Aug 212014

Each year at this time, students are leaving home to attend colleges and universities. Often, these eager young people, many of whom are away from home for the first time, move into residences that can be hazardous to their health.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), September and October are the peak months for fires in college housing. Fires are most common in the evening hours between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. and on weekends. About 70% of reported fires begin in the kitchen or cooking areas with equipment causing three-quarters of these fires.

Bedroom fires caused 27% of injuries and 21% of property damage in about 7% of the total fires. There are several reasons for these fires, however most are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Causes include arson, cooking and the lack of attention or the misuse of appliances, alcohol abuse which often impairs judgment and hampers evacuation efforts, careless smoking and the improper disposal of materials, the lack of automatic fire sprinklers, the incorrect use of 911 notification systems which delays an emergency response, apathy as many students are unaware that fire is a risk or a threat in the college environment, rescue efforts which are hindered when fire alarms are ignored, the delay of building evacuations due to the lack of preparation and preplanning, overloaded electrical circuits and extension cords, and vandalized or improperly maintained smoke detectors.

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office offers the following information to help reduce and prevent the loss of life and property in university housing and off-campus fires. Look for fully sprinkled housing when choosing a dorm or off-campus housing since having a working smoke alarm more than doubles one’s chance of surviving a fire.

Be sure the dormitory or apartment has smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside all sleeping areas and on each floor. Test all alarms monthly and never remove batteries or disable alarms. Cook only where permitted and never leave a hot stove unattended. Perform a “home inspection” for cleanliness and for fire and safety hazards.

Check cushions on couches and chairs for smoldering cigarettes. Thoroughly extinguish and dispose of smoking materials. Keep candles 12 inches from anything that can burn and put out lit candles and incense when unattended.

Know two ways out of every room (including classrooms). Learn and practice the building’s evacuation plan. Be informed as to how to notify the fire or other emergency departments by using 911 or other local numbers.

If you’re caught in a fire situation, survival is the top priority. Feel the door handle and if it is not hot, open the door carefully and check for smoke or fire before leaving the area.

Do not hesitate to leave. Close the door as that may keep the fire from spreading. Do not take time to gather belongings or to stray from the exit route. Knock on doors and yell “FIRE”. Crawl low to the floor. Thick smoke can make it impossible to see and toxic chemicals can be deadly. Pull the fire alarm on the way out of the building.

Phone 911 when safe. If the handle is hot, do not open the door. Get someone’s attention by screaming and hanging a sheet from the window. Stay low to the floor to avoid poisonous gases. Call for help, if a telephone is available.

If you have any questions regarding fire safety, please contact The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-891-4711, Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4:30, or visit Station #2 at 355 Boston Post Road. Smoke and CO alarms are available and free to Orange residents.

Aug 182014

BEST POLICE Patch EVERAssault Complaint

Orange Police responded to Milford Hospital on Aug. 13 at 11:21 p.m., in regards to a patient receiving treatment there due to a domestic violence incident.

During the investigation, officers learned that Victor Mitchell, 56, of 646 Arrowhead Drive,  had an altercation with a female relative, during which time he pushed her to the ground, causing injury.

Police then went to a residence on Arrowhead Drive, where Mitchell was taken into custody and charged with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

He was released after posting $2,500 bond for court Aug. 14.

Aug 172014

EARS founding member Jon Nowinski shows off the donated turn-out gear.

EARS founding member Jon Nowinski shows off the donated turn-out gear.

In preparation for Large Animal Training, EARS, an all-volunteer non-profit organization, put out a plea for turnout gear and helmets that would help protect the members from the elements and bites or kicks from frightened animals in the event of an emergency.

Almost immediately, founding member Jon Nowinski received a response from an officer in a local volunteer fire department.

Last Thursday, Nowinski met with the firefighter and was given his pick of the department’s retired turnout gear (firefighters’ pants and jackets have a 10-year life for use in fires.)

Even though he could have taken the whole lot, Nowinski only took four helmets, four pants and four jackets for the members who needed them.

The department’s name will be removed from the back of the jackets and the EARS logo will take its’ place.

“We are so grateful for this donation. As a non-profit, we can’t afford to buy quality equipment that we need,” Nowinski said. “This turnout gear will be put to good use and we are more than willing to come back and help train the firefighters how to use the animal air masks that they have.”

EARS is always available to assist CT cities and towns in the event of an emergency where animals are involved. They are trained and help in the rescue and transportation of pets from homes, barns, etc., whenever they are needed.

Equine Emergency Preparedness

Whether you’re a horse owner, a volunteer at an equine facility, or just a horse enthusiast, members of the CT Emergency Animal Response Service (EARS) are very excited to be teaming up with the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue to present a special Equine Emergency Preparedness seminar on Saturday, Aug.23.

This all-day event (9 a.m. -5 p.m.)features experts from the field of equine veterinary care, large animal response, emergency response, and others, and is going to be a jam-packed informational day.

The entire event (including handouts, materials, and lunch) is being presented at $25 per person – $30 at the door. Don’t miss this great opportunity!

For more information contact [email protected].






Aug 172014

Police Blotter Logo thx DaveOfficers responded to 752 Mapleview Drive on Aug. 6 at 2:48 p.m.,  in order to secure a firearm for safekeeping, at the owner’s request.

Upon arrival, police found other people at the home who reportedly had moved the gun officers were there to obtain.

Over the course of the investigation, officers attempted to convince these people to surrender the gun to them, but the arrestees initially denied knowledge of a gun.

Eventually, officers were led to the gun’s location inside a vehicle.

The firearm was ultimately secured by officers for safekeeping.

The two people who moved the gun and temporarily kept it from officers were taken into custody and charged.

According to the report, Lisa Guerri, 53, and Jonathan Shertzer, 24, both of 52 Mapleview Drive, were charged with theft of a firearm, conspiracy to commit theft of a firearm, interfering with an officer and sixth-degree larceny.

Each was released after posting $5,000 bond for court Aug. 20.

Aug 132014

police carAs Orange Live reported yesterday, police logged 8 home burglaries in the four month April-July time span.

Many people do not know the difference between a robbery and a burglary and residents often forget the basic prevention tips that Orange Police offer during high incidence times.


A burglary occurs when a person enters or remains in a home/building unlawfully with the intent to commit a crime. — It is a property crime.

A burglary is not “robbery,” which is a crime against a person. Burglary is a crime of opportunity.

Most burglaries occur during the daylight hours because most people are working or running errands. Entry is most often made through a front or back door. Glass is seldom broken, but will be if necessary.

The first goal in prevention is to reduce the opportunity.

Prevention Tips:

• Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened. An open window or door is an open invitation for burglars. Thieves also are quick to spot weak locks that may be easily forced open. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate with three-inch screws. All windows should have window locks.

• Secure sliding glass doors. Place a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track and install vertical bolts. These will help prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.

• Always lock the door to an attached garage. Don’t rely on your automatic garage door opener for security.

• Update locks if necessary.

• Burglar alarms are not necessarily a deterent for the professional, but more for peace of mind. They can reduce the amount of time thieves are in your home, and they help to notify police of a problem.

• Keep shrubbery trimmed away from entrances and walkways. While large, ornate hedges may be beautiful, they also provide a hiding place for burglars who need only a minute to break in through a window or door.

• Secure your valuables in a home safe or lock box.

• Photograph your valuables and log their serial numbers.

• Apply a personal identification number, such as your driver’s license number on your valuables by engraving  or with a permanent marker.

Residents are asked to be vigilant and to immediately report any suspicious vehicles or activity to the Orange Police Department at 203-891-2130.

Aug 132014

Volunteers working in the main food tent

Volunteers working in the main food tent

To all Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival Volunteers:


A most sincere thank you to all the people who helped make this year’s Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival a huge success.


This annual fundraiser, the largest for this volunteer fire association, could not run each year without the many dedicated volunteers who work day and night over weeks and months for this event.  From the volunteers who worked selling raffle tickets, to the volunteers who prepped and cooked the food, to those who manned the food tents, and to all the public works employees who set up and broke down the carnival.  This whole event runs on the backs of its volunteers.


Without our volunteers the carnival could not have been the success it was.  Thank you for your continued support and dedication.  OVF volunteers – you’re the best!  See you next year.




Donald Foyer

Carnival Chairman

Aug 122014

Police Headquarters

Police Headquarters

The Orange Police work 23/7 to protect and serve the town of Orange.

Following are the statistics from the past few months.

In April police responded to:

2,594 calls for service

4 burglaries (3 residential and 1 commercial)

124 Activated burglar alarms

26 criminal arrests

20 shoplifting/larcenies

18 fights/disturbances

6 DWI arrests

59 traffic accidents

216 motor vehicle citations issued

147 medical emergencies.

In May, officers responded to:

2,705 calls for service

2 robberies

3 burglaries (2 residential, 1 commercial)

130 activated burglar alarms

36 criminal arrests

48 shoplifting/larcenies

12 fights/disturbances

5 DWI arrests

97 traffic accidents

211 motor vehicle citations issued

143 medical emergencies

In June: 

2,510 calls for service

6 commercial burglaries

127 activated burglar alarms

23 criminal arrests

18 shoplifting/larcenies

21 fights/disturbances

5 DWI arrests

74 traffic accidents

143 motor vehicle citations issued

121 medical emergencies

July’s report included the following:

2,629 calls for service

3 burglaries (2 residential, 1 commercial)

128 activated burglar alarms

25 criminal arrests

26 shoplifting/larcenies

12 fights/disturbances

4 DWI arrests

81 traffic accidents

162 motor vehicle citations issued

125 medical emergencies

Aug 112014

STOP! or pay the fine

STOP! or pay the fine

With the first day of school just weeks away, many of our regular readers are looking up information. One of the most popular is this story that we published last February. 

Watch out, Bus drivers are keeping an eye out and police responding to complaints of drivers who do not comply with the laws regarding stopping for stopped school busses.

Orange Board Of Education Vice Chairman Jody Dietch said,  “Coming soon to Orange: if you pass a bus, a camera will take a picture of your vehicle and you will get a summons.”

From the State Website the whole story, including fines:

You want to know the legislative history of the act requiring police, on receipt of a written complaint from a school bus driver, to issue a written warning or summons to a motor vehicle owner for illegally passing a stopped school bus.

For your information, we also have appended a chart showing the disposition of cases in which vehicles failed to stop for a school bus from 2007 through 2011, according to figures provided by the Judicial Branch. We were unable to determine how many of these cases were based on a bus driver’s written report. Representatives of the Chief State’s Attorney’s office and the Judicial Branch said the state does not track those numbers.


A motor vehicle cannot pass a stopped school bus displaying flashing red signal lights, but must stop at least 10 feet before or behind such a bus (CGS § 14-279). Under the law, police must issue a written warning or a summons to the owner of a vehicle who illegally passes a school bus “upon a written report from any school bus operator…specifying the license plate number, color and type of any vehicle” the bus driver sees violating the law. The driver’s report must also note the date, approximate time, and location of the violation.

PA 85-71

A provision allowing police to issue a written warning to a vehicle owner on receiving a bus driver’s written report was enacted in 1985 (PA 85-71, originating as HB 5749). The act also allowed anyone over age 18 to submit such a written report.

The Transportation Committee held a hearing on HB 5749 on February 4, 1985. Several people testified in support of the provision, arguing there was insufficient enforcement of the school bus passing law. A Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) representative spoke against the bill.

Sharon Ward, school transportation safety director for a school bus contractor, said “the statute must be changed so that local police and state troopers are required to make arrests when drivers give an adequate amount of information…the marker number, the color and make of the car.”

Another witness, Robin Leeds, executive director of the Connecticut School Transportation Association, said the bill “represents an attempt to address the most serious problem in school transportation, the danger in the unloading zones. Not only do all our fatalities occur here, but our most severe injuries as well. Already this winter, we have seen at least five children hit and seriously injured by motorists who did not stop for the flashing red lights of the school bus. In two of those instances, the motorist said to the officer…I didn’t know I was supposed to stop.”

“It is safe to assume,” she continued, “that those motorists had passed a school bus before. If their license numbers had been turned in by a bus driver and accepted by a policeman…who then sent a written warning…they would have known they were supposed to stop before they hit the children.” She said 20 states already had similar laws.

John O’Connell, DMV’s public transportation administrator, opposed the bill, saying the department had “some…concerns regarding the question of constitutionality and an abuse of such a statute about drivers picking up the plate numbers…”

The House of Representatives considered the bill on April 10, 1985, and passed it after amending it by voice vote to allow, rather than require, police to issue a written warning on receipt of a bus driver’s written report (LCO # 5478).

Speaking in support of the amended bill, Representative Wilber said “the feeling of the [transportation] committee was that most people do not pass school buses intentionally, but they do it forgetfully, and if a warning is issued, they probably will not do it again, or not so likely to do it again.”

Representative Frankel opposed the bill, saying its “fatal flaw” was that it was directed at vehicle owners, rather than the person driving the vehicle when the violation occurred. But Representative Ward, arguing for the bill, said school bus drivers “faced…a dilemma. They see a vehicle pass them illegally…They do not know who the operator is, but they clearly can get a marker number.”

“Nothing in this bill prevents a ticket, if you know who was the driver,” Ward said. “It takes the extra step, however, of allowing a warning to the owner of a vehicle when you cannot identify the operator.”

The House passed the amended bill by a 117 to 32 vote.

The Senate debate occurred on April 17, 1985. Senator Giulietti opposed the measure, saying it did not “really have any teeth” because it allowed, rather than required, police to issue a warning. He also objected to “making school bus drivers or any other person over 18…policemen.” Senator Consoli also objected to giving “non-police personnel” the authority to make a complaint in these cases.

Senator Morano, speaking on behalf of the bill, argued that “any tool…to teach people not to go racing by stopped school buses would be good legislation.” Senator DiBella, also speaking on behalf of the bill, said it would allow a policeman “to issue a warning without being on the scene.”

The Senate passed the bill, as amended by the House, by a vote of 30 to 3.


PA 85-71 was codified in CGS § 14-279. The statute has since been amended several times, as follows (excluding technical changes):

PA 86-155 changed the law by (1) explicitly requiring vehicles to stop for stopped school buses displaying flashing red signal lights on any highway, private road, parking area, or school property; (2) eliminating the ability of “other persons 18 years of age or over” to submit written reports of vehicles failing to stop; and (3) requiring, rather than allowing, a police officer to issue either a written warning or summons on receiving a school bus driver’s written report.

PA 01-192 expressly required emergency vehicles, such as fire department and police vehicles, to stop at least 10 feet from a school bus displaying flashing red signal lights.

PA 11-255 replaced the fine for a first offense of between $100 and $500 with a $450 fine and allowed video evidence of failing to stop for a school bus.

 Originally Published on: Feb 2, 2014 @ 22:45



Aug 102014

Police Blotter Logo thx DaveDUI

Patrol Officers reportedly observed a vehicle driving erratically on Lambert Road, weaving within the traffic lane on Aug. 3 at 12:11 a.m.

Upon stopping the vehicle, administered standardized roadside sobriety tests on the driver, Veronica Decicco, 44, of 18 Great Meadow Dr, Milford.

Decicco was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), driving with a suspended license, and failure to maintain a proper lane.

She was released after posting $50 bond, for court Aug. 18.

Possession of Marijuana

Police responded to a complaint of a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of the Trader Joe’s store, 560 Boston Post Road, after closing on July 31 at 10:39 p.m.

Investigation revealed that a 21-year-old West Haven man was in possession of a small amount of marijuana  (less than 1/2 ounce).

He was cited with an infraction ticket for his actions.

Aug 082014

Orange Police K-9 Major

Orange Police K-9 Major

Here is Video from the first half of the police memorial service held in honor of K-9 Major who was killed in the line of duty on July 19, 2014.

Hear what former K-9 handler Mike Kosh, Chief Robert Gagne said in the first half, then what Officer Chris Brown had to say about this magnificent dog in the second half of the Video.

Read the full story here.


Only 2 media people were at the ceremony. You will read about this in a print publication in 3 weeks.