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Maplewood Hosts Festival of Trees and Lights on Thursday

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Dec 062018

Maplewood at Orange, 245 Indian River Road, will host its annual Silent Auction and Celebration on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 4-6 p.m.

All proceeds will benefit the Orange Community Assistance Program which provides assistance with food and fuel for the Orange community.

Come celebrate the holiday season, enjoy festive music, appetizers and cocktails, while bidding on beautifully decorated trees and baskets.

Important, RSVP should have been done by Monday, Dec. 3 to Liz Castiline-Gannon at 203-795-3117 or e-mail lcastiline@maplewoods

Get Excited For The Amity 2018-19 Winter Sports Season

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Dec 052018

The Amity Winter Sports preview (scrimmage) games begin next week, and we just can’t wait to see what this year’s teams have in store for us.

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, there are four events to look forward to.

3:30 p.m. Varsity Girls Basketball vs Oxford Home  at Amity

5 p.m. Varsity Boys Basketball vs Guilford Home at Amity

7 p.m. Boys Ice Hockey vs Masuk Home at Bennett Rink, West Haven

7:30 p.m. Varsity Girls Ice Hockey vs Hall-Conard Away at Veterans’ Memorial Rink, West Hartford.


The Ultimate Coffee Table Magazine Is Here

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Dec 042018

For several years, we’ve been singing the praises of the Orange Economic Development Corporation’s semi-annual local publication “Orange Life” magazine.

This is not a rival news organization, rather a sister-type business, as we both serve only the Orange community.

Orange Life is beautiful, with quality printing and a high gloss cover featuring a beautiful picture from someone local. The winter issue shows a stunning painting of the Wepawaug by artist Violet Nastri.

Inside, are detailed stories crafted by skilled writers who have time to put in a lot of research to offer the best information about the subject.

Orange Life is the only news publication that you will want to keep on your coffee table for months to come. Sort of like a Reader’s Digest Magazine, you’ll always pick it up again for reference or to take another look at a photograph, or check out an ad (see our ad on page 58).

OEDC Executive Director Annemarie Sliby does a phenomenal job.

Look for your Orange Life Magazine in the mail, you’ll be sure to love it!


Severe Weather Alert

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Dec 022018

The National Weather Service has issued a severe weather alert for our area until 5 a.m. Monday.

Expect locally dense fog this afternoon with visibilities generally from 1 to 3 miles, which will reduce to one-quarter mile or less at times.

Drivers should be on the lookout for rapidly changing visibility.

If you encounter heavy fog, reduce your speed and use your low beams as high beams will make it even harder to see what lies ahead.

Dry Dog Foods Recalled: Evolve, Sportsman’s Pride and Triumph

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Nov 282018

These 3 brands are just the latest in a dizzying number of dog food recalls over concerns about Vitamin D levels being too high.

Maker: Sunshine Mills, Inc.
Cause: Elevated levels of Vitamin D
What was recalled: The following dry dog foods with best by dates of Nov. 1, 2018 – Nov. 8, 2019:

  • 14 lb. and 28 lb. bags of Evolve Puppy Formula (Chicken & Rice), UPC numbers 0-73657-00862-0 and 0-73657-00863-7
  • 40 lb. bags of Sportsman’s Pride Large Breed Puppy Formula, UPC numbers 0-70155-10566-0 and 0-70155-10564-0
  • 3 lb., 16 lb. and 30 lb. bags of Triumph Chicken & Rice Recipe, UPC numbers 0-73657-00873-6, 0-73657-00874-3 and 0-73657-00875-0

According to the recall announcement, these dog foods were distributed in U.S. retail stores as well as internationally.

No other Evolve, Sportsman’s Pride or Triumph products are affected by this recall.

Customers who have purchased any of the affected products should stop feeding them and return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund. You may also contact Sunshine Mills at (800) 705-2111 during business hours or by e-mail.

The full list of Vitamin D related recalls now includes:

  • Evolve Chicken & Rice Puppy
  • Sportsman’s Pride Large Breed Puppy Formula
  • Triumph Chicken & Rice Recipe
  • Abound Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Nature’s Promise Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Natural Life Chicken Meal & Potato Formula
  • Orlando Grain Free Chicken & Chickpea Superfood Recipe
  • Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea Recipe

What all these recalled foods have in common so far seems to be:

  • All are dry dog foods — no wet foods, cat foods or treats
  • All seem to contain both chicken as a primary ingredient and either rice or chickpeas
  • Associated with either Sunshine Mills or Whitebridge Pet Brands/Nutrisca

The Dangers of too much Vitamin D

Symptoms of Vitamin D toxicosis and consequential conditions in pets may include loss of appetite, notable weight loss, increased water intake & urination, diarrhea (may be bloody), vomiting, bone & joint pain, lameness, irregular heartbeat, and depression.  Blood tests will show low phosphate and high calcium in the blood.

Beardsley Zoo Director Makes Big Announcement At Tiger Cubs’ Birthday Celebration

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Nov 252018

Fans of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo are aware that the two female Amur Tiger Cubs, Reka, and Zeya turned one-year-old on Sunday, Nov. 25.

The birthday celebration included free tiger bookmarks for the first 500 people through the gate, and two encore presentations of Fostering Felines, a presentation from Animal Care Specialist Bethany Thatcher. Tiger Talks, highlighting the plight of Amur tigers in the wild, took place in front of the habitat throughout the day. Proceeds from the sale of Team Reka, Team Zeya, or Team Tiger Cubs t-shirts and tiger cub stuffed animals go to a proposed expanded tiger habitat.

Zoo Director Gregg Dancho, who began working at the zoo in 1975, and earned his way up to his current position, has always yearned to have a larger habitat for the Tigers who live there.

After the rare tigers were born, nurtured by caring human “parents” and thrived in spite of their 25% chance of survival, the zoo began an ambitious fundraising campaign to see Dancho’s dream come true, build a massive, more appropriate habitat for these beautiful cats.

While their caregivers placed the cubs’ birthday presents around their enclosure, Dancho addressed the crowd who’d come to attend the birthday celebration.

He gave a brief history of the tigers at the zoo and described the enormity of the proposed upgrade. Then he made a big announcement. Just in time for the Cubs’ first birthday, the zoo received a $1,000,000 donation for the tiger habitat from longtime zoo supporter, Pamela Hope Kochiss-Werth.

“The existing tiger habitat was built several decades ago and has been on our wish list to expand and renovate. Our intention is to create a habitat more in keeping with 21st century accredited zoo standards,” Dancho said. “We are overwhelmed with gratitude at Pam’s extreme generosity.”
“The Zoo is asking for matching donations,” Dancho said, “Everyone has an opportunity now to help. There’s no donation too small.”

This is the first grant made by Kochiss-Werth’s new foundation and reflects her individual philanthropy. “As a Bridgeport native, I have many fond memories as far back as 1958, of enjoying wonderful times with my family at Beardsley Park and the Zoo,” she said in a press release. “I feel honored and blessed to be able to contribute to the Zoo’s growth, important programs, and life-enriching contributions to Bridgeport and all Connecticut communities.”

And at 12 p.m., after the cubs received their presents, guests were treated to chocolate and vanilla striped cake and hot chocolate and hot apple cider.

FACTS: When these tiger cubs were born, they had only a 25 percent chance of survival and were the only two Amur cubs added to the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Amur tiger population in 2017.

Sadly, tigers are thought to occupy less than 7 percent of their original range, according to the AZA’s statistics. Threatened by poaching, tiger-human conflict, habitat loss and degradation, and loss of prey, four of nine subspecies have disappeared from the wild.

It’s The Time Of Year For Chimney Fires And Other Emergency Situations.

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Nov 252018

(Photo by OVFD)

On Sunday, Nov. 25 at around 4:30 p.m., the Orange Volunteer Fire Department responded to a chimney fire.

Engine 34, Ladder 37 and Car 2 arrived on the scene in 4 minutes and began dealing with the situation.

Engine 35 and Rescue 1 arrived shortly thereafter.

Firefighters worked inside the home and on the roof for about 45 minutes, isolating the fire to the chimney and fireplace, preventing the fire from spreading to the rest of the structure.

This is what our highly trained volunteer firefighters do, respond to every emergency where they are needed at any time of day, in all types of weather and taking care of the situation thoroughly and professionally.

Thank You OVFD for your selfless service.

Orange Family Catches “Bad Cat” (Bobcat) on Video

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Nov 242018

We always appreciate it when readers send us photos and videos of things that could be of interest to many other residents in town.

The other day we received a surveillance video of a young man attempting to break into a parked vehicle, then run away and get into a getaway car.

Today, a family sent this video with this message. “We have been seeing this little guy a lot more frequently this year. In the Meetinghouse Lane vicinity. Beautiful animal.”

Watch it until the end, because the little daughter is absolutely adorable, asking where the “bad cat” (bobcat) was going.

Thank You For Sharing!

Obituary: Edna DeGennaro, 89, Beloved Mother Of Elizabeth Ianniello, Nick DeGennaro

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Nov 232018

Edna Marie Plescher DeGennaro, wife of the late Frank DeGennaro passed away peacefully with her family by her side on November 19, 2018. She was 89 years young. Edna was born January 27, 1929, in Fort Wayne Indiana, the daughter of Joseph and Irene (Savage) Plescher.
After graduating from Purdue University in Dietetics she was ready to embrace life’s new experiences. She began an internship at the Veterans Administration Hospital in the Bronx, New York. Edna loved living in New York and took in all the city had to offer.
Once she completed her internship she accepted a position at the VA in West Haven, Connecticut in 1954. Edna was “adopted” by her loving Italian landlords, the Carangelos, who introduced her to the rich world of Italian culture and delicious food.
Edna met Frank DeGennaro, a farmer in Woodbridge and they married in 1956. Again, she embraced a new world of agriculture and truck farming in the DeGennaro family. In addition to raising a growing family, Edna mastered many roles including bookkeeping, managing A&P orders, billing snow plowing hours and taking good care of the farm market responsibilities.
When her husband Frank died unexpectedly in 1976, Edna rose to the challenge of raising six children alone with great strength and love. Edna returned to working full time as a Dietitian and provided nutritional guidance and care to many patients across Southern Connecticut hospitals and nursing homes over nearly 20 years.
Edna was deeply loved by all who were fortunate to know her. She had a unique gift for listening and responding with heartfelt concern to everyone she met. Edna’s direct, disciplined and tough-minded approach won her the respect of her many colleagues over her career. Her optimistic, can-do attitude and natural wisdom allowed her to successfully navigate the many challenges she faced throughout her life. She was a lifelong sports fan and inspired her family to follow their beloved sports teams. She rooted faithfully for her Boilermakers until the very end.
She selflessly dedicated herself to raising a close, happy, faith-filled and loving family. Her 14 beautiful grandchildren and one great-grandchild are a legacy of her endless support and love.
She is survived by her six children, Frank (Alyce) DeGennaro of Hockessin, DE, Dan (Cindy) DeGennaro of Vero Beach, FL , Elizabeth (Tony) Ianniello of Orange, CT, Buddy (Mary) DeGennaro of Woodbridge, CT, Maria DeGennaro of Bohemia, NY and Nick (Ann) DeGennaro of Orange, CT., her 14 grandchildren, 1 great-grandson, her sisters, Irene Bahnmaier and Sister Mark Plescher and many beloved nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sisters Marcelline Kerrigan and Catherine Schweitzer.
Special thanks to the staff at Maplewood at Orange who took exceptional care of Edna and provided her with an amazing ride during the final three years of her life.
Family and friends are cordially invited to a visitation at Celentano Funeral Home from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, November 23, 2018. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, November 24 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Woodbridge, Connecticut. To express a condolence please visit www.celentanofuneralhome.com.

Look Up At That Gorgeous Full Beaver Moon

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Nov 232018

The full Moon that’s gracing the sky was at its peak at 12:39 a.m. this morning. Which means that the full Moon actually occurred on Thanksgiving night!


November’s full Moon was called the Beaver Moon by both the Algonquin tribes and colonial Americans. The Native Americans used the monthly Moons and nature’s signs as a sort of calendar to track the seasons.

Why this name? Back then, this was the month to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.

The November full Moon was also called the Full Frost Moon by other Native American tribes.

This information came from the Old Farmers Almanac.