Senator Joan Hartley speaking at the opening of the new water sculpture at UConn Waterbury in June.


  State Senator Joan V. Hartley (D-Waterbury), vice-chair of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, is set to receive an award this weekend for her steadfast advocacy of heightened breast cancer awareness and mandatory insurance coverage for comprehensive breast cancer screenings.

Story and Photographs By John Murray

   The Waterbury Observer has confirmed with five sources that Saint Mary's Hospital and Waterbury Hospital are planning to sign a letter of agreement to merge, and if they get state approval, the new entity will build a new hospital in the city, possibly on Freight Street. Sources for this story included board members from both hospitals, political insiders, and a prominent local businessman, all who requested their names not be published before the hospitals make the announcement official.

Janice Smolinski's relentless optimism has transformed a murder investigation into a vehicle of change. In addition to fighting for the truth of what happened to her son seven years ago, Smolinski has triggered local, state and federal reform in the way law enforcement officers respond to the report of a missing adult. The Smolinski family is asking for a federal grand jury to probe into the case. Photographs By John Murray

Waterbury resident Jim Russell helps extract an old shopping cart from the Naugatuck River Sunday morning during a joint clean-up between We Are Change and the Naugatuck River Revival Group. Photographs by John Murray

Carolyn Ellison belts out a gospel song praising Jesus during a revival on the Green in downtown Waterbury, Saturday afternoon. Ellison is from Waterbury and is a member of the Lester Singers, also based in Waterbury. Photographs by John Murray


Linda McMahon, a former candidiate for U.S. Senator, visited our blog program at Waterbury Youth Services and made an extraordinary impression.

Column by Chelsea Murray

  This summer instead of basking in the sun or traveling, I have had the pleasure of spearheading a blogging program with a group of amazing young women at Waterbury Youth Services.

   The program evolved out of an argument with my father, who owns the Waterbury Observer, and who drives me crazy sometimes. Frustrated that day, I picked up the phone and called Kelly Cronin, the executive director of Waterbury Youth Services, and asked if I could invent a program for the summer. I felt the need to do something different with my life and wanted the opportunity to help others. I wasn’t sure what her response would be. I was young, practically just-out-of-college, and she could have told me to get lost. Instead, Kelly invited me down to her office and asked me to propose a program.


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