Local Headlines

Man fled after woman seriously injured in Candlewood Lake accident

A woman was seriously injured in a boating accident yesterday on Candlewood Lake.  State EnCon Police responded to New Fairfield to help search for a missing person.  A woman was rescued from the water by a Good Samaritan vessel and transported to Danbury Hospital.  As Police investigated, a boat that left the scene was identified.  65-year old Gary Morrone of Oakville was charged with reckless operation, failure to help a collision victim and failure to notify law enforcement of injury.  Morrone was released on $10,000 bond for a court appearance on July 3rd.

Man found living in Danbury after sexual contact charges pleads guilty to illegal reentry

A former Danbury man has pleaded guilty to illegally reentering the United States.  40-year old Enrique Fajardo Marin is a native of Ecuador.  He was convicted in 2011 of illegal sexual contact with a minor and sentenced to a decade in prison.  He was released from state custody in February 2016 and deported.  Fajardo was arrested last year in Massachusetts for illegally reentering the U-S after it was determined that he had been living in Danbury since December 2016.  He also failed to register as a sex offender, as required.  Fajardo has been detained for about a year and is scheduled to be sentenced in September.  He faces up to 10 years in prison for the illegal reentry charge.

Two Danbury man arrested on drug related charges

Two Danbury men are facing drug related charges after a several week long investigation into suspected drug sales.  Neighbor complaints led to the investigation into 37-year old Mean Samrith's activity, which police say was consistent with drug trafficking.   
Police carried out a search warrant last night after Samrith reportedly sold crack cocaine to Savuth Luch at his Woodside Avenue home.  Samrith was found in possession of crack, powder cocaine and drug paraphernalia. 
(Samrith, Luch)
Samrith was charged with two counts each of possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell, possession with 1,500 feet of a protected place, possession with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a protected place, sale of crack cocaine, sale of controlled substance within 1500’ protected place, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drug paraphernalia within 1500’ protected place.
He was also charged with three counts of risk of injury to a child and held on $50,000 bond. 
Luch was charged with two possession counts and released on a written promise to appear in court.  

New Milford residents approve budget for coming fiscal year

It took three votes, but New Milford residents have approved a budget for the coming fiscal year.  There was about 18-percent turn out yesterday.  Some 1,700 residents voted in favor of the spending plan compared to about 1,200 votes cast in opposition.  The $39-million for New Milford and $63-million for the schools will result in a 3.3 percent tax rate increase.  The Town Council originally kept school funding level in the second plan, but finally cut $300,000 from the proposal.

Phase 1 of Route 6 repaving in Carmel complete

The repaving of Route 6 in Carmel from Reed Memorial Library to Route 312 is complete. The $1.8 million project, which took less than three weeks to complete, was done mostly in the overnights to keep the Carmel business corridor open.  The five-mile project area is one of the most heavily traveled in Putnam County by commuters, school buses, and local businesses.  The repairing and resurfacing of Route 6, from the Putnam Trailway hub to the intersection of Route 301 in Carmel, is expected to begin in the late summer or early fall.  A majority of the work on the $1.7 million project will be done during the overnight hours as well.

Danbury Planners consider application by Cumberland Farms for Federal Road gas station

The Danbury Planning Commission is considering a gas station and convenience store for a long vacant building.  Representatives from Cumberland Farms made a presentation to the Commission last week for the 106 Federal Road property.  A special exception is needed.  The facility is expected to generate over 500 vehicle trips per day.
The space previously house Bennigan's Grill and Tavern, but that was more than a decade ago.  The building would be demolished to clear the way for a 5,300-square-foot convenience store, two 20,000-gallon underground gas storage tanks and six double-sided gas pumps.  Planning Department officials clarified that it's technically a grocery store because of its size, but is being referred to as a convenience store.
The current structure at the site is connected to a Quality Inn hotel.  That connector would be removed and replaced with landscaping.  The proposal calls for extending the sidewalk from the hotel across the gas station property to the wetlands.
The intersection with International Drive would be turned into a four-way traffic signal, with the driveway realigned.  The commission will take up the application June 20th.  

Meeting tonight in Brookfield about Town Center streetscaping

An informational meeting is being held in Brookfield tonight about the next phase of the Town Center/Four Corners revitalization project.  The streetscaping project will connect the Still River Greenway to the southern end of the first phase.  Sidewalks, a bike path, lighting and other features will be added.  Two thirds of the cost is being paid for with a federal grant and the town is required to pay 450-thousand dollars.  The informational meeting is at 7pm in Brookfield Town Hall.

Danbury City Council advances tax abatement proposal

The Danbury City Council has advanced a new ordinance that would give an abatement on personal property taxes on information technology.  The ordinance would abate 50-percent of the taxes for a qualified data center.  
City Councilman Paul Rotello wanted the ordinance modified to clarify that the legislative body would have final approval on incentives.  The City's Tax Assessor said they would have that approval. 
The City Council will vote on the proposal at their meeting in July.

Brush fire reported near Redding school Monday

There was a brush fire in Redding yesterday afternoon.  The West Redding Volunteer Fire Department responded to the area of John Read Middle School around 2:30pm. Arriving firefighters saw smoke in the wooded area. Mutual aid was requested from Redding Fire & EMS, Georgetown, Bethel and Stony Hill firefighters.  An area approximately 50-square feet was burning. Yesterday's forest fire danger level was high, which means even people with burn permits were not allowed to burn brush on their properties.  Today's danger level is moderate.

Newtown VFW collects flags for proper disposal

In recognition of Flag Day, Newtown state Representative Mitch Bolinsky coordinated a worn Flag drop-off event.  The flags were collected at VFW Post 308 and will be disposed of in an appropriate military ceremony.  Bolinsky says the VFW makes a flag drop-off box accessible year round at their facility on Tinkerfield Road in Newtown.


Danbury Police continue fundraising effort to help kids with cancer

Danbury Police are continuing to raise money for kids battling cancer and other serious illnesses to be able to attend The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.  During an event earlier this month, team members completed over 10,000 push ups in one hour, raising a pledged $2,500.  Danbury Police say there's still time for people to donate, to help then reach their $5,000 fundraising goal.  In total, this year's Push Against Cancer event raised nearly $150,000.

Himes introduces smart gun technology legislation

A bill providing incentives for firearm manufacturers and consumers to develop and purchase so-called smart gun technology has been introduced by 4th District Congressman Jim Himes.  He says the technology includes biometric or fingerprint locks and radio-frequency identification.  The Start Advancing Firearms Enhancements and Technology Act or SAFETY Act, provides incentives in the form of research and development tax credits.  

Danbury starts emergency stabilization work on the Octagon House

A community improvement and neighborhood restoration project is moving forward in Danbury.  Emergency stabilization work on the Octagon House started this month.  Planning Director Sharon Calitro says the exterior work involves replacing some of the balconies.  It's being done so they don't lose the building.
The vacant Spring Street house was abandoned by its previous owner and in foreclosure.  The blighted property attracted vandalism and squatting.  It was also dilapidated, creating public safety concerns.  The City purchased it a few years ago.
The building is one of only a handful of eight-sided houses left in the country and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The house was built in 1852.  
Mayor Mark Boughton wants to house the Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team and a police substation on the property. He says the bike patrol and other related officers would likely operate out of the substation. He wants to convert the upstairs into a community room for residents to use. The backyard would become community garden monitored by a non-profit.

NY man charged with forcible touching

A New York man has been arrested for allegedly touching a child in a Southeast store.  State Police received a complaint on May 26th of an unidentified man pinching a child's buttock and asking the victim to follow him while in Marshalls.  An investigation led to 43-year old Jaroslav Kiskas of Southeast.  He was charged Friday with forcible touching and released for an appearance in Southeast Town Court next week.

Putnam County Sheriff urges people not to leave pets in cars

With the first extremely hot day in the books this summer, the Putnam County Sheriff's office is offering a seasonal reminder.  It’s estimated that hundreds of cats and dogs die each year from being left in hot cars, while even more become seriously ill.  Sheriff Robert Langley says some of the common responses they've heard when grieving pet owners return to find their cat or dog has died of heat stroke include that 'they cracked a window', 'it was just a few minutes' and 'it wasn't that hot' among others.  

Bethel Police believe suspected car thieves also targeted shoreline town

Bethel Police believe suspects who stole a car on Fathers Day, have been committing similar crimes in other towns.  Bethel Police say the same suspects may have been involved in the theft of motor vehicles from Clinton, Connecticut.  They were caught on surveillance video by police in the shoreline town.  The suspects led officers in a pursuit Monday that was ultimately called off.  Bethel Police say the same group may have also been responsible for thefts from cars in town over the weekend.





(Photos: Clinton Police)

New Milford residents voting on a budget today

The third budget vote in New Milford is being held today.  Residents are being asked to approve the $39-million municipal budget and a $63-million Board of Education budget.  The 3.3 percent tax increase is higher than the last rejected proposal because less money would be used from the undesignated fund.  New state revenue is also now covering capital items instead of operating expenses.  Some $300,000 was cut from the education budget in this revision after being kept the same in the first two proposals.  

Ridgefield Planners take up proposed contractor's yard again

The Ridgefield Planning and Zoning Commission is holding a public hearing tonight about a proposal for a contractor's yard on Ethan Allen Highway.  The three acre site would house infrastructure for excavation, grading, filling and earth processing activities.  Larry Leary Development told the Commission that proposal was identical to one previously approved by the group in 2015. 


The earlier approval was overturned by the courts last year because the decision violated yard setback regulations.  The setbacks were then amended in January.


The Ridgefield Press reports that Commission Vice Chairman Joe Fossi will again recuse himself because he had done business with Leary as a builder. New Commission member Charles Robbins will also recuse himself because he lives in The Regency complex, which filed suit over the 2015 ruling. 


Tonight's meeting is at 7:30 at Town Hall Annex.

Uproar comes back over former New Milford Town Councilman's personal life

A former New Milford Town Council member, who resigned after an uproar over details of his personal life, is back on the hot seat. Scott Chamberlain represented New Milford as a delegate at the congressional and statewide Democratic nominating conventions.


Screenshots of Chamberlain’s profile from a private website catering to so-called furries, a subculture of adults who dress in mascot-like animal costumes, forced his resignation. They were circulated again this weekend on Facebook.


Part of the profile said Chamberlain tolerates rape, but he said it was in the context of sorting topics into categories: loves, likes, tolerates and hates.  Chamberlain said at the time that his interest in the furry community was a harmless hobby about cartoon animals, not sex. 


Chamberlain voted as an alternate at the congressional convention.  Delegates do not need to be members or former members of the town committee.

New Fairfield officials put up signs in attempt to stop safety hazard by Squantz Pond

In an effort to discourage Squantz Pond visitors from parking along Shortwoods Road in New Fairfield, signs were put up for the weekend saying that the road is closed to through traffic.  There is still storm debris along Shortwoods Road, so parking along the street could have created a safety hazard.  The road remained open to local traffic.  Signs were placed at the intersection with Beaver Bog Road.

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