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Local Headlines Archives for 2014-08

'Back to School' drives outfits more than 600 students with supplies

The Volunteer Center of United Way of Western Connecticut has helped about 600 students in the Greater Danbury and New Milford areas during their Back to School Drives this month.  The program is aimed at lowering the financial stress associated with getting a child ready for school by collecting donations from individuals, groups and businesses. 

 

The 23rd annual Back to School event in Danbury was held at the South Street School.  It was hosted by the Western Connecticut Business Volunteer Council, a coalition of area businesses who join together to advance community volunteerism and help meet community needs. 

 

This year, 35 area businesses, civic groups or individuals sponsored children by providing them with a filled backpack and a $100 gift card to purchase school clothing.  In addition to 44 children from the South Street School, an additional 289 children were helped by this program – a total of 333 children were given the resources to be prepared for school.

 

The 23rd annual Back to School Drive in New milford held by the Volunteer Center of the United Way of Western Connecticut has helped more than 300 students.  It was held earlier this month at Kimberly-Clark in New Milford. This year, 334 children were given a new backpack filled with grade appropriate school supplies, two new school outfits, a winter jacket, a pair of sneakers, socks, undergarments, and personal care items. 

 

The cost of sponsoring one child is $250.  This year alone, more than $83,000 worth of donated items was collected. This event was staffed with 10 local volunteers and 8 Youth Leadership students from New Milford High School.

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Money rolling into Connecticut 5th District race

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut's 5th Congressional District race is expected once again to be an expensive battle, attracting millions of dollars in outside money.

 

Both the Democratic freshman incumbent, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, and her Republican businessman opponent, Mark Greenberg, have already been targeted by their national parties as candidates that potential donors should watch. National Democratic groups have already reserved more than $1 million in TV ads to help Esty retain her western Connecticut seat, while Greenberg has already loaned his campaign more than $600,000 and has the resources to contribute even more.

 

"It's not going to be cheap," Esty said. "We're in an expensive media market. I've got a wealthy self-funder. He has basically a limitless checkbook. We've seen in the past what that looks like in this state, and I expect to see a lot of that again."

 

Greenberg contends he doesn't think a lot of money should be spent on the race - by him or others. On Saturday, he publicly challenged Esty to join him in asking all third parties not to spend millions on a bevy of TV ads and mailers. If the groups do spend money, one candidate would contribute the amount to the other candidate's charity of choice.

 

"I just think fundamentally when we spend $3 (million) to $4 (million) to $5 million on each side for a congressional race every two years, there's something wrong," Greenberg said.

 

Greenberg's challenge to Esty is similar to what has become known as the People's Pledge, or what Greenberg is calling a transparency pledge. The People's Pledge was created during the 2012 Massachusetts U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren to discourage attack ads funded by outside groups.

 

While the Massachusetts pledge did help to block TV, radio and Internet ads by outside groups, both campaigns still spent a total of $21.7 million. It ranked fourth on the list of spending in U.S. Senate races that year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

 

Bill Evans, Greenberg's campaign manager, said his candidate is open to any kind of limits on spending.

 

"We're literally putting it out there as an idea and they can come back at us," he said. "If they want to, make it let's cap the race at a certain point. We're open to suggestions."

 

It appears unlikely Esty will accept the challenge given the continued high level of interest from both sides in winning this seat, considered the most politically equal among the five U.S. House seats. Two years ago in her victory speech, Esty spoke about being "up against the odds" when three out-of-state super PACS opposing her candidacy spent about $2.5 million in the final weeks. She said her victory proved "Connecticut cannot be bought." This year, she's also voiced concerns about Greenberg's ability to tap his personal wealth.

 

"This is just a deceptive ploy from an ultra-rich tea party candidate who's been running for Congress for six years and has already spent $3 million of his personal fortune in two failed attempts," said Esty campaign spokeswoman Laura Maloney. "How can voters trust him to keep his word when he's already pledged to spend whatever it takes to get elected?"

 

Esty ultimately outspent her 2012 GOP primary opponent, former state Sen. Andrew Roraback. She spent $3.2 million compared to his $1.57 million and won 52 percent of the vote. Esty loaned her campaign more than $600,000 that year.

 

As of June 30, Esty's campaign had $1.48 million in cash on hand. Of the money she has raised, $647,614 came from committees, such as political action groups. Greenberg's campaign reported having $263,768 on hand. He had raised $7,500 from committees. Greenberg said he's prepared to spend more of his own money if necessary.

 

Both candidates say they agree the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning the regulation of campaign spending by corporations has been harmful, leading to more special interest money being spent on elections. Esty said she supports comprehensive campaign finance, including a "constitutional amendment that prevents special interest money from drowning out the voices of voters." Greenberg, meanwhile, said he believes U.S. House members should serve four years rather than two, and be limited to two terms. He said that could help limit the influence of outside money.

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Connecticut gun rights group backs Foley

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley's endorsement on Friday from a 15,000-member gun rights organization renewed accusations from Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's campaign that Foley would support repealing the gun control law passed last year after the mass school shooting in Newtown.

 

Shortly after the Connecticut Citizens Defense League posted its bipartisan list of candidate endorsements on the group's website, Malloy's campaign called the CCDL an "extreme right-wing gun advocacy group" and claimed Foley would stand with the organization to roll back the law, which expanded the state's assault weapons ban and barred the sale and possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines.

 

"Just this week, Mr. Foley said he would sign a repeal of the law and even said he wouldn't enforce parts of the law to keep dangerous weapons out of Connecticut's communities. It's clear that Tom Foley and the CCDL would stand together to take us backward on our smart gun law," said Mark Bergman, Malloy's campaign spokesman.

 

He was referring to comments Foley made during a debate with Malloy earlier this week.

 

"If the legislature handed me a repeal provision of that bill, I would sign it," Foley said Wednesday night. "That's not saying I would seek repeal of the bill."

 

Foley said he is particularly concerned that law-abiding gun owners who failed to register their once-legal assault weapons and large-capacity magazines by Jan. 1 could face a felony charge, promising he'd make sure they weren't prosecuted. The state law, however, imposes a misdemeanor for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders could face a felony.

 

CCDL President Scott Wilson said while his grassroots organization would ultimately like to see the law repealed, he acknowledged it's not practical given the current membership of the General Assembly. His group is seeking to overturn the law in federal court.

 

"The leadership of the Democratic Party keeps saying that Tom Foley will repeal it. And it's an attempt to try and scare people and scare voters, when, in fact, the only way it would ever possibly be repealed is if somehow the sentiment within the makeup of the state legislature would consider something like that," Wilson said. "That may be years away. We're realistic here."

 

One gubernatorial candidate, petitioning candidate Joe Visconti, has said he would actively work to repeal the bill. Visconti, however, did not receive the organization's endorsement. Wilson acknowledged that Foley's chances of winning in November played a key role in the CCDL's decision to back his candidacy.

 

"He's not Clint Eastwood, but as far as electability goes, he's right up there," Wilson said.

 

The group's backing could play a role in the election, considering the closeness of the 2010 race when Malloy defeated Foley by 6,404 of the 1.1 million votes cast.

 

"We welcome the support of the CCDL and any group seeking change in Connecticut," said Chris Cooper, Foley's campaign spokesman. "CCDL members have been bullied by Governor Malloy, as have teachers, state workers and parents."

 

Wilson took issue with Malloy's campaign referring to the CCDL as "extreme," questioning why it wasn't criticizing fellow Democrats who voted against the gun bill and also received endorsements.

 

"I'm a bit dismayed that the leadership of the Democratic Party and Malloy's campaign are trying to portray us, our organization and our members, as some sort of devil incarnate," he said. "Really, we're just ordinary citizens that are just using our rights, our First Amendment rights, to protect our Second Amendment rights."

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Monroe police investigating suspicious death of woman

Monroe Police are investigating the suspicious death of a 41-year-old town woman who was found bleeding, with a head injury.  She was found in the middle of the road at a condo complex early Monday morning.

 

Police responded to Windgate Circle in the Hills of Monroe Condominium complex shortly after 6am Monday after receiving a 911 call about an unconscious woman, later identified as 41-year old Jennifer Sredzinski, a resident of the complex.  The condominium complex includes around 25 two-story buildings, which each contain six apartment-style condo units.

 

Emergency medical care was administered at the scene.  Sredzinski was then transported to Bridgeport Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

 

No information was provided on what caused the head injury, a motive or who might be responsible.

 

NBC has reported that Sredzinski was the ex-wife of Town Council J.P. Sredzinski, who is also running for State Representative in the 112th District.

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Bethel Library's sole fundraiser of the year coming up

The Bethel Public Library is holding its one and only fundraiser of the year soon.  It's the fifth year that the library has held the Wine Tasting and food fundraiser, but the first time it's at the library.  Board of Directors chairman Tia Murphy says in the past, they done a lot of smaller events to raise funds, but by pooling their efforts into one big fundraiser, they would be more successful.

 

The fundraiser on Tuesday September 16th is from 6-9 pm, at the Bethel Public Library.  Admission is $40 per person.

 

Murphy says they also want to say "thank you" to residents for their support in the newly-renovated space.  They want to reintroduce the newly renovated library into the general public.  A number of Bethel restaurants will also be serving food at the fundraiser.

 

All of the money raised is used for programs, new equipment and items to add to the library's collection.

 

Guests will receive a complimentary commemorative wine glass and the opportunity to participate in a silent auction, which includes three trips: a ski getaway at the Whistler BC Fairmont Chateau, NCAA Final Four Championships tickets, and U.S. Open Golf Tournament passes. All trips include airfare.  Reservations are required. For more information and to purchase tickets, call 203-794-8756 x6, or visit the Library website at www.bethellibrary.org.

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Full lifeguard force on duty at Squantz Pond this holiday weekend

The number of lifeguards at state park swimming areas will be significantly reduced over Labor Day weekend, but not at Squantz Pond state park in New Fairfield.  At this time of year, many lifeguards leave their positions to return to college, but Director Tom Tyler says they try to maintain coverage wherever possible.

 

At Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, where electronic highway signs direct people when Squantz Pond fills up, there will be no lifeguards at West Beach.  The East Beach swim area though will have lifeguards. 

 

After Labor Day, Monday, there will be no lifeguards on duty at any of Connecticut’s state park swimming areas.

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'The Prospector Theater' highlighting employment for adults with disabilities

The soon to be opened Prospector Theater in Ridgefield is a non-profit theater that's dedicated to providing job training and employment for adults with disabilities.  Ridgefield resident Valerie Jensen founded the Prospector, which is located on the site of the old Ridgefield Playhouse.  The idea came from her work leading SPHERE - Special People Housing Education Recreation and Employment - which helps people with disabilities. 

 

The Prospector currently has 10 full-time employees, with a goal of hiring about 60 people to work part-time jobs by the end of the first year at the theater’s concession stand, the restaurant, or working behind the scenes on the film projectors or sound systems.  The theater will also house a small production center that will train people with disabilities to produce, shoot and edit films.

 

“The answer to the unemployment epidemic among adults with disabilities is in our own backyard, on every Main Street in America,” Jensen said. “Employment opportunities are in our local movie theaters, restaurants, and shops. Small businesses are missing out on a huge resource that lies in the incredible talent pool of the 44 million talented Americans with disabilities, who are willing, competent, and able to work.”

 

“The Prospector represents the best of private investment in our community,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said. “It’s a new movie theater built by a private family that will not only bring economic vitality to our downtown but also create a work environment for people with developmental disabilities. We're excited and extremely appreciative to the Jensen family for their investment in and caring for our community."

 

"Far too often, Americans with disabilities who have the ability and desire to work don’t have access to job training and employment opportunities,” 4th District Congressman Jim Himes said. “The Prospector Theater is a remarkable private investment that will create jobs and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in Ridgefield’s community. It’s also an economic asset for downtown Ridgefield that the entire community will be able to enjoy.”

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Brookfield Economic Development Commission launches new website

The Brookfield Economic Development Commission has launched a new website to feature information for local businesses.  The group's goal is to also have the site be a resource for businesses looking to move to the town. 

 

The website will include a Brookfield Business Directory. 

 

This comes as the Brookfield Board of Finance votes down a proposed tax incentive deferral program for a developer building in the Four Corners area.  The vote by the Board is not binding, just a recommendation back to the Board of Selectmen.  The incentive was proposed by First Selectman Bill Tinsley.

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Southbury police investigating phone scam

A possible telephone scam has been reported to Southbury Police.  A caller saying they are an associate of Microsoft  tells the victim that their computer is infected with a Trojan virus, and that they know this because automatic updates are being returned to Microsoft uninstalled. 

 

Police say the caller charges the victim's credit card $250 for the fix and gains remote access to the computer and all documents on it.  The scammer has represented themselves as WiseTuneUp, and when asked for a refund will not provide one.  Police say that's a conflict with their online policy of a 30-day money back guarantee for all orders. 

 

According to the Microsoft Safety and Security Centre, Microsoft and it's partners will never call to charge you for computer fixes.  The statement says there are some cases where Microsoft will work with internet providers and call to fix maleware infected computers.

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Civil suit filed in case of seized Redding horses

A civil suit has been filed by the state Department of Agriculture to officially seize custody of two horses taken from a Redding woman last month.  75-year old Lisa Lind-Larsen is fighting the custody suit in Hartford Superior Court. 

 

Two emaciated horses were seized in July from an unkempt barn and have been recuperating at a state facility in Niantic. 

 

The civil case continues September 4th.  Lind-Larsen will be back in Danbury Superior Court on September 17th to face the two animal cruelty charges.

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Cat found in car being towed had been dead for weeks

The decomposing cat found in a car being towed from a Danbury condo complex had been dead for one or two weeks before being discovered.  Animal control officers say they are still trying to determine whether the cat died before being placed in the car or after. 

 

A private tow truck company responded to a call from the Brookside Condo Complex on Padanaram Road Tuesday afternoon about a car in violation of their rules.  The tow truck operator spotted the animal and called police.  No other details about the cause of death were immediately released. 

 

There was no information provided about the vehicle's owner.

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54th annual Mark Twain Library book fair

The 54th annual Mark Twain Library book fair is being held this weekend.  The book fair continues through Labor Day, when area residents can pay $10 for a box to fill up. 

 

Book Fair organizers say there are some new features this year, including an After School Spree.  From 2pm to 4pm today, library staff will be in the Children's Room of the book fair to help kids select age appropriate books.  Kids buying books during that time will be treated to free ice cream. 

 

The book fair is being held once again at the Redding Community Center.  The Mark Twain Library Association was founded in 1908 by Redding resident Samuel Clemens--Mark Twain.

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Area vote machines part of election result audit

Voting precincts have been selected at random for an audit of the August 12th primary results.  10-percent of all polling precincts used in an election are subject to the state mandated audit.  They were selected at random by the Secretary of the State's office. 

 

Among the 68 that will go through hand recounts are the machines from the Stony Hill Fire House in Bethel, Scotts Ridge Middle School in Ridgefield and the Community Building in Southbury. 

 

Secretary Denise Merrill says Connecticut has the toughest elections audit laws in the country, officials don't just take the machines' word for it.  The audits must be completed by September 12th.

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Annual Newtown Road Race 5k, Kids Run to be held Saturday

Two road races are being held Saturday to benefit Newtown Youth and Family Services.  The 9th annual Newtown Road Race 5k is being sponsored by Nike.  The Newtown Prevention Council is sponsoring this year's Kids Run.  Both races will be held at Dickinson Park.

 

The first race kicks off at 8am.  Parts of Route 302 will be closed from 7am to 10am.

 

The race features individual awards the top female and male runners in each of the eight age brackets.

 

Newtown Youth and Family Services is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau.  They provide programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.

 

Registration information can be found here.

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Attorney: Wilton aide inappropriately touched child

The attorney for a Wilton family says their child was inappropriately touched by a preschool aide who recently was charged for possession of child pornography.  33-year old Eric Von Kohorn worked as a paraprofessional at the Miller Driscoll School and resigned in June when district officials learned of the police investigation.  District officials said Von Kohorn passed state and federal background checks and had no criminal record when he was hired. 

 

At a meeting held Monday night, Superintendent Kevin Smith said the alleged misconduct took place at the former employee's home in Bridgeport.  According to a statement from Attorney Paul Slager physical evidence proved that the man inappropriately touched a preschooler while helping the child in the bathroom last January. 

 

Slager also says going into a bathroom with a child is against school policy.  He should have waited outside, but the attorney quoted a written report that the man admitted to help the child in the bathroom, while staying outside the stall.

 

Von Kohorn is free on bond for a court appearance Tuesday.

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Conn. bank teller in court for allegedly stealing from accounts

A Connecticut man has had his court case continued on allegations he withdrew money from a Monroe resident's bank account. 

 

Monroe police received a complaint last month from a town resident saying more than $23,000 in five transactions had been made without her permission from her People's Bank account.  The investigation led to 25-year old Robert Walker of Bridgeport, a teller at the People's Bank branch in a Trumbull Stop and Shop.  He was arrested August 18th by Monroe Police and released on $50,000 bond for arraignment yesterday. He faces charges of conspiracy to commit forgery and larceny, accessory to larceny, illegal trafficking of personal information and two counts of identity theft. 

 

His case was continued to October 1st.

 

The investigation revealed additional victims.  Police say Walker processed actual checks and looked at the balance to see if there was enough to make counterfeit withdrawals .  He recorded the account information and made fake checks that so-called "runners" would bring to his teller station at a later date to cash. 

 

People's Bank issued a statement saying they have spoken with all affected customers and reimbursed them for losses.  The bank went on to say this was isolated to a single teller, and that employee has been fired.

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Weston woman's child endangerment case continued

A Weston woman has had her court case on a felony risk of injury to a minor charge continued.

 

Police arrested 32-year-old Christina Failla of Weston early Sunday morning on allegations she left her 22-month-old child alone in a vehicle outside a Norwalk bar as she drank with friends.  She was released on a promise to appear in court Wednesday, where her case was continued to October 1st. 

 

A witness called police after finding the child sleeping alone in a locked sport-utility vehicle.  Police say Failla told officers she had only been gone a few minutes, but a witness said she had several alcoholic drinks at the bar.

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Driver siedeswipes tractor trailer, charged for DWI

A Danbury man involved in a car accident has been charged with drunk driving.

 

Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies responded to an accident on Route 22 in Patterson early Wednesday morning involving a car and a tractor trailer.  Police say 33-year old Hector Cruz-Diaz of Danbury sideswiped a tractor trailer around 3:45am. 

 

He was injured and transported to Putnam Hospital Center where he was treated and released.  Cruz was charged with Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated.  He was held for arraignment. 

 

Cruz's passenger and the driver of the truck were uninjured in the accident.

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Lawmakers want to know if program delay 'politically motivated'

A number of questions are being raised about a delay in a state service for undocumented immigrants to after the election.  The General Assembly enacted legislation last year allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses.  The website to apply for the license was supposed to launch in a few days, but won't be ready until December. 

 

Wilton Senator Toni Boucher says there was no explanation given. for why the site would not be ready for next week, and why a three month delay was necessary.  Boucher and others have written to the DMV Commissioner asking for all communication between her office and the governor’s administration, including the Office of Policy and Management, concerning this issue.

 

Advocates of the law say the idea was to make it easier to register cars and obtain insurance.

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More foot traffic across White Street as WCSU classes start

A number of orientation events have been held at Western Connecticut State University.  Today is the first day of classes for students.  Welcome Week continues through Labor Day weekend.  New students took part in a RecFest on the quad which included a rock wall, a water war and a dodgeball game in the gym.  They also learned about student organizations at Western through a Clubs Carnival. 

 

Coordinator of University Events Helen Bechard says the traditional Entering the Gates ceremony was once again held at the gates put up to celebrate the school's 100th anniversary in 2003.

 

A flag is passed off from the Alumni Board to a student who's been selected from the freshman class.  In order to connect them to the first ceremony of their academic career at Western, the flag is then displayed at Commencement.  In this case, it will be on the graduation stage in 2018.

 

There's expected to be a return of pedestrian activity across White Street as commuter students go back to school. Bechard says they are joining students who moved in on Monday.

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Long bus routes, school employees directing traffic

The start of the school year generally comes with some glitches.  Double parked parents, parents new to the drop off process and generally more cars on certain roads because of the student drop off, caused some interesting sights on Monday along Park Avenue in Danbury.  Superintendent Dr Sal Pascarella says the principal, janitor, and others were outside helping to direct traffic.

 

Pascarella says the line of cars dropping off students was backing up onto the main road.  The next day, it was a complete 180 with everything running much smoother.  Each fall, drivers have gotten used to not having school traffic on the roads with them.

 

8,000 to 9,000 students are transported to and from school on a fleet of some 90 buses in Danbury.  On Monday, some parents expressed frustration that their children had a one hour, one way ride.  The students were part of the redistricting done at the end of last school year.  The former Mill Ridge Elementary students are now attending Shelter Rock Elementary.

 

The first day or two, he says bus runs can be a bit erratic.  Every year the bus routes are reevaluated with the bus company to see if the stops can be moved to other routes.

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Dabnury schools to receive $6.6 million from state

Alliance Districts are set to receive a total of nearly $133 million in additional funding for the 2014-15 academic year to help implement academic improvement plans. Danbury will receive $6.69 million.  Over the past two school years, Danbury receved about 6 million dollars total.  To date, 28 of 30 Alliance District Year Three plan amendments have been approved, with the final approvals expected in the coming weeks.

 

The Alliance District program is the state’s lead initiative to improve student success in the state’s 30 most chronically struggling school districts and to help close achievement gaps.  The increased financial investment is tied to greater accountability for how this funding is spent.   The Alliance District program requires an annual submission of turnaround plan amendments for approval from the state.

 

The state identifies priority areas for districts to address via locally developed strategies in their turnaround plans. In addition to these state priority areas, the Alliance Districts identify several additional priority areas and strategies of their own.

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Dog found dead in car was actually a cat

Police reported that a dead dog was found in a car in Danbury yesterday , but police have now said it was actually a cat.

A Honda was illegally parked at the Brookside Condos in Danbury yesterday afternoon, as the car was being towed witnesses saw a dead animal in a carrying case in the back of the car.

While police first said the animal was a dog, it was in fact a cat, which was in stages of decomposing. The cat was taken to a veterinarian to decided how long the cat had been in the car.

Animal Control is investigating, but police will not release the name of the person who owns the car

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Ridgefield Selectmen approve land sale, reject vendor permit

The Ridgefield Board of Selectmen has denied a vendor permit for a mobile flower truck in town.  The application request led to a larger discussion of mobile vendors in Ridgefield.  According to minutes of the meeting, Selectmen called for a template to be worked out so the process can be more formal.  Permits are issued for one year, all of the ones granted in Ridgefield so far have been for food trucks such as ice cream, coffee and lunches. 

 

Seasonal permits were brought up that would be for just the summer.  Some members of the Board expressed concern with the effect on brick and mortar businesses.

 

A strip of land owned by Ridgefield has been approved for sale by the Board of Selectmen.  A special town meeting was held last week about the 1,316 square feet of land on Sunset Lane to be sold to resident Tom Salvestrini.  Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi gave background on the proposal, saying that Sunset Lane was originally further north, closer to the homes there now.  When the railroad pulled out, that left 15 feet of frontage. 

 

The issue had been brought up about putting in deed restrictions, but Selectmen Andy Bodner expressed concern that the property being discussed could be sold to enhance the properties already there.  It was said that under no condition would the property owners be allowed to subdivide.

 

The Town had the property surveyed, and the Assessor's evaluation put a price of $4.55 a square foot on the property.  The total was $5,987.80.  The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously for the sale. 

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Danbury, Ridgefield fires investigated

The Danbury Fire Department has responded to a house fire on Grove Street.  The home is near Osborne Street and witnesses say the flames appear to be coming out of the roof.  No other details are available at this time.

 

 

The cause of a June fire that ripped through and destroyed a house on Standish Drive has been ruled “undetermined". The Ridgefield Fire Department investigated the blaze, which started in the home’s garage on June 22, along with the state’s fire marshal office and specialists representing Chubb Specialty Insurance.  Fire Chief Kevin Tappe says there was an injury the blaze.  The home's owner was treated at Danbury Hospital for burns.  Tappe says despite the ruling, the case remains open.

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Norwalk man charged with leaving baby alone in car

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) Another Connecticut parent is accused of leaving a child alone in a car.

Thirty-seven-year-old Brian Healy of Norwalk was arrested Sunday night. Authorities say he left his infant daughter alone in his car while he shopped at a Wal-Mart in Norwalk. He's charged with risk of injury to a minor.

The Hour newspaper reports police said Healy told them he forgot his daughter was in the car.

A phone number for Healy couldn't be found Tuesday. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.

Several Connecticut parents have been charged with leaving their children alone in vehicles this summer.

A 15-month-old Ridgefield boy died in July after his father allegedly left him in a hot car. No charges have been filed in that case.

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Court: Conn. towns can be sued over fatal raid

EASTON, Conn. (AP) A federal appeals court says several Connecticut police departments can be sued over a drug raid that killed an unarmed man and injured another in 2008.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled Aug. 21 that police in Easton, Monroe, Trumbull, Darien and Wilton are not shielded from the lawsuit by government immunity, the Connecticut Post reports.

A regional SWAT team raided the Easton home of Ronald Terebesi in a drug probe. Monroe officer Michael Sweeney fatally shot Terebesi's friend, 33-year-old Gonzalo Guizan of Norwalk, and Terebesi says he was injured when police pinned him to the floor.

A state prosecutor ruled Sweeney's use of force was appropriate.

The towns settled a lawsuit with Guzman's family for $3.5 million.

Terebesi's lawsuit will now go forward.

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Danbury Food Collaborative receives grant to benefit food pantries

The Walmart Foundation State Giving Team has awarded a $25,000 grant to The Danbury Food Collaborative, a group spearheaded and led by United Way of Western Connecticut.  The DFC is comprised of twelve non-profit agencies, including Danbury’s food pantries and soup kitchens, working together with a common mission to improve access to food, quality of food and sustainability of food for residents in greater Danbury.

 

Since its formation in March 2013, the DFC has held joint community food drives, and has also partnered with Community Plates, a fresh food rescue effort in the city.

 

In addition, part of the DFC’s work this past year included conducting an internal survey among the member pantries and soup kitchens. The survey was intended to further assess the needs of the community and learn how to improve food services for residents. Data from this survey showed that many of the food programs do not have enough access to fresh, healthy food for their clients.  This is due to both a lack of access to these items as well as lack of refrigeration necessary to store and distribute fresh food.

 

With this $25,000 grant from Walmart, the DFC will be able to purchase six new refrigeration units as well as over 3,000 lbs. of fresh and healthy food items for the pantries and soup kitchens in Danbury.

 

The DFC serves more than 8,600 households annually by providing over 230,000 meals to residents in need.

 

Danbury Food Collaborative Members:

Association of Religious Communities                 Danbury Farmer’s Market

Catholic Charities of Fairfield County                  Hispanic Center/Multicultural Center

City of Danbury                                                Interfaith AIDS Ministry

Community Action Agency of Western CT         Jericho Partnership, Inc.

Community Plates                                             The Salvation Army, Danbury Corps.

Daily Bread: An Ecumenical Food Pantry           United Way of Western Connecticut

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Man charged with killing wife arraigned

A former Brewster man charged with killing his wife almost two decades ago and leaving her body in a remote area of western Massachusetts has been held without bail.

A not guilty plea to a murder charge was entered on behalf of 70-year-old Robert Honsch at his arraignment Monday in Westfield District Court.

The body of 53-year-old Marcia Honsch was found in October 1995 near an entrance to Tolland State Forest. She had been shot in the head.

At about the same time, his daughter, 17-year-old Elizabeth Honsch, was found dead behind a New Britain strip mall.

Robert Honsch was arrested in July living on Ohio under an assumed name. He had remarried.

His court-appointed lawyers did not argue for bail.

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Funding for new technology at Danbury schools approved

Two leases have been agreed to for new technology in the Danbury Public Schools.  The Danbury City Council has approved leases with Elm City Capital and Aztec Technologies Incorporated for full digital multi-functional equipment at the schools.  One is a 48 month lease agreement to replace Cannon equipment at a cost of $19,800.  Some of that is funding for a service maintenance agreement. 

 

Superintendent Dr Sal Pascarella says $750,000 over five years has been authorized to replace outdated equipment for students to be paid for with money from the Board Of Education's general operating budget.

 

Several student computer labs and teacher laptops will be replaced.  Each department will also be assigned their own laptop cart.  School officials says these upgrades will not only bring new technology to the high school, but help meet the requirements for the Smarter Balanced Assessments Consortium testing that's new this year.

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Bethel's new school chief introduces herself to community

Bethel students will be back in class Wednesday, though teachers have been back in the schools for professional development days.  In addition to a new school year, Bethel has launched a new website for the school district.  There is also a new Superintendent of Schools. 

 

Dr Christine Carver started the position earlier this month.  She recently sent out a letter to parents and the community to usher in the new year.  She called it an honor to assume the role as the new Superintendent of Bethel Public Schools. 

 

Carver started her teaching career as a Special Education Teacher at the high school level after graduating from UConn.  Carver received her doctorate in educational leadership at UConn in 2009, while also obtaining her certification to become a Superintendent of Schools.  After receiving her administrative certification, she worked as a Department Chair, Supervisor of Special Education and Director of Special Services.

 

She said in the letter that her goal is that students who graduate from Bethel Public Schools have strong communication skills, be adept with the changing technology and to be college and career ready.  Carver also said she wants to continue to ensuring that the children of Bethel have the highest quality of educational services to maximize their individual potentials.  She said one of the main goals is to support teachers in their continued growth, ensuring that they have the appropriate skills and resources to do their job effectively.

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GOP hopes tight governor race leads to House wins

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut Republicans hope a close race for governor will translate into congressional victories in November.

When Democrats won all five congressional seats in 2012, President Barack Obama was at the top of the ticket and helped to draw Democrats to the polls. This year, eyes are on a rematch between incumbent Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican businessman Tom Foley.

State GOP Chairman Jerry Labriola says Foley's focus on improving Connecticut's economy can help other candidates on the ballot, especially 4th District candidate Dan Debicella and 5th District candidate Mark Greenberg

Both Fairfield County races are getting the attention of national Republicans.

A spokesman for Connecticut Democrats says enthusiasm for Foley is low because he would ``U-turn Connecticut's strides forward.''

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Police logs: Homeless man arrested, cyclist ID'd, pills shipped via UPS

A homeless man has been arrested in Danbury on assault and attempt to commit larceny and attempt to commit robbery charges.  Danbury Police say 24-year old Thomas Jackman, originally of Sandy Hook, was seen going through another man's personal items on Spring Street Saturday morning and a fight broke out.  Jackman allegedly punched the other man and fled the scene.  He was found nearby a short time later and was arrested.  Jackman was held on bond.

 

The name of the bicyclist hit by a pickup truck Saturday in New Milford has been released.  Police say 57-year old Dwight Hipp was involved in a collision on Chestnut Lane Road around 8:30am Saturday.  The truck was driven by 22-year old John Kimberly, of New Milford.  Hipp was transported to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.  Kimberly was not immediately charged, though the State's Attorney's office has been notified.  The investigation of the crash is ongoing.

 

A North Dakota woman is facing charges in Danbury Superior Court after UPS workers determined she was shipping Oxycodone pills.  The Newstimes reports that a package broke open during shipping and some pills slid into the plastic label on the package, addressed by 40-year old Joanne Stein.  Brookfield Police determined that the pills were Oxycodone.  Officers say the woman had called UPS to find out where the package was, and when she arrived, she was arrested.  Stein is free on bond and will be arraigned next Friday.

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Danbury Housing voucher deadline is August 29th

State Representative Bob Godfrey is reminding residents that the Section 8 Designated Housing Choice Voucher  Program application deadline is August 29, 2014.


Danbury State Rep.says he is  very pleased to see the application process open up. There are so many families and individuals in need of affordable housing in Danbury and surrounding towns. Godfrey encourages anyone in need of housing to not miss this deadline. He says these lists were last opened in 2007 when 48,000 applications were submitted and 7,000 were placed on the waiting list.


DHCV applicants must be under 62 years of age, with a disability, and require a 1-bedroom unit.

Pre-applications will be accepted by mail only (no fax submissions) and must be postmarked between the dates of August 18, 2014 and August 29, 2014. Online applications will also be accepted until 1:00 p.m. on August 29, 2014. The online application will be available at the HACD's website, www.hacdct.org and at the Housing Authority of The City of Danbury, 2 Mill Ridge Road, Danbury, CT 06811.


Two hundred (200) applications will be chosen by a random, electronic lottery system for placement on the DHCV waiting list on October 31, 2014.

Only one submission per family will be accepted and duplicate applications will be rejected. The waiting list will close August 29, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.

The Housing Choice Voucher program, commonly known as Section 8, allows families and individuals to rent from private landlords and have their rent subsidized to a level that is affordable to that family or individual.

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'Entering the Gates' ceremony to be held at WCSU, students moving in

There is going to be a lot of traffic in midtown Danbury today.  Nearly 1,000 new students will be moving into the dorms at Western Connecticut State University.  Coordinator of University Events Helen Beshard says traffic will be reduced to one lane today between 8 am and 3 pm on Eighth Avenue adjacent to the university off White Street.  Students and their parents will be using that lane to park vehicles to get their belongings into the residence halls.

 

Area residents and motorists are asked, if possible, to avoid the area by taking alternate routes.

 

There will be an "Entering the Gates" ceremony this afternoon and drivers are asked to proceed slowly down White Street at that time.  The ceremony involves alumni lining the walkway from the gate to the quad.  Freshmen then walk under the gate's archway.  The spirit band from the Music Department will be on hand for the event.  An opening ceremony on the quad will be led by the University President, Provosts and others.

 

The first date of classes at West Conn is Thursday.

 

A number of events are being held during the week including workshops on career development, campus safety and student activities.  There is a clubs carnival on Wednesday, a barbecue, a recreational festival to introduce the sports teams, and various other events to get an idea of what's available on campus.

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Classes back in session across Greater Danbury area

Classes are starting today at schools across the Greater Danbury area.  In Danbury, teachers have been back at work for about a week.  Superintendent of Schools Dr Sal Pascarella says the orientation for new teachers last Monday went very well.  In addition to retirements, new teachers were hired to fill new classrooms added to the elementary schools and the new full day kindergarten classrooms.  There were over 100 new teachers who went through orientation.  On Thursday, veteran teachers returned.

 

Most of the bus routes are the same for kids.  Pascarella says a few hundred students were moved to different schools last year under a redistricting plan to equalize the number of kids in each building because of the growth in the City.

 

Additions were constructed at three elementary schools over the past 14 months ago.  Park Avenue added 10 or 11 classrooms, with other related work such as parking lot redesigns.  Classrooms were also added to Shelter Rock and Stadley Rough schools.

 

The 3rd middle school also opened last week. About 500 people attended the ribbon cutting Wednesday for the West Side Learning Academy.  A cookout sponsored by the PTO was held after the ceremony and tours.

 

A study of parks in Danbury as well as school playgrounds was started this spring.  It was just completed and the results are mixed.  Even though today is the first day of school in Danbury, the playgrounds at King Street School, Morris Street School and South Street School are closed until the new equipment comes in. 

 

Playgrounds at the schools are repaired over time, but they all needed to be evaluated. For safety reasons, a company came in to asses the playgrounds for risks.  That company provided the City with a roadmap of how to move forward.  Pascarella says the schools don't own the buildings or grounds, the city does.

 

The plan was about which ones can be repaired, what sections to eliminate and where to buy new equipment.  The jungle gyms are being replaced.

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Newtown looks into regionalized emergency dispatch

A study about regionalizing emergency dispatch operations is being discussed in Newtown.

 

The Newtown Board of Selectmen have received an update from members of the Legislative Council about regionalization of Newtown Dispatch. A 2011 regionalization effort with Danbury and other towns was not successful, in part because Danbury had not yet consolidated its 911 call center operations.  Danbury is currently in the process of doing that and moving toward civilianization. 

 

Newtown is at a crossroads when it comes to Computer Aided Dispatch software so officials say this might be the right time to consider regionalization.  New World has had many updates and changes, leading to several questions.  A presentation last week to the Board of Selectmen pointed out that New World uses global Computer Aided Dispatch, which Newtown Police do not favor. 

 

Site visits have been completed and input was sought from Newtown police officials, the Newtown ambulance corp, director of the Emergency Operations Center and the Newtown Board of Fire Commissioners.  Among the concerns is that there is no consistent coverage during off hours, with regional dispatchers not knowing Newtown as well as a resident would.  But that point was countered with one of the benefits listed being an increased number of dispatchers familiar with Newtown.  There also may be a higher standard in terms of required training. 

 

The presentation at the Board of Selectmen meeting last week noted that regionalization is not an evaluation of current dispatchers and that the presentation was not an in depth analysis. 

 

The next step is to fund a study.

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Congressional candidates cross endorsed

Elizabeth Esty has accepted the nomination of the Connecticut Working Families Party in her reelection bid for the 5th Congressional District seat. 

 

Esty says there's so much at stake for working families this election and she wants to help rebuild Connecticut’s middle class.  In accepting the nomination, Esty said she wants to continue to fight to protect Social Security and Medicare so that all workers can retire with dignity, increase the federal minimum wage so no one working full time has to raise their family in poverty, ensure equal pay for equal work, and defend the rights and protections for all workers.

 

Republican Mark Greenberg has been cross-endorsed by the Connecticut Independent Party.  He says it's an honor to have the overwhelming support of the Connecticut Independent Party.  In accepting the nomination, Greenberg said people from across the 5th District have been failed by career politicians like Congresswoman Esty and her mentor Nancy Pelosi.  He added that voters want leaders who will fight for families and businesses instead of fighting for their Party's ideology.

 

Both Greenberg and Congresswoman Esty's names were put into nomination. Greenberg received roughly two-thirds of the votes cast.

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3 men arrested in drug sale investigation in Danbury

A man Danbury police had arrested several months ago for selling drugs has been arrested again for continuing to sell illegal drugs.  Police spokesman Lt Christian Carroccio says the Special Investigations Division obtained a search warrant for 31-year old Duane Perkins of New Milford, his vehicle and his friend's Duck Street apartment in Danbury.  While conducting surveillance in Danbury on Thursday, Perkins was seen leaving with 31-year old Dontee Heyliger, the owner of the Duck Street home. 

 

A third man drove them to a parking lot where the New Milford man was seen making a suspected drug transaction with 63-year old Joseph Romeo of Danbury.  Romeo was followed and arrested a short distance away.

 

The car was then tracked to a nearby gas station and pulled over.  Perkins was placed under arrest for the earlier drug sale and Heyliger was arrested for an outstanding warrant for his arrest.  A search of the Duck Street home tuned up crack cocaine.

 

Perkins and Heyliger were each charged with Risk of Injury to a Child, Possession of Crack Cocaine, Possession of Narcotics with intent to sell, Possession of Narcotics Within 1,500 feet of a school, Possession of Narcotics with intent to sell Within 1,500 feet of a school, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Within 1,500 feet of a school.

 

Perkins was also charged with Sale of Crack Cocaine.  Romeo was charged with Possession of Crack Cocaine.

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Danbury hires 4 new police officers

Danbury has appointed four new police officers to the Department.  All of the officers come to Danbury from other police departments in the region.  They are all certified in first aid/CPR. 

 

During the City Council meeting this month, the appointments were confirmed.  Mayor Mark Boughton welcomed them to the City and that he's looking forward to them continuing their careers here.  He told the new members that Danbury offers all of the things an officer could want in a modern city police department.  He added that there are some exciting new initiatives coming up, though he did not elaborate on what those initiatives are.

 

Anthony Mistretta has been employed as a police officer in Naugatuck for the last two years.  Alexander Relyea has worked for the last 2.5 years as a police officer in New Milford.  Collin Marino has worked for the last 3.5 years as a police officer with that department.  Marino is also certified for the Bicycle Patrol.  Brittany Salafia has been working as a police officer in Redding for the past year, and prior to that was a police officer in Manchester.

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Congressional candidates discuss jobs, small businesses

4th District Congressman Jim Himes has wrapped up the first week of  his 17 Towns in 17 Days Tour.  The Democrat was looking to meet with constituents and discuss innovative ideas for growing jobs in the Fairfield County region.  This week he met with a Wilton teenager with her own online startup.

 

He met with Wilton High School student Julianna Yee, who created a social networking website catering to the needs of teens, tweens, adults and business owners.

 

Himes' Republican challenger, Dan Decibella, says entrepreneurs create jobs and government needs to build an environment for them to flourish.  He says that can be done, in part, by providing the legal and physical infrastructure needed for economic growth.

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Helicopters prompt questions from Danbury area residents

If you are wondering about the helicopters flying over the Federal Road area Friday afternoon, they weren't police, military or medical.  Danbury Police say they received one call to their non-emergency line asking about the helicopters.  State Police say they were not using the aviation unit for any purpose.

 

Danbury Municipal Airport Administrator Paul Estefan says they are helicopters were part of an aerial photoshoot for a business on Route 7.  Most of the activity was in the Stew Leonard's area, but Estefan did not say what business hired the helicopters.

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NY lawyer charged for tampering with witness

A New York lawyer has been charged for bribing a witness and tampering with a witness.  The Putnam County District Attorney's office says George Galgano was arrested by Carmel Police Thursday on two conspiracy charges as well. 

 

The indictment alleges that Galgano bribed a witness who had been sexually abused by one of his clients.  When the crime was uncovered, police officers opened an investigation. 

 

DA Adam Levy says when a sex offender's lawyer violates the law by bribing the witness, his office will use every tool available to protect the victim and the integrity of the criminal justice system.

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Ridgefield officially has a new Fire Chief

A formal vote by the Ridgefield Board of Selectmen means the town officially has a new fire chief.  Kevin Tappe was appointed in June to the position of Chief, but a contract was never voted on by the Board.  That was done at their meeting last Wednesday.  A three year contract was unanimously approved.  Tappe stepped into the role of Chief when Heather Burford left for a position in Florida.  Tappe had been assistant Chief for seven years.

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Unattended bag prompts Danbury DMV evacuation

The Danbury branch of the DMV was briefly evacuated Thursday.  An employee noticed an unattended backpack sitting on a chair, and became concerned.  The employee called DMV headquarters and was advised to ask customers and other employees if they owned the backpack.  Spokesman Bill Seymour says no one claimed it. 

 

Given concerns about security, the building on Lee Mac Avenue was evacuated. 

 

Danbury Police responded, along with the Fire Department and State Police, and removed the bag from the building.  Police assessed the contents.  The backpack was not found to be a threat and it was removed from the building. 

 

Employees and customers were let back in a short time later.

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ESPN's Linda Cohn sues NY rink over off-ice injury

BREWSTER, N.Y. (AP) A popular ESPN anchor is suing a suburban New York hockey rink over a painful off-ice injury.

Linda Cohn says a heavy change-making machine fell on her arm at Hudson Valley's Brewster Ice Arena and sliced her up so badly she needed 25 stitches.

The 54-year-old Southbury, Connecticut resident raised the allegations in a lawsuit recently served on the rink's owners.

She's demanding unspecified damages plus costs and expenses.

Cohn's lawyer Jonathan Silver says it happened in March in an arcade area of the rink as she was getting ready to practice for a promotion with a New York Rangers' minor league team.

Cohn posted a picture on Twitter at the time showing her stitched-up arm looking like a baseball.

Brewster Ice Arena's owner didn't return a message.

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Drug supplier for 'Monsignor Meth' gets 5 years

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A woman who authorities say helped supply nearly 10 pounds of methamphetamine to a drug operation in Connecticut run by a Catholic priest dubbed ``Monsignor Meth'' has been sentenced to five years in prison.

49-year-old Kristen Laschober, of Laguna Niguel, California, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Hartford. She and her boyfriend, Chad McCluskey, of San Clemente, California, pleaded guilty last year to drug conspiracy charges connected to their meth business with now-suspended Monsignor Kevin Wallin.

McCluskey was sentenced to more than five years in prison in June.

Wallin, who once served at St. Peter Parish in Danbury, pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge and awaits sentencing for selling large quantities of meth out of his apartment in Waterbury.

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Woman denies supplying booze to teens at party

EASTON, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut woman is denying police allegations that she supplied alcohol to teenagers at a house party in April.

Thirty-nine-year-old Eliane Mullen of Greenwich says she didn't know there was alcohol at the party at her former home in Easton.

Mullen said her 15-year-old daughter invited two friends over for a sleepover, but the gathering got out of hand as a number of boys and girls showed up.

Police allege Mullen bought vodka, whisky and beer for the party. Authorities say a teenage boy had to be treated at a hospital for alcohol intoxication.

Mullen was charged with 10 counts of risk of injury to a minor. She's free on a promise to appear in Bridgeport Superior Court on Sept. 16.

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UPDATED: Death of Ridgefield toddler left in hot car ruled a homicide

The death of a 15 month old Ridgefield boy left alone in a hot car for an undetermined number of hours has been ruled a homicide.  The Chief Medical Examiner's Office says Benjamin Seitz died from ‘hyperthermia due to environmental exposure’.  The Medical Examiner did not say how long Seitz may have been left alone in the car.  Ridgefield police are reportedly meeting with the Danbury State's Attorney's Office about the ruling.

 

Seitz was supposed to be dropped off at daycare by his father, who instead drove to his place of employment at 38A Grove Street in Ridgefield with the baby still in the car. 

 

Police say Danbury Hospital contacted them shortly after 6pm when the child's father reportedly drove him there after finding the baby in his car and becoming concerned for his welfare.  The Ridgefield Police Departments Dispatch Center received no 911 calls regarding this incident.

 

The Danbury State's Attorney's Office is working with the Ridgefield Police to investigate the July 7th death.  Stephen Sedensky says the criminal investigation is ongoing and his office will have no comment on the status of the case or details, including the autopsy report.  He says the autopsy report is one factor to be considered in the evaluation of the incident. 

 

Ridgefield Police say that after speaking with the Danbury State's Attorney's Office, the Department was asked not to comment further on this case due to the fact that the investigation is ongoing.

 

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UPDATED: Large fire at condo complex by New Milford High School

Firefighters have battled a large blaze at a New Milford condo complex.  Crews responded to 466 Danbury Road, Candlewood Condos.  Mutual aid from several area towns was called in.  Among those responding were Stony Hill, Washington, Roxbury, Sherman and Brookfield. 

 

The condo complex is near New Milford High School.

 

The fire was reported around 10:15 Thursday morning.  Witnesses say they saw at least one person being carried out on a stretcher.  No official word on injuries.  Damage appears to be significant.

 

The American Red Cross is helping 11 people in six families after a fire today on Danbury Road in New Milford.  Spokesman Paul Shipman says volunteers responded to the scene to meet one-on-one with those affected.

 

Eight adults in five families are receiving help with emergency food and clothing needs. The residents were able to make alternative housing arrangements.  A family of three adults is receiving help with emergency housing, food and clothing needs.

 

A cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.

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Ribbon cut at Danbury's new middle school

When the school year begins next week, Danbury's third middle school will reopen.  School officials held a ribbon cutting and open house Wednesday at the West Side Middle School Academy.  Superintendent of Schools Dr Sal Pascarella says 300 6th, 7th and 8th graders in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program will be located at the former Mill Ridge Intermediate School. 

 

There will also be a Global Studies Academy open to 6th graders.  Glass says there will also be 100 6th graders in the Global Studies Academy.  Over the next two years, that academy will be populated.

 

There was an application process for each Academy.  The STEM program is moving from Rogers Park Middle School.  Mill Ridge was closed in 2010, and was retrofitted with these academies to relieve overcrowding in the schools and to provide more specialized choices for students.

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Student workshop on Gilbert & Bennett transformation

There are 17 towns in the 4th Congressional District.  Democrat Jim Himes is travelling to all of them in 17 days while Congress is on break.  He stopped in Redding Wednesday to meet with students participating in a 7-week summer program known as Re-Wire.  It's a workshop led by local artist Jane Philbrick about transforming the long-abandoned, 55-acre Gilbert and Bennett wire mill site for productive use for the community.

 

Students who attend Joel Barlow High School, John Read Middle School and Redding Elementary School explored a different theme each week and how it could enhance the site's future development. The program's themes were transportation; ecology; architecture; clean energy and environmental remediation; food, farming and hospitality; and fashion design and art.

 

Re-Wire’s priorities for the site, which includes six industrial buildings listed on the National Historic Register, include jobs and the economy, energy and the environment, education, and transportation.”

 

The Re-Wire student artists’ workshop is now in its second year. The program began as a grant proposal for the new initiative “Art Catalyzes Placemaking,” sponsored by the State of Connecticut. Re-Wire is funded in part by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, the State Historic Preservation Office, Connecticut Innovations, and the Fairfield County Bank.

 

Last summer, the students learned about art and architecture and created a master plan for the Gilbert & Bennett site. High school interns then continued working into the fall and began again in the spring.  The themes this year were drawn from verticals from the master plan Re-Wire students created the previous year.

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Rowboat overturns, man dies in NY reservoir

CARMEL, N.Y. (AP) The agency that runs New York City's watershed says a man died, apparently drowning when the rowboat he was in overturned in a Putnam County reservoir.

The Department of Environmental Protection says another man swam to shore.

The men were fishing in the Croton Falls reservoir when the boat flipped on Tuesday afternoon. The cause of the accident is being investigated.

Fishing is permitted in reservoirs and the DEP said the men had proper permits but were not wearing life preservers.

The victim's name was not made public. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

In addition to DEP police, officers from Carmel and firefighters from the Croton Falls Fire Department were at the scene.

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Not guilty plea in Redding animal cruelty case

A Redding woman has entered a plea of not guilty to two animal cruelty charges.  State Animal Control officers obtained the arrest warrant for 75-year old Lisa Lind-Larsen earlier this month, and it was served by local police.  Her case was continued to September 17.

 

Two emaciated horses were seized on July 11th from an unkempt barn where there was not nearly enough food to sustain them. 

 

 

Lind-Larsen previously said that she knew the horses health was declining, but that it was due to many reasons.  One cited was a property dispute that prevented hay deliveries to the barn.

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Handicap compliance improvements made to Bethel school property

Some handicap accessibility improvements are being made to a school in Bethel.  The Board of Selectmen has approved funding for a project for the parking lot and sidewalk at Berry Elementary School.  The $30,000 in funding from the Highway Department's Road Construction account was approved unanimously.  The Selectmen also decided to refer a funding request to the Board of Finance for other projects.  The proposed $35,000 would be for continued ADA compliance for routes to athletic fields.  The Board of Selectmen proposed that the funding come from the capital non-recurring account.

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Newtown lawmaker touts horse owner protection bill being signed into law

A local lawmaker is touting a bill recently signed into law by the Governor that protects horse owners.  Newtown Representative DebraLee Hovey says the legislation makes it clear that horses are not inherently dangerous.

 

The law, originally proposed by Governor Malloy, stemmed from a Connecticut Supreme Court case involving a 2006 incident where a horse bit a child when he attempted to pet it.  An appellate court in 2012 found that the horse’s owner was at fault because horses are “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.”

 

Hovey says Fairfield County has one of the highest horse per capita in the United States.

 

The 2nd Company Governor’s Horse Guard is located in Newtown. Connecticut has a long-standing history with mounted cavalry units, including the 1st Company Governor’s Horse Guard, located in Avon, which is the oldest continuously active mounted cavalry unit in the country.

 

Hovey says potentially higher insurance rates for horse owners and farms, and loss of business for veterinarians, feed stores and farriers which all make significant contributions to the state’s economy were averted by this law.

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Bethel Zoning Board holds meeting about medical marijuana facility

The Bethel Zoning Board of Appeals has held a special meeting to discuss the appeal about the medical marijuana dispensary coming to Garella Road in Bethel. Two residents filed an appeal of the Zoning Enforcement Officer approving a zoning permit application for Monroe-based D&B Wellness Compassion and Care Center. 

 

At their last working session, the Board ruled that the filers were not aggrieved and that the use of the site meets regulations.  The Board requested that the town's Land Use Attorney draft a resolution for last night's meeting. 

 

A letter has been drafted to the Planning and Zoning Commission, requesting that they review the appeal and make changes to regulations so in the future, something like this will trigger the use of a special permit.  That will insure an opportunity for public discussion on the matter.

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Brookfield reschedules two public hearings to Sept.

A new public hearing date has been set in Brookfield on two items.  The original hearing date was cancelled earlier this month when the Board of Selectmen's meeting that same night had to be cancelled. 

 

A public hearing about joining Western Connecticut Council of Governments has been rescheduled for September 8th. 

 

Also that night, a change to add tattoo parlors to the Brookfield code of ordinances dealing with salons and spas will be discussed.  A locally issued license is required to open and the Director of Health must also conduct annual inspections.  The ordinance change would include tattoo businesses, and businesses offering temporary tattooing of the face, eyelids and eyebrows.

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Redding speed sign near school found with bullet holes

Redding police are investigating bullet holes in a portable speed trailer at John Read Middle School.  Police Chief Douglas Fuchs tells the Redding Pilot that the sign that displays drivers' real-time speeds wasn't working and so officers went to retrieve it. 

 

Fuchs says the shots must have been fired at close range and appears to have come from a shot gun.  The projectiles are likely what caused the sign to stop working in the last week or two.  Fuchs says the damage to this piece of equipment is about $15,000. 

 

He says it's concerning that someone shot the sign, but more so that it was done on school property.

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Ridgefield teen tries to use skateboard as getaway vehicle from burglary

Two Ridgefield teens have been arrested for trying to rob a house on the same street where one of them lives.  Police spokesman Captain Jeff Kreitz says officers responded to a residential burglar alarm shortly before 9pm Monday.

 

Two teens were seen fleeing the house on foot, but when one saw the officer he skateboarded away..

 

State Police K-9 units were called in to locate 18-year old Thomas Redmond, who was found at his home a short distance away.  Redmond and 18-year old Henry Gough were charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and interfering with the duties of an officer. 

 

A window on the house was broken.  Police are continuing to investigate if anything was taken from the home.

 

The pair were arraigned Tuesday.

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Easton woman arrested forleaving child alone at motel

An Easton woman has been arrested for leaving her child alone in a motel room.  Fairfield Police were called by Easton officers yesterday night asking that they perform a welfare check at the Fairfield Motor Inn on a 4-year old girl. 

 

Brittany Hacker's ex husband called police after the 24-year old showed up at his house and said their child was with a friend in another room. 

 

Officers found the girl alone in Hacker's motel room.  Hacker was charged with leaving a child unsupervised and risk of injury to a minor. 

 

The state Department of Children and Families was notified.

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Democrats demand liquid nicotine rules

FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) A dozen Senate Democrats are pushing federal legislation to require child-proof bottles for liquid nicotine used for e-cigarettes.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, both Connecticut Democrats, said Tuesday that safety rules are needed in response to a rise in poisonings.

Blumenthal said the absence of rules has led to a ``wild, wild west of unregulated e-nicotine.''

The American Association of Poison Control Centers cites a nearly eight-fold increase in exposures to poison from e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine, from 271 in 2011 to 2,313 so far this year.

A representative of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Other state officials have demanded regulations including a ban on selling flavored products.

The battery-powered devices allow users to inhale vapor from a heated liquid nicotine solution.

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Public hearing held on bonding in Danbury

A public hearing has been held in Danbury about four items.  Residents had a chance last night to weigh in on a proposed change to Danbury's Pension Obligation Bonds.  The City maintains six pension plans for a total of $305 million, funded at 84 percent.  Mayor Mark Boughton says the City has an opportunity to refinance it's unfunded liability for a $15 million savings over the 20 year repayment schedule.  Boughton says the City has an opportunity to refinance the unfunded liability from a rate of 7.25 percent down to 3.6 percent. 

 

During the public hearing, a proposed increased fine in the blight ordinance was discussed.  Minor changes to the way the fire marshal collects fees was also on the agenda.

 

$20 million is proposed bonding for road repairs and roof replacements was also discussed.  Anything over $3 million has to go to a public hearing and a vote.  The items could be placed on the November ballot. 

 

The breakdown of the bonding is:

 

$1 million for public safety communications network upgrades and replacement

 

$6.5 million for the public works department to rebuild, pave, fix drainage issues and replace curbs, guardrails and lighting on various roads throughout the city.  The Department would also get $3 million for equipment and vehicle replacements.

 

$4 million for the engineering department for a bridge repair and replacement program

 

$5.5 million for a roof replacement program

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WCSU officer attends FBI training clinic

A Western Connecticut State university Police Sgt with more than 20 years on the job has completed a 10-week training course at the FBI's headquarters in Quantico Virginia.  Only one-half of one percent of all law enforcement personnel in the world are invited to attend the academy.  Sgt Richard Montefusco was one of three officers from Connecticut joining police from 17 countries and 48 states. 

 

Montefusco participated in an FBI program that fabricates active shooter scenarios through the use of avatars.  He was on a team with 13 other officers and says they all understood immediatly, the concept that the had to work together.

 

Montefusco took courses in civil law, civil liability , social media, communication strategies and labor law.  He also received intensive behavioral training taught by an FBI behavioral scientist on the human psyche, anti-social and psycho-social behavior, and how people think.

 

Montefusco, who is one of Western’s firearms instructors, studied less-lethal munitions at the academy, focusing on the use of alternatives to guns.  Relying on less lethal options for crowd control, Montefusco says will allow university police to neutralize a situation in seconds without having to wait for special teams to arrive on campus.

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Mass resignation leaves 1 Ridgefield Affordable Housing Committee member

There is just one member left on the Ridgefield Affordable Housing Committee.  The group had been operating with three vacancies, but the Ridgefield Press reports that five members of the Committee have resigned as of last week.  The five members signed a letter of resignation delivered to the Board of Selectmen last week saying that the diverse housing needs of Ridgefielders doesn't seem to be a concern of the Board. 

 

The group said some of their frustration stemmed from the proposed sale of Schlumberger land for luxury condos. 

 

Chairman Dave Goldenberg, Joanne Search, Rob Gutman, Lynne Sewell, and Elizabeth DiSalvo signed the letter.  Michael Austin is now the only person on the committee.

 

First Selectman Rudy Marconi told the Ridgefield Press that he felt the committee had some substantial accomplishments in partnership with the selectmen and other town agencies, such as the Housing Authority.  He pointed to the 20-unit Prospect Ridge Meadows project, completed in 2008.

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New Milford man arrested for firing weapon in neighborhood

A New Milford man has been arrested for firing a rifle in a residential neighborhood.  Police say 49-year old Douglas Murphy was arrested shortly after 7:30 Saturday night when officers responded to Burnett Road for reports of shots fired.  Police say Murphy was intoxicated.  He was charged with assaulting a public safety officer, disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge of a fire arm and violation of a protective order.  He was held on bond for arraignment Monday at Bantam Superior Court.

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Cops: mom left toddler alone in SUV outside bar

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) Police have arrested a Connecticut woman on allegations she left her 22-month-old child alone in a vehicle outside a bar as she enjoyed drinks with friends.

Norwalk police charged 32-year-old Christina Failla of Weston early Sunday morning with felony risk of injury to a minor. A witness called police after finding the child sleeping alone in a locked sport-utility vehicle late Saturday night.

Police told The Hour that Failla returned to the SUV after officers had removed the child from the vehicle. Police say she told officers she had only been gone a few minutes, but a witness said she had several alcoholic drinks at the bar.

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UPDATED: 2 die in separate motorcycle crashes in Conn.

Two men were killed after losing control of their motorcycles in separate accidents in Litchfield and Bethel.

Bethel police say a man died after he crashed his motorcycle into a traffic island on Mansfield Street on Sunday afternoon.  48-year old Stephen Quantrano of New Preston later died at Danbury Hospital.

Police are trying to determine the causes of the accidents and are asking witnesses to come forward.  No additional information about the Bethel accident was released, though police say it appears Quantrano simply lost control of his vehicle.

State police say 50-year-old Jay Coffey of Watertown crashed his motorcycle on Route 254 in Litchfield at about 5 p.m. Sunday. Troopers say the bike struck some wood posts and Coffey was ejected. He was later pronounced dead at Waterbury Hospital.

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Fine amnesty week at Danbury Library

Danbury Library has declared this “Erase Your Fines” week.  Danbury Library customers who have accumulated overdue fines, whether it’s for 1 day or 10 years, are welcome to return their items and bring along a school supply for the overdue items.  People may return multiple overdue items but all items must be returned in good condition.  The project does not apply to items that have been lost or damaged. 

 

The collected supplies will be donated to the United Way of Western Connecticut to be used for their “Back to School Program.” 

 

During the past few years, there have been food drives in exchange for waiving customer fines, but this year Library employees thought they would try something different.  All school supplies are welcome, patrons don’t have to have an overdue item to donate.

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Danbury road paving causes closures

Some milling and paving work is taking place this week in Danbury.  Osborne Street, Balmforth Avenue, Lee Hartell Drive and Crosby Street were all broken up and milled to prepare for the paving work.  Those streets will be closed for paving, weather permitting, throughout the week.

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Women in politics group supports Esty in reelection bid

EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, is backing Elizabeth Esty in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District race in November.

 

EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock says Esty is a leader working to expand economic opportunity for the working families that sent her to Washington.  She added that Esty fights tirelessly to break through partisan gridlock with common sense policies that help all families get a fair shot.

 

EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $390 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates, making it one of the most successful political organizations.

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United Way appoints new board members

The United Way of Western Connecticut has added seven new members to its Board of Directors.  Board chairman, West Conn President James Schmotter says it's a remarkable group of new members who will serve with distinction.  Schmotter says each of the new members brings expertise on one or all of the group's priorities including education, health and income.

 

Each term for Board members is three years.

 

The following are the newest members of United Way of Western Connecticut’s Board of Directors:

 

Martin Anderson
Senior Vice President, Webster Bank

Martin Anderson has a 22-year career in commercial banking with the majority of his career spent in Fairfield County. He has been with Webster Bank for nearly 5 years, presently serving as team leader and Fairfield County Unit Manager in Stamford. In addition to serving on the UWWC Board of Directors, Martin is the chair of UWWC’s Volunteer Council.  Martin also serves on the Board of Junior Achievement of Southwest Connecticut.

 

Dr. Raul Arguello

Chairman, Department of Pediatrics

Danbury Hospital, Western Connecticut Health Network

Dr. Arguello joined the staff at Danbury Hospital in June 2008. Prior to coming to Danbury, Dr. Arguello was an attending pediatric endocrinologist at Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, New York, where he served as chief of the Pediatric Diabetes Program from 2004 – 2008. Dr. Arguello earned his medical degree from the faculty of medicine at Evangelical University of El Salvador, and served as director of the San Jose Villanueva Department of Health - El Salvador Health Center. Dr. Arguello is a member of the El Salvador Medical College, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Diabetes Association.

 

Cheryl A. BakewellCPA

Partner, Bakewell Mulhare, LLC

Cheryl Bakewell received her BBA in Accounting from Western Connecticut State University, Ancell Honors Program. Prior to establishing her own professional practice in 1991, Cheryl was an acting tax manager at KPMG and an international tax manager at Berol Corporation. In addition to serving as Treasurer on UWWC’s Board of Directors, Cheryl is the Treasurer for the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut, the John Pettibone Scholarship Fund, and Friends of New Milford. She also serves on UWWC’s Southern Litchfield County Community Council and the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce. 

 

Kurosh L. Marjani
Partner, Wofsey Rosen Kweskin & Kuriansky, LLC (Stamford)
Kurosh Marjani is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and the University of Connecticut School of Law. Prior to joining the firm, Kurosh was an employment litigation associate at Day, Berry & Howard in Hartford, Connecticut. Kurosh is a member of the Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts bars. His practice focuses primarily on civil litigation, including complex commercial, employment, landlord-tenant, and probate matters. He is a frequent lecturer on landlord-tenant law in Connecticut. Kurosh has been selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list since 2010 as a “Rising Star” in the areas of Business Litigation and Employment & Labor. In addition to serving on the UWWC Board of Directors, Kurosh also chairs UWWC’s Stamford Community Council. 

 

Cynthia C. Merkle

President and Chief Operating Officer, Union Savings Bank

Cynthia Merkle joined Union Savings Bank in 2013 as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Prior to joining Union Savings Bank, she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Eastern Bank – the largest independent and mutually owned bank in New England. In March 2013, Cindy was elected President of Union Savings Bank by the Board of Directors.  She will continue to serve as chief operating officer and will assume the role of CEO at the end of this year. Cindy is a graduate of Endicott College in Beverly, MA and Bryant College in Rhode Island. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Endicott College. She is a past chairman of the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Community and Banking Council.

 

Susan M. Neumann
Vice President, Corporate Communications & Public Relations

Sue Neumann joined Praxair in February 2011. She is responsible for the direction and strategic alignment of all Praxair communications worldwide. Formerly, Sue was senior vice president, Communications and Public Affairs, for Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. and served on the company’s executive committee with responsibility for corporate communications, government affairs and public affairs. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and journalism and a master’s degree in organizational communication, both from Western Michigan University.

 

Rick Tanner

Chief Marketing Officer, Nestlé Waters North America
Rick Tanner has been the Chief Marketing Officer for Nestlé Waters North America since 2013. A 13-year veteran of Nestlé Waters, Rick joined the Company in 2001. His professional 30 year background experience includes functional assignments in Marketing and General Management, Sales, and category experience in the Beverage and other CPG industries. Rick earned his undergraduate degree in Marketing from Northeastern University and his MBA from Fordham University.

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Politicians getting in on ALS 'Ice Bucket Challenge'

A number of area politicians have been challenged to participate in a viral event raising awareness, and funds, for the ALS Association.  A Ridgefield this week challenged First Selectman Rudy Marconi.  Chuck Hancock has argued with the selectmen over their decisions on the Schlumberger property.  But Marconi says he was expecting someone, anyone, to call him out because his mother had ALS.

 

 

5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty challenged U.S. Senator Chris Murphy to either donate money or get iced.  He took the challenge while on vacation and got his whole family involved.

 

 

Murphy then challenged 4th District Congressman Jim Himes.  The pair have a close relationship and often poke fun of each other, most notably over who had more Twitter followers.  Himes continued that ribbing in his video, saying Murphy was not dignified wearing a swimsuit.  Himes on the other hand, wore a suit and was a bit surprised by his daughters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two men stopped for speeding found trying to hide drugs

Two Newtown men have been arrested on drug related charges following a citizens complaint.  Police responded to Mohawk Trail Tuesday and found two vehicles had been speeding.  Police say while they were investigating the men tried to hide heroin. 

 

21-year old Daniel Sheets and 23-year old Timothy Wheeler were each charged with interfering with police, possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence and travelling too fast for conditions.  Sheets was also charged for driving with a suspended license. 

 

Each have been released on bail for a court appearances on the 26th.

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Union chief: Teachers felt rushed after Newtown

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Teachers felt they were rushed into returning to the classroom following the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the president of the local teachers union said Friday.

 

Tom Kuroski, president of the Newtown Federation of Teachers, told members of a state commission that some teachers, still struggling with their own emotions, felt ill-prepared to deal with their returning students.

 

The shooting, which left 20 first graders and six educators dead, occurred on Dec. 14, 2012, a Friday. Classes resumed for Newtown students, except those attending Sandy Hook, on Dec. 18, the following Tuesday. Sandy Hook students returned to classes on Jan. 3, 2013.

 

"If you look at what other school districts have done, that have endured similar tragedies, they've definitely given their teachers some time to get the training, the thorough training that they're going to need in order to do the best job they can when they return," said Kuroski, a science teacher. "A one-day workshop where our input wasn't even listened to was not something that we thought was moving us in the right direction."

 

Friday marked the 21st meeting of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, created by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to come up recommendations on gun safety, mental health and school security in wake of the massacre. Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, the commission's chairman, said Friday that the 16-member panel is in the final stages of crafting its report, and he expects it may be finished in about six weeks.

 

Besides Kuroski, the panel heard Friday from Vincent Riccio, owner of Security Academy of Connecticut. It's a business that specializes in active shooter training and security consulting for schools, businesses and government entities.

 

Kuroski described for panel members the "state of mass confusion" on the day of the shootings. He said he wasn't included in the initial meetings with school administrators about how to proceed and a decision was made to hold a mental health training session that Sunday to prepare for students returning on that Monday. He said teachers felt they weren't ready yet to return to work so soon afterward.

 

"I think the desire to move forward as quickly as possible, that people lost track of what was going on," he said.

 

Ultimately, Kuroski said, Newtown teachers returned to work even though some didn't feel ready emotionally.

 

"They felt as though they wouldn't be there for their kids who they loved, and they were letting them down somehow," Kuroski said. "They felt, all of us felt, like we needed to be there, even to the expense of our own mental health."

 

Since then, however, Kuroski said mental health services for students and staff have been "well done."

 

Also on Friday, Kuroski expressed concerns that federal grant funding to improve security in Newtown's various schools didn't arrive until this June. He said the changes in the Newtown public schools' administration was likely to blame.

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Newtown police receive funding for speed control enforcement

Several municipalities in the Greater Danbury area are eligible for federal funds, funneled through the state, for speed enforcement efforts.  

 

Newtown Police say they have accepted a $17,400 grant to be used along high risk rural roads.  The program runs from Monday through September 30th.  A majority of the funding is being used for overtime costs for the officers carrying out the enforcement effort.  About $4,000 of the grant is being used to pay for a new radar unit for one of the patrol cars. 

 

118 municipalities in the state are eligible for funding.

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Inaugural bike race in Danbury coming on Sunday

A group started by several Danbury City Council members is hosting the inaugural Race4Scholars Criterium bike race.  The event tomorrow will raise funds to establish a college scholarship program for high school graduates who intend to major in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math disciplines, the medical fields and other relevant majors.  Councilman Duane Perkins says the event will feature five amateur category races and two professional races.

 

Perkins says the course is a 1K loop that is lapped over and over making the course fast and challenging for top professional cyclists and amateurs from across the tri-state area. 

 

Accompanying activities around the event will feature an expo, vendors and free bicycle classes for both youth and adults starting at 8am.  The first race is tomorrow at 8:30am.

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Ex-Conn. governor Rell named to national GOP group

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Former Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell is returning to politics as a member of a national Republican group working to increase the ranks of GOP state government leaders.

The Republican State Leadership Committee announced this week that Rell has joined the group's board of directors. Rell said in a statement that she'll be focused on the fall elections and the committee's efforts to recruit new female Republican leaders.

The 68-year-old Brookfield resident became governor in 2004 after Governor John G. Rowland resigned in a corruption scandal, and she held the post until 2011. She was lieutenant governor under Rowland from 1995 to 2004.

The Republican State Leadership Committee works on increasing the GOP ranks in state legislatures, lieutenant governor posts and secretary of state positions across the country.

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Three arrests in Danbury drug sale investigation

Neighbors of a home at 30 North Street brought concerns to Danbury Police about possible drug activity.  A search warrant was obtained and carried out Wednesday.  Police say 20-year old Ryan Berry of Brookfield was seen going into the home and coming out a short time later.  He was charged with possession of narcotics after a search. 

 

Police then searched the home, finding a substantial quantity of illegal drugs and thousands of dollars in cash.  19-year old Christopher Walker and his mother, 37-year old Nakisha Taft, were also charged with risk of injury to a child because his 2-year old was at the house.  Police say the drugs were in plain view accessible to the girl. 

 

Taft and Berry were released for written promises to appear in court at a later date.

 

Walker was held on $150,000 bond for arraignment.  He was also charged with:

 

Possession of Narcotics

 

Possession of Narcotics with intent to sell 

 

Possession of Narcotics Within 1,500 feet of Public Housing

 

Possession of Narcotics with intent to sell Within 1,500 feet of Public Housing

 

Sale of Narcotics

 

Sale of Narcotics Within 1,500 feet of Public Housing

 

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

 

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Within 1,500 feet of a school

 

two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance

 

two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance with intent to sell

 

two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance Within 1,500 feet of a school

 

two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance with intent to sell Within 1,500 feet of a school

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Body found in Carmel Tuesday is identified

The body found in the woods in Carmel earlier this week has been identified.  The Putnam County Sheriff's office has identified the man as 53-year old Mark Conroy, described only as a local man. 

 

The body was found lying in woods about a half-mile west of the Route 6 intersection with John Simpson Road Tuesday afternoon.  Sheriff Donald Smith says the condition of the remains indicates that the man may have been dead for several days or even weeks before being discovered.  Investigators did not see apparent signs of any foul play on or near the body. 

 

The cause of death has not yet been determined.

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Selectmen divided on proposed Brookfield tax deferral

A joint meeting of the Brookfield Boards of Finance and Selectmen has been held about a proposed tax assessment deferral.  At the meeting Wednesday night, First Selectman Bill Tinsley pushed for the incentive for the developers of the mixed use site in the Four Corners district.  An ordinance was passed a few months ago allowing for tax deferrals in order to bring new development to Brookfield.

 

The Brookfield Village project consists of a retail center and 79 moderate-income apartments in four buildings on Federal Road.  There is also a pending proposal from the developer on a parcel of land behind that for 24 condos. 

 

Tinsley is proposing a 100-percent tax deferral of the taxes owed on the improved property value for the first three years of the project, with an incremental increase of taxes after that.  The development is off Federal Road at Station Road.

 

Selectman Bill Davidson says the developer made a committment years ago and doesn't need encouragement to come to the town.  He says the town shouldn't give up tax revenue that it doesn't have to with this particular project.  Davidson notes that he is supportive of the developer and the project, but the developer will be making a lot of money over time at this site or he wouldn't be involved.

 

Tinsley is slated to bring the proposal to the Economic Development Commission next week and then present it to the Board of Selectmen for a vote at their September 8th meeting.

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'Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Team' created

The Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Team has been established, with the help of grant funding.

 

Newtown has established a team of professionals, funded by a Department of Justice grant, to work in partnership with local recovery providers, community organizations and town employees in response to the continued needs in the community.  The six-member Recovery and Resiliency Team has a background in community behavioral health and clinical treatment. 

 

The Team is in place to build community relationships, provide resources and to facilitate and foster collaboration between service providers and funding sources.  The Team says they want to ease the burden of navigating the mental health system, which they say can be confusing. 

 

The office is located on 28 Traders Lane and members say there is an open door policy. 

 

The Team is led by Community Outreach Liaison Melissa Glaser, who has a background in community behavioral health and clinical treatment.  The other team members are: Project Manager Margot Robins; Clinical Recovery Leader Deb Del Vecchio-Scully; and three case managers Catherine Galda, Eileen Rondeau and Suzy DeYoung.

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Expanded parking proposed for Bethel train station

An informational meeting will be held next month in Bethel about a proposal to expand the Bethel Rail Station parking lot.  The meeting is being held by the state Department of Transportation, which says the project is needed to accommodate demand due to increased ridership on the Metro North Danbury branch line. 

 

The north side of the existing lot would be expanded along with repaving the entire lot, new sidewalk ramps, landscaped islands, better drainage and lighting.  The proposal calls for eight handicap spaces being added as well as a pedestrian pickup/drop off area in front of the stations for cars and buses.  New sidewalk would be installed along Durant Avenue to close the gap where the existing sidewalk ends. 

 

Construction on the estimated $2 million project would start in 2016.

 

The meeting will be held September 4th.

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New playground opened in Newtown

A play space in Newtown has been opened but is not fully completed.  FunSpace II at Dickinson Memorial Park is a replacement of the Fun Space playground, which was torn down last year because of age and condition.  That play space was constructed in 1989. 

 

The new playground was dedicated at the end of July, though there are still some things to complete.  The landscape design shows slides, a climbing tower, rope climbing and wooden ramps and tunnels among other features. 

 

The Newtown Bee reports that the project cost about $800,000 and was paid for through Capital Improvement Plan funds and private donations.

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Guilty plea stems from 4-state bank robbery spree

A Connecticut man has pleaded guilty to seven bank robberies over a 10-month period in four states. 

 

Andrew Rendflash of Oxford entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in White Plains. He admitted carrying out the robberies at seven banks from April 2013 through January.  Authorities say the 36-year-old also robbed a convenience store in Waterbury.

 

The amount of money taken was not specified.  Rendflash faces up to 160 years in prison at sentencing on November 14th.

 

(Photo courtesy NY State Police, Somers robbery)

 

In the Ridgefield robbery, the final one Rendflash is charged for, surveillance video caught the getaway car on tape.  It was registered to the wife of 46-year old David Stiber of Derby who was allegedly driving.  Stiber told police he didn't know what his acquaintance was up to, but was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and accessory to robbery.  Stiber will be in Danbury Superior Court on the 22nd and has pleaded not guilty.

 

Rendflash entered pleas for:

the robbery of a branch of First Niagara Bank in Ridgefield, Connecticut, on or about January 24, 2014;

 

the robbery of a branch of Citizen’s Bank in Coventry, Rhode Island, on or about December 26, 2013;

 

the robbery of a branch of People’s United Bank in Brewster, New York, on or about December 23, 2013;

 

the robbery of a branch of People’s United Bank in Holyoke, Mass., on or about December 16, 2013;

 

the robbery of a branch of Chase Bank in Somers, New York, on or about November 19, 2013;

 

the robbery of a branch of TD Bank in Waterbury, Connecticut, on or about November 9, 2013;

 

the robbery of a branch of Naugatuck Savings Bank in Southbury, Connecticut, on or about April 3, 2013;

 

the robbery of a convenience store in Waterbury, Connecticut, on or about November 16, 2013.

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Newtown prison inmate charged for assaulting guards

A prison inmate in Newtown will be in court today on new charges.  33-year old Jamal Coley is being held at Garner Correctional Institution on a breach of peace charge. 

 

State Police received a call last Thursday about an assault at the Newtown facility.  A review of prison surveillance video and interviews with witnesses determined that Coley assaulted two male corrections officers.  The 24-year old and 47 year old were not injured.  Coley was charged though with felony refusal to be fingerprinted and two counts of felony assault on a correction officer. 

 

Bond was set at $10,000.  Coley will be in court today.

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Danbury officials consider sale of City land to Buck family

A committee of the Danbury City Council has held a meeting about a possible land sale.  The City asked for proposals from developers for 13 acres off Old Ridgebury Road and received a more than $3 million offer from the Buck family.  Peter Buck, founder of the Subway sandwich shops, recently donated millions of dollars to Danbury Hospital. 

 

The proposed small building for warehouse storage would be a low intensive use for the property.  No contingencies were placed on the sale.  The Council will discuss how the City can still use some of the property.

 

Mayor Mark Boughton says this is an opportunity to put a piece of property back on the tax rolls, help grow the grand list and mitigate any need for property tax increases.  Boughton says the City has to get creative in how Danbury generates revenue so property taxes won't have to rise.

 

Some Council members in the past have said they would like to see Danbury hold on to the property in case the City needs it for a municipal use in the future.  But Boughton says they've analyzed school needs through 2020 and the City doesn't expect to have a big increase in enrollment.

 

The owner of the Matrix Corporate Center was looking to build a retail center on the site in 2012, but the deal never came to fruition.  That potential sale was going to fill a $3 million hole in the city's budget.  Greenwich Developer Paul Foley previously sought to build a small movie theater, retail center, loft apartments and a cafe on the site.  Several years before that there was a proposal to build a minor league baseball park on the land.

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Dodgingtown Volunteer Fire Co. to receive FEMA grant

More than $107,000 is coming to the Dodgingtown Volunteer Fire Company in Newtown from FEMA.  The Assistance to Firefighter Grant will be for 13 breathing masks and spare air supply.  Senator Richard Blumenthal says the all volunteer department is made up of many lifelong members as well as some newcomers and this money will have ensure they have the equipment they need.

 

The Dodgingtown Fire Department has been serving the Newtown community since 1909.  The Assistance to Firefighter Grant has helped firefighters obtain critically needed equipment since 2001.

 

Blumenthal says day in and day out, these brave men and women put their lives on the line to keep the community safe.  He adds that these funds will help the company continue to do their life-saving jobs safely and effectively.

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Body found in woods off Route 6 in Carmel

A body has been found in a wooded area off Route 6 in Carmel. Authorities believe that they know the identity of the man, but are still working to confirm his identity before releasing his name to the public.

 

The body was found lying in woods about a half-mile west of the Route 6 intersection with John Simpson Road Tuesday afternoon.  Sheriff Donald Smith says the condition of the remains indicates that the man may have been dead for several days before the body was discovered.

 

Investigators did not see apparent signs of any foul play on or near the body.

 

The Putnam County Coroner’s Office has ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of the man’s death and pathology tests to verify his identity.

 

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Housing revitalization grants awarded to small towns

Two dozen municipalities in the state are receiving funding for affordable and senior housing among other revitalization projects.  The funds are from the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program, administered by the Connecticut Department of Housing. 

 

Bethlehem will use $400,000 to start a housing program and rehabilitate 12 units of low and moderate income housing.  Upgrades will be made to the heating systems, electrical and code upgrades, window replacement and lead paint removal. 

 

Oxford will receive $400,000 to start a Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program to help moderate and low income residents repair their homes.  Upgrades will be made to the heating systems, electrical and code upgrades, window replacement and lead paint removal.  There will also be some asbestos removal.

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McKinney loses to Foley, dumps ice water on his head

The so-called Ice Bucket challenge is sweeping social media by stormThe challenge started by a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in 2012.  Those who don't answer the challenge within 24 hours are called on to donate to ALS research.  The progressive neurodegenerative disease leads to muscle weakness and difficulty speaking, breathing and swallowing.

 

John McKinney, who just lost the Republican gubernatorial primary, toko the challenge.  He then got to dump the bucket of ice water over the head of primary winner Tom Foley.  Foley challenged Governor Dannel Malloy and others to take the challenge as well.

 

 

Two political foes have participated.  Republican Mark Greenberg is looking to unseat Democrat Elizabeth Esty in the 5th Congressional District.  He challenged her to help strike out ALS.  In the video, he says that the disease needs to be cured and he is pleased to take part in the effort.  His mother was diagnosed with MS at a young age and incapacitated for 20 years in a wheelchair.

 

Greenberg was nominated by his staff to take the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness of the disease. 

 

 

Esty answered back by having her children dump the ice water on her and challenging Senator Chris Murphy.  In her video, she said she voted to put $57 million into ALS research.

 

 

 

 

 

Those who don't answer the challenge within 24 hours are called on to donate to ALS research.  The challenge started by a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with the Lou Gehrig's disease in 2012. 

 

The progressive neurodegenerative disease leads to muscle weakness and difficulty speaking, breathing and swallowing.

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Redding woman charged with animal cruelty

A Redding woman has turned herself in to police on animal cruelty charges.  State Animal Control officers obtained the arrest warrant for 75-year old Lisa Lind-Larsen last week, but it had to be served by local police.  She was released on a written promise to appear in court on the 20th. 

 

Two emaciated horses were seized on July 11th from an unkempt barn where there was not nearly enough food to sustain them. 

 

 

Lind-Larsen previously said that she knew the horses health was declining, but that it was due to many reasons.  One cited was a property dispute that prevented hay deliveries to the barn.

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Danbury man hits officer with car, punches another

A large fight broke out early Saturday morning in Norwalk just before the bars were closing and two men, including one from Danbury, were arrested in the melee.  Police say La Torche Night Club used pepper spray to break up the crowd after a disturbance, sending hundreds of people outside. 

 

29-year old Stanley Bruno of Danbury and 26-year old Christopher Bautista of Stamford were in a pickup truck and police say they were reluctant to leave.  That's when the car surged forward, clipping an officer with a side mirror.  Police say Bruno was combative and punched and officer, elbowed another and needed to be subdued with a Taser before being arrested.  

 

He was charged with assault, breach of peace, and two counts of assaulting and officer.  Bautista was charged for interfering with an officer and marijuana possession.  Bruno and Bautista were held on $15,000 bond each.  

 

They will be in court on the 18th.

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Metro North track, Route 7 bridge work cause closures

The upcoming weekend track work on the Metro North Danbury branch is being done in Ridgefield.  Last weekend and for the next two, buses will replace train service on the branch to allow for testing of the new signal system, which has had what the state Department of Transportation calls "reliability issues". 

 

Crews will be lifting out the tracks, cleaning the crossing foundations and bolstering the crossings this weekend at Portland Avenue in Ridgefield.  The work will start at 10am Friday and continue through 4pm next Wednesday. 

 

Emergency repairs, regrading and re-paneling will also be taking place at two Wilton crossings later this month.

 

Some exit and entrance ramps on Route 7 in Danbury by the Mall will be closed this week and next for overnight construction work.  The state Department of Transportation says the Route 7 south off ramp and the on ramp at Exit 8, Backus Avenue will be closed at 10pm Thursday until 6am.  It will also be closed nightly from Monday through next Thursday. 

 

Cars will be detoured off at Sugar Hollow Road.

 

The existing bridge deck joints will be removed and replaced with new concrete plug joints.  The two ramps are one of 13 bridges being completed across the state in a $2.28 million replacement project. 

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Danbury reports Primary results in GOP, Democratic races

Danbury is reporting preliminary race results for the Primary contests.  The Democratic Registrar of Voters contest was between Danbury Democratic Town Committee endorsed candidate Susan Ward garnered 665 votes.  Incumbent Marge Gallo, who petitioned her way on to the ballot, received 699 votes.

 

Danbury Republicans were at the polls Tuesday as well.  The Registrar of Voters reports that GOP endorsed gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley received 586 votes.  John McKinney received 509. 

 

There were three people running for Lt. Governor.  Endorsed candidate Penny Bacchiochi garnered 626 votes.  McKinney’s running mate, Dave Walker, received 263 votes.  Heather Somers, who originally was going to be Mayor Mark Boughton’s running mate, received 198 votes. 

 

The Comptroller’s race was between two political newcomers.  Sharon McLaughlin of Ellington, the endorsed candidate, received 803 votes.  Angel Cadena of Shelton received 213 votes.  McLaughlin has a master’s degree in accounting from Southern New Hampshire University.  She has worked for the last 15 years at Entex/Siemens.

 

In Bethel, Foley received 240 votes, McKinney received 268.  Bethel voters also cast 160 votes for Walker, 177 for Somers and 163 for Bacchiochi.

 

In Brookfield, Foley received 307 votes, McKinney received 228.  Brookfield voters also cast 165 votes for Walker, 106 for Somers and 257 for Bacchiochi.

 

In New Fairfield, Foley received 193 votes, McKinney received 105.  New Fairfield voters also cast 62 votes for Walker, 84 for Somers and 148 for Bacchiochi.

 

In New Milford, Foley received 316 votes, McKinney received 316.  New Milford voters also cast 148 votes for Walker, 182 for Somers and 296 for Bacchiochi.

 

In Redding, Foley received 174 votes, McKinney received 140.  Redding voters also cast 132 votes for Walker, 99 for Somers and 77 for Bacchiochi.

 

In Sherman, Foley received 69 votes.  McKinney received 47.  Sherman voters also cast 25 votes for Walker, 29 for Somers and 59 for Bacchiochi.

 

In Wilton, Foley received 219 votes, McKinney received 230.  Wilton voters also cast 174 votes for Walker, 174 for Somers and 98 for Bacchiochi.  Turnout was 11% of eligible voters.

 

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Missing elderly Newtown man found safe

71 year old Martin Allen has been found safe, having been reported missing yesterday.  Police say they received a call from his care giver yesterday morning saying that when she returned home, he was missing.  Newtown Police say Allen was found sleeping, in good condition, in a cornfield off Route 302.  He was taken to Danbury Hospital for observation as a precaution.

 

Newtown Police called on the State Police aviation unit, the Dodgingtown Volunteer Fire Company, the Community Emergency Response Team and Fairfield Police to assist in the search.  A droneand tracking dogs were also used.  A local Code Red was sent out to residents to be on the lookout for Allen.  A State Police Silver Alert was also issued.

 

Police Sergeant Aaron Bahamonde said that Mr Allen does not have a history of wandering away from home.

 

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Primary Day Tuesday, polls open until 8pm

The secretary of the state predicted there will be a light turnout for Tuesday's primary to decide whom the Connecticut Republicans will choose to challenge Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in November.

 

On Monday, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill predicted that 25 percent to 30 percent of registered voters, at most, will show up at the polls.

 

"I don't think we'll even get as high as 30 percent," she said, adding how turnout figures for primaries tend to depend on the race and not necessarily the time of year.

 

The marquee race this year is for the Republican nomination for governor, between businessman Tom Foley, of Greenwich, and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, of Fairfield. Republicans also will choose their nominees for lieutenant governor and comptroller.

 

In Danbury, registered Democrats will be deciding who they want to be the Registrar of Voters candidate in November.  The decision is between Danbury Democratic Town Committee endorsed candidate Susan Ward and incumbent Marge Gallo.

 

There area few polling location changes.  In Newtown, District 1 and 1-5 will be joining District 2 in voting at Reed Intermediate School.  In Brookfield, District 2 will be voting at the Brookfield High School cafeteria instead of the gym.

 

As of the end of July, Merrill said, there were about 400,000 registered Republicans in Connecticut, 700,000 registered Democrats and 800,000 unaffiliated voters. Primary voters must be registered with one of the two major political parties to participate on Tuesday.

 

Merrill said she has not seen a last-minute rush of unaffiliated voters trying to register with a party.

 

While Merrill said she doesn't expect any problems, she also said her office will be working with the State Elections Enforcement Commission to operate an election hotline that can respond to potential issues at the polls, which will be open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Concerns can be reported by calling 866-SEEC-INFO or by sending an email to elections(at)ct.gov. The hotline and the email address will be monitored throughout the day.

 

Meanwhile, voters can go online to http://www.sots.ct.gov/vote to determine whether they're registered to vote, where their polling places are located, which candidates are on the ballot and the type of identification they need to take to the polls.

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'The Train Campaign' advocates for expanded rail service

The Train Campaign is the latest effort by an advocacy group to expand passenger rail service from Danbury to Massachusetts in a so-called Berkshire Line.  Housatonic Railroad Vice President of special projects Colin Pease says Massachusetts has committed $35 million to modernize tracks in that state and the group plans to lobby Connecticut lawmakers for the same after the election. 

 

The plan calls for extending service East-West from the Southeast Metro North station to Danbury and then North-South to Pittsfield Massachusetts.  An alternate plan is to have riders from Grand Central take the New Haven line to Norwalk and switch to the Danbury branch. 

 

The plan would be for five stations in Massachusetts and stops in Canaan, Cornwall Bridge, Kent, New Milford and at the Brookfield-Danbury line.

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Trumbull promotional video narrator mispronounces 'Newtown'

There are few people who don't know how to pronounce the name of the town where the December 14th 2012 shooting happened at a school where 26 lives were lost.  But in a video posted on the Trumbull town website, the narrator mispronounces Newtown.  The video is aimed at drawing new residents to Trumbull.  It talks about quality of life, location and amenities.
 
A call to Trumbull officials was not immediately returned.

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Redding seeks foreclosure on Gilbert & Bennett developer

Redding is looking to foreclose on the developer of the former Gilbert and Bennett wire mill site because of unpaid back taxes and overdue payments.  The Newstimes reports that the developer owes more than $2.5 million in property taxes.  The developer also owes more than $14 million in back taxes. 

 

Despite not paying, the developer has continued to collect rent from tenants including the federal government--which is using some of the iste as a maintenance shop for the nearby Weir Farm National Historical Site. 

 

The master plan for the Georgetown site includes housing, commercial and retail space along with a new train station.  The Georgetown Land Development Corporation took over the site in 2002.

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Missing Newtown man's family still hopeful

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) Family and friends of a Newtown man who went missing a year ago say they remain hopeful he'll turn up unharmed somewhere. They're also worried the police investigation has fizzled out.

Fifty-year-old Robert Hoagland was supposed to pick his wife up at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on July 28, 2013, but he never showed up. Relatives and witnesses say he disappeared after he stopped at a local bagel shop and then got gas and a map at a Mobil station in town.

His wife, Lori Hoagland, says  it has been difficult not knowing what happened to her husband and whether he is OK.

Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe says his department is still putting a lot of effort into finding Robert Hoagland.

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Danbury area towns get grant funding for speed enforcement

Several municipalities in the Greater Danbury area are eligible for federal funds, funneled through the state, for speed enforcement efforts.  The Danbury City Council has accepted a $35,300 grant to be used along high risk rural roads.  Police Chief Al Baker says the program runs through September 30th.

 

A majority of the funding is being used for overtime costs for the officers carrying out the enforcement effort.  About $5,000 of the grant is being used to pay for speed detection equipment.  Two 8 hour shifts, 4 days a week through the end of September will be paid for with this grant.  Baker says it will be a combination of traditional cruisers and motorcycles, but primarily motorcycles because of their flexibility on the narrow roads that are part of this targeted enforcement.

 

118 municipalities in the state are eligible for funding including all of the Greater Danbury region.  Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Easton, Kent, Monroe, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Roxbury, Sherman, Southbury, Weston and Woodbury are all eligible.

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Danbury Democrats to vote in Tuesday primary for Registrar of Voters

Danbury Democrats will be voting in tomorrow's primary.  The incumbent Registrar of Voters petitioned her way on to the ballot.  Marge Gallo was not endorsed by the Danbury Democratic Town Committee for a 9th term.  She has served 16 years and supporters say that her track record has been a good one.

 

The party's endorsed candidate is Susan Ward.  She is a paralegal and an active member of the Lion's Club.

 

Danbury DTC chairman Joe Walkovich says the reason they are looking for someone new in the position is because of a proposal last fall to change the 6th ward polling location from Park Avenue School to the Moose Lodge, off Boulevard Drive.

 

During a City Council meeting about the proposal, Gallo was asked why she originally supported the move and then changed her mind.  She said the ongoing construction looked like it wouldn't wrap up in time for Election Day 2013, and there was a lack of parking.  But she says construction at the front of the school finished, and parking was added.  Gallo said she didn't think about November's possible winter weather and the slope of the Moose Lodge parking lot at the time.

 

The City Council eventually voted to keep the polling location at the public building.

 

Polls on Tuesday are open from 6am to 8pm.

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Campus Safety presentation at Women's Center

College freshman and their parents are being called on to attend a presentation tonight at the Women's Center about Campus Safety 101.  Program Manager of Education & Outreach Ann Rodwell-Lawton says those in attendance will learn about the link between sexual assault and alcohol or drugs, risk reduction strategies and other important information.

 

Students are in a new environment with new friends and fewer rules, so Rodwell-Lawton says it's important they understand the specific risks that come with college life.  They will also learn how to reduce those risks.

 

Parents will learn how to screen colleges for safety, questions to ask during orientation to see how the school is implementing regulations and responds to assaults on campus.  Rodwell-Lawton says they will also cover some ways to talk with children about these issues and how adults can respond if something happens to their child.

 

Students rights on campus are highly regulated when it comes to sexual assault and intimate partner violence on campus.  Some of those regulations will be discussed as well.

 

The presentation is from 7 to 9pm tonight at the Women's Center.  Reservations are not required, but are recommended.  The event is being held in the 2nd floor Community Room at 8 West Street in Danbury.  Sign up by calling 203-731-5200 ext 233, or emailing ann.rl@wcogd.org.

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Bone marrow donor registry drive to be held in Danbury

Finding a match is like winning the lottery.  That's how the family of a local man with blood cancer describes their search for a bone marrow donor.  Fred is a Brookfield resident who is not only battling leukemia, but he is also disabled with M.S.  That's why the Altberg, DeJoseph and Tarsi families have teamed up wth "Delete Blood Cancer", a nationwide organization, to host a bone marrow registry drive. 

 

Fred has overcome many challenges in his life.  The 53-year old is a devoted husband who cares for his disabled wife and is an inspiration to everyone around him. Fred has been a member of the ASPCA for twenty years and in his spare time he cheers avidly for the NY Giants.  He is a former electrical engineer and father to his Yorkipoo, Gordon.

 

People aged 18 to 55 and in good general health can register to be a bone marrow donor on Sunday August 10, 2014, on the lawn, at the Danbury War Memorial.  It's as easy as getting your cheek swabbed and be willing to donate to a patient in need.  Anyone who is unable to attend the drive can register online at,  www.deletebloodcancer.org,  to receive a free swab kit.

 

Blood cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths and when chemotherapy can’t beat the blood cancer, a bone marrow transplant may be the patient’s best hope for survival. Only half of those in need of a transplant are able to get one.

 

Hot dogs, beverages and chips will be provided, donated by Stew Leonards.

 

The event is from 11am to 5pm.

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HAZMAT response to cleaning chemical near Abbott Tech in Danbury

The Danbury Fire Department responded to a HAZMAT situation Friday night on Rowan Street Extension.  Someone noticed a plume of white water and called the Department. 

 

A number of fire trucks were seen in the area of Abbott Tech around 6 o'clock Friday night.  The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also responded to the scene of Mykonos Restaurant and Pizzeria. 

 

Chief Williams says it was determined that someone had dumped a cleaning chemical down a drain and there was no real HAZMAT danger.  The Fire Department is following up with the janitorial service to make sure that it doesn't happen again.

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Wasserman Way in Newtown to close overnight Sunday

Wasserman Way in Newtown connecting Route 25 and Interstate 84 at exit 11 will be closed for overnight work on Sunday at 9pm reopening on Monday at 6am.  Drivers are urged to use Churchill Road at exit 10 as an alternate for Routes 25, 34 and I-84. 

 

Detour signs will be in place on local roads.  Electronic signs will be placed on both sides of the highway. 

 

Newtown Public Works Director Fed Hurley says the builder of the new ambulance garage at Fairfield Hills for the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps is going to put a storm sewer line below Wasserman Way to replace a smaller one currently there.  A trench has to be dug across the width of the street.

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Three teens charged for buying alcohol

Three underage teens in Newtown have been issued infractions for illegal possession of alcohol.  Newtown Police say the violations were issued last Saturday night.  The Stop Underage Drinking enforcement project surveillance was carried out near Rooster Wines and Liquors on Route 25. 

 

Police told The Newtown Bee that they saw several people who appeared to be underage place what looked like alcohol into an SUV.  The car was stopped a short distance later and the driver, 19-year old Alexander Roche, was issued a ticket for failure to have a front license plate. 

 

A passenger, 19-year old Conor Quinn, was charged with misrepresentation of age to buy alcohol by using a driver's license.  He is due in court on Thursday. 

 

Another passenger, 19-year old Noah Sock was also issued an infraction.

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Redding plans energy savings projects for Community Center

The Redding Board of Selectmen has approved taking energy saving steps at the Redding Community Center.  The Redding Pilot reports that the light fixtures in the parking lot will be changed to LED bulbs similar to ones at Redding Elementary School.  The lights would also be turned off when the building is not in use. 

 

The Board of Selectmen also approved installation of an energy management system for the heating and cooling system at the Redding Community Center.  The system would automatically adjust based on occupancy and can be managed from off-site. 

 

The town's finance director said in published reports that Redding could save $13,000 annually and see 100-percent savings over the next 10 years.

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Man arrested after cops spot drug packets on lap

A New York man has been arrested in Ridgefield for having drugs out in plain sight in his vehicle.  Ridgefield Police officers on foot patrol were searching for a possibly intoxicated driver on Main Street when they saw a suspicious vehicle in a parking lot behind the buildings. 

 

Police spokesman Captain Jeff Kreitz says around 10:30 Thursday night the officers spotted 26-year old Cliff Gilchrist the Second sitting in his vehicle with 9 packets of heroin on his lap.  Each packet contained between a tenth of a gram to a quarter of a gram.  The street value is about $15 to $20 per packet.

 

The 26-year old South Salem man was charged with possession of narcotics.  Gilchrist was released on $250 bond for an appearance in Danbury Superior Court on the 21st.

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Newtown P&Z approves Sandy Hook School plans

Newtown Planning and Zoning Commission approval of the new Sandy Hook Elementary School design takes effect on Monday.  The Commission unanimously approved the plans at their public hearing last Thursday. 

 

The plan has also been approved by the Inland Wetlands Commission and the Aquifer Protection Agency.  State officials still need to approve the plan.  The proposed redesign of the Dickinson Drive site includes a more than 87,000 square foot building and parking for 150 vehicles. 

 

Construction could start as early as this fall.

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Volunteers sought to measure Candlewood Lake water clarity

The Candlewood Lake Authority is looking for about a dozen volunteers to help measure and track water transparency.  Executive Director Larry Marsicano says they will train volunteers and give them the tools necessary to measure clarity of the lake.

 

Volunteers will have to lower a 20 cm diameter black and white disk into the water from a boat or dock and determine the exact depth where you lose visual contact with it and measure that distance with a meter stick.  The data will be recorded in a smart phone app for the next three months and examined. 

 

The tracking is already being done at four deep water sites on Candlewood Lake.  The volunteers need to be willing to regularly measure Secchi disk transparency from their dock during the months of August, September, and October. Measurement would have to be taken at least two to three times each week.  The Lake Authority provides the Secchi disk, explains how to use it, and how to download and use Collector.

 

The data gathered from around the lake will help the CLA to better understand the seasonal water quality trends on Candlewood.  To volunteer, call the CLA office at (860) 354-6928 and ask for Larry.

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Weston to replace phones in municipal, school buildings

A new phone system is being installed in Weston schools and municipal buildings.  The digital phone system upgrade is costing about $100,000.  The Weston Forum reports that the phones at all four schools, town hall, the central office building, the highway garage, Jarvis House, the communication center and the fire and police stations will be replaced today. 

 

Town officials warned there may be some disruption in phone service during the installation.  The phones will be switched to digital at the emergency dispatch, police and town hall buildings first and should be up and running by 9am. 

 

While officials say 911 calls will not be affected, some minor delays could be experienced today when trying to make non-emergency calls.

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NY woman shoplifts $500 in merchandice from Kohls

A New York woman has been arrested for allegedly shoplifting items from the Kohls Store in the town of Southeast.  The Putnam County Sheriff's office was called to Kohls last Thursday afternoon for a report of a larceny. 

 

The loss prevention manager said that a woman, identified as 48-year old Diana Haviland of Dover Plains, shoplifted merchandise from the store totalling more than $500.  Haviland was arrested and held for arraignment. 

 

The misdemeanor charge carried a fine of up to a thousand dollars and up to a year in jail.

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Municipality to study other town's panhandling ordinances to craft new one

A number of Connecticut municipalities have ordinances outlawing panhandling, including Danbury.  The city of Milford has a new task force that's considering a ban.  Municipalities with panhandling ordinances include Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk among others. 

 

Danbury's penalty for violation is up to $25.  New Milford's is up to $250. 

 

Officials say the goal is not to arrest people, but rather identify individuals who need help.  Milford Task force representatives have identified a group of panhandlers who may be homeless or suffer from mental illness.

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Musician dad of girl killed in Newtown plans album

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) The musician father of a 6-year-old girl killed in the Newtown school shooting is preparing an album dedicated to her life.

While the world knows how Ana Grace Marquez-Greene died, jazz saxophonist Jimmy Greene wants the public to know how his daughter lived.

After Ana was killed in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, her father found a homemade book on her desk titled ``Ana's flower book for Dad.'' The booked was filled with pages of flowers drawn in different colors and shapes.

The new record will include Ana singing the hymn ``Come Thou Almighty King'' with her brother playing on the piano. Greene sings about his hope to one day join her in Heaven.

He plans to play a few songs from the album at the Litchfield Jazz Festival on Sunday.

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Danbury teen accused of stabbing due in court

The Danbury teen who was arrested in December for stabbing and killing another teen will be in court August 19.


18 year old Emanuel Harris will comply with the state court and have DNA evidence taken from him at his next pretrial hearing.

According to Harris’s attorney, Dante Gallucci, the state will try to match the DNA to that found at the scene of the stabbing.

Gallucci will also ask the court for a bond reduction, Harris is now being held on a $1 million bond due the serious nature of the crime.

Harris is facing one count of murder and first-degree assault for the stabbing of 19 year old Luan Pitol, 19. He has pled not guilty to both charges.

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Monroe doctor sentenced for writing illegal prescriptions

A Monroe doctor has been sentenced for illegally prescribing narcotics to patients.  59-year old Dr James Marshall Junior has been ordered to surrender his license to prescribe narcotics as a result of the charges.  The Orange resident was also ordered Tuesday to pay a $5,000 fine. 

 

Prosecutors argued for jail time, but the Judge ruled that the significant collateral consequences suffered by Marshall as a result of the conviction was appropriate.  Marshall will be under court supervision for more than three years. 

 

He operates at Immediate Medical Care, a walk-in clinic in Monroe.  His associate, Francisco Carbone, had his licensed revoked by the state in 2005.  Carbone continued to treat patients and asked Marshall to write prescriptions from 2006 through 2012 for pain medication, including oxycodone and hydrocodone.  Marshall never examine or consulted with the patients. 

 

Marshall wrote a total of 144 prescriptions for more than 44-hundred pills. 

 

Carbone was sentenced last month to two years in jail.

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New Fairfield woman arrested for child abuse

A New Fairfield woman has been arrested by state police on an outstanding warrant charging her with several counts of child abuse.  Police say the children were the victims of varying levels of abuse in the home of 27-year old Alexandra Aucapina. 

 

The state Department of Children and Families contacted police in February about suspected abuse.  The children were removed from the home by DCF.  Aucapina was charged Tuesday with one count of 2nd degree assault, two counts each of reckless endangerment, unlawful restraint and cruelty to a child as well as five counts of risk of injury to a minor. 

 

She was released on $25,000 bond.

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Police: Danbury man shoots another, woman steals car

A Danbury man has been arrested for shooting another man last month.  Police spokesman Lt Christian Carroccio says 36 year old  Henry Mayoral was charged Tuesday with assault and criminal use of a firearm. The 29-year-old male victim was shot in the groin area while walking on Patch Street early in the morning on July 19th.  He was transported to the Danbury Hospital, treated and released.  Mayoral was held on $1 million bond.

 

A Danbury woman has been arrested for stealing a car.  Milford police pulled over 27-year old Janelle Fako after spotting the car that had been reported stolen yesterday afternoon in Danbury.  Milford Police say Fako was in possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia.  She was charged with two possession counts and also larceny.  She was released on a written promise to appear in Milford Superior Court on September 2nd.

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NY man arrested for passing counterfeit bills in Wilton

A New York man has been arrested for participating in a counterfeit cash ring in Connecticut.  Wilton police arrested 27-year old Tabari Bailey last Tuesday for forgery and larceny at TJ Maxx on Danbury Road in April.  Police say Bailey bought three handbags worth $468 with 13 counterfeit $20 bills, mixed with real $20 bills. 

 

Surveillance video helped Wilton police and the Secret Service identify the Bronx man as the suspect.  He was charged with larceny and 13 counts of felony forgery and is being held on $95,000 bond.  His case at Norwalk Superior Court was continued to August 12th. 

 

Wilton Police say Bailey and two others were arrested in Avon in April and identified them as a group going to other TJ Maxx stores and retail businesses.

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Fire at Kent camp ruled accidental

A fire that destroyed two cabins at Club GetAway in Kent was accidental.  The Kent Fire Marhsal's office says a propane heater near one of the cabins over heated and sparked the blaze last Thursday.  One cabin was completely destroyed, another has heavy damage and a third nearby sustained minor damage to its siding. 

 

All campers were safely evacuated from the buildings shortly before 8am.  The blaze was brought under control in little more than half an hour.  Several area towns sent mutual aid.

 

Club GetAway is located on South Kent Road.

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Blumenthal announces grant for Lyme testing

Senator Richard Blumenthal has announcde a $600,000 federal grant to improve testing for Lyme disease.

He made announcement Wednesday in Danbury alongside researchers from Western Connecticut Biomedical Research Institute and the Seattle-based RareCyte Inc.

His office says Lyme disease affects some 300,000 Americans each year and that Connecticut has a high number of reported cases. Many of the current tests used to detect Lyme disease can give false negative results early in the course of the illness, leading to delayed treatment.

 

Dr. Ramin Ahmadi, Chair, Department of Medical Education and Research shared; “We know that many people suffer the debilitating effects of Lyme disease and it is a priority for us to seek out new pathways to diagnosis and treatment. We are excited by our early findings and grateful to the NIAID for this opportunity to further our research in order to improve testing and restore health to those affected by this terrible disease.”

 

The scientists have developed an assay method for direct visualization of the Lyme infection in blood that combines RareCyte’s density-based separation and enrichment technology for rare cells with immunofluorescence microscopy. The assay could have significant impact on the state of current Lyme disease diagnostics.

 

Ron Seubert, CEO of RareCyte, Inc stated, “We are extremely pleased with our fruitful collaboration with Dr. Paul Fiedler and his group at the WCHN Biomedical Research Institute.  Development of more sensitive and accurate methods of direct detection of Borrelia burgdorferi for the purpose of diagnosing Lyme disease patients is a high-priority area of interest for NIAID. Dr. Fiedler understood the utility of RareCyte technology when applied to Lyme disease, and the SBIR grant is further recognition of that utility.”

 

Dr. Eric Kaldjian, CMO of RareCyte, is the Principal Investigator on the grant.  In a preliminary pilot study, the team, which also includes Dr. Denise McKibben and Donna Guralski at WCHN and Dr. Joshua Nordberg of RareCyte, analyzed blood samples of a small cohort of patients clinically diagnosed with acute Lyme disease using RareCyte technology before, during and after antibiotic treatment. In all patients, B.burgdorferi-positive staining objects were identified in the blood. In some cases the positive staining objects persisted even after antibiotic treatment had been completed. “Based on these preliminary results, we see a potential for monitoring symptomatic patients for response to antibiotic therapy as well.  However, the RareCyte assay for Lyme disease detection requires further development and study before it can be made available for routine clinical use.  The SBIR grant will support that effort,” said Dr. Kaldjian.

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Younger sister of Martha Stewart, a Weston resident, dies of aneurysm

Martha Stewart says her younger sister, Laura Kostyra Plimpton, has died at Norwalk Hospital of a brain aneurysm. She was 59.

The home decorating business executive says on her website that Plimpton suddenly fell ill Monday morning and was taken to Norwalk Hospital from her Weston home by her husband. She died Wednesday.

Stewart said her sister, the youngest of the six siblings, worked for her and her company for more than 25 years. She edited, researched and wrote and photographed content for Stewart's blog and other publications.

Stewart said her sister was kept on life support for her children to say goodbye and to test for organ donations.

Plimpton is survived by her husband, Randy, three children and two sons-in law.

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Danbury man punishes daughter with dog collar

Eduardo Montanez, of Danbury, will be in court today for putting an electrified dog shock collar on his 9-year-old daughter as punishment.

43 year old Montanez, and his wife, Paula,  were arrested in October after a school employee reported signs of possible child abuse to police.

Police said Eduardo Montanez put a sound-activated electric dog collar on the girl and ordered her to bark, which activated the device and issued an electric shock as punishment.

In November, Judge Andrew Roraback refused to let the case go to family court. Eduardo and Paula Montanez’s bonds were kept at $250,000 and $200,000, and ordered the couple to have no contact with the girl or two of her siblings.

Both Eduardo and Paula Montanez have been released on bond. They have both pled not guilty to all charges.

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Electronic sign installed at DHS through grant funding

An electronic sign is being installed outside of Danbury High School to tell the community about events happening at the school.  It was paid for by a grant won by students in the Celebrate My Drive campaign.  DHS secured $100,000, some of which must be put toward safe driving initiatives. 

 

Superintendent of Schools Dr Sal Pascarella says the marquee is a great addition to the school.  They hoped to have it by graduation, but some city approvals were needed.

 

The students decided to put the money toward many projects, doing a lot of infrastructure work and earmarking other dollars for programs.  The students also paid for benches to be installed outside the school among other projects.  There is funding set aside for other beautification work as well.

 

Danbury High School is registered for this year's Celebrate My Drive contest, slated for mid-October.  In addition to grant money, schools are competing for a concert by The Band Perry.

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Paving work being done around Danbury, road closures listed

Some milling and paving work is taking place this week in Danbury.  Hayestown Road from East Pembroke to Wood Street will be closed Wednesday from 8am to 3pm.  On Thursday and Friday, both Tamarack Avenue and Hayestown will be closed for paving. 

 

There will be other road closures for the next two weeks including overnight work on Osborne Street, Balmforth Avenue, Lee Hartell Drive and Crosby Street.  That work will be done on August 12th, 13,th and 14th from 7pm to 6am. 

 

The following week those streets will be closed for paving, weather permitting.

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Danbury woman charged with assault, held on immigration detainer

A Danbury woman has been arrested for assaulting a man outside an Ives Street restaurant early Monday morning.  Danbury Police were called to Ortega's Restaurant on a report of a disturbance and found a man with a cut near his eye. 

 

Police say the victim told officers that he tried to intervene in an argument between 27-year old Rossy Recinos-Interiano and another man.  While talking with the man, Recinos allegedly threw a rock at the victim. 

 

She has been charged with assault and breach of peace.  She is being held on bond and an immigration detainer.  She is also wanted for a July disorderly conduct.  She failed to appear in court last week on that charge.

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YMCA preschool program gains re-accreditation

The National Association for the Education of Young Children has re-accredited the YMCA's Children's Center preschool program.  The Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut's Bethel branch has been accredited by NAEYC since 1990. 

 

The Preschool Program went through an extensive self-study process, measuring its services against the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related Accreditation Criteria. The program received Accreditation after an on-site visit by Assessors to ensure that the program meets each of the ten program standards. 

 

NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years.

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Ridgefield considers mobile vendor permit program

One mobile vendor permit has been renewed, another has been delayed in Ridgefield.  The Board of Selectmen granted an extension for a coffee and lunch truck which serves construction sites including the recently complete library and the under construction Prospector Theater. 

 

The Ridgefield Press says the permit was approved on a 4-to-1 vote.  Action was delayed on granting a permit to a flower vendor, which would not have a set destination. 

 

The Selectmen reportedly want to talk with the town's attorney about developing a possible ordinance about governing mobile sales.  There is some concern that the roaming vendors would hurt brick-and-mortar stores that pay taxes.

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Open enrollment for housing and rental assistance

Pre-applications will  be available at the Connecticut Department of Housing Website, ct.gov/doh. 
 Newtown State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky along with the state Department of Housing say they  will be opening up the voucher program for  Section 8 Housing and also the State Rental Assistance Program  waiting list.

 

Bolinsky says theres a misconception  that housing assistance and other financial help programs are not generally used by folks in the suburbs but, that's not so. He says he hears  from residents of different ages and circumstances about their changing needs related to the high cost of living in Connecticut.

Five Thousand  applications will be chosen by lottery for the Section 8 waiting list. Three Thousand (3,000) applications will be chosen for the state rental assistance program.

 

Pre-applications will  be available at the Connecticut Department of Housing Website, ct.gov/doh. 
 

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Bethel officials approve Crematorium

In Bethel...town land-use officials have cleared the way for a crematorium to be developed in the Clarke Business Park.

Officials with the town's Planning and Zoning Commission approved the use for the industrial park zone during their regular meeting on July 22 at the request of a local entrepreneur who was interested in the business.

Shawn McLoughlin, owner of a  precast concrete company in Bethel , has said that he would be interested in constructing a state-of-the-art crematorium as an addition to his current business.

The company has been making precast concrete products including underground vaults that are used for burials. But  demand for the underground vaults have declined in recent years as cremations have become a more popular and inexpensive alternative to traditional burials.

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Brewster man arrested for alleged child molestation

A Brewster man has been arrested for alleged child molestation.

 

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint about two weeks ago of an alleged child abuse case.  An investigation led to 67-year old Michael Edward Cunningham, who was arrested Monday.  The Sheriff's Department reports that Cunningham befriended the parents of an infant, who over time entrusted him to babysit the child. 

 

Cunningham allegedly had sexual contact with the 6-year old three times over the past year.  He was charged with three counts of felony sexual abuse and misdemeanor child welfare endangerment.  He was arraigned and ordered held on $100,000 bond.  An order of protection was issued to keep Cunningham away from the child. 

 

A number of electronic items were seized from Cunningham's home including a computer and cameras, which will undergo forensic examination.  The investigation is continuing and more charges could be filed.

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Substitute bus service for August weekends on Danbury branch

Busing will be back in place on the Danbury Branch of Metro North on the weekends.

 

Busing will be used for service on the Metro North Danbury Branch for the next three weekends starting on the Fridays of August 8th, 15th and 23rd and lasting through the last train on Sundays.  The substitute service is being used to allow for work on the grade crossings.  The state Department of Transportation and its contractors are running tests at five intersections to figure out what's causing crossing gates to activate at the wrong times. 

 

Three in Bethel – Greenwood Avenue, South Street and Taylor Road – have been fixed and the “stop and warn” requirements at those crossings were lifted last month.

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NY man arraigned on 40 child porn possession counts

One of two Putnam County men arrested as part of a region-wide child pornography sting has been arraigned.  Homeland Security along with the Putnam County District Attorney's Office along with Carmel and Kent police arrested two County residents as part of a large scale operation carried out this Spring. 

 

26-year old Christian Cote of Kent was arrested April 9th based on pornographic and abusive videos and images of children, some as young as 6, on computers in his home.  In an announcement from the D.A.'s office Monday, it was reported that Cote was arraigned last Tuesday on 30 counts of possession child pornography and 10 counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child.  All are felony charges. 

 

Homeland Security agents infiltrated peer-to-peer file sharing networks to identify users who acquired or distributed child pornography. 

 

Cote has been released on bail with electronic monitoring.

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Brookfield officials updated on Cadigan Park improvements progress

Brookfield officials say progress is being made at Cadigan Town Park with the beach revitalization.  Two new artificial surface fields at Cadigan will be ready for play by the end of the month.  Work on a walking-jogging track, softball field, tennis courts, basketball courts and a parking lot will be completed in September. 

 

Brookfield officials say the Youth football program should have an uninterrupted first season on the new fields. 

 

Bid packages will be sent out this month for the beach side of the road.  The completion goal for the revitalization work is a Memorial Day 2015 opening.

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Hydrant flushing this week in Bethel

Hydrant flushing will be done in Bethel this week.  The Bethel Water Department has given notice that the water mains will be flushed starting today and continuing through Friday.  Officials say residents may experience discolored water during the week.  If that happens, they say the solution is to run the water until it comes out clear.  Bethel residents are urged not to do laundry during daytime hours.  The Bethel Water  Department is responsible for the maintenance of the Municipal Drinking Water systems.

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Danbury officials accept donations of meditation bench, field fence

A granite bench has been approved for outside the Danbury War Memorial.  The meditation bench is next to the Veterans Memorial Walkway near the Korean War monument.  It's a grey wall style bench with lettering that measures 72 inches by 18 inches.  City Council President Joe Cavo says the Veterans Council of Danbury previously approved the installation.

 

The bench is from Swenson Granite Works in Newtown and valued at about $2,000.

 

The Danbury Dominican Softball League has proposed an outfield fence at softball field #1 at Rogers Park.  The group says the chain link fence is needed to prevent injury to players from going into the drainage ditch that runs the length of the outfield. 

 

Recreation Department Chairman Nick Kaplanis addressed a concern from City Councilman Duane Perkins about non-city employees working on city property.  He says fence installation is not something usually done by City employees, it's contracted out of house.

 

The area is flood prone, so city officials will meet to make sure the fence is properly installed.  Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola says they don't want the new structure to create a blockage that would displace some of the normal flooding that takes place there. 

 

The project is valued at about $4,500.

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New Milford homeless man arrested

In New Milford.....a 48-year-old homeless man is being held on charges of assault and robbery.

Edwin Gibbons of New Milford was arrested July 30 about 2:00 p.m. when police found him after responding to the report of an assault in the area of 48 Bank St. The victim of the alleged assault told police Gibbons had taken money from him..

Gibbons was charged with third-degree robbery, and assault . He was arraigned and held on a $1,000 court set bond. His next court date is Aug. 28 at State Superior Court in Bantam.

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Danbury stabbing at Copa Cabana

 A 19-year-old Danbury  man is being held on first-degree assault charges in connection with a stabbing Friday.

Mike Alvarado, of High Ridge Road, Danbury, was arrested about 11:00 p.m. Friday after police were called for a stabbing at the Ives Street nightclub, Copa Cabana. The victim had non-life threatening injuries.

Alvarado was being held on $100,000 bond . He is scheduled to be arraigned today at state Superior Court in Danbury.

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Danbury schools to partner with colleges for co-op program

The Danbury Public School District has been planning an early college initiative with Western Connecticut State University and Naugatuck Valley Community College.  Superintendent Dr Sal Pascarella says over the course of four years  students can leave high school with an Associates Degree.  Students would begin their collegiate programing as a freshman.

 

Coupled with internships, summer work, and some blended learning--students can then then matriculate into a four year university or go into the workforce with special certification. 

 

If everything comes together, that program could start next September.

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Ground broken today in Wilton for a natural gas expansion project

Yankee Gas will break ground on the first large-scale natural gas expansion project in the state at 11 o'clock this morning.  Wilton is the first Connecticut municipality to partner with Yankee Gas through the state's Comprehensive Energy Strategy, which was approved by state regulators last year.

 

The strategy calls for an expansion of the state's natural gas distribution system to provide more residents and businesses with the opportunity to switch to clean-burning, affordable natural gas.  Construction to connect Wilton's downtown business district, municipal buildings and schools to the new natural gas line is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.  

 

Wilton's Energy Commission estimates that with the availability of natural gas, the town will save about $500,000 annually in energy costs.

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Tattoo parlors to be added to salon/spa ordinance in Brookfield

A public hearing is being held in Brookfield about adding tattoo parlors to its code of ordinances.  An amendment to the code of ordinances dealing with salons and spas has been proposed to include tattoo parlors and businesses.  

 

A locally issued license is required to open or operate personal care service businesses.  The Director of Health must also conduct annual inspections of the facilities.  The ordinance change would include that a shop, salon or studio include tattoo businesses involving the insertion of an indelible ink into the dermis of the skin, and businesses offering temporary tattooing of the face, eyelids and eyebrows. 

 

The public hearing at Brookfield Town Hall is at 7pm.

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Hosptial techs look to join union, file complaint

Some more workers at Danbury Hospital are looking to unionize.  Technical and clinical professionals are urging Western Connecticut Health Network to start negotiations about their mission to join AFT Connecticut.  The labor group includes the unions representing nurses at Danbury and New Milford Hospitals.  Union Spokesman Matt O'Connor says the technicians say they want to join a union to improve the quality of services they provide by addressing short staffing and a lack of job security in future contract negotiations.

 

AFT Connecticut last week filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board citing an oppressive "Non-Solicitation Policy" curtailing workers' legal rights to organize. The charge also cites unlawful surveillance, coercion and discrimination against pro-union employees engaging in activity protected under federal labor law.

 

Some 300 technical and clinical professionals at Danbury Hospital have released a mission statement urging Western Connecticut Health Network to respect their decision to organize. 

 

AFT Connecticut, the largest union of acute care hospital workers in the state, represents approximately 125 registered nurses at New Milford Hospital and 600 RNs at Danbury Hospital.

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Hearing about Brookfield joining regional planning group

The leaders of 10 Greater Danbury area towns are taking steps to merge their regional planning group with one representing lower Fairfield County towns.  A public hearing is being held tonight in Brookfield about merging the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials and the South Western Regional Planning Agency into the 18 town Western Connecticut Council of Governments. 

 

The state recently passed an initiative calling for the 13 planning agencies in the state to merge into no more than eight.  The state is hoping for more regionalization efforts when it comes to a sharing of equipment and bulk purchasing power to bring the cost of government down.  But area leaders say the HVCEO region already does a lot of that. 

 

The hearing tonight at Brookfield Town Hall is scheduled for 7:15.

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Bethel official touting business boom in Stony Hill, state grant

Business is booming in the Stony Hill section of Bethel.  It was announced this week that manufacturer Memry Corporation would be expanding their current facility in the Berkshire Corporate Park just off Route 6.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker also touted the work being done at the former Stony Hill Inn site.

 

Maplewood at Stony Hill has sold out Phase One of their building and is currently filling phase Two of the assisted living community.  The facility is slated to open this fall and also has memory care apartments for people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. 

 

A mixed use site is also being built on some of the site offering town houses, condos, retail, a restaurant and other facilities.  That development is on about 30 acres of land.

 

Knickerbocker says Bethel's Economic Development Director has been working with state officials for about a year to secure a $100,000 grant that would be used to expand the Clarke Business Park in the downtown area.

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Two events to benefit Ann's Place in Danbury

Two events are being held this month to benefit Ann's Place, the Danbury based nonprofit that provides free counseling, support groups and wellness activities among other cancer support services. 

 

One of the events is tomorrow.  The Concordia Society, also based in Danbury, is hosting it's 6th annual charity poker run.  Associate Director of Events Lori Zezza says bikers will ride from the Concordia Society's Crosby Street facility.

 

Registration for tomorrow's event starts at 9am, with bikes leaving at 11am and wrapping up at 4pm at Biscotti's restaurant in New Fairfield.  Prizes will be awarded at the post-event party at Biscotti’s in New Fairfield.  Entry fee is $25 per biker, $10 per passenger, $10 ghost rider. 

 

To preregister or for more information, call 203-746-6151.

 

The "Run From The Sun 5k" is taking place on Thursday, August 21st at 6:30 pm at The Amber Room Colonnade.  Teams can run or walk the course to Candlewood Lake and back.  A post-race outdoor barbecue with live music and an awards ceremony will follow.  People raising at least $100 in pledges will have their race participation fee waived.  Those raising at least $250, will also receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win gift certificates.   

 

In order to sign up, log on to JBsports.com

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Polling location change in Newtown for Primary

Voting for the Republican Primary in Newtown has been moved from the Newtown Middle School gym to the Reed Intermediate School cafetorium.  The Registrar of Voters says this was done because of the likelihood that it will be hot on the 12th and there is no other facility with air conditioning.  Reed School is usually the polling location for only District two, but all registered Republicans are being called on to vote at the Trades Lane building only for the primary.  The change has been approved by the Secretary of the State's office.

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Bethel residents have longer to pay tax bill

Bethel officials have sent out a notice to residents about tax bills.  Because the budget for the new fiscal year was approved after July 1st, the tax bills weren't sent out until later than usual so they could be properly calculated.  The Tax Collector on Wednesday that the first real estate payment on the 2013 Grand List is due starting today.  The final day to pay without penalty is September 2nd.  The penalty for paying after that date will be charged at 1.5 percent per month or a $2 minimum charge, which ever is greater.  The same goes for the Personal Property and Motor Vehicle tax.

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OBIT: William Elsenboss of Brookfield

A longtime Brookfield town employee has passed away.  The flag at Town Hall has been lowered to honor William Elsenboss.  The 61-year old passed away on Sunday.  He worked for Brookfield for 38 years in the Building Maintenance/Highway Department.  He was also a Constable, and past volunteer fireman with the Brookfield Fire Department.  

 

Elsenboss is survived by three children and several grandchildren. 

 

His family will receive people at Brookfield Funeral Home on Wednesday from 3 to 7pm.  A funeral service will be held Thursday at 10am at St Joseph's Church followed by burial at Central Cemetery.  Brookfield Town Hall will be closed on Thursday from 10am to 2pm so employees can attend.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in William’s name to:
Dream Come True of Western, CT 
P.O. Box 2415 
Danbury, CT 06813-2415.

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Shorter cell tower called for by some Redding residents

A public hearing has been held in Redding by the Connecticut Siting Council about a proposed 150-foot cell tower at the Redding Ridge Fire Department on Black Rock Turnpike.  The applicant, Message Center Management and AT&T, flew a balloon to simulate the height of the proposed tower on Tuesday.  Verizon would also use the facility.  Nextel is the only carrier on the existing 80-foot tower.  Many of the residents who spoke at the hearing said a 120-foot tower would be better than the 150-foot proposal.  The hearing was continued to a date to be determined.

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Accidents both sides of I-84

It's a tough afternoon commute on Interstate 84 today.  Traffic delays were reported starting around 2pm.  There are accidents being reported on both sides of the highway.  The accident eastbound by exit 5 was moved off to the shoulder.  The accident westbound by exit 6 in Danbury is knocking out the right lane.

 

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Newtown kids to perform with Broadway stars in two productions

Two shows with some Broadway stars and Newtown area kids will be performed in Newtown starting tonight.  The 12.14 Foundation, which was created to promote healing and strength through the performing arts, did a production of Seussical the Musical last year.   Michael Unger says this year A ROCKIN' Midsummer Night's Dream has been written especially for Newtown.

 

The world premiere of A ROCKIN' Midsummer Night's Dream is a new musical version adapted by Michael Unger and Eric Svejcar with a score by Mr. Svejcar. Joining the Newtown children in this production are Broadway stars Marla Mindelle (Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Sister Act), Clark Thorell (Hairspray, 2012 Annie revival) and Saum Eskandani (Disaster!, A Year With Frog and Toad).

 

The first show A ROCKIN' Midsummer Night's Dream, a world premiere adaptation of one of Shakespeare's favorite plays will be performed on August 1st at 7PM, August 2nd at 2PM and 7PM , August 3rd at 2PM, August 8th at 7PM, August 9th at 2PM and 7PM and August 10th at 5PM.

 

The Foundation will also be performing The 101 Dalmatians Musical later this summer.  That show has been especially adapted for Newtown as well. 

 

The venue for both productions is Newtown High School (12 Berkshire Road, Newtown, CT) and ticket prices range from $22.50 to $30.00.

 

As was the case with Seussical, there are approximately 20 Newtown students apprenticing backstage to learn from the team of Broadway professionals participating in this production. The orchestra will also include Newtown-area parents and students.

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Bethel manufacturer to receive loan from state for expansion

A Bethel manufacturer has been approved for some state bond money.  Memry Corporation, located in the Stony Hill section of Bethel, is embarking on a $7.9 million dollar expansion project.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says it includes acquisition of machinery and equipment as well as a 15,000 square foot expansion of their facility.

 

The state Department of Economic and Community Development calls the company is a leading manufacturer in the shape memory alloy industry. 

 

The company provides a complete range of nitinol materials and services, including metal fabrication and finishing, and engineering to engineer support in both prototyping and production phases. Memry serves the medical device aerospace and defense, as well as the automotive markets.

 

Memry Corporation will receive a $2.75 million partially forgivable loan from the Department, if it meets job growth goals.  As part of the expansion project, Memry will add 76 new jobs to its current 153 member workforce by November 2017.

 

Memry will receive $687,500 loan forgiveness if the company retains its existing employment level of 153 full-time employees and adds 38 jobs within three years. If Memry retains 153 employees and adds 76 jobs in that time frame, $1,375,000 of the loan will be forgiven.

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Elementary school construction projects wrapping up

Several school expansion projects in Danbury are in their final phases of work.  Classes are slated to start in Danbury on August 25th.  Park Avenue School, Shelter Rock School and Stadley Rough School have all had new classroom wings added.  Superintendent of Schools Dr Sal Pascarella says things will be ready to go for teachers by the middle of the month. 

 

Park Avenue is going through final inspections.  The fire marshal's office is checking all of the fire alarms to prepare the building for its certificate of occupancy.  Shelter Rock is adding five classrooms and also bathrooms.  Stadley Rough has gained three classrooms in its 5,000 square foot expansion. 

 

City officials will hold an open house later this month for the new West Side Academy building.

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Mental Health Task Force created in Redding

The Redding Board of Selectmen has approved creation of a mental health task force.  The request for the group was made by the Redding League of Women Voters.  A representative recapped the recommendation at the Selectmen's meeting last Monday. 

 

Potential membership of the task force was discussed as well as a tiem frame for reporting back to the Board of Selectmen.  The group would include Redding Police Chief Douglas Fuchs, the Human Services Director, the Chair of the Commission on Aging and members of the Board Selectmen and the League. 

 

They have been tasked with consulting with members of the school and faith communities to collect information including available resources and websites.

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Fire damages 2 cabins at vacation camp

Two cabins suffered heavy damage, but nobody was injured in a fire at a vacation camp in Kent.

The fire broke out Thursday morning in a guest cabin and spread to another at Club Getaway, a 300-acre camp located on Leonard Pond.

 

Seven children and counselors were inside the cabin that caught fire.  One firefighter suffered a minor injury and was treated at the scene.  State police say a total of 12 children were checked by medics.

Camp officials said in a statement that staff members were able to evacuate the cabins shortly after the fire was reported, and guests staying in the buildings were evaluated at the scene and released.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire. Crews from several towns responded and used water pumped water from the nearby lake.

The camp bills itself as a destination for sports and adventure programs, weddings and corporate events.

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Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies at 90

SHARON, Conn. (AP) Documentary pioneer Robert Drew has died in Connecticut at age 90.

His son Thatcher Drew confirms he died Wednesday morning at his home in Sharon.

In ``Primary'' and other movies, Drew mastered the intimate, spontaneous style known as cinema verite and schooled a generation of influential directors including D.A. Pennebaker and Albert Maysles.

``Primary'' was made in 1960 and is widely ranked among the most important political documentaries. In 1990 it was entered into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry for historic works. It follows presidential candidates and fellow Democrats Sen. Hubert Humphrey and Sen. John F. Kennedy as they campaigned in Wisconsin.

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