At 1 pm this afternoon a mixture of sun and rain and light created a spectacular rainbow above Waterbury, CT. Observer photographer John Murray darted around the South End of the city trying to avoid trees and wires and buildings to get a clean shot of the rainbow. He shot this image from the edge of Route 8 north looking up towards the cross at Holy Land USA.

The presentation was displayed on large flat screen TVs at the north and south ends of the room. O'Leary told the aldermen that he decided to sweep through the past five years so the new aldermen on the board would have a better understanding of the moveable pieces and projects they are going to vote on in the near future.

                                                    By John Murray

   Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary gave a wide sweeping State of the City address last night in front of a packed aldermanic chamber inside Waterbury City Hall.

   O’Leary spoke about the five shovel-ready brownfield sites in Waterbury, the 94 blighted buildings his administration has demolished, the 8% drop in unemployment, the positive bond rating the city just received from Fitch, the $10 million in savings taxpayers will enjoy by putting city employee health care out to bid, and his commitment to parks, education, downtown and the redevelopment of the Freight Street corridor.

Irving Duggans

   The Observer just received the following press release from the Waterbury PD.....

   "On December 27, 2016 at approximately 1400 hours the Waterbury Police received a complaint of a body found in a bathroom shower stall located in a second floor apartment at 475 East Main Street. Upon arrival officers observed the body of the victim identified as Luis Rodriguez (07/30/1957) located in the bathroom shower stall suffering from significant trauma to his head.

   Ronald and Donald Weaver grew up in the South End and North End of Waterbury. Over the years they watched community leaders create civic projects and youth opportunities that they benefited from, and the experience ignited a fire in the Weavers that if they ever had an opportunity, they wanted to give back.

   And they have.

A shepherd near the village of Bilisht, Albania. There are an estimated 1000 Albanians from Bilisht that now live in greater Waterbury, most coming to seek economic opportunity in America.

                              Story and Photographs By John Murray

    I rounded a corner in Fier, Albania, and encountered ten police officers standing on the side of the road gesturing towards me. Crap, I thought, here comes the shakedown. I pulled my rental car over and fumbled for my passport and rental agreement. I wondered how I’d manage with the few words of Albanian I knew; mirëdita, (good afternoon), faleminderit (thank you), jo (no) and po (yes).

    It was too late to learn, “Hi officer, Albania is a beautiful country and I look forward to writing about my experience with Prime Minister Edi Rama in my newspaper back in America.”

    As I watched three uniformed police officers surround my car I wondered how much this was going to cost me.

Former 75th District State Representative Victor Cuevas

                                Story By John Murray

   Federal Judge Jeffrey Meyer sentenced former state representative Victor Cuevas to one-year probation and a $1000 fine for lying on a federal mortgage form. Judge Meyer said Cuevas had made an ill-advised plan to defraud a bank, but also had "remarkable support" in dozens of letters, and that "half the courtroom was bursting" in support of him.

   Cuevas admitted guilt on June 20th to lying on a HUD mortgage form stating a $7000 loan from life-long friend had been a gift. As part of the application process for securing a low interest loan backed by the federal government, the applicant had to secure a $7000 non-repayable gift. Ironically, if Cuevas had not repaid the loan there would have been no crime.

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