Legacy Theatre A Go!

by marcia chambers | Aug 11, 2017 7:12 am

Marcia Chambers Photo With the lawsuits settled, Keely Baisden Knudsen, the artistic director of the Legacy Theatre, says exterior renovations to the historic Puppet House will get underway this month. She said she is delighted.

In a letter to the theater’s supporters, Knudsen says the Legacy has been given a $350,000 gift that will be used for exterior renovations once plans have been reviewed and accepted. “It will be wonderful to see visible progress”on the building, which she expects by year’s end, she said.

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Man Arrested For Ramming Branford Police Cruiser

by marcia chambers | Aug 5, 2017 8:00 am | Comments (1)

Branford P.D. A 36-year-old East Haven man, who allegedly rammed a Branford police officer’s cruiser as he was fleeing a parking lot in his car following a tire theft at Al Mac Motors II, was taken into custody Wednesday on an arrest warrant, police said. 

The tire theft took place on July 5 at the tire store, at 117 North Main St. According to Branford Detective Lieutenant John Finkle, the suspect, identified as Janssen Padilla of East Haven, was driving his gray Jeep Cherokee when he rammed into the officer’s cruiser as it was entering the parking lot.

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Former Costco Site Gets Controversial Time Extension

by Diana Stricker | Jul 31, 2017 7:29 am

Diana Stricker Photo The developers of the 44-acre Planned Development District (PDD) and Master Plan at Exit 56, where Costco once planned to build a warehouse, have one more year to submit site plans — maybe.

Diana Stricker Photo The Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission (pictured) voted 3-2 to grant a one-year extension, but Town Attorney Bill Aniskovich warned that the decision could be appealed.  Zoning regulations say a site plan must be submitted within 24 months of Master Plan approval, or the plans are null and void. However, the regulations do not address the possibility of extensions. The deadline was July 30.

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Police Seize Opioids After Car Stop

by marcia chambers | Jul 14, 2017 8:08 am

Branford Police Photo Branford police confiscated eight kilograms of narcotics, a combined mixture of Fentanyl and Tramadol, both opioids and valued on the street market at $2 million, after stopping a car with very heavily tinted windows Wednesday.

They arrested Carlos Albert Hernandez-Salazar, 27, of Canton, Ohio, after Officer Josef Herten stopped the car because of the windows. The stop occurred at about 5:15 p.m. but police did not say where in Branford or where on a highway it took place. Maria Zambrano, 20, was driving. Their two children were with them. 

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BOS Approves Legacy Theatre Agreement

by marcia chambers | Jul 6, 2017 7:21 am

Marcia Chambers Photo In a unanimous vote, the Board of Selectmen (BOS) last night approved a four-way legal settlement, which, with a judge’s approval, will enable the Legacy Theatre to open for business in Stony Creek.

The agreement includes a stipulation that gives the theater and certain residents exclusive use of seven parking spaces on Thimble Island Road when the theater is in operation about 150 days a year.

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RTM Approves Limited Parking Plan for Legacy Theatre Neighbors

by marcia chambers | Jun 16, 2017 9:46 am | Comments (1)

Marcia Chambers Photo The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) agreed Wednesday to allow limited special resident parking on a public road at certain times and for certain months as part of a four-way legal agreement that is expected to enable the Legacy Theatre to finally open its doors. 

Despite a last minute development that nearly derailed an agreement that took several years to work out, the RTM, in a 21-1 bi-partisan vote, overwhelmingly approved the agreement. The parties include the Legacy Theatre, the town of Branford, the Stony Creek Association (SCA), and a separate group of neighbors who live adjacent to the theater on Thimble Islands Road.

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Dr. Wang Pleads Guilty To Killing Dr. Toor

by marcia chambers | Jun 9, 2017 2:18 pm | Comments (6)

File Photos In a dramatic turn of events, Dr. Lishan Wang pleaded guilty in Superior Court on Church Street Friday morning to killing his former colleague Dr. Vajinder Toor outside his Branford condominium on the morning of April 26, 2010 as Dr. Toor left for work at Yale Medical School. Dr. Toor was 34 when he was gunned down.

Dr. Wang faces up to 32 years in prison, plus five years of special probation when he is sentenced on Sept. 22.

A combination of factors led to the plea, including the complexity of the case along with potential lengthy appeals, a potential insanity defense, witness availability given the length of the case and Dr. Wang’s slow return to mental stability under forced medication, a development that might not be permanent. Overall, the case has rattled the criminal justice system.

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Senate Unanimously Adopts Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic

by Staff | Jun 7, 2017 12:05 pm

File Photo State Sen.Ted Kennedy, Jr., (D-Branford), last night led a unanimous bi-partisan state senate to adopt a series of major policy changes in how the state fights an ongoing opioid crisis. Kennedy, a health care attorney, said the bill will transform the way Connecticut fights the opioid epidemic on a variety of fronts. 

The new bill law establishes a “standing order” model, which will make it easier for friends and family members of opioid addicts to obtain Narcan, the life-saving opioid overdose reversal medication. It also requires doctors to reduce the maximum opioid prescription for minors from seven days to five unless the doctor can document the need for an extended prescription. 

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Judge Rules Wang Cannot Represent Himself at Murder Trial

by marcia chambers | Jun 6, 2017 8:47 am

File Photo A Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that while competent to stand trial, Dr. Lishan Wang is not competent to represent himself as his own attorney at his murder trial; the legal issues are complex and the stress could have serious consequences. He is accused of killing a former colleague, Dr. Vajinder Toor as Dr. Toor left his Branford condo on April 26, 2010. He is also accused of attempting to kill Dr. Toor’s wife.

“I am convinced that if allowed to represent himself, he would return to a state of (mental) incompetence,” Superior Court Judge Thomas V. O’Keefe, Jr.  told those assembled yesterday in his sixth courtroom at the Church Street courthouse. “I am going to deny the motion for self- representation,” he said, adding that he did not disagree with the conclusions offered by hospital and outside psychiatrists that Dr. Wang is competent. 

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