Monday, August 31, 2015

Seymour gears up for annual craft beer festival Smoke in the Valley

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SEYMOUR >> Little did the founders of Smoke in the Valley know back in 2011 that what began as a simple fundraiser to raise money for a travel softball team would grow into one of the largest craft beer festivals in New England.

But that’s what happened, according to one of the festival founders, Chris Adamo, who along with fellow co-founders Matt Bronson and Bob Findley, are gearing up to host the 5th annual Smoke in the Valley craft beer, food truck and music festival.

The event has grown so big that it’s being held two days, from 5 to 10 p.m. Oct. 2 and from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 3 on the grounds of the Seymour Community Center, 20 Pine St. Admission for Oct. 2 is $25 in advance and $45 in advance for Oct. 3.
“The event continues to grow by leaps and bounds each year,” Adamo said.
Read more here.

Fundraiser nets $5K for families of Ansonia girls killed in accidents

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> The community came together Thursday to support two families who lost their little girls in tragic car accidents.

A ziti dinner held at Ansonia High School, with three separate seatings, drew more than 400 people, according to Superintendent of Schools Carol Merlone. The dinner tickets alone raised nearly $5,000 for the families of Nyah Marcano and Leah Rondon, the two 6-year olds who were to enter first grade this week, but whose lives were cut short by separate car accidents last week.

Dozens of volunteers from community, as well as from the police, emergency medical services and fire departments, pitched in to serve the crowd at Thursday’s event.

More donations since poured in, and proceeds from a balloon fundraiser, “Ansonia goes Blue for Nyah and Leah,” have not yet been determined, Merlone said.
Read more here.

Ansonia to crack down on home burglaries with neighborhood block watches

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> A recent rash of home break-ins in the city’s Hilltop section has prompted Mayor David Cassetti to team up with police to help residents form a neighborhood block watch.

Cassetti is inviting residents to an informational meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 1 at Hilltop Hose Company No. 5, 80 Pulaski Highway, to discuss what’s been happening in the area and how to help prevent further burglaries.

Cassetti will be joined by Police Chief Kevin Hale and Officer Rick Esposito, along with Aldermen Patrick Henri, Matthew Edo, Dave Blackwell and Frank DeLibero for the meeting intended for Hilltop residents.

“I want our residents to feel safe and to know that we are doing everything we can to resolve issues in this neighborhood and throughout Ansonia,” Cassetti said in a press release Wednesday.
Read more here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Veteran Rich “Zeke” Dziekan appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Department of Veterans Affairs

DERBY -  State House Minority Leader Themis Klarides (Derby-R) has appointed Derby’s Mayoral Candidate Rich Dziekan to serve on “The Board of Trustees for The Department of Veterans Affairs” effective immediately.

"Richard has spent his entire career in public service," Klarides said. "Whether as a brave member of the United States Air Force, serving in our local government or policing the streets to make our community a safer place, Richard has put the public interest above his personal gain. His selfless disposition makes him a perfect fit on the Board of Trustees for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.”
The board is comprised of 18 voting members and shall include two residents of the Veterans’ Home and 16 members appointed by the Governor and other top ranking congressional members.
The board shall advise and assist the commissioner in the operation of the Veterans' Home, the veterans' advocacy and assistance unit, the administration, expansion or modification of existing programs and services of the department and the development of new programs and services.
“I am honored that I was nominated and appointed for this position which allows me to continue my advocacy for veterans’ issues.” Dziekan said. “As a veteran myself, I am now able to take my advocacy from the local level to the state level. Helping more veterans in need is a privilege and something I am very proud of.”
(Information is from a press release from Dziekan's campaign manager Sam Pollastro) 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bingo Sept. 19 at Seymour Community Center Gym

Balloon Fundraiser for Families of Two Ansonia Girls


Forms are available at Mead and Prendergast schools and Ansonia Board of Education's Central Office. They can also be found online at Ansonia Public Schools' and the City of Ansonia's websites and Facebook pages. 
(Information is from City of Ansonia's Facebook Page)

Monday, August 24, 2015

3rd Annual Barefoot Summer Festival & Car Show Aug. 30 in Oxford

A car at last year's event. (Courtesy of K-Patch photography)
OXFORD >> Colonial Tavern in Oxford will host the 3rd Annual Barefoot Summer Festival & Car Show on Sunday, Aug. 30, to benefit Connecticut Partnership for Children, Inc..

The event will take place from 11 a.m.  to 5 p.m. General admission is $5 for ages 11 and up, ages 10 and under are free. Classic car entry is $10 now through Aug. 29th and $15 on event day — it includes all passengers in the vehicle. All classic cars entered in the show are eligible for judging and trophies, as well as the opportunity to enter the burn-out pit.

The Children's Courtyard features CrazyFun Face Painting, life-size checkers, coloring, and more. The event also features live music, a vendor marketplace, food trucks, and a craft beer tasting tent. Entry into the tasting tent is for ages 21+ and is $16/16 tastings now through Aug.29th and $20 on event day. Additional tastings can be purchased for $10.

For advance, discounted tickets and more information, please visit the event website or call 203-881-1804.

This is a press release from Connecticut Partnership for Children, Inc.

YA Wednesdays, Teen Chess Club at Derby Public Library

The following information was provided by Young Adult/Reference Librarian Tony DeLos. For more information stop by the library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit

YA Wednesdays
Wednesdays in September, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
All young adults ages 12 to 17 are invited to join the fun each Wednesday in September. Nintendo Wii, board games, and Legos will be available. Light refreshments will be provided.

Teen Chess Club
Mondays in September from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Derby Public Library Teen Chess Club invites all young adults ages 12 to 17 to meetings Mondays in September (excluding holidays). All skill levels are welcome. Participants will learn how the game is played as well as defensive/offensive strategies. Mr. Julio Maldonado provides superb expertise from a life-long love of the game.

Neighborhood Music School offers financial aid for Valley residents

NEW HAVEN >> Neighborhood Music School invites residents from towns located in the Lower Naugatuck Valley to apply for financial aid for its lessons, classes and ensembles. Funds are available to those who qualify through a generous grant from the Katharine Matthies Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

Eligible towns are: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Oxford and Shelton.

Interested students can learn about NMS’s program offerings by visiting the website at Registration is now open for Fall classes and lessons. Financial aid applicants can fill out an application form online and will be contacted by the school’s financial aid coordinator.

For over a century, Neighborhood Music School (“NMS”) has been developing human potential and building community through the performing arts. NMS offers high-quality educational arts programs in a safe, supportive environment for students of all ages and backgrounds. NMS programs are made possible in part with support from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.  

This is a press release from Neighborhood Music School.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ansonia mourns tragic deaths of 2 girls, will donate proceeds from Rock the Valley to families

Leah Rondon-photo from GoFundMe page

Nyah Marcano-photo from GoFundMe page
By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> City leaders and school officials are extending a helping hand to the families of the two 6-year-old girls who tragically died this week in separate car accidents.

Mayor David Cassetti, along with the police and fire departments, are working with the school system to provide both emotional and monetary support to the Marcano and Rondon families. Cassetti announced that all the proceeds from admissions into Saturday’s “Rock the Valley” event, scheduled for 4 to 10 p.m. at Nolan Field on Wakelee Avenue, will be donated to the families of the two girls.

Nyah Marcano, 6, was to enter first grade at Prendergast School next week when her life was tragically cut short. Nyah died after being ejected from a Chevy Tahoe that rear-ended another vehicle and then rolled down an embankment, according to state police. The rollover crash occurred on Route 8 in Shelton.

Police said Nyah died from injuries she suffered in the crash, which occurred shortly before 3:15 p.m. Tuesday on northbound Route 8 near Exit 12.
Read more here.

Teens and seniors dance up a storm at an intergenerational social gathering in Ansonia

Mary Ann Brozak dances during an intergenerational 'beach bash' at AHS

By Jean Falbo- Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> Teenagers learned how to do the “Lindy” Thursday, while senior citizens were schooled in the “Electric Slide” during an intergenerational event geared to bridge the age gap between the two generations.

More than 100 seniors from Ansonia and Derby senior centers gathered for a summer “beach bash” in the Ansonia High School cafeteria, hosted by student members of the Human Relations Club.

Though separated by some 50 years, the age gap between the two generations simply melted away as young and old alike enjoyed each other’s company for a cookout, games, dancing, ice cream and more. Students decked out the cafeteria with colorful paper lanterns, beach pails and baskets of shells, while playing summertime classics by the Beach Boys and more.

The club, comprised of nearly 300 middle and high school students from Ansonia, Derby, Shelton and Hamden, has held intergenerational events such as Thursday’s for the past eight years. Adviser Nick Collicelli said it’s important to bring both groups together.
Read more here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ansonia ceremony marks Flood of ’55 anniversary, honors ‘true Valley spirit’

From left, Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Greg Stamos and Ted Vartelas cut the cake as Ansonia commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Flood of 1955 Wednesday on the bank of the Naugatuck River at Vartelas Park on Olson Drive in Ansonia. Catherine Avalone — New Haven Register
By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> It was the worst disaster Mother Nature ever dealt the Naugatuck Valley, but through “strength, courage, determination and ingenuity,” citizens rose above the raging waters of the Flood of 1955 and persevered.

Sixty years to the day after the Naugatuck River swelled to nearly 25 feet, killing four Valley residents, sweeping homes and businesses off their foundations and causing $500 million in property damage, the community gathered at Vartelas Park Wednesday to commemorate that devastating day, Aug. 19, 1955.

Attorney Greg Stamos helped Ansonia officials organize the event, which drew about 75 people, many who remembered exactly where they were when the flood came through.
Read more here.
By Luther Turmelle
Register Staff

ANSONIA >> The city has secured a $1.07 million federal grant that will be used to build a road linking the Birmingham Parkway with a new 60,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility the Farrel Corp. is building, opening up 44 acres for the creation of a business park.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s decision to award the grant was announced Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3, and Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti at a press conference held near the construction site. DeLauro said the project will create 225 construction jobs and save 100 jobs at Farrel.

“I think this a great example of the government and the private sector working together,” she said.

Blumenthal, D-Conn., said the road, which city officials have said will cost about $2 million to build, “is a symbolic path to economic prosperity.”
Read more here.

Ansonia commission denies Castle Lane housing plan, for now

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> Saying it was incomplete, the Planning and Zoning Commission Monday denied without prejudice an application to build 10 single-family homes on Castle Lane.

The denial came as a shock to Shelton developer Mark Romano, along with his attorney, Dominick Thomas, who was prepared to present the proposal during a public hearing at City Hall.

As the hearing was about to kick off in a sweltering aldermanic chambers — the air conditioning wasn’t working — commission Chairman Joe Jaumann informed Thomas that upon a review of the application by a planning consultant the commission hired, David Elders, there were several things missing from the application.

“The application is incomplete based on staff review,” Jaumann said.
Read more here.

Shelton girls’ lemonade stand nets $1,500 for Smilow Cancer Hospital

Left to right: Alex D’Amico, Emma D’Amico and Megan Loiacano ( contributed photo)

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SHELTON >> When three local girls decided to set up an old-fashioned lemonade stand in their neighborhood, they never imagined more than $1,500 would pour in.

Twin sisters Alex and Emma D’Amico, 11, along with their friend Megan Loiacano, 10, who call themselves “3 For Faith,” set up shop at the end of Bristol Drive on Saturday. At the end of the day, when all the lemonade was gone and the baked goods devoured, the girls counted their stash, and it totaled just a little over $1,500.

The girls, according to Alex and Emma’s mom, Amy D’Amico, a teacher at Perry Hill School, set a goal to raise $750. The D’Amico girls are no strangers to fund-raising, and two previous lemonade sales they held in 2013 netted them more than $500 on their first go-round.

At Saturday’s event, the girls couldn’t believe the generosity of the people stopping by their brightly colored stand, which featured a bright yellow ‘lemonade’ pennant banner strung across a table clad in a bright yellow tablecloth. The girls sported matching tie-dyed T-shirts.
Read more here.

Derby High Sports Hall of Fame honors 10 in inaugural class

Lou DeFilippo

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

DERBY >> When it comes to sports in Derby, legendary names like Lou DeFilippo, Walter “Buster” Jadach and Vin Greco probably come to mind.

Those three standouts have joined seven others as the inaugural class to be inducted into the Derby High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Joining Coach DeFilippo, Jadach (class of ’67) and Greco (class of ’70), are John Pagliaro (’74), George Budzinak (’66), Leo Ryan (’22), Bob Orchano (’82), Mike Marcucio (’97), Tony Passander (’66) and Diane Potkay (’96).

According to Mike Cannici, a former student athlete and member of the DHS class of ’95, who created the Hall of Fame, the 10 inductees were selected from nearly 100 nominees received by the Hall of Fame Committee since February.
Read more here.

Free Movies in Ansonia

City of Ansonia's photo.

Information from City of Ansonia's Facebook page.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

GOP mayoral candidate among those donating new flags to Derby

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

DERBY >> There will be no shortage of stars and stripes in downtown Derby anytime soon.

That’s because several donations of Old Glory poured into City Hall Thursday, courtesy of several local veterans’ groups, citizens and others who were aghast at the condition of the tattered and torn flags that had been flying along Main and Elizabeth streets.

The 25, flags, 2 feet by 3 feet, that were hung from black lightposts downtown prior to Memorial Day had experienced lots of wear and tear in just a few short months. Mayor Anita Dugatto said Public Works Director Anthony DeFala regularly checks the flags, and the city was planning to remove them.

The removal, however, came sooner than later, when Vietnam veteran Robert L. Federico, a Derby resident, expressed outrage to city officials upon seeing the condition of the flags. Federico was at the Derby Senior Center earlier this week when someone brought in a flag found on the ground that was ripped to shreds.
Read more here.

Veterans take Derby to task over tattered flags lining downtown

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

DERBY >> Several veterans Tuesday said they are “heart-wrenched” over the disgraceful condition of some of the flags flying downtown, and said their pleas to city officials to replace them have fallen on deaf ears.

Most of the two-dozen flags hanging from the black lightposts that line Main Street are either tattered and torn, have broken sticks that have been pieced together with duct tape or are lying on the ground, according to Robert L. Federico, a Vietnam veteran, and a fellow Army veteran who wished to remain anonymous.

Federico, a Derby resident who served in the Air Force, said he was outraged when someone brought a flag into the senior center this week that was found on the ground.

“The flag was ripped to shreds,” Federico said. “I was told people also ran over it with their cars. I was agitated, I was irritated and this made me cry at the sight of seeing the flag that I and millions of others fought for to be disrespected like that.”
Read more here.

Derby is ‘making its mark’ as S&P upgrades credit rating to AA

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

DERBY >> City officials are crediting conservative budgeting, strong fiscal management and other factors to a national ratings agency boosting Derby’s bond rating to a near perfect level.

According to City Treasurer Keith McLiverty, the New York City-based Standard & Poor’s recently upgraded Derby’s bond rating from AA- to AA, which is just two notches away from the highest possible AAA rating. A strong credit rating, officials said, makes it easier for borrowers to gain access to capital, at very low interest rates.

McLiverty said the bond rating upgrade will save the city “hundreds of thousands” of dollars over the next couple of years in interests costs alone, namely on the major sewer upgrade project underway.

The city’s financial advisor, Barry Bernarbe, of Phoenix Advisors, lauded the city for its excellent financial standing.
Read more here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Openings for Ansonia pre-school children for part-day, school day program

ANSONIA >> This is a special message to parents of Ansonia pre-school children (ages 3 and 4) who wish to register for a part-day or school day program for the 2015-2016 year. There are openings for your child. Children accepted into the programs must be 3 years old by Dec. 31, 2015.
Both programs operate on a sliding fee scale, which is set by the State of Connecticut.

The Ansonia School Readiness Program offers two part-day programs: The first is held from 8:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m., while the second is held from noon-2:30 p.m. These classes are held at the Ansonia Pre-K program in Ansonia Middle School, 115 Howard Ave. Parents are urged to call the School Readiness office at 203-736-5052.

Ansonia Public Schools offers the school day program, which will operate from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. each school day at Mead School. To register for this new program, called “Smart Start,” parents should call the Ansonia Public Schools Registration secretary, Mary Lynn Mott, at 203-736-5095.
The new school year for all Pre-K programs, and for all Ansonia Public Schools, opens on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015.

This is a press release from Ansonia Public Schools.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Shelton superintendent of schools will chair Valley United Way's 2015-2016 Community Campaign

Shelton Superintendent of Schools Freeman Burr will chair the 2015-2016 Community Campaign, which kicks off officially on Sept. 16, Valley United Way announced recently in a press release.

Valley United Way Board Chair Janice Sheehy said Freeman has been a supporter and advocate for Valley United Way ever since he came to Shelton.

"The campaign in the Shelton schools is one of the finest in the entire campaign, and we hope that it can serve as a model for others during the upcoming campaign," Sheehy said in the release.

United Way President & C.O.O. Jack Walsh said, "Freeman has been involved with United Way as a member of previous campaign cabinets, as a board member and even as a participant in the Leadership Greater Valley program which we do with the Valley Council and the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce. We are extremely fortunate to have his leadership for this year's campaign."

Burr began his tenure in Shelton in August 2009. Previously, Burr held a variety of administrative and executive leadership positions in the Hartford Public School System from 1995 to 2009, including house principal, principal, supervisor of elementary principals, director of Human Resources and director of Secondary and Intervention Schools. A career educator, Freeman is known for his vast experience in urban education, working with diverse student populations and school and organizational reform, according to the release.

Freeman began his professional career in Hartford teaching Grade 6 for 12 years. He served in his first administrative position with the Capitol Region Education Council in 1988, working with “at-risk” youth and young adults in pursuit of high school credit and/or general equivalency diplomas. While at CREC, he was actively involved with the CT Business and Industry Association on Workforce Development, working with a number of companies to develop job-related curricula in an effort to upgrade employee skills to meet the demands of the changing workforce in the early 1990s. Burr returned to Hartford as a middle school house principal before becoming principal of the Noah Webster Magnet School from 1998 to 2005.

He resides in Bloomfield, with his wife, and has many family members and friends in both the greater Hartford and Bridgeport areas. He has been involved with United Way in a variety of capacities since 1975.

Valley United Way is the leading philanthropic resource for the Valley towns of Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton matching the needs of the community and the interests of donors to improve the quality of life in the community. United Way supports and creates initiatives addressing youth, families and people in crisis. Each year Valley United Way funds programs and organizations that make a measurable difference in the lives of people living and working in the Valley.

This is a press release from Valley United Way.

TEAM seeks volunteers for free tax preparation service for working families

DERBY >> TEAM, Inc.,  is seeking volunteers to assist low-income families and individuals in filing their taxes and claiming refunds owed to them, such as federal Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, that can boost their yearly income by up to 35 percent.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is held at the VITA Clinic located at TEAM, Inc. 30, Elizabeth St., Derby, Derby Neck Library, Plumb Library, Shelton and the Milford Senior Center and operates from January to April 15, 2016.

VITA offers free preparation of federal and state income tax returns to low-income individuals and families. No experience is necessary. All volunteers will receive training appropriate for their position. Volunteers receive the materials for self-study on basic income tax law for federal and state returns. In addition, specific training sessions will take place in January 2016.

To become a VITA volunteer or for more information about the program, please call 203-736-5420 ext. 234 or email

This is a press release from TEAM, Inc.

Rep. Theresa Conroy named to advisory panel on state medicaid program

House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz recently appointed state Rep. Theresa Conroy, D-Seymour, Beacon Falls, Derby, to the state Council on Medical Assistance Program Oversight as an advocate for persons with substance abuse disabilities, according to a release from the CT House Democrats.

“Theresa Conroy is a strong advocate for individuals and families that are struggling with the disease of addiction,”Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said in the release. “She is one of the first state policy-makers to face the state’s opioid epidemic head on and will be a great addition to the council.”

“I want to thank Majority Leader Aresimowicz for this new challenge,” Conroy said in the release. “Making sure all Connecticut residents who are insured through Medicaid Managed Care have access to quality care is an important goal.”

The Council on Medical Assistance Program was established under Connecticut statute (CGS 17b-28) as a collaborative body consisting of legislators, Medicaid consumers, advocates, health care providers, insurers and state agencies to advise DSS on the development of Connecticut's Medicaid Managed Care program and for legislative and public input to monitor the implementation of the program, the release states.

Due to the large volume of work the Council addresses, committees have been established – Complex Care, Consumer Access, Quality Improvement, Women's Health, and Care Management. The full Council and each committee meet once a month. The Council holds public hearings, issues surveys and holds provider forums to assess the impact of Medicaid Managed Care, the release states.

The next meeting of the full Council on Medical Assistance Program is Friday, Sept. 18, at 9:30 a.m., in Room 1-E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

YA Wednesdays and Teen Chess Club at Derby Public Library

This information was provided by Derby Public Library's Young Adult / Reference Librarian Tony DeLos. For more information, call the library at 203-736-1482.

YA Wednesdays
Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

All young adults ages 12 to 17 are invited to a variety of activities, Teen Game Night combined with Lego Construction Project, & Scrabble Tournament. Light refreshments will be provided. This program is part of the DPL 2015 “Unmask” Teen Summer Reading Club.  Registration is requested.

Teen Chess Club
Mondays in August, from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

All skill levels are welcome. This program is part of the DPL 2015 “Unmask” Teen Summer Reading Club. Registration is requested.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An Evening with the Gillettes and more at Derby Public Library

The following information was provided by Library Director Cathy Williams. For more information, stop by the library at 313 Elizabeth St. or call 203-736-1482 or visit  

An Evening with the Gillettes
Monday, Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m.

Harold and Teddie Niver will portray William Gillette and his wife in this hour program, going back and forth between portraying the Gillettes and giving information about their lives and Gillette Castle in East Haddam. Those interested in Connecticut history as well as Sherlockians, as Gillette was known around the world for portraying Sherlock Holmes on stage, will enjoy this performance. Registration is requested.

Lunchtime Book Discussion – Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani
Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 12:30 p.m.

The selected title is the enthralling novel Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani.  Set in New York City in 1950, the decision of a passionate and determined 25-year-old daughter of a prosperous grocer to follow her heart, changes her life forever. The story, filled with warmth and humor, is as emotional as the bonds in her big Italian family. 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.

Norman Rockwell’s America
Monday, Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m.

Gordon Williams, retired history teacher, will present this Rockwell evening, embracing many topics. From big city bustles to small town charm, from returning WWII vets to wistful teenage girls, the paintings of Norman Rockwell reflect all that was best about our country, its aspirations and dreams. By the end of the evening, participants will know why Rockwell was and continues to be so loved. Registration is requested.

TEAM receives $3,500 grant award from Staples Foundation for employment training program

Left to right: Diane Stroman, TEAM executive vice president;
David Morgan, TEAM president/CEO;
Robert Petrosini, Staples account manager; and Amy LaChioma,
TEAM family support coordinator. (Photo courtesy of Fred Ortoli)
TEAM, Inc. was recently awarded $3,500 by Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., under a program that lets Staples associates direct donations.

“TEAM is extremely grateful to the Staples Foundation for their support of TEAM’s Gaining Access to Independence Now Employment Program” said David Morgan, TEAM president and CEO in a release. “The grant will provide the resources required to offer employment services to low income families in the Lower Naugatuck Valley as they build pathways to success.”

This grant is part of a philanthropic initiative created by Staples Foundation, which allows Staples associates around the world to direct funding to non-profit organizations that are focused on education or job skills. The program, called 2 Million and Change, encourages local community engagement by awarding larger grants to organizations where associates are highly engaged in volunteering or fundraising – up to $25,000 per organization.

In 2014, Staples awarded more than $2.4 million in grants to 1,056 local organizations in support of education and job skills programs, including tutoring for pediatric cancer patients, job skills development for individuals with disabilities, school supplies, mentoring and more.

SAVE THE DATE: 7th Annual Wesley Village 5k Road Race and Fun Walk set for Oct. 24

SHELTON >> Wesley Village is proud to host the 7th annual benefit 5k Road Race on Saturday, October 24, 2015, starting at 9 a.m. Over 400 runners and walkers are expected!  The event takes place at the Wesley Village Campus, 580 Long Hill Avenue in Shelton and features a 5k run, 1-mile walk and ½ mile Kids Fun Run.  This year’s 5k course will again be a flatter out and back course.

Bring the entire family for a morning of Halloween fun!  Participants are invited to join us at the post-race party for entertainment, a brunch with famous egg sandwiches, smoothies, fruit, granola bars, bagels and more. Children’s activities include a bounce house, face painting, a clown and the opportunity to trick-or-treat!  Costumes are encouraged!  The first 400 5k entrants will receive a free tech shirt and cotton t-shirts will be given to all other event participants. Runners aged 70+ run for free; pre-registration is required.  With over ten percent of last year’s race field over 70, the race may have one of the highest percentages of older runners in Connecticut.

Race proceeds benefit the award winning activity program at Wesley Village.  The Wesley Village campus provides independent living, assisted living, memory care, short-term rehab, outpatient therapy and fitness services, and skilled nursing care.

The title sponsor for this year’s race is CE Floyd Company, Inc.  M&T Bank will be sponsoring the 1-mile Fun Walk and Merit Insurance will be sponsoring the Kids Fun Run.  Also supporting this year’s race as major sponsors to date are: Omnicare, Inc.; Alliance Rehab of CT; All Waste, Inc.; EDM Architects & Engineers; Fire Protection Testing, Inc.; Oronoque Pharmacy, Inc.; Digital Media; Lewis Associates; Griffin Hospital Lifeline; The Lancaster Group, LLC; The Views of Long Hill Condominium Association; and Winters Brothers Waste Systems.

For more information on the Wesley Village Halloween 5K & Fun Walk, please visit or call JB Sports at (203) 481-5933.

Wesley Village is a campus of senior care communities including Crosby Commons Assisted and Independent Living Community, Wesley Heights Assisted and Independent Living Apartments and Cottages, Lifestyle Transitions Memory Care, and Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center. The campus is owned and operated by UMH, a local, mission-based, not-for-profit organization serving all members of the community. To learn more about the continuum of care offered at Wesley Village or the mission of UMH, please visit or contact Lisa Bisson at 203-225-5024.

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

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Valley Fusion 10U girls’ softball team are Eastern National Champions

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

The Valley Fusion 10U girls softball team recently scored a major victory, clinching the title as Eastern National Champions, and becoming the first 10U team from Connecticut to win the prestigious honor.

The fast pitch travel team, comprised of girls ages 10 and under from Beacon Falls, Prospect, Naugatuck, Oxford and Cheshire, ended its winning season this past weekend with a 54-4 record.

“Together, Valley Fusion 10U of Beacon Falls/Prospect is a very talented and energetic team that brings a lot of excitement and determination into every tournament they enter,” said Head Coach Pete Calandro. “We have had a very successful and memorable season.”

Calandro said the team played in nine tournaments this season, winning eight championship games, which included the CVFL Tournament last month in Cheshire and the Firecracker Tournament in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Read more here.

Fire Marshal: Exact cause likely can’t be determined in Ansonia house fire that burned woman

ANSONIA >> Investigators likely won’t be able to determine the cause of a fire late last week that damaged an Ansonia home and sent a woman to the hospital with burns.

The fire at 31 Webster Drive started around 7 p.m. Friday in the kitchen near the stove, Ansonia Fire Marshal Ralph Tingley said in a phone interview Monday.

But the fire caused so much damage to the electrical wiring near the stove that a final determination of the exact cause likely can’t be made.

Tingley said the woman wasn’t cooking at the time of the fire. She heard strange sounds coming from the rear of the stove and tried to find the source.

Read more here.

Shelton tax preparer gets 3-year sentence for filing false tax returns

BRIDGEPORT >> A Shelton tax preparer was sentenced to three years behind bars Monday for pleading guilty to falsifying the tax returns of several of his clients.

Bellarmin Namegabe, 47, will also have to serve one year of supervised release under a sentence handed down by a federal judge in Bridgeport.

He’ll also have to pay back thousands in back taxes, penalties and interest stemming from the false returns, according to a press release from the office of Deirdre Daly, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut.

Namegabe pleaded guilty Dec. 4 to one count of aiding and assisting the filing of a false tax return.

Read more here.

Seymour High School student T-shirt wins design contest for cancer

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SEYMOUR >> For 18-year-old Miranda Zygmunt, the community’s ongoing fight to conquer cancer served as her inspiration when creating this year’s winning design for the 2015 Seymour Pink T-shirt.

Zygmunt, a 2015 graduate of Seymour High School, was one of 30 individuals who entered Seymour Pink’s annual T-shirt contest earlier this year. It was Zygmunt s design that stood out among a panel of judges, according to Seymour Pink Founder Mary Deming.

“The sense of community and her use of the ring of ribbons in our logo (really adds) to the design,” Deming said.

The hot pink T-shirt features the universal symbol for breast cancer, a pink ribbon, with the inspirational words, ‘hope, strength and courage.’ Zygmunt said the design focuses “entirely around the circle of people in the Seymour Pink logo.” She chose to unravel the ribbons to form a ring of people, with the words characterizing “an important quality” of each person.

Read more here.

Ansonia man wins $20,000 in Lottery scratch-off game

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> Little did resident and volunteer firefighter Martin J. Passander know that when he walked into the Main Street Shell station earlier this week, he would walk out $20,000 richer.

Passander purchased a scratch-off Lottery ticket for $20 at the Shell station, located at 696 Main St., the other day. He got the surprise of a lifetime when the 20X Cash scratch game ticket he rubbed off with a coin landed him a whopping $20,000 payday.

“I saw the ‘20X’ symbol and then scratched away the prize area — it was $1,000,” Passander said in a press release from CT Lottery. ”That’s $20,000! I almost died. I’ve won (smaller) prizes before, but nothing like this had ever happened to me. I was in disbelief!”

Passander, who has been employed as a manufacturing machinist at Bic in Milford for more than 35 years, told lottery officials he was “tongue-tied” and “utterly speechless” when he learned he scored as the game’s top winner.

Read more here.

Seymour High School’s Lady Wildcats to get new $265,000 softball field

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SEYMOUR >> Seymour High School’s winning Lady Wildcats softball team (22-5) will score a new field, dugout, lights and more, thanks to a state grant.

State Rep. Theresa Conroy, D-Seymour, announced Tuesday that the state Bond Commission approved a $265,000 grant to the town that will cover costs associated with building a brand new softball field, installation of lights, dugouts, a press box and replacement of the existing non-handicapped-accessible bleachers.

“This funding is about building a new field and honoring the winning tradition of Seymour softball,” Conroy said. “Our community supports this program from Little League through high school.”

Once the new softball complex is complete at the high school, it will be used not only by the SHS softball team, but the George J. Hummel Little League and Seymour Tradition travel teams, as well.

Read more here

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Annual back-to-school drive in the Valley enters 9th year

J Cuts launches 9th Annual Book Bag & School Supply drive in the Valley.

Between now and Friday, Aug, 21, book bags and school supplies are being collected around the Valley.

Last year, over 100 book bags and an abundance of back to school supplies were collected.

This drive, originally started by the owners of Luther’s Garage, which is now closed, continues on an annual basis through Jennifer Sneider, owner of J Cuts, located at 505 Howe Ave., downtown Shelton.

J Cuts is the main collection location. Supplies may include book bags, book covers, rulers, pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, binders, glue, crayons, calculators, pencil sharpeners, paper and folders. Supplies are collected for all school-aged children from pre-school to high school. All book bags and supplies must be brand new.

Donations can also be dropped off at Barb's Corner Consignment, 25 West Main St., Ansonia, Mon-Fri 10-3 and Sat 10-2.

“The outpouring of kindness within the community always warms my heart,” said Sneider in a release. “So many people stop by to drop off donations. Many of my customers do not hesitate to hand me five or ten dollars so I can pick up what we are falling short on. It is amazing how it
 all balances out for children in need!”

Minuteman Press, located at 427B Howe Ave. in Shelton, donated collection posters once again.

Last year, for the third year in a row, the Shelton Lion’s Club collected book bags and supplies during free summer concerts held Wednesday evenings from 7-9 p.m. on the Huntington Green.

In addition, Rehabilitation Associates, Inc., located at 1931 Blackrock Turnpike, Fairfield, and the First United Methodist Church in Shelton held their own collections last year to help make the drive a success.

As an added bonus last year, coordinators of the drive were contacted by Jackie Romaniuk, Dental Health Care Specialist with the Connecticut Dental Health Partnership (CTDHP), the dental plan for HUSKY Health. They provided oral kits each containing a tooth brush, toothpaste, floss and oral health education.

Other local businesses and organizations are invited and encouraged to join in by holding collections of their own to add to the donations.

Children receiving donations from the community drive last year are serviced by T.E.A.M., Derby, along with the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Shelton School Readiness Program and the Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent Resource Center, all in Shelton, and BHcare in Ansonia.

J Cuts is also the main collection location for the Annual Monkey Love Valentine Drive. The 10th Annual Drive will begin Jan. 1, 2016. Although this community drive officially kicks off on Jan. 1, donations are accepted at any time. For safety and allergy reasons, donations must be new, stuffed monkeys with tags.

The monkey drive benefits the same groups of children in need as the Back to School Book Bag & School Supply Drive.

For more information on either community drive, call Jennifer Sneider at J Cuts, 203-924-4107

Shelton's Wesley Village connects four generations

From left to right: Jackie Santagata (Kelly’s mom), Karly Coppola (Kelly’s daughter)
with a photo of Claire Byle (Kelly’s late grandmother), and Kelly Coppola.

SHELTON >> Walk in the doors of any community at Wesley Village and after a few conversations, you can easily uncover dozens of unique stories about how residents, family members, staff, and volunteers became connected with the senior care campus. Wesley Village, located at 580 Long Hill Ave., has been connecting families with high quality senior living options and healthcare services for over 125 years. Through each decade, those connections have grown in many ways, beyond simply finding mom or dad a place to live when they can’t live alone anymore. A current employee recently shared her story of how Wesley Village connected her family….

Kelly Coppola works as a receptionist at Crosby Commons, the award-winning independent and assisted living community at Wesley Village. Before taking the full-time receptionist position at Crosby, Kelly was a familiar face around the campus and worked as a Recreation Director at the neighboring community of Wesley Heights. Her career took her on a few different paths since then, but she is thrilled to be back at the campus, now working at Crosby. After seven months in this position, Kelly has not only made many helpful changes to the reception area, but was also recently recognized with the Outstanding Resident Service award from the Connecticut Assisted Living Association. A great asset to the community, she is also surprisingly part of four generations with connections to Wesley Village.

Kelly’s grandmother was Claire Byle, a New Jersey native who moved to Connecticut to be closer to her family when her health began to fail. Not wanting to be a “burden” to her family, she chose not to move in with her children and fell in love with the senior living options at Wesley Village, moving in to their Wesley Heights community in 2003. Claire loved the community and continued to enjoy life as a resident for about two years, before moving to Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center (at Wesley Village) for more skilled care. Sadly, Claire passed away in February of 2005, but left quite an impression on the community and the many friends she left behind.

Kelly’s mom, Jackie Santagata, was thrilled to have found a community close to home where her mom, Claire, could live in safety and security and continue to enjoy things that were important to her. Jackie loved being able to maintain a mother-daughter relationship with her mom, without having to feel overwhelmed by caregiving responsibilities. She was also so impressed with the campus that she chose to become a registered volunteer. Jackie now actively volunteers with the Wesley Village Prayer Shawl Ministry and the new Music and Memory program, which the campus will be piloting at their Lifestyle Transitions Memory Care neighborhood this summer.

In addition to her mom and grandmother, Kelly’s daughter, Karly also joined the Wesley Village team in 2008 as a registered volunteer.  Karly is a sophomore Psychology Major at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, studying Special Education. For the past seven years, Karly has volunteered in a variety of capacities at Wesley Village, serving residents and supporting staff by providing clerical and computer support, and assistance in our Recreation and Dining Services departments.

To learn more about the many ways Wesley Village is connecting with families like Kelly’s to provide a continuum of award-winning care and services for their loved one(s), visit The Wesley Village Campus includes: Crosby Commons Assisted and Independent Living Community, Wesley Heights Assisted and Independent Living Apartments and Cottages, Lifestyle Transitions Memory Care, and Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center. The campus is owned and operated by UMH, a local, mission-based, not-for-profit organization serving all members of the community. To schedule a tour at any of their communities, contact Lisa Bisson at 203-225-5024. For more information about volunteer opportunities at Wesley Village, contact Barbara Quinn at 203-944-8292.

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

Buy-a-Brick for a Veteran

SEYMOUR= Bricks are still available for sale for those interested in having one engraved to honor a veteran, deceased or living, and installed in the walkway at Broad Street Veterans Park downtown.
Orders will be taken until late August/the first week of September. Cost for an engraved 4x8 brick is $100 and $150 for an engraved 8x8 brick. Order forms can be picked up at the First Selectmen’s Office in Town Hall, located on First Street, or by calling Al Yagovane at (203)736-7981.

Tech Time and American Job Search Career Coach at Derby Public Library

The information for the following events was provided by Library Director Cathy Williams. For more information, stop by the library at 313 Elizabeth St. or call 736-1482 or visit

Tech Time – Bring Your Tech-Related Questions!
Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 20 at 10 a.m.

Every third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 PM and every third Thursday of the month at 10:00 AM a staff member will be on hand to answer all your tech-related questions and concerns.  Whether you are having trouble downloading e-books, searching databases, completing on-line job applications, scanning/sending documents and photos, etc., your problems will be addressed. August sessions will be held on Wednesday, August 19 at 6:30 PM and Thursday, August 20 at 10:00 AM.  No registration is needed.

American Job Search Career Coach – Create a Great Resume
Friday, Aug. 21 from 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m.

The American Job Search Career Coach returns.  During both the morning and afternoon sessions, instructors will be offering the class, Create a Great Resume. Participants must attend a full session. The classes are free and open to the public. Registration is requested but walk-ins will be welcomed on a first come first served basis.  The American Job Search Career Coach is operated by Career Resources.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Minion Spotted in Seymour

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR= The fire hydrant in front of Seymour residents’ Pam and Wayne Finkle’s house at 1 Jay Lane is getting lots of attention lately.
The Finkles recently painted their bright yellow hydrant to resemble one of the popular ‘Minions,’ made famous from the “Despicable Me” movie and “Minions” sequel.
Pam Finkle, a retired Seymour Middle School teacher, said her husband of 44 years, loves the Minions, and wanted to do something special for their grandkids, ages 12 and 8, who helped with the fun art project, as well as for the neighborhood to enjoy.  
The Finkles got permission from the local water company who gave them the okay to paint the hydrant. The couple said they wanted to do something to “give back” to the community, and the hydrant also serves as a ‘thank you’ to volunteer firefighters in town, as the Minion is sporting a junior fire marshal sticker atop his red fire hat. 

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