Dec 192014

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

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

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

Dec 152014

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.18.29 PMOn Saturday, Dec. 13, Thomas McMahon, 65, of Golf Road, Orange, turned himself in on an arrest warrant at the Orange Police Department.

McMahon was charged with first-degree arson, a felony, and providing a false written statement.

It is alleged that on October 27, McMahon intentionally set fire to his home on 496 Golf Road, while it was occupied. No one was injured.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department, Milford Fire Department, Orange Fire Marshals, Orange Police, and Connecticut State Police Fire and Explosion Unit arrived at the scene of the fire and brought it under control.

The fire appeared to have been set from inside the residence, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage.

McMahon was released after posting a $50,000 bond. He is due in Derby Superior Court on Jan. 5, 2015.

Orange Police Detective Mike Morrin investigated this incident and secured the warrant for McMahon’s arrest.


Dec 152014

IMG_7408I’ve been going out with the Santa’s Helper Crew for so many years that I’ve lost count.

It all began when I was with the Amity Observer newspaper. My son would accompany me as my photographer and I would “observe” and write a story.

I carried it through to some “hyperlocal” news site and finally now, I’ve covered it for two years on Orange Live.

Santa’s Helper is one of those timeless events that I enjoy being a part of. Seeing the children jumping with excitement at their front door brings me back to when I was young and believing was all you had to do to have a magical Christmas.

Remember, you have until Saturday, Dec. 20 to enter the Orange Live Santa’s Helper contest. Just send your “story” (and a photo if you have one.) to [email protected].




Dec 102014

Police Blotter Logo thx DavePolice responded to a theft complaint at the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, 82 Boston Post Road on Nov. 29 at 7:14 p.m.

During the investigation, officers learned that a restaurant patron had her purse stolen inside the restaurant, and that her credit cards were then used inside the restaurant.

Officers viewed video showing Zhane Flynn, 18, of 310 Putnam Ave, Hamden, using the complainant’s credit cards to purchase tokens for the video games inside the restaurant.

Flynn was subsequently taken into custody and charged with two counts of credit card theft, two counts of illegal use of a credit card, second-degree identity theft and sixth-degree larceny. 

She was released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 12.

It was later determined that Flynn also was wanted by the New Haven Police, and she was turned over to their custody.


Dec 092014

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 2.12.00 PMThe Orange Police Department is teaming up with The Reach Foundation Wednesday, Dec. 10, for its second annual Shop With A Cop event.

Shop With A Cop is a one-on-one experience designed to have uniformed officers spend a day with underprivileged children in the community while socializing, shopping, and providing guidance during the holiday season.

According to the Reach Foundation website, “The children will shop for their family as well as a children’s organization from the community where the police officer serves. This unique shopping experience for the children is an opportunity that deters them for choosing a life of crime or violence. The participating children are identified by schools, youth organizations, and social services agencies.”

Police Chief Robert Gagne announced the department’s participation during Monday’s Police Commission meeting, stating that 5 police officers were volunteering their time to this worthwhile cause.

The officers will meet the kids at Bear and Grill, have dinner and get to know one another. After spending time together, the children participate in a law enforcement procession with flashing lights and sirens to the Milford Target store at the Westfield Post Mall. At the store, the police officers help the children shop for themselves, their family, as well as a child from the community where the police officer serves.

This is the first time that the Orange PD is involved in this event and it could possibly become a tradition for the officers.

Funding for the dinner and shopping comes from donations made to the Reach Foundation.