Waterbury is celebrating July 4th a day early this year with music and parties and fireworks on July 3rd.

   A free concert, a food truck festival and neighborhood block parties will all precede the scheduled 9:15 p.m. launch of the City’s annual fireworks display on Sunday July 3 from Holy Land.

Former state representative Victor Cuevas pled guilty yesterday to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

                            Story and Photographs By John Murray

   A two-year federal probe into the financial dealings of former state representative Victor Cuevas hinged on the technicality of whether $7000 was a gift or loan from a life-long friend. The money was used to qualify for a special HUD loan that enabled Cuevas to purchase a home in Bristol with less money invested upfront. The key element of getting the mortgage was having a friend or family member gift him $7000.

   “A broker suggested I could qualify for the loan if I borrowed $7000 from a friend, and then repaid the friend after I got the loan,” Cuevas said. “At the time I didn’t think it was a big deal.”

                             A Tribute By Felix Rodriguez

   It was a bright, sunny September morning in Louisville in 2010, with temperatures lingering around 82 degrees; the kind of heat that drives people to the nearest swimming pool.  As for me, I was driving to fulfill a dream— that of finally visiting the museum built as a tribute to Muhammad Ali, arguably the greatest boxer of all time, and my personal hero.

Win $1000

To qualify for the Grand Prize, and to have your ballot counted you must fill out a minimum of 25 categories on the ballot and fill in your personal information on the bottom. One ballot per person, and it's obvious when one person fills out multiple ballots with the same answers, and jotting down someone else's name. That's ballot stuffing , so save us all some time, and just submit one ballot. Thanks, and enjoy!

Ballots must be received by April 30th, 2016 to qualify. Results will be published in the Best of Waterbury issue in mid-June.

Vote online here

   Raymond Work is the Republican nominee for the Special Election to fill Connecticut’s 75th District seat. Work, a small business owner, has served the city of Waterbury as a member and chairman of the City Plan Commission. He is also an active member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a Boy Scout Leader and a mentor of the Kennedy High School Robotics team.

   The Independent Party announced at their caucus on Sunday March 20 that Lisa M. Lessard was unanimously chosen to be their candidate in a special election for State Representative in the 75th District in Waterbury.

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