The Ladies Auxiliary of the Southbury Volunteer Firemen’s Association is accepting unopened packages of individually wrapped candy for distribution at the 11th annual Halloween Spooktacular. A collection box will be located at the back entrance of the firehouse, 461 Main St. South, Southbury, until Wednesday, October 20. Costumed characters will accept donations in the front parking lot of the firehouse during the following times: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, October 16; 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, October 18, and 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 19.

BRIDGEWATER — The Rev. Abby Gackenheimer has been named the full time pastor of the Bridgewater Congregational Church, 10 Clapboard Rd. The congregation voted to approve Rev. Abby after a two-year search by the transition committee. “I am passionate about the vitality and vibrancy of a small local church. I believe that a faith community of a few can be just as powerful as a faith community of 200,” Rev. Gackenheimer said.

SOUTHBURY – Reflecting back on 20 years of teaching the area’s youth to express themselves through dance, Christine Siebold likens the experience to a “beautiful continuation of meeting people.” That continued the past two years despite the challenges of a pandemic causing major changes to how the studio was able to operate. Ms. Siebold was 23 when she first opened the doors to the Southbury School of Performing Arts in its original location in Bennett Square. Young, fresh out of college, and “with stars in her eyes,” she was teaching 18-year-olds who weren’t much younger than herself,…

MIDDLEBURY-SOUTHBURY — In a three-team meet held on Pomperaug’s home course, the Pomperaug girls’ cross country team picked up easy victories over Bunnell (19-40) and Masuk (16-43). The victories raised the Panthers’ record to 8-2. The top three runners were from Pomperaug and gave the Panthers a huge lead. Sophia Oliva was the first runner across the finish line with a time of 22:23. Alexa Kulis was right behind her in second place with a time of 23:08 and Gabrielle Caroll was right on her heels in third with a time of 23:13.

MIDDLEBURY — Vincent McDonald, 78, of Middlebury, passed away …

SOUTHBURY — Edwin Omer Jantz passed away suddenly at his home …

WOODBURY — The Woodbury Public Library announced that Sandy Lee Carlson is the new Poet Laureate for the town. Ms. Carlson is a writer, teacher, life-long learner, rug hooker, genealogical hobbyist and a native of Connecticut, where her family has deep roots, including ties to Woodbury dating back to the Revolutionary War. She and her husband have lived 23 years in Woodbury, where they raised their daughter, a three-time all-state and two-time all-America clarinet player while at Nonnewaug High School.

WOODBURY — The Glebe House Museum will host is Cemetery Tours and Haunted Museum on Saturday, October 23, and The Witch of Woodbury and Friends with Haunted Museum on Saturday, October 30. These one-night-only events are sure to bring out the ghost, goblins, and other scary creatures that go bump in the night as well as cause nightmares in even the bravest souls. Cemetery tours will start every ten minutes beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the final tour will be at 8:30 p.m.