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Officials investigate contaminated soils at garage site, consider modified plan for facility

June 21, 2017 Government No Comments

By John Fitts

CANTON – On Wednesday, the Board of Selectmen voted to have the town work with Fuss & O’Neill to further investigate contaminated soils found at the Public Works site near the Farmington River.

Officials said the discovery of the issue came about during test borings and underground radar at the site in preparation to build a new public works facility.

The contamination is believed to have resulted from two fuel storage tanks – an underground one that was abandoned in the 1950s and an above-ground structure that was on site in the 1930s.

Selectmen voted to have Fuss & O’Neill investigate the issue further and determine what course of action will be needed. Cost of the consulting work is estimated at $29,500, although the firm states it could be as low as $21,500.

Work for the new public works facility is expected to go out to bid soon. While the discovery of some contaminated soils will add some cost to the project, selectmen were adamant that the cost not only needs to stay within the $3.825 million approved by voters in November of 2016 but should also be done as efficiently as possible.

The discovery, however, could result in a change to the concept plan at the time of the vote. Then the idea was to build the facility near the current building on Old River Road. However, officials are now investigating the possibility of building it next to the sewage treatment plant and relocating the existing ballfield to the site of the current building, essentially flipping the two. The idea needs further vetting but could allow for additional parking and better direct access off Route 179, officials said. It would also facilitate a better transitions since the department could use the old facility while the new one was being built, town officials said.

See more in a future issue of the Valley Press.

Canton man killed while cycling in New Hartford

June 21, 2017 Police No Comments

A 42-year-old Canton man was killed in New Hartford Tuesday evening while riding his bicycle, according to state police.

Gordon Keller was cycling east bound on Route 44 around 7:30 p.m. when a vehicle, when the driver of a westbound vehicle attempted to turn left on to Route 219, hitting Keller.

Keller was transported by New Hartford EMS to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The accident remains under investigation. Anyone with information, is asked to call state police trooper Figueiral at 860-626-1820.

Your Silent Neighbors: Chauncey Griswold, Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

June 15, 2017 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff
Canton Town Historian

Chauncey Griswold (1792-1864) was a schoolteacher who serendipitously became a maker of medicines beginning in 1841. He was born in what is now Canton or Bloomfield (the record is unclear), one of thirteen children. At age 24, he married Ruth Mills whose father had suggested the name “Canton” when the town was created in 1806. He is said to have taught school in Ithaca, New York, Hartford and Wethersfield.

One Independence Day, a son of Griswold was badly burned by gunpowder that ignited in his pocket, according to Dr. Larry Carlton’s story in the book Canton Remembers. Having heard of a man two or three miles distant who had a salve good for burns, he obtained some. The results were so good that Griswold supposedly purchased the formula for $5. Originally made in small quantities in a skillet, after trial and error Griswold succeeded in producing about two dozen rolls of salve at a time.  Nevertheless, “his wife often told him that if he expected to get their living from making that stuff, she guessed they would go hungry more than once,” Dr. Carlton wrote. … Continue Reading

State Law Enforcement Officials Respond to Canton after Officer Discharges Firearm

June 10, 2017 Police No Comments

The scene on Collins View Road Friday night. Photo by John Fitts

Officer transported for evaluation

State law enforcement officials responded to Canton Friday night after a Canton officer discharged his weapon during a motor vehicle stop, police said.

The incident occurred shortly after 8 p.m. on Collins View Road, when the officer fire shots “while interacting with a suspect on a motor vehicle stop,” police said.

The officer was transported to an area hospital for evaluation only and the suspect fled the area in the vehicle, police said. Police in numerous area towns were on the lookout of the suspect.

Neighbors reported hearing several shots and at the scene investigators marked several spots.

Police did not immediately release further details or confirm the description of the car.

Nearby resident Elizabeth Wilkinson Haynes did not see the shots being fired but saw some activity and heard those shots, during which family members were outside.

“The Canton police had amazing response time to aid their fellow officer,” she said. “The investigation seemed thorough and timely. Very scary situation for all, especially when your husband and daughter were outside while shots were being fired.”

The Hartford Office of the State’s Attorney is leading the investigation. The State Police, Central District Major Crime Squad is assisting, Canton police said. Those agencies spent several hours at the scene Friday night.

The incident remains under investigation and any witnesses are asked to contact the CT State Police at 860-685-8190 or Canton Police Department at 860-693-0221.

State police added that anyone with any information can also contact the Central District Major Crime at 860-706-5652 or text TIP711 and the information to 274637.

Media crews in Canton late Friday night.
Photo by John Fitts

Canton Girls Fall Short in Championship Bid

June 7, 2017 Schools, Sports No Comments

The Canton High girls lacrosse team’s quest to repeat as state champion ended with a 16-13 loss to New Fairfield in the Class S semifinals June 6 at Trumbull High School.

Five players on Canton did not play due to a suspension for an undisclosed reason. The Warriors finished 17-3 overall.

In 2016, the girls beat Somers 15-3 to win the Class S State Championship.

– Dave Heuschkel 

Letter to the Editor: The Ballad of Vinnie Forte

To the Editor:

We have lived in the wonderful town of Canton since 2009. My son Vincent, now 10, was just 2 years old. The town features great schools, neighbors, services, community and easy commute to my office in West Hartford. What a country.

Quickly Vinnie made friends. In fact, from 2009 to 2016 emerged a core group of buddies we started calling the “wolf pack.”

Sadly, over the last 14 months, five members of the “pack” are gone.

No, it’s nothing tragic. They all moved – three to Florida, one to Texas and, most recently, Pennsylvania. This is where I could rip into the sad economic reality of Connecticut, but that is not my point. … Continue Reading

Car crashes into building at Canton Village

June 6, 2017 Fire, Police No Comments

Submitted material 

The town of Canton Fire & EMS Department was dispatched to The Outlet, 220 Albany Turnpike at 11:21 a.m. Tuesday, June 6 for the report of a vehicle into a building. Upon arrival, fire crews on Rescue 9, Engine 1, Squad 5 with Canton EMS & Paramedic personnel in Car 10 observed a dark BMW with its front end partially inside a business.

“Fire crews assisted the driver out of the vehicle and into Canton’s ambulance for evaluation,” said Fire Chief Craig Robbins. “No further extrication was required and no hospital transport was made.”

… Continue Reading

Canton Historical Museum Participating in Open House Day

June 6, 2017 Uncategorized No Comments

Submitted Release 

The Canton Historical Museum at 11 Front St. in Collinsville is participating in the Connecticut Open House Day from 1 to 4 p.m.  June 10. Admission will be free.

Visitors can view Collins Axe Company tools and history; Civil and Victorian Era items; recreations of a barbershop, general store and bridal parlor as well as an antique fire engine and train diorama. Several Farmington Valley Railway Society members will be present to answer questions about the latter.

The museum also has some new exhibits featuring cameras, men’s and ladies’ hats, and additional bridal gowns ranging from 1850 to 1940.

Canton Historical Museum Participating in Open House Day

June 6, 2017 Community, History No Comments

Submitted Release 

The Canton Historical Museum at 11 Front St. in Collinsville is participating in the Connecticut Open House Day from 1 to 4 p.m.  June 10. Admission will be free.

Visitors can view Collins Axe Company tools and history; Civil and Victorian Era items; recreations of a barbershop, general store and bridal parlor as well as an antique fire engine and train diorama. Several Farmington Valley Railway Society members will be present to answer questions about the latter. 

The museum also has some new exhibits featuring cameras, men’s and ladies’ hats, and additional bridal gowns ranging from 1850 to 1940. 

Images of Canton: Class of 2017 Pre-Prom Gathering

June 2, 2017 Community, Photos No Comments


As is tradition in Canton, participants in the 2017 Canton High School Senior Prom gathered at a private home for photos prior to the big event. Following the gathering, participants made their way to the Farmington Club the evening of June 2 to enjoy the prom.

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