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The Week in Review

Major developments for week of July 24 - July 30, 2011.

Greenwich Mountain Lion a traveling feline?

It is almost unbelievable but Connecticut wildlife officials say it's true.

In what’s being called the longest journey a mountain lion has ever taken in the United States, a cougar , Conn. six weeks ago—believed by some to be the same cougar , Conn.—traveled 1,100 miles from Minnesota to get to New England, Connecticut officials said July 26.

According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, analysts' data show that the feline known in South Dakota as the “St. Croix Cougar” journeyed from that state’s Black Hills, through Minnesota and Wisconsin and across the Midwest—likely southern Ontario, Canada—eventually to Greenwich, where it met its end after being a hit by a SUV on the Wilbur Cross parkway in Milford.

“This is an incredible journey, nearly double that of any mountain lion [ever recorded],” Connecticut DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty said during a press briefing.

Glenville blaze injures firefighters

A home on Deep Gorge Road was heavily damaged by a fire caused by an improperly discarded cigarette on July 27.

According to Greenwich Fire Chief Peter Siecienski, a cigarette discarded in a garbage can ignited the wood deck at the rear of 27 Deep Gorge Rd. and spread to the second and third floors of the single family home, causing extensive fire and smoke damage. Several firefighters received minor injuries, the chief said.

A family cat perished in the fire.

Water woes in Glenville

A major water main break shut down the center of Glenville Thursday and Friday. Just as the noon lunch time rush was beginning, the main located in the intersection of Glenville and Riversville roads ruptured, spewing thousands of gallons of water into the roadway.

As crews tried to shut off the water supply, the roadway buckled, prompting the closure of the major artery connecting King Street, Riversville Road, Glenville Steet and Glenville Road to the center of town. The closures caused long backups on King Street and Comly Avenue as motorists tried to find alterate routes.

While crews for Aquarion Water Co., which owns the pipes, worked to make repairs, a second water line broke short distance away on Riversville Road. One bit of good fortune is that most Aquarion customers did not lose water service. However, local businesses felt the impact as customers could not access the area. Glenville Sunoco had to close on Thursday.

By Friday morning, construction crews were repaving the intersection located at the driveway of the Glenville Fire Department. (Those closure did not affect the department's response.) The roadway was finally reopened about 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 29.

Contaminated soil closes Greenwich High athletic fields

There was much anticipation when the controversial auditorium and classroom expansion project at Greenwich High School began in early July.

What wasn't anticipated was the discovery of soil being contaminated with PCBs, arsenic and other chemicals. A collection of soil samples revealed the chemical presence at the construction site and nearby playing fields and late Friday afternoon, school officials ordered all athletic fields closed.

A portion of the site was closed earlier when dirt was found to be contaminated. The fields have been fenced and officials said security measures were in place to ensure the public doesn't access them.

The district's Crisis Management Team is to meet Aug. 1 and the building committee for the $28 million Music Instruction Space and Auditorium project is to meet Aug. 2 to decide how to proceed with the project.

In the meantime, the Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation is relocating several athletic camps and activities to alternate locations in town. It is not known how the contamination will affect the high school's athletic program, especially with Cardinal Stadium also being closed.

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