Local Headlines Archives for 2015-11

Sen. Murphy tours Danbury Innovation Center

A tour of the new Innovation Center in Danbury has been taken by Senator Chris Murphy.  He visited with people who use the hackerspace as part of an effort by the Small Business Association to promote Small Business Saturday.  It's a time that local shops are calling for people to patronize companies that give back to the community, and is sandwiched in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

 

It's a common work space with 3D printers, prototyping tools, a mockup studio, and other business tools open for use by local entrepreneurs.  Small Business Association Resources partner SCORE was also on hand for the tour.

 

Murphy says the Innovation Center is a great place for entrepreneurs to see how others are succeeding and failing.  He notes that trial and error is easier when you're working along side others who are also starting up their own small business.

 

Murphy says many of the people he talked to are working a full time job during the day and coming to the Hackerspace in the evenings and on the weekends. 

 

GreenWell Financial, Born TM, Attention Holdings, Skyflix.com and Luke's Toy Factory have used the Innovation Center/Hackerspace.

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Temporary parking rule change in Ridgefield

Parking rules have temporarily changed in downtown Ridgefield. 

 

The Ridgefield Parking Authority is working with the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce to help encourage shopping locally.  There will be no enforcement of parking time limits for spaces whose time limits are two hours or longer.  The change will stay in place through January 3rd.

 

Special signs have been designed by Farmingville Elementary School students. 

 

Posted time limits will remain in effect on Main Street and for any spaces whose posted time is less than two hours in the downtown area.  The Parking Authority will enforce the shorter times in the Central Business District.  That is being done to allow for some parking space turnover in the Central Business District.

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Redding, Newtown Police holding 'Stuff-a-Cruiser' event for food pantries

The annual police "Stuff a Cruiser" event in Newtown is back today.  The Newtown and Redding Police departments are working together to collect donations for local food pantries.  They will be set up outside the Newtown Big Y on Queen Street from 9am to noon.  The Police Departments say this is a chance for people to do something positive, and pay it forward during a season of giving.  Newtown and Redding Police officials say people can also purchase gift cards so the Departments can purchase some items for the food pantries.

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New Milford 'Festival of Lights' to be held Saturday

The Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce is hosting their annual Festival of Lights Tree Lighting Ceremony Saturday night.  A parade of lights is taking place featuring the volunteer fire departments.  This is the 49th year the trees have been put up. 

 

The lighting takes place at 5:30pm on the Village Green. 

 

Members of the New Milford United Methodist Men’s Club and other church members donate their time and effort to cut the trees down, place them on the Green, string the wires and the lights, and take them down shortly after New Years.  The Club also sells Christmas Trees at the church during December to raise funds to help support local scholarships, mission projects and local community agencies.

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Winter Farmers Markets offer Connecticut Grown products during off-peak months

The state Department of Agriculture says there are 18 indoor farmers markets across the state this winter. 

 

Winter farmers markets provide an opportunity for Connecticut residents to buy locally grown products year round.  The Department's Commissioner says this allows farmers to stay in touch with their customers.  They offer a variety of Connecticut Grown products including fresh produce, cheeses, maple syrup and eggs.

 

There are three indoor markets in Litchfield County including the New Milford Farmers' Market at The Maxx on Railroad Street.  The market at The Maxx on Railroad Street is open on certain Saturdays over the next three months.  December 5th and 19th; January 2nd, 16 and 30th; February 13th and 27th from 9am to 1pm.

 

Other nearby markets are the Goshen Farmers Market and Litchfield Hills Farmers Market.

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Weston's new First Selectman declines salary increase approved by previous Board

Weston's new First Selectman has led her first Board of Selectman meeting.  Nina Daniel declined an 18.5-percent salary increase approved by the board in February, instead keeping the salary of nearly $44,000.  The Board of Selectmen also dealt with several resignations and appointments.  Daniel resigned from the Commission on Aging.  Former First Selectman Gayle Weinstein had won enough votes earlier this month to be a Selectman, but decided to resign instead.  The Board accepted her resignation and appointed Chris Spaulding to the position.  His term will expire in two years.

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Newtown High School auditorium renovations discussed

An update has been given to the Newtown Public Building and Site Commission on renovations to the Newtown High School Auditorium.  At their meeting this week, the group was told that some demolition work should be done in March with construction starting in July, after the school year ends.  The scope of the work involves accessibility and acoustic redesigns and relocating the HVAC system.  Panels will also be installed that could create the feel of a smaller Black Box Theater, but are retractable for larger scale productions.

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4 people meet for first time after 2 pairs of kidney swaps

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Four people have met for the first time since a pair of kidney swaps at a Connecticut hospital.

The Hartford Courant reports the family of 3-year-old Jeremy Orellana, as well as Fred Ferris, Beth Mix, and Julissa Canales, had an emotional meeting for the first time on Wednesday following the Nov. 10 surgeries.

Orellana, of Bridgeport, and Ferris, of Newtown, were both diagnosed with kidney disease and had been undergoing dialysis.

Canales, of West Haven, decided to help her friend Ferris. The two were incompatible for the transplant, though, so they entered into Yale-New Haven Hospital's kidney-pairing program. Ferris received Mix's kidney, while Canales donated hers to Orellana.

Mix volunteered to become an altruistic organ donor, meaning she donated without knowing any of the participants.

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Fire safety tips offered during this peak time for kitchen fires

Don't have firefighters be unexpected guests at your home for Thanksgiving dinner by practicing safe cooking habits this Thanksgiving.

 

Thanksgiving is the peak day for kitchen fire around the country.  State Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro says it's roughly three times the average number of fires than any other day. 

 

Danbury Fire Marshal Jim Russell says any electric fry pans, and electric knives should be inspected for frayed cords and bad connections before use.

 

The use of turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns and other injuries, and the destruction of property due to the large amount and high temperature of oil used.   If you have a cooking fire, keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother a small grease fire.  Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop.  Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

 

Russell says anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging and towels should be kept away from the stovetop.

 

If you're sleepy or have consumed alcohol, do not use the stove or any cooking appliance or accessory.

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Metro North adds trains for Thanksgiving weekend travel

When there are large crowds of train riders, Metro North has gate collection for tickets.  Thanksgiving Day is one of those times where customers at Grand Central Terminal will have to show a Metro North ticket before boarding the train. 

 

On Friday, Metro-North will operate on a Saturday schedule with additional inbound service in the morning and outbound service in the afternoon to accommodate the Friday workforce and Black Friday shoppers.  Metro-North will round out the holiday weekend schedule with extra trains and additional cars on existing trains Saturday and Sunday.

 

The ticket can be used by more than one person, even when you are traveling together. The Family Fare costs $1 per ticket for up to four children (ages 5 to 11) when they are traveling with a fare-paying adult. 

 

Thanksgiving Day, Metro-North will provide additional inbound morning service for customers heading to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which kicks off at 9:00 a.m. at 81st Street and Central Park West and ends in front of Macy’s at Herald Square (34th Street). There is also expanded outbound service starting in the late morning and continuing through mid-afternoon.  There will be extra trains in the evening for customers returning to New York City after their Thanksgiving dinners.

 

Metro-North will round out the holiday weekend schedule with extra trains and additional cars on existing trains Saturday and Sunday.

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Local lawmaker calls for vetting Syrian refugees entering CT

A local lawmaker is calling for the vetting of Syrian refugees coming into the state.  Wilton Representative Gail Lavielle, who once lived in Paris, said if the state can't refuse entry to the refugees, it's the responsibility of the governor to make very clear what the vetting process is. 

 

Following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month, Lavielle said in an interview with The Hour that the federal government decides whether people can enter the country, and once here can travel freely from state to state. 

 

Some other Republican lawmakers have questioned if extensive background checks will be conducted and who will be responsible for the related costs.

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Veteran soap actor David Canary dies at age 77

WILTON, Conn. (AP) -- Longtime soap opera actor David Canary, best known for his role as twin brothers on "All My Children," has died at age 77.

 

Canary died of natural causes on Nov. 16 at his home at The Greens at Cannondale in Wilton, Connecticut, Paul Pyrch of the Bouton Funeral Home said Wednesday.

 

Canary's career spanned more than five decades, with appearances in the films "Hombre" and "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre" before earning recurring roles on "Peyton Place" and "Bonanza." In December 1983, he joined the cast of "All My Children" as twins Adam and Stuart Chandler. Playing the brothers - one evil and the other good-hearted - brought Canary his greatest fame and five Daytime Emmy Awards.

 

"For more than two decades David Canary defined daytime drama on ABC," the network wrote in a statement Tuesday. "Our hearts go out to his family and we mourn his passing."

 

Despite his popularity on the show, Canary shunned the spotlight and preferred to live quietly with his wife and family.

 

"At the risk of being misunderstood, I'm a real private person," Canary told The Associated Press in an interview in 1993. "I don't make appearances. I don't do fan magazine interviews. My wife and our two children live in a little town in Connecticut, where most of the people don't watch the show and, if they do, don't make a big deal out of it."

 

The actor was at first reluctant to take a role on a daytime soap opera. But after getting a chance to play a madman on "The Doctors," Canary spent two years on the soap "Another World."

 

Then came the opportunity to join "All My Children."

 

"I was reluctant to even sign a two-year contract," he said in 1993. "That seemed like a long, long time."

 

Canary remained on the show until 2011.

 

In addition to onscreen roles, Canary also performed on the stage, appearing in on and off Broadway productions, according to an obituary published in the Wilton Bulletin.

 

Born in Indiana, Canary grew up in Massillon, Ohio, and went on to play football at the University of Cincinnati, where he graduated with a major in music.

 

Canary is survived by his wife, two children and a grandchild.

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Danbury's 'Light the Lights' to be held Dec. 5

A date has been set for Danbury's annual tree lighting event.  There will be a lighted fire truck parade in Danbury this year for Danbury's Light the Lights celebration.  The event on Saturday December 5th is from 5pm to 7pm. 

 

Carolers from St Peter's Church Children's Chorus and St Joseph's Church Children Chorus will perform. 

 

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton will light up downtown with a new and expanded light show.  The firetruck parade will move down Deer Hill Avenue to West Street, then on Main Street to Rogers Park.  Santa will be at Library Plaza to take photos with children.

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Metro North adds trains for Thanksgiving weekend travel

On Thanksgiving day last year, over 30,000 customers departed Grand Central between 10 am and 2 pm as they headed home from the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.  Metro North spokeswoman Meredith Daniels says Wednesday is traditionally the busy day of the year for the railroad.

 

When there are large crowds of train riders, Metro North has gate collection for tickets.  Thanksgiving Day is one of those times where customers at Grand Central Terminal will have to show a Metro North ticket before boarding the train. 

 

On Friday, Metro-North will operate on a Saturday schedule with additional inbound service in the morning and outbound service in the afternoon to accommodate the Friday workforce and Black Friday shoppers.  Metro-North will round out the holiday weekend schedule with extra trains and additional cars on existing trains Saturday and Sunday.

 

The ticket can be used by more than one person, even when you are traveling together. The Family Fare costs $1 per ticket for up to four children (ages 5 to 11) when they are traveling with a fare-paying adult. 

 

On Wednesday, November 25, extra service includes three additional trains on the Harlem Line between 2:18 pm and 3:34 pm, five extra trains on the Hudson Line between 1:38 p.m. and 4:11 pm, and ten extra trains on the New Haven Line between 12:58 pm and 4:00 pm.

 

Thanksgiving Day, Metro-North will provide additional inbound morning service for customers heading to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which kicks off at 9:00 a.m. at 81st Street and Central Park West and ends in front of Macy’s at Herald Square (34th Street). There is also expanded outbound service starting in the late morning and continuing through mid-afternoon.  There will be extra trains in the evening for customers returning to New York City after their Thanksgiving dinners.

 

Metro-North will round out the holiday weekend schedule with extra trains and additional cars on existing trains Saturday and Sunday.

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Sen. Murphy tours downtown Danbury ahead of 'Small Business Saturday'

Small Business Saturday, a day to support small business and what they bring to the community, was created several years ago to add to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  On Tuesday, Senator Chris Murphy was in Danbury to talk with small business owners.  He was joined by Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and members of the Small Business Administration.

 

Murphy says this is a great opportunity to support businesses that support the community.

 

Murphy also spent time at the new Innovation Center-Hackerspace, connected to Danbury Library.  The Innovation Center will host 5 companies that have used the Innovation Center/Hackerspace as well as SBA Resource Partners SCORE and SBDC to help counsel and/or launch their respective businesses GreenWell Financial, Born TM, Attention Holdings, Skyflix.com and Luke's Toy Factory.

 

The stops during the Small Business Walk included:

• At Home Care

• Antonia’s Beauty Salon

• Relvas Travel Center

• Bem Bonita Fashion

• City Center Danbury

• Faltom Jeweler

• Main Street Dental

• Benai Enterprises, Inc.

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Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission looks to Fairfield Hills as potential site

The Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission may have narrowed down a location for where any future memorial to those killed on 12-14 would be located.  The Newtown Bee reports that the group thinks a multi-acre site on the Fairfield Hills campus is a secluded spot, ideal for a memorial.  The three to four acres is on a corner of the High Meadow. 

 

The Permanent Memorial Commission has worked with the Deputy Director of Planning and Land Use, as well as working with the Newtown Conservation Commission.  The Sandy Hook working group looked for a location that was secluded but accessible, had some infrastructure in place and natural settings or views.  There is a nearby walking trail which Commission Chairman Kyle Lyddy told the Bee could lead to concerns from people who use the trail but might not want to be exposed to the memorial. 

 

There is an abandoned farm road that could provide access to the High Meadow proposed site. 

 

The Commission plans to put out a request for proposals for design ideas in January. 

 

$130,000 earmarked for a memorial donated to Newtown after 12-14 could be transferred from the town to a 501c3 if fundraising is needed for the memorial.

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Weston school superintendent named 'Superintendent of the Year'

The Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents has named their 2016 Superintendent of the Year.  Weston school leader Colleen Palmer has been honored with the recognition.  The statewide nonprofit organization represents public school superintendents, assistant superintendents and other educational leaders across the state. 

 

Palmer became Weston Superintendent in 2011, having previously served three years in the same position in Monroe. 

 

The organization cited Palmer for leading Weston High School to be named top Connecticut High School this year, and ranked 47th nationally by Newsweek. 

 

The Weston Board of Education will be holding a reception for Palmer before their meeting on December 21st.

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Area police step up patrols for Thanksgiving weekend

A number of Greater Danbury area police departments will be stepping up patrols this Thanksgiving weekend.  Ridgefield Police are reminding drivers that they will be strictly enforcing occupant protection laws.  Ridgefield Police say the use of seatbelts has been proven to protect drivers and passengers if they are involved in a collision.  The stepped up enforcement campaign started yesterday and will continue through Monday.

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Despite drought, Danbury reservoirs at typical water levels

The federal government earlier this month declared 8 counties in Connecticut as disaster areas due to drought conditions and the agricultural losses.  City Councilman Paul Rotello recently asked for an update on reservoir levels in Danbury.  He said some constituents on City Water wondering about the status of water levels.

 

Public Utilities Superintendent David Day says the City is no where near advisory levels. 

 

Reservoir levels are checked on the first of each month.  Historically at this time of the year it's around 77-percent.  Day says it's about 1.5-percent below normal.

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Litchfield State Representative to seek 30th District Senate seat

Republican Clark Chapin announced Monday he would be retiring from the legislature when the term ends next year.  Litchfield GOP Representative Craig Miner has announced his intention to seek the 30th Senate position.

 

Miner says it saddens him that Chapin has decided not to seek another term, as he is one of the more respected person in Hartford.  Miner says Chapin has a keen understanding of the district and the many  issues which face this state.

 

Miner has worked in both the private and public sectors, in what he says is a blend of careers that has provided him with the tools necessary to serve the people of the 30th district.  But he says that comes with a caveat.  He says he is keenly aware of the important business at hand and plans to be fully engaged in the upcoming session.  The deficit negotiations continue and Miner is a Deputy Minority Leader who is involved in that process. 

 

Miner said he wanted to make his intentions known from now, but that representing those in the 66th district will remain his highest priority.  The district includes Bethlehem, Litchfield, Morris, Warren and Woodbury.

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Door-to-door soliciting being done in Ridgefield by Citizens Campaign for the Environment

Ridgefield Police are warning residents about a home to home canvas of Ridgefield being done by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment through January.  Police say they are raising public awareness of this petition drive which is also featuring a letter writing campaign and fundraising. 

 

The canvassing will be done 4pm to 9pm on weekdays and 11am to 4pm on certain Saturdays.  The group received approval from the town to conduct the canvas, and will carry ID.  Ridgefield residents are being encouraged to call police if they have any questions or concerns. 

 

The same group is also going door to door in Newtown.  Officials there say they have heard concerns of Newtown residents, but that efforts to curtail the campaign have been disregarded by the organization.

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Sherman First Selectman explores congressional run

Sherman Republican First Selectman Clay Cope is exploring a run to challenge Democratic incumbent Elizabeth Esty for the 5th Congressional District seat.  The Newstimes reports that Cope could become the first openly gay Republican in Congress. 

 

The 53-year old was elected First Selectman in 2011, having previously served as vice president and marketing director of a QVC fashion label. 

 

Connecticut GOP party chairman JR Romano said in a statement that the Republicans have a variety of candidates including minorities and women.  He continued by saying that the Democrats like to play identity politics, appealing to interest groups rather than leading.

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Clark Chapin announces he will not seek reelection to State Senate in 2016

New Milford State Senator Clark Chapin will not seek re-election to the 30th District seat.  Chapin was first elected to the State Senate in November 2012 after serving 12 years in the State House of Representatives.

 

Chapin says now it s the right time to start exploring new opportunities.  He says it's been a privilege to serve in the legislature for the past 15 years.

 

Chapin co-chairs the Regulation Review Committee, serves as Ranking Member of the Environment Committee, and is a member of the Appropriation Committee.  Chapin previously served at the local level as a member of the New Milford Town Council, Traffic Authority Chairman and as a member of the Water Pollution Control Authority.

 

During his time in the legislature, Chapin has received statewide recognition for his leadership on a multitude of issues. This past Tuesday, he received his third Legislative Leadership Award from Working Lands Alliance for his work on farmland preservation.  He has also received leadership awards for his work on issues involving agriculture, veterinary medicine, domestic violence, responsible dog ownership, children’s issues, protection of public drinking water and recreational boating.

 

House and Senate Clerk records show Sen. Chapin has had 100% session attendance 14 out of 15 years he has served in the General Assembly.  During the 2015 session, Chapin cast his vote on each of the 485 roll call votes taken in the State Senate, making it his 9th consecutive year not having missed a session vote.

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Tickets on sale for Danbury Music Centre's 'Nutcracker'

Danbury Music Centre began selling tickets to their annual production of Nutcracker to the general public November 16th.  For the first time, Danbury Music Centre will offer an additional performance, providing the community with two matinee options -- one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

 

This is the 48th year the production will be performed.  The tradition started in Danbury in 1967.

 

Performances of Nutcracker will take place at Danbury High School.  Show times are: 7:30 pm Friday, December 11th; 1:30 and 6 pm Saturday, December 12; 3 pm Sunday, December 13.  Each performance lasts approximately 2 hours including intermission.

 

Danbury Music Centre's Nutcracker, directed by Arthur Fredric, features about 200 dancers from the greater Danbury region, ages seven to adult.  Danbury Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Ariel Rudiakov, accompanies the ballet, live, with Tchaikovsky's original score. 

 

About 20 students will be performing as the Snowflake Chorus.  The Snowflake Chorus comes out during the end of Act 1 and sing for just one scene.  They will also perform during intermission. 

 

Executive Producer Barbara Adams Jaeger says it's amazing how many people tell them they fell in love with dance, or with a particular instrument in the orchestra, when they saw their first Nutcracker.

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St. Gregory the Great Church group to hold Sinatra tribute concert fundraiser

Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday is coming up next month and to honor the Chairman of the Board's centennial birthday, the Women of Danbury’s St. Gregory the Great Church is hosting a concert.  Frankie Sands, who truly captures the voice essence, class and style of Sinatra will be performing.  The group's Vice President, Denise Valerie, says the event December 5th will be at the Palace Theater on Main Street in Danbury.

 

The entertainer was chosen to perform at Regis Philbin’s retirement party because of his likeness to Sinatra.  $40 admission includes lite bites and cash bar.  Show commences at 8.  After the performance there will be a “The Bluest Eyes” contest, along with gratis coffee and dessert, plus a raffle.

 

For tickets, call the Palace Danbury Theatre at 203-794-9944, or online.

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Emergency response drill held near Southeast, NY Metro North station

An Emergency Preparedness drill takes place this morning near the Southeast Metro North train station in New York.  The training exercise simulates a vehicle collision with a train just north of the station.  It's taking place near Route 312 and Ice Pond Road.  The information is being made public so as not to alarm residents and drivers in the area. 

 

The drill will help train emergency personnel from the region on how to treat about two dozen "casualty patients".

 

In February, a train slammed into an SUV that was on the tracks, killing five passengers on the train and the SUV driver.  A Danbury man was among those killed.  Authorities said the impact was so powerful the electrified third rail came up and pierced the train, and the SUV's gas tank apparently exploded. The SUV, pushed about 400 feet, looked as though it was stuck on the front of the train.

 

Metro-North has been criticized severely for accidents over the last couple of years. Late last year, the NTSB issued rulings on five accidents that occurred in New York and Connecticut in 2013 and 2014, repeatedly finding fault with the railroad while also noting that conditions have improved.

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Newtown residents concerned about recent door-to-door solicitations

Some Newtown residents have brought concerns to town officials over a door knocking campaign.  The Citizens Campaign for the Environment has been going around to various Newtown neighborhoods.  Officials say efforts to curtail the campaign have been disregarded by the organization. 

 

The town says, unfortunately it has no legal right to deny the group access to the community. 

 

They are however continuing to alert them to concerns and are again be asked to stop canvassing neighborhoods.  The group is required to notify police in advance of when and where they will be canvassing.  That has been done.

 

The situation will continue to be monitored.

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Final presentation Thursday on 'Bethel Forward' proposal

A final presentation in the Bethel Forward Charrette is being held Thursday night.  The so-called "Bethel Forward" plan about the future development of the downtown area, including properties surrounding and adjacent to the Bethel Train Station has been discussed in community workshops for a couple of months now. 

 

First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says the area would be rezoned to permit new residential and commercial development in an effort to revitalize downtown Bethel. 

 

Planners, designers, and others have listened to the public's ideas and will develop illustrations and architectural designs for downtown Bethel.  

 

The final presentation Thursday is at 7pm in the Municipal Center General Purpose Room.

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Electric rate forum to be held in New Fairfield

The informational workshop today about potentially lowering electric bills will feature a rate specialist from the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.  The workshop is being hosted by state Representatives Jan Giegler and Richard Smith along with state Senator Mike McLachlan. 

 

Residents are asked to bring a copy of the latest electric bill sent out so the PURA Rate Specialist can review options and see if the lowest possible rate is being paid. 

 

The retail energy market in Connecticut allows electricity customers to shop for the best kilowatt-per-hour rate by comparing and signing deals with suppliers. But some suppliers, despite increasing legislative scrutiny, have enrolled customers into variable rate plans that brought unexpected, skyrocketing costs.  

 

The workshop is at the New Fairfield Senior Center from 1 to 2pm.

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United Way gets 4-star rating from charity evaluator

The United Way of Western Connecticut's sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator.  The United Way earned this top distinction because it uses donor dollars to advance its mission in a fiscally responsible way.

 

Charity Navigator says the coveted 4-star rating puts The United Way in a very select group of high-performing charities.  Thousands of nonprofits are evaluated by Charity Navigator, and only one out of four earns 4 stars.

 

In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology.  These metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities have “best practices” that minimize the chance of unethical activities and whether they freely share basic information about their organization with their donors and other stakeholders.

 

United Way CEO Kim Morgan says it's important that donors trust they're using funding wisely to improve lives by mobilizing caring communities to solve complex problems.

 

United Way Board of Directors chairwoman Cindy Merkle says they have a responsibility to respect donors' support by dedicating their dollars in the most impactful and transparent manner in greater Danbury, greater New Milford and the City of Stamford.

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Consumer Protection Department to seek restitution in CT Lottery game terminal abuse

The state Department of Consumer Protection has given an update on their investigation into issues with the Connecticut Lottery's 5 Card Cash Game.  The Connecticut Lottery discovered that the terminal was being misused by some retailers in the game's instant component.  Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris says the reporting mechanism on the terminal were intentionally manipulated  for their own personal benefit by producing a disproportionate amount of winning tickets. 

 

The state may have lost revenue, for which full restitution will be sought. 

 

The Lottery temporarily suspended sales and cashing to install new software, which is aimed at further enhancing the security features of the game.  The software will be tested to ensure the integrity of the game before sales resume.

 

 

The Department is offering no further comment at this time, but as the investigation unfolds Harris says more information may be released as appropriate.

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Proposed Rainbow Lake Tax District vote today

A vote is being held in Ridgefield today on the proposed Rainbow Lake Tax District.  The referendum is being held at Ridgebury School through 8pm, asking a yes or no question on if the Rainbow Lake Tax District should be established.  The referendum is being run by residents who live in the proposed district, not the town. 

 

State statutes call for the vote to pass by a two-thirds majority. 

 

The 41 acre lake is shallow and has had algae blooms in the water recently.  Advocates say a Tax District would be a better way to finance upkeep of the water quality.  Opponents say the tax district is gerrymandered to exclude those who would vote no. 

 

There are about 200 homes or properties in the proposed district.  A similar plan was rejected in 2002.

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Danbury agrees to help Richter Park Authority with debt refinancing

The Danbury City Council has agreed to refinance and consolidate the debt of the Richter Park Authority. 

 

The proposal was brought to Danbury in an effort to help put Richter in a better financial position in the short and long term.  They have loans with Newtown Savings Bank at approximately 6-percent, pump station deeds and working capital.  The package from the City would consolidate $1.15 million at approximately 2.5-percent.

 

Danbury Finance Director David St. Hilaire says the City is essentially becoming the banker for the Richter Park Authority so they don't have to incur a higher rate from a lending institution.  He says the City will get a better return on investment with that 2.5-percent than if the City invested this money anywhere else.

 

This package would save the Richter Park Authority about $60,000 a year, which will help with the pump station that failed recently, as well as allow some working capital which is needed in light of the recent difficult winter.

 

Outstanding notes would be paid off, and a $350,000 loan would be made for the pump station and working capital fund.  The fund is to help the Richter Park Authority during the winter when they don't take in revenue from golf fees.

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Ridgefield, Newtown to launch organics collection programs

Ridgefield is joining Newtown in offering an organics collection program through the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority.  The first of its kind program in the state is a collaboration with the Newtown Transfer Station and the Ridgefield Recycling Center. 

 

There are kickoff events being held tomorrow at those locations to present information about the program and to answer questions from residents. 

 

Ridgefield and Newtown residents do have to sign up for the program and will receive compostable bags, educational material and a carry container.  There is a small fee associated with the program. 

 

More information can be found online at hrra.org.

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Election recounts held in Ridgefield, Newtown

A couple of recounts have been done of election results from earlier this month in the Greater Danbury area. 

 

In Ridgefield there was a recount for a Board of Education seat.  Republican James Keidel came out ahead of fellow Republican David Cordisco.  Keidel received 17 more votes, which was up three votes from what was counted on Election Night. 

 

In Newtown, there was a recount of the votes for the District 2 Legislative Council seat.  On Election Night there was a 19 vote difference between Republican Dan Wiedemann and Democrat Jennifer Padilla.  Each candidate ended up with one fewer vote, so the result was the same.  Wiedemann was declared the winner.

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'Sound of Music' descendants to perform in Danbury

Sofia, Melanie, Amanda, and August von Trapp are the great grandchildren of The Sound of Musics Captain and Maria von Trapp. They have performed together since their youth, carrying on the family tradition while beginning their own.

 

They will be performing at the Palace Theatre in Danbury at 8pm on Saturday.

 

 

Opening for The von Trapps will be The Band Dakota, the only Latina trio of sisters in country music today. The sisters hail from Danbury.  The Band Dakota offer a fresh contemporary sound that features catchy melodies with natural harmonies. They have set their full sights on making a huge entrance into country music.

 

Their grandfather Werner von Trapp taught them the Austrian folk songs he loved as a child.  When he became too ill to travel, they crafted a homemade recording to cheer him up, never expecting it would inspire a career in music.

 

The von Trapps have toured extensively, performed with major symphonies across the country.  They are reinventing the legacy of their birthright for the modern age, honing a folk-pop sound that's uniquely theirs.

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New Fairfield honors WWII veteran with ceremony

New Fairfield had declared yesterday as Lou Russo Day, in honor of a 97-year old World War II veteran.  The Tunnel to Towers Foundation, started in part by former New Fairfield First Selectman John Hodge, worked with the Home Depot to honor Russo's military career on Veterans Day. 

 

(Photos: Tunnel to Towers, Facebook)

 

The store's Celebration of Service Program helped make improvements to his home to ensure his safety and accessibility.  The work was valued at $20,000. 

 

During a flag raising ceremony at Russo's home, a plaque was dedicated in memory of Lou's brother Anthony who was killed in the first wave at Normandy.

 

 

Two years ago, Russo fell and a social worker saw the poor condition of his roof, forcing him into a nursing home.  A court-appointed conservator was supposed to arrange for the home to be repaired, but instead spent Russo's life savings, sold his belongings and rented out the house.  The conservator has been ordered to repay Russo, but has so for not made payment.

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Senator calls on Postal Service to find new location for Oxford post office

Senator Chris Murphy is urging the United States Postal Service to find a suitable alternative location for the Oxford branch.  The lease for the current location will expire soon and a new location has not yet been secured.  Murphy says he's heard from concerned Oxford residents about the possibility that mail service is delayed or disrupted.  They're also concerned that the could have to travel further to access a post office.

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NY Crime Stoppers offer reward for information in North Salem homicide case

A reward is being offered by the New York State Crime Stoppers, acting as a resource for New York State Police for information that directly leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the death of 83-year old Lois Colley of North Salem. 

 

Colley, the wife of a millionaire McDonald's franchisee was found dead in her home on Monday.  She was the apparent victim of a homicide as a result of blunt force trauma. 

 

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the New York State Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-866-313-tips.

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Ability Beyond to benefit from 3rd annual Families Rock event

Ability Beyond is holding their 3rd annual Families Rock event on Saturday night.  Local bands will be playing to raise funds for the Bethel-based non-profit.  Ability Beyond provides services to 3,000 individuals with disabilities in the Connecticut and New York area. 

 

The event is being hosted by Two Steps Downtown Grille from 7pm to 11pm on Saturday.  Admission is free.  Family Outreach Manager Alice Meenan says Two Steps owner Tom Devine is donating 15% of food and bar sales during the event to Ability Beyond.  Local restaurants and stores have donated gift certificates and items for a raffle.  Various professional and sports teams have also donated tickets for the raffle.

 

The bands performing will be The Surf Bombs from Danbury, The Jay Willie Band from Newtown and Good Medicine from Southbury.  Jay Willie is the parent of a young man receiving support services from Ability Beyond.

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Referendum approves new agriscience center in Region 12

A referendum in the three towns that make up the Region 12 school district has led to approval of a new agriscience center.  Washington, Bridgewater and Roxbury residents approved the proposed project at Shepaug Valley High School 1,663 votes in favor and 757 votes opposed. 

 

The state would cover 70 percent of the $39.5 million estimated cost.  The balance would fall on local taxpayers. 

 

Supporters say this will help stem declining enrollment by attracting new families and boosting funds to the towns through out-of-town enrollment.  Opponents say the enrollment projections are inflated and the estimated costs are too low. 

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State, local police and civilians recognized during awards ceremony

An awards ceremony has been held by State Police to recognize troopers, local police and civilians for their work over the past year.

 

The Commissioner’s Recognition Award is presented by the agency commissioner to a person whohas been instrumental in helping the State Police accomplish their job of public safety for all. This is generally presented to civilians (non-law enforcement).

 

The Unit Citation is awarded to members of a department, a command or group who combine their resources to achieve success in an investigation or event. The citation recognizes exceptional collective efforts.

 

The Outstanding Service Award is given to those who successfully perform an extreme, complex ordifficult investigation. The Trooper may demonstrate exceptional skill or ingenuity in the apprehension of a wanted person, provide outstanding service to the public and/or continuously achieve excellence in performance over an extended period of time.

 

The Lifesaving Award is presented to those who save a human life or make a valiant attempt to save a life.

 

The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to those who render service with a high degree of alertness, perseverance and superior judgment in the performance of a difficult task resulting in the protection of life, recovery of property, the prevention of – or solving of – a major crime or the apprehension of an armed or dangerous person.

 

The Medal for Bravery is awarded to a Trooper who demonstrates exceptional heroism in the performance of duty while exposed to life-threatening danger.

 

Woodbury Police Officer Timothy Wright, Trooper First Class Tyler Spence

On, Sept. 1, 2014, at 11:15 hours, Troop L broadcast a description of a motor vehicle stolen from Southbury which eluded Waterbury Police in a pursuit. The operator was reportedly armed with a handgun and had been involved in a domestic incident in Southbury a day earlier.

 

Trooper Spence observed the vehicle traveling on a Woodbury road. The operator engaged Trooper Spence in pursuit, with Officer Wright joining. They pursued through roads in Woodbury and Bethlehem before the suspect vehicle crashed at an intersection in Washington. 

 

Trooper Spence and Officer Wright exited their cruisers with their weapons drawn and ordered the operator out of the vehicle.  The operator retrieved a gun and pointed it in the direction of the officers. Trooper Spence and Officer Wright fired their weapons and struck the operator once. He dropped his weapon and retrieved a knife, putting it to his own neck. He yelled numerous times for the officers to kill him.

 

During this time, the operator also attempted to evade the scene and began moving the stolen vehicle, striking Officer Wright's cruiser.  Trooper Spence successfully deployed stop sticks, while Officer Wright deployed his Taser and struck the operator, who then complied with the officers’ commands.  The operator was removed from the vehicle and first aid was rendered. 

 

Trooper Wright and Officer Wright each earned the Medal for Bravery.

 

Trooper First Class Robert Maurice

On the morning of March 24, 2015, the TD Bank in Torrington was held up by a lone, armed assailant who escaped with large sums of cash. The Western District Major Crime Squad was called to assist Torrington Police with processing the crime scene.

 

A short time later, Trooper Maurice was patrolling Route 7 when he noticed a pick-up truck traveling at a speed slower than the normal traffic flow. The operator was trying to ignore him by looking straight ahead. The license plate on the vehicle came back as unregistered and possibly misused. Trooper Maurice attempted to stop the vehicle on Interstate 84, but the operator ignored the lights and sirens of the cruiser. Trooper Maurice notified the troop about this low-speed pursuit.

 

The pursuit continued off Exit 2 into Danbury, then reentered I-84 eastbound. With Danbury Police along, Trooper Maurice pulled alongside and the operator waved a firearm at him. The vehicle reentered Route 7 northbound and pulled into a grassy area at the intersection of two busy highways. The operator exited his vehicle and was held at gunpoint by Trooper Maurice. The operator had one hand behind his back and was clearly holding a firearm. Trooper Maurice gave several commands to drop the gun. The operator entered his vehicle and proceeded north on Route 7, at reckless rates of speed while being pursued again. The operator appeared to intentionally crash into a slow-moving box truck after exiting in New Milford, suffering a serious injury.

 

While first aid was rendered, law enforcement located large sums of loose-bundled cash in the vehicle. Trooper Maurice had no information regarding the Torrington bank robbery, but this was clearly the suspect.

 

Trooper Maurice earned a Medal for Meritorious Service.

 

Trooper First Class Ryan Pfeiffer, Oxford Police Officer Scott McCue

On October 3, 2014, at approximately 11:52 p.m., Trooper Pfeiffer and Officer McCue were dispatched to an Oxford residence for a report of an individual in full cardiac arrest.

 

Upon arrival at the residence, the two officers found the victim unconscious, unresponsive and without a pulse.  They immediately began performing CPR. The two officers continued CPR for approximately 15 minutes before Oxford EMS and Paramedics arrived and transported the man to a local hospital. It was learned that the man had suffered a severe heart attack as well as acute respiratory failure.

 

The immediate intervention and response of Trooper Pfeiffer and Officer McCue saved the life of the unresponsive victim and each earned the Medal for Lifesaving.

 

Sergeant Thomas Bennett, Det. Brian Marino, New Milford Det. Scott Flockhart

The Northwest Office of the Statewide Narcotics Task Force, in conjunction with Danbury Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Danbury State’s Attorney, conducted a wire intercept for 110 days. This six-year investigation identified two Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO’s) largely responsible for distributing illegal substances including marijuana, oxycodone, and cocaine throughout Northwest Connecticut, New York State, Massachusetts and Vermont. The oxycodone and cocaine originated from the New York City area and were distributed in this same geographic area.

 

Investigators determined the DTO was trafficking pills, as well as selling and developing hybrid marijuana plants and distributing hundreds of pounds of marijuana. The DTO spanned several states: Connecticut, New York, California and Vermont. Two indoor grow houses were identified and thousands of dollars in equipment was seized. Two people who obtained oxycodone from the DTO suffered fatal drug overdoses, demonstrating the danger this DTO presented. This investigation concluded with search warrants executed in Connecticut, New York and Vermont; 12 people were arrested and indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for federal narcotics trafficking violations. Another eight individuals were arrested on state narcotic charges, with several more pending. Approximately $800,000 in cash was seized, along with 22 firearms, four vehicles, 50 pounds of marijuana, 175 marijuana plants, and more than 1,000 pills.

 

Case officers Det. Marino and Det. Flockhart authored four wiretap affidavits and ten wiretap extension orders, reviewed and approved by Sgt. Bennett.  Each affidavit detailed six years of exhaustive investigative efforts by personnel from the DEA, Danbury Police and New Fairfield Resident Troopers. The applications were prepared under a short deadline, requiring the approval of the State’s Attorney and a three-judge panel. Det. Marino and Det. Flockhart also authored several affidavits requesting search warrants, arrest warrants and countless investigative reports. Sgt. Bennett, Det. Marino and Det. Flockhart analyzed thousands of telephonic intercepts, identifying phone calls and deciphering codes to identify the suspect to be charged.  Sgt. Bennett maintained daily supervision of all activities related to the investigation and administrative requirements for the case. 

 

The combined efforts, skill and perseverance of this investigative team resulted in dismantling two major DTO’s and disruption of smaller drug dealers, impacting rural and large communities. Sgt. Bennett, Det. Marino and Det. Flockhart each earned the Medal for Outstanding Service.

 

Trooper First Class Ryan Pfeiffer

On Sept. 25, 2014, at approximately 11:47 p.m., the Oxford Resident Trooper’s office received a report of an intoxicated and distraught male armed with a high-powered rifle who just left his home on foot and was walking through the neighborhood. The wife of the man stated that her husband had been drinking and had been very depressed and irrational that evening. She feared that he might harm himself or others.

 

Trooper Pfeiffer immediately responded to the area and located the armed man. Upon exiting his cruiser with his service weapon drawn, Trooper Pfeiffer quickly confronted and handcuffed the distraught man. He secured the high-power rifle, finding it fully-loaded with a round in the chamber. The man stated that he was having severe personal problems and feeling overwhelmed. The man also said that he didn’t want to hurt anyone but that he was planning on shooting his neighbor’s dogs because their constant barking upsets him. He was transported to the hospital for evaluation. 

 

The immediate intervention and decisive actions by Trooper Pfeiffer prevented tragedy that evening. He earned a Medal for Outstanding Service.

 

Trooper First Class Christopher Sorrell

On March 20, 2014, Trooper Sorrell of the Salisbury Resident Troopers Office was contacted by a man who stated that there was a fire at his Salisbury residence on March 17. The man discovered a large portion of a coin and cash collection, worth nearly $30,000, was missing from the area where the fire occurred. Trooper Sorrell arranged to have fire department members, the town fire marshal and a representative from the state fire marshal’s office meet at the residence to determine the facts surrounding the fire, as well as the origin and cause. 

 

The investigation revealed that someone had entered the attic area of the residence and set a fire to cover up the larceny. Trooper Sorrell interviewed three workers at the residence and determined that they had drug addictions and had access to the stolen items. He was able to locate and recover a portion of the stolen items that had been sold by the head of the contracted company.

 

After several interviews, the suspect admitted taking the items and consented to a search of his two company vehicles, resulting in the seizure of heroin and the arrest of two of his employees. Both parties admitted to being with the first suspect when he attempted to sell off the stolen items. After more interviews with the first suspect and extensive investigation into his alibi, Trooper Sorrell obtained a full confession from him. He admitted stealing all of the missing items, setting fire to the attic and attempting to hide evidence of the crime after the fire. 

 

The tenacity and dedication demonstrated by Trooper Sorrell went above and beyond the call of duty.

 

He earned the Medal for Outstanding Service.

 

Troop B, North Canaan, Winsted Police Dept.

On May 7, 2014, State Police from Troop B and Officers from the Winsted Police Department responded after a citizen reported observing a vehicle belonging to a male accused in the murder of his wife and the serious wounding of his mother-in-law earlier in the day in Oxford.  The vehicle was parked in an abandoned restaurant parking lot bearing a marker plate number that was broadcast on the news. The accused was believed to be in possession of a pistol and a shotgun.

 

Troopers and Officers tactically approached the vehicle and found a lone male occupant in the driver seat with a hat pulled down over his face and an item completely covering his hands.  The vehicle engine was running with the doors locked and a hose was observed leading from the exhaust pipe into the passenger area of the vehicle.  Prior to gaining entry into the vehicle, Trooper Michael Reidy and Sergeant Patrick Malloy verified that the occupant resembled the accused murderer and observed him breathing, with normal skin tone. 

 

Trooper Reidy and Sergeant Malloy simultaneously smashed the front passenger and the rear passenger window of the vehicle while fellow officers on scene provided back-up.  The suspect was taken into custody and the murder weapon was recovered from the immediate area of the accused.

 

All involved earned the Unit Citation Award.

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Veterans Day Ceremony to be held in Danbury

The annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the Danbury War Memorial begins at 11am.  This is hosted by the Danbury Veterans council and organized by the Disabled Americans Post in Danbury.  Veterans Day is commemorated on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to mark the original armistice of World War One.

 

City Council Minority Leader Tom Saadi, a member of the Army Reserves , says Danbury has a great tradition of supporting veterans and current service members.

 

The ceremony will recognize the service of everyone who has worn the uniform of the United States.  There is no keynote speaker.  Saadi says their intent is to honor both the living and the deceased, those lost during war and those lost during peacetime, and wounded warriors who carry scars of war physically and those with wounds that can't be seen.

 

Saadi says after more than a decade of constant war, sometimes people can get complacent and forget the sacrifices that veterans have made.  Today is about that remembrance across all branches and across the centuries.

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UPDATED: Foul play eyed in death of millionaire's 83-year-old wife

Police say they suspect foul play in the death of the 83-year-old wife of a millionaire McDonald's franchisee found dead at their New York hilltop estate.

New York State Police say Lois Colley was found dead Monday in her home in North Salem, in Westchester County. They believe she was the victim of a homicide.

The Journal News reports that Colley's husband, Eugene, is known for his empire of roughly 100 McDonald's restaurants.

 

Police say Colley died from blunt force trauma.  She was last heard from at 3pm yesterday.  Her body was found in the laundry room next to the garage after state police called to the residence.  Police say there were no signs of forced entry. 

 

Police have contacted her husband, Eugene Colley, and do not consider him a suspect.  A caretaker who called police from the house is also not considered a suspect. 

 

(Photo: New York State Police)

 

A small fire extinguisher was taken from the house, but police say nothing else appeared to be missing.

 

State Police are asking residents to remain vigilant and alert.  Anyone with information is being asked to contact the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation 24 hour hotline (914) 769-2600.

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Apparent homicide in North Salem under investigation

The New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the suspicious death of 83-year-old Lois Colley of North Salem, New York.

 

On Monday, Colley was found dead at her Titicus Road home, and is the apparent victim of a homicide.

 

The investigation into Colley’s death remains active and at this time.  Anyone with information is being asked to contact the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation at (914) 277-3177 or 24 hour number (914) 769-2600.

 

State Police are planning an afternoon press conference about the case.

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Uber looking to expand service in Danbury

Uber has been operating in Connecticut since April 2014, connecting drivers with riders through a smart phone app.

 

Connecticut General Manager Matthew Powers says they've seen steady growth in the number of Uber trips happening in Danbury compared to the rest of Connecticut. Since July alone, riders have taken nearly four times the number of trips to or from Danbury, while trips in the rest of the state have doubled.  Ride requests in Danbury have grown nearly two times faster than Connecticut state.

 

As the volume of trips increased, the number of driver-partners who live and drive in Danbury also grew. Median pickup times in Danbury have dropped from nearly 9 minutes in January, down to 5.7 minutes today.

 

Nearly 100 partner-drivers hail from the greater Danbury area.  Uber expects over 50 more partner-drivers will join the Uber platform by the end of the year.

 

Uber held its first-ever driver-partner event on Monday in Danbury for new and current partner-drivers.

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Increased police stats raise questions about crime rate in Danbury

In the monthly report to the Danbury City Council by the Police Department, some irregularities were noticed.  Council Minority Leader Tom Saadi says the calls for service have increased exponentially.  Police Chief Al Baker said the problem is two-fold. 

 

In March 2014, a new computer system was installed that counts calls for service differently than the old system.  Baker says a good example is that under the old system, a lunch break was not considered a call for service.  But it is now.  The department has about  30 to 40 lunch breaks a day, so over the course of a month that can significantly inflate the numbers.

 

Then an outside firm was hired with civilians dispatching, so the calls are being entered at an increased rate.  He says they are likely inflating the "calls for service" numbers because of lack of experience. 

 

As for the number of traffic accidents, March 2014 showed one personal injury accident for the entire month.  Baker says he knows that's not accurate, so there are still some bugs being worked out.  The uniform crime report was reaudited earlier this year because it wasn't accurate either.  Baker says now that is a better indicator of police activity in Danbury. 

 

Because of the newness of IXB dispatchers and their protocol, the City wants everything documented.  Later on, Mayor Mark Boughton says police can start backing off some of those calls.

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New Route 57 bridge in Weston has opened

The new Route 57 bridge in Weston has opened.  State Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redecker was in Weston for the official reopening of the Route 57 bridge over the Saugatuck River.  He touted the accelerated construction method that reduced the cost of the project. 

 

A federal innovation grant was awarded to the DOT for the so-called Bridge in a Backpack technique.  It allows for bridges to be built in weeks instead of months by using fiber reinforced polymer tubes, instead of heavy construction equipment, steel beams or freight trucks. 

 

The composite shell provides a protective barrier that keeps out road salt, chemicals and moisture, which eventually penetrate and degrade conventional bridges.  Precast concrete block retaining walls were utilized at all four corners of the structure to help expedite construction.  Additionally, the Route 57 roadway was widened to accommodate a 12-foot travel lane and 5-foot shoulder/bike lane in each direction.

 

The original bridge was built in 1933 and was classified as structurally deficient.  On average, some 9,100 cars cross the bridge each day.  Construction of the new bridge took 16 weeks.

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Danbury holiday lights to create vintage feel on Main Street with $65k purchase

The Danbury City Council has authorized spending $65,000 from the contingency account to purchase new Christmas lights for City Center.  The goal is to emulate how Main Street was decorated in the 1950s with lights strung from buildings on one side, across to the other. 

 

Main Street circa 1948 from Wooster Square looking towards St. Peters Church

(Photo: Danbury Museum and Historical Society)

 

The lights will be strung starting at the intersection of White Street and Main Street going down to Main and Bank Street.  There would be eight strands, 200 feet from each other.

 

Mayor Mark Boughton says the LED lights will save the City money because they will be on a timer system.  Right now there is no timer for the lights near the Library.  They will be commercial grade lights with a useful life of 15 years.

 

Boughton says this idea was discussed five or six years ago, but the quote was $400,000. 

 

He commended new City Center Director PJ Prunty for talking with building owners, getting their permission and finding out that there already are cables strung from most of them.  Prunty also talked with electrician about how to power this and where can electricity be drawn from.

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Rt 35 bridge replacement to cause traffic again next week

A construction project in Ridgefield is moving along, but creating some big tie ups.  There is alternating one-way traffic on Route 35 again Monday between 9 am and 3 pm from the Fox Hill Condo entrance to the Parks and Rec Center entrance.  The state Department of Transportation is asking that drivers plan ahead and consider alternate routes.  A temporary roadway and bridge is being constructed as the first phase of a bridge replacement project.  The temporary bridge will then allow traffic to continue to move in both directions during the two year, second phase of the project to replace the existing superstructure.

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New leadership poised to take over in Brookfield

On December 6th, Brookfield's new First Selectman will be sworn in to office.  Democrat Steve Dunn says he's looking forward to getting down to business on December 7th.  Dunn will spend the next few weeks working with Republican Bill Tinsley, who he defeated Tuesday, to make sure there's a smooth transition.  He says he will then hit the ground running.

 

Dunn says there are a number of issues that likely led to a change in leadership.  One was the development of the Four Corners, the schools and the direction they're taking, along with contentious issues surrounding the A Brookfield Party.

 

Dunn says no one wants a tax increase. But he says the more important question is whether the services being offered are the services residents need, at a level that meets their needs for a reasonable price. He says he wants to deliver well thought out, zero-base budgets.

 

Dunn says the development of the Four Corners area has gone off the tracks. He says the town has worked hard over the past decade to develop a plan of development, talking about a new vibrant town center area. He says despite the plan, there is only multi-family housing going up. He wants to see restaurants and shops being developed in the area. About three months ago, he says the Zoning Commission asked to put a moratorium in place on multi-family housing.

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Revolutionary War re-enactors at Putnam Memorial State Park Saturday

Revolutionary War re-enactors will be at Putnam Memorial State Park on Saturday from 10am to 4pm to celebrate the 237th Anniversary of the Revolutionary War encampments in Redding. 

 

Re-enactors will recreate army life during the nation's fight for independence.  There will be artillery and drill demonstrations, battlefield skirmish, colonial craftsmen, kids drill instruction, army camp life talks, and a Soldiers of Putnam Park Program.  Hands-on activities will take place all day. 

 

Putnam Memorial State Park is located on the site of the Winter Encampment of General Israel Putnam's Continental troops from December 1778 through May 1779, the park is dedicated to the role they played in the Revolutionary War in helping secure America's independence.  The encampment was set up to prevent the British from coming from the coast, as they had the year before and burned Danbury.  The British then escaped through Ridgefield.  This way, soldiers would be readily available in case the British decided to do a sneak attack in the winter.

 

Suggested donations are requested to support educational programming at the park.  $5 Adults, $2 Children under 12. 

 

The Park is located at the intersection of Route 107 and 58. 

 

The event is sponsored by the Friends and Neighbors of Putnam Park and organized by the Brigade of the American Revolution.  The Brigade of the American Revolution is a non-profit living history association dedicated to recreating the life and times of the common soldier of the American War for Independence, 1775-1783.  Members represent elements of all the armies then involved:  Continental, Militia, British, Loyalist, German, French, Spanish, and Native American forces plus civilian men, women, and children.

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Connecticut municipal election voter turnout average 32.7 percent

Turnout for municipal elections in Connecticut continues to be low, with 32.7 percent of registered voters going to the polls earlier this week.  In the Greater Danbury area, New Milford had a 43.9 percent voter turnout, which was unexpected as four polling locations ran out of ballots and they had to be photocopied and then hand counted. 

 

Sherman had little more than half of all registered voters participating.  In Oxford it was 48.3, Weston 45.8, Redding 39.9, and Bethel 38.9. 

 

In Kent and Newtown where the top of the ticket was unopposed, there was a less than 30-percent turnout.

 

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill called it "paradoxical" that local elections, which have a strong and direct effect on people's everyday lives, would bring out fewer voters than state and presidential elections.

 

All but four Connecticut communities held local elections on Tuesday.

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Medical examiner: Connecticut couple died of gunshot wounds

FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) Medical examiners say a Connecticut couple found dead last week after having been missing for three months died from gunshot wounds.

The Chief Medical Examiner's Office says Jeanette Navin was shot in her ``torso and extremities'' and Jeffrey Navin was shot in his ``trunk.'' The agency didn't elaborate.

The Easton couple disappeared Aug. 4 and their bodies were found Oct. 29 behind a vacant home in neighboring Weston.

Police charged their son, Kyle Navin, with murder and his girlfriend, Jennifer Valiante, with conspiracy to commit murder. Navin's lawyer declined to comment on the charges and Valiante denies any involvement in the killings.

Authorities say Jeanette Navin was upset about her son's drug use and behavior, and the couple was planning to cut their son out of their will.

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Newtown Police Commission names next Chief

The Newtown Police Commission has named a successor for Police Chief Michael Kehoe, who is retiring in January.  Former Newtown Police Commission member, current Middlebury Police Chief James Viadero has been appointed to the position.  Viadero lives in Sandy Hook.  The 56-year old served on the police commission until he announced last year that he would be taking the Chief position in Middlebury.  He had worked for the Bridgeport Police Department for nearly 3 decades at that time.  Kehoe, who is 60 years old, has been a member of the Newtown Police Department for more than 35 years.  10 applicants were vying for the post.

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Danbury ranked number 2 nationally as the best city to live

To determine America’s best cities to live in, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on the 550 U.S. cities with populations of 65,000 or more as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. Based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, educational attainment, and housing affordability, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s 50 Best Cities to Live.

 

Air quality and weather were also taken into account. Rather than penalizing cities in New England for having colder than average winters, 24/7 Wall St. compared each city’s temperature to seasonal averages within its own Census region.  Average monthly rainfall was also taken into account.

 

Access to quality hospitals may be another reason Americans live in the places they do. From the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), 24/7 Wall St. calculated 30-day risk-adjusted mortality rates of heart attacks, COPD, heart failure, pneumonia, and stroke.

 

Of the 50 best cities to live, 41 have unemployment rates below the national rate, and all but five have had faster recent job growth than the national job growth rate. Incomes in these cities, when adjusted for cost of living, exceed the national household income of $53,657 in the vast majority of cases.

 

The affordability of housing was another key measure in our assessment of U.S. cities. The median home value in all but nine of the 50 cities exceeds the value of a typical American home of $181,200.

 

The leisure category can be broken into two parts — activities that take place in the city and outside it. Within a city, residents may take advantage of restaurants and bars, libraries and archives, theater companies, fitness and recreational sports centers, museums, movie theaters, hotels, or support amateur and professional sports teams. To engage in other pastimes — skiing, for example — residents likely have to leave city limits. 24/7 Wall St. included in this index the number of zoos, nature parks, ski resorts, and golf courses in the county surrounding the city.  All data in this category were aggregated to the city level from 2013 Zip Code Business Patterns, a program maintained by the Census and adjusted for the city’s 2014 population.

 

Danbury

> Population: 83,795
> Median home value: $283,400
> Poverty rate: 11.5%
> Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 33.3%
> Amenities per 100,000 residents: 260.2

 

"The best places to live are not necessarily affordable. Danbury, the best U.S. city to live in after only Meridian Idaho, is in Fairfield County, Connecticut, one of the most expensive areas in the nation. The cost of living in the area is nearly 31% higher than the national average cost of living. Housing expenses, in particular, are very high, costing 58% more than the nationwide average cost. Households in the city, with an annual median income of $69,394, are slightly less wealthy than households across the state. A typical home in Danbury is valued at $283,400, slightly higher than Connecticut’s median home value of $267,200.

 

For many Danbury residents, however, the high standard of living may be worth the high cost. Leisure activities are easy to come by in the area. There are around 10 nature parks and 57 marinas per 100,000 area residents, each some of the highest concentrations of such amenities nationwide."

 

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Candlewood Lake Authority reminding residents not to dump leaves in lake

If a lot of leaves get into Candlewood Lake, officials say they will decompose and can rob the water of vital oxygen.  The decomposing leaves can also contribute nutrients to things such as algae blooms.  In an effort to prevent that, the Candlewood Lake Authority is reminding residents not to dump or blow leaves into the lake. 

 

The CLA says most shoreline homeowners are responsible.  CLA is also asking resident who have a lawn service, to notify them to not rake or blow leaves into the water.

 

They haven't seen any large algae blooms so far this fall like were seen a couple of years ago.  But the CLA says it is weather dependant and that could change.  There has been spotty incidents reported by residents, but no widespread reports of algae blooms.

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Election Night Greater Danbury wrap up

New Milford had a significantly higher than expected voter turnout and four polling locations ran out of ballots.  They had to be photocopied and then counted by hand.  Both candidates declined to comment until all of the ballots have been counted.

 

The leader of Brookfield has changed parties.  Democratic challenger Steve Dunn has defeated Republican incumbent Bill Tinsley.  Dunn won by about double the amount of votes, compared to Tinsley. 

 

Southbury has also changed hands.  Democratic incumbent Ed Edelson lost to Republican Jeff Manville.

 

In Danbury, mostly incumbents won their seats back.  The Town Clerk position however changed from Democrat Joan Bielizna to Republican Jan Giegler.

 

The Ridgefield Selectman race was too close to call as of midnight with less than two dozen votes separating Democrat Barbara Manners and Republican Andy Bodner.  Both are incumbents.  Steve Zemo, Maureen Kozlark and Bob Hebert round out the Board, along with First Selectman Rudy Marconi.

 

Bethel, New Fairfield, Redding and Sherman First Selectmen won reelection.

 

Kent, Easton, and Newtown leaders were unchallenged for more terms.

 

Click here for vote totals.

 

Complete results from several towns can be found here.

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Bethel, Easton, Newtown, Redding complete election results

Easton results can be found online.

Official results from Redding have been posted on the town's website.

There were some close races in NewtownA recount for District 2 will be lend Thursday, Nov. 5th at 9:00am at Town Hall South, 3 Main Street behind Police station.  This is open to the public.

BETHEL MUNICIPAL ELECTION – NOVEMBER 3, 2015

First Selectman

Matt Knickerbocker D 2327

Selectmen

Richard Straiton D 2183

Paul Szatkowski R 2066

Town Treasurer

Dan O’Grady R 2471

Board of Finance

Brian Terzian I 2206

Cynthia McCorkindale I 2122

Pat Smithwick D 2070

Board of Education

S. Lawrence Craybas R 2479

Scott Clayton R 2392

Kristen Lacy I 2330

Courtney Martin R 2256

Robin Renner D 1957

Board of Assessment Appeals

Linda Curtis R 2324

Alfred Bernard R 2005

Diana Caruno D 1792

Planning and Zoning Commission

Robert Legnard R 2466

John Lennon R 2335

Earle Finch I 2095

Richard Tibbits D 1910

Planning and Zoning Alt

Kenneth Parsons R 2053

Lou Valenti D 2040

Inland Wetlands

Don Goodrich D 2215

Patrick Perrefort D 2145

Inland Wetlands Alt

Louis David D 1784

Christopher Nazro R 2051

Zoning Board of Appeals

John Kelly R 2141

Melanie Ryan I 2119

Zoning Board of Appeals Alt

Sue Dolan R 2338

Susan Catino I 1971

Police Commission (4 Year)

Amy Mannion D 2074

Michael Duff R 1998

Police Commission (2 Year)

Richard Barton Sr. R 2056

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Election Night Greater Danbury 2015 results

Election Night Greater Danbury 2015

BOLD = winner

* = incumbent

Vote tallies unofficial until certified by the Secretary of the State

 

 

TOWN/OFFICE CANDIDATE/PARTY TOTAL
Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker* (D) 2327
  Will Duff (R) 2002
     
Brookfield First Selectman Bill Tinsley* (R) 1675
  Steve Dunn (D) 3249
     
Easton First Selectman Adam Dunsby* (R) 842
     
Kent First Selectman Bruce Adams* (D)  
     
Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra* (R)  
     
New Fairfield First Selectman Susan Chapman* (R) 1929
  Theda Lambert (D) 1169
     
New Milford Mayor Pat Murphy* (R) 2986
  David Gronbach (D) 3490
  Chief Iron Wolf (write in) 14
     
Redding First Selectman Julia Pemberton* (D) 1648
  Eric Witt (R) 1059
     
Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi* (D)  
     
Sherman First Selectman Clay Cope* (R) 706
  Don Lowe (D) 621
     
Southbury First Selectman Ed Edelson* (D) 2313
  Jeff Manville (R) 3234
     
Wilton First Selectman Deborah McFadden (D) 1384
  Lynne Vanderslice (R) 2937
     
 Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (R) 6656
     
Danbury Treasurer Daniel Jowdy (R) 6524
     
Danbury Town Clerk Janice Giegler (R) 4733
  Joan Bielizna* (D) 3292
     
Danbury City Council at Large Christina Chieffalo* (R) 4612
Elect 7 Philip Curran* (R) 4521
  Michael Esposito (R) 4604
  Jack Knapp* (R) 4396
  Warren Levy* (R) 4454
  Gregg Seabury* (R) 4456
  Andrew Wetmore* (R) 4400
  Al Almeida (D) 3134
  Andrea Gartner (D) 3325
  Paul McAllister (D) 3186
  Gregg Williams (D) 2891
  James Hughes (D) 2738
  Abu Helalul Karim (D) 2650
  Sherri Neptune (D) 2902
     
Danbury Ward 1 (Elect 2) Irving Fox* (R) 924
  John Priola* (R) 948
  Dennis Perkins (D) 604
  Daniel Iskandar (D) 479
     
Danbury Ward 2 (Elect 2) Vinny DiGilio* (R) 689
  Elmer Palma* (R) 786
  Ashley Ward (D) 496
  Robert Karrat (D) 372
     
Danbury Ward 3 (Elect 2) Chris Arconti* (R) 1229
  Joe Cavo* (R) 1185
     
Danbury Ward 4 (Elect 2) Matthew Kennedy (R) 224
  Mary Maroto (R) 248
  Thomas Saadi* (D) 634
  John Esposito (D) 578
     
Danbury Ward 5 (Elect 2) Geoffrey Herald (R) 342
  Clifton Kowicz (R) 349
  Duane Perkins* (D) 551
  Fred Visconti* (D) 547
     
Danbury Ward 6 (Elect 2) Theresa Keeler (R) 416
  Michael Negron (R) 424
  Paul Rotello* (D) 586
  Ben Chianese* (D) 575
     
Danbury Ward 7 (Elect 2) Nancy Cammisa* (R) 502
  Joe Scozzafava* (R) 558
  Theresa Buzaid (D) 471
  Richard Molinaro (D) 449
     
Danbury Board of Education (6) Annrose Fluskey-Lattin* (R) 4015
  Richard Hawley* (R) 4840
  Patrick Johnston (R) 4844
  David Metrena* (R) 4640
  Emanuela Palmares (R) 4309
  Daniel Rosemark (R) 4632
  Gladys Cooper* (D) 3962
  Frederick Karrat (D) 3412
  Holly Robinson (D) 3925
     
Danbury Zoning Commission (9) Milan David (R) 4943
  Sally Estefan* (R) 5224
  Jeffrey Giegler (R) 5143
 

Kevin Haas (R)

4255
  Alan Kovacs (R) 4289
  Robert Laber* (R) 4655
  Robert Melillo* (R) 4620
  Alexander Rodriguez (R) 4851
  Annette Zatkovich* (R) 4961
  Theodore Haddad Jr.* (D) 3947
  Richard Jowdy* (D) 4324
  James Kelly* (D) 3432
     
Danbury Zoning Alternate (3) Mary Cronin (R) 5466
  John Herlihy Jr (R) 4891
  Luis Bautista (R) 4153
  Candace Fay (D) 3713
     
Danbury Constable (5) Michael Halas (R) 4636
  Louise McMahon (R) 4139
  Michael Safranek (R) 3842
  Francis Kieras* (D) 3106
  Emil (Butch) Coladarci* (D) 2984
  Henry Hall (D) 2861
     

 

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Newtown First Selectman to serve 4th term in office

Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra will be serving a fourth term in office.  She says there is some unfinished business and new challenges that she wants to accomplish.  She feels accountable and responsible for some of the things already in the pipeline and right on the horizon.  She wants to move the agenda further before retiring.  Llodra says the Sandy Hook School project looms large.   Construction is on track to be completed in May.  There will then be a transition for faculty and students before the opening in the fall of 2016. 

 

Llodra says having the building in a state of readiness and helping transition to the facility is still emotional and challenging.  She says residents are reminded of the hurt all the time, and the town continues to struggle to get to a place where there can be a celebration of a new building and the opportunity for youngsters to learn in a wonderful new environment.  She says it has to be about all of the children yet to come, and to have a place of learning that’s joyful, purposeful, productive and positive.   She wants to see that project to fruition.

 

There is also the challenge of the Community Center.  Newtown received a generous donation from GE of $15 million.  $10 million is to build the center and $5 million is to be used over five years for its operation.  She says they’ve struggled to find what the concept should be.  They need to figure out what it will house, what the key feature will be.  Suggestions have ranged from a senior center or art center to an aquatic center or an ice rink.  How to make the gift serve the community at the highest and best level while also honoring the intent of the donor is going to be a challenge.  The Community Center Commission that’s currently working on the plan is the town’s second go around.  They are not at the decision making process yet.

 

Llodra says the sewer installation in Hawleyville is another area she would like to see through to completion.  She says that will help to continue to grow the Grand List in a way that makes sense for the community, consistent with Newtown’s core values and culture.  She wants to support development that helps mitigate taxes by generating revenue, but in a way that is in alignment with how Newtown residents see the community developing.

 

Llodra says the current senior center facility is inadequate for the growing number of seniors in Newtown.  She wants to keep that conversation on the forefront.  Llodra says the current police station needs to be either significantly remodeled, or an entirely new facility.  Added to that is the question of declining school enrollment will face the Board of Education.  Their decision may influence the kind of municipal facilities plan.  She wants to keep that conversation on the forefront, but in a respectful and positive way. 

 

Llodra says there are a lot of issues that weigh largely on her right now.  She wants to make the town a little more stable before there is a leadership transition to someone else.  She wants to give a new administration a chance to have a leg up without being handed a long list of challenges. 

 

The Fairfield Hills property has been a challenge for years.  There has been incremental progress recently, but Llodra says it’s such a resource drain.  10 large buildings need to be demolished or repurposed.  Additional money is in the Capital Improvement Plan for future work.  Llodra says a large building will be taken down this winter or spring to start to clear more of the landscape to make it more desirable for investing in new development.  This year, a duplex is being repurposed as a home for the Newtown Parent Connection.  The longtime 501c3 works with families who are struggling with substance issues.  She says they’re hoping to do more of that type of work in the duplex are.  There are five duplexes.  The Fairfield Hills property will be a many decades long challenge.  She called it worthwhile with a vast potential.  Llodra says the property will be the jewel of Newtown, but it will take many millions of dollars to achieve that good end.

 

The recession has been very deep in Connecticut and the state is struggling to come out of the economic decline.  Llodra says there is more money in the pipeline for development, with banks and developers having more confidence in the future.  She says there are many projects coming before the Planning and Zoning Commission. 

 

One challenge will be how to use the land in Newtown.  With a demographical and cultural shift, there’s less interest in large homes on multiple acres.  Llodra says the millennial generation sees value in smaller housing structures, a more urban-centric cluster housing.   Llodra says there is also a need for more affordable housing as long as it meets the cultural standards of Newtown.  She says a diverse stock of housing is needed for young people just starting out, and also those who want to downsize.  She says there is a moral, ethical and social understanding that having a diverse population is a benefit to a community so people all along the economic and age scale need to be welcomed to Newtown.

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Ridgefield First Selectman to lead the town for another term

Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi is running unopposed for another term leading the town.

 

The state Department of Transportation is putting together a realignment of Main Street, it's a $6 million project.  Marconi says that's something that needs to get that going in the coming years.  He and others are working with merchants, landlords and residents to make sure that it's a smooth project.

 

Marconi says the town is about to release a new townwide survey to hear from not only people who live and shop in town, but those who work in town.  He wants their thoughts about traffic flow, shopping, what they feel should be changed, parking and other topics.  He wants input so that the Boards and Commissions have guidance on the future of Ridgefield.

 

Marconi wants to look at the Transit Oriented Development that's already being studied for the Branchville section of town.  Marconi says Branchville can be the jewel in the crown of Ridgefield.  He says the opportunity there is extensive.  He thanked the state for a $250,000 TOD grant.  The economic development of the town's future could lie in Branchville.  All of the Board of Selectmen candidates have talked about economic development, but few if any focused Branchville and he feels it's his job to keep that on the front burner.  He wants to ensure that it's seen as an economic engine for the town.

 

Marconi says he looks forward to hearing from the 9-member committee studying what to do with the town-owned Schlumberger property.  A survey was recently completed by town residents with their thoughts on how to develop that site.  5 acres were sold on Old Quarry Road to Steve Zemo.  10 acres were sold to Charter Homes.  About $5.5 million was recovered.  The town paid $7 million overall.  There are 30 acres remaining.  Converting the Philip Johnson building to be a Maurice Sendak Museum is a possibility.

 

Marconi says those are just the beginning of the many things that need to be focused on over the next four years.  Marconi says the plate is full, there's plenty of work to do and he is looking forward to serving the community for the next four years.

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Danbury Mayor to serve 8th term in office

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton will serve an eighth term in office.  He says there are four main areas he wants to work on in the new term. 

 

One is rebuilding the City's infrastructure: the roads, bridges and buildings to ensure they are prepared to serve residents for the next decade.  He says the City is also engaged in a big expansion of Danbury High School.  That's taken a lot of time, in order to create a building that all residents can be proud of. 

 

Boughton says he also wants to continue to manage taxes.  He wants there to be a good value for the investment.  He says he's mindful of the dollar, and maximizing every dollar that comes into the City.

 

Finally, he wants to continue with the Main Street Revitalization Plan.  He thinks the plans getting underway will help better manage the homeless population.  New projects are being built all along the Main Street corridor.

 

Boughton says it's a good time on Main Street, with retailers and wholesalers looking to locate there.  He says it's been helped in part by the investment by Grey Star Development, which is building the Kennedy Flats housing development on the north end of the street.  Naugatuck Valley Community College is also expanding in CityCenter.  But Boughton says there is more work to be done.  He wants to unveil some more plans in the coming months of what needs to be done in the revitalization effort.

 

Boughton touted a number of new initiatives getting underway with new noise ordinances being proposed.  The Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team is looking into blight, litter control, and illegal apartments with too many people living in them.  Based on feedback from residents, those efforts could be stepped up soon.

 

Boughton says he's probably had more positive feedback about brining back the Danbury Fair than any other proposal he's made with much more substance.  He wants to figure out a way to bring back an annual event that is similar to the Fair.  But he says there would have to be buy-in from the community, because if it's done right there will be a lot of traffic and a significant amount of logistical things to overcome.  If the City can figure all of that out, and a location, it could be a big economic driver for businesses.

 

Protecting the water quality in Candlewood Lake is also on Boughton's agenda.  Sterile grass carp were introduced into the lake this year to help reduce the invasive Eurasian Milfoil.  Boughton says another piece of that is to work with the other towns surrounding the lake, the Lake Authority and First Light to manage the money that's budgeted for lake protection and investing in areas that will protect water quality.  Boughton says zoning regulations may need to be changed to help protect the water quality.

 

Boughton says the taxpayers have put up everything they can to handle the increased enrollment in the schools.  A major expansion of the elementary schools has been completed, there's a new middle school open and the high school project is moving forward.  He says more than 200 new students enrolled in the schools this fall, twice what demographers predicted.  It's been about a 1% growth per year.  

 

The City is in the process of going out to bid to look at ACE, the Alternative Center for Excellence.  He says it's a  unique and historic building that's not easily modified.  He says the City needs to find room for an additional 25 kids in the program, bringing the enrollment up to about 125.  He called that the ideal enrollment for ACE.  He says the City is looking at what space is available and how it can be better managed.

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Son charged with killing parents, who planned to cut him off

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) -- The son of a Connecticut couple who planned to cut him out of their will was charged with two counts of murder on Tuesday, days after their remains were found.

 

Jeanette and Jeffrey Navin of Easton went missing in August. Their remains were found last Thursday outside a vacant house in neighboring Weston.

 

Their 27-year-old son, Kyle Navin, already was in federal custody on a weapons charge, stemming from a search of his Bridgeport home during the investigation into his parents' disappearance.

 

Trooper Kelly Grant, a state police spokeswoman, said Navin was brought to a state police barracks in Bridgeport on Tuesday and formally charged with murder. He was expected to appear in court later Tuesday or Wednesday.

 

A message seeking comment was left with Navin's attorney, Eugene Riccio.

 

Navin's girlfriend, 31-year old Jennifer Valiante of Westport, was in court Monday. She is charged with conspiring to kill Navin's parents and hindering prosecution.

 

Court documents in that case indicate that Navin's mother had told a friend that she and her husband planned to sell their trash-hauling business and cut their son out of their will.

 

Jaenette Navin was upset about her son's behavior and drug use, and his failure to pay the mortgage and taxes on the home they bought him, according to the arrest warrant for Valiante.

 

During the September search of Kyle Navin's home, Jeffrey Navin's blood was found near where police discovered an 11-by-7 piece of carpet missing from the basement floor, according to court documents.

 

A tiny amount of Jeanette Navin's blood was found in her son's truck near a bullet hole in the passenger-side seat belt, according to the affidavit.

 

The month before his parents disappeared, Kyle Navin texted Valiante saying he had the "perfect plan" to get "$ for life," according to the warrant. Navin wrote that the plan would "solve every single problem and give us a wealthy amazing life."

 

Navin and Valiante talked about what they would do with the money, police said. Valiante texted, "That'll allow us to stay in our house and pay for a full top-line remodel and a new garage," according to the warrant.

 

Valiante's attorney, Elliot Warren, said the texts have been "taken out of context," and Valiante would deny talking with or texting to Kyle Navin about killing his parents and taking their money.

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Town Clerk race tops the ballot in Danbury with Mayor, Treasurer unopposed

The highest contested race in Danbury is the position of Town Clerk.  Democratic incumbent Joan Bielizna was appointed to the position in April and is seeking a term of her own.  Danbury Republican State Representative Jan Giegler is looking to unseat her.  Giegler was asked if elected, would she fulfil both the state and local position.  She says she would. 

 

Danbury Democratic Town Committee chairman Joe Walkovich says with the state's fiscal crisis there will likely be a special session of the General Assembly, taking time away from the position of Town Clerk.  He says historically, Danbury has had a full-time Town Clerk.  Walkovich says being able to fulfill both positions is being naive about the amount of work the Town Clerk does.

 

Danbury Republican Town Committee chairman Mike Safranek says the state work wouldn't inhibit her from doing the job of Town Clerk.  Safranek says state law allows this to take place. He cited Brookfield's former Treasurer and State Representative being David Scribner.  Safranek says it would be a day here and a day there, the equivalent of someone taking vacation time off.

 

Danbury's Mayor and Treasurer are running unopposed.

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Sample ballots for Greater Danbury area towns posted

Several Greater Danbury area officials are running unopposed for a new term in office.  Municipal Board and Commission members are up for election Tuesday.  In Danbury and Newtown, there are different ballots for each Ward or District because residents are electing City Council and Legislative Council members respectively.  Several town ballots are two sided.

 

Sample Ballots can be found by clicking on each of the municipalities names:

 

Bethel

 

Brookfield

 

Danbury

 

Easton

 

Kent

 

Monroe

 

Newtown

 

New Fairfield

 

New Milford

 

Redding

 

Ridgefield


Sherman

 

Southbury

 

Washington

 

Weston

 

Wilton

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Greater Danbury residents to vote Tuesday in municipal elections

Seven-term Republican Mayor Mark Boughton will be serving an eight term in office, he is running unopposed.  Treasurer Dan Jowdy is also running unopposed.  There is a contested race for Town Clerk.  40 people are vying for 21 spots on the City Council.

 

In Bethel, the November municipal election features a rematch of the 2013 First Selectman race.  Democratic incumbent Matt Knickerbocker was first elected in 2009.  Will Duff won the Republican primary to challenge him Tuesday.

 

Brookfield Republican First Selectman Bill Tinsley is looking for a second term in office.  Democrats nominated Steve Dunn to challenge him.  There were some heated exchanges between the pair during a debate at the end of October.

 

Easton Republican First Selectman Adam Dunsby is running unopposed.

 

Kent Democratic First Selectman Bruce Adams is running unopposed.

 

Three-term incumbent Republican First Selectman Pat Llodra is running unopposed for another term leading Newtown.

 

New Fairfield First Selectman Susan Chapman, a Republican, is seeking reelection to a second term.  Democrat Theda Lambert, a political newcomer and an attorney by trade, is challenging her.

 

A political newcomer is looking to unseat the six-term incumbent Mayor in New Milford.  Republican Pat Murphy is seeking a seventh term in office.  Democrat David Gronbach, an attorney, is challenging her.  There is also an officially registered write in candidate for Mayor.  Votes written on the ballot for Chief Iron Wolf, formerly Wilfred Megin, will be counted.

 

The candidates for Redding First Selectman have voiced their opinions in two different debates heading into the November election.  Democratic incumbent Julia Pemberton is seeking a second term.  Republican Eric Witt was nominated as the party's challenger.

 

Ridgefield Democratic First Selectman Rudy Marconi is running unopposed.

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Online resource for polling locations

Election Day is Tuesday.  If people took advantage of same-day registration last year, and now need to know where their polling place is, Secretary of the State spokesman Av Harris explains how to find out.  All of the details are online, at myvote.ct.gov.  Harris says the site will also let you know if you're registered to vote.  Municipal officials are being elected Tuesday from 6am to 8pm.

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Danbury Town Clerk candidates speak out about demands of job

Democratic incumbent Town Clerk Joan Bielizna was appointed in April when then-Town Clerk Lori Kaback left for the same position in Wilton.  She is seeking election to a term of her own.  Danbury Republican State Representative Jan Giegler says she decided to run for the office of Danbury Town Clerk because she wanted to expand her public service. 

 

It's a very diverse position, dealing with vital statistics, land records, elections and licensing.  It's one of the busiest offices in City Hall.

 

Bielizna says she has always considered working for the City an honor and a privilege.  Her father was a Judge of Probate for 20 years in Danbury.  She worked in the Probate Court when she was in high school and college.  Bielizna says she understands the Town Clerk function: preserving the history of Danbury.  The Town Clerk keeps land records along with birth, marriage and death certificates.  She says it's a living history, a responsibility that she takes personally and seriously. 

 

Giegler says it's an office that was run extremely well by Kaback, and she wouldn't make changes.  Giegler says she wants to spend the time to see how it's run and to learn. 

 

The legislature works on a two year term and the first session is a long one, with a short session running from February to May in the second year.  Giegler notes that it is a part-time position and felt this would be a good time to transition to city work.  She will complete her term, wrapping up 14 years in the General Assembly.  Danbury City Hall is only open four days a week, and Giegler says she only expects state committee work for the first two months of the session. 

 

Bielizna says she knew what the position required before being appointed.  As a realtor, she was constantly in and out of the office looking at land records.  She credited the staff for doing an incredible job at working together, especially since they are short staffed.  She says what they've been able to accomplish now that things are computerized, including generating all kinds of reports, is great. 

 

Giegler feels that her private sector administrative experience and her many years in General Assembly make her uniquely qualified to meet the demands of the position.  She touted her organization  and leadership skills, job committment and working hard.  She called it a fast-paced office and demanding environment that needs all of those qualifications.  Some of the committees she has been a member of in the General Assembly did statutes and regulations for the office of Town Clerk.

 

Bielizna was able to secure grant funding to continue the back file conversion and upgrade the storage system.  All of the City's land records are being made electronic so there is no more wear and tear on the books.  For example, every time someone needs a deed, the pages currently have to be removed to be photocopied.  All land records will then be able to be printed from a computer.

 

Bielizna says there are over 400,000 pages in the back file.  Her office also licensed over 1,800 dogs this year.  The office is also charged by the State of Connecticut by filing all documents related to the elections and candidates.

 

Bielizna says she continues to look for ways to streamline operations. 

 

Giegler says while it's an elected position, and that person has to follow the City Charter and state statutes, it shouldn't bear political influence.

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