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Do You Know The Significance of Juneteenth?

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Jun 192021
 

Back in the 1800s Black Americans donned their Sunday best to celebrate Juneteenth.

We’ve been hearing the term Juneteenth a lot lately as June 19th draws near, but do you know what it celebrates?

I was amazed that although many people have heard the term over the years, not everyone is aware of its significance. I asked a few folks around town and got a variety of answers.

• I think it’s the date that Tulsa, Oklahoma was burnt down.

• Isn’t it the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King?

• It’s a Black American religious holiday.

No, No, and No.

Perhaps this is why we should teach black history in public schools.

Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in 1865 that was first observed in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1866.

Now, 156 years later, it is being recognized as a federal holiday. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden made it official when he signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.

Back in September 1862, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation, which officially outlawed slavery in Texas and other states that fought against the Union, but Texas, Delaware, and Kentucky ignored the law until December 1865.

The proclamation included the stipulation that if the southern states did not honor the law, that it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 1863. When the Confederacy still didn’t comply, Lincoln issued the proclamation one final time on Jan. 1, 1863.

As of 2021, North and South Dakota are the only states that don’t recognize Juneteenth. What do you think they’ll do now that it’s officially a federal holiday.

 

BREAKING: Man Rescued From Car After Driving Into Pond In Orange

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Jun 182021
 

At around 4:15 p.m. this afternoon an elderly man accidentally drove his car into the pond at Old Tavern Park.

Police and the fire marshal were first on the scene, followed by OVFD. The car was not submerged and the man reportedly was conscious and talking when he was assisted out of the car.

The entire rescue took about 6 minutes, and once onshore at 4:32 p.m., EMS attended to the patient.

 

 

Yes, The Firelight Commons Apartment/Business Complex Decision Has Been Reached

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Jun 152021
 

Back on June 1, Orange Live covered the Town Plan & Zoning Meeting during which an apartment complex proposal for the Firelight Plaza on Old Tavern Road that includes 72 units and 226 parking places was discussed at length. 

After some changes were made to the plans, the TP&Z met with the attorney for the applicant and others again on Tuesday, June 15, via zoom.

The back and forth was rather boring and can be seen on OGAT On Demand as soon as it is uploaded.

The Commissioners DID come to a decision about the complex, and it was approved. The NuVita FroYo building will be demolished and it will NOT be replaced. So, there you go, Orange, get ready for  some new apartments and businesses in that nearly dead mini-mall.

Trophies, Scholarships Presented At Block A Awards Ceremony

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Jun 152021
 

2020-2021 Block A Awards (Part 2)

After a disappointing 2019-2020 school year for high school athletes, when the Annual Block A Award Ceremony took place virtually and winners had to wait until their drive-thru graduation to receive their plaques and trophies, this year’s modified in-person event was a breath of fresh air. 

Although there was no dinner, and everyone still had to wear face masks, at least the Amity Athletes had the experience of hearing their names and receiving their awards directly from their coaches in front of their peers and parents. 

The ceremony took place in the Amity auditorium on Sunday, June 13, at 5 p.m. For anyone who couldn’t make it, or didn’t have an invitation, the event was live-streamed and is now available to anyone on YouTube

Athletic Director Ernie Goodwin hosted the event. 

Here are the 2020-2021 Special Awards:

* = not present, no photo

Unified Sportsmanship Award – Saeed Karout*

Versatility Award – Caroline Cadelina (Girls Golf, Hockey)

Versatility Award – Justin Miller (Boys Football, Hockey, Lacrosse)

Scholar-Athlete Award – Eesha Acharya*

Scholar-Athlete Award – Jack Ranani

Sportsmanship Award – Anthony Esposito (volleyball)

Sportsmanship Award – Lauren Ronai (Lacrosse)

Paul Mengold Outstanding Leadership Award – Ribecka Marchitto

Albert J. Seymour Memorial Award – Sophia Swift [Unsung Hero] Basketball

Albert J. Seymour Memorial Award – Max Dempsey [Unsung Hero] Diving

Thomas G. Laugeni Memorial Award – Jillian Ciccarelli (Softball)

Thomas G. Laugeni Memorial Award – Jacob Silbert (Baseball)

Steven J Zeider Memorial Swimming Award – Max Dempsey

James Dunleavy Memorial Hockey Award – Dylan Raver

Mark E. Greco Memorial Hockey Award – Justin Miller

Jeremy Saxe Memorial Scholarship – Dane DeYoung

Thomas J. Ross Memorial Manager Award – Benjamin Martin (Baseball)

Director of Athletics Recognition Award – Benjamin Martin (Provided Livestreaming)

Athlete of the Year Award – Male – Julian “JuJu” Stevens (Baseball)

Athlete of the Year Award – Female – Payton Rahn (Field Hockey)

Amity Coaches Association Awards:

Coach of the Year Award – AJ Raccio (Undefeated, SCC Champ Boys Lax)

Assistant Coach of the Year Award – Patricia Salvatti (Field Hockey)

Outstanding Service Award – Athletic Trainer Kimberly Pearce

Booster Club Service Award – None

Booster Club President Award – None

Retired Coaches – None

 

65th Annual Block A Awards Presented

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Jun 152021
 

After a disappointing 2019-2020 school year for high school athletes, when the Annual Block A Award Ceremony took place virtually and winners had to wait until their drive-thru graduation to receive their plaques and trophies, This year’s modified in-person event was a breath of fresh air.

Although there was no dinner, and everyone still had to wear face masks, at least the Amity Athletes had the experience of hearing their names and receiving their awards directly from their coaches in front of their peers and parents.

The ceremony took place in the Amity auditorium on Sunday, June 13, at 5 p.m. For anyone who couldn’t make it, or didn’t have an invitation, the event was live-streamed and is now available to anyone on YouTube.

Athletic Director Ernie Goodwin hosted the event.

Here are the 2020-2021 MVPs

* = not present, no photo

Baseball – McAllister (Mac) Burke

Boys Basketball – Micah Morgan

Girls Basketball – Mya Manzione

Cheerleading – Emily Martocchio

Dance – Ella Benjamin

Boys Cross Country – Mason Beaudette

Girls Cross Country – Ariana Garay

Field Hockey – Payton Rahn

Football – No Season

Boys Golf – Brett Chodos

Girls Golf – Ava Gross

Boys Ice Hockey – Justin Miller

Girls Ice Hockey – Caroline Cadelina

Boys Indoor Track & Field – Philip London

Girls Indoor Track & Field – Abigail (Abby) Ball

Boys Lacrosse – John Coughlin (Middie)

Girls Lacrosse – Payton Rahn (goalie)

Boys Ski Racing – Evan Jurzyk

Girls Ski Racing – Madeline Key

Boys Soccer – Arian Bobi*

Girls Soccer – Audrey Marin

Softball – Juliette Zito

Boys Swimming & Diving – Seamus Hennesy

Girls Swimming & Diving – Natalie Carrington

Boys Tennis – Nishaan Patel*

Girls Tennis – Sydney Pitter*

Boys Track & Field – Mason Beaudette

Girls Track & Field – Emily Zielinski

Boys Volleyball – Theodore (Theo) Zaharewicz*

Girls Volleyball – Zoe Dizenzo*

Wrestling – No Season

JuJu’s Choice: Major League Baseball Or Full Ride College Scholarship?

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Jun 142021
 

The last time I can remember major league baseball scouts clamoring to see an Amity Baseball phenomenon was back in 2018 when catcher Pat Winkel graced the Amity field.

Winkel had it all, he could catch, throw, bat, and run like the wind.

Coach Sal Coppola was by his side when they got the call, the New York Yankees had picked Winkel in the draft. He wasn’t chosen in the early rounds, from what I understand, because the Yanks knew Winkel was going to choose college and playing baseball with his brother Chris, at UCONN over the major leagues. But they wanted him to know that he was wanted.

This year, even with the shortened season and crazy restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, another Amity player with the same skills and character as Winkel caught the attention of spectators and scouts.

Coppola’s phone rang, and although he didn’t know if it would be the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Royals, or any of the other desirable top teams, this call was from the San Diego Padres, and they are interested in Julian “JuJu” Stevens.

After Sunday’s Block A Sports Award Ceremony I asked Julian, this year’s Athlete of the Year if he’d choose the Major Leagues or College.

“I still have time to decide,” he said, “but I’ll let everyone know what I’m doing.”

This young man is as polite and soft-spoken as he is talented. Whatever he chooses to do, I know he will come out on top. He is so smart and has the support of his family, coach, team, and friends.

I wish him all the best now and in the future.

Best Of The Best Student Athletes Honored Today

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Jun 132021
 

A shot from the last actual Block A Dinner in 2019. (Mark Greco Memorial Hockey Award)

Every year exemplary student-athletes are honored at the BLOCK A Ceremony. 

Normally, the event includes a dinner, but with COVID restrictions just recently being lifted, this year’s 65th Annual Awards will be distributed in the Amity High School Auditorium.

Last year, sadly, because of the pandemic, the BLOCK A Awards was a virtual event, and the recipients received their trophies and plaques during the graduation procession — It was pretty much a drive-thru commencement that took place over a number of days. Athletic Director Ernie Goodwin was the last stop before the graduates were announced and got their diplomas.

I am so happy that these hard-working athletes will be given a proper ceremony this year.

This is an invitation-only event.

Orange Live will post a list of all of the winners and their photos by tomorrow morning. 

 

 

Connecticut’s “Best Doctors” Are In Orange

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Jun 122021
 

Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center at Orange physicians Johanna LaSala, MD, and Kelsey Martin, MD, are highlighted in the 2021 list of Top Doctors in Connecticut Magazine.

Published in the magazine’s June issue, the ‘Best Doctors’ list includes physicians nominated by their peers. Dr. LaSala is a medical oncologist and hematologist and Dr. Martin specializes in hematologic care in the Orange, Connecticut community.

“We are very proud Dr. Martin and Dr. LaSala were selected for inclusion in Connecticut’s Best Doctors,” said Jeremy Kortmansky, MD, Chief Network Officer at Smilow Cancer Hospital.  “They are exceptionally talented clinicians and are committed to providing compassionate, state-of-the-art care to our patients.”

Dr. LaSala has practiced in New Haven County for over 20 years and joined the Yale Cancer Center faculty nine years ago. She cares for patients with all cancer diagnoses. Dr. LaSala completed her medical degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and her residency at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  Dr. Martin was recruited to the Yale Cancer Center faculty in 2018 from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and provides hematologic care to patients. She received her Medical Degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the Jacobi Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, NY.

The Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center in Orange has 16 staff members and a 100-percent oncology certified nursing staff. The facility treats more than 750 patients per month and schedules 400 infusion visits per month. Patients receive nutritional counseling, genetic counseling, palliative care, and patient navigation.

The full list of physicians included in this year’s ‘Best Doctors’ issue can be accessed online at the Connecticut magazine website.

For more information about the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center at Orange, visit or call:

The Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center
Spring Brook Common
240 Indian River Road, Building A, Suite 1A
Orange, CT 06477

Phone: (203) 795-1664

Shots Fired! Orange Man Charged With Witness Intimidation

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Jun 112021
 

Christopher Barretta

On June 3, 2021, at around 11:30 p.m., multiple gunshots were fired from a vehicle toward a residence on Old Tavern Road. Investigation showed that an occupied house and multiple vehicles in the driveway were struck with bullets. Although the residents were home at the time, there were no reported injuries.

Further investigation and evidence revealed that the suspect vehicle from which the shots were fired was a 2004 Hummer H2 registered to Christopher Barretta, 47, of 476 Alling Farm Road in Orange.
The victim in this shooting incident had also been the victim of a theft in 2020 for which Christopher Barretta was arrested. That court case, along with five other criminal cases involving Barretta, are pending in Milford Superior Court.
Officers seized the Hummer and executed a search warrant, during which evidence was recovered.
An arrest warrant was obtained and on June 10 at 2:19 p.m., officers conducted an investigative motor vehicle stop on Cummings Road, and Barretta was taken into custody and charged with witness intimidation.
He was held overnight and arraigned this morning, June 11 at CT Superior Court, Derby.
According to the police, this investigation remains ongoing. More charges and additional arrests are possible.

Smoke Detectors Save Lives: Orange Man Escapes House Fire Unharmed

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Jun 112021
 

(Photos by Marianne Miller)

Last night, Orange Live brought you some breaking news about a house fire at 467 Ridgeview Road where the Orange Volunteer Firefighters had been called just before 9 p.m.

Neighbors said a male resident was in the bedroom and awakened to smoke and flames in the room, but was able to escape without injury.
This morning Fire Marshal Jamie Vincent said the fire is still under investigation but based on statements by the occupant of the house at the time of the fire, and the fire patterns found in the area of origin, improperly discarded smoking materials in the bedroom may have played a part in the fire cause.
“We will be back out today to continue our investigation,” Vincent said.  “It’s important to note that the home was equipped with operating smoke alarms!”
Vincent added, “This was an excellent job by the first-in firefighters who, while there was smoke and heat damage to much of the first floor, contained the majority of the fire damage to the room of origin (the bedroom).”