Students, bear cross paths

WINSTED — Students walking home from classes at The Gilbert School were met with a wild surprise Monday afternoon as they crossed paths with a black bear roaming near Hinsdale Elementary School. The bear was eventually captured and removed from the area, injuring no one in the process.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m, police were dispatched to Wetmore Avenue, where dozens of students were watching a juvenile male black bear, approximately 250 pounds, with tags on both ears, walking through backyards. Within minutes, the bear made its way south down Wetmore Avenue and into the adjoining backyards on Elm Street, where resident Julio DeNicola ended up within a few yards of the animal as students and neighborhood residents looked on.

Winsted police officers parked on both Elm Street and Wetmore Avenue in an effort to cordon off the animal while the Wildlife Division of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was alerted. The DEP dispatched a wildlife expert and an environmental conservation officer to Winsted. The bear was eventually tranquilized and relocated to a nearby state forest.

The lone bear did not appear panicked during the after-school rush but was visibly uncomfortable with the sudden attention and briefly climbed a tree between Elm Street and Wetmore Avenue before climbing back down and exploring several other backyards. The animal lumbered around freely as students ran up and down Wetmore Avenue to catch a glimpse. At least one student was warned by police to stay out of harm’s way.

The bear climbed back up the hill, across Elm Street and ended up on Hillside Avenue and climbed another tree there before a DEP officer was able to tranquilize the animal.

The bear had two yellow tags, one on each ear. DEP spokesman Dennis Schain said Tuesday that the bear was first discovered in West Hartford around June and has been seen in many towns west of there since then. The bear has been spotted in Canton, Torrington and New Hartford, among other towns.

The DEP reports there have been 33 black bear sightings in Winchester this year, only two of which involved bears venturing into the residential borough of Winsted. Statewide, there have been more than 1,360 reported bear sightings this year.

Numerous Winchester residents have reported seeing the aftermath of bear visits at their homes, in the form of overturned garbage cans. The DEP recommends waiting until the morning of collection to bring out trash and adding a few capfuls of ammonia to trash bags and garbage cans to mask food odors. Trash bags should be stored in a container with a tight lid, preferably in a garage or shed.

Latest News

Fresh perspectives in Norfolk Library film series

Diego Ongaro

Photo submitted

Parisian filmmaker Diego Ongaro, who has been living in Norfolk for the past 20 years, has composed a collection of films for viewing based on his unique taste.

The series, titled “Visions of Europe,” began over the winter at the Norfolk Library with a focus on under-the-radar contemporary films with unique voices, highlighting the creative richness and vitality of the European film landscape.

Keep ReadingShow less
New ground to cover and plenty of groundcover

Young native pachysandra from Lindera Nursery shows a variety of color and delicate flowers.

Dee Salomon

It is still too early to sow seeds outside, except for peas, both the edible and floral kind. I have transplanted a few shrubs and a dogwood tree that was root pruned in the fall. I have also moved a few hellebores that seeded in the near woods back into their garden beds near the house; they seem not to mind the few frosty mornings we have recently had. In years past I would have been cleaning up the plant beds but I now know better and will wait at least six weeks more. I have instead found the most perfect time-consuming activity for early spring: teasing out Vinca minor, also known as periwinkle and myrtle, from the ground in places it was never meant to be.

Planting the stuff in the first place is my biggest ever garden regret. It was recommended to me as a groundcover that would hold together a hillside, bare after a removal of invasive plants save for a dozen or so trees. And here we are, twelve years later; there is vinca everywhere. It blankets the hillside and has crept over the top into the woods. It has made its way left and right. I am convinced that vinca is the plastic of the plant world. The stuff won’t die. (The name Vinca comes from the Latin ‘vincire’ which means ‘to bind or fetter.’) Last year I pulled a bunch and left it strewn on the roof of the root cellar for 6 months and the leaves were still green.

Keep ReadingShow less
Matza Lasagne by 'The Cook and the Rabbi'

Culinary craftsmanship intersects with spiritual insights in the wonderfully collaborative book, “The Cook and the Rabbi.” On April 14 at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck (6422 Montgomery Street), the cook, Susan Simon, and the rabbi, Zoe B. Zak, will lead a conversation about food, tradition, holidays, resilience and what to cook this Passover.

Passover, marked by the traditional seder meal, holds profound significance within Jewish culture and for many carries extra meaning this year at a time of great conflict. The word seder, meaning “order” in Hebrew, unfolds in a 15-step progression intertwining prayers, blessings, stories, and songs that narrate the ancient saga of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery. It’s a narrative that has endured for over two millennia, evolving with time yet retaining its essence, a theme echoed beautifully in “The Cook and the Rabbi.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Housy baseball drops 3-2 to Northwestern

Freshman pitcher Wyatt Bayer threw three strikeouts when HVRHS played Northwestern April 9.

Riley Klein

WINSTED — A back-and-forth baseball game between Housatonic Valley Regional High School and Northwestern Regional High School ended 3-2 in favor of Northwestern on Tuesday, April 9.

The Highlanders played a disciplined defensive game and kept errors to a minimum. Wyatt Bayer pitched a strong six innings for HVRHS, but the Mountaineers fell behind late and were unable to come back in the seventh.

Keep ReadingShow less