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Traditional Jewish Service at Compo Beach

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About 200 congregants of Westport’s Conservative Synagogue tonight celebrated the symbolic tashlich service near the cannons at Compo Beach. The traditional Jewish practice is performed during Rosh Hashanah, the New Year (5775), on the Jewish calendar. The service symbolically cast sins into the water during the 10-day repentance period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Participants in the symbolic service threw pieces of bread into the waters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Cell Phone Crackdown Nets 23 More

Westport police said today 23 more drivers have been cited this week for cell phone violations in a distracted driver crackdown, bringing the total to 132 since the campaign began Sept. 5.

Of the 23 tickets issued from Tuesday through Thursday, eight went to Westport residents, bringing to 38 the number of Westporters cited since the crackdown began, police said. The announced campaign officially ended Wednesday but police statistics include those cited an additional day.

Most were first offenses; however, three drivers, one from Westport, Bridgeport and North Branford, were ticketed for second cell phone offenses.

The Westport Police Department, along with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) Highway Safety Office, announced the kickoff of the Anti-Texting Enforcement Project, as part of the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign on Aug. 29.

Rising to the Occasion

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Staples High School Principal John Dodig is lifted by Staples cheerleaders in a “low pyramid” at today’s homecoming pep rally. The cheerleaders are (l-r) Olivia Blevins, Sarah Ellman, Kana Higuchi, Lindsey Giannitti, and Sloane Cooper. The Staples football team takes on Westhill in Saturday’s homecoming game at 1:30 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Comings & Goings: Gaetano’s Deli opens on PRE

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Gaetano’s Arthur Avenue Style Deli and Catering has opened at 1713 Post Road East, across the street from Stop and Shop, in the space previously occupied for 23 years by Westport Deli. According to Diana Ukehaxhaj, wife of co-owner Milanno Ukehaxhaj, her husband and his business partner Gaetano Catalano each worked for many years on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. She said they opened the first Gaetano’s Deli in Stratford in 1997 and then the Monroe shop in July, 2009. In a note to WestportNow today, Diana Ukehaxhaj said, “We did a soft open last week and the people and town employees of Westport have all been wonderful!”  She added, “We are going to have our grand opening on Saturday, October 4th.”  For more information visit www.gaetanosdeli.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 10 Rustic Lane

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 10 Rustic Lane, off Greens Farm Road, is in process. Built in 1958, the two-story split level has 3,782 square feet and is situated on a 1.02-acre property. Because the house was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

PCP Arrest on Hillspoint Road

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Michael Ortiz: fled on foot. Westport Police photo

A Norwalk man who refused to get out of the middle of the roadway in the area of 139 Hillspoint Road and then fled when officers approached him was arrested for drug and other charges Tuesday, Westport Police said today.

According to Capt. Vincent Penna, Michael Ortiz, 33, was uncooperative with officers, “refusing to leave the roadway and then fleeing on foot and was taken into custody.”

“Subsequent to his arrest Ortiz’s vehicle was located and a K-9 search of it located a quantity of narcotics which later tested positive for PCP,” Penna said.

Ortiz was arrested for criminal trespass, interfering with an officer, illegal use of a highway by a pedestrian, public disturbance and possession of a hallucinogen.

Narcotics Arrest Following Verbal Dispute

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Scott Hovhannissian: released on $2,500 bond. Westport Police photo

A Derby man was arrested for the possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia Tuesday after officers responded to a disturbance at 62 Post Road West, Westport Police said today.

According to Capt. Vincent Penna, police had been called to the address because of a verbal dispute, and “during the pat down of Scott Hovhannissian, 44, officers located a glass pipe commonly used for smoking narcotics.”

“Further search revealed a Tic Tac container containing a white rock like substance which later tested positive for crack cocaine,” Penna said.

He said Hovhannissian was released after posting a $2,500 bond and is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Thursday, Oct. 2.

Volunteers Sought for Make a Difference Day

Now in its 19th year, Westport’s Make A Difference Day set for Oct. 25 is seeking volunteers to work on local projects,  said Barbara Pearson-Rac, town event chairwoman.

“This is a national day of volunteerism where millions of people around the country come out to volunteer and give back,” Pearson-Rac said,  noting that volunteers can work on projects starting Oct. 18 through Oct. 26.

“If there is a charity that is special to you, you can develop your own project,” she said, adding that St. Luke Church is collecting used computers and accessories Oct. 23-25. 

Those interested can check www.westport-makeadifday.org in search of a project, Pearson-Rac said, adding that the site is updated as projects are submitted.

Westport Property Transfers Sept. 8 – 12, 2014

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Sept. 8 - 12, 2014:

Peter Bricken to Kathleen D. Fong, 131 Harvest Commons, $715,000WNproperty.jpg

Jamie E. Prieto and Lisa J. Dokken to Charles M. Werhane and Brooke Ashley Maples, 31 Westway Road, $1,100,000

Sean Moriarty to M. Brook Porter, 2 Rowland Court,  $610,000

Mary McFeely to Sachem Westport LLC, 4 Sachem Trail, $575,000