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Round up of Greater Danbury area Memorial Day commemorations

A ceremony at Redding Elementary School auditorium begins at noon Saturday, with parade step-off at 12:15.

 

The Annual Strawberry Festival in Brookfield will take place Sunday between 12:30 and 3pm outside the Brookfield Museum.  The festival, located at the intersection of Routes 25 and 133 in Brookfield Center, follows the Town's Memorial Day parade.

 

The Monore Memorial Day Parade is scheduled for Sunday and will begin at 2pm. The parade will travel north on Monroe Turnpike up to the Town Green, where a Memorial Service and Wreath Laying Ceremony will take place. The roads surrounding the parade route will be closed at 1:45pm.  All side streets and shopping plazas will also be blocked preventing vehicles from entering onto the parade route.

 

The Danbury Council of Veterans is hosting today's Memorial Day Parade.  The morning started with a service at St. Joseph's Church.  Wreath layings followed the church service.  In Danbury, the parade steps off at 9:30.  The theme is “Remembering Our Deceased Veterans, Honoring the Men and Women who served Our Country and displaying the American Flag”.  Honoring the sacrifices of the men and women who served in the Armed Forces of this nation, the Skydiving Demo Team of the Blue Sky Ranch will be parachuting into Rogers Park at the baseball field adjacent to the Junior High School and behind the Memorial Parade reviewing Stand at approximately 10:45am.

 

The Easton Memorial Day parade is at 9:30am.  Parade marchers assemble at the Easton Fire House.  The parade will proceed to Easton Town Hall, after which a ceremony will be held at town hall.  The Easton Exchange Club will be hosting its eighth annual Memorial Day Mile road race today. It will kick off from the Easton firehouse at 8:30 am. This will give runners ample time to regroup and be able to participate in the Memorial Day parade.

 

Weston will also celebrate Memorial Day with a fair at Hurlbutt Elementary School. The fair offers carnival rides and games for all ages as well as fair food, and live entertainment.  Fair hours today are noon to 4pm. The Weston Memorial Day parade is set for 10am.

 

New Milford will remember those who died serving in our country's armed forces with a Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade today.  The ceremony is slated for 10am in front of the Library. The parade will begin after the ceremony, heading south on Main St., turning right on Bridge St., down to Railroad St., right on Bennitt St. and right on Main St. to the War Memorial on the Green.  In the event of rain, the Parade will be cancelled and the Ceremony will be held at The VFW on Avery Road.  Drivers are cautioned to expect minor delays due to road closures for the parade route. 

 

Ridgefield's annual Memorial Day Parade is scheduled to start at 11:30 am from the Jesse Lee Memorial Church, marching down Main Street ending in Ballard Park where a closing ceremony will be held.  8 bands, some floats and about 2,000 participants are being featured.  Participants are urged to arrive at the Church between 10am and 11am.  King Lane will be a one-way street from 9:30 am until the end of the parade.


Candlewood Lake Authority thanks volunteers for clean up effort

This past weekend, Candlewood Company of the Brookfield volunteer fire department participated in the 17th annual Candlewood Lake Clean Up, hosted by the Candlewood Lake Authority.  Volunteers have participated in this event several times in the past and encouraged the public to help keep the lake clean of debris and garbage when either boating or spending time at the local beaches and picnic areas.  In total, over 150 volunteers helped clean up the shores of Candlewood Lake.


Student Boating Safety Ambassadors recognized by state DEEP

50 students who participated in this year's pilot Student Boating Safety Ambassador Program were recognized yesterday.  It was part of National Safe Boating Week.  Students are in grades 5 through 12 will receive credit for their project as either a community service project, senior project or extra credit.  The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection awarded the students Certificates of Appreciation.


New Milford lawmaker touts bill recognizing veterans

New Milford State Representative Bill Buckbee voted in favor of legislation allowing veterans in Connecticut to obtain the designated veteran’s driver’s license, with the American Flag on it, at no additional fee prior to the renewal date.  The bill effectively erases the previously imposed $30 fee on the veteran indicator plate on duplicate identification card or driver’s license. 

 

The bill garnered unanimous support when it was considered in both committees of cognizance, Veterans’ Affairs and Finance. 

 

There are approximately 217,000 veterans across the state. 

 

While there is no additional cost for veterans to receive the veteran's driver's license when obtaining a license or renewing a license, Buckbee says this legislation will provide a mechanism for veterans who would like an updated license to indicate their veteran status if it is not yet due for renewal.  After being passed in the House of Representatives, with no dissenting votes, the legislation now awaits further action in the Senate.


Candlewood Lake Authority dedicates new boat for Marine Patrol

The Candlewood Lake Authority dedicated a new Patrol Boat this morning for the CLA Marine Patrol.  The boat is replacing a 2002 vessel which had to be taken out of service due to hull issues.  60% of the cost of the boat was paid for through a Connecticut Intertown Grant Equipment grant. Sherman First Selectman Clay Cope helped secure the grant with the support of elected officials from New Milford, Danbury, Brookfield and New Fairfield.  The dedication ceremony was held at Sherman Town Park near the boat launch.


Man charged with murdering New Fairfield woman earlier this month

State Police have formally charged a man with murder for the death of a New Fairfield woman earlier this month.  32-year old Steven Flood was also charged today with aggravated sexual assault of 55-year old Susan Guido. 

 

Flood was also charged with criminal trespass, larceny, murder of a victim of sexual assault and sexual assault in a cohabitation relationship.  He was held on $1 million bond. 

 

Flood was previously found in possession of the woman's car.  State Police say a Trooper and his K9 partner located Flood camping in the woods in the Town of Union May 4th.  He was identified as a person of interest during the investigation into Guido's death in her Candlewood Road home May 2nd. 

 

New Fairfield Resident Trooper constables had responded to conduct a well-being check, forced entry and found the woman dead.


Danbury Police locate woman who abandoned baby behind super market

Shortly before 1am today, Danbury Police located the mother of the newborn baby who was found abandoned late Sunday.  Police spokesman Lt. Christian Carroccio says the woman's name is not being released at this time.  She is being treated at the hospital.

 

Yesterday, Danbury Police released the 911 call from a man who found the newborn behind a grocery store on Main Street. 

 

In the call, the man tells dispatch that he’s found a little boy, someone dropped it off and it’s crying.  He pleads with dispatch to send someone to Patch and Main Streets.  The caller sounds more frantic as he tries to explain that the baby is close to the police station, behind La Polla.  The man expresses concern that if police don’t arrive, the newborn may die.  The caller tells a new dispatcher that they “just need to come, he’s crying.”

 

The newborn is still being evaluated at a local hospital.

 

Danbury Police also released photos of the clothing that the baby was found wrapped in at approximately 11:38pm Sunday.

 

 

Danbury Police were concerned that the mother may need medical attention or is a victim of a crime herself. 


Bethel woman killed in head-on crash in Danbury

There was a fatal accident in Danbury yesterday afternoon.  Police responded to Shelter Rock Road around 12:45pm on a report of a speeding car, crossing the center line and crashing head-on into another vehicle.  Police determined that 44-year old Frankie Macnear of Brewster crashed into 85-year old Hannelore Hillebrand of Bethel.  Hillebrand later succumbed to her injuries at Danbury Hospital.  Macnear was also hospitalized.  This collision remains under investigation. Anyone who witnessed the crash or has information is asked to call Danbury Police.


Southbury man killed in highway crash

A Southbury man was killed in a single car crash on I-84 last night.  48-year old Sevdi Coma was travelling westbound in the area of exit 17 around 9:30pm when he lost control around the curve in the road.  His car spun counterclockwise and continued off the road, striking a rock embankment.  The man's car rolled over and he was ejected from the vehicle.  Coma sustained fatal injuries.  The highway was closed for several hours.  The accident remains under investigation. 


Ridgefield Fire Commission taps new Chief for Fire Department

Ridgefield's acting fire chief has been chosen to officially lead the department.  Jerry Myers was selected by the Fire Commission Wednesday night in a unanimous vote.  The Board of Selectmen is expected to approve the recommendation at their meeting on June 7th. 

 

Myers is a 36-year veteran of the Ridgefield Fire Department.  He stepped in to the acting role about six months ago when former Chief Kevin Tappe retired after town officials completed an investigation into unspecified “policy violations”.  

 

A document, released by the town in response to Freedom of Information requests, suggested that Tappe showed up to a fire scene intoxicated. 


Man sentenced for distributing heroin that contributed to overdose death in Monroe

A Connecticut man has been sentenced for distributing heroin that contributed to the overdose death of a Monroe woman last year.  33-year old James Hayes of Waterbury was ordered to 6 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. 

 

Hayes has been detained since his arrest on August 22.  The Judge also ordered Hayes to forfeit $710 in cash seized from him at the time of his arrest.  He pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of heroin in January. 

 

Monroe Police and emergency medical personnel responded to a report of a possible heroin overdose last June and found an unresponsive 32-year-old woman on the floor of her bedroom.  Investigators seized various items, including several empty wax folds and one wax fold that contained suspected heroin. 

 

The investigation revealed that Hayes distributed heroin that was consumed by the victim shortly before her death. 

 

There is an ongoing statewide initiative targeting narcotics dealers who distribute heroin, fentanyl or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users.


Land cleared to make way for new Bethel police station

Work is under way on the new Bethel police headquarters. Crews cleared the site to prepare for foundation excavation.  The driveway for the new facility would be on Judd Avenue with an emergency entrance on Route 302.  The project will more than double the size of the current police station, built in 1974.

 

(Photo: Town of Bethel)


Senate votes to halt state's participation in mileage study

Connecticut lawmakers want to ensure the Department of Transportation does not decide on its own to contribute to a multi-state study into the possibility of taxing motorists based on the amount of miles they drive.

The Senate voted unanimously yesterday in favor of legislation requiring the agency to seek approval from the General Assembly before spending any state money on studies and other activities looking into a mileage-based user fee.

The bill now awaits action in the House of Representatives.

Wilton Senator Toni Boucher says the legislation officially puts an end to this debate.  She said the state doesn’t need to study something that Connecticut taxpayers are against.

Connecticut was awarded a federal grant to launch a pilot mileage tax program so long as the state invested a matching $300,000.  Boucher called it disturbing that, as a co-chair the Transportation Committee, she learned about this grant from an article in the Washington Post and not from the DOT or the administration.

To add insult to injury, Boucher pointed out that it ignored the Transportation committee's rejection of the 2015 Governor’s Transportation Finance Task Force's mileage driven proposal.

 

Because such a tax would involve some way of monitoring driving activity, Boucher says it not only represented another tax on an already over-taxed public, it represented a government intrusion into their lives.

 

She called for House passage, saying that Connecticut can not become the first state in the nation to monitor taxpayers’ every move and tax them on every mile they drive.


Gov. commends Llodra for leadership as she announces retirement

Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra will not seek re-election in November after the 75-year-old Republican finishes her fourth term.

Governor Dannel Malloy says Llodra will be remembered as a remarkable leader who brought stability, peace and unity to her community in its darkest hours.  Llodra was a key figure in coordinating the town's response to the shooting at Sandy Hook School.

She later testified before the legislature about lessons learned in dealing with things such as the mental-health needs of the community, the massive influx of donations, and the overwhelming media coverage of the shooting.

 

Governor Malloy said, “Pat Llodra is a remarkable leader who puts the needs of her constituents and neighbors above everything else. During the town’s darkest hours, Pat worked day in and day out to bring stability, peace, and unity when her community needed it most. Having spent many hours with her in the weeks and months that followed, she became a true and trusted friend, and I thank her for her partnership during those trying times. There’s no doubt that her service to the Town of Newtown will forever be regarded as courageous, compassionate, and resilient.”

Lt. Governor Wyman said, “I want to thank Pat for her service to the people of Newtown, particularly her tirelessness and empathy when tragedy struck the community. She is a true public servant and excellent civic leader. I wish her only the best.”


Danbury Police release 911 call about abandoned baby, photos

Danbury Police have released the 911 call from a man who found a newborn abandoned behind a grocery store on Main Street. 

 

In the call, the man tells dispatch that he’s found a little boy, someone dropped it off and it’s crying.  He pleads with dispatch to send someone to Patch and Main Streets.  The caller sounds more frantic as he tries to explain that the baby is close to the police station, behind La Polla.  The man expresses concern that if police don’t arrive, the newborn may die.  The caller tells a new dispatcher that they “just need to come, he’s crying.”

 

The newborn is still being evaluated at a local hospital.

 

The Special Victims Unit is still actively investigating the discovery of the boy.  Danbury Police continue to ask for the public’s assistance in identifying the mother.  They have released photos of the clothing that the baby was found wrapped in.  The child was born and shortly thereafter left behind 397 Main Street on Sunday at approximately 11:38pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danbury Police say their main concern at this time is for the mother, who may need medical attention or is a victim of a crime herself. Anyone who may have information is asked to call 203-797-4662 or the anonymous tips line at 203-790-8477.  All calls will remain confidential.


Area police departments look to hire more officers

Several area police departments are looking to hire.  The application deadline for the Brookfield Police Department is June 5th.  The deadline for Ridgefield is July 25th.  Testing will begin in August 2017. The department is anticipating one opening and creating an eligibility list.  The Danbury Police Department is holding a Recruiting Campaign Kick-Off Event.  It will take place on the 30th at 2pm in the Danbury Police Department Community Room.


New Census Bureau population estimates show gains in Danbury, Bethel

The U.S. Census Bureau is out with new population data.  Danbury was one of just 4 of the state's large cities to gain residents from 2015 to 2016.  Danbury added 756 residents, a .90-percent gain.  The Census defines large cities as having populations higher than 50,000. 

 

Of towns under that threshold, Bethel had the second largest increase in the state. 

 

Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says there's several factors for the growth which he called a slow, steady and manageable growth.  He first cited the school system, which is gaining in reputation as it's recognized regionally and nationally in several hours.  He called Bethel a close knit town with a lot of amenities that people are seeking.  The town is close to the highway, along the rail line, has a downtown shopping districts and a variety of restaurants. 

 

Knickerbocker noted that compared to other Fairfield County municipalities, Bethel is the most affordable small town on this side of the state.  While there's been a lot of new housing development in Bethel, Knickerbocker says it's also families turning over existing homes.  He says empty-nesters are selling their homes to new families, which makes for a vibrant community.

 

Nationally, Connecticut is third for population losses, and ranks 29th in the country for total population.  


Newtown First Selectman opts not to seek reelection for fifth term

Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra has announced that she will not be seeking reelection.  Llodra told the Newtown Bee that after her four terms, she is ready to end her career as her community's top elected official.  Llodra was first elected in a four-way race in 2009 and plans to spend more time with her family. 

 

She told the Bee about the progress that she's helped usher in over the last eight years.  Llodra talked about Hawleyville sewer installation, renovations at the Fairfield Hills campus and creation of a skate park.  She also presided over the demolition and rebuilding of Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Llodra also discussed in the published report construction of the Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue substation, and the new Hook & Ladder headquarters, the new volunteer ambulance station, the dog park and animal control facility, Eichler’s Cove recreational area, and streetscape improvements. 

 

Llodra also talked about the lessons learned from devastating storms that have hit the region in recent years.  During her time leading the town, Newtown's bond rating was increased to AAA status.


Danbury Detective's name added to Law Enforcement Memorial

State, local and federal law enforcement officers came together yesterday for the 29th annual Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony held at the Connecticut Police Academy.  The names of two fallen officers are being added to the memorial, including Detective William E. Hull Sr. of the Danbury Police Department. 

 

(Danbury Police delegation)

 

Law enforcement officers from across the state honored the 140 Connecticut state, local and federal law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. 

 

(Photos: Conn. State Police)

 

Yesterday's ceremony also honored the family members of the fallen who were in attendance.


Esty reacts to CBO report on new health care act

5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty has issued a statement about the Congressional Budget Office report on Affordable Care Act replacement passed with only GOP support.  Esty said she heard from constituents concerned that it would risk their loved ones’ health and ruin them financially. She says the CBO report confirms their worst fears.  Esty says it was completely irresponsible for the House to pass this bill without a full understanding of the effect it would have on American families.  She previously acknowledged that the Affordable Care Act has problems, but called on her colleagues to work together to fix that measure. 


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