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Community News For The Valley Edition

HJMS Eighth Grader Is Artist Of The Week

SIMSBURY — Each week the online student exhibit space ARTSONIA selects works of art from students all around the country in a competition to represent the "Artist of the Week." The Henry James Memorial School Art Department is proud to announce that 8th grader Benjamin Knight was selected as a winner of the competition for the week of Sept. 24 to 30 in the seventh to ninth grade category.

Throughout one week of competition, visitors to the ARTSONIA site vote on their favorite choice from their designated age group. Knight's artwork received a whopping 3,697 votes and was awarded the winning prize for the week. His artwork was also featured on the ARTSONIA website.

Knight will receive a commemorative plaque and a $50 gift certificate to Blick Art Materials for art supplies. The HJMS Art Department will be awarded a $100 gift certificate from Blick as well.

Matterhorn International Pro-Am

CANTON — The first Matterhorn International Pro-Am miniature golf tournament was played at Matterhorn Mini Golf on Sept. 23. The event was sponsored by Matterhorn Mini Golf and directed by The Putting Penguin miniature golf course review website.

There were 15 competitors in the amateur division that played three rounds in the morning and 19 competitors in the professional division that played five rounds throughout the day. While not an official United States Professional Miniature Golf Association event, the professional division did see several USPMGA members playing and some of the best putters in the New England area, with some coming from as far away as New York to play.

The amateur division set the stage for the battles to be had that day as Steven Langlois of East Granby narrowly edged the rest of the field to win by one stroke, shooting a 129. There were playoffs for both second place and fourth place, with each sudden death competition ending on the third hole. Daniel Erickson of Wethersfield would take second place, Matthew Liles of Manchester secured third and Brian Hogan of Avon would take the fourth position.

In the professional division the winning margin was also only one stroke as Mark "The Highlighter" Novicki of East Hartford took first place with a score of 198 for the five rounds, outshooting Justin Seymour of East Hartford with a tournament securing ace on the 88th hole. Novicki, a USPMGA pro, earned his nickname after he began to wear bright clothing to tournaments starting with the U.S. Open in 2015.

The win netted Novicki $500 while second place paid $250. Eleven year-old Jonah Hurley of Canton would win third place after a one-hole playoff over Sheridan. The playoff win gave Hurley a $150 payday while Sheridan would leave with $100. All winners in both divisions also received various Matterhorn and Putting Penguin awards.

Pictured left to right are Pat Sheridan, Matthew Liles, Steven Langlois, Daniel Erickson, Brian Hogan and Autumn Sutherland.

Also pictured, left to right, are Jonah Hurley, Pat Sheridan, Autumn Sutherland, Mark "The Highlighter" Novicki and Justin Seymour. Visit www.matterhornminigolf.com for more information.

Native American Wills

AVON — The Special Projects Committee of the Avon Historical Society is pleased to present the third lecture in a series entitled "Native American Wills," from a genealogy and research project at Central Connecticut State University on Saturday, Oct. 7, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Avon Senior and Community Center, 635 West Avon Road.

The talk will be presented by Professor Kathy Hermes, PhD, chair of the History Department at CCSU. Dr. Hermes has done extensive research into the lesser known Connecticut tribes: the Wongunk who lived along the Connecticut River, and the Tunxis who lived along the Farmington River. Other tribes and clans from the Waterbury area and the New Hartford areas, as well as an area known as Massacoe in Simsbury, traveled through what is now Avon and even erected their wigwams.

As part of the Farmington River Valley, Avon was an area inhabited by and used by Native peoples well into the colonial period. In the mid-18th century the Wongunk, Tunxis and Mohegan formed a Christian Indian community that eventually became the Brothertown Movement.

Dr. Hermes will discuss the Native people, their interactions with colonists such as Colonel William Whiting, commander of the 1709 expedition to Canada that marched through Avon, chiefs like Cherry for whom landmarks are named, and the Christian Indians who learned to use English probate law, such as Timothy Indian and the Pewompskin family.

A display of Native American artifacts from the Institute of American Indian Studies Museum and Research Center in Washington will be available courtesy of Nancy Najarian. Also included will be a collection of Native American artifacts founds in Avon and along the Farmington River in the mid-20th century that are part of the archives of the Avon Historical Society.

Mini Maker Faire

FARMINGTON — Tunxis Community College, 271 Scott Swamp Road, will host the 3rd annual Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free.

The family friendly day of innovation for all ages will include creative projects, demonstrations, hands-on interactive fun, vendors and food trucks. Projects will showcase robotics, 3-D printing, science demonstrations, design, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and more.

Some of the activities and projects include head scans that are used to create computer models, adaptive technology for toddler toy cars and vehicles, a full-size model tiny house, and a presentation on animal mimicry. There will be lots of hands-on activities for all ages, with opportunities to use Arduino boards, participate in computer coding, and make towers with Tunxis engineering students. Several Connecticut Community Colleges and Universities will have industry projects on display including a prosthetic arm, a guitar programmed with an Arduino board, and energy management career information.

For free coffee, tours and a spin on one of their FitDesk bikes, come visit Tunxis Library, a free public resource. Tunxis will also have information available on its credit programs, with Admissions representatives available to answer questions about enrolling for spring semester.

Those who plan to attend can sign up in advance for their free tickets on Eventbrite at: http://bit.ly/2gPVlmc, or at the door. For more information, contact Therese Wallace at Therese.Wallace@cbia.com or 860-244-1950.

Fire Co. Open House

SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company's open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at the fire department's main station, 871 Hopmeadow St.

The event will be full of safety literature, displays, demonstrations and a visit from Sparky the Fire Dog. Sparky is the National Fire Protection Association's fire prevention mascot. Fire trucks and equipment will be on display and there will be firefighter demonstrations and free hats and balloons for the children.

For Fire Prevention Week, the fire company is assisting in fire drills and giving fire safety presentations at Simsbury schools. This year Fire Prevention Week is being observed nationwide from Oct. 8 through 14, and the theme is "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!" Plan two exits from each room, teach children how to escape on their own, close doors behind you as you leave and once you are outside, stay outside. Practice your fire drill twice a year, once in the daytime and once at night. Be sure your house numbers are easy to see.

Swan Preserve Hike

CANTON — The Canton Land Conservation Trust invites the public to hike the deciduous forest of the Swan Preserve at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, with Land Trust Director Sarah Faulkner. Birds are plentiful and organizers recommend people bring binoculars.

This is an easy-to-moderate difficulty, one-and-half hour hike. Wear sturdy walking shoes, and dress for the weather. Please leave dogs at home. In case of heavy rain, check www.cantonlandtrust.org for possible postponement. Directions: from Rt. 179 north, turn onto Case Street. The Swan Preserve parking area is on the right in about 1/10th of a mile.

Writer Monica Wood To Give Reading at Westminster School

SIMSBURY — Novelist, memoirist and playwright Monica Wood will give a reading at Westminster School, 995 Hopmeadow St., at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, as part of the Friday Nights at Westminster series. The student reader will be senior Nicholas Wee, the winner of the school's Brian Ford Writing Prize.

The event is free and open to the public and will take place in the Gund Reading Room of the school's Armour Academic Center. Wood's most recent novel, "The One-in-a-Million Boy," has been published in 19 foreign editions and won a number of awards including a 2017 Nautilus Book Award. She is also the author of "When We Were the Kennedys," a New England best-seller.

Ample parking will be available in the parking lot adjacent to Armour Academic Center. The event is made possible by a generous grant from the Ford-Goldfarb English Department Enrichment Fund.

Open Golf Classic

AVON — The annual Wide Open Golf Classic will hold its 36th Golf Tournament on Friday, Oct. 6, at Blue Fox Run Golf Club in Avon, 65 Nod Road.

Dr. Matthew Keefe of Canton Valley Dental along with David Regan of Burlington, Fran Amara of Farmington and Ryan Mains of West Hartford will once again organize the tournament. The Wide Open over the years has raised funds for the local High Schools' (Canton, Lewis S. Mills and Northwestern Regional 7) substance abuse programs, Smile Train and has also supported research for the Connecticut Children's Medical Center Oncology Department.

With the monies raised in 2016, the Wide Open Committee, invited Chris Herren, a former NBA point guard for the Celtics, who lost his career to drugs and alcohol, to speak to the high schools in the Farmington Valley area this coming October.

The dates are as follows: Wednesday, Oct. 11, 12:30 p.m.; and again at 7 p.m. (evening presentation - open to public) at Canton High School, followed by Thursday, Oct. 12, at 9 a.m., at Northwestern Regional High School 7, and at 12:30 p.m. at Lewis Mills High School.

Donations were made to help fund the substance free graduation party for Northwestern Regional 7 High School. An additional donation was made by the Wide Open Committee to the charity named Smile Train. Smile Train provides free cleft repair surgeries to children all around the world born with cleft palates and who cannot afford treatment.

If you would like to participate in or contribute to the tournament, contact Jill at Canton Valley Dental at 860-693-0887.

BluesGrass Performs

FARMINGTON — On Thursday, Oct. 5, the Farmington Libraries will host the local duo BluesGrass for a free live concert. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. at the Main Library, located at 6 Monteith Drive.

BluesGrass is the acoustic duo of Jon Swift (bass) and Mark White (guitar/harp.) Both share the lead vocal and harmony duties. This event is free and open to the public; registration is requested. Visit www.farmingtonlibraries.org to register or call 860-673-6791.

Festa di Ottobre

GRANBY — A beer and wine tasting, an Italian dinner, live entertainment, teacup raffles and a silent auction will highlight Granby UNICO's annual "Festa di Ottobre" on Monday, Oct. 9, at the Cambridge House Brew Pub, 357 Salmon Brook St.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event runs until 10 p.m. A cash bar is available after 8 p.m. Tickets are available in advance at the Cambridge House, Village Cork & Keg or from any UNICO member, for $35.

All proceeds will benefit UNICO's Scholarship Fund, local Granby charities and needy families in the community during the holidays. Entertaining at this Columbus Day festival will be Woodford Way on their acoustic guitars.Wines are provided courtesy of Village Cork & Keg and hand crafted beers are courtesy of Cambridge House. Silent auction prizes include vacations donated by Landmark Tours & Cruises, and raffle prizes include gift baskets from local merchants.

For further information on the Festa di Ottobre, or the Granby UNICO Club, contact: Anne Guarco at 860-653-2237, Karen Rutigliano at 860-653-5699, Joy Marx at 413-977-6306 or Mary Anne Guarco at 860-250-3257.

One Of Windsor: The Untold Story Of America's First Witch Hanging

SIMSBURY — Beth Caruso, author of "One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America's First Witch Hanging," will talk about this tragic and important event in America's colonial history and about her extensive historical research to find out about the victim, Alice Young of Windsor. She brings to life the story of Alice, hanged as a witch on May 26, 1647, in this fictionalized story of Connecticut's first witch hanging.

The talk will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 725 Hopmeadow St. Registration through the library is requested by calling 860-658-7663.

First Friday Dinners

AVON — A First Friday dinner at Avon Congregational Church, 6 W. Main St., will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6.

The menu features chicken parmesan lying on a bed of light marinara sauce, side entrees and a collection of desserts. Eat in or take out is available.

Dinners are $13 for adults and $7 for children 10 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the church office or at the door. A portion of the proceeds benefit ShelterBox, an organization that provides international and U.S. disaster relief by proving temporary shelters and supplies to displaced families.

Tablescapes 2018

AVON — The Avon Historical Society is inviting all decorators, designers, florists and others who are creative to participate in Tablescapes, a fundraiser to be held on March 23 and 24, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the historic North House.

Tablescapes is an opportunity to create and display table settings of various themes for the public to enjoy. This local event is open to anyone in the Farmington Valley to show off their skill in table settings, fresh floral arrangements, centerpieces and accessories on one of 25 five-foot round tables in the Belle Ballroom of the historic North House at the bottom of Avon Mountain on Route 44.

There is no cost to rent a table, however there is criteria such as fresh flowers and a theme must be submitted prior to the event to avoid duplication. The society encourages individuals or groups such as garden clubs to participate in this first of its kind event in the Valley.

Artists who wish to explore a theme using a table setting and decorations as a canvas are encouraged to participate.

Anyone with questions may contact Mary Harrop at 860-670-3225, mcharrop@yahoo.com or Sharon Genovese at moldit16@aol.com or 860-559-2263. The deadline to sign up is Nov. 15.

Free Career Workshops

FARMINGTON — The community is invited to the following free career workshops at Tunxis Community College in the 700 Building, Tunxis Library Classroom, 271 Scott Swamp Road. Email skapros@tunxis.edu to register.

All workshops begin at 10 a.m. on the following dates: Oct. 17, Oct. 24, Nov. 14, and Dec. 5. Topics are, in order of appearance, resume writing, interviewing skills, networking with LinkedIn, creating a resume with your iPhone and social media and your personal brand.

Avon's World War II History

AVON — Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Avon Library, Katie Kukiolczynski, CCSU MA History graduate, was hired to process, scan, and summarize the World War II newsletter collection with the Marion Hunter History Room of the Avon Library.

Visit http://bit.ly/2vBxPMJ to view the collection, which consists of 14 resident-created newsletters spanning the years 1943-1946. The newsletters were intended for Avon soldiers, and were sent to them wherever they were stationed, either at home or abroad, as well as to their families in Avon. In addition to uploading the actual newsletters, Kukiolczynski detailed military commendations and created highlights of each issue. The newsletters also included some local town gossip and news for soldiers to stay up to date on current happenings around town, so Avon was always a part of them wherever they were.

Senior Bowling League Seeks New Members

SIMSBURY — The Farmington Valley Senior Bowling League invites all area bowlers ages 55 and older to join its Tuesday afternoon league, as a regular member or as a substitute. The team meets at Blue Fox Rock & Bowl on Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, near the Granby line, from 12:45 to approximately 3 p.m., from mid-September into May.

All levels of ability are welcome. For more information, call Carol Scoville at 860-676-2711.

Coloring For Adults

AVON — The Avon Free Public Library presents Coloring for Adults on Wednesdays this fall. All supplies will be provided. The program will be held in the first floor atrium on Oct. 11 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

No registration; just drop in. The library is at 281 Country Club Road. For more information, call 860-673-9712, ext. 246.

Drop-In Genealogy

AVON — Free drop-in genealogy at the Avon Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Nov. 1 and Dec. 6. Beginners are welcome. Marilyn Giese will provide assistance to those who attend.

Teen Job Center

SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Public Library and Simsbury Main Street Partnership are proud to combine efforts and offer the Teen Job Center, a joint effort designed to match teens looking for work with area businesses looking for help. They are currently accepting both teen job applications and business help requests.

The positions available will depend on local business needs and may include summer or year-long employment, paid or unpaid internships, or work study opportunities. Sara Ray, Teen Services Librarian at the Simsbury Public Library, will match interests and availability based on the applications received.

Visit http://www.simsburylibrary.info/teen/teen-job-center/ to fill out a teen job application or a business application.

Teens may contact Sara Ray at 860-658-7663 or email sarar@simsburylibrary.info. Businesses can contact Sarah Nielsen, Executive Director, Simsbury Main Street Partnership, at simmainst@sbcglobal.net.

Rotary Club

SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Granby Rotary Club meets every Thursday at 7:15 a.m. at the Hop Meadow Country Club, 85 Firetown Road. For membership information contact Club President Ed LaMontagne at edjlam@comcast.net.

Christian Science Reading Room

WEST HARTFORD — The Christian Science Church (First Church of Christ, Scientist) announced the relocation of its Reading Room from the church building at 235 Scarborough St., Hartford, to 8 North Main St., West Hartford, marking its return to West Hartford Center.

The Christian Science Reading Room welcomes all who wish to spend quiet time in study or prayer. Bibles and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, may be read, borrowed, or purchased there, as well as other books, periodicals, and CDs about Christian Science, its founder, and the healing power of God. The Christian Science Monitor is also available. Attendants are on hand to assist and answer questions about Christian Science.

The Reading Room is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with free parking available in the parking lot adjacent to the building. Those who wish to learn more may visit http://christiansciencect.org/hartford or http://www.christianscience.com, call 860-200-4710, or email csrrhartford@gmail.com.

Valley Veterans Meetings

AVON — Veterans may visit with members of VFW Post 3272 at Truffles on Main Restaurant, 300 West Main St., from 8 to 10 a.m., the first Saturday of the every month. To learn more about the Gildo T. Consolini VFW Post 3272, visit avonvfw.com.

U.S. Flag Collection

AVON — The Gildo T. Consolini VFW Post 3272 of Avon and the Avon Free Public Library, 281 County Club Road, have joined together to place a collection box in the library lobby for collection of worn U.S. flags.

The patriotic decorated wooden box was designed by Gary Kollberg, of Farmington, and was built by Brian Freeman, his wife, Charlotte, and daughters, Holly and Julia, pictured.

Residents of the valley are welcome to donate any and all worn U.S. flags during regular library hours. Members of the Avon VFW will pick them up on a regular basis for proper disposal.

Tabletop Game Nights

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Libraries will host a monthly tabletop game night on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., at the Main Library, 6 Monteith Drive. Pizza and snacks will be provided.

Games played will include Gloom, Munchkin, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, chess, Apples to Apples, and more. Have suggestions for great tabletop games? Contact Anna at aboisvert@farmingtonlibraries.org. This event is free and open to the public, ages 12 and up. Space is limited. Registration required. Call 860-673-6791 for details or register through the library's website at farmingtonlibraries.org.

Watershed Inspections

AREA — The Metropolitan District Commission will be conducting its state-mandated annual watershed sanitary survey and inspection program in the towns of Barkhamsted, Hartland, New Hartford, Burlington, Harwinton, Torrington, Winsted, Avon, Simsbury, Bloomfield, and West Hartford.

The purpose of the program, which will continue through November, is to prevent contamination of the MDC's drinking water supplies as a result of, among other things, septic system failure, erosion, runoff, and other potential pollutants.

Routine watershed sanitary surveys are required by Section 19-13-B102(b) of the Connecticut Public Health Code.

Property inspections will take place in the towns of Barkhamsted and Hartland on the Barkhamsted Reservoir watershed; in New Hartford, Burlington, Harwinton, Torrington and Winsted on the Nepaug Reservoir watershed; and in the towns of Avon, Simsbury, Bloomfield, and West Hartford on the West Hartford/Reservoir No. 6 watersheds.

Routine field inspections take only a few minutes and will be conducted by MDC's Watershed Inspector who carries appropriate MDC identification and drives an authorized MDC vehicle. The Inspector does not enter homes; the inspection is limited to the exterior portions of the real property.

If a violation or an issue is detected, it is reported to the property owner and health officials as required by law.

Property owners may receive more information by contacting the MDC Watershed Management Unit, Barkhamsted Water Supply Division at 860-379-0916 extension 3103 or 860-278-7850 extension 3103.

Softball Umpires Sought

STATEWIDE — The North Central Connecticut Board of Softball Umpires is seeking new members for the 2017 season. Our board provides services to schools, youth and adult recreational leagues in the greater Hartford area. No experience necessary. For more information or to join, contact Al at prez798@aol.com or call/text 860-205-1688.

Energy Assistance

HARTFORD — Operation Fuel's statewide network of fuel banks started taking energy assistance applications on Wednesday, July 5, from households that are in financial crisis and are in danger of having their utility services terminated.

Individuals who need energy assistance should call 211. The annual winter moratorium, which prevents households from having their electricity and gas shut off, ended on May 1 and will not resume until Nov. 1.

Energy affordability is a year-round problem for more than 322,000 Connecticut households. Operation Fuel is Connecticut's only statewide nonprofit energy assistance program. For the fiscal year, which ends June 30, Operation Fuel has provided over $3.3 million in energy assistance to more than 7,830 households. This includes $2.1 million in energy assistance for the 2017 winter program and $1.2 million in energy assistance last summer.

Now in its 40th year, Operation Fuel is a statewide nonprofit program that provides emergency energy assistance year-round to lower-income working families and individuals, the elderly, and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis.

For more information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, go to www.operationfuel.org. Donations also can be sent to Operation Fuel, 75 Charter Oak Avenue, Suite 2-240, Hartford, CT, 06106.

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