Waterbury is Blessed

Many Waterburians are familiar with the statue of Father Michael McGivney at the intersection of Grand Street and Meadow Street in downtown Waterbury, but with the news he has moved one step closer to becoming a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, a new generation of city residents will learn his amazing story.

Waterbury native Michael McGivney entered the priesthood in 1877 and founded the Knights of Columbus five years later. Today, the Associated Press is reporting that Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to Father McGivney, moving Father McGivney one step closer to becoming a saint.

Father Ronald Ferraro Honored for 60th Anniversary of Ordination

Father Ronald Ferraro waved to the procession honoring his 60 years in the priesthood.

Father Ronald Ferraro was honored today by the City of Waterbury on the 60th anniversary of his ordination as a Catholic priest. Father Ferraro was the priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on South Main Street in Waterbury, and is still the chaplin for both the Waterbury Police Department and the Waterbury Fire Department. Father Ferraro is currently a resident at the Village at East Farms in Waterbury.

Remembering The Ultimate Sacrifice

Story By John Murray

Look into their eyes. Look hard at the faces of the 30 soldiers from Waterbury who perished during the Vietnam War. They were young and strong and died 8500 miles away from home fighting an impossible war their country asked them to fight.

These men answered the call, like Waterburians have done in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, WW I, WW II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the endless war in the Middle East with Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nursing Home Visits Might Be Possible

By John Murray

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Connecticut have been clobbered by COVID-19. The latest figures reveal that in the past nine weeks 2400 residents in long-term healthcare facilities in Connecticut have died from the virus.

That number would have been even higher if Connecticut wasn't one of the first states to lock down nursing homes during the pandemic. The no-visitor rule has caused emotional anguish for thousands of families as they are unable to visit loved ones during the crisis.

Waterbury Homicide Suspects Arrested

Incident: Homicide – Suspects Arrested  Date & Time of Homicide:  May 14, 2020 / 22:01 p.m.

Location:  Willow Street and Woodlawn Terrace

On May 14, 2020, at 10:01 pm., Waterbury Police were called to the area of Willow Street and Woodlawn Terrace to investigate a report of gunshots. This complaint was called into the police by several people.

CT State Park Beaches Will Be Open Memorial Day Weekend

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that Connecticut state parks that feature beaches along the state’s shoreline will be open Friday, May 22, though with capacity limitations. Visitors are advised to follow social distancing guidelines.

Earlier today, Governor Lamont, along with the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Delaware, announced a multi-state agreement to open beaches in their respective states effective May 22. Connecticut’s shoreline state park beaches were never closed, and have remained open with capacity restrictions, which will remain in place.

Free Legal Consultations to Help Small Businesses Survive Pandemic

Today, law firm Robinson+Cole LLP and the Connecticut Bar Association announced the launch of the Connecticut COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic, offering pro bono legal consultations for small business owners to help them navigate the COVID-19 economic crisis and ensuing relief programs. The Clinic is part of a nationwide program developed by the Lawyers for Good Government Foundation, a non-profit network of more than 125,000 legal advocates with lawyers in all 50 states.

Ram's Clothiers Displays Exceptional Community Spirit

A once in a century pandemic has revealed much about the character of several small businesses in Waterbury. Some price gouged and are now under investigation by the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office. Other’s opened their heart and showed terrific community spirit.

One of the really good ones was Ram’s Clothiers at 579 Wolcott St, Waterbury. Ram’s closed two months ago when non-essential businesses were shut down, but when Governor Ned Lamont ordered residents to wear face masks in public, and they were hard to find, Ram’s began making cloth face masks and distributing them to the community for free. Hundreds of them.

Flyover to Honor CT's Heroes ~ May 14th

A message from Governor Ned Lamont......

"To salute Connecticut's health care workers for the service they are providing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut Air National Guard will conduct Operation American Resolve on Thursday, May 14. This includes the flyover of the Guard's C-130H aircraft over hospitals and other health care facilities throughout the state.

There are many front line workers in Connecticut providing care, and this is our way of saluting them and saying thank you. They are true heroes, and the amount of good they are providing for our state is immeasurable.

Suspect Wanted in Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident

Date & Time of Accident:  April 22, 2020 at 10:27 p.m.

Location of Accident:  Area of 2457 East Main Street                                   

Summary

On April 22, 2020 at 10:27 p.m., the Waterbury Police were dispatched to the area of 2457 East Main Street for reported motor vehicle accident involving two vehicles.

CT's Business Reopening 1st Phase Rules Amid COVID-19

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that his administration has released documents detailing specific rules that eligible businesses falling under phase 1 of Connecticut’s reopening plans must follow amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The first phase – which includes restaurants; offices; hair salons and barbershops; retail stores; and outdoor museums and zoos – is currently planned to take effect beginning May 20.

Food Scarcity During Pandemic

By Wayne Simone

Waterbury resident Robert Vonaa is a recovery specialist at Rushford in Meriden. His job is to help residents who have mental health issues or addiction problems recover and return to society.

That's his full-time gig.  Vonaa also helped start New Beginnings, a food pantry for the hungry in New Britain, more than twenty years ago. This was inspired by a brief bout he had with homelessness a few years earlier.  "I was there in the same shoes.,” Vonaa said. “I was lucky and made it out, but many of the people I see don't have the where-with-all to break out of homelessness. Sometimes it’s the skills, sometimes it's the hand that they were dealt, and other times it's their desire or their lack of desire. 

CT COVID-19 Update ~ May 28

Latest Data as of 4PM on Thursday, May 28, 2020

As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Governor Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2020:

The following is a summary of the day-to-day newly reported data on cases, deaths, and tests in Connecticut. It is important to note that these newly reported updates include data that occurred over the last several days to a week. 

COVID-19 Hits Home for Rep. Jahana Hayes

This morning, Congresswoman Hayes released the following statement:

“This week, my husband, a first responder in the City of Waterbury was exposed to and tested positive for COVID-19 at his workplace. I am incredibly grateful that at this time he seems to be healthy and asymptomatic. Given my exposure, I was also tested and it was thankfully negative. Out of an abundance of caution, and in keeping in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, my family and I will be quarantining at home for the next 14 days and self-monitoring for symptoms. I will continue working remotely, talking with constituents and community leaders, and communicating daily with colleagues as we work on the next relief package to combat the health and economic crisis that our country is in. 

Looking For Hope In A Pandemic

Tulips at the Chase Building in downtown Waterbury.

Column by John Murray

   Late April in New England is a time of renewal. After six months of slumber our lawns and meadows turn green, daffodils and tulips poke their heads up and flower, and our forests (70% of Connecticut) are electric with anticipation as our oak and maple and cherry trees produce more leaves than there are stars in the night sky.

Homeless In A Pandemic

Matt O'Toole on Easter morning with all his possessions.

Story and Photographs by John Murray

   Matt O’Toole sat outside the largest homeless shelter in Connecticut wondering how he was going to spend the next 10 hours. It was Easter Sunday and it was cold and raw outside. The St. Vincent DePaul Shelter in the South End of Waterbury boots all single men out of the facility every morning at 7 am, and O’Toole couldn’t get back in until 5 pm.

   O’Toole has been homeless off and on for much of the past year. “I made bad decisions,” O’Toole said. “Most of us in here have made a lot of bad decisions. I had an addiction problem.”

Avoiding The Virus

Carmine Capobianco is a columnist at The Waterbury Observer and the author of the book, "Tall and Short Tales of My Hometown", based on growing up in Waterbury.  Carmine wrote this piece about being quarantined at home during the pandemic:

I was the first person sent home to do my work. I’m on chemotherapy so my white cells dropped. I also have diabetes. So, if I get the Coronavirus, I’m a goner. That’s it. Done.

So I went home and my bosses have been great. Probably because they don’t want it to kill me.

Doctor On Frontline Of Pandemic

Dr. David Hill at Waterbury Hospital in Waterbury, Connecticut. 

   Dr. David Hill is a pulmonary and critical care physician treating COVID-19 patients at Waterbury Hospital. Dr. Hill is the Director of Clinical Research at Waterbury Pulmonary Associates and has been quoted in Time Magazine and the New York Times during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Hill wrote this brilliant Facebook post Saturday night (April 18th) at 10:00 PM, and it was shared more than 2000 times. We picked up his post and published it on The Waterbury Observer Facebook page and it was shared an additional 11,000 times and reached 750,000 people around the world, including France and Spain and all across America. The power of social media in action. His observations are illuminating, and his message is as sharp as an ice pick. Buckle up, Dr. Hill is going to take you on a ride to the front lines ...