Houses of worship allowed to reopen in CT, state officials ease guidelines on gatherings

Full story at SavinoHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Houses of worship can reopen their doors as soon as this weekend. Governor Ned Lamont announced some guidelines on Friday for how clergy can resume in-person services. Houses of worship are going to have to significantly limit capacity and wait on certain practices that create higher risks of spreading COVID-19, including group singing or chanting.Even with these guidelines, some are still not ready to reopen.

Trans athlete rule struck
Feds say state’s policy on high school sports violates civil rights

Full story at


HARTFORD — Connecticut’s policy allowing transgender girls to compete as girls in high school sports violates the civil rights of athletes who have always identified as female, the U.S. Education Department has determined in a decision that could force the state to change course to keep federal funding and influence others to do the same.
A letter from the department’s civil rights office,
a copy of which was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, came in response to a complaint filed last year by several cisgender female track athletes who argued that two transgender female runners had an unfair physical advantage.

FALLS VILLAGE No action on Vogel’s days owed

Full story at
The Region 1 All Boards Chair Committee, following an executive session Wednesday, reported no action was taken on the matter of accrued vacation days for Superintendent Pamela Vogel, who is retiring at the end of June.

The state of Connecticut partially reopened on Wednesday, May 20. It was the first of three phases that were outlined by the governor and the Reopen CT Advisory Group.

With Phase 1 came outdoor dining, and the reopening of non-essential retail businesses, offices, outdoor museums and zoos, outdoor recreation.

Hair salons and barbershops are expected to reopen on June 1.

On May 20, hospitalizations continued to trend in the downward direction, which was a major goal to be reached before the first phase.

Along with downed hospitalizations, the advisory group wanted the state to also:

• Achieve an increase in widespread and streamlined testing

• Establish sufficient capacity for contact tracing and isolation

• Implement a high touch program to protect persons and populations that are at higher risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19

• Ensure our hospitals are able to provide optimal standard of care to all patients, including those without COVID-19, as prior to the surge

• Guarantee appropriate PPE is available to everyone who needs it

• Implement protocols to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place for safe opening of each sector of our economy

For more on the guidelines and what businesses reopened, click here

As Phase 1 got underway on May 20, Gov. Ned Lamont also outlined what will come with Phase 2, slated for June 20, however that could change depending on how the state meets required public health metrics.

For Phase 2 to happen, five criteria must be met, which include: Declining transmission, with a less than 100-bed net increase in hospitalizations in the last week of Phase 1; testing and contact tracing, with 100,000 tests a week connected with less than 50% of identified contacts within 48 hours; business and social safeguards; protection for critical and at-risk individuals; healthcare capacity, with less than 20% of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients amongst total peak COVID-19 bed capacity.

The Phase 2 businesses that are expected to reopen on June 20 include:

• Hotels (no bar areas)

• Gyms, fitness, and sports clubs

• All personal services

• Outdoor arts, entertainment and events (up to 50 people)

• Outdoor amusement parks

• Movie theaters

• Bowling alleys

• Social clubs, pools

• All museums, zoo, aquariums

• Restaurants (indoor, no bar)

Also under Phase 2 are several education and community services, including:

• Selected youth sports (Jun 20)

• Public libraries (Jun 20)

• All summer day camps (Jun 22)

• Nonresidential workforce programs (mid Jun)

• Nonresidential clinical/laboratory courses (mid Jun)

• K- 12 summer school (July 6)

• Other nonresidential programs, community colleges (July/Aug)

• Graduate programs (July/Aug)

• Undergraduate residential small scale pilot programs (July/Aug)

During Phase 2, those who are at-risk and those who are 65 and older are encouraged to continue to stay home and stay safe.

Face masks/coverings will also be worn at all times during both Phase 2 and Phase 3, and social distancing would still be encouraged.

Phase 3 would happen four weeks after Phase 2, and would include the reopening of:

• Bars

• Indoor event spaces & venues

• Indoor amusement parks & arcades

The Reopen CT Advisory Group and Gov. Lamont said they will continue to monitor several risk factors as the state continues the phases, including a second surge of outbreak, testing statuses, contact tracing, PPE supplies, and more.

UConn senior suspected of murdering 2 men in CT captured in MD

Full story at
HAGERSTOWN, MD (WFSB) – A University of Connecticut senior suspected in two murders was arrested in Maryland.
Peter Manfredonia, 23, is accused of killing 62-year-old Theodore Demers in Willington, CT and was acquainted with 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele, who was found dead in a home in Derby. No one was hurt when police captured him at a truck stop in Hagerstown, MD on Wednesday. Even there, he tried to flee. However, police said they quickly apprehended him.

Summer recreation plans

May 27, 2020By LEILA HAWKEN

Fill story at

CORNWALL — With health and safety the main concerns at the dawn of the summer recreation season, the Cornwall Board of Selectmen discussed the challenges at their regular meeting online on Tuesday, May 19.

First Selectman Gordon Ridgway opened discussion with a report that state officials have decided to reopen beaches in shore communities, but not town beaches inland. State officials are not concerned with swimming, but rather with social distancing on beaches. He said that parks are now generally open for hiking or boating, although Kent Falls will remain closed.

Selectman Marina Kotchoubey observed that with summer camp programs canceled, town beaches might draw more people. Social distancing and masks are crucial, the selectmen agreed.

Distance learning has mixed results

Full story at

By Patrick L. Sullivan
LAKEVILLE — Connecticut’s public schools closed on
March 16 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially the closure was for two weeks. Then it was extended, and finally Gov. Ned Lamont ordered that schools
remain closed for the remainder of the school year.
Schools were faced with an abrupt shift to “distance
learning” online

Salisbury slowly returns to normal

Full story at

By Patrick L. Sullivan
SALISBURY — BeginningMonday, June 1, the Salisbury
Town Hall staff will be at full strength and working full-time. First Selectman Curtis Rand made this and other announcements at a special meeting of the Board of Selectmen held online on Thursday, May 21.Some staffers will still workfrom home to some degree; Rand said that will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Employees will follow all state safety guidelines while in the building.
Town Hall will remain closed to the public until further notice, however.

North Canaan Town budget

Full story at
Town budget will increase 1.1% for next fiscal year
The budget for Canaan is set for next fiscal year and it will increase 1.1%. The Board of Finance approved a combined spending plan of $8,786,455 for education and $2,747,018 for the selectmen’s budget, for a total of $11,593,473. This represents a 1.1% increase over the current year.The Board of Selectmen then met to approve the plan and then the Board of Finance reconvened to set a mill rate of 28.25, keeping it the same as this year.
Finance board Chairman Nancy O’Connor said this will require taking $228,945 from the general fund to balance the budget. Marisa Ohler, the selectmen’s administrative assistant, said residents were given the opportunity to make inquiries about the proposed plan, but no one did.

The town of Kent is an official intervenor in cell tower application

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The town of Kent is now an official intervenor in the cell tower application by Homeland Towers and AT& T to the state’s Siting Council. The council agreed to this Thursday during a meeting and the town was notified this week. The town will be represented by Daniel S. Rosemark of Rosemark Law of Danbury, in addition to Daniel E. Casagrande of Cramer & Anderson.

COVID-91 Case Report Litchfield County
Tuesday May 27, 2020 6 PM

Cornwall 6
Falls Village 0
Kent 7
New Milford 261
Norfolk 11
North Cannan 6
Salisbury 11
Sharon 16
Torringtion 504

Taghhannuck Grange #100 is having our annual
outside plant sale (but not the Tag Sale inside our Hall) on Dunbar Road in Sharon on Saturday June 6th and most likely Sunday June 7th if we have unsold plants.

We, as always, will have both flowers and vegetables. The sale will start in the early morning and go on for most of the day. No times are specified as we do not want a crowd of people at one time. The sale is self-serve with people maintaining the recommended social distancing protocols of six (6) feet of separation between individuals. Stay home if you are sick. Wearing a face covering/mask is required at all times. We ask that you follow the arrows to keep yourself and others safe. We appreciate your cooperation! We are committed to providing a safe shopping experience and may limit the number of shoppers in any area at one time.The plants are all $2.00 each. We want to keep the exchange of money to a minimum so we ask that you pay the exact amount of purchase.
Please spread the word.
For more information call Brent Prindle (860) 364-5373

The Connecticut Army National Guard and the Connecticut Air National Guard visited the Robin Hood Radio studios today to drop off a supply of protective face masks (because broadcasting is an essential service)!

Visiting us from the Army National Guard were: SFC Sebastian Miano and SGT Stephen Vigo. Visiting Robin Hood Radio from the Connecticut Air National Guard was Senior Airman Daquana Martinez!

Children’s choir creates second virtual video

By Shaw Israel Izikson -May 24, 2020

Full story at

The Junior Choir of Chorus Angelicus

NORTHWEST CORNER — One month after their first video, Chorus Angelicus, which is part of the nonprofit choral organization Joyful Noise Inc., has put together a new video for the song “Alleluia.”
Since mid-March, students taking part in programs that the organization offers have not been able to meet in person due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.
The video features singers from the organization’s junior choir, who range from 12 to 18 years-old.
Organization office manager Bethany Lee said that there are nine participants in the choir, including three participants from Winsted.
The video was edited together by choir director Andrew Skinner.

IN YOUR CORNER: Cornwall co-op farmers market adjusts to new normal

Full story at

Republican AmericanMay 26, 2020

CORNWALL – The co-op farmers market on the town Green opened for the season Saturday, and while the layout looked a bit different, the offerings were the same and customer interest was at its usual high level.

Precautions for dealing with COVID-19 were taken. Vendors kept at a 6-foot distance from each other. A marked path for entry and exit was clearly delineated with bright orange tape, masks were donned and buyers approached booths one at a time.

The market, one of two in town (the other is on the Wish House lawn in West Cornwall and will open next week), serves as an outlet for local farmers and business people to sell their products.

7th Connecticut inmate dies from COVID-19 complications

Full story at

WFSB) – A 60-year-old man was the seventh offender under the supervision of the Connecticut Department of Correction to die from complications related to the coronavirus.

Due to medical privacy laws, the name of the individual was not released, the DOC said.

The inmate was transferred from the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers to the UCONN Health Center in Farmington for treatment on April 30, 2020.

According to the DOC, the inmate had been taken to the hospital on several occasions throughout his 28-years of incarceration.

He succumbed to his illness on Tuesday.

He had been serving a 43-year sentence for murder. His maximum release date was in Sept. 2023.

Supreme Court settles five-year legal case with Salisbury P&Z and Lime Rock Park

BY RUTH EPSTEIN Republican-American May 26, 20203403

Full Story at

SALISBURY — The state Supreme Court has ruled that the Salisbury Planning and Zoning Commission has the authority to regulate operating days and times at Lime Rock Park racetrack.

The court also did not uphold the park’s contention that times for unmufflered and mufflered races were solely a noise issue and therefore could only be regulated by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The court said the PZC has the authority to regulate the number of days these two types of races occur. The commission is charged with traffic, ingress, egress and public safety, which vary by the type of race. Lime Rock is a 1.5-mile track designed for auto racing. It is located in a residential area.


We have lost another one of the pillar names and residents in our Tri-State Area area..John Borden passed away last night. No other details are available at this time.

More bad news today as Robin Hood Radio learned of the death of Joel Revzen, who lived with his wife Cynthia Rice in Sharon until last year. It is reported that he passed away as a result of the Coronavirus. Joel was a gifted musician an assistant conductor at the MET, and directed opera all over the country.

This is not good news just a week after phase 1 openings in Connecticut! Please use your masks and practice social distancing so we can continue to open up the state! As of Monday, Gov. Lamont said hospitalizations slightly rose to 706. Cases totaled 40,873. Deaths rose to 3,742 since the start of the pandemic in Connecticut.


Ruth Epstein from The Republican American reported this morning on Robin Hood radio that Connecticut’s SUpreme Court has decided in favor of The Salisbury Planning and Zoning Commission in its battle with Lime rock Park. More details coming, but, the decision was in favor of the P and Z, and against Lime Rock Park. Here is a facebook page with the Supreme Court Decision

COVID-19 cases as of 4 PM May 25, 2020
Falls Village 0
Cornwall 4
Kent 7
New Milford 263
Norfolk 11
North Canaan 5
Salisbury 11
Sharon 16
Torrington 488

Here are answers to 14 major questions following the partial reopening of Connecticut 

May 23, 2020 08:49 pm 

Here are answers to questions with the state having partially reopened pursuant to Phase I, and Phase II on the horizon: Full story click on headline

Got milk? Arethusa Farm changes business model to preserve quality, assist smaller dairy farms 

May 23, 2020 08:44 pm 

LITCHFIELD — Arethusa Farm has closed its showcase dairy barn, sold off 110 of its prized milking cows and is importing milk from two other Litchfield County dairy farms to supplement its own production. It’s the new way of doing business at the award-winning farm owned since 1999 by George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis. Full story  click on headline

Salisbury First Selectman Curtis G. Rand gave an pdate on several town operations and events in upcoming weeks as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a lot of uncertainty remains.
He reported that the grove will be closed this weekend. Traditionally, Memorial Day brings a crowd to the park, which is also the beach area on Lake Wononscopomuc, but because of recent abuses, there will be no one allowed except boaters. He said employees have seen people drinking and not observing safe social distancing.
On Saturday morning Connecticut Stat
e officials released the daily COVID-19 data reporting that 39,640 people tested positive, which is up 432 since Thursday. There have been 3,637 deaths, 55 since yesterday. Hospitals are at 740, which was a drop of 76 in the last 24 hours. Reported tests totaled 202,328, which is up 5,881 from Thursday.

Norfolk 2020 Memorial Day Amazing Race~ Let’s have some social distancing fun by racing around town to have some fun! During this event, you will travel around town with three goals:

1. To decode a secret message (special prize at the end to those who solve it)
2. To take fun pictures around town (share then on social media with the hashtag #NofolkAmazingRace )
3. To solve puzzles in order to move forward in our quest, and, most importantly, have fun while learning about town history and traditions surrounding Memorial Day.

In order to move forward, you will need to be in a place that has an internet connection so that you can submit your answers. Be careful – they need to be precisely correct in order to move forward.

This activity should take about 2 hours and 15 minutes if you are fairly focused on completing it, if there are no technical problems and you know where you are going.

PLEASE NOTE: Don’t press the back button in your web browser! If you do, you will go back to the first clue. You might want to write down the answers to every question in case this accidentally happens. Please note that a couple of folks with different cellular providers said that they sometimes had to re-enter answers depending on how their phone’s web browser worked, so you’ll definitely want to write down all of the clues for each spot as you go.

Please note: Some of the info/text from this experience comes from such reputable places as Wikipedia, the NVFD website, CT State Parks websites, random Google Searches, and the “Norfolk, Connecticut 1900 – 1975” book edited by Alive V. Waldecker. If you don’t have a copy, you should get one! It’s a great read about our fair town.

Let’s get started.

On Saturday morning Connecticut State officials released the daily COVID-19 data reporting that 39,640 people tested positive, which is up 432 since Thursday. There have been 3,637 deaths, 55 since yesterday. Hospitals are at 740, which was a drop of 76 in the last 24 hours. Reported tests totaled 202,328, which is up 5,881 from Thursday.

Marvelwood School announced a partnership with Mount Snow Academy in Vermont to begin next winter for the 2020-2021 school year. The partnership between the two independent schools is designed to offer a unique opportunity for student-athletes looking to cultivate their passion for skiing or snowboarding while maintaining a consistent academic program. Students will spend the fall and spring terms at Marvelwood, and the winter term at Mount Snow Academy, with MSA instructors following the Marvelwood curriculum and maintaining close communication with Marvelwood teachers.

Connecticut Gov. Lamont announced the business sectors that are part of the Phase 2 reopening plan. Phase 2 would begin around June 20.

The Phase 2 businesses that are expected to reopen on June 20 are:
Hotels (no bar areas)
Gyms, fitness, and sports clubs
All personal services
Outdoor arts, entertainment and events (up to 50 people)
Outdoor amusement parks
Movie theaters
Bowling alleys
Social clubs, pools
All museums, zoo, aquariums
Restaurants (indoor, no bar)

Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods will partially reopen in June

Mohegan Sun
Mohegan Sun(WFSB file)

(WFSB) – The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe have announced they will begin reopening their casinos in June. Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods will reopen portions of their casinos to the public on Monday, June 1. New safety protocols have been established for the reopening.

David Gronbach, an attorney works for a biotech company and was a former mayor of New Milford in the years 2015-2017, is the Democratic challenger to incumbent Sen. Craig Miner (R-30) in the November election.

Ralph “Dusty” Sandmeyer Jr., 73, of Cornwall Bridge passed away at home surrounded by his family on May 13, 2020, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Parkinson’s Foundation or United Church of Christ, Congregational in Cornwall. Toale Brothers Funeral Homes, Ewing Chapel, in Venice, Fla., is handling arrangements

Nuvance Health hospitals and ambulatory care centers in Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk and Sharon, CT are reopening for elective surgeries and endoscopy procedures starting today as the region observes a decrease in the rate of new COVID-19 infections and in accordance with Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive order.

Staff at Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital and Sharon Hospital have been preparing for weeks to resume a limited number of elective surgeries and procedures starting with high-priority patients and those most acutely in need.

All facilities are employing stringent, CDC-based, enhanced cleaning and sterilization regimens and enforcing proper use of PPE (personal protective equipment).
· Social distancing will be maintained in common areas, and all patients, visitors and staff must wear masks.
· Any COVID-19 patients in the hospitals will be treated in a separate area.
· Nuvance Health Virtual Visit care options are expanded to keep unnecessary patients out of the facilities.

Patients whose care was postponed are being contacted to schedule appointments. For more information, they should contact their physician directly or visit

Connecticut’s state parks will remain open this summer in the wake of the coronavirus, but with restrictions. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issued a lengthy operations plan this morning. including the opening of shoreline swimming areas and the closure of inland swimming areas. Capacity limits and social distancing guidelines also remain in place.

Swimming and Beaches:

Last week, Gov. Ned Lamont, along with the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Delaware, announced that they would open beaches in their respective states effective Friday, May 22. Lamont also announced that in Connecticut, state parks that feature beaches along the Connecticut shoreline will be open May 22. 

As of the plan on Wednesday, DEEP is permitting swimming only at shoreline state parks, not inland state park swim areas. Guidance from the state Department of Public Health indicated that recreational swimming is not a known form of transmission of COVID-19, in saltwater or freshwater. However, DEEP said it made decisions about permitting swimming at state parks based on considerations of potential crowding and the ability to maintain social distancing onshore at beach locations.

DEEP said shoreline parks that feature beaches, operating under limited capacity, can safely accommodate visitors on beaches, provided they follow recommended social distancing guidelines. Visitors to shoreline parks must maintain 15 feet of space from other beachgoers, blanket-to-blanket. This distance will allow for a 6 foot radius around each person or family and a 3 foot walkway in between groups.

Based on the very limited size of state beach and swim areas at inland state parks, and current social distancing guidance, DEEP will close beaches at inland state parks, and prohibit swimming at inland state parks. It said the decision was based on the potential for on-shore crowding, not a concern of risk of transmission in freshwater. Park staff will monitor beach closures and educate the public to ensure compliance. DEEP said it will continue to review its policy along with public health recommendations and will consider the reopening of designated swim areas on a case-by-case basis.

If people choose to visit a shoreline state park that features a beach, visitors are encouraged to select locations closest to home, and consider visiting early in the morning before crowds gather. Visitors should keep their groups to their immediate families and not meet up with others. They should bring face coverings and use them whenever they are in proximity to others. Face coverings should not be worn in the water. Visitors should not expect that restroom buildings will be open, but most locations will have portable toilets available. 

DEEP will reduce parking capacity and close beaches for the day if social distancing cannot be maintained, and will make adjustments to operations and consider longer-term closures if the situation warrants. Updates on closures are posted on the state parks Twitter feed, @CTStateParks.


LAST UPDATED: MAY 19, 2020 – 2:47PM

Effective  May 20, 2020






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