Tag Archives: Mark Heinmiller

Roundup: Officer Honors, American Relay, Rach’s Hope …


Congratulations to Mark Heinmiller: Westport Police Department’s Officer of the Year.

The detective received the honor last night, in a family ceremony at the Remarkable Theater.

A WPD press release called him “an incredibly accomplished and effective investigator who successfully closed a number of complicated cases over the last year. Heinmiller’s knowledge and dedication to his investigations has undoubtedly improved the safety and quality of life for all of Westport’s residents and visitors.”

Other awards included unit citations, certificates of recognition, meritorious service awards, investigator ribbons and life-saving awards.

Marc Heinmiller and K-9 dog Lola at work.


Bacharach Community — Homes with Hope‘s supportive housing program for formerly homeless families — needs new roofs for its 3 homes.

They hope Westport has it covered.

“We’ve Got You Covered” — the clever name for the project — is reaching out to local businesses. They can redirect their 2021 state tax dollars for a 100% one-to-one tax credit, through the Neighborhood Assistance Act program.

“We’ve Got You Covered” is less than $25,000 away from its goal. To help sponsor the Bacharach Community roof project (minimum contribution: $250), click here.

The program deadline is October 1. However, payment is not due until December 31. For more information, email Janet Zamparo: jzamparo@hwhct.org

Homes in the Bacharach Community.


When Nancy Wilson saw an “06880” post announcing the Great American Relay — a relay race fundraiser for first responders and military personnel, beginning September 11 in Boston and ending 38 days later in Santa Monica, California — she set out to find a team.

On Wednesday, her crew — Nancy, Jason Lucas, Kelly Konstanty, Lisa Goldstein, Karla Cohen, Lauren Leppla, Kenji Ogawa and Ken Gallagher — arrived in town. They handed their baton to Barbara Campbell, Elizabeth Hofmann and Jeffrey Wollman, who ran to Darien.

To learn more about the Great American Relay, click here.

Westport Fire Department personnel with runners (from left): Barb Campbell, Jeff Wollman, Ken Gallagher, Jason Lucas, Lauren Leppla, Nancy Wilson, Kelly Konstanty, Lisa Slow Goldstein, Karla Cohen Fisher.


As Gold’s prepares for Yom Kippur, the longtime, always popular delicatessen wants its customers to know what’s going on.

Here are a few signs:

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)


One coming-of-age film, and another about what happens years later, highlight this weekend’s Remarkable Theater offerings.

The drive-in on Imperial Avenue screens “The Big Chill” — the still very relevant 1983 classic — on Friday, September 17 (7:30 p.m.).

The next night’s feature (Saturday, September 18, 6:45 p.m.) is “Luca,” a 2021 release about 2 boys experiencing an unforgettable summer.

Click here for tickets and more information.


Three years ago, Rachel Doran — a rising senior at Cornell University, National Merit Commended Scholar, talented Players costume designer, and founder of “Rachel’s Rags,” a company that makes intricate cotton and fleece pajama tops and bottoms — died following a rare reaction to common medications.

Her family now has a mission: to support families with critically ill children. To help, they’ve organized an outdoor, family-friendly event for October 2 (4 p.m., Compo Beach).

Rachel’s grandfather “Pa” pledged to walk 1,000 miles in his 80th year to honor Rachel, and raise money for Rach’s Hope. He’s almost there. He plans to finish at the upcoming event — nicknamed “Walk the Extra Mile with Pa and Team Rach’s Hope.”

At the end of the mile walk, everyone will gather to celebrate Pa’s feat with a pizza truck, live music by Ellis Island, and beverages.

PJs are optional, but encouraged!

Click here for more information, and to register or donate.

Rachel Doran’s grandfather gets ready to walk. You can too!


The Westport Tree Board in partnership with Earthplace present Call of the FOREST.

The science and enchantment of the global forest provides us with answers to modern dilemmas.

‘Call Of The Forest – The Forgotten Wisdom Of Trees’ is a documentary featuring scientist and acclaimed author Diana Beresford-Kroeger. The film follows Diana as she investigates our profound biological and spiritual connection to forests. Her global journey explores the science, folklore, and restoration challenges of this essential eco-system.

Beresford-Kroeger explores the most beautiful forests in the Northern Hemisphere from the sacred sugi and cedar forests of Japan to the great boreal forest of Canada. She shares the amazing stories behind the history and legacy of these ancient forests while also explaining the science of trees and the irreplaceable roles they play in protecting and feeding the planet.


You could call it a “rain forest.”

“Call of the Forest” — a movie co-sponsored by the Westport Tree Board and Earthplace — was rained out in July.

The new date is September 22 (6:30 p.m., Earthplace outdoor amphitheater; indoor if rain).

The coumentary features scientist/author Diana Beresford-Kroeger as she investigates our profound biological and spiritual connection to forests. Her global journey explores the science, folklore and restoration challenges of this essential ecosystem.

Click here for more information.

In other Tree Board news, they’re joining with the Westport Library for a children’s “Oaktober oaktivity on Jesup Green (October 23, 11 a.m.)

Oak seedlings — courtesy of Bartlett Tree — will be available at both events (while supplies last).


Today’s very serene “Westport … Naturally” scene comes courtesy of Lauri Weiser:

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)


And finally … Lauri Weiser’s image above leads (naturallyto:


L-O-L-A, Lola

The Westport Police Department’s most recent retiree has helped sniff out narcotics, catch burglars and find missing persons.

She has no idea what she’ll do with herself now. She can’t play golf, read or travel.

Lola is a police dog.

Lola, ready for anything.

She joined the force 11 years ago. A Fairfield family had bought the German shepherd as a pet, but soon realized she was more suited to work. They offered her to the Westport cops, who found her a far better police dog than the one they had.

“She wasn’t a pet. She was very focused,” says Fotios Koskinas, her first handler. (Current police chief Dale Call was also a handler.)

“She’s very achievement-oriented and self-motivated. She loves to accomplish things.”

Among Lola’s many tasks: narcotics detection, tracking criminals and missing persons, evidence recovery, building searches, even protecting officers. (“She’s trained to bite,” notes her most recent handler, Officer Marc Heinmiller.)

Once, she sniffed out 4.7 pounds of marijuana at a motor vehicle stop. She also located a potential suicide victim who had jumped into Fairfield’s Lake Mohegan.

Sometimes, her mere presence was enough to apprehend a perp. “I’ve had drugs handed over to me, and people surrender, just based on her barking,” Heinmiller says. “One guy came running out of the woods as soon as he heard her.”

Lola (with Marc Heinmiller), at work. (Photo/westportct.gov)

For nearly 5 years, Lola went home every night with Koskinas. When he was promoted, Heinmiller spent 3 months getting certified as a handler, then took over.

“She’s definitely a unique dog,” he says. “She knows the difference between criminals and kids — she was always around them with the DARE program — and the difference between work time and home time. She’d protect the squad car and me, but at home we’d play fetch like any other dog.”

With Lola’s retirement, the big challenge now is finding a German shepherd “with the same talent and drive,” Koskinas says. “She’ll be very hard to replace.”

Lola has been retired for just over a week. When Heinmiller heads off to work, she cries. “She’s living the good life,” he says. “But she’s not too happy about it.”

Hopefully, though, “she’ll enjoy being a lazy pet. She’s healthy enough.”

And she’s certainly earned her retirement pay: biscuits and bones.