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Images of Canton: CrownAid2017


Photos by John Fitts 

This past weekend, two events were held to benefit Crown and Hammer Pub and Restaurant employees, who have had limited economic opportunities following the fatal Jan. 23 accident, in which a vehicle crashed into the kitchen of the building, causing extensive damage.

On Feb. 25, fellow Collinsville businesses Wilson’s Pub and LaSalle Market hosted fundraisers for the employees. At Wilson’s, CrownAid2017 was spearheaded by local musician Corey Michael Rieman with the help of other area artisans and owner Esther Witkos. That event featured numerous musicians and generated $3,000, a total which was then matched by a private individual.

At LaSalle, Jean-Claude Trans/Am played a special Give Back Series event, which raised more than $900.

With some additional donations on Monday, the funds collectively raised had reached approximately $7,000.

Crown owner Lisa Maurer is targeting mid March for re-opening the 3 Depot St. restaurant.

See a full-sized gallery at https://johnfitts.smugmug.com.

Canton Woman Dies After Vehicle, Bus Accident

February 23, 2017 Police No Comments

A 79-year-old Canton woman passed away from her injuries after an accident between her vehicle and a Connecticut Transit bus, police said.

It was at approximately 12:24 p.m. on Feb. 22 when police responded to a 9-1-1 call about a bus vs. car accident on Dowd Avenue, near Dunham, police said.

Arriving emergency personnel found a vehicle driven by Helen Ricard, 79, of Canton, off the roadway, police said. She was the lone occupant of the vehicle and had to be extricated from the vehicle by town of Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department, according to a police department press release.

She was transported from the scene to an area hospital for treatment and police were later notified that she had passed away.  Eugene Rivers, 42, of Enfield, the driver and lone occupant of the bus, also found off the roadway, sustained minor injuries.

The incident remains under investigation and any witnesses are asked to contact the Canton Police Department at (860)693-0221.

Rotary of Avon-Canton Commits $150,000 to Favarh

February 22, 2017 Classified No Comments

Paul Mikkelson, right, who chairs the community service committee for Rotary of Avon-Canton talks at Favarh Wednesday morning.
Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts 

CANTON — On Wednesday, Rotary of Avon-Canton formally announced a $150,000 commitment to Favarh to help the Canton-based non-profit construct a new 7,500 square-foot Day Program and Transportation Hub at 100 Commerce Drive. 

Wednesday morning, joined by leaders of Favarh, Rotary members announced the initiative, which commits to the funding over a 5-year period.

In 2016, Favarh received a $1.5 million grant from the state office of Policy and Management for the building and the rotary funding augments that funding. The Rotary club has also committed to a full partnership with the organization. It is one of many projects in the works at Favarh, which supports people with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities. 

Construction of the Rotary of Avon-Canton building is expected to commence this year and be completed by late 2018.

Rotary president Don Bonner said it’s been a club goal for many years to fund a major initiative. 

“We actually talked to many different non profits in the area and came up with a variety of ideas on what we could do,” he said. “Without question, Favarh came to the top.” 

See more in next week’s edition of the Valley Press. 

Board of Education to Host Budget Hearing, Selectmen to Continue Discussion

February 21, 2017 Budget, Government, Schools No Comments

The newly adopted town seal.

CANTON — There will be several relevant meetings this week as local officials continue to grapple with how to refine their 2017-18 budget plans in light of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget proposal that includes steep cuts in state aid. 

With recent budget proposals by Schools superintendent Kevin D. Case and Chief Administrative Officer Robert H. Skinner, the town, under normal circumstances, would be looking at a very preliminary budget of  $38,264,351, an increase of 1.87 percent, which would result in a .22 mill rate increase, impacting the “average” taxpayer $53. And those numbers would likely be trimmed even more after further scrutiny by the boards of education, selectman and finance. 

However, this year is much different from most. The boards of education and selectmen are still reviewing the respective proposals but more importantly, the town is grappling with how to prepare for cuts proposed by the governor and whether the state legislature will restore some or all of the funding. At a recent “super board” meeting, Skinner told town officials from various boards that the governor’s reductions in state aid, combined with some additional expenses and other changes, would result in a revenue reduction of $2,117,067 for the fiscal year.If everything else were to stay the same, that average taxpayer, whose home is assessed at some $238,000, would be looking at an increase more along the lines of $707 under the governor’s plan.

Officials are hopeful that the state legislature will take action and, this week, will receive an update from state Sen. Kevin Witkos and state Rep. Tim LeGeyt. Both officials will be in town Wednesday night to provide updates – first at a Board of Education budget hearing and then to the Board of Selectmen. … Continue Reading

Canton Boys Win Conference Title

February 17, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

Canton junior Ryan Enns drives to the hoop.
Photo by Dave Heuschkel

By Dave Heuschkel

For the first time in 35 years, the Canton High boys basketball team are conference champions. The Warriors clinched the North Central Connecticut Conference regular season title Thursday night with a 55-33 win over East Granby.

Junior Ryan Enns led the Warriors with 14 points and senior Ethan Burke scored 12 as Canton won its first conference title since 1982. The Warriors went 17-3 overall, 15-1 in the conference.

The 17 regular season wins are the most by Canton since Craig Archambault took over in 2012. Of his five teams, he said this is the youngest. With the exception of Burke and junior Luke Brown, most of the players saw little or no varsity action on the team that went 14-6 in the regular season a year ago.

But Burke, the only returning starter, doesn’t think the Warriors overachieved. He said something occurred a year ago that made him truly believe this team could win a conference title. Read the story in the Feb. 23 edition of the Valley Press.

… Continue Reading

Canton Commission Continues Public Hearing on 5 River Road

February 16, 2017 Business, Community No Comments

A file photo of 5 River Road.

By John Fitts

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, the Canton Planning and Zoning Commission heard varying opinions on a proposal to add a used car dealership to the list of permitted uses at 5 River Road in Collinsville but ultimately continued a public hearing on the matter.

The half-acre, “v-shaped” property sits on the corner of Maple Avenue (state Route 565) and state route 179.

Resident Stephen Roberto purchased the property, formerly home to a gas station, in 2011, and in 2014 was successful in getting it re-zoned from “non-conforming” residential to business.

The proposal before the commission now looks to get permission for used car dealership with 30 spaces for “inventory,” 7 parking spaces, dark-sky compliant lighting for use during business hours and use of existing bays for limited repair.

While some businesses uses are allowed “by right,” a dealership would require several special permits and a site-plan modification.

Various criteria and standards come with the special permits and much of the debate on the proposal centers around intensity of use on the property, the character of the neighborhood and the town’s economic viability.

The commission is slated to continue the hearing at its March 15 meeting, which would take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Canton Community Center.

See more in next week’s edition of the Valley Press.  

Musical Events to Benefit Crown and Hammer Employees

February 15, 2017 Business, Community No Comments

Hand-drawn and watercolored image by Kate McAllister of KMcA Fine Art.

By John Fitts

COLLINSVILLE – On the last Saturday in February, two local establishments will host musical fundraisers to benefit employees of the Crown and Hammer Pub and Restaurant.

Many of the 17 people who work at the Crown have had limited economic opportunities since the restaurant had to temporarily shut its doors after the Jan. 23 accident in which a vehicle crashed into the building, which resulted in the death of passenger Margaret Stoppani, 86, of Canton. Police said the investigation is ongoing.

While the death has certainly been the most tragic outcome, employees at the restaurant have also struggled to keep up financially.

On Feb. 25, there will be two efforts to lend them a hand.

From 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. on that day, Wilson’s Pub, 3 River St., will host CrownAid 2017, featuring numerous acts. There will be a $10 suggested donation.

Additionally, from 7 to 10 p.m. that same evening, LaSalle Market and Deli, 104 Main St., will host its monthly Give Back Series, also to benefit Crown employees. The night will feature Jean Claude Trans Am, which plays “Space Rock and beyond” and people will have the chance to donate to the effort.

See more in this week’s Valley Press. To view updates search LaSalle Give Back Series on facebook and visit https://www.facebook.com/CrownAid2017/.

Winter Festival Auction is Underway

February 15, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

By John Fitts

CANTON – With items that range from a plow truck ride in the Memorial Day Parade to an adult night out at the local brewery, area residents might do well to check the annual online Winter Festival auction. 

The auction, found at biddingforgood.com/cantonpto, is a major fundraiser for the Parent Teacher Organizations at Canton Intermediate and Cherry Brook Primary schools. Last year the event netted more than $30,000. 

Items include sporting tickets, hand-made goods, summer camps, professional services, field trips, art lessons and much more. 

See more in this week’s Valley Press and at biddingforgood.com/cantonpto.

Canton High School Releases Second Quarter Honor Roll

February 15, 2017 Schools No Comments

Canton High School has released its Quarter 2 honor roll for the 2016-17 school year. See the file by clicking the link below. 

CHS Quarter 2 2016-17 Honor Roll

 

Your Silent Neighbors: Ada Johnson, Explosion Victim

February 15, 2017 Community, History No Comments

By David Leff 
Town Historian  

Ada Elizabeth Johnson (1888-1933) died in what the Farmington Valley Herald called “the most tragic accident to occur here in many years.”  She was a 1906 graduate of Collinsville High School and afterward completed studies at Hutsinger Business College in Hartford.  She was employed in a couple different offices for over a dozen years and spent her last decade as clerk of the Canton probate court.  She also did work in the Canton town clerk’s office, according to one news report.

Johnson never married and lived with her parents on Johnson Place in Collinsville.  On February 14, 1933, Johnson was at home in a closed room off the kitchen cleaning some clothes in gasoline.  While putting them through an electric wringer there was an explosion that blew out every window of the house and was heard a quarter-mile away.  The house then caught fire, practically destroying the rear of the structure and two upper stories.

Johnson was pulled from the conflagration by a neighbor and immediately treated by Doctor Ralph Cox, who lived on The Green.  She was so seriously burned that she could not be transported to a hospital and died at a neighbor’s home that evening.  She was conscious long enough to tell the doctor how the accident happened. … Continue Reading

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