Tommy Gogolak STAR YMCA

STAR Gets Grant to Help People With Disabilities Find First Jobs

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STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way received a $20,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation to support local individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) find first jobs through their My First Jobs Program. — an announcement from STAR Inc., Lighting the Way

STAR’s My First Jobs Program provides support to workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities in entering the workforce. Current research indicates that only 15% of people with IDD are employed. However, with the right supports, many people with IDD can build a career alongside their typical peers. STAR is recognized as a leading agency in Connecticut in job placements, coaching, and hours worked competitively by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Metro-North New Haven Line MTA Metropolitan Transit Authority An M8 car on the tracks

Cameron: Metro-North Doesn’t Give Citations to Riders Violating Masking Rules

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Despite promises to keep their passengers safe during the pandemic, data from Metro-North Police shows that not a single citation was issued to violators of the facemask rule on the commuter railroad in the last nine months. — an announcement from The Commuter Action Group

“Kudos to reporter Brendan Crowley for his FOI request for this
data, filed in late May,” said Jim Cameron of The Commuter Action Group. “As an advocate for riders’ interest I’ve heard almost daily reports of unmasked riders on trains… reported details to the railroad and seen no action taken. This data confirms their ‘safety measures’ were a sham.”

As the CTExaminer reported today:

Transit workers have issued 38 summons for refusing to wear a mask on
public transit since MTA instituted fines on Sept. 14, 2020 — that number
includes riders on New York City subways and buses, and the Long Island
Railroad Since the beginning of 2020, MTA reported that it had issued 772
citations on Metro-North trains, but none for failing to wear masks.

Tara Ochman 2021

Former Board of Education Chair Tara Ochman Announces Run for First Selectman

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Tara Ochman, a Democrat, member of the Board of Education and its former chairperson, announced Thursday that she is running for first selectman. “For too long, the talents and experience of our residents have been undervalued, and for too long our town government has just managed the town, but not planned, really, for what’s next.,” Ochman told a crowd of about 100 people in front of Town Hall at 5:30 p.m.

“Our infrastructure, our roadways, our town-owned land and beaches need improvement,” she said. “They’ve been ignored too long. “We need to re-evaluate and modernize our emergency response plans. We need workable, user-friendly technology upgrades that allow us to operate efficiently and honor and aid the hard work of our town employees, making access to our town services easier for everyone.”

Charlie Sherman Charles Sherman

How Four Area People with Disabilities Work and Live on Their Own, With Help

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How many of us have dreamed of having our own home? How many want that home located in our home town, where we know people, we know the shopkeepers and the street signs, and where people know our name? — an announcement from STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way

For many adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), that’s not only their dream, it’s their reality, thanks to a program from the state Department of Developmental Disabilities called Individualized Home Supports. Here’s how several people in Darien and nearby communities were helped by the program:
Charlie, at Whole Foods in Darien
There is hardly a customer at Whole Foods in Darien who is an unfamiliar face to Charlie, who has worked there for over six years. In a job that makes him beam with pride, he says: “Everybody knows me […] I get to be outside on my own helping and greeting people, not a lot of bosses, and I just do what I gotta do!”

To get to work each day, Charlie walks from his apartment in his hometown of Norwalk to the East Norwalk Metro North station, where he boards the local train to Darien.


Police: No Domestic Violence Charges After a 911 Call — But a Charge For Someone Who Blocks Another From Completing Call

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Police responding to a 911 call about a domestic incident said they found there was was arguing involved, but didn’t say there was violence — and nobody was charged with a domestic violence crime. But a man hung up the phone when the 911 call was made by the other person, police said, and that resulted in charges against him. Darien police provided this account, including accusations not proven in court:

The call was made to police at 4:39 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, from a home in town. When police went to the residence, they spoke with a 50-year-old man who said there had been a verbal argument, and the other person confirmed that. The victim said that at some point he or she called 911, but the man hung up the call.

Coffee with a Cop poster 07-17-21

You’re Invited to ‘Coffee With a Cop’ Saturday, July 17, at Caffe Nero

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You can join your neighbors and Darien police officers for coffee and conversation from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, July 17 at Caffe Nero, 1071 Post Road, in downtown Darien. You can come with questions or just talk with police. “No agenda or speeches, just a chance for you to get to know the police officers that work in your community!” the Police Department said in a post on Facebook. Questions?

Abilis Expands Special Needs Services in Darien With Four Programs This Year, More Expected

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Abilis, a nonprofit that serves people with special needs and their families, will be expanding programs and services in Darien, starting with four programs in the areas of job training, life skills, employment and housing. — an announcement from Abilis

Abilis is now accepting applications for two programs: Abilis LEAP Transitions Program, which helps people acquire life skills, as well as Project SEARCH, a 10-month internship at the Darien YMCA to provide job training. Two other programs are still in the works: Sometime later this year Abilis will open Darien Library Café. Later this summer and early fall, the organization will run the supportive living program for 12 new, large studio apartments on East Lane, as part of the Corbin District project. “Having these four initial Abilis programs, and more to come, in the Darien community, will only strengthen our ability to help more individuals with disabilities or special needs,” said Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis.

Police Darien Police Lock Your Car Every Time

State Lawmakers Explore What Can Be Done About Youths Stealing Cars Across the State

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State legislators from both parties recently started more active discussions on what can be done about youths stealing cars across the state, a problem that’s festered for years. In a related development, state Rep. Terrie Wood told constituents Thursday afternoon that she’s joined other lawmakers in petitioning for a special session of the state Legislature to address the problem. The recent death of a runner in New Britain, reportedly struck by a stolen car driven by a 17-year-old with a long criminal history, prompted a GOP news conference on the problem Wednesday morning, and then the meeting of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle that afternoon, according to a report Thursday on the CT News Junkie website. The report also said: “A bipartisan group of lawmakers emerged from a closed-door meeting at the state Capitol Wednesday with plans to pursue policies aimed at reducing youth crime including giving judges more information on the criminal records of repeat offenders.” The Democratic and Republican lawmakers said they “identified some limited common ground,” as the article described it.

Darien Police Car Lights Police Lights

Police: DUI for Darien Woman, 51, After She Struck a Parked Car

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A 51-year-old Darien woman driving on West Elm Street struck a parked car shortly before 9:30 p.m., Thursday, July 1, police said. She was later charged with driving while under the influence. Darien police gave this account of what happened, including accusations not proven in court:

When police spoke to the woman, a resident of Avalon Darien on Hollow Tree Ridge Road, an officer could smell alcohol coming from her. She told police she had been drinking. She refused to participate in any standardized sobriety tests at the scene, and police decided to take her into custody on the driving under the influence charge.

Police Car

Police: Traffic Stop Caused by Suspicious License Plate Leads to Arrest of Driver on Unrelated Warrant

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When a police officer on patrol saw that a license plate check of a car going east on the Post Road showed that the state had no record for that plate, the officer pulled the car over, police said. The traffic stop (near the intersection of the Post Road and Cross Street) resulted in the arrest of the driver, who was charged with something completely unrelated — violation of a protective order telling her to keep away from another person. That person was also in the car, sitting next to the driver. Darien police gave this account, including accusations not proven in court:

The driver, a 35-year-old Bridgeport woman, told police that the car belonged to the passenger. When police made a routine check of state public safety records connected with the driver, they found the active no-contact order.