Saturday, March 31, 2012

Paranormal team investigates Derby eatery

Hamden resident Rose Porto poses this week with her Connecticut Spirit Investigators team, clockwise from left, Tony Szpara, George Searles, and Nick DiGregorio. / Contributed photo

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
DERBY — Hamden resident Rose Porto is a hairstylist by day, but on her time off she works as a paranormal investigator.
She and her team, Connecticut Spirit Investigators, recently visited The Twisted Vine, a restaurant in the former Birmingham National Bank on Main Street.
The bank was built in 1892, and is known for a certain amount of unexplained paranormal activity.
Porto has been investigating paranormal activity professionally for about a decade, she said.
She and her core group, Nick DiGregorio, Tony Szpara, Jeff Lambert and George Searles, dined at the downtown restaurant before setting up their equipment.
“When we do big investigations, we may have others” joining us, Porto said.
The visit “didn’t disappoint,” she said. The group spent about three hours in the building and found a lot of activity. “We didn’t want to leave,” Porto said.

Read the full story here.

Waterbury, Connecticut law enforcement make new promises, efforts in Billy Smolinski case

By Andy Thibault
Contributing Editor
WATERBURY — The hunt for Billy Smolinski’s body and his killer or killers has taken a new turn in recent days, with top law enforcement officials in several agencies promising to coordinate resources and follow up missed leads.
One department is starting from scratch, just to get it right this time.
Len Boyle, the deputy chief state’s attorney — and former state police commissioner and federal prosecutor — told the Register today his office is working the case with Waterbury police, the state police Western District Major Crime Squad, the FBI and other municipal departments. That’s all Boyle would say on the record.
However, Boyle told a concerned citizen on Tuesday that Supervisory Inspector Michael Sullivan of his office is coordinating the probe and that Waterbury Police Chief Michael Gugliotti has assigned two detectives to the case.

Read the full story here.

W.E. Bassett closing to affect 200-225 jobs in Shelton

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
SHELTON — Mayor Mark A. Lauretti said closing of the W.E. Bassett Co. will mean the loss of 200 to 225 jobs.
But more than the economics, Lauretti said, “This is a people story.”
“When you have a company that’s been in the Valley for over 50 years and we lose them, how can it not have an impact?”
“Where do all those people who have worked for them for all those years go?”
The acquisition of the W.E. Bassett Co., on Trap Falls Road Extension, by Pacific World Corp. was announced in November. A Bassett official told Lauretti about six weeks ago that the company was moving, the mayor said.
Craig Finney, Bassett Co. president, could not be reached for comment.
The manufacturer’s personal care products include the Trim line of manicure sets and eyebrow shapers.

Read the full story here.

News 8 weather lab gives Seymour pupils a weather lesson

WTNH meteorologist Erica Grow (center) talks to third graders about the instruments on top of the traveling Weather Lab during a visit to Bungay Elementary School in Seymour Friday. Arnold Gold/Register

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — Bungay School third-graders learned how to “weather any storm” Friday, thanks to a visit from News 8’s mobile lab.
Meteorologist Erica Grow pulled up to the school in the TV station’s silver Dodge Durango, outfitted with equipment to gauge rainfall, check the temperature, and measure wind speed and direction.
The mobile weather lab is the only one in the state, and besides gauging the weather, Grow said it’s used to teach kids across Connecticut.

Read the full story here.

Ansonia zoning bias case settled

By Register Staff

ANSONIA — The city and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached an agreement over allegations that Ansonia’s zoning regulations discriminated against individuals with mental disabilities and/or addiction issues.
“We resolved it,” city Corporation Counsel Kevin Blake said Friday. “The matter is considered closed by the Justice Department,” he said.
U.S. Attorney David B. Fein, in a prepared statement, said, “We commend the city of Ansonia for dealing with this serious issue, which affects so many members of our community, and we hope that this agreement alerts other cities and towns about their responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
In August 2010, Recovery Network of Programs, a medical provider of methadone clinics, sought to open a clinic in a leased site at 158 Main St., Fein said. The aim was to provide centralized treatment and counseling services to its clients. RNP had about 250 Valley clients, mostly people with opiate addictions, Fein said.
As the location was covered by Schedule B of the city’s zoning code, which excluded clinics for the “insane, alcoholics and drug addicts,” the city denied RNP’s building permit, Fein said.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, including mental disabilities and/or addiction issues, and requires municipalities and states to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices and procedures to afford individuals with disabilities equal treatment under the law, Fein said.
Under the settlement agreement, Ansonia agreed to change its zoning regulations.
“We revised the zoning regulations to resolve any issues regarding allegations of discrimination,” Blake said.
The city also agreed, for the next three years, to provide copies of the settlement agreement to all aldermen, members of the Planning and Zoning Commission, and managers of the Zoning and Building departments.
The city also agreed not to retaliate against RNP, which had complained to the Department of Justice about the zoning regulation.
Find information about the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department at

Friday, March 30, 2012

An everyday hero in our midst

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff

You never know when you’ll meet a hero.
What starts out as a relatively routine work day can turn into a day that leaves a reporter a bit frazzled, yes, but also in awe of an extraordinary act by an ordinary person.

Yesterday was just that day for me. I showed up at a fire scene in Derby Thursday afternoon not knowing it was as big a blaze as it was. Firefighters from Derby and Shelton were everywhere; two ladder trucks, Shelton’s Echo Hose and Derby’s Paugies, as well as a rather large crowd of onlookers and local media.

After learning that everyone in the six-family house on Olivia Street escaped unharmed, I was pointed toward an Ansonia man who had saved the life of Theresa Tiano, an elderly tenant .

Chris Esteves, 24, happened upon the fire scene on his way to an appointment. When he heard that an elderly woman was still inside her third-floor apartment he ran inside, up the stairs and knocked on her door. When she didn’t respond, he opened the door and got her. She told him she needed to grab her cane and they left the apartment.

He brought her downstairs and out the door, only hesitating to put a mat over their heads to protect them from falling debris.

What makes Esteves’ feat even more remarkable is the fact that in 2009 he assisted three Ansonia police officers in rescuing an elderly woman from a house fire.


Esteves, in his own quiet, soft-spoken way, demonstrates that he indeed wants to help other people.

And I for one am glad that I met him.

Derby fire caused by cigarette, fire marshal says

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
DERBY — The fire early Thursday afternoon that heavily damaged a six-family apartment building at 92-94 Olivia St. was caused by a cigarette, Fire Marshal Phil Hawks said this morning.
He said the building is uninhabitable “right now, because we had to cut the power because of the water damage.”
Hawks said he spoke with the city’s building official, David Kopjanski, today about the amount of damage to the structure. “He estimated it at $200,000,” Hawks said. He said Kopjanski was not at work today and could not be reached.
The fire started on a third-floor porch shortly after 12:30 p.m. Thursday. All of the tenants got out of the structure unharmed.
An Ansonia man, Chris Esteves, 24, rescued Theresa Tiano, who is in her 80s, from her third-floor apartment. She was not injured. The American Red Cross was on the scene Thursday to assist tenants.

Ansonia man rescues elderly Derby woman from house fire (photos)

Chris Esteves saved an elderly woman from a fire on Olivia Street in Derby Thursday afternoon. Melanie Stengel/Register

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
DERBY — Ansonia resident Chris Esteves was in the right place at the right time Thursday.
Esteves, 24, rescued elderly resident Theresa Tiano, from an early afternoon fire Thursday in a six-family house at 92-94 Olivia St.
Esteves, who works in downtown Derby, said when he parked his van across from the house he saw a fire had started and saw marshals from Derby Superior Court across the street trying to get people out. Several tenants made it out unassisted, he said. No one was injured in the blaze. Officials at the scene said it started on a third-floor porch.
Esteves said he heard there was an elderly woman still inside, on the third floor. He ran up the stairs and knocked on the apartment door, he said.
“I knocked and nobody answered,” Esteves said. “I opened the door and she (Tiano) didn’t even know there was a fire. She grabbed her cane,” he said, and he helped her down the flights of stairs.
When they got to the first floor, Esteves said he “grabbed a mat and put it over me and her” because debris was falling on them.
Esteves said he tried to go back in to get her pet birds, but was forced to retreat. “I saw that I had to get out then or I wouldn’t have made it.”

Read the full story here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shelton salon to mark 25-year anniversary

SHELTON - Panache Hair Design will celebrate 25 years in business with a three-day extravaganza on April 12, 13 and 14. 
The hair salon opened in 1986 by sisters, Jen Mastrony and Diana Cirillo along with two employees on Howe Avenue. 
In 2006 as the business grew, the salon relocated to 504 Bridgeport Ave.  The sisters now have 12 employees and offer the finest in hair care, air brush make-up and eyelash extensions. 
They base their success on only using the highest quality hair color and products on their clients and are continuously training the staff on the latest techniques and newest services available. 
The staff works together in a team approach which creates a very friendly and comfortable atmosphere that creates a very positive experience for their clients.
The celebration will include free services from Moroccan Oil and Goldwell, gifts and a raffle. 

Refreshments will be served and the public is invited. For information visit

The above information was provided by Panache Hair Design.

Report: W. E. Bassett Co. closing Shelton facility; 300 jobs lost

According to the Hartford Courant, W. E. Bassett Co., a maker of tweezers and nail clippers, has announced that it will close its Shelton plant, where between 275 and 300 people work.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ribas named Lavietes Award winner

The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley has named Jack Ribas, its long-time Executive Director, as this year's Raymond P. Lavietes Award winner.
Arlene Clancy, committee chairman, said, "It's about time we recognized Jack for his 34 years as Executive Director. He has made our Club one of the top organizations in the country and touched the lives of thousands of youngsters over his years with our Club. He is truly devoted to the youth of our community."
The award is presented each year at the Boys & Girls Club's Service to Youth dinner, which will be held this year April 10 at John J. Sullivan's Restaurant in Ansonia, beginning at 5:30 pm.
 Ribas said, "I am truly honored to be recognized with all those who have won this award. This is our 25th year and a lot of special people have won the award. It makes me feel very special also."
 Also being presented that night will be the 2012 Champion of Youth Award, which goes to the Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race Committee, which has raised almost $100,000 over the years, helping provide activities and programs for children at the Club that would never be possible without their financial support.
The 10-person committee, headed by Glenn Gaetano, Tom Wilson, and Jack Walsh, volunteers countless hours each year to make this 5K Thanksgiving morning event a huge success. It has been completely sold out for the past five years.
President Susan Deleon said, "The race committee is a very special group of people who make the Thanksgiving Day Race a destination event, while helping so many children."
Tickets can be obtained by calling Ann Wheeler at the Boys & Girls Club at 203-924-7462.
For information about the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, visit
The above press release was provided by the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.

Shelton police arrest Orange teen in March 18 assault

SHELTON — Police Tuesday arrested Andrew O’Connell, 18, of 528 Wheelers Farms Road, Orange, on a warrant in connection with a serious assault March 18 on Coram Avenue, Detective Sgt. Kevin Ahern said today in a written release.
O’Connell is the second man charged in connection with the assault, and Ahern said Shelton police have another arrest warrant and are actively seeking another suspect.
O’Connell was charged with assault in the first degree and conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree. He was held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Daniel Zeleznik, 23, of 187 Howe Ave., was arrested Saturday on a warrant at his home.
He was charged with assault in the first degree and conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree. He posted a $100,000 bail and is due in Derby Superior Court April 9.

Church announces McKane Scholarship application deadline

SEYMOUR -  Great Hill United Methodist Church Board of Trustees has announced that applications are now available for the McKane Scholarship for 2012.
The scholarship has been given annually since 1968 and is in memory of Peter Hall McKane who died tragically at the age of 18 in an automobile accident and his brother, Paul Archer McKane, who died in 2003 from cancer.
The scholarship fund was endowed by the McKane family, friends and church members.  This year a scholarship award of $1,000 will be given to a graduating high school student from Seymour or Oxford who has been accepted and plans to attend a college, university or other institute of higher learning.
Selection criteria includes financial need, personal effort, individual goals reflecting a degree of determination, and academic achievement. 
For information and or application, contact local high school guidance offices or call the Great Hill United Methodist Church office, 203-888-9425. The application is also available at
 The deadline for applications is May 4.

Ansonia police have suspect in snowplow disappearance

By Register Staff
ANSONIA — Police have a suspect in the disappearance of a snowplow from the Public Works Department complex on North Division Street earlier this month, a city source confirmed Tuesday.
The source said a public works employee has been placed on administrative leave in connection with the investigation.
According to police Lt. Andrew Cota, the snowplow was reported missing March 16.
Tara Kolakowski, acting personnel director, said the Board of Public Works will hold a fact-finding hearing in 10 days concerning the matter. “That is procedure,” she said.
Karen Blake, a member of the board, said Tuesday she had not yet been notified about when a hearing would take place.
Superintendent of Public Works Michael Schryver could not be reached for comment.
Calls and emails to several aldermen and city officials were not returned late Tuesday.

Seymour examining issue of board meeting teleconferencing

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — When someone is elected to serve on a board or commission, is it OK for them to attend a meeting via their cellphone or other form of teleconferencing?
Some say “no way.” Others think it’s fine. And town officials have decided to establish some rules governing the use of telecommunication devices.
The Board of Selectmen recently named a subcommittee, comprised of Selectmen Nicole Klarides-Ditria, Karen Stanek and Gary Bruce, to tackle the issue. The committee is expected to have a recommendation at the selectmen’s April 17 meeting. A vote on the matter then could come in May.

Read the full story here.

Shelton cop gets arbitration hearing

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
WETHERSFIELD — An arbitration hearing was held Monday on the firing of a Shelton police officer after an internal affairs investigation.
The case concerning Loren Casertano, 51, was held before the state Board of Mediation and Arbitration, Department of Labor.
Shelton Police Union attorney Chip Walsh of Licari, Walsh & Sklaver, New Haven, is representing Casertano.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Photos: Let your photos represent Connecticut and the Valley on Facebook

Calling all readers! The New Haven Register is switching to the new timeline on our Facebook page and we’d like you to be a part of our design.
Send us your photos that best represent the Greater New Haven and Valley area with a short description about yourself and what you like about it, and we’ll post them all to an album our Facebook page. The photo with the most ‘likes’ gets featured as our cover photo for April!
We also will offer prizes - gift cards to local restaurants - for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place vote getters.
To enter, e-mail the photo and description to with ‘cover photo’ in the subject line or share it with us on Facebook or Twitter. (Also indicate it is for the timeline)
One entry per reader, please, and no promotional photos of businesses or services. Thank you.
Photo is a reader contributed one - from @ffjewelry on Twitter.

Grant to receive 2012 Flynn Award

    Valley United Way has announced that David M. Grant has been chosen as the winner of the 2012 Charles H. Flynn Humanitarian Award.
    As the owner of David M. Grant Caterers, he is responsible for one of the Valley’s most celebrated catering services, in business since 1974. He has built a solid reputation for quality food and superior service throughout Southwestern Connecticut. He has also built an incredible reputation for community involvement.
    He is a past president and member of both the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley and the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club (twice!. He currently serves on the board of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce where he also is a past president. He is also the Vice President of the Shelton Economic Development Corporation.
    Grant is also a founding board member of the Valley Community Foundation. His service at Valley United Way included two terms as a member of the board, a term as Vice President, and he also chaired the successful 2008-2009 Community Fund Raising Campaign. 
    No stranger to volunteering his services, Grant has received numerous awards. The Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce presented him with its Gold Seal Award in 1996; in 2007 he was selected as the Platinum Award winner. He has won both the Raymond P. Lavietes Service to Youth Award from the Boys & Girls Club and the Raymond P. Lavietes Award from the Shelton Economic Development Corporation.
    The Parent Child Resource Center selected him for their Outstanding Service to Children and Families Award. Later this spring, he will also be receiving the Good Scout Award from the Housatonic Council Boy Scouts of America. He is a Paul Harris Award winner with the Derby/Shelton Rotary Club.
    Grant is a native of Derby, graduate of Derby High School and Quinnipiac College. He has been married to Gail Frosceno for 37 years, and their two children, David J. Grant and Michael M. Grant are both involved in the family businesses. The Grants live in Shelton.
    Jack Walsh, President and Chief Operating Officer of Valley United Way, said, "Listing Dave's accomplishments and awards is no small task, as he has successfully taken on so many challenges that make the Valley a better place to live and work. However, Dave does so many things that people never hear about that are just as significant."
     Walsh pointed out the May 2001 fire at Ansonia Latex Foam Products in Ansonia. Grant happened to be driving in the area, Walsh said, when he saw what had happened and realized the enormity of the disaster and the need to support the fire and police personnel working at the site.
    Within minutes, Grant was also on the scene starting up his grills and cooking for all the fire, police, and safety personnel on the scene until the fire was out. "Dave doesn't just talk about doing things for the Valley, he makes them happen," Walsh said.
    The award will be presented April 26 at Valley United Way's Annual Meeting and Awards Reception at Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby.

The above information was provided by Valley United Way.

Voter registration session slated

DERBY — A session will be held April 24 to register Republicans to vote in the GOP presidential primary. 
The session will be noon to 4 p.m. at City Hall, 1 Elizabeth St. The primary is two weeks later.
For more details, call the registrars’ office at 203-736-7454.

Officials create Derby Community Endowment

Pictured from left are Alderman Ron Sill, Mayor Anthony Staffieri, Valley Community Foundation President and CEO James E. Cohen, Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tracy, and former tax board member Mark Nichols. / Contributed photo

DERBY — Representatives of the Derby Community Endowment and the Valley Community Foundation on Friday signed the agreement that establishes the endowment.
The fund was created by residents to benefit the schools and city beautification projects. An organizing committee of residents and city leaders has been meeting for a few months to put together the agreement with the Valley Community Foundation.
Each year, a percentage of the fund will be allocated to three purposes: scholarship or award to city student; nonrecurring education expense that benefits students in the public schools; municipal beautification or capital projects that would otherwise not be funded.
The fund’s kickoff event will be held 6:30-9:30 p.m. May 12 at Grassy Hill Lodge, 77 Sodom Lane. Tickets are $50. 
The event will include a raffle, a commemorative book, appetizers, entertainment, and a retrospective of the “History of Giving.”  
For more details, call Mark Nichols, 203-732-0630, or go to Derby Community Endowment on Facebook.

Church to hold free movie night

ANSONIA - There will be a free movie night, featuring The Princess and the Frog, from 6-8 p.m. Saturday at Macedonia Baptist Church, 243 Pershing Drive.
All-you-can-eat popcorn and punch will be available for $6.  Other snacks will be sold for $1. No outside food is allowed. All are welcome. 
For information contact Melanie Taft, 203-508-2192.

The above information was contributed. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

$500,000 grant found for Housatonic Wire cleanup in Seymour

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — A $500,000 grant to clean up contaminated soil on the burned-out Housatonic Wire Co. property is coming, pending state approval.
The money is part of more than $16 million in loans and grants the state Department of Economic and Community Development has awarded for several brownfields projects throughout the state. The money still must be approved by the state Bond Commission.
Seymour is in line for $500,000, which town officials said will be used for soil remediation of the property at 109 River St.

Read the full story here.

Former lawmaker Theresa Conroy to seek 105th seat

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
Former state Rep. Theresa Conroy is throwing her hat back into the ring.
Conroy, a Democrat, announced this week she will seek election to the 105th District seat. The district includes Seymour, Beacon Falls and parts of Ansonia. The 55-year old mother of two sons received a unanimous endorsement from the Seymour Democratic Town Committee.
Conroy was elected to the seat in November 2008 after it was vacated by former longtime state Rep. Len Greene Sr.

Read the full story here.

Derby OKs loans to upgrade 4 local businesses

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
DERBY — The Board of Aldermen has approved giving loans to four local businesses looking to make various improvements.
The money will come from the city’s revolving loan program, which uses federal funds, not city money, to give small businesses assistance with start-up costs, renovations, buying equipment and related expenses, at low interest rates.
The program was established in 1996, according to Sheila O’Malley, director of economic and community development, and has had an “85 percent success rate. "

Read the full story here.

Valley Community Foundation enjoys 'a year of firsts'

The Sterling Opera House Endowment Fund was one of 12 funds created at the Valley Community Foundation in 2012. Patricia Villers/Register

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
ANSONIA — The Valley Community Foundation had “an absolutely remarkable year” in 2011, President and CEO James E. Cohen said Monday at the foundation’s eighth annual meeting at Ansonia High School.
The foundation honored donors and those who have created funds during the past year.
Board Chairman Gregory Stamos said he recently had read that “negative thoughts last longer” than positive ones, and promised that only positive thoughts would remain after the program. He said the board consists of “a committed group of people who put the Valley first.”
Carla Supersano Sullivan, director of donor service and grantmaking, said it was “a year of firsts,” including an increase in staff; operation under the terms of a new affiliation agreement with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven; Unified Responsive grant-making program; and a Revolving Response grant-making program.
In addition, in November the foundation relocated from Shelton to a renovated former carriage house at 253A Elizabeth St., Derby.

Read the full story here.

3 teens accused in break-in at Ansonia Library

ANSONIA — Three juveniles were arrested Friday and charged in a break-in at Ansonia Library.
At approximately 5:20 p.m. Friday police responded to an alarm at the library, police spokesman Lt. Andrew Cota said.
When officers arrived they determined that the building had been entered, he said.
The suspects damaged computer screens and tore books off the shelves throughout the library, Cota said. Police don’t think that anything was stolen from the building, he said.
A backpack left at the scene led police to identify suspects, Cota said.
Three male juveniles, two 13-year-olds and a 15-year old, were taken into custody and charged with third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief.
Cota said they were referred to juvenile court in Waterbury.
Police have no other suspects, he said. Entry was gained through a window on the second floor.

Ansonia quartet wins Junior Achievement competition

Four Ansonia High School students took first place March 16 in a regional Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut, Inc. competition at Fairfield University. They competed against 15 other high schools from the Valley and Fairfield County. They are from left, junior Darby Caneen, and seniors Daniel Kiley, Volodymyr Jatsiv, and Alex Westine. Business teacher Sara Crooks, far right, accompanied them as their coach.  Patricia Villers/ Register

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
ANSONIA — A team of four Ansonia High School students won first place honors recently at a Junior Achievement competition, surpassing their peers from 15 other schools in the region.
The second annual JAT Titan business challenge was held at Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business.
Last year Ansonia High School took third place, business teacher Sara Crooks said.
Each of the boys on the team received a $1,000 scholarship.
Crooks accompanied the team to the event. She said she couldn’t be happier with their victory.

Read the full story here.

For Ansonia students, new mural is tribute to good character

Students at John G. Prendergast School stand in front of their "Character Counts" mural, that they designed and installed with a grant from the Jamie A. Hulley Arts foundation. The foundation is named for the late Jamie A. Hulley, an Orange 20-year-old with a love for the arts, who died in 2002 from Lymphoma. Peter Casolino/Register

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
ANSONIA — Calling someone a character is one thing, but saying a person has character is something else entirely.
That’s the case with the 40 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders who belong to the Character Counts Club at John G. Prendergast Elementary School.
Behavior intervention teacher Melissa Cook created the club last year. Its mission is to promote a positive environment in the school.
The club worked on a mural based on trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship, called the “six pillars of character” by some.

Read the full story here

Ansonia cops probe 'possible theft' of snow plow

ANSONIA  — Police are looking into the "possible theft” last week of a snow plow at the public works complex, Lt. Andrew Cota said.
Cota said detectives have been investigating and have a suspect.
Police released no further details.

Ex-Derby school administrator gets AR on drug charges

By Phyllis Sebilius
Register Staff
William Larovera, the former Derby Middle School administrator arrested on several drug charges last year, today was granted accelerated rehabilitation and entry into the community service and labor program.
LaRovera, of Naugatuck, was arrested in early September 2011 on a warrant and charged with several drug counts. He entered a not guilty plea in Superior Court to the charges late that month.
He resigned from his post as dean of student development at the school as of Nov. 18.
Police alleged LaRovera had 66 pills of the painkiller Roxycodone, pill fragments and crushed pill residue in his possession at the school.
His lawyer, Rob Serafinowicz, said the case involved an old baseball injury that was compounded when LaRovera was the victim of a robbery.
He said LaRovera has already been through an inpatient detoxification program and an outpatient program.
Check back for updates.

$1.3M federal grant coming to fix Derby intersection

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
DERBY — The city has received word that $1.3 million in federal funding will be coming its way to make safety improvements to a dangerous stretch of Derby-Milford Road at the intersection of Route 34.
The money will come through a grant from the federal Safety Transportation Improvement Projects program, according to Sheila O’Malley, the city’s director of economic and community development.
The approximate cost of the project is $1.6 million. O’Malley said the grant will kick in 80 percent of the costs, while the state and the city will each contribute 10 percent.
The state has committed to its share of the money, O’Malley said. Derby would pay its share over three years.

Read the full story here.

Shelton man arrested for alleged St. Patrick's Day assault

By Register Staff
SHELTON – A local man has been arrested for allegedly taking part in a violent attack on a 32-year-old man on St. Patrick’s Day.
Daniel Zeleznik, 23, of 187 Howe Ave. was arrested Saturday. According to police, the victim of the attack was found unconscious and bleeding heavily from the face and head at the intersection of Coram Avenue and Kneen Street shortly after midnight on St. Patrick’s Day by passersby.
Detectives investigated throughout last week and arrested Zeleznik Saturday on a warrant at his home.
He was charged with assault in the first degree and conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree. He posted a $100,000 bond and the investigation is ongoing, according to police.
The victim was in critical condition for two days at Bridgeport Hospital, suffering severe head and facial injuries that require plastic surgery to correct, police said.
Zeleznik is due in Derby Superior Court April 9. Anyone with information about the assault is asked to call Shelton Police at 203-924-1544.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ansonia police defend killing of pit bull; couple's pet was shot in apparent case of mistaken identity

Ice, the pit bull that was shot and killed by police earlier this month. / Contributed photo 

By Ann DeMatteo
Register Staff
ANSONIA — A couple whose dog was shot and killed by police earlier this month said Friday they will be speaking to Police Chief Kevin Hale about the matter.
Police Friday issued a statement about the incident, explaining that the dog was aggressive and police determined it was a danger to area residents.
Lt. Andrew Cota said in a press release that on March 3, police received a 911 call about a white pit bull running around the area of 5 Myrtle Ave. and that the dog had just “chewed up” a person.
When police arrived at about 5:30 p.m., neighbors pointed out that the dog was running on Judson Place. Officers located a white pit bull running behind the rear of 34 Judson Place, Cota said.

Read the full story here.

3-year-old bitten by pit bull

ANSONIA - A 3-year old boy was bitten by a pit bull just after 6 p.m. Thursday, Lt. Andrew Cota said in an e-mail Friday.
Police were called to investigate a report of a 3-year old child being bitten by a pit bull while at Nolan Field, the release said.
Officers found that the boy had received minor bite wounds to his chest area and leg after he was bitten by the dog, Cota said. The owner of the dog and the dog fled the area.
The child was with his mother near the entrance of the playground at Nolan Field. The child’s mother brought him to be checked out by medical personnel, according to police

Ex-drug addict warns Seymour High School students of dangers (video)

Tim Rader talks in front of a slide projector during his "Live to Tell" program, about his journey from high school football star to cancer survivor to a homeless drug addict. He spoke to Seymour High students about the dangers of drug use and addiction. Peter Casolino/Register

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
SEYMOUR — Motivational speaker Tim Rader seems to know just what it takes to relate to young people.
Rader talked to students at Seymour High School Friday in a program he calls “Live to Tell.”
He is a former drug addict who once felt invincible. Rader has lived to tell his story, one he hopes will prevent others from going down the path he traveled.

Read the full story here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

EDITORIAL: Seymour police board caves on cop

By Opinion Staff

Members of Seymour’s police commission can’t seem to make up their minds about appropriate police conduct, or get their stories straight about their own behavior.
They have decided to reverse the demotion of Ronald Goodmaster from detective sergeant to detective. The board also decided to reverse Goodmaster’s two suspensions, citing the cost of the officer’s appeals.
The commission acted just days after a hearing officer for the Freedom of Information Commission recommended rejection of Goodmaster’s claim that the commission had violated FOI laws while considering his demotion.
Disciplining Goodmaster was certainly warranted. Although twice contacted by a New Jersey parole officer, Goodmaster did not alert fellow officers to the suspected presence in town of a felon wanted on a weapons charge. Officers who went to the fugitive’s home in January 2011 were unaware that he was wanted in another state. Potentially, they had been put in danger by Goodmaster’s silence. The police commission split, voting 3-2 to demote Goodmaster in June.
A police union attorney challenged the vote, arguing that the three commissioners who approved the demotion — Lucy McConologue, Steve Chucta and Frank Conroy — had held an illegal meeting prior to the vote.
Not so, the commissioners claimed: A May 25, 2011, meeting had nothing to do with Goodmaster. Instead, they met to discuss an upcoming senior center picnic.
The FOI hearing officer, Tracie Brown, found the claim “not credible.” That’s a polite way of saying they were lying.
For certain, the commissioners could not get their stories straight. In June, McConologue, the senior center’s director, said she had called Conroy to her office to discuss the picnic. The pair discussed the picnic for 1½ hours.
In testimony at a January FOI hearing, the commissioners said Conroy showed up unannounced for brief, 10-minute discussion of the picnic. Chucta also showed up unannounced.
The union suspected an illegal commission meeting at which the three commissioners decided Goodmaster’s fate.
In the future, the commissioners should take more care to avoid the appearance that they are colluding to conduct public business in secret by ignoring rules about advance notice of meetings and quorums of the commission.

Ex-Shelton cop Loren Casertano arrested on drug charges

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
BETHANY — A former Shelton police officer who was fired following an internal affairs investigation into his alleged involvement in a larceny case turned himself in to state police today on drug charges.
Loren Casertano was charged with two counts of illegal possession of a controlled substance; one count each of illegal possession of a narcotic, illegal possession of drug paraphernalia , and not having a prescription drug in its original container.
Casertano's attorney, Rob Serafinowitz, said his client was released on a promise to appear in Superior Court in Milford.
He said his client served 24 years as a police officer and his firing was retribution by Chief Joel Hurliman.
Casertano recently filed a lawsuit, seeking compensatory damages exceeding $15,000, and the erasure of records related to the criminal case against him from internal affairs reports.
Casertano was fired in May 2011.

Ex-Shelton cop faces new arrest

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
BETHANY — A former Shelton police officer who was fired following an internal affairs investigation into his alleged involvement in a larceny case was expected to turn himself in at state police Troop I barracks this afternoon.
The Valley Independent Sentinel is reporting that Loren Casertano will face drug charges.
Casertano recently filed a lawsuit, seeking compensatory damages exceeding $15,000, and the erasure of records related to the criminal case against him from internal affairs reports.
Casertano was fired in May 2011.

Steampunk art show to open Saturday

"Ticket to the Moon," a painting by Valley Arts Council President Rich DiCarlo of Derby, is one of the pieces of Steampunk art that will be on display at the Valley Arts Council's Gallery@37 in Derby through April 21.  Patricia Villers/Register

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
DERBY - Saturday is the day that local artists will see the future as they look at the past.
    The event is the Valley Arts Council’s show, “The Art of Futures Past...A Steampunk Exhibition” at the Gallery@37, 37 Elizabeth St.
    An opening reception from 6-9 p.m. is free and the public is invited, said Valley Arts Council president Rich DiCarlo.
    He said in a written release, “Come to Derby and experience the fantastical! Steampunk is a modern-day artistic study of the Victorian-era science fiction aesthetic and a retro-futuristic view of the commonplace.”
    Steampunk harkens back to the days before electricity, when steam was used to power machinery. 
    Special guests will be Steampunk legends and Connecticut residents Kady Kross, author of “The Girl in the Steel Corset,” and Dr. Grymm of Grymm Laboratories. The two will judge the artists’ entries, created from a variety of media.
    Artwork will include paintings, gadgets, jewelry, and more.
    The exhibit will run through April 21.
    For information visit: contact show coordinators BillieJo Scharfenberg, 203-232-7954, or at, or DiCarlo, 203-906-4343, or at

Derby aldermen ban dogs from Greenway

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
DERBY — Fido has forever been banned from the Derby Greenway.
The Board of Aldermen voted 9-1 Thursday in favor of an ordinance that bans all domestic and exotic animals —excluding service animals — from the popular recreational walkway on Division Street.
The ordinance, which will go into effect in 15 days, reads:

“No person shall take domestic or exotic animals onto the Greenway. Animals including but not limited to dogs, cats, birds, snakes, rodents and horses. Any violation of the rules and regulation of this ordinance may be enforced by the City of Derby Police Department, by citation and fine in the amount of $75, or any other fine as allowed by law. The City of Derby Police Department shall be authorized to direct person(s) who violate this Ordinance to leave the Greenway.”

Read the full story here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Naturopathic medicine topic of meeting

SHELTON - The Naturopathic Clinic at Crosby Commons Assisted Living at Wesley Village, 580 Long Hill Ave., will hold a Meet and Greet at 10:30 a.m. April 16 in the Gallery.
Participants will learn how naturopathic medicine integrates natural healing techniques with traditional medicine.
The meeting is free to senior citizens.  Light refreshments will be served.

For information call Mary Ann Milano, Activities Director at Crosby Commons, 203-225-5018.

Town offers preschool classes, family swim nights

SEYMOUR - The Seymour Recreation Department will be offering two pre-school programs this spring.
Classes will be held on Thursdays from April 19 to May 24.
A Pre-school Sports Mania Class for children ages 3-5 will be held from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m., and includes various sports, running and movement exercises.
For children ages 2-5, a Craft Class will be held from 10:15 to 11 a.m.
The cost is $25 for each entire six-week program. Classes will be held at the Recreation Center, at the Seymour Community Center, 20 Pine St.
A minimum of six participants is needed to register in order to run programs.
For information or to register, call Missy Orosz, 203-888-0406.
The Recreation Department also will offer a spring session of Family Swim Night on Wednesdays from April 18 through June 13 at the Seymour High School pool.
The pool is open from 7:15 to 9 p.m.
The cost is $32 for a family; $18 for a couple and $10 for singles. Seymour seniors are free. Parents must accompany children at the pool.
To register, call 203-888-0406.

Seymour Board of Finance OKs $52.56M budget

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — The Board of Finance Wednesday unanimously approved a proposed $52.56 million budget for fiscal year 2012-2013. The proposal represents an increase of about $2 million, or 4.12 percent, more than the current budget.
The board also approved a proposed tax rate of 33.92 mills. The current tax rate is 27.62 mills.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Seymour street closed after man drives blasting caps to fire marshal

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — A potentially explosive situation was averted Wednesday at Town Hall after a resident inquired with the Fire Marshal’s Office about how to dispose of some old blasting caps, which he had outside in his truck.
First Street was temporarily closed and parts of Town Hall were isolated until the state police Bomb Squad arrived to assess the situation, according to Lt. Paul Satkowski.
Nobody was injured and Town Hall employees were not evacuated. Town officials said neither residents nor staff were in any danger.

Read the full story here.

$45,000 Storefront Improvement Grant the focus of small business forum in Ansonia

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
ANSONIA — Store owners and city officials Tuesday discussed details of a $45,000 Storefront Improvement Grant during an Economic Development Commission small business forum.
The city-funded, reimbursable grant is to be used for exterior upgrades of retail sites.
The City Hall meeting was the third in a series of monthly forums focused on reviving the business community.
Alderman John Marini, aldermanic liaison to the Economic Development Commission, said, “We’re at a pivotal point in time. We have money we can use for economic development.”

Read the full story here.

Derby schools ban nuts as part of allergy policy

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
DERBY — Homemade cakes to celebrate a child’s birthday will be a treat of the past under a new regulation designed to help young children with food allergies.
Derby schools have banned nut products in pre-kindergarten through grade 5.
“We’re trying to protect the kids who have very allergic reactions to certain foods,” Board of Education Chairman Ken Marcucio said Tuesday.

Read the full story here

Demoted Seymour cop's detective rank reinstated (video)

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — The Board of Police Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to reinstate demoted veteran police Detective Ronald Goodmaster to his rank of detective sergeant, effective immediately.
Under a settlement reached between Goodmaster and the board, Goodmaster’s two previous suspensions will also be reversed, and the eight vacation days Goodmaster was allowed to substitute in lieu of those suspensions will be restored.

Read the full story here.

Derby residents voice worries about subdivision to PZC

By Register Staff
DERBY - Several neighbors brought their concerns to the Planning and Zoning Commission about an application from BAMF Homes for a five-lot subdivision at 16 John St.
Preserving the character of the area, providing a buffer between the new houses and existing homes, and water runoff were among the primary concerns expressed at a public hearing on the plan Tuesday night.
The commission continued the hearing until its next meeting, in April.

Derby's Planning and Zoning Commission approves Walgreens plan

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
DERBY — The third time was the charm for the Planning and Zoning Commission to approve the multimillion-dollar proposal for the Red Raider Plaza, submitted by Walgreens Eastern Co.
The plan for a retail-pharmacy development for 60 Pershing Drive, at Division Street, involves 4.62 acres near the Ansonia line.
Tuesday’s public hearing was the third to be held on the proposal. It had been continued from Feb 21.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Report: Derby schools ban peanuts as part of allergy policy

The Valley Independent Sentinel is reporting that the Derby Board of Education recently approved a new allergy management policy, which bans all peanut products from the town's schools.

Valley Community Foundation office gets local artwork for its walls

Derby artist Steve DiRienzo stands next to one of his oil paintings, "Summer Lily," on display at the Valley Community Foundation's offices in Derby.  Patricia Villers/Register

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
DERBY — The Valley Community Foundation’s offices in a renovated 19th century carriage house now have some local artwork on the walls.
The Valley Arts Council’s Gallery@37, at 37 Elizabeth St., is not far from the foundation, which is at 253A Elizabeth St.
Steve DiRienzo of Derby, the arts council vice president, has several oil paintings on display. His is the first artwork to be exhibited at the foundation’s offices.

Read the full story here.

Pumpkin fest association lists beneficiaries

SEYMOUR - The Seymour Pumpkin Festival has announced its 2011 donations awarded to local organizations. It is the association’s mission and goal each year to help benefit worthy causes in the community and 2011 was no exception.
The following organizations benefited from the net proceeds of the 2011 festival:

RR Pearson Memorial Fund
Seymour Land Trust
Seymour-Oxford Food Bank
Seymour Christmas Parade
Seymour High School Post Prom
Seymour Middle School Eve of Honors
Seymour Ambulance
Seymour Fire Marshall
Seymour Historical Association
Spooner House
Citizens and Great Hill Hose Companies
Project Purple
Chatfield, Bungay & LoPresti PTA’s
SMS Parent Council
Seymour Pink

The 47th annual festival will be held Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at French Memorial Park. Rain date will be Sept. 30.
In addition, the association is currently seeking new craft vendors for the 2012 festival. This is a juried show of handmade items only. No applications will be considered for store bought items offered for resale.
Applications are available at or for more information you may like the Seymour Pumpkin Festival on Facebook.
Applications can be mailed to: Attn. Booth Committee, P.O. Box 860, Seymour,  06483.
Any questions may be directed to the Seymour Pumpkin Festival Association at:

The above information was provided by Dianna J. Weymer, publicity chairperson, Seymour Pumpkin Festival Asssociation.

Seymour business marks 1-year anniversary

Last week Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller, right, visited Scott DeMarco, owner of All State Cremation & Funeral Care, 47 Washington Ave., Seymour, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. All State Cremation & Funeral Care is a full-service funeral home and cremation service. Its services run from traditional funerals to direct burials and affordable and simple cremations for those who seek the simplicity and dignity of cremation. It offers specialized packages for veterans. For information call 203-888-7002 or go to / Contributed photo 

Ansonia puts off 'boot' plan for tax scofflaws

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
ANSONIA — A city panel has temporarily put on hold an idea to “boot” motor vehicles of tax scofflaws and has decided to explore other options.
While keeping the clamping option open, the aldermanic Finance Subcommittee also decided Monday night to brainstorm with a former tax collector from an area city and to look at computer-generated services to track down scofflaws.

Read the full story here.

Seymour charter revision attracts handful to hearing (video)

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — Beefed up educational requirements for the Police Department’s top brass, defining the role of the Board of Public Works and ensuring that senior citizens are well-served were some of the marching orders given to the Charter Revision Commission Monday.
About a half dozen people, most of them town officials or board members, attended the commission’s first public hearing at the Community Center.
They gave the commission suggestions on changes they’d like to see made to the town charter.

Read the full story here.

Shelton police have leads in brutal attack on street

By Register Staff
SHELTON — Detectives have “people of interest” in the investigation of the weekend beating of a city man.
Police responded at about 12:15 a.m. Sunday to the Coram Avenue and Kneen Street area on a report of a person lying in the road. 
Jason Chevrier, 32, was unconscious and appeared to be the victim of an assault.
He was taken by Shelton EMS to Bridgeport Hospital, where he was admitted in surgical critical condition. Monday afternoon, he was in the intensive care unit, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Chevrier was found between two parked cars, with his feet in the travel portion of the road, Detective Sgt. Kevin F. Ahern said.
Police don’t think he was hit by a car, but believe he was struck on the head and face with a blunt object.
The area is a mix of residential and commercial buildings.
Chevrier was found across the street from Good Shepherd Church.
Detectives are following up on information. Anyone who may have been in the area at the time or might have leads can call police at 203-924-1544.
All calls will be kept confidential, Ahern said.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rec department adds swim night

SEYMOUR - The Seymour Recreation Department will run an additional Family Night Swimming Program for nine weeks starting April 18 through June 13.
Swim times are from 7:15 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at the Seymour High School pool. 
The cost is $30 for families, $18 for couples and $12 for single memberships. Seniors are free.
Registration is required; call the Recreation Office, 203-888-0406.

The above was contributed by the recreation office.

Police investigate apparent assault in Shelton; victim in critical condition

SHELTON – Police are investigating an apparent assault, after finding a person lying unconscious in the road early Sunday.
According to a release by the Police Department, officers responded to the area of Coram Avenue and Kneen Street around 12:15 a.m. Sunday after getting a report of a person lying the road.
Police found Jason Chevrier, 32, who was unconscious and appeared to be the victim of an assault, according to the release. He was taken to Bridgeport Hospital by Shelton EMS and was admitted in critical condition.
Police continue to investigate. Anyone who was in the area at that time or has information is urged to call police at 203-924-1544. All calls will be kept confidential.

Ansonia graduate, youngest head of U.N. Security Council, honored

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
Ivan Barbalic, permanent representative from Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations, recently received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in a ceremony at the University of Bridgeport.
Barbalic graduated from Ansonia High School when he was an exchange student in 1993.
He lived with Joseph and June Virzi of Ansonia while in his senior year. He attended the University of Bridgeport on a full scholarship and graduated with a business degree in 1997.
The Virzi family remained in contact with Barbalic, 36, and his wife, Stela, over the years.

Read the full story here.

Valley forum tackles education reform, transportation, business costs

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
SHELTON — Education reform, transportation and keeping down the cost of doing business were among topics addressed this week at a legislative forum at the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce offices.
About 50 small-business owners, nonprofit representatives and concerned citizens heard Thursday what lawmakers had to say about bills that are in the works in Hartford.
AT&T New England sponsored the event.

Read the full story here.

Seymour residents can offer ideas on charter revision Monday night

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — Residents are being asked what changes they’d like see in the town charter.
A public hearing will be held by the newly appointed Charter Revision Commission at 7:30 Monday at the Seymour Community Center, 20 Pine St.
First Selectman Kurt Miller has asked the commission to review the document, and has not made any specific recommendations.

Read the full story here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Valley forum tackles reform

Local lawmakers took part in a forum at the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce offices in Shelton earlier this week. They addressed small business owners and nonprofit representatives.

Read about it on Page A12, today's Business Page.

300 attend funeral for Oxford teen killed in crash

Members of the Oxford High football team line the steps of the Cornerstone Assembly of God Church as the casket of their teammate, Brandon Giordano is carried inside. Giordano was killed in a crash March 9. Peter Casolino/New Haven Register

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
OXFORD — Three-hundred people came together Friday to say goodbye to Brandon Giordano, 15, who died a week earlier in a car accident.
The nearly two-hour service at Cornerstone Assembly of God, Route 67, drew family and friends, including Oxford High School students, among them dozens of members of the Wolverines football team, for which Brandon wore No. 69 as a lineman.
His 55 jersey-clad teammates, carrying or wearing flowers, escorted his family and casket in a 15-minute procession into the church for the late-morning service, led by Senior Pastor Alfred D. Watts of Cornerstone Christian Church in Milford.

Read the full story here.

Seymour High School Principal Cathy Goodrich to retire

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — Seymour High School Principal Cathy Goodrich will retire at the end of the school year.
Goodrich was named principal in 2006-2007, taking over for Michael Valovcin. She formerly worked at the school as an assistant principal.
Goodrich was not available for comment Friday.

Read the full story here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Seymour detective's FOI complaint should be dismissed, hearing officer says

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — A hearing officer for the Freedom of Information Commission made a proposed decision this week to dismiss a complaint lodged by police Detective Ronald Goodmaster against the Board of Police Commissioners, finding the three police commissioners’ testimony “not credible,” but unable to conclude that they violated FOI rules.
Attorney Tracie Brown, the FOIC hearing officer, issued her proposed decision Thursday, which will considered by the entire FOI Commission April 11 for a final decision. A proposed decision is normally upheld by the full commission.
A copy of the proposed decision was mailed Thursday to each of the parties involved, according to FOIC spokesman Thomas Hennick.

Read the full story here.

FOX CT to rebroadcast feature on Humphreys House

   ANSONIA — The Gen. David Humphreys House, home of the Derby Historical Society, will be featured on “Northeast Living” again this week on FOX CT.
    The show will air at 9 a.m. Saturday. A segment about the historic house at 37 Elm St. was shown last Saturday and it is being rebroadcast.
    Linda Milardo, administrative assistant at the historical society, said Westport resident Mar Jennings, host of the show, visited the house recently and taped a segment. She urged people to visit his Website,

Housatonic Council to host Broadway trip

The Housatonic Council, BSA, is hosting a trip to see the Broadway musical "Godspell" March 31 at the Circle in the Square Theatre in New York City. 
Tickets are $125 and include: an orchestra seat and bus transportation to and from the city.
The bus will leave the Derby railroad station at 10 a.m. March 31. There will be some time for sightseeing/lunch prior to the 2:30 p.m. show. 
After the show, the bus will make a stop in NYC's Little Italy/Mulberry for participants to have dinner, dessert, and perhaps do some shopping. 
The bus will depart Little Italy around 9 p.m. for the return trip.
For tickets or information call Carole Cafaro, 203-734-3329, ext. 302. Space is limited; reserve your tickets now.

Funeral held for Oxford teen in crash

Members of the Oxford High football team line the driveway outside the Cornerstone Assembly of God Church as they await the casket of their teammate, Brandon Giordano. Giordano was killed in a crash Friday night. Peter Casolino/Register

OXFORD - A funeral is being held today at Cornerstone Assembly of God Church for Brandon Giordano, 15, who died in a crash last Friday.
Giordano was a backseat passenger during the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was Eric Ramirez, 19, who suffered serious injuries. Front seat passenger Dion Major, 16, suffered minor injuries.
Check back for more coverage of the funeral.

Healing hands: Massage studio opens in Derby

J. Tomas Parrales in his new storefront in the Plaza on the Green in Derby. Patricia Villers/Register

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
DERBY — Using a holistic approach to promote wellness through therapeutic massage is at the core of a recently-opened downtown business.
Bridgeport resident J. Tomas Parrales, a clinical massage therapist, relocated Natural Balance Therapeutic Massage to the Plaza on the Green, 101 Elizabeth St., from 61 Bridgeport Ave., Shelton.
Parrales said therapeutic massage is good “for pain management and stress release.”
He graduated from the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in Westport in May 2002, and plans to hold a grand opening/10th anniversary celebration in May. Parrales is nationally certified and licensed here and in New York.

Read the full story here.

Veterans to rededicate bronze plaques in Derby

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
DERBY — Local veterans groups have ordered three memorials to replace bronze plaques stolen last fall from Witek Memorial Park.
A rededication will be held Aug. 4 at the park, Bernard Williamson, chairman of the Witek Memorial Replacement Committee, said Thursday.
Williamson said the Board of Governors of the Veterans Memorial Building decided to order the memorials, although the funding is not set.

Read the full story here.

Seniors, teens mark St. Pat's Day in Ansonia

Matty Milardo, left, 81, and Clara Palumbo, 68, of Ansonia dance in their chairs during a St. Patrick's Day party at the Joseph A. Doyle Senior Center in Ansonia. Arnold Gold/Register

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
ANSONIA — The young and the young-at-heart celebrated Thursday during a St. Patrick’s Day party at the Joseph A. Doyle Senior Center when the Ansonia High School Human Relations Club visited.
The intergenerational event was the second of three funded by a $1,500 grant from the Valley Community Foundation, club adviser and retired educator Nick Collicelli said.
An ice cream social was held in the summer, and a ziti dinner at Ansonia High School with the senior center members will be held in May, he said.

Read the full story here.

A "Christmas" tree is all decked out for St. Patrick's Day at the Joseph A. Doyle Senior Center in Ansonia. Patricia Villers/Register

Seymour cop who pursued car in fatal Oxford accident ID'd

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — A police sergeant confirmed Thursday that Officer Anthony Renaldi was the Seymour officer who followed a car involved in a fatal accident in Oxford last week.
Sgt. John D’Antona, vice president of Police Union Local 564, said Renaldi, on the force for a year, did not violate any rules.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Riverwalk scofflaws get notice about dogs in Ansonia

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
ANSONIA — Some residents worry that the Riverwalk is going to the dogs.
The city passed an ordinance that banned animals, except for service dogs, prior to opening the Riverwalk on Division Street last fall, but some people aren’t being obedient.
“The Riverwalk is by all means a jewel; I walk there every day,” said Robert Quinn of Elaine Drive. “However, over the past month or so, people have been bringing their dogs.”
Quinn said he has cordially approached dog walkers and explained that the city doesn’t allow dogs on the Riverwalk. That has led to people calling him names or harassing him.

Read the full story here

Emmett O'Brien senior given 'dream' computer

Zachary Lexa with new gaming computer he received from Dream Come True. / Contributed photo

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
ANSONIA — A senior at Emmett O’Brien Technical High School was overwhelmed when presented with a high-tech gift from Dream Come True of Western Connecticut Inc.
School nurse Sue Hoffert nominated local resident Zachary Lexa, 19, for the prize: a top-of-the-line gaming computer worth more than $2,000.
Hoffert said she received a letter sent to school nurses in the region seeking names of students with medical problems who were deserving of a dream gift.

Read the full story here.

Budget process changes under review in Ansonia

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
ANSONIA — Alderman John Marini’s call for a role reversal in who gets the final say on the budget has received mixed reviews.
Marini unveiled his resolution at Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting. The Board of Apportionment and Taxation now has the final vote.
Marini said his idea also aims to give taxpayers more control: If a budget causes a tax increase exceeding 1 mill, it would go to referendum.

Read the full story here.

Derby's police chief would love 10.1% extra for budget

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
DERBY — Police Chief Gerald D. Narowski has presented the Board of Apportionment and Taxation with a wish-list that requires up to 10.1 percent more money in next year’s budget.
The chief’s ultimate goal is to make a new, cost-effective department, he told the board Tuesday.
He has 31 cops under his command. Three are expected to retire.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Seymour's Chatfield-LoPresti School picked for energy-saving program

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — When the new Chatfield-LoPresti School opens to a full house in September, students and staff will literally be able to watch the savings add up when it comes to the building’s energy consumption.
That’s because the elementary school, undergoing a renovation/addition with tons of “green” initiatives and technology, was selected as one of six schools in Connecticut take part in a new pilot program.
The school is teaming up with The Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern Connecticut State University, which in turn is working with the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board, to have an “energy dashboard” placed in the building when it becomes fully operational in September.

Read the full story here.

Driver in fatal Oxford crash had prior citations

This is the scene of a fatality Friday night on Old State Road in Oxford. Patricia Villers/Register

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
and Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
Eric Ramirez, 19, of Oxford, the driver in the weekend accident that killed a friend, has been issued citations for three moving violations in the two years he has been licensed, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
That number twice put him into driver retraining classes, DMV spokesman Bill Seymour said Tuesday.
Brandon Giordano, 15, of Christian Street, Oxford, was dead at the scene. The crash was before midnight Friday in Oxford. He was a sophomore at Oxford High School.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Steampunk art to grace gallery

"The Art of Futures Past: A Steampunk Exhibition" will open March 24 at the Valley Arts Council's Gallery@37, 37 Elizabeth St., Derby.
"Come experience the fantastical world of Victorian sci fi," Valley Arts Council President Rich DiCarlo said in a release.
Opening reception is 6-9 p.m. March 24. The free event is open to the public.
Special guests will be Steampunk authors Dr. Grymme and Kady Kross, both of Connecticut, who will judge the art work.
The show will run through April 21.
For information visit

75 attend health care forum in Ansonia

    State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. , D-Woodbridge, was joined Monday night by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-New Haven, and state Rep. Linda Gentile, D-Ansonia, at a health care forum in Ansonia.
    They discussed topics ranging from cancer screening options and coverage to organ donation to healthcare parity for women.
    An estimated audience of 75 residents attended the event, hosted by the Ladies Guild of the Holy Rosary Church at the church.
    “In terms of public policy, at both the state and federal level, we’re making steady strides on many fronts regarding healthcare, from increased cancer screening options and improved insurance coverage, to improved testing for organ and bone marrow transplant compatibility, all with an eye toward increasing access and affordability in healthcare,” Crisco said. “Events like this help us spread the word about new opportunities available for Connecticut residents – I’m grateful to the Ladies Guild and all who attended last night’s forum.”
    Crisco spoke of enhanced breast cancer screening options for women with dense tissue, as well as expanded insurance coverage of that screening.
    Gentile described recent advances with regard to organ donation programs, in terms of both compatibility testing and insurance coverage, and DeLauro explained what’s happening at the federal level to improve women’s parity with regard to healthcare access.
    “These local forums are a great opportunity for legislators to bring government to the people in their districts,” Gentile said. “It's important we have personal dialogues to exchange ideas and information with our constituents.  I want to personally thank the organizers and the men and women who attended the event.”
    Crisco, Senate chair of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, is also vice-chair of its Banks Committee and Commerce Committee, Ranking Member of the Internship Committee, and serves on the Legislative Management Committee as well.

    This information was provided by Crisco’s office.

School slates annual mother-daughter banquet

    DERBY - Bradley Elementary School will host its annual Mother/Daughter Banquet with special guest, Mad Science, at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
     Dinner is being catered by Mattei’s Deli and Catering of Derby.
     Mad Science, a leading science enrichment provider, will perform after dinner.      The group delivers unique, hands-on science experiences for children that are as entertaining as they are educational.
      The school is at 155 David Humphreys Road.

Library to host 2 club meetings

DERBY -  The Culture Club, a literary discussion group, will meet from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Monday at Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave.
This month’s topic will be spring poetry. Free copies will be distributed at the meeting.  Bring a light lunch, and coffee and tea will be served for free.
At 6:30 p.m. March 27 the library will host a monthly meeting of the Current Events Club. The group discusses and analyzes the news, including the arts, science, politics, and finance, on a local, state, or national level.
For information about either club, call 203-734-1492.

Seymour OKs tax incentives for businesses (document)

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — The town has a new tool geared to keep and draw business.
The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved recently a new tax incentive plan for businesses.
It replaces the dormant SMART and BESMART created in the 1990s, which were tailored to manufacturing companies.

Read the full story here

Monday, March 12, 2012

State cops probe crash that killed Oxford teen after attempted stop by Seymour police (document)

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — Town police say they are cooperating with an investigation led by state police after an attempted weekend traffic stop ended in a car accident that claimed the life of a popular Oxford teenager and injured two others.
“We are cooperating with the state police at this time,” Lt. Paul Satkowski said Monday. “State police have opened an investigation, but it’s too early for me to say anything definitive now.”
Brandon Giordano, 15, of Christian Street, Oxford, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash that occurred just before midnight Friday.
He was a sophomore at Oxford High School, where he wore the No. 69 football jersey as a lineman for the Oxford Wolverines.

Read the full story here.                                                                          

Karate, safety awareness classes slated at club

    SHELTON - The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley's spring session of KidSafe Karate will be open for registration from 9-11 a.m. April 14 at the Clubhouse, One Positive Place.
    Classes begin April 21 and run through June 23 for a total of nine lessons (no lessons May 26). Cost is $8 per lesson with a one-time $10 registration fee. Uniforms are not required but are highly recommended, and may be purchased at class for $30. KidSafe staff will fit your child with the proper size.
     KidSafe Self Defense Karate and Safety Awareness is for boys and girls ages 5-15.
    The program is designed to enhance self-esteem, self-discipline, and safety awareness.
    Students are placed into classes according to age and ability. A black belt instructor teaches beginning, intermediate, and advanced techniques for self defense only. Self-discipline and defense, rather than aggressiveness, are promoted.
    Weekly safety flyers will focus on a wide range of topics including stranger safety, fire safety, and more.
    For information and class schedules call KidSafe, 800-850-0800 or visit

325,000 celebrate New Haven St. Patrick's Day parade; reporter gets unique view of the show (photos)

Richard Bengivengo of New Haven cuts up before watching the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New Haven. Mara Lavitt/Register

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
NEW HAVEN — For an Irish-American who grew up watching cowboy shows on TV, it was a rare opportunity to ride on a Wells Fargo stagecoach in the St. Patrick’s Day parade Sunday.
My seat in “the box,” about 10 feet above the ground, provided an ideal vantage point, during the nearly two-hour ride, to watch the crowd: families with portable tables having a picnic; green Mohawk haircuts; folks on blankets.

Read the full story here.

Paint the Town and Your House Pink

  Pinkest House/Yard/Business Decorating Contest Sharing from Seymour Pink founder Mary Deming: "We love seeing all of the pink ribbons...