Friday, April 12, 2024

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Westport’s Justin Paul Wins Oscar

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Justin Paul (l), a 2003 Staples High School graduate, and his songwriting partner Benj Pasek tonight won an Academy Award for Best Original Score for “City of Stars” from the film “La La Land.” They were also nominated in the same category for “Audition” from the film. In his acceptance speech, Paul credited his public schools that supported the arts. “I was educated in public schools where arts and culture were valued and recognized and resourced,” he said. “I am so grateful to all my teachers who taught so much and gave so much to us.” In all, “La La Land” won six Oscars out of 14 nominations. Last month, Paul and Pasek won a Golden Globes Award for “City of Stars.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo from ABC-TV

Jazz Jam at Arts Center

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Today’s annual Jazz Jam at the Westport Arts Center was a spontaneous exploration of jazz, blues and other musical styles by some of the community’s best musicians. Students and semi-professionals were encouraged to bring their instrument of choice and join for free.  The Jazz Jam also celebrated Black History Month. Brian Torff, the Westport Arts Center’s artistic director for jazz, led the Jam on bass with fellow musician Greg Burrows on drums. The next performance in the WAC Jazz concert series is Greg Wall, “the Jazz Rabbi” on Sunday, March 5. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Former Neighbor Recalls Car Into Water Victim

By James Lomuscio

With a look of disbelief, Edward Fitzgerald of Norwalk today stared at the tire tracks leading to the Saugatuck River.

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There were tire tracks today at the state boat ramp where the car went into the water. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

There on the breezy east bank awash in sunlight and the rhythmic sound of overhead traffic on the I-95 bridge, he couldn’t comprehend how his former neighbor might have mistaken a state boat launch for a bridge, if he did.

“It was such a shock,” said Fitzgerald upon reading that Richard Lamendola, 76, of Syosset, New York, died in the Saturday night incident that sent his car with him and his wife into the water.

“I knew him from when we lived in Syosset.”

Boat Ramp Day After

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Tire tracks remain today at the edge of the boat ramp of the Saugatuck River on Elaine Road where a car was pulled from the water Saturday night. A man in the vehicle, Richard Lamendola, 76, of Syosset, New York, died while a woman believed to be his wife was rescued after 20 minutes in the water. The couple was believed visiting family who live not far from the boat ramp. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

All Quiet Today

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The scene today at the state boat ramp on the Saugatuck River where a car went into the water Saturday night. One man, identified as Richard Lamendola, 76, of Syosset, New York, died while a woman was rescued after 20 minutes in the water. Police said they are investigating the cause of the incident but that no foul play is suspected. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

Police Remove Car From Saugatuck River

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Westport police today released this photo of a car being removed from the Saugatuck River at about 10:45 p.m. Saturday. One person, identified as Richard Lamendola of Syosset, New York, died in the incident. A female companion believed to be his wife was rescued after about 20 minutes in the water, her screams heard by diners at The Whelk Restaurant across the river, who called police. She was taken to Norwalk Hospital, suffering apparent non life-threatening injuries. The couple reportedly was visiting family in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Police photo