New Haven Register's new Milford reporter returns home

All I could think was, “What the hell is an orthotic?”

It was 7 years ago, and I was 21 years old and on one of my first assignments for the New Haven Register. The story was about a man running across the country; I caught up to him at Arciuolo’s Shoes where he was picking up some custom orthotics.

The meat of the story was about the runner (I believe he was raising money for Iraq vets, but I can’t quite remember) and his journey, but getting the definition of “orthotics” right is all I remember.

That was the beginning of my journalism career, and the beginning of nearly two years covering Milford. Looking back, I don’t think there was a subject my colleagues and I didn’t cover, from weird crimes out of the police blotter to the affairs of the Inland Wetlands Commission.

And now, I’m coming back.

On Feb. 4 I’ll officially take over the Milford beat (and I believe some of Orange, Stratford, Woodbridge) for the Register. In a way, I’m fulfilling a long-time wish. Seven years ago, I was just a freelancer, a gun for hire picking up stories where I could. I always longed to be a staff reporter at the Register.

In 2007, I left Milford (I was editor of the Milford Weekly by then) to be a reporter in Anderson, Ind. From there, I worked as news editor of a paper in Lansing, Mich., then again as a reporter in Federal Way, Wash. For the past two years, I’ve been working as the head of marketing for a small company in Seattle. It’s my desire to get back to journalism - and to be near friends and family - that’s brought me back to Milford.

I look forward to covering you and your city; please feel free to get in touch if you have a story you want covered, have an issue with something I’ve written, have a news tip, or just want to talk. You can follow me here at the blog, on Twitter (I’m @Neal_McNamara), and of course, in the paper.  My email as of Monday is, and my direct office phone number is 203-789-5695.

And yes, after the owner of Arciuolo’s (patiently) explained it to me a couple of times, I finally got what an orthotic is. Now that I’m a runner myself, I just refer to orthotics as “the things in my sneakers that make my feet feel good.”

Neal McNamara


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