A man was hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds Saturday after Connecticut police who were responding to a shooting call found him when they followed a trail of blood.
Around 10:46 p.m. on Saturday, West Haven officers responded to the area of Anderson Avenue and Blohm Street on the report of gunshots, according to the West Haven Police Department.
Police said West Haven ERS received several 911 calls from people in the area reporting they heard multiple gunshots.
Responding officers reportedly discovered spent shell casings and blood at the scene, indicating a victim or victims were nearby, according to police.
As officers searched the area, they reportedly discovered a larger amount of blood leading to the back of a nearby residence, police said.
Officers made contact with the residents and discovered a victim inside who had multiple gunshot wounds, according to police. He was immediately given medical attention and was transported to an area hospital for treatment, police said.
A large scale crime scene was established and members of the Detective Division have assumed the investigation, according to police.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Jordan Zwickler or Officer Nicholas Abate at 203-937-3900.
An outdoor swim festival in Vermont … in the winter? These hardy CT swimmers are headed there this weekend
Jeff Ruben of Madison once swam in Antarctica. He was a tour guide on a ship with a Russian doctor who swam regularly so Ruben joined him one day. The water was minus-3 degrees.
“It’s not something you want to do for a long time,” said Ruben, 60. “It feels kind of like it’s burning you.”
So it’s no surprise that Ruben, who swims year-round at Hammonasset Beach in Madison, is joining a growing number of winter swimmers who will travel to the northernmost part of Vermont this weekend to compete in the Memphremagog Winter Swimming Festival at Lake Memphremagog, a 31-mile-long lake that straddles the border of Vermont and Canada.
The festival is in its 10th year and about 175 people will swim, including six from Connecticut.
The swimming “pool” is 25 meters long and cut out of ice. There are races from 25 meters to 200 meters and the competition starts Friday with a 25-meter “hat race,” in which swimmers try to outdo each other with creative headgear.
Two of Ruben’s friends went last year and urged him to sign up.
“It has a reputation of being a fun event,” Ruben said. “Not everybody wants to get in a swimming pool made out of ice, but I like swimming in the winter.”
The festival is the creation of Phil White, who lives on the lake in Newport, Vt. Years ago, he started an open water swimming competition in the summer and had an ice-skating festival in the winter. One winter day, he was out on the ice and some town workers were cutting blocks of ice for the winter carnival. He took a photo of the ice cutter and posted it on social media and wrote, “Anybody want to go swimming?”
“It was a joke,” White said this week.
Except people started to ask him if he was serious. Half-serious, he replied. He didn’t know how to cut a pool into the ice but thought he could figure it out. “I said, “I don’t know anything about winter swimming, and I wouldn’t undertake it without some experienced people helping me with safety issues and organization.’”
Swimmers offered to help, and the first event was a one-day affair. The town workers cut a hole in the ice for the pool on Friday but by Saturday morning, the water had frozen again, and the swimmers and volunteers and White spent the morning breaking up the ice with sledgehammers so the event could take place. There were about 40 swimmers that day.
Safety is important. There are volunteers who walk along the side of the pool with hooks, in case swimmers need to be pulled out. There are EMTs. There are people who help the swimmers disrobe before the event and help them get their clothes back on after and help them to the warming hut.
Martin McMahon of Simsbury, who became the first person from Connecticut to swim the English Channel in 1985, went to the festival in 2020, right before COVID shut everything down. He went back again in 2022.
“You’re in for such a short time, your body can’t tell if you’re hot or cold,” McMahon said. “It’s bizarre.
“The first year I did it, I was so freaked out about being cold that I swam my events – it’s a two-lane pool – I would beat the person next to me, then I was climbing out fast, grabbing my robe and practically running to the (warming) hut. Then I watched and saw all the other swimmers, when they finished, they were stopping to shake the hand of the person next to them. I felt like a bad guy. So once I could mentally handle it, I’d hang out and wait.”
McMahon, who swam an Ice Mile (which is exactly what it sounds like, a mile in frigid winter water) once when he was younger, said there’s a procedure for warming up after getting out of the water.
“You have to climb out and just shiver and get some warm liquid into your body,” he said. “You don’t jump into a hot shower; you walk into a hut and just shiver until you stop shivering and then you go into the shower.
“It’s a blast. You’re with all these other crazy people from all over.”
It should be pointed out that wetsuits aren’t allowed. The water on Tuesday was 30.5 degrees. On Saturday, the outdoor temperature is expected to be 12 degrees (that’s the high) with winds in the 11-14 mph range.
It’s so cold, the water is trying to freeze so the swimmers are swimming through slush.
“Like a frozen margarita,” said Ruben, laughing.
“We have to stir it during the swimming to keep it from icing over,” White said.
There is a bubbler going when the swimming is over for the day to keep the water from freezing.
The event gained popularity post-COVID when pools were closed, and swimmers were forced to swim outside if they wanted to swim at all. Some became outdoor converts.
Susie Nolan Loiselle of Old Saybrook, who swam at the event in 2020, was a winter sailor before she became a winter swimmer.
“It was the next logical step for me because I do frostbite sailing,” said Loiselle, 59. “We break the ice and sail around in little boats and race other clubs.
“I was already doing something in the cold. You capsize a few times and you’re like, ‘This isn’t so bad.’”
Loiselle has been in Florida for the winter, but she has been immersing herself in a tub of ice water daily to get ready for the event. The first time she competed, the air temperature was 14 degrees with a negative wind chill, and the water was about 30 degrees.
“They have to skim out the ice chunks that are forming,” she said.
Loiselle is on the board of the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA). She competed in the first national winter swimming championships earlier this winter in Virginia, where 45 competitors swam in a pool outdoors.
That was more serious; this weekend is more about fun. She is ready for the hat race; her first time she fashioned a Ken and Barbie pool hat.
“I froze Ken and Barbie into the pool and made ice cubes,” she said. “I got there and saw people had smoking paper mâché dragons … mine was lame in comparison.”
The hat contest serves as a warmup for the event.
“The first event should be head above the water so people could get used to the cold,” White said. “Getting your head down in the water is a whole different experience.
“We’re trying to project this as, as intimidating as this might be, it’s very doable. I think an awful lot of people are looking to challenge themselves, not against others, but against themselves. This is something we’ve conveyed is safe – we take safety really seriously, but at the same time we have fun with the challenge of it all and people can see, ‘Oh, other people are doing it. I’m going to try it.’
“Then they get hooked because the endorphin release after they warm up is huge.”
Amy Meskill of Killingworth was a swimmer in high school and college and started swimming in the winter in 2021. She went to the festival last year and is going back this weekend.
“It’s mentally challenging to get out there and train on days it’s windy and below freezing,” said Meskill, 32, who trains at Hammonasset. “But we go every weekend pretty much to the beach and swim to stay acclimated to the water.
“My husband thinks I’m a little crazy.”
Monroe Man Scores Big With Winning Lottery Scratch-Off
MONROE, CT — A Monroe business sold a winning lottery ticket to a Monroe man.
On Feb. 16, the resident, identified as only “Timothy M” by the Connecticut State Lottery, played 200X on a ticket he bought at the Cumberland Farms located at 455 Main Street, which paid out $10,000.
Connecticut’s Parent Cabinet seek applicants
The state’s Parent Cabinet, part of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, says it has member positions available.
Officials said the advisory group gives a greater voice and ability in shaping laws and policies that impact young children and families.
A total of 15 members serve on the board and a term is 2 1/2 years.
Officials said the member positions are compensated.
For more information on the Parent Cabinet and to apply click [ctoec.org/parent-cabinet]here.
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