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Flags on Park Street

As is the tradition, vendors lined Park Street in preparation for the Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival, which takes place today. While the parade and festival are more-or-less family-friendly and take place between Colt Park and Bushnell Park, the parade eve continues to feature cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and air horns — up and down Park Street — all vying to be the loudest.

Open Data: Reported Assaults and Confirmed Gunshots

Using information from data.hartford.gov, one can see — without the dramatic music or insensitive teasers on social media — what has been happening in Hartford from April 15-May 15, 2015. This time period is just before the local mainstream media’s non-stop coverage of recent violence began.

Both maps use the same datasets. The first simply shows reported incidents; assaults are marked in purple, while confirmed gun shots are marked in red.

The map below uses the same data, but shows the incidents appearing in chronological order. (more…)

Conversations with the Candidates: Impressions

“Why isn’t the mayor here?”

That was the first question asked by an audience member, before the official time for questions began — before anything really began — at the Business for Downtown Hartford’s “Candid Conversations” event. (more…)

Prescription Drug Collection Unit Installed in Public Safety Complex

Photo courtesy of the Hartford Police Department

A drug collection unit now sits in the Public Safety Complex lobby on High Street. The Hartford Police Department says that this gives the public a “safe and environmentally responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medication, including controlled substances.”

This box is one of 1,000 units sponsored by CVS/pharmacy and The Medicine Abuse Project as part of a five-year initiative of The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 54.2% of prescription drugs were obtained free from a friend or relative, and another 16.6% were bought or taken from a friend or relative. By far, the top reason teens have said that they use prescription drugs is because of access: more than 70 percent of teenagers, according to a 2014 study by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, said that it is easy to get prescription drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets.

Meds can be dropped into this unit 24/7, no questions asked, police say.

Man Struck, Killed by Vehicle

A motorist, who, according to police appeared to be intoxicated, struck a pedestrian with the SUV, killing him, on Sunday evening.

The victim has been identified as Frank Morales, 38, of Hartford. He was pronounced at St. Francis.

The investigation is ongoing, but in addition to the deceased, the yet-to-be-named motorist operating a 2001 Chevy Blazer appears to have struck a parked vehicle and run a red light at the intersection of Albany and Edwards where Morales was hit as he exited a convenience store.

Witnesses and those with information are asked to contact the Hartford Police Department: (860) 757-4000.

Arrests Made in Trinity Assault Case

Pedro Carillo (20) and Veronica Marquez (27), both of Hartford, were arrested in connection to the March 4, 2012 assault on Christopher Kenney.

Hartford police say that information required for arrest warrants became available last week and the warrants were issued this morning.

Marquez is being held on a $250,000 judge set bond and will be arraigned on Friday; Carillo has been in custody of the Department of Corrections on separate charges since September of last year. (more…)

Police Offer Public Use of Lot for Transactions

Photo courtesy of the Hartford Police Department

If you want to get more mileage out of those tax dollars, you can now use the Hartford Police Department’s parking lot to conduct your Craigslist transactions.

With a number of those exchanges turning into robberies — and worse —  it might bring peace of mind to buy and sell within shouting distance of the law. There is video surveillance of the lot and the front desk is staffed every hour of every day. (more…)