Hartford Region

Paying for baseball
1:28 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Hartford Baseball Consultants, Lawyers Were Paid $240,000

Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra hired three consultants and one lawyer for a total of about $270,000 as he held closed-door negotiations to bring a minor league baseball team to Hartford. UPDATE: The city has corrected its numbers.  It now says the total was just under $240,000.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue July 1, 2014

With Proposed Hartford Stadium Come Questions, Concerns, and Criticism

David Panagore.
Chion Wolf WNPR

When officials from the City of Hartford announced it would build a Minor League Baseball stadium, many people were caught by surprise, including Hartford residents.

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Student Work
12:00 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Teens Savor Hartford Comic Con, "a Divine Experience"

The Joker at Hartford Comic Con.
Joshua Gaestel CPBN Learning Lab

Students from the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School Satellite Campus at the CPBN Learning Lab in Hartford had a chance to visit Comic Con in the capital city recently. One described it as a "divine experience."

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Spotlight on the Arts
9:11 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Curtain Call for Japanalia Eiko and Dan Blow

Dan Blow
Credit Mike Dunphy

When jazz vocalist Dianne Mower makes her way through a jam-packed house onto the tiny Japanalia stage on Saturday night in Hartford’s West End, odds are it will be an emotional and unifying moment for everyone within earshot.

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Rent or Own?
4:54 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

When It Comes to Paying For Stadium, Hartford Changes Course

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The city of Hartford is changing its plans for how to build, and pay for, a new minor league baseball stadium downtown. The mayor and the city council now plan to ask developers and private investors to weigh in. 

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Play Ball
4:21 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

If a Ballpark Comes to Hartford, Who Gets the Luxury Seats?

Jupiterimages/Photos.com Thinkstock

Much has been written about whether the city of Hartford should have its own box in the new proposed baseball stadium its considering building to house the New Britain Rock Cats.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Should Minor League Rock Cats Relocate to Hartford?

Pedro Segarra.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The lure of professional sports teams has often been irresistible to municipal leaders. It’s very easy to imagine a stadium filled with happy fans, spending money and spreading civic pride.

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Olmsted Legacy
7:16 am
Thu June 26, 2014

New Documentary Highlights the Work of Frederick Law Olmsted

A bird's eye view of Central Park in New York.
PBS

Frederick Law Olmsted, recognized as one of the greatest landscape architects from the U.S., is perhaps best known for contributing to the design of New York City's Central Park. He was also a Connecticut native, and was raised in Hartford's North End -- where he is also interred, in Old North Cemetery.

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Stadium, Stadium, Stadium
4:16 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Hartford City Council to Hire Its Own Stadium Consultant

The proposed site for a Hartford ballpark.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra's plan to build a new minor league baseball stadium in the heart of downtown is facing more scrutiny from the city council. 

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Jazz Corridor
8:23 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Celebrated Hartford Cabaret Series Closes After Triumphant Five-Year Run

Dan Blow in front of the Japanalia storefront on Hartford's Whitney Street.
David Borawski

After a triumphant five-year run that offered a sparkling array of top live cabaret entertainment in Hartford, the flamboyant, innovative impresario/fashion-designer Dan Blow wraps up his popular Music@Japanalia Series at 7:30 pm on Saturday, June 28, with a grand finale performance by the noted, Hartford-based diva Dianne Mower.

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Play Ball, And Politics
11:01 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Ballpark Debate Makes For Interesting State Senate Politics

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, Rock Cats Owner Josh Solomon, and Council President Shawn Wooden announce the deal earlier this month.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It may be baseball season.

It's also political primary season.

When it comes to the ballpark in Hartford, two opposing candidates for state senate have two very different views. 

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Where To Build
4:17 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Locating Hartford's Proposed Ballpark

Two possible locations for a Rock Cats stadium in Hartford, as proposed by Pendulum.
City of Hartford

The city of Hartford has said it looked at other city locations for a new minor league baseball stadium -- including a location on Market Street, the sometimes-home of Cirque du Soleil.

Now, there are some documents to back that up. 

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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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