Local Headlines

3 juveniles accused of stealing car in New Canaan later caught in Southbury

Three juveniles accused of stealing a car in New Canaan Thursday were caught days later in Southbury.  Local police alerted state troopers about the 2017 BMW, which was spotted in the area of Woods Way Road early Saturday morning.  The vehicle was located on Beacon Hill Road in Southbury.  Two juveniles were immediately taken into custody. Two additional juveniles ran from the vehicle into the nearby woods.  One was later apprehended by a State Police K9 and taken into custody.  The 15, 16 and 17 year olds were charged with Motor Vehicle Theft, Larceny, and Interfering with an Officer.  The juveniles were released to their parents and ordered to appear in court on November 2.

Crews uncover barn, concrete pillars at site of future Bethel Police station

Work being done in Bethel to get the future police station site ready for construction has turned up some unexpected challenges.  The remains of an old barn that burnt down in the late 70s was found buried on the parcel off Whittlesey Drive.  The barn is on the part of the land where the firing range is planned and the area had to be back filled after removal.  Crews also found old cement columns had been illegally dumped on the site and buried.  They were from when the middle school was built nearly 30 years ago.  The removal of the debris cost about $175,000 and comes from the project's contingency account.

Newtown schools looking at shortfall as expenses rise

The Newtown school district is facing the potential of a $500,000 shortfall.  The Newtown Bee reports that the Board of Education has recommended a 25 percent hold on principals’ budgets until more details are discussed.  23 special education students moved into the district after the budget was set so several paraprofessionals had to be added.  A federal tax credit for the use of alternative fuel was in place when the budget was approved, but it wasn't extended by the federal government.  The propane bill is adding to the projected shortfall.

Danbury students participate in 'Say Something' activities

On Friday morning, Rogers Park Middle School students in Danbury gathered outside to “Spread Kindness” by holding hands and making a human chain. Students then turned to their neighbors to say something kind. 


The movement kicked off a week of “Say Something” activities at Rogers Park in support of the anti-violence campaign founded by Sandy Hook Promise. Other schools in the district will also sponsor activities throughout the school year. 


“Say Something” instructs students in grades six through 12 how to look for warning signs, particularly in social media, from someone who may be threatening to hurt themselves or others, and to say something to a trusted adult to get help. 


Rogers Park started today with a Unity Day, where students were encouraged to wear something orange, followed by a "mix-it-up lunch", where students’ lunch seats are changed to encourage making friends outside their normal social circle.

Firefighters extinguish blaze at Danbury home

Danbury firefighters put out a blaze in a McDermott Street home Friday afternoon.  Smoke was seen coming from the house when firefighters arrived.  They encountered high heat and low visibility when they got inside.  Firefighters quickly knocked down the flames, completed a search of the structure and ventilated the remaining smoke.  All occupants and their pets made it out safely.  The Danbury Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause.

Car down embankment in New Milford near Candlewood Lake

A car went down an embankment in New Milford yesterday morning.  Brookfield firefighters responded with mutual aid to Candlewood Lake Road South shortly after 7:30am.  The vehicle was near the lake.  The driver was able to get out of the overturned car and make it to the roadway on their own.  The road was closed for a short time so the vehicle could be pulled up the embankment and towed away. 


(Photos: BVFD)

Road closures today in Bethel for drainage, winterizing work

Saturday's resurfacing of Walnut Hill Road in Bethel was cancelled due to the contractor's equipment breaking down. The anti-skid treatment application on the hill near the Hoyt Road intersection is rescheduled for today.


The road will be closed after the morning school bus runs.  Drivers are asked to avoid the area while the winterizing work is being done.


A portion of Shelter Rock Road in Bethel will be closed, starting today from the area of Walnut Hill Road to Payne Road for storm drain installation.  Residents and school buses will be allowed on Shelter Rock during the closures. 


The work is being done from 8am to 4pm and is expected to last through the end of the month. 

Newtown, Brookfield First Selectmen candidates to square off

There will be two debates happening tomorrow among people looking to lead area towns.  One of the debates will be in Brookfield and feature Democratic incumbent Steve Dunn and Republican challenger Harry Shaker. 


Dunn is seeking a 2nd term, Shaker is a long time Board of Ed member.  The debate at Whisconier Middle School is from 7 to 9pm. 


In Newtown, the three people vying to be First Selectman will weigh in on issues tomorrow.  Incumbent Pat Llodra has decided not to seek reelection. 


Democrat Dan Rosenthal, Republican Will Rodgers and petitioning candidate Andrew Clure will answer questions sent to the Newtown Bee at the Edmond Town Hall theater from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Brookfield Police Department to purchase new vehicle for K9 Patrol Unit

The Brookfield Police Department is purchasing a new vehicle for the K9 Patrol Unit.  The 2018 Ford Police Interceptor Utility and associated set-up gear costs $71,333.  The money is coming from the PD Outside Services Fund.  The move was approved by the Boards of Selectmen and Finance. 


Police Chief Jay Purcell says these vehicles last longer than normal patrol cars because its a single user.  He notes that it's not unusual for small departments to have multiple K9 officers, several other area police departments, including Newtown and New Milford, have multiple K9 officers.


Purcell says the cost seems high, but it's a full patrol vehicle.  It is the 11th vehicle in the fleet.  The vehicle will include a radio, computer, in car cameras, console, sirens, lights, cage and the K9 equipment.  It also includes something called a K9 hot pop system.  If the officer is out of the vehicle and has an immediate need for back up from his partner, the officer has a panic button-type device that pops the door open and the dog can come out.


The vehicle is atmosphere controlled.  The officer has telemetry.  A device on their phone can tell what the temperature is inside the vehicle, and if it goes above a certain level, an alarm will go off.


Five out of 21 shifts a week have a K9 officer on patrol.  The second K9 means almost half of any given week will be covered by a K9.  The K9 officer is used for narcotic detection, search and rescue, patrol and tracking Alzheimer's patients or other wanderers.

Brookfield seeks summary judgement in suit against former comptroller

Brookfield filed a motion in court this month for a judge to issue a summary judgement in a lawsuit against the former comptroller.  The Newstimes reports that Raymond Bolek's attorney said the case was slated to go to a jury trial in January, but that's change.  Bolek worked as the comptroller from 1975 to 2002 and 2004 to 2008.  He sued after Brookfield ordered him to return nearly $111,500 in pension benefits the town believed was overpaid.  Attorneys for Brookfield say Bolek “waived any claim” to say the town had breached the separation agreement when he paid back the money.

Conn. lawmakers consider 'Medicare for All' proposal

Senator Bernie Sanders has come out with a health-care plan that would have the government provide coverage for all, creating a federal "single-payer" health care system.  Under the bill, every resident of the United States would receive health insurance through an expanded Medicare program.


Sanders says his plan would be funded in part by higher taxes on the wealthy and a 6.2 percent income-based health care premium paid by employers.


Senator Richard Blumenthal is co-sponsoring the bill.


4th District Congressman Jim Himes says he'd want more details about any health care overhaul plan.  He called Medicare a great program that's easy to expand.  But he cautioned that it's also financially unstable with a substantial unfunded liability.  Himes wants to make sure any plan will not make that worse and make sure that the premiums would not make the problem worse.


Himes also wants to look at states that have rejected single-payer systems.  Vermont tried and California recently shelved debate on a proposal.


Sanders says this is what Americans want.  But polling shows that support for the idea has grown only to about 50 percent. Support for the idea drops in polling when people are asked to consider the costs.

Gilmore Girls fan fest held in Kent over the weekend

There were a lot of people in Kent this weekend and they were all there with a common interest.  The 2nd annual Gilmore Girls fan festival was held for 1,500 people.  The show was based in a small Connecticut town and featured a single mother and her teenage daughter.  A four-episode revival was released last November on Netflix.  The three day event included panels with members of the cast and crew, screenings of some episodes and activities inspired by the show at local businesses.  The event last year was held in the town that inspired the show--Washington Depot, but moved to a larger space this year.

Brookfield Senior Center officials urge residents to review Medicare changes

Annual Enrollment for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans got under way this week, and ends December 7th.  Brookfield Senior Center officials say letters have gone out and they should be studied carefully to learn about premium and co-pay changes, as well as any changes to the medications the plan may cover.  The center has volunteer experts on hand to help eligible residents find out if there is a better plan for 2018 that can save money.

Danbury Marching Band Jamboree tonight at WCSU

The Danbury High School Marching Band will host the 2017 Danbury Marching Band Jamboree tonight.  The event is typically held at the High School, but was moved this year because of the ongoing construction project of the Freshman Academy. 


Tonight's jamboree is 6pm to 10pm at the Western Connecticut State University Westside Campus Western Athletic Complex. 


Bands from the region scheduled to compete include Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford, Norwalk, and Shelton, plus bands from Garden City and Port Chester, NY.  The Danbury Drum Corps will be giving a featured exhibition performance, and the Danbury High School Marching Band will perform their 2017 program, “A Heart’s Journey,” in exhibition.

New Milford Hospital launches 'Eatingwell' program for cancer patients

New Milford Hospital has launch an Eatingwell program to provide Diebold Family Cancer Center patients with the nutritional benefits of Plow to Plate eating, free of charge. 


The healthy meals program for cancer patients is being paid for through support from the community.  $34,000 must be raised annually for the program to continue. 


The program promotes local foods and agriculture.  The Eatingwell program will serve 350 meals each month to patients receiving cancer care. 


New Milford Hospital doctors say nutrition is an important part of cancer treatment which can be associated with side effects that make eating well challenging.  They say maintaining good nutrition can help cancer patients feel better and stay stronger. 

Brookfield Police investigating bank robbery

Brookfield Police continue to seek information about a suspect who robbed the Federal Road branch of Newtown Savings Bank Friday morning.  The black male has a medium build, is about 5-foot-10 and was wearing a dark baseball cap with a distinctive white stripe, grey hooded sweatshirt, black pants and military style work boots.  A New Haven Police Department Officer and his K-9 partner training in the area followed a track towards Grays Bridge Road where the scent was lost.  Brookfield Police say the suspect may have left in a car parked on or near Grays Bridge Road.  The suspect handed the teller a note demanding money and did not display a weapon.  Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Sgt. Micheal O'Brien at 203-775-2575.


New Fairfield upgrades 911 call system

New Fairfield upgraded its 911 system this week. It was done as part of a statewide project that enhances the equipment of all public safety answering points across Connecticut.  The new system should provide better inter-operability between towns when transferring calls, a better mapping system, enhanced GPS tracking, and automatic reroute in the unlikely event that the Town system goes down.  New Fairfield officials say all of the dispatchers have received formal training on the new system.  The cost of the training is reimbursable by the state.  The cost of the upgrade to the Town was minimal with the State picking up the bulk of cost.

Danbury man arrested for alleged drug sales

Federal law enforcement was in Danbury yesterday to assist Danbury Police in carrying out search and seizure warrants at an Ashwood Valley home.  The warrants were granted in response to neighbor complaints of illegal drug sales in the Danbury area. 


While conducting surveillance of 43-year old Keenan Moore, he was stopped on Nabby Road.  Moore was found to be in possession of a substantial quantity of narcotics packaged for sale and associated drug paraphernalia. 


Moore was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance within 1500’ Prohibited Place, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell within 1500’ Prohibited Place, possession of drug paraphernalia and risk of injury to a child.

He was released on $50,000 bond.  

Danbury Police Explorers take 1st place at SWAT challenge

For the second year in a row, the Danbury Police Explorer team won 1st Place overall at the annual Cadet SWAT Challenge.  The nine member Explorer SWAT team competed at the event held this past weekend in Fairfield. Explorer Cadets compete individually and in teams through SWAT challenge stations.  The team was trained by Sergeant John Krupinsky and Special Agent Brianna McNally of the US State Department's Diplomatic Security Service.  Three 1st Place finishes for Danbury came in Rapid Deployment, High Risk Stop, and Drug Warrant Execution.  Individual and team ranks of 2nd place in the Officer Down event and 3rd place in the Sniper Challenge were also awarded for Danbury.

Bethel Police warn of 'Eversource' phone scam

Bethel Police are cautioning residents to a phone scam.  Some people have reported receiving calls from someone claiming to be from Eversource, saying payment is past due and electricity is about to be shut off.  The caller ID even displays the name Eversource.  Bethel Police advise residents receiving such a call to hang up and call the customer service phone number on your bill.  The scam was discussed at the Bethel Police Commission meeting this week.  The caller has said they have so-called supervisors standing by if needed.  They also tell their potential victims that it's too late to pay by credit card, asks them to purchase gift cards and read the number over the phone.  

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