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Hartford Police Seize Illegal Fireworks

HARTFORD — Hartford Police seized about $5,000 in illegal fireworks from a van in the North End on Friday night.

According to media reports, 179 items were seized and kept by department’s bomb squad because of the volume of explosives.

Deputy Chief Brian Foley said officers responded to Garden Street after witnesses called to report a man selling fireworks out of a van.

Police have since identified a 35-year-old man from East Hartford.

Foley said police will soon make an arrest warrant application in the case.


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Police Arrest Four Robbery Suspects

By Carmen Anderson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — In what police called a high-speed chase from Hartford to Newington and West Hartford, four Hartford residents were arrested after they robbed a package store.

Nolan Evans, 22, Traistyn George, 23,  Jose Montanez, 21, and a 14-year-old were charged after allegedly robbing Franklin Avenue Package Store at 402 Franklin Ave.

Police said a patrol officer spotted a man wearing a red hoody and black mask and another wearing a dark colored sweatshirt carrying a duffle bag leaving the store at about 9 p.m.

The four suspects stole money  from the store and  from customers’  pocket, police said. in the store. They also stole cell phones and ripped a gold chain from one customer.

The 14-year-old stayed in the car during the robbery and acted as the driver police said.

All four were charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery, carrying weapons in a motor vehicle and reckless endangerment.

The 14-year-old was  charged with motor vehicle violation, including operating without a license, police said.

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UConn’s Kevin Ollie to Speak at Summer Soiree

By Shakira Johnson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — The Greater Hartford Arts Council will host its first Summer Soirée on June 17 at the historic Philip Cheney Mansion in Manchester with basketball coach Kevin Ollie.

Ollie, UConn’s head basketball coach, will speak at the event to benefit the Arts Council’s 2015 United Arts Campaign and Neighborhood Studios, a summer arts apprenticeship program for teens. The event will begin at 5:30p.m.

The event will also feature live entertainment by Neighborhood Studios apprentices and master teaching artists. Guest speaker, Coach Ollie, will speak about the importance of youth engagement and development through community programs like Neighborhood Studios.

Coach Ollie made national headlines in 2014 when The Huskies defeated the Kentucky Wildcats in the NCAA men’s championship.

Arts Council officials said Ollie is known for his commitment to building strong, professional teams that aligns with the mission of Neighborhood Studios.

Tickets are $150 and can be purchased online at

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YMCA Honors Former City Councilman Matthews

By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Former City Council Member I. Charles Matthews was recently honored by the YMCA of Greater Hartford.

Mathews of West Hartford received the 2014 Robert C. Knox, Jr. YMCA Distinguished Leadership Award at the YMCA’s 162 Annual Meeting.

The award honors the memory of the late Robert C. Knox, Jr., a Hartford insurance executive, whose dedication helped the YMCA grow, prosper and fulfill its mission to serve others.

Officials said the award is the YMCA of Greater Hartford’s highest honor recognizing volunteers.

After a career in corporate law and city government, I. Charles found a new calling in the Y.

“I’ve got 4,000 kids at the Wilson-Gray YMCA,” Matthews said and his volunteers are mentoring them all, starting in grade school with a program that brings in speakers– doctors, lawyers, engineers, business leaders– who give them a glimpse beyond their neighborhoods.

Matthew said he has helped to expand community engagement with the state and Hartford city official and to increase the Y’s presence within the local neighborhood by establishing community events.

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U.S. Removes Cuba from Terrorist List

By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

WASHINGTON—United States officials on Friday removed Cuba from its list of countries that sponsor terrorism.

The move comes more than six months after President Barack Obama announced plans to re-establish diplomatic ties between Washington and Havana. That’s because State Department officials’ 45-day review was the last hurdle to cement a relationship with Cuba.

State Department officials said that even though the country was removed from the list, the U.S. and Cuba still have differences. The U.S. placed Cuba on the list in 1982 because it allegedly support terrorist organizations in Latin America.

“While the United States has significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions, these fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation,” spokesman Jeff Rathke said.

Currently, only Syria, the Sudan and Iran remain on the list.

The President in December 2014 officially requested Cuba’s removal after a meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro in Panama, where the Summit of the Americas was held.

This move paves the way for the U.S. to have embassies in America and Cuba. Officials are expected to announce details next week.

The recent development will also remove selected trade barriers against Cuba. However, Congress would have to reverse the overall embargo.






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State Officials: Hurricane Season Begins June 1

Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD —  June 1 will mark the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane season.

As a result, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in a press release reminds residents to be prepared for severe weather that may impact the state.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 with most of the threat period for the state occurring between mid-August and mid-October.

“As we have experienced, it only takes one hurricane or tropical storm to make landfall to have a devastating impact on our state,” Malloy said.  “Now is the time to prepare.  I urge residents to take three simple preparedness steps: Get a kit, make a plan, and stay informed. These three steps will allow you to become more resilient to any storm or emergency you may face.”
State officials said the potential risks to the community includes storm surge, flooding, road or bridge closures.
 “If a storm is approaching your area, carefully monitor weather reports and follow all of the instructions provided by public safety officials,”Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora B. Schriro said.
Connecticut residents can subscribe to get alert messages by going to to register.



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Hartford Man Arrested for Fraud

HARTFORD — A Hartford man was arrested on Wednesday after allegedly collecting more than $18,000 in unemployment compensation benefits.

Marcos A. Lozada, 48, of 71 Rowe Ave., in Hartford was charged with one count each of larceny in the First Degree by Defrauding a Public Community and Unemployment Compensation Fraud.

The arrest is the result of an investigation by the unemployment compensation fraud unit in the office of the Chief State’s Attorney following a complaint by the Connecticut Department of Labor.

According to report, Lozada fraudulently collected approximately $18,324 in unemployment benefits from November 2010 through October 2011 when, in fact, he was employed.

Lozada was released on a $10,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court on June 4.


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HARC Honors Hartford Resident

HARTFORD –An area resident was honored for her service to people with intellectual and related disabilities.

HARC, Inc.,an organization serving people with intellectual and related disabilities, announced that Karene Charles of Hartford and St. Lucia is the first recipient of the newly established Storm-Appleton Award for Exemplary Service.

Charles, who began working at HARC in January, 2014 as a job coach in HARC’s Bulova Center, graduated in 2013 from the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While at school on St. Croix, she worked as a writing tutor and also at the Lutheran Social Services / Queen Louise Home for children and young adults with disabilities.

Charles states, “I have a passion for helping others, and I love working with this population in particular. People with intellectual disability go through so much, and yet they are so joyful. When you are with them, you are truly living in the moment. They show such appreciation  . . . it just warms my heart.”

Charles, who has plans to get a Master’s Degree in School Psychology and Doctorate in Counseling, came to Hartford to live with her cousin, Cindy Cote. Her family and extended family live in St. Lucia.

The Storm-Appleton Fund was established by Robert Storm within HARC’s Endowment Fund in 2013. Each year, an honorarium of $1,000 from the proceeds of the fund is to be awarded to a direct-care staff person, chosen by HARC’s management team, who has embodied HARC’s mission by giving exemplary service in the performance of their job.

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DOJ Charges Hartford Man with Larceny

HARTFORD — A Hartford man was arrested and charged with fraudulently collecting more than $14,000 in Unemployment Compensation benefits.

Deochand Hemchand, 39, of 30 Bristol Street, Hartford, was arrested Thursday and charged with one count each of larceny in the first degree by defrauding a public community and unemployment compensation fraud.

According to the arrest warrant, Hemchand fraudulently collected about $14,000 in unemployment benefits from October 2012 through May 2013 when he was employed and grossly under-reported his wages in order to collect the benefits.

Hemchand was released on a $10,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court, on May 28.


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Connecticut Historical Society Opens Exhibit

HARTFORD — A 1798 map of Connecticut’s Western Reserve, which extended to Ohio, a brass button display and a lithograph of P.T. Barnum’s life are among the 50 items that are now on display in the Connecticut Historical Society’s new ‘Connecticut: 50 Objects/50 Stories’ exhibit.

The exhibit opened on Tuesday, culminating a five-month crowdsourcing history effort with individuals, historic and cultural organizations and companies. The 50 objects in ‘Connecticut: 50 Objects/50 Stories’ –– as well as an online gallery of more than 150 uniquely Connecticut objects that have been suggested to date.

‘Connecticut: 50 Objects/50 Stories’ asks “If an object could define Connecticut, what would it be? What objects – from the past and from today – help tell the stories that define our state as a changing place, a community, and an idea?”

Connecticut: 50 Objects/50 Stories will be on display from May 18 to Oct. 24 at CHS.

“We know that no one object, nor 50 objects, can completely represent Connecticut’s history. We planned this exhibit as part of an effort to gather diverse suggestions about what defines our state from not only historians but also from the general public, and various communities, organizations and companies who have made our state what it is today,” said CHS Executive Director Jody Blankenship.

The 50 items selected for the physical portion of the exhibit – and those in the online gallery – help tell the history of our state’s entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership, up to and including the present.

Blankenship said that the objects revealed the everyday lives of Connecticut’s original residents and of the diverse communities, who have immigrated here from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the West Indies.

The 50 items selected come from the CHS collection, other historical societies and museums, people who own the object or item and people who recommended an object they did not own, but which CHS tracked down and borrowed from its source.

The exhibit’s online gallery on the CHS website ( will also be available until October 24. CHS will continue accepting submissions on the virtual site until October.


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