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Herald/Press: Stories of the Week

Herald/Press: Stories of the Week

By New Britain Herald and Bristol Press
Every Thursday, New Britain Herald and Bristol Press reporters Catherine Shen and Matt Hornick will give you a closer look at one of the newspaper's biggest stories from the previous week. You will meet reporters from across our newsrooms to bring you greater insights into how these stories come together as well as information that did not make the final deadline.

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Episode 30: Newington tennis player Michelle Novikova
Michelle Novikova and Newington girls tennis coach Sean Hussey join the podcast this week to discuss Michelle starting her season with a 12-0, as well as how she adjusted to playing her first high school tennis season in two years. 
May 13, 2021
Episode 29: Buddy the Beefalo
Buddy the Beefalo is the topic of this week's podcast as his story in the Plymouth area comes to an end. Matt and Catherine speak with Plymouth Police Captain Ed Benecchi about his involvement with tracking down Buddy over the past eight months and everything that has transpired with the whereabouts of this rambunctious animal since his arrival in central Connecticut.
May 03, 2021
Episode 28: Tamara Bross and D'Andre Esposito of the Bristol Boys and Girls Club
Matt and Catherine check in with Tamara Bross, President of the Bristol Boys and Girls Club, and D'Andre Esposito, the club's director of community partnerships, about the clubs upcoming plans for this summer as well as what they learned from running the club during the pandemic. Tamara shares how her first month and a half as club president have been and what is next for the club in the coming months.
April 24, 2021
Episode 27: Daniel O. Tully Esq.
This week's podcast topic is responsibility as Daniel O. Tully of Kilbourne and Tully Connecticut Elder & Disability Law Firm joins the podcast to discuss the importance of keeping one's affairs in order and having a will ready. He provides tips on how to discuss these matters with loved ones and mistakes to avoid when planning for what's next.
April 19, 2021
Episode 26: Tim Barrette and Sean Wininger
The CCC Champion Bristol Central boys basketball team joins the podcast this week, represented by head coach Tim Barrette and senior captain Sean Wininger. They discuss defeating three top-five teams in the state to earn the ranking as the No. 1 team in Connecticut at the end of this season.
April 01, 2021
Episode 25: New Britain Boys and Girls Club Executive Director James Jones
James Jones joins the podcast to discuss his first year as Executive Director of the New Britain Boys and Girls club. He shares some highlights of what he's been able to accomplish amid the pandemic and what some of his plans are with more freedom and warm weather approaching.
March 25, 2021
Episode 24: Reflecting on one year since the shutdown with Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz
Matt and Catherine are joined by Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz to look back on the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic over the past year. They discuss what she's learned since the start of the pandemic, things that went well in that time, what could have been changed and what is next to come as more people are getting vaccinated. Don't forget to rate, subscribe and review!
March 11, 2021
Episode 23: Chris Edge, Berlin Economic Development Director
Chris Edge, Berlin Economic Development Director joins the podcast to explain how he has facilitated the opening of many new businesses in town despite the interference of the covid-19 pandemic. He shares some of what he did to help keep businesses afloat during a difficult time and what is on the horizon for Berlin in the coming months and beyond. Don't forget to rate, subscribe and review!
March 04, 2021
Episode 22: The Memorial Boulevard Arts Magnet School
Michael Dietter, deputy superintendent of the Bristol Board of Education joins the podcast this week to discuss the renovations being made to the Memorial Boulevard School to reopen it as an intradistrict arts magnet school in the city. Matt and Catherine inquire about what "intradistrict" means as well as what local residents can expect from the school once it opens for the 2022-23 school year.  Don't forget to rate, subscribe and review!
February 25, 2021
Episode 21: New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart
Catherine and Matt sit down with Erin Stewart to discuss new developments in the city's vaccine rollout and how they could lead to getting more people vaccinated quickly. Stewart also shares problems the city is working to address with vaccine distribution, as well as an update on how the city will be celebrating its 150th anniversary. Don't forget to rate, subscribe and review!
February 16, 2021
Episode 20: Swatting with Special Agent Joe Altimari
This week's podcast is a look into swatting, a crime trend that involves calling in false crimes to police departments, which recently took place in Newington. Matt and Catherine are joined by Special Agent Joe Altimari of the FBI to discuss why people do this, how they do it and what impact it can on an area. If you want to read Erica Drzewiecki's story on swatting, click here: Don't forget to rate, subscribe and review!
February 10, 2021
Episode 19: Berlin head football coach Joe Aresimowicz
Matt and Catherine speak with Joe Aresimowicz, head coach of the Berlin High School football team about the handling of football season in the pandemic, which ultimately resulted in the season being postponed and then canceled. Aresimowicz discusses the implications losing a whole season has on his program and countless other programs across the state, as well as how he would like to see the decision making proceed so that football can be played on schedule this upcoming season.
January 28, 2021
Episode 18: Senator Chris Murphy
The series on the Capitol insurrection ends with Sen. Chris Murphy who provides a clear picture of what he believes should happen next as a proper response to the events of Jan. 6. After sharing his experience inside the building that day, he explains how he handled the days preceding and succeeding the events in Washington D.C.  Don't forget to subscribe, rate and review!
January 18, 2021
Episode 17: Senator Richard Blumenthal
The second part of the series about the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 is an interview with Sen. Richard Blumenthal. He shares his experience inside the Capitol that day, the importance of understanding what led to this event and what comes next now that the president was impeached. 
January 15, 2021
Episode 16: U.S. Congressman John Larson
This episode is the start of a three-part series in which Catherine and Matt will speak with members of the United States' Congress from Connecticut about their experiences last week during the insurrection at the Capitol. The first conversation is with Representative John Larson of Connecticut's first district. He shares what his day looked like Jan. 6 and what he wants done in response to this attack on democracy.
January 14, 2021
Episode 15: Newington Police Chief Stephen Clark addresses the increase in local automotive thefts
With the extreme spike in car-related thefts in the local area, Matt and Catherine are joined by Newington Police Chief Stephen Clark to discuss the factors causing this increase and what everyone can do to ensure they are not the next victim. Clark shares ideas on how to combat this issue long-term and what he would like to see from his elected officials to enhance this. DON'T FORGET TO RATE, SUBSCRIBE AND REVIEW! For more coverage, make sure to visit and Local communities see spike in car thefts:
January 07, 2021
Episode 14: What you need to know about the Covid-19 Vaccines w/Albert Peguero
Bristol Health's Albert Peguero returns to the podcast to give you a basic understanding of the coronavirus vaccines. He explains the safety of getting vaccinated and how the vaccines will be distributed over the coming months. Please subscribe, rate and review and if you want more information on the vaccines, make sure to visit and
December 31, 2020
Episode 13: Major Gregory Hartshorn of the Salvation Army
Matt and Catherine are joined by Major Gregory Hartshorn of the Salvation Army of Connecticut and Rhode Island to give an update on how the organization is handling the Holiday Season amid a pandemic. He provides a variety of ways to contribute and shares the story of a very special donation someone made in one of the kettles in New Britain. Please don't forget to rate, subscribe and review! Resident anonymously drops gold coin in Salvation Army kettle:
December 24, 2020
Episode 12: Coaches Bunty Ray and Matt Lance discuss how the pandemic has impacted their seasons
Matt hosts this week podcast solo and speaks with Innovation coach Matt Lance and Bristol Eastern and Bristol Central coach Bunty Ray about their experiences as coaches during all three sports seasons. They share how they maintain strong relationships with their student-athletes as well as some plans and hopes for the upcoming winter season. Please don't forget to subscribe, rate and review!
December 16, 2020
Episode 11: Protecting your mental health this holiday season w/Lisa Coates of Bristol Hospital
Catherine and Matt speak with Lisa Coates, Operations Manager of the Bristol Hospital Counseling Center about ways to stay high-spirited this holiday season when you can't see your family and behave as you normally would. Coates provides advice and resources for anyone who might be in need of emotional help as well as how to offer help to someone you think could be struggling.
December 10, 2020
Episode 10: The Future of New Britain's Christopher Columbus Statue
Matt and Catherine are joined by Alicia Strong of the New Britain Racial Justice Coalition and Frances Calzetta of the Italian American Women of New Haven to discuss the meaning of Christopher Columbus to ethnic groups around the world and how that impacts whether or not the statue of Columbus in New Britain needs to be removed. 
December 03, 2020
Episode Nine: Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu reflects on the past year
Matt and Catherine spoke with Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu about what she learned from the first year of her second term, guidelines for how to navigate the holiday season in a pandemic and what she is looking forward to in the coming year.  Please don't forget to subscribe, rate and review!
November 26, 2020
Episode Eight: CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lugarini discusses the future of the winter sports season
Just one day after announcing all winter sports activities will not start until Jan. 19, CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lugarini spoke with Matt and Catherine about the factors that led to the decision, what needs to change to make a winter season possible for all sports and the impact this news will have over the next two months.  Don't forget to subscribe, rate and review! CIAC elects to postpone winter sports season until Jan. 19:
November 18, 2020
Episode Seven: A Conversation with Albert Peguero from Bristol Hospital
Matt and Catherine sit down this week with Albert Peguero from Bristol Health to discuss Connecticut's increase in coronavirus cases and how the hospital is preparing itself to proceed. Peguero explains what they learned early on in the pandemic and how it helps them moving forward if the pandemic continues to worsen locally. Catherine and Matt also provide you with an update on the presidential election. Don't forget to subscribe, rate and review! This week's top stories: Bristol, New Britain deal with Red Alert status: Residents give their opinions on the Presidential Election:
November 11, 2020
Episode Six: Election Week
Catherine and Matt break down election results at all levels in the local area, as well as what election day was like for voters and how the state processed its absentee ballots. Please make sure to rate and subscribe! Election Stories:  Bristol favors incumbents on Election Day: Bristol republicans celebrate as results go in their favor: Newington voters have re-elected a democratic slate: Democratic candidates celebrate victories in New Britain: Bristol, New Britain seeing thousands turn out at polls: Bysiewicz visits polling station in New Britain:
November 05, 2020
Episode Five: Connecticut's Increase in Covid-19 Cases and How it Was Impacted by the Reopening of Schools
Matt and Catherine sit down to discuss Connecticut's recent uptick in positive coronavirus cases and how much of that is a result of schools reopening. They explain how local school districts are handling positive cases as well as what the expectations are going forward. This week's other top stories include a look at a conflict between New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and the Common Council over the hiring of a former school official and new restaurants coming to Bristol. Please make sure to rate and subscribe! This Week's Top Stories: State moves New Britain, Plainville, Bristol into Orange Alert status: Police arrest two people after alleged intoxicated driver in New Britain: Democrats say Stewart is attempting to illegally hire former school official: Little Poland flower shop has a part in TikTok celebrity's reality show: New Asian restaurant opens on Farmington Ave. in Bristol: Popeyes opens new drive-through location on Route 6:
October 28, 2020
Episode Four: A Guide to Voting in the Upcoming Election
Matt and Catherine are joined by colleague Susan Corica to break down everything you need to know about how to properly and safely vote in the Nov. 3 election. They discuss both in-person and absentee voting and how to ensure your vote is counted. This week's other top stories include the vote increase the pay of elected official in New Britain and how to ensure you can safely participate in trick-or-treating this year. Please make sure to rate and subscribe! This weeks stories: Looking at how to vote during the pandemic: Bristol school district issued tablet reportedly burns through child's backpack: New Britain mayor, five other elected officials approved for 13% raises: Bristol going ahead with Halloween celebrations: New Britain brings program to help families buy home with city's assistance:
October 22, 2020
Episode Three: Enlighten Me
Catherine is this week's guest on the podcast to share her experience telling the story of Shante Smith and the founding of her company Enlighten Me, which aims to help teenagers and adolescents with their mental health. Matt and Catherine also provide updates on the Citizen's Review Board in New Britain and how restaurants are doing one week after Connecticut began phase three of its reopening. Don't forget to rate and subscribe! This week's stories: New Britain woman starts own company to help empower area youth: Many area restaurants still struggling to get by: Proposed civilian review board in New Britain rejected: Bristol public schools to get $1.2 million to help costs associated with reopening: A new Vietnamese restaurant, opening on Berlin Turnpike: Berlin fitness center moves into new, larger space in town:
October 15, 2020
Episode Two: The Return of High School Sports in Connecticut
Matt and Catherine are joined by sports reporter Ryan Chichester to discuss the new fall sports season that began in Connecticut on Oct. 1 and everything that happened over the summer leading up to it. They also provide an update on positive coronavirus cases at local schools as well as other top stories from the past week.  Don't forget to rate and subscribe!  This week's stories: Sports begin seasons after long wait: New Britain elementary school has positive coronavirus case: Bristol resident named Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year: Coalition to bring Halloween treats to city children: Foodies opens in Bristol:
October 08, 2020
Episode One: An Open Letter to Newington High School, and other top stories from the week
For the first episode Herald/Press: Story of the Week, Matt and Catherine welcome reporter Erica Drzewiecki to discuss her story about a Newington High School graduate's sexual assault allegations towards a former teacher. This episode also provides an update on absentee voting, coronavirus data in New Britain and other top stories. Please listen, rate and subscribe! Links to this week's stories: Former student goes public with sexual assault allegation: One additional residential student tests positive for coronavirus at CCSU: New Britain officials learned from primary voting process: Bristol's registrars of voters prepare for Election Day: New Britain native opens convenience store: New pump park, gear shop coming to Rockwell Park:
October 01, 2020