Saturday, March 30, 2013

Faithful follow 'Way of the Cross' in Ansonia

The Rev. Marcia Eveland, pastor, First Congregational Church of Ansonia, leads a reading in Veterans Memorial Park in Ansonia before the 'Way of the Cross' procession on Good Friday.  Eveland is an organizer of the event.

Eveland and the Rev. Enok Yatri, pastor, First United Methodist Church, Ansonia, are joined by some of the faithful as they leave Veterans Memorial Park.
The procession of about 40 people was led by the Rev. Richard Beattie, interim rector, Christ Episcopal Church in Ansonia.

This was the fifth annual 'Way of the Cross' procession. It is always a moving and peaceful event.

Please follow link above to read the story.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Living with arthritis topic of talk in Derby

DERBY - Griffin Hospital is hosting a free talk to help individuals suffering from hand and wrist arthritis.

Occupational therapists Fran Harmeyer and Sal Bondoc will discuss how to manage living with arthritis in the hands and wrists at 6:30 p.m. April 9 in the hospital’s Meditation and Learning Center, 130 Division St.

These two members of Griffin Hospital's Rehabilitation Services will talk about how joint conservation, splinting and therapy may help with the aches and pains of arthritis as well as answer any questions.

The presentation is part of Griffin Hospital's Healthy U “Tuesday Talks,” a series of free wellness talks featuring Griffin Hospital medical experts and community partners providing trusted health information and answers to questions on a wide range of topics.

All Tuesday Talks are held in Griffin Hospital’s Meditation and Learning Center at 130 Division St.
Light refreshments will be served.
To reserve a spot or for information, call 203-732-1511 or visit

For information about Griffin Hospital Rehabilitation Services, call 203-732-7445 or visit

This post is taken from a press release from Griffin Hospital. 

Diaper collection to benefit nonprofit slated in Seymour

Brodie Dugas, 4, of Southbury helps out at the first Diaper Drive-By to benefit the CT Partnership for Children, Inc. last September. / Contributed photo

SEYMOUR - Connecticut Partnership for Children, Inc. will host its second Bi-Annual "Diaper Drive-By" April 6 to benefit the agency's diaper bank at 135 Main St. 

As part of "The Big Event," a nationwide day of service for college students, a group of Quinnipiac University students will be volunteering to collect diapers. 

In addition, members of the Walnut Hill Community Church's (Strand Theater Campus) Middle School Youth Group will be volunteering at this event.
The concept of the "Diaper Drive-By" is members of the community who wish to donate to the diaper bank, can purchase diapers or wipes on their own time, and drive up to the building's "Loading Zone" at 135 Main St., between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. April 6, dropping their donation with a student volunteer.  

At this time, the diaper bank is especially seeking donations of diapers sizes 4 and 5, but appreciates any assistance the community can provide. 
All packages must be new and unopened. 
The diaper bank will provide services to any qualifying family throughout Connecticut, and is an ongoing program throughout the year.  

For information, visit or

This post is taken from a press release from Meghan Tarby, founder, Connecticut Partnership for Children, Inc.


Valley GOP to hold dinner meeting in Derby

DERBY - The Valley GOP will hold its third annual dinner from 6-8:30 p.m. April 12 at La Sala at Sons of Italy, 73 High St. There will be a buffet and a cash bar.

The Republican Town Committees of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Oxford, Seymour, and Shelton joined together in recent years to form the Valley GOP.
The mission is to bring attention to Naugatuck Valley issues and concerns and the need for elected leaders to address jobs, economic development, brownfields cleanup and redevelopment, and the like. 

Naugatuck RTC Chairwoman Dorothy Hoff said, “While last year’s event featured candidates for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House and provided them with a venue to get across their campaign messages, this year we are focusing on providing Valley Republicans with some motivation, inspiration, and some good old-fashioned fun.”

Father and son emcees will be former state Reps. Len Greene Sr. and Len Greene Jr.

For the third year, the Valley GOP is celebrating revitalization. Re-instituting an initiative by Valley GOP Chairs inaugurated almost 20 years ago - when Len Greene Sr. was the Beacon Falls Republican Town Committee chairman - the Valley GOP chairs are once again providing an event for Valley Republicans.

Guest speaker will be Kevin DelGobbo of Naugatuck, former Burgess, state representative and more.  He was chosen not only because he is from the Valley and understands the community's concerns, but also because he continues to live a life of public and community service and encourages others to do so as well.

The event will feature former state party chairman Chris DePino offering musical motivation. Many will remember his blues harmonica playing at state GOP conventions.

Tickets are $30 and are available through each Town Committee: Ansonia, Pat Henri, 203-734-1851;  Beacon Falls, Ron Holzman, 203-906-5254; Derby, Tony Szewczyk, 203-734-0486; Naugatuck, Dorothy Hoff, 203-723-4348; Oxford, David Stocker, 203-881-1844; Seymour, Bill Paecht, 203-305-5234; Shelton, Anthony Simonetti, 203-926-9022.

This information is taken from a press release.

Murphy visits My Sister's Place thrift shop in Ansonia

BHcare President and CEO Marilyn Cormack chats Wednesday with U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy when he visited My Sister's Place thrift shop in Ansonia. The store received heavy smoke damage after a March 11 fire next door at the Asylum Nightclub. All proceeds from the store's sales benefit The Umbrella, a program for victims of domestic violence run by BHcare, a behavioral health organization.

My Sister's Place manager Nancy Cahoon, left, and donations coordinator Christine Boulay are happy to get items donated by Murphy and his office staff.

Ansonia Mayor James Della Volpe talks with Murphy Wednesday. The store is starting to get back to normal, but Cahoon said it is unclear when it will reopen.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Diabetes is focus of talk in Derby

DERBY - The Diabetes Education & Support Group at Griffin Hospital will host two free presentations about diabetes and exercise April 9.
Exercise Physiologist Mark LaFortune, program director at the Valley YMCA and member of Griffin Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation, will talk on the topic of diabetes and exercise from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Griffin Childbirth Classroom A and from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Griffin Hospital Dining Room Meeting Room 2, 130 Division St.

The Diabetes Education & Support Group meets September - June on the second Tuesday of each month to discuss management of diabetes, its challenges and day-to-day dietary concerns. All diabetics and their families are welcome to attend.
No registration is required. Free valet parking is available for the 2:30 p.m.

For information, call Mary Swansiger, 203-732-1137.

This information is taken from a press release from Griffin Hospital.

Derby's Bradley School to launch reading initiative

    DERBY - Bradley School will kick off a school-wide reading initiative next week.
    All 350 students and their families will read “The World According to Humphrey,” over a 15-day period at home and during school.

    The kick-off will be held during an assembly at 1 p.m. April 4.
    During the assembly, students will be introduced to the book with a performance by teachers of a song especially arranged by music teacher Maureen McGovern for “Humphrey,” a live hamster, who will be in attendance.

    For every chapter a child reads, he or she will receive a ticket for a drawing to win the real “Humphrey.”

This information is from a press release from Jenny Ames, kindergarten teacher at Bradley School.

Gentile thanks educators, Malloy after roundtable in Ansonia

Focus on school district's progress 

ANSONIA - State Rep. Linda M. Gentile, D-Ansonia, and state Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, D-Woodbridge, joined Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Education Commissioner Stephen Pryor Wednesday for a visit to John G. Prendergast Elementary School.

The event included a roundtable conversation with administrators and teachers on the progress their education program have achieved since it was approved by the state last year as an Alliance District. 

“I would like to thank the administrators and teachers for their commitment to our students and I would like to thank the Governor and Commissioner Pryor for visiting our school district,” said Gentile. 

“It is apparent from the educators’ remarks that the reading assessment pilot program is a very valuable and welcome tool. This program provides these professionals with immediate data and feedback that they can use to not only gauge student performance and progress, but also make very specific critical adjustments to a child's reading program so that that child can improve their ability to learn," she said.
"I applaud our teachers’ efforts and their enthusiastic support of the program and I hope that we can not only continue with this successful pilot program, but hopefully expand it.”  

The education reform package that Malloy signed into law in 2012 created the Alliance District program, which targets the state’s under-performing schools to receive additional Educational Cost Sharing aid while developing comprehensive reform strategies to turn the schools around.

“The bulk of these state funds are aptly directed at literacy programs in Ansonia’s primary grades, because early reading skills readily translate into a student’s improved ability to learn other subjects in every grade afterward,” Crisco said. 
“Once a student knows how to read, he or she can read about history, math, science – even music – to broaden his or her base of knowledge.”

Ansonia received an additional $539,715, or 3.6 percent in ECS funding, increasing Ansonia’s total education grant to $15,571,383 for 2012-13.

This is taken from a press release from Gentile's office.

Basketball league to start in Shelton

At the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley

League Information: The All-American Basketball League is a 4 v 4 basketball league that is open for all high school boys to play in. You register your own team of your friends and play. Your team will be seeded and there will be up to date stats posted weekly. If you want a league that is all about playing then this is a league for you!

Each team must have an adult coach. The roster with team name, player and coach information must be filled out and turned in by April 1 to Gary Kuhn.
Mail to P.O. Box 209, Shelton, CT 06484
League Fee:
$60 Per Player (8 Players allowed per team)

All registration must be done online @ by April 1,, 2013.

For additional questions please contact Gary
Phone: 203-924-9329 E-mail: (Lavietes Clubhouse)


This informational flier was submitted by the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.

Wesley Village in Shelton seeks volunteers

SHELTON  - Volunteering for Wesley Village can be a highly rewarding experience. 

Operated by United Methodist Homes, Wesley Village in Shelton provides a wide range of opportunities for volunteers to serve seniors in a variety of housing and healthcare settings.

Volunteers are needed in the following areas:  playing piano or guitar, transporting residents to and from beauty salon using wheelchairs, friendly visitors, manicures, playing Scrabble, country store, flex and stretch, walking club, coffee hour, travel and history buffs, book club leader, pinochle or poker players, word games, trivia, bingo, and evening recreational programs. 

Staff will match your talents and skills with what is needed.

There is a wide range of opportunities for adults and students ages 14 and older. 

If you have time to help others and want a satisfying experience contact Barbara Quinn, Director of Volunteers,  203-944-8292.

This information is taken from a press release from United Methodist Homes, Wesley Village.

Students enact Christ's final hours at Derby church

Second graders from Derby's St. Mary-St. Michael School Tuesday performed The Stations of the Cross at St. Mary's Church in Derby.  This scene is from the third station, "Jesus Falls the First Time." / Contributed photo

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Crisco, Malloy highlight value of education grant for Ansonia

State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge, joined Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in Ansonia today to highlight state support for public schools there and more specifically, glean details about how state grants are applied to help Ansonia students learn.
This morning’s joint appearance was at John G. Prendergast Elementary School.

Ansonia qualifies for state grants through the state’s Alliance District Grant program; for the current year Ansonia received $539,000.

“The bulk of these state funds are aptly directed at literacy programs in Ansonia’s primary grades, because early reading skills readily translate into a student’s improved ability to learn other subjects in every grade afterward,” Crisco said. “Once a student knows how to read, he or she can read about history, math, science – even music – to broaden his or her base of knowledge.”

Crisco said funding for the primary grades literacy programs helped underwrite new materials for students and as importantly, training for teachers so they’re able to use the new materials most effectively.

“Another important initiative underway in Ansonia provides master teacher support for high school students and faculty to support implementation of research-supported reading strategies,” Crisco said. “And I was particularly interested in what was described as the wrap-around services program, through which faculty and staff in Ansonia schools provide resources for a community-based literacy program to help parents learn to teach literacy skills to their children at home.”

“It is extremely gratifying to see the manner in which these state resources have been invested to the benefit of Ansonia students,” Crisco added. “I was pleased to welcome the governor to our part of the state today so he could witness firsthand the improved learning environment as a result of that investment.”

This information is taken from a press release from Crisco's office.

Nutrition, wellness course slated in Derby

DERBY - Griffin Hospital will offer a free four-week nutrition course beginning April 17.
The free course, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Nutrition, But Were Afraid to Ask," will be held over four sessions, April 17 and 24 and May 1 and 8 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Ave.

This groundbreaking series of fun, informative classes is taught by Samantha Heller, Clinical Nutrition Coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital.

A registered dietician and exercise physiologist, Heller is a nationally known nutrition expert who regularly appears on television and radio programs such as Good Morning America, the TODAY Show, and the CBS Early Show.
She hosts "Samantha Heller's Health & Nutrition Show" on Sirius XM, and is the author of "Get Smart: Samantha Heller's Nutrition Prescription for Boosting Brain Power and Optimizing Total Body Health."

Participants should plan on attending all four sessions, as the learning is cumulative. They will learn about a variety of nutrition topics, including how to:

• Reach and maintain a healthy weight
• Manage Type 2 Diabetes
• Lower cholesterol
• Reduce blood pressure
• Boost stamina and energy
• Reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases
• Improve memory, sharpen the mind, and more.

Early registration is encouraged, as space is limited.
Register online at or by calling 203-732-1260.

This is taken from a press release from Griffin Hospital.

Derby school honors alumni, friends

St. Mary-St. Michael School holds ceremony in Fairfield

Honorees pictured from left are: Al Altieri, Sister Helen Catherine Ruane, Elizabeth "Betty" Tiano, Maureen Murphy, and David Dripchak, who filled in for his parents Helen and Steve Dripchak.

FAIRFIELD – Six alumni and friends of St. Mary-St. Michael Elementary School in Derby were honored Saturday at a Recognition Awards Ceremony held on the campus of Sacred Heart University.

Derby Second Ward Alderman Art Gerckens, a 1976 graduate of St. Mary’s School, welcomed the crowd.
“We are here tonight to honor men and women who epitomize a lifetime commitment to Catholic education,” Gerckens said.

Linda Coppola, principal of St. Mary-St. Michael School awarded each of the honorees with plaques and official citations from the State of Connecticut General Assembly.  State Rep. Linda M. Gentile was instrumental in securing the proclamations.

The award winners are:

Guardian Angel Award
Given to individuals who have made an impact through service in their community, or for other humanitarian efforts that reflect the mission of St. Mary-St. Michael School.

Elizabeth “Betty” Tiano
Sr. Helen Catherine Ruane

Spirit of St. Mary-St. Michael School Award
Given to alumni who have made a significant positive impact in their field or profession, in the community in which they reside.

Maureen Murphy
Al Altieri

Christian Compassion Award
The Christian Compassion Award is given to individuals who have served the community and the school in countless ways, embodying the spirit of generosity, kindness and goodwill.

Helen and Steve Dripchak

St. Mary-St. Michael School was created in 1988 when St. Mary School (est. 1898) and St. Michael School (est. 1915) merged to form one school.

Elizabeth "Betty" Tiano is congratulated by 2011 honoree, former New York Jet and President of Oxford Industries, Nick DeFelice, an alumnus of St. Mary's School.

This information is from a press release.

Cancer support available at center in Derby

DERBY - Voices of Hope, a support group, will meet at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Ave.

The focus of this support group is to support the patient trying to cope with how the diagnosis of cancer and cancer treatment is impacting their life.
It is particularly helpful for the patient who is receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

The group discussion is facilitated by a Psychiatric Advanced Practiced Registered Nurse and Oncology Nurse who can provide education and address concerns related to cancer treatment.

This group meets the fourth Thursday of every month from 11:30-12:30 p.m. in the Radiation Oncology Family Room at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital.

Caregivers are welcome!

This information is taken from Griffin Hospital's Facebook page.

Child booster car seat training slated in Derby

Sponsored by Safe Kids, Griffin Hospital, state

DERBY - Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley, Griffin Hospital and the CT Department of Public Health are teaming to offer free training on child booster car seats and a booster seat giveaway from 5:30-7:30 p.m. April 11 in Griffin’s Dining Room, 130 Division St.

This two-hour training will help answer questions about kids in booster seats. At the end of this training, participants will receive a free high back booster seat and instruction on proper use.
To be eligible for the giveaway, participants must have a child that weighs between 40 to 80 pounds and is between 42 and 57 inches tall.
Also, the participant’s vehicle must have lap-shoulder seat belts in the back seat.

The free seats are limited, so the class will be filled on a first come, first served basis.
To register or for more information, call Cathi at 203-732-1337 no later than April 8. Please have the age, weight and height of your child.
Enrollment will be capped at 36 booster seats, but a wait list will be taken for families after that. Attendance at the entire two-hour class is mandatory to receive the booster seat.
Parking will be free and a light supper will be served.

Seymour 2nd graders meet 'e-pals' in Texas

Video conference brings students together at Bungay School

Second grader Brandon Burns, standing, talks to second graders in Hewitt, Texas during a video conference in Jaclyn Freddino's classroom at Bungay School in Seymour. 

SEYMOUR - I happened upon a "virtual field trip" at Bungay Elementary School last week and the students seemed to be having a great time.

Not only was it clearly fun, it was educational for them to meet the students with whom they have been corresponding via e-mail for the past few months.

I never dreamed of talking to and seeing my faraway pen pals when I was a child, or even when my own children were in elementary school.
What a difference a "few" years makes.

Technology has changed everything. But is it for the better?

Hard to say.

Book sale, local history sessions planned at Derby library

           DERBY - The Derby Public Library has scheduled its Annual Spring Book Sale.  It will
begin April 20 from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and will continue from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. April 22 and April 23.

          Shoppers are invited to fill a bag for $5. Bags will be provided.
          Adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, paperbacks, magazines, video and audio materials will be available.

Book discussion
The  Library has scheduled its next Lunchtime Book Discussion for 12:30 p.m. April 24.
The selected title is the critically acclaimed bestseller, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  On the day of their fifth anniversary, Nick’s wife Amy disappears. Nick immediately becomes the prime suspect, but he maintains his innocence. Told from alternating points of view, Flynn creates an untrustworthy world that changes chapter to chapter. As the case evolves, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they really know the one they love.
 The suspense intensifies until the end when you find out that the truth is more dark and twisted than you ever imagined.

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.

Local history
The Library has begun to schedule weekly Local History Information Sessions on Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon. 
          The Library’s Local History Coordinator will be available in the Local History Room to answer questions and assist visitors in exploring the numerous local history resources available at the Library.
          Visitors will also be invited to browse through PastPerfect, a software program that enables users to search the Library’s progressively updated local history database.
         Assistance will also be available for research on topics such as genealogy, prominent local figures, major area events, and more.
          For information on any of the above programs, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit

Derby Middle School runners compete in Hartford event

Members of the Derby Middle School Running Club took part in the Sandy Hook Run for the Families 5K last Saturday in Hartford.

Pictured from left, sixth grader Nicholas Mammano, seventh grader Tristan Pruzinsky, eighth grader Joseph Ostuno.

Go team!
Back row: coach Shelly Sheridan, Tristan Pruzinsky.
Middle row: Dayna Kneissl, Nicholas Mammano, Steven Stanley, Joseph Ostuno, Chase Boulton, Joseph Mammano.

Front row: Nick Sheridan, Bradley School kindergartner, and Jayce Curcio.

Seventh-grader Steven Stanley (in red T-shirt) heads to the finish line.

Coach Shelly Sheridan, her son Nick Sheridan, and Dayna Kneissl head to the finish line.

Congratulations to all the runners and a big thanks to April Pruzinsky of Derby for contributing these great photos. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Caregiver workshops planned in Derby

DERBY - A series of free Caregivers Workshops, presented by the Valley Senior Services
Council, will be held on the third Thursday of each month beginning April 18.

The first workshop will be held at Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St.
Daun Barrett, Director of Community Outreach at Griffin Hospital, will present an Overview and Understanding of Fall Prevention. 

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a light dinner, followed by the presentation, and close with a brief relaxation exercise.

The Valley Senior Services Council is a sub committee of the Valley Council of Health and Human Services.
Funding for this series is provided by the Valley United Way. Registration is required; call 203-924-9324.     

This is taken from a press release from Cathy Williams, Valley Senior Services Council co-chair and Derby Public Library Director.

Medical terminology course slated in Derby

DERBY - The Griffin Hospital School of Allied Health Careers, at 300 Seymour Avenue, Suite 206, offers a new Medical Terminology course starting May 28.
The Medical Terminology course will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for four-and-a-half weeks for a total of 30 hours.
This course is a basic course of medical vocabulary.

It introduces word construction, pronunciation, prefixes, suffixes and root words. Use of medical dictionary and identification of accepted medical abbreviations help students navigate the world of medical terms.
Using a body systems approach, the students will be able to apply their knowledge to the health care setting.
This course is beneficial to individuals pursuing a career in medical billing and coding, in a hospital setting or in any health-related profession. Cost of course is $500 including a $25 nonrefundable application fee. Tuition includes cost of textbook.

For more information or to apply, call 203-732-1276 or visit

Griffin Hospital's School of Allied Health Careers was one of the first hospital-based schools of its kind to be authorized by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education and offers Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Patient Care Technician (PCT) and Phlebotomy and other professional educational programs to provide training, education, and certification in selected health careers. Classes are taught by certified instructors in the Griffin Hospital Medical Building, located at 300 Seymour Ave.

This information is taken from a press release from Griffin Hospital.

Derby library slates video production seminar

DERBY - The Derby Public Library will host a Video Production Seminar for patrons ages 11 to 17. Participants will meet at 4 p.m. April 16.

Presenter Marc Weissman will demystify the requirements for accessing and using many of the tools available to the public free of charge at the local cable company

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

Monday, March 25, 2013

Surviving cancer is in the spotlight at workshops in Derby

DERBY - I attended an interesting workshop Thursday on coping with chemo brain, or brain fog caused by chemotherapy treatments, at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital.

Even though my chemotherapy treatments were in 2011, I found the information provided by rehabilitation department director Myra Odenwaelder and occupational therapist Fran Harmeyer to be quite helpful.

Odenwaelder talked about the importance of keeping a daily journal "to pinpoint areas that are more energy consuming."
She said it's good to record how one feels during certain activities.
Tips offered include reducing frequency/duration of activities, utilizing adaptive equipment, scheduling rest periods, organizing time, organizing space, asking for help, and pacing oneself to maintain energy.

In addition, it's important to maintain good posture and avoid bending and lifting.

Survivorship workshops are held at 6 p.m. in the conference room at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Ave.
They are all led by STAR-certified cancer rehabilitation technicians.

On April 18, registered dietitian Samantha Heller will discuss "Nurturing Your Body Through Nutrition." She will offer tips for healthy eating to boost the immune system and lower the risk of cancer recurrence.

And on May 16 clinical psychologist Mindy Hersh will talk about "Intimacy and Sexuality."
Cancer treatment can cause changes in sexual function and desire. Participants will learn strategies to address physical and emotional changes.

Registration for these workshops is required.To register, call 203-732-1260 or e-mail Tracy Pittman at

All patients, survivors, caregivers are welcome to attend.

Reposting as reminder: Way of the Cross planned in Ansonia

ANSONIA - An annual ecumenical event that re-enacts Jesus' final hours will be held at noon on Good Friday, March 29. 

Participants are asked to meet at Veterans Park next to Ansonia City Hall on Main Street.
The event is sponsored by area churches. 
Clergy and individuals will take a turn carrying the cross up Main Street from Veterans Park to the Ansonia Armory on State Street.
Participants will stop seven times along the route to hear the last words of Jesus. The event is sponsored by area churches. Everyone is welcome to join the procession.

This information is taken from a press release.

Origami lesson, Tech Talks on tap at Derby Neck

Library lists April activities

Music and Movement
DERBY - Bring your little ones to Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. for Bedtime Music and Movement with Miss Kathi at 6:30 p.m. April 10.
Wear pajamas if you wish and bring along a favorite stuffed animal to sing and dance with.  No registration is required.

Chiropractic care
Learn of the benefits of Chiropractic Care at 6:30 p.m. April 11.
A licensed doctor will present all the aspects of good health resulting from regular chiropractic sessions.  Bring questions for the doctor. 

Video game tournament
Teens and tweens are invited to a video game tournament featuring Mario Kart on Wii at 2 p.m. April 16. Bring your skills and bring your friends for a fun afternoon. Prizes will be awarded to winners,  and there are free refreshments. No registration is required.

Read to therapy dogs
Youngsters are invited to read to therapy dog Jake from 3-4 p.m. April 14. Call ahead to register your child for a 15-minute session of reading.
From 6-7 p.m. April 17 Thor and Cosmo will be the featured dogs, and from 3-4 p.m. April 28 Grant will be the dog visiting the library.

Women's Forum
Women’s Forum, a monthly discussion group that focuses on women in the arts, politics, literature, history, and the like will be held 12:30-1:30 p.m. April 15.

This session will focus on two women writers of short stories set in Maine, Ruth Moore and Virginia Chase.
Free copies of their two stories are available at the library.  Bring a light lunch; coffee and tea are provided for free.

Learn the art of origami
Children are invited for a free origami craft at 11 a.m. April 16.  Learn the Oriental art of paper folding. All  the skills taught in this program are suitable for children’s abilities.  Call ahead to register.

Tech Talks
Tech Talks, a monthly program explaining technology issues and uses for beginners will be held from 10:30-11:30 a.m. April 17.
This month we focus on the important issue of Internet Security, so bring your questions please.  Registration is required.

Writer's Round
Writer’s Round meets from 6:30-7:30 p.m. April 18.
This group works on its writing skills and evaluates each others’ pieces. All types of writing are welcomed: essays, fiction, on-line, poetry, and the like.

Current Events Club
Join us at 6:30 p.m. April 23 for a Current Events Club and discuss the news including the arts, politics, medicine, finance, and the like.
All are welcome to bring their ideas and opinions.

For information or to register for any of the above programs call the library, 203-734-1492.

Ansonia students learn importance of good vocabulary

Ansonia resident Terry Murphy, far right, reads her book, 'Word Bird Delivers The Eight Parts of Speech' to fourth graders in teacher Beth Williams' at John G. Prendergast Elementary School in Ansonia. 
Assisting her is Pat Frusciante of Stratford, as Ansonia Mayor James Della Volpe looks on. A character in the book was created in his honor and he was on hand to support the vocabulary project. Patricia Villers/Register

ANSONIA - Terry Murphy has a way with words.
The city resident and grandmother of two is on a mission to help children improve their vocabularies.

To that end, Murphy wrote a book, "Word Bird Delivers The Eight Parts of Speech." It takes place in the Village of Vocabulary.

Murphy recently visited a classroom at Prendergast School to talk to fourth graders about vocabulary. 
She asked them and other students at the school to vote for one of four possible covers for the book, and they selected the one below.

Murphy deserves plaudits for wanting to help children learn how to communicate well, and for having the imagination to make learning about words a fun experience. 

I wish her the best of luck in getting the word out there about the educational book she has written.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

2 injured in Derby structure fire Friday evening (updated)

DERBY – A fire Friday night at a building along Main Street sent a man and his wife to Griffin Hospital.

Derby Fire Chief Tom Lenart Jr. said that the fire began around 7:08 p.m. in the front of an apartment on the second floor of 130 Main Street.

Once on scene, it took firefighters about 10 minutes to knock down the blaze. Firefighters from Derby, Shelton, and Seymour responded to the scene.

The Derby fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, Lenart said.
The two-story brick building has two apartments on the second floor. The bottom floor is the Imperial Liquor store. The apartment where the fire started sustained fire, smoke, and water damage, Lenart said. The second apartment and the liquor store sustained water and smoke damage.

Lenart said that the building’s fire alarm was working, and alerted the occupants of the apartment and the liquor store that there was a fire.

Griffin Hospital could not immediately provide the conditions of the man and his wife.

Friday, March 22, 2013

2 injured in Derby structure fire Friday evening

DERBY – A man and a woman were taken to Griffin Hospital Friday night after a fire downtown, the Valley Independent is reporting.

The fire started around 7:30 in a brick building at 130 Main Street.

Check back for updates.

Report: Fire in downtown Derby

The Valley Independent Sentinel is reporting a fire at 130 Main St., Derby on its Facebook page.

Shelton resident, 88, pens inspirational book

SHELTON - Painter, singer, and author, Doris Thorn has been expanding her wealth of knowledge and faith in God from a very young age.
Now 88, Thorn shares her experiences with the world. She has written an inspirational work, "Casting Light on the Mystery of God in You."

It encompasses Thorn's experience and wisdom that she’s gathered over the decades.
In a practical and down-to-earth writing style. Thorn offers exercises for developing spirituality, and ways to discover and increase the spirit of God in you.

“Doris Thorn takes the reader on an inspiring, in-depth journey into the world of the spiritual, an exciting blend of science and faith.” - Reverend J. George Hilton

"Casting Light on the Mystery of God in You" is available to order from and Amazon.

As the daughter of a Methodist minister, Thorn received religious education at a very young age. As she grew, she wanted to know more, and began a lifelong quest of religious and spiritual discovery to find her own truth.
For the past 60 years, she has studied various metaphysical books and teachings of many great religious movements.
This has given her a wider outlook and overall view of spiritual teachings, which she now shares with her readers.

Thorn is a resident of Crosby Commons at Wesley Village, an assisted living community in Shelton.

This information is taken from a press release.

Crisco helps defeat plan to raise state tax on oil, propane

HARTFORD – State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge, vice-chair of the legislature’s Commerce Committee, helped quash a bill under consideration by that committee that would have created a new tax on home heating oil and propane.
Crisco worked with the committee co-chairs to ensure the bill would not advance.

The initiative would have imposed a 1.5-cents-per-gallon tax on heating oil and propane that would’ve increased to 3.5-cents-per-gallon in two years; the revenue was to be used for state-run energy efficiency and conservation programs.

“No one questions the need to conserve energy and find more efficient means to heat, cool, and power Connecticut homes and businesses, but this proposal for an onerous, targeted tax on fuel oil and propane users would’ve punished the same consumers these programs are meant to help,” Senator Crisco said. “I’m pleased by the decision made by our committee co-chairs to discard this well-intentioned, but shortsighted bill.”

The legislation had been the subject of a public hearing earlier in the week at which energy suppliers, environmentalists, and consumer advocates testified.

“Connecticut’s economic recovery remains fragile and the last thing heating oil and propane consumers need is an arbitrary price increase, no matter how small and no matter for what good purpose,” Crisco added.
 “As a state we must continue our pursuit of energy conservation, alternate and renewable fuel supplies, and overall efficiency through other means, using other sources of revenue.”

This is a press release from Crisco's office. 

Shelton farmer earns state recognition

HARTFORD - Connecticut’s agriculture industry grows great crops, including the next generation of farmers.  
Philip Jamison “Jamie” Jones of Jones Family Farms in Shelton was chosen as Connecticut’s Outstanding Young Farmer of 2013. 
The Outstanding Young Farmer Award is given annually by the Connecticut Agricultural Information Council, a coalition of state farming groups, as part of the festivities surrounding Connecticut Agriculture Day at the state capitol.  
Jamie Jones
Candidates are selected based on their achievements in their agricultural enterprises, involvement in the agriculture industry and their community, and their work on soil and water conservation projects. 
Jamie is a 1998 graduate of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 
Today, he oversees all of the agricultural operations on the farm, maintaining more than 400 acres of pick-your-own strawberries, blueberries, pumpkins, and Christmas trees, as well as 50 acres of hay. 
 In 2004, he added more than five acres of vineyards when he established the Jones Winery. His wines have won numerous awards, including Best Connecticut Wine 2012 from Connecticut Magazine.  
Jones' sustainable growing practices, integrated pest management techniques, and collaboration with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station on agricultural research show his commitment to the family philosophy ‘be good to the land and the land will be good to you.”
He and his wife Christiana represent the sixth generation of the Jones family to run the 150-year-old farm, along with his parents, Terry and Jean Jones. Here, they also raise the seventh generation, Jackson, Samuel, and Juliet. 
Jamie Jones serves as CT Farm Bureau’s First Vice President, as the President of the CT Vineyard and Winery Association and on the Board of the CT Farm Wine Development Council.  
Most recently Jones was appointed by Gov. Dannel Malloy to serve on the Governor’s Council for Agricultural Development in 2011.
The purpose of the Outstanding Young Farmers program is to bring about a greater interest in the farmer to foster better urban-rural relations through the understanding of the farmers’ endeavors, to develop a further appreciation for their contributions and achievements, and to inform the agribusiness community of the growing urban awareness of the farmers’ importance and impact on America’s economy.
The state winner will be invited to compete nationally in the National Outstanding Young Farmers Program, which is sponsored nationally by John Deere. 
 The last three Connecticut winners, Russell Holmberg of Holmberg Orchards in Gales Ferry, Matt Peckham of Elm Farm in Woodstock, and Joe Geremia of Wallingford, have been national Top 10 finalists.  

This information is taken from a press release from Jones Family Farms.

Health career courses slated in Derby

DERBY - The Griffin Hospital School of Allied Health Careers, at 300 Seymour Ave., Suite 206, will offer its Certified Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician and Phlebotomy programs beginning in May.

Anyone 18 years of age or older with a High School Diploma or GED may apply for admission. Early application is encouraged for all courses, as space is limited.

The CNA and PCT programs begin May 20 and Phlebotomy program begins May 21.
The 13-week CNA course will be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5-9 p.m.
Course content includes infection control, legal and ethical responsibilities, communications, body mechanics, moving and positioning residents, personal care skills, nutrition, measuring vital signs, and restorative care.
Once a student successfully completes the course and clinical experience, they will be qualified to take the State exam for certification as a Nursing Assistant in Connecticut.

The $1,200 CNA course tuition fee includes the course book, workbook, and malpractice insurance coverage for the clinical rotation, which will be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings as well as Saturday mornings.

The 16-week PCT program holds classes on Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Students are able to choose the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday portion of the program either during the day from 9 a.m.-noon or evenings from 6-9 p.m. to accommodate busy schedules.

The Patient Care Technician program offers ample hands-on training and opportunities for practical experience in the school's fully equipped mock hospital room.
The $3,995 tuition includes four weeks practical training at Griffin Hospital, which is full time from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, textbook, malpractice insurance, CPR certification, and national certification. 
The 13-week phlebotomy program has classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Both day and evening class options are available.
The $1,995 tuition includes a 40-hour internship, national certification, lab coats, CPR certification, malpractice insurance and textbook.

For information or to apply, contact course instructors Joanne Halstead or Tracy Huneke, or call the School at 203-732-1276 or 203-732-7578.

Griffin Hospital's School of Allied Health Careers was one of the first hospital-based schools of its kind to be authorized by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education and offers Phlebotomy and other professional educational programs to provide training, education, and certification in selected health careers. Classes are taught by certified instructors in the Griffin Hospital Medical Building, located at 300 Seymour Ave.

This information is taken from a press release from Griffin Hospital. 

Griffin Hospital breast center in Derby welcomes director

Dr. Denise Barajas

DERBY - Griffin Hospital is pleased to welcome the new Director of the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness Denise Barajas, MD, FACS, an experienced breast surgeon and expert on breast cancer screening, early detection, and treatment.
Barajas comes to Griffin from the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, where she was Director of the Women's Center for Breast Health. She joins Griffin's team of highly skilled, compassionate physicians and staff at the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness.

In just two years, the Center's combination of state-of-the-art technology, personalized breast care, high risk management and wellness services, and Planetree healing environment has helped it become the breast center of choice for tens of thousands of women in our area.
Dr. Barajas has more than 16 years of experience and is board certified in general, bariatric and breast surgery. She holds a degree in biology from Johns Hopkins University and a medical degree from New Jersey Medical School. She completed a surgical residency at the Hospital of Saint Raphael and serve as Chief Resident of that program.

A respected and sought-after speaker, she is the Vice Chair of the Abstract Committee for the National Consortium of Breast Centers.

Located at 300 Seymour Ave., The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital offer patients a comprehensive range of personalized breast care and wellness services.

For information about the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness, call 203-732-1300 or visit

This information is taken from a press release from Griffin Hospital.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Seymour Pink, Inc. to grant 2 scholarships

Nonprofit to offer funds in memory of founder's mother

Seymour Pink, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with a mission to unite a community in the fight against breast cancer.
Theodosia McEnerney, who lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 55, was the mother of Mary Deming, founder of Seymour Pink, Inc.

The Board of Directors’ of Seymour Pink will be granting two $1,000 scholarships in Mrs. McEnerney’s memory to deserving students pursuing post-secondary studies.

Applications must be received no later than April 21.

In order for a student to be eligible for this scholarship, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

The applicant must have a loved one (family and/or friend) who has/or have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The applicant must be a resident of the Naugatuck Valley.

The applicant must be planning on attending an accredited two or four-year college, university or technical school as a full-time student during the academic year 2013-2014.

The applicant must fill out a form and write an essay in response to the following prompt:

“What I have learned from this experience and how might I help others because of it.”

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Students may e-mail, hand deliver, or post completed application. Please use the following: Hand deliver to the Seymour High School guidance office, or mail to:

RoseAnne Thornton
Seymour Pink, Inc.
P.O. Box 333
Seymour, CT.  06483

Scholarship applications will be reviewed, and scholars chosen by the Seymour Pink, Inc. Scholarship Committee.
Student essays, grades and extra-curricular activities will be considered as criteria.
In fairness to all, the names will be withheld from the committee until after the recipients have been selected. 

Upon nomination, the Scholarship Committee of Seymour Pink, Inc. will have the authority to decide which (if any) of the nominations warrant consideration.  All applications will be kept confidential.

Scholarships will be awarded on May 30 to Seymour High School students at the Seymour High School award assembly.

Student scholars who attend other schools will be awarded their scholarship at the May 7 Seymour Pink, Inc. Board of Directors meeting.

Ansonia nature center exhibits artwork

ANSONIA - George Babey of Connecticut's Aquatic Resources Education Program has assembled an amazing depiction of the state's beautiful finned residents created by artist Jim Toner.

The artwork is now on display at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center, 10 Deerfield Road.

Even if you are not an avid fisherman, nature center staff recommends that you take time to view this new exhibit.

This information is taken from a press release. 

Ansonia teen wins top honor from Boys & Girls Club

Williams to compete for Connecticut Youth of Year

Mike Cotela, Unit Director, Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Joel E. Smilow Clubhouse in Ansonia, congratulates Ansonia resident Brittany Williams on her honor. /Contributed photo

ANSONIA - Resident Brittany Williams was selected as the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Youth of the Year, the club's highest honor.

She will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Connecticut Youth of the Year title and a $1,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands Corp. 
As the new Youth of the Year for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Lower Naugatuck Valley, 18-year old Brittany is a true example of an extraordinary young woman recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America  for her sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.

Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. As BGCA’s premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. 

Youth of the Year encourages Club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities. Youth of the Year honorees are shining examples and living proof that great futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs.

If Williams wins at the state competition, she will compete for the title of Northeast Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 scholarship from Tupperware Brands, the recognition program’s national sponsor. 

Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September 2013, to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of up to $50,000 from The Rick and Susan Goings Foundation and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House. 

This information and photo are taken from a press release.

Derby commits to reducing energy use

Mayor signs pledge

DERBY - As part of an overall commitment to reduce energy consumption across Connecticut towns, Mayor Anthony Staffieri recently received a Home Energy Solutions assessment at his house to kick off the city's signing of the Clean Energy Communities pledge.

The pledge is an Energize Connecticut initiative that incentivizes Connecticut municipalities to improve energy efficiency and promote the use of clean, renewable energy.

“I’m excited that Derby is now a part of the program, and I hope that my signature on this pledge helps community members to take the first step towards energy efficiency,” Staffieri said.  “Our town aims to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2018, and committing to becoming a Clean Energy Community is just one thing town leaders can do to lead their residents in making wiser, innovative energy choices.”

Staffieri also said residents should take advantage of the HES program, like he did, to see how they can cut energy costs in their homes.

Through participating in the Clean Energy Communities program, Derby can earn points when residents, businesses or municipalities participate in energy efficiency programs such as HES, Small Business Energy Advantage or Retro Commissioning programs, all of which are energy improvement services designed to help people or businesses use energy more efficiently and save money on their monthly energy bills.  

'Bright Idea Grant'
For every 100 points earned through participation in these programs, Derby will receive a “Bright Idea Grant” of $5,000 that can be used toward a community-selected energy-saving project, such as hiring an energy auditor to benchmark municipal buildings or to leverage existing funds to make energy-saving improvements to a school.
Clean Energy Communities program administrators, the Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority and The United Illuminating Company, will work with Derby to help the town meet goals laid out in its Comprehensive Energy Plan. 

Derby Mayor Anthony Staffieri signs a pledge to reduce energy consumption. With him is Sheri Borrelli, Senior Business Development Professional, Conservation Load Management, UI.

Energize Connecticut helps people save money and use clean energy. 
It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, the State, and local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. 

Information on energy-saving programs can be found at or by calling 1-877-WISE-USE.

This information and photo are taken from a press release. 

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...