West Hartford had no shortage of big stories from the last year, from tragedies to business openings to election results, here are the top 10 stories from 2013:
And remember, folks, it's fine to glimpse back into the rearview mirror of the past, but it's not OK to stare.
10. Prospect Cafe Closes - Yes, West Hartford has a vibrant and thriving restaurant scene, but this institution’s closing is a reminder that, sometimes, there is a price to be paid for all of those wonderful choices.
9. Brasserie Opening Delayed but Pushing Forward - Speaking of wonderful choices, the opening of Dorjan Puka’s much-anticipated French brasserie A’vert was delayed due to a problem obtaining construction materials. The restaurant has since opened in West Hartford Center to rave reviews.
8. Rainforest Cafe Closes - A favorite destination for families to visit at Westfarms closed, as the restaurant’s lease was up, according to the mall’s manager. The first floor space near Macy's became the new home of an expanded Forever 21 store.
7. West Hartford Woman Bitten by Bear - Black bear sightings in the area are fairly common these days, but none was more frightening than when a West Hartford woman was bitten by a bear that had a history of aggressive behavior. The bear was euthanized, while the woman - Sharon Flannery - was not seriously injured.
6. Twelve-Year-Old American School for the Deaf Student Tasered by West Hartford Police - A lawsuit seeks damages from ASD, staff members, the town and the police for alleged abuse and a Taser incident that took place in April.
5. February Storm Dumps 3’ of Snow on West Hartford - A huge storm resulted in 3’ of snow in the area. I think I’m still digging out.
4. West Hartford Police Recover Large Amount of Heroin - Two New Hampshire men admitted to regularly buying heroin in Connecticut and reselling it in New Hampshire at a significant profit. The July bust yielded 368 bags of heroin, suboxone, and drug paraphernalia.
3. West Hartford Dog Befriends Fawn - The cute factor is through the roof of this video of a dog that mimics the movements of a baby deer.
2. The Strange Case of Justina Pelletier - A 15-year-old girl from West Hartford is currently in the custody of Massachusetts Department of Children and Families as a result of a dispute over whether she has mitochondrial disorder or is subject to medical abuse by her parents. The next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2014. By then, she will have been in the custody of Massachusetts DCF for 11 months.
1. West Hartford Woman is Playboy’s First Connecticut Centerfold - This story reported by Ronni Newton appeared on the AOL homepage and attracted readers from all over the country. Hall High School graduate Ashley Doris Wilson appeared as 'Miss March' in the issue of Playboy released in February.