Nov 212014

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 11.49.21 AMTwo Amity residents who are student-athletes at Notre Dame of West Haven made college commitments in their respective sports in front of family and friends Thursday afternoon.

Joe Biondi ‘15 signed to play lacrosse at Florida Southern, while Evan Lumpinski ‘15 will take his baseball talents to UMass-Amherst.

Biondi, who hails from Orange, has been a three-year stalwart on the Green Knights lacrosse team. A midfielder, Biondi was named co-captain for the 2015 lacrosse team. He also had a stellar summer playing for Team Connecticut and Unparalleled Lacrosse in several prestigious tournaments, including the Brine National Lacrosse Classic in Maryland. He is the son of Maria Biondi of the Orange VNA.

“Joe is a do-it-all midfielder,” said Notre Dame Head lacrosse coach A.J. Alessi. “He is a tough kid, who is an offensive threat, can shoot with both hands, and a key face-off guy for us. He had a great summer and I am excited for this college opportunity for him.”

Biondi, who also plays hockey for Notre Dame, chose Florida Southern for a pair of reasons. He said, “It’s a great academic school which has a unique human movement performance academy that will help me achieve his goal of becoming a physical therapist. Plus, it has had a lot of recent lacrosse success and I am looking forward to continuing that.”

Biondi added, “I am thankful for my family, who helped me immensely with this process as well as all my coaches and teammates who have helped me get to this point. While I am looking forward to my college experience, I can’t wait to get both my senior year of hockey and lacrosse seasons underway.”

Meanwhile, Woodbridge resident Evan Lumpinski ‘15 signed to play baseball at UMass-Amherst. A key contributor on last spring’s Notre Dame state champion baseball team, Lumpinski is a great hitter who can play multiple positions, including outfield and first base.

Lumpinski led Notre Dame with 22 RBI’s and 2 HR’s last season. His .300 batting average was fourth on the team while he was second with five doubles and third on the team with 24 hits. He also had the go-ahead RBI single that gave Notre Dame the lead for good in Notre Dame’s 9-2 championship-game win over Masuk last June at Palmer Field.

“I liked the coaches at UMass a lot,” said Lumpinski, who will serve as a tri-captain for the Notre Dame baseball nine this coming spring. “I wanted to go to a big school, it’s close to home, and I feel like I have a chance to contribute right away. They offer my major as I want to study environmental science so the combination just felt like the best fit for me.”

“Evan has a great swing and had some big hits for us last year,” said head coach Lou Kessler ‘77. “He is a strong kid, who can hit for power but go to the opposite field as well. Hitting is not easy but he can make it look easy at times with his sweet swing. He is someone you want at the plate with runners in scoring position”

Nov 212014

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 2.12.48 PMOrange Superintendent Lynn McMullin has turned in her letter of resignation.

After only three years on the job, McMullin was officially hired by the Litchfield Board of Education as its new Superintendent.

The Litchfield Board announced its decision on Wednesday evening and McMullin immediately informed the Orange BOE of the change in the following letter:

It is with heartfelt appreciation for the opportunities you have afforded me that I write this letter of resignation from my position as Superintendent of the Orange Public Schools.

Just a few moments ago, I accepted a position as the new Superintendent in Litchfield, Connecticut. Litchfield is much closer to my home in Massachusetts and, with a K – 12 school system, offers me a chance to return to my high school roots. I am anticipating my last day of employment in Orange will be January 2, 2015.

Orange’s staff is exceptionally strong, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside a leadership team with such outstanding vision and commitment. You, too, have been a dedicated Board who never shied away from the demanding responsibilities you took upon yourselves.

We have experienced so many unforgettable moments, from the first day we climbed onto Peck’s roof in January of 2012 to the endearing approach of the Orange Elementary Marching Band up Orange Center Road this past Memorial Day.

I won’t forget my three years in Orange and wish you all the best in the future.

All eyes will be on the Board of Education now as they proceed with a search for a new superintendent. Some residents complained about the way in which a new principal for one of the elementary schools was hired, stating that it was not done properly.

As with all sensitive issues in the Orange School system the board must know that they are under the microscope especially when it comes to hiring someone for the top position.

Nov 192014

A member of Amity's SADD plays the part of an accident victim.

A member of Amity’s SADD plays the part of an accident victim.

Seven Years ago, the Amity Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) hosted a mock car crash in the parking lot of Amity High School. The presentation was powerful and memorable and hit home with many of the students who watched from the sidelines.

Such demonstrations commonly take place before prom or graduation, but this year, the students and their advisors chose to do it during Homecoming week and before the holidays to show the entire student body, all 1,600 of them in real time what can happen when you drink and drive (or even text and drive)

A committee of more than 10 people came together to plan the event, including Gary Lindgren, Robert Kennedy, The SADD members, Woodbridge police and fire departments and the Medic 44 ambulance team, so it ran like clockwork.

NOTE: As a reporter, I have been on-scene at many accidents and stay away from taking the “money” shots of victims, grieving loved ones, etc, but since this was not real I took a little more liberty and broke my own accident scene rules, even going as far as shooting a photo of the arrestee in custody inside the police cruiser. Remember, all of the photos are of a set up scenario. The victims, suspects, etc are just actors, even though in the script, the actors’ real names were used. 

IMG_6860The presentation took place at Amity on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 9:45 a.m. The students came out to the parking lot where two cars were covered in tarps.

Orange Assistant Police Chief Tony Cuozzo was the moderator, who read the carefully crafted script and added his own touches to it.

Following is the Mock Car Crash as presented to the Amity Student Body:

These two cars have just been involved in a high speed collision on Amity Road. A witness to the crash has called 911 and emergency personnel have been dispatched to the scene.

The driver of the, blue car , Cristian, is a 17-year old male. He and his passenger Bailey had been drinking at a party at a private home in Orange and were on their way home. Due to his impairment, he ran a red light and impacted another vehicle in the intersection. Cristian was the only one wearing a seat belt. Although Cristian is conscious, he has been screaming to his friend who isn’t responding.

"Bailey" was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown through the windshield.

“Bailey” was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown through the windshield.

His friend, Bailey, the front passenger, is a 17-year old female. Upon impact, her body was thrown forward through the front windshield because she was not wearing her seat belt. She hasn’t answered to her friend’s screams and it appears that she may be dead.

Cristian starts crying and continues to scream to Bailey who is not moving

After the house party in Orange, the girls in the silver car drove into New Haven and went for a burger at the 24 hour diner. The driver of this car, Lauren, a 17 year-old female is conscious at first and appears dizzy and confused. Lauren was the only person in the silver car that was wearing her seatbelt. Unfortunately, Abagail, the unrestrained front seat passenger, was thrown with such force she is pinned under the dash board with severely crushed legs and head trauma. Although Abagail has obvious trauma to her face and head , she is conscious and cannot free herself. She is in a tremendous amount of pain.

Abagail is SCREAMING!

Then Lauren gets out of the car crying and trying to free Abagail from the passenger seat. Cristian continues to scream

"Cristian" checks on the passengers of the car he just plowed into.

“Cristian” checks on the passengers of the car he just plowed into.

and runs to the other vehicle. Cristian realizes the severity of the collision and discovers that the passengers in the other vehicle are friends from their own school.

Keep in mind that, in some cases, emergency personnel must drive several miles and the first person to the scene may not arrive for 10-15 minutes. During the response, they may be slowed by motorists who fail to yield to them and then have to deal with onlookers blocking the roadway around the crash scene. That can be a long time if … you are the victim.

A siren is heard and two Woodbridge officers arrive on the scene 

To the victims’ advantage, an officer happens to be in the proximity of the crash. He is the first to arrive on the scene and will emergently try to evaluate the condition of the victims. In Orange and Woodbridge Police are first responders and have emergency medical training.

Officer surveys the scene and condition of the victims

A first responder assesses the scene.

A first responder assesses the scene.

The officer is running between vehicles, assessing the situation, determining who is in immediate need of assistance, and frantically calling for back up on his radio
Officer “I need back up, quick; this is a severe crash involving multiple victims, the injuries are severe, please send me EMS as soon as possible. Hurry, this may be a fatal of one or more victims.”

Ambulance arrives on scene with siren

Bailey, the 17-year old passenger in the blue car appears to be dead. Her injuries were too severe; therefore, there will be no immediate effort to remove her body from the wreck. All effort will be made toward saving lives. EMS personnel will begin administering medical attention to the severely injured, who is Abagail.

While rendering attention to Abagail, they determine that she is trapped inside the vehicle. The IMG_6885paramedics are in need of the EMS Rescue Unit; as the door must be cut open to safely remove Abagail from the vehicle. She remains conscious and in a great amount of pain. She is screaming and her injuries are severe; Abagail needs to be removed quickly by the Rescue Unit in order to receive further medical care. EMS provides as much medical assistance to Abagail as they can, then turn their attention to Cristian and Lauren.

While EMS offers assistance to the victims (moderately injured receive assistance as well).

Because EMT’s are unable to remove Abagail from the vehicle, they are awaiting the arrival of the EMS Rescue Unit for further assistance. The first 60 minutes following a severe injury crash is the most critical time period. Abagail is alive and screaming in pain. EMT’s stabilize Abagail and the others. Lauren has mild bruising and is shaken, but her injuries are not as severe as Abagail’s, who will be transported via ambulance.

A police officer tends to driver 'Cristian" as EMTs evaluate the wounded.

A police officer tends to driver ‘Cristian” as EMTs evaluate the wounded.

Paramedics determine that Bailey is dead.  Baileys body will remain in place for hours until the police conclude their accident investigation. 

Woodbridge PD radios that there has been a fatality in the accident.   

Cristian screams when he hears that Bailey has been killed.  All others react as well. 

 EMT’s decide on rescue of other victims

While EMS is rendering care, the police officers primary objective is to protect the crash scene. He must first consider the safety of the victims, rescue workers and bystanders. He will also gather evidence to be used in court if necessary. He will try to determine what caused the crash and who is responsible. He will also determine what charges if any will be filed against the wrongful driver.

Officers survey the accident scene 

Cristian, the driver of blue car has only minor injuries, mainly because he was wearing his seatbelt. As the

"Cristian" stumbles through the roadside sobriety test.

“Cristian” stumbles through the roadside sobriety test.

officer talks with him, he can smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage on Cristian’s breath. Upon inspection of Cristian’s car he finds empty beer cans etc.  The officer then performs a field sobriety test on Cristian.

* Officer’s microphone is on. Officer does a SFST over mic and places Cristian under arrest (all audible) Conduct a shorter version of SFST

While Cristian is handcuffed, read Miranda rights and placed in officer’s unit

*EMS Rescue arrives on the scene.

The extrication of Abagail will take additional time, but which is necessary and critical to her survival. The tool the rescue personnel are using is a Hurst Rescue Tool, also called the “Jaws of Life.” The spreaders can exhibit up to 44,000 pounds of force and the cutters can exhibit 152,000 pounds of force. This presents a certain amount of danger to the victims and the rescuers, which is why rescuers will place cervical collars on the victims’ necks to keep the vertebrae in line. This will prevent paralyzing damage to the spinal cord if their necks are fractured or broken. The victims will also be covered to protect them from flying glass and debris as the Hurst Tool is used to cut away parts of the vehicle. When the “Jaws of Life” arrive, Abagail will be placed on a backboard to keep her back straight, and her head immobilized as she is removed from the vehicle.

EMS Rescue talks to extricated participant – while he is working, he is explaining to Abagail that she is trapped and he will have to use the equipment to take the doors off of the vehicle, calm down for me, etc…….

Firefighters use the Jaws of Life to free a severely injured passenger.

Firefighters use the Jaws of Life to free a severely injured passenger.

The “Jaws of Life” are used and Abagail is extracted and loaded into the ambulance.

The Ambulance leaves scene with Abagail & Lauren.

After Abagail is extracted:  Bailey’s mother Maggie arrives on scene in her car.   Maggie explains to the officers that a passerby saw the accident, recognized the kids in the car and called her.  Maggie will approach an officer and ask for her daughter Bailey.  The officer will try to figure out who Bailey is and then explain to Maggie that her daughter has been killed in the accident.  Maggie will act out loudly and emotionally.  She yells at Cristian and the other kids in the car.  The officers will have to try and calm Maggie who is obviously devastated over the news of losing her daughter. 

Abagail is loaded into Ambulance to go to the Hospital

Due to the severity of the impact, Abagail’s legs were crushed under the dashboard. Her pulses are weak and there are obvious deformities – indicating multiple broken bones. As her legs begin to be severely discolored and swollen, the doctors soon realize that she must undergo immediate surgery to save her legs. She is at high risk of having both legs amputated. In addition to losing her legs, her mental status has

"Maggie" the grieving mother tries to get to her daughter's body.

“Maggie” the grieving mother tries to get to her daughter’s body.

become diminished. Abagail is diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury. She will need the blood evacuated from her head to lessen the impact of the head injury. Lauren’s injuries aren’t as severe and her vital signs are stable. A staff member dresses her wounds and notifies her parents.

Abagail’s parents have been notified that their child has been involved in a motor vehicle crash. Directions are given to the Yale New Haven Trauma Center, however for safety reasons, the severity of her condition is not discussed until the parents arrive. Abagail will require months of rehabilitation. She will need to re-learn fine motor skills including feeding herself, writing, and brushing her teeth. She may have to get prosthetic legs fitted for her body. She will require years of physical therapy to re-build her muscles and rehabilitate the nerves that were damaged in her brain.

Bailey’s mother runs past officers and pounds on the windows of the police cruiser where Cristian is sitting in handcuffs. Police pull her away and walk her back away from the scene. 

As you look at the following photo spread notice how many of the 1,600 kids in the audience are texting their friends, laughing, fooling around, etc. — can’t find any? That’s right, you don’t see even one. There were a few kids using their phones to film the presentation, but from what I saw, everyone was paying attention.

Students listen to the presentation at Amity.

Students listen to the presentation at Amity.

Some of the kids cried as the scenario occurred in real-time with the arrival of first responders and Asst. Chief Cuozzo’s narration adding to the emotion, especially when he told them that their deceased classmate’s lifeless body would remain on top of the car until the investigation was completed. That really hit home.

Do these Mock Car Crash programs work? All of the actors were “miked” so everyone could hear the officer giving Cristian his sobriety test instructions, and reading him his Miranda Rights before slapping on the steel handcuffs. They could hear Abagail crying and moaning in pain inside the car. They could hear the Medic talking to her softly as he prepared her for extraction. The sound of her panicked heavy breathing before the firefighters cut the roof off the car.

One boy in a wheelchair told a teacher, “This is all so surreal for me.”

Nov 182014

zoningThe Town Plan and Zoning Commission has been working on updating the Town Plan for the past year or so and has prepared a draft Plan for review and comment.

A special meeting will take place at the High Plains Community Center Gymnasium, 525 Orange Center Road, on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. The meeting will provide an opportunity for Orange residents to listen to a short presentation about the Plan and then provide comments and feedback to the Commission. 

Following the meeting, the Commission will be looking at further refining the strategies in the draft Plan.  

Why Is It Important?

A Plan of Conservation and Development is an advisory document used by the Town Plan and Zoning Commission and other Town agencies to:

Protect the resources important to residents

Guide growth and change in Orange

Identify facilities and services needed to support the community we want to be

Orange residents are encouraged to come to the meeting to help ensure that the Plan of Conservation and Development reflects community goals.

Nov 142014


blue ribbon school plaque

blue ribbon school plaque

This past Tuesday afternoon, Amity Regional High School was recognized by the State Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School.

Amity High School Principal, Charles Britton and mathematics teacher, Scott DeMeo were present at the ceremony in Washington DC to accept the award on behalf of Amity.

Congratulations Amity for all the hard work and commitment that went into achieving this prestigious national recognition. 

Nov 132014

eea2199d453cf6be1b90ab29f967e0ddIt looks like we’re in for a little rain/snow and perhaps ice overnight and a messy early morning commute (5-6 a.m.)

Be prepared to clean off your windshield if necessary and leave a little earlier in case the roads are icy.

Watch out for wet leaves in the roadways which can cause a hazardous condition.

Schools may be delayed, so check in with WFSB and here on Orange Live if the announcement is made before I leave my house.

Nov 132014

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 8.54.42 PMThe Amity Creative Theater (ACT) at Amity High School is proud to announce that tickets sales have begun for their fall production of New York By David Rimmer.  The show dates are Dec. 5 and 6 at 8 p.m.  General admission seats for $10 can be purchased through their website at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com

The plays author David Rimmer, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his play Album that opened to great success off-Broadway starring film star Kevin Bacon. 

New York was originally written to raise funds for volunteer psychiatrists dedicated to helping the overwhelming number of patients psychologically affected by 9/11. Depicting the reactions of 15 individuals to the events of that day, the characters all speak to a central psychiatrist. The play has been performed at theaters throughout New York, the United States and internationally to great acclaim. 

The New York Resident called the play “brilliantly written… a thought-provoking event avoiding the sentimental and capturing realistic portraits of how we’re all dealing with it… a touching exploration of the effects of September 11 on the lives of average New Yorkers”. 

groun zero

Amity students and Judy Primavera visiting the 9/11 Memorial in New York.

The Amity production is directed by theater teacher Rob Kennedy.  Kennedy said he chose this production for his student actors because, “The oldest of the Amity Students were only four years old when the events of 9/11 occurred and the youngest ones were barely a year old.  I think it’s an important learning opportunity for our school to talk about that time in our countries history and how it changed all of us.”

The cast and crew recently visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on a trip sponsored by the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation to get some perspective.  The students had a special guided tour of the museum and spent time with New York’s playwright David Rimmer.  

After the trip, Amity senior Ethan Smith who is playing a fireman named Tom O’Neil said, “It was an incredible experience.  It really put a human face on the part I am playing.  And meeting the author of the play was great too.  We got to ask him questions about the play and the characters we are playing.”  The cast and crew have been working on the show since early September and have been busy rehearsing and creating the technical elements of the play.  

The play also will be shown during school hours to the entire Amity High School student body and the eighth grade classes from the two middle schools, as part of the Spartan Seminar program.  The students will view the play and then have discussions related to the topic afterward. 

Amity Principal Charles Britton said, “The fall play gives us the opportunity to showcase the talent of our students, build a little school spirit and camaraderie, and capitalize on the “teachable moment” offered by the themes of the production. Our students were very young in 2001; we owe it to our nation to keep the memory of 9/11 alive”.  

The Cast Includes Clara Gamsu, Addie Robbins, Ethan Smith, Kahari Blue, Yulia Faryna, Ryan Chizmadia, Alex Cavanagh, Kevin Durkee, Clara Stirling, George Grotheer, Emily Kilian, David Linet, Chris Cassella and Caroline Burkhart.  The crew is led by Stage managers Megan Foley, Sage Saffran and Jacob Okolo.  

For Information and tickets go to the ACT website at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com or call the box office at 203-392-2019.  The ACT production has been made possible by a grant from the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation.  

Nov 132014

IMG_6262The Lady Spartans advanced to the Class LL semifinals and tonight, Thursday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. they face their greatest rivals, Cheshire, for the fourth time.

No matter what happens tonight, we are so proud of our girls for the phenomenal season and excellent sportsmanship they’ve displayed all year long.



Nov 132014

WP_20141101_14_08_20_ProCub Scout Pack 922, chartered by the Orange Volunteer Fire Department in Orange, CT, recently made a trip to Battleship Cove, in Fall River, MA to explore the world’s largest collection of historic naval ships. After touring the battleship Massachusetts, destroyer Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., submarine Lionfish, PT Boats 617 & 796, and the Russian missile corvette Hiddensee, the scouts, their parents, and adult leaders spent the night of Nov. 1 on board the famous Battleship Massachusetts.

Battleship Cove serves as the Commonwealth’s official memorial for the Massachusetts citizens of all military branches who lost their lives in WP_20141101_13_20_44_ProWorld War II, and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars. Most recently, the memorial mission was expanded to include the Commonwealth’s victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Preserving five National Historic Landmark naval vessels, Battleship Cove also delivers educational programs that expose a national audience of 60,000 youths to a mission that promotes duty, honor and country.

Battleship Cove’s Nautical Nights program included a storyteller, question/answer session from a Navy Veteran who actually served aboard the Massachusetts battleship during wars and battles, major motion pictures, and knot tying. The trip has enabled the scouts to better understand and appreciate the sacrifices made by veterans of all military branches in all wars.

Jeff Cap, cubmaster for Pack 922 shared with the scouts his name being displayed on the Joseph P. Kennedy on the Volunteer Hall of Fame plaque. Individuals who dedicate five or more years of volunteering their time to improving the memorial ships, specifically the Joseph P. Kennedy for him, are recognized in this fashion. Jeff volunteered for over ten years attending “field days” that consist of three or four day weekends, twice a year. Jeff volunteers for this cause to give back to the military because both of his grandfathers served in the Navy during World War II.

Cub Scout Pack 922 visits Battleship Cove approximately every two years. Scouts love exploring Battleship Cove. Pack 922 meets once per month as a pack and has several fun and exciting activities planned for the pack each and every year. If your son is interested in joining cub scouts (grades 1 through 5), you can visit Pack 922’s website at www.OrangeCTscouting.com for additional information and to email the Cubmaster, Jeff Cap. 

Nov 082014

IMG_2856Imagine having a phenomenal season and being so hungry for the state championship title that you could almost taste it.

That’s how the Amity Lady Spartans felt as they went up against the Trumbull Eagles for the Class LL quarterfinal match on Saturday afternoon at Amity.

Amity came on strong against Trumbull defeating them 3-0 (25-15, 25-23 and 25-21) in three energy charged games that often were tied up, giving spectators plenty of nail biting excitement.

Amity’s noteworthy players

Micaela Cardozo had 8 kills, 5 digs and 2 blocks; Kathleen Walsh had 12 kills and 3 digs; Haley Pierson had 23 assists and 2 aces.

Trumbull’s noteworthy players

Mia Hampford had 10 kills, 2 digs, 1 block and 10 service points; Kristen Peterson had 16 digs and 9 service points; Sydney Adams had 19 assists and 6 digs.

The Lady Spartans advance to the Class LL semifinals Thursday evening (Nov. 13) at Hamden High School at 6 p.m. — facing their greatest rivals, Cheshire, for the fourth time.