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Simsbury Land Trust to Hold Family Hike


SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Land Trust is holding family-hike to the Indian Council Caves and Beaver Pond on the Tunxis Trail in Barkhamsted on Saturday, Oct. 18.

Hikers are asked to meet at Legeyt Road Trailhead at 10 a.m. The hike is about two miles around trip on fairy easy terrain.

Participants are asked to wear sturdy shoes, bring a vater bottle and a snack and plan for the hike to take about three hours.

The hike is free, but registration is required. Call 860-658-6530.

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Bike Week to Begin at Old State House


HARTFORD — How did a Civil War veteran become the father of the American bicycle and turn Hartford into the bicycle capital of the world?

Join Steve Goddard, author of Colonel Albert Pope and His American Dream Machines, on  Sept. 16 at noon to discover how one Hartford factory became the largest employer in New England, producing everything from high wheelers to bicycles to electric cars.

Following  Goddard’s talk, join in a panel discussion about making Connecticut more bike-friendly and promoting bike racing among Connecticut kids with Goddard, Aidan Charles, the Founder and Executive Director of the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, and Kelly Kennedy, Executive Director of Bike Walk Connecticut. TheConnecticut Network’s (CT-N) Diane Smith will moderate the conversation.

Following the program, enjoy Wheels for All, a temporary exhibit that showcases six bikes dating from 1869 to 1914, on loan from the Connecticut Historical Society.  This will be on display at Connecticut’s Old State House from Sept. 16-20.

General admission rates apply to this exhibit.

The American Dream Machine: Bicycles Past, Present & Future begins at Noon, attendees are encouraged to enjoy their lunches during this free event inside Connecticut’s Old State House.

For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, visit online at http://www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

 

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State Approves Schools for Commish’s Network


HARTFORD — The State Board of Education on Wednesday approved two Commissioner’s Network plan revisions for the embattled Dunbar School in Bridgeport and Walsh Elementary School in Waterbury.

Moving forward, Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor stressed the difficulty of school turnaround work, saying it requires “a continuous commitment from teachers, students, parents, administrators and the surrounding community.”

He added that Walsh and Dunbar have “demonstrated the grit and determination to build systems designed to last and have successfully navigated unexpected challenges.”

Dunbar has made attempts to improve its profile by revising its plan to include extending the school day and the addition of a new pre-Kindergarten program, state officials said.

And to help shepherd its way to success, Dunbar officials  selected Cooperative Educational Services (CES) to hire and manage academic assistants for the school and to provide high-quality professional development and coaching for Dunbar teachers, among other responsibilities.

Waterbury’s Walsh School has identified a partner to help with implementation and to ready the school for “transformative changes,” state officials said. The district also selected a new principal to lead the school’s turnaround. Innovative Educational Programs (IEP), chosen at the local level through a competitive process, will assist in the implementation of the improvements.

 

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Group Seeks Volunteers to Help Veterans


HARTFORD — Several agencies want to help Hartford veterans, the men and women who served in the armed forces.

Rebuilding Together and the Livable, Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative has teamed up to perform exterior home and yard clean-up aimed at renovating the homes of twelve Hartford veterans.

The group is looking for volunteers to assist in the project, which is scheduled for Sept. 13  from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The 12 homes of these honored veterans are located throughout the city.

Officials said that volunteers are needed “to help serve those who have served.”

Individuals interested in volunteering can register on-line at www.rebuildingtogetherhartford.org.c When you go to the website, click on the green box that says: “Click here to Register.”

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Hartford Police Investigate Car Crash


HARTFORD — Hartford Police are still investigating a night crash that happened on Friday and left one person with serious injuries.

The identity of the victim was unable at press time.

According to reports, the crash occurred at about 11:00 p.m. at Park and Broad streets after a driver of a  SUV collided with a compact car. That driver then struck a third car and then tried to escape on northward on Broad Street, hitting  other vehicles and injuring several people.

Onlookers cornered the driver and held on to him until police arrived on the scene.

Those injured were treated by firefighters and medics and then were taken to hospitals.

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New CT Grants for Arts in Schools


HARTFORD — Connecticut students will now have access to more arts program, thanks to a grant from the Connecticut State Department of Education.

State officials said that this new grant program—up to $250,000, is to strengthen the arts in education by exposing young people to the arts, so that they can explore a world beyond their immediate surroundings.

The Department of Education is collaborating with the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the Connecticut Arts Council to provide mini-grants of up to $50,000.

Officials said this money is for schools to enhance arts instruction “through partnerships with local and state arts institutions, organizations, and artists.”

“These cultural investments will directly enrich lives of students and allow us to preserve and enhance the humanities across Connecticut schools,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

The grant was announced at the state’s recent annual Back-to-School meeting for superintendents. Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor announced that the grant will be made available to schools statewide in this first round of funding.

Successful applications should include plans for how the funding will help the school deepen and sustain their arts programming in concert with a partner institution or artist. Applications that include parent and/or civic engagement will receive preference.

More information is available on the State Department of Education’s web site.

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Groups to Host Screening and Discussion on Violence


HARTFORD — A group of Hartford residents and organizations on Wednesday will continue to tackle the issues of gun violence in the city.

CT Against Gun Violence and Project Longevity will host a screening of the documentary, Shell Shocked, followed by a panel discussion with the Filmmaker John Richie; Tiana Hercules, Project Manager, Project Longevity, Hartford and other community leaders. 

Project Longevity is an exciting program that has been working successfully to curtail gun violence in the largest cities in Connecticut.”

The event is slated to begin at 3 p.m. in the Asylum Hill Congregational Church at 814 Asylum Ave. and at 7 p.m. at the Artist’s Collective, 1200 Albany Ave. 

Admission is free.

 The documentary, Shell Shocked, centers on  youth violence in New Orleans.  

For more information about the film, please visit www.shellshockeddoc.com

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CT Convention to Showcase Young Inventors


STORRS —  The Connecticut Invention Convention on Saturday will feature  770 young inventors, who are expected to compete at the Gampel Pavilion in Storrs for an opportunity to win more than 350 prizes and awards.

The event, hosted by UConn’s School of Engineering, showcases the practical solutions to everyday problems of students in grades K-8, and includes a showcase for “Next Step Inventors” in grades 9-12.

The 31st Annual Connecticut Invention Convention, open to the public, is an event that culminates a year-long program conducted in more than half of Connecticut’s towns and cities that helps foster interest in STEM careers. The program engages nearly 11,000 students in grades K-8 and is the longest-operating program of its kind in the nation.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:00 a.m. and feature Sally Reis, Ph.D., vice provost for academic affairs from the University of Connecticut, as the keynote speaker.

For more information about the Connecticut Invention Convention and how to make it a part of your schools, visit www.CTInventionConvention.org.

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Local Women Wins Little League Congress Honor, A First


BRISTOL — At the 26th annual Little League International Congress, Little League recognized Maryellen Holden, Connecticut District 5 Administrator, with its highest honor: the Peter J. McGovern Distinguished Service Award.

This award has been presented at the past 24 Little League International Congresses, and Mrs. Holden is first woman to receive the honor for her dedicated service.

Holden has been the district administrator for the 17 local Little League programs in the Bristol, Conn., metro area, since 2010. Prior to that, she served as assistant district administrator for 13 years.

She was first a Little League mom and volunteer with Forestville Little League to her service for the district.First volunteering in 1988, Holden spent time in the concession stand at Forestville Little League in Bristol and quickly became aware of how many volunteers are needed to run a league, especially in the softball program.

While a member of the local Board of Directors, Maryellen served many roles, predominantly as league Secretary. Among her many contributions to Little League,  Holden has been a member of the Little League Baseball and Softball President’s International Advisory Board and currently serves on the Ed Beardsley Challenger Little League Fun Day Committee. She is a member of the Eastern Regional Little League Baseball and Little League Softball Tournament Committees. Last fall, she was recognized for her efforts on a local level as she was inducted into the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame.

Photo Courtesy of Little League Congress: (Left to Right) Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO, with the three, “first women” of Congress: Chris McKendry, SportsCenter Anchor and first woman emcee, Maryellen Holden, Connecticut District 5 Administrator and first woman recipient of the Peter J. McGovern Award, and Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, first female Little League International Board of Directors Chairman.

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Christians Celebrate the Hope we have in the Easter Message


By Glenn Mollette, Contributor

Unfortunately, millions of Americans are faintly holding on. They are holding on to the instilled American dream they saw in grandpa or even mom and dad. It’s about the attainable dream of living securely with a job, a house, a car and trips to the grocery store. Don’t forget a trip to the doctor when necessary. Many Americans can remember people in their family retiring at 55 – 65 years old. Those ages seemed old then but not so old today.

glen mollettIn the middle of today’s political chaos, government shutdowns and the national finger-pointing blame game, many Americans keep hoping. Years ago many of us were instilled with belief, faith, hope and dreams. We were taught that you don’t give up. We heard, “When the the-hartford-guardian-Opiniongoing gets tough, the tough get going.” We heard about independence, liberty and that eventually with enough work, faith and focus life would settle in and work out.

We heard about the power of people helping people, the great United States of America and that all things with God are possible. Today, many see our country as a place of “me-ism.” Fewer people are confident that we can count on our government leaders to make wise choices and to look out for the people. While mega churches are flourishing thousands of churches have closed their doors due to lack of interest.

America is more desperate today than we’ve been in a long time. Overall, America is desperate for government leadership to stop fighting and do something. We’re tired of hearing about the evil Democrats and the hypocritical Republicans. We’re tired of the unemployment numbers and hungry Americans living in the streets. We’re weary of worrying if there is any future for our children. We don’t want another ten- year trillion dollar war that we can’t afford and takes the lives of our innocent children and parents. We just want to get past all of this mess, but it never ends and is ever growing.

This week there is a shining example of someone who taught us about hope and making a real difference. He went more than the second mile, helped others, cared for the sick and the poor and actually had some very wealthy friends. His name is Jesus. He was a friend of sinners, loved people and humbled himself even unto death. His life changed our world. He was a problem solver and a grave conqueror.

Sadly, America must hope and pray this Easter that our political leaders might become what we elected them to be – servants of the people. They are not servants but they are supposed to be. Our entire planet, from Vladimir Putin, President Barack Obama, Kim Young-Un, Hassan Rouhani to all of us caught in the crossfire, could turn our planet around if we would all become more like the one man who Easter is about.

Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author.  Contact him at GMollette@aol.com.   Like his facebook page atwww.facebook.com/glennmollette.

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