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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2012

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REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

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LAND: Original site awaits new project Ohio inmate says hes too obese for execution
Continued from Page One We all would have liked to have seen the elaborate pictures of Renaissance Place from 2003 become a reality, but given the events that ultimately developed, our goal has become, in the past few months, to make sure that we have an amicable resolution of the agreement between the parties and the opportunity to move forward without getting involved in any litigation, Mezzo said. I think you can look at other communities where parties with good intentions have ended up in court. Mezzo and Conroy issued a joint statement Monday with NEDC Chairman Joseph Jay Carlson III announcing the news. The relationship between all parties to the development has been strong and honorable throughout many years of collaboration, they wrote. Conroy did not return messages Monday seeking further comment. The NEDC will soon solicit proposals and bids from companies interested in developing the boroughs downtown, according to the statement. Mezzo said the responses would give the boroughs economic development agency a sense of the post-recession possibilities for downtown. Our next goal will be to determine what the market will bear for development proposals, Mezzo said. We still bear the opinion that development of downtown should be done in a BY ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
AP LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER

CONTRIBUTED

An artists rendering from 2005 of what Renaissance Place in Naugatuck might have looked like. planned, smart-growth manner. While Conroy no longer has exclusive rights, Mezzo and Carlson said they will consider anything he puts forward that is consistent with their vision for downtown. The projects most recent hang-up before the development agreement expired concerned Parcel C, a 2.2-acre lot on the corner of Maple and Water Streets that was to house a medical office facility anchored by Saint Marys Hospital and a 500-space ramp garage. The borough spent about $3 million cleaning the parcel and the State Bond Commission gave $500,000 to design the parking garage, but Conroy and the hospital could not agree on the size of the medical facility. Without a medical facility, the borough has no reason to build a garage, Mezzo said. Officials might be able to negotiate with legislators, Gov. Dannel P. Malloys office and other state agencies to reallocate the money toward a future development, Mezzo said. In the end, the borough still has acres of flat land ready to be developed along the river, close to Route 8 and the MetroNorth train station, with a rich history and beautiful architecture nearby, Mezzo said. The qualities that attracted Alex to downtown Naugatuck, for the most part, still exist, Mezzo said. Visit rep-am.com to comment on this story.

HOME: Owner was too disabled to fix it up


Continued from Page One neighbor even shot a rat coming out of the house and took it to Town Hall to make a point, but officials said they couldnt do anything. I tried and tried. Then you come to a point when you dont get nowhere. Then you just kind of give up, Dumond said. You start to feel like you just dont count. Recently, town officials pointed to the house as their next target after the successful demolition of another blighted home on Taft Avenue. It would be a tough fight. Even though the house had been abandoned for over a decade, taxes were upto-date. The town would have to prove that the home was in danger of collapse before it could forcefully move to raze it. But it seems the battle has been won before it was fought. Chris Bellemare, son of the former owner, has taken over the mortgage and is already hard at work restoring the house. In the past few weeks, Bellemare, owner of Bellemare Tree Service in Naugatuck, has removed most of the foliage from the front yard, hauled three dilapidated cars from the property, and nearly filled a 30yard Dumpster with debris. I really felt guilty that (the neighbors) had to look at this the whole time, Bellemare said. Bellemare plans to gut the whole house down to the studs and revamp it. He said his first priority is cleaning up the yard so neighbors dont have to look at the mess. He even offered to trim the neighbors trees for free. Theyre ecstatic. Theyre bringing me out lunch and drinks, Bellemare said. Last week, Bellemare and another worker, Mark Stephens, were sweating as they shoveled junk in a second-story bedroom and threw it out the window to a Dumpster below. Its absolutely disgusting,

COLUMBUS, Ohio A condemned Ohio inmate who weighs at least 480 pounds wants his upcoming execution delayed, saying his weight could lead to a torturous and lingering death. Ronald Post, who shot and killed a hotel clerk in northern Ohio almost 30 years ago, said his weight, vein access, scar tissue and other medical problems raise the likelihood his executioners would encounter severe problems. Hes also so big that the execution gurney Post might not hold him, lawyers for Post said in federal court papers filed Friday. Indeed, given his unique physical and medical condition there is a substantial risk that any attempt to execute him will result in serious physical and psychological pain to him, as well as an execution involving a torturous and lingering death, the filing said. Post, 53, is scheduled to die Jan. 16 for the 1983 shooting death of Helen Vantz in Elyria. A spokeswoman for the prisons department had no comment on the pending litigation. Inmates weight has come up previously in death penalty cases in Ohio and elsewhere. In 2008, federal courts rejected arguments by condemned double-killer Richard Cooey that he was too obese to die by injection. Cooeys attorneys had argued that prison food and limited opportunities to exercise contributed to a weight problem

that would make it difficult for the execution team to find a viable vein for lethal injection. Cooey, who was 5-foot-7 and weighed 267 pounds, was executed Oct. 14, 2008. In 2007, it took Ohio executioners about two hours to insert IVs into the veins of condemned inmate Christopher Newton, who weighed about 265 pounds. A prison spokeswoman at the time said his size was an issue. In 1994 in Washington state, a federal judge upheld the conviction of Mitchell Rupe, but agreed with Rupes AP contention that at more than 400 pounds, he was too heavy to hang because of the risk of decapitation. Rupe argued hanging would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. After numerous court rulings and a third trial, Rupe was eventually sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2006. Ohio executes inmates with a single dose of pentobarbital, usually injected through the arms. Medical personnel have had a hard time inserting IVs into Posts arms, according to the court filing. Four years ago, an Ohio State University medical center nurse needed three attempts to insert an IV into Posts left arm, the lawyers wrote. Post has tried losing weight, but knee and back problems have made it difficult to exercise, according to his court filing. While at the Mansfield Correctional Institution, Post used that prisons exercise bike until it broke under his weight, according to the filing.

CRASHES: Teen was caught by neighbors


Continued from Page One by a teen on a joyride at 12:20 p.m. Monday, Corbett said. Ivan Rajcoomar, 62, was retrieving tools from the bed of his pickup truck on Lester Drive when a 2003 Mazda 6 sedan slammed into the truck and pinned him, Corbett said. Rajcoomar was taken to Waterbury Hospital, where he was pronounced dead Monday afternoon, Corbett said. The 16-year-old boy behind the wheel tried to drive out of the apartment complex, but only made it a short way down Colonial Avenue before a front wheel began to shake, Corbett said. The driver and three other teens fled on foot. The driver was caught and held by neighbors until police arrived, Corbett said. The driver, whom police would not name due to his age, lives in Waterbury. He was on probation, and has been sent back to a juvenile facility, Corbett said. The boy had taken his mothers car without permission. Criminal charges are expected to be filed today and could include felony evading and manslaughter, Corbett said. The other teens in the car could also face charges, Corbett said. A memorial of votive candles, teddy bears and flowers marks the spot where Rajcoomar was struck. A crowd of about 18 young men gathered on the opposite sidewalk around 9 p.m. Monday. Some

LARAINE WESCHLER REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Chris Bellemare, the new owner of 128 Augusta Street in Watertown, throws carpet out a window to a Dumpster waiting below. Bellemare, who owns a tree service in Naugatuck, said he feels bad that neighbors had to look at the abandoned home for so long and hed trim their trees for free. Bellemare said. He estimated it will take about five roll-offs to remove everything from a cowboy hat to carpet to old family photos and childrens toys. My gosh, it feels like Christmas in the summer to see something like this being done, Dumond said. Bellemare said his father abandoned the house about 15 years ago after an on-the-job accident left him disabled. His father, a corrections officer in Bridgeport, kept paying the mortgage even though he was no longer working, but couldnt do much else. Eventually, he started falling behind and Bellemare decided to take over the mortgage rather than allow him to go into foreclosure. He was disabled and he wasnt able to care for it any more for himself. He had some serious issues and he just didnt know what to do anymore, Bellemare said. Bellemare paid $60,000 on the mortgage and estimates hell have to invest an additional $150,000 to restore the house. The property is assessed at $151,500. He said a relative who removed all the pipes left the furniture untouched. Bellemare said he would donate the furniture, most of which is still in good condition, to charity. Hes hired an architect and a contractor to do most of the work, but men from his tree company are earning extra hours by chipping in. Bellemare said the .57-acre yard at the end of a cul-de-sac with beautiful view of Taft School will be an ideal setting for his 3-year-old son to grow up. He plans to replace the vinyl siding with cedar shakes on top and stone on the bottom, add an addition on top to make the roofline nicer, put in a big picture window to look over the valley, combine two upstairs bedrooms into one master bedroom with a full bathroom and a balcony, put in hardwood floors, build an eat-in kitchen with French doors going out to a wrap-around deck in the back, add a three-car garage and an in-ground pool in the backyard. Im going to go top-notch with everything, Bellemare said. Bellemare said he hopes by next summer his son will be swimming in that pool with a neighbors disabled son. I think hes going to fix it up nice. Hes working hard on it. Hes got a lot of work to do, neighbor Mae DeJoseph said. Visit rep-am.com to comment on this story.

SHOT: Bar hopping ended by passengers bullet


Continued from Page One With the Mitsubishi Mirage dead, Vargas-Maisonets cousin told him hed have to pay for the damages, which a police report stated led him to reply: I aint paying for (expletive). A call was placed to police who found the car in front of a bar on West Main Street at close to 4 a.m. Sunday. Police reported that Vargas-Maisonet got out of the car, and officer Ryan Duncan immediately saw the black handle of a handgun tucked in the front of his waistband. One officer drew his gun, while two other officers grabbed Maisonets arms. Police reported that it appeared someone had filed the serial number off the 9 mm pistol Maisonet was carrying. Vargas-Maisonets cousin told police they had been bar hopping in the area when for some reason Maisonet fired off the shot that apparently killed the car. Police found a spent, 9 mm shell casing on the floor near the passenger seat, along with a live 9 mm round on the seat. They found what appeared to be a bullet hole next to the glove box. Vargas-Maisonet was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge of a firearm, altering a firearm and having a weapon in a motor vehicle. A bail commissioner in Waterbury Superior Court said Monday that Maisonet has a robbery conviction in Puerto Rico. Maisonet was held on a $150,000 bond, and is due in court later this month. The car was towed.

were drinking. Some were rowdy, laughing and joking. Some were more solemn. None would give their names. Most expressed affection for Rajcoomar. They said he worked maintenance at the complex since they were children. Some of the gathered men credited one of their friends for knocking out the fleeing driver. One of the young men fetched another maintenance worker, Pierratte Lefebvre, 38, knowing she would be more comfortable revealing her name for a reporter. She grew up in the low-cost complex, and said she knew Rajcoomar her entire life. He has three sons and a daughter, all adults, she said. One son works for the owner of the complex, she said. Rajcoomar was outgoing and was quick with a joke. He originally came from French Guiana, she said, and was a very hard worker. He did his job well, Lefebvre said. Hes going to be missed a lot up here. He was a great guy. Resident Denise Caldwell said Rajcoomar was the best maintenance worker in the complex. He would head right over to fix something as simple as a blown light-bulb. Caldwell said Rajcoomar also went beyond the call of duty, helping out many single mothers. If you needed juice for your kids, he would get it, Caldwell said. He was just very kind.

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