour, 15, of Windsor after their team finished filling a box of packaged lentil casseroles. The students are part of a school wide effort to package 40,000 meals for Feeding Children Everywhere.

East Catholic High School students Charlie Riordan, 16, left, of Coventry gives a high five to a classmate over fellow sophomore Ashley Balfour, 15, of Windsor after their team finished filling a box of packaged lentil casseroles. The students are part of a school wide effort to package 40,000 meals for Feeding Children Everywhere.

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Zion Street Fire

Flames engulfed the third floor of a empty three family home on Zion Street near the intersection of Summit Street in Hartford Thursday afternoon April 10. Fire Chief Carlos M. Huertas said that given the intensity of the wind the threat to the neighborhood was significant and he credited firefighters for their tactical move of spraying down the adjacent buildings to keep the fire from spreading. “This could have been a lot worse,” he said. The two adjacent buildings were evacuated. No one was injured in the blaze, the chief said.

A firefighter climbs a chain link fence to get to a house as flames engulf the third floor of a empty three family home on Zion Street near the intersection of Summit Street in Hartford Thursday afternoon.

A firefighter climbs a chain link fence to get to a house as flames engulf the third floor of a empty three family home on Zion Street near the intersection of Summit Street in Hartford Thursday afternoon.

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Spring Flowers Grown Locally

 

blog_flowerSomers – CT – A worker waters flowers in a three-season greenhouse at Grower Direct Farms Thursday. Grower Direct supplies big box stores across New England with thousands of flowers. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

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UConn Women Victory Lap

The UConn women’s basketball team was honored with a victory lap around campus on Wednesday after winning its ninth national championship and completing a 40-0 season Tuesday night with a 79-58 win over previously unbeaten Notre Dame in Nashville.

Senior Bria Hartley, left, carries the NCAA trophy through the crowd as the UConn Women returned to campus Wednesday afternoon. Behind her is Stefanie Dolson.

Senior Bria Hartley, left, carries the NCAA trophy through the crowd as the UConn Women returned to campus Wednesday afternoon. Behind her is Stefanie Dolson.

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Final Four At The Buzzer: A Photogs View

Seconds left, Boatright has the ball. UConn is going to win the national championship. My mind is racing. Who do I focus on at the buzzer? There are 20 photographers on my side of the court, some of the best sports shooters in the country. Probably 90-100 cameras between us all. But not one photographer is making a sound. We are all locked in, ready to go. Seconds are counting down, Boatright is just dribbling in circles. The buzzer sounds. UConn wins it’s 4th national championship. Mayhem, the roar of the crowd. Players are jumping into each others arms. Confetti fills the arena. Not one photographer moves. We are just picking our targets and capturing the moment. And the moment does not last long. The players are in an emotional high for these few seconds. These are the photos we need. Holding a trophy and cutting down nets later will make good photographs but these few seconds are the real deal. One minute later a small stage appears at center court. The team climbs up. We move into position and lock in our lenses once again. Then, BAM! A monster confetti gun fires, filling the arena and we can’t see a thing. Who’s idea was that? The paper and smoke clears and we get to work. Deadline is looming.

Ryan Boatright screams at the buzzer as his team become national champions. UConn won the NCAA championship game Monday night inside the giant AT&T Stadium in Texas. UConn won 60-54.

Ryan Boatright screams at the buzzer as his team become national champions. UConn won the NCAA championship game Monday night inside the giant AT&T Stadium in Texas. UConn won 60-54.

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Hungry Huskies Win Fourth Championship

After the game, UConn senior guard, Shabazz Napier, explained to the crowd at AT&T Stadium in Dallas Texas how UConn defeated the odds, and some of the country’s highest ranked teams, to win their fourth national title. They were hungry. They were the “Hungry Huskies.” UConn left it all on the floor as they beat an extremely talented Kentucky team by a score of 60 to 53.

Click here to read Dom Amore game story and click here to read his story about how this championship will be a goldmine for recruiting, and a new contract for the coach. Click here to read Jeff Jacobs column on how the Huskies won the championship by climbing one step at a time.

UConn Huskies guard Shabazz Napier, 13, reacts after the game.

UConn Huskies guard Shabazz Napier, 13, reacts after the game.

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UConn Men Advance To NCAA Championship Game

The game ended much differently than it started. Midway through the first period, UConn was down by twelve points, 16 to 4. But after a called timeout UConn roared back to score 11 unanswered points, which saw DeAndrea Daniels hit the three-point- shots. When UConn ended the first half with a three point lead, the tide had turned, and the Huskies had the waves at their back the rest of the way. UConn defeated the Florida Gators Saturday night to advance the the NCAA Division I Championship game against Kentucky Monday.

Click here to read Dom Amore’s game story. Click here to read Paul Doyle’s story on Shabazz Napier, the kid from Roxbury. Click here to read Jeff Jacobs’ column about UConn being one game away from redemption. Click here for Dom Amore story on UConn brimming with confidence.

DeAndre Daniels signals #1 after scoring a 3-pointer in the 2nd half as UConn pulled ahead.

DeAndre Daniels signals #1 after scoring a 3-pointer in the 2nd half as UConn pulled ahead.

 

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Guns Rights Rally

Mike Damiano, 38, of Clinton wears a mask synonymous with anonymity and the fight against tyranny at a gun rights rally at the Capitol in Hartford on Saturday afternoon. The idea for the mask, also worn by others in the crowd, comes from the movie "Vi For Vendetta". Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

Mike Damiano, 38, of Clinton wears a mask synonymous with anonymity and the fight against tyranny at a gun rights rally at the Capitol in Hartford on Saturday afternoon. The idea for the mask, also worn by others in the crowd, comes from the 2005 film “V For Vendetta”.  Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

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Here fishy, fishy, fishy…

It didn’t feel like spring, but local fishermen and women took to the pond at Manchester Coon and Fox Club in Coventery Saturday for the group’s annual fishing derby.

Machester Coon and Fox Club's Annual Fishing DerbyCoventry, CT – 04/05/14 – Emily McCrystal, 4, of Vernon, makes a dramatized, sad face after discovering that her hook has no fish on it. Looking on is her brother Kyle McCrystal, 9. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com.

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Trinity Hip Hop Festival

A hip hop dance workshop was held April 4  at the Ninth Annual Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival at Trinity College in Hartford. The class was taught by Black Noise, a hip hop crew from South Africa. The festival continued Saturday. Performers included Talib Kweli, Black Noise, Haitian-Canadian emcee Vox Sambou and others. There were

Trinity College student Nicole Lim of California dances during a hip hop dance workshop Friday at the Ninth Annual Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival at Trinity College in Hartford. The class was taught by Black Noise, a hip hop crew from South Africa. The festival continues Saturday. Performers include Talib Kweli, Black Noise, Haitian-Canadian emcee Vox Sambou and others. There are also lectures, workshops, films and urban art exhibitions, including a live graffiti exhibit, all free and open to the public.

Trinity College student Nicole Lim of California dances during a hip hop dance workshop Friday at the Ninth Annual Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival at Trinity College in Hartford. 

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also lectures, workshops, films and urban art exhibitions, including a live graffiti exhibit, all free and open to the public.

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Final Four Friday: One Day to Go

The UConn men’s basketball team entered the massive AT&T Stadium for practice Friday and were in awe of the 80,000 seat venue. This place is HUGE! The stage is set for their Final Four semi-final game against Florida Saturday night. Stay tuned!

UConn players, led by Shabazz Napier, right, let out a cheer as they enter the AT&T Stadium Friday for practice practice at noon.

UConn players, led by Shabazz Napier, right, let out a cheer as they enter the AT&T Stadium Friday for practice practice at noon.

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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 them to an expected – well, at least hoped for – championship showdown with the only other undefeated team – the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. On the eve of the Huskies pursuit of a record ninth national championship, here is a look back at their Elite 8 victory in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Click here to read John Altavilla’s game story. Click here to read Lori Riley’s preview story on UConn’s semi-final game against Stanford.

LINCOLN, NE 03/28/14 UConn Huskies center Stefanie Dolson (31) (left) does a victory dance as her teammates celebrate as time runs out in the second half of the NCAA Lincoln Regional Championship at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Monday. UConn defeated the Texas A&M Aggies, 69-54, to advance to the Final Four. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

LINCOLN, NE 03/28/14 UConn Huskies center Stefanie Dolson (31) (left) does a victory dance as her teammates celebrate as time runs out in the second half of the NCAA Lincoln Regional Championship at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Monday. UConn defeated the Texas A&M Aggies, 69-54, to advance to the Final Four. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

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The Centaur of Tymfi

The Centaur of Tymfi was unveiled at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport April 1. The Mayor of Bridgeport, the State Archeologist and others joined in on the April 1 presentation of what museum executive director Kathleen Maher described as an “inexplicable specimen.” Local experts, with tongues placed firmly in cheeks, revealed that The Centaur of Tymfi is the best specimen of its kind of record due to preservation within a cool, dry cave at 1,900 meters elevation in the Tymfi Mountains of northwestern Greece. Nicholas Bellantoni, the state archeologist, said after his scientific presentation about the centaur Tuesday that he felt as if his nose was, somehow, getting longer.

The Centaur of Tymfi was unveiled at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport April 1.

The Centaur of Tymfi was unveiled at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport April 1.

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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, and UConn only up by one point at the half, the Huskies came out swinging in the second half, pulling away to win it and advance to the Elite 8.  They will play the Texas A&M Aggies as they continue their journey toward the Final Four and a record ninth national championship.  Read John Altavilla’s game story here.

LINCOLN, NE 03/28/14 UConn Huskies forward Breanna Stewart (30) is defended by Brigham Young Cougars forward Morgan Bailey (41) in the first half of an NCAA Sweet Sixteen game at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Saturday.  CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

LINCOLN, NE 03/28/14 UConn Huskies forward Breanna Stewart (30) is defended by Brigham Young Cougars forward Morgan Bailey (41) in the first half of an NCAA Sweet Sixteen game at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Saturday. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

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Don’t Forget the Little People

Practice was open to the public and the media Thursday at MSG, as Iowa State prepared for Friday’s matchup against UConn. When 7 year-old Noah Miller flagged down DeAndre Kane (not pictured) for an autograph behind the basket, he could not have foreseen what was about to happen. After Kane, (Iowa State’s biggest star) graciously signed the boy’s basketball, he led the youngster onto the court where he sought out Melvin Ejim (another impact player for the Cyclones) for another signature. Ejim, like Kane, was happy to take the time out for Miller, who lives in Mt. Kisco, NY.  Miller’s parents are both Iowa natives and his paternal grandparents are ISU alumni.  This was surely a Garden moment that the boy will never forget.

Thursday Practice Before Friday's NCAA Men's East Regional Semifinal

New York, NY –  03/27/14 – Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim, signs an autograph for Noah Miller, 7, of Mt. Kisco, NY, during Thursday’s practice at Madison Square Garden ahead of Friday night’s NCAA east regional semifinal game against UConn.  Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

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22nd President of Trinity College

Incoming Trinity College president Joanne Berger-Sweeney is introduced in Mather Hall as the next president of Trinity College in Hartford. Berger-Sweeney arrives to Hartford from Tufts University where she served as dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. She is a neuroscientist. At right is outgoing Trinity president James F. Jones Jr., who is retiring on June 30th.

Incoming Trinity College president Joanne Berger-Sweeney is introduced in Mather Hall as the next president of the liberal arts college in Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood. Berger-Sweeney arrives to Hartford from Tufts University where she served as dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. She is a neuroscientist. At right is outgoing Trinity president James F. Jones Jr., who is retiring on June 30th.  Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

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MSG: A Moment In Time

Jim Calhoun was holding court again Wednesday at Madison Square Garden reminiscing about the great UConn moments at the historic arena. The Hall of Fame coach talked about two images that are burned into his brain, the 1988 photo of Jeff King and Phil Gamble sitting atop the backboard after winning the 1988 NIT Championship, and the photo of Kemba Walker breaking down his Pitt opponents to make a shot at the buzzer and win the Big East game. UConn went on to win the tournament and the NCAA national championship.

Both of those images are mine.

I teach my photojournalism students that our job is to “capture a moment in time, for all time.” Listening to the coach last night and revisiting my images brought back a flood of memories. Time to make some more.

3/30/1988- NIT CHAMPIONS - UConn players #40 Jeff King (c) and #25 Phil Gamble (r / with arm raised ) climb the basket after defeating Ohio State University in the NIT.

3/30/1988- NIT CHAMPIONS – UConn players #40 Jeff King (c) and #25 Phil Gamble (r / with arm raised ) climb the basket after defeating Ohio State University in the NIT. STEPHEN DUNN|sdunn@courant.com

THE SHOT THAT WON IT- 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. UConn met Pitt for the quarter-final game of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden Thursday at noon. UConn won, 76-74.

THE SHOT THAT WON IT- 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. UConn met Pitt for the quarter-final game of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden Thursday at noon. UConn won, 76-74. STEPHEN DUNN|sdunn@courant.com

 Kemba Walker gets off this shot at the buzzer to break a tie with Pitt and win the game. UConn met Pitt for the quarter-final game of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden Thursday at noon. UConn won, 76-74.

Kemba Walker gets off this shot at the buzzer to break a tie with Pitt and win the game. UConn met Pitt for the quarter-final game of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden Thursday at noon. UConn won, 76-74. STEPHEN DUNN|sdunn@courant.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tied to the Tracks

The Fermi Lamplighters, the drama club at Enrico Fermi High School, are preparing for their next performance, the musical “Tied to the Tracks.” Performances are April 11 and April 12. And for the first time, they are offering a discounted matinee to attract more families.

The Fermi Lamplighters, the drama club at Enrico Fermi High School, are preparing for their next performance, the musical “Tied to the Tracks.” Performances are April 11 and April 12. And for the first time, they are offering a discounted matinee to attract more families.

The Fermi Lamplighters, the drama club at Enrico Fermi High School, are preparing for their next performance, the musical “Tied to the Tracks.” Performances are April 11 and April 12. And for the first time, they are offering a discounted matinee to attract more families.

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Heroes 4 Hire

The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Heroes 4 Hire Veterans Career Fair returned to East Hartford Tuesday and marked  a milestone – its 10th anniversary – at the Rentschler Field Ballroom. This is the largest and one of the best attended veterans career fairs in New England, its sponsors said. Sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Travelers, CBS Radio and local chambers of commerce it is a

Ricardo Valle, of Windsor, of the Connecticut Army National Guard, talks to Jennifer Marks, a principal in BL Companies of Meriden, at the Heroes 4 Hire Veterans Career Fair Tuesday afternoon. SFC Valle, recently returned from Kuwait, is looking foward to transitioning out into the private sector. Marks said that BL, whose expertise is in architecture, engineering and related services, is an employee owned company.

Ricardo Valle, of Windsor, of the Connecticut Army National Guard, talks to Jennifer Marks, a principal in BL Companies of Meriden, at the Heroes 4 Hire Veterans Career Fair Tuesday afternoon. SFC Valle, recently returned from Kuwait, is looking foward to transitioning out into the private sector. Marks said that BL, whose expertise is in architecture, engineering and related services, is an employee owned company.

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veterans-only event, which has hosted more than 12,000 jobseekers and 2,000-plus employers since its 2007 inception. More than 70 employers participated.

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Music Together

Catherine Denmead Madrak, of West Hartford, director of Music Together of West Hartford and Farmington Valley led a group in song during a session  at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford Monday morning. During the music program, parents, caretakers and children share in songs, rhymes, movement, and instrument play. Spring session classes begin March 31. Weekly Music Together of West Hartford and Farmington Valley classes are held in West Hartford at Congregation Beth Israel and St. James’s Episcopal Church, and in Simsbury at First Church of Christ.  For more information and registration go to http://www.musictogetherwhfv.com.or call 860.206.8962.

Six and one half month-old Rowan Ahimsa  looks up at his mother, Jennifer Ahimsa, as the two play the drum together during a demonstration of Music Together of West Hartford and Farmington Valley at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford

Six and one half month-old Rowan Ahimsa looks up at his mother, Jennifer Ahimsa, as the two play the drum together during a demonstration of Music Together of West Hartford and Farmington Valley at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford

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UConn NCAA: Sweet Win!

The game ended after midnight Saturday in Buffalo and the players were exhausted. The refs were beat, the crowd was thinning and the photographers were wired. UConn beat their old Big East opponent, Villanova inside the First Niagara Center. UConn will advance to the Sweet-16 at Madison Square Garden next week. Villanova goes back to Philly. What a game!

Ryan Boatright is elated as the clock runs out beating Villanova, 77-65 knowing his team  will advance to the Sweet-16.

Ryan Boatright is elated as the clock runs out beating Villanova, 77-65 knowing his team will advance to the Sweet-16.

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