WNPR

Fairfield Region

Our Fairfield Region coverage includes stories about all the towns in the Greater Fairfield area, ranging from Sherman, New Fairfield and Brookfield to Shelton, Stratford, Bridgeport, Stamford and Greenwich.

Harriet Jones

The City of Stamford hopes to attract high-tech entrepreneurs with a new initiative to convert its Old Town Hall into a business incubator. 

Stamford’s gracious, marble-lined Old Town Hall occupies some prime real estate in the center of town, but it hasn’t served as a hub for the town since the 1960s. Now it’s bustling once again.

“It’s a center of gravity and it works for the whole community.”

Catie Talarski

NPR Music says Mates of State are the “sound of infectious joy.”  Its a joy that rubs right off of this very happy and pleasant married couple - both on their new record, Mountaintops, and in person.

School Arrests Bring New Scrutiny, Reforms

Dec 14, 2011
Jordan Valentine Graphic

As a fifth grader at a New Haven magnet school in 2009, Jacob was watching a lot of “Ed, Edd n Eddy” shows on TV—a slapstick cartoon that features adolescent equivalents of the Three Stooges. Maybe too many shows, his mother now says.

Gardener41, creative commons

Mark Demers is a Fairfield University Professor who just got a grant to study “chaos theory.” Could the gentle flap of a butterfly wing in China set off a tornado in Texas? He’ll study the evolution of systems that change over time and attempt to understand their stability and predictability.

The Connecticut Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday challenging the state’s takeover of Bridgeport’s troubled public schools.  Much of the debate centered on whether officials followed proper steps before replacing local school board members with state appointees.

Bridgeport officials will conduct a national search for the city’s next school superintendent.  A state-appointed Board of Education has fired Bridgeport’s current superintendent as part of its takeover of the troubled school system.

Bridgeport’s state-appointed board of education will part ways with Superintendent John Ramos at the end of December.   An interim superintendent will come in to serve while education officials conduct a national search for the city’s next school leader. 

Dick Howell, Wikipedia

Contrary to what you've been told, the first flying machine may have flown in Bridgeport.

Gustave Whitehead is a mostly unsung pioneer in American aviation, and there's some evidence supporting the claim that he flew before Wilbur and Orville did.

Whitehead's story stayed buried a long time, and some believers say this was because of anti-Teutonic attitudes at the outbreak of World War I.

We'll check in with the New England Air Museum about Gustave's flight and the storm of controversy his story ignited among aviation historians.

The Great Danbury Fair

Sep 23, 2011
Korker

The Danbury Agricultural Society held its first fair in 1821 to exhibit the region’s agricultural products. Initially, the fair was held in a grange with a few adjacent tents that displayed vegetables, livestock, pigeons, poultry, flowers, and preserves.  Ox and draft horse pulls took place outside. Residents of Hartford and New York enjoyed train transportation, provided by the New England Railroad Company, bringing them directly to the fairgrounds at discounted rates. By 1881, the fair attracted more than 20,000 visitors and was considered the largest fair in the state.

courtesy Plastic Forming Company

Small businesses everywhere are learning the lesson – adapt to technology or die. Consumers increasingly look for both marketing and retailing online and companies need to meet those expectations or lose sales. In the first of a series of reports on the rise of social media in marketing, WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at how one manufacturer is facing up to the challenge.

Malloy Tours Irene Ravaged Areas

Aug 30, 2011

Nearly half a million Connecticut residents and businesses are still without power after Hurricane Irene. Governor Dannel Malloy took a tour of storm affected parts of the state Tuesday.

Stopping at a hurricane ravaged beachfront community in Fairfield, Governor Malloy asked for patience in the face of continued outages.

"Energy is going be the big issue, and it's going to be the big issues for the next 7 days. That's a reality."

Irene Breaks Records

Aug 29, 2011

Irene hit Connecticut as a strong tropical storm Sunday with torrential rains and gusty winds that destroyed coastal homes, toppled trees and left a record 800,000 customers without power, surpassing damage from Hurricane Gloria in 1985. More than eight inches of rain fell.

The storm reached New England weaker than expected as it failed to re-intensify after making initial landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, but it still destroyed or damaged dozens of beachfront homes in East Haven and nearby communities and undermined sections of seawall, walkways and streets.

Harriet Jones

The rest of Connecticut might groan at summer gas prices, but in Fairfield County, four dollar gas has a whole different meaning. Small businesses especially, pay the price for the county’s transportation woes. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

When gas prices spiked this year, and gas was more than $4.30 a gallon in southwest Connecticut, the help wanted ads began going up all over Fairfield County.

Cloe Poisson / Courtesy of The Hartford Courant

Former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim has not announced whether he’ll jump into the mayoral race this year, but a poll finds that if he does, it could change the landscape of the election.

Joe Ganim was released from prison one year ago after serving six years for a massive municipal corruption scandal. The former Bridgeport mayor was convicted on 16 counts, including steering city contracts in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks.

The city of Bridgeport is the latest struggling school district to be taken over by the state.

The Board of Education in the city has essentially voted to dissolve itself - to be replaced by an oversight board hand-picked by the State Department of Education.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Swiss bank UBS has been a huge presence in downtown Stamford for more than a decade. It’s the city’s biggest employer, with some three thousand workers, and its biggest taxpayer. But for months, rumors have been flying that the company may relocate some or all of those people back to Manhattan. WNPR’s Harriet Jones takes a look at what that might mean for the city’s business ecosystem.

A group of UBS traders arrives for lunch at Fiesta Restaurant on Stamford’s Atlantic Street.

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