So here we are again, one year ending and another one soon to begin. And while a new year brings, well, new things, 2014 was nothing to write off as it was packed with all that is Java including celebrity comings and goings, weddings, babies, media changes, openings and closings and a whole lot more that we will remember, fondly and otherwise.
When it came to letting go of things that were "old," perhaps one of the biggest changes were those at stellar Connecticut radio stations WDRC and WCCC. Both were sold, WDRC by the Buckley family to Connoisseur Media and WCCC to Educational Media Foundation in California. And along with those sales came changes, including goodbyes to some of the state's most well-known disc jockeys.
And while we bid adieu to some of our favs like Mike Stevens, Grahame Winters, Miss Klonk and J Raven, there were those who returned on new stations and in different ways. DRC's Floyd Wright headed over to WJMJ while former co-worker, Rockin' Ron Sedaille launched his Internet radio station, Fun Tower Radio. Meanwhile former WCCC stalwart Mike Karolyi teamed up with radio business veteran Dick Robinson to launch another Internet radio station, iRockRadio.com, offering the classic rock format that was the WCCC standard.
Former governor John Rowland, who was arrested and will be sentenced next week for campaign finance fraud, stepped down from his WTIC afternoon show. Months later, Rowland's former co-host Rev. Will Marotti, who filled in following Rowland's departure, also stepped down.
There were lots of changes on television as well. FOX CT anchor Logan Byrnes was let go. FOX CT also canceled its Capitol Report TV program leaving host Tom Dudchik without a show. WFSB changed things up with the departure of Tina Martin. WTNH lost meteorologist Erika Martin and hired Ryan Kristafer as the new co-anchor for its daily lifestyle show. Well-known TV personality Al Terzi also stepped down from the anchor desk at FOX CT while Jenn Bernstein returned. Former Miss Connecticut, Heidi Voight, was named traffic reporter at NBC Connecticut.
Kristafer's co-host and WTNH reporter, Teresa Labarbera Dufour, announced just a year after her wedding that she and hubbie, Brandon Dufour, are expecting a baby in June. Also waiting for a new arrival in 2015 is FOX CT's Rachel Lutzker and her husband Dave.
TV personalities whose babies did arrive in 2014 included those of FOX CT's Rachel Frank and NBC CT's Keisha Grant.
Weddings? There were some for sure. Middletown's NASCAR wonder Joey Logano shared "I do's with longtime girlfriend Brittany Maco. Televison reporter Kate Rayner married John Bernard Lear III and also marked 2014 by leaving WFSB and moving over to NBC CT. Also a new groom in 2014 was FOX CT meteorologist Dan Amarante, who married Katie Arntsen.
And while no wedding yet, Bushnell president/CEO finally popped the question to longtime girlfriend, Peggy Beley.
Speaking of the Bushnell, headlines were made when the Hartford Symphony Orchestra entered into a cooperative agreement with the performing arts center, a business venture that made Fay head of both entities.
There was lots of Java action on Front Street in Hartford, the highlight being the opening of the Infinity Music Hall & Bistro, the long awaited concert venue and restaurant, wasting no time in bringing live music and yet another dining experience to downtown Hartford. Other new restaurants joining the Front Street area in 2014 pack were NIXS, Ted's Montana Grill and Bear's Smokehouse Barbecue.
And Max Restaurant Group king Rich Rosenthal continued his reign by opening yet another eatery, this one called The Cooper in Palm Beach, Fla.
Did we mention television? Why we all know the on-air personalities, there were many Connecticut residents who became celebrities thanks to reality television.
Farmington native Kristin Carroll Taekman became one of "The Real Housewives of New York City" while Mohegan Sun's former tribal chairman, Bruce Bozsum, climbed into a disguise on "Undercover Boss."
Connecticut youngsters Oona Yaffee and Adaiah Stevens did their state proud as they competently competed on Gordon Ramsay's "Master Chef Jr." Bridgeport native and former NFL player Keith Carlos was the first man ever to win Tyra Banks "America's Next Top Model" show. And former West Hartford resident, Natalie Anderson became the million dollar winner on "Survivor."
A 25-year-old West Hartford resident, Andrew Frazer, showed off his brawn on a new reality show called "The Quest" and Southern Connecticut State University librarian Wendy Hardenberg showed off her brain power on "Jeopardy."
Connecticut served as the stage for assorted movies as well as the reality show "The Bachelorette." Both Mohegan Sun and the Griswold Inn in Essex served as "date sites" for the reality show.
And Jerry Springer brought his soon to premiere dating show "Baggage on the Run" to Connecticut, filming at the Storrs campus of UConn and the Palace Theater in Waterbury.
Celebrity baker/chef Buddy Valastro announced he will open another of his famous Carlo's Bakery locations, the first in New England, at Mohegan Sun. And WFSB personality Kara Sundlun turned author with the release her book "Finding Dad: From Love Child to Daughter."
Former local television personalities-turned-major-television personalities Gayle King and Mika Brzezinski teamed up with gal pals and fellow TV ladies Diane Smith and Duby McDowell to present the first annual "Know Your Value" seminar for women in Hartford.
There were noteworthy birthdays and parties as well. Longtime WDRC personality Brad Davis celebrated his 80th birthday with a Florida bash and WFSB's Scot Haney turned a graceful 50, with parties including a surprise one thrown by the dozens of non-profits he has assisted over the years.