A look back at 2012 in the region
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Region - posted Fri., Dec. 28, 2012
Here is a look back at some significant events that ended up in the pages of the ReminderNews during the year 2012:
January: A grassroots effort attempts to establish a girls’ lacrosse team at Griswold High School. Jewett City landmark Arremony’s Bakery marks 50 years in business. Buildings at the former Norwich Hospital site are being demolished. C. Roger Moss is the new Norwich recreation director.
February: Longtime Voluntown animal control officer Flo Harmon’s job is outsourced to the Northeast Connecticut Council of Governments. Flower boxes, benches and trash cans appear on Jewett City’s Main Street through a revitalization project. Principal Mary Chinigo retires after a 35-year career at Voluntown Elementary School. The Norwich Police Department seeks a larger headquarters to accommodate its operations.
March: The new town recreation field under construction is named in honor of Pasquale and Maria Camputaro. The winter’s snow drought proves a blessing for town budgets. Jewett City’s Jamey Gray attempts to regain his world billiards title. Luis Pabon marks 50 years of performing and teaching dance in Norwich. NFA students honor the late Whitney Houston with a tribute concert.
April: The annual high school musical at GHS is “Anything Goes.” Fishermen find local water levels low on the season’s opening day. Work on the TALVHI housing project for homeless veterans in Jewett City is in the home stretch.
May: Skateboarders and other youth pitch in to clean up Veterans’ Park. Voluntown Peace Trust hosts a Girl Scout sing-along to mark Girl Scouting’s 100th anniversary. Restoration of a 100-year-old ambulance in the American Ambulance fleet is completed. State Sen. Edith Prague retires after 30 years in the Connecticut legislature.
June: The Griswold High School Class of 2012 honors three classmates killed in a 2010 car crash with honorary diplomas. The TALVHI housing facility for homeless veterans is formally opened. A bell marking the Emancipation Proclamation’s 150th anniversary is cast in Norwich.
July: St. Vincent Ferrer, a traditional Latin Catholic chapel, opens on Route 201. Raymond Churchill spearheads establishment of the Eastern Connecticut Performing Arts Association. Several new farmers’ markets open throughout the region. Voluntown officials hope to acquire and restore the old Methodist Church building.
August: Former Bolton Superintendent Paul Smith takes the reins of the Griswold school system. The final phase of construction at Griswold Elementary School is competed for the first day of school. Former Norwich mayor Ben Lathrop is tapped to lead the Chamber of Commerce. Norwich’s Dodd Stadium hosts the Podunk Bluegrass Festival for the first time. Central Baptist Church in Norwich hosts free weekly dinners for needy families.
September: Tree crews work to cut back limbs along major routes in Voluntown. A new middle college for high school-age students opens at Three Rivers Community College.
October: The town holds its first Family Fun Day at Veterans’ Park. Superstorm Sandy leaves a trail of power outages and downed trees in its wake. The Griswold Fire Department honors founding member Wayland Stetson, Jr. Rachel’s Challenge of kindness and tolerance comes to Griswold High School. A 4-H program is initiated at the Griswold Youth Center. A surge in demand leaves shelves at the St. Mary Food Pantry nearly bare. St. Ann Catholic Church in Glasgo hosts its final Mass. Local artist Tao LaBossiere restores the landmark mural at Nike’s Bait and Tackle.
November: The GHS Drama Club produces Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Jermaine Frazer-Phillips is crowned Mr. GHS. Two elementary school principals from China spend a week visiting Griswold schools. American Ambulance collaborates with Hospice to offer “Sentimental Journeys” for terminally-ill patients.
December: A candlelight vigil in Jewett City and a prayer service at Beth Jacob Synagogue in Norwich commemorate the 26 victims of a school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Griswold schools plan to tighten security in the wake of the tragedy. Evan Gilgenbach, 8, turns his family’s outdoor Christmas display into a fund-raiser for the local food pantry. Preston voters approve a $4 million loan plan to spur demolition at the former Norwich Hospital.