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WINSTED — The holiday season reminds us that many people are unable to pay for and prepare a full Thanksgiving or Christmas or Hanukah dinner with all the trimmings.

But the volunteers at area soup kitchens and other organizations that provide food assistance know that hunger and need are not seasonal. They are constant.

For more than 27 years, the Open Door Soup Kitchen has served free lunches at its location at 160 Main St., just behind St. James’ Episcopal Church in Winsted.

George Madore, who has volunteered at the soup kitchen for 10 years, said...

Winsted

Books, crafts and hijinks in Winsted

WINSTED  — The Beardsley and Memorial Library invited parents to Take Your Child to the Library on Saturday, Feb. 3 — and more than 60 children and their parents did just that.
This year’s event featured “The Giant Jumperee,” written by Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury.
Children’s Librarian Carol Parent read the book out loud  and then the youngsters got to work on craft projects based on the tale. They cut out paper dolls based on the characters in the book and then held a high jump contest.

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Inspiration and conversation about helping towns grow

WINSTED — The Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NHCOG) held its third annual Economic Development Summit on Tuesday, Jan. 30. The NHCOG is made up of first selectmen from 21 Litchfield County towns. The summit was held at Mad River Lofts.
An estimated 150 people attended the event including town officials and representatives from groups such as the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, the Connecticut Small Business Development Center and the state  Department of Economic and Community Development.

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The Yankee town meeting explained

WINSTED — Author Susan Clark spoke about the history of the New England town meeting and how “slow” democracy can bring people together, at the Community Bookstore in Winsted on Saturday, Jan. 27.
Clark is the co-author of “All Those In Favor: Rediscovering the Secrets of Town Meeting and Community,” which was published in 2005, and “Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home,” which was published in 2012.

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Land trust buys former TorWin Farm

 WINSTED — The Winchester Land Trust (WLT) has purchased a 121-acre former horse farm on the Winsted and Torrington border.
The property was formerly known as the TorWin Farm and was once owned by Gail Borden, the inventor of condensed milk.
The land trust purchased the property from owners Cara and Ken Blazier.

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Some regrets but mostly kudos for manager

WINSTED — Winsted Town Manager Robert Geiger received high praise during his annual evaluation at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
Geiger, a resident of Barkhamsted, was hired by the board on Feb. 1, 2016. When asked what he felt he’s done well in the past year, he said he’s kept a close eye on town finances, worked closely with other boards in town and approached problems with a personal, hands-on approach. 

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Making music, building community at Mad River

WINSTED — Frank Guglielmino and his son, Sam, hope their new Mad River Music shop will be more than just a place to buy sheet music and instruments. They want their new business to build community.
“Music brings people together,” Sam said. “We live in a time when there is so much technology. People are always on their phones all the time. Music offers them an alternative; it’s something they can do and create. There is no other place in this area for people to get gear if they want to get started.”

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Bank offers to donate former building to town

WINSTED — Bank of America has offered to donate to the town of Winsted its former bank building at 44 Elm St.
The bank closed that location in July; it has been vacant since then.
According to the town’s online assessor’s database, the building was built in 1955 and is appraised at $796,800. It is two stories high and on 0.6 acres of land.
Town Manager Robert Geiger told the Winsted Board of Selectmen at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16, about the bank’s offer. 

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Finances better but still strained in Winsted

At the Winsted Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16, town Finance Director Bruce Stratford reported that the town-wide audit for fiscal 2016-17 will be completed and available in February.
For many years the town has been late in completing fiscal audits and submitting them to the state, especially during the final years of former Finance Director Henry Centrella, who was convicted in 2014 of embezzling $2 million from the town.
Stratford said he has filed several extensions with the state in order to complete the fiscal 2016-17 audit.

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Delays, yes, but Co-op still growing strong

WINSTED — The Mad River Market Co-op, which was originally scheduled to open this year, will not open until 2019, according to Glen Zeh, president of the market’s board of directors.
The Co-op formed in April after the closing of the Winsted Super Saver IGA grocery store. It is expected to be part of the Edge Works on the former Lambert Kay property. 
There have been delays in selling the Lambert Kay site to Parker Benjamin Real Estate Services.

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Security guard coming to middle school?

WINSTED -— School District Finance Director Nancy O’Dea Wyrick told members of the Board of Education that she believes the district will be flat-funded at the state-mandated Minimum Budget Requirement (MBR) for fiscal 2018-2019.
Wyrick spoke to members of the board during its Finance Committee meeting, which was held before the regular Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
Last year at the town’s budget referendum residents approved the district’s fiscal 2017-2018 budget at the MBR of $19,958,150. 

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