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Popular TV Meteorologist Returns To Connecticut Airwaves

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Popular TV Meteorologist Returns To Connecticut Airwaves


When he left in December, he said it was to devote more attention to raising his three sons.

“A single dad of 3 boys and while the focus of my life has always been my children, it is now more important than ever to focus on the things that matter the most in life,” he said at the time.

That focus has not changed, but now he will be working weekends and filling in while others are on vacation at Hartford-based Channel 3.

“It’s so great to be here,” Kantrow said in a video posted on Facebook over the weekend. “It’s so great to be hanging with you guys. This is my first day hanging out here at the First Alert weather center.”

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Kantrow was 23 years old when he started at WTNH, under the legendary meteorologist Dr. Mel, more than a decade ago.

“For those who don’t know me, I’ve been in the area my entire life, been in Connecticut my whole life,” Kantrow said. “I’ve been on TV over the course of the last more than a decade, 13 years, so it’s good to be back into it after a brief break.”



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Connecticut

UConn Renames Campus Building For Longtime Partner, Aerospace Giant

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UConn Renames Campus Building For Longtime Partner, Aerospace Giant


STORRS, CT — The University of Connecticut has named a campus building after Pratt & Whitney.

The dedication took place Friday with leaders from the UConn College of Engineering and Pratt & Whitney. It marked “a new milestone in innovation and collaboration,” officials said.

The renaming of the building, formerly known as the United Technologies Engineering Building, served as a “timely reminder of the interconnectedness of academia and industry,” officials said., while adding, “By bridging the gap between theory and practice, UConn and Pratt & Whitney are paving the way for transformative discoveries and advancements that will shape the future of engineering and beyond.”

UConn President Radenka Maric added, “The prevalence of the aerospace industry has been a constant in Connecticut. We come full circle today, recognizing Pratt & Whitney as one of the state’s longest established aerospace companies, and for its ties to UConn College of Engineering and the UConn mechanical engineering teams.

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More details are available on the UConn Today news website.

Part of Pratt & Whitney’s recent commitment to the UConn College of Engineering includes the Pratt & Whitney Scholars Program, a $1.25 million investment to serve underrepresented minorities. Those scholars were recognized in a Vergnano Institute for Inclusion showcase later Friday.

The partnership was also recently recognized by the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy. The Vergnano Institute and Pratt & Whitney earned an honorable mention for the inaugural Governor’s Workforce Partnership Awards and were recognized last week.



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Prominent Restaurant Closing, ‘Thank You’ Celebration Planned: CT News

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Prominent Restaurant Closing, ‘Thank You’ Celebration Planned: CT News


Patch AM CT brings you the breaking and trending news stories from all across Connecticut each weekday morning. At any point, you can find your local Patch and catch up on those stories here. Thank you for reading.

A restaurant, part of a prominent group with several locations in the state, will close later this month, the owners said, but a thank-you celebration is planned first.>>>Read More.


After being damaged by one fire, the same building was destroyed by a second inferno, and, now, police are investigating.>>>Read More.


More than 40 people were arrested early Monday morning as Yale and New Haven police cleared a student-led, pro-Palestinian tent encampment.>>>Read More.

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A woman is dead and three other people were injured in a crash, according to state police.>>>Read More.


Several area fire departments called to the scene of the fire.>>>Read More.


Authorities are still desperately searching for Mya’s four other babies.>>>Read More.


Other top stories:


The Patch community platform serves communities all across Connecticut in Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, New London, Hartford, Tolland, and Litchfield counties. Thank you for reading.

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Beavers making comeback in Connecticut. Here’s why that matters.

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Beavers making comeback in Connecticut. Here’s why that matters.


In this Sept. 12, 2014, photo, a tagged young beaver explores a water hole. (AP Photo/Manuel Valdes, File)

Engineers, commodity, lost keystone species, and pest — beavers have played many roles in Connecticut’s landscape.

Their survival is also an astounding conservation success story, according to a new book by local author Leila Philip who explores our relationship with beavers. Where they were once expatriated from the state by the fur trade and trapped to near extinction, in recent decades their numbers have rebounded.

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A 2001 state report estimated that there were around 8,000 individual beavers in Connecticut, but it’s unknown how many more there are now as they’re not actively tracked by the state. But a University of Connecticut project seeks to map where beavers are returning, to better understand their growth and recovery.

And then, how to coexist alongside them and their often beneficial water manipulating habitats.

Most people don’t spend much time thinking about beavers, and many people have never seen one. Philip said she was driven to understand beavers, and their significance after a chance encounter while walking her dog in her hometown forests of Woodstock.

“I heard that iconic beaver slap, but I didn’t know what it was,” she said. “I thought a gun had gone off, truly.”

But when she looked for the source of the sound, she didn’t find a hunter, nor did she find what was normally a muddy clearing in the trees. Instead she found a silvery pond glinting in the sun, the stillness cut by a little brown head swimming back and forth.

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“I was transfixed because of the tenacity of this animal,” said Philip. “I came out to watch the beaver every day and saw the transformation of this wet part of the woods into a beaver pond and it was one of the most incredible things I’d ever seen.”

Beavers are native to North America. The iconic rodents sport large paddle-shaped tails, webbed paws and teeth laced with iron. They build dams out of small trees, mud and sticks to serve as fortifications for their lodges, dens built out in the water that create dams.

There were millions of beavers on the continent when European settlers arrived. Philip said the scale of beavers on the landscape made the dense acres of trees a “waterworld of great spreading fans of waters throughout the forests.”

“That’s what we’ve lost,” Philip said. “We filled in 50 percent of our wetlands and that’s a problem for us now because those wetlands play such an important function in cleaning our water, slowing our water so it recharges the aquifers.”

The fur trade was critical for the formation of Connecticut as a colony, and eventually a state. Philip said beavers were essential for jump-starting transatlantic trade. She pointed to John Jacob Astor, the first known multi-millionaire U.S. businessman who had made his money on the back of a beaver fur monopoly.

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“By the 1900s the engines of capitalism are getting going in North America on the backs of the beaver,” said Philip. “They trapped, they trapped and they trapped them out. They almost exterminated them.”

By the mid-1800s, beavers were all but locally extinct as over-hunting moved them farther north. Early conservationists worked to bring them back. Some were reintroduced to the Yale Forest in 1914. Other reintroductions saw them recolonize local river systems.

But it took until the 1960s for them to truly rebound. Philip said this was due to many river systems being gummed up with industrial uses and the reforestation of farmlands. The beavers finally had habitats that connected, and they thrived.

Geoffery Krukar, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the state didn’t have hard numbers on beaver populations here, but he thinks there are a lot of them out there. He said that last year, in 2023, he issued more permits outside the regular trapping season than ever before for incidents of “beaver nuisances” where beavers are removed for threatening property and safety.

“We think they are an important component of the habitat and landscape, but sometimes public safety has to come first,” said Krukar. “You can’t have roads being undermined or going underwater.”

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Krukar said that he has denied permit requests for beaver removal, if it lacked a valid reason.

“Like, they just aesthetically didn’t want to see trees getting cut down at the edge of a swamp,” Krukar said of some requests. “I’ll try to preach coexistence in those situations.”

But there are some locals that don’t want to see beavers removed from their community. About five years ago in South Windsor beaver problems made quite a splash when they created a dam in Nevers Park. DEEP had authorized the town to trap and kill the beavers who after taking up residence had felled 200 trees and caused flooding in the park with a dam. When they found out, outraged locals signed a petition demanding the town find a way to share the public land with the beaver population.

Krukar echoed Philip, saying that beavers were one of the few animals that can create needed habitat on the landscape. He said that beaver wetlands were magnets for biodiversity and supported many kinds of life.

Sarah Heminway, director of the northeast region of the Connecticut Audubon Society said her organization learned to co-exist with beavers. At the Trail Wood Sanctuary in Hampton, beavers had made an acres-wide pond that would breach every 10 years or so in heavy rains. But Heminway didn’t want to get rid of the beavers.

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“We had many people saying, oh just trap the beavers and take them somewhere else,” said Heminway. “But this is perfect beaver habitat, there’s no sense in taking them away because they’re going to come back.”

Heminway reached out to the Beaver Institute in Massachusetts and had them come assess the pond. They settled on installing pond levelers — massive 40-foot pipes that extend to the middle of the pond that work as drains and keep the water from growing beyond a certain depth. The levelers worked, and last year’s heavy rains didn’t burst the dams.

“We need to stop treating everything as if it is expendable,” said Heminway. “That’s been the attitude since the Europeans came over on the Mayflower.”

She pointed to the regrowth of New England’s forests, the return of coyotes, deer, bears, fisher cats and beavers. She said that these animals have a place here.

“We have to live in balance,” said Heminway.

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Philip cites the story at the Trail Wood Sanctuary in her book “Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America,” as an example of fruitful coexistence, noting that in drought months, the beaver pond helped sustain well water in the area. She has data to back this up too, pointing to a 2020 study that estimated that beavers near Milwaukee could provide 1.7 billion gallons of stormwater storage to the tune of about $3.3 billion in ecological services.

“Underneath the beaver pond is an invisible sponge in the ground,” said Philip. “If you have a beaver pond that holds a million gallons of water, about three million gallons of water are being held in the soil underneath. That’s a huge sponge that’ll recharge a creek when a drought comes.”

Philip hopes her book, and talking to locals in Connecticut can help change our perception of beavers.

“There are many ways in which people realize how it is in their interest to have beavers,” said Philip. “They can reverse our cultural habit of thinking we need to kill beavers.”

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