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August 23, 2019  |  

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Person of the Week

Publications

East Haven Courier

Drawing from local history and a career in dramatic productions, playwright Toby Armour has become known for crafting plays that tell the story of the town in which they are staged, such as last weekend’s Three Tales of East Haven at Christ and the Epiphany Church. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Toby Armour: Bringing Tales of the Past to East Haven

Published July 24, 2019 08:30 a.m.

In her career as a playwright, Toby Armour has written about Susan B. Anthony, freed slaves, and railroads with partners including town historians, aspiring writers, and prisoners.

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North Haven Courier

North Haven Land trust member Heidi Boettger preserves important habitats from her own home by growing milkweed, an important source of food for monarch butterflies, which are known to rest in the area on their long migration south. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Heidi Boettger: Protecting Open Spaces

Published July 24, 2019 08:30 a.m.

As a past president of the North Haven Land Trust (NHLT), Heidi Boettger says her goal is to preserve the town’s open spaces. Though many people may not know where the NHLT preserves public land, she says it’s all about saving important habitats and contributing to the character of the town.

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Harbor News

Throughout his career as a teacher and administrator in local schools, Dave Russell has kept his oar in the water as a member of the Westbrook Marine Patrol. 

Photo by Aviva Luria/Harbor News

Dave Russell: Education is the Key

Published July 24, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Dave Russell was born in a city located at the confluence of three rivers, but it was in Westbrook that he became a boater.

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The Source

Mike Reilly, the longtime head custodian at Killingworth Elementary School, dedicates much of his time to the Killingworth Lions. Photo courtesy of the Killingworth Elementary School

Mike Reilly: Proud to Call Killingworth Home and Give Back to Community as a Lion

Published July 24, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Growing up in Meriden, Mike Reilly remembers hearing about the ways the local Lions Club gave back to the community.

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Valley Courier

A native Texan, Margaret Paulsen has found a welcoming home in New England, and in particular at the Deep River Congregational Church, for which Margaret is organizing the annual Rummage Sale coming Saturday, Aug. 17. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Margaret Paulsen: A Bargain Isn’t Always in the Basement

Published July 24, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Need a chair? A sled? A music stand? A pet carrier? Or maybe something more exotic like an antique Swedish birthing chair?

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The Source

Bill Barker is the founder of Madison Hoop Dreams, an organization that has supported a variety of community organizations and scholarships over its 26 years.

Photo courtesy of Tammy Boris

Bill Barker: Giving Back Through Madison Hoop Dreams and More

Published July 17, 2019 08:30 a.m.

For more than 50 years, Bill Barker has been a fixture in Madison—first as a teacher and coach in Madison schools, then as the founder of Madison Hoop Dreams, which he has run for 26 years, as well as a member of a number of other charitable groups and organizations.

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Guilford Courier

On Saturday, Sept. 7, board member and event co-chair Linda Reich invites all to attend Evening in White, a garden dinner party to benefit non-profit Hyland House Museum, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets, $50, are on sale now.

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

Planning a Magical ‘Evening in White’ to Celebrate, Support Hyland House

Published July 17, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Linda Reich knows the transformative magic of a visit to the Hyland House and its grounds—after all, she was the lady who showed scads of kids how to make a bandage from a leaf in the herb garden.

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North Haven Courier

Diversity is important to Isabel Alvarez Galeano. That’s partly why she helped connect the North Haven Rotary Club to her hometown in Colombia.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Isabel Alvarez Galeano: Making It Happen

Published July 17, 2019 08:30 a.m.

For Isabel Alvarez Galeano, joining the Rotary Club four years ago felt like coming home.

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The Sound

From learning to call it “POCO” like a local, to bringing her years of experience planning events for companies including Disney and ESPN, North Branford’s new Potato and Corn Festival (POCO) coordinator Gayle McMillan and her valued team of volunteers are ready to wow the crowds with new excitement and favorite staples at the 18th annual POCO Festival coming to Augur’s Field from Friday to Sunday, Aug. 2 to 4.

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Planning for a Fun POCO Festival

Published July 17, 2019 08:30 a.m.

With upgrades including a new amusement company bringing in more midway thrills for ‘tweens, the first-ever addition of circus acts, a new pyrotechnics group sparking the Saturday night fireworks, and more community tent programming in the mix, Gayle McMillan is planning for a fun Potato and Corn (POCO) Festival from Friday, Aug. 2 to Sunday, Aug. 4 at Augur’s Field in North Branford.

Read More

East Haven Courier

What started as fulfilling a family commitment to the annual Our Lady of Pompeii carnival has grown into much more for Ric Raffone. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Living a Legacy Through the Our Lady of Pompeii Carnival

Published July 17, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Ric Raffone spells his first name the way he does out of a sense of tradition, necessity, and a family legacy—the same family that has contributed to the Our Lady of Pompeii parish carnival since its earliest days.

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Harbor News

With a background in counseling and a knack for bringing groups together, Jill Paglino has found a welcoming home in the Clinton Youth & Family Services Department. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Jill Paglino: Empowerment for All Ages

Published July 17, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Clinton’s Youth & Family Services Department hosts numerous programs geared toward all age groups in the community. The person behind many of those programs is Program Coordinator Jill Paglino.

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Valley Courier

An artist by training, The Nest board member Mary Jo Helchowski also works as a barista at the community coffee shop that has a goal of providing meaningful work for those with intellectual or emotional disabilities. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Mary Jo Helchowski: Coffee for a Good Cause

Published July 17, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Mary Jo Helchowski was sitting outside The Nest, the new coffee shop on Deep River Main Street, drinking, of course, coffee. More often she is inside, behind the counter, making the coffee, but this was a Monday and the shop was closed.

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Guilford Courier

Mary Young is the outgoing president of Valley Shore Toastmasters and now takes on the role of vice president of education for the group. Photo courtesy of Mary Young

Mary Young: Well Spoken, Well Practiced

Published July 10, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When it comes to her time with the Toastmasters, Mary Young does have one regret—that she didn’t join the group even earlier.

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The Source

Mary Young is the outgoing president of Valley Shore Toastmasters and now takes on the role of vice president of education for the group. Photo courtesy of Mary Young

Mary Young: Well Spoken, Well Practiced

Published July 10, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When it comes to her time with the Toastmasters, Mary Young does have one regret—that she didn’t join the group even earlier.

Read More

The Sound

Bill Ludwig is helping share his appreciation for the meditative practice of labyyrinth walking through a newly completed 72-foot diameter path along the Shoreline Greenway Trail in Branford. Photo courtesy of Bill Ludwig

Bill Ludwig: Taking the Path Less Traveled

Published July 10, 2019 08:30 a.m.

A publisher by trade, Branford resident Bill Ludwig was searching for an image for the cover of a book about spiritual meditation, and that’s when it happened.

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Valley Courier

Deep River Housing Authority Chair Lisa Johnson takes her commitment to area seniors a step further by preparing her famous Monday night meals for seniors at Kirtland Commons. Photo courtesy of Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson: Food as a Way to Happiness

Published July 10, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Using food as her genre of giving and to make others happy, Lisa Johnson seasons her phenomenal cooking with love.

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East Haven Courier

Dave Torello retired from the East Haven Police Department in June, though you’ll likely still see him in uniform around town working as a part time officer with the department. 

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Dave Torello: More Than Just a DARE Officer

Published July 10, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Recently retired police officer Dave Torello only spent four of his 26 year career as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer in East Haven schools, but he says it was a big part of his time in the department.

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North Haven Courier

A self-described people person, Apryl Thomas puts her skills to full use as a mother and a banker. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Apryl Thomas: Taking It All Seriously

Published July 10, 2019 08:30 a.m.

As the supervisor of the Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union and DMV Express location on Washington Avenue, Apryl Thomas is working hard to adapt to the changing business landscape and raise her two kids.

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Harbor News

Clinton Rotary Club President Andrew Marzano shares his love of water with his students in the Navigator Program at Hamden Middle School. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Andrew Marzano: Teaching Life Navigation Skills

Published July 10, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Andrew Marzano is quite fond of the water, and he’s sharing that appreciation with a new audience each year.

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Valley Courier

After a lifetime of caring for the elderly, Andrea Schaffner will be stepping down as Essex Meadows’ medical director. Photo by Rita Christopher

Andrea Schaffner: A Change of Status

Published July 03, 2019 08:30 a.m.

What happened to the college freshman who wanted to be an artist and a writer?

Read More

The Source

Matt Link of Killingworth founded the Unified Sports program in Madison and has been running it for the past 15 years. Photo courtesy of Matt Link

Matt Link: Bringing Athletic Opportunities to Students of Every Ability through Unified Sports

Published July 03, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Matt Link has worked with many children in Madison over the past two decades. He has been a middle school physical education teacher in Madison since 1995.

Read More

Guilford Courier

Winnie Seibert helped bring Rhythms of Grace, a service designed to invite comfort and connection for those on the Autism spectrum, and others sensitive to sensory overload or with special needs, to Christ Episcopal Church. She welcomes families and people of all ages and faiths to experience Rhythms of Grace during a 5 p.m. outdoor summer service at Jacobs Beach, under the pavillion, on Sunday, July 14. Photo courtesy of Winnie Seibert

Seibert Helps ‘Rhythms of Grace’ Provide Comfort, Connection for All Faiths and Needs

Published July 03, 2019 08:30 a.m.

On Sunday, July 14, a Christ Episcopal Church service designed to invite comfort and connection for those on the autism spectrum and others sensitive to sensory overload or with special needs, welcomes families and people of all ages and faiths to experience Rhythms of Grace during a 5 p.m. outdoor service at Jacobs Beach.

Read More

Harbor News

Steve Mazeau and Daisy Ingraham Principal Ruth W. Rose with Mr. Sullivan’s first-grade class. Photo by Jeffrey Sullivan

Longtime Volunteer Honored for Community Work

Published July 03, 2019 08:30 a.m.

In fifth grade, Steve Mazeau took up drums at school. But he was so shy, he couldn’t bring himself to participate in his first school band concert.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Valedictorian Cameron Cordaway is off to represent East Haven High School at the University of Connecticut, where she will bring lessons learned from pain and triumphs at school.

Photo courtesy Cameron Cordaway

Cameron Cordaway Takes EHHS Lessons to UConn

Published July 03, 2019 08:30 a.m.

East Haven High School (EHHS) valedictorian Cameron Cordaway is taking lessons of love, pain, and patience to the University of Connecticut. She plans to study chemistry on the pre-med track, with the goal of becoming a pediatrician.

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North Haven Courier

Jack Frank, the North Haven High School valedictorian, says he learned many life lessons while in high school, both in and out of the classroom. Photo courtesy of Chris Kirby

Jack Frank Takes Leadership Skills to Georgetown

Published July 03, 2019 08:30 a.m.

With qualities of leadership and teamwork learned from North Haven High School (NHHS), valedictorian Jack Frank has accepted an offer to attend Georgetown University in the fall, where he plans to study business.

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The Sound

Branford Community Foundation (BCF) board member and Community Investment Committee chair Rita Berkson invites the Branford community to come out to the beautiful grounds of the Owenego Beach and Tennis Club on Friday, July 19 at 6 p.m. to enjoy “Hometown Harmonies & Branford’s Official 375th Birthday Party,” hosted by BCF. To help BCF plan for a crowd, advance reservations (pay-what-you-can) are requested.

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

BCF’s Berkson Helps Hometown Harmonies Celebrate Branford’s 375th

Published July 03, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Did you hear? With Hometown Harmonies, Branford Community Foundation (BCF) is throwing Branford’s official 375th birthday bash, and everyone is invited.

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The Sound

Grammy-nominated jazz drummer and composer Dan Pugach brings the Dan Pugach Nonet featuring Nicole Zuraitis to open the free Branford Summer Jazz Series on Thursday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m. on the Branford town green.

Photo courtesy of www.danpugach.com

Back in Branford: Dan Pugach Nonet Opens Branford Jazz Series June 27

Published June 26, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When Dan Pugach Nonet featuring Nicole Zuraitis opens the free Branford Summer Jazz Series on Thursday, June 27, fans will be arriving from across Connecticut to hear the sound put together by the band of Dan Pugach, the Grammy-nominated jazz drummer/composer who’s career has blown up since the last time he played the Branford green, back in 2012.

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Guilford Courier

Guilford High School Class of 2019 valedictorian Katie Hooker, who will be among the next generation of incredible women making their mark in STEM fields, encourages her classmates to seize opportunities and follow their passions. Photo courtesy of Katie Hooker

STEM Stand Out: Katie Hooker, GHS 2019 Valedictorian

Published June 26, 2019 08:30 a.m.

For Guilford High School (GHS) valedictorian Anne Katherine “Katie” Hooker, there’s no time like the present to take her academic ability into the world of scientific research, and make her mark.

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Valley Courier

Chester resident Deb Vilcheck is chairman of the annual Four on the Fourth Road Race in downtown Chester. Photo by Karena Garrity

Deb Vilcheck: Hitting the Ground Running with Four on the Fourth

Published June 26, 2019 08:30 a.m.

For 20-year Chester resident Deb Vilcheck, being the chairman of the 41st annual Four on the Fourth Road Race in downtown Chester is one more way to give back to a town and a community she loves so much.

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Harbor News

A career in environmental science transformed to one in environmental education and now elementary education for Dana Skidmore, but the Clinton teacher has brought her science background and enthusiasm with her the whole way. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Dana Skidmore: Sharing a Love and Understanding of Nature

Published June 26, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Though teaching at the Abraham Pierson School in Clinton since 2008, Dana Skidmore says that “teaching was for sure a second job for me.”

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