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WestportNow welcomes news and notices from Westport community organizations and individuals. Please send them to editor@westportnow.com for consideration for publication. Be sure to include the Westport connection, date and time of event, if appropriate, as well as contact information. WestportNow reserves the right to edit submissions to conform to our editorial style.

Leaf Vacuum Sparks Truck Fire

Westport Fire Department extinguishes landscaping truck fire on Pumpkin Hill, no injuries reported, Westport, CT, 11-11-2020
Westport Fire Department responded to truck fire on Pumpkin Hill this morning. A landscaping truck, its machinery, and contents were ablaze. An employee said the fire started on the attached leaf vacuum and spread to the vacuum’s gas tank. When the worker attempted to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher, it failed and his clothes caught fire as well as the backpack blower and leaves in the area. He was able to remove the burning clothes without injury. Westport EMS evaluated the worker. No one was taken to the hospital. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Fire Department

Police Welcome New Officer Dominique Carr

Officer Dominique Carr, Nov. 9, 2020, new Westport (CT) Police member.
WPD Officer Dominique Carr. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Dominique Carr, a Hartford resident, joined the ranks of the Westport Police Department yesterday, sworn in at a private ceremony attended by First Selectman James Marpe, Police Chief Foti Koskinas, friends and family.

Officer Carr previously worked at the Windsor Police Department, where he has served with distinction since November of 2018, police said. He is a 2018 graduate of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in justice and law administration.

According to Lt. Anthony Prezioso, Carr will have to successfully complete a modified field training and familiarization program and to learn department policies and procedures before being assigned to a patrol division.

“Today we are very excited and proud to welcome Officer Carr to our Westport Police Department family,” said Koskinas. “He brings with him an impressive educational background and the valuable experience derived from serving another community, both of which will serve him well as he transitions into his new role.”

Westport’s Flags Lowered to Half-Staff for Gordon Joseloff

At the request of Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, Gov. Ned Lamont has given permission for the town to lower its flags to half-staff for the remainder of the week in honor of Gordon Joseloff, 75, who died today.

Gordon Joseloff, Nov. 19,2013 when turning over the reins as First Selectman to his successor James Marpe. B
Gordon Joseloff, on Nov. 19 ,2013, when turning over the reins as First Selectman to his successor James Marpe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Joseloff, Marpe’s predecessor and publisher of WestportNow.com, had been in hospice care for a couple of weeks at home, suffering from a rare blood cancer he had been diagnosed with three years ago.

“On behalf of all Westporters, I want to express the Town’s sincere condolences to his daughter, Anne-Liisa, and his son, Ben, and to his grandchildren who I know he adored,” Marpe said. “We will all miss Gordon, and we thank him for his friendship and his service to Westport.”

“Gordon’s commitment and dedication to Westport, his hometown, was exemplified in so many ways,” Marpe said.”

Health & Safety Update for Staples High School from Superintendent Scarice

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice today issued the following update to school families:

Dear Westport Families and Staff,

This evening we were made aware of two individuals at Staples High School who tested positive for COVID-19. The affected persons will be excluded from the school environment and have been instructed to quarantine at home. 

Upon learning of the positive COVID-19 case, the Westport Public Schools conducted initial contact tracing. Those determined to be “close contacts” are defined as individuals who were within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes over a 24 hour period, starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling ill or 48 hours prior to a positive test of an asymptomatic individual. It has been determined that there were staff members and multiple classes within Staples High School needing to quarantine. Others who have been identified as close contacts outside of school have been notified, and contact tracing will continue through the Westport/Weston Health District.

The school district administration is required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding student and employee confidentiality and privacy.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) precludes sharing the identity of an individual, with the exception of sharing the individual’s identity with a public health agency (e.g., Westport/Weston Health District).  In addition, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents the school district from publicly sharing personally identifiable information derived from student education records.

Downtown Westport is Ready for Holiday Shopping

Downtown Westport (CT) decorated for the holidays, Nov. 8, 2020. By Jaime Bairaktaris
The Christmas spirit is here in downtown Westport. The Downtown Merchants Association decorated Westport’s downtown area with wreaths, garlands, and Christmas lights over the weekend to get ready for the 2020 Holiday season, which may bring holiday shopping to the area earlier than ever due to the pandemic. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com