Tuesday, March 05, 2024


Snow Brings Early Dismissals, Rash of Accidents

Late morning snow flurries caused a rash of accidents around Westport today as Westport schools dismissed early due to the weather.

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This car at Quality Auto Repair, 271 Post Road East, was involved in a mid-morning crash at Main and Canal Streets. The driver was not injured. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

No serious injuries were reported in the accidents, including ones on Main Street near Richmondville Avenue, Weston Road at St. George Place and near the Merritt Parkway, and Kings Highway North at Wilton Road.

State Police reported numerous accidents on the Merritt Parkway.

Westport schools joined other area schools in dismissing early, beginning at 12:15 p.m. with Staples High School.

Shelton Man Pleads Guilty to Westport Bank Robbery

A 47-year-old Shelton man has waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court in connection with the robbery last June of a Westport Chase Bank and three other Chase branches.

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Westport police issued these photos following the June 2, 2016 Chase Bank robbery in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly announced Scott Taylor pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery and admitted to robbing the Chase Bank at 184 Main St. in Westport on June 2 as well as Chase branches in Milford, Norwalk, and Stratford in subsequent weeks.

During each of the robberies, Taylor handed a teller a note demanding cash, and told the teller that he had a gun.

The Westport robbery owas reported shortly after 11 a.m. with the suspect described as a middle-aged white male, about 5-foot-2, heavy-set, wearing glasses, black hooded sweatshirt, light-colored baggy pants, white baseball hat, and carrying a black backpack. (See WestportNow June 2, 2016)

Malloy to Propose Mandate Relief for Cities, Towns

By Keith M. Phaneuf


UPDATE Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today unveiled a plan to ease mandates on cities and towns, led by elimination of a controversial cap on local budgets.

The governor, who is expected next week to recommend a major realignment of aid from wealthier to poorer communities, also proposed: changes to collective bargaining, tightening of prevailing wage standards, granting more flexibility in local property assessment rates and eliminating a requirement for a superintendent in small school districts.

“True partnerships are built on listening to the concerns and responding to the needs of the other party,” Malloy said. “Given the challenges we face in balancing the budget in the next biennium, the state and local municipalities must continue to strengthen our working partnership — and in some respects, begin to redefine this relationship.”

Local cities and towns have complained loudly over the past two years since the legislature established a cap system, with financial penalties when local spending exceeds certain limits.

Early Dismissal for Westport Schools

Due to the weather, the Westport Public Schools will be closing two hours early today.

All evening activities are canceled.

Staples High School will dismiss at 12:15 p.m. Bedford Middle, Coleytown Middle, and Saugatuck Elementary Schools will dismiss at 12:45 p.m. Coleytown Elementary, Greens Farms, Kings Highway, and Long Lots Schools will dismiss at 1:15 p.m.

For Stepping Stones information, please refer to the standard early dismissal information posted online.

AP Spotlights Town’s White Privilege Essay

A student essay contest announced earlier this month by Westport’s diversity committee (see WestportNow Jan. 18, 2017) has prompted national coverage by The Associated Press.

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The AP story was widely distributed by the news agency. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo from Ap.org

“WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) — When the town sponsored a student essay contest on the topic of white privilege, it was intended to provoke discussion in this wealthy, overwhelmingly white community on Connecticut’s Gold Coast.

“It did, along with no small amount of outrage,” the story began.

“Contest organizers have been surprised by the reaction from some who say the question wrongly suggests race plays into the good life enjoyed in Westport.”

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “MORE Than Words/As We Are”
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Westport School Days 1703–Present”
1 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – HDC Bridge Street National Register Study Subcommittee
2 p.m. – Westport Library – WestportREADS 2017 Movie: “Funny Girl”
4 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Library – Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. – Westport Library – A Psychotherapy Method for Healing Trauma
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance Committee Canceled

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

BOE Clears Way for School Bus Seat Belts for Next Year

UPDATE After several weeks of discussions and debate, Westport’s Board of Education tonight cleared the way to approve a request by the school’s transportation director to put three-point seat belts in 13 of the district’s school buses starting next year.

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Some school buses will have seat belts beginning next January. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The request made by director Sandra Evangelista would total $120,900, with more than half of that amount being budgeted for the 2017-18 academic year to retrofit seven buses, and the remaining six buses for 2018-19.

While most board members seemed in favor of the proposal, the actual vote will come next week as part of the 2017-18 budget.

According to Elio Longo, school business administrator, each of the retrofits would cost about $9,300.

Tears for Future of Staples Child Development Program

By James Lomuscio

Even though it was not on tonight’s school board agenda, parents and students one after the other came forward to protest. A couple of them cried. Others were in disbelief.

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Staples senior Kate Backman burst into tears as she pleaded with the Board of Education to retain teacher Linda McClary.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo from Staples Television

They had just learned that the Staples High School child development program as it exists now would be discontinued next year.

Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer’s decision to reshuffle the program to the social studies department was stealthily done without seeking parent and student input, they argued.

They also expressed concern about the future of Linda McClary, the long time, well-loved program teacher.