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November 22, 2019
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Person of the Week

Publications

The Sound

After serving as Branford’s Republican Registrar of Voters for 37 years, Marion Burkard officially stepped down as of June 30, 2019. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Burkard Tallies Up Decades of Knowledge for Branford

Published Nov. 20, 2019 08:30 a.m.

As Branford residents were voting in the Nov. 5 municipal election, Branford registrars of voters Dan Hally (D) and Darren Lawler (R) were operating with an ace on their side—Marion Burkard.

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Guilford Courier

For 30 years, with Suncatchers before and after school and summer programs for K-8 kids, founder Kathy Scott has been giving kids a safe, nurturing space to play and learn some “lost art” life skills with fun projects (some projects in progress can be spotted behind her). Kathy says the key is letting them choose to do what they’d like among many enriching activities offered. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

30 Years of Suncatchers: Scott Blends Fun with Life Skills for Kids

Published Nov. 20, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Having fun together and coming away with skills other generations took for granted—sewing, simple woodworking, baking, or even toy-making—are two take-aways Kathy Scott built into Suncatchers, from the very start.

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Valley Courier

Drawing from a lifetime of adventurous cooking, Ron Lavoie used time recovering from an injury to craft a cookbook with 100 recipes and the wisdom of an accomplished home chef. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Ron Lavoie: A Recipe for Dinner and for Life

Published Nov. 20, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Ron Lavoie has written a cookbook, Everyday Gourmet: A Lifetime of Cooking. But there is more than dinner in the story of how this volume came to be.

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The Source

Leigh Curtis Higgins has spent years helping the vulnerable, even volunteering to work in Niger for the Peace Corps; today she works at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and volunteers her time as vice president of the board of directors for The Madison Foundation. Photo courtesy of of Leigh Curtis Higgins

Leigh Curtis Higgins: A Life of Helping the Vulnerable

Published Nov. 20, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Helping one person at a time, one day at a time, one endeavor at a time can make an impact that lasts a lifetime.

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North Haven Courier

Scott Martus has been North Haven’s deputy fire chief of operations since 2017.

Photo by Elizbeth Reinhart/The Courier

Scott Martus’ Passion for Firefighting and Excellence in Training Burns Bright

Published Nov. 20, 2019 08:30 a.m.

As Deputy Fire Chief of Operations, Scott Martus ensures that North Haven firefighters have the skills they need to offer aid to the public

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East Haven Courier

On Thanksgiving Day about 230 people in East Haven will receive a full-course turkey dinner. Rotarian Beth Capotorto is one of the volunteers helping ensure a holiday meal is available for all in need. Photo courtesy of Beth Capotorto

Thanksgiving Made Easy with the Help of Beth Capotorto

Published Nov. 20, 2019 08:30 a.m.

On Thanksgiving Day, about 230 people in need of assistance will have a full-course turkey dinner provided to them, available for pick-up at the East Haven Senior Center or delivered to their home.

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Harbor News

Jason Corrado, a teacher at Jared Eliot Middle School in Clinton, helps train students for the National History Bee. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Jason Corrado Helps Bring the World to His Jared Eliot Middle School Students

Published Nov. 20, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Jason Corrado remembers being a high school kid, unsure of what he wanted to do with his life.

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The Sound

On Saturday, Dec. 14, which is Wreaths Across America Day, Mark Hally will head up an effort to place wreaths on graves of Branford’s veterans. The 15-year-old Branford resident is organizing the mammoth effort as his Eagle Scout project. Photo by Bill O’Brien

Hally Hopes to Honor Branford Veterans’ Graves with Wreaths Across America

Published Nov. 13, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When a segment of the impressive Wreaths Across American (WAA) convoy stopped for a local ceremony honoring deceased veterans at Branford Fire House last December, part of the inspiring message shared that day was not lost on Mark Hally.

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Guilford Courier

Noah Ehlert was an at-risk kid when a bike was given to him, and changed his life. The Guilford resident now plans to ride from California to Florida between Feb. 1 — April 1, 2020, on his ‘Discover Your Path Tour.’ Along the way, he plans to stop at more than 30 group homes, where he’ll give motivational talks to at-risk youth. Photo by Tiny Human Photography

Hope Arrives by Bike: Ehlert’s Mission to Help At-Risk Youth ‘Discover Your Path’

Published Nov. 13, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When Noah Ehlert was a troubled kid, someone gave him a bike – and it changed his life. Now, he’s planning to ride his bike across the country – and give hope and motivation to hundreds of at-risk youth he’ll be talking to along the way.

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Harbor News

Westbrook’s new youth program coordinator, David Fernandes, isn’t new to town—he’s a native who made a name for himself on the Westbrook High School soccer pitch. Now working with the Parks & Recreation Department, he’s dedicated to giving residents of all ages a chance to be active and engaged. Photo by Aviva Luria/Harbor News

David Fernandes: Back Home and Loving It

Published Nov. 13, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Just over a month ago, Westbrook Parks & Recreation hired a new youth program coordinator, Westbrook native son David Fernandes.

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North Haven Courier

Janelle Chiasera hit the ground running as new dean of the School of Health Sciences at Quinnipiac University last month. Photo by Lisa Consorte

New Dean at Quinnipiac, Janelle Chiasera, Is Committed to Excellence

Published Nov. 13, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Though a newcomer to North Haven, Janelle Chiasera is already making a difference.

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East Haven Courier

Elizabeth “Betty” Hauser has a century of memories to share about the East Haven community. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Born in 1917, Betty Hotchkiss Offers Tips on Longevity

Published Nov. 13, 2019 08:30 a.m.

The United States had just entered World War I in 1917, the year that Elizabeth “Betty” Hauser was born.

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Valley Courier

Sarah Whitney keeps the legacy of her father, Paul Marden, alive in Essex through her efforts with the Readers Aloud program at Essex Elementary—plus quite a bit more.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Sarah Whitney: Father Knows Best

Published Nov. 13, 2019 08:30 a.m.

There have been a number of families where family members have been Person of the Week at different times.

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The Source

A founding member and former chair of the Madison Conservation Commission, Heather Crawford also volunteers her time at the North Madison Congregational Church to help with events such as the recent Harvest Dinner and the upcoming 25th annual Holiday Crafts Fair and Cookie Sale. Photo by Maria Caulfield

Heather Crawford: A Powerhouse for the Environment and the Community

Published Nov. 13, 2019 08:30 a.m.

What do tadpoles, crabs, rocks, plants, and glaciers have in common?

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The Sound

Tikso families may recognize Sarah Nelson due to her work as a full-time pre-K paraprofessional, but she’s also the creative force behind the costumes that will transform Tabor Arts Branford’s youthful players into the iconic cast of that forever kid-friendly musical, Annie Jr., during four performances Friday to Sunday, Nov. 15 to 17. Photo courtesy of Sarah Nelson

Nelson Gets Creative to Assist Tabor Arts Branford’s ‘Annie Jr.’

Published Nov. 06, 2019 08:30 a.m.

If there’s anyone in town who knows that “...you’re never fully dressed without a smile,” it’s got to be Sarah Nelson, the creative costumer transforming Tabor Arts Branford’s youthful players into the iconic cast of Annie Jr., coming Friday to Sunday, Nov. 15 to 17 to the Tabor stage.

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Guilford Courier

Guilford psychotherapist Lianne Escher, MSW celebrates her new book, A Mythic Sisterhood: The Goddess Way to Courage, Clarity and Grace. Photo courtesy of Lianne Escher

Escher Encourages Women to Embrace Their Inner Goddesses

Published Nov. 06, 2019 08:30 a.m.

For psychotherapist, artist, and author Lianne Escher, women coping with significant—and often troublesome—life transitions need to consider embracing their inner goddesses. Seven of them, to be exact.

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The Source

Dr. Leslie Sude, a Yale pediatrician, volunteers her time to StreetCred and the Madison Land Conservation Trust, where serves as a board member and heads the Rettich Preservation Committee. Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Leslie Sude: Serving Children, Preserving Nature

Published Nov. 06, 2019 08:30 a.m.

“Health is wealth,” as the saying goes.

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Harbor News

A member of the Henry Carter Hull Library Board of Trustees, Phylllis McGrath also answered the call when the town was forming its Senior Citizen Task Force.

Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Phyllis McGrath: Centering in on Senior Needs

Published Nov. 06, 2019 08:30 a.m.

In late 2018 the Clinton Board of Selectmen (BOS) created the Senior Citizen Task Force to help gauge the needs and interests of Clinton’s senior population. The person chosen to co-chair the task force was Phyllis McGrath.

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East Haven Courier

After being sidelined by Lyme disease, Porsha Amodio found she needed to re-launch her career, leading to a new mission of helping like-minded women in business hone their professional skills. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Porsha Amodio: Authenticity in Business and Perseverance in Life

Published Nov. 06, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Long-time East Haven resident Porsha Amodio exudes a warmth and authenticity that enables her success in business and in life.

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East Haven Courier

Noted pharmacologist King Lee made North Haven his pick when moving to the state two decades ago. Photo courtesy of King Lee

Lee’s Spark for Innovation in Pharmacology Contributes to North Haven Community

Published Nov. 06, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When King Lee was an undergraduate student in premedical sciences at Eastern Kentucky University, he couldn’t wait to leave that state’s rural farmland to return to the hustle and bustle of his native city, Hong Kong.

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Valley Courier

A former U.S. Navy aviator, Keith LaFlair will be a part of the Chester American Legion Post 97 Veterans Day parade and ceremonies on Monday, Nov. 11.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Keith LaFlair: Marking a Special Day

Published Nov. 06, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Keith LaFlair spent more than 40 years flying in airplanes but not as a passenger. Keith was a pilot and there’s more to the story than that.

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Harbor News

A familiar face at Planning & Zoning Commission, former commission clerk Kathy King is taking over as Clinton’s new zoning enforcement officer.

Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Kathy King: A New Role in a Familiar Agency

Published Oct. 30, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Sitting on a couch in the lobby of Clinton Town Hall, Kathy King recalls how she got her start in working in land use: She saw a friend in the parking lot of the Old Saybrook Town Hall and made small talk with her.

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The Sound

As an airman first class, Bob Russell provided key military intelligence during a classified mission of the Vietnam War. The past commander of Branford’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12106 will provide this year’s talk during Branford’s 2019 Veterans Day Ceremonies and Parade, beginning at 1 p.m. on the Town Green on Sunday, Nov. 10. Photo by Bill O’Brien

Russell Heads Up Branford’s Veterans Day Ceremony, Parade Nov. 10

Published Oct. 30, 2019 08:30 a.m.

On Sunday, Nov. 10, when former Branford VFW Post Commander Bob Russell heads up this year’s Branford Veterans Day Ceremony and Parade, the former U.S. airman, first class will be carrying more computer power in his smartphone than all of the technology he used to track movements of weapons and troops on the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam War.

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Valley Courier

Stacie DiNello is joined on the Riverwind Inn porch by Fred and Ethel, this year’s Deep river Merchants Association Scarecrow Contest third-place winners. (The Deep River historical Society’s Corn Goddess scarecrow took top honors, with the Friends of the Deep River Library’s entry taking second.) The contest is just one of the projects Stacie helps oversee as president of the merchant’s association. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Stacie DiNello: In at the Inn

Published Oct. 30, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Okay, want to date yourself? Then identify Fred and Ethel Mertz. If you are a certain age, that’s no problem. Fred and Ethel were Lucy and Desi’s faithful neighbors and sidekicks on the old I Love Lucy Show.

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The Source

Sarah Davis was awarded the Women in Excellence Award for changing the lives of adults as a literacy volunteer and opening the door to better educational opportunities to the underserved youth through a tutoring group called Flyte Scholastics, which helps students at St. Martin de Porres Academy and other schools. Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Sarah Davis: Changing Lives Through Education

Published Oct. 30, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Sarah Davis was in for a surprise.

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Guilford Courier

Though Rachael Allen is new to town, the new director of choral ensembles at Guilford High School has long been familiar with the program’s reputation. 

Photo by Jesse Williams/The Courier

Rachael Allen: Hitting the Ground Singing

Published Oct. 30, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Rachael Allen is no stranger to fast starts. She began her first music teaching job 48 hours after graduating college, she says, and has never looked back.

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North Haven Courier

Walter Brockett’s hand-crafted bat box was a big hit at a recent Daytime Gardeners meeting. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Family’s Legacy in North Haven Lives On Through Walt Brockett

Published Oct. 30, 2019 08:30 a.m.

For most Americans in 1957, the Russian’s launch of Sputnik was a historical event that altered the global political and scientific climate.

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East Haven Courier

For more than three decades, Carol Richards has been involved in Girl Scouts, spending most of that time as a troop leader. Here, she’s standing with a statue of Juliette Gordon Lowe in Savannah, Georgia, on a tour of the birthplace of Girl Scouts. 

Photo courtesy of Carol Richards

Carol Richards Continues to Serve East Haven Girl Scouts

Published Oct. 30, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Growing up, Carol Richards had a brief experience with Girl Scouts of the USA, participating as a brownie in a local troop.

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Harbor News

Chet Bialicki, Westbrook High School’s teen leadership coordinator, says he’s in awe of what his students have been able to accomplish in increasing understanding of school climate issues. Photo by Aviva Luria/Harbor News

Chet Bialicki: Taking Those Important Steps for School Climate

Published Oct. 23, 2019 08:30 a.m.

For six years now, Chet Bialicki and students at Westbrook High School (WHS) have been addressing school climate in innovative ways.

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Sunnie Scarpa Shares Her Vision for the Scranton Library

Published Oct. 23, 2019 08:30 a.m.

At the age of 8, Sunnie Scarpa started to pursue her career. She volunteered at her local library and liked it.

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