USS Annapolis Homecoming

story & photos
by Josie Kapral


While driving on I-95 through New London on your way to Mystic, you probably have noticed the sign with the submarine that says “Submarine Capital of the World.” And while driving over the bridge, you may even be lucky enough to see a submarine making its way home to the Navy Submarine Base in Groton. However, if you are really lucky, you also get the chance to watch the submarine pull into the pier where eager family members wait for their loved ones that they have not seen in six months. This is an opportunity that should not be missed if you ever get the chance to do so. September 11, 2014 was such a day for the sailors, friends and families of the USS Annapolis.

While the submarine was navigating around the world, life was continuing as usual at home. There were ball games, birthdays, holidays, weddings, anniversaries and even two births! LT Adam Bush and Petty Officer Second Class William “Wil” Wade were two of the dads that would have to wait until they pulled up to the pier to meet their children for the very first time. Families of the USS Annapolis kept themselves busy trying to pass the time until September 11th would roll around and they could be reunited again.

“For Jesse and I, it went by pretty quickly! We kept ourselves as busy as possible with school, sports and camping most weekends in the summer. We missed him every single day he was gone, but the busier you keep yourself, the faster it goes!” said Mercedes Johnmeyer, wife of Heath Johnmeyer, executive officer of the USS Annapolis.

When September 11th finally arrived, so did the USS Annapolis. Family members cheered as the band from the Westside Middle School played and people sang “Anchors Aweigh.” The worst part of waiting was the last hour while the submarine was in view, but the families were not allowed onto the pier until the submarine was safely docked. There was a mix of emotions for so many people.

“I missed him so much and it was taking forever for him to get off the boat and all I wanted to do was to hug him!” said McKenzie Breitkrwutz, a nine year old little girl, who was waiting with her mother, Samantha, for her dad, MM1 Jason Breitkreutz. Well, McKenzie finally got her chance for her long awaited hug as the sailors finally began to make their way off the boat and to their families.

Fathers of newborns finally met their children. LT Adam Bush was greeted with a huge smile by his wife, Melissa, and sons Simon and Owen. Across the pier, Jessica Wade made her way to her husband, Petty Officer Second Class Wil Wade and he held his six day old daughter, Melody for the very first time.

Watching these families and loved ones rush the pier with such a sea of emotions really makes you realize how much happens over the course of six months and how much sacrifice not only the sailors, but the families and especially the children make so that we can do the things we do every single day. As you look at the images from this homecoming and other homecomings like it, I hope it makes you smile. I hope that it makes you feel grateful for what you have and perhaps give you a better understanding of what that “Submarine Capital of the World” sign really means. It doesn’t just stand for the submarines that make their way down the Thames River. It stands for the people that give up having dad there at their birthday party and in the hospital while giving birth. It also stands for the submarine community and how thankful we are that you allow us to call this little corner of Connecticut our home. It’s your sign too.

Anne Ogden Award Recipient

story & photos
by Alexis Ann


The membership of the Waterford Education Foundation is composed of individuals who give their own time and efforts to ensure that the students of the Town of Waterford receive the finest of educations. To be commended by such a group of altruists is the highest of honors. On Friday, September 19th, Anne Ogden was given tribute by the WEF for a lifetime of service to others. Anne’s record of volunteerism and accomplishment is stunning in its breadth and scope!

Anne immersed herself in bettering the education of all children. A former President of the Cohanzie School Parent Teacher Association Knowing that children are as formed and inspired by leisure activities as they are by the classroom, Anne made sure that two such molders of character prospered. Her work for Waterford Girl Scouts and Waterford Little League North made possible the healthy participation of hundreds of kids in those organizations.

A true Patriot, Anne spearheaded fund raising efforts to assist the family of Staff Sergeant Edwin Rivera, a Waterford hero who gave his life for his Nation in Afghanistan. Anne was also a key mover and doer in the dedication of Arnie Holme Park.


The listing of Anne’s charity and benevolent work also includes ARC of Southeastern Connecticut, the Cactus Jack Foundation, the Buschetto Bash at the Beach, the Kelsey Harrington Foundation, and the American Cancer Society. Few have given so much of themselves for the betterment of others.

Somehow, Anne has also made the time to serve in elective office – she is presently in her 13th year as a member of the Waterford Board of Education! And as a past President and life member of the Waterford Rotary Club, she lives the Rotary Credo“Service Above Self.”

Recently retired from 35 years in Banking and a stint as a Chelsea Groton Branch Manager, Anne is now working at Specialty Advertising – she will never retire from working to make for a better world for others!

Johnny Kelly Statue Unveiled


story & photos
by Christopher Annino


Johnny Kelley, the athlete, is one of the most decorated distance runners in the history of the United States of America. Kelley had several milestones in his running career including going to the Olympics twice and winning a Gold Medal at the Pan American Games. However Johnny Kelley’s most famous achievement was winning the Boston Marathon. Despite winning the Boston Marathon, Johnny Kelley, the person, was a very humble down to earth individual who cared about the environment, and helping those in need. Johnny never judged an individual and always kept a positive outlook on any challenges he had. Johnny had an infectious smile that was a constant reminder of how wonderful life truly is if you allow it. Kelley taught at Fitch Senior High School and coached track. Running was more than a hobby for him — it was a way of life.  The local Mystic/ Groton community received a devastating blow when Johnny passed away three years ago. Johnny co-owned and operated Kelley’s Pace with his wife Jessie. There was many times friends would stop in the famous shoe store to discuss anything ranging from economics to gardening, Johnny was the go to person for advice.

Longtime friends of Johnny Kelley, Jim Roy and Spyros Barres along with many others in the community and athletic world felt that there should be a statue erected in Mystic as a reminder of the goodness that was not only Johnny Kelley as an athlete, but more so as a person. Around $87,000 was raised to commission sculptor Brian Hanlon to create the sculpture of Johnny running with his dog Brutus.

Amby Burfoot was one of Kelley’s first famous protégées; Kelley helped train Amby to win the Boston Marathon in 1968. On the international day of peace September 21, 2014, Amby along with many of Kelley’s friends including four time Boston marathon champion Bill Rogers, 1972 Boston Marathon Champion Nina Kuscisk, three time Boston Marathon Champion Sara Mae Berman, two time Boston Marathon Champion Geoff Smith, 1976 Boston Marathon Champion Jack Fultz, Julia Chase Brand, Patti Catalano Dillon, and Gloria Ratti, Vice President, Boston Athletic Association, gathered to give tribute to this wonderful athlete, but most importantly this wonderful human being.

During the ceremony Amby spoke about Johnny’s kindness in his speech and how he would stop in the middle of traffic to help a turtle cross a street. He later added “But one of the most important things Johnny taught all of us was about the importance of respect and humility.” Bill had said “Johnny was one of the true kings of the sport. He ran those events when running was hard.”

Jim Roy, Chairman, Johnny J Kelley Memorial Fund, mentioned that Johnny wouldn’t have wanted a statue of himself but what he would have enjoyed is people working together as a community for a positive cause.

At the end of the ceremony, all three of Johnny’s daughters, Julia Kelley Washington, Kathleen Kelley Gabriel and Eileen Kelley Edwards, gave a heartfelt speech before unveiling their father’s statue.

After the ceremony, many individuals’ shared fond memories of John’s legacy of kindness. Marie Ann Gravell, New London said, “Johnny and Jessie were both amazing people. Both were very modest I remember when Johnny gave me his 2nd place Boston marathon trophy. Neither of them cared much for material items.”

To help donate to the Johnny Kelley Memorial Fund, go to

Helping Vets Succeed

story by Alexis Ann
photos by Tom Bombria


Work Vessels for Vets (WVFV) rallied to serve the immediate and urgent needs of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan returning from theaters of war as they seek to establish their own business or further their education. And, last Saturday night’s annual event held at Groton Long Point casino was a perfect example of neighbors rallying to support Robert Mailhoit, a veteran of Afghanistan & Iraq who was given the keys to a 2009 Toyota Camry made available through Valenti Auto Group from a trade in by Vietnam Veteran Robert Macher. It certainly was a touching moment when Robert thanked WVFV for providing him transportation allowing him to start a new job.

Founded in 2008 by John Neikrash, “Krasher,” WVFV’s first donation was a commercial lobster boat to USMC Lance Corporal Richard Giguere. A veteran of multiple deployments, Corporal Giguere was wounded in Afghanistan and is now home, supporting his family as a commercial fisherman on Narragansett Bay, RI. “We provide the “vessel” that can start a career or enhance a life of our returning service men and women,” states Krasher.

The mission of WVFV is to serve as a conduit through which corporations and individuals can make donations. Already, WVFV has given over $1M worth of commercial boats, vans, trucks, trailers, farm equipment, construction and tools, tractors, farm buildings and refurbished laptops to veterans in 47 states since 2008.

Thank you for your service and if you’d like to apply go to

New Plans for New Athletic Complex


(Groton, Conn.) – On Monday, September 29, Kent + Frost Landscape Architecture firm will unveil a plan to build new athletic fields at the property formerly known as the Merritt Family Farm. The presentation will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Groton Town Hall Annex. The public is invited to attend and hear more about the proposed athletic fields plan.

The Merritt property is a 35-acre tract abutting Fitch High School along the south side of Connecticut Route 1 and Connecticut Route 215. 10 percent of the land has been designated for conservation and recreation. A 2013 Comprehensive Athletic Fields Needs Assessment determined that there is a need for multi-use recreational fields for use by the community. The current plan presented by Kent + Frost includes four full size regulation fields and one smaller field, including one championship quality field with lights, spectator seating, controlled access and the possibility for synthetic turf.

The current lack of fields has become a problem for the community. “Every year, Groton Parks and Recreation turns away user groups due to lack of field space,” said Jerry Lokken, Manager of Recreation Services. “The proposed Merritt field complex would certainly address the need for high-quality and safe fields and provide opportunities for citizens to be more active and healthy.”

Local residents have spoken out in favor of the plan, noting that the town’s current athletic fields are no longer meeting the community’s needs. John Casey, President of the Groton Mystic Lacrosse Association and Groton Resident said, “The prospect of additional fields in Groton that would be available for youth lacrosse programs is very exciting. Currently, we are limited by the number of fields, which we have to share among our teams, as well as with other sports. With more fields, and less conflicts, there will be more opportunity for kids to play sports.”

Another Groton resident and local business owner, Tom Vignato, owner and operator of Fields of Fire in Mystic, believes that the new fields will positively impact the local economy. “My kids play on travel sports teams and there are hundreds of other kids in Groton who also play on these teams,” said Vignato. “My family travels all over the Northeast every weekend to play in these tournaments and we spend a lot of money. We have to travel so far because of the lack of quality local facilities. To be able to attract these tournaments to our area would have a tremendous impact financially.”

For more information, please contact the Groton Parks and Recreation department at (860) 536-5680.

The Groton Parks and Recreation Department’s Mission is to provide quality leisure opportunities in a safe and healthy atmosphere and to enhance the quality of life of the community through the responsible management of fiscal and natural resources.


Safe Halloween Program

To the parents and students of ALL Schools in Sprague,

 The Baltic Fire Engine Company # 1 will be sponsoring our annual Safe Halloween Program again this year. We sponsor this program each year as a way to offer ALL of the children (and of course the parents,) the opportunity to do all of their Trick or Treating in a safe environment, free of speeding cars on a dark street, free of anyone trying to cause a problem by taking the candy that belongs to someone else and knowing that the candy that we pass out has not been tampered with in any way while in our possession.  During the years when we are not hit with blizzards, hurricane winds with power lines down, etc we have averaged approximately 1300 people walking through our fire house doors. This program involves hundreds of man hours to plan, set up, run and then to take down and we do all of this to help insure that we can provide a safe and a fun environment for all of Sprague youths to go Trick or Treating at.

Our Safe Halloween Program will start off with the annual Costume Parade which starts at 6PM at the Sprague Town Hall and will be escorted up to the Baltic Fire House by a fire truck where the candy will be waiting.

All that we ask in return is that everyone acts in a polite manner, do not walk to each table and grab piles of candy just because it is there, there are hundreds of children coming in behind you so PLEASE be polite, the other thing that we must ask for is a donation which in turn allows us to run this program, a program that uses NO tax dollars. Each year we give out close to two pickup truck loads of candy and chips. This is on top of the pumpkins and other prizes that are given away at our event BUT without your donation, we could not and would not be able to continue to sponsor this community program. 

Since our first year of hosting this program there have been a few businesses who have really came through for us each & every year and we would like to recognize a few of the top sponsors; they are as follows, listed by the amount of donations;

  Mr Ken Fontaine owner of AMGRAPH Inc, which is in the Village of Versailles, Baltic, Ct. has been the program’s  top donation and all the while only asking that we make sure that ALL of the children in town have a good time.                                                                                                                                            

Connie & Al Lehoux, owners of Sharkys Pizza have donated six (6) bikes since our first year which we in turn have given away for the costume contest, if only they could find the time to attend and watch the winner’s faces!

Vinnie Malerba of Malerba Farms in Norwich, Ct.  has donated all of the pumpkins that we give away every year for the children.

 Walmart Lisbon Store has provided a grant each year which in turn we use to purchase so many items needed for this event. Affordable Air LLC and the Frank Davis Jr. family; Baltic Wine & the Baltic Conveyance Store as well as many more businesses and families have made donations, which in turn allows this fire department to host this popular community event.



Reg Patchell  

Chairman Safe Halloween Program,   

Baltic Fire Engine Company # 1

P.O. Box 314;; Baltic, CT. 06330              

Cell # 860 917 5064

The Baltic Fire Engine Company # 1 is in need of donations which will allow our Safe Halloween Program to continue on. We are in need of donations such as; a monetary donation- the money will be used to purchase the loads of candy that we pass out at our Annual Safe Halloween Program. PLEASE make your checks out to the “Baltic VFD Safe Halloween Program” and mail the checks to the Baltic Fire Engine Company # 1, Attention Reg Patchell, P.O. Box 314, Baltic, Ct.  06330.  We are also in need of UN-OPENED bags of candy, ALL donated candy MUST have  the name and phone number written on the bag or on a piece of duct tape which is attached to the bag.  Along with the monetary and candy donations WE can ALSO use any candy coupons that you may come across. PLEASE either mail your checks and coupons to our mailing address listed above or feel free to drop them off at the Baltic Fire House, 22 Bushnell Hollow Road, Baltic, CT. OR at the Sprague Town Clerk’s office, Sprague Town Hall 1st floor, Main Street during normal business hours. If you need someone to stop by your place of business or home to pick up a donation , please feel free to contact me to arrange such a pick up at the following number; Reg Patchell, 860 917 5064.  This year we have recently learned of two businesses who use to make considerable candy donations for our program BUT have either closed their doors or been bought out and can no longer make any kind of donation – which in turn will mean that we will have to  purchase a lot more candy than our previous years.

This being said, we are asking for donations from the residents of Sprague (Villages of Baltic, Versailles and Hanover.)  These monetary donations will allow us to purchase the candy that we need to run this program.  Please make the checks out as follows:  In the area marked “Pay to the order of” Please write“Baltic FD Safe Halloween” and you can PLEASE also note “Safe Halloween Program” in the area marked “for or memo” in the lower left corner. Please mail your checks to “Baltic FD, P.O. Box 314, Baltic, Ct. 06330.  If you happen to have any coupons for candy, please feel free to send those along with the check, all donations are very much appreciated!!

The members of the Baltic Fire Engine Company # 1 wish to Thank you so very much for any donations that you may be able to send in or drop off at the fire house.  If you also would like to make a donation of candy, PLEASE  know that ALL candy MUST be in  its original sealed bag with your name and phone number written on a piece of duct tape, which is attached to the bag. The bags of candy can be dropped off at the Sprague Town Clerk’s office, Sprague Town Hall, or at the Baltic Volunteer Fire Department at 22 Bushnell Hollow Road or contact me if you have a quantity of candy to be picked up and I will come to your business or home.


Endicott Football Triumphs

Endicott Athletics

September 27, 2014
BEVERLY, Mass. – On Homecoming Saturday, the Endicott football team garnered a 28-6 victory over Curry in the opening weekend of NEFC action as senior quarterback Drew Frenette (New Bedford, Mass.) threw three of his four touchdown passes to senior receiver Brett Egizi (Walpole, Mass.) and the Gulls defense, led by a two-sack performance by fifth-year linebacker Andrew Holfinger (Sterling, Mass.), was able to subdue a Colonels offense that held a significant advantage in time of possession.

Endicott (2-2, 1-0 NEFC), after going 1-2 in their non-conference schedule through week three, have returned their overall record to .500 and now look ahead to their week five matchup at Maine Maritime Academy on Saturday, October 4th. Kickoff is at 12:00 pm on Ritchie Field in Castine, Maine against a Mariner squad that is currently 2-2 (0-1 NEFC) after a lop-sided 80-16 loss at home to Western New England.

Frenette threw for 197 yards and connected with Egizi on touchdown passes of 37 yards and one yard in the first quarter and later added a 31-yard score with 54 seconds remaining in the third quarter to cap off the scoring. Frenette also hooked up with sophomore wide out Chris Lipscomb (West Springfield, Mass.) midway through the second quarter as the Blue and Green owned a 21-0 lead before Curry got on the board.

On Curry’s possession following the Lipscomb touchdown, Colonels freshman quarterback Spencer Tyler (Yarmouth Port, Mass.) led his team to their only points of the game as Spencer found sophomore running back Dean Anderson (Melrose, Mass.) on a short pass that turned into a 15-yard score. On the ensuing extra-point attempt, Fiero Parmalee’s (Seekonk, Mass.) attempt was blocked Holfinger to hold Curry to just six points on the drive.

Holfinger had an impressive overall game, totaling nine tackles including 2.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks, breaking up two passes, hurrying the quarterback twice, and blocking an extra-point. The defense was led by a standout effort from freshman linebacker Erik Goguen (Waltham, Mass.) who in his first game action of the season was a force with a team-high 12 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, a sack, and a pass breakup. Sophomore linebacker John Elnagger (Rowley, Mass.) had 11 takedowns and junior defensive back Brian Mey (Marshfield, Mass.) added 10 tackles, including four solo, with a tackle for a loss and a breakup.

Senior cornerback Jake Cox (Wrentham, Mass.) was a major factor in Endicott’s causing six changes of possession on defense as Cox intercepted Tyler in the second quarter which set up the Lipscomb touchdown catch. Cox was also relied upon to cover one of Curry’s better receivers in sophomore Alex Kershaw (Boston, Mass.) who last week hauled in eight passes for 179 yards and a touchdown. Kershaw had a solid game with six receptions for 77 yards but was blanketed by Cox for the majority of the game.

Tyler, who finished 31-of-51 for 252 yards, a touchdown, and an interception, used sophomore fullback Dave DiGiorgi (Watertown, Conn.) on a regular basis with short out passes as DiGiorgi had 12 catches for 77 yards. Curry’s offense did find some success on the ground with senior running back Trae Weathers (Revere, Mass.) who ran 11 times for 93 yards (8.5 ypc) with a long rush of 34 yards. Anderson added 26 yards on seven rushes.

The running game for the Gulls was shared between sophomore tailback Christian Martinez (Tariffville, Conn.) and freshman running back Lavante Wiggins (Dalton, Mass.) who combined for 94 yards. Martinez rushed 12 times for 49 yards (4.1 ypc) and Wiggins carried the ball eight times for 45 yards (5.6 ypc). Freshman Robert Williams (Wayland, Mass.) came on in the fourth quarter to rush four times for 18 yards including a nine-yard scamper for a first down.

On special teams, sophomore punter Kyle Regan (Nashua, N.H.) was impressive with four punts going for an average of 49.8 yards including a personal-best 61 yarder that was downed on the Curry 23. He had one punt land inside the Curry 20. Frenette himself contributed to the punting game, adding a pooch punt on 4th-and-1 just inside Curry territory.

Curry’s defense was led by freshman linebacker Devin Williams (Gardner, Mass.) who had a team-high 12 tackles and two tackles for a loss. The Colonels defense, however, managed just one sack as Endicott’s offensive line front of starters Michael Minerva (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.), Mike Marini (Trumbull, Conn.), Andrew Edwards (Falmouth, Maine), Nick Rowe (Avon, Conn.), and Anthony Fulmine (Carver, Mass.) protected Frenette the entire game.

Pool Maintenance for Winter

NEWS FROM THE NORTHEAST SPA & POOL ASSOCIATIONEasy Winter Pool Tips for a Fast Spring Opening

Hamilton, N.J.–Autumn has arrived and it is time to close most pools and spas, but by taking just a few smart steps now and over the winter, you can enjoy an easy spring opening and a summer of fun in 2015, according to the Northeast Spa & Pool Association (NESPA).

Step #1: Protect your pool during the cold season with a sturdy winter cover. “We never know what kind of winter we will have here, so prepare for the worst by protecting your valuable pool and spa asset with a winter cover,” suggested John C. Migliaccio, CPO, CBP, President of the Northeast Spa & Pool Association. “Add a solid cover or a fine-mesh cover to the pool–both will block debris and sunlight from entering the pool. The benefit of a fine-mesh cover is that rain and water will seep through it into the pool with no build-up on the surface of the cover.”

Step #2: Make a mental picture or take an actual photo of the pool cover in place at the time of closing. If the pool cover changes from the picture, such as sagging into the water, take action by clearing the cover of water, snow and debris.

Step #3: Add algaecide to the pool over the winter to keep that water clear and ready for the next pool season. “We recommend buying three quarts of algaecide now and adding a quart to the pool on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Valentine’s Day. I mention these three holidays as a way to jog your memory to take care of the pool,” said Migliaccio. “Treating the pool with algaecide is inexpensive, effective and will keep algae growth under control, even if we have a warm winter as we sometimes do.”

Step #4: Consider a “Winter Watch” program for your pool if you do not have the time or would prefer that an expert handle your pool. Many NESPA pool service professionals offer a Winter Watch program where a service professional will come out to your pool during the winter to check on conditions there. This type of program is particularly important to all pool owners who escape to warmer climates for much of the winter and want that pool ready and waiting for a delightful spring and summer of pool fun.

About the Northeast Spa & Pool Association
The Northeast Spa & Pool Association is the Northeast affiliate of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP). Founded in 1958, the nonprofit association represents the pool and spa industry in the Northeast and serves members through extensive training programs, safety promotions, design competitions and compliance education. To learn more, visit To contact our builders, retailers and service professionals, visit For the latest news from NESPA, follow us on Twitter (@NE_Spa_and_Pool) and Facebook (/NortheastSpaPoolAssoc).

Community Connection

2-1-1 Connecticut | 2-1-1 Child Care



Mental Wellness Resources, Mortgage Help Event, Flu Vaccine Finder, and Enterovirus Info

Mental Wellness Resources in Connecticut
A Message from Richard Porth President/CEO of United Way of Connecticut

Mental health issues affect one out of five 18 to 25 year olds, but fortunately there are resources available to help. In Connecticut, the 1 Word 1 Voice 1 Life suicide prevention campaign has information and advice for reaching out to people at risk and starting a conversation that could save a life.

A new resource is, a mental wellness website created by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance abuse issues. The site, which was created under the guidance of the Southwest Regional Mental Health Board with support from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, has a mission to empower teens and young adults in their pursuit of mental and emotional wellness. TurningPointCT features video testimonials, stories, facts about mental health issues, and a moderated forum that offers a safe place for young people to share their feelings and experiences.

In addition to these sites, 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online and on the phone. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs information about mental health resources, dial 2-1-1 or visit


Free Mortgage Assistance Event for Homeowners October 9th

Homeowners can get information and assistance with foreclosure prevention, loan modifications, debt management, emergency mortgage assistance programs, and other lending-related issues at a free mortgage assistance event in Waterbury on October 9th.
Sponsored by the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Connecticut Department of Banking, this free event offers homeowners the opportunity to meet one-on-one with their mortgage lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor. The event will be held from 10:00am to 7:00pm at the Conference Center at CoCo Key, 3580 East Main Street, Waterbury, CT.

Additional details, directions and a list of documents to bring to the event are available on the Department of Banking website or by downloading the event flyer.

For more information about avoiding foreclosure and resources available to help homeowners, visit the 2-1-1 eLibrary or dial 2-1-1.
Find a Local Flu Shot Clinic

The HealthMap Vaccine Finder website lists the locations and hours of clinics where seasonal flu shot vaccines are available.

In addition to helping you find the nearest available clinics for flu vaccines, the HealthMap site includes pricing information (where available) and availability details for 10 other vaccines. For more information about finding flu vaccines, dial 2-1-1 or visit HealthMap online.
About Enterovirus D68

According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health(DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), Enterovirus D68 has been confirmed in Connecticut.

To limit exposure and protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, the CDC recommends taking the following precautions:
Wash hands often
Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid close contact and sharing cups or utensils with people who are sick
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, especially if someone is sick
For more information about Enterovirus D68, visit the CDC website at this link and check the 2-1-1 eLibrary article for updates.

The mission of United Way of Connecticut is to help meet the needs of Connecticut and its residents by providing information, education and connection to services.

United Way of Connecticut | 1344 Silas Deane Highway | Rocky Hill | CT | 06067


This Winter Save Money On Heat

Connecticut Better Business Bureau®
BBB Tips to Reduce Home Heating Costs – and Avoid Furnace Maintenance Scams

Small Measures Add Up to Lower Bills for Electricity and Heating Oil
Wallingford, CT – September 29, 2014 – Winterizing your home doesn’t have to be expensive, according to Connecticut Better Business Bureau.

While the installation of energy-efficient windows and doors, and adding insulation can significantly bring down heat loss during cold months, there are also small fixes that can help reduce energy consumption.

A common winterizing checklist includes:

Changing air filters
Installing or re-installing storm windows in the attic to stop warm air from leaking
Clearing gutters to remove debris that could cause rainwater to freeze and damage them
Cleaning ridge vents to allow your house to “breathe”
Putting insulation film over windows to reduce drafts
Inspecting weather stripping for cracks and peeling
Installing a tight-fitting fireplace door or cover to stop the loss of heat through the chimney
Another way to keep heating bills under control is to compare electricity wholesalers’ prices at and select a plan before demand and the cost of electricity increase.

State lawmakers have put into place safeguards to stop wholesalers from the past practices of enticing consumers with a low introductory price, and then hitting them with a significant increase without advance notification.

Consumers who can afford to can pre-purchase heating oil to prevent being subjected to market fluctuations. The cost of heating oil may drop during a mild winter, however, heating oil prices typically rise at this time of year as demand increases. BBB recommends consumers research heating oil suppliers in advance, to ensure they are dealing with a reputable business with an established track record.

Furnace maintenance:

A dirty furnace is less efficient, so an annual inspection and cleaning is recommended.

This can also help spot potential problems that can end up leaving your family in the cold if your heating system breaks down.

However, if you are told you need a new furnace, get a second opinion and bid. Some unscrupulous operators attempt to deceive customers, by telling them that there are potentially dangerous problems with their furnace, and that it is unsafe to use.

One furnace maintenance contractor told a Connecticut consumer that his furnace had to be replaced, and wrote on a work order “System unfit for safe operation. Unit shut off & left off.” The consumer sought a second opinion and was told the furnace was in fact safe and did not need replacement. (See attached document) Total savings: $3,200.

Nonetheless, a damaged or dirty furnace can emit dangerous fumes. Signs of failure include soot on countertops and vents, and inefficient heating. Fumes also may cause watery eyes, a runny nose and headaches. In such cases, it is best to turn off the furnace and consult an expert.

BBB also recommends the following to winterize your home:

Plug holes – The average American home may have many small air leaks. Though they may not be large, they have a cumulative effect on home heating costs. Make sure windows close tightly. Check for leaks around them and use caulking to plug the leaks.

Consider insulating heating ducts: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that a centrally-heated home can lose as much as 60 percent of warmed air before it reaches vents if the duct work is poorly connected or not insulated, or if it travels through unheated spaces.

Get a chimney checkup: Before lighting the first fire of the season, your chimney should be checked for animals, nests, leaves and other debris, as well as for any necessary repairs. Select a reputable business or professional, rather than responding to solicitations.

This is also a good time for homeowners to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work, and install fresh batteries as needed. Detector units should be replaced every 10 years.

For additional consumer tips, and to research or select professionals you can trust, visit
For More Information:
Howard Schwartz
Executive Communications Director
Phone: 203-269-2700 Ext. 103
Cell: 860-384-5875

Better Business Bureau, INC.
94 South Turnpike Road, Wallingford, CT 06492 – Phone: 203-269-2700