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2015 In Review: Fairfield County Makes National News

Brian Williams of New Canaan was removed from his post as anchor of "NBC Nightly News" and spent several months off the air after it was discovered that he had embellished stories about his time reporting on the war in Iraq.
Brian Williams of New Canaan was removed from his post as anchor of "NBC Nightly News" and spent several months off the air after it was discovered that he had embellished stories about his time reporting on the war in Iraq. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. –Fairfield County saw its fair share of news in 2015, but not all the news was confined to the Gold Coast.

Some large national issues had an impact on Fairfield County, while other stories reverberated outward and made headlines across the country.

New Canaan resident Brian Williams was removed from his old position as anchor of “NBC Nightly News” after allegations surfaced that he had lied about his experiences while reporting on the war in Iraq . Williams first tried to blame his inflated stories on a non-existent brain tumor before admitting that he lied . He was reinstated with a position at MSNBC in September .

Newtown High School graduate Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce) became one of the biggest stories of the year when she appeared in an interview with Diane Sawyer in April to announce that she was transitioning to life as a woman. Shortly after, she revealed her new name, received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs, and began filming a reality show for the E! network. Barbara Walters later named her the most fascinating person of 2015 .

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy attacked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence in an MSNBC interview in April over the signing of that state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He called Pence “a bigot” and blasted the law as discriminatory against LGBT people.

Connecticut lawmakers received national attention following the shooting that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif. in December. U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy used Twitter to s cold colleagues who offered “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of the shooting but have not done enough in his view to stop similar shootings from taking place. Days later Malloy became the first governor in the nation to ban gun sales to people who are on federal watchlists .

Football legend and Greenwich resident Frank Gifford died of natural causes in August at the age of 84. He was remembered for his legacy to the game, as well as for his charitable work.

British Army veteran Neil Davis stopped in Danbury in August during his 3,178 coast-to-coast trek through 15 states. Davis embarked on the walk to raise awareness to the plight of veterans in the United States and the United Kingdom who are suffering from combat-related stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A new version of the popular show “To Catch A Predator” returned to airwaves with a special filmed as part of a sting in Fairfield . Several men were caught on camera and by police as they arrived at the Fairfield home to meet minors for sex.

A New York City woman drew scorn from the Internet in October when it was revealed she was suing her 12-year-old nephew for hugging her too hard at a birthday party. Jennifer Connell said she sued the Westport boy as a way of getting her insurance company to cover her medical bills , and that she was never looking for money from her nephew. A jury found the boy was not liable.

Though it did not take place in Fairfield County, a student at the nearby University of Connecticut also found Internet fame after a video surfaced online of him berating staff over their refusal to serve him macaroni and cheese . Luke Gatti was arrested in the incident and later left the school and was given probation . His apology towards the manager of the campus eatery seen in the video was not accepted .

A Stamford man jumped over the fence at the White House on Thanksgiving. Joseph Caputo, 22, was adorned in an American flag cape and holding his own copy of the U.S. Constitution when he hopped over the fence. He was arrested and later released to the custody of his mother , though he was denied re-entry to the University of Bridgeport where he was studying criminal justice.

A music professor at Western Connecticut State University was nominated for a Grammy Award for a jazz album he wrote in memory of his daughter, who was killed in the Sandy Hook shootings. Jimmy Greene’s album “Beautiful Life” was inspired by Ana Grace, who died at the age of 6.

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