Terri Miles

My name is Terri Miles, I've been covering the Town of Orange for about 15 years, first with the Amity Observer and then for an online news site. I was moved to start my own site because of a strong desire to give Orange residents what they want and deserve, a 24/7 news site without fillers, regional stories or blogs. Just news and events from YOUR town and your children's High School. Why? Because I know you and I care. A relative financed the domain name and other little details for me so I wouldn't go stir crazy after departing from my last job.

Dec 182014

Jr. Chris Winkel's hoop hanging move at Wednesday's basketball game.

Jr. Chris Winkel’s hoop hanging move at Wednesday’s basketball game.

Back in 2012-13, the Amity Spartans Boys Basketball team had a great season with players like Zach Campbell and Remi Farrell leading the way.

Farrell was known for the way he would dunk the ball and then swing from the hoop. At Wednesday night’s game against the Career Panthers, another tall blonde, Chris Winkel, did just that, bringing fans back in time.

Although 2013-14 was a “rebuilding” year for Amity Coach Jeff Nielsen, his team seems to have some talent this year, with good team play and lots of hard work out on the court, in spite of the 23 point spread in the final.

Career is a strong team and their success at the foul line is nothing to sneeze at.

Playing in this game were:


Brett Zaniewski (10), Jared Tashea (31), Brett Southworth (33), Dave Piechota (34), Matt Ronai (43), Doug Rives (45),  and Phil Hochman (52)


Brian Ronai (2), Mike Stewart (3), Truman Etkin (15), Eli Oliphant (20), Chris Winkel (44) and Pasquale Villano (54)


Chris Wright (14) and Colin Beaulieu (12).

Winkel was the Spartan’s high scorer with 16 points, followed by Matt Ronai with 11 points.

The boys play next at Hamden High School on Friday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.

Dec 172014

20141217_112654_resizedDuring the cold winter months many of us start receiving visitors, unwelcomed guests, if you will, that sneak around our homes in the middle of the night, forage through our cabinets and leave icky trace evidence wherever they go.


Some people have no problem setting up wooden mouse traps with metal snaps that sometimes take their heads off, depending on their position when it activates, then disposing of the corpse in the trash and re-setting it for another unwitting victim.

I have an issue with the vermin scurrying around my kitchen, but I think I have more of an issue with killing them. After all, they’re just homeless creatures looking for some warmth and food. Still, I don’t want them in my house!

The other day I went out in search of the well known hav-a-hart humane traps. I did the search on my phone and after checking a couple of stores that supposedly had them for about $17 each (a bargain, I thought) I walked away empty handed as they were sold out.

I wound up at Home Depot in Orange and after wandering through aisle 44 for a few minutes, I saw large traps for squirrels and other critters, but nothing small enough for the field mice that frequent their winter vacation destination at my house.

I asked an employee for assistance and he led me to the glue traps — no, that’s cruel. And the poison — no, what if my dog gets into it. and finally, a small plastic contraption that I had overlooked on the shelf.

He said you can catch them and then throw them out — no, that’s just wrong … OR you can release them. AH! and they’re only $3.33 each.

I wanted three traps one for each floor (basement, main floor, attic) but there was only one on the shelf. He did a computer search and found out that they had more in stock and magically produced an unmarked brown cardboard box with a whole new display box inside.

For around $10 I left the store with three new mouse traps and went home to check them out. I really liked the fact that there was nothing to set up, just bait and close.

There was nothing complicated about the design, so how well could they possibly work? I slathered a tortilla chip with almond butter and closed the trap then placed it in the kitchen.

The following morning I checked the three traps: nothing upstairs, nothing in the basement, but in the kitchen, through the dark tinted plastic case I could see a mouse… and a second tail under the metal hatch. This inexpensive little mouse trap had captured two field mice within 16 hours.

I carried the box out to the car and drove to a secluded wooded area away from my home and anyone else’s home, and prepared to release the mice. The box opened easily enough, but they were too scared to exit. I turned it upside down, shook it for a bit and finally one fell out, then the other.

The product is called the Victor Catch & Hold Mice Trap. So If you have unwanted visitors and feel the same way I do about killing them, this is the solution for you.

As I mentioned before, you can find them at Home Depot in aisle 44 and they cost about the same as a medium coffee from your favorite coffee shop.

Dec 172014

10850265_747501041969987_1110753153982734140_nOn December 10, 2014, Orange Police officers participated in the ‘Shop with a Cop’ program sponsored by the REACH Foundation.

Orange PD Officers Lynn Dey, Jeff Fernandes, Brian Petrucelli, Ryan DePolo, Robert Amarone, and Lt. Max Martins volunteered their time to meet with local children, have dinner with them, and then join them on a shopping trip at the Milford Target store.

The event was a huge success, and the officers had as much fun as the kids did.

Orange Live profiled the program on Dec. 9. See Story HERE.



Dec 172014

menorah catsToday is the first day of Hanukkah. I wish you joy and many happy memories with your family and friends on this important holiday.

I also want to remind you to keep your pets safe as you celebrate with all of your traditional foods and your Menorah.

Be sure to keep the sufganiyot away from your pets. If they eat them, it could lead to gastrointestinal difficulties and even pancreatitis.

Dogs and cats both can become ill or even die from eating latkes. The onions in them are toxic to animals and the fats and carbohydrates may upset your pet’s stomach.

Keep the chocolate gold coins away from your pets, too. Not only the chocolate, but the metallic foil wrappers can be dangerous if consumed.

Dreidels can be fun for children, but a curious pet, especially one that tends to eat just about anything, can suffer terribly if it consumes one of the toys and it gets stuck in the throat, behind the teeth or in its intestines.

It is traditional to let the candles of the Menorah burn out, so it would be wise to lock your pet out of the room where your Menorah is lit. To keep everyone safe, you may want to consider using battery operated candles in your Menorah.

Have a safe, happy Hanukkah.


Dec 172014

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 12.32.36 PMChrista Parady of Zoey Girl Pet Services is known as one of the kindest, most caring business owners in Orange.
Currently, the shop is collecting food, blankets  and toys for underprivileged pets in its Toys for Pups and Canine Cupboard pantry.
Please bring all donations to their facility at 185 Boston Post Road.
Also, if you know of any of our four legged friends that are in need of a bath or groom whose human companions cannot afford it, call Zoey Girl at 203-606-9220 and they will arrange for a complementary day at the spa.
Christa, Mae and the entire staff surely know about the true meaning of Christmas.
Zoey Girl Pet Services, 185 Boston Post Rd, Orange, CT 06477
(203) 606-9220
[email protected]

Dec 172014

As residents continue to clean up after the recent rain storms, and prepare for the upcoming snow storms, Fire Marshal Tim Smith grows increasingly concerned that people are using fresh storm debris such as logs and branches in their fireplaces and wood stoves.

This unseasoned wood, and any softwoods such as spruce and pine, will contribute to creosote buildup in the fireplace and chimney, resulting in a severe chimney type fire that could extend to the framing of a home.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department already has responded to a few chimney fires since the cold weather began, luckily none of them has resulted in the loss of a home yet. Yet a heating device was to blame for a house fire that displaced a family a couple of weeks ago.

Smith included a Winter Fire Safety article from FEMA and a link to a video on proper fireplace use.

Here is the Article in its entirety:

More than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances as primary heat sources in their homes. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the fire risks when heating with wood and solid fuels.
Heating fires account for 36% of residential home fires in rural areas every year. Often these fires are due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. All home heating systems require regular maintenance to function safely and efficiently.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility …Fire Stops With You!

Keep Fireplaces and Wood Stoves Clean

•    Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.

•    Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.

•   Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Leaving the doors open ensures that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.

•    Close glass doors when the fire is out to keep air from the chimney opening from getting into the room. Most glass fireplace doors have a metal mesh screen which should be closed when the glass doors are open. This mesh screen helps keep embers from getting out of the fireplace area.

•    Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.

•    Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.

•    Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. Otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.

•    Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.

Safely Burn Fuels

•    Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.

•    Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.

•    Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.

•    Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.

•    When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.

•    Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.

•    Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings. Never empty the ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate the ashes with water.

Protect the Outside of Your Home

•    Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home.

•    Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.

•    Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester.

•    Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.

Protect the Inside of Your Home   

•    Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and     change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long life smoke alarms.

•    Provide proper venting systems for all heating equipment.

•    Extend all vent pipes at least three feet above the roof.

For more information and safety tips from the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office visit:  www.orangefiremarshal.com


Originally Published on: Nov 19, 2012 @ 1:35 p.m.

Dec 162014

800px-Connecticut_State_Capitol,_HartfordOn Dec. 15, new House Republican Leader Themis Klarides gave State Reps-Elect Pam Staneski (R-119) and Charles Ferraro (R-117) their first term legislative committee assignments .

Both Staneski and Ferraro were elected to their first term on Nov. 4 and in the days afterward they have prepared themselves for the start of the legislative session that opens on Jan. 7.

After Rep. Klarides announced to Pam and Charles their committee appointments she said, “The early work of the committee process is where our state laws are born, and it’s where legislators like Pam and Charles can provide the most positive influence for the people they serve and the state as a whole.”

Staneski was tapped to serve on the Education, Children’s and Veterans Affairs committees.

“I am looking forward to an exciting legislative session serving on both the Education and Children’s committees with a bi-partisan focus on putting forth legislation that will improve our young people’s education and protect and support our state’s most precious resource, our children,” said  Staneski.

“I fought hard to get on the Veterans Affairs committee. Connecticut needs to do everything possible to make sure our state’s veterans are properly cared for and have employment opportunities when they return back to civilian life,” she said.

When he takes office, Ferraro will serve on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, which is tasked with writing the two-year state budget.

“Analysts say we’re facing a massive budget deficit, and just before the legislative session begins we’re hearing little beyond talk about tax increases to fill the multi-billion-dollar gap,” he said. “People can’t afford tax hikes, and the legislature should explore ways to reduce government spending before digging deeper into anybody’s pocket,” said Ferraro.

Ferraro has also been tapped by House Republican Leader Themis Klarides to serve on the Public Safety and Security committee which has cognizance over all matters relating to homeland security, the Department of Public Safety, including state police, state organized task force on crime, municipal police training, fire marshals, the fire safety code and the state building code, civil preparedness and legalized gambling.

Additionally, Ferraro is being appointed to the Human Services committee which oversees all matters relating to the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Children and Families, including institutions under their jurisdiction; the Office of Child Day Care; the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities; the Commission on the Deaf and the Hearing Impaired; and the Board of Education and Services for the Blind.

“Serving on the Human Services committee gives me an inside look at the Department of Social Services which is the largest line item in Connecticut’s state budget and serves so many state residents,” he said.

Dec 162014

20141216_130116_resizedIf you are looking for a special gift for someone, consider a beautiful handcrafted Orange Ornament.

These wood ornaments are made with love locally and perfectly hand painted. They were sold at the Orange Country Fair and during the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot so the availability is getting low. They are being sold for $10 each

The artist will be selling the ornaments at Stop and Shop on Old Gate Lane in Milford on Thursday, Dec. 18, from 9 a.m. until evening while they last.

Ornaments can be purchased by e-mailing [email protected] or by calling 203-795-9640. They will be delivered to any Orange address up until the evening of Monday, Dec. 22.

photo (13)

Dec 152014

binky babyEleven years ago, when my daughter was two, my wife and I decided it was time to break her of the pacifier habit.
She called it her “binky”, and was as attached to a pacifier as any child her age would be.
She would frequently lose her binky in the middle of the night and cry until we could get up and find it for her.  (We would sometimes leave a few extra scattered in the crib so she would be sure to find one quickly and save us the trip.)
She had a nice collection of binkies.

We decided the best way to insure success of breaking the habit was to get her to buy into the plan.
So my wife came up with the idea to explain to her that she was a very lucky girl to have binkies because there were poor children around the world that had none.  We explained that a really nice thing for “big girls” to do when they are all done with their binkies is to give them to Santa Claus.  He would bring them to the North Pole and then he would deliver them to the needy boys and girls around the world.
She seemed hesitant but agreed.
On the night the fire truck arrived we were all ready.  We had her place the binkies in a little Ziploc bag and hold them for Santa.  With the lights flashing and music playing, we stood at the door watching the excitement and waiting for Santa and the elves and the firemen to come to the door.
When Santa got to the porch, she held out her bag of binkies and proudly told Santa she was a big girl now and that she wanted him to give them to the poor kids in the world.
Santa  was a champ.  Caught completely off-guard, he improvised beautifully and took the bag from her and thanked her for being such a big girl.  Then he turned and handed them to one of his elves, paused for a minute, and then came inside for the traditional visit.
She never needed a binky ever again.
The next year when I went to the firehouse to drop off the present with my check, Mama Elf recognized the address and was so happy to recount the story to me and her coworkers.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but Santa that year was none-other than the Fire Chief himself…. and she told me that my daughter’s generosity was so overwhelming that she had made him CRY!
I feel truly lucky to have had the opportunity to live here in Orange and participate in such a wonderful tradition.
We love telling this story every year.
Mike and Angel Pickett