2013 In Review: Stamford Home Explodes, DC Police Kill Dental Hygienist

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A North Stamford house is in ruins after an explosion on Sept. 19. Photo Credit: File

STAMFORD, Conn. -- One of the biggest news events of the year for Stamford occurred more than 250 miles away when a local woman was shot to death by police in Washington, D.C. But in news closer to home, a new mayor was elected and a home in North Stamford was rocked by a fiery explosion. 

The U.S. Capitol was briefly placed on lockdown as Miriam Carey, 34, a Stamford dental hygienist, led police on an 80 mph chase through the nation's capital in October. The story moved closer to home as the FBI, Secret Service and Stamford police searched her home at 114 Woodside Green near Scalzi Park. Her on-year-old daughter was in the car throughout the incident. The child's father reportedly had contacted Stamford police about her erratic behavior in the past. 

No one was injured, but the fiery explosion that destroyed a North Stamford home in September was “a scene out of hell,’’ Stamford Police Chief Jon Fontneau said. Debris was scattered in a 400-foot radius on the property. Owner Giuseppe "Joe" Cardillo said a cardinal saved his life by luring him from the scene of the explosion, the cause of which remains under investigation.

After Michael Pavia announced he would not seek re-election to a second term as mayor, some familiar faces came forward to seek the office. David Martin, former longtime member of the Stamford's Board of Representatives and onetime president, was the victor in a primary challenge against fellow Democrat William Tong, a state representative. In November, Martin beat his Republican opponent, former Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, to become mayor.

Pitney Bowes, which sold its world headquarters in the city's South End in August, announced in November it would remain in Stamford and add 200 jobs to its workforce. The company, which has its roots in metered mail services during its 90 years in Stamford, made a deal for a low-cost state loan to remain in the state.

Stamford's Parade Spectacular stepped off as usual on the weekend before Thanksgiving, but the giant helium balloons were grounded due to heavy winds. 

Stamford resident Christian Garnett, 32, a Darien High School football and lacrosse coach, was arrested on charges of drunken driving in Norwalk and kicking a female police officer during the arrest.

In tragic news, two drownings occurred at Stamford beaches. In January, the body of 50-year-old Frank Kuleba was found at Cove Island Park. A 1-inch cut found behind his right ear was consistent with an accidental fall into the water at Horse Shoe Crab Beach, police said. In June, 12-year-old Rashad Gross drowned while swimming with friends in the channel between Stamford's Cove Island Park and Darien's Holly Pond.

In April, a man who worked at Pitney Bowes committed suicide by jumping out a window at the company's headquarters in Stamford, police said. His body was found under an open window seven or eight floors up. He had been reported missing the night before. 

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