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Like vintage cars? Mark your calendar for this Willington show

A whole lotta cool cars will be on display (maybe yours?) at the 10th annual Willington Car Show on Saturday, Sept 29, 2012. Held on the Willington Town Green (on Route 74) in Connecticut, it runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 30, same hours.)

A whole lotta cool cars will be on display (maybe yours?) at the 10th annual Willington Car Show on Saturday, Sept 29, 2012

Held on the Willington Town Green (on Route 74) it runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 30, same hours.)

Dash plaques will be given to the first 100 cars and trophies in several categories will be awarded.

There also will be giveaways, food and ice cream for sale, and music… fun for the whole family!

Questions? Call Chet at 860-568-1836 or Joe at 860-429-5475.

Posted Sept. 4, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor 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. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Local man wins Lucky for Life CT Lottery game

August 2, 2012 Local News No Comments

85-year-old Max Cohen of Coventry, CT may not drive anymore, but he’s got enough money for a new car and maybe a driver as a $25,000 winner in the CT Lottery game, Lucky for Life. Photo source: CT Lottery

The youngest of eight children, Max Cohen of Coventry, CT has seen a lot of life in his 85 years. On July 31, 2012 Cohen experienced a new life first when he came to CT Lottery headquarters in Rocky Hill to claim the second highest prize in the Lucky for Life* game – worth $25,000.

On July 26, Cohen missed matching the Lucky Ball number, which was 5, but matched the other five winning numbers (6 – 8 – 23 – 34 – 38). “The numbers I played are special, they all relate to my mother,” said Cohen.

Cohen, who served in the First Marines, 1st Marine Division in World War II, was pleasantly surprised with his $25,000 win. “For now, the money will go in the bank,” Cohen said.

Cohen’s daughter, Lisa Duclos, helps her father play his numbers, “now that he doesn’t drive anymore,” she told Lottery officials.

“When I checked his numbers on the Lottery website (http://www.ctlottery.org), I said to my husband, ‘Oh my God, I think I have five numbers.’ I had my husband check; I checked a couple more times, and then I used a lottery Ticket Checker just to be sure,” Duclos said.

Cohen’s winning ticket was purchased at CV Mart, at 1237 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon, CT.

Across New England, 77,649 winning Lucky for Life tickets were purchased on that date; 24,129 were sold in CT alone with prizes ranging from $2 to $25,000.

Since the “first” Lucky for Life drawing on March 15, 2012, there have been 1,076,799 “lucky” winning tickets sold in CT alone.

Posted Aug. 2, 2012

*About the Lucky for Life game – The top prize is up to $7,000 a week for life. If you don’t win the top prize, there are nine other prize levels, from $2 up to $25,000, on every ticket. Drawings are held every Monday and Thursday at 10:35 p.m. on Fox CT – Channel 61 and WCCT-TV – Channel 20.

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor 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. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Rep. Hurlburt supports holding CL&P accountable for storm response

“Our area of the state was hit the hardest and many people who had to wait the longest to get their power back also depend on electricity to run their well pump for water, and that quickly became a health issue.” – CT State Rep. Hurlburt (D-Ashford, Tolland, Willington)

State Rep. Bryan Hurlburt (D-Ashford, Tolland, Willington), in a prepared statement, said a state report critical of how CL&P handled prolonged power outages following last year’s two major storms “confirms what most people in eastern Connecticut already knew.”

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) found CL&P’s response to Tropical Storm Irene in late August 2011 and the October 2011 nor’easter to be “deficient and inadequate.” The findings could result in financial sanctions against the company.

Almost 700,000 residents and businesses lost power for up to two weeks from Irene, while just six weeks later a record 8 00,000 suffered outages from the freak October snowstorm, many lasting up to 10 days.

During this year’s legislative session, Rep. Hurlburt states, he successfully pushed for a new law to hold utility companies more accountable for their performance before, during and after storms.

“Our area of the state was hit the hardest and many people who had to wait the longest to get their power back also depend on electricity to run their well pump for water, and that quickly became a health issue,” Rep. Hurlburt said.

“Clearly the status quo regarding the utilities performance was unacceptable. Frankly, the only way we are going to see improvement from the utility companies is by threatening their bottom line, and that is exactly what we did,” he said.

Public Act 12-148, An Act Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response, which was signed into law by Gov. Malloy in June 2012, will:

  • Establish standards for the utility, telecommunication and cable companies during emergency events;
  • Establish penalties in the event the companies do not meet these standards;
  • Require utility companies, telecommunication companies and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Service Providers (i.e. phone service via cable companies) to submit emergency plans for restoring service;
  • Create a “microgrid” pilot program to be administered by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection;
  • Study the feasibility of requiring backup power for telecommunications towers and antennas;
  • Encourage coordination of underground infrastructure projects; and
  • Require the development of procedures to expedite the process of road-clearing following an emergency.

“Mother Nature is unpredictable and last fall’s double dose of her wrath was certainly one for the history books,” Rep. Hurlburt said. “That experience led to this legislation and should leave us much bettered prepared when the next big one hits.”

Posted August 2, 2012

Related link: Remarks by the PURA, at the bottom of which is a link to the draft report (in PDF format, which requires Acrobat Reader to open), which was expected to be finalized by Aug. 1, 2012 http://www.ct.gov/pura/cwp/view.asp?A=4144&Q=508102

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor 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. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Hum along… with Singin’ in the Rain at the Capitol Theater Arts Academy

The students at Capitol Theater Arts Academy (CTAA) in Willimantic, CT will present public performances of the award-winning musical, Singin’ in the Rain on Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 9, 10 and 11, at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Aug. 11.

The students at Capitol Theater Arts Academy (CTAA) will present public performances of the award-winning musical, Singin’ in the Rain on Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 9, 10 and 11, at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Aug. 11.

The Academy – an arts magnet school – is located in downtown Willimantic at the beautifully renovated, air-conditioned Capitol Theater, 896 Main St.

Featuring 43 students, ages 8-15, CTAA’s Summer Musical Theater Program includes students from Amston (in Hebron), Chaplin, Columbia, Colchester, Coventry, Hampton, Manchester, Mansfield (including Storrs, Mansfield Center), Norwich, Scotland, South Windsor, Tolland and Windham (including North Windham and Willimantic).

Regular tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and children under 12.

To order your tickets now, please call EASTCONN’s Capitol Theater Box Office between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, at 860-465-5636.

The box office window is also open 45 minutes before show time for walk-up ticket sales if still available.

This production is sponsored by the Savings Institute.

Posted August 1, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor 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. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Your neighbors, training to help your community during a disaster

Roberta Dwyer and her husband Tim Dwyer, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers from Coventry, pour water into a MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) heating device during a training session at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic on July 28, 2012. Photo by Marie Brennan

Some of your friends and neighbors – training as regional emergency volunteers – took part in a statewide emergency training drill over the weekend at Eastern Connecticut State University to learn about how to respond to a Category 3 hurricane.

ECSU’s Student Center is an officially-designated emergency shelter.

The training was part of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, whose purpose is to train a large number of volunteers who can help respond to disasters within their own communities.

On Saturday (July 28), volunteers were trained on various aspects of preparing an emergency shelter, including setting up cots, preparing food, dealing with people’s pets and becoming familiar with various medical equipment that might be brought by people seeking shelter.

A common issue during Katrina in 2005 was people not understanding how to use the MRE (emergency food known as Meals Ready to Eat) and burning themselves, so volunteers also were trained in preparation of this item.

Karen Williams, a Red Cross Volunteer from Gales Ferry, CT assembles a special-needs cot at a CERT training session July 28, 2012 at ECSU. With her are (L-R) Larry Spencer, instructor Peter Diaon of the Waterford American Red Cross, Scott Trueb of Willington and Barbara Winslow of Mansfield. Photo by Marie Brennan

To learn more about CERT, click on this link http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert

Posted July 30, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor 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. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

So much going on in June, where to start?

Copies of the 2012 Connecticut Trails Day booklet of events are now available in public libraries and can be downloaded from http://www.ctwoodlands.org/CT-TrailsDay2012

Besides Victorian Days in Willimantic (through June 3) and the return of the Coventry Regional Farmers Market on Sunday (June 3), here are a couple of get-out-the-door events coming up: Connecticut Trails Day on June 2-3 and the 8th Annual Connecticut Open House Day on Saturday, June 9.

This year’s theme for Connecticut Trails Day is “America’s Largest TRAILgating Party.” You have a choice of 193 events in 121 towns with more than 540 miles of trails.

Connecticut’s event is part of National Trails Day, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012.

Activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, running, trail maintenance, kayaking, educational walks, bird watching, geocaching and more.

While public libraries now have copies of the 2012 booklet that lists all the events, you can also download an electronic copy from the web site at http://www.ctwoodlands.org/CT-TrailsDay2012

And you can keep up to date on the Connecticut Forest and Park Assoc. Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CTForestandParkAssociation

The booklet is also handy for discovering hiking, biking and paddling places to explore all summer and fall.

On the Annual Connecticut Open House Day, museums and other historic sites (as well as many artists’ studios) throughout Connecticut open their doors for the season – in many cases offering free admission or free gifts.

The annual event is coordinated by the Connecticut Office of Tourism (a division of the Department of Economic and Community Development).

Here’s just a sample of what you might want to explore in the HTNP.com readership area:

  • In Ashford, the Willow Tree Pottery studio at 24 Bebbington Road will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pottery will be displayed in the gardens and studio. Visitors receive a handmade amulet or bead of clay. For more info, call 860-287-8056 or visit http://www.willowtreepottery.us
  • In Chester/Hadlyme, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can ride for free aboard the Selden III, the second oldest continuously operated ferry service in Connecticut (at 54 Ferry Road/Route 148), which crosses the scenic Connecticut River near the Gillette Castle State Park (former home of the stage actor who made Sherlock Holmes famous). For more information, call 860-526-2743 or click here.
  • In East Haddam, from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., enjoy free tours of the historic Victorian theater built in 1876, the Goodspeed Opera House, at 6 Main St./Rte. 82. For more information, call 860-873-8668 or visit http://www.goodspeed.org
  • In East Hampton, visit Sears Park (65 North Main St.) with lovely views of Lake Pocotopaug to enjoy while picnicking – admission is free from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on this day only. For more information, call 860-267-7300 or visit http://www.easthamptonrec.com
  • In Lebanon, admission is free at the Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House Museum (780 Trumbull Hwy/Route 87, on the famous Lebanon Green) – there will be Colonial craft demonstrations, a mounted cavalryman portraying a French Army hussar (renowned for their elegant dress), and refreshments. Learn about the artist famous for his painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. For more information, call 860-642-7987 or click here And next door at the Lebanon Historical Society Museum, also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy Model-T rides, farm animals and hands-on activities.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Revolutionary War, about archaeology or other sciences, find out just why people like Prudence Crandall and Jonathan Trumbull are famous, and otherwise discover new sights (and share them with your weekend visitors) in your own back yard – or farther afield, if you like.

One of the advantages of living in a postage-stamp-sized state is that you can drive to pretty much any part of Connecticut in two hours or less. This makes it easier to plan affordable day trips, and keep them short enough for energetic children.

You can explore the different sites that are taking part in Connecticut Open House Day by visiting http://www.ctvisit.com/dontmiss/details/211 But note that this list doesn’t include all the museums (and activities) in the state – if there’s one you’re curious about and you don’t see it on the Visit Connecticut site, call the museum directly and ask what they have planned.

Posted June 1, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor 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. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Victorian Days this weekend – house tours, high tea, carriage rides

Horse-drawn rides past historic Victorian homes are part of the 14th annual Victorian Days activities that run from Thursday, May 31 through Sunday, June 3 (most events are Saturday and Sunday). Photo courtesy of the Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association

Willimantic, Connecticut will invite visitors into some of its 600 Victorian-style homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places during the 14th annual Victorian Days events, which begins Thursday, May 31 and continues through Sunday, June 3.

This very popular event, which draws people from throughout New England, also includes garden tours, unique museum exhibits, live music, art exhibits and Victorian teas that sell out every year.

Victorian Days is sponsored by the Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association, which promotes the preservation of Willimantic’s Victorian past.

Most events take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Willimantic’s Hill Section abounds with old Victorian homes. It is “sort of a hidden treasure,” says event manager Lynn Duval. “It was built when the textile mill industry was at its prime.”

During that era, immigrants came from France, Poland, Ukraine, Ireland and other countries to work at the thread mills, and “their families are still here,” Duval said.

The George Tiffany House on Prospect Street is one of the Victorian-style homes that will be open for tours during the 14th annual Victorian Days, the weekend of June 2-3, 2012. Photo courtesy of Wilimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association

“They all left something here in the community,” she said, and so the Victorian Days weekend also celebrates the diversity of Willimantic’s history.

“People come from all over New England,” Duval said, and “when we bring the people here, they see that Willimantic is kind of a cool town.”

New to this year’s festivities will be Saturday tours of five churches with historically interesting stained glass windows and organs.

“They’re all historic. They all have magnificent stained glass. It’s going to be a beautiful tour,” Duval said.

Thursday – with cooler and less humid weather in the forecast – will start the three-day event with a walking tour of historic Main Street that will include a viewing of the old Franklin Hall Vaudeville Theater.

Friday night, the public can attend a free Classic Brass Band Concert at the First Congregational Church, 199 Valley St. Following the performance will be a large buffet.

The Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum will take part in the 14th annual Victorian Days the weekend of June 2-3, and will offer 1.5-mile train rides in an open car with benches. Photo of the "round house" courtesy of the Railroad Museum

Saturday and Sunday, visitors can tour Victorian homes, the Willimantic Camp Meeting Association (Saturday, only), the Elks Lodge, the Old Willimantic Cemetery, Windham Mills, the magnificent Garden on the Bridge neighboring the renovated mills and ArtSpace, Wright’s Pleasant Street Garden and the Windham Town Hall with its newly installed exhibit, “Connecticut’s Connection to the Titanic.”

The Windham Textile & History Museum/Visitor’s Center, the Windham Historical Society at Jillson House and the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum (set back from Bridge Street) will also feature exhibits and other activities.

The railroad museum will offer 1.5-mile train rides in an open car with benches. “The kids will love it,” Duval said.

The Victorian Teas are “real high teas,” using real china, silverware and linen napkins and tablecloths. Sandwiches, handmade scones, pastries and tea are served in one of the Victorian homes. The tea gatherings sell out quickly. “We tell people to reserve ahead of time, and they have to,” Duval said.

For information on where to buy tickets or to make advance reservations for tea on Saturday or Sunday, call (860) 428-7573.

To download a brochure detailing all the events and a map, visit the Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association Web site at http://www.victorianwillimantic.org/events/victorian-days-in-willimantic

Posted May 31, 2012 as edited by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor 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. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Coventry Regional Farmers Market returns for 2012 season

The Coventry Regional Farmers Market is enters its eighth season beginning Sunday, June 3, 2012. This photo is from the market's opening day in 2007, recently posted on the Coventry Regional Farmers Market Facebook page.

Hailed as the largest farmer’s market in the state, the award-winning Coventry Regional Farmers Market will kick off its eighth season on Sunday, June 3, 2012.

The market is held on the grounds of the Hale Homestead at 2299 South St., the former family home of the Revolutionary War hero, Nathan Hale.

Market vendors will sell their homemade goods and homegrown produce from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m on Sundays from June to October.

Market goers will also be able to see the new barn now under construction. The barn was won in a contest earlier this year.

Bridges to Healthy Cooking School, a registered 501c3 now oversees the market.

The market generates sales exceeding $350,000 every year and draws more than 75,000 visitors annually.

Market Executive Director Winter Caplanson said she thinks the market’s secret is its “sincerity.”

“We believe in creating this community of people, to understand what it means to eat well,” Caplanson said.

Caplanson said the market specializes in organic, heirloom, ethnic and gourmet varieties of fruits and vegetables, and offers grass­fed beef, free-range eggs, milk, yogurt, smoked bacon, rustic breads, farmstead cheeses and flowers, among other items.

The market offers “great diversity,” she said.

Market officials are planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new barn on June 17, with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in attendance.

The barn was won by the market in the “Yankee Post and Beam Great Barn Giveaway,” a national contest last summer in which the public voted on who should win the barn.

The 24-foot-by-36-foot post and beam barn was made possible by W.H. Silverstein Inc.

Caplanson said there have been some glitches with getting the structure finished.

Permits took longer than expected and, “We may lose some vending places,” she said. “We are currently in the process of figuring out how many spaces are being impacted and where else can those vendors be placed.”

The barn will be used to house demonstrations, classes, exhibits, live music and other events at the market. It will also be leased to other groups by the Town of Coventry on non-market days.

Earlier this year the town and fans of the market from the surrounding area were distressed to learn the market might lose its home at the Hale Homestead.

Market organizers, while trying to work out issues with Connecticut Landmarks, the agency that oversees the site and with the Town of Coventry concerning a site offered in town, also entertained invitations from other towns to give the market a new home.

Ultimately, Connecticut Landmarks and the market’s directors reached a 10- year agreement in which the Town of Coventry will act as the tenant and the farmers market will sublease.

Something new this year, thanks to newly passed legislation – Sunday alcohol sales will now take place at the market.

“We will be able to have a wine vendor (this season),” Caplanson said. She added that she’s been “holding onto one spot” at the market for that specific reason.

“We are planning on having one, but it may not (be ready) the first weekend. It’s something we’ve wanted for awhile,” she said.

Town Manager John Elsesser said the market “is a point of pride for the town… It sends a positive message about our community and who we are. We are glad it’s going to start another year here.”

The Coventry Regional Farmers Market also is a “dog friendly” market – visitors can bring their four-footed companions as long as they are on a leash and well-behaved.

To keep up-to-date on entertainment, demonstrations, vendors and special events at the market, visit http://www.coventry­farmersmarket.com or find it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CoventryFarmersMarket

Editor’s note: You are encouraged to also bring necessary “equipment” for cleaning up after your dog, and to bring some fresh water for your dog, since both you and your dog will be walking in an open field.

Posted May 31, 2012 as edited and added to by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor 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. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

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Connecticut Water refutes criticisms of UConn water plan

Connecticut Water Eric Thornburg from Town Talk

Connecticut Water is well positioned to provide the water necessary to meet the needs identified for the University and the community over the 50 year planning horizon. The EIE considered the projected demands for the University’s Tech Park and the Next Generation initiative, as well as the Town of Mansfield’s plans for redevelopment of the Four Corners, the proposed managed care facility, and other potential development in the community consistent with their local plans.

Future of local water supply is topic of public forum July 29

water - drinking water - water faucet

Questions about water sources, usage and quality have come into focus recently in light of the Storrs Center development, UConn’s plans to bring in water to support a new Tech Park and the concurrent needs of the towns in this region, particularly in terms of their own development plans.

Coventry Farmers Market invites you to a ‘wellness’ swap

SWAPPERS logo Coventry Farmers Market 2013

As always, anything handmade, handcrafted or homegrown is swappable. But remember – you must sign up and bring something to get something in return!

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