• Newtown Yoga Festival Headliners Encourage ‘Back To Balance’

    Headlining the 2015 Newtown Yoga Festival on Saturday, August 22, will be two award-winning authors and nationally recognized doctors: Dr Patricia Gerbarg and Dr Richard Brown. Partners in work and life, Dr Gerbarg and Dr Brown, of Kingston, N.Y., with offices in Manhattan, will present the afternoon workshop for ages 16 and up, “Back to Balance: Yoga, Meditation, and Tools for Cultivating a Stress-Free Life." Returning to NYA Sports & Fitness Center for the third year, this month's event will once again offer seven hours of classes, live music, lunch, vendors and two offerings of the popular Yoga Buffet, where guests can sample a number of different styles and meet local instructors during a 45-minute session.

  • Verizon Doubles Defibrillator Donation

    What was initially going to be a $500 check presentation to the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps ended up doubling to $1,000 after Newtown Verizon Wireless store operators met VCA Corps Chief Michael Collins and learned the funds would underwrite the replacement of a damaged automatic external defibrillator or AED.

  • Newtown Yoga Festival Returning In August

    Newtown Yoga Festival returns Saturday, August 22, for a third year of sharing well-being and health through yoga and related positive energy practices. The festival takes place at NYA Sports & Fitness Center, and yogis can choose from a variety of yoga and dance practices throughout the event. The festival's headline program this year will feature a presentation and class led by Drs Patricia Gerbarg and Richard Brown, pioneers in the emerging field of yoga and medicine. Specials guests this years will also include members of the dance company Pilobolus. Food vendors, a Lululemon trunk sale, a silent auction, and live music can also be enjoyed in the courtyard at NYA during the festival, and with a "YogaBear: Yoga for Youngsters" book signing by author Karen Pierce and illustrator Paula Brinkman, both of Newtown.

  • Avielle Foundation Hosts Youth Brain Health First Aid Course

    A diverse crowd gathered on Saturday, July 11, at The Resiliency Center of Newtown to attend The Avielle Foundation’s Youth Brain Health First Aid course. The course certified citizens ages 15 and up with the skillset to recognize potential signs and symptoms of youth in a brain health crisis, and ways to appropriately respond, according to The Avielle Foundation. The program, federally managed by the National Council for Behavioral Health, was offered free of charge through the foundation’s support. The seminar, which took place from 8 am to 5 pm on Saturday, drew people from around the state, ranging from high school students to professional therapists. Instructors covered a range of topics aimed at helping youth in both crisis and noncrisis situations.

  • Paired Exchange Kidney Program Opens Up Possibilities For Transplant Hopefuls

    When Fred Ferris puts an olive in his mouth and likes it, he will know if it is myth or fact that kidney recipients sometimes take on the likes and dislikes of the donor. “I hate olives, so if I like it…” said Mr Ferris. He is hopeful he will one day have the opportunity to test that theory. It is a more than three-year wait, on average, for the more than 100,000 people in the United States in need of a kidney transplant to find a match. With both kidneys failing, Mr Ferris has been on the national list since 2013, three years after he was diagnosed with stage four kidney disease, related to type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

  • Officials Consider Police Use Of Body Cameras

    Police Commission Chairman Paul Mangiafico said this week that the commission will be discussing whether town police officers should use body cameras while on duty to visually and sonically record their interactions with the public. The state legislature on June 29 passed two criminal justice bills, one of which covers the use of police body cameras. That bill requires that state police wear such body cameras and also offers financial incentives to municipalities to have their police departments use such devices. Mr Mangiafico stressed that the idea is under consideration at this time; a decision has not been made yet concerning the use of such equipment by local police officers. If they were to be employed, the Police Commission would need to formulate regulations on the use of body cameras, he said. The chairman noted that Police Commission members briefly talked about body cameras at a recent meeting, but added, “It was not a long discussion.”

  • Analyses Of Local Ticks Show Two Emerging Pathogens

    One recent morning at Bridgeport’s Seaside Park, US Senator Richard Blumenthal joined Connecticut State Epidemiologist Matthew Cartter, MD, MPH, advocates and patients in calling for additional federal funding for Lyme research to develop better tools for diagnosis and reporting of the disease. At the event, experts shared the latest statistics on Lyme prevalence in Connecticut. Advocates and experts also share simple steps people can take to protect against Lyme, including the BLAST prevention program that Newtown Health District Director Donna Culbert has been touting for several years. BLAST stands for Bathe, Look for ticks, Apply repellant, Spray your yard, and Treat your pets. Ms Culbert and her staff at the Health District know that tick-borne disease is a problem for Newtown residents.

  • Big Y, Shaws, 7-11 Sold Recalled Bottled Water

    Niagara Bottling has recalled 14 brands of bottled spring water produced at two Pennsylvania manufacturing plants after the operator of one of its contracted springs failed to reveal evidence of E. coli bacteria at the spring source. The water is labeled under brands including Acadia, Acme, Big Y, Best Yet, 7-11, Niagara, Nature's Place, Pricerite, Superchill, Morning Fresh, Shaws, Shoprite, Western Beef Blue and Wegman's. Niagara Bottling has not received any complaints of injury or illness.

  • Pediatric Cancer Diagnosis Transforms Family’s Life

    Seated on mother Julie Barbeau’s lap, 3½ year old Ryan Costa is as wriggly as any toddler. He eagerly nibbles on cheese crackers, a smile stretching from one chubby cheek to the other. His mother knows, though, that beneath Ryan’s seemingly healthy appearance,cancer cells course through the little boy’s bloodstream. His daily life, and that of his parents, Ms Barbeau and Gary Costa, is a regimen of chemotherapy, quarterly spinal taps, and steroids. Pediatric cancer can change a family’s life overnight, said Ms Barbeau. Less than a year ago, Ryan was an active, on-the-go child. He enjoyed the days he spent at Little Explorers Childcare in Sandy Hook, and play dates with his friends. Other than a speech issue, for which he was receiving therapy through the Birth-to-Three State of Connecticut program, his parents had no real concerns about Ryan, the fifth child in the family. On July 10, 2014, however, when Ms Barbeau picked him up from Little Explorers, the teachers mentioned that Ryan’s speech therapist had noticed Ryan seemed unwell.

  • Mental Health Month: HEART 9/11 Bringing Peer-To-Peer Support To 12/14 Responders

    When organizers including founder and retired New York Port Authority cop Bill Keegan joined together to form HEART 9/11 — or Healing Emergency Aid Response Team, a peer-to-peer support network for the hundreds of surviving responders to the 9/11 attacks — he had no Idea how far his team might go to help counsel shocked, troubled and traumatized colleagues in police, EMS and fire services. Their primary mission is to help communities and the emergency workers serving them recover from some of the worst tragedies and disasters, from Oklahoma towns devastated by tornados, and Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi, to Port Au Prince, Haiti, and to the relatively quieter headquarters of the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Newtown Police Department.