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HARC to Celebrate 57th Anniversary in City

HARTFORD —  A community-based nonprofit organization in Hartford, HARC has been serving people with intellectual disability since 1951.

This November it will celebrate its annual auction to be held on Nov. 5 at the Hartford / Windsor Marriott.

HARC currently provides programs and services for more than 2, 200 individuals and their families in Greater Hartford.

Andrea Barton Reeves, Harc’s President and CEO said, “We are thrilled that Lou, Al and Jay have agreed to be part of this year’s auction! It’s particularly special because it’s our 65 anniversary year. They all have a true commitment to our mission and we’re so grateful for their support.”

Mr. Pepe is a litigation attorney who focuses his practice on business torts, contract disputes and construction contract cases. He represents his clients in state and federal courts as well as in arbitration, mediation and other ADR proceedings.

Mr. Turco is an ERISA and Financial Services partner, whose practice concentrates on financial transactions and ERISA fiduciary responsibility.  He counsels employers, fiduciaries and financial services organizations in connection with their development, acquisition, management and disposition of ERISA investment products and services.  Al is a recognized authority on Section 401(k) stable value funds.

Mr. Harris joined ESPN in February 2003 as a SportsCenter anchor, and in February, 2016, he was named as one of the anchors for the new 7 a.m. SportsCenter: AM program. He came to ESPN from WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, PA. where he was a news anchor/reporter.

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AARP Honors Rep Baram for Legislative Role

Recognition for Power of Attorney Legislation

HARTFORD — Rep. David Baram was proud to receive a Certificate from AARP recognizing his role as a legislator – attorney in providing advice and guidance in drafting new legislation revising Connecticut’s statute on the Power of Attorney.

Featured picture: Joined by Mike Humes (Associate Director), volunteers Marilyn Diaz and Veda White!


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U.S. Secretary of Education John King Visits Hartford to Talk Diversity

HARTFORD — U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King recently visited Hartford to talk diversity.

Very little diversity was in the room, though.

Check back later for details.


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West Hartford Police Adopt New LGBT Policy

WEST HARTFORD — The West Hartford Police Department has adopted a new policy designed to help officers navigate cases and situations involving members of the town’s LGBT community.

Chief Tracey Gove tells The Hartford Courant that the policy offers guidance and direction to officers who may find themselves working in unfamiliar territory.

In dealing with transgender individuals, the policy states that officers should use that person’s preferred name — which might not be their legal name or name on a government-issued ID. The policy also advises that officers should honor a request by a transgender person to be searched by an officer of a specific gender.

Lt. Eric Rocheleau says the policy wasn’t enacted following a complaint or in response to any issues with the department’s prior interactions with the LGBT community.

Associated Press

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State Troopers ReOpen I-84 After Shooting Incident

By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — State police reopened Interstate-84 after a shooting incident earlier today near exit 46 on Sisson Avenue.

Police said they were notified of a car fire on I-84 eastbound at about 10:30 a.m. when witnesses saw a man walking away from his car.

Two Hartford Fire Department officers and  three Connecticut State Troopers arrived on scene and saw the owner of a vehicle with a gun.

According to reports, the troopers tried to speak to the man, who was apparently distraught, before he shot himself.

Troopers and fire personnel provided first aid and the white male, who  was later transported via ambulance to St. Francis hospital.

The unidentified man is still alive but is being treated for the self-inflicted gunshot wound.

At the time of the initial incident there were also reports of suspected gunfire in the area.

Police said an explosives ordinance robot was used to clear the vehicle before firefighters approached to extinguish the fire.

The Central District Major Crime Squad responded to the scene and will be conducting a thorough investigation.

Police is asking anyone who witnessed the incident or believes they may know something about it to call Troop H at 860-534-1000 or text “TIP711 w/ info” to 274637.

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Hartford Mayor Wants to Keep Current Police Chief Rovella

By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Mayor Luke Bronin wants Chief James Rovella to stay on the beat as the top cop for the city.

On Monday, Bronin sent a resolution to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee for review. The council is expected to have its response within a month, according to Co-Chair Thomas “TJ” Clarke, III.

Rovella, who was acting chief since February 2012,  was appointed the top cop in August 2012 after a six-month-long, national search. Since then Rovella has been asking the city council for more officers.

Rovella served about 20 years with the city’s police department. He began as an officer in 1981 and then as a homicide detective. He also led the Hartford shooting task force and was chief inspector for the chief state’s attorney’s office. Rovella replaced former Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts, who resigned in December 2011.

In an interview with NBC Connecticut, Rovella said that the problem he has with is with attrition. Between 2014 and 2016, about 120 officers were laid off, leaving about 400 officers for a city of about 120, 000 residents.

Rovella’s request to the City Council seems incredulous to some residents, especially when more than 12 officers were dispatched at an incident involving law-abiding citizens.

On April 4, 2014 about 15 police officers were dispatched to 167 Sisson Ave. And there are several complaints that the mostly white police force are watching white people commit crimes against black people.

The city budgeted $2.6 million for the Hartford Police Department, including for overtime for 2015 and 2016. The request for money is a result of staffing weaknesses and other financial matters, Rovella said.

From 2009 to 2014, city officials said that violent crime, gun crime, homicides and other crimes declined.

In a statement to the press, Bronin said: “Chief Rovella has managed the department with a steady hand in challenging times, and I’m proud to reappoint him as the top cop in Hartford. He’s earned the trust of our community by serving as a strong voice for transparency and community engagement, he’s made significant strides in modernizing policing in Hartford through the use of technology, and he is focused on recruiting Hartford’s police force of the future.”

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The Beautiful Ones: Actress Halle Berry and Journalist Ann-Marie Adams

Rose Mendes, Staff Writer

HARTFORD —  It was 1989.  Rapper Chuck D fought a racist power structure with Public Enemy’s hit song: “Fight the Power.” Filmmaker Spike Lee thought it was time for America to “do the right thing.” And Ann-Marie Adams was a fly girl.

Ann-Marie Adams: poised and perfect.

Ann-Marie Adams: pretty, poised and perfect.

annmarieadamsnycNow an award-winning reporter and Kingmaker, Adams recently talked with The Hartford Guardian about her foray into the entertainment business and her appearances in several music videos for LL Cool J, Nice and Smooth, and Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit productions. Adams (pictured in photos to the right) also talked about her appearances in Hip Hop movies such as Strictly Business with Halle Berry. Juice with Tupac Shakur and Malcolm X with Denzil Washington.

On these film sets, chatting up rappers and movie stars was routine for Adams, now a journalist, historian and founder of an award-winning nonprofit news publication: The Hartford Guardian. She decided to skip entertainment reporting after a gig with People magazine and she took another path: hard news.

Adams, an award-winning journalist, recently celebrated 20 years of covering cops, courts, schools, social services, government, politics, travel and leisure. In October, Adams will celebrate the founding of The Hartford Guardian.

When asked about her role as one of “the beautiful ones” in the 1991 film Strictly Business, a film about a young man named Bobby, played by Tommy Davidson, who wants to go from the mail room to the boardroom and to later start his own business. And he had to learn from his friend how to navigate the corporate world. His friend, Joseph C. Phillips , plays the rolex-wearing Waymon Tinsdale II. Berry plays the role as one of the beautiful ones, Natalie.

Adams part in the film was cut. That’s because Adams and Berry had on similar outfits (not pictured here). Adams and Berry wore black tank tops, cut-off blue jeans, black stockings and small pumps. Both are 5 feet, 5 inches; and both have almost the same complexion.

So Berry, 49, asked the director to have Adams move out of the scene (below) with her.


Still looking that an ingenue, Adams, 46 , was later placed in another scene with Phillips, who played Berry’s love interest.

Other interesting stories  Adams shared with us as she celebrates at least 20 years of civic journalism is her brief encounter with Tupac on the set of Juice. That brief romance stayed on the set, she said.

Another encounter on a video set was with LL Cool J, and Adams declined to say which one.

As The Guardian celebrates its 12-year anniversary, Adams recognizes that the birth of The Guardian is also deeply rooted in the Hip Hop culture during the early 1990s.

Not many publications can make that claim, said Sandra Foster, a Hartford resident and longtime reader of The Guardian.

“I congratulate her for sticking around this long,” Foster said.  “She is one of the beautiful ones to us: inside and out.”

Will she retire now after serving Connecticut residents this long? Like always, she wants us to keep guessing.

“I don’t know yet. There must be a compelling reason for me to retire,” Adams said. “I’m still waiting for that moment to say I’m done with journalism.”

Check out the clip Adams was in before she was cut from this scene.

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HPD: New Britain Man Shot in Hartford

Rose Mendes, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — The city had its 11th homicide of the year after a New Britain man was found Saturday with gunshots wounds.

According to Hartford Police, officers heard several gunshots in the vicinity of 1994 Main St. across the a church parking lot. and found Steven Keaton, 42, of New Britain.

Keaton, who was found with multiple gunshot wounds, was taken to St. Francis Hospital and was  pronounced dead.

“We had some officers in the area that heard shots fired, said Deputy Chief Foley. “In fact they right across the street in that church parking lot heard some shots fired came over here and found a male victim shot multiple times.”

Police say they are searching for two suspects, one wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and another wearing a red hooded sweatshirt.

The Hartford Police Major Crimes Division has yet to identify a suspect.

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Chester Man Arrested for Essex Burglary

ESSEX –  A Chester man was arrested on Thursday for burglary in Essex, police said.

Brian Lamarco, 34, of Chester was charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree larceny and possession of narcotics in connection with that burglary.

According to Connecticut State Troopers, witnesses reported break-in at a home on Ingham Hill Road at about 7:30 p.m.

Police said they found Lamarco’s vehicle and  several of the stolen items.  Police seized the vehicle and stolen items.

Lamarco was  held on $100,000 bond and was arraigned at Middletown Superior Court on Friday.

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A Blueprint for Muslim-American Activism

In his powerful and propulsive speech at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia last week, former President Bill Clinton made a compelling case for Hillary Clinton’s presidency.

As a Muslim American, however, I was most captivated when he said, “If you are a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together. We want you.”

I heard in those words a blueprint for action that has been missing in the discourse of Muslim Americans. If we can act on this blueprint in this consequential election year, it can empower us to control our destiny and help shape the destiny of our country.

The first order of business for us is to stop wallowing in self-pity.

We cannot help Democrats win and make a future together – the overwhelming majority of the registered voters among the 3 million Muslim Americans are Democrats – if we waste time collecting grievances. Yes, Donald Trump wants to ban Muslims from coming to America. Yes, Newt Gingrich wants to “test every person here who is of a Muslim background and if they believe in Sharia they should be deported.”

But for every Trump and Gingrich, there are many more politicians and our fellow-Americans who condemn their bigotry and xenophobia and offer their support for us.

Unfortunately, by focusing more on the former and less on the latter, many of us assume the default mode of passivity. For many Muslim Americans, political activism begins and ends with making an occasional subversive post on social media. It is time we realized that keyboard warriors rarely accomplish anything,
while grassroots activists accomplish much, even if at a great cost.

I found it telling that at the DNC, many speakers, including President Obama and Hillary Clinton, quoted and alluded to Theodore Roosevelt: “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena … who does actually strive to do the deeds … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Muslim Americans must refuse to be timid souls (a synonym for grievance collectors) and fence-sitters during this election year and throw themselves whole-heartedly into the arena.

This demands that we engage in the kind of activism that can be cathartic for us and transformational for our country.

This also means that we must do whatever it takes to help Hillary Clinton become the President of the United States even if we have serious disagreements with her on serious issues,
because the alternative is too nightmarish to contemplate.

We cannot just talk the talk. We must also walk the walk. Literally. We have to walk the precincts. We have to knock on doors. We have to work the phones. We have to register unregistered voters and organize rallies. We have to train ourselves to be articulate in making the case for our candidate. There are lots of undecided voters out there who can have a disproportionately large impact on the outcome of this election. If each one of us commit to convincing only one undecided or apathetic voter into voting for Hillary Clinton, we can not only help her win, we can also change our mindset about our ability to make our society more inclusive and just.

In today’s America, it is tough to be a Muslim American. Anti-Muslim sentiments, promoted by Donald Trump and his likes, continue to frustrate and frighten some of us. We are numbed by the terrorism of Muslims who give our religion a black eye. Think of the mass killings by Major Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas (2009), Tsarnaev Brothers at Boston (2013), Mohammed Abdulazeez at Chattanooga, Tennessee (2015), the Muslim Bonnie-and-Clyde-duo of Rizwan Farook and Tafsheen Mailk at San Bernardino, California (2015), and Omar Mateen at Orlando, Florida (2016).

But we cannot use these horrific events as an excuse to sit on the sidelines and watch a demagogue tear apart the social fabric of our country. For inspiration, we need look no further than Khizr Khan, father of Captain Humayun Khan who was killed in Iraq in the line of duty, who challenged Donald Trump at the DNC to read the U.S. Constitution and understand the meaning of words like ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’ By a singularly symbolic act, he showed how a Muslim American can influence countless hearts and minds across our nation and around the world.

Related story: 
Killed Pakistani-American Soldier’s Dad Scolds Trump for Dissing Muslims

Hasan ZIlur Rahim is a professor of Mathematics at San Jose City College. He emigrated from Bangladesh to the U.S. four decades ago.

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