Fairfield Region

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Federal officials said they arrested a Moroccan national living in Connecticut in an alleged plot to fly bombs on drone-like devices into a school and a federal building.

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State officials are to announce today that Connecticut’s first P-TECH model school will open in September.

P-TECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School, and by the start of the next academic year there will be about 27 of these schools across the country.

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The Connecticut State Board of Education has approved four new charter schools, including two in Bridgeport. 

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With a 15-5 vote, Bridgeport's City Council approved a massive solar energy project this week that could bring thousands of solar panels to a former city landfill. Since dumps are no longer allowed in Connecticut, that's left a lot of city leaders wondering what to do with that old space. 

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A corner of a Hartford's Elizabeth Park became a construction site last weekend, but this wasn't just any ordinary project.

Even on a chilly day in March, hundreds of people came to watch. The organizers hope the community will continue to feel a strong connection to the playground that was built.

A group called the Sandy Ground Project is building 26 playgrounds as living memorials to the children who died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. 

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Thirteen Connecticut residents appear on this year's list of the nation's billionaires, compiled by Forbes Magazine. The list, released annually, includes 1,645 billionaires worldwide. 

Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti sent his 100-day plan to state Transportation Commissioner James Redeker on Monday. Giulietti is promising to rebuild a culture of safety at Metro-North to serve as the railroad’s "unshakeable foundation." He agreed to a 100-day plan to improve the railroad’s safety and operational performance in meeting with Governor Dannel Malloy last month.

New Management, New Plan for Metro-North

Mar 4, 2014
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Metro-North's new president, Joseph Giulietti, sent a letter to Connecticut's Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, outlining intended operational  improvements.

The plan follows a terrible year for the railroad in 2013, including a derailment and collision in Bridgeport that injured 76 people and a derailment in The Bronx, New York, in which four people were killed.


Two Metro-North Railroad executives said on Thursday that the rail line has slowed down its trains, installed new technology, and changed internal management, all in an effort to make commuter rail service better.

MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast and new Metro-North president Joseph Giulietti met with members of the state legislature's transportation committee to talk about reliability and safety with state lawmakers. 

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In an unusual move, a Metro-North conductor left a note on passengers' seats Monday morning apologizing for an express train on Friday that never came.

Michael Shaw said he put 500 copies of his written apology on seats after telling passengers at the New Haven, West Haven, Milford, and Stratford stations to wait for an express train that was later canceled. In his note, he said he was "shocked and furious."

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for speed-limit signs in more places on Metro-North Railroad and cameras in the control cabs to monitor engineers and the tracks. In a letter dated Tuesday and sent to new Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti, the agency calls for permanent signs to warn engineers in advance of areas where speed restrictions are enforced, as an additional reminder to slow down. 

NTSB Issues Safety Recommendations To Metro-North

Feb 19, 2014

A federal agency has issued safety recommendations following December’s fatal Metro-North commuter train derailment in the Bronx. The recommendations come in the form of a letter to Metro-North’s president.


Over 100 people attended a forum in Fairfield on Tuesday night intended for Metro-North commuters to talk about problems plaguing the rail service. Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker attended the event at the Pequot Library and took questions.

Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, the Executive Director of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood, appeared on WNPRs Where We Live to discuss plans for universal pre-K. Just over 1,000 seats would be added next school year for children from low-income families. Jones-Taylor said a quality pre-K program sets children up for future success. The first phase of the program would cost $13.8 million, which has been built into Malloy’s budget proposal.

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Governor Dannel Malloy met on Monday with Joseph Giulietti, the new president of Metro-North Railroad, and Thomas Prendergast, chairman and chief executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Malloy said Connecticut and the MTA agreed to establish an independent review before work is done on Metro-North's power or electrical lines, in order to avoid outages like what happened last September.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With an increasing number of angry rail commuters, and calls by some state legislators for federal intervention, Governor Dannel Malloy opened the door on Monday to the possibility of putting the operation of Metro-North’s New Haven line out for bid.

Ridgefield Supports Their Olympian With a Luge Screening

Feb 7, 2014
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The Olympic Games officially get underway on Friday in Sochi, Russia, with opening ceremonies airing Friday night. Three billion are expected to watch as teams from around the world gather in Fisht Stadium to celebrate the start of the games.

It's single-digit cold as Brett West steps into the snow in his backyard in Ridgefield, Conn., and points to a wooden monstrosity. It stands 32 feet high and looks kind of like a wooden roller coaster.

"The whole thing's made of wood — two-by-fours, four-by-fours and 3-quarter-inch plywood, all pressure-treated lumber, with a lot of screws."

The homemade track was the first training ground for his son, Tucker, an 18-year-old who is the youngest member of the U.S. luge team in Sochi.

More Snow on the Way; Metro-North Upgrades Coming

Feb 4, 2014

A Winter Storm Watch has already been issued for Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning for the next snow storm that could start out as sleet and bring another eight inches of new snow. Temperatures will be in the low 20s on Monday night.

Office of Governor Dannel Malloy

Work on a $10 million project to upgrade the power supply for Metro North’s New Haven Line begins on Monday. The upgrade is aimed at preventing the kind of catastrophic power failure that took place in New York last fall, seriously disrupting service. 

Governor Dannel Malloy announced the project Sunday at Union Station in New Haven. “Transportation is the backbone of our economy here in Connecticut,” he said. “As governor, I’ve been clear that we need to invest in bringing our highways and mass transit systems into the 21st century after years of under-investment.”

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The State Department of Education has determined that Bridgeport Public Schools have violated their obligation to students under the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

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Governor Dannel Malloy called Thursday night's Metro-North maintenance failure "totally avoidable." The outage brought the entire network of commuter trains to a halt for just under two hours in frigid temperatures. 


Eighty-six current and former members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at Yale University are being sued over an accident at a Yale-Harvard football game in 2011. Nancy Berry, 30, of Salem, Massachusetts, was killed after being struck by a rental truck that was heading to the fraternity’s tailgating party outside the Yale Bowl. Lawyers for Barry’s family and another woman who was injured in the accident sued the fraternity members late last month. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With two major holidays falling on Wednesdays, it seems like forever since our weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse has gotten together. Well, we’re back with a New Year’s edition - where we start looking ahead to the 2014 campaigns.


Governor Dannel Malloy is urging communities to open warming centers for those needing assistance. Officials with the Department of Transportation say they have crews out on the state's roads, but they're reminding motorists to drive with caution. By Wednesday afternoon, temperatures will rise into the 20s, and highs will be above 30 across most of the state by Thursday afternoon.

Patrick Cashin / MTA

Metro-North President Howard Permut is stepping down. The New York Times reports that he announced his retirement Monday afternoon. 

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Sikorsky will pay damages to the Canadian government over a delay in fulfilling a helicopter order. But Canada said it will continue with the contract despite the difficulties.


The Connecticut legislature's Transportation Committee held a public hearing on Wednesday to learn more about the recent problems with Metro-North. The Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker addressed the Transportation Committee. 

Transportation Committee member Jonathan Steinberg, a State Representative from Westport, told Redeker, "Thank you, Commissioner, for submitting to our version of shoot-the-messenger." 

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Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation is applauding Thursday’s announcement by the Federal Railroad Administration that it’s conducting an analysis of every aspect of the Metro-North Commuter Railroad. 

Chion Wolf

It’s a snowy commute this morning. That means you’ll be sharing the road with Connecticut Department of Transportation crews, plowing and treating the roads.