Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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WestportNow welcomes news and notices from Westport community organizations and individuals. Please send them to [email protected] for consideration for publication. Be sure to include the Westport connection, date and time of event, if appropriate, as well as contact information. WestportNow reserves the right to edit submissions to conform to our editorial style.

Thanksgiving Message from Jim Marpe

First Selectman Jim Marpe delivered his annual Thanksgiving message today.

Westport is a place where we live by, and teach our children, the values that we cherish—values that embrace equality, inclusiveness, open-mindedness, and mutual respect. This Thanksgiving, we reflect upon these qualities in light of a tumultuous year that has, quite frankly, brought heartache, anxiety, and turmoil. There are many among us who are isolated and alone. Emotions and situations brought about by an unseen virus and other national events have caused all of us to re-think how we behave and how we react as a society. No doubt, it has taken its toll and has caused significant adjustments in how we live our lives.”

However, recent news and guidance from scientists and health officials is very promising. If we continue to stay aware and respectful, actively follow the protocols in place such as wearing a mask, keeping distance, and avoiding gatherings, we can see a path to where we can once again enjoy a way of life without fear of harming our neighbors, friends, and family. And I would like to echo Governor Lamont’s request to please keep your in-home Thanksgiving celebrations to immediate family and to 10 persons or fewer.

Besides COVID, there were other events that caused upheaval, unrest and concern in this country and on the local level. Westporters have historically been leaders in social movements, and this year was no different. We will continue to have the difficult dialogues about social injustice while encouraging and setting an example of mutual respect for all humankind. We remain grateful and thankful for those in our community who have led the way in standing firmly against hate and intolerance, and for those who protect our health and safety.

Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful for our freedoms and our good fortune while recognizing that there are others who are less fortunate. I am personally thankful for our extraordinary teachers, civic leaders, clergy, and volunteers of all kinds. They, along with many other residents, work tirelessly and diligently to care for and help meet the needs of those who require additional emotional, family and economic support. COVID has caused us to adjust the manner in which their work is accomplished, but they remain steadfast in their commitment to helping. I want to acknowledge their contributions—they are valued and appreciated.

UPDATE: WPD Asks for Help Finding Missing Girl

UPDATE: On Nov. 24, 2020, the WPD provided this update, “This afternoon, Gerlyne Springer has been located/has returned. This investigation has since been closed. Thank you to all for your assistance.”

Gerlyne Springer, missing from Westport, CT
Gerlyne Springer, missing from the Saugatuck area of Westport (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

On Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, the Westport Police Department started looking for a missing person, a girl, missing from the Saugatuck area. The girl, Gerlyne Springer, left her home around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, and did not return. She did not respond to attempts to contact her.

Gerlyne Springer is 17. She is described as a light-skinned black female, 5’5” tall, weighing approximately 250 lbs. She currently has long braided extensions in her hair colored both brown and purple.  She was last seen wearing dark clothing and glasses.

The WPD Detective Bureau is actively investigating this incident and following up on several possible locations, however at this time Springer’s exact whereabouts remain unknown. Anyone with any information that could assist in this investigation is asked to contact the WPD at (203) 341-6000 and/or the Detective Bureau at (203) 341-6080.

Scarice: 4 More Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed at Greens Farms, Staples

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice today issued the following update to school families:

Dear Westport Families and Staff,

In our efforts to remain transparent with reports of positive Covid-19 cases associated with our schools, we will continue to provide these updates as information is confirmed. As of the time I am writing to you this evening we have 4 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 from the following schools:

  • Greens Farms Elementary School – 1 (Presumptive from 11/20 confirmed Positive on 11/23)
  • Staples High School – 3 (Two confirmed 11/22, One confirmed 11/23)

Those impacted have been notified by school and District officials. As a reminder, families are asked to report positive of COVID-19 cases of students using our reporting voicemail or email regardless of whether the students are in remote or hybrid models of instruction. Please follow this link for more information on reporting.

Respectfully,
Thomas Scarice
Superintendent of Schools