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2014 In Review: Westport Enjoys New Businesses, Endures Harsh Winter

Steam Coffee Bar was one of the many new businesses that opened in Westport this year.
Steam Coffee Bar was one of the many new businesses that opened in Westport this year. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. – This year Westport saw new businesses come into town and old political leaders remain in office. Here are some of the top stories of 2014.

Several new retailers came into Westport this year, particularly dining establishments. This year saw the opening of a second location of Steam Coffee Bar , Java Coffee & Café , Saugatuck Sweets , Espresso Neat , and Vespa . Crumbs Bakery & Café closed down for a few months in the summer before reopening in the fall.

This year’s election was a busy one, with Westport residents casting their ballots in local, state and federal races. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy beat out Republican challenger Tom Foley to secure re-election. In the race for the U.S. House of Representatives, Jim Himes defeated challenger Dan Debicella to hold onto the Fourth Congressional District’s seat. At the state level, Toni Boucher held on to her seat in the state Senate, while Tony Hwang defeated Kim Fawcett to take over John McKinney’s seat in the state Senate. State Reps. Gail Lavielle and Jonathan Steinberg also defeated challengers to hold on to their seats representing Westport.

This was a brutal and long winter for Westport, with more than 70 inches of snowfall over the course of the season. The cold temperatures and snow lasted well into March, and caused several problems, including a train that was stranded with more than 200 passengers.

In crime news, Westport police made several arrests, particularly in response to armed robberies. In August, a Weston man was arrested after police said his DNA matched that found in a mask used in a 2011 bank robbery. In early July, three Bridgeport men were arrested and charged with the robbery of a TD Bank on Post Road East. In August, two men were arrested after robbing a bank in Westport and fleeing to Norwalk by driving the wrong way down the Merritt Parkway. Police also sought information about a dead body that was found by a jogger on Partrick Road in November.

Some old sights in Westport were also refurbished this year. The Levitt Pavilion was re-done , with a new stage and fresh grass. The Minute Man Monument on Compo Beach Road was refurbished . The historic Kemper-Gunn House was saved from demolition by being rolled across the street.

What did you think were the biggest Westport stories of 2014? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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