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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Recycling
6:01 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Bridgeport Recycling Facility Hungry For More Mattresses

Neena Satija

A mattress recycling factory in Bridgeport is bringing jobs to those who need them – while disposing mattresses in an environmentally-friendly way. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on Park City Green.

44-year-old Angel Morales is surrounded by piles and piles of old mattresses. His job is to deconstruct them using his hands and a utility blade.

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Environment
3:57 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Stamford Ramps Up Efforts To Test Groundwater For Pesticides

YVSREDDY (Wikimedia Commons)

Stamford is ramping up efforts to test private wells for potentially cancer-causing pesticides that may be in the water. But getting the word out is a slow process, and so far, surrounding towns haven’t shown much concern.

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New Change
2:14 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

For Danbury, Immigrants Are Key To Downtown Renaissance

Neena Satija

For years, Danbury has tried to revitalize its downtown to become a vibrant, walkable community where people want to live. City officials held a meeting with the community last week to talk about their efforts, and many say a more welcoming environment towards immigrants is a big part of the solution.

There was seating for 120 people here at the 2 Steps Downtown Bar and Grille; 150 showed up for a meeting about downtown revitalization. Many were residents saying they want a reason to live downtown.

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ReBuild
8:47 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Finally, A Tenant For Bridgeport's "Steelpointe Harbor"

Bridgeport Landing Development, LLC

Decades ago, there was a steel mill on this 50-acre property. After that a power plant was built; then that was demolished too. About 100 families lived here; they were torn down in the 1990s to make way for a redevelopment that never happened. Now all you can see is an empty stretch of grass with a prominent sign that reads Steelpointe Harbor. That’s Steelpointe with an ‘e’ at the end.

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Immigration
6:22 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Bridgeport Employers Lead State in Foreign Worker Visas

Employers in cities across the country are requesting visas for high skilled foreign workers. As WNPRs Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the demand has increased in the last decade according to the Brookings Institution.

This is the first time a report has looked at the local demand for foreign workers who receive H1-B visas to legally work in the U.S.

Senior Research Analyst at the Brookings Institution, Jill Wilson says the visa is widely requested by employers across the U.S not just those in the Silicon valley or NYC.

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Environmental Protection
10:53 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Negotiations Toward A Global Mercury Treaty Continue In Uruguay

Seth Tisue (Wikimedia Commons)

Delegates from more than 120 governments around the world gathered in a small seaside town in Uruguay this past week.  A Fairfield University Associate Professor was there to observe the continuing negotiations toward a global treaty reducing mercury emissions to the environment.

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Change
11:27 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Crisis In Affordable Housing Hits Connecticut's Suburbs

Neena Satija

Developers are taking advantage of a down economy to build more affordable housing. It’s happening even in the small-town suburbs of Connecticut, where people are forgoing the big country home for smaller, more energy-efficient houses or rental apartments. In the small Danbury suburb of Ridgefield,  not everyone is happy about the changes.

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Coming Home Project
12:33 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Attention on High Number of Sexual Assaults in Military

U.S Navy

On Monday, The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education in Stamford hosted a viewing of "Invisible War," an award-winning documentary about sexual assault in the military. More servicemembers who have experienced this trauma are starting to file claims with the VA.

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Innovation
12:14 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Orphan Inventions Get New Life

Courtesy of the IP Factory

When it comes to inventing things, Connecticut still punches way above its weight. But sometimes the good ideas dreamed up here end up languishing on a shelf instead of making a difference in people’s lives. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on a new project that aims to find a home for orphan technologies.

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Coming Home Project
6:36 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Student Nurses Learn How to Care for Veterans

Dr. Suzanne Campbell

Fairfield University is participating in the nationwide initiative, Joining Forces, to to help veterans. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with the Dean of the School Of Nursing, Dr Suzanne Campbell.

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Hartford
3:54 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

New Residential Plans for Old Office Building

A vacant 26-story office tower in downtown Hartford may get a new life. A Fairfield developer has plans before the city to turn the old Bank of America building into nearly 300 apartments. The project is in the early stages, and the city says there's no public or private financing committed to it yet. But it's worth noting the ambition -- the building at 777 Main Street has nothing happening inside of it, and developer Bruce Becker has an idea: He wants to build 286 apartments and a bunch of retail space near Hartford's State House Square.

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Immigration
5:36 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

New Haven Rejects Immigration Crackdown Program

Uma Ramiah

The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, or ICE, announced it will roll out a program called Secure Communities in the state this week. In New Haven, community leaders are calling on Governor Dannel Malloy to reject the initiative.

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Entrepreneurs
11:30 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Stamford Innovation Center Opens For Business

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.”

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Where We Live
11:37 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Where We Live: Mates of State

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.

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Juvenile Justice
10:18 am
Wed December 14, 2011

School Arrests Bring New Scrutiny, Reforms

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.

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Where We Live
10:40 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Studying The Chaos Theory

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.

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State Education Authority
10:28 am
Fri October 28, 2011

CT Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Bridgeport Schools Case

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.

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School Administration
8:28 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Bridgeport To Conduct National Search For Next School Superintendent

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. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:32 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Was Connecticut First in Flight?

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.

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History
2:29 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

The Great Danbury Fair

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.

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Small Business
10:37 am
Mon September 12, 2011

Social Media Marketing Revolution

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.

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Irene Recovery
5:39 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Malloy Tours Irene Ravaged Areas

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."

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Irene Recovery
10:50 am
Mon August 29, 2011

Irene Breaks Records

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.

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Gas Prices
8:41 am
Fri July 29, 2011

Gas Price Hikes Hit Small Businesses

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.

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Where We Live
10:31 am
Wed July 13, 2011

The Education Takeover

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.

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Business Ecosystems
10:18 am
Mon July 11, 2011

Small Businesses Fear UBS Defection

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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History
11:53 am
Fri June 10, 2011

Shakespeare in Stratford

The American Shakespeare Festival Theatre opened in 1955 as a living memorial to English playwright, William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Under the guidance and directorship of Lawrence Langner, John Houseman and Michael Kahn, the theatre provided memorable theatrical experiences for more than thirty years.

Stratford, Connecticut was an appropriate setting for the theater, echoing the name of Shakepeare’s birthplace, Stratford-on-Avon in England.  The octagonal shape of the theater recalled the Globe Theatre in London, where Shakepeare’s plays were performed during the 17th century.

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Where We Live
10:52 am
Thu May 26, 2011

Where We Live: Transportation and Jobs

jjsala, Creative Commons

Nearly 30 million trips are made every day using public transit, mostly in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.  And the main destination of these millions of commuters is, not surprisingly, work.  So a new Brookings report surveyed public transit in 100 cities in the U.S. including Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford, to see just how effective public transit is in getting people to their jobs every day.

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Elections
9:56 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Bridgeport Mayor's Advisory Panel Releases Recommendations

clip art

The Bridgeport Mayor's Election  Advisory Panel released a report today (Thursday) detailing dozens of recommendations to change how Connecticut runs its elections. The proposal is meant to restore trust in the system after Bridgeport's infamous failure to order enough ballots during last November's elections.

One recommendation allows Secretary of the State Denise Merrill to recommend how many ballots a town should order.  And, after review, it could allow her to force the town to order enough ballots for all of the town's registered voters.  

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Finance
8:41 am
Mon November 1, 2010

Warren Buffett Hires Connecticut Hedge Fund Manager to Manage Portfolio

More details are slowly emerging about the Connecticut-based financial expert that Warren Buffett has chosen to oversee investments at Berkshire Hathaway. The billionaire has been trying to arrange succession planning at the company after his five decades in charge. 

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