Friday, October 31, 2014

The Community Foundation awards more than $2.4 million to Greater New Haven nonprofits

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the permanent endowment and largest grantmaker to nonprofit organizations serving the Greater New Haven region, announces that it has awarded $2,405,044 in one-year and multi-year grants to 43 nonprofits serving its 20-town region.

These grants are the culmination of The Community Foundation’s largest, annual competitive grants process, which began in March with 123 applicants requesting $9.2 million in total funding. This competitive process is only one element of The Foundation’s overall grantmaking, which is expected to exceed $20 million in total competitive and non-competitive grants in 2014.

“Each year The Community Foundation’s competitive grantmaking process highlights all the great work being done by nonprofits in our community and poses very difficult decisions for us in choosing which grants to support. As always, in making these decisions we have sought to find a balance among our community’s many opportunities and needs,” said William W. Ginsberg, president and CEO of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Grants broken down by category are as follows: protecting the environment (1 grant for $20,000), supporting arts and culture (3 grants for $120,500), promoting civic vitality (4 grants for $183,000), boosting economic success (4 grants for $170,000), nurturing children and youth (6 grants for $278,000), meeting basic needs (7 grants for $355,000) and providing quality education (9 grants for $350,000). Because The Community Foundation has a sizable number of preference funds that support health services, the largest number of grants was made in the category of ensuring health and wellness (9 grants for $882,544), as in years past.

In seeing greater evidence that there is a transition occurring in the manner in which homeless shelter services are funded and delivered, The Community Foundation awarded several grants to nonprofits serving the homeless population in the region to ensure individuals and families at risk of being homeless or who are chronically homeless do not experience an interruption in services. These grant recipients include: Christian Community Action, Columbus House, Community Soup Kitchen, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, New Reach and Youth Continuum.

In alignment with emerging strategies identified by The Foundation’s Board of Directors, two grants were awarded to address issues of 1) incarceration and community reentry and 2) immigration integration. The Connecticut Women’s Consortium received $160,000 to support trauma-informed, gender responsive training and technical assistance to four agencies that provide services to formerly incarcerated individuals reentering the Greater New Haven community. That grant follows a decision by the Board earlier in the year to award $50,000 to The Transitions Clinic Network to serve the reentry population. To support immigration integration, JUNTA, which ensures that the rights of immigrants are respected and protected and that the Latino population is better represented in all segments of the community, received $50,000 for its general operations.

“The Community Foundation is committed to making New Haven and the region a welcoming community to all including the most vulnerable among us. This means ensuring that nonprofit organizations are prepared to serve the most vulnerable populations like undocumented immigrants and those returning to the region after incarceration. We want to ensure that these individuals have access to well-coordinated and quality services and that they have the tools they need to become civically engaged citizens. The Community Foundation has a long history working in these two areas and is committed to making more strategic investments that will lead to positive outcomes for individuals and the community,” says Christina Ciociola, Senior Vice President for Grantmaking & Strategy.

Illustrating how preference funds are used to support requests that align with donor intent, distributions from the Konopacke and Phelps Funds were used to support a local animal shelter and services for the aging, respectively.

Thanks to the Lillian and Henry Konopacke Fund, a grant was awarded to Animal Haven Inc., a private, nonprofit no-kill shelter for homeless cats and dogs located in North Haven. The Konopacke Fund was created in 2013 by bequest of New Haven native Henry Konopacke, who worked as a machinist at the Winchester Repeating Arms Factory. The fund states a preference to assist nonprofit animal shelters in the Greater New Haven area. The grant will be used to train staff and upgrade Animal Haven’s facility to prevent disease, ensure animal health and wellbeing and serve as a model for other shelters in Connecticut.

The John P. & Cora E. Phelps fund was established in 1962 as a preference fund by bequest of Emma P. Pelton, in honor of her grandfather and mother. A grant to the Town of Hamden was made possible from the fund for the Hamden Phelps Community Project, which provides short-term or emergency support to needy senior residents.

“Honoring donor intent is central to The Community Foundation’s grantmaking,” says Angela Powers, senior vice president for Development, Stewardship and Donor Services at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. “We are very pleased to have identified grants that will make our community stronger in ways envisioned by Mr. Konopacke and Ms. Pelton.”

This year, as in the past, the responsive grant process for the Lower Naugatuck Valley was carried out collaboratively with The Community Foundation’s affiliate, the Valley Community Foundation. In addition to The Community Foundation’s $2.4 million, 12 Valley grants totaling $420,304 were awarded by the Valley Community Foundation, including one joint grant by the two foundations to Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven to help reestablish its literacy program in the Valley.

A complete list of grant recipients is available at

This is a press release from Tricia Caldwell, communications manager for The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween fun at Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center in Shelton

Members of the MOMS Club of Huntington and their little ones share a Halloween story with the patients and residents of Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center.

SHELTON >> Members of the MOMS Club of Huntington and their little ones visited Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday for a special Halloween costume parade.

The group walked the halls of the community and greeted patients and residents with smiling faces, finishing with a group story and a “trick or treat” time at the end of their visit. Children and residents exchanged Halloween-themed gifts and posed for a photo before wishing one other “Happy Halloween!”

Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center is located on the Wesley Village Campus on Long Hill Avenue in Shelton. The award-winning facility provides short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing care and is owned and operated by United Methodist Homes, a local, mission-based, not-for-profit organization.

For more information, call 203-929-5321 or visit

This is a press release from Marissa Salvesen, marketing and promotions manager for United Methodist Homes.

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Seymour Middle School mourns passing of former principal known as a ‘true jokester’

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR >> There’s never been anyone quite like former beloved Seymour Middle School Principal Paul Porter, a jovial man known for his larger than life personality, contagious laugh and philosophy that students should experience the world not by books alone.
That’s how many of his co-workers remembered Porter, who passed away in South Carolina last week at age 68.
Porter led the middle school for 16 years before retiring in 2004. His passing deeply saddened the SMS family, said teacher Christine Kaszeta, who was filled with fond memories and funny stories about the boss she was proud to call friend.

Read more here.


Seymour teen battling brain tumor receives handicapped-accessible van

Photos by Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SEYMOUR >> The young woman battling a brain tumor, Nina Poeta, received a brand new handicapped-accessible van Wednesday, courtesy of Harte Family Motors.

The custom MV-1 edition van, emblazoned with pink decals boasting “Keep Calm & Nina Strong” and a “No One Fights Alone” across the bumper, was donated by the car dealership for use by the Poeta family for as long as they need it.

Read more here.

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Feds sue Derby to recoup O’Sullivan’s Island cleanup costs

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo

The federal government Tuesday filed a civil action against the city of Derby as part of its ongoing effort to recoup expenses related to the environmental cleanup at O’Sullivan’s Island.
The litigation was filed in U.S. District Court, along with a consent decree which calls for Derby to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency $675,000 by Dec. 31. If the payment is late, a $400-per-day penalty would apply, under the terms of the 24-page decree.
Emily Zimmerman, a spokesperson for the EPA, said the action formalizes an agreement reached between the government and city over the summer.

Read more here

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Macaroni & Meatball Dinner to benefit Boy Scout Troop 3 in Derby

DERBY >> A Macaroni & Meatball Dinner to benefit Troop 3 Derby Boy Scouts of America is set for Saturday, Nov.1 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Mary Church Hall, 212 Elizabeth St.

The proceeds will go to the troop's 2015 International Exchange Trip to Derby, England.

The menu includes: home-style macaroni, hand rolled meatballs, imported Italian sausage (from New Haven), mixed mesculin salad, fresh bread, soft drinks, coffee and home made desserts.
Reservations are required by calling 203-929-1770 or by emailing Ray Oppel at

Tax deductible donations are accepted via checks made payable to BSA Troop 3, P.O. Box 8, Derby, CT 06418.

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Derby Public Library presents 'Castles of Steel: Part II'

DERBY >> The Derby Public Library will host the historical program, Castles of Steel: Part II on Monday, Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m.

In this follow-up program, Rob Novak Jr., local historian, continues to explore this first great arms race of the 20th century through lecture and pictures. The world’s major powers spent great sums of money on giant fortresses called dreadnoughts, blending 19th century naval tactics with 20th century technology. It was a period of innovation, grandeur and danger that ultimately was one of the underlying causes of WWI and led to the first international arms limitations treaty.

Registration is requested. It is not necessary to have seen Part I to attend. For more information, stop by the library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit

This is a press release from Library Director Cathy Williams.

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Paragon League Wrestling to hold family friendly event Nov. 7 in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE >> Paragon is holding its second event "Paragon 2" on Friday, Nov. 7 at
7 :30 p.m. in the "Vine Auditorium" at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven, 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge.

The event will last about three hours and feature approximately 10 wrestling matches, post match interviews and color commentary. T-shirts, wrestling memorabilia and refreshments will be available for sale.

This is a "family friendly" event. No alcoholic beverages will be sold or served.

Ticket prices: $20 front row / $15 ringside seating. Group discount for youth and community groups $11 per ticket for ringside seats (regularly $15). For group sales, call 203-915-1977.

Hamden natives Nick D'Angelo and Mikey Chase, owners of the recently formed Paragon League Wrestling, previously worked for CTWE, a popular Connecticut independent wrestling company. After CTWE closed down about a year ago, D'Angelo and Chase revived and re-branded the company. One of the company's goals is to help change some of the negative stereotypes pro wrestling has acquired over the years, according to D'Angelo and Chase.

"We want our shows to be family fun events," D'Angelo said.

Paragon is also committed to community outreach. In addition to providing discounted tickets to local youth organizations, a portion of each event's proceeds is donated to a charity or non-profit organization that has an impact on the local community.

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DiGiovanni's Café and Catering opens for business in Ansonia

ANSONIA >> Mayor David Cassetti and local officials welcomed a new café and deli/catering business to downtown Monday afternoon.
DiGiovanni's Café and Catering opened for business at 344 Main St.

Owner and head chef Nicholas DiGiovanni is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with an A.S. in Culinary Arts and a B.S. in Foodservice Management.

According to the deli's website, "Nicholas plans to bring back traditional Italian cuisine with a modern flare to the valley. He plans to accomplish this with not only what he’s learned from his extensive schooling and work experience, but also by what he’s learned from his family as a third generation Italian/American. Nicholas envisions all of his customers being able to experience a piece of his heart and soul with a slice of Italy as soon as they step in the door. Featuring a unique espresso bar and home style Italian cooking, Nicholas’ plan is to keep his customers coming back for more."

(Photos submitted by Sheila O'Malley)

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Incumbent state Senator Kevin Kelly faces challenge from Army vet, Realtor Prez Palmer

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
State Sen. Kevin Kelly is being challenged by a Stratford resident who is an Army veteran, Realtor and insurance agent.
Kelly, 54, a Republican from Stratford who is assistant minority leader, is seeking his third term representing the 21st District of Monroe, Seymour, Shelton and Stratford.
Democrats have nominated Prez Palmer, 35, who is seeking political office for the first time, to run against Kelly.

Read more here

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Gentile’s opponent says he’s up to the challenge in 104th District race

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
Democratic incumbent Linda Gentile is being challenged by Republican newcomer Frederick Picroski in a race for the 104th House District seat.
Gentile is seeking her sixth term in office. The 104th district covers Ansonia and Derby.
“I want to continue to help working individuals and families, continue working to bring back much needed financial resources to Ansonia and Derby, continue to improve access to pre-k learning and increase funding for our public schools and continue to help seniors and veterans,” Gentile said. “Although much has been done, there is still so much more to do.”

Read more here

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The Grateful Dog opening grooming salon in Seymour

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR >> Professional dog groomer Robin Marketto hopes to pamper your pooch in style when she opens her new salon downtown Saturday.
The Grateful Dog will hold its grand opening at noon at 98 Main St.
Marketto, according to a press release from First Selectman Kurt Miller’s office, boasts more than 13 years of experience in dog grooming, and specializes in hand-scissoring techniques and breed-specific haircuts. She earned her certificate in dog grooming in 2000.

Read more here

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Friday, October 24, 2014

PHOTOS: Assumption School students go pink for breast cancer awareness in Ansonia

ANSONIA >> Students at Assumption School went pink Friday, Oct. 24, in support of national Breast Cancer Month, and also raised funds for the cause.

Students Brooke Armistead, a 7th grader, and Alexa Benfanti, an 8th grader, designed a T-shirt, raising awareness for the cause. The girls raised $625 from T-shirt sales, and presented a check to Griffin Hospital's Hewitt Center for Breast Health. The two girls presented Janet Hall from Griffin's development office with the check during a brief ceremony at the school Friday.

During the school's morning prayer service, students and staff formed a huge, human pink cross.

(Photos submitted by Lucia Hanock)
Left to right: 
Brooke Armistead, Alexa Benfanti and Janet Hall

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Craft & Vendor Fair set for Nov. 15 at Ansonia High School

ANSONIA >> The Ansonia High School PTSO will host a Craft & Vendor Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 15 at the high school, located on Pulaski Highway.
The fair will feature many vendors, including Avon, Thirty-One and more. There will also be raffles and baked goods available.

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Seymour proclaims Friday, Oct. 24 as Nina Poeta Day

SEYMOUR >> The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday unanimously approved a proclamation, naming Friday, Oct. 24 as Nina Poeta Day. Nina, 17, is a Seymour High School cheerleader battling an inoperable brain tumor. The community has rallied around Nina since she first learned of her diagnosis in November 2013. Numerous fundraisers, from cut-a-thons to craft fairs, have been held to help the family with medical bills and pink t-shirts emblazoned with 'Keep Calm and Nina Strong' were created, and can be seen throughout the community and beyond, during football games and other events. Community prayer events have also been held, with residents banding together to show Nina how much they love and support her.
On Friday, everyone is being asked to wear something pink and gray to show their support for Nina Poeta Day.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Derby Neck Library announces November events

DERBY >> The following events for November are taking place at the Derby Neck Library:

From Sat., Nov. 1 through Sun., Nov. 9 the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. will hold its fall book sale, run by the Friends’ Club.  Hours are Sat. and Sun, 1-5 and Mon. through Thurs. 10-8.  Closed every Friday.  Come browse and shop through our large collection of fiction and non-fiction titles, including music and dvds too. Prices are reasonable at $1.00 for hardcovers and 50 cents for paperbacks.  Coffee-table sized books are specially marked.  Other specials will be offered.  For further details please call the library at 203-734-1492.

On Tues., Nov. 4th at 6 p.m. the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. host “Evening Chess and Go Club.”  Come learn these traditional board games.  We bring all the supplies and provide the free instruction.  Bring a friend or family member and enjoy a fun night out.  For details call the library at 203-734-1492.

On Sun., Nov. 16 from 2-3 p.m., Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. presents “Bring on the Hoopla.”  This is a free event for kids and their families.  We provide the hula-hoops for fun and nostalgia.  A very entertaining time.  For details please call the library at 203-734-1492.

On Mon., Nov. 17 from 12:30-1:30, Derby Neck Library, 307  Hawthorne Ave. hosts “Women’s Forum” a monthly discussion group that focuses on short stories, poetry, history and more.  This month we discuss two short stories by Mary Robison—“In Jewel” and  “Look at Me.”  Free copies of the stories are available at our front desk.  This is a lunch group, so feel free to bring yours along.  We serve free coffee and tea.  For details please call the library at 203-734-1492.

On Mon. Nov., 17 at 6:30 p.m and again on Wed., Nov. 19 at 10:30 a.m. the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. presents “Tech Talks” a monthly program that explains the latest in technology and how to best use it in your live.  Feel free to also bring your questions for discussion.  To see this month’s topic, visit the library or call us at 203-734-1492.

On Tues., Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m., the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. hosts “Teen Movie Night.”  This month’s feature on blu-ray is “Maleficent.”  Sitting is limited, so you must call ahead to register.  Free snacks and a dinner are also served.  All attending  must be present before 5:45 p.m., when the doors close.  To register please call 203-734-1492.

On Wed., Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. hosts “B.A.R.K.—Be a Reading Kid”  featuring the listening dogs Thor and Bailey.  This program offers kids a 15-minute session to read to a gentle dog.  Parents are asked to call ahead to register their children, at 203-734-1492.

On Thurs., Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m., the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave., hosts “Writers’ Round.”  This is a workshop for writers of all formats—prose, fiction, poetry, scripts, etc.  Writing practice is part of our evening, so come and be inspired.  For details please call the library at 203-734-1492.

On Mon., Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m. the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. hosts their “Evening Book Club.”  This is a monthly session which focus on novella-length books of fiction, biography, or non-fiction.  All titles selected are award winners and written by authors of worth.  This month we explore “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” by Muriel Sparks.  This book was featured on Broadway and also recreated as a movie.  Copies of the book are available at our library and are purchased for us by the Friends’ Club.  For details please call the library at 203-734-1492.

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St. Mary-St. Michael School to host Wine Tasting Fundraiser Nov. 9 in Derby

DERBY >> St. Mary-St. Michael School will host a Wine Tasting Fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at 500 Degrees on Main Street, 181 Main St., Derby. Tickets are $25 per person and include wine and hors d'oeuvres. There will also be a wine basket raffle and door prizes. To purchase tickets contact the school at 203-735-6471. All proceeds benefit St. Mary-St. Michael School.

(Information submitted by Suzanne Foley)

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Derby fundraiser to benefit infant recovering from brain surgery

Connecticut Partnership for Children to hold Thanksgiving Food Program

The 2013 Thanksgiving food program.
Photo by Board Secretary, Attorney Karen Fisher
Connecticut Partnership for Children, Inc. is a Seymour non-profit that serves children in need throughout the entire state, by meeting basic needs. This year, they are hosting the 5th Annual Thanksgiving Food Program and the 6th Annual "Helping Hands, Warming Hearts" winter sponsorship program.

These programs are graciously sponsored by Stop & Shop Co., Derby Walmart, Great Expectations Day Care & Learning Center in Southbury, St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Oxford, Walnut Hill Community Church- Seymour Campus, and many individuals and businesses throughout the state.

In 2013, the Thanksgiving Food Program served 101 families, an increase of 63 families from the previous year. Connecticut Partnership's goal is to serve 150 families this year. The agency provides the turkey, and asks for the non-perishable fixings from individual and business sponsors and donors. Donors have two options: sponsor a family or run a food drive. Meal distribution occurs on Saturday, Nov. 22; therefore, the deadline for items to be delivered to the agency is Monday, Nov. 17.

The "Helping Hands, Warming Hearts" winter sponsorship program provides brand new jackets, boots, hats, scarves, gloves, and books to children in need. Each year, this program has served approximately 200 children. The agency's goal for this year is to increase the number served to 250 children. Donors have two options: sponsor a child or provide an item in bulk. The agency provides size information, etc. to sponsors. These items will be delivered to the children on Dec. 22-23; and therefore, must be delivered to Connecticut Partnership no later than Monday, Dec. 15.

For more information or to commit to sponsoring a family for Thanksgiving or a child for the winter program, please contact the agency directly at 203-881-1804 or by email

This is a press release from Meghan Tarby, MSW, executive director and social worker for CT Partnership for Children, Inc.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Derby Public Library cooking demo: Vegging out for the holidays

DERBY >> The Derby Public Library has scheduled a holiday cooking demo, "Vegging Out for the Holidays" on Monday, Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Stacey Ference of Savour Catering will show participants how to liven up their holiday entertaining with some new and tasty vegetable recipes. There will be samples of all demonstrated foods.

The class is for ages 18 years and older. Registration is required. For more information, stop by the library at 313 Elizabeth St. or call 203 736-1482 or visit

This is a press release from Library Director Cathy Williams.

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Tech Time: Learn photo editing, scanning at Derby Public Library

DERBY >> The Derby Public Library holds Tech Time sessions every third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. and every third Thursday of the month at 10 a.m.

A variety of topics are covered on a revolving basis. On Wednesday, Nov. 19 and Thursday, Nov. 20 the topic will be Photo Editing/Scanning. Techniques on how to improve the quality and usability of existing electronic photographs, as well as how to best create electronic versions of printed photos will be shown. Ideas for future topics are welcomed.

No reservations are accepted and there is a seven seat limit per class.

For more information, stop by the library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203 736-1482, or

This is a press release from Library Director Cathy Williams.

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Derby Public Library will show you how to go green with holiday gifts

DERBY >> The Derby Public Library has scheduled another Recycle, Repurpose, and Reuse craft class on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m.

Ansonia Animal Control Officer Jeanie Roslonowski will show participants, ages 18 and over, how to create "Holiday Gifts – Going Green" by recycling everyday household items. The class will also include information on animal issues.

Registration is required.  For more information, stop by the library at 313 Elizabeth St. or call 203 736-1482 or visit

This is a press release from Library Director Cathy Williams.

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Sen. Chris Murphy presented with TEAM's Chairman's Award

DERBY >> Sen. Chris Murphy was presented recently with TEAM’s Chairman’s Award "in recognition of his broad, profound and positive impact on the quality of social and human services in the region," the agency said in a press release Monday.

Murphy was the keynote speaker at the agency's 49th annual meeting on Oct. 10, where he was presented the award.

"In his keynote address to 150 attendees, Murphy spoke about the investments we need to make to help low income and middle class individuals, particularly in education," the release states. "He discussed the importance of traditional education and job training programs to lift people out of poverty, and the impact investing in education will have on our nation's long term success."

The above information and photo was provided in a release from TEAM.

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PHOTO: Walk-a-Thon benefit for St. Mary-St. Michael School in Derby

DERBY >> The rain didn't stop the enthusiasm of students who participated in a Walk-a-Thon  to benefit St. Mary -St. Michael School. The Walk-a-Thon was held Oct. 15 at Ryan Field. Pictured here is Emma Nagy, a first grader, who is racing with her classmates.

(Submitted by Suzanne Foley)

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UPDATED INFO: Seymour Land Trust's 9th Annual Halloween Haunted Trails Festival

Ansonia Library to present Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Speckled Band this Saturday

Smiles Within A Village Happiness Club to meet Nov. 19 at Crosby Commons

SHELTON >> The community is invited to Crosby Commons Assisted Living Community on Wednesday, Nov. 19, for a meeting of the Smiles Within A Village Happiness Club.

Author Gail J. Chiasson will be sharing thoughts from her book, "Life, Spirit, and You: 'The Alpha Train.'" Her inspirational, motivational, and holistic book was written to create a network of camaraderie among women to help relieve the feeling of loneliness, isolation, prejudice, and unfairness in personal and professional situations.

All are welcome; the meeting is free and open to the public and will begin at 3 p.m.

Crosby Commons is located on the Wesley Village campus at 580 Long Hill Ave. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Mary Ann Milano at 203-225-5018 or by email at

This is a press release from Marissa Salvesen, marketing and promotions manager for United Methodist Homes.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Derby Boy Scout Troop 3 to present Charles M. Stankye Jr. with '3 for Life' award

1951 Troop 3 Scouts
Charlie Stankye and Bill Elko
DERBY >> If your last name is Stankye and you grew up in Derby, chances are you were involved in Housatonic Council Boy Scout Troop 3. Charles M. Stankye Jr. is the patriarch of the Derby Stankyes and by his example has instilled in his family a lifelong commitment to Scouting. Charlie will be recognized by Boy Scout Troop 3 for more than 70 years in Scouting on Oct 26 at Troop 3’s 100th anniversary celebration at Villa Bianca in Seymour. The troop is sponsored by the Derby 2nd Congregational Church, where it was founded in 1914, and continues to meet there.

Charles Stankye Jr.
Stankye will be receiving the “3 for Life” award, presented every 5 years by the Troop to alumni who have been outstanding in their commitment and support of Cub Scout Pack 3, Boy Scout Troop 3 and Venture Crew 33. Previous recipients include the late Scouting pioneer, Edmund D. Strang, Walter R. Archer Jr., the late Walter Petz, Robert Bednarcik, the late Charles Rotteck Jr., Rev. John Carr, former Ansonia Mayor Bill Menna, the late Christy Testone, the late Anthony Pepe, Superbowl 1 & 2 Green Bay Packer’s Captain Bob Skoronski, the late Frank Skoronski, Dr. Robert Feeney, Shelton Aldermanic President and 100th anniversary dinner chairman John Anglace, Jr. and Rodman Kneen, who has been involved in Scouting for 82 years. Joining Stankye at the dinner as latest “3 for Life” recipients will be Dr. Sherwood Lewis and James Florczak.

Charlie Stankye, Troop 3’s 34th Eagle Scout, started his scouting career in 1942 when he became a Cub Scout in Pack 3 under legendary Cubmaster Edmund D. Strang. Charlie continued on to become a Boy Scout in Troop 3 in 1945. While a scout in Troop 3, Charlie served as a Den Chief and was Patrol Leader of the East Derby Beaver patrol. Charlie continued on to become a member of Explorer Post 33, where he served as Post Scribe and Post Guide. While a member of Troop 3 and Post 33 Charlie performed in the Annual Minstrel Shows as a soloist and endman. In 1950, Charlie attended the National Scout Jamboree in Valley Forge, PA, where he worked at the Trading Post. He was also on summer camp staff at Camp Workcoeman, in New Hartford, CT.

1953 meeting celebs Debbie Reynolds,
Mitzi Gaynor and others in Hollywood
during California Jamboree.
In 1953, along with other scouts from Troop 3 and Post 33, Charlie traveled by train to Irvine, CA to attend the National Scout Jamboree. While at the Jamboree, Charlie and the other scouts had the opportunity to meet with Danny Thomas and Debbie Reynolds. The highlight of the trip was when the scouts of Troop 3 made national headlines after a private meeting with Mitzie Gaynor. Several of the Scouts including Charlie, got to have their pictures taken with her.

As an adult, Charlie continued his scouting career. He joined the executive Board of the Housatonic Council and served on the board for 15 years. While on the board Charlie served as Council Treasurer, Vice President and President. During his term as President, the Council renamed and dedicated its camp, Housatonic Scout Reservation in Goshen after long time Scouter, Edmund D. Strang. Charlie was awarded the Silver Beaver by the Housatonic Council. He was also awarded the Bronze Pelican by the Archdiocese Catholic Committee. Charlie is also a recipient of the Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Gold Seal Award.

3 Generations of Eagle Scouts
Charles III, Tyler, Charles IV and Charles Jr.
at Tyler’s 2011 Eagle Scout Court of honor.
Charlie continued his volunteer service to the community outside of Scouting. Charlie has been very active in the fire service not only in Derby; but throughout the State of Connecticut. He has been a member of the Paugassett Hook & Ladder Company #4 of the Derby Fire Department for 60 years. As a member of the Paugassetts; Charlie served as a Lieutenant and Captain. He was the Company Secretary for 20 years. Charlie eventually rose through the ranks of the Derby Fire Department as Asst. Fire Chief and became Chief of the Derby Fire Department where he served for 8 years. In 1975 Charlie became Deputy Fire Marshal and has served in that capacity for the past 35 years. Charlie is a Past president of the Valley Fire Chief’s Association and currently serves as the Association’s Treasurer. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Valley Fire Chief’s Regional Fire Training School and serves as its Treasurer. He is also a member of the building committee of the new regional fire school.

Charlie is a Past President and the current Treasurer of the Connecticut State Firefighters Association. In 2011 Charlie was inducted into the Connecticut State Firefighter’s Association Hall of Fame. In 1999 Charlie was appointed by then Governor John Rowland to the Commission on Fire Prevention & Control; where he still serves.

Charlie serves on the Board of Directors of the Derby Public Library and is a Past President of the Board.

Charlie is retired from the New England Engineering Company and the Hancock Engineering Company. He has been married to Anne Francione for the past 57 years. Anne has also been involved with Cub Scout Pack 3 for more than 45 years. Charlie and Anne have 4 children and 11 grandchildren. Charlie’s 3 sons --- Charles, III, Ronald and Richard are all Troop 3 Eagle Scouts. Grandsons Charles IV, Tyler and Timothy Stankye are Troop 3 Eagle Scouts and Zachary Geffert earned Eagle Scout Rank with Troop 1 Oxford. Ryan Stankye, of Washington state, is a fifth grandson very close to completing Eagle Scout rank. Charlie’s brother-in-law Thomas Francione is Troop 3s 51st Eagle Scout.  

“Charlies Stankye was an obvious choice when we were deciding honorees for this year’s “3 for Life” award.”  Stated Richard Williams, Troop 3’s Committee Chairman. “As the patriarch of an 8-Eagle Scout family that has been part of Troop 3 for more than 70 years, his community service alone is a model for us all”, Williams added.

All Troop 3 alumni and friends are invited to the 100th anniversary dinner at noon on Oct. 26, at the Inn at Villa Bianca in Seymour. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Raymond Oppel at 203-929-6616 (daytime) or 203-929-7210 (evenings), or by email,

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Ansonia Fountain Hose Co. #1 to hold annual ziti dinner on Nov. 15

ANSONIA >> Fountain Hose Co. #1 is holding its annual ziti dinner at the fire station, 191 Howard Ave., on Nov. 15 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The cost is $8 for adults, $5 for children, under 10 years old free. Call 203-735-1997 for more information or tickets.

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Seymour police officers complete mid-management course at Roger Williams University

The Justice System Training and Research Institute at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., in partnership with the New England Association of Chiefs of Police, recently recognized Commander John C. D'Antona and Inspector Joseph DeNigris of the Seymour Police Department for the successful completion of the "Command Training Series: Mid-Management Course," a two-week comprehensive training program for upper-level personnel.

Coursework addressed contemporary concepts of management and leadership relevant to the responsibilities of first line supervisors in a modem police agency. The program, presented by experienced academics and law enforcement practitioners between Sept. 29 and Oct. 10 discussed topics including operational leadership and management principles, problem-solving, organizational and interpersonal communications, labor relations, disciplinary issues and ethical decision-making.

Graduates of the session represented police departments from throughout New England and included D'Antona and DeNigris.

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Pizza Fest 2014 in Ansonia

ANSONIA >> Pizza Fest 2014 will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 1 at Assumption Church Hall, 61 N. Cliff St.
Come and taste slices from a variety of local pizza makers and vote for the Valley’s “Most Heavenly Pizza!” Some participating restaurants include:  Massimino’s, Domino’s, Marco’s, The Little Tomato, Zani’s, The Big Y, Bertucci’s, Downtown Pizza and more. It will be an evening of endless pizza and friendly competition. DJ music, door prizes, family fun!
All the profits will be shared among the Boys and Girls Club, St. Vincent DePaul Society and the Valley YMCA.
Tickets $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-10.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PHOTOS: 5th annual Seymour Pink Day

SEYMOUR >> The 5th annual Seymour Pink Day was staged throughout town Wednesday, where dozens of businesses and residents painted the town pink. Bunches of pink balloons danced in front of storefronts, across the Bank Street Bridge and at every cash register at Super Stop & Shop on Franklin Street. Pink pumpkins, emblazoned with the word "survivor" were spotted, as was First Selectman Kurt Miller sporting a pink tie for the occasion. The tie Miller purchased supports the Susan Komen Foundation.


The Teddy Bear Tree House daycare center on South Main Street was wrapped up in a giant pink bow, and pink banners remembering the names of breast cancer survivors, along with those who lost their battle to the disease, flew high atop poles along Derby Avenue, Main Street and others areas of town. A floral shop downtown, Dragonflies, had its front window decked out with a small pink Christmas tree, while inside the quaint shop, dozens of pink ribbons decorated the walls. Haynes Construction Co. marked the day by placing a giant pink banner on a massive cement wall at the entrance of its facility on Cedar Street, for all commuters on nearby Route 8 to see.
The day's events culminated with a celebration at Hot Tamale's Mexican Bar & Grill, where giveaways, raffles and other fun activities took place. Seymour Pink Founder Mary Deming, who began the grassroots organization in 2009 after losing her own mother to breast cancer, was thrilled with another successful event. Deming, however, one day hopes that breast cancer is only something that lives in the history books. To date, Seymour Pink has raised more than $500,000 for breast cancer research. Money is used to help victims and their families.

"Seymour Pink is a statement to those who are fighting and we are fighting with them," Deming said.

(Photos and text by New Haven Register Correspondent Jean Falbo-Sosnovich)

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

PHOTOS: Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller participates in Pink Promenade

SEYMOUR >> The 5th annual Pink Promenade was held Oct. 12 to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. Dozens of men, including First Selectman Kurt Miller, sported high heels, feather boas and pretty pink outfits, as they completed the mile-long walk through town. Miller, who wore a hot pink cowboy hat, floral frock and striped tights, said the event raised more than $7,200 for breast cancer research.

(Photos submitted by
First Selectman Kurt Miller's office)

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CT Works Career Coach returns to Derby Public Library

DERBY >> The CT Works Career Coach returns to the Derby Public Library on Friday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

During both the morning session (10-12) and the afternoon session (1-3), instructors will be offering job search assistance. Learn where to look for jobs, how to get the job you want, and how to search for jobs on the internet.

The workshop is free and open to the public. Registration is requested but walk-ins will be welcomed on a first come first served basis.

The CT Works Career Coach is a project of The WorkPlace, Inc. operated by Career Resources.  For more information, stop by the library at 313 Elizabeth St. or call 203-736-1482 or visit

This is a press release from Library Director Cathy Williams.

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Derby Public Library presents Ghostly Photographs

DERBY >> The Derby Public Library has scheduled the program, Ghostly Photographs, for Monday, Nov. 10, at 6:30 p.m.

Julie Griffin, photographer and paranormal investigator will be the presenter.  With the hope of capturing more evidence for the existence of the spirit world, Griffin has visited many locations reported to be haunted, including Derby’s own Sterling Opera House. These intense personal experiences have resulted in many stories to tell.  Her presentation includes photos, along with an explanation of the photography techniques used.

Ages 16 and over are invited to come and hear real ghost stories you can see with your own eyes. Registration is required. For more information, stop by the library at 313 Elizabeth St. or call 203-736-1482 or visit    

This is a press release from Library Director Cathy Williams.

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