Orange Police: Next Wave of “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” to Launch August 3 – August 16

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Aug 032015

11802757_850721321647958_6459216305425376931_oThe Orange Police Department along with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office, today announced the continuation of the “U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY.” initiative – an effort to crackdown on motorists who choose to text, talk or otherwise distract themselves from the task of driving by using a hand-held mobile phone.

According to surveys conducted before and after April’s crackdown, there was an eight percent drop in mobile phone use by drivers at observation locations throughout municipalities where police conducted enforcement. The drop in observed use is encouraging to law enforcement agencies, and demonstrates the need to reinforce to motorists that mobile phone use while driving is both dangerous and illegal.

texting-drivingThe campaign will run from August 3rd through the 16th and marks the second time this year law enforcement agencies will mobilize by adding special patrols – aimed at catching distracted drivers – especially those on their phones.

The last operation, which took place during April 2015, resulted in nearly 16,000 citations issued to motorists who chose to ignore Connecticut’s distracted driving laws. That is FOUR TIMES more citations in one month than any other month over the most recent three-year period (2012-2014) when a specialized enforcement campaign did not occur. Over 50 law enforcement agencies including both state and local police are again participating in this operation – aimed at keeping Connecticut’s roadways safe.

The Department of Transportation had announced in April that the results of recent research found an estimated 11.1 million of occurrences of distracted driving happen each day throughout the state of Connecticut. According to the findings, in total, it is estimated that 9.6% of drivers were either texting or talking on a hands free device.

Under Connecticut’s cell phone and texting law, violations involve heavy fines, ranging from $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second violation, and $500 for each subsequent violation.

textingIn 2013, 3,154 people were killed and an estimated additional 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. According to a 2014 special article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the risk of a crash or near-crash among novice drivers increased with the performance of many secondary tasks, including texting and dialing cell phones.

Connecticut remains the only state in the nation to receive special distracted driving prevention funds – the same funds that allow for special patrols to identify, stop and cite drivers who choose to ignore distracted driving laws. Over $4.6 million dollars has been awarded to the state over the last two years specifically – to fund campaigns like this one. Connecticut qualifies for this federal funding source through a mix of tough laws – and, a proven track record in strong enforcement of distracted driving laws.

“The Men and Women of the Orange Police Department remain committed to the reduction in distracted driving. This initiative will lead to a reduction of traffic crashes and make our community safer,”  Asst. Chief Anthony Cuozzo said. “We will continue to enforce these laws long after the official campaign concludes”

For more information about national distracted driving issues, visit www/distraction.gov.

— This announcement is posted on the Orange PD Facebook Page

Originally Published on: Jul 28, 2015 @ 13:53

Photos From The Final Day Of The OVFD Carnival

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Aug 032015

Everywhere you looked someone was taking pictures with their cell phone.

Everywhere you looked someone was taking pictures with their cell phone.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department made out pretty well as far as the weather for their annual fundraising carnival, yet, the crowds still seemed a bit smaller than in past years.

Folks who did come out had a good time, enjoyed the food, rides and fireworks.

It may be some time before we know how the fire department “made out.” Last year they were down by tens of thousands of dollars because it was the first year they couldn’t mail the raffle tickets to every household, but this year, more residents were aware of that situation. But only time will tell, after all the numbers are crunched, if the OVFD is on par with past years’ intake.

Several years ago, you couldn’t even get close to the main raffle tent when the drawing was taking place, but on Sunday there was enough room to sidle right up to the shelf. — a sign of the times? I don’t know.

Here are some photos from Sunday’s final day at the Carnival, including the prize drawing.

OVFD Carnival Raffle: Were YOU A Winner?

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Aug 022015

Asst. Fire Chief Charles Sherwood reads the name of the raffle prize winners.

Asst. Fire Chief Charles Sherwood reads the name of the raffle prize winners.

At 4:30 p.m. people gathered around the main Raffle Tent on the Orange Fairgrounds with great anticipation as the drawing for the 2015 Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival Raffle prizes took place.

The barrel was spun, a girl stuck her arm in and took a ticket, handed it to officer Piscitelli, who checked it out for all the proper information. Piscitelli handed it to Lt. Max Martins, who checked it over then handed it to Firefighter Leo Moran who is in charge of the Raffle Tent. Moran then gave it to Chief John Knight who held it while Assistant Fire Chief Charles Sherwood announced the winning number then the winners name for each prize.

And Firefighter Art Williams recorded each winner and ticket number in writing.


1st prize  $5,000 Visa Gift Card

15561  Alexandra Davies, Milford

2nd prize $4,000 Visa Gift Card

02531  Audry Galer, Orange

3rd prize $2,000 Visa Gift Card

12661  Chips Restaurant, Orange

4th prize $1,200 Gift Certificate – Diamond Designs

10720  EJ Maloy, Orange

5th prize Apple iPad WiFi 16 GB – Best Buy

10886  John Ordazo,  AFD

6th prize $350 Gift Card – Chip’s Family Restaurant

15422  Priscila Searles, Orange

7th prize $300 Gift Card – Trader Joe’s

12063  Bernier, Milford

8th prize $250 Gift Card – Knights, Inc.

12272  Thomas Matthew, West Haven

9th prize $200 Gift Card – Ben’s Service Center

07499   Steven Kudes, Oxford

10th prize Tickets to New Haven Open at Yale Tennis Tournament

15917   Nancy Batter, Orange

The Tale Of The Traveling Cell Phone

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Aug 022015

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 9.36.24 AMIf there’s one thing that the Police Command Post at the Orange Firemen’s Carnival has after the day is done, it’s plenty of tales to tell.

All day long, harried carnival-goers of all ages rush up to the table with a million different dilemmas, most common are lost keys, cell phones, and wallets.

One mom asked if they had any tape so she could fix her brand new “selfie stick” that broke – and she had to use it to take pictures of her son. A CERT member handed her a roll of medical tape, and that did the trick.

The police were happy to return wallets to their rightful owners and pleased to know that all of the money was still inside.

A Gold and Ruby bracelet also was returned to its owner after the husband described it AND produced a photo of it on his cell phone.

This year’s Carnival Announcer Brian Smith reported “lost and found” items over the intercom throughout the day and often followed up with the Command Post to see if the items had been claimed or still needed another announcement.

Smith, the CERT members and Orange Police all shared the same favorite story on Saturday night, that was:”The Tale of the Traveling Cell Phone.”

Someone found a cell phone on the ground near one of the amusement rides and turned it in at the main raffle tent. Smith announced it, then when no one claimed it after a while, sent it over to the Command Post for proper handling and storage if needed.

The phone’s battery was dead, so the folks at the Post charged it. Once it could be turned on, Annie Davis from CERT gave it to Orange Police LT. Max Martins, who checked it out for a phone number that he could call in order to find the owner. “Mom” seemed like the best choice.

Martins told MOM that he had her son’s phone and that it was found at a carnival in Orange, CT.

She was flabbergasted, and explained that her son had lost it on a ride at a carnival in Massachusetts a week or two ago and never thought he’d see it again.

Martins took her name and address and told her he would send it to her.

Another job well done by our great police investigators, CERT and the honest person who turned it in.

Carnival Going Strong Until Midnight, Fireworks at 10:45 p.m.

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Aug 012015

IMG_6560The Orange Firemen’s Carnival has seen some nice weather so far and will throughout its run.

There’s still plenty of time to get in on all the fun. The 50/50 Raffle @ $2 per ticket, gives you a chance to win half of the jackpot — yesterday, one lucky winner walked away with $172 and the Fire Department received $172 to put toward equipment and training. The first drawing tonight at 7 p.m. had a $127 winner — not too shabby for a $2 investment to the town’s fire service.

Operated by the Volunteer Firefighters, the main food tent has a variety of favorites, but did you know that the Auxiliary is selling slices of PIE from Lyman’s Orchard? Get a generous helping of Apple, Apple Crumb, Blueberry, Lemon Merangue or Strawberry Rhubarb to finish off your meal.

Don’t forget the Satellite Food Tent near the fence at Orange Center Road where sales also benefit the Fire Department.

There are a few games that also benefit the fire department, including the Speed Ball — throw a baseball and show your accuracy and speed, the dunk tank, and blower ball.

Today, your Ride Bracelets are good until Midnight.

And one of the best things this year, is the Carny’s new announcer Brian Smith, not since Bob Crocco “The Voice of the Orange Firemen’s Carnival” has there been a more likable person behind the microphone.

So stop by tonight or tomorrow, join in on the fun, Support the Orange Volunteer Fire Department and get your Raffle Tickets for the Big Drawing tomorrow… Top Prize is $5,000 Visa Gift Card!


Here It Is, Carnival Day: Everything You Need To Know

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Aug 012015

carnival 2015The Orange Volunteer Fire Department has been working on the 2015 carnival since the day after the 2014 carnival ended.

Parking and admission are always free.

It takes a lot of planning to keep such a big operation rolling every year, keeping the public interested in coming and finding volunteer non-firefighters  willing to help in the food tent and pitch in at various games around the fairgrounds.

Denise Mirto sent a shout-out for food tent volunteers more than a month ago and has been successful, but she can still use a few extra hands on Saturday day and night and Sunday.

Under the Raffle Tent you will find many familiar faces, selectmen, various committee and board members and residents who come back year after year and donate their time to the fire department, just as the firefighters donate their time to the town every hour of every day.

Several years ago, First Selectman Jim Zeoli called the Carnival the “cheapest fire insurance that an Orange Resident can have.”

“If every household spent a couple hundred bucks at the carnival, it is the cheapest insurance they can have for fire service,” Zeoli said. “If we had a paid Fire Department it would cost us millions of dollars every year.”

Did you know?

There are many rides, games, and food options at the carnival, and everyone has their favorite, but did you know that the Fire Department only benefits from the proceeds at the games and food that they run?

The games are the Frog Bog, Dunk Tank, High Striker, Speedball and Blower ball – the little game of chance next to the raffle tent. The 50/50 raffle benefits both the civilian winner and the fire department, who split the pot a couple of times a day.

The main food tent (under the pavilion) and the satellite food tent straight up the aisle next to the fence on Orange Center Road also are Fire Department run.

Of course, you can’t beat $5 for a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of 10 great prizes, including a $5,000, $4,000, or $2,000 Visa Gift Card, $1,200 Gift Certificate from Diamond Designs, Apple iPad WiFi 16 GB from Best Buy, or one of the gift cards from Chip’s, Trader Joes, Knights Inc or Ben’s Service Center. And finally, there’s the Tickets to New Haven Open at Yale Tennis Tournament.


Pick up Advanced Online Ride Bracelets at the Main Raffle Booth
Photo ID and signature are required at pickup

• Children must be at least 3’ tall to ride any ride

Advanced online purchase ride bracelets may be used during one of the following periods:
Thursday 5-11 p.m., Friday, 5 p.m. to midnight, Saturday Matinee 12 to 5 p.m., Saturday evening, 5 p.m. to midnight and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Also, if you didn’t get your on line wristbands on time, the firefighters offer a special at carnival ride bracelet special for $28.

Ride bracelets purchase at the carnival ticket booths may be used during one of the following periods:
Saturday Matinee noon to 5 p.m. or Sunday Family Fun Day from noon to 5 p.m.
And Don’t Forget
The Carnival Spectacular Fireworks Displays on Friday at 10:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:45 p.m.As always, there is a Free raffle for Children 12 and younger on Saturday, during the matinee
Children 12 years and younger can register at the main raffle booth to win free prizes. (must be present)


Thursday – 5:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Friday – 5:00 p.m. to 12 midnight

Saturday – 12 Noon to 12 midnight

Sunday – 12 Noon to 5:00 p.m.


After a little rain forecast between 4-8 tonight, the weather is supposed to be great all weekend so, come on down and support your Volunteer Fire Department.

Firemen’s Carnival Fun and Games For a Good Cause

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Aug 012015

IMG_6375Friday night was a beautiful night for the Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival.

Come out today between Noon and Midnight.

Free Children’s Raffle during the matinee.

Fireworks at 10:45 p.m.

Don’t forget to get your tickets for the Big Raffle, top prize is a $5,000 Visa Gift Card.

Step up for the 50/50 raffle $2 per ticket – half the pot goes to the winning ticket holder and half goes to the OVFD. Friday’s biggest prize winner brought home $172. The more people that participate, the higher the amount you can win.

Proceeds from the Raffles, Main Food Tent, Firemen’s Satellite Food Tent (near the fence on Orange Center Road) and fire department sponsored games, go to support the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.


Police: Orange Man Charged With DUI

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Aug 012015

police carOfficers responded to the scene of a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Old Tavern and Orange Center roads July 27 at 6:31 p.m.

Upon arrival, officers had Terrance McGovern, 27, of 452 David Court, Orange, perform standardized roadside sobriety tests. He was subsequently taken into custody and charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and failure to yield.

McGovern was released after posting $50 bond for court Aug. 10.


Police: Report Suspicious Activity When You See It

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Jul 302015

An unlocked shed is an invitation for thieves.

An unlocked shed is an invitation for thieves.

From the Orange Police:

On July 23 a resident on Bittersweet Road reported that a silver pick-up truck stopped at the home around noon, and the male occupant , described as 5’8″ brown hair wearing black shorts and a black t-shirt, rang the front door bell 5 – 7 times. The juvenile resident did not answer the door. When nobody answered he walked to the shed, looked inside and left. Nothing was taken.

There was a significant delay in calling the police.

We are asking residents to call immediately and be on the lookout for the silver pick up driving slowly in their neighborhoods.

NOTE: Four days later, on July 27, a man was arrested for burglarizing sheds on Wheelers Farm.

Often times, A suspect will ring the door bell to determine if anybody is home, If the door is answered, they will ask for directions, offer home improvements or ask for someone random and say they have the wrong house. If no one answers, they may burglarize the home, or as in this case, look for a target of opportunity.

Residents should invest in a pad lock for garden sheds and keep garage doors closed.

Consider leaving a radio or tv on when not home to make the house appear occupied. Put several lights on timers, both inside and outside.

Parents should instruct children to speak to the person through the door. They should NEVER open the door to a stranger. Tell the person that their parents are on the phone or otherwise occupied and to call or return later. Speak to neighbors and develop a neighborhood buddy system so juveniles home alone have a close resource to call if need be. If the juvenile is scared or unsure, call police at 203-891-2130

Parents should consider enrolling their children in a “Home Alone” class often offered through Youth Services.

As always … If you see something, say something!

Hey Kevin, How’s The Weather Looking For The Firemen’s Carnival?

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Jul 292015

Meteorologist Kevin Arnone getting ready for the 5 p.m. broadcast.

Meteorologist Kevin Arnone getting ready for the 5 p.m. broadcast.

Our favorite Meteorologist, Kevin Arnone (click the Orange Live “Weather” tab at the top of the page) is On Air on WTNH today for All the evening broadcasts. At 5, 5:30, and 6 he said the same thing about tomorrow night… of course he did — he wouldn’t change his forecast. And it’s not too favorable for Most of the opening day at the Orange Firemen’s Carnival.

Rain will start about 4 p.m. and be out of here by 8 p.m. on Thursday, then the rest of the weekend looks much better.

You can see Kevin tonight at 10 p.m. on channel 9 and at 11 on channel 8.

He’s always been deadly accurate, so I guess that means you may not be going on rides when the carny opens at 5 p.m. But there will still be plenty of food and, don’t forget to stock up on those raffle tickets to win one of the great prizes the Volunteer Fire Department has to offer this year.

Watch Kevin, and Come to the Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival!