Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Food and blanket drive slated Sunday

SEYMOUR - The Seymour Pride Committee and town employees are sponsoring a Food & Blanket Drive from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at Seymour Stop & Shop.  Residents are encouraged to ‘Fill a Dump Truck’ with supplies for local food banks and charities. 
The Department of Public Works is donating time to provide the dump truck for the event.  Non-perishable food and new blanket donations can be dropped off to volunteers at the truck.  Monetary donations will be collected.  

The above information was contributed.

24th annual Bowl-2-Benefit set March 10 in Milford

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
It’s time once again to bowl a strike against domestic violence.
The 24th annual Bowl-2-Benefit will be held March 10 at AMF Lanes, 1717 Boston Post Road, Milford. Participants may choose to bowl during any of five sessions between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
All proceeds go to the Center for Domestic Violence Services at BHcare (formerly The Umbrella and Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven). Programs offered include a 24-hour hot-line, emergency shelter, counseling and court advocacy.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kids removed from 'deplorable' Seymour home after drug bust

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — Children living in what police deemed “deplorable conditions” were removed from a house on Knorr Avenue, after police raided the home during a drug bust, police said Tuesday.
According to Lt. Paul Satkowski, three people were arrested Feb. 23 at the home at 48 Knorr Ave., and three others were issued infractions as a result of an ongoing police investigation. T
Two of the five children living in the house, ranging in age from 10 months to 9 years old, were removed from the home and taken in by the state Department of Children and Families.
The other three children were released to the custody of their grandmother, who also lived at the home.

Read the full story here.

Shelton man pleads guilty in investment fraud scheme

By Register Staff
BRIDGEPORT — John H. Goldsmith, 57, of Shelton, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of securities fraud stemming from a $300,000 investment fraud scheme, David B. Fein, U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced.
According to court documents and statements made before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill, from about 2005 to 2010, Goldsmith devised and executed a scheme through which he solicited investments from victims in various nonexistent companies, Fein said in a written statement.

Read the full story here.

Church to sponsor food certificate sale

    SEYMOUR - The Honey Baked Ham Co. on the Boston Post Road in Milford,
will be at Great Hill United Methodist Church, 225 Great Hill Road, to sell $25 gift certificates prior to the upcoming Easter holidays.
    The church will have a representative of Honey Baked Ham selling  $25 certificates in Fellowship Hall from 11 a.m. to 12 noon March 25 and April 1.
    The gift certificates may be used at any Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey or New York Honey Baked Ham store to purchase ham, or any side dishes.
    Honey Baked Ham has a complete menu as well as a catering menu.  The certificates make wonderful holiday gifts. Cash or check will be accepted for payment.
     This sale is being sponsored for the Mission and Ministry program of the church.  The Great Hill UMC will receive a percentage of cost of certificates sold.
    For information, call Pat, 203-888-0489 or the church office, 203-888-9425.

Seymour Pink to hold T-shirt design contest

Brittany Brassell of Seymour was last year's T-shirt design winner. / Contributed photo 

Seymour Pink, Inc. has announced that the 2012 T-Shirt Design Contest is accepting applications for this year’s competition. 
All full-time students, including elementary, middle, high school, and college students living in Seymour are eligible to submit an entry.
The exception is for professional graphic designers. The winning student will be awarded a $300 scholarship/bursary.
The nominal entry fee of $5 (checks made payable to Seymour Pink, Inc.) must be submitted with the application.
Applications are available at Seymour Public Library, Seymour Town Hall and at Entries must be submitted no later than March 29. 
“This is a wonderful contest open to all our students in the community," Mary Deming, President, Seymour Pink, Inc., said. "As the initial fundraiser that helped to establish Seymour Pink, Inc., shirt sales amount to over $6,000 in supporting our mission in a community’s fight against breast cancer.”
Contest rules:
• The applicant must be a Seymour resident.
• Entrant must submit hand-drawn or computer generated artwork on an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper. Artwork must be original.
(Artist does not need to use the entire 8.5“x 11” area. Entry can be horizontal or vertical.)
• Each entry may use up to 2 colors.
• Please keep in mind that the winning entry will be applied to a pink T-shirt.
• Fine details in design may not transfer well to the T-shirt.
• In fairness to all, the artist’s names will be withheld until after the winning entry has been selected.
• Entries will be judged on concept, and not solely on artistic talent.
• Winning design will be announced May1 at the 5th Annual Pasta Dinner, rfom 5-8 p.m. at Brookside Inn, Oxford.
Completed work, application, and entry fee sent to:
Seymour Pink, Inc
T-Shirt Design Contest
P.O. Box 333
Seymour, Ct. 06483
Submitted designs become the property of Seymour Pink, and will not be returned. By submitting a design the entrant agrees that if the design is chosen it can be used by Seymour Pink on a T-shirt and any other form or medium of promotional material.

The above information was provided by Seymour Pink, Inc. 

Nature center to hold Maple Festival

If you have been looking forward to spring and the opportunity to once again taste New England's sweetest, natural resource, plan to spend Saturday at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center when the Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center will hold a Maple Festival.
The day-long event will begin at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast that will be served until 10 a.m. in the main building.
At 10:30 a.m., join Alison Rubelmann for a program on tapping maple trees. Find out how to identify the correct trees.
At 11:15 a.m., there will be a demonstration with Tim Stir from Coon Hollow Farm in Oxford on his method of maple syrup making with his own evaporator, and with artist Greg Karas of Ansoina who will display his cinder block version. Both will be available to answer questions.
Richard Feher from the Connecticut Maple Syrup Producers Association will give a lecture on equipment, collecting and storing syrup. He will also cover tools needed to tap your own backyard trees.
In a program on the history of making maple syrup the old-fashioned way, Rubelmann will demonstrate how to tap trees with homemade spiles and boil down the sap over a wood fire.
Special programs that day for kids include Creature Features, crafts, and face painting.
Taste "sugar on snow" and visit the maple bake sale and the Nature Store. Exhibitors include Karas and a wildlife rehab-citation exhibit.
Admission is free but all proceeds from sales will benefit the Wildlife Rehabilitation Program for the repair of the outside flight cage.

Judge recuses himself in case against former Derby Middle School administrator

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
DERBY - Judge Burton A. Kaplan today recused himself from the case against William LaRovera, a former Derby Middle School administrator.
After a 12-minute appearance, defense attorney Rob Serafinowicz said outside the court, of Kaplan, “The man's a disgrace to the bench and it's very clear he shouldn't be sitting on the bench

Church to serve Lenten dinners

    SEYMOUR - Great Hill United Methodist Church, 225 Great Hill Road, will serve Lenten Pasta dinners from  6-7:30 p.m. Fridays during Lent at the church.
    Dinners will be held Friday, March 9, 16, 23, and 30. Dinners cost $8 for adults, $4 for children 10 and under, or $25 for families of five or more.
    Menu includes pasta, salad, Italian bread, dessert and beverage. For information call Pat, 203-888-0489. 

Library slates discussion of literary thriller

    DERBY - The Derby Public Library has scheduled its next Lunchtime Book Discussion for 12:30 p.m. March 28.
    The selected title is “The Double Bind” by Chris Bohjalian, best known for the powerful and provocative “Midwives.”
    This newer novel travels between Jay Gatsby’s Long Island and rural New England, between the Roaring 20s and the 21st century.
    When college sophomore Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont’s back woods, her life is changed forever. Readers are taken on a haunting journey of one woman’s obsession of uncovering a dark secret in this literary thriller.
    Multiple copies of the book are available at the circulation desk.
    Participants are asked to bring a sandwich and a friend as they “chat and chew.” Dessert and beverages will be provided.
    Registration is requested. For information, stop by the library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit 

Defense lawyer of Derby Middle School administrator wants judge's recusal (documents)

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
DERBY — Defense lawyer Rob Serafinowicz will ask Superior Court Judge Burton A. Kaplan to recuse himself today in a case brought against former Derby Middle School administrator William A. LaRovera, saying Kaplan has “had a problem with me.”
The action is “extremely rare,” according to longtime defense lawyer Edmund Q. Collier.
LaRovera faces felony drug charges brought by city police.
LaRovera, the school’s former dean of student development, has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to appear today seeking admittance into the accelerated rehabilitation and the community service labor program.

Read the full story here.

Derby Board of Education OKs $16.2 million budget

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
DERBY — The Board of Education Monday unanimously approved a $16.2 million budget for 2012-2013 that includes restoring librarians at all four schools and initiatives for students struggling academically in transition from elementary school.
The budget is $719,768, or 4.7 percent, more than the current $15.4 million. It now heads to the city’s tax board for a review.
The school board will get to explain its request during the tax board’s workshop scheduled March 6 at City Hall. The tax board votes on it in May.

Read the full story here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Trumbull writer's children's book teaches consequences

Micinilio reads from her book at The Giggling Pig, a children's art studio in Shelton. Patricia Villers/Register 

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
SHELTON — A Trumbull resident who is a native of South Africa read her children’s book, “Tia’s Troubles,” recently at The Giggling Pig, a children’s art studio.
Leanne Plein Micinilio told the four children and their mothers in the audience that she made up the story when she was 8 and recounted it many times to her younger siblings.
Last year, the story became a 36-page softcover book, published by AuthorHouse of Bloomington, Ind. It will be the first in a series, Micinilio said.

Read the full story here.

Seymour High School students test driving skills with virtual simulator (video)

Casey Hayden, a Seymour High senior, uses one of the school's two driving simulators donated by Toyota. Peter Casolino/Register

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
SEYMOUR — Virtual driving in a simulator seems more challenging than being on the road.
That was the reaction of several Seymour High School seniors Monday driving defensively as they used the school’s two new Virtual Driver Interactive full-cab simulators.
The state-of-the-art training equipment was donated to the school by Toyota Motor Sales USA, said Richard Kearns, director of security for public schools here.
It is the only high school in the state with the simulators.
The simulators are state of the art, Kearns said.

Read the full story here.

Seymour High resumes classes, fume free, after chlorine leak

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — Students and staff returned to fume-free environment Monday, following a delivery of a defective chlorine container that forced the evacuation and early dismissal of Seymour High School on Friday.
“All went well today,” said school Director of Security Richard Kearns.
Kearns said normal protocol was followed when one of the school secretaries signed off on the delivery of four 100-pound containers of chlorine used for the school swimming pool. The chemicals are normally delivered and signed off by the school custodian, Kearns said, but he was outside the building at the time of Friday’s delivery.

Read the full story here.

Ex-Shelton exec guilty of embezzling $1.7M from Latex International

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
BRIDGEPORT — Former Latex International executive Kevin Coleman, 51, pleaded guilty Monday to one count each of wire fraud and tax evasion stemming from his embezzlement of about $1.7 million from the Shelton company, and his failure to file federal tax returns for four years, the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut said.
Coleman waived his right to indictment before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill.

Read the full story here.

Fire official offers smoking safety tips

SHELTON - Most victims of smoking related fires never thought it could happen to them.
These fires can affect not only the smoker, but others living in or next to the home at the time of the fire. A lit cigarette left alone in a room, or accidentally dropped onto a chair or bed, or hot cigarette ashes or matches tossed away before they are completely out - all can cause a deadly fire.
Smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths in the United States. Even with working smoke alarms and automatic fire sprinklers in the home, a person who falls asleep with a lit smoking material is likely to die in the event of fire. In addition, according to the United States Fire Administration, one-in-four people killed in home fires is not the smoker whose cigarette caused the fire.
•           More than one-third were children of the smokers.
•           Twenty-five percent were neighbors or friends of the smokers.
New, so called “fire-safe cigarettes,” may be less likely to cause fires as these cigarettes have banded paper that can slow the burn of a cigarette that isn’t being used. However, fires caused by these cigarettes continue to cause deadly fires as well. According to Ted Pisciotta, Assistant Chief – Fire Prevention, fire is preventable. Not smoking at all is an obvious solution. But if you do smoke follow these action steps:
  •          Smoke outside and away from any wood deck or structure that is attached or in close proximity to the home. Most home fires caused by smoking materials start inside the home. It’s better to smoke outside.
    •           Wherever you smoke, use deep, sturdy ashtrays. Use ashtrays with a wide, stable base that are hard to tip over. If it wobbles, it won’t work. Ashtrays should be set on something sturdy and hard to ignite, like a table. If you smoke outside, put your cigarettes out in a can filled with sand. 
    •          Check for butts. Chairs and sofas can catch on fire and burn fast. Don’t put ashtrays on them. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions.     
    •      Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can cause materials to be more easily ignited and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
    •          Be alert. If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first. Smoking in bed or where you might fall asleep is just plain wrong.
    Finally, as in every season, have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times. Know when and how to call “911” for help.  And remember to practice your home escape plan.
    For  information, the public is encouraged to contact the Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau at 203-924-1555 or under "Public Safety" at       

    The above information was provided by Ted Pisciotta, Assistant Chief - Fire Prevention.  

    Hearing resumes in March for Derby's Red Raider Plaza

    By Phyllis Swebilius
    Register Staff
    DERBY — The Planning and Zoning Commission has continued until March the public hearing on a multimillion-dollar proposal for the Red Raider Plaza.
    The PZC is awaiting the city fire marshal’s review of the application, submitted by Walgreens Eastern Co.
    The proposal for a retail-pharmacy development for 60 Pershing Drive, at Division Street, involves 4.62 acres near the Ansonia line.

    Read the full story here.

    Ambulance corps to revive Derby dive team

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    DERBY — The Fire Department’s recently disbanded dive team soon will be resurrected by Storm Ambulance and Rescue Corps.
    Last month, fire Commissioner Kelly Curtis told the Board of Aldermen that because of dwindling interest among firefighters and a lack of training and certification, he felt it was in the best interest of the department to disband the team.

    Read the full story here.

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    Missing in Connecticut: Family seeks justice in Derby woman's 1978 death (video)

    The family of Barbara Jean Monaco, who disappeared on August 24, 1978 at age 18, is photographed in Derby on 2/19/2012. Left to right are her sister, Joanne Monaco-Stec, mother, Pauline Monaco, sister, Theresa Maciog and brother-in-law, John Maciog. Arnold Gold/Register

    By Brian McCready
    Milford Bureau Chief
    DERBY — Almost 34 years ago, Barbara Jean Monaco, just 18, disappeared without a trace while celebrating her birthday in Virginia Beach, Va.
    In many long-term missing persons cases, the family is in the dark about what happened to their loved one, but not so for the Monaco family. The Monaco family is all too aware of the grim details surrounding Barbara Jean’s disappearance and death.
    An informant called “Condor” told authorities in April 1979 that four men abducted, raped and killed Monaco, who lived in Derby and had just graduated from Derby High School.
    The men tied a cinderblock to her body and threw her into a pond. She disappeared Aug. 24, 1978.
    The “knowing” what happened to Monaco provided little solace to her family, including her sisters, Joanne Monaco-Stec, 56, of Derby, and Theresa Maciog, 58, of Orange; and her mother, Pauline E. Monaco, 81, of Derby.

    Read the full story here.

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Photos from today's evacuation at Seymour High

    Firefighters stand in front of Seymour High School on Friday. Peter Hvizdak/New Haven Register

    Containers of corrosive material outside Seymour High School Friday. / Contributed photo

    Editor's note: See previous post for story and additional photos.

    Chlorine causes evacuation of Seymour High School

    Students and staff evacuate Seymour High School Friday morning. Patricia Villers/Register  

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    SEYMOUR — A bottle of chlorine that may have gotten wet and appeared to be “bulging and bubbling over”  triggered a "lockdown" at Seymour High School and the evacuation of the staff and student body around 10:45 this morning.
    Lt. Paul Satkowski said the evacuation of the school was prompted by delivery of the suspicious  bottle.  The delivery was made to the pool entrance of the school. 
    Details were not available on  whether the bottle of chlorine was a 1-gallon, 5-gallon or larger container, Satkowski said. It was also not immediately known who, or what company, made the delivery.
    Fire, police, and ambulance personnel were dispatched to the school.

    Read the full story here.

    Students and staff Friday spent more than an hour in an athletic equipment storage building after being evacuated from Seymour High School. Patricia Villers/Register

    At Derby hospital, man reports gunshot wound he allegedly got in New Haven a week ago

    By Register Staff
    NEW HAVEN – Police say a man who claims he was shot in the city a week ago went to Griffin Hospital in Derby Thursday to seek treatment for his wound.
    Officer Carlos Conceicao was dispatched around 3 p.m. Thursday to Griffin Hospital after hospital staff told police a man with a gunshot wound sought treatment there and told them he was shot in New Haven a week ago, according to a release from police spokesman Officer David Hartman.
    Conceicao spoke with the attending physician, who said there was a small-caliber bullet lodged near the victim's right shin. The doctor told Conceiao the staff removed the bullet and the patient would soon be released, according to the police statement.
    The victim, Domenick D'Amato, told the officer he was shot around 5:30 p.m. Feb. 17. He said he was walking on Winthrop Avenue, near Elm Street, when he saw two groups of young men nearing one another. According to police, the victim said the groups argued and he heard a few gunshots and felt a sting on his leg, then walked home. He saw a small wound, which he assumed was caused by a BB gun, police said.
    According to the police statement, the victim told officers he doesn’t like the hospitals in New Haven so, when the pain in his leg got worse, he traveled to Derby to have it treated.
    D'Amato did not notify police of the shooting last week and was not able Thursday to provide any descriptions of those involved in the fight, police said. He also couldn’t identify the person who fired the shot that struck him.
    According to police, a “shot-spotter” system review did not find any gunfire in that area on that date, and there were no reports from witnesses or calls to police about the alleged shooting.
    Police went to the location described by the victim and looked for evidence but found none, according to Hartman’s statement.

    Derby aldermen move on greenway dog ban (video)

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    DERBY — Fido’s days of frolicking along the Derby Greenway are numbered.
    The Board of Aldermen Thursday voted 7-1 in favor of creating an ordinance that will ban dogs from the popular recreational walkway on Division Street.
    Alderman Arthur Gerckens cast the dissenting vote.
    The greenway for years has been plagued by a persistent dog waste problem, forcing walkers to side step messes left behind by irresponsible dog owners who refuse to pick up after their pets.

    Read the full story here.

    Food drive raises $6,000 for Valley homeless shelter

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    A weekend food drive to help restock the shelves at the Valley’s homeless shelter, the Spooner House, was a sweet success.
    Thanks to the generosity of Valley residents, along with donations from Stop & Shop stores in Ansonia, Seymour and Shelton, more than 70 cart loads of food and $6,000 poured in for “The Valley Has a Heart.” The cash was twice what organizers hoped for.
    In addition, Liquid Lunch in Shelton held “In Love & Chocolate,” which drew more than 250 people who feasted on sweet and savory creations, courtesy of 11 local vendors. That event raised more than $4,600 to benefit the Spooner House and The Turtle Shell Fund.

    Read the full story here.

    Discarded smoking material sparks small fire at Ansonia home

    By Patricia Villers
    Register Staff
    ANSONIA  — Firefighters responded to a small fire under a porch at a wood-frame house at 182 N. State St. late Thursday afternoon.
    Fire Marshal Ralph Tingley said a preliminary investigation pointed to “discarded smoking materials” as the cause of the blaze.
    "We don't know the owner," he said. The house reportedly is in foreclosure.

    Ansonia business owners urged to work together, communicate

    By Patricia Villers
    Register Staff
    ANSONIA — It’s all about local business owners communicating and working together to attract attention to the city.
    That was the consensus this week at the second small-business forum sponsored by the Economic Development Commission at The Original Antonio’s Restaurant on Main Street.
    While more than 60 attended the first forum in January, less than a third of that attended Monday’s event.
    Economic Development Commission Chairman Vincent Scarlata said the commission is considering ways to spend about $80,000 in the EDC budget.

    Read the full story here.

    $4,700 grant will fund parenting support sessions in Derby

    By Patricia Villers
    Register Staff
    DERBY — The Parent Child Resource Center will offer free parenting support sessions this year thanks to a $4,700 Valley United Way special needs grant.
    PCRC clinical director Laura Mutrie said the sessions will follow the guidelines of Triple P — Positive Parenting Program, which was developed 35 years ago by Matthew R. Sanders, a University of Queensland, Australia, clinical psychology professor.

    Read the full story here.

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Club's Alumni Hall of Fame to induct members

        The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley's Alumni Association will hold its annual Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Stone Barn in Monroe.
         Each year the Club honors former members of the "Community Center" and the Boys & Girls Club who have continued to have a positive impact on their community.
        This year's dinner is being hosted by National Hall of Fame member David Condon of DNS Associates, who will introduce this year's distinguished list of inductees.
         The Alumni Association President, Chris Jones, said, "It is an honor and a privilege to recognize former Club kids who have done so much to help other children and help our communities. It makes me very proud to hear how the Club had such a positive impact on so many kids for so many years!"
         This year's inductees include Mark Belade, Chaz from WPLR, Aldo Gardella, Ray Hoye, Dan Orazietti, Tom Zaprzalka, and Bob Scarduzio. Former Club member and staff member Tony Padilla will also be inducted posthumously.
         Tickets can be reserved by calling Ann Wheeler, 203-924-7462.
         For information about the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, visit us at

    The information in this post was provided by the Boys & Girls Club.

    Fire quickly extinguished

    ANSONIA - Firefighters responded to a small fire under a porch at a wood-frame house at 182 N. State St. late Thursday afternoon.
    Fire Marshal Ralph Tingley said at the scene that a preliminary investigation pointed to “discarded smoking materials” as the cause of the blaze.
    "We don't know the owner," he said. The house reportedly is in foreclosure.

    Check out Derby resident's blog's about Derby.

    Derby resident Judy Szewczyk writes about Connecticut's smallest city and publishes her posts on a blog called Clearly Derby.

    She served as campaign manager for incumbent Republican Mayor Anthony Staffieri in the last election.

    Szewczyk focuses her writing on citizen participation in local government.
    She wonders aloud if most people are too busy to get involved, and poses thoughtful questions on issues affecting Derby, the Valley and beyond.

    Club to hold 'Hoops for Hunger' at Shelton High

        SHELTON - The  Future Business Leaders of America Club of Shelton High School is running a charity 3-on-3 basketball tournament Tuesday from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Shelton High School gymnasium.
        The event, “Hoops for Hunger,” will benefit the Spooner House homeless shelter in Shelton. 
        The tournament will consist of teams made up from the different homerooms.  Each team will compete in a round robin with a three-game guarantee.  Entry fee is $5 per player.   
        FBLA members will also be raising funds through a concession stand at the event as well as taking donations.
        To make a donation, checks may be made payable to SHS and in the memo section write FBLA Hoops for Hunger. 
        Checks may be mailed to:
                    Shelton High School
                    Attn: Nancy Duffy FBLA
                    120 Meadow St.
                    Shelton, CT 06484 

        The FBLA plans to present one check to the Spooner House after the event.  For information e-mail Nancy Duffy at

    The above information was provided by a representative of FBLA.

    Foreclosure bus tour to get rollin' again

    ANSONIA - The Valley Foreclosure Bus Tour will roll once again at 9 a.m. Sunday.
    Those interested in reserving a seat on the bus should call local realtor Frank A. Hoinsky at 203-732-8080.
    Participants will tour several foreclosed properties around the lower Naugatuck Valley, and will also get a special tour of a previously foreclosed property that has been remodeled into a beautiful, like-new home.
    Following the tour, participants can visit with professionals and pre-qualify for a mortgage.
    The tour will leave from Hoinsky’s office at 685 Main St.
    For more information, email Hoinsky at

    Derby group seeks vendors for annual fest

        DERBY - The Cultural Commission is seeking vendors for this year’s Derby Day festival.   
        It will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 16 along Elizabeth Street and on the Green.
        Organizers say it is one of the largest craft venues in Connecticut.
        There will be a variety of ethnic and American culinary delights, music, and live entertainment.  Tours will be given of the haunted Sterling Opera House.
        The event will feature the annual Derby Duck Race with opportunities to win lots of prizes.
        Vendors are urged to get an application today for this great opportunity for businesses and non-profit organizations.
        For information contact Dani Soto at or Rich DiCarlo at 

    Shelton man accused of knifepoint robbery gets more charges in other incidents


    By Phyllis Swebilius
    Register Staff
    SHELTON — Police Thursday served two more arrest warrants on Jonathan Russell, 19, at Superior Court in Derby in connection with a string of car burglaries in January.
    Russell was being held following his Feb. 1 arrest in the knifepoint robbery Dec. 18 of the Buck Stop.

    Read the full story here.

    Derby PZC awaiting fire marshal's review of Walgreens plan

    By Phyllis Swebilius
    Register Staff
    DERBY — The Planning and Zoning Commission has continued the public hearing on a multimillion dollar proposal for the Red Raider Plaza until March.
    The PZC is awaiting the city fire marshal’s review of the application submitted by Walgreens Eastern Co.
    The proposal for a retail-pharmacy development for 60 Pershing Drive, at Division Street, involves 4.62 acres near the Ansonia line.

    Read the full story here.

    Ansonia business owners urged to work together, communicate

    By Patricia Villers
    Register Staff
    ANSONIA — It’s all about local business owners communicating and working together to attract attention to the city.
    That was the consensus this week at the second small-business forum sponsored by the Economic Development Commission at The Original Antonio’s Restaurant on Main Street.
    While more than 60 attended the first forum in January, less than a third of that attended Monday’s event.
    Economic Development Commission Chairman Vincent Scarlata said the commission is considering ways to spend about $80,000 in the EDC budget.

    Read the full story here.

    Proposal for 'dog wash' in Shelton off for now

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    SHELTON — A proposal to add a drive-through washing facility to get Fido and Spot clean has gone to the dogs ... at least for now.
    The Planning and Zoning Commission recently voted in favor of Splash Car Wash withdrawing its application for a zoning certificate of compliance.
    The car wash is located at 376 Bridgeport Ave., and owners last month proposed adding a self-service doggy wash to the mix.

    Read the full story here.

    Man arrested in Virginia for alleged Shelton purse snatchings

    By Register Staff
    SHELTON - A man will be arraigned in Superior Court in Derby today after he was arrested in Virginia stemming from a case that dates back to local purse snatchings in 2002.
    Shelton police said Alan Dean, 52, of Moneya, Va., was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge of violation of probation.
    Dean was held overnight in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. He was arrested on a local warrant and waived his right to extradition.
    The case goes back to July 2002 purse snatchings. According to Detective Sgt. Kevin Ahern, Dean stole purses out of vehicles parked at Riverside Cemetery on River Road.

    MDA raises funds at annual lockup in Ansonia

    Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller spends time behind bars to raise money for MDA. / Contributed photo

    Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller was taken into jail recently… for a good cause.
    The Muscular Dystrophy Association held its annual Valley Lock-up event at Antonio’s Restaurant in Ansonia.
    Miller was ‘arrested’ in his office at Seymour Town Hall at 11 a.m. and brought into ‘jail’ where he sat behind bars with other jail birds making phone calls to raise bail.
    He was able to raise $2,525 prior to the event starting, which surpassed his goal of $2,400.
      The MDA recommends everyone raise $2,400 which sends three children to summer camp. Miller said, “I am proud to take part in such a wonderful event and was thrilled to meet my goal.  I would like to extend many thank yous to all who donated on my behalf.”
    Seymour Fire Marshal Paul Wetowitz also went behind bars and raised close to $1,000 for the cause.  Final numbers have not been calculated yet, but Kurt had raised over $2,750 by the time he left the event. 
    The MDA is able to continually provide help and hope to hundreds of thousands of children and adults living with neuromuscular disease. Donations from the Lock-Up will support local families and guarantee that MDA can continue its mission to find treatments and cures, as well as provide vital services. MDA uses funds for:
    • Worldwide research 
    • Multidisciplinary Medical Clinics
    • MDA summer camps
    • Support groups
    • Flu shots
    • Support and hope. 
    For more information visit

    The above was provided by Christine Conroy, Miller's administrative assistant.

    Buying a used car?

    One of our Valley reporters is looking for people who recently tried to purchase a used car for under $10,000.

    If you have, and are willing to be interviewed about your experience for a story, please contact Phyllis Swebilius at, or at 203-789-5681.


    'The Taste' to benefit Seymour softball team

    ANSONIA - Those looking to sample some fine wines and craft beers from around the world should make tracks to Warsaw Park March 3 to a special event dubbed “The Taste.”
    In addition to the more than 40 wines and 30 beers up for grabs for sampling pleasure, those who attend will also be treated to a variety of food provided by local vendors and restaurants, along with live music, a sports memorabilia auction, prizes, raffles, a cigar sales booth and much more.
    The event will take place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at Warsaw Park Hall, 119 Pulaski Highway. Tickets are $35 per person, and are available by calling 203-261-6166, at Glenro Spirit Shop, 487 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe or via Facebook by searching for ‘Smoke in the Valley, The Taste.’
    Proceeds  will benefit The Tradition, a Seymour-based girls’ softball travel team.
     Laura Cripps, whose daughter Sierra plays for the team, encouraged everyone to come out for an evening of great spirits, food and fun.
    “The Tradition Family has been hard at work planning our next fundraiser for the Seymour Tradition Softball Team,’" Cripps said. 
    “It looks to be another awesome event. We would love for everyone to come out, mingle, catch up with old friends and make some new ones all the while supporting our girls. We are anticipating a great turnout; hope to see you there.”
    The above information was provided by a team representative.

    Hit by BBs and illness, stray gets help from Shelton cat lover

    Sylvester the cat poses for the camera Wednesday. Patricia Villers/Register

    By Patricia Villers
    Register Staff
    SHELTON — Being dumped in the woods and getting shot several times with a BB gun has not taken the kitty out of a sweet cat named Sylvester.
    Cindy Barbian has been feeding Sylvester for eight months, since she saw him hanging out in the woods near her home at the end of Weybosset Street.
    Now, he has a purr-fectly loving home.
    Barbian has two pet cats, DJ and Jarrett, as well as a tiny stray she calls Angel that she has been feeding outside since 1996.
    She said she just can’t understand how anyone could shoot a defenseless animal.

    Read the full story here.

    Shelton mayor presents $113.3 million budget

    By Patricia Villers
    Register Staff
     SHELTON — Mayor Mark A. Lauretti’s proposed budget for 2012-2013 carries a 17.7 percent increase in the tax rate, from 18.57 to 21.85 mills.
    The rise is due to re-evaluation, Lauretti said, and the decline in residential property values. But he quickly added that about 95 percent of homeowners will see their property taxes go down.
    Lauretti Wednesday presented his budget to the boards of Aldermen and Apportionment and Taxation at City Hall. He recommended spending $113,364,450. Lauretti, an 11-term mayor, said this was his 21st budget presentation.

    Read the full story here.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Derby police arrest man after bar fight involving 20 people; 2 stabbed

    DERBY — Police arrested a man after an early Wednesday morning bar fight involving 20 people resulted in two stabbings.
    Alexander Zeilik, 32, of 128 Main St., is charged with assault in the first degree and reckless endangerment in the first degree. He is being held on a $250,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court March 1, police said.
    Police arrived at 1:18 a.m. at Breaktime at Jak's, a billiard center located at 137 Main St., to a report of a bar fight involving 20 people. Police said patrons suffered various injuries, including two with stab wounds, and were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital and Griffin Hospital for their injuries. One 26-year-old man was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital with multiple stab wounds and is in stable condition, according to police. Police said a knife was recovered at the scene.
    Police said witnesses are still being interviewed and more arrests are expected. Anyone with any information from the incident is asked to call the police department at 203-735-7811.

    Seymour fire marshal may get help with new part-time employee

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    SEYMOUR — The Board of Selectmen Tuesday approved hiring a part-time employee for the fire marshal’s office to assist with the mounting number of building inspections that aren’t getting done.
    The selectmen unanimously approved an annual $3,000 stipend for the position, which would enable the town to hire a part-time inspector.
    The selectmen’s approval, however, is just the first step. The Board of Finance must next vote on whether to fund the position.

    Read the full story here.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Valley United Way's Youth Leaders allocate venture grants

    Since 1990, Valley United Way Youth Leadership members have distributed small, venture grants to community organizations in the Valley. These grants are aimed at helping to fund new and/or expanding programs that serve the needs of Valley youth. On Feb. 12, 30 members of the program reviewed Request for Proposals applications and determined which requests were granted.
     This year, $2,000 was available to allocate to programs they felt most worthwhile and met the needs of Youth in the community determined by their annual needs assessment.  The following areas were identified as of critical concern to teens in the Valley: drugs and alcohol, bullying, texting and driving, drugs, alcohol, teen violence, the arts, stress, mentors and after school activities.
     The Youth Leadership members approved the following programs to receive venture grant funding:

    *Seymour High School, will receive $375.00 for their “Take a Stand” program – a day long presentation for the Seymour/ Oxford junior class students to participate in. The program creates awareness about the responsibility of driving and the consequences when mixing drugs/alcohol and driving. Students participate in group lectures, discussion, hands on activities with several outside agencies and witness several mock mass casualty multi-vehicle extrication.

    *Shelton Youth Service Bureau – “Youth 2 Youth Peer Advocates” will receive $400 to connect younger youth with older youth in the Valley  community. These funds will create a Big Brother- Big Sister mentoring program.  They plan to utilize high school youth (Peer Advocates) to mentor the young children after school.  The Peer Advocates will volunteer their time to enrich children’s lives with fun activities, arts and crafts, educational field trips and an ear to listen.

    *BHCare, Inc – “ Center for Domestic Violence Services”  (formerly the Umbrella) will receive $350 to engage in art therapy group projects. The children will play familiar games with the staff member with specialized training. Children who will participate have come to the safe house and are usually taken suddenly out of their home. They are overwhelmed and fearful of what is in their future. Children who witness violence at home display emotional behavioral disturbances as diverse as withdrawal, low self-esteem, nightmares, self-blame and aggression against their peers  they witness domestic violence. The primary objective of the project is to reduce fear and anxiety, maintain a safe environment, and learn effective coping skills.

    *City of Ansonia – “Ansonia Teen Leadership Program” will receive $500 to conduct a 20-week program that will meet once a week and focus on helping teens with many life-skills from medial relations and understanding state and local government to enhancing self-image and appreciating diversity. The program will help teens become actively involved in their respective towns by having them be a part of improving their neighborhoods and schools. This will, in effect, provide them with the skills they need to lead productive and successful lives.

    *Shelton Youth Service Bureau – “Valley Pre-Prom Event” will receive $375 to run a program for Valley junior/senior students and their parents pertaining to the dangers and consequences of underage driving and social hosting. Parents along with their teens will listen to guest speakers talk about their life experience, medial implications and the dangers of drunken and impaired driving.

    Information in this post was provided by Patricia Tarasovic, who runs the Valley United Way Youth
    Leadership Program.

    Girls to mark 100 years of Scouting

    The Assumption School Daisy Scout Troop 60348.  / Contributed photo

    ANSONIA - Any Daisy, Brownie, Junior and Cadette Girl Scout in the Valley is invited to celebrate the 100 years of Girl Scouting by participating in a Promise Circle Re-dedication Ceremony. Any former Girl Scout is invited too!
    This event will be hosted by The Assumption School Daisy Scout Troop 60348 from 6-8 p.m. March  in the Assumption School Church Hall, 51 N. Cliff St.
    Come join us in renewing the Girl Scout Promise right at 6:30 PM with other troops across the state and country who will be saying the promise all at the same time.
    There will be light refreshments served and a group activity for all to do. Admission is free, but a donation of a non-perishable food item per person is suggested to bring for the second Annual Memorial Food Drive in honor of Jean Banks.
    For information and to register your troop, contact Missy Orosz, Daisy Scout Leader Troop 60348 at by March 9.

    The above information and photo were contributed by Troop Leader Missy Orosz.

    Wildcat Swim Club members recognized

    Wildcat Swim Club members show off trophies at West Haven pool. / Contributed photo

    On Sunday eight members of the Wildcat Swim Club participated in their first Connecticut Yankee League 8/under  Swimming Championships in West Haven hosted by the West Haven Wizards.
    This competitive swim league also includes the Oxford Razors, Bristol Splash, Newtown Torpedoes, Watertown Warriors, Plainville Blue Dolphins, Naugatuck Thunderfish and the New Milford Barracudas.
    Several Wildcat Swim Club swimmers took  home ribbons, medals and trophies.
    Highlights included 6-year old McKenna Haynes winning both the 25 yard Freestyle (21.41) and the 25 yard Backstroke (24.04) in the 6/under division. Madelynn Orosz, also 6, placed ninth in the 25 yard Backstroke (38.33).
    In the 7/8 year old division, Jasmine Thorpe placed 4th in the 25 yard Freestyle (18.77) and 10th placed in the 25 yard Backstroke (24.69); Elaina Angelucci placed 31st in the 25 yard Freestyle (26.42) and 20th in the 25 yard Backstroke (27.96), Kaitlyn McCluskey placed 5th in the 25 yard  Freestyle (19.03) and 9th place in the 25 yard Backstroke (24.21), Sarah Gagaza placed 3rd in the 25 yard  Backstroke (22.14) and 9th place in the 25 yard Freestyle (20.02),  Kelti  Johnson placed 9th in the 25 yard Butterfly (25.31) and 20th in the  25 yard Freestyle (23.37) and Dominique Pierre, the only boy that qualified from the Wildcat Swim Club 8/under team placed 22nd in the 25 yard Freestyle with a time of 30.31.
    Two relay teams also placed very well with the team of Jasmine Thorpe, Sarah Gagaza, McKenna Haynes and Kaitlyn McCluskey they placed 4th overall in the 100 yard Freestyle Relay with a time of 1:21.17 and  Kelti Johnson and Elaina Angelucci teamed up with Sarah Gagaza and Jasmine Thorpe to  place 6th overall  in  the 100 yard Medley Relay with a time of 1:36.53.
    The Wildcat Swim Club is coached by Jen DeBlasio, Missy Orosz, Dan Walsh, and Kelly Weiler.
    The program is open to any Valley youth aged 5 through 17. They train at the Seymour High School pool. If interested in joining, e-mail us at

    The photo and information in this post were contributed by Missy Orosz, one of the team's coaches. 

    Packing in the Paczkis

    "Gentleman Joe" Menchetti of Cheshire, center, on his way to another win during the 15th annual Paczki-eating contest at Eddy's Bake Shop in Ansonia. Menchetti ate 12 Paczkis in five minutes. Peter Casolino / Register

    Program to feature music for kids

        DERBY - A Musical Morning for Children will be held at 10 and 11 a.m. Thursday at Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave.
        Parents may choose to bring children at either hour. Deirdre Murtha will perform a variety of summer songs to which the children will sing and dance.
        No registration required. For information call the library, 203-734-1492.

    Beacon Falls fire training school to share $26.2M in state funding

    By Phyllis Swebilius
    Register Staff
    A planned fire training school in Beacon Falls is among five in the state in line to share $26.2 million, under a midterm budget proposed recently by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
    The other facilities are Wolcott, Fairfield, Eastern Connecticut and Burrville, which is in Torrington. A new facility is being eyed for Cheshire to replace the one in Wolcott.

    Read the full story here.

    Emmett O'Brien Drama Club to serve up murder-mystery, 'A Prom to Die For'

    By Patricia Villers
    Register Staff
    ANSONIA — It would be a school dance to remember, if indeed it were real.
    The Drama Club at Emmett O’Brien Technical High School is in rehearsals for “A Prom to Die For,” a murder-mystery dinner theater production.
    The original play will be performed at 6 p.m. Thursday in the cafeteria, said club adviser Mary Parady, who teaches English as a Second Language. A buffet will be prepared by the culinary arts students, she said.

    Read the full story here.

    Ansonia plans website dedicated to economic development

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    ANSONIA — The Economic Development Commission is hoping to lure potential investors and developers by creating a website.
    “The whole idea of having a website is really a way of selling Ansonia,” said Alderman John Marini, the Board of Aldermen’s liaison to the EDC.
    EDC Chairman Vincent Scarlata said without an inventory of the available properties and storefronts, it is difficult to accommodate prospective developers.

    Read the full story here.

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Concerns aired over Derby-Milford Road plan

    By Phyllis Swebilius
    Register Staff
    DERBY — Concerns about big trucks and speeders dominated the conversation recently about a proposal to widen and realign Derby-Milford Road south of Route 34.
    Valley Council of Governments Executive Director Rick Dunne, who presented the plan, said the goal is to move vehicles out to Route 34 more efficiently, while trying to maintain the rural character of Derby-Milford Road.
    Route 34 has 32,000 vehicles per day in both directions, while Derby-Milford Road gets 7,200 vehicles daily in both directions, Dunne said.
    Of the traffic, Fire Chief William Nicoletti III said vehicles from East End Hose Company 3 have never been hit, but there have been “many close calls.” He said a sign warning drivers to go slower near the station “got knocked down."

    Read the full story here

    Ansonia budget seen leading to tax increase

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    ANSONIA — The Board of Aldermen last week approved a $58.5 million budget for fiscal 2012-13.
    The budget carries a 1.75-mill tax increase, potentially raising the current tax rate of 26.25 mills to 28 mills. That means a taxpayer with a home assessed at $200,000 could pay $350 more in taxes next year.
    City Comptroller Joe Miller said most departments complied and came in with zero budget increases. And while the proposed budget is lower than the current $59.2 million budget, officials said the tax increase is necessary to cover several departmental increases.

    Read the full story here.

    Citizen input sought for redesign of Seymour website

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    SEYMOUR — Residents are being asked for input in helping the town redesign its website.
    “We’ve been looking at the website and there are many issues with it,” said Paul Thompson, an administrative aide in the first selectman’s office, and member of the new Technology Committee. “We want to create a whole new website.”
    The committee is asking residents and officials to take a quick, 10-question survey to provide some guidance to the committee as it starts to build a more comprehensive site.

    Read the full story here.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Aaron's store opens in Ansonia mall

    By Patricia Villers
    Register Staff
    ANSONIA — The opening of Aaron’s Inc. in the Ansonia Shopping Center highlights the continued rebirth of downtown, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce President Bill Purcell said Friday.
    “Spring is in the air today and early spring is here in Ansonia,” he said at a grand opening event. “You can feel the bounce in this community. It’s wonderful to see this kind of investment.”
    Purcell said he was pleased to welcome “this newest addition to our retail landscape, not only in Ansonia, but the Valley.”
    The store is at 415 Main St., between Bob’s and Marshall’s.

    Read the full story here. 

    Ansonia dad seeks justice for his slain son

    This is the sign outside the Venson home in Ansonia. Patricia Villers/Register

    By Patricia Villers
    Register Staff
    ANSONIA — Resident Shawn Venson says he wants justice for his slain son.
    In the early evening of March 9, 2011, Daryl Rhys Venson, 25, was killed on the sidewalk outside a convenience store at 3 Hill St. He was unarmed when he was shot in the back.
    No arrests have been made in the case.
    Shawn Venson has said there were as many as 15 witnesses to the slaying, but no one has come forward with information.

    Read the full story here.

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    3 residents of same home in Ansonia arrested on drug charges (updated)

    By Register Staff
    An Ansonia man is facing a variety of drug and weapons charges, police in Ansonia and Seymour reported Friday.
    Seymour police said John Uhlig Jr., 33, of 15 N. Prospect St. Ext., Ansonia, was stopped by Officer Jonathan Martin at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday near the area of South Main Street and Main Street in Seymour. Martin had observed the vehicle had only one headlight illuminated, police said.
    Martin smelled an odor of marijuana emanating from inside Uhlig’s vehicle saw a small bag of marijuana in plain view between Uhlig’s legs. Police said Uhlig was removed from the vehicle, and “a very large bag of marijuana fell from the front seat” onto the floor of the vehicle. Money of various denominations also fell out of Uhlig’s pants pockets, according to police.

    Read the full story here.

    Boy Scouts sponsor trip to Broadway

         The Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts of America is sponsoring a bus trip to Broadway to see "Godspell" on March 3.1 Price is $125 per person.
           Bus transportation to and from NYC provided by Land/Jet; bus will depart from the Derby Railroad Station at 10 a.m. and return at approximately 11 p.m.
         Tickets are for orchestra seats for the 2:30 p.m. matinee of the Broadway revival of "Godspell" at the Circle in the Square Theatre, 235 West 50th St., NYC
          A stop in Little Italy/Mulberry Street for dinner after the show (dinner is not included in the price).
         There will be time for shopping and sightseeing. For information or to reserve tickets, call Carole Cafaro,  203-734-3329, ext. 302.
          Make checks payable to: Housatonic Council, BSA
 and mail to: 326 Derby Ave., Derby, Ct. 06418.

    TEAM offers energy assistance

        Families and individuals who have not obtained help to offset winter heating bills may apply up to May 1, 2012 for assistance from TEAM, Inc.
        If you have already applied for energy assistance for the September 2011 to May 1, 2012 season, you do not have to reapply with TEAM. 
        Applications are being taken for those households or individuals who have not yet applied for the 2011-2012 season.
          Families and individuals may qualify for assistance if they fall below these income levels: $31,864 for a household of one, $41,668 for a household of two, $51,472 for a three person household and $61,276 for a four person household.
          Applicants are deemed eligible based on review of their total household income, such as job earnings, unemployment compensation, social security, pension, etc.; household size; and liquid assets, as shown through bank statements. 
            If an applicant is approved for assistance, TEAM will make direct payments to their home heating provider.
         Homeowners and renters who are residents of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Milford, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton and Woodbridge can apply for energy assistance from TEAM.
        To schedule an appointment with TEAM Energy Assistance, call 203-736-5420 ext. 3, or in Milford, 203-783-3253; Woodbridge, 203-389-3429; Orange, 203 891-4787, and Bethany, 203-393-2100 ext. 124.

    3 residents of same home in Ansonia arrested on drug charges

    By Register Staff
    ANSONIA – Three residents of the same address have been arrested on multiple drug-related charges, police said today.
    Seymour police made a motor vehicle stop at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday.
    John Uhlig Jr. , 33, was driving a car in which police found a “large amount” of suspected marijuana and cocaine.
    They also found a loaded handgun and a shotgun, according to a police department statement, and got a search and seizure warrant to search Uhlig’s home at 15 N. Prospect St. Extension.

    Read the full story here.

    Bridgeport construction worker who fell at Shelton site died of trauma to head

    By Register Staff
    Francisco Amaral, the Bridgeport man who fell to his death Tuesday while working at a Shelton condo complex, died of blunt force trauma to the head, the state medical examiner's office said Friday.
    His death was ruled an accident.

    Ansonia eyes storefront 'facelift' grants

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    ANSONIA — Main Street could soon be in line for a mini-makeover.
    One of the initiatives discussed by the Economic Development Commission Thursday is to create a grant program designed for downtown storefront rehabilitation. Such improvements to lighting and signage, for example, would help achieve “uniformity” among businesses and an overall more aesthetically pleasing look downtown, officials said.
    Alderman John Marini, who serves as the city’s liaison to the commission, through input from downtown business owners, proposed the idea to boost economic development opportunities.

    Read the full story here.

    Power of attorney topic of Seymour seminar

    By Register Staff
    SEYMOUR — Shady Knoll Health Care Center, 41 Skokorat St., will hold a “Lunch and Learn” session of “Misconceptions regarding POA (Power of Attorney), Trusts and Asset Protection,” at 1 p.m. Wednesday with lawyer Suzanne C. Bosek, who is also a registered nurse.
    Bosek will discuss how to make proper decisions for yourself or aging relatives. Space is limited. To register or for more information, call 203-881-2555.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Kickoff reception for Men Who Cook chefs held in Ansonia

    Kevin Spooner, far left, of Ansonia and Charles Sullivan, left, co-chairman of the Men Who Cook fundraiser, attend a kickoff reception at John J. Sullivan's Restaurant in Ansonia Thursday. Arnold Gold/Register

    By Patricia Villers
    Register Staff
    ANSONIA- From biscotti to baked macaroni and cheese, the culinary offerings at the fifth annual Men Who Cook event that benefits TEAM, Inc. promise to be nothing short of delicious.
    The event will run from 6-11 p.m. April 14 at Warsaw Park, 119 Pulaski Highway.
    Food presentation and a silent auction will be held from 6-8 p.m. and dancing to the music of Nimons Entertainment will be from 8-11 p.m.

    Read the full story here.

    Mucho monkeys donated to 6th annual Valentine drive for needy children

    Pictured from left: representing the Lower Naugatuck Valley Boys & Girls Club: Michael Leone, Arlene Bellotti, Megan Doyle and Sami Bellotti; Meral Prewitt, Covenant to Care for Children; Jennifer Sneider, owner of J-Cuts and Eileen Henri, “Monkeyville” member.

    The following information is from a press release from drive organizers.  

       J-Cuts Barber Shop in downtown Shelton, Topside Café in Milford, Eileen Henri’s Keith Urban “Monkeyville” members and Facebook fans and Joshua Sussan’s Troop 1 Milford Boy Scouts helped spread monkey love to children in need, abused and neglected children, impoverished, adopted and sick children, and frightened children involved in police calls, as well as those who may feel a little left out when a younger sibling is born.
        This year, 907 stuffed monkeys were collected and distributed to the ACT/Spooner House Homeless Shelter, Department of Family & Children’s Aid Shelton & Danbury Safe Homes, the Shelton Police Department, Covenant to Care for Children, Bridgeport Hospital, Griffin Hospital, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and the Lower Naugatuck Valley Boys & Girls Club.
        Members of country singer Keith Urban’s online community, “Monkeyville” and his Facebook fans from all over the world, have contributed to the drive by mailing stuffed monkeys to Derby resident and Monkeyville member, Eileen Henri.
       They have participated in the drive since the beginning.  This year, monkeys were mailed from Canada, Spain, England, Australia, and Germany.  They were also sent in from 30 states.
        Joshua Sussan, a J-Cuts customer and Shelton resident, decided to help out by leading Troop 1 of the Milford Boy Scouts in their own community drive.  They collected 36 stuffed monkeys.
        Topside Café in Milford held its second annual “Monkey Love Sunday” to collect monkeys.
        Jennifer Sneider, owner of J-Cuts in Shelton, uses her business as the the main collection and drop off location.  She wanted to help out by taking over this drive from the former owners of Luther’s Garage automotive repair business, which was located at 5 White St., around the corner from her salon.
       “This is my second year doing it,” Sneider said.  “We have so much fun.  My customers get involved and my teenage daughter and her friends join in to help by decorating the barber shop in anticipation of a whole bunch of monkeys moving in for a little while,” she said.
       “It is an amazing feeling to know each and every one of these monkeys will find comfort in the arms of a child in need and the children will find comfort in these monkeys!”
    Originally, the owners of Luther’s Garage, which is now closed for business, wanted to do something nice and meaningful for the abused and neglected children of the Shelton Safe Home.  Each year, more and more stuffed monkeys were collected allowing them to reach out and share the monkeys with other children in need.
    Their goal was for this community drive to go national and it has gone beyond that. It is now global thanks to Keith Urban’s fans.

    Audubon group holding photo contest

        DERBY  - The Naugatuck Valley Audubon Society is holding a photo contest and is looking for your best photographs taken at a Naugatuck Valley Audubon Society program or field trip, or at Kellogg Estate or Osbornedale State Park.
        Photographs must be submitted and received by May 31.
      Winners will be guests at Naugatuck Valley Audubon’s Annual Banquet in June. All photographs will be displayed at the Kellogg Environmental Center, 500 Hawthorne Ave. 
       The contest has three categories: children (age 12 and under), youth (13–18), and adult (19 and over).  
        Subject matter should be natured-based: birds, wildlife, plants, insects, or general nature scenes.  There is no charge to enter the contest. 
       Photographs should be submitted to the Naugatuck Valley Audubon Society, P.O. Box 371, Derby,  06418, or dropped off at the Kellogg Environmental Center.
       Registration forms and a ist of the contest rules can be found at
       For information call 203-888-0358.

    Shelton woman struck by vehicle while using Derby crosswalk

    By Register Staff
    DERBY — A female pedestrian was hit by a vehicle shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday at Derby Avenue and Bank Street.
    The driver, Peter Pearce, 80, of Greenwood Circle in Seymour, was given a ticket on failure to grant the right of way to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
    The woman, Irene Panuczak, 82, of Shelton, was taken by ambulance to Yale-New Haven Hospital for evaluation, said police Lt. Sal Frosceno. She was discharged Wednesday, the hospital said.
    The accident was in front of St. Michael’s Post 1562, Catholic War Veterans. Patrol cars monitor that crosswalk for violations, Frosceno said.

    2nd voter forum draws dozen concerned citizens

    By Patricia Villers
    Register Staff

        MILFORD - About a dozen civic-minded area residents gathered Wednesday night at the Margaret Egan Center for a New Haven Register-sponsored Citizens’ Agenda Voter Forum.   
        This was the second forum co-hosted by New Haven Register Community Engagement Editors Angi Carter and Ed Stannard. They held a similar event last month in New Haven.
        Participants hailed from Ansonia, Derby, Milford, New Haven, Trumbull, and Woodbridge.
        Stannard said the newspaper has “a new focus to reach out to the community,” which includes live daily news meetings that can be viewed online at
        Carter said the idea is to create “a partnership between the Register and the people we rely on to read our news.”
        Woodbridge resident Kim Hynes represented the nonprofit Common Cause and the New Haven Votes Coalition. She said the coalition is “a group of nonprofits (working) to get out the vote in New Haven” and “get people excited” about municipal elections.   
        Hynes may be reached at
        Derby resident Judy Szewczyk, who served as campaign manager for incumbent Republican Mayor Anthony Staffieri, also was on hand. She recently launched Clearly Derby, a blog to inform Derbyites of the happenings in their hometown.
        She said social media played a big role in the November election and she launched the blog because she didn’t want to lose that connection with voters.
        Szewczyk said she realizes it is difficult for working people who are busy raising children to find the time to get involved in local politics. She said the blog and a Facebook page are set up to inform citizens about the process. “We’re trying to bring it to the people,” Szewczyk said.
        She said credibility is a big issue in politics, since many people see it “as a game.” 
        Trumbull resident Jean Rabinow, an administrator in the Hamden League of Women Voters office, said even though it’s February the election season has started.
        She said the LWV asks candidates about issues that matter most to voters. They include the economy, unemployment, health care, national debt and reform of the financial services industry.
        Several citizens voiced concern about the amount of money needed to run for elected office. Rabinow said the more money a candidate spends on campaigns, the more the average voters “become detached from that person.”
       She contends that seeing candidates on television commercials “adds celebrity to that person, like they are different from us.”
        For information about upcoming citizens’ forums, contact Stannard,, 203-789-5743 or Carter,, 203-789-5752.

    Valley leaders heading to 'jail' today for MDA

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    Several Valley leaders are heading to “jail” today.
    But residents need not be alarmed if they see, for example, Ansonia Mayor James Della Volpe or Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller being led from their offices in handcuffs.
    Della Volpe, Miller and a host of other Valley officials will be raising “bail money” for the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Lock Up.

    Read the full story here.

    Ansonia aldermen OK budget calling for 1.75-mill tax increase

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    ANSONIA — The Board of Aldermen this week approved a $58.5 million budget for fiscal year 2012-13.
    The budget carries a 1.75-mill tax increase, potentially raising the current tax rate of 26.25 mills to 28 mills. That means a taxpayer with a home assessed at $200,000 could pay $350 more in taxes next year.

    Read the full story here.

    Ansonia looks to kick up tax collection rate with 'boot' program

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    ANSONIA — The city is considering giving delinquent taxpayers “the boot” in order to bring in some revenue.
    With its current tax collection rate at about 91 percent, city officials are scrambling to raise money in a continued slow economy.
    The Board of Aldermen, during its meeting Tuesday, charged its finance subcommittee with looking into the boot program to catch tax scofflaws.

    Read the full story here.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Citizen input sought today in Milford to help frame Register election coverage

    Public forum slated at 6 p.m. at the Margaret Egan Center, 35 Matthew St., Milford.

    By Angela Carter
    Community Engagement Editor
    In December, the New Haven Register introduced a voter-focused election project we refer to as “Citizens Agenda.”
    The Register, along with its sister papers in other parts of Connecticut, the Middletown Press, Register Citizen in Torrington and Litchfield County Times, has been polling readers about the issues that matter most to you, so we can have candidates in Senate and congressional races address them during the 2012 election cycle.
    On Friday, my colleague Ed Stannard — also a community engagement editor for the Register — and I went to The Grove and attended a meeting of the New Haven Votes Coalition, a diverse group working on voter education, registration and overall voter participation in the nation’s democratic electoral process.

    Read the full story here.

    Register's Community Media Lab welcomes Derby blogger

    Testing her theory that local government can be made sexy and engaging, Derby resident Judy Szewczyk, small town politico and social media hobbyist, takes us along with her through the ups and downs of Clearly Derby, the blog where it is all happening.

    Find Szewczyk's blog about Connecticut's smallest city at

    RSS feed:

    Contact Judy at:
    (203) 906-3602

    Hearing set for ex-Ansonia man charged in Bridgeport brain-eating case

    By the Associated Press
    BRIDGEPORT — A judge has scheduled a hearing to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence against a man charged with hacking another man to death with an ax and eating part of his brain and other body parts.
    Judge Robert Devlin Jr. on Tuesday set a probable cause hearing for March 5 in Bridgeport Superior Court in the case of Tyree Smith, 35, an Ansonia native who was arrested in Lynn Haven, Fla., last month.
    Smith is charged with murdering Angel Gonzalez in Bridgeport on Dec. 15. Police say Smith ate one of Gonzalez’s eyeballs and part of his brain.
    The Connecticut Post reports that Gonzalez’s relatives cried during Smith’s brief court appearance Tuesday. They say Smith deserves a life prison sentence.
    Smith’s public defender declined to comment. 

    Bridgeport man identified as worker who died after fall from roof at Shelton condo complex

    By Register Staff
    SHELTON — Police today identified the construction worker who died Tuesday after falling from a roof at the Sunwood Condominiums.
    Police said Francisco Amaral, 46, of Bridgeport fell about 39 feet from the rear roof of the condominium units on Jean Court.
    At about noon Tuesday, police and Shelton Emergency Medical Services employees responding to a 911 call found him unresponsive on the ground.
    Amaral had been replacing skylights for J.C. Silva Remodeling Services of Bridgeport, according to city Detective Sgt. Kevin Ahern.
    Amaral was taken to Bridgeport Hospital, where he died.
    Police detectives and representatives of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Bridgeport are investigating. Detectives are interviewing other workers at the site, Ahern said.
    Ted Fitzgerald, OSHA spokesman in Boston, said an investigator will be inspecting the site to see if there are any violations of workplace safety standards. He could not say how long the probe would take.
    The death appears to be accidental, Ahern said.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Man dies after fall from Shelton roof he was working on

    Entrance to Sunwood Condominum Complex in Shelton. Patricia Villers/Register

    By Register Staff
    A 46-year-old man has died after falling from the roof a Shelton condominium complex where he was working, police said in a statement.
    The man, who has not been identified pending notification of his family, was working for J C Silva Remolding Services of Bridgeport at the Sunwood Condominium Complex when he fell, police said in the statement.
    The company was replacing skylights at the site when the accident occurred, police said.
    The victim was found unresponsive on the ground and was taken to Bridgeport Hospital, where he died, police said. The accident occurred just after noon, police said.
    Shelton police detectives and the Bridgeport Office of OSHA are investigating the death, police said.
    “At this time it appears to be an accidental death,” police said in the statement.
    Detectives are following up with interviews of other workers at the site, police said.

    Eagle Scouts improve Seymour park; half-acre parcel named in their honor

    By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
    Register Correspondent
    SEYMOUR — The next time someone launches a canoe or kayak into the Housatonic River, or enjoys a picnic lunch under the new pavilion in the Keith Mitchell Forest, they can thank the efforts of three hardworking Eagle Scouts.
    And as a huge “thank-you” to the three young men responsible for bringing more recreational opportunities to residents, a half-acre in the forest has been named on their behalf.

    Read the full story here.

    Last Call for Early Bird Tickets for Brewers Ball

    LAST CALL FOR EARLY BIRD TICKETS! Early Bird Ticket sales to Connecticut's largest homebrew com...