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Memorial Day in Manchester

Manchester marked Memorial Day with a parade down Main Street and ceremony at Center Memorial Park.

Dignitaries follow a horse drawn caisson carrying a casket representing war dead in Manchester's Memorial Day Parade Monday.

Dignitaries follow a horse drawn caisson carrying a casket representing war dead in Manchester’s Memorial Day Parade Monday.

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Wethersfield Revolutionary War Encampment

The sixth annual Revolutionary War Encampment was held at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum in Old Wethersfield  Saturday. The WDS Revolutionary War Encampment also included members of the 54th Regiment of Foot, a dashing band of British redcoats who launched a  “surprise” attack on the Continental soldiers, historical reenactments and period entertainment.

Captain Sal Tarantino, of Colchester, leader of the Sheldon's Horse, Second Continental Light Dragoons, demonstates firing a pistol on horseback during the sixth annual Revolutionary War Encampment at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum in Old Wethersfield  Saturday.

Captain Sal Tarantino, of Colchester, leader of the Sheldon’s Horse, Second Continental Light Dragoons, demonstates firing a pistol on horseback during the sixth annual Revolutionary War Encampment at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum in Old Wethersfield Saturday.

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Mr. Potato Head

The new Mr. Potato Head exhibit at Connecticut Science Center’s Ribbon Cutting and preview of the new traveling exhibits Mindbender Mansion and The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD.Mindbender Mansion is presented by Travelers and The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD® is  presented locally by Citizens Bank. The two nationally touring exhibits will be on display May 24 through Aug. 31 in the Saint Francis Care Traveling Exhibit Gallery on the Science Center’s fourth floor.

A dad takes his son's picture with Mr. Potato Head at Connecticut Science Center's Ribbon Cutting and preview of the new traveling exhibits Mindbender Mansion and The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD.

A dad takes his son’s picture with Mr. Potato Head at Connecticut Science Center’s Ribbon Cutting and preview of the new traveling exhibits Mindbender Mansion and The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD.

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World’s Last Wooden Whaling Ship

The Charles W. Morgan, the world’s last wooden whaling vessel, has just undergone a five year, $10 million rebuilding project. The ship is currently docked in New London and is being outfitted for its historic 38th sailing voyage which is scheduled to take place on June 14th. the historic ship will be open to the public at the state pier on May 24-25 and May 31-June1.

 The crew has been busy aboard the Charles W. Morgan this week in preparation for the whaling ship's return to sea in June.

The crew has been busy aboard the Charles W. Morgan this week in preparation for the whaling ship’s return to sea in June.

TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS OF THE CHARLES W. MORGAN, PLEASE CLICK HERE

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A Moment in the Sun

The Republican Convention was held at the Mohegan Sun Saturday.

UNCASVILLE--5/17/14--The Foley family on stage at the Republican Convention at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Saturday.

UNCASVILLE–5/17/14–The Foley family on stage at the Republican Convention at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Saturday.

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The Republican Convention was held at the Mohegan Sun Saturday

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USS San Juan Returns

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS San Juan returned to Connecticut Friday, May 16. San Juan’s crew of more than 140 Sailors departed Naval Submarine Base New London Oct. 15 to conduct maritime operations in the Middle East and Europe. The submarine visited ports in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal and Spain while deployed.  Three newborns met  their dads for the first time Friday. San Juan was commissioned in August 1988. The 25-year-old vessel is the third U.S. Navy ship named for Puerto Rico’s capital city.

Posing for a portrait, Marina and Chris Johnston, of New London, hold her sign and kiss upon his return from a seven month deployment Friday. The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS San Juan returned to Connecticut Friday, May 16. San Juan's crew of more than 140 Sailors departed Naval Submarine Base New London Oct. 15 to conduct maritime operations in the Middle East and Europe. The submarine visited ports in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal and Spain while deployed.  Three newborns met  their dads for the first time Friday. San Juan was commissioned in August 1988. The 25-year-old vessel is the third U.S. Navy ship named for Puerto Rico's capital city.

Posing for a portrait, Marina and Chris Johnston, of New London, hold her sign and kiss upon his return from a seven month deployment Friday.

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Tolland Green Day

Students from Tolland Intermediate School, grades 3-5, converged on the town green Thursday, wearing colonial dress, portraying ancestors in character, visiting museums and participating in crafts and games of that era.

Allison Free, 9, left, and Clara Canavan, 9, both third grade students, dance on the Tolland Green during Tolland Green Day Thursday.

Allison Free, 9, left, and Clara Canavan, 9, both third grade students, dance on the Tolland Green during Tolland Green Day Thursday.

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UConn Class of 2014 Commencements

The UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences held commencement ceremonies at Gampel Pavilion Sunday, while the Neag School of Education graduation was held at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts.  Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis, who protected her 15 first-graders when gunman Adam Lanza shot his way into the building on December 14, 2012, killing 20 children and six adults, by hiding them in a cramped bathroom, gave the commencement address to the Neag School graduates, And University of Texas professor of mathematics Philip Uri Treisman told CLAS grads that “democracy is not a spectator sport.” To read Chris Hoffman’s coverage of the events click here and here.

STORRS 05/11/14 Graduates with UConn's Neag School of Education applaud commencement speaker Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts Sunday. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

STORRS 05/11/14 Graduates with UConn’s Neag School of Education applaud commencement speaker Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts Sunday. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

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Thistle Lawn Bowling Club

Jack Miller of West Hartford didn’t want anything to do with lawn bowling.

Joe Morin kept at him.

“For two years he hounded me.”

Well, he’d go once to get him off his back.

He’d try it.

Say he hated it.

And that would be the end of it.

Miller eventually  became president of the club.

A while ago Susan Abrams contacted Miller.

Her father Halstead Bartholomew, a lawn bowler, passed away.

She wanted somebody to take his bowls.

Miller took them.

They have a good feel to them.

Jack Miller, of West Hartford, at center, didn't think he would like lawn bowling. Now he's a pro.

Jack Miller, of West Hartford, at center, didn’t think he would like lawn bowling. Now he’s a pro.

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UConn School of Engineering Graduates

Not every commencement speaker can deliver his speech floating upside down and still lend some gravity to his remarks. UConn alumnus Rick Mastracchio, Class of 1982, who did both, gave the commencement address from international Space Staton Saturday, with the UConn graduating class from the School of Engineering listening to the pre-recorded address at Gampel Pavilion.

Meaghan Sullivan, of Dartmouth, Mass., at left, surprises friend Richard Baldio, of Salem, New Hampshire as he is about to take a picture of friends in the field house on the UConn campus Saturday morning as they waited for graduation exercises to begin.

Meaghan Sullivan, of Dartmouth, Mass., at left, surprises friend Richard Baldio, of Salem, New Hampshire as he is about to take a picture of friends in the field house on the UConn campus Saturday morning as they waited for graduation exercises to begin.

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Adulation

Celebrity Nick Cannon came to CREC’s Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Wednesday. Principal of the Day. The decibel level from his fans was within the realm of managable until he took off his pseudo motorcycle jacket, revealing him in his Brandoesque muscle shirt. Then:

Thanks to a local radio contest, CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts had a special "principal of the day" Wednesday: Nick Cannon, the MTV-generation actor and host of America's Got Talent. Cannon performed and posed in photos with students at the school

Thanks to a local radio contest, CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts had a special “principal of the day” Wednesday: Nick Cannon, the MTV-generation actor and host of America’s Got Talent. Cannon performed and posed in photos with students at the school.

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 A volcano of sound erupted. An F-16 of screams flew through the room. The earth was knocked off its axis. The sound of teenage bliss. A lineage that goes back to Elvis gyrating to the masses on the Ed Sullivan Show. Its good to be young.

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MAHOGANY DREAMS

The ninth coat of marine varnish was applied to the 1942 Chris Craft Special Runabout inside Boyd Mefferd’s boat restoration shop in Canton. The mahogany decks gleamed in the north light spilling in through the giant windows and the rich, red wood looked almost three-dimensional. The 17’ classic boat will be done soon, a four-year project for Mefferd and John Carl, the craftsman who works with him. Since the early 1980’s Mefferd and Carl have been rebuilding, restoring and refinishing mahogany Chris Crafts, Gar Woods, Fay and Bowens and other classics and have clients from all over the world.

Boyd Mefferd wipes down a vintage 1942 19' Chris Craft barrel stern double cockpit mahogany runabout inside his shop. Mefferd's shop completely rebuilt the deck on the rare boat. At left is a 1950 22' Chris Craft Sportsman and at right is a classic Fay & Bowen 30' triple cockpit, one of only two ever built. On the rack above is Mefferd's own 1956 Chris Craft Sportsman.

Boyd Mefferd wipes down a vintage 1942 19′ Chris Craft barrel stern double cockpit mahogany runabout inside his shop. Mefferd’s shop completely rebuilt the deck on the rare boat. At left is a 1950 22′ Chris Craft Sportsman and at right is a classic Fay & Bowen 30′ triple cockpit, one of only two ever built. On the rack above is Mefferd’s own 1956 Chris Craft Sportsman.

TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS, PLEASE CLICK HERE

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Storm-Weary

Cleanup continues in Arkansas after tornadoes battered the South for days. In Arkansas and Mississippi, the hardest hit states, 27 people have died and mare than 200 have been injured as storms reduced homes to splinters. Makeshift shelters have been set up for thousands of families left homeless while the National Guard, police and residents sifted the rubble looking for more victims.

Rescue workers and volunteers stand amid debris of homes one day after they were destroyed by a tornado in Vilonia, Arkansas April 28, 2014. A ferocious storm system caused a twister in Mississippi and threatened tens of millions of people across the U.S. Southeast on Monday, a day after it spawned tornadoes that killed 16 people and tossed cars like toys in Arkansas and other states.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Rescue workers and volunteers stand amid debris of homes one day after they were destroyed by a tornado in Vilonia, Arkansas April 28, 2014. A ferocious storm system caused a twister in Mississippi and threatened tens of millions of people across the U.S. Southeast on Monday, a day after it spawned tornadoes that killed 16 people and tossed cars like toys in Arkansas and other states. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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Cameras Rolling

Marsha Karp, producer of  “Cameras Rolling,”  filmed the May episode on West Hartford Community Television with guests Reno Venturi, owner Of Actors Gym and producer of “Pleading Sanity” and Russell Bernstein Actor/Writer of the “Pleading Sanity” web series.

Marsha Karp, producer of "Cameras Rolling," filmed the May episode on West Hartford Community Television with guests Reno Venturi, owner Of Actors Gym and producer of "Pleading Sanity" and Russell Bernstein Actor/Writer of the "Pleading Sanity" web series.

Marsha Karp, producer of “Cameras Rolling,” filmed the May episode on West Hartford Community Television with guests Reno Venturi, owner Of Actors Gym and producer of “Pleading Sanity” and Russell Bernstein Actor/Writer of the “Pleading Sanity” web series.

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Andrew’s Wish

Andrew Hedberg, 9, of Southington, who is battling bone cancer, had his recreation room at his Southington home renovated by Make-A-Wish. The finished room, which was done in a nautical theme, was revealed to him for the first time Tuesday evening. Here he sits on the couch with his family, friends, and media watching.

Andrew Hedberg, 9, of Southington, who is battling bone cancer, had his recreation room at his Southington home renovated by Make-A-Wish. The finished room, which was done in a nautical theme, was revealed to him for the first time Tuesday evening.

Andrew Hedberg, 9, of Southington, who is battling bone cancer, had his recreation room at his Southington home renovated by Make-A-Wish. The finished room, which was done in a nautical theme, was revealed to him for the first time Tuesday evening.

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Superhero Day At Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

April 28  was National Superhero Day and at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Patients and staff wore wear capes and costumes to honor all the superheroes at the medical center. This was the CCMC’s first superhero event, which featured superhero window washers, face painting, arts and crafts and other activities.

Super hero Ian Fagan, 5, of Hebron, left, a patient at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, meets Batman, portrayed by Jim Grady, of New York, at the medical center Monday.

Super hero Ian Fagan, 5, of Hebron, left, a patient at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, meets Batman, portrayed by Jim Grady, of New York, at the medical center Monday.

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From Popes To Saints

While Pope John Paul II was canonized a Saint at the Vatican in Rome Sunday, students and families from Pope John Paul II School in New Britain attended Mass at Holy Cross Church, to pray for their patron saint and to re-dedicate their school to him. More than 900 attended the Sunday mass which was given in Polish. Pope John Paull II, who was Polish, had visited the Holy Cross School when hew was a Cardinal in 1969.

The school was rededicated in a ceremony following the mass and re-named Saint John Paull II School. At the end of the ceremony, 5 white doves symbolizing peace, were released by their handler, Joe Melluzzo, left, of Unionville. Watching from the school entrance are Rev. Dariosz Gosciniak, Pastor of the Holy Cross Church and Bo Cuprak, Principal of the school, right.

The school was rededicated in a ceremony following the mass and re-named Saint John Paull II School. At the end of the ceremony, 5 white doves symbolizing peace, were released by their handler, Joe Melluzzo, left, of Unionville. Watching from the school entrance are Rev. Dariosz Gosciniak, Pastor of the Holy Cross Church and Bo Cuprak, Principal of the school, right.

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“Her spirit will be with us forever.”

MILFORD--4/25/14--Mourners at a vigil at Walnut Beach in Milford release balloons near the end of a vigil Friday evening after Maren Sanchez was stabbed to death at Jonathan Law High School in Milford Friday,  the day the junior prom was to be held. RICK HARTFORD|rhartford@courant.com

MILFORD–4/25/14–Mourners at a vigil at Walnut Beach in Milford release balloons near the end of a vigil Friday evening after Maren Sanchez was stabbed to death at Jonathan Law High School in Milford Friday, the day the junior prom was to be held. RICK HARTFORD|rhartford@courant.com

By ALAINE GRIFFIN, KELLY GLISTA and DENISE BUFFA, agriffin@courant.com

MILFORD — Maren Sanchez adjusted the microphone and took a seat on stage with her guitar, the instrument that she taught herself to play.

She didn’t know it at the time, but Maren’s soft, lullaby-like version of Phillip Phillips’ song “Home” — captured on a 2012 YouTube video and widely circulated throughout social media Friday — would end up being a gift that she would leave to the many loved ones she left behind.

“Don’t pay no mind to the demons,” Maren sang from the stage at Jonathan Law High School, lyrics that would prove startlingly prophetic. “They fill you with fear. The trouble it might drag you down.”

Maren, a 16-year-old junior, was stabbed to death Friday morning in the hallway of the school by another student, whose name has not been released. Police are investigating whether the 16-year-old male, who has been charged with murder, had wanted to take her to the junior prom, which was scheduled for Friday night.

FULL STORY HERE

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Hillary Clinton Speaks At UConn Forum

Wednesday night former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the Edmond Fusco Contemporary Issues Forum at the Jorgensen Center For The Performing Arts on the UConn campus. To read Daniela Altimari’s story on Clinton’s visit click here:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton raises a couple of Huskies baby outfits given to her by UConn president Susan Herbst after Herbst announced she heard Clinton will become a grandmother soon. Clinton spoke at the University of Connecticut at the Jorgensen Center For The Performing Arts Wednesday night in Storrs

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton raises a couple of Huskies baby outfits given to her by UConn president Susan Herbst after Herbst announced she heard Clinton will become a grandmother soon. Clinton spoke at the University of Connecticut at the Jorgensen Center For The Performing Arts Wednesday night in Storrs.

For More Photos Click Here:

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Clean Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra recognized Earth Day by kicking off the CleanHartford anti-litter program at Keney Park in Hartford Tuesday. CleanHartford is the city’s first coordinated campaign that to address litter through enforcement, abatement and education. Driven by the city’s department of public works, the Knox Parks Foundation, the Hartford Police and local community groups, it is aimed at empowering Hartford residents and businesses to clean up their community. Volunteers can participate by selecting a public street, space, park or playground to clean and beautify. There will be a Hartford Public High School clean up April 26 from 8 a.m., to noon; at the Keney Park West Meadow Section April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; an Enfield, Capen and Edgewood Street clean up April 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a Sigourney Park clean up April 26 from 10 a.m. to noon.

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Eddie Fryer of the city's department of public works tosses refuse into a city garbage truck during a clean up at city owned property at 2 Holcomb Street Tuesday afternoon. City crews fanned out across the city Tuesday as part of an anti-litter campaign announced by Hartford's mayor earlier in the day.  Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra recognized Earth Day by kicking off the CleanHartford anti-litter program at Keney Park in Hartford Tuesday. CleanHartford is the city's first coordinated campaign that to address litter through enforcement, abatement and education. Driven by the city's department of public works, the Knox Parks Foundation, the Hartford Police and local community groups, it is aimed at empowering Hartford residents and businesses to clean up their community. Volunteers can participate by selecting a public street, space, park or playground to clean and beautify. There will be a Hartford Public High School clean up April 26 from 8 a.m., to noon; at the Keney Park West Meadow Section April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; an Enfield, Capen and Edgewood Street clean up April 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a Sigourney Park clean up April 26 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Eddie Fryer of the city’s department of public works tosses refuse into a city garbage truck during a clean up at city owned property at 2 Holcomb Street Tuesday afternoon. City crews fanned out across the city Tuesday as part of an anti-litter campaign announced by Hartford’s mayor earlier in the day. 

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The 118th Boston Marathon | Records Broken, Friendships Forged

"I just met Sarah at the starting line," says Lynn Crisci, 37, of Boston about her new friend and marathon companion Sarah Reinertsen, 38, of Orange County, California after the duo finish the Boston Marathon together. Crisci says she is still shaken by last year's deadly bombings that left her struggling with a traumatic brain injury. Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

“I just met Sarah at the starting line,” says Lynn Crisci, 37, (at left) of Boston about her newly-found friend Sarah Reinertsen who Crisci came to befriend and depend on along the entire 26.2 mile route of the 118th Boston Marathon.  Reinertsen, 38, of Orange County, California helps Crisci gain her composure for a photograph in the finishing chute at the end of the race. Crisci says she survived last year’s deadly bombings but is still shaken by the explosive shock that has left her struggling with a traumatic brain injury. Sarah and Lynn finished the race together.  Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

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“Dear Boston…” You’re Strong, Fragile, Resilient & Embracing

"Dear Boston: Messages From The Marathon Memorial" is an emotional rollercoaster of images and artifacts collected from the finish line memorials. The  exhibit at the Boston Public Library that extends through May 11 and contains hundred of items from the make-shift memorial after last year's tragic events on Boylston Street near the marathon finish line.  Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

“Dear Boston: Messages From The Marathon Memorial” is an emotional rollercoaster of images and artifacts collected from the finish line memorials. The exhibit at the Boston Public Library  extends through May 11 and contains hundredS of items from the make-shift memorials after last year’s tragic events on Boylston Street near the marathon finish line. Today marks the 118th Boston Marathon.  Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

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Thousands were affected by the Boston Marathon bombing last April. The Courant caught up with five people with Connecticut ties who vow to return this year to help restore and celebrate the great race’s tradition. Please check out the video below.