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Friday, August 31, 2007

Feet Up, Fishing and a Few Beers

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These fishermen on Westport’s Saugatuck River had a relaxing time today as they put up their feet and had a few beers. Meanwhile, roadways were busy and trains were crowded as people got an early start on the Labor Day weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

08/31/07 08:30 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Students Do Well in CAPT Tests

UPDATE Westport students performed well in the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) this year, well surpassing state levels and on par with neighboring suburban districts in Wilton and Weston, according to the state Department of Education.

According to data released Thursday, of 10th grade students tested at Staples High School, 96.3 performed at proficiency level or above in math; 97.4 percent were at least proficient in science; 98.4 in reached that level in reading; and 97.9 percent in writing.

In Weston and Wilton the comparable numbers were 98.5 and 96.6 in math; 98.5 and 96.9 in science; 98.0 and 97.2 in reading; and 95.6 and 97.5 in writing.

The state said this year’s test was a new one with changes in content, format, length and scoring and therefore its data cannot be directly compared with the first two versions of the test.

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Nature’s Colors

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Nature’s colors were evident Thursday at the Westport Farmers Market in the parking lot of the Westport Country Playhouse. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Friday, August 31, 2007


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Group Show II
11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Friday Fun Films
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall - Guitar Hero Tournament
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Being Alive!”

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Parental Health Concerns Persist at King’s Highway

By Linda Alvkall

UPDATE Although Westport’s King’s Highway Elementary School opened on schedule Wednesday, some parents said today they are still concerned about the health of their children.

The parents expressed their concern at a meeting of the Special Kings’s Highway Elementary School Maintenance Committee in Town Hall.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff appointed the committee in July to investigate parental complaints about air quality at the school. The committee uncovered mold in the school gymnasium and oversaw its remediation.

“I think that what you are hearing among the parents…is that I don’t feel from Nancy (Harris, assistant superientendent) and Elliott (Landon, superintendent of schools) yet that the administration is really willing in a systemic way to validate, you know, the fact that there are air quality issues that need to be followed,” said Lauren Tarshis, a King’s Highway parent and committee member.

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Former Westport Teacher Gets 10 Years on Child Porn Charges

A federal judge in New Haven today sentenced retired Westport middle school teacher Paul Held to 10 years in prison on federal child pornography charges.paulheld75.jpg
Paul Held: collected photos of former students. File photo

U.S. District Judge Mark R. Kravitz also ordered Held, 69, to serve a lifetime term of supervised release and pay a fine of $30,000, according to U.S. Attorney Kevin O’Connor.

When he pleaded guilty last March to one count of receipt of child pornography, federal officials called the former Bedford Middle School art teacher “one of the most prolific collectors of child pornography” ever seen in Connecticut. (See WestportNow March 26, 2007)

During today’s sentencing proceeding, it was also revealed that Held had taken and collected voyeuristic photos of young girls, including his former students, the U.S Attorney’s Office said.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Helping Keep Westport Beautiful

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Members of the Westport Garden Club were out today weeding and clipping bushes and edging at the Westport Public Library helping to keep Westport beautiful. Elena Brynes (l) and Nancy Stewart spent several hours around the library, one of many Westport areas the club helps maintain. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Seatbelt Helps Merritt Motorist Avoid Serious Injury

Firefighters are crediting use of a seatbelt and airbags for helping a driver avoid serious injury early today in a one-car rollover on the Merritt Parkway near Exit 42 in Westport.

The department said they received a call about the accident at 1:25 a.m. about a mile north of Exit 42. On arrival, they found a car which had been southbound had crossed over the median and rolled over.

The southbound driver, who was not identified, narrowly missed a car driving northbound. He told police he swerved to avoid an animal in the roadway.

The driver was wearing his seatbelt and the side airbags activated preventing serious injuries, said Assistant Chief Larry Conklin. He suffered minor scrapes and bruises and did not require transport to the hospital.

08/30/07 12:00 PM Comments (5) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Party Time

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Mothers of students at Green’s Farms Elementary School held their fourth annual “First Day of School Party” Wednesday at Westport’s Compo Beach. Moms dropped their children off at Green’s Farms and then drove to Compo for the social event and to “catch up” after summer vacation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Thursday, August 30, 2007


10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Farmers Market
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Group Show II
2 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Sizzling Summer Film Series: “Atlantic City”
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Special Kings Highway School Maintenance Committee (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Ordinance Committee
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Being Alive!

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Doggie Practice

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Westport’s Grace K. Salmon Park was transformed today into a practice showcase with stakes and ribbons simulating a ring where dogs and trainers run through their routines. The practice was in preparation for February’s Westminster Dog Show at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Westporter Lori Nicoll put Tessa, a 6-month-old Irish Setter, through her paces. Tessa’s grandfather, Fonzi, won two best Irish Setter awards in two different years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

08/30/07 01:27 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Westport Police Seek Bear Theft Suspect

Westport police today issued a surveillance photo of a man wanted in connection with the theft of a wooden bear worth $600 from outside a gas station.WestportNow.com ImageWestportNow.com Image
This man is suspected of taking a wooden bear from outside the BP gas station on Post Road East. Contributed photos

Detective George Taylor said the theft occurred Aug. 10 shortly before 10 p.m. at the BP gas station at 1510 Post Road East.

The suspect was described as a white male in his 20s or early 30s with a muscular built and bald head.

A surveillance video showed the suspect entered the store, purchased a pack of cigarettes, exited the store and then placed the bear into his vehicle, Taylor said.

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Surveying the King’s Highway School Gym

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Gavin Anderson (l) points out today to Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff where mold had been found in the King’s Highway Elementary School gym. Anderson headed a special committee appointed by Joseloff investigating parental complaints about air quality at the school. The two toured the school after greeting parents and students outside as the school reopened on schedule following the summer vacation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Greeting the Students

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Among those greeting students and parents as King’s Highway Elementary School reopened today were Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff (r) and Gavin Anderson (l). In July, Joseloff appointed a special committee headed by Anderson to investigate parental complaints about air quality at the school. After intensive remediation efforts in August, the committee recommended the school open on time. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Welcome Back!

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Today was the first day of school for Westport students. At King’s Highway Elementary School, Principal Maria Castelluccio greeted a returning student while Assistant Principal Anne Nesbitt (r) looked on. The school welcomed back about 500 students following recent weeks of controversy about air quality issues there. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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Capturing the Moment

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Proud Westport mom Christy Colasurdo captures first day back at school pose today at King’s Highway Elementary School with sons Kiernan, 5, (l),  who enters kindergarten, and Charlie, 7, entering second grade. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Hand Holding Time

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It was hand holding time as youngsters boarded their school bus today at Westport’s Vani Court for the first day of school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Elaine Daignault for WestportNow.com

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Summer is Over

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The reality that summer is over came to many Westport youngsters today as they boarded buses for the first day of school. Geeta Lochan of Baker Avenue watches as her second grader Sophia and fourth grader Tyler board their bus to Saugatuck Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

08/29/07 02:18 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Hard to Say Goodbye

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It’s a new school, a new town and a new house all in one week for the Maciors formerly of Beverly, Mass. Tom and Cindy Macior hug daughter Olivia today on her first day of first grade at Westport’s King’s Highway Elementary School. Later this week, the Maciors will move out of their temporary quarters in a hotel and move into their new house on River Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

08/29/07 02:15 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Health District Issues West Nile Virus Avoidance Tips

Following confirmation of mosquitoes with West Nile Virus in Westport, the Westport Weston Health District today issued a list of precautions residents can take to limit their exposure to mosquitoes, particularly in the hours around dusk and dawn.

The state Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that mosquitoes with the virus were found at Sherwood Island State Park on Aug. 20. (See WestportNow Aug. 28, 2007)

The district said West Nile Virus can cause a range of symptoms, from very mild to severe.

The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk. Residents are urged to avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, the district said in a news release.

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Starbucks Short Circuit Brings Out Firefighters

A short circuit in an electrical strip touched off a fire alarm early today at a Starbucks coffee shop on Westport’s Post Road East, fire officials said.

There was no fire and no damage other than to the power strip, according to Assistant Chief Robert Kepchar.

He said the department responded to the store at 925 Post Road East at 2:26 a.m. on an automatic alarm and once inside found a heavy odor of plastic burnng.

Using thermal imaging cameras, the firefighters found a shorted electrical power strip in a small puddle of water as the source of the odor, Kepchar said.

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Heading Home

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This week’s warmer temperatures have prompted some boaters to stay on Long Island Sound into the evenng. This boater heads home to the Ned Dimes Marina at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Westport Public Schools - Students’ first day
9 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Me Too! a Preschool Movie Special
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Group Show II
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Public Libary - Teen Summer Book Discussion: “Fast Food Nation” book and movie
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Being Alive!”
7:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Rules Committee

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Westport Property Transfers August 20-24, 2007

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Aug. 20-24, 2007:

Pat OMalley to Rosemary R. Magner, 19 Strathmore Lane paid in Norwalk, $460,000WN property.jpg

Eunecir C. Guimares et al to Bank of America NA-TR, 296 Greens Farms Road, $450,000

David Stoner and Company LLC to William and Erika S. Carter, 18 Timber Lane, $1,750,000

Renata Scoccia TR to Lisa M. Kaseff, 7 Rainey Lane, $1,090,000

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

West Nile Virus Found in Mosquitoes in Westport

The state Department of Public Health said today that a pool of mosquitoes collected in Westport was found to have West Nile Virus.

The mosquitoes were collected Aug. 20 at Sherwood Island State Park, the department said. The species were culix pipiens, which is a bird biting mosquito, it said.

It was the first time in two years that mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus in Westport. However the discovery was not unexpected since the virus has been found this year in surrounding communities, according to health officials.

The department also said that mosquitoes trapped Aug. 16 in Plainfield have tested positive for the rare eastern equine encephalitis virus.

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