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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

EMS Drama: Ben Frimmer Honored Image
Westport Volunteer EMS Crew Chief Benjamin Frimmer tonight shows off his presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, signed by President Obama, presented to him during the service’s monthly meeting. Frimmer, who is also a dramatic arts teacher at Coleytown Middle School, has been with the service since 1985 and has “demonstrated his skills, abilities, and compassion on thousands of 911 medical emergency calls” according to WVEMS President Yves Cantin. The award is given to those who have served more than 4,000 volunteer service hours, although Frimmer has met that requirement many times over. “I have to say that volunteering, specifically with EMS, has been such a major part of my life, I can’t imagine it any other way,” Frimmer said in a Facebook post. “I couldn’t be more honored to have received this award signed by our outgoing President. I’m not usually one to be excited about certificates or awards, but this one seems quite special. To all my mentors I thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing me the value of giving.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for

11/29/16 09:49 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Woman Found Dead in Maintenance Shed

UPDATE Westport police today were investigating the death of a homeless woman found in a maintenance shed behind the Westport Center for Senior Activities.

Detectives were called to the scene as 21 Imperial Ave. in late afternoon where the woman, known to those who encountered her only as Tina, was found, according to sources. Her full name was Tina Wessel.

It was not known how long she had been dead.

A familiar sight in Westport for many years, she resisted multiple efforts by the town’s Human Services Department and others to help her, said a person familiar with her case. She sometimes took meals at the Gillespie Center.

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Main Street Shoplifting Arrest

Officers arrested a Fairfield woman for shoplifting shirts from Brandy Melville on Main Street back in June, police said today. Image
Nicole Torrealba: free on $500 bond. Westport Police photo

Upon her arrest Friday Nicole Torrealba, 19, was charged with sixth-degree larceny for having left the store without paying for two shirts valued at $22 each.

“Torrealba was identified by the store surveillance and witnesses to the incident, as Torrealba had shopped in the store previously,” said Lt. David Farrell. 

With an active warrant out for her arrest, Torrealba was taken into custody at the Fairfield Police Department where she was being held, Farrell said.

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Palmer: Superintendent’s Job “Best in World’

Four months into her job, Westport Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer said today it is the “best job in the world.” Image
Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer addresses the Westport Rotary Club today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

In a wide-ranging talk to the weekly meeting of the Westport Rotary Club at Branson Hall at Christ & Holy Trinity Church, she said it is “truly a privilege to serve in this role.”

“I do live in Westport,” said Palmer, who was formerly superintendent in Weston. And, bringing laughter from the audience, she added: “And so I’ve tried to figure out how to make a left turn into Starbucks….the problems we should have.”

“I love it here,” she said. “I love the vibrancy. I love the energy. I love the intellect, the passion, the talent of this community.”

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Schools Superintendent: ‘Worried About Long-Term Funding of Education’ Image
Westport Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer said today while Westport is “kind of an oasis here, isolated in so many ways,” a new administration in Washington will bring changes as “things cascade down to us.” Addressing the weekly meeting of the Westport Rotary Club, she said, however, she is not overly concerned. “I’m not so worried about the federal government because whatever they’ve done I tried to find a way creatively to do what I need to do…and I’ve been successful so far.” she said. But she added: “I am more worried about the long-term funding of education.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

11/29/16 02:24 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Real Estate Report: Ranch Home Demand Strong

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

Newly-built homes comprise almost 25 percent of the available homes for sale in Westport and are responsible for 18 percent of the sales over the last year. Image
Featured Home: This home on 134 Hillspoint Road is listed at $1.75 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis/Westport

More significantly, that 18 percent contributes quite significantly to our overall average sale price in town.

Pre-existing homes have sold on average for just over $1.35 million, while homes built after 2014 are averaging nearly $2.49 million.

Sometimes, we lose sight of the fact that these new construction homes help our overall market on a meaningful basis.

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Thanksgiving Survivor? Image
This Tom Turkey was spotted Monday in Westport’s Partrick Wetlands. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Art to the Max”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words/#Iammore Exhibition”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Public Works Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

11/29/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, November 28, 2016

‘Routine Disturbance’ Disrupts Rush Hour Image
UPDATE Westport police units converged on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge tonight in Westport’s center for what Lt. Anthony Prezioso, the shift commander, termed a “routine disturbance.” On Dec. 2, Lt. David Farrell gave further details. He said police responded to a disturbance on the bridge involving a driver who said two passengers got into an argument with her, grabbing her and taking her cell phone so she could not call 911. She also said they took her purse, but no purse was located in the area. The passengers, Korean Powell, 39, of Westport, and Shatrice Ricektts, 30, of Waterbury, were charged with disorderly conduct and released on a promise to appear in Norwalk court, Farrell said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for

11/28/16 11:16 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

CNN Anchor: Media Relied Too Much on Polls Image
CNN “New Day” co-anchor Alysn Camerota, also a Westport mother of three, was guest speaker today at the Y’s Women meeting at Temple Israel. And she brought along her mom, Elaine. She told an overflow audience the nation’s news media erred in relying so heavily on polls in the 2016 election. People were annoyed at being asked who they were voting for and often “didn’t tell the truth,” she said. Camerota added she never said Donald Trump could not win. “I moderated several panels of Trump supporters and saw how committed they were, and I could see the enthusiasm for Trump,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

11/28/16 05:35 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Merritt Fatal Tree Accident Finally Coming to Trial

A Merritt Parkway accident almost 10 years ago in Westport involving a New York couple killed when a 70-foot tree crashed on to their Volvo will finally be the subject of a trial. Image
A car in which a Pelham, N.Y. couple was killed in the June 9, 2007 accident. Their two young sons in the back seat survived. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The trial over whether Connecticut government is responsible for the June 9, 2007 deaths of Joseph Stavola, 46, a physician, and Jeanne Serocke-Stavola, 44, an attorney, has been scheduled for next June, according to the Hartford Courant, which conducted an investigation into the case.

Their two sons, 7 and 9 at the time and sitting in the back seat, escaped serious injury in the 9:15 p.m. accident in clear weather.  (See WestportNow June 10, 2007) They now live with family in the Hartford area, the newspaper said..

Relatives of the Pelham Manor, N.Y., couple asked the state claims commissioner in 2008 for permission to sue the state, as required by law. Their request was not approved until 2013.

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11/28/16 05:22 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Celebrating #GivingTuesday Image
The Westport Country Playhouse today hosted a celebration with representatives of local nonprofit organizations in advance of #GivingTuesday. The event is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe officially proclaimed Tuesday, Nov. 29, as #GivingTuesday in Westport and encouraged Westport citizens to join together to give back to the community in any way that is personally meaningful. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

11/28/16 04:48 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Delicate Demolition Image
At day’s end today, the front section of 17 Soundview Drive was still standing after much of the rear portion had been demolished. A worker on the job said it may take two or three days for the 1918-built home overlooking Compo Beach to come down. He said the work has to go slowly because of the close proximity of the house to the property lines and roadways. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

11/28/16 04:02 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Going Down: 17 Soundview Drive Image
UPDATE Demolition began today of 17 Soundview Drive, at the corner of Norwalk Avenue, overlooking Compo Beach. Workers said because of the structure’s close proximity to the property line and roadways, the job will likely take two or three days. Built in 1918, the two-story conventional has 3,161-square feet, and is situated on a .11-acre property that changed ownership in June 2015 for $2,466,000. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on March 25, 2016. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

11/28/16 02:33 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Property Transfers Nov. 7 - 11, 2016

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Nov. 7 - 11, 2016:

Brendan and Victoria Rueli to Adam Amann and Nicole Logue, 14 Hale St., $550,000WNproperty.jpg

Anne Ziff to Andrew M. Riddles, 230 Saugatuck Ave. Unit 1, $570,640

Westport Town of to Grace Leone, Woody Lane, $50,000

Joseph P. and Maria P. Brittell to Bruce P. and Tallyta M. Wiegand, 9 Ellery Lane, $1,237,500

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