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Petit decides not to run for Connecticut's 5th District

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The sole survivor of a deadly 2007 home invasion says he will not run for a congressional seat held by a Democrat who came under fire for her handling of harassment complaints in her office. 
 Dr. William Petit Jr. announced Wednesday he plans to seek re-election to his state House of Representatives seat. The Republican will be seeking his second term. 
 Petit says he ``thought long and hard about running for Congress'' but ``family considerations'' and his commitment to his constituents in Plainville and New Britain ultimately persuaded him to forgo a congressional run. 
 There's been much speculation about potential candidates for the 5th District seat U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty announced she would not seek re-election. 

Excavation work continues in Bridgewater at gas leak site

Excavation work is progressing at the Bridgewater Mobil where there was a leak of 1,100 gallons of gasoline underground earlier this month.  State contractors are removing pavement and fill across Route 67 below the station.  After the contaminated fill is trucked away, that section of the road has to be entirely rebuilt. The original road closure estimate was for 10 to 15 work days, but it didn’t start until this past Monday.  Bridgewater has increased police presence and put out a speed trailer along the curvy and bumpy back roads being used as a detour. 

Women's Center marks 'Denim Day'

The Women's Center of Greater Danbury participated in Denim Day today.  The social statement was originally triggered when the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the justices felt since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her rapist remove them, implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament arrived at work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault.

Putnam County Sheriff Deputies arrest two people for DUI in separate incidents

A 40-year-old Danbury woman and a 33-year-old Shrub Oak man have been charged with driving under the influence in  separate incidents in Putnam County.  On Saturday, Karla Gomes was spotted by a Deputy driving erratically on Route 6 in Southeast.  On Monday, a car with a loud exhaust and a headlight out was pulled over in Putnam Valley.  Peter Cancro failed several sobriety tests. A pipe containing THC was found in the car.

Blumenthal calls for investigation into 9/11 victim fund scam

Senator Richard Blumenthal and his colleagues in the tri-state area are calling on the Federal Trade Commission and the FCC to investigate an imposter scam targeting claimants of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.  In Connecticut, 97 survivors and responders have received compensation through the fund.  Blumenthal says the scam adds to the already significant emotional and financial toll on 9/11 survivors and responders.  The scammer is demanding a range of personal information, including Social Security and bank account numbers, promising to use such information to file claims.  It's not known whether the scam is aimed at bilking money from the compensation fund or to be used for identity theft.

Water pressure restored in Danbury following massive main break

Water pressure has been restored to all of Danbury. Residents are still asked to boil water before using if on City water. Showering is fine, but bottled water should be used for brushing teeth.  The requirement on boiling water should be lifted by tomorrow.

About a third of the City lost water Tuesday.

A part had to be manufactured in upstate New York and flown to Danbury in order to fix the massive water main leak.


(Photos: @MayorMark)


A valve broke off a main in the area of Tamarak and Hayestown late Monday.  The work to fix the problem included digging up the area around the break, shut off water ahead of the broken valve, replace the valve and then replace any broken pipe.



Mayor Mark Boughton says the water couldn't initially be shut off and the city lost millions of gallons.  The Danbury Health Department asked residents yesterday afternoon to voluntarily limit water usage over the next 48 hours.

Boughton acknowledged that the infrastructure on that side of the city is pretty old.  There was no construction in the area at the time.  He speculated that the warming temperatures moved the earth just a bit and cause the valve to snap.  While he was surprised by the severity, Boughton says they do see a number of water main breaks in that general vicinity.


Tanker trucks were filled and on standby in case of emergency.  The leak affected Danbury Hospital, which was operating yeterday with a limited water supply.

The Danbury War Memorial has been made available for residents to take a shower.  Bottled water will be available for pickup at Danbury Fire headquarters on New Street for residents who have been impacted by this water main break.


WCSU midtown campus water deemed unsafe due to water main break

West Conn was told by the city that tap water on the Midtown campus is unsafe for any use following a massive water main break.  Students were advised not drink, wash hands or brush teeth with water from any faucet on the Midtown campus.  While the water main break is unrelated to the recent Norovirus outbreak, students were encouraged to maintain healthy practices to prevent the spread of Norovirus. That means frequent handwashing with soap and water – bottled on Midtown and tap water on Westside.  Classes and other operations will continue, with bottled water distributed.  There are additional shuttles between Midtown and Westside campuses for dining services.

Newtown residents approve budget for coming fiscal year

Newtown residents have approved a budget and two capital items.  Turn out for yesterday's referendum was about 17-percent.  The spending plan is a 1-percent tax rate increase.  The budget for the coming fiscal year is $41-million for the town and $76-million for the schools.  Residents also approved $1.685 million to replace the roof on Middle Gate School, and about  $1.5 million in additional funding for road repairs and improvements.  Newtown residents will likely be asked about funding for a new police station on the August 14th primary ballot or the November general election ballot.

Newtown Rabbi to make congressional run

A religious leader in Newtown is running for congress.  Rabbi Shaul Praver has announced that he will be a Democratic candidate in the 5th District.  He led Congregation Adath Israel was part of the Newtown Interfaith Council.  Incumbent Elizabeth Esty opted not to seek reelection amid a controversy over her handling of a sexual harassment complaint involving her former Chief of Staff.  Praver described himself to the Newtown Bee as, “a bold progressive candidate” who will advocate for comprehensive gun laws, medicare expansion and campaign finance reform.  He is also interested in prison reform, immigration reform and expanding public education to include pre-K through college.

Bethel Board of Finance to meet on police station construction cost overruns

The Bethel Board of Finance will be meeting tonight about the cost overruns on the Police Station construction project.  The Selectmen have asked the group to consider using $889,000 from the fund balance to pay for the overage.  The additional money is needed because plumbing and HVAC work has been more expensive than estimates.  Additional money is needed to finish the firing range and to buy new furniture.  Tonight's meeting is at 7pm in the Bethel Municipal Center.

Ridgefield Board of Ed makes cuts to proposed budget

The Ridgefield Board of Education has made requested changes to their budget proposal for the coming fiscal year.  The Board of Finance asked the school district to scale back the plan by about $1 million.  Acting Superintendent Robert Miller says about half of the reduction was met through negotiations with their healthcare provider.  The other $532,000 in cuts came from two psychologist positions, technology, and eliminating new expenses.  Residents will be asked to approve a 95 million dollar budget, a 2.55 percent increase.

Wilton Police arrest man for carrying handgun without permit

Wilton Police have arrested a former Danbury resident who was soliciting door-to-door with an illegal handgun.  Neighbors in the Breeds Hill Place area called Police on Friday.  Jared Dement, who recently moved to Texas, was in possession of a loaded handgun in his vehicle without a legal pistol permit.  Dement was also in possession of high capacity magazines that were not registered.  He was released on bond for an April 30th court appearance. 

UPDATE: A third of Danbury without water following large water main break

A 16-inch water main break at Tamarack and Hayestown Avenues has affected about one third of Danbury from the location of the break east to the Bethel border.  Residents and businesses may experience little or no water pressure in the affected area.   The hospital is functioning with limited water supply. 
Crews are pumping the area to get the water level down so they can assess the damage, but the valve cracked and the water can't be shut off.  Mayor Mark Boughton says a part is being machined in Buffalo, New York and he's looking into getting a plane to fly the part to Danbury.  Boughton didn't give an estimate of what that would cost.  He initially estimated that water would be restored by tonight, but has since pushed it back.
Danbury officials are coordinating with schools and businesses concerning this water supply emergency and will provide on-going updates. Danbury is issuing a “Boil Alert Advisory” and affected residents are advised not to drink the water without boiling first.
Danbury is working with the Hospital to support patient and community needs. Patients are asked to call ahead to verify appointments before leaving for the hospital.

With closures to Tamarack and Locust Avenues, access to the main hospital campus is disrupted.  Employees and patients can access the campus via Osborne Street to the Medical Arts Center Gold/Red Garages and/or via Osborne Street to Hospital Avenue to the Rizzo Garage.

Danbury woman charged for animal cruelty

A Danbury woman has turned herself in to Danbury Police on an outstanding warrant for two counts of Animal Cruelty.  Krystel Lopez was charged last Monday.  State Animal Control officers investigated complaints of sick animals being housed at Tails of Courage animal rescue in Danbury.  The employee was implicated in two separate incidents of animal cruelty in December and January.  Lopez was released on a written promise to appear in court tomorrow.

Newtown budget referendum scheduled for today

Newtown residents will be voting on a budget today.  The proposal calls for $41-million for the town and $76-million for the schools.  It's a 2.35-percent increase.  Two bond questions will also be on the ballot.  Newtown residents will be asked to approve $1.685 million to replace the roof on Middle Gate School.  The other question is about $1.5 million to supplement operating budget expenditures dedicated to road repairs and improvements.  During the budget referendum this month, residents will not be asked about funding for a new police station.  That vote will likely come as a separate question on the August 14th primary ballot or the November ballot. 

New Milford goes to bid on Still River roundabout

The town of New Milford has received authorization to open bids for the Still River Drive and Pickett District Road Roundabout project.  The state Department of Transportation authorized the award of the contract to replace an all-way, stop sign controlled intersection, with a roundabout.  The project also involves repaving the Still River Drive approaches to the intersection.  New Milford will receive a construction grant of $1.1 million under the state LOTCIP program. Construction is expected to begin this month and be completed this Fall.

Bethel Town Meeting on revised budget to be held tonight

The reconvened Annual Town Budget Meeting in Bethel will be held tonight.  Residents will be asked to send a revised budget to a referendum.  The Board of Finance scaled back the municipal portion of the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year to $29.53 million.  The revised capital budget is proposed a $1.14 million.  The capital items to be funded are a streetsweeper, a fire engine and an HVAC system for the High School.  Tonight's meeting will be held at the Bethel High School Auditorium at 7pm.

WCSU cleans campuses after norovirus outbreak, reopens

Western Connecticut State University officials believe cases of illness are on the downturn.  About 100 students reported the same symptoms between Thursday and Saturday.  Test results from the state Department of Public Health revealed Monday that they were suffering from cases of norovirus.  University Spokesman Paul Steinmetz says that helps staff figure out where to clean and what to clean.
Much of the outbreak was on the westside campus.  Common areas on both campuses have been cleaned to standards set by the Centers for Disease Control.  University staff will clean the rooms of any students who were ill.   
Norovirus is not spread through the air.
The disease is transmitted by touching an infected surface, and then coming in contact via the mouth.  The health department is conducting surveys among sick students to figure out where the illness started. 
President John Clark says they are confident that students, faculty and staff can learn and work together and stay healthy, as long as everyone follows state-recommended appropriate treatment and precautions.  Those precautions  include frequent hand-washing with soap and water. Hand sanitizer does not kill  the virus. 
Students are encouraged to practice good hand hygiene, not to share food and drinks or cups and utensils, and to wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
According to the state department of Public Health, it is important that anyone who has been ill not return to class or work for 72 hours after the last symptoms have subsided.During those three days after symptoms have stopped, a sick person can still share the virus and potentially contaminate common surfaces. 




Norovirus identified as source of WCSU illness outbreak

Western Connecticut State University officials believe cases of illness are on the downturn.  About 100 students reported the same symptoms between Thursday and Saturday.  Test results from the state Department of Public Health revealed Monday that they were suffering from cases of norovirus.  University Spokesman Paul Steinmetz says that helps staff figure out where to clean and what to clean.  Much of the outbreak was on the westside campus.  All of the common areas--cafeterias, classrooms and students centers--have been cleaned. 

Reservoir Street closed at Bethel-Danbury line for repairs

A road repair project in Danbury will affect traffic in Bethel, starting today.  The City is replacing the Reservoir Street bridge that crosses over the creek near the town line.  Reservoir Street will be closed completely in both directions for 13 days, now that the project is about midway completed.  During construction, which is expected to last three months total, traffic will be limited to one lane.  Detour signs are in place.  Electronic traffic message boards have also been set up to notify drivers of the closure.

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