Pix And Video From The Orange Inauguration

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Nov 182017

On Friday, Nov. 17, the town of Orange hosted its Inauguration Ceremony for all newly elected officials.

Although some of them could not attend, a majority of these fine folks were in attendance to be sworn-in. State Rep. Themis Klarides administered the oath of office.

Now going into his seventh term as First Selectman, James Zeoli gave a nice speech, praising his fellow public servants and giving a nod to his former challenger Margaret Novicki for her hard work during the campaign.

Here is a VIDEO of that speech – For some reason, the 18-minute video cut off after 5 minutes… I will work on fixing that.



Get Ready For Santa’s Helper 2017

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Nov 162017

A message from Elf Mama:

Each year, every one of the Orange Fire Association’s 6 Santa’s Helper Teams of Santa, Elves and firefighter helpers are excited and honored to visit and deliver gifts, share in some fun, take photos and help make lasting memories and traditions for every family.  Children and adults alike look forward with great anticipation to seeing the fire trucks with lights and sirens coming down their street to their front door, with Santa leading the way!  His truck full of gifts, his helpers and Elves visiting with each family. 

This year, for everyone’s convenience, the Santa visits are on a Saturday (instead of Sunday) again — so mark your calendars for December 16.


Drop off the gifts that you would like Santa and his team to deliver back to your loved ones, on the designated drop-off day, sign-up and we will do the rest.


GIFT DROP OFF DAY IS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2017, 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. at Fire Station #2, 355 Boston Post Road (Across from T.G.I. Friday’s).  We ask that the general public arrive no earlier than 30 minutes prior to the 12:00 start time.  You will have a much shorter wait in line by following these new guidelines.

GIFT RULES AND INFORMATION:  There is a small fee of $18.00 per gift/per household.  Each gift must be INDIVIDUALLY wrapped in your favorite holiday paper with an over-wrap of plain brown paper.  The name and address of the recipient must be clearly printed on the outside of each gift.  PLEASE try not to make the gift too large or too heavy, Santa appreciates that. 

We have a total of 170 delivery spots/visits available.  We encourage you to try to have all the gifts for your delivery stop with you on Gift Drop-Off day.  (For Families with a large party with many gifts, please email Elf Mama at ofdsantashelper@aol.com for special instructions.

Parking for Drop-Off day is in the rear of the Fire Station.  Firefighters will be there to assist you.  The Drop-Off line is located INSIDE the Fire Station. Use the rear door marked ENTER.

ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2017 Santa on his fire truck with his Elf and firefighter helpers will arrive at your home to deliver the gifts to your loved ones and spend a few moments with your family and friends for photos and fun! 

If you have any questions, you can email Elf Mama at ofdsantashelper@aol.com, she will be happy to assist you via email.  Please do not call the Fire Stations as it’s a Volunteer Fire Department and there will not be anyone there to assist you with Santa’s Helper information.  Visit www.orangevfd.com and click on the Santa’s Helper page for additional information and to see some fun pictures of what we do!

*E-mailing Santa’s Helper does not guarantee you a spot on the delivery route.  Sign-up is on Gift Drop-Off Day and is on a first come-first serve basis.*


Orange Police: Fatal Car Accident

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Nov 102017

The following is a statement from Town of Orange Police Department Chief Robert Gagne:
First and foremost, the thoughts and prayers of the entire Orange Police Department are with the family of Philip Hunt, who unfortunately succumbed to his injuries as a result of the crash in West Haven.
Orange Police were called to the scene of a motor vehicle crash at Route 34 and Route 152 (in Orange) in which a light-colored minivan struck another vehicle from behind, then fled the scene, eastbound, on Route 34 without stopping.
Shortly thereafter, Orange Police observed a vehicle matching the description of the offending vehicle traveling southbound on Dogwood Road near New Haven Avenue. The vehicle had front-end damage and was being operated in an erratic manner. The vehicle initially slowed to a stop (or near-stop) for police on Dogwood Road near Route One, but then continued east on Route One, and then south on Meloy Road into West Haven, prior to crashing on Meloy Road.
Orange police were cooperative with the West Haven Haven Police Department at the scene of the crash. Orange Police are cooperating fully with the Connecticut State Police, who are investigating this incident. The original accident at Route 34 152 and its connection to the West Haven crash remains under investigation.
The Orange Police Department defers any further comment to the Connecticut State Police Public Information Office.

Video: First Selectman’s Debate – Police Training, Support

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Oct 292017

Candidates for Orange First Selectman answer a question about keeping the Orange Police Department trained and strong during the debate at Congregation Or Shalom on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017.

First up, Incumbent Republican Jim Zeoli, Second, Independent Alex DeAngelo and finally, Democrat Margaret Novicki.

Click HERE for video.


Middle School Students Shadow Local Government Officials

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Oct 262017

Back row: Adam Glassman, Landon Rocchio, Frank Cavallaro, Mason Beaudette, Spencer Stratford, Aayan Chaturvedi Middle Row: Jade Krukar, Anna Varholak, Alana Abrams, Zoe May Front row: Jasmina Krehic, Madison Samoncik, Colleen Shaw, and Caityln Shanley

By Jennifer Marganski

Many seventh and eighth grade students at Amity Middle School Orange submitted essays this year to shadow fifteen different local positions in the town. Pictured are the students who had the opportunity to shadow local town government officials.  The students learned about local government from Town Clerk Pat O’Sullivan and were also able to take a private tour of historical buildings in Orange Center with First Selectman Jim Zeoli. 

October has come to mean Government Day in Orange and on a bright Wednesday morning, fifteen students were able to not only learn about some early events in their town’s history including its separation from Milford but also about the founding families of the town, including the Treat and Clark families who have played pivotal roles in the Orange community. 

Students had an opportunity to introduce themselves to local government officials and explain why they wanted to participate in the day shadowing local leaders.  They were even interviewed by the OGAT channel!

Update: TGI Fridays Damaged But Not A Total Loss

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Oct 222017

The fire that forced the evacuation of customers and staff at TGI Fridays on Saturday night is being blamed on equipment failure, specifically an exhaust hood in the kitchen, according to Fire Marshal Tim Smith.

Smith broke the evening’s event down like this:

TGI Fridays Restaurant has a drop ceiling and is required by law to have a sprinkler system.

Around 7:45 p.m. on Oct. 21 while bar customers were watching the Major League baseball games and others were having a meal in the dining room an alarm went off, alerting the Orange Volunteer Fire Department of a problem.

The manager and staff immediately got busy and made sure everyone was safely evacuated from the building.

The firefighters assembled at their respective firehouses and arrived at the restaurant within about 6 minutes.

The fire was contained to the drop ceiling and roof portion of the building and a sprinkler head activated, holding the fire in check.

The flames began to burn a section of the roof above the kitchen and firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof to get access to and extinguish the fire.

Restaurant Employees sat on the guardrail near the Boston Post Road and First Selectman Jim Zeoli viewed the scene while speaking to residents and crew members near Station 2.

Orange and Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Departments and West Haven’s West Shore had firefighters and equipment at the fire. Milford FD provided coverage for the town until the OVFD cleared the scene.

Smith said the building sustained smoke and water damage, but there was no fire within the main floor of the restaurant. “Just the kitchen to the roof, it’s damaged but not a total loss,” Smith said.

With his investigation completed, Smith turned the building over to the restaurant owners so they can begin their renovations.

TGI Fridays will be closed for a while, but at this point, no one can say just how long.


Orange And Three Other Departments Respond to TGI Fridays Fire

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Oct 212017

Customers were relaxing and watching the baseball games on the big screen tvs at TGI Fridays this evening around 8 p.m. when the smell of smoke came wafting in and a fire was detected in the ceiling in the kitchen area.

The manager quickly evacuated the building and called 911.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department, which is right across the Boston Post Road from the restaurant responded in no time and quickly called for firefighters’ assistance from Woodbridge VFD and West Haven. and soon after requested Milford Fire come to be on standby for the town while OVFD was working.

While I was at the scene, the firefighters were concentrating on the roof, they used the ladder on Woodbridge’s Tower 1 to access it from the front of the building. Restaurant employees sat in the cold night air on the guardrail watching and wondering when they would be able to return to their jobs.

A UI truck arrived and the electricity to the restaurant was shut off as firefighters entered the building with bright halogen flashlights, their shadowy figures barely seen through the thick smoke.

Smaller groups of 2 or 3 firefighters checked the building’s exterior.

Firefighters on the roof reported finding fire on the roof and they were being pulled from the area before the structure could no longer hold them.

The sound of approaching fire sirens filled the air and then, the Boston Post Road was shut down at Lambert Road and fire hoses were hooked up to a fire hydrant and laid across the street to provide more water for an aerial attack.

That was around 9:50 p.m.

We will try to get an update tomorrow morning.


Gas Leak Update

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Oct 192017

UPDATE: This just in at 10:38 a.m.

Route 34 E has re-opened after a 90-minute closure due to a ruptured gas line.

Lakeview Drive is still closed while the Gas Co completes its work. Service to homes may be off for a while.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department has just cleared the scene.

Still, as a precautionary measure, please don’t discard lit cigarettes from your vehicle in the area.

Enjoy the weather today and, be careful out there.

BREAKING! Major Gas Leak, Route 34 E Shut Down

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Oct 192017

This Just In… Route 34 E is Shut Down due to a ruptured Gas Line (Near Lakeview Drive) toward West Haven Line. (If your gas furnace and hot water heater suddenly stopped working this is why)

The westbound lanes are still open.

Stay clear of the area. DO NOT SMOKE!

There is no estimation for when the road will be reopened. Find an alternate route.


Orange PD Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Oct 152017

If you see Patrol Vehicle #22 around town this month, and you think it looks different…you’re right.

The Orange Police Department marked this vehicle in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, and they’re hoping it reminds people to reach out to those fighting this disease already and to learn more about what they can do to help minimize their own risks.

Pictured is Community Resources Officer Carolyn Bailey with Car 22