Police Seek Bank Robbery Information

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Jul 132017

The TD Bank, 175 Boston Post Road was robbed on Tuesday, July 11 at 6:11 p.m.

According to Orange Police, a black female wearing jeans, a blue t-shirt, sunglasses, and a wig, gave the teller a note demanding money.

The bank teller gave the suspect cash and she walked out of the bank, across the street, into a parking lot where she discarded the blue t-shirt, wig, and sunglasses, which officers later recovered.  

A black vehicle, possibly a newer Ford Fusion, driven by a black male, was seen pulling up alongside the woman and is believed to have driven her from the scene.  

Police said it appeared the car had a New Jersey plate, and three of the digits may have been “G11.”  

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Orange Police Department at 203-891-2130, in reference to case # 17-17817. 

Full Buck Moon At Peak Just After Midnight

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Jul 082017

The July full moon will be its fullest in the early morning of Sunday, July 9 at 12:08 a.m.

The July moon is called the “full buck moon” because it happens during the time of the year during which buck’s antlers are growing in, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

The July moon sometimes also is referred to as the thunder moon because there tend to be numerous thunderstorms during this time of the year.

A Special Presentation To The Family Of A Soldier Who Went MIA In WWII

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Jul 072017

The family of a WWII soldier reported Missing In Action 71 years ago, received an American Flag commemorating his service at the West Haven Veteran’s Museum on Wednesday, July 5.

US Senator Richard Blumenthal presented the flag, that had been flown over the nation’s capitol, during a ceremony which also was attended by State Rep. Charles Ferraro and West Haven Mayor Ed O’Brien.

“A flag that is a token of our recognition and honor to the Gilbert family, and a flag that will grace this museum,” Blumenthal said.

This all came about due to the persistence of a nephew that Lt. James W. Gilbert never met.

Terrance Gilbert, 70, who once lived in Orange, came across some boxes in the basement of his West Haven home and as he carefully went through all of the contents, became acquainted with his uncle, about whom his family never really discussed because their hearts were broken by the way they lost him decades ago.

After 9 months of digging, research, phone calls and working with the Veteran’s Museum and his grandson, also Terrance, Terrance had a binder filled with photographs, documents, letters, telegrams, copies of pages from James’ military school yearbook and so much more.

James was inducted into the Pennsylvania Military College in 1940, where, it appears, he made excellent grades, was a member of the football team and was a bit of a cut-up. He was a member of the final graduating class in 1943.

Terrance and his Uncle Kevin, of Orange — he runs the Memorial Day Parade with passion every year — learned that James had applied to West Point in 1942 and was accepted without condition, but before he was able to attend, the war in Europe was heating up and he graduated Officer Candidate Class, 1st Co., Third Student Training Regiment Infantry School in Fort Benning, GA, as a Second Lieutenant on Sept. 5, 1944.

The Biggest Clue

In the box of treasures from the basement was a letter from Everett Scranton, one of the men in James’ platoon, to Mrs. Gilbert, giving an account of what happened to James during a battle with the Germans.

James was the only officer in the foxhole with his men. When the Germans started coming at them the men began to retreat and James stood up and called them back, which is when he was shot. The men tried to fix him up with a tourniquet and he ended up in a hospital in France.

Terrance has documentation, some written in German, some in French, that the government attempted to find him, but the Hospital that James was in, was bombed and nothing of his, not even his dog tags, were ever found.

James was blonde with blue eyes and he spoke fluent German. For some reason, he was wearing German boots when he was pulled out of the trenches. Because of this, the Gilbert Family held onto the hope that the Germans would have thought he was one of theirs and had brought him with them to the other side and someday James would walk through the door after the war, but sadly, that never happened.

Aside from getting to know his uncle through his research, there is one thing in particular that ties the two men together. James was declared MIA on Feb. 8, 1946. Terrance was born on Feb. 8, 1947.

Permanent Memorial

Terrance donated his binder to the West Haven Veteran’s Museum along with James’ medals, which he compiled with Blumenthal’s assistance: the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, American Campaign Medal and the WWII Victory Medal.

Upon request, the PMC Museum sent a uniform like the one James would have worn in the 1940s, to West Haven for the presentation. At a future date, the Museum in Pennsylvania will similarly honor Lt. James W. Gilbert.

A Brother Remembers

Over the years, Kevin Gilbert has dedicated his time to bringing the town of Orange a meaningful Memorial Day Event with a Ceremony at the Gazebo, then the Parade, concluding with a service at the Orange Center Cemetery.

Last year, he said he was retiring from the leadership position, but this year, he was back.

So after reading this story, you now know that Kevin lost a brother during WWII. He was just a kid when it happened so his emotions run deep when it comes to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and those whose fate is unknown.

Kevin has vivid memories of his childhood, and some stand out more than others at times like this.

He recalls what happened to many of his neighbors during war times. A man on his street was taken away and sent to a concentration camp for several years because he was Japanese.

In Kevin’s West Haven neighborhood Armstrong Rubber was the hub of the community and one day, all the men were gone, they all joined the service. Women joined the workforce and took over where the men left off.

“I was young, I didn’t realize what was happening,” he said.

At 10-years-old Kevin was home when the Western Union man delivered the telegram informing his mother that James was MIA and again when the military presented his mother with two Gold Stars, one for the window, and another that was a pin she could wear. These memories are still raw in his mind.

His brothers Jimmy and Terry were born three years apart and they were older than him, so they “didn’t grow up together,” but he’s lived with the angst of never knowing what became of James.





Shabbat At The Beach Postponed

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Jul 072017

Congregation Or Shalom has been planning tonight’s Shabbat at the Beach for some time, but due to the expected rainstorms, the event has been rescheduled for next Friday, July 14 at 7 p.m.

Tonight’s service will take place in the sanctuary, 205 Old Grassy Hill Road at 7 p.m.

Here’s hoping for better weather next week.

Obituary: Karen Johnson Smith, 85, Beloved Mother, Retired School Employee

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Jul 062017

Karen Johnson Smith, 85, of Orange, beloved wife of the late Donald Cary Smith, passed away on July 3, 2017.

Karen was born on July 18, 1931, to the late Frederick and Dorothy Johnson.

Karen graduated from Hillhouse High School in New Haven, class of 1949. She married Donald C. Smith in 1949 and had seven children. Karen was an avid swimmer, an accomplished diver, champion badminton player and a competitive bridge player. She had a special love for children and children with special needs. She loved working in the Orange School System for more than 30 years.

On the orthopedic floor of Yale-New Haven Hospital, she was a cherished employee loved by many for her infectious smile and willingness to do her job. Karen recently retired from the hospital after more than 30 years.

Karen leaves behind her children, Deborah Smith of McLean, VA, Tina Bodnar of Chesapeake, VA, Kristin Wall of Mystic, CT, Andrew Smith and Christopher Smith of Orange, CT and Gretchen Smith of Bethany, CT. She also leaves four grandsons, one granddaughter, and one great-grandson. In addition to her parents and husband,

Karen was predeceased by her son, Donald Cary Smith, Jr. and her brother, Harvey Johnson. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, July 8, 2017, at 1 p.m. at Orange Congregational Church, 205 Meetinghouse Ln., Orange, CT. Burial will be private at a later date.

The family is being compassionately cared for by the Cody-White Funeral Home, 107 Broad St., Milford, CT. To leave online condolences, visit www.codywhitefuneralservice.com.

Town Plan and Zoning Meeting Includes Plans For A Hotel And A Processing Facility

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Jul 042017

The Town Plan and Zoning Commission meets at Town Hall on Wednesday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Following is the agenda:

1. Review of the Minutes from the May 2 and May 16 meetings.

2. Old Business.

3. New Business.

4. Report of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

-Review of Zoning Activities Log.

PUBLIC HEARINGS 8:00 p.m. *(2)

5. APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL EXCEPTION, PERMIT OR USE – For the Sale and/or Processing of Agricultural Product ; For property known as 831 Derby-Milford Road. Submitted by Stephen Bespuda Jr. and Rachel Bespuda. For the raising of hay, corn, produce, cattle, poultry and pigs (To be called Cedar Hill Farm). Also proposed is the construction of a 14’ x 22’ structure with 4 parking spaces.

6. SPECIAL PERMIT APPLICATION – Submitted by the Hartford Lodging Partners, LLC for Estate of Dominic F. Farina, Trustee. For property known as 99 Marsh Hill Road; a.k.a. Assessor’s Map 8/3/4A. For the construction of a 4 story extended stay hotel with appurtenant parking, storage, and utilities. A SITE PLAN APPLICATION, SITE PLAN APPLICATION – LIGHTING SUPPLEMENT; SITE PLAN APPLICATION – ARCHITECTURAL STANDARDS SUPPLEMENT; and APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION OF SOIL EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL MEASURES, also have been filed.

7. APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY SPECIAL USE EARTH MATERIALS REMOVAL and FILLING – Submitted by the Hartford Lodging Partners, LLC for Estate of Dominic F. Farina, Trustee. For property known as 99 Marsh Hill Road; a.k.a. Assessor’s Map 8/3/4A. For required earth materials removal and filling in conjunction with the construction of a 4 story extended stay hotel with appurtenant parking, storage, and utilities.

Be Mindful Of Your Dog’s Fears This Holiday Week

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Jul 022017

Over the years we’ve learned that the Fourth of July celebration begins and ends several days before and after Independence Day.

The loud rumbles, cracks, pops, and booms may thrill us, but they can be terrifying for dogs.
When I was a kid, my dog Bootsie would burrow as deep as she could go under anything, beds, tables, chairs whatever she could hide under trying to find safety.
Although I’m lucky this year and my dog, Mi Sun seems alert but unafraid of loud noises. Still, there are so many of you who need to find a way to protect your pet to help get him or her through this noisy holiday.
Make sure to create a safe zone in your home where your pet can feel comfortable. If you have a quiet inside room, set it up with familiar items for him before you head out to the fairgrounds. Give him access to water and leave a radio playing at normal volume to keep him company.
Don’t bring your pet to fireworks displays, and never leave him unattended in the car.
Don’t leave your dog outside alone. He could get lost or hurt if he panics and tries to escape from your yard — or worse run into traffic as he flees.
Keep dog doors and fence gates locked this week (end).
Make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag with up to date information. An ID tag will help get you reunited even if your pet isn’t microchipped.
This is one holiday that your pet’s feelings should be your top priority.
Orange Live has a very good record of helping to find lost dogs. If your pet runs away, send us a text at 203-506-1747 or message us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Orangectlive/ along with the time your pet went missing, what area of town you are in (street, crossroads, etc), description, contact information and a photo if you have one — even if it’s not a great picture. and we’ll get the word out. Orange residents are excellent at helping their neighbors and often share missing pet news and get out and start looking immediately.

Are You Ready To Party? Follow The Instructions And Have A Great Time

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Jul 022017

Experienced Independence Day revelers began marking their spaces on the Orange Fairgrounds around noon today in anticipation of a phenomenal musical show and the traditional 4th of July Fireworks.

Food vendors will be in place as early as 5:30 pm.

Vendors include: Chip’s Pancake Truck; Reno’s Pizza Truck; Shoreline Prime Meats & Deli Truck; Spuds Your Way; Cappetta’s Italian Imports; Lemonade Grenade; Szabo’s Seafood; Rita’s Italian Ice; JP Kettle Corn; Action Enterprises

Food trucks open at 6 p.m., Band at 6:30, fireworks at 9:30

A reminder that NO open flames, propane containers, individual fireworks or sparklers are permitted.

While on the fairgrounds, be aware of safety zones (marked in white) and follow the guidance of Orange CERT members. Show courtesy to you fellow residents & make use of clearly marked trash & recycling containers. Parents, please watch your children.

Please enter and leave the fairgrounds with caution and observe directional signs and Police instructions at all times. Stay clear of the “fire line” and the wooded area near the fireworks pit for your own safety.

Be patient at the conclusion of the show as traffic may be stopped while the fireworks people make sure each and every explosive has been blasted.

This is for YOUR safety, so do not give the CERT members or firefighters a hard time. They are not just being “yahoos” they are trained in safety measures and are doing their jobs to make sure you and your family do not get hurt.

Open House: Stunning Two-Story 3 Bedroom Home In Central Orange

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Jul 022017

Location, Grounds, and Home; All elegant and designed to combine yesteryear and today!

The Huge custom two-story architecturally designed addition is a great room overlooking a fabulous back yard with a master suite up above it.

Brand new kitchen with exposed brick, Thomasville cabinets, quartz counter, recessed lighting. Fabulous formal dining room with walnut paneling.

Remodeled baths with custom cabinets and white Carrara marble.

This ten room home is a one of a kind. Freshly painted inside and out, updated septic.

Walk across the street to walking track and community center. Loads of character, with updated mechanics, large two-car garage, and private back yard.

Convenient, oversized and meticulous with plenty of space for large parties or outside football games!

Feels like a piece of history in central Orange, some bedrooms have Chestnut floors! Natural Gas line to House! Four more fireplaces in the home, not in use.

Check it out at 562 Orange Center Road during an open house on Sunday, July 2 from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Offered for $499,900.