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.

Manny Broussard / FEMA

It was a violent weekend in some parts of the world, and we're monitoring the situation at the Nairobi mall today along with the rest of the world as the situation unfolds. In Connecticut, steady habits are keeping some of our attention in court, where Bridgeport Superintendent Paul Vallas and East Haven police officers are busy today to kick off this first week of fall. Meanwhile, others in Middlebury were involved in some very unsteady habits. Read all about it in today's Wheelhouse Digest.

John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

The Obama Administration has announced more than $400 million in job-training grants to community colleges and universities nationwide. Two Connecticut schools will receive more than $4 million in funding: Capital Community College in Hartford, and Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport.

Manny Broussard / FEMA

As the fall leaves begin to turn in Connecticut, we're thinking today at The Wheelhouse Digest about a few other things turning a corner as well. Efforts toward school reform in Bridgeport were pushed back last week. A former Latin Kings member in New Haven found a way to transform herself and her work. And everything will be turning up jobs if we just borrow some more, according to a new report. Here's a taste of the news you need to know now.

<a href="http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Bridgeport-Bank-Shuttered-223691121.html" target=new>NBC Connecticut</a>

Customers who had money in The Community's Bank in Bridgeport should receive their insured deposits back this week after the bank failed and was put into receivership. It's the first bank failure in Connecticut in more than a decade.

Chion Wolf

Robert Braddock is going to jail for 38 months for his role in the scandal surrounding the congressional campaign of Chris Donovan. The judge said the long sentence would send a message to others about corrupt political behavior. If nothing else, it seemed to send a message to Braddock himself, who told her: "You couldn't force me to work in politics ever again."

"If the judge really wanted to make it worse," Braddock said, "she could have sentenced me to work for another campaign."

The Bureau of Prisons has suspended the transfer of more than 1,100 female inmates from the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut to Alabama. Their decision comes after a letter to the bureau, co-signed by 11 Northeast senators, including Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.  In a statement, Murphy said the transfer would "nearly eliminate federal prison beds for women in the Northeast" while using the facility for male inmates.

Kudumomo on Flickr Creative Commons

We talk this hour about the case of Bonnie Foreshaw, serving the longest sentence of any Connecticut woman for the death of a pregnant woman. Her case is back in the news because of new revelations and high profile support.  

Have you been spending too many hours playing outside? Working on those tan lines? We don’t blame you, the weather’s been gorgeous.

While you were out, political news has continued to churn. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

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OBAMA TRIES TO BARGAIN
The President attempts a new deal on jobs and taxes.

Harp and Hedge Funds

Jul 25, 2013
Thomas Macmillan/New Haven Independent

Did you just get back from a vacation on a remote island? Did you just finish watching all six seasons of "Lost" immediately followed by all 54 episodes of "Breaking Bad"?

Here are the stories you may have missed. 

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TONI HARP WINS DEMS' ENDORSEMENT
But she still has to petition to get on the ballot for New Haven Mayor.

Democrat Toni Harp was endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee on Tuesday. But the DTC failed to file paperwork on time to have her name on the ballot.

Earlier this week, The President and Co-founder of the Families and Work Institute came to Hartford to talk about the work she’s been doing in early childhood development. Hartford Community Schools was chosen as one of a handful of communities nationally to take part in her “Mind in the Making” initiative - meant to share life skills and give hands-on training for parents and educators. Today, we’ll talk with Ellen Galinsky.  

Connecticut Beaches No. 17 In Water Quality

Jul 3, 2013
Hakaider - Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut's beach water quality ranks 17 out of 30 states, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

State environmental officials say those findings, like many states, are heavily dependent on weather conditions. 

"The issue in Connecticut is more of a storm runoff issue," said Dennis Schain, spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Stamford residents protest Bridgewater project

Jun 20, 2013
Dru Nadler

Governor Dannel Malloy is going forward with plans to move Bridgewater Associates to Stamford. But some local residents have been working hard to delay that project. They expressed their opposition in a public hearing in Stamford this week.

Governor Malloy’s plan is to give the hedge fund Bridgewater more than $100 million in tax breaks to move from its current location in Westport to Stamford.

Stamford Residents Protest Bridgewater Project

Jun 20, 2013
Dru Nadler

Governor Dannel Malloy is going forward with plans to move Bridgewater Associates to Stamford. But some local residents have been working hard to delay that project. They expressed their opposition in a public hearing in Stamford this week.

Governor Malloy’s plan is to give the hedge fund Bridgewater more than $100 million in tax breaks to move from its current location in Westport to Stamford.

Coastal Communities Adapt to Change

Jun 18, 2013
Mike Gambina

As the region prepares for a new hurricane season, Connecticut’s shoreline is still suffering from the devastation of previous storms. Irene and Sandy have changed the nature of coastal neighborhoods in Fairfield County.

Fairfield Beach is a neighborhood in transition. Along entire stretches of this town’s coast you can see five, ten houses in a row that have been boarded up or marked for demolition with red paint. And then, right next door, life seems normal. With some small exceptions.

School districts across Connecticut are wrestling with how to implement  the new Common Core state standards, which mean changes to the way teachers teach reading and math along with new computer-based tests. 

The transition is expected to take place over the next year and a half. But some districts say that time frame may be hard to meet.

The Common Core State Standards are a set of expectations for language arts and math. The goal is to ensure that  students have the skills they need for success in college and careers. 

Connecticut Lags in Use of Sandy Relief Dollars

May 30, 2013

More than six months have passed since Superstorm Sandy devastated the tri-state region and many people are still struggling. Money from the congressional Sandy relief bill is already helping those in New York and New Jersey. But Connecticut lags behind.

In Fairfield Beach, you can hear the constant whir of construction. Some recently raised homes look like they’re standing on long stilts 12 or 14 feet above ground. Many others are marked for demolition or are already empty lots.

On some streets, things look normal, until --

Connecticut lags behind in use of Sandy relief dollars

May 30, 2013

More than six months have passed since Superstorm Sandy devastated the tri-state region and many people are still struggling. Money from the congressional Sandy relief bill is already helping those in New York and New Jersey. But Connecticut lags behind.

In Fairfield Beach, you can hear the constant whir of construction. Some recently raised homes look like they’re standing on long stilts 12 or 14 feet above ground. Many others are marked for demolition or are already empty lots.

On some streets, things look normal, until --

Four Danbury police officers have been placed on administrative leave over the alleged verbal harassment of an undocumented driver. The traffic stop was recorded on a cell phone.

During a March 9th traffic stop, Danbury police allegedly subjected the driver -  an undocumented immigrant – to a long, verbally abusive tirade. A recording of the incident circulated among other police officers. Then in April, a complaint was filed.

After an internal investigation, Chief of Police Alan Baker says he referred four police officers to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.

Monday's Commute: Carmageddon Avoided

May 23, 2013

Metro-North railroad has announced it will restore full service to the New Haven line on Wednesday. While many commuters heeded pleas to avoid rush hour travel on Monday, some didn’t have a choice or decided to brave it anyway -- including me. 

Connecticut’s largest teachers’ union filed a complaint Tuesday against Bridgeport School Superintendent Paul Vallas.  The dispute centers on the city’s school governance councils,  whose members say they’re being shut out.

School governance councils were established by law in Connecticut in 2010.  Parents, teachers and community members have a chance to serve as advisors, and collaborate with school administrators to improve student achievement.  

ArtsieAspie (Flickr Creative Commons)

Britain's Prince Harry capped his week-long trip to the U.S. by winning a charity polo match at a star-studded event in Connecticut.

The prince's team won 4-3 after he scored a game-tying goal Wednesday afternoon at the Greenwich Polo Club.  Polo is a sport long associated with the British upper crust, but there are polo clubs playing matches right here in Connecticut.  Joining us by phone is  Andrew Flint, he's a veterinarian, and is a member of the Giant Valley Polo Club in Hamden.

Dru Nadler

Coastal towns in Connecticut are already gearing up for another hurricane season less than a month away. This is the second of a three-part series examining vulnerable areas on Connecticut's shore. 

Yesterday I visited Morris Cove, one of New Haven’s most desirable neighborhoods right on Long Island Sound. Now, we head to a very different residential area on Connecticut’s coastline.

Chion Wolf

A group of parents in Darien have filed a complaint against the school district, alleging that their children with learning disabilities have not been getting the services they are supposed to. It’s just one of many examples of parents fighting through a hard-to-navigate system, one where schools say they’re struggling to find the money to pay for learning disabled students.

Opposition Grows to Bridgewater Project in Stamford

Apr 29, 2013

Controversy is heating up over a plan by the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates to move from Westport to Stamford - with the help of taxpayer dollars. But Stamford officials are under increasing pressure to get it done.

(Read more in the Connecticut Mirror at ctmirror.org). 

Controversy is heating up over a plan by the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates to move from Westport to Stamford - with the help of taxpayer dollars. But Stamford officials are under increasing pressure to get it done.

Sujata Srinivasan

Almost six months after Superstorm Sandy, some businesses are still fighting to get back on their feet. Pop’s Grocery, a 52-year-old corner store in Bridgeport, was inundated by floodwater during the storm. As part of her series on recovery after Sandy, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan went back to visit.

Sujata Srinivasan

Almost six months after Superstorm Sandy, some businesses are still fighting to get back on their feet. Pop’s Grocery, a 52-year-old corner store in Bridgeport, was inundated by floodwater during the storm. As part of her series on recovery after Sandy, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan went back to visit.

Alex (Wikimedia Commons)

We talk a lot about cities and urban planning on Where We Live - the way cities work, fit together, breathe and function.

But when it gets right down to it, I’m viewing the city structure from my “liberal arts” background - not using math to “crunch the numbers” about what makes a city.

The December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has led to calls for increased police presence in Connecticut schools.  Lawmakers heard testimony Friday on a measure concerning school-based arrests.

The bill aims to reduce the number of students arrested at school for low-level, non-violent offenses.  Schools would be required to report the number of arrests, and boards of ed would have to have written agreements with local police departments detailing the role of law enforcement in their schools. 

Sean Marshall (Flickr Creative Commons)

Officials from towns in Fairfield and New Haven counties got a crash course on transit oriented development.

Roger Reynolds is the senior staff attorney for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. He helped create the toolkit and he gave us a crash course on TOD.

Reynolds says taking a TOD will create more of a community and use the resources that we already have.

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