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Mansfield firefighters to join CVFD 75th Anniversary parade

July 15, 2011 Arts & Entertainment, Local News Comments Off
antique-fire-equipment-coventry-fire-75th-anniversary-07-15-2011

Firefighters Michelle Carilli, Billy Wong and Josh Carson spruce up a turn-of­the- century hand pumper for its debut in a 10 a.m. parade Saturday in Coventry to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Coventry Volunteer Fire Association. Photo by Al Malpa

When the Coventry Volunteer Fire Association (CVFA) was founded in 1936, the department averaged 18 calls per year.

Now, 75 years later, the department averages more than 1,200 calls annually, approximately 90 percent of which CVFA Chief Joseph Carilli said are medical response calls.

CVFA, one of two departments that serve the town, will celebrate its 75th anniversary Saturday at a daylong celebration that includes a carnival and parade downtown. “We’re very excited,” Carilli said.

The event will be held rain or shine.

The carnival will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Coventry High School and will feature a rock climb wall, bungee ride and seven inflatable rides. Bracelets for the carnival rides cost $10 for the day.

There will also be a parade starting at 10 a.m. in which 20 fire departments, including Mansfield, Hebron, Bolton and South Windsor will participate.

State Sen. Anthony Guglielmo, R-Stafford Springs, is also expected to march.

The parade will follow the same parade route as Memorial Day’s parade, beginning at G.H.R. Intermediate School on 227 Cross St. and ending on Bradbury Lane.

Malcolm Devine Jr., who was in the department for 50 years, will be the parade Grand Marshal.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, will also appear at the event.

CVFA will participate in a muster with Hebron firefighters at 2 p.m. at CVFA’s main station on Main Street, across from town hall.

Musters are competitions among fire departments in which numerous firefighting skills are judged.

Some sad memories

Carilli, who has been in the department for 35 years, six as chief, said he and the others in the department have had some “very traumatic fires” throughout its history.

Among them are two former grocery stores in town: Guido’s and Zollo’s.

In addition to responding to fires, CVFA, one of two fire departments in town, handles all emergency medical and ambulance calls in town. The North Coventry Volunteer Fire Department handles rescue calls.

The two departments often work together on scene.

“Throughout our ( CVFA) careers, we’ve had some very sad moments and some very happy moments,” Carilli said, and noted he has responded to 25,000 calls during his tenure in the department. “We’ve seen so much devastation.”

One of the most disturbing emergencies CVFA firefighters responded to, he said, was the shooting next door to the Bidwell Tavern restaurant in April 2008.

During this incident, a Coventry resident, Alfredo Ferrer, shot his pregnant girlfriend, Amanda Realie, in the apartment they shared above the Bidwell Spirit Shoppe on Main Street.

Realie and her unborn baby died after she was transported to Hartford Hospital by Life Star. CVFA firefighters gave medical treatment to the woman at the scene.

Ferrer was charged in connection with the incident and committed suicide while in jail.

“It was a very traumatic incident,” Carilli said.

His personal “greatest” moment while in the department, he said, was when he helped deliver a baby during the early 1980s.

Carilli said he was sad that the department’s longest-serving member, Frank Spencer Jr., a member for 62 years, died recently and thus, would not be participating in the anniversary celebration.

Frank Libby, Denny Dittrich, Fred Sewell, Devine Jr. and Robert Breault have all been members in the department for at least 45 years.

Libby, who joined the department in 1964 and is an emergency medical responder and engineer in the department, said one of the biggest changes he’s noticed is the amount of medical equipment available for calls.

The equipment the department now owns includes EpiPens (to administer lifesaving shots for allergy victims) and glucometers (to measure blood sugar).

Libby also noted the training is more intense now than it used to be.

Now they hold training sessions at the Connecticut Fire Academy in Windsor Locks.

A growing fleet

When the station first opened, there was only one bay for fire trucks in the garage. At that time, Arthur Woodworgh was the chief.

When Libby first joined, there were four bays.

Carilli said there are now 12 bays and numerous vehicles, including three ambulances, a dive vehicle, two marine units and two engine tanks.

Coventry Town Manager John Elsesser, who has worked in town since 1988, said he has seen a lot of changes in the department over the past 23 years. One of the most notable is the growth in the medical response business.

“Our response has been very good because people are here all the time,” Carilli said.

If you have questions about Saturday’s events, you can call Carilli at (860) 808-9471 or e- mail him at joefiremanemt@gmail.com.

Posted July 15, 2011 as edited by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan editor@htnp.com

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'Tour de Mansfield' bike tour to showcase town

July 13, 2011 Arts & Entertainment, Local News Comments Off

mansfield-barn-inkoutlinesDid you know the first silk mill in the country was built on Hanks Hill in 1810?

More than 300 years of history is tucked away in Mansfield’s his­toric villages and the upcoming sixth annual “Tour de Mansfield: Village to Village” bike tour Sat­urday (July 16) is an opportunity for a sce­nic trip through some or all of them.

Riders of all skill levels are invited to attend and experience the town’s historic villages first hand – and it’s not too late to register.

Presented by the Town of Mans­field, Mansfield Downtown Part­nership, Mansfield Community Center and local businesses, the event is aimed at bringing families and individuals out to explore and appreciate the community – all while getting some exercise to boot.

Whether riders sign up for the 5-mile “Family Fun Ride,” the 20­ mile ‘Challenge Ride” or the 40­ mile “Expert Ride” this social and recreational event offers some­thing for everyone. Jessica Tracy, fitness specialist at the community center, is coor­dinating the event this year.

Tracy said, in past years, more than 100 people of all ages have participated and the state police ride along with Family Fun Riders to help ensure rider safety.

The 19 villages along the bike routes include Merrow, Mansfield Depot, Mansfield Four Corners, Storrs, Gurleyville, Hanks Hill, Wormwood Hill, Mount Hope, Chaffeeville, Eagleville, Spring Hill, Atwoodville, Chestnut Hill, Mansfield City, Mansfield Center, Mansfield Hollow, Perkins Corner, Ridges and Conantville roads.

Mayor Elizabeth “Betsy” Pater­son said it’s interesting how each of the villages contributed a different element, such as the mill in Gurleyville, to the overall growth of the community as a whole.

“It gives people who haven’t lived here all their lives a sort of historical perspective of the town and how it grew from a series of little villages,” Paterson said.

The event is geared toward fam­ily fun and is followed by a bar­becue at the community center. “It’s not a race, it’s just a ride,” Tracy said.

Registration fees for the event are $15 for resident adults and $20 for non-resident adults. Anyone under 18 is free and an adult must accompany any child under 12.

Same day registration is avail­able for an additional $5 fee. The registration fee covers ride sup­port, snacks, lunch and, for the first 100 registrants, a “Tour de Mansfield: Village to Village” T­shirt. Helmets and knowledge of basic road rule safety required.

To register, go online to www.mansfieldct.gov and click on the Tour de Mansfield link. Check-in registration the day of the event begins at 7 a.m and the Family Fun Ride will commence at 11 a.m.

Pre-registration is encouraged, preferably before Friday. Parking for the event is in the E.O. Smith High School parking lot. The rain date is Saturday, July 23.

Anyone with questions can call the Parks and Recreation Depart­ment at (860) 429-3015.

Posted 7-13-2011

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Need something to do this weekend? Have breakfast, see a play, shop and more

July 8, 2011 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment, Local News Comments Off

Saturday July 9

ALL YOU CAN EAT BREAKFAST
St. Augustine’s Church, 144 Westminster Road, Route 14, Canterbury, will host an all-you-can-eat breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Cost: $6.

TAG SALE – COVENTRY
The Coventry Republican Town Committee is hosting a tag sale at Ackert Electric, 1265 Main St., Coventry, from 8 a.m. to noon (rain or shine). To donate any good condition items that are no longer wanted or needed, contact Teddie Ackert at either (860) 742-5287 or Tsackert@aol.com.

WILLINGTON SENIORS HOST ALL YOU CAN EAT BREAKFAST
The Willington Seniors will host a pancake breakfast at the Senior Center – 60 Old Farms Road on Saturday, July 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. All you can eat!! $5.00 per person. Call 860-429-8321 for details

MAGIC AT THE LIBRARY
Guilford Smith Memorial Library, Main Street, South Windham, will host magician Pete Haddad at 11 a.m. Info: (860) 423-5159 or visit www.guilfordsmith.org.

LEBANON MEMORABILIA DAY
Lebanon Historical Society Museum, 856 Trumbull Highway, Lebanon, will host Memorabilia Day from noon to 3 p.m. Rain or shine. Come and share what you have found, inherited or collected about Lebanon or just come to exchange information or ask questions about all things Lebanon. Call to reserve your display space. Some exhibitors may have Lebanon memorabilia for sale. Info: (860) 642- 6579 or e-mail museum@historyoflebanon.org

FAMILY MOVIE EVENT – SCOTLAND
The Scotland Public Library, 21 Brook Road, Scotland will host a family movie event at noon. Library will show a PG-rated movie and provide popcorn and beverages. Info: (860) 423-1492

KIDS CLUB EVENT: CIVIL WAR LIFE
The Windham Textile & History Museum will host its July Kids Club Activity, “Life During the Civil War,” from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Learn about life in Connecticut during the 1860s at the time of the American Civil War. Kids Club Members are free. General admission: $5 for children, $2 for adults. All supplies and refreshments included. Call to register at (860) 456-2178.

PUPPET SHOW – UCONN
The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, University of Connecticut campus, will host a puppet show at 3:30 p.m. Ki Hong Kim will present “The Adventures of Doggy Poo.” Show is a tabletop puppet version of a popular Korean children’s story about a lonely piece of poop who finds meaning and acceptance fertilizing a dandelion. Admission: $3 for children, $5 for adults.

SPAGHETTI DINNER
VFW Post No. 1724, 1415 Main St., Willimantic, will host a spa­ghetti dinner from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Adults are $7, seniors $6 and children under 12, $4. For information or tickets, call (860) 423-8507. All pro­ceeds donated to “Roof Fund.”

ST. PETER’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH CHICKEN BARBECUE
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 30 Church St. (Route 85), Hebron, will be holding its monthly dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. (or until sold-out). Cost is $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and under. Info: (860) 228-3244.

‘MY FAIR LADY’ – STORRS
The Connecticut Repertory Theatre concludes its 2011 Nutmeg Summer Series with “My Fair Lady,” running July 7-17 in the Harriett S. Jorgensen Theatre (lower Jorgensen Auditorium) on the University of Connecticut Storrs campus. Evening performances are Tuesday to Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 8 p.m. and matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets $10-$39. For information or tickets, call (860) 486-4226 or visit www.crt.uconn.edu.

Sunday July 10

ASHFORD FARMERS MARKET
The Ashford Farmers Market is held at Pompey Hollow Park, off Route 44 across from Ashford Town Hall. The market will run every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. Info: Loretta at bird­eye123@earthlink.net.

PET ADOPTION EVENT AT ASHFORD FARMERS MARKET
“Our Companions” is planning its second annual Ashford Farmers Market pet adoption event. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Applications will be collected, but no adoptions will happen on the day of the event. Info: Stephanie at (860) 242-9999, ext. 303 or Stephanie@ourcompanions.org.

COVENTRY FARMERS MARKET
The Coventry Farmers Market is held at the Nathan Hale Homestead at 2299 South St. The market will run every Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October. Info: www.coventryfarmersmarket.com.

RASTOMJI TO PRESENT PIANO RECITAL
Khurshed Rastomji, adjunct professor of music at Eastern Connecticut State University and the Pomfret School, will present a piano recital at East Hampton Public Library, 20 E. High St., at 2:30 p.m. His perfor­mance will include music by Mozart, Chopin, Debussy and Liszt.

LACTATION/BREASTFEEDING CLASS OR CONSULTATION
Windham Community Memorial Hospital offers a breastfeeding class at 4 p.m. Cost is $10. Info: Pamela Yerkes, certified lactation con­sultant, at (860) 456-6973.

COLONIAL ADVENTURE FOR KIDS DAY CAMP
Children will be able to travel back to the 18th century at Connecticut Landmarks’ Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry with the “Colonial Adventure for Kids” day camp. Registration is being sought now for the camp, which is Monday July 18 through Friday July 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children ages 8 to 12 have the opportunity enjoy a week of sum­mer fun and explore the way the colonists did in the 18th century. Cost is $150 for the week, $135 for members. Registration required as space is limited. To register, contact the Nathan Hale Homestead at (860) 742-6917 or e-mail hale@ctlandmarks.org.

ARTS & CRAFTS VENDORS WANTED
Network Inc. is seeking arts and crafts vendors for a fall fair, “Connecticut’s Own,” to take place on Saturday, Sept. 24, on the grounds of Network’s main office on Route 6 in Andover from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A 10-foot-by-10-foot space is $25. Info: Kathleen McLean at (860) 753-2923 or e-mail kmclean@network-programs.com.

Posted 7-8-2011

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Attention surprises 'Nine Lives' author

nine-lives-of-chloe-kingWhen E.O. Smith High School graduate Liz Braswell saw advertisements displaying the name of one of her book series and heard people express excitement, it was a new experience.

Braswell said she has received fan mail before but authors do not typically get the level of public exposure or response she has received since ABC Family debuted its TV show “The Nine Lives of Chloe King,” based on her book series of the same name, two weeks ago.

“It’s crazy, it’s really bizarre,” she said, adding she overhears people talking about the show and her books in public.

The three books have been released together and have reached the New York Times Best Sellers List for children’s paperbacks.

Braswell wrote the three-volume series, which was originally released in 2004, under the pen name Celia Thomson.

The series is about Chloe King’s life as an everyday teenager with “cat-like superwoman powers,” according to its web site.

She said ABC Family, which airs the show at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, contacted her in January about turning the show into a television series.

She said the fact some of her literary work was becoming a TV show “took sev­eral months to sink in,” but soon noticed the amount of support ABC Family was put­ting behind the show.

“The amount of mar­keting ABC has put into it is insane,” said Braswell, who now lives in North Brooklyn, N.Y., and has even seen ads placed on public buses.

Braswell was born in England but grew up in Mansfield and graduated from E.O. Smith in 1989 before going to Brown University to focus on Egyptology, or the study of Egypt.

She also had in interest in com­puters and decided when she graduated to work as a video game producer until 2002.

But she also said she has always had a love for reading and writing, never giving up writing during her time as a video game producer.

“As soon as I learned how to write, I’ve written stories,” she said.

Braswell got her first book contract in 2002 on the exact same day she was laid off from her job as a game producer.

“It was great, I got to switch gears imme­diately,” she said, although she admitted she sometimes misses the gaming industry.

Braswell said she had an outline and a few chapters of her first book completed when she got the contract, but it took her nine more months to write the book.

It also took a few months for editing and other work before her first book “Snow,” written under the pen name Tracy Lynn, was released in 2003.

She was also one of a team of writers, who shared the pen name Rob Kidd, who wrote a series of books based on the character Jack Sparrow from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie series.

Braswell said she is often working on multiple books at one time, some of which take longer to complete than others.

“It’s not easy. You don’t go into (writing) because it’s easy,” she said, adding she has been working on one book for 10 years.

She said the “biggest misconception” other people have about writing is the amount of work that actually goes into writing a book.

Braswell, who has two children, said she also sometimes needs to find the time to write, but finds it rewarding when she does. “It’s both refreshing and it’s hard,” she said.

Braswell’s work tends to target young adults, a group she said is “much more accepting” of new ideas, while authors targeting adults often specialize in one genre.

“At that age, kids just want to read anything and everything,” she said, adding she first fell in love with reading as a teenager.

Braswell said she prefers to write about fan­tasy and the supernatural, but she has also writ­ten about other topics.

And while the ABC Family TV series has sparked a new level of interest in her work, suc­cess is nothing new for Braswell.

“The Stolen” and “The Fallen,” both part of the Chloe King series, were named American Library Association Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers in 2005.

“The Fallen” was also named one of the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age.

Braswell also said she has always received fan mail, and added it is “humbling” to hear positive feedback from fans after spending so much time alone developing her characters.

“I always get a little embarrassed,” she said.

Posted 7-5-2011

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This weekend – Farmers Markets, Parades and more

Saturday July 2

HEBRON FARMERS MARKET
The Hebron Farmers’ Market located on the grounds of Church of Hope and the Red Barn, at the intersection of Routes 66 and 85, Hebron, is held every Saturday through Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

DRAGONS AT THE GOODWIN CENTER
The Goodwin Forest Conservation Education Center and the Goodwin State Forest will host an exploration to learn more about the fascinating world of dragonflies from 10 a.m. to noon. The center is located off of Route 6 at 23 Potter Road, Hampton. Pre-registration is requested but not required. For more information or to register: (860) 455-9534 or juan.sanchezjr@ct.gov.

SCOTLAND HUNTINGTON HOMESTEAD OPEN HOUSE
Tour guides lead visitors through the birthplace of Samuel Huntington, signer of the Declaration of Independence from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Gov. Samuel Huntington Trust opens the Homestead on the first and third Saturdays of each month through October and is located on Route 14 just west of the Scotland town center. Free admission, donations welcome. Info: (860) 423-1547.

PUPPET SHOW – UCONN
Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, University of Connecticut’s Depot campus, will host a puppet show at 3:30 p.m. Thomas Getchell, excerpts from “The Proleptic Voice: A Visual Poem.” A marionette tour-de-force of vignettes revealing themes of faith, hope and charity in the poetry of one of America’s greatest poets, Emily Dickinson, inspired by her metaphor of life as a circus. Admission $3 for children, $5 for adults.

COLONIAL ADVENTURE FOR KIDS DAY CAMP
Children will be able to travel back to the 18th century at Connecticut Landmarks’ Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry with the “Colonial Adventure for Kids” day camp. Registration sought now for the camp, which is Monday July 18 through Friday July 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children ages 8 to 12 have the opportunity to enjoy a week of summer fun and explore the way colonists did things in the 18th century. Cost is $150 for the week, $135 for members. Registration required as space is limited. To register, contact the Nathan Hale Homestead at (860) 742-6917 or e-mail hale@ctlandmarks.org.

Sunday July 3

CANTERBURY VFW BREAKFAST
Canterbury VFW, Route 169, North Canterbury Road, Canterbury, will host a breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Cost is $5.50 with children 5­years-old and under free.

AHM GOLF OPEN
Registration is being accepted for AHM Youth and Family Services’ golf tournament at Blackledge Country Club on Monday, July 11, beginning at 9 a.m. The tournament is scheduled for a “shotgun” start at 9: 30 a.m. An afternoon picnic will be hosted by the Armata Family from Ted’s Supermarket. Cost is $125 for individuals, with an added incentive of a $100 discount for all pre-registered foursomes ($ 400). Registration forms and sponsorship forms can be sent via e- mail from the AHM offices. Questions about playing or serving as a sponsor for the tourna­ment should be directed to the AHM off ices (860) 228- 9488.

ASHFORD FARMERS MARKET
The Ashford Farmers Market is held at Pompey Hollow Park, off Route 44 across from the Town Hall. The market will run every Sunday 10 a. m. to 1 p. m. through October. Info: Loretta at birdeye123@earth­link.net.

COVENTRY FARMERS MARKET
The Coventry Farmers Market is held at the Nathan Hale Homestead at 2299 South St. The market will run every Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October. Info: www.coventryfarmersmarket.com.

ARTS AND CRAFTS VENDORS WANTED
Network Inc. is seeking arts and crafts vendors for a fall fair, “Connecticut’s Own,” to take place on Saturday, Sept. 24, on the grounds of Network’s main office on Route 6 in Andover from 9 a.m. to 4 p. m. 10-foot-by-10-foot space costs $25. Info: Kathleen McLean (860) 753- 2923 or e- mail kmclean@network-programs.com.

Monday July 4

CANTERBURY FOURTH OF JULY PARADE
Canterbury’s Fourth of July Parade will be held at 10 a.m. Any orga­nization, family or individual who is interested in participating should come to the Baldwin School (Route 14) parking lot at 9 a.m. The parade steps off promptly at 10 a.m. The route of the parade is Baldwin School west to the town hall complex. Following the parade, there will be a flag-raising ceremony.

COLUMBIA LIONS CLUB INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE
The Columbia Lions Club will host the 49th annual Independence Day Parade starting at 10 a. m. from Horace Porter School to Lake Road and Route 87.

WILLIMANTIC BOOM BOX PARADE
Willimantic’s Annual July 4 Boom Box Parade, sponsored by WILI, starts at 11 a.m. with lineup starting at 9 a.m. in the Jillson Square park­ing lot. Participants and spectators should wear red, white and blue and bring a radio to the parade tuned to 1400/WILI AM. The radios provide the music. Anyone can march in the parade, create a float or just watch this memorable event.

Posted 7-1-2011

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This weekend – CoventryFest, Celebrate America, Blues Fest and more

June 24, 2011 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment, Local News Comments Off

Saturday, June 25

ANNUAL TAG SALE – ST. COLUMBA CHURCH
St. Columba Church, junction of routes 66 and 87, Columbia, will be holding its annual tag sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Info: (860) 228- 2050. Donations accepted.

THRIFT SHOP AND KID’S BOUTIQUE
The Thrift Shop and Kid’s Boutique is open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon at the First Congregational Church on 199 Valley St., Willimantic. New items every week. Spring items have ar rived. The shops will be closed Saturday, July 2, for the holiday weekend. Info: ( 860) 423- 6827 or visit www.churchw.org.

ANNUAL SUMMER BOOK SALE
The Friends of the Mansfield Library will hold their summer book sale at the Mansfield Library located on Route 89 in Mansfield Center. The doors open at 9 a.m. Proceeds benefit the Mansfield Library. For the convenience of the public, a shuttle bus will operate from the Southeast Elementary School (Route 89) parking lot on Saturday, only. Anyone wishing to submit donations of books is encouraged to do so throughout the year. Books may be dropped off in the delivery service entrance at the front of the Mansfield Library, 54 Warrenville Road, Mansfield Center.

TAG SALE – ASHFORD
The Lake Chaffee Improvement Association will be holding a tag sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chaffee Hall, 15 Old Town Road, Ashford. Multiple families will be involved.

SCOTLAND SENIORS BAKE & TAG SALE
The Scotland Seniors will be conducting a bake and tag sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Scotland Green, Route 14, Scotland from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Space available and costs $10 each. Proceeds to benefit Scotland Community Hall. Rain date June 26. Info: Alice Bury (860) 546- 9572.

HARDY PLANT SOCIETY SUMMER PICNIC AND PROGRAM
The Hardy Plant Society will host a 1 p. m. picnic/program featur­ing Joann Vieira, curator, Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Program called “Wildflowers and Companions.” Lunch is noon. Rain date Sunday, June 26. All welcome. Bring a dish to share and a chair. Location: Quack in Grass Nursery, 16 Laurel Hill Road, Brooklyn, from 10 a. m. to 5 p. m.

VICTORIAN BAZAAR
Willimantic Camp Meeting Association, 1 mile south of Frog Bridge on Route 32, will host a Victorian bazaar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food, crafts, plants, white elephant and more. Proceeds go to maintain histori­cal buildings, Vacation Bible school, port-a-potties at playground/pond area. Info: (860) 942-8499.

DRAGONFLIES AT THE GOODWIN CENTER
The Goodwin Forest Conservation Education Center and the Goodwin State Forest will host an exploration to learn more about the fascinating world of Dragonflies, from 10 a.m. to noon. The center is located off of Route 6 at 23 Potter Road, Hampton. Pre-registration is requested but not required. For more information or to register: (860) 455- 9534 or juan.sanchezjr@ct.gov.

SPRING CARNIVAL – COLUMBIA
Columbia Rec Park, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., moon bounce, kickball, Wiffle ball, volleyball and carnival games for all ages. Sponsored by Columbia Leo Club, proceeds to support Columbia charities.

COVENTRYFEST
Come join the fun at this year’s annual CoventryFest, held on Coventry Lake at Patriot’s Park. The rain date is Sunday, June 26. The family-oriented event begins at 3 p.m. with a f ireworks display over Coventry Lake after sundown. Free admission, however, donations are accepted to help defer the cost of the event and to help support future CoventryFest activities.

PUPPET SHOW – UCONN
Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, UConn’s Depot campus, will host a puppet show at 4 p.m. Event to feature Travis Lope and Leah Sylvain, The Enchanted Vanity Set. Show to feature an expertly crafted toy theater full of magical transformations. Show will also feature Travis Lope, Foolish Fortunes. A gypsy for tune-teller reveals the future to lucky members of the audience. Admission $3 for children, $5 for adults.

CELEBRATE AMERICA – HEBRON
The Hebron Lions Club will “Celebrate America” with fireworks at the Hebron Fair grounds. Gate opens at 5 p.m., $ 10 per car (rain date Sunday June 26). Fireworks, live band, food and games will be featured.

SHABOO BLUES FESTIVAL/ WINDHAM HOSPITAL BENEFIT
The Auxiliary to Windham Hospital presents ” The Shaboo Blues Festival” on Sat., June 25, 2011 at Jillson Square in Willimantic. Music 5 to 11 p.m. The concert is a benefit for a new out-patient and oncology suite at Windham Hospital. Sponsored in part by the Lester E. & Phyllis M. Foster Foundation, the event fea­tures Elvin Bishop, James Cotton, and the David Foster & the Shaboo All-Stars and celebrates the 40th anniversary of the opening of the legendary Shaboo Inn.

SUMMER DANCE – COLUMBIA
The Town of Columbia is hosting a summer dance at Columbia Town Hall, Route 87, Columbia, from 8 to 11 p.m. Featuring Columbia Five Star Band. Cost is $11/per­son. Benefits Columbia Recreation Department Info: www.columbiact.org or call (860) 228-8513.

Sunday, June 26

BUFFET BREAKFAST – WINDHAM
Knights of Columbus Council 14, 41 Club Road, Windham, is hosting a buffet breakfast from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Children under 5 free, 6-12, $5.50, seniors $6 and adults $6.50. Take-outs available.

SPORTING CLAYS FUN SHOOT
The Connecticut Waterfowlers Association will host a clay pigeon fun shoot at the Fin, Fur & Feather Club, Chaplin, rain or shine. Open to all. Event starts at 8:30 a.m. with registration, 9:30 a.m. with a shot­gun start. Fees are $75 adults/$45 ages 17 and younger. Info: John Pawelec at (860) 429-7033 or www.ctwaterfowlers.org.

ANNUAL SUMMER BOOK SALE
The Friends of the Mansfield Library will host its summer book sale at the Mansfield Library, located on Route 89 in Mansfield Center. The doors open at 9 a.m. Proceeds benefit the Mansfield Library. Anyone wishing to submit donations of books are encouraged to do so throughout the year. Books may be dropped off in the delivery service entrance at the front of the Mansfield Library, 54 Warrenville Road, Mansfield Center.

CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY MOTORCYCLE POKER RUN
The Church of the Holy Family in Hebron will sponsor its 11th annual Padre’s Run to benefit The Wounded Warrior Project, an orga­nization that provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civil­ian life. Registration: 9 to 11 a.m. in the church hall. There will be a memorial mass at 9:30 a.m., followed by a motorcycle poker run with three different stops across the state. For those choosing not to ride, they may attend the dinner for $10 per adult, $5 per child and children under age of 3 are free. Info: (860) 228-0096 or online www.holyfami­lyhebron.org.

ASHFORD FARMERS MARKET
The Ashford Farmers Market is held at Pompey Hollow Park off Route 44 across from Ashford Town Hall. The market will run every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. Info: Loretta at birdeye123@earthlink.net.

COVENTRY FARMERS MARKET
The Coventry Farmers Market is held at the Nathan Hale Homestead at 2299 South St. The market will run every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October. Info: www.coventryfarmersmarket.com.

OPEN HOUSE – SOUTH WINDHAM FIRE DEPARTMENT
South Windham Fire Department, 41 Machine Shop Hill Road, South Windham will be hosting an open house to celebrate 100 years of service to the community from 1 to 4 p.m. featuring fire prevention, blood pressure screening, apparatus review and history displays.

Posted 6-24-2011

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This Weekend – Tag Sales, Farmers Markets and more

June 17, 2011 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment, Local News Comments Off

SATURDAY, JUNE 18

THRIFT SHOP AND KIDS’ BOUTIQUE
The thrift shop and kids’ boutique is open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon at the First Congregational Church, 199 Valley St., Willimantic. New items every week. Spring items have arrived. The shops will be closed Saturday, July 2, for the holiday weekend. Info: (860) 423-6827 or visit www.churchw.org.

CANTERBURY VFW BOOK SALE
Canterbury VFW, Route 169, North Canterbury Road, Canterbury, will be holding a book sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NEIGHBORHOOD TAG SALE – COVENTRY LAKE
The Gerald Park Association will be hosting a neighborhood tag sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Streets include: Avery Shores, Dooley Avenue, Fitzgerald Boulevard, Ross Avenue, Washburn Avenue and adjacent streets. Multiple tag sales within a few blocks.

GIANT YARD SALE
Canterbury Finnish Hall, Route 169, Canterbury, will be hosting a yard sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors welcome. Info: (860) 564-7432.

ANNIVERSARY AND SUMMER READING SPECTACULAR
Janet Carlson Calvert Library, 5 Tyler Drive, Franklin, will host a summer reading program from 10 a.m. to noon. Visitors can enjoy a piece of cake and see how the library has grown. Sign up for summer reading and meet winners of the circus-theme anniversary quilt children’s contest.

‘STUPENDOUSLY WONDERFUL MUSIC SHOW’
The Babcock Library, 25 Pompey Hollow Road, Ashford will host Susan Peak’s “Stupendously Wonderful Music Show” at 10:30 a.m. in Knowlton Hall. For children ages 3-10.

SATURDAY BEREAVEMENT GROUP
Hospice of Eastern Connecticut, 34 Ledgebrook Drive, Mansfield will hold its Saturday bereavement group from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Group is appropriate for those who are grieving a year or more. Group is open to the community. Info: (860) 456-7288, ext. 293.

COVENANT SOUP KITCHEN 2nd STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
Jillson Square, Willimantic, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $5 Admission (children under 12 Free). Food and beverages available for sale. Games, entertain­ment and door prizes.

SCOTLAND HUNTINGTON HOMESTEAD OPEN HOUSE
Tour guides will lead visitors through the birthplace of Samuel Huntington, signer of the Declaration of Independence, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Gov. Samuel Huntington Trust opens the Homestead on the first and third Saturdays of each month through October and is located on Route 14 just west of the Scotland town center. Free admission, donations welcome. Info: (860) 423-1547.

33rd ANNUAL STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
The First Congregational Church of Lebanon will host its annual Strawberry Festival at 7 p.m. Donation $7 adults and $3 children. Take-out available.

CARIBBEAN EVENING – MANSFIELD SENIORS
New summer hours at the Mansfield Senior Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, begin with a June 23 Caribbean dinner at 5:45 p.m. and entertain­ment provided by Bruce John. $5 payable with reservation by June 20. For info:/reservations call (860) 429-0262.

SUNDAY, JUNE 19

FATHER’S DAY BUFFET BREAKFAST
The American Legion Hall, Route 207, Lebanon, will be hosting a Father’s Day breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Adults are $7, seniors $5 and children 12 and under $5.

ASHFORD FARMERS MARKET
The Ashford Farmers Market is held at Pompey Hollow Park, off Route 44 across from the town hall. The market will run every Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. Info: Loretta at birdeye123@earth­link.net.

FATHER’S DAY LOBSTER DINNER
The Legionnaires will be serving a lobster dinner at 1 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 138 Snake Hill Road, Coventry. Cost is $25/person. Reservations suggested. Info:/tickets: Jack Lacek at (860) 742-7017.

COVENTRY FARMERS MARKET
The Coventry Farmers Market is held at the Nathan Hale Homestead at 2299 South St. The market will run every Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October. Info: www.coventryfarmersmarket.com.

Posted 6-17-2011

Have a news item or event you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions.

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Willimantic Third Thursday Street Fest returns for 10th season June 16

June 15, 2011 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment, Local News Comments Off
June 16, 2011 marks the 10th season for the Third Thursday Street Fest in Willimantic, CT. File photo

June 16, 2011 marks the 10th season for the Third Thursday Street Fest in Willimantic, CT. File photo

Come for dinner, visit friends, browse local crafts, sample some services, dance to the music and much more at the Willimantic Third Thursday Street Fest, from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 16.

In its 10-year history, it’s a rare occasion when the festival has had to be canceled, but forecasts of a downpour on the third Thursday of last month meant this season’s first street fest had to be postponed to June.

Every third Thursday from now to September, thousands of people from far and wide stroll along Main Street, Willimantic where they can choose which band they’d like to listen to, which food vendor they’d like to sample, which local organization they’d like to know more about.

Six stages simultaneously host a wide variety of music and entertainment, there are more than 100 vendors and watch for the street performers demonstrating everything from stilt walking to juggling with fire.

Besides international cuisine, the festival also showcases locally produced artwork, beer, ice cream, and soda.

Admission is free, parking in municipal lots and on the streets is free (but please note and obey “no parking” areas/signs. And Main Street itself is closed until 9 p.m.)

This week, you can dance to the big band sounds of the Little Big Band, a 15-piece swing band that’s been performing since 1992. They are a local favorite and they perform nationally.

Then there is the Smallest World’s Quartet, a husband and wife team that got its start here in Willimantic playing acoustic rock.

Katie Madrak is a local 7th grader who has wowed audiences with her voice and piano playing. She’ll be accompanied by her father, Richard, on the keyboard and guitar.

And who doesn’t like Americana music? Listen to Amy Gallatin and Stillwater doing country, folk and bluegrass.

When you get hungry and thirsty, there are hotdogs and burgers but maybe you’d like an enchilada or taco, or fried seafood or wood-fired pizza.

To quench your thirst, try a locally crafted soda or beer. In June, Olde Burnside is donating some of their beer.

third-thursday-street-fest-logoThere will be street performers and a kids area on upper Main Street and the “Windham Idol” talent contest on North Street… you can sign up for your chance to become famous with I-98’s contest. (If you are a performer, you may want to be part of a future Street Fest – click here http://willimanticstreetfest.com/performer-reg.htm )

The 3rd Thursday Street Fests are truly community events. Each is organized entirely by volunteers working from ideas generated by you.

The Street Fests are brought to you by Willimantic Renaissance, Inc. in partnership with the Town of Windham.

Willimantic Renaissance is a grassroots 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed to revitalize downtown Willimantic by celebrating diversity, building community, and attracting consumers.

You can help support Third Thursday by buying a button at the festival that gives you a discount at the Beer Garden, or you can become a Friend of the Fest.

Posted June 15, 2011

Have a news item or event you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP) on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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Windham and Storrs microgrid power projects could get additional funding

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Press Release Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Oct. 30 that nine towns that are part of a pilot microgrid program, including Windham and Storrs, are eligible for additional funding. The …

In Mansfield, Get a jump on toy shopping

Over the Rainbow Toys in the East Brook Mall on the Mansfield/Willimantic town line is closing its doors at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, according to an e-blast sent to its customers today.

And between now and Nov. 2, shoppers will receive a 30 percent discount on all in-stock merchandise at the mall location – excluding Lego and Bruder toys.

UConn President responds to accusations school failed to act on sexual assault complaints

UConn President Susan Hebst. File photo.

There are circumstances under which the university should notify a student that another student who may have been suspended or expelled from campus will be returning, if they are returning. It is my understanding that this notification did not take place in a case that occurred three years ago and it should have. This process was corrected. – UConn President Susan Herbst

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