Did You Hear … ?

One of the attorneys for the lunch ladies charged with first-degree larceny, Stamford-based Darnell Crosland, told reporters Monday that he and his client have agreed to be filmed by A&E as part of the TV network’s planned show, “The Accused.” The show “tells the dramatic stories of people at the most vital and most terrifying moment of their lives,” according to A&E. “This gripping series reveals the true inside story of what happens when someone is accused of a crime they believe they did not commit. Featuring the defendant, their family and their legal teams, ‘The Accused (working title)’ reveals the personal cost of every charge, watching each case unfold from the defendant’s point of view. It shares every twist and turn of this traumatic experience from their first meeting with their lawyers right up to the verdict allowing viewers to judge the subject’s innocence for themselves.”

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A new business is “popping up” next Wednesday at 4 South Ave. (formerly Funky Monkey) in New Canaan.

Police ID Victim in South Bald Hill Road Untimely Death as 71-Year-Old Woman

New Canaan Police have identified the deceased person found pinned and non-responsive beneath a motor vehicle on Tuesday as 71-year-old Rye Brook, N.Y. resident Kathleen Hofer. Police, firefighters and EMTs rushed to a South Bald Hill Road residence at 11:58 a.m. on March 27 on a report of a victim beneath a vehicle. The New Canaan Police Department’s Accident Reconstruction Unit investigation is ongoing, according to a press statement from Lt. Jason Ferraro, NCPD’s public information officer. The state Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting an autopsy to determine cause of death, he said. More information will be released when the NCPD investigation is completed.

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.

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.

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.