Tree debris from last year's macroburst ignited in flames yesterday in Brookfield when a tree was struck by lightning. While Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company members were reporting for storm standby, firefighters was dispatched to 11 Ina’s Drive for a report of a brush fire. Units arrived to find a substantial fire in the rear yard from a lightning strike.
A tree was hit and the lightning travelled down to a large pile of dead trees and brush from last years Macroburst. Firefighters operated for 30 minutes and the blaze was extinguished with 1000 gallons of water.
There was another lightning strike reported at the same time on Windwood Road.
The Connecticut swimmer found in Lake Carmel Monday has been identified as a Redding resident. Police officials recovered the body of 54-year old Jeremy Kipnis Monday morning. He went swimming Saturday afternoon and didn't return home that evening, so his wife reported him missing to police. His cause of death is still under investigation.
A public hearing is being held in Bethel tonight about construction of a water storage tank between Long Meadow Lane and Briar Cliff Manor. The Town is applying to the Planning & Zoning Commission for a site plan and special permit. Comments can be made in person or submitted in writing at tonight's meeting. Plans for the project are available at the Bethel Land Use Office. Tonight's Public Hearing is at 7pm in the Municipal Center.
A dog picked up by Danbury Animal Control off of I-84, who appeared to have been abused, has been adopted. Animal Control officials said a week ago that the dog's snout appeared scarred from either being tied or tie wrapped shut, but he showed no sign of aggression. Three days ago, Danbury Animal Control said they had very little response about adoption. Now, they have announced that the 2 to 3 year old dog has found a forever home.
The cause of the fire at the Days Inn by Wyndham on Route 7 last month remains unknown, but the Ridgefield and West Redding Fire Marshal says the blaze started in the bottom of a refrigerator. Flames extended up the wall, and could have been an electrical anomaly. The fire was reported June 20th. While the hotel is in Ridgefield, Redding firefighters were first to respond. The sprinkler system was activated automatically. There were no reported injuries.
A citizen of the Dominican Republic has pleaded guilty to an immigration charge. 58-year old Freddy Antonio Marte Jerez, last living in Danbury, was charged with reentry of a removed alien.
He married a U.S. citizen, but his application for permanent residency was denied because of a narcotics conviction in Rhode Island. He was then convicted in Danbury in 2007 for sale of illegal drugs and deported after serving jail time.
Marte Jerez illegally reentered the country and was arrested while using the name “Antonio Nunez” in Danbury. In December 2015, Marte Jerez was convicted of burglary. Because of the different name, the arrest wasn't known to ICE.
He used another name when he was arrested last March in Danbury for motor vehicle offenses, and his true identity was discovered. He has been detained since his arrest.
When he is sentenced, Marte Jerez faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for illegal reentry. A sentencing date is not scheduled.
Localized flooding, downed trees and power outages all resulted from the storm yesterday in the Greater Danbury area. The heavy rain was coupled with strong wind in the afternoon, with some spots of lightning.
In New Milford, the traffic light at Route 7 and Bridge Street was on flash due to the storm.
Typical places that flood in Danbury, including Main Street and under the railroad overpass on Lake Avenue experienced some standing water on the street.
Aquarion Water is looking to obtain an easement in order to come onto property owned by New Fairfield when necessary to install or repair tanks and equipment for the water system. Selectman Khris Hall recommended that there be a provision saying Aquarion must notify the town as to when they will be on the property and for what reason. She says this will enable New Fairfield to validate to make sure that the work does not interfere with the rights of the town. The town's attorney will review draft language of an amendment to the contract. The Board of Selectmen approved the easement for Aquarion, subject to the amendment.
The Bethel Fire Marshal's Office has determined that the massive May fire at Clarke Business Park likely started because of an electrical issue with a heat tape machine, for shrink wrapping material. The fire started accidentally. It was a Sunday and took more than 100 firefighters 8 hours to extinguish. Adhesive tape company ATP remains displaced from the front of the building, where the fire started. The back of the building sustained smoke and water damage because it was protected by a firewall. Intersurface Dynamics reopened a few days after the fire.
The Digital Bookmobile, a nationally touring interactive experience from the public library, is visiting Danbury today. Ebooks and audiobooks continue to grow in popularity and libraries provide them to their communities for free.
The unique traveling exhibit is showing up at libraries around North America this summer. The free event at Kennedy Park, from 10am to 4pm, features an interactive reading experience to learn about and try ebooks and audiobooks available through Danbury Public Library.
Readers can learn how to browse and borrow from the collection by using workstations onboard the air conditioned RV. There are video tutorials, touchscreen activities, devices to sample titles and other highlights. Library staff and eReading experts will be available to guide visitors.
The Digital Bookmobile is ADA accessible for people in a wheelchair, or a parent with a stroller.
A 19-year old was hospitalized after a fall from the cliffs at Richardson Park in Ridgefield yesterday afternoon. Fire officials say the man was conscious when paramedics encountered him on the trail coming down from the cliffs. Initial reports in the Ridgefield Press were that the man fell some 20 to 30 feet. He was moving with help from his friends, and was in fair condition. Witnesses said they were jumping in the water at the time of the incident. It's unclear if the 19-year old hit rocks
A small storm quickly passed over New Milford last night, with lightning striking a tree in front of a historic home on South Main Street. The strike brought several curious neighbors out of their homes, and several more as firefighters arrived to investigate an odor of burning and a slight haze of smoke in the home.
Northville Fire was called to provide relief manpower due to the extreme heat, and New Milford Ambulance was called as a precaution for all working. An extensive search of the home using thermal imaging cameras determined that the damage was limited to a pair of circuit breakers and a few roof shingles.
Some firefighters were diverted to cover a report of wires down and burning along Aspetuck Ridge Road.
A third call came in as firefighters were leaving the home for a vehicle fire on Danbury Road. Officials say the issue turned out to be a non emergency.
There were no injuries reported in a Monroe basement fire over the weekend. Firefighters responded to Wheeler Road around 4:30am Saturday and quickly extinguished the flames. Monroe Volunteer Emergency Medical Service and AMR Bridgeport, CT provided medical care to Firefighters due to the extreme heat outside. The Monroe Fire Marshal is investigating the cause and origin. Shelton provided a tanker, engine, and ladder company, as well as station coverage. There were no hydrants so the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue tanker was also requested, but they ultimately were not needed.
New Milford Mayor Pete Bass is highlighting the work of Senior Center staff. Municipal Agents/Elder Advisors provided assistance to 45 individuals last week with food insecurity, medical, financial, and health and safety issues. The Senior Center also partnered with the library for an evening program where an attorney spoke in depth about Estate Planning. The Senior Center provided 115 lunches, 178 rides to 42 clients, and 67 Volunteer Hours.
New Fairfield officials are looking to get feedback from residents about the Drop Off Center. They've launched a brief online survey on the town's website about use of the DOC, and suggestions for improving use and convenience. Questions include the types of items disposed of, like household trash landscape waste or recyclables, and how much time people spend at the facility when they use it. A couple of the questions deal with the hours and days the Drop Off Center is open, whether it's convenient or if there are more convenient hours.
Saturday's household hazardous waste collection event in Brookfield closed early, at noon, due to the heat and humidity. Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says a couple of volunteers had to be taken to the hospital due to heat exhaustion. Brookfield Police asked HRRA to close the regional event early for safety reasons. Bethel SummerFest and CityCenter Danbury's fourth annual Country Music & Food Truck Rally had been cancelled before the events started.
The Brookfield Board of Selectmen will take some more time to appoint a Center School Use Ad Hoc Committee. During their meeting earlier this month, they noted that the applicants could have to be narrowed down. 10 people have expressed interested in being part of the group, but the Selectman were looking to keep membership at 5 to 7 participants. The Committee will be tasked with determining the best use and purpose of the old school building, and possibly the Brookfield Library building, once the New School Project is underway. Center School students will be moving into the new facility on the Huckleberry Hill campus.
It's summer construction season. Another road closure in the area has been announced. Newtown Police say the bridge that crosses I-84 on Old Hawleyville Road will be closed for all traffic this week for repairs and paving. In Danbury, Triangle Street remains closed. Long Ridge Road in Redding is closed for 18 days for repairs to the Metro North tracks.
There was an explosion in the Norwalk Hospital emergency room this weekend. An oxygen regulator being transported on a gurney at the facility, which is part of the Western Connecticut Health Network, was the cause. Police say two attendants were transporting a patient when the explosion happened. An EMT attendant was treated and released. There were no other injuries reported. Burn marks on the wall and ceiling resulted from the explosion. A fire extinguisher was used at the scene.
CT Rides is looking to recognize communities that make bicycling a real transportation and recreation option. The Western Connecticut Council of Governments, the regional planning agency for towns from Sherman down to Stamford, says applications for Bicycle-Friendly Community status are due August 8. This program also provides a roadmap and hands-on assistance to employers and municipalities implementing bike-friendly measures. The status is not required by Sustainable CT but can help a community achieve a higher rating under the program.
Bethel officials have signed off on a Chamber of Commerce event, which last year drew more than 600 people. Bethel Chamber Director Brad Koltz updated the Board of Selectmen on Beerfest 2019, which will be held Friday, July 26th from 6pm to 9pm on the Municipal Center lawn. There's a maximum of 600 attendees, tied to the license and police commission stipulations. Last year there was a standby area. First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said the past few years the event has been well controlled. People who've attended from out of town said they then discovered local restaurants and have returned to visit those establishments, while some restaurants reported a boost in sales on the evening of the event last year.
The Bethel Republican Town Committee has nominated candidates to run for municipal offices in November. Patricia Rist gained the unanimous endorsement from the Republican Caucus to run for First Selectwoman. Her running mate for Selectman will be incumbent Paul Szatkowski.
5th District Congresswoman Jahana Hayes has let her district office take over her social media pages for a day. She says it was a chance for constituents to see what staff has been up to. They met with the U.S. Census Bureau to discuss practical initiatives to educate people about the 2020 census. The Bureau is recruiting for full-time and part-time positions in Connecticut for the count. On their lunch break, staffers dropped off non-perishable food items at New Opportunities of Greater Meriden, and then supported local businesses by dining out.
The Town Of Bethel has been notified that delivery of the new Fairfield County Yellow Pages books will begin in late November. Residents who wish to OPT OUT and not receive printed yellow pages books are advised to visit www.YellowPagesOptOut.com. The deadline for submitting requests is September 19th.