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2014 In Review: Darien Greets New Senior Center, Businesses

The Mather Center opened in Darien this summer after years of discussions on the new for a new senior center.
The Mather Center opened in Darien this summer after years of discussions on the new for a new senior center. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

DARIEN, Conn. – This year saw the opening of two long-awaited projects in Darien, as well as new dining establishments and a controversial cell phone tower proposal. Here are the top stories from 2014.

After years of debate, planning, referendums and setbacks, the Mather Community Center finally opened its doors . The new center is located in the old site of the Board of Education offices adjacent to Town Hall, and its programming replaces the Senior Center on Edgerton Road. Another project long in the making, the Heights at Allen O’Neill , also opened up this year. The 106-unit affordable housing development sits on the site where Allen O’Neill Drive used to be.

This year also saw the opening of several businesses in Darien. Jumbo Dog Artbooks created a way for parents to preserve their kids’ artwork and memories, Pure Barre gave ballet enthusiasts a place to work out, and Darien Academic Advisors created a place for students to prepare for college. Amanda Smith Caterers , Palmwich , Lobstercraft , Center Street Public House and SoNo Baking Company all provided new places to eat. Darien also said goodbye to longtime establishments such as Friendly’s , Edward Tunick Men’s Clothier and Chuck’s Steakhouse .

In crime news, former CBS anchor Rob Morrison was arrested again after police said he violated a protective order. A bookkeeper for the Darien VFW and the Darien-based National Veteran Services Fund was arrested and charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2008. A janitor at Town Hall was arrested for falsely reporting incidents . A Darien teen was Tasered after police said he ran into a house naked while on drugs . A man beat up a 21-year-old for allegedly hitting on his wife. A driver was charged with drunken driving outside the Pumpkin Carnival . And a man turned in an iPad he bought on Craigslist after finding out that it was stolen.

A proposed cell phone tower on the grounds of the Ox Ridge Hunt Club was met with strong resistance by residents . People who live nearby the spot the site proposed by AT&T said it would ruin the integrity of their neighborhood as well as that of the historic hunt club. The Board of Selectmen also questioned whether it was a good move. The Board of Selectmen this year sought to alleviate some of the parking problems , introducing kiosks and parking apps to replace vouchers at the train stations, and launching studies to explore how to fix other parking issues in town.

What do you think were the biggest stories of 2014? Let us know in the comments below.

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