Lester P. Schindel, has been named CEO of Waterbury HEALTH network. Schindel served as interim CEO of the network for the past 12 months leading the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic, a particularly challenging year for the organization and healthcare in general.
State Senator Joan Hartley (D-15), a former educator, was enthusiastic to see the release of $492.43 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds throughout Connecticut, including over $46 million in funds to Waterbury, Naugatuck, and Middlebury schools.
Column By David Howard
When Joe Biden’s voice came out of my phone, I wasn’t thinking much about how he sounded, or how surreal it was that I was about to start talking with the soon-to-be leader of the free world from a desk in the corner of my living room.
I was just trying to draw a breath and say something coherent.
It was the early evening of November 24, and I was working on a story about Biden for Delaware Today, a monthly magazine. The assignment was to write a kind of hometown-hero piece that spanned Biden’s career up to the present tense. The former senator and vice president from Delaware winning the White House was a very big moment for a tiny state. The piece was supposed to be at least as personal as it was political, and for that reason, I didn’t expect it to be a particularly challenging interview.
Anthony and Joanne D'Amelio inside Verdi's Restaurant in Waterbury.
Column By State Representative
Running a business, especially a restaurant, is difficult in the best of times, but during a pandemic with rolling state-mandated closures and constantly changing restrictions and guidelines it has become a nearly impossible task.
Don’t get me wrong, this is the profession I chose to devote my life to when I took a chance and opened my first restaurant in my early 20s. A choice I made believing that with hard work and a quality product I could provide for my family, and help others earn a living while learning new, marketable life skills. For more than 30 years, I’ve been fortunate to share my success with the customers and staff I love. We know most customers by name - certainly by their favorite dish - and my staff, especially those who have been with me for years, are part of one big, extended family.
When my family is threatened, I will speak out.
Cars lined down Xavier Street and Washington Street all the way through the intersection of Baldwin Street. The event was scheduled to begin at 11 am and cars began lining up at 8 am. The response was so overwhelming that distribution began an hour early, and in 90 minutes all the boxes were distributed.
Story And Photographs
By John Murray
As the pandemic continues to squeeze America like a python, food shortage is as real a danger to some families as the COVID-19 virus is to others.
In response to the crisis, federal, state and local efforts have collaborated to deliver boxes of food to those in need. Huge lines of cars have waited at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and at Rentschler Field in East Hartford to obtain a box of food.
Locally, the City of Waterbury, PAL, NOW Inc., and three elected officials have sponsored events to deliver boxes of nourishment by tapping into a federally funded Farmers to Families program.
StayWell Health Center, Waterbury HEALTH, and Alliance Medical Group are pleased to announce the transfer of the Chase Outpatient Center to StayWell Health Care, Inc. This is an exciting new chapter not only for the Chase Outpatient Center but for StayWell Health Center as well. As a long-time institution committed to serving the Greater Waterbury residents through its commitment to providing community-based medical, dental, behavioral health and social services, StayWell is uniquely qualified to continue the high level of care provided to Chase patients.
Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Center at 855 Lakewood Road, Waterbury, will offer drive-through and walk-up COVID-19 virus testing for Wheeler patients and the general public, weather permitting, starting on August 31, 2020, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 am to 12 noon. No doctor's note or previous visit is needed for this type of testing, and the public is welcome. Symptoms are not required for testing.
Hundreds or Waterbury residents marched through the streets of downtown to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday to celebrate freedom from slavery for Black Americans.
Story and Photographs
By John Murray
Juneteenth was celebrated with a joyful expression of Black culture by more than 300 marchers who filled downtown Waterbury with songs, poetry, dance, and with demands for equality and justice.
The Juneteenth Unity Rally was organized by the Waterbury Strong Community Collective whose founders are Demetre Coles, Tyler McElrath, Dwayne Pittman, Jessica Ervin and Jalia West. They are young, they are proud, and they organized a positive expression of Black culture.
Ryan Hendricks at the May 31st protest in Waterbury, Connecticut. Photograph by Terrence Bell
Story By John Murray
Ryan Hendricks lives in the Walnut area in the North End of Waterbury. A vacant lot separates the Hendricks from the back of a bodega, where drug sales are brisk, and sellers have an easy escape route from police.
It’s a tough neighborhood with boarded up homes, and opportunity and hope hard to come by. The Hendricks have a fence around their yard and they clean and maintain vacant lots on either side of their property. In the summer the Hendricks organize a block party on Walnut Avenue and they dig into their own pockets to feed 500 people BBQ jerk chicken, and they provide music, water slides and a bouncy house to the neighborhood children.
On Monday, Congresswoman Hayes joined House colleagues in introducing the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, and the Police Training and Accountability Act with Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02). These crucial pieces of legislation are designed to provide needed training, resources, and oversight of law enforcement agencies, while protecting communities that have been subjected to disproportionate levels of police violence.
Lt. Dan Ferrucci helped escort a non-violent protest to honor George Floyd, and launch a local conversation about racial injustice, from the Green to the steps of Waterbury City Hall.
Story By Gabriel Pietrorazio
Photographs By John Murray
Waterbury was shaken to its core on May 31st by a series of protests; one sanctioned, and three that were not, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis policeman.
It all started simply enough with a message on Instagram between two friends 48 hours before the first protest. Jalia West and Alexa Eason, both recent college graduates, wanted to organize a non-violent protest in Waterbury to honor George Floyd, and begin a local conversation about racial injustice.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.