Last month, Bedford Middle School’s student newspaper Ursus was awarded its third consecutive Crown Award by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

The Crown Award is CSPA’s most prestigious recognition and is given only to the few high school and middle school newspapers that have demonstrated consistent excellence in writing, photography, layout, and editing. The award also means that Ursus layouts and designs will become part of the teaching publication that CSPA publishes each year to help spark ideas for other school programs.

For a firsthand look at the students’ work, visit

While there were no new millionaires made last month in Connecticut Lottery games, there were still plenty of big winners.

Elyse Tessler, of Westport, won $20,000 on a 20X Cash ticket sold at Merritt Country Store.

Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, recently provided grants to 26 nonprofit organizations that assist veterans and their families as part of a $6.7 million commitment to honor those who serve.

Among the recipients, Applied Behavioral Rehabilitation Institute, Inc. has been awarded a $30,000 grant.

This funding will support the ABRI Training for Success program, allowing veterans to access short-term educational and training programs that will allow them to utilize the skills they have already acquired in the military to increase their employability and earning potential. Bridgeport-based ABRI is dedicated to providing the housing and services necessary to help homeless individuals, primarily veterans, return to a productive and meaningful life.

Westport-based Newman’s Own Foundation made the award to ABRI as part of a broader commitment to support military personnel, veterans, and their families.

These organizations provide a wide variety of support, including education, career development, mentoring, guide dogs, adaptive vehicles, and other services. The Foundation continues Paul Newman’s commitment to give all profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own food and beverage products to charity. Since 1982, more than $495 million has been donated to thousands of charities around the world.

Another recipient was Help Our Military Heroes (HOMH) in Easton.

The grant of $70,000 will help HOMH further its mission of providing wheelchair accessible, adaptive minivans to our nation’s most traumatically wounded, injured, and ill veterans.

HOMH is dedicated to restoring the independence, mobility, and freedom our country’s veterans lost when they suffered their wounds and injuries, by providing minivans with adaptive driving controls and modifications. These vehicles allow them to once again travel independently along their paths to rehabilitation and recovery.

Cofounded by Laurie and Ted Hollander, of Easton, and Marybeth Vandergrift, of Danbury, in December 2009, HOMH has raised over $2.5 million and provided funding for 90 brand new, fully-customized minivans.

The Summer Theatre of New Canaan will hold a special benefit concert — The Great American Songbook — on Saturday, Nov. 18 at the KARL Chevrolet showroom in New Canaan.

The theater company is turning KARL Chevrolet’s showroom on Elm Street into a theater for the evening and will feature its summer stars from past musicals. For the past seven years, KARL Chevrolet has been a sponsor of the Summer Theatre.

The evening will include the classic hit songs from America’s legendary composers including Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington, Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein and more.

Summer Theatre stars performing include New Canaan residents Kate Simone (Legally Blonde, Big River) and Allison Gray (Sound of Music, Camelot), Westport’s Chris DeRosa (Joseph), New York City resident Daniel Klein (South Pacific), Weston’s Jodi Stevens (Singin’ in the Rain, Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and Norwalk’s Richard Weidlich (Camelot, The Music Man).

The evening begins at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-concert reception including drinks and dessert, followed by the concert at 8 p.m. A live auction at intermission will offer hard-to-get Broadway tickets and backstage tours, among other items.

Proceeds go to support the company’s award-winning education programs and their TYA (theatre for a young audience) school touring program.

For tickets, visit the or call 203-966-4634.

The Fairfield Museum invites professional, serious amateur, and student photographers from Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts to participate in the IMAGES 2018 Juried Photography Show.

Submissions will be accepted from Dec. 1 through Jan. 22. IMAGES 2018 provides an excellent opportunity for artists to connect with prominent collectors, gallery owners, fellow photographers, and the public.

A jury of artists, photographers, and curators selects approximately 40 submitted photographs for exhibition in the IMAGES 2018 show, which will be on display at the Fairfield Museum and History Center from March 1 to April 15, 2018.

For rules and details,

A Westport resident stars in the Darien Arts Center’s fall production by A.R. Gurney that revolves around a dog “Sylvia,” the couple that adopts her, and the comedy that ensues. Jacquie Carlsen, David Jackins and Giovanna Olcese, of Norwalk, and Susan Stanton, of Westport, bring the comedy to life under the direction of Christian Amato.

“Sylvia,” in the DAC Weatherstone Studio, has performances at 8 p.m. on Saturday and 11 and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia” is a smart, silly, sophisticated, and occasionally salty comedy about relationships, nature, and growing older. Greg is a man of middle age, a restless empty-nester, tired of his job in finance and looking for meaning in his life. Sylvia is an exuberant and beautiful lab-poodle mix, astray in Central Park, looking for a new home. When they meet, it is love at first sight. But Greg’s wife Kate, a busy rising star in the public school system, is looking forward to some independence now that the couple no longer has children to care for. She is less than thrilled by the clever and coquettish canine that jumps, slobbers, sits on her couch, and takes Greg’s attention away from his marriage.

Sylvia is sponsored by A Total Look Mobile Dog Grooming of Darien and presented through special arrangement with Dramatist Play Service.

Tickets are $25 at For more information, call the DAC at (203) 655-8683.

The Westport Department of Human Services reminds seniors the department offers a list of middle and high school students willing to work small outdoor jobs such as raking leaves or shoveling walkways.

There is a suggested fee of $10 per hour.

Seniors needing assistance may contact the department at 203-341-1050.

Students interested in helping a senior and earning extra money can contact the department or email Students already registered for the program are requested to contact the department if they wish to remain on the list. Written permission from a parent or guardian is necessary.

Compact smart homes with elevators. A commute-busting high-speed ferry from Westport to Manhattan. A bike path connecting downtown to the Saugatuck train station. Out-of-the-way lots for self-parking driverless cars.

Welcome to Westport in the year 2067.

A new exhibit, 06880+50, brings together the the innovative imaginings of a select group of Westport architects at Westport Historical Society.

The participants range from independent architects to members of large firms and include works from David Adam Realty, Inc., Peter Cadoux Architects, Robert Cohen, Roger Ferris & Partners, Michael Greenberg & Associates, Juresko Herman, Frederick William Hoag, John Jones, Dierdra O’Farrelly, Leigh Overland, Roundtree Architects, Sellars Lathrop Architects, Scott Springer, Robert Storm and Vita Design Group.

The exhibit runs through Dec. 31.

PaintCare, a no-fee paint recycling program, will be available to Westport residents at the Westport Transfer Station.

Residents may take advantage of this program by bringing latex paint, oil-based paint, primer, stain, sealer, varnish and shellac (no spray paint) to the Westport Transfer station, 300 Sherwood Island Connector, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.

There is no charge for recycling paint at the Transfer Station site for Westport residents, nor are any local tax dollars expended. The program is funded by a PaintCare Fee of 75 cents per gallon, which is added to the purchase price of paint sold in Connecticut. This fee is used to fund all aspects of the PaintCare stewardship program. Collected fees pay for paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach and program administration.

The addition of this program to the town’s recycling efforts is expected to reduce annual hazardous waste processing by $3,000 to $4,000 annually.

The paint dropped off at the transfer station is packed into large, plastic-lined boxes and transported to PaintCare’s facility. If possible, the paint is recycled into new paint. If not, it may be turned into fuel or used to make another product.

PaintCare Inc. is a nonprofit organization established by paint manufacturers to plan and operate paint-recycling programs in states that have passed paint stewardship laws. Connecticut is one of only seven states in the country to pass the legislation.

Do you drive on the Merritt Parkway late at night or early in the morning between Fairfield and Westport? Then be prepared for some delays because of a $56.7 million project that won’t be finished until August 2019.

The project will focus on a five-mile stretch of the parkway between the Congress Street bridge in Fairfield to the Newtown Turnpike overpass in Westport.

The project will include new pavement in both the northbound lanes and work on 11 structures related to the historic bridges, built nearly 80 years ago.

There’s also upgrades planned for guiderails, drainage and restoration of the historic bridges. With all this work, lane closures are needed.

Northbound lane closures are planned from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Saturday to Wednesday and from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Southbound lane closures are from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday; from 8 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday and from 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday.