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News Highlights in Town [Update]

GHS graduation day set; a fete for the schools superintendent.

(*Editor's note: This article was updated to include funeral photos and information for Greenwich Police Officer James Genovese.)

Veteran Greenwich Police Officer dies

Veteran Greenwich Police Officer James 'Jim' Genovese died late Tuesday at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY, after suffering a massive heart attack on Sunday.

The 44-year-old Genovese was a familiar fixture on Greenwich Avenue as a traffic officer since 2005 at the intersection of Havemeyer Place and Arch Street, and before that at East and West Elm streets.

Genovese was a graduate of Iona College. During his 20½-year career he was decorated for bravery and his personnel file includes letters of gratitude and commendation. Genovese was cross-trained as an emergency dispatcher and has spent time assigned to the CT-POST Academy teaching recruit officers about effective traffic direction, according to police.

He leaves his wife and their five-year-old daughter.

His funeral service was held Saturday. Hundreds of officers from the region paid their final respects at the service at St. Mary Church on Greenwich Avenue. The funeral procession included a drive past the Public Safety Complex on Bruce Place and one last crossing of Greenwich Avenue at Havemeyer Place and Arch Street where a Greenwich Fire Department ladder truck extended the American flag. Greenwich Police officials erected a memorial wreath and badge on the white traffic circle where Genovese directed traffic and hung purple and black bunting on the crosswalk fences.

 

GHS graduation day, last day of class set

And it’s official – the Greenwich High School graduation day will be Monday, June 20 – the district’s 180th day of class.

At the Board of Education’s monthly meeting Thursday, Chairman Steve Anderson quipped that as much as students would prefer to graduate on Friday, June 17, “It must be noted that the 17th is the 179th day of class.”

And Schools Superintendent Dr. Sidney Freund added that consideration of travel arrangements being easier over a weekend, he recommended the commencement be held on the 180th day rather than the next day – June 21. It should be noted, that June 21 is the final day of classes for the rest of the district’s 9,000-plus students.

The board was unanimous in approving the dates.

School Superintendent Freund feted

It’s been a little more than a week ago since the Connecticut PTA Council announced that Greenwich School Superintendent Dr. Sidney Freund was selected to receive the inaugural Superintendent of the Year award.

So at Thursday night’s board meeting, it was accolades all around. After being serenaded by the Julian Curtiss School choir, Freund was feted by the PTA Council – which nominated him for the award, along with state Rep. Livvy Floren who presented him with a congratulatory proclamation from the entire Greenwich legislative delegation.

The recognition continued with Second Selectman David Theis presenting Freund with the proclamation that Thursday, March 24 was “Dr. Sidney Freund Day” in Greenwich. Theis, who was standing in for First Selectman Peter Tesei, also presented the Board of Education with a proclamation recognizing their service during March Board of Education month.

Wolf time at the Senior Center

Members of the Greenwich Senior Center got a small chance to experience ‘Wild Kingdom’ last week when members of the Wolf Conservation Center of South Salem, NY  brought gray wolf Atka, to help illustrate a discussion on the lives of wolves.

With nearly 50 seniors enraptured by the lecture lead by the Wolf Center Curator Rebecca Bose, Atka was seemingly docile and intrigued by the accoutrements of humanity around him. He was born at the center in 2001 and one of two wolves who travel to classrooms, community and senior centers in the region.

Atka quietly paced the room within the confines of his leash, and it didn’t take the 85-pound wolf long to forego trying to ingest a plastic pepper shaker. A couple licks of the black powder inside the shaker he cracked open with a bite from his jaws, prompted Atka to leave it on the floor.

In the wild, wolves “can smell their dinner four miles away,” according to Bose.

 

 

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