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.

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Resilience
12:15 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Disaster Assistance Centers Open in Two New Connecticut Locations

Storm surge during Sandy contributed to flooding along the Connecticut shoreline.
Credit Jan Ellen Spiegel / WNPR

The state is opening two new disaster assistance centers on Wednesday to help residents who suffered losses during Superstorm Sandy. One is a mobile center, serving Middlesex County. The other will be located at the Groton senior center. 

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Addiction Treatment
11:03 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Fairfield University Opens Housing for Students in Recovery

McAuliffe Hall at Fairfield University.
Credit Stagophile / Creative Commons

Fairfield University has opened the state’s first off-campus home for college students recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. The university's Recovery House differs from other substance-free college housing because it’s designed specifically for students who are actively trying to stay sober.

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Coming Home Project
11:43 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Veterans Reflect on Military Service Through Creative Writing

Veterans' Day event at Fairfield University
Jason Neely

Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the Cold War era gathered at Fairfield University Monday night, November 11, to read from their creative writing. 

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Disaster relief
11:38 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Stamford-Based Americares on the Ground in the Philippines

An estimated 10,000 people in the Philippines were killed by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Americares' Garrett Ingoglia says his organization will be providing relief to survivors for "weeks, possibly months"
Credit Erik DeCastro / Reuters

Stamford-based Americares has sent a relief team to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The non-profit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization said days before the typhoon reached landfall, Americares stockpiled relief supplies in the Philippines in anticipation. 

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Veterans' Day
1:36 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Fairfield University Commemorates Veterans' Day With Creative Works

Lucy Nalpathanchil.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Four veterans will read from their creative writing Monday evening and participate in a panel discussion about the notion of "just war" and the therapeutic value of writing at Fairfield University. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil, a reporter who launched the Coming Home Project and hosts All Things Considered, will moderate the event, which is free, and open to the public, and starts at 6:00 pm in the lower level of Fairfield University's Barone Campus Center.

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School Reform
11:16 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Election Shifts Bridgeport School Board

Bridgeport Schools Superintendent Paul Vallas.
Credit The Connecticut Mirror

In this week’s election, the small Working Families Party won coalition control of Bridgeport’s Board of Education. The nine-member school board will now have a five-member voting bloc that opposes School Superintendent Paul Vallas and his education reform efforts.

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Supporting Entrepreneurs
8:54 am
Tue November 5, 2013

State's Entrepreneur Ecosystem Awards Second Round of Funding

The B:Hive co-working space in Bridgeport.
Credit B:Hive

Five million dollars in state funding has been awarded to more than 20 organizations that will promote start-up businesses in Connecticut through the state's entrepreneurial ecosystem. CT Next was launched a year ago to try to create a climate that would support entrepreneurs and foster successful startup businesses. But the first year got off to a slow start, and there was disagreement about who should take the lead in developing the ecosystem.

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Danbury Prison
1:57 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Judges Oppose Plans to Convert Danbury Federal Prison to All-Male

Credit Kudumomo / Creative Commons

Chief judges in the region, including Connecticut’s Chief Judge Janet Hall, say they oppose plans to convert a federal prison in Danbury into a men’s facility. The facility is the only federal prison in the northeast for women. 

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Supporting Entrepreneurs
11:32 am
Thu October 31, 2013

New Business Incubator at Fairfield University is a Place to Network

The incubator aims to help future entrepreneurs, such as, from left to right: Jamie Ramerini and Daphne Dixon, both of Fairfield, who are working on home automation; and Nicole Juliano Peranick of Stamford, founder of Conscious Decisions.
Fairfield University

Businesses need somewhere to start out in life, and incubators are an increasingly popular solution. The new business incubator at Fairfield University aims to foster links with the community.

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Courts
12:47 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Trial of Terror Suspects Delayed

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

It's been a year since two terror suspects were extradited from Britain to a supermax prison in Connecticut. Government authorities say Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan operated a group of websites that allegedly recruited fighters, and provided cash, military equipment and training to terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya. 

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Transportation
10:35 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Metro-North Power Failure Hearing

Senator Richard Blumenthal is chairing a hearing in Bridgeport on the recent Metro-North power outage. The hearing is examining the causes of the outage, how to prevent such failures from reoccurring, and the economic impact of such a major service disruption. It's hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security.

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Who was the first to fly?
8:12 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Battle Heats Up Over Gustave Whitehead vs. Wright Brothers

Gustave Whitehead.
National Air and Space Museum

If Connecticut thought a state law acknowledging Bridgeport resident Gustav Whitehead as the first in flight would put the issue of who flew first to rest, Ohio and North Carolina are saying: not so fast. North Carolina Republican State Senator Bill Cook and Ohio Republican State Representative Rick Perales held dual news conferences Thursday reasserting the Wright brothers' legacy as the first to achieve powered flight. 

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Sandy Hook
6:26 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Newtown Residents Demolish A School, And Violent Memories

In June, people gathered in Newtown, Conn., to remember the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 9:55 am

Demolition has begun at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman killed 20 students and six adults last December. Bricks will be pulverized, steel melted down and a new school built at the same location.

Allison Hornak attended Sandy Hook Elementary School as a kid. After college, she returned home to Newtown, Conn., and opened an art gallery that's within walking distance of where the mass killing took place.

Hornak says she has a lot of fond memories of Sandy Hook — like a teacher who let her chew gum in class, and the pathways through the school.

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Courts
5:06 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Michael Skakel Granted a New Trial

In a decision, Honorable Thomas Bishop pointed to defense counsel as ineffective.
Credit State of Connecticut Judicial Branch

From the Associated Press in New Haven:

A Connecticut judge has granted a new trial for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, ruling his attorney failed to adequately represent him when he was convicted in 2002 of killing his neighbor in 1975. Judge Thomas Bishop's ruling marks a dramatic reversal after years of unsuccessful appeals by Skakel. 

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Earnings
1:29 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

General Electric Reports Fallen Profits, But Record Backlog

The afterburner of a General Eletric J79 turbojet engine. The company reports a large order backlog helping to offset a slump in profits in the third quarter.
Credit Threecharlie / Wikimedia Commons

General Electric saw a fall in third quarter profits, but investors sent shares up anyway, because of a record backlog of orders for the company.

Fairfield-based GE is considered a bellwether for the U.S. economy because of its wide reach across many industries. In the third quarter, profits fell by 18 percent to just over $3 billion, brought down by a fall in revenues at GE Capital, the conglomerate’s finance arm. The numbers were also hit by the expense of foreign currency transactions.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:14 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Privacy vs. Transparency; Bridgeport Police; House Stenographer Goes on a Rant

State Rep. DebraLee Hovey during Wednesday's FOI/privacy task force hearing.
Credit CT-N

The state's task force examining victim privacy and public information met Wednesday for a marathon session to consider issues at stake in restricting Connecticut's Freedom of Information Act. "Privacy now is so fleeting and so easily violated," testified Morgan Rueckert, the attorney for 22 Newtown families. One brief exchange captured on video put its finger on the pulse of the debate. That and more below in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:33 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Harp's Cash; UConn Moves in on Stamford; Jepsen Seeks Review

State Senator Toni Harp has raised the bulk of her mayoral campaign funds from outside the city of New Haven.
Credit Thomas MacMillan / The New Haven Independent

Campaign season in New Haven comes to an end in three weeks, when the mayoral election takes place on Tuesday, November 5. The two candidates have been busy, but one is drawing more heavily on financial support from city residents, while the other seems almost more poised for a gubernatorial run. That story and more in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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Guns in Bridgeport
9:30 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Proposed Shooting Range Near School is Cancelled

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch speaking on WNPR&apos;s <em>Where We Live</em> in February, 2013.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Bridgeport is scrapping plans to build a police training facility and shooting range across the street from an elementary school.

Mayor Bill Finch said the city will look into other locations. "After hearing such strong concerns from the parents," Finch said in a statement, "we have decided to seek alternate sites in the city for the indoor shooting range, and all potential new sites will be in non-residential areas away from school buildings."

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Patents
9:53 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Three Connecticut Companies are Listed World's Most Innovative

United Technologies Corporation headquarters in Hartford. UTC is one of the companies named most innovative.
Credit DanielPenfield / Creative Commons

Three Connecticut companies made the list of the world's most innovative companies. The ranking comes from Thomson Reuters, which issues an annual list of the top 100 global innovators.

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Technology
11:45 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Startups in Connecticut Develop Software Talent Pipeline

Derek Koch of Independent Software in New Haven.
Credit The Grid New Haven

The job of software developer is one of the hottest occupations in the world right now, and demand for developers is only expected to accelerate. That poses a dilemma for startup technology companies here in Connecticut. In an incredibly competitive marketplace, how do they find and cultivate the right talent? One program in Connecticut is trying to come up with a solution.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:12 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Prison Transfer; SNL Spoofs the Land of Steady Habits; New London has "Hope Bubbles"

Credit Kudumomo / Creative Commons

The plan to transfer all female prisoners out of the Danbury federal facility is back in effect today, although it remains to be seen whether the government shutdown will slow transfers. While we wait to see what happens next, The Wheelhouse Digest is making a pit stop in New London, where a German website has taken an interest in development news. Also a must-see: the "Saturday Night Live" send-up of a square white Connecticut mom who checks out Grand Theft Auto 5, and ended up playing it all week.

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Investigation in Stamford
9:08 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Family Questions Shooting Death Of Woman At U.S. Capitol

Officers on Capitol Hill look at a car following Thursday's shooting, which left Miriam Carey, 34, dead. "We're still very confused as a family why she's not still alive," Carey's sister says.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 9:51 am

The death of Miriam Carey, killed by police gunfire Thursday after leading a car chase from the White House to the Capitol, is prompting questions from her family about whether she deserved to die. The incident, of which details remain unexplained, is leading experts to analyze the actions of the officers present.

"We're still very confused as a family why she's not still alive," Carey's sister Amy Carey-Jones told the AP late Friday. "I really feel like it's not justified, not justified."

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Investigation in Stamford
2:58 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

FBI Seeks Answers Following DC Car Rampage

Authorities say Miriam Carey, 34, of Stamford, Conn. was shot and killed by police after a high-speed chase. (Advanced Periodontics)

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:43 pm

FBI agents in Stamford, Conn., are searching for clues about why an unarmed 34-year-old mother who lived there went on a driving rampage in Washington, D.C. yesterday.

The incident resulted in her shooting death by Capitol police.

Miriam Carey was traveling with her 1-year-old daughter when she tried to breach a barrier at the White House, and then veered her car down Constitution Avenue, driving up to 80-miles-per-hour, toward the Capitol buildings. She eventually crashed into a barrier.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
12:03 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Car Chase Ends Fatally; Helicommute a No Go; Hill's Double Release

A secret service car near a gate accessing the White House.
Credit TCY / Wikimedia Commons

As we mourn the passing of legendary Connecticut photojournalist Bill Eppridge today -- he was 75 -- we're also thinking at The Wheelhouse Digest about the bizarre incident in Washington, D.C. on Thursday that ended fatally, when a Stamford woman tried to drive through a barrier toward the White House. More on that and our dashed hopes about commuting by helicopter below.

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U.S. Capitol Lockdown
6:58 am
Fri October 4, 2013

What We Know So Far About Woman Killed In D.C. Chase

An officer stands just outside police tape Thursday as authorities investigate a car chase that began at the White House and ended near the Capitol.
Lv Mingxiang Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 8:34 pm

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Government Shutdown
8:08 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Head Start Program in Bridgeport Forced To Close

Credit Tomwsulcer / Wikimedia Commons

The effects of the federal shutdown have begun to ripple across Connecticut. In Bridgeport, 13 Head Start sites have been closed, leaving needy families scrambling.

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Insurance
3:35 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Connecticut Aims to Lure Captives

Thomas Leonardi, Commissioner of the Connecticut Insurance Department and the 2012 Symposium on Captive Insurance.
Credit The Connecticut Captive Insurance Association

Stamford hosts a major conference on Wednesday on what's known as the "captive" insurance industry, a business Connecticut wants a bigger piece of.

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Bridgeport
11:37 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Malloy Defends Borrowing for Bass Pro Shops

Governor Malloy on Friday after a Bond Commission meeting.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy on Friday defended state borrowing that will help finance the opening of Bass Pro Shops at Steelpointe Harbor in Bridgeport. The state will invest more than $30 million to bring the sporting goods retailer to anchor the long-delayed commercial development.

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Greenwich
11:26 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Learning How To Stop Bullying

Marji Lipshez-Shapiro.
Credit Ryan Cassella / WNPR

The town of Greenwich is still coping with the tragic death of a teenager earlier this year. A Greenwich high school student took his own life just hours after the first day of school. A preliminary investigation pointed to bullying as having played a role in the suicide.

Each year, Marji Lipshez-Shapiro leads anti-bullying programs in about 200 Connecticut schools as the education director for the state Office of the Anti-Defamation League. Lipshez-Shapiro will be in Greenwich this week, joined by students from Greenwich High School, for conversation with parents on what they need to know about bullying, name-calling, and cyber-bullying.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:21 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Keno Gets Closer; Anchoring Bass Pro; Rail Headaches

Keno fever may soon hit Connecticut. Symptoms already can be seen at this Carson CIty, Nevada restaurant.
Credit Nazox / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut has been dancing around the idea of keno for a while now. The state made another move across the room to commit some spending that would help to bring keno to hundreds of locations in the state. Meanwhile, the bond commission is working to get Bass Pro Shops in place in Bridgeport, and miserable commuters continue to cope with a broken Metro-North. Read about it in today's Wheelhouse Digest.

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