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Dodig Salutes Class of 2015 as ‘Fantastic’

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Today was the last graduation ceremony for Staples High School Principal John Dodig, who is retiring after 11 years. He saluted the Class of 2015 as a “fantastic,” adding, “You have helped to make my dream of what a public high school can and should be come true…. I am truly honored to be graduating with you.” Dodig told the class: “We’ve been accused and described by some as living in a bubble in Westport. I don’t apologize for that. Being loved, protected, and nurtured in a safe environment allowed you to flourish. You have the rest of your lives outside that bubble and to recognize just how difficult that can be.” Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Leading the Procession

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The procession into the Staples Field House today marked the beginning of the Class of 2015 graduation ceremony. At the head was Denise Honeycutt, faculty marshal, followed by Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon and Principal John Dodig. Honeycutt earned the honor as the faculty member with the longest, continuous service. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Staples Class of 2015 Graduation Under Way

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Staples senior Zoe Brown waves as the Staples High School Class of 2015 graduation ceremony got under way today in the school’s FIeld House. The editor of Inklings, the school newspaper, and a former WestportNow intern, is headed to the University of Southern California to study journalism. WWPT broadcast the ceremony live. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Karen M. Siddell, 51

Karen Marie Siddell of Boca Raton, Fla., a former Westport resident and 1981 graduate of Staples High School, died May 12. She was 51.

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Karen Siddell: 1981 Staples grad. Contributed photo

She was born June 25, 1963 in Holyoke, Mass., the daughter of John A. and the late Mary Brunton Siddell. She was raised in Westport and remained here after graduating from Providence College in 1985, where she excelled in two varsity sports while earning a degree in business.

After leaving Westport in the early 1990s, she lived in Vail, Colo. before moving to Florida where she lived for the past 20 years.

Those who knew her will remember her beauty; inside and out, her extreme kindness, her athletic ability and her wonderful personality. 

Westport Couple Accused of Fraud in Medicaid Program

The state has accused a Westport psychiatrist and her husband of knowingly submitting false claims to the Connecticut Medicaid program.

In a news release today, Attorney General George Jepsen announced that the complaint was filed June 10 in Hartford Superior Court against Ashwini Sabnis, a licensed psychiatrist enrolled as a provider in the program, and her husband, Saurav “Sam” Mohanty. According to public records, they have been Westport residents since 2008.

The action seeks treble damages and other relief stemming from an alleged long-running scheme to submit false claims to the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program (CMAP) from January 2010 through December 2014, the announcement said.  Jepsen alleged that the couple overbilled the state Department of Social Services (DSS) by $768,171 during the four-year period.

The state’s complaint alleges that the couple are co-owners of Brighter Concept, Inc., with a one-time office in New Haven and currently in Fairfield. Mohanty was office manager, the state said.

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Inside Out,’ ‘Jurassic World’

By Susan Granger

After a two-year hiatus, Pixar Animation (“The Incredibles,” “Wall-E,” “Toy Story”) is back with “Inside Out,” an incredibly creative, complex idea: how our emotions affect our behavior.

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The concept revolves around five instinctive emotions that propel us: Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), and Anger (Lewis Black). Headquartered in the mind’s vast Control Center, these emotions transfer experiences to vast memory banks.

When happy 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is forced to move from her idyllic Minnesota home to an old Victorian house in San Francisco, she has trouble adjusting. The three stabilities in her life - family, friendship and hockey - are shaken to the core.

While ebullient Joy dominated Riley’s consciousness for many years, keeping wistful Sadness on the sidelines, now both Joy and Sadness are sucked from the Control Center and plunged into the countless, kaleidoscopic channels of her brain. That happens when Riley realizes she no longer has friends she can rely on and loses confidence in her ability to play hockey.

Thursday,  June 18, 2015


9 a.m. – 9 p.m. – Westport Library – “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – 50 Imperial Ave. – Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “SOLOS 2015” & “EAST meets WESTport: Marton Nemes”
Noon – Westport Library – Look Inside Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well,” Mark Schenker
1 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – Drink n’ Draw – June
4:30 p.m. – Westport Library – Creative Coders: Javascript
6 p.m. – 10 p.m. – 44 Imperial Ave. – Westport Woman’s Club Yankee Doodle Fair
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
8 p.m. – Westport Country Playhouse – “And a Nightingale Sang”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar