Monday, February 29, 2016

Diabetes Education at Griffin Hospital

DERBY –The Diabetes Education & Support Group at Griffin Hospital will host two free talks about insulin on Tues., March 8 at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the hospital, 130 Division St., Derby.
The discussions will provide a complete overview of insulin, including, insulin basics, different types, ways to inject, where to inject, storage, tips for taking, myths vs. facts, side effects and managing an insulin plan.
The 2:30 p.m. session will be in Dining Room Conference Room 2 and the 6:30 p.m. session will be in Dining Room Conference Room 1. Free valet parking is available for the 2:30 p.m. session.
The Diabetes Education & Support Group meets September - June on the second Tuesday of each month to discuss the management of diabetes, its challenges and day-to-day dietary concerns.
Anyone with diabetes and their families are welcome to attend. No registration is required.
For more information, call Mary Swansiger at 203-732-1137.
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Seymour VFW to Host 'Irish Night'

SEYMOUR - VFW Post 12084 will host an 'Irish Night' Sunday, March 13 at Colonial Tavern, located at 24 Hawley Rd., Oxford.

According to Post Commander Al Yagovane, the event will begin at 3 p.m. It will feature a traditional Irish dinner featuring corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, carrots, salad, pasta with broccoli and dessert. Cost is $20 per person.

Entertainment will be provided by Tony Castle. Door prizes will also be featured.

For more information, or tickets, call Yagovane at (203)736-7981.

Griffin Hospital to Host Fall Prevention Program March 18

DERBY- The Valley Parish Nurse Program at Griffin Hospital and Griffin Hospital Lifeline will host a free Fall Prevention Program on Friday, March 18 from 9 a.m.-noon at Griffin Hospital, 130 Division Street in Derby.
The program will discuss the dangers of falling, especially for seniors, and will help attendees prevent falls by: Assessing their fall risk; teaching them to assess their, or a loved one’s, risk of falling; teaching and practicing exercises to improve balance and leg strength; providing a medication review; encouraging annual eye exams; teaching ways to reduce tripping hazards at home and learning how to get up or to call for fast help if a fall occurs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three adults 65 and older will fall each year. For those 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury, death and hospital admissions for trauma. Those who fall, even if not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear causes people to limit their activities reducing their mobility, causing loss of physical fitness, which in turn increases the actual risk of falling.
A light breakfast will be provided by Griffin Hospital Lifeline.
To reserve a seat or for more information, contact Esther at 203-732-1523 or

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Conroy's Bill to Combat Opiod Epidemic Moves to House

HARTFORD - Legislation (HB5053) sponsored by State Representative Theresa Conroy (D-Seymour, Beacon Falls, Derby) aimed at combatting the growing opioid epidemic in Connecticut was unanimously approved by the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee.  
The bill instructs cities and towns to ensure first responders are equipped and trained to administer the drug naloxone when encountering a person experiencing an opioid overdose. Naloxone has a proven record of quickly reversing the effects of an overdose. 
“This is a statewide crisis that needs to be addressed in a non-judgmental, humane manner,” said Rep. Conroy, an advanced practice nurse and member of the legislature’s Public Health Committee. “Naloxone is effective and fast-acting, and it is important to get it out on the streets in our towns so lives can be saved.”       
According to the Department of Public Health, naloxone was administered by paramedics over 2,000 times per year in the state from 2012-14.  
Also under the bill, commercial health insurers would be prohibited from requiring prior authorization for coverage of naloxone. In addition, a provision in the bill helps protect a provider who administers an opioid antidote from civil liability.
The bill will now go to the House of Representatives for the consideration of the full General Assembly.  
(This is a press release from Conroy's office) 

Celebrate Shelton's Downtown Handmade Market

SHELTON – Celebrate Shelton creators Nicole Heriot-Mikula, Michael Skrtic & Jimmy Tickey are looking forward to the second Downtown Handmade Market of the year. There will be artisan vendors for all of your end-of-winter goods like spices, quilts and scarfs; and if you're thinking spring there will be bright home goods, candles, fashion and jewelry.   The Downtown Handmade Market is free to enter with ample free parking. 
What: Downtown Handmade Market
Where: Conti Building - 415 Howe Ave, Shelton 
When: Saturday, March 5th from 10am-3pm
Featuring live music and over 20 handmade artisan vendors! 
Our March handmade artisans include: Auntie Arwen's Spices, Bead Dangle Design, Designs by T-Squared, Grateful Pawz, Greystone Bookworks, Hipponotic Candle, Inspiredesigns, Kilbride Creations, KnitBeadRepeat, Color by Amber, Lilla Rose, Liquid Lunch/GROW, Lisa's Soaps, The Little Dog Laughed, OmNomNom Jams and Jellies LLC, Origami Owl Jewelry, Purslane Press, Quark Tees,Quilts by Nancy, Reid's BBQ & Rubs, Renn's Recreations, Trinkets by Teri.
The Conti Building Shops include: The Glass Source, BringtheHoopla, Written Words Bookstore, Periodic Tableware, Shadee Lady, Memories from Aunt Helen's Attic, Nikki's Attic, Three Bridges Coffee Shop, Sage Yoga, Welcome Relaxation. 
Live music from 10:00am-12:30pm with Benny Mikula and from 12:30pm-3:00pm Elle Sera.  
Celebrate Shelton, a city-wide initiative, was created by small business owners - Nicole Heriot-Mikula, Michael Skrtic and Jimmy Tickey. Learn more about Celebrate Shelton at and follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter ( 

Susan DeLeon, Griffin Hospital Heart Wellness Clinic to Receive Caring Heart Award

DERBY - Former Director of The Umbrella Susan DeLeon, of Shelton, and The Heart Wellness Center at Griffin Hospital will be honored with the Caring Heart Award at The 11th Annual Women’s Heart Wellness and Caring Heart Award Brunch on Saturday, March 12 from 8:30 a.m.-noon at the Griffin Hospital Dining Room, 130 Division Street, Derby.
The award recognizes individuals and groups that foster initiatives to promote and improve the general health and well-being of all. This is the eighth year that the award will be bestowed.
DeLeon served as director of The Umbrella, a domestic violence shelter in Ansonia, for more than 25 years. She is a marriage and family therapist who has received many community recognitions for her work with The Umbrella and BHCare including the Lillian Chrostowski Award from TEAM, Inc., the Silver Seal Award from the Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Outstanding Community Service Award from Gateway Community-Technical College.
Griffin Hospital’s free Heart Wellness Clinic helps those with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) stay well by giving them regular screening and support and providing a better understanding their condition by equipping them with skills and strategies to stay healthy and avoid preventable hospital admissions.
The Caring Heart Award is presented by the Women’s Heart Wellness Committee, which consists of healthcare professionals, heart patients and women from throughout the Valley communities. The primary focus of the group is to increase heart disease awareness among women, empower them to love and save their hearts, and ensure they are provided the means to do so through education and rehabilitation. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease kills nearly twice as many women in the United States as all types of cancer.
The brunch will start with registration at 8:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 9 a.m. There will be presentations by Griffin Hospital’s Department of Radiology Chair Dr. Devika Jajoo on ways to take care of your health and Certified Diabetes Educator Mary Swansiger of diabetes prevention and management. There will also be blood pressure and diabetes testing and consultation.
Tickets for the brunch are $25 and the event is open to the public. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Heart Wellness Fund, which supports heart wellness programs for women in the Valley.
Valet parking will be available.
Reservations are due by March 4. To make a reservation or for more information, email
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Bowlers & Sponsors Needed to “Bowl a Strike” Against Domestic Violence

Ansonia- The Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS), a program of BHcare, is looking for bowlers and sponsors to participate in the 28th Annual Bowl-2-Benefit being held Saturday, March 12, 2016, at AMF Lanes in Milford, CT.  All proceeds benefit UCDVS which provides services to over 6,000 victims of domestic violence and their children each year throughout the Greater New Haven, Greater Naugatuck Valley, and Shoreline communities.  UCDVS provides free emergency safe shelter, 24-hour crisis services, counseling, court advocacy, support and other crucial services.
The Bowl-2-Benefit, one of the largest fundraising events of its kind in the state, attracts over 1,500 community members.  Bowlers of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate in teams of 4-5, in one of five bowling sessions scheduled for 9:00 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm and 7:00 pm.  Bowlers pay a minimal $5 registration fee and are asked to collect pledges to support their efforts.  Each bowler will receive 90 minutes of bowling, an event t-shirt, shoe rental, soft drink, and a chance to win prizes.  The event is ideal for clubs, schools, organizations, corporations and families.
The Bowl-2-Benefit offers sponsorship opportunities for all budgets, with levels starting at just $75.  Sponsors reap the benefit of exposure to the more than 1,500 participants as well as additional exposure online.  Tee shirt sponsors receive continued exposure with their logo printed on the event tee that is distributed to all bowlers.  Tee shirt level sponsorships start at just $500.
Decreases in state and federal funding coupled with increases in demand for services make fundraising events such as the Bowl-2-Benefit critical to sustaining services for those at risk and in need.  Last year, the Bowl-2-Benefit raised over $90,000. Event organizers hope to exceed that amount this year and attract an even larger bowling crowd. 
The 28th Annual Bowl-2-Benefit is being sponsored by the Bassett Family Fund and media partners include Channel 3 Eyewitness News, WPLR 99.1-FM and Star 99.9-FM.  Anyone interested in receiving more information about, or participating in the Bowl-2-Benefit, should call Debbie Soulsby at (203) 736-2601, ext. 1321 or visit  Deadline for bowler registration is March 1, 2016.
BHcare is a regional community provider of behavioral health, addiction prevention, and domestic violence services for the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Greater New Haven and Shoreline communities. For more information, visit
(This is a press release from BHcare)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Help with Winter Heating Bills Available

DERBY- Families and individuals seeking financial help to off-set their winter heating
bills may apply to TEAM for assistance.

Families and individuals may qualify for help if they fall below these income limits: $33,132 for household of one, $43,327 for a two person household, $53,521 for a three person household, $63,716 for a four person household.
Applicants are deemed eligible based on review of their total household gross income, such as job earnings, unemployment compensation, social security, pension etc.; household size; and liquid assets, as shown through bank statements. If an applicant is approved for assistance, TEAM will make direct payments to their home heating provider. 
Both home owners and renters who are residents of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Milford, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, and Woodbridge can apply for energy assistance from TEAM.
To schedule an appointment with TEAM Energy Assistance, please call 203-736-5420 and follow prompts for Energy Assistance, or in Milford, 203-783-3253; Woodbridge, 203-389-3429; Orange, 203-891-4787, and Bethany, 203-393-2100, ext.124.
(This is a press release from TEAM, Inc.)

Oxford’s Colonial Tavern Wins a WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award 2016

OXFORD – WeddingWire, the leading global online wedding marketplace, named Colonial Tavern as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016 for Ceremony & Reception Venue in Connecticut

The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding florists, based on their professional achievements from the previous year. 

While many industry award winners are selected by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Colonial Tavern. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients. 

“We are thrilled to celebrate such a high-caliber, committed group of professionals for the Couples’ Choice Awards’® eighth year,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “We are proud to continue to serve as the industry leader, with over 2.5 million consumer and peer reviews, and feature award-winning merchants such as Colonial Tavern, who understands the impact reviews have on their successful businesses.” 

As a Couples’ Choice Awards® winner, Colonial Tavern is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of more than 400,000 wedding professionals globally. 

Colonial Tavern is proud to be one of the top Ceremony & Reception Venues in Connecticut in the WeddingWire Network. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We value all of our clients and truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016. 

For more information about Colonial Tavern, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at or our direct website 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What's Better than Beer & Cheese?

Ansonia Skating Rink to Open Wednesday, Feb. 17

ANSONIA - Mayor David Cassetti announced that the grand opening of the new ice skating rink at Nolan Field on Wakelee Avenue has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.

The rink was scheduled to open over the weekend, but frigid temperatures and high winds caused the city to reschedule, keeping residents' safety in mind.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Derby Students Learn 'No One Eats Alone'

DERBY- Irving School students participated in a 'No One Eats Alone' event Wednesday.

The event, done in conjunction with Beyond Differences, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending social isolation in schools across the country, was streamed live via YouTube.

You can watch the event by clicking on the link below:

Irving Principal Jennifer Olson said students in third, fourth and fifth grade learned about social isolation, and during lunch they participated in activities to encourage students to sit with others and engage in conversation.

With social isolation and bullying now seen as chronic problems in the schools, Olson said the  initiative will seek to reverse these trends by asking students to engage in a simple act of kindness at lunch – making sure that no one is eating alone. I want to thank Beyond Differences and their partners for their tireless efforts to tackle an issue which has been ignored for too long,” said Olson. 

Cupcake Challenge to Benefit Spooner House

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Valley Celebrates 10th Annual Monkey Love Valentine Drive

Pictured from left to right:
Ross James and Jennifer Sneider of J Cuts, Shelton; Nicole Polifka of Bright Horizons, Shelton; David Morgan and Amy LaChomia of TEAM, Inc., Derby and Ansonia.

SHELTON- Stuffed monkeys swung in to Shelton for the tenth annual “Monkey Love Valentine Drive,” an annual effort to collect stuffed animals for children in need.
During the past ten years, over 10,327 stuffed monkeys have been collected and distributed to children in need of  smiles and a new friend to warm their hearts.
Jennifer Sneider, the owner of J-Cuts barber shop located at 505 Howe Ave. in downtown Shelton, organizes the drive every year.  She is always amazed by the outpouring of kindness from the community.
“Every year more and more people join in,” says Sneider. “Now that this collection is well established, monkeys find their way to J-Cuts throughout the year. When people see stuffed monkeys for sale, they think of children in need.”
J-Cuts became the main drop off location after taking the drive over from the owners of Luther’s Garage, which is now closed.
“This is my sixth year being involved,” says Sneider. “We have so much fun.  My customers, co-workers and family all love to get involved!  We decorate the barber shop in anticipation of a whole bunch of monkeys moving in for a little while.  It is an amazing feeling to know each and every one of these monkeys will find comfort in the arms of a child in need and children will find comfort in these monkeys.”
Additional collection locations this year included Minuteman Press of 427 Howe Ave., Suite 2 and the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, 10 Progress Drive, 2nd Floor, both of Shelton, along with Barb’s Corner Consignment of 25 West Main Street, Ansonia.
Minuteman Press also donated posters.
Mary Finnegan and Lenny Marconi held their Sixth Annual Monkey Love Sunday Jan. 31 at Off the Hook Bar & Grill on Ferry Boulevard in Stratford.
As a member of the online meet-up group, Party Express, Marconi decided to invite everyone to Off the Hook each year for a monkey drop off party. Between donations from this group and many loyal customers of Off the Hook, over 100 stuffed monkeys were collected again. Off the Hook holds a Monkey Love Sunday celebration each year on the Sunday before Super Bowl. Next year, they hope to have other area pubs in Stratford join in.

Mary Finnegan, bartender at Off the Hook in Stratford coordinates Monkey Love Sunday the Sunday before Super Bowl each year
For the third year in a row, the Milford Fire Department dropped off donations along with Bright Horizons child care center of 3 Corporate Drive, Shelton and United Methodist Women of the First United Methodist Church, 47 Franklin St. in Ansonia.
The United Methodist Women, led by Barbara Tchakirides, crocheted 12 adorable and colorful stuffed monkeys. “We enjoyed crocheting these monkeys knowing they would warm the hearts of children in need on Valentine’s Day,” says Tchakirides.
This annual community event benefits abused and neglected children, impoverished, adopted and sick children, as well as children who may feel a little left out when a younger sibling is born and children treated for cancer or other illnesses at local hospitals.
The 9th Annual Monkey Love Valentine Drive, held in 2015, collected and distributed over 1,880 stuffed monkeys to area organizations to give to children in need.
Children benefited by the drive this year are serviced by the Lower Naugatuck Valley (Shelton) Boys & Girls Club, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital in New Haven, TEAM Inc. in Derby and Ansonia, BHcare’s Center for Domestic Violence Services in Ansonia, Griffin Hospital of Derby and the Department of Children & Families in Milford.
Coordinators also shared 26 of the stuffed monkeys as “26 Random Acts of Kindness.”
For information on holding a collection of your own next year, beginning Jan. 1, 2017, call J-Cuts, 203-924-4107.
J-Cuts also holds an Annual Back-To-School Book Bag & School Supply Drive which begins July 1.
(This is a press release from J-Cuts)

Ansonia Ice Skating Rink Opens Saturday, Feb. 13

ANSONIA = The City has rescheduled the opening of the new ice skating rink at Nolan Field,
located at 350 Wakelee Ave., to Saturday, Feb. 13. The rink will be open to Ansonia residents and their guests from 4 to 9 p.m.

Festivities will include a performance by special guest figure skater and Lake Placid Gold Medalist Marisa Panuczak, a sophomore at Notre Dame High School, along with a bonfire, hot chocolate and music.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

First-Ever Naugatuck Valley Home Show Coming Soon!

SHELTON - Spataro Construction and Shelton Courtyard by Marriott are proud to announce the first annual Naugatuck Valley Home Show.

The event, which will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Courtyard by Marriott, 780 Bridgeport Ave., features home improvement companies servicing Fairfield and New Haven Counties.
Thinking of starting a new project on your home this Spring? You’ll find exactly what you’re looking for to satisfy your Remodeling, repair, and other needs at the show. Many local companies will be on hand to display their products and services for interested homeowners to browse. The show will feature a range of services including lawn care, electrical, oil delivery and many more.
The initial vendor list for the 2016 Naugatuck Valley Home Show includes:
● All Fenced In,  Seymour

● All Terrain Operations, Shelton
● CTEC Solar, Bloomfield

● Connecticut Basement Systems, Seymour
● Decorating Den, Oxford
● Home Depot, Derby
● InstaPlumbing, Wolcott
● Mavilla Landscaping, Shelton

● Spataro Construction,  Derby
● Standard Oil, Bridgeport

● Standard Security Systems, Bridgeport

● State Farm Insurance, Shelton
● Wills Electrical Services, Shelton
● Winter Bros Waste Systems, Danbury
Admission is free, with kid-friendly events and activities taking place throughout the day. Visit our Kids Corner with activities from The Giggling Pig, Kidnetic Clubhouse, and Pinwheel Studios. Attendees can enter to win an Apple iPad Air as well as other prizes and giveaways from local companies including Valley Lighting, Doorbell Barbers, Grow, Common Bond Market and more. Beverages and light snacks will be provided as well from the Courtyard by Marriott and The Happy Cupcake.
To learn more, visit

Celebrate First Saturday at Lizzie's Corner

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Goodwill Seeking New Site

Goodwill of Western & Northern Connecticut is in search of a new location for its Naugatuck donation station.  The donation station, which has been located at 195 Water Street for more than fifteen years, closed on January 29 because the property was sold.
This location in Naugatuck served over 12,000 local donors in 2015 alone, providing them with a convenient and trusted source for their gently used donations. The next closest donation station to this site is in Waterbury.
“The donation station is extremely important to this community, and we are asking local property owners to help find an alternative location,” said Vickie L. Volpano, President & CEO, Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut.  “The donations are critical to our success, as the revenue generated funds our mission – to help people find jobs.”
Any local property owners that would like additional information please reach out to Ken Bennett, Vice President of Retail at or 203.581.5357.
About Goodwill of Western & Northern Connecticut:
Goodwill of Western & Northern Connecticut is a non-profit organization that provides employment and supportive services to people with disabilities and other challenges to employment. Through programs that offer people the opportunity to develop the life-changing skills they need to obtain and keep a job, Goodwill helps the individuals it serves gain hope, dignity, and financial independence.
(This is a press release from Goodwill)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Irving School to Host 'No One Eats Alone' Event

DERBY- Lunch can be the longest part of the school day for some youth who feel alone and socially isolated at their school.

Irving School and Beyond Differences announces the launch of No One Eats Alone Day at Irving School at 2 p.m. Feb. 10.

With social isolation and bullying now seen as chronic problems in our schools, this initiative will seek to reverse these trends by asking students to engage in a simple act of kindness at lunch – making sure that no one is eating alone.

“Today we are holding No One Eats Alone Day here at Irving School,” said Principal Jennifer Olson. 
“Our third, fourth, and fifth graders will learn about social isolation, and during their lunch they will do activities to encourage students to sit with others and engage in conversation. Students will see the 'Be the One' video from Beyond Differences. I want to thank Beyond Differences and their partners for their tireless efforts to tackle an issue which has been ignored for too long.”

Beyond Differences is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending social isolation in schools across the country.

“We believe that No One Eats Alone Day will be a game changer for Derby children," said Beyond Differences President Laura Talmus.

“A student being isolated at lunch signals the beginning of many problems which have come to plague our schools – with the most shocking examples being bullying and violence," she said.

"We want to reverse these frightening trends by asking students to engage in a simple act of kindness at lunch – making sure that no one is eating alone. Beyond Differences is proud to announce the No One Eats Alone Initiative.”

(This is a press release from Derby Public Schools)

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...