Man Charged With Burglary

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Sep 122019

At 10:15 a.m. on Sept. 6, 2019, Willie E. Griffin, 24, of New Haven, was at the Derby Superior Court on unrelated matters. 

It was discovered that he held an active arrest warrant originating from the town of Orange charging third-degree burglary and conspiracy. 

The warrant stemmed from an incident that occurred on 496 Ferry Road on Oct. 30, 2018, regarding a motor vehicle theft. 

Subsequently, he was charged.

SCAM ALERT Watch Out For These Calls

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Sep 112019

This week, scammers have attempted to victimize Orange residents with a school-related subject.

One mom in town said her call went like thia:

A nice woman called, she sounded older with a southern accent, says she is from SAT/ACT and that she has my daughter’s practive tests and CDs that she requested from May.

I wondered, was she on a waiting list?

She had all of my daughter’s information, making the call very convincing. My daughter denied ordering anything, but you know how that goes with teenagers.

The woman asked for a credit card to secure the CDs until I returned them. (That’s when I became suspicious).

I asked what school district? She said “Orange.”

Wrong Answer! It would be Amity or St. Joe’s.

That’s when she hung up on me.

Beware of any unsolicited phone calls, especially if the caller asks you for your credit card or bank information.

Orange Volunteer Fire Department Warns Against Fake Fund-Raisers

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Sep 052019

Orange residents are being warned not to respond to solicitation letters from the “Volunteer Firefighters Association.” Those letters are not from the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

Fire Chief Vaughan Dumas said he has received reports of people receiving the official-looking letters that include the resident’s name and a “Pledge Reminder Payment Coupon.”  He warned that the letters are untrue.

“We didn’t send the letters and we don’t get anything from them,” said Dumas. “We’ve asked them to stop soliciting our residents, but they continue to ask for money. None of those funds come back to Orange.”

The letters are emblazoned with “Volunteer Firefighters Association” across the top. After a personalized greeting, the letter says, “Our records indicate that we have had no response from you” and urges the recipient to mail their pledge. The coupon includes a confirmation number, a pledge date and an address in Milwaukee.

“It all looks very legitimate, but it isn’t,” Dumas said.

Dumas said donations are very important to the Orange Volunteer Fire Department because the department runs on donations. Its largest fund-raiser is the Fireman’s Carnival during the first weekend in August, but other contributions are appreciated – and needed.

Any solicitation letter from the Orange Volunteer Fire Department will have the department’s name on it and will include an Orange address, Dumas said. People who want to contribute may mail donations directly to the department at P.O. Box 878, Orange, Ct. 06477.

What Is The Fine For Passing A School Bus with Flashing Lights?

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Aug 262019

school bus with flashing lightsOriginally published in 2014, but still relevant.

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 buses.

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

Major Intersection Closed Due To Accident

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Aug 202019

random file photo of a nighttime accident scene.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department responded to an accident on Grassy Hill and Old Grassy Hill Roads around 8:15 p.m.

The accident reportedly involved a piece of farm equipment and emergency crews are dealing with chemical and fluid spills in the road, which is very near a watershed and popular fishing area.

The DEEP has been called and the road is closed and will be closed for quite some time.

Find an alternative route if you are headed to the Parkway or Route 34.

Give the crews some room to do their jobs and let others know if you’re aware of anyone that will be heading out that way.


Introducing “Quint-32” The Newest Member Of The OVFD

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Aug 142019

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department will unveil its newest apparatus, Quint-32, at a “wetdown” and cornhole tournament at noon this Saturday.
The new truck replaces an older vehicle that has since been sold. It is called a Quint because it performs a variety of functions. Like most fire engines, it is a powerful pumper and brings 500 gallons of water with it. In addition, it has a 75-foot aerial ladder and several ground ladders. It also has equipment on board that allows firefighters staffing the truck to perform a variety of tasks.
The OVFD received the truck earlier this month and firefighters are now being trained to use it.
The firefighters will officially unveil this fire truck at a wetdown and cornhole tournament this Saturday,  Aug. 17, at the Orange Volunteer Fire Dept. Station 2, 355 Boston Post Road kicking off at noon.

The cornhole tournament is open to residents of Orange, West Haven, and Milford as well
as teams of firefighters. The cost to enter is $10 and prizes will be awarded to the winners. For
more information about the cornhole tournament or to register, send an e-mail to ovfdq32@gmail.com.

Orange Police: Woman Charged With DUI

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Aug 132019

On Friday, Aug. 9 at 12:30 a.m. Orange Police Officers were completing a routine traffic detail on the Boston Post Road when they reportedly observed a motor vehicle proceeding erratically.

Police stopped the car, driven by Lashawna C. Cardoza, 31, of West Haven, and administered standardized field sobriety tests.

Cardoza was taken into custody and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving an unregistered motor vehicle.

She was released on $50 bond for court on Aug. 23.

Don’t Forget To Buy Your OVFD Raffle Tickets, Top Prize is $10,000

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Aug 032019

Raffle tickets for the Orange Volunteer Fire Department’s carnival are still a bargain at only $5 each

As most of you know, the dedicated men and women of the OVFD volunteer their time to serve the community. Day or night, freezing cold or brutal heat, they are there, just as they were last Sunday morning at 6 a.m. when an alarm went off at Applebee’s Restaurant (everything’s okay). When they get the call, they leave their homes and respond wherever they’re needed.

In return, you can help support them and their operations by attending the carnival and reaching into your wallets to buy a raffle ticket or two or three, or more. And don’t forget the 50/50 raffle where you could win 1/2 the pot and the OVFD gets the other 1/2.

The Firemen’s Carnival is the department’s major fundraiser of the year and the majority of the money comes from the raffle ticket sales. The OVFD depends upon these funds to pay for equipment and training so it can offer the town of Orange the very best service possible.

For decades, raffle prizes were things you could see right there under the raffle tent. Riding mowers, leaf blowers, etc, but as the times changed, so did the type of prizes that are donated for the cause.

And who wouldn’t want to win just about any one of these eleven prizes?

Here’s this year’s list:

1st- $10,000 Visa gift card

2nd- $5,000 Visa gift card

3rd- $3,000 Visa gift card

4th- $2,500 Anytime Fitness gift card

5th- $1,200 Diamond Designs gift card

6th- iPad wifi 128GB from Best Buy

7th- $400 ShopRite gift card

8th- $300 Trader Joe’s gift card

9th- $250 Knights Power gift card

10th- $200 Kohl’s gift card

11th- $200 Outback gift card

*** How To Purchase Tickets***


Orange Firemen’s Carnival
Orange Fairgrounds
During Carnival Hours

* Contact your local firefighter

Drawing to be held on Sunday, August 4th, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. at the Orange Fairgrounds, 525 Orange Center Road, Orange, CT

Alcoholic beverages not included

Tickets $5.00/Each Suggested Donation

Special BOS Meeting on Tuesday

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Aug 022019

File photo of First Selectman Jim Zeoli during a selectmen’s meeting.

There will be a Special Meeting of the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, Aug. 5 at 4:30 p.m.

Following is the agenda:

Call to order

Motion to call the Board into Executive Session

Discussion Regarding Confidential Attorney Client Privileged Communications (Iegal Opinion) Concerning Police Department Retiree Benefits


Motion to close the Executive Session and convene to the Lower Level Meeting Room 5:00 P.M.

Lower Level Meeting Room piscussion with the Police Department Retirees Regarding Retiree Benefits


No, Discount Ride Tickets Are Not Available Online Anymore

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Aug 022019

Each year, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department offers discounted ride wrist bands for sale on its website through noon the day prior to opening day.

The cut-off time is usually posted, but I don’t recall seeing it this year, but for many, it is common knowledge.

The carnival began on Thursday and anyone who purchased the wrist bands by the deadline may pick them up in the rear of the main raffle tent across from the pavilion (main food tent) when they arrive.

Each wrist band can be used for one of the following time periods; Thursday, Friday, Saturday afternoon matinee, Saturday night, or Sunday.

All sales are final; there are no exchanges or refunds. There is a minimum height requirement of 36 inches.

Carnival Hours Are:

Friday:  5 p.m. to 12 a.m.  Fireworks at night!

Saturday:  12 p.m. to 12 a.m.  Fireworks at night!

Sunday:  12 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Raffle Drawing at 4 p.m.