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Up Close Look

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Peggy Shore of Westport (mother of exhibiting artist Jake Shore ) takes a close look at New York artist Liz Neilson’s “Cattail Electron” and “Castle Rocket,” two of 40 artworks on display at the Westport Arts Center tonight as part of the annual juried members exhibition “Perception Illusion Magic.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Jurors and New Artistic Director

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Jurors Elizabeth Koehn (l) and Julia Mechtler (r) of New York’s David Zwirner Gallery get together with Helen Klisser During, newly named artistic director of the Westport Arts Center, tonight at a reception marking the opening of the annual juried members exhibition “Perception Illusion Magic.” Klisser During, director of visual arts since 2010, was honored at the event on her new appointment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Max Harley, 94

Max Harley of Stratford, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 18 in Norwalk Hospital after a period of illness. He was 94.

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Max Harley: former Westporter. Contributed photo

In addition to Westport, he also lived in Indianapolis, and Greenville, Ohio.

He was born Aug. 24, 1920 in Hollansburg, Ohio, to Howard R. Harley, MD, and Cleo Mote Harley. After his father’s death, the family moved several times and Max graduated from high school in Fountain City, Ind.

He followed his brother George to Miami University in Ohio, and, upon graduation, into the U.S. Navy during World War II. After training as a gunnery officer he was posted to the Pacific theater.

John G. Wanat, Sr., 68

John G. Wanat, Sr. of Westport died Nov. 21. He was 68.

He was the son of the late George and Mary (Kondub). A lifelong resident of Westport, he retired as the owner/operator of Westport Electric.

He was a very religious man, and was an active member of many local churches including serving as deacon at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bridgeport. He was also currently serving as president of the Ukrainian-American Club of Southport.

In addition to his wife of 47 years, the former Jean Palmer, he is survived by two children, his son John G. Wanat, Jr., and his daughter Jeanmarie Wanat; two brothers, George Wanat, Jr. of Westport, and William Wanat and his wife Judith of Southport; three brothers in law, Carl Palmer and his wife Ann of Bridgeport, Peter Palmer and his wife Rosalind of Westport, and Tony Palmer and his wife Susan of Westport; and sister in law Sue Palmer of Westport; several nieces and nephews, and grandchildren Mark and Max. He was also predeceased by a sister, Arlene Sabia and brother in law Phil Palmer.

Westport Unemployment Edges Up in October

A month after Westport’s unemployment rate was the lowest in six years, the rate edged up again in October to 4.7 percent, the Connecticut Department of Labor said today.

The September rate was 4.5 percent. The last time Westport’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent was in August 2008, just before the recession began to be felt.

The town’s labor force in October was 12,922, up from 12,820 in September. The number of unemployed in October was 609, up from 578 in September, the department said.

There were 12,313 employed in October, up from 12,242 in September. A year ago in October, Westport’s unemployment rate was 5.6 percent.

Stolen Leaf Blowers Bust

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Jesse Perez: allegedly pawned equipment. Westport Police photo

Westport Police arrested a Stamford man Thursday following the theft of backpack type leaf blowers from the bed of a landscaping truck in town, police said today.

According to Capt. Vincent Penna, officers arrested Jesse Perez, 24, on a warrant in Bridgeport Superior Court where he was being arraigned on other unrelated charges.

Penna said that detectives had located and recovered the leaf blowers in a pawn shop, and it “was determined that Jesse Perez had sold those items directly after the reported theft.”

Held in lieu of a bond on the unrelated charges, Perez was charged with fifth-degree larceny and given a promise to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Monday, Dec. 1.

Sunrise Rotary Honors Student of the Month

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The Westport Sunrise Rotary Club today honored Staples senior Ben Rogers as Student of the Month for his contributions to his school and his community. He is a math geek, an athlete, a tutor, and a member of the Staples League of Boys (SLOBs). He is also a trombonist, including in the pit for the current Staples Players production of “Hello, Dolly!” He and fellow members of Staples’ Tri-M Music Honor Society taught music in a Bridgeport elementary school. He plays baseball and also manages the basketball team. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Hal Levy for WestportNow.com

Richard H. Olson, Sr. , 78

Richard H. Olson, Sr. of Westport died Nov 18. He was age 78.

He was born Sept. 8, 1936 in Bronxville, NY, son of the late Anton and Elizabeth Olson.

He retired as manager of facilities for Pepperidge Farm after working more than 35 years.

He loved his home in Vermont and traveled to many different places in the United States and abroad. He enjoyed the outdoors and found solace at the beach.