Milford's HamletHub Sat, 26 Sep 2020 22:43:38 -0400 Phase 3 of Connecticut's Reopen Plan Set to Begin October 8

The changes will increase capacities for certain businesses, including restaurants, personal services, libraries and performing arts venues, while ensuring safety protocols are still in effect.

Phase 3 Business Changes:

Increase from 50% to 75% capacity indoors subject to COVID-19 safety requirements

  • Restaurants
  • Personal Services
  • Libraries

Outdoor event venues increase from 25% to 50% capacity

Indoor performing arts venues can open at 50% capacity

Bars and nightclubs remain closed

]]> (HH) Politics Thu, 24 Sep 2020 13:22:23 -0400
Virtual Milford Trick or Trot 5K Run/Walk to Benefit the Beth-El Center

The 9th Annual Milford Trick or Trot 5K Run/Walk to benefit the Beth-El Center will be a virtual event on Saturday, October 31- Monday, November 2, 2020.

Run or walk on your own or with a group (while physically distancing) to support people experiencing hunger and homelessness in our community.

Fee is $27.00 for adults and $20 for ages 18 and younger. The event includes virtual yoga, a Halloween costume contest, virtual trivia and a Winners Circle ceremony. Learn more, register or donate at

The event is organized and sponsored by the law firm of Harlow, Adams, and Friedman, P.C. and Sikorsky Credit Union.

]]> (Jocelyn Murray) Events Thu, 24 Sep 2020 12:45:02 -0400
Milford Library Announces Ravioli Making on Sept. 29

Join Katie Shepherd, Registered Dietitian on September 29 at 7pm and learn how to make your own ravioli from scratch.

You’ll be guided through mixing, kneading and rolling your pasta dough and creating a delicious cheesy filling. Katie will also be answering any burning questions you may have about food and nutrition! You will need the following ingredients for this recipe: 2 eggs, AP flour, salt, olive oil, ricotta, shredded mozzarella and optional parsley, basil and nutmeg. You do NOT need a pasta machine but a rolling pin is required.

Katie Shepherd is a Registered Dietitian forging her own career path through her business, Food Explorers. Katie aims to teach cooking and nutrition basics in fun and interactive ways and make cooking healthy foods simple and delicious

To register for this program, please email

]]> (Nancy Abbey) Events Thu, 24 Sep 2020 12:44:00 -0400
CT's Beardsley Zoo Tagging Monarch Butterflies

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – In its first collaboration with the Citizen Science program Monarch Watch, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo trained volunteers to tag Monarch butterflies to learn more about the migration of the threatened butterfly. The Monarch Watch Tagging Program, based at the University of Kansas since 1992, is a large-scale citizen science project focusing on the dynamics of the monarch’s spectacular fall migration. 

Zoo Educator Jen Farrell taught three online Zoom classes in Monarch tagging, then invited volunteers who wanted hands-on assistance to join her in the Zoo’s Pollinator Gardens. Twenty-five people attended the online classes, and tagged butterflies in their own backyards, or local parks and open spaces. 

“Tagging answers questions about the monarchs that reach Mexico,” said Farrell. “Similar to the classes we offer in FrogWatch each year, Monarch Watch encourages individuals to engage with nature, while it provides critical information to the monarch database and is used for further research. This program demonstrates how we can all play a part in protecting wildlife.”

At least ten monarchs have been tagged so far. Farrell explained that weather fluctuations have shortened the migration window this year. Monarchs prefer to migrate when temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.

Each fall Monarch Watch distributes more than a quarter of a million tags to volunteers across North America who tag monarchs as they migrate through their area. Lightweight, circular tags were designed specifically for tagging monarchs, and when applied as directed, do not interfere with flight or otherwise harm the butterflies. A geographic mark on the tag tells researchers where the monarch was captured and tagged, along with the tag date and butterfly gender. 

In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned to protect Monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act, based on its dwindling numbers. A listing decision is due in December 2020. 

Why Monarchs? Monarch butterflies contribute to the health of their eco-systems by providing an important pollination role for wildflowers in the area. They are also an important food source for birds, small animals, and other insects. Their survival is threatened by the loss of milkweed plants, where they lay their eggs. In addition, their winter habitat in Mexico and California is shrinking due to deforestation, harsh weather, climate change, and development. Because monarchs gather in only a few locations, the entire population is at risk. Learn more at

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Pollinator Gardens

The Zoo has seven butterfly/pollinator gardens, and several other planting areas that use native plants to attract butterflies. Native plantings are also used in and around animal habitats to provide colorful flowers for guests and nectar sources for pollinators. Plants that help pollinators in more than one way are extremely helpful, such as Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed). Butterfly Weed is a native plant used throughout the life cycle of monarchs, from chrysalis through adulthood. It is also a nectar source for a wide range of other butterflies and beneficial pollinators. 


About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 98th year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, maned wolf family, and Mexican grey and Red wolves. Other highlights include our new Spider Monkey Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with Giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a non-profit organization approaching its 100th year at a time when the mission of helping fragile wildlife populations and eco-systems is more important than ever. 

The Zoo reopened on June 1 at 50% capacity. Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at Face masks are required for everyone over the age of two, with the exception of those with medical conditions that preclude wearing them. 

]]> (Lisa Clair ) Places Wed, 23 Sep 2020 12:12:10 -0400
Connecticut Restaurant Association Webinar, Guidelines for Restaurants and Events on Friday

Connecticut Restaurant Association Webinar CT Industry Update this Friday, Sept. 25

The CT Restaurant Association will review all state guidelines for restaurants, as well as indoor/outdoor events. Plus, they will provide Federal/State updates for all of the restaurants, private event venues and caterers. The webinar is free for everyone.

Register HERE.

]]> (Milford Economic & Community Development) Events Wed, 23 Sep 2020 08:53:24 -0400
Today is National Voter Registration Day

National Voter Registration Day on the Fourth Tuesday in September urges citizens to register to vote. Make your vote count!

More than 300,000 Americans registered to vote in the inaugural day the observance in 2012. That number jumped to 800,000 in 2018. The day helps to ensure eligible voters register in their districts each year. The awareness campaign provides valuable information for each state, too. Timed ideally a few months before some of the bigger elections of the year, the day places information in the hands of the voters at the right time.  

There are hundreds of local, state and national organizations driving the day and bringing it to you, too. Partner organizations help also by coordinating thousands of public events to bring awareness about ballot initiatives, local elections, and voter registration.

HOW TO OBSERVE #VoterRegistrationDay

If your right to vote means anything to you, make sure you’re registered. While registration isn’t required in every state, every state has minimum requirements. Knowing what they are and being prepared to vote is an important part of a democracy.

Learn about your voter rights and requirements. Be informed by checking where your polling place is. You can also learn more about mail-in voting. If you have any questions about voter registration, all the answers are conveniently located in one place. Each state has different requirements. So, if you’ve moved recently, be sure to know the requirements where you live. Make your vote count. Visit to learn more.

Register to vote and use #VoterRegistrationDay to post on social media.


The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) established the first National Voter Registration Day on September 25, 2012.  In 2014, the NASS established the Fourth Tuesday of September as the official day for National Voter Registration Day.

]]> ( Politics Tue, 22 Sep 2020 07:09:59 -0400
Milford Police Department joins North American rail-safety operation aimed at reducing preventable deaths and injuries on rail lines

The Milford Police Department is proud to be joining forces with law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada today for “Operation Clear Track” — the single largest rail-safety law-enforcement initiative in North America.

Coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada, Operation Clear Track aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in the U.S. and Canada — incidents which seriously injure or kill more than 2,100 people each year. The event is held during the annual observance of Rail Safety Week, September 21-27.

“The goal of Operation Clear Track and Rail Safety Week is to raise awareness of the importance of safe behavior near tracks and trains, in support of OLI’s mission to save lives,” said Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Executive Director Rachel Maleh.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, law enforcement agencies will be participating in a virtual Operation Clear Track event this year. Police and sheriff departments across North America will be promoting rail safety through social media messages, by sharing Operation Lifesaver’s #STOPTrackTragedies public service announcements and other videos, and by posting other rail safety information to their department websites.

Participating police departments will also be emphasizing the importance of obeying rail crossing and trespassing laws throughout Rail Safety Week.

For more information about Rail Safety Week, Operation Clear Track, and other rail-safety initiatives and tips, please visit

]]> (PR) Public safety Tue, 22 Sep 2020 05:44:32 -0400
CSGA Amateurs Defend at 49th Challenge Cup

The 49th playing of the Julius Boros Challenge Cup between the best Connecticut club professionals and top state amateurs will take place Wednesday at New Haven Country Club. 


Originally scheduled for May and then tentatively moved again before Wednesday’s date was set, the event honors Connecticut’s greatest player, who won both the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open. CSGA Captain Roger Everin’s side has won the past two matches, but his main concern has not been a three-peat. 

“I’m just happy that we’re able to have the event. It’s a 'reward' event, not like a regular tournament where anyone can sign up. These guys have really earned it and I’d hate not to be able to play,” said Everin this week. “The event itself is the reward, the friendship and camaraderie, it’s something you don’t get from other formats.”

Though he has what he believes is perhaps his best team in four years of captaincy, Everin thinks predicting a winner this year is especially tricky given the complications of a pandemic season. 

On the plus side, he chose his team back in January and, despite two postponements, all 16 players will compete. “Normally we have guys who can’t make it because of injuries, or family matters or conflicts and I thought sure we’d have that, but everyone committed. No one dropped out. So on paper anyway we have our strongest team. Because last year we had some players who were not able to play.” 

But those who did played well. 

After an six-year drought, Everin’s amateurs won in 2018 and then again last year, resoundingly in each case. In 2018 the score was 36.5 to 26.5. In 2019 it was 46.5-25.5. Everin is quick to remind everyone of how those scores evolved. “Really, it may have looked one sided, but last year we happened to win the final few matches. Up until that point it was even.” And those matches, he says, often came down to the final hole. 

What’s more, said Everin, this will not be the same team as those. Of the 16 who competed last year for the CSGA, only seven return.

The final element of unpredictability, the former Connecticut Amateur champion argues, is the timing of the event. “It’s different in that we’ve always played early in the year and everyone was kind of on the same page as far as their games go, but this year the regular guys have completed most of their major tournaments while the seniors are just starting.” (The Connecticut Senior Amateur will be played September 29-30 and the Senior Match Play, usually played early in the season, will go October 5-7.)

For its side the PGA Connecticut Section will have a new captain, Ian Marshall of IAMGOLF and the Northeast Performance Institute, and he himself will be competing.

Also different this year: The first match will begin at 9:30 a.m., instead of the usual early afternoon start. The course, which measures about 6700 yards and plays to a par 70, is expected to be faster and firmer than it typically is in May. Finally, there will be no indoor dinner, often the highlight of the event. The trophy presentation, along with a light dinner, will take place outside on the club’s patio. 

Competing for the CSGA amateurs: Brian Ahern, Ben Conroy, Nick Cook, Ben Day, Rick Dowling, Rick Hayes, Patrick Griffin, Bill Hermanson, Mike Kennedy, Bob Murphy Jr., Dick Stevens, Cody Paladino, Jamie Sheltman, John Steinberg, Dave Szewczul, Peter Tomlinson. 

Competing for the PGA Connecticut Section: Ed Altobello, Marc Bayram, Adam D’Amario, Jeff DelRosso, Jordan Gosler, Brian Keiser, Donny Kirkpatrick, Kevin Mahaffy, Fran Marrello, Ian Marshall (captain), Mike Martin, Bob Mucha, William Street, Chris Tallman, William Wallis, Jan Wivestad.

(For pairings and live scoring, see the home page).

Three members of the CSGA team are members or former members of New Haven Country Club: Ben Conroy, Ben Day and Mike Kennedy. New Haven head pro Bill Wallis and former New Haven assistant William Street will compete for the PGA side 

The format will not change. Players will compete in teams of two, with those individual matches played simultaneously. Each match, team and individual, is worth 3 points, one for the first nine, one for the second nine and one overall. Nine points are at stake in each foursome. The teams compete for the Julius Boros Trophy, donated by Boros, the former PGA and U.S. Open champion who hailed from Connecticut. The PGA holds a 34-14 match record over the CSGA. The members of the professional team qualify by finishing among the top eight in section PGA Player of the Year point standings and the top four seniors in the section Senior PGA Player of the Year point standings. Also joining the team are the reigning Connecticut PGA Champion, the PGA Professional from the host club, and two captain’s selections. Members of the amateur side, in both regular and senior categories, likewise earn points in a Player of the Year competition and are chosen accordingly. All points were earned in 2019. 

2020 will mark the 45th time that New Haven Country Club has hosted the Challenge Cup. Founded in 1898, New Haven Country Club was first designed by Robert D. Pryde, with the present layout completed by Willie Park, Jr. in 1922. In addition to hosting the Challenge Cup, the club has a rich history of hosting the state’s top amateur and professional events. It has hosted eight Connecticut Open championships, including the 2018 Open, won by John VanDerLaan, now competing on the Korn Ferry Tour. New Haven has hosted 16 Connecticut Amateur Championships and one Connecticut PGA Championship, as well as many CSGA and USGA qualifiers.

]]> (CSGA) Events Mon, 21 Sep 2020 15:13:36 -0400
Partnership Helps Students Build Money Management Skills

For college students on tight budgets, money management is a priority. That’s why Patriot Bank, N.A. has extended its partnership with Housatonic Community College (HCC) and its Foundation to help students become as smart about their money as they are about their studies, through the creation of a new financial literacy website, workshops and educational panels.

The innovative financial literacy offers tools to help students gain control of their financial lives. Through articles and videos students can get educated on budgeting, paying down debt, savings, credit and investing, so they can improve their relationship with money, and align their fiscal behaviors with their financial goals. There is even a section for students to ask questions about personal finance or financial resources offered by the college itself.

“We are thrilled to partner with Patriot Bank in creating this incredible new resource that will provide students, and our community, guidance on their financial life journey,” said Mary Ann Vlahac, HCC’s Assistant Professor of Business Administration, and Chairperson of HCC’s Business Department.

In addition to the new website, a series of financial literacy workshops and educational panels will also be held. A Facebook Live event will take place on September 29th at 10 a.m. on HCC’s Facebook page (@HCCBridgeport) to officially launch the website and introduce the initiative.

“Patriot Bank’s commitment to providing financial literacy tools is about empowering individuals to make better personal and business decisions,” said Judith Corprew, Patriot Bank’s Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer. “This collaborative effort with Housatonic Community College allows us to tailor our message to the student audience they serve, with the goal of helping them develop healthy money habits.”

These financial literacy offerings are just the latest initiative in Patriot Bank’s long partnership with Housatonic. Patriot Bank Scholarships are generously awarded to high-achieving, low-income HCC students who demonstrate a dedication to community service and student leadership. The scholarship grant was recently increased for the 2020-21 academic year, providing even more students with educational opportunities they had considered beyond their reach. The financial institution also offers a convenient Automatic Teller Machine on the HCC campus.

“Patriot Bank has a proven commitment to giving our economically challenged students a leg up, and is dedicated to helping them understand that financial decisions they make today can affect their lives for decades to come. This new resource will serve Housatonic students, and in turn, the broader Fairfield County community,” said Kristy Jelenik, Executive Director of Housatonic Community College Foundation.

]]> (Laura Roberts) Neighbors Mon, 21 Sep 2020 11:57:01 -0400
Connecticut has new online state tax filing system

Governor Ned Lamont today announced the launch of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) multi-year IT modernization initiative that will improve the customer’s experience and deliver additional, user-friendly features such as mobile device-friendly design, secure web messaging, and advanced tax filing reminders.

The launch is highlighted by the new, online tax filing and payment portal called DRS myconneCT. Certain taxes filed by businesses are included in the initial phase, and the program will include all state tax filings made with DRS in future phases.

Information about the portal will be included in, the one-stop-shop for businesses launched in July, and is part of the broader efforts of the Lamont administration to streamline and modernize government services.

“This new portal is just one piece of our larger efforts to make sure that businesses spend less time talking to us at the state – and more time growing their business,” Governor Lamont said. “This work has continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic because we are committed to ensuring that businesses have what they need to be successful in Connecticut in all climates. We know that our commitment to continuing this work no matter what will help us come out of the pandemic even stronger – and I am excited to see this program grow.”

“The DRS modernization aligns with the administration’s vision of state government services that are available online, secure, and customer-focused,” Acting Revenue Services Commissioner John Biello said. “Following months of preparation, the professionals here at DRS are well-positioned to continue to deliver world-class customer service using our new and improved tax administration system. This exciting initiative will elevate how DRS conducts business, and how taxpayers interact with the agency.”

“Everyone deserves the same modern, convenient online experience they get when shopping or banking when they are dealing with state government,” Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe said. “Our goal with, including these capabilities from DRS, is to ensure businesses, consumers, and residents spend less time talking to us and trying to figure out what they need to do, and more time with their families, building their business, and enjoying our state.”

Beginning today, taxpayers can create their myconneCT username and can use myconneCT to file state returns, make payments, and view their filing histories, among other self-service options, for the following business state tax types administered by DRS:

  • Sales and Use/Business Use
  • Withholding
  • Room Occupancy (B&B Occupancy)
  • Prepaid Wireless E 9-1-1 Fee
  • Admissions and Dues
  • Tourism Surcharge
  • Rental Surcharge
  • Dry Cleaning Surcharge

Other state tax types, such as individual income tax, will be included in future additions to myconneCT. More information about myconneCT can be found on the DRS website.

]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Mon, 21 Sep 2020 07:55:26 -0400
SHU to Host Event with Bobby Valentine & Joe Torre

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Sacred Heart University will present two Major League Baseball legends, Joe Torre and Bobby Valentine, in a virtual event on Oct. 22, “SHUand42: A Subway Series Celebration,” to support SHU’s new Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship. Robinson’s uniform number was 42.

Torre, a former baseball player and manager who is now a MLB executive, will join Valentine, SHU’s executive director of athletics, to revisit the iconic 2000 World Series matchup between the New York Yankees and New York Mets, teams managed by Torre and Valentine, respectively. They also will discuss baseball’s past, present and future with moderator Harold Reynolds, sports analyst and former MLB second baseman. All proceeds from the event will benefit the scholarship.

The University’s Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship was developed in partnership with The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF). This scholarship is in line with SHU’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, staying true to the core values of its mission.

Founded in 1973, JRF has advanced higher education by providing four-year scholarship grants, coupled with a comprehensive set of support services, to highly motivated scholars attending college throughout the country. JRF has continued Robinson’s commitment to equal opportunity for the past 47 years by addressing the achievement gap in higher education.

“We have two great organizations collaborating—Sacred Heart University and the Jackie Robinson Foundation,” said Valentine. “Both organizations are dedicated to helping young people succeed. This is a great partnership in a time when we want to bring people together.”

Robinson is renowned as the first African-American to play in the major league. He went on to break barriers not only in sports, but in media and business and his impact on society helped set the stage for the civil rights movement. For these reasons, and for his lifetime of leadership both on and off the field, SHU bestowed Robinson with an honorary degree in 1972. He was, in every sense, a Pioneer.

Valentine said Robinson was not only a role model, but also an inspiration. In overcoming the many obstacles that stood in his way, he set a great example for many to follow in his footsteps, Valentine said.

JRF follows a selective application process to identify students across the country to receive four-year scholarships in Robinson’s name. The SHU student who receives the scholarship also will participate in JRF programs that promote the values and character traits Robinson embodied.

“We are very excited about this collaboration and scholarship,” said SHU President John J. Petillo. “Sacred Heart’s mission, the JRF’s mission and the late, great Jackie Robinson’s mission all align, as we all want to promote the common good of society. I look forward to meeting our scholarship recipient and to our continued work with the JRF.”

JRF President Della Britton added, “This event brings together true friends of the Jackie Robinson Foundation – Joe Torre, a longtime, generous patron of JRF, and Bobby Valentine, whose father-in-law was a treasured friend of Jackie Robinson and a JRF supporter. And now Bobby Valentine has picked up the mantle. We are thrilled and grateful for the naming of a Jackie Robinson Scholar at SHU.”

All proceeds donated through “SHUand42” will benefit the scholarship and help continue Robinson’s mission to create a more fair and just society. Valentine said while he and Torre will discuss the 20th anniversary of their iconic Subway Series, they also will talk about the 1947 Subway Series. Robinson played on the New York Dodgers when they faced off with the Yankees that year. The duo will reflect on Robinson’s career and on the social unrest currently facing the nation. Valentine teased that viewers can expect to hear from surprise guests, too. 

“It should be a great conversation; a fun and informative night,” Valentine said. 

For more information, visit the “SHUand42: A Subway Series Celebration” webpage.

To download an image, visit’s SHU’s Photoshelter archive.


About Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. More than 9,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Social Work; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 386 Colleges–2021 Edition, “Best in the Northeast” and Best Business Schools–2020 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to the award-winning, NPR-affiliated radio station, WSHU, a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theater.

]]> (Kim Swartz) Events Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:25:58 -0400
Minute with the Mayor: Milford Restaurant Week Sept. 20-26!

Minute with the Mayor - Milford Restaurant Week Sept. 20-26

In this week's Minute with the Mayor, Milford Mayor Blake is joined by representatives from the Milford Chamber of Commerce to discuss the upcoming Milford Restaurant Week (September 20-26, 2020).

Eat local and book your table today!

Featured restaurants in 2020 include: Bin 100 Restaurant, Eli's Tavern on Daniel Street, Hook & Reel, Gusto Trattoria Italian Restaurant, Ola Restaurant, Reggiano's Ristorante, Stonebridge Restaurant, and Village Bistro. Learn more about the featured restaurants here.

Milford Restaurant Week FAQs.

Learn more about Milford Restaurant Week here.

Minute with the Mayor - Milford Restaurant Week

]]> (HH) Events Fri, 18 Sep 2020 05:16:52 -0400
State Orders Discharge All Residents of Three Rivers Nursing Home After COVID Outbreak and Serious Violations

DPH Commissioner Issues Emergency Order to Discharge All Residents of Three Rivers Nursing Home in Norwich to Other Facilities

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today is announcing an emergency order issued by Acting Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford MD, MPH for the immediate discharge and transfer of all residents of the Three Rivers Nursing Home in Norwich. The facility has been experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 since late July that has so far infected 22 residents and six staff at the facility. A number of the impacted residents needed to be hospitalized, and four have died.

An investigation conducted by DPH into that outbreak revealed numerous violations of infection control, staffing, and other practices at Three Rivers that warranted the appointment of a temporary manager to run the facility. That temporary manager, Kathrine Sacks, took over operations at the Three Rivers late last week and has subsequently reported to DPH that the serious, systemic problems still existing at the nursing home were too great to be corrected by the date of September 30, 2020 as required under federal regulations. In addition, these challenges posed a serious ongoing risk to the health and safety of Three Rivers residents.

“Today marks a very sad but necessary step we must take to keep the residents of this nursing home safe and healthy,” said Acting DPH Commissioner Gifford. “Closing a nursing home such as Three Rivers is a complicated process and we are committed to doing it in an orderly way to minimize disruption in the lives of residents. This has been a home for many, and now residents will begin to move out. The Department issued this order because this facility simply could not make the necessary changes in time to meet the federal mandate, because of numerous challenges. This represented a risk to the health and safety of residents and staff and so we were compelled to act, based on the recommendation of the Temporary Manager we appointed. Many nursing homes in Connecticut are getting it right when it comes to managing the COVID-19 pandemic with this very vulnerable population. Three Rivers, unfortunately, was not one of them.” 

On August 24, 2020 DPH issued several deficiencies against Three Rivers Nursing Home for several federal and state regulatory violations, most of which involved failure to adequately control a recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the facility. DPH imposed upon Three Rivers a Directed Plan of Correction requiring the facility to implement several immediate actions, including the appointment of an Infection Control Nurse Consultant, to mitigate further spread of COVID-19 and bring the facility into compliance with federal and state law. DPH continued to monitor the facility actively and found significant additional and ongoing deficiencies. The facility failed to maintain adequate staffing levels and failed to meet infection control standards. 

Based upon the nature and severity of the ongoing violations, on September 10, 2020, DPH amended the Directed Plan of Correction to require Three Rivers to turn over the operation of the facility to a Temporary Manager and approved Kathryn Sacks, an attorney and licensed Nursing Home Administrator, as Temporary Manager. The appointment of a Temporary Manager is an enforcement action that DPH can take when a facility is not substantially complying with federal and state law and such failure is a persistent and widespread threat to the health and safety of residents. 

Under federal and state regulations, the Temporary Manager possesses the authority to hire, terminate or reassign staff, obligate facility funds, alter facility procedure, and manage the facility to correct the deficiencies identified by DPH. The Temporary Manager is paid by the facility but reports to DPH. The Amended Directed Plan of Correction required the Temporary Manager to conduct an initial assessment of the facility with the goal of bringing the facility into substantial compliance by September 30, 2020. During the initial assessment, the Temporary Manager identified widespread problems in the facility related to:

⦁ the facility’s delivery of care 
⦁ inadequate infection control 
⦁ deterioration of systems of accountability 
⦁ lack of staff education 
⦁ absence of management and policy controls

In addition, Temporary Manager Sacks found other on-going management, staffing, and financial issues that she did not believe could be fixed by September 30th. These issues significantly threatened the health and safety of both the residents and the staff. Consequently, Sacks recommended that DPH order the Facility to discharge all residents to other facilities as soon as possible.

Given the scope of the facility’s serious deficiencies, DPH has concluded that the facility cannot be brought into compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements by the time permitted under federal law and the Department’s Order and that the facility’s continued operation presents a meaningful risk of harm to the Facility’s residents. To protect the health and safety of the facility’s residents and staff, DPH is issuing an emergency order pursuant to Connecticut General Statute §19a-534a requiring the facility discharge all residents to appropriate licensed facilities, in consultation with DPH and under the direction and authority of the Temporary Manager.

Three Rivers residents will start to be discharged in the coming days. Those who are still COVID positive will be transported to the Riverside COVID Recovery Facility in East Hartford to complete their recoveries, and those who test negative will be discharged to the nursing homes of their choice. The Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman is involved and assisting with overseeing the process. 
Documents related to the investigation into Three Rivers Nursing Home including the statement of deficiency related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the violation letter outlining the appointment of a temporary manager, are available online by searching for it by date (between August 25-September 16). A copy of the signed and executed emergency closure order with charges listed is attached to this news release.

]]> (CT Dept. of Health) Politics Thu, 17 Sep 2020 09:34:38 -0400
CIAC Announces Full Contact Football Canceled for 2020-2021 School Year

CIAC Football Board of Control Update

At its September 16, 2020, meeting, the CIAC Board of Control reaffirmed its September 3 decision to cancel full-contact football for the 2020-2021 school year. This decision was made in alignment with the Connecticut Department of Health’s recommendation that football is a high-risk sport and should not be played this fall. The board did, however, agree it would consider allowing competition at a later time for a sport that cannot hold its regularly scheduled season, such as football, provided it does not negatively impact spring sports.

DPH continues to recommend substituting “higher risk” athletic activities with “moderate risk” or “lower risk” options and /or postponing those activities to a later time. In alignment with those recommendations, by the end of this week, through its football committee, the CIAC will recommend low and moderate-risk football activities in which schools may continue to engage their football athletes.

“CIAC made every effort to weigh all factors in this decision, including the passionate voices of students, parents, and school personnel, and ultimately made the determination to align its decision with the recommendations of the Governor’s office and DPH to not hold high-risk sports at this time,” CAS-CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini stated. “In conversation with other state associations across the country, it was clear that a key factor in playing interscholastic football was alignment with the opinion of their state’s governor and state health agency.”

After consulting with DPH and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), it was apparent that CIAC’s football plan, though endorsed by the CSMS Sports Medicine Committee, will not sufficiently mitigate the risk to lower the categorization of the sport from “high risk” to “moderate risk.” DPH encouraged CIAC to seek affirmation from the NFHS that its proposed mitigating strategies would meet the standards required to recategorize football from its classification as high risk. CIAC immediately consulted with the NFHS which responded by stating that, “As each state association has its own SMAC and state department of health/health agency, the NFHS SMAC will not exercise approval or disapproval of individual state guidelines.” Furthermore, in discussions with the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), it was made clear to the CIAC that its members are not public health experts and, as such, on the matter of playing football, CAPSS would defer to the appropriate state and local public health authorities.

The CIAC is concerned that DPH’s recommendation to postpone higher risk sports to a later time is reserved for CIAC sanctioned interscholastic athletics. In fact, as the CIAC is not sanctioning a football season at this time, schools, with approval from their local DPH, may opt to play full contact football as a “club” sport, similar to girls ice hockey, without adherence to CIAC COVID mitigating plans. The CIAC has previously tried to make DPH and the governor’s office aware of the inconsistency that permits our same student population to engage in non-interscholastic high risk sports with less oversight and fewer COVID mitigating strategies. Furthermore, the CIAC has expressed its concern that this inconsistency promotes an inequity in sport opportunities.

In consideration of playing football at a later time, the board seeks to better understand factors such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • How many sports are impacted to the extent where it cannot compete during its regularly scheduled season?

  • What other public health strategies have become available and are supported with better research?

  • How will facility scheduling be impacted?

  • The impact to field maintenance and playability.

  • The viability of synthetic surface fields passing the G-max test during winter months.

  • How has the COVID climate in Connecticut improved to support interscholastic high-risk athletics at a later time?

]]> (CIAC Sports) Life Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:38:26 -0400
Milford Police Report 148 Violations During U Drive. U Text. U Pay Campaign

The Milford Police Department completed their Distracted Driving High Visibility Enforcement Campaign, which resulted in 148 violations that were addressed during August, 2020.

Milford Police partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from August 4 to August 28, 2020, for the national “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” high-visibility enforcement effort. The goal of the campaign was to step up enforcement efforts to catch distracted drivers and enforce distracted-driving laws.

Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roads. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving has claimed 2,841 lives in 2018 alone. Among those killed: 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians and 77 bicyclists.

Remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay

]]> (Milford Police) Public safety Wed, 16 Sep 2020 05:35:00 -0400