WWII ‘hero’ can stay in apartment after being caught smoking

A 90-year-old disabled World War II veteran who picked up smoking during his service, during a time the army gave him free cigarettes, will not be kicked out of his housing complex for violating its no-smoking policy.

The Hartford Courant reported Wednesday that Andy Nowicki, the veteran who was caught red-handed smoking in the breezeway of his apartment at Cedar Village, will be able to stay there with his wife who has advanced Alzheimer's disease.

"I think today common sense prevailed," State Senator Paul Doyle told the paper. "This should have happened months ago. This guy is a true American hero."

Under the terms of the agreement, the Newington Housing Authority will make Nowicki's apartment more handicapped accessible. Volunteers will also build an awning for Nowicki, who was injured twice during WWII and partially disabled, so he could smoke outside in poor weather, the report said.

Just over a year ago, smoking rules at the housing authority banned smoking inside its apartments and no less than 10 feet from an apartment window, the report said.