Jason Ferraro

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Blustery Winter Storm Dumps Nearly One Foot of Snow in New Canaan; Public Schools Closed Friday

The winter storm that whipped into New Canaan before dawn Thursday dumped an estimated 10.4 inches of snow on the town, as gusting winds blew high snowdrifts and dozens of local businesses and organizations were forced to close with road conditions rapidly deteriorating. New Canaan Public Schools will be closed Friday, too, officials said, while district offices will open on a 2-hour delay. Town Hall will open at 10 a.m.

New Canaan Police confirmed two storm-related motor vehicle accidents on Thursday afternoon while firefighters responded to multiple reports of frozen pipes, as sustained low temperatures continued throughout the day, hovering between single digits and the mid-20s. Police Lt. Jason Ferraro, the department’s public information officer, urged motorists to monitor road conditions and stay home if possible in order for state and local highway crews to clear the streets and make them safe. “People should still stay home after it stops snowing and use caution if they must venture out,” Ferraro said. Continue Reading →

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Officials: Opponents of ‘Merritt Village’ Project Arrested After Refusing To Leave Burial Ground [UPDATED]

Police on Thursday afternoon arrested two New Canaan residents—longtime opponents of the 110-unit ‘Merritt Village’ redevelopment on Park and Maple Streets—following what eye-witnesses call their refusal to leave a long disused burial ground adjacent to the property. Terry Spring and Jack Trifero each were charged with third-degree criminal trespass. Spring additionally was charged with interfering with an officer. According to representatives from property owner M2 Partners LLC, Spring and Trifero some time around 12:20 p.m. walked onto what has been called the “Maple Street Burial Ground” after parking in a contiguous private condominium’s lot. After New Canaan’s Planning & Zoning Commission approved the Merritt Village project last November, the question of appropriate protections for (and ownership of) the burial ground—a collection of scattered gravestones, disinterred grave shafts and even bodies that M2 itself discovered—lingered before the property owner could pursue its redevelopment project in earnest. Continue Reading →

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Selectmen Unanimously Approve Higher ‘Extra Duty’ Rates for New Canaan Police

Town officials on Tuesday approved a higher hourly wage for members of the New Canaan Police Department when they’re helping with traffic control for utility companies or at private functions—a fee typically paid by contractors rather than local taxpayers. The “extra duty” rate—as opposed to overtime, when the town pays an officer a higher rate for shift work—has not increased in eight years, police told members of the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting. And at $60.32 per hour for an extra duty job that goes beyond eight straight hours or $67 per hour for work between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., the New Canaan Police rate has fallen behind nearby municipalities such as Darien, Wilton, Westport, Stamford and Greenwich, officials said. Those rates will increase to $70 and $77, following a unanimous vote by the Board of Selectmen at the meeting, held in Town Hall. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said “it’s important that we get these [police officers] to want to take these side jobs, because I think having a police presence in town is a good thing.”

“I know they have been involved when they are on extra-duty work, that they are in town to augment the police force and stop some very serious crimes and I think it really spreads out and becomes more attractive when you get more folks taking on these jobs.”

Police Lt. Jason Ferraro, presenting the proposed new rates to the selectmen, cited instances such as when an officer saved a choking person’s life on Elm Street while working an extra-duty job nearby, or when officers working extra-duty responded to motor vehicle accidents and even serious domestic incidents involving weapons as examples of how the work has helped New Canaan. Continue Reading →

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‘I Don’t Want Cops in My House’: Interfering Charge for New Canaan Man, 59, in Oenoke Ridge Underage Drinking Party Case; Felony Charge for Teenage Son [UPDATED]

[Note: This article has been updated since charges against the teen have been dropped.]

A 17-year-old boy lay seriously injured and unconscious for nearly 40 minutes in the basement of an Oenoke Ridge Road home, bleeding from his ear, before emergency responders were called, partly because the father of the teen who was hosting the underage drinking party where he’d fallen insisted that nobody phone police about it, officials say. Douglas Knight, 59, on Thursday turned himself in on the misdemeanor charge of interfering with an emergency call in connection with the March 25 party, according to a police report. Though the Knight parents were not at home that Saturday night, they kept the injured boy’s parents in the dark about his injuries for a critical period of time and instructed their own son as well as others in the house not to call 9-1-1, according to an arrest warrant application from New Canaan Police Sgt. Peter Condos of the department’s Investigative Section. Ultimately, the father of a girl who attended the party phoned 9-1-1 himself after learning from her what was happening, Condos said in his sworn affidavit. Continue Reading →

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Two Pedestrians Struck by SUV at South and Harrison Avenues on Monday Night

An SUV struck two pedestrians at South and Harrison Avenues on Monday night, police said. New Canaan Police received a call about the incident at 6:21 p.m., according to Lt. Jason Ferraro, the department’s public information officer. Both pedestrians were transported to Norwalk Hospital’s Emergency Room, Ferraro said in a press release. Their condition was not immediately known. At about 7:40 p.m., an accident reconstruction unit from the Darien Police Department arrived on the scene. Continue Reading →

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