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IHA to Dedicate New Saugatuck Housing Facility on July 25

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The Rev. Peter Powell, president of the Interfaith Housing Association, announced that its new housing at 10 West End Ave. in the Saugatuck area will be dedicated on July 25. IHA broke ground on the six-unit supportive housing facility last fall. (See WestportNow Sept. 22, 2008) IHA received several community grants—including from the Westport Rotary Club and the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club—to help purchase the property that led to the house being named the Westport Rotary Centennial House. The property at 10 West End Ave. was demolished on Sept. 5, 2008. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Westport Officials Meet on Flu Outbreak; Mask Sales Soar

Westport’s emergency management team met today to discuss the town’s preparations for a pandemic flu outbreak while getting an update from state officials, including Governor M. Jodi Rell. WestportNow.com Image
Russell Levine, pharmacist and owner of Colonial Surgical Supply and Druggist, Inc. on Post Road East reported a run on protective masks and anti-flu medicine. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff convened the mid-day meeting as Westport pharmacies reported a run on protective masks as well as medications used to treat swine flu.

“Westporters need to know that we have plans in place to cope with a flu outbreak and while there is a need for vigilance, there is no reason for panic,” he said.

Among those also participating in the meeting were Fire Chief Christopher Ackley, Police Chief Alfred Fiore, Mark A. R. Cooper, director of the Westport Weston Health District, Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon, and Human Services Director Barbara Butler.

The Taxman Goeth: Underhill Retiring After 16 Years on Job

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Westport Tax Collector George Underhill, 71, told colleagues today he is retiring after 16 years on the job. “This is a new chapter in my life – it’s time to move on,” he said. Underhill, whose wife, Carol, works in the Fire Department, said he had decided to accept the town’s early retirement plan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Lines at Parks & Rec for Beach Emblems

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With beach emblems required at Westport town beaches beginning Friday, there were lines of residents today at the Parks & Recreation office at Longshore Club Park to pick them up. “It’s been like this all week” according to Steve Rubin, a department employee. Residents were reminded that applications for beach emblems and other Town of Westport season passes are available online at www.westportrecreation.com.
(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Westporter Gets One Year on Fraud Charges

UPDATE A federal judge in Hartford today sentenced Westporter Robert D. Graham, a former General Re Corporation executive and former member of the Westport Board of Finance and Planning and Zoning Commission, to one year and one day in prison and fined him $100,000 following his conviction on fraud charges. WestportNow.com Image
Robert Graham: “I realize there are no do-overs in life.” WN file photo

The sentence, which is to be followed by two years of supervised release, was handed down by Judge Christopher Droney, who again rejected federal sentencing guidelines in sentencing Graham, 61.

He is the last of five former Gen Re and American International Group, Inc. (AIG) officials to be sentenced since they were convicted in February 2008 following a five-week jury trial. (See WestportNow Feb. 25, 2008).

“I realize there are no do-overs in life,” Graham told Droney. “Nothing I can say or do now can change what has happened or its impact on the lives of others or on me. Your honor, I regret that more than words can adequately express.”

Rell: Two Suspected Swine Flu Cases at Fairfield University

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the state Department of Health has identified two students at Fairfield University as probable for swine flu. 

Rell advised municipal officials and school superintendents of the test results in a conference call this morning. The governor also announced during the conference call that two cases in East Haddam came back negative for swine flu.

With the Fairfield suspected case, this brings the total number of probable cases in Connecticut to five.  All of the individuals are recovering and did not require hospitalization.

Testing done at the DPH Laboratory on samples from two students at Fairfield University determined that the Influenza A virus isolated is non-subtypeable, which means that these cases are not regular seasonal influenza viruses.  Neither one of the cases reported recent travel.

Oil-Soaked Rags Touch Off Laundry Room Fire

A Westport family was awakened by a smoke alarm early today after fire broke out in their home’s laundry room from oil-soaked rags used to clean outdoor furniture, a fire official said.

Firefighters quickly extinguished burning materials located on the floor of the second floor laundry room of the large, three-story home at 5 High Point Road, said Assistant Chief Eugene Maloney.

Fire damage was limited to some scorching of the exterior surface of the washing machine and water damage was minimal, he said. Firefighters used fans to vent smoke from the house. There were no injuries.

Maloney said the homeowner said her family was awakened by activated smoke detectors which led to the 5:02 a.m. 911 call.

Museum Night at Bedford

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Westport’s Bedford Middle School Wednesday nght hosted its annual Museum Night titled “Art in the Middle Ages.” The exhibition was compiled by art teachers Lynne Karmen, Cecily Cowburn and Peter DiFranco. They were aided by a committee headed by local parent, Kim Getschow. The show featured a variety of work by sixth to eighth grade students in a mixed media format. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kristin Rasich Fox for WestportNow.com

Thursday, April 30, 2009


8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. – Staples High School – Zon Del Barrio, Latin dance and music
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Presidents, Politicians & Popular Heroes”
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “The Art of the Birdhouse”
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “Home”
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “Not Picture Perfect”
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Planning & Zoning Commission Work Session (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Westport Public Library – Authors@the Library: Sheryl Kayne, “Immersion Travel USA”
8 p.m. – Westport Country Playhouse – “Around the World in 80 Days”