Archive | August, 2016

Obama Movie Features First Date with Michelle

The film about President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s first date  in 1989 earned about $3 million at the box office.

“Southside With You,” which transports the viewer to a Chicago outing between Obama and then Michelle Robinson after they meet at a law firm, premiered in 813 theaters this weekend, grossing $3.1 million, according to studio estimates.

The limited-release film finished 13th at the box office. The film was released by Roadside Attractions and Miramax.

The highest grossing film of the week was “Don’t Breathe,” a horror film that pulled in $26.1 million at 3,051 locations. It also premiered this weekend. It was followed by “Suicide Squad,” with $12.1 million, and “Kubo and the Two Strings,” with $7.9 million.

“Southside With You,” which stars Parker Sawyers as Barack Obama and Tika Sumpter as Michelle Robinson, debuted at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in January 2006. The movie was written and directed by Richard Tanne.

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High School Tech Career Fair in New Haven

NEW HAVEN  — Students, parents, and community members will celebrate students’ graduation from a unique summer program preparing them for introductory careers and certifications in a range technical careers this August.

The event scheduled for Aug. 26 at Bregamos Community Theatre on Blatchley Ave. will be from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Organizers said that the Career Pathways Collaborative Summer Academy gives students the opportunity to earn credentials, school credit, math and reading skills, financial literacy, and social-emotional skills to better access their regular education and to prepare for productive lives post-graduation, said Jason Bartlett, Director of New Haven Youth Services and the Youth Stat initiative.

The Career Pathways TECH Collaborative, developed and operated by The Justice Education Center, Inc., is a public/private partnership with multiple sponsors, most importantly, the City of New Haven, the New Haven Board of Education, the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division, the Department of Justice, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association/CBIA Education Foundation, the Charter Oak Group, and Integrated Wellness Group.

“The Career Pathways TECH Collaborative recognizes that there are many avenues for a successful career and selecting a career using a student’s aptitudes. The Career Pathways Collaborative provides motivated high school students the opportunity to match their aptitudes and interests in projected growth industries in Connecticut,” said Sherry Haller, Executive Director of The Justice Education Center. “I am grateful that we are able to work hand-in-hand with Mayor Toni Harp and the New Haven Board of Education, CSSD, and the Connecticut Technical High School System to make these opportunities a reality for our youth”, she said.

For more information about the Career Pathways TECH Collaborative, contact Sherry Haller, Executive Director of The Justice Education Center, Inc., at 860-231-8180 or

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Yard Goats Might Never Play In Hartford

By Josh Norris

HARTFORD — The Hartford Yard Goats’ first season in their new hometown has turned into a disaster.

Dunkin’ Donuts Park was scheduled to be completed in time for Opening Day. Instead as the season winds to a close, the park is still unfinished and—much to the frustration of everyone involved—no work is currently being done to complete it.

With construction at Dunkin’ Donuts Park at a standstill, there’s a chance the Yard Goats won’t ever play a game in Hartford. Eastern League president Joe McEacharn bluntly acknowledged as much at a press conference on Thursday.

“If the stadium is not done,” he said, “baseball will not come to Hartford.”

That was the message at a grim press conference at the still-padlocked DDP, where three parties—Hartford Stadium Authority chairman I. Charles Mathews, team owner Josh Solomon and McEacharn—announced that construction had not yet resumed. The original contractor, DoNo Centerplan, was booted from the project earlier this summer after continued delays. The stadium’s guarantor, Arch Insurance, was called in as a last-ditch effort to salvage at least some of the season.

That effort failed.

On July 22, the Eastern League announced the final set of alterations to Hartford’s schedule, ensuring that the team would play the entire season on the road.

Under Arch, construction at DDP still hasn’t resumed on the list of nearly 200 tasks that have yet to be completed. No general contractor has been selected to do the work, even. Mathews, at the press conference, said that there are two proposals on the table for a resolution—one from the city and one from the Yard Goats. The Hartford Courant reported that Solomon had offered to loan the city money to expedite the completion of the stadium. That proposal was rejected.

“We think we’re better positioned to protect the interests of the city, the taxpayers and the residents, if in fact we proceed with Arch, but we’re at the point now where we have no more time. Arch has to move, as you’ve heard from others, very soon so we get it done,” he said, before hinting at a second option. “But we also have a Plan B. And while there may have been some reports that the city rejected the bid by the Yard Goats, I think it’s fair to say the terms of the proposal from the Yard Goats were not really what we were expecting or what we would agree to.”

The Yard Goats released their planned 2017 schedule last week. Their first home game is slated for April 13 against New Hampshire. However, there’s a possibility the team would again be forced to the road. Obviously, all parties involved would like to avoid that scenario.

“We are fully committed to getting this stadium done and we’re fully committed to ensuring that we can play baseball in April of 2017,” Mathews said. “That’s where we are now, and we think that over the next week a lot of progress will be made or the city will have to decide if they must go another direction. We won’t do that lightly, but we may be forced to go another direction if we can’t conclude our business arrangement with Arch. Time is of the essence and, in fact, we have no more time.”

When asked directly if there was a possibility of baseball never being played in Hartford, McEacharn reiterated his message from earlier in the morning.

“I’m saying that, for 2017, we have to have a specific plan and we have to have a stadium facility, a home site, in place for the Colorado Rockies and the other clubs,” he said. “If the stadium is not ready, we won’t play baseball here in 2017. What goes on in the future, I won’t go out that far.”

Pressed about the possible Plan B, McEacharn first noted a proposed-but-not-disclosed plan from Solomon and the Yard Goats, then raised the possibility of relocating the team.

“One of our Plans B was to require Mr. Solomon and the Yard Goats to create an alternative path and to work with the city, but we will have an alternative path in the event that Arch does not step up and fulfill their obligation. That would be our Plan B,” he said. “My Plan B will be to have a different location available for the team.”

McEacharn declined comment about any possible relocation sites that had been discussed.

Mathews was adamant that he and the city would prefer to continue with Arch as had been scheduled and was confident that the two parties could continue to work together toward a resolution without any extra cost beyond the initial price tag of roughly $63 million.

“One of the reasons we’re pursuing Plan A is we’re certain there won’t be any extra cost to the taxpayers,” he said. “Under Plan A (which is) bringing Arch in, they spend their money, they complete the stadium. If we go with a counterproposal to the Yard Goats, we have to insure that we can still (do it without extra cost). We have to ensure that we still have the revenue necessary to pay off the debt service associated with the bonds that we issued. All that’s being worked out. . . . Our first goal is Plan A, but barring that in a short period of time, we’ll be entering serious negotiations with the Yard Goats on Plan B.”

Both Solomon and McEacharn used their statements to put the onus squarely on Arch, which has not restarted construction in the nearly two months since Centerplan was removed from the job, to complete the stadium. If not, there likely won’t be minor league baseball in Hartford.

“We are at a critical, critical point for (baseball in Hartford) to happen,” McEacharn said. “We’ve lost the 2016 season. That’s been a burden to everybody. It’s been a burden to the city of Hartford, to the people who were going to work here, to the fans, to the Eastern League teams, to major league teams and certainly to the Yard Goats, who played the entire season—unprecedented—on the road. . . . We cannot accept that in 2017 and we will not accept that in 2017.”

First printed in Baseball America.

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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.

Posted in Business, HartfordComments (0)

Hartford Police Arrest “Lifetime” Sex Offender

HARTFORD — Police arrested a  Hartford man for failure to register as as sex offender.

Trevor Austin, 47, of Hartford was arrested nine counts of failure to register as a sex offender after his name was enered into a  Connecticut Sex Offender  Registry in 2010.

Police said they arrested Austin because he had  four  subsequent  arrests for failing to registry requirements.

Austin said he was unaware  he was wanted and surrendered at the Hartford Police Department. He was held on a $100,000 bond.

Police said Austin has 43 prior arrests in Hartford and is a convicted felon.

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Job Corps Offers Career Opportunities

WETHERSFIELD — The federally-funded Job Corps program is now offering in-demand skills programs for 16 and 24 year olds.

Job Corps provides students with opportunities to receive a variety of technical training that can lead to jobs in healthcare, business services, construction and advanced manufacturing. In addition to on-the-job training and academics, the program helps students earn a high school diploma, provides job placement and retention help, and continuing support services following graduation. Students also receive life skills training, career counseling, social skills and healthcare assistance, residential housing, a bi-weekly living allowance, driver’s education and an annual clothing allowance.

Connecticut offers two Job Corps locations, each offering a variety of educational opportunities. Programs at the Hartford Job Corps Academy include business technology, insurance and  financial services, advanced manufacturing, and health occupations for certified nursing assistant and clinical medical assistant.

Programs at the New Haven Job Corps Center include culinary arts, facilities maintenance, carpentry, and health occupations for certified nursing assistant, clinical medical assistant, and emergency medical technician.

Students qualifying for Job Corps Advanced Career Training program are eligible to continue their education at local colleges and universities or may transfer to another Job Corps campus that offers advanced training in their field of choice.

Those interested in learning more about the Job Corps program are welcome to attend a weekly tour offered at either campus. Tours of the Hartford Job Corps Academy, held 9 a.m. every Monday, can be scheduled by calling (860) 952-1744 or (860) 952-1704.

Tours of the New Haven Job Corps Center, offered 9:45 a.m. on Tuesdays, can be arranged by calling (203) 907-4303.


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President Obama Honors Connecticut Students

WASHINGTON, DC. – Two Connecticut teachers are among more than 200 mathematics and science teachers named as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

These awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. The educators will receive their awards at a ceremony in Washington, DC on Sept. 8.

The two awardees are Liesl Fressola, of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Science and Nicole Gilson, Peck Place School, Mathematics in Orange.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country.

The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process at the state level. Each nomination year of the award alternates between teachers in the kindergarten through 6th grade level, and those teaching 7th through 12th grades.

Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion, and are invited to Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony, as well educational and celebratory events, and visits with members of the Administration.

President Obama and his Administration have taken significant steps to strengthen education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields in order to fully harness the promise our Nation’s students. The President’s Educate to Innovate campaign, launched in November 2009, has resulted in more than $1 billion in private investment for improving K-12 STEM education. Additionally, in 2011, the President set an ambitious goal to put 100,000 additional excellent STEM teachers in America’s classrooms by 2021.

For more information visit,


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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!


Posted in Featured, Hartford, NationComments (0)

Federal Government Recognizes CT WIC Programs

HARTFORD — The Department of Public Health recently announced that four of Connecticut’s local Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children programs are being recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for exemplary efforts in supporting breastfeeding WIC mothers.

The four agencies are receiving the Loving Support Award of Excellence as part of the USDA’s National WIC Breastfeeding Week, celebrated Aug. 1-7, to highlight their ongoing efforts to encourage breastfeeding among WIC participants.

The WIC program provides nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support and referrals to health and other social services to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age five.

Connecticut currently has 12 WIC agencies and 24 clinic sites.

This is the second year that USDA has awarded the Loving Support Awards of Excellence. WIC agencies across the country that utilize the USDA Loving Support Model for successful peer counseling programs are eligible to apply.

Awardees must demonstrate strong achievement of breastfeeding performance measures, effective peer counseling programs and community partnerships.

Five local WIC agencies offer peer counseling programs in Connecticut. Four of those five applied for and received the award:


  • Santa Marquez Center and Hispanic Health Council (Hartford)
  • Community Health Center WIC Peer Counseling Program (Fair Haven)
  • Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc. WIC Peer Counseling Program (Norwich)
  • Optimus Health Care Women Infants and Children Program (Bridgeport)

To learn about WIC visit

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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.


Posted in Featured, HartfordComments Off on U.S. Secretary of Education John King Visits Hartford to Talk Diversity

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