Hartford Region

Bringing Baseball Downtown
5:04 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Stadium Deal Not Approved Yet, But Hartford Goes Out to Bid

A rendering of a proposed Rock Cats stadium in Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

There's a lot of work yet to be done before a minor league baseball stadium in the state's capital city becomes a reality. For starters, it has to be approved by the Hartford city council, and that won't likely happen until later this summer.

Mayor Pedro Segarra, however, isn’t waiting around for the city council to act.

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Hartford Schools
12:57 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Hartford's New Superintendent Sees Internal Achievement Gap

Beth Schiavino-Narvaez.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford's new school superintendent held her first press conference on Monday. She said her top priority is to eliminate the achievement gap within Hartford's schools. 

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School Management
12:44 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Hartford Charter School Organization CEO Resigns

Michael Sharpe.
Credit Facebook

The CEO of a charter school organization in Hartford has resigned following revelations that the academic credentials he’ had claimed in school materials, biographies, and legislative testimony are untrue.

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Voice and Verse
10:48 am
Mon June 23, 2014

En Garde!

Abhijit Shylanath Creative Commons

This saber was forged in the town of New Britain to end you!
Put down your pistol and draw your sword. Any man can shoot
but do you have skill? Do you not have the will to clash such
fine steel? Put down your pistol coward! I will make you kneel
before me... Have you no honor? Valor? You'd rather flick a
finger than allow your blade to linger in the heart chambers of
your rivals?

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Voice and Verse
10:44 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Me, Sparky, and Little Barbara Jean

DeeAshley Creative Commons

It's senior privilege, we get to sit on the rickety bridge
by the football field and smoke Viceroys after lunch.
It's fun bein' queenie and all; Dad always said
I had the prettiest peepers from here to Harrison.

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Voice and Verse
10:39 am
Mon June 23, 2014

New England Cowboy

Charles Henry Creative Commons

Cue tumbleweed.
Dust kicked up from his snakeskin boots catches to the northbound gale
He straddles the barren road; a stance ready to draw
He practices 1, 2, 3 gunshots just because he can
The sheriffs peer tentatively behind blinds
He holsters his Peacemaker, a Colt .45

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Connecticut First
4:39 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Cedar Hill Cemetery to Celebrate 150th Anniversary

One of Hartford's Crown Jewels turns 150 years old this year. Cedar Hill Cemetery is the final resting place for the city's most prominent natives, from actress Katharine Hepburn to gun maker Samuel Colt, as well as financier J.P. Morgan, and the founder of anesthesia, Horace Wells.

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The Right Ballpark?
3:19 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Hartford Leaders Respond to Stadium Concerns

From left, Hartford treasurer Adam Cloud, State Rep. Brandon McGee, City Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings, City Council President Shawn Wooden, State Rep. Doug McCrory, and City Councilmen Kyle Anderson and Ken Kennedy.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The debate over whether to relocate the minor league Rock Cats from New Britain to Hartford continues, and the Hartford's elected officials are now feeling some heat.

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Preserving Michelangelo
11:58 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Carrier to Install New HVAC System in the Sistine Chapel

The famous frescoes of the Sistine Chapel
Antoine Taveneaux Wikimedia Commons

Farmington-based Carrier is to install a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the Sistine Chapel as part of an effort to preserve the frescoes of Michelangelo.

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Hartford Or Bust?
10:09 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Springfield Says There Were No Talks With Rock Cats

Springfield City Hall in Massachusetts.
Credit Jeremy Goldstein / Creative Commons

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and his people have said that their negotiations to move the minor league New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford had to be confidential, because speaking about them publicly could have risked the whole thing and pushed the team out of state.

Several news reports -- some citing anonymous city officials and sources, others citing speculation and rumors -- suggested that Springfield, Massachusetts was a serious contender.  

Not so, says Springfield. 

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Rock Cats
4:24 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

City Council May Not Have Final Vote On Hartford Ballpark

Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has called his plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." He's celebrated the plan as both good for Hartford's pride and for its pocketbook.

The city council doesn't necessarily have the final vote, however -- and not everyone likes it. 

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Theater
2:26 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Hartford Stage Closes 50th Anniversary Season with 2013 Tony Award Winner

The cast of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. (from l. to r.) David Gregory (Spike), Andrea Lynn Green (Nina), Mark Nelson (Vanya), Leslie Hendrix (Masha) and Caryn West (Sonia).
T. Charles Erickson Hartford Stage

You might say Hartford Stage has Tony fever. Not only did the musical "A Gentlemen's Guide To Love and Murder," which was developed and produced by Hartford Stage, win big at last Sunday's Tony Awards, but also the 2013 Tony winner for best play is currently running at the theater. 

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Song of Solomon
3:14 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Papa Solomon Visits Hartford

Art Solomon "wrote the book" on owning minor league teams.

The New Britain Rock Cats are owned by Double Play LLC, which consists of Josh Solomon, his brother Jim, and their sister Jennifer Goorno. When that group bought the team, they insisted they were utterly separate from DSF Sports and Entertainment, which is owned by their father, Art Solomon.

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Development Deals
2:10 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

City Explains Hartford's Secrecy Around Proposed Stadium

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

For the better part of a year and half, Hartford city officials negotiated a plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city behind closed doors, saying the deal needed that kind of confidentiality, lest it fall apart. 

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Playing Ball
9:53 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Hartford State Senator Opposes New Rock Cats Stadium

A rendering of a proposed Rock Cats stadium in Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra called the plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." 

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Succession at The Stag
12:55 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Liam McGee Steps Down as CEO of The Hartford

Retiring Hartford CEO Liam McGee.
Credit The Hartford

Liam McGee has announced he will relinquish day-to-day control at The Hartford Financial Services Group, after treatment earlier this year for a brain tumor.

McGee will be succeeded as CEO by Christopher Swift, who steps up from his position as Chief Financial Officer. Another internal candidate, Douglas Elliot, will become President. McGee will stay on as executive director of the board until the next shareholders' meeting.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:20 am
Mon June 9, 2014

The Scramble: Freakonomics, Tony Awards, and Rock Cats in Hartford

What our servers currently look like, via Wikimedia Commons

Freakonomics god Stephen Dubner is our SuperGuest for today's Scramble, and he talks about how to think more rationally and creatively, the upside of quitting, and the latest studies on happiness. Then, we chat with sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, and WNPR's capital region reporter Jeff Cohen, on the value of publicly-funded sports arenas. What's the status on the possible building of a baseball stadium in Hartford? Is it a done deal? What else have we learned and expect to understand about what a business like that may do to the city?

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Hartford Stage
10:02 am
Mon June 9, 2014

"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" Wins Best New Musical Tony Award

Jeferson Mays, left, and Bryce Pinkham in "A Gentleman's Guide" at Hartford Stage.
Joan Marcus

"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," originally a Hartford Stage production, received the best new musical Tony Award on Sunday night.

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Hospitality
4:09 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Would You Spend the Night in Hartford After a Rock Cats Game?

Downtown Hartford as seen through a hotel room window.
Cliff Creative Commons

City leaders say building a minor league baseball stadium in Hartford would spur economic development. Some of the numbers are based on ambitious assumptions. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The Nose Talks About... Nevermind, It Takes Too Long

Rebecca Castellani is a scholar of modern literature.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Today on The Nose, we begin with an essay, "Faking Cultural Literacy." Writer Karl Taro Greenfeld said, "It's never been so easy to pretend to know so much, without actually knowing anything." We pick topical, relevant bits from Facebook, Twitter, or emailed news alerts, and then regurgitate them.

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7,000 People Per Game
5:58 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

If You Build It, Lots and Lots of People Will Have to Come

The Rock Cats current New Britain home.
Credit Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

A bunch of numbers jump out when it comes to the proposed new minor league ballpark in Hartford. One of them is the jobs projection. 

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Playing Ball
2:02 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Rock Cats Ballpark Economics, By the Numbers

A rendering for a proposed baseball stadium in Hartford for the Rock Cats.
City of Hartford

There are a lot of numbers that jump out when it comes to the proposed new minor league ballpark in Hartford – the 600 permanent, full-time jobs, the more than 9,000 seats, the 25-year deal, the $500,000 annual rent payment to the city. But there’s also the price tag itself. 

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Baseball In Hartford
4:48 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Hartford Says Rock Cats Were Ready to Leave the State

Mayor Pedra Segarra announced on Wednesday that the Rock Cats are moving to Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Hartford has announced a 25-year deal to bring the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city. The move, celebrated in one city, is not so popular in the other. 

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Minor League Baseball
12:26 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Should the Rock Cats Move to Hartford?

The New Britain Rock Cats stadium.
Doug Kerr Creative Commons

Hartford city officials held a news conference on Wednesday to discuss what Mayor Pedro Segarra called a "major sports announcement." A deal is in place to move the New Britain Rock Cats minor league baseball team to Hartford.

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Downtown Campus
2:13 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

UConn, City of Hartford Mark Development Agreement

The former Hartford Times building on Prospect Street will be refurbished and incorporated into a UConn Hartford campus.
Peter Morenus UConn

UConn officials and the city of Hartford marked a development agreement milestone on Tuesday. The university is capping an effort to move its West Hartford campus to a new location called UConn Hartford.

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Jazz Corridor
3:37 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Nicki Parrott, Peerless Aussie Double Bassist and Vocalist, Leads Trio In Hartford

Nicki Parrott.
Nicki Parrott

As part of his musical legacy, the late Les Paul, the legendary guitarist, electronic wizard and iconic guitar designer, played a key role in encouraging Nicki Parrott, the gifted Australian-born double bassist, to spread her wings a bit and also become a first-rate, expressive jazz singer.

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Training Police
12:55 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

More Police Officers to Get Mental Health Training

Michelle Malven/iStock Thinkstock

Edward Yergeau, a patrol sergeant with the Hartford Police Department, has seen how changing attitudes about mental health has actually changed outcomes.

"Ten years ago," Yergeau said, "you either arrested a person, or threw them in the ambulance, and you were done with them. That was it." 

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Sports Media
1:17 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

ESPN Opens New Digital Center In Bristol

ESPN's Bristol campus.
ESPN

Sports media giant ESPN has opened its new digital media center on its Bristol campus.

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High Finance
5:04 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

U.S. Education Secretary in Hartford to Talk About Paying for College

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Gov. Dannel Malloy speak with students at University High School of Science and Engineering.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in Hartford Monday to speak with high school seniors about paying for college.

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Music Manufacturing
12:18 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Organ Company In Hartford Still Pulling Out All the Stops After 100 Years

Anne Wysocki, a voicer at Austin Organs, tunes a chimney flute that will be added to an organ in Cincinnati originally built by Austin in 1929.
Shana Sureck WNPR

If you ask Michael Fazio how long he’s been in the pipe organ business, he’ll say, “How do I get out of it?”

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