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Staples Student in Custody After Violence Threat

By James Lomuscio

Click HERE for video of police news conference

UPDATE A male student’s overheard threat to shoot a teacher and then go on a school shooting rampage led to a lock down and early dismissal today at Staples High School, Police Chief Foti Koskinas said.

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Superintendent of Schools Coleen Palmer addresses reporters as Police Chief Foti Koskinas and First Selectman Jim Marpe look on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The student, a juvenile whose father has AR-15 rifles and other guns locked in a home safe, is in custody and undergoing psychiatric evaluation at Norwalk Hospital, Koskinas said.

Police were seen carrying out a search on Kirock Place off of Center Street as part of the investigation.

“To the best of our knowledge, all of the firearms have been accounted for,” said Koskinas, who added the boy’s parents have been cooperative and that the firearms were responsibly secured.

Staples Dismissed Early ‘Out of Abundance of Caution’

UPDATE Westport Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer told parents today Staples High School was having an early dismissal due to an “abundance of caution.”

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Westport police cars were outside Staples High School today after Superintendent of Schools Coleen Palmer said “some information that has been uncovered during the school day” and ordered an early dismissal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Police scheduled a 4 p.m. news conference at Police Headquarters to provide an update on the situation from Palmer, Police Chief Foti Koskinas, and First Selectman jim Marpe.

One day after the Board of Education discussed school safety and possibly putting a police school resource officer (SRO) at Staples, Palmer sent this email to parents at 1:06 p.m.:

“There is no known threat at this time, but out of an abundance of caution due to some information that has been uncovered during the school day, Staples High School will be dismissed at approximately 1:15 p.m. this afternoon. 

Tie Vote Sends McDonald Nomination to Legislature With Unfavorable Recommendation

By Clarice Silber

www.ctmirror.org

After a 13-hour confirmation hearing that began on Monday morning and continued until the wee hours of today, a key legislative committee ended in a gridlocked vote on Connecticut Supreme Court chief justice nominee Andrew McDonald.

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Justice Andrew McDonald testifies before the Judiciary Committee on his nomination to become chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Clarice Silber for CTMirror.org

The 20-20 vote with one abstention will still send McDonald’s nomination to the full legislature, but with an unfavorable recommendation.

Nearly two hours before the vote, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy released a statement reaffirming his support for McDonald, now an associate justice on the court.

“After today’s hearing, there should be no doubt that Andrew McDonald has the qualifications, experience, and temperament to lead the state’s highest court … it is clear that Justice McDonald is eminently qualified and should be confirmed, as legal experts thoughtout the state have agreed,” Malloy said.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “What Keeps Mankind Alive/The Last Library”
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “The Curious Case of Ed Vebell”
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Westport Library – Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. – Westport Library – Liza Mundy on “Code Girls”
7 p.m. – Town Hall Green Room – Board of Assessment Appeals
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live on cable channel 79, Frontier channel 99, & westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Palmer and Parents Urge Need for School Resource Officers

By James Lomuscio

While having a school resource officer (SRO) has been Westport Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer’s high priority for months, it took on new urgency at tonight’s Board of Education due to the Florida school shootings.

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Police Chief Foti Koskinas and other first responders meet tonight with Board of Education members. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

And as Palmer joined by Police Chief Foti Koskinas touted the need for a highly trained and armed SRO at Staples High School, members of the public urged the school board to act quickly to put SROs in all of the town’s eight schools.

“We have a superintendent who is proactive,” said Jeannie Smith, board vice chairwoman who ran the meeting in the absence of Michael Gordon, chairman.

Smith and Palmer began the meeting extending their thoughts and prayers to the children and families of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire with an AR-15 killing 17 students and injuring others on Feb. 14.

Talking School Safety

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Westport Police and Fire Department representatives met tonight in executive session with the Board of Education to discuss school security. Later, they appeared in the board’s public session specifically to talk about adding a School Resource Officer (SRO) to the district. Pictured waiting for the start of the public meeting are (l-r) Police Chief Foti Koskinas, Capt. Dave Farrell, Capt. Ryan Paulsson, Deputy Chief Sam Arciola, and Deputy Fire Chief Mike Kronick (white shirt,) CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Town Hall Hosts International Women’s Day March 8

What’s new for women in the workplace and next for the #MeToo movement are the focus of an International Women’s Day program set for Thursday, March 8, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Town Hall Auditorium, it was announced.

Sponsored by the United Nations Association of Southwestern Connecticut (UNASWCT), the program will feature a discussion with CNN anchor and Westport resident Alisyn Camerota and Marsha Ershaghi Hames, managing director of LRN, a national adviser to organizations on ethics and compliance matters.

According to the UNASWCT announcement, the United Nations established International Women’s Day “as a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women.”

The importance of women’s rights and empowerment is reflected in Goals 4 and 5 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, according to UNASWCT.

Rehearsing for Tonight’s ‘Better Late’ Reading

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The cast rehearses for tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse Script in Hand reading of the Larry Gelbart play, “Better Late.” Theater audiences know Gelbart as the creator and producer of the television series “M*A*S*H” and co-writer of the film “Tootsie.” Anne Keefe, director and curator of the popular script in hand readings series said, “What’s not to love about almost anything written by the comedic genius Larry Gelbart?” Pictured (l-r) are Charles Socarides, Joanna Gleason, Chris Sarandon and Lenny Wolpe with Keefe in front. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com