Listeners Club

Forgot Password

Not a Member? Sign up here!


Local Headlines Archives for 2016-02

Brookfield officials headed to Hartford in support of affordable housing law changes

A public hearing is being held in Hartford Tuesday about proposed modifications to the 8-30g affordable housing statutes. 


Brookfield First Selectman Steve Dunn says the 6-story Renaissance development proposal doesn't fit with the character of Brookfield and it doesn't fit with the plan of development for the Four Corners.


Dunn says they are applying for a moratorium on affordable housing.  He notes that an application started 20 years ago allowing the town to have some control over these types of buildings was never finished and should have been.  He says they are working to finish that now.  Dunn adds that the town wants to building, but that developers have to work with the town to build structures that residents will be proud of.


Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Andrew Ellis says the proposed development would put his members at risks they're not trained for.  Last year, the volunteer department responded to over 700 fire incidents. 


He says this proposed development will tax their resources and could put them out of business.  Ellis says he's going to have a hard time asking his members to train to hang off a rope on the side of 6-story building in an emergency, all for no pay.  Ellis says the Department is very good and the members are brave, but that's asking a bit much.


Ellis says the Volunteer Fire Department is not equipped or trained for this type of development.


Residents who can't make it to the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Tuesday for the 1pm hearing can submit written testimony to the Housing Committee.  The comments can be sent via the email address for the committee.

Conn. considers bill streamlining food truck vendor licensing

A local lawmaker has testified in support of a bill streamlining the licensing for food truck vendors.  At a public hearing of the legislature’s Public Health Committee, Monroe Representative JP Sredzinski testified about a bill which seeks to reduce the burden of obtaining multiple licenses for those operating food trucks in several municipalities.  If approved, the Department of Public Health would have to develop a process for vendors to obtain a single license instead of securing multiple authorizations and paying multiple fees.  Sredzinski called it a straightforward bill that encourages cooperation between local health officials and food vendors.

Local legislator offers professional opinion on 911 access bill proposal

A local lawmaker has testified in support of a bill clarifying how to access 911 services.  The legislature’s Public Health Committee held a hearing on a bill about instructions for multi-line telephone systems.  Many of those systems require users to dial 9 or 8 in order to access an outside line. 


Monroe Representative JP Sredzinski says many people don’t realize that includes 911, especially during a chaotic or emergency situation. 


The proposal would require clear instructions be posted on how to dial an outside line to ensure people can access emergency services in a timely manner. 


Sredzinski is public safety dispatch supervisor and offered his professional opinion on the bill.  He says every second counts when someone is choking, going into labor, witnessing a crime or seeing a fire.  Sredzinski noted that people shouldn’t have to spend valuable time trying to figure out how to reach an outside line.

Danbury state lawmakers hold constituent town hall meeting

State lawmakers representing Danbury in the General Assembly are hosting an update Monday in the City.  Danbury state lawmakers will be at City Hall this evening to provide a State Capitol update.  Senator Mike McLachlan will be joined by Representatives Dan Carter, Jan Giegler, Stephen Harding, and Richard Smith for the event. 


The constituent gathering is from 6:30 to 8pm at City Hall in the 3rd floor Council Chambers. 


One of the big topics likely to be discussed is the projected deficit in Connecticut's main spending account.  Office of Policy and Management spokesman GianCarl Casa said the numbers are going to vary, but everyone should agree this is a new economic reality that requires a bipartisan solution.

Danbury Police doing more with less because of injuries, training for officers

The Danbury Police Department has been doing more with less over the past couple of months.  They have 146 sworn personnel on staff, but their effective strength is lower than that.  Police Chief Al Baker was asked at the last City Council if that is fairly normal year to year.


Baker says November were December were extreme because of the number of injuries and those out for training.  Effective strength was 130 and 125 respectively.  In November, five officers each were out on injury, military leave and for training.  One was on administrative leave.  In December, six officers were out with injuries, five were doing field training, five were at the academy, three were on light duty and one was on military leave. 


Baker says effective strength determined by various leaves and training.  There are four training academies a year and Danbury tries to get five seats in each academy.  The current police officer eligibility list will expire in July, but it will likely be exhausted before then because some candidates have gone on to other careers or to other departments.

Baker says effective strength is about 10 less than authorized strength of 154.


January's effective strength was back to 134.  Six officers were at the academy, four were out with injuries, one out for field training, and one on light duty.

Hearing scheduled in Hartford about changes to 8-30(g) affordable housing laws

A local lawmaker is proposing changes to the state's affordable housing laws in response to a 6-story development being proposed for the town's center.  Brookfield Representative Steve Harding says proposed modifications to the 8-30g statutes will be up for a public hearing before the legislature's Housing Committee on Tuesday.


Harding says this effort is not against affordable housing, but rather against the loopholes 8-30g has provided to developers.  He says they essentially have a license to build whatever they like regardless of local zoning laws and preferences of a town.


If a town currently has less than 10-percent affordable housing, 8-30g laws apply.  The proposal would lower that to a 2-percent thresh hold .  Another proposal would allow towns to carve out a part of their municipality as an exemption.  If a town has made a concerted effort to develop a certain area in a certain manner, that part of town can be exempt from 8-30g housing laws.


First Selectman Steve Dunn says the Renaissance development doesn't fit with the character of Brookfield and it doesn't fit with the plan of development for the Four Corners.  As a resident since 1983, Dunn says he is well aware that the town has been working for decades on creating a town center.  Three story buildings being proposed in the same area, with retail on the first floor, have been received more positively in town.


Dunn says they support affordable housing.  He said this is strictly about the development not fitting with the aesthetics and plan of development.  He called the 254 apartment proposal a monstrosity.


Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Andrew Ellis says the proposed development would put his members at risks they're not trained for.


Residents who can't make it to the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Tuesday for the 1pm hearing can submit written testimony to the Housing Committee.  The comments can be sent via the email address for the committee.

Power remains out, roads blocked because of downed utility wires

Utility crews are working to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses across Connecticut after thunderstorms and strong winds knocked down tree limbs and wires this week.   Eversource officials say power won't be restored to some Connecticut customers until tonight. 


Eversource has 17 additional crews scheduled for Newtown today.  Officials are monitoring the circumstances and aggressively seeking support from Eversource.  There are still more than a dozen roads with either low hanging wires or downed wires and trees blocking the roads.


The Redding Community Center is open as a warming and charging center until 10pm.  Redding officials say Eversource has told them that it could be as late as tomorrow evening before all power is restored. Saturday hours will be determined based on progress of restoration.


(Photo Courtesy: Redding Police, Twitter)


In Ridgefield several roads remain blocked by downed trees and wires.  As of late yesterday afternoon, about 10 roads were completely blocked while several others were partially impassable.  Ridgefield officials urged drivers to exercise caution when out on the roads.  Schools in Ridgefield were closed yesterday and today.

OBIT: Alfred Mann, founder of Mannkind Corp.

The founder of Danbury-based MannKind Corporation has died.  Alfred Mann passed away yesterday at the age of 90.  The LA Times reports that he died in Las Vegas, where the entrepreneur had spent the majority of his time over the past several years.  His cause of death was not reported. 


MannKind announced this month that the founder of the company resigned as Executive Chairman and from the Board of Directors.  MannKind CEO Matthew Pfeffer said that Al founded the company in order to bring his unique flair for medical innovation to the biopharmaceutical space. 


Mann served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, though he didn't see combat duty, and helped improve missle guidance systems technology.

Danbury officials mulling idea of Park Rangers for Rogers Park

Danbury officials are working on several changes to City ordinances in an effort to protect quality of life.  There were a number of issues over the course of the past couple of summers prompting the proposals.  Mayor Mark Boughton and Parks and Rec Director Nick Kaplanis have been talking about the idea of park rangers. 


Boughton says there have been instances where people sign out Rogers Park fields and it ends up that not the right people are on the right fields.  The park rangers would be given a schedule for the day and which fields were signed out. 


He says they could also be noise control officers just for the park  Boughton suggested that they could be retired officers or firefighters. 


Boughton is still working on the budget for the coming fiscal year and doesn't know if the city will have funding available for the part time positions.  But he says it's something he wants considered.

Lawmakers want tougher penalties for school threats

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut lawmakers are resurrecting a bill that would impose tougher criminal penalties against those who threaten schools.

The legislation follows a spate of bomb threats made recently at schools across the state.

Stamford Democratic Rep. William Tong said Thursday that there have been several threats at schools in his city that prompted evacuations. He said threats needlessly cause panic and must be stopped.

Under the bill, those who threaten preschools, schools containing kindergarten through 12th grade or institutions of higher education could face a Class C felony and up to 10 years in prison. Sen. Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown, said the threats have gone beyond childish pranks.


Newtown resident Maureen Reidy stood with the lawmakers.  She said that since the tragedy at Sandy Hook School, St. Rose of Lima has experienced several phoned-in threats both to the church and the school.  She recalled that Police and SWAT teams have rushed the school building yelling at students and staff to get down and that they experience all kinds of anxiety and fear that 12-14 is happening all over again.


Hwang says this is something they can truly all get behind because it's all about the kids.  He notes that these are not threats of the past like when kids pulled the fire alarms or made a crank phone call.  He says these are much more sophisticated, intricate programs with the intent of creating terror and trauma.

A public hearing is planned March 2 in Stamford.

A similar bill died last year in the House of Representatives.

Bill designating Housatonic River as 'wild and scenic' advances to state Senate

The upper part of the Housatonic River could be designated as wild and scenic.  The legislature's Environment Committee has forwarded a bill to the state Senate for consideration.  The Housatonic from the Massachusetts border down to New Milford would gain the designation if approved by the General Assembly and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. 


The bill, introduced by Kent Representative Roberta Willis, says the Northwest Hills Council of Governments will act as the administering agency on behalf of the Housatonic River Commission. 


Among those submitting testimony in favor of Bill 81 was New Milford Mayor David Gronbach.  He says the town is fortunate to have the Housatonic flowing through the heart of the community.  Gronbach notes that it plays a vital role in shaping recreational opportunities, scenic character and river-friendly economic development.


Kent First Selectman Bruce Adams submitted testimony in support of the designation.  He said the designation will protect the river from major projects that might negatively impact the water quality and scenic beauty of the river. 


Officials from North Canaan, Sharon, Cornwall, Salisbury, and Canaan also submitted testimony in support of the bill.


The Connecticut Land Conservation Council also submitted testimony in favor of the bill.  Calling the Housatonic nationally recognized for its outstanding natural, scenic and recreational values, The Council said the designation provides national acknowledgement of the river's unique and important characteristics.  They added that this offers a formal platform to best protect the ecological, historical, cultural and recreational attributes of the river and the region.


Local land use decisions within the designated stretch will continue to be subject to each town's respective land use regulations.  The designation neither prohibits nor gives the federal government control over private property.


The Housatonic River Commission says with the increase in extreme weather events, including an ice dam formed on the Housatonic flooding parts of Kent this month, flooding in river ways has increased, and development along waterways can be particularly problematic.  The Commission said in testimony that they want to be sure to create the guide lines to ensure that when development does happen, it is done wisely and that the designation can be important to ongoing protection of the river.

Newtown lawmakers testify in support of Horse Guard bill

Newtown's state Representatives have testified in favor a bill they say will provide more financial stability to the Second Company Governor's Horse Guard.  JP Sredzinski and Mitch Bolinsky appeared Tuesday before the Veterans' Affairs Committee to talk about House Bill 5358.  The Act Concerning the Leasing of Military Facilities would allow the state's two Horse Guard units to lease surplus stall space and use the revenue to offset costs associated with supporting their own herds. 


Sredzinski said that funding has been a major issue in recent years due to a struggling state economy.  Since many of these stables are left empty, he says it would make make good sense to lease them out to private citizens at a cost which would offset the revenue needed by the Horse Guard. 


(Rep. Sredzinski)


Bolinsky said the bill represents a unique opportunity and is truly revolutionary.  He says this would help the Horse Guards to become self-sustaining and vibrant assets.  He praised retired Major Gordon Johnson and others for advancing the business model. 


If the bill is voted out of committee, it will then be sent to the House and Senate floors where it will need to pass by a majority vote to then travel to Governor Malloy for his signature.

Damaging winds take down trees, utility wires causing power problems

Utility crews continue working to restore power across Connecticut in the wake of the overnight storms and strong winds that brought down power lines and caused other damage. Utilities report more than 78,000 customers in the state without power this morning. There have been no immediate reports of serious injuries in the storms.


Eversource Energy spokesman Mitch Gross says they had more than 11,000 reports of locations with power problems.  Their crews were out last night, continue work today and could be working straight through this evening too. 


As of 8:30am Thursday, Eversource was reporting 3,500 outages in Danbury, 900 each in Newtown and Ridgefield, 625 in Bethel and about 400 outages each in Kent, Monroe, New Milford, Redding and Wilton.  In New Fairfield there are 300 homes without power.  32 percent of the town of Washington is in the dark.  Gross is reminding people to be careful around fallen trees and branches as there can be power wires tangled with them.  Never approach a downed wire as it can be live or may be touching another live wire.


Danbury Police placed stop signs at some intersections in the CityCenter area due to traffic light outages.


Easton Police say there were several major roads closed because of fallen trees and utility lines including Adams Road Northbound on Rt 59 to the intersection with 136.


In Brookfield, Candlewood Lake Road was closed between Pleasant Rise and North Pleasant Rise due to a down tree and power line. 


The Bethel Emergency Management Office finished surveying roads with the Department of Public Works.  They urged drivers to use caution this morning due to small branches/tree limbs in roadways.  Among the problem spots in Bethel are Walnut Hill Road and Routes 58 and 302.


Newtown officials reported a number of road closures at of 8:30am Thursday.  They include Mt. Pleasant Rd – between Old Rd/Diamond Dr., Old Hawleyville Rd, Poverty Hollow/Morris Rd and Head O’ Meadow among others.


Several area police departments are reminding drivers not to cross barricades or yellow caution tapes, as they are there for safety reasons.

Danbury considers 'plainly audible standard' for noise complaints

Danbury is taking several steps in an effort to reduce noise complaints in the City by making current laws more enforceable and adding new laws.  The noise ordinance is being overhauled.  The proposed changes are targeting noise eminating from vehicles whether it's the exhaust system or amplifiers.  Police or a noise control officer will be able to cite people using a so-called "plainly audible standard". 


The biggest change gets rid of the requirement for a noise reader and adopts a standard called plainly audible.  Excessive noise and plainly audible applies to public safety officials being able to hear their emergency radios, the public being able to hear sirens and the like.


Due to unprecedented amount of complaints last summer, Mayor Mark Boughton said this action is needed.  Currently, a decibel meter is needed to judge excessive noise.  One of the incidents was during the Memorial Day Service.  Music was being played so loudly in cars that people in attendance could hear the speakers.


Committee member Joe Cavo expressed concern that what one person thinks is loud, someone else may not think it's loud.  He gave the example of his factory standard motorcycle.  He said some people think that's loud, but it doesn't bother him. 


Councilman Paul Rotello made the point that if a car or motorcycle is driving by, it likely won't prompt a complaint.  He said it's more the prolonged noise.


Penalties are tiered. It's $25 for the first violation, $50 for the next, and $75 for a third violation.  If there are multiple violations in one day, it could be escalated to a criminal violation such as a charge of breach of peace.  The first remedy would be an infraction, but if someone keeps violating the law it would move to a criminal offense resulting in arrest.


There are certain exemptions for municipal, state and federal activities.  Examples included school sanctioned activities, permitted parades and the like.  One question was raised about when the Danbury Westerners play at Rogers Park.  The sound system at the baseball field isn't necessarily what's prompting noise complaints, it's music from cars in the nearby parking lots before or after the games.


There have been complaints about garbage truck or other truck activity.  Language was included in the updated ordinance about commercial truck activity.  It's up to the city on how to enforce the ordinance, there is no firm language requiring that trucks going about their business be stopped.  If officials want something to be done, it can be.


A few part timers might be needed for enforcement because most of the violations happen on the weekends.  Mayor Mark Boughton says he may bring that proposal to the City Council in an effort to increase enforcement.


A public hearing is needed on the proposed changes.  Much of the ordinance is not regulated by the state, but some is.  The ordinance must therefore be sent to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection after approval from the City Council.

Six ailments now eligible for the state's medical marijuana program

The legislature's Regulation Review Committee has met to add new diseases to those approved for the state's medical marijuana program.  One of the seven proposed ailments was removed from regulations and the rest were approved by a narrow margin.  There are 14 members of the committee including co-chair New Milford Senator Clark Chapin, Danbury Representative Bob Godfrey, Southbury Representative Arthur O'Neill and Wilton Representative Tom O'Dea.


The vote was 8-5 to add to the list of eligible ailments.  They are: Sickle Cell disease, Post laminectomy syndrome with chronic radiculopathy (failed back surgery), severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), ulcerative colitis and complex regional pain syndrome.  The five members in opposition were O'Dea, O'Neill, Representative Vincent Candelora, Senator Gayle Slossberg and Senator Paul Doyle.


Patients suffering from those diseases can obtain a prescription for medical marijuana.  There are currently six dispensaries in the state, including in Bethel.  Fabry disease, a rare genetic disorder that causes pain in extremities and kidney failure, was removed from the regulations.  The Board of Physicians approved it's inclusion on a 2-2 vote.  Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris decided to also forward it to the Committee following a public hearing. 


Legislation creating the Board of Physicians calls for eight members.  There are currently only five.  Harris has proposed legislation to the Public Health Committee getting rid of some certifications needed in order to be a member of the Board of Physicians.  The members would still have to be doctors with knowledge of the palliative use of medical marijuana.


Harris made his case to the committee for deciding to keep Fabry on the list of recommended ailments to be added to the regulation.  He says one of the two Board of Physician members opposed to adding Fabry is a medical marijuana researcher.  Harris says he depends heavily on research and doctors like him like to see double blind studies.  Because of federal regulations still classifying medical marijuana as a drug, there aren't many studies.


Harris agreed that the 2-2 vote was a split.  He compared this decision to a previous one rejecting Tourette Syndrome as an ailment to be treated by medical marijuana.  Tourette received a 0-4 vote.  While Harris has the authority under Connecticut law to go ahead and recommend it anyway, he chose not to because of the professional, expert recommendation of the Board.  Harris noted that he also looked at the reason each Board member voted the way they did when he decided to recommend Fabry for the list.

Ridgefield Library has record year, Director set to retire

Ridgefield Library had a record breaking year.  There were 28,000 visits in 2015, that's 9,000 more than the year before.  Ridgefield Library officials reported to the Board of Selectmen this month that residents borrowed an average of 13 items a year.  Each resident visited about 10 times during the year.  The national average is about 4 visits per year. 


Ridgefield Library Director Chris Nolan, who has been with the facility for 18 years, will be leaving at the end of 2016. 


A search committee has been formed to find a successor.  The Committee has already determined that there is no internal candidate for the Director's position.  10 possible applicants have been identified at other libraries , but they could hire a search firm in order to fill the position.

More progress seen at site of new Sandy Hook School

Significant progress has been made at the Sandy Hook School construction site. 


Thanks to a relatively mild winter, there's been a lot of work done on the new school.  Flooring installation has started in Wings B and C, the ceilings are being finished in Wing C and the lobby curtain wall framing is being installed.  Concrete site walls continue to be installed, the first coat of paint is going up in Wing C and the bathrooms in Wing B are being finished. 


The new Sandy Hook School is expected to be completed and ready for classes this fall.


(Photos B Wing Corridor)


(Bus Loop)


(D Wing Room)


(Entry Bridge Walls)


(Exterior Sunshades)

Community forum in Newtown about long term school planning

A community forum is being held tonight in Newtown about long term planning for the schools.  Superintendent Dr Joseph Erardi says the hour long forum will include critical community input on the planning which will define the learner for the next ten years. Parents, community members, elected and appointed officials, and business owners are being encouraged to attend and voice their thoughts and opinions.  Safety and transportation will also be discussed.  A committee will be formed after the forum for long term planning.  The community forum is in the Newtown High School lecture hall at 7pm.

Newtown keeping an eye on winter maintenance budget

The winter maintenance budget in Newtown is slowly being eroded.


First Selectman Pat Llodra has given an update to the Board of Selectmen and the Legislative Council on where the storm response budget stands.  Llodra says they watch winter maintenance pretty closely.  It's based on a five year rolling average.  The cost for overtime, salt and sand are the big drivers.  $156,000 was budgeted for overtime, before the last two storms, about $75,000 had been spent.  Llodra says they always hope that any winter precipitation falls between 9am and 2pm, Monday through Friday in order to keep costs down.  But that's not what's happened this winter.


Newtown uses a salt-sand mix to treat the roads, depending on the kind of storm.  It also depends on temperature.  Llodra says how you treat the road depends on what falls on the road. 


Newtown uses a 4-to-1 ratio of salt to sand even though salt is more expensive.  She says they are moving to a mixture with more salt because of the cost to sweep the streets of the sand.  Llodra adds that the salt is less harmful to the environment.


Llodra was hoping to be able to apply a chunk of unused money from the current fiscal year toward a capital item next year.  She says the budget maybe still end up alright, but cautioned that winter is not over yet.

HARTransit receives federal grant for expanded bus service

HART transit is receiving a federal grant.  Nearly $206,000 is coming to HART to fund a bus route that will provide commuter bus service to major trip generators inside The Reserve, a 546 acre development on Danbury's west side.  HART was among three transit districts and 10 Connecticut municipalities sharing in $2 million for transportation projects designed to improve the flow of traffic, improve air quality, and reduce energy use.  The grant was awarded under the Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, which funds projects that improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion.

Amos House executive director honored during Black History Month program

A Danbury woman was among those honored during the second annual Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Black History Month program.  Gladys McFarland, the Executive Director of Amos House, was honored at the event Monday for her outstanding contribution to the community. 


5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says the program is a chance to recognize the local heroes who devote themselves to public service and have improved the lives of their neighbors. 


McFarland has been the head of Amos House since 1991.  She runs their day-to-day operations and coordinates grant funding for the organization which helps the homeless.

Rep. Jan Giegler officially announces she will not seek reelection

Danbury State Representative Jan Giegler has officially announced that she will not be seeking reelection to the 138th District House seat.  The district also includes parts of New Fairfield and Ridgefield.  Giegler was elected this past November as Danbury Town Clerk and is serving in the two roles simultaneously through the end of the legislative session in May. 


Giegler was first elected to the state House position in 2002.  Giegler says seven terms in office has allowed her to help create change and pass important legislation.  Giegler was named House Republican Whip for the 2015-16 session.  


During her tenure, Giegler was actively involved in a variety of community and service organizations such as the YMCA Task Force and Danbury Homelessness Task Force and as a member of Women in Government as a State Director.


She has served as a House Republican Leader and as the former Ranking Member on the Public Safety & Security Committee, Public Health Committee, Executive & Legislative Nominations Committee and House Chair of the Select Committee on Internships.  Currently, she serves on the Transportation Committee, Public Safety & Security Committee, Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee and Internship Committee.


Giegler joined her colleagues in gaining approval for Advanced Cardiac Care at Western Healthcare Network and bringing dollars to Regional Hospice and Ann’s Place; the Danbury Public Schools continually fighting for a greater share of state education dollars and securing dollars for school-based health centers; Western Ct. State University in securing bonding dollars for facilities such as the new Performing Arts Building;  securing bonding for Richter Park and the War Memorial in support of our Veterans.  In addition, STEAP grants were awarded to New Fairfield’s library, streetscape and Senior Center, and to the Town of Ridgefield.


Giegler also successfully championed the reinstatement of the state police dispatch center at Southbury’s Troop A in Southbury. Rep Giegler was granted approval for a vast number of Transportation projects in the Danbury area and has adamantly opposed each proposal for border tolls and casinos. 

Gun maker seeks dismissal of school shooing suit

A Connecticut judge is deciding whether to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit against a rifle maker over the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

The judge heard arguments Monday on Freedom Group's request to dismiss the lawsuit filed by families of some of the shooting victims, but she did not issue an immediate ruling.  A status conference was set for about two months from now.

Freedom Group is the Madison, North Carolina, parent company Bushmaster Firearms, which made the AR-15 used in the 2012 shooting that killed 20 first-graders and six educators. The company says it's protected by a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.

The victims' families say they're suing under an exception in the law. They call AR-15s lethal military weapons not designed for public use.Sev


Several family members spoke at a briefing before the court session.


Bill Sherlach, whose wife Mary was the school psychologist, says he's hoping to pull the curtain back and see what the manufacturer has been doing to fuel the rage of violence-prone people. 


He says every business runs this risk [of a lawsuit], like if you build a defective car...any other product is not granted this legislative safe harbor .  Much like cigarettes, he says there's been a change in advertising, new warning lables and scientific studies.  He says they can't even get the CDC to qualify [gun violence] as a public health matter.


Sherlach says he has the rest of his life to spend working on this problem, is in no rush, and is going to take it one step at a time.


Nicole Hockley, whose don Dylan was among the children killed on 12-14, says there were a lot of guns that the shooter could have chosen from his arsenal and his mother's arsenal in order to attack the people at Sandy Hook School.  But she says he chose the AR-15 because he was aware of how many shots it could get out, how lethal it was, the way that it was designed, that it would serve his objective of killing as many people as possible in the shortest time possible.


Mark Barden's son Daniel was killed at the school.  He says the manufacturer is marketing to people like Adam Lanza, and it's time they take responsibility for that.  He added that they are just asking today that  this case proceed and they get their day in court. 


Barden says the AR-15 is an instrument of war, designed for the battlefield, that is sold and marketed to the general public.  He says what happen [at Sandy Hook School] is what happens when the general public gets their hands on this kind of firepower.  In less than five minutes, he says this is what happened [20 children and six educators were killed].


Modern design firm looks at possibility of Philip Johnson building for home in Ridgefield

Another possible taker for the Philip Johnson Building in Ridgefield is on the horizon.  The Maurice Sendak Foundation looked into turning the building on the Schlumberger site into a museum, but announced last month that it wouldn't fit their needs and could be too costly. 


The Citizens Committee looking into what Ridgefield should do with the remain acreage of the town owned land says there is another company that's indicated interest in the Philip Johnson building. 


The un-named modern design firm doesn't want the auditorium, and were about to sign for space somewhere else, but will delay doing so if there is a possibility for them in Ridgefield.  The Committee says a theater group is still interested in the auditorium.

Local lawmaker explores possibility of 'Transportation Authority'

One of the big tasks the General Assembly is set to tackle during this short session is another vote on a constitutional lockbox for transportation funds.  The legislature is also being asked to work out how to fund Governor Dannel Malloy's 30-year infrastructure improvement plan. 


Something that Deputy House Speaker Bob Godfrey of Danbury wants to look into is a Transportation Authority.  It would be like the Port Authority or Airport Authority and would take the spending decisions out of the hands of politicians.


He is still working on details of a proposal, but feels it's worth exploring.  Part of his research is to find out more about how New York state's authority works.


Godfrey says something like this could create a higher comfort level that however the money is coming into the transportation lock box, lawmakers know who has the key.

Newtown gets positive feedback from bond rating agencies

Newtown is about to go out to the bond market to sell a bond.   While it wasn't a ratings review, First Selectman Pat Llodra told the Legislative Council Wednesday that the town received positive feedback from Moody's and S&P.  Newtown's rating from S&P is AAA.  The rating agencies look historically to see that in a policy was written in 2011 is still being adhered to. 


The Bond Sale is being executed on Thursday. 


Newtown has an overarching goal to reduce the debt burden.  One Council member wanted to know if there was any feedback about a recent change to the debt policy, going from 10-percent to 9.8-percent.  Llodra says the town is now closer to 9-percent and trending to 8-percent in the long term view. 


Llodra said it's like a report card, and officials want to hear that they've got municipal financing management right.  She says that's a big task so this positive feed back is very affirming.

Local lawmaker questions DMV interim Commissioner on software glitches

The interim commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Motor Vehicles says the private vendor that designed the agency's computer upgrade is committed to making sure all the bugs in the system are fixed.  Dennis Murphy appeared Friday before the General Assembly's Transportation Committee. 


Committee member Wilton state Senator Toni Boucher says the DMV has been plagued by long wait times, erroneous vehicle registration cancellations and other problems since the upgrade was launched last summer. She says it's so bad, the Governor feels he has to find ways to offload some of the DMV's work.


Governor Malloy has proposed legislation this session that would allow DMV to enter into contracts with private contractors, such as AAA, to provide vehicle registration services.  Malloy also wants to eliminate the current ban on issuing registrations for motor vehicles and other vehicles, such as snowmobiles, that are subject to unpaid parking tickets or property taxes


Boucher says rather than relinquishing responsibility or getting rid of some regulations, a plan must be made to fix the bugs in the software system.  She says hopefully 3M hasn't been paid all they are owed because they haven't delivered a successful implementation.


Murphy said DMV won't sign off on the second phase of work until all those bugs are fixed. He wouldn't provide a specific date on when that might happen, predicting it could take months. Once the glitches are fixed, Murphy said 3M's one-year warranty of the computer upgrade work begins.


Murphy said it appears more people are using DMV's online services, which could help reduce wait times. In September, 56 percent of transactions that could be conducted online were done online. That percentage increased to 68 percent in January, Murphy said.

Schlumberger Citizens Committee meets about future uses of the property

The Citizen's Committee for the Schlumberger Property in Ridgefield is meeting tonight.  They plan to review comment from a second survey completed by residents about what Ridgefield should do with the remaining acres of the town-owned land.  The group also plans to talk about a timeline and process for completing their work. 


Ridgefield purchased the 45 acre Schlumberger property in 2012 for $7 million. 15 acres have since been sold to two developers. The Citizen’s Committee was formed after residents voted down two proposals for separate pieces of the property.


A series of planning workshops was held called A Vision for 30.  Officials followed up on responses from the first survey about the future of the property.

Danbury authorizes funding for new fire trucks

Danbury is looking to purchase two new Pierce Velocity Pumper trucks for the Fire Department.  The purchase price is about $1.16 million.  Funding was included in the current fiscal year's budget, and plans are to set aside some funding in the coming year's budget for this purpose.  The proposed lease may be extended over 10 budget years, depending on terms and conditions.


Equipment Supervisor Joe Cavo says the two new engines would replace the two oldest, highest mileage trucks.  The next two oldest trucks would be moved out to the lower call volume stations.


The new pumper trucks would be built to the City's specifications and shipped out in about two months.


Cavo says these trucks run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  They respond in good weather, through flooding, in snow storms and all other kinds of weather.


Cavo says the technology in cars normally develops out of the trucking industry first.  That includes anti-lock brakes, air bag technology and emissions systems.  Cavo says these new trucks run exceptionally clean because the EPA has become very stringent on diesel engines.  A large part of the cost for the trucks is because of the engine.  Cavo says it's over $100,000 often times just to put the engine into the framework.

Newtown Community Center Commission mulling recommendations

The Newtown Community Center Commission has held their final public information forums and then met for several hours last weekend to firm up recommendations for the Board of Selectmen.  The Commission is working on recommendations to include a 50 meter pool, a zero entry pool, a community facility, which would include dedicated space for legacy groups created by families of those killed on 12-14.  Another proposal being considered is to use funding from the town's Capital Improvement Program for a second phase of building for a senior center or ice rink.


Some residents expressed concern about how long this will take to build, since it's already two years out from the award of the gift.  Others were skeptical of claims that this facility would be a draw for people to move to Newtown when businesses are moving out, including the benefactor of the donation.  One public speaker proposed asking GE for a variance to buy an existing building for this specific use. 


The head of the Hockey program at Newtown High School made the argument for including an ice rink, noting that there's a need among high school hockey teams, collegiate teams and others.  If it's regulation size, one resident said it would get plenty of use so that these teams don't have to travel as they do now.


There was several hours of discussion on if more research is needed on what features people want to see in a community center.  One Commission member said that they are putting forth an adult vision, and that perhaps youth should be surveyed about whether they want a pool, an ice rink, or both.  Another questioned that if this is meant to be an all encompassing hub and there is just one large room, would younger people make use of it.


According to fire marshal regulations, if the space is 5,000 square feet and has seating and tables, only about 260 people are allowed in the room at a given time.


Commission member David Wheeler called for the center's rooms to be flexible space.  He says the room that's going to be right for an exercise class is not going to be right for a group to come in and do crafts.  He says there are different basic necessities for the center's needs.  If there are two rooms, and one has a kitchen and plumbing attached, Wheeler says science, art and banquet space will be served.  If one has a small flexible performance area such as a blackbox theater, that would suit the other needs.


The group mentioned that they don't want to box themselves in, making it so things can't change in the future especially if new donors come forward.  They discussed possibly leaving the design open to add an ice rink or to have a designated senior center when there's more money, and to focus now on creating a multi-generational space.


With most of the discussion surrounding whether or not there should be an ice rink, Commission member Nicole Hockley noted that not all kids are sporty.  As someone with contact with teens in the town, she says the group is doing a disservice to them by not offering private areas for therapy, addiction services, substance abuse services and other services.

Gun maker seeks dismissal of lawsuit over Newtown shooting

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) -- Lawyers for the company that made the rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School are expected to ask a Connecticut judge to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed by families of some of the massacre victims.


Freedom Group, the Madison, North Carolina, parent company of AR-15 maker Bushmaster Firearms, is arguing that it is protected by a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.


Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who include the families of nine children and adults who died and a teacher who survived, say the lawsuit is permitted under an exception to the federal law that allows litigation against companies that know, or should know, that their weapons are likely to be used in a way that risks injury to others.


The victims' attorneys say the lawsuit appears to be the first of its kind against a manufacturer to claim that exception.


Bridgeport Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis is set to hear arguments Monday afternoon on Freedom Group's motion to dismiss.


"No lawsuit will ever bring back any of the 26 innocent lives that were stolen or bring peace to the families that will never recover from this," said Nicole Hockley, a plaintiff whose son, Dylan, was killed. "But gun companies must be held accountable for marketing and selling the AR-15, a killing machine designed only for military use, to violence-prone young men.


"We're bringing this lawsuit to save other families from having to live with the nightmare that we do every single day," she said.


State police say the 20-year-old gunman, Adam Lanza, killed his victims with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, a model of the AR-15, on Dec. 14, 2012. Lanza killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their Newtown home before going to the school a few miles away, and then killed himself as police arrived. Nancy Lanza legally bought the rifle, state police said.


The plaintiffs' lawyers, Joshua Koskoff, Alinor Sterling and Katherine Mesner-Hage, argue in the lawsuit that the Bushmaster rifle used in the shooting is too dangerous to sell to the general public. The families are seeking unspecified monetary damages and other potential court actions.


Freedom Group denies the allegations. Lawyers for the company argue that Congress passed the 2005 law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, to protect gun makers from lawsuits over the criminal use of firearms, after determining the lawsuits were an abuse of the legal system.


Debate over the law has resurfaced in this year's presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton has criticized fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders' support of the 2005 law when it passed. Sanders is now backing a bill to repeal the law.

Funding for SRO in Weston still up for debate

The Weston Board of Selectmen has been presented with a proposed school budget.  It includes a proposed 1.68 percent increase over the current fiscal year's spending. 


There was no talk during the presentation about whether the cost for a School Resource Officer would be paid for in the municipal budget or if it would have to come from the Board of Education side.  The SRO would be assigned to Weston High School, and during the summer be on patrol with the Weston Police Department. 


Selectman Nina Daniel, who won election in November, proposed $45,000 of the cost be paid for by the schools and about $38,000 coming from the town.  The Board of Ed was reportedly told by Daniel's predecessor that the Police Department budget would include full funding for the SRO position. 


The next meeting of the Weston Board of Selectmen is set for Monday.  Their agenda calls for voting on a budget to send to the Board of Finance for their meetings in March.

Local lawmaker weighs in on armed police on community college campuses

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- The president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System said Thursday that students, faculty and staff believe armed security is necessary at community colleges because they don't feel safe on campus.


Mark Ojakian appeared before the General Assembly's High Education and Employment Advancement Committee to testify in favor of legislation that would allow special police forces to be created at each of the state's 12 community colleges, pending approval from each campus and the state's Board of Regents.


Currently, only Naugatuck Community College has armed officers.


Ojakian said allowing armed, special police forces will bring "a fundamental level of fairness and equality" to the safety and security at community colleges that's in line with what is already provided at UConn and the state universities.


"These officers will receive the same training and certification as university officers, and will thus be better equipped to meet the security needs of our students," he said, adding how students and staff were particularly concerned in the wake of a deadly mass shooting on Oct. 1 at an Oregon community college.


Kent Rep. Roberta Willis, the committee's co-chairman, said she has some concerns with the legislation, noting that community colleges are smaller and have a different dynamic than other state colleges and universities. Also, she voiced concern that community colleges don't have adequate mental health services.


"If we're going to talk about armed officers, investing in that, we need to be investing in mental health and counseling first," Willis said.


Ojakian said efforts are underway to expand such services on community college campuses.

Danbury PAL grows programing by 64%

Danbury Police Activities League is reporting at 64-percent growth in programs in the past year.  Danbury PAL Executive Director Maura Keenan says the center has been extremely busy and the double digit increase has a direct connection to the number of children served.  Danbury PAL has been in operation since 1972 as a place for kids to develop leadership skills  through a healthy and safe environment. 


Over 5,000 youth are now served by the facility. 


PAL surveyed parents in the Greater Danbury area last summer as part of a community needs assessment.  Spring Volleyball, annual PAL memberships, free family events and basketball for kindergarten and first graders was added.  A partnership with Danbury Youth Soccer was also cultivated.  Existing programs were also expanded. 


The organization recently added two part time staff members.

Daryl Hall plans to stage outdoor shows at upstate NY venue

PAWLING, N.Y. (AP) Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer Daryl Hall wants to add an outdoor stage at his music venue and restaurant in upstate New York.

Hall opened Daryl's House on Halloween 2014 in the Dutchess County town of Pawling. The Poughkeepsie Journal reports Hall plans to build a stage behind the restaurant to hold concerts on a lawn that can accommodate more than 1,000 people.

The first concert is scheduled for May 27 with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

Town officials say the project is under review and hasn't received final approvals.

Hall, of the duo Hall and Oates, films his Internet and cable television music program, ``Live From Daryl's House,'' at his Pawling restaurant. The former longtime Dutchess County resident now lives in nearby Sherman, Connecticut.

General Assembly committee holds hearing on crumb rubber fields

The legislature's Children's Committee on Tuesday held a public hearing about a bill which would prohibit crumb rubber ground cover from municipal and public school playgrounds.  New Fairfield and Ridgefield High Schools are among those with synthetic turf fields.  New Milford is considering a synthetic turf project.


Committee member Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. supports the bill.  He says Connecticut should be on the side of caution, at least until more information is known.


A report was issued last year by Yale University researchers which found a dozen known carcinogens in crumb-rubber surfaces.  Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for a million-dollar line item in the President's proposed budget for an investigation into the safety of artificial turf. 


An Environmental Attorney testified citing studies from different states showing no link between crumb rubber and health risks.


The ground tire synthetic fields were installed at several schools over recent years as a way to save on operating costs and because they were thought to be more durable.

New Milford Mayor proposes budget with tax decrease

The New Milford Town Council and Board of Finance still need to approve a budget to send to voters, but they now have a proposal before them.  New Milford residents could see a slight decrease in their taxes in the coming year's budget.  Mayor David Gronbach has proposed a $36.5 million dollar municipal budget. 


A proposed $62.2 million school budget and a $1.6 million capital budget brings the total proposal to $100.3 million.  That is a .57 percent decrease in taxes. 


Gronbach says they went line by line through every department and cut out expenditures that were deemed excessive.  More than $4 million in departmental requests were cut from the proposed budget to bring the spending increase to about $340,000. 


Among the cuts are eliminating the executive secretary position in the Mayor's office and leaving two police department vacancies unfilled.  Gronbach says the police vacancies come on a recommendation from the Police Chief.

20 parking spaces to be added at Ridgefield Rec Center

More parking spaces are being added to the Ridgefield Rec Center on Danbury Road.  The Panning and Zoning Commission approved the plan unanimously.  There was no public hearing on the matter because a special permit wasn't required.  The Ridgefield Press reports that the Rec Center is adding 20 parking space, bringing the total to 254.  Two trees will have to be replanted, but the parking spaces won't encroach on the nearby wetlands.  The plan is to make adjustments to an area currently being used as a turn around.  The Press reports that the 20 new spots will ring an expanded turnaround area.

New Fairfield budget proposal includes increase to cover policing costs

The New Fairfield Board of Selectmen has voted on a proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.  Members approved the $11.1 million plan unanimously. It includes an overall increase of 5.56 percent.  The amount covers the Capital and nonrecurring budget. 


The original proposed Board of Selectmen budget was going to have a 13-percent increase, but it was brought down through various cuts.  The 5.56 percent increase includes necessary adjustments for a change implemented in July in the way the state funds the Resident State Trooper program. 


Previously, municipalities with Resident State Troopers had to pay 70-percent of the trooper's salaries and benefits.  Connecticut officials changed that to 85-percent of the cost for the first two troopers, and 100-percent of the cost for any subsequent troopers on staff.  At all times there are at least two Troopers or Officers working.  New Fairfield has a full time dedicated Sergeant from the State Police in town as well as six additional resident troopers, dedicated to town 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The town also employs six full time New Fairfield Officers.


The proposal will be presented to the New Fairfield Board of Finance on March 5th.

Danbury seeking bids for new cafe at Library/Innovation Center

Danbury has opened the bid process for the concession area at the Library and Innovation Center.  People interested in leasing the concession area for a cafe-type business have until March 17th to submit bids to Danbury.  The space is a little less than 640 square feet. 


Danbury is looking for a vendor to offer a menu that is reasonably priced and competitive in the downtown environment, and have at least the same hours as the library.  There is no grill in the space, so only food requiring warming or cooling such as salads, sandwiches and soups best suit the facility. 


Packets should include a rental proposal for the price and length of the contract, a business plan with implementation time-line and business background about the principals involved.


The cafe operator would be responsible for providing furnishings and related equipment as well as custodial and refuse services.  A dishwasher, tables and chairs as well as plumbing and electrical infrastructure are already in place.  


Utilities such as water, sewer, electric and heat will be the responsibility of the City.


Interested parties are requested to submit five copies of their proposals, including qualification data, to the Office of the Purchasing Agent, 155 Deer Hill Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810, during normal business hours by no later than 2:00 PM on Thursday, March 17, 2016. 


Envelopes should be marked: Bid #02-15-16-02 “Café Operator @ Danbury Public Library”.

Public hearing Wednesday in Ridgefield about allowing bikes on rail trail

A public hearing is being held Wednesday night in Ridgefield about whether bikes should be allowed on the rail trail.  There was a hearing about two weeks ago where dozens of residents turned out to voice their opinions on the matter. 


The land is owned by Eversource Energy and there is an environmental cap on the property, and the utility has yet to say whether bicycles will be allowed on the trail. 


Wednesday's hearing will be at 7:30pm at Ridgefield Town Hall. 


The plan is to make the trail safe for bicyclists, walkers and runners.  Among the expected work that's needed is barriers, which would protect people who lose control from going down embankments.  The larger goal is to connect the area to other trails around the Parks and Rec property. 

Attorney sends letter to Danbury Planning Commission about Dorothy Day permitting issue

There are ongoing discussions about the Dorothy Day Hospitality House in Danbury as the no-questions asked charity is working to resolve land use issues and make other changes.  The soup kitchen and emergency shelter has room for meals to be served to 30 people, and beds for 16.


The Planning Commission received a letter from Attorney Neil Marcus about the Dorothy Day House, which was discussed at their meeting this month.  Dorothy Day had to apply to the Danbury Planning Commission for a special permit to keep operating after it was discovered over the summer that there is currently no valid permit.  


Danbury Planning Commission chairman Arnold Finaldi says there's some research and legal opinions needed on an issue dating back 32 years.  The Planning Commission gave Dorothy Day permission to operate in 1983, but only for a year.  A one year renewal was then granted, but they stopped updating the permit in 1985.  Since then, fire and health department inspections were conducted, but there wasn't a permit in place.


Marcus is recommending that the current Planning Commission take some sort of action, but Finaldi says there are too many questions on something that happened so long ago.  Finaldi notes there's spotty documentation and some correspondence that has to be looked into on the issue uncovered amid neighbor complaints and concerns.


Planning Director Sharon Calitro says they're not sure the Commission has jurisdiction for any next steps in the matter.  The group referred the letter from Marcus to the City's attorney.

Bronze French bulldog greets visitors to Regional Hospice and Home Care

Regional Hospice and Home Care has a new mascot.  William made his debut last month as metaphor for the determination and optimism that paved the way for the Center for Comfort Care & Healing.


A bronze French bulldog, William is the 2003 creation of internationally-renowned British sculptor, Nicola Hicks, and is on loan from the personal collection of French-born businessman and philanthropist, William Louis-Dreyfus.  Louis-Dreyfus, the father of actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, hosted two events at his gallery to generate support during the campaign to build the Hospice Center.


Born into a family of well-established London artists in 1960, Nicola Hicks studied at Chelsea School of Art, and received her MA at the Royal College of Art. In 1995, at the age of 35, Nicola Hicks was awarded the honor of MBE (Most Excellent Award for the British Empire) for her contribution to the visual arts. She has had major solo shows in leading museums and galleries in Great Britain and internationally.


William is positioned atop a table in the Center’s main lobby, and will welcome patients, families and visitors.



William is also on a tour of duty to add a dose of lighted-hearted fun for the children participating in the Center’s bereavement programs.  Healing Hearts officials say William will serve as a symbol of the children's resilient spirit that makes them open to so much joy despite the losses they have experienced.


In a new Healing Hearts Center for Grief and Loss activity named "Where's William", the dog's photo will accompany children participating in the Center’s bereavement programs on their adventures over the next six months.  With his photo in hand, each child will be able to submit William’s whereabouts to Regional Hospice.

Budget negotiations to get under way in General Assembly

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to restart bipartisan budget talks with Connecticut legislative leaders.  It's unclear whether this latest effort to come up with a plan that Democrats and Republicans can agree on will actually bear fruit. The two parties failed to reach a bipartisan agreement months ago when they met to solve a $350 million deficit that developed in the current $20 billion fiscal year budget.

The new fiscal year is projected to have a $560 million shortfall. Larger deficits are predicted in the following two years.

The closed-door talks are likely to begin Tuesday. They come as the General Assembly's Appropriations Committee holds hearings on Malloy's proposed $19.8 billion budget proposal.


Newtown Representative JP Sredzinski is among the lawmakers calling for a fundamental change in the way Connecticut comes up with a budget.  He says there are no easy answers to solve the state's financial woes.  But he wants the General Assembly to adopt a long term vision for budgeting, not just to get through to the next election cycle.

New York State Trooper rescues dog from icy pond

A New York State Trooper fell through the ice Saturday afternoon when he was trying to rescue a dog from a partially frozen pond.  Troopers received a report that a dog had fallen though the ice behind JFK High School in Somers, and that the dog's owner was possibly trying to rescue the animal. 


Trooper Christopher Spallone, a 10-year veteran of the force, arrived and saw the dog in distress due to the frigid water temperature.  He walked onto the ice and successfully rescued the yellow lab named Shelby. 


As Trooper Spallone was returning to shore though, the ice fractured and he fell in. 


A Somers Police Officer and fireman helped Spallone from the water.  The Trooper was treated and released from Northern Westchester Hospital.  The officer was exposed to the cold water and was treated at the scene. 


The dog is expected to make a full recovery.

Freezing temperatures make fire fighting tough in Sherman, New Milford, Danbury

Firefighters in Sherman and New Milford battled fires on Saturday night.  Danbury responded to an overnight fire as well.


In Sherman, a home on Deer Hill Road was destroyed.  The home was fully engulfed when the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department arrived.  No one was in the house at the time.  No firefighters were injured.  The below zero temperatures made fighting fires in Sherman and New Milford a challenge.  The nearby lake in Sherman was frozen over.  The spray from the hose caused the trucks to freeze and have to be moved, adding to the challenge. 


A structure fire was also reported in New Milford at 193 2nd Hill Road.


Around 2:30am today Danbury firefighters responded to 42 Topstone Drive.  Six people were displaced by the fire.  They were treated for possible smoke inhalation.

Danbury officals approve amendment requiring permit for athletic fields, court on private property

Neighbor complaints in Danbury last summer about large sporting events held at residential properties has prompted the Zoning Commission to adopt an amendment aimed at protecting the health safety and welfare of single family residential neighborhoods.


The Planning Commission sent an ordinance with their stamp of approval back to the Zoning Commission requiring a permit for anyone in a residential neighborhood who wants to build an athletic field or court on their property for athletic competition.  This amendment would not be for private use tennis courts, a volleyball net put up temporarily or other similar situations.  Planning Director Sharon Calitro emphasized that the amendment doesn't say residents can't do this, it just means a permit is needed.


Calitro says this is also meant to give the Zoning Enforcement Officer some authority.


During a public hearing by the Zoning Commission last week there were several questions about enforcement and if this will address the issues that likely prompted its creation.  One member said they don't think this will effectively prevent what's been complained about in the past.


Danbury dealt with a number of complaints last summer where people were hosting large-scale volleyball games, had food trucks and people selling alcohol on their residential property.  There were also complaints about  the number of cars parked around the property and partially blocking roads. 


One of the questions about enforcement was if residents deny their court was for an athletic competition.  Officials say the language in the ordinance would be open to the interpretation of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.  Police and others won't be patrolling for large parties, a complaint has to comes in before any action is taken. 


The petition was approved by the Zoning Commission 7-0.

Danbury submits request to Eversource to purchase street lights for LED conversion

It could up to a year and a half for the first phase of a street light conversion project in Danbury.  Danbury has made a request to Eversource Energy to purchase street lights in the City so that they can be converted to LED lights.  Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola says there are a number of steps that have to be taken before the City can replace all of the street lights with LED lighting.


The lights have to be inventoried.  He notes that often times the number a municipality comes up with doesn't match what Eversource has.  Iadarola oversaw a street light conversion project when he was employed in Stamford.


Iadarola says it could take so long because the lights are a big money maker for the company.


ESCO, Energy Services Company, will look into the financial, operational, and energy analyses of the feasibility for implementing the program.  Danbury is reallocating up to $50,000 in funding that's not needed for the 2012 revaluation and putting it toward the audit.  An audit for this project will include existing conditions of the lights, projected costs, expected energy and maintenance savings, financing options and a proposed implementation plan.

Congressional delegation in Kent for land conservation panel discussion

The Kent Land Trust and the Connecticut land Conservation Council among others will be in Kent today for a special event called a Celebration of Conservation in Connecticut.  They will be joined by 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty and Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.  The three will be participating in a panel discussion on the environmental and economic benefits of preserving open space.  They will also be talking about their work to make the conservation easement tax  incentive permanent and to increase federal funding for conservation.  The panel will take questions from the audience.  The event takes place at Kent Barns at 10am.

Social and Emotional Learning Week wraps up in Conn. schools

A Newtown woman helped to unveil student murals yesterday celebrating Connecticut Social and Emotional Learning Week. Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse was killed on 12-14, was joined by Senator Richard Blumenthal for the event.  The weeklong awareness celebration recognized the importance of helping children learn how to manage emotions and maintain healthy relationships and interpersonal interactions. 


The murals at the Quinnipiac University North Haven campus were created by students from Waterbury, Greenwich, New Haven, Norwalk, Darien and Fairfield. 


Following the loss of her 6-year old son, Lewis founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement to bring attention to the importance of teaching children the non-academic skills they need to thrive physically, mentally and emotionally. 


Existing professional development funding was approved by the US Senate to be used to train teachers in concepts related to social and emotional learning.

Final public forum Saturday on proposed Newtown Community Center

The final public forum about the proposed Community Center in Newtown is being held this morning.  The forum will be at 10am at CH Booth Library.  The Newtown Community Center Commission is also holding a meeting at noon at Town Hall, where they will talk about a final recommendation to present to the Board of Selectmen.


Several proposals have been discussed and a draft report from the Commission notes that the facility has to be self-sustaining, available to community members of all ages and a place that encourages social interaction.  There are two options being discussed.  One includes a community center, a 50-meter pool, and a zero entry pool.  The other option includes all of those features, plus an ice rink.  During months when the ice rink is not in use, Commission members say it could be drained and used for seating at events for a large audience.


The Commission members believe that the center could turn a profit with in a few years.  By not having pools or an ice rink, they say the facility would be unsustainable because it wouldn't have a way to create revenue.


GE has presented a $15 million gift to the town for a Community Center.  $10 million of which would be used for construction, and $1 million dollars over each of the following five years to run the facility . Some money from the Newtown Capital Improvement Plan fund would be needed, and possibly private fundraising to make up cost differences.

Confirmed case of Zika virus in Putnam County, NY

A Putnam County resident has been confirmed positive for Zika virus and a second additional case is being tested.  The Putnam County Department of Health said in a press release that both residents had recently travelled out of the country.  There are 16 confirmed infections in New York State. 


Symptoms of Zika virus are usually mild, however the Health Department says all pregnant women—with or without symptoms—who have travelled to a Zika-affected region should be tested.  Testing is currently not available through commercial laboratories. Residents who have travelled to an area with Zika infection should contact their personal healthcare provider who will work with the Putnam County Department of Health to facilitate the proper testing procedure.


Zika virus, which is spread by infected mosquitos, has been appearing around the continental United States, mostly in travelers who have visited a Zika-affected area. One lone case in Texas is being investigated in a sexual partner of a traveler from one of the affected areas.  Prior to 2015, outbreaks of the virus had occurred only in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Last May the first confirmed cases were reported in Brazil.


The situation regarding Zika virus has been changing as new information develops. The Centers for Disease Control have set up a dedicated website at and the New York State Department of Health has established a Zika Information Line: 1-888-364-4723.

Dangerously low temperatures in Greater Danbury area forecast this weekend

The coldest weather of the winter season so far is settling in on New England. Wind chill watches and warnings are also up for much of the weekend, with readings Saturday night expected to approach 35-below. 


A HART Bus will be parked in front of 198 Main Street in Danbury as a place to warm up Saturday. 


The Newtown Emergency Management Office is urging residents to be prepared for severe cold and make appropriate preparations.  CH Booth Library, Edmund Town Hall, the Senior Center and the Municipal Center are open during their normal business hours.  There is also a meeting scheduled for Noon on Saturday at the Municipal Center about the proposed Community Center.  Newtown residents are being asked to check on any frail or elderly neighbors and to take steps to protect pets during this cold spell. 


Bethel's Emergency Manager is urging town residents to take steps to prepare for the dangerously low temperatures forecast for this weekend.  Tom Galliford says cold spells of this magnitude bring a risk of frostbite and hypothermia.  The wind chill values could have frostbite set in in less than 30 minutes if proper precautions aren't taken.  In addition, frozen pipes and overworked furnaces could leave homes without heat or running water. 


Galliford urged residents not to use a stove or oven to heat the home, and not to use an open flame to melt frozen pipes.  Galliford, who also serves as Bethel's Fire Marshall, says many house fires result from these practices.


Governor Malloy has activated the state's cold-weather shelter plan in advance of a cold snap that is expected to bring sub-zero temperatures to Connecticut.  Under the plan, state officials will coordinate with Connecticut's network of shelters in an attempt to match the homeless with available beds through Monday morning.


The state's 2-1-1 system will coordinate placements and community-based providers will provide transportation for the homeless.


An Internet-based system will allow emergency management officials and first responders to share information and monitor capacity at shelters across the state.

Local lawmaker speaks against proposed cut to indigent burial benefit

A local lawmaker is speaking out in a proposed drop in the indigent burial benefit to $1,000.


Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed budget calls for a $400 cut in the indigent burial benefit, which was reduced by that amount last year as well.  Connecticut first offered a stipend, known as the indigent burial benefit, in 1984.  30 years ago it was $1,200.  The benefit increased to $1,800 in 2006. 


During a hearing before the legislature's Appropriations Committee yesterday, Bridgewater state Senator Rob Kane said the state can't claim to be there for the very vulnerable and then turn around and cut this benefit.  He says funeral homes in urban centers will have to pick up the difference.


The state Department of Social Services says Connecticut spent about $4.5 million in fiscal year 2014 for about 2,500 funerals and burials.  DDS says cutting the maximum benefit would bring Connecticut more in line with surrounding states.

$500,000 coming to Newtown for improvements to Fairfield Hills campus

Newtown is receiving $500,000 for the Fairfield Hills Streetscape project.  The funds will be used for the design and construction of infrastructure and streetscape elements at the main entrance to the Fairfield Hills Campus entrance and down the streets of campus.  Newtown is focusing on the revitalization of the property in an effort to increase its economic vitality.  The infrastructure and streetscape improvements will support the reuse of this area and will be consistent with the integrated campus design. 


Newtown has already invested over $20 million in the remediation of Fairfield Hills, a former state hospital. Past revitalization efforts on the property include environmental cleanup, renovations, reuse or demolition of buildings, upgrades to infrastructure, installation of playing fields and hiking trails, preservation of agriculture, open space conservation, and limited commercial redevelopment.


Representative Mitch Bolinsky says First Selectman Pat Llodra, Grant Coordinator Christal Preszler and Newtown's State Delegation have been working on this grant since 2014.  He says this grant will help Newtown make the Fairfield Hills entryway a bit more welcoming for residents, visitors, as well as prospective developers and tenants as efforts continue to revitalize the property. 


In these difficult economic times, Representative JP Sredzinski says it's vital that the state support local projects such as this one to help offset the direct cost to the local taxpayers.

New Fairfield sidewalk project to benefit from new state funding

$499,960.75 is headed to New Fairfield for pedestrian walkways.  The funding will serve to complete the final phase of the streetscape improvements projects by continuing to extend the decorative walks, plantings, street lighting and improved connections to the retail and business centers of downtown New Fairfield.  The local community will benefit from this project with increased safe pedestrian access between the Town Hall Center, retail shopping centers, office buildings and green spaces downtown.


State Senator Mike McLachlan says they want to do all they can to make downtown New Fairfield a walkable, welcoming, and accessible place.  He says these funds will help this key area to become more inviting to residents, visitors, and to all who conduct business in New Fairfield. 


Representative Jan Giegler says New Fairfield will continue investing in the character and infrastructure of the downtown area.  She says making it easier for people to enjoy the area is good for both businesses and the community. 


Representative Richard Smith says providing a safe way for residents and visitors to enjoy the downtown area will help local businesses prosper.  He added that a growing local economy creates stability and makes our community stronger.

Brookfield, Seymour among 15 towns receiving STEAP grants

15 towns have been approved to receive funding under the state’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program for infrastructure and capital improvement projects. 


$500,000 has been approved for streetscape improvements in the Four Corners area of Brookfield.  The project will benefit the community by creating a walkable, bike friendly downtown district based on the Brookfield Revitalization Plan.  This district has been the focus of an incentive housing overlay zone aimed at stimulating mixed use development to bring back vitality to a vulnerable portion of the town. The residential development will bring nearly 80 new affordable residential units to the project area and, along with the STEAP granted streetscape, support the new ‘downtown.’  The grant will provide for necessary sidewalk, parking and bike lane construction.


State Representative Steve Harding says he looks forward to seeing this project finally materialize and bring new business and cultural opportunities to Brookfield. 


Senator Clark Chapin says the current and future residents of Brookfield will be well served by this investment.


$200,000 for phase five of a sidewalk replacement project in Seymour was included in this round of funding.  This leverages previous investments to continue the construction and replacement of sidewalks in a more densely populated section of town including many multi-family homes.  The project will benefit the local community by creating better pedestrian access to several modes of public transportation and connections to local parks and recreation.

Brookfield Zoning Commission continues hearing on propose 6-story apartment complex

The public hearing about a proposed six-story apartment building on Federal Road in Brookfield continued Thursday night.  The Zoning Commission read into record letters of comment from the public.  Nine members of the public offered comments on the Renaissance project after a presentation from the applicant, all in opposition. 


Among the speakers were First Selectman Steve Dunn, Selectman Sue Slater, State Representative Steve Harding and Economic Development Director Greg Dembowski. 


Dunn said there are about 75 members of the volunteer fire department, who train 12 to 18 hours a week.  He said based on what he heard from the applicant’s representatives, this project would put them in danger, above and beyond the danger that comes with the job of being a firefighter.


Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company Assistant Chief Andrew Ellis reiterated that there would need to be a significant amount of training, possibly new equipment purchased and concerns of putting unpaid volunteers in an extraordinary situation.   There were also concerns raised about the collapse zone.  Ellis also voiced concern about the two levels of underground parking.  He says that would be more inherently dangerous to residents and firefighters than above ground parking because of low ceilings allowing for rapid spread of smoke and flames.


Representatives retained by the applicant said that all buildings have the chance of collapse.  They also said that there are mutual aid agreements in place to bring in other firefighters and other equipment if necessary.


One resident said during the public speaking portion at the end of the public hearing that during the Christmas Day fire in a three-story apartment building in Danbury, Brookfield firefighters provided mutual aid there.  That left Brookfield with a lack of personnel if something were to have happened in town..


The public hearing was continued to the Brookfield Zoning Commission’s next meeting on February 25.

Legislature to consider bill increasing penalties for those making threats against schools

The penalties for making threats against schools would be increased under a bill introduced in the legislature's Judiciary Committee.  The Zero-Tolerance Safe School Environment Act has been called for in the past by local lawmakers including State Senator Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown.


Co-chair Representative William Tong says threats against schools must be punished more severely because of what he called the post-Newtown environment.  Tong says anything perceived as a threat to schools causes panic in the community and is a waste of resources.


The current Class D crime is punishable by five years in prison, but the bill would change the crime to Class C, which has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Mid-January progress reported at the new Sandy Hook School site

Significant progress has been made at the Sandy Hook School construction site.  The first coat of paint has gone up in Wing B of the new school building.  The ceiling was being finished in Wing C and drywall going up in Wing D. 


Curbing continues to be installed outside along the bus loop and the concrete walls at the front entry bridges were worked on.  Select trees were also planted and retaining walls completed thanks to a mild start to the winter. 


The building is expected to be completed and ready for classes to start this fall.



 (library gable window, B wing classroom entry)


(B wing corridor)

Redding hires Vision Government Solutions for 2017 revaluation

Redding has hired a firm to conduct the 2017 revaluation.  Vision Government Solutions has been hired by Redding to begin a Town wide Revaluation Project. 


Vision will be working with the Assessing Department during the two year long process.  There are five major phases to a municipal revaluation.  The first is Data Collection and will begin by early March.  Each property in Redding will be visited to collect information about the building, size, age, and components of construction, outbuildings, utilities, and other characteristics both inside and out. 


All Vision Representatives will carry Identification Cards and have their cars listed with both the Assessing Office and Police Department. 


The other steps in the process are market analysis, valuation, field review and informal hearings.  Once all five phases are completed, data used in the revaluation will be turned over to the Redding Assessor’s Office.

Police training exercise will be response to mock gunman on WCSU campus

A police exercise is taking place at Western Connecticut State University's midtown campus today.  Members of the Danbury and West Conn police departments will conduct a training exercise in the Litchfield Hall residence hall.  It will affect traffic on Eighth Avenue from 7am to 4 pm.  Eighth Avenue will be restricted to residents only during that time.  Police officers, including members of the Danbury SWAT team, will be involved in the mock event so that police can practice what happens when there is an active shooter on campus.


University spokesman Paul Steinmetz says they've alerted the WCSU community that this exercise is happening and that police will be pretending there is someone with a gun in the residence hall.  Steinmetz says WCSU police have been working with Danbury Police for several years on emergency response, which was ramped up since 9/11.


There is a protocol for incident command, and that's part of what this practice entails.  Steinmetz says it depends on what type of emergency is taking place and what stage of the response they are in.  The response will start with the WCSU Police Department.  If it's a fire or similar incident, the Danbury Fire Department will take command.  If it's a large event, Connecticut State Police will take over command operations.


Steinmetz says practicing the incident command chain is being done so responders know who plays what role, and so that various departments aren't asking a lot of questions during a real emergency.  They can focus on responding and filling their own roles.

Redding woman nominated for Conn. Port Authority Board of Directors

A Redding resident has been nominated to serve on the Connecticut Port Authority's Board of Directors.  There are four vacancies on the recently cerated Connecticut Port Authority.  Governor Dannel Malloy has nominated Pamela Elkow of Redding to one of the Directors positions. 


Elkow currently works as an attorney in the environmental practice group with Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey, LLP in Stamford.  Previously, she worked for Robinson & Cole, LLP, and Jacobi, Kappel & Kase.  She received her B.A. from Colgate University and her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.


The Port Authority is a quasi-public agency responsible for marketing and coordinating the development of the state’s ports and maritime economy.  While the state's maritime industry already supports thousands of jobs, Malloy says it has the potential for significant growth, which will take more trucks off the road and lower emissions.


There are a total of 15 members of the Port Authority’s Board of Directors.  In addition to the Governor’s four appointments, the authority’s other members are appointed by legislative leaders of both parties, in addition to several ex-officio members.

Ridgefield Police Department seeks re-accreditation

The Ridgefield Police Department is scheduled for an on-site assessment today as part of the Department's effort to achieve Tier III re-accreditation.  The on-site visit is to verify that the Ridgefield Police Department is continuing to meet professional standards. 


The assessment is administered by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council.  Tier III consists of 116 standards and is meant to help police departments operate efficiently and uniformly to reduce exposure to civil liability and provide excellent service delivery.


Agency members and the community can submit comments as part of the assessment. Comments can be mailed to William E. Tanner, III, POSTC Accreditation Division at 285 Preston Ave. Meriden, Connecticut 06450, by telephone at 203-427-2602, by fax at 203-238-6643 or by email Please enter the name of the agency in the subject line of the email.


Specifically, the Standards allow agencies to meet the following goals:

• Strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities;
• Formalize essential management procedures;
• Establish fair and non-discriminatory personnel practices;
• Improve service delivery;
• Solidify interagency cooperation and coordination; and
• Boost citizen and staff confidence in the agency.

MCCA among Conn. nonprofits to receive grant funding

A new round of funding from the state's Nonprofit Grant Program has been announced.  Some 34 non-profits and 26 municipalities will share $15 million in funding for investments in projects to enhance delivery of services.  Danbury-based Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism has been awarded nearly $36,000 for a generator and little more than $201,000 for other improvements.  The first two rounds of funding provided nonprofits and municipalities in the state with a combined $40 million.

Coalition urging state lawmakers to end 'prison gerrymandering'

A bill eliminating prison gerrymandering in Connecticut is being proposed by a coalition, who is urging the Judiciary Committee to raise and for the full legislature to pass such a law. 


Hispanic Federation Connecticut State Director Ingrid Alvarez, who previously served as Executive Director of the Hispanic Center in Danbury, says inmates should be counted in the municipality of their last known address, not the town in which they are imprisoned.  Alvarez says it unfairly distorts communities of color representation in state and local politics.  She says it directly and negatively impacts the votes of Latinos and African Americans in the state by by diluting the power of their vote.


New York, Maryland, Delaware and California have passed legislation similar to what's being proposed here.

Newtown schools launch 'Anonymous Alerts' safety and bullying reporting app

A new state-of-the-art safety and bullying reporting app called Anonymous Alerts has been selected by the Newtown School District in an effort to provide the best possible learning environment for students. The app allows students, parents and other school personnel to maintain their confidentiality while calling attention to situations like bullying, safety concerns, family problems, or other situations that may warrant immediate attention by school officials.


Superintendent Dr. Joseph Erardi said in a statement that in remembrance of the 2012 tragedy that struck the district, Anonymous Alerts and its advisory board sponsored the initial purchase of Anonymous Alerts for the high school and middle school.  Erardi said they encourage the reporting of mean behaviors, bullying, cyber-bullying, student depression, drug and alcohol issues, and other safety concerns.  Submitters have the option to reveal their identity if they prefer to have a personal and private discussion with the school administrator, but reports can remain anonymous.


The app can be downloaded directly from the Apple App Store, Google Play store for Android, and the Chrome store app from the Google Chrome store.  After downloading the app students, staff and parents can click to open it, and enter a simple username and password supplied to them by their schools.  Informational posters explaining how to use the app will be displayed throughout the high school and middle school on how to anonymously report urgent or sensitive information to authorized school officials.


The system will be operational only on school days between the hours of 7am and 2pm, and reports sent after 2pm will be answered on the next scheduled school day.


More than 1,500 K-12 schools throughout the United States, including Greenwich High School and other Connecticut schools, have implemented the Anonymous Alerts anti-bullying app and safety reporting system.

Police exercise planned at WCSU midtown campus Thursday

A police exercise is taking place Thursday in Danbury.  A Traffic Alert has been announced by Western Connecticut State University due to police training on the midtown campus.  Members of the Danbury and West Conn police departments will conduct a training exercise that will affect traffic on Eighth Avenue.  The exercise will concentrate in the Litchfield Hall residence hall.  From 7 am to 4 pm on Thursday, traffic on Eighth Avenue will be restricted to residents only.  Police officers, including members of the Danbury SWAT team, will be involved in the training.

WCSU holds forum on hazard mitigation plan

A public forum is being held this afternoon about the Western Connecticut State University's hazard mitigation plan.  The forum will include information on the work completed to date on a hazard mitigation plan.  The forum will also highlight some of the hazards that may present the greatest risks to campus operations.  Students, faculty, staff and the public are invited to attend the forum to gather information and provide feedback.  Members of the planning committee will be available to answer questions and listen to feedback from stakeholders and the community.  The forum is at 4 o'clock this afternoon in White Hall on West Conn's Midtown campus.

Local lawmaker has mixed views of DMV reform proposals

Governor Dannel Malloy is looking at ways to improve service at the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles following a year of backlogs, long lines and other problems stemming from a major computer overhaul.


Malloy on Tuesday unveiled a bill that would allow the DMV to enter into contracts with private entities, such as AAA, to provide vehicle registration services. Currently, AAA only provides non-commercial driver's license services. 


Wilton State Senator Toni Boucher says things have gotten so bad at the DMV that it seems extraordinary measures have to be taken to relieve them of a lot of responsibilities and duties that they have to do.  She says outsourcing some of the activity to the AAA could be a good thing, because people already have positive experiences when renewing licenses there as opposed to the DMV.  But she says DMV functions are core functions of the state, and should be a part of what the state can provide to residents.


Malloy also wants to eliminate the ban on registering vehicles with delinquent property taxes and parking tickets.


Boucher says this could hit tax assessors hard.  Right now they can enforce someone paying a car property tax is by withholding their ability from registering their car.  She says in the cities, many people don't own a house so they only pay a car property tax.  Boucher is concerned that municipalities will raise the mill rate and burden homeowners and commercial property owners in an effort to make up the losses on car property taxes.


Boucher says the software upgrade failure has to be addressed and fixed, rather that relinquishing some responsibility or getting rid of regulations.

Brookfield officials seek use of Grant Finder program

The Brookfield Board of Selectmen has opted to move forward with spending $600 on a Grant Finder Program.  At their meeting last week, the Selectmen forwarded the proposal to the Board of Finance for approval of funds.  First Selectman Steve Dunn says about 15% of the town's total revenue, depending on the year, comes from grants.  All of the town's departments go out looking for funding on their own.  Dunn says some are pretty straight forward, like ones from the state including the Small Town Economic Assistance Program and Local Capital Improvement Program.


The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities has made an arrangement with Grant Finder for a substantial discount on the fee for the program.


Dunn says this will allow the town to look at grants being offered across the nation.  He says there are likely grants Brookfield is missing, small grants but funding nonetheless.  He says the Grant Finder program will be used for one year, and if it makes sense, a decision will be made after that whether to continue with it. 


Dunn called this a reasonable expenditure for something that will pay for itself if the town only gets one grant worth more than $600.

Danbury Schools hold 'Start with Hello' program events

The Danbury Public School District has started a new program this week, an initiative of Sandy Hook Promise.  The Start with Hello program addresses social isolation.  This coupled with the Say Something program were launched in the fall in an effort to create a safer, healthier school climate. 


Hayestown Avenue School held an assembly and put on a skit Monday. 


(Phot: Danbury Public Schools, Facebook)


Danbury schools this week are holding assemblies and focusing on activities that encourage student involvement in the Say Hello Program commitment.  Superintendent Dr. Sal Pascarella, who serves as president of the Connecticut Association of Public Schools Superintendents, has also encouraged implementation of the programs at schools across Connecticut.

Danbury to audit street light for conversion to LED

Danbury is reallocating funding that's not needed for the 2012 revaluation and putting it toward a street light conversion program to LED lighting.  Danbury is working with ESCO, Energy Services Company, to figure out how to develop and implement such a program.  The initial phase of the project is a comprehensive audit of the street lights in Danbury. 



The cost of the audit will become part of the conversion project if Danbury moves forward with the program.  If the City decides not to move forward, or uses a different company, Danbury will be responsible to pay ESCO up to $50,000 for the audit.  There is little more than $75,000 in the 2012 Revaluation account.


The study is expected to take up to six months.


ESCO will help Danbury obtain certain files from Eversource Energy including street light asset inventory, maintenance history and Eversource's proposed acquisition costs.


The audit will also look into the financial, operational, and energy analyses of the feasibility for implementing the program.  The report will include existing conditions of the lights, projected costs, expected energy and maintenance savings, financing options and a proposed implementation plan.


Councilman Duane Perkins noted that some lighting have power that goes to a ballaster and could be redirected to a bulb.  Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola says they will likely be replacing the complete cobra head to a modern, efficient LED fixture which has a long lifespan and gives better illumination.

Former Bethel, Redding firefighters to be inducted in CT Firefighter Hall of Fame

A former Bethel Volunteer firefighter is among a dozen inductees this year into the State of Connecticut Firefighter Hall of Fame.  The Connecticut State Firefighters Association has released the list of firefighters who have contributed to the betterment of the Fire Service on a local state or national level.


Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Department announced that Past Chief Jon Menti is one of the inductees.  Menti served more than 40 years in the volunteer fire service and was an adjunct Connecticut Fire Academy instructor for over 20 years.


Laurence Ford of Redding, who passed away in May at the age of 93, is being inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously.  He was a research engineer for the National Board of Fire Underwriters.  He served as the Fire Service Coordinator, as well as the Director of Fire Training Programs for the Connecticut State Technical Colleges.  He was appointed to the Connecticut Advisory Committee on Emergency Medical Services by Governor Ella Grasso.   He founded and served as the first president of the Connecticut Fireman’s Historical Society.  


Ford was an active member of Redding Fire Company, #1, where he began his service as a volunteer firefighter in 1940 and served as both the Company’s Fire Marshall and Fire Commissioner.  He was also an Emergency Medical Technician.  As a Chairman of the Redding Emergency Communications Board, he was instrumental in bringing “911” communications to Redding.


An awards ceremony is being held in April. 


Class of 2016 Inductees:

Fred Dudek, Jr., Killingworth


Laurence Ford, Redding (posthumous)


James E. Kiley, Newingtown (posthumous)


Ronald L. Littell, Sr., Tolland


Kevin R. McKeon, West Shore (West Haven)


Jon Menti, Stony Hill


Jeffrey Morrissette, Wethersfield (Fire Admin)


John E. Obier, Jr., North Haven (posthumous)


Gary M. Parker, Derby


Charles Perrotti, North Canaan


Kenneth W. Richards, Jr., Olde Mystic

Danbury officials get more information on Fire Department drone project

Danbury officials are learning more about the unmanned aerial project the Fire Department is looking to take on.  The Department received a donation of $9,000 for the drone project.  The donor asked to remain anonymous, and was made in memory of the late Michael Kallas.  Kallas passed away in June.  He had served as President of the Lions Club, and during that tenure in 2012 the Lions raised funds to replace a broken thermal image camera for the Danbury Fire Department.


Councilman Warren Levy says Kallas was a model citizen, a successful businessman who provided housing for hundreds of people.  He volunteered his time to his church and the community.


Anonymous donations are rare on the Council's agenda, but the City does know who this donor is.  Council Minority Leader Tom Saadi says he has in the past voted against some anonymous donations because the individual may have applications before land use departments or enforcement actions against them.  But he says that's not the case here, there is no conflict.  Saadi says they appreciate the efforts of this donor.


Fire Chief TJ Wiedl said they are very appreciative and have privately thanked the donor. 


The drone will be able to carry a thermal imaging camera.  Wiedl says some departments in the state have used the drones to help put fire out, but Danbury hasn't gotten to that point yet.


Eventually a few people on each crew will have to be trained on how to properly fly the drone.  As for repairs if something happens to the drone, it would be on the city to pay for the expense.  Danbury will own the drone outright and it will be the first municipally registered drone.


A drone was used during the ice rescue training operation at the Town Park on Tuesday.  Wiedl says it's useful because the Department can go back and look at the video after the fact and make improvements.  They can use the drone for possible rescues, especially at Tarrywile Park.  Wiedl says there are a lot of lost hikers there for some reason.


A drone was also used during the Christmas fire on Main Street.  The drone was in the air during almost all of the response.  The Fire Department got permission from the air control tower at Danbury Municipal Airport, and the device was flown at about 300 feet in the air.

Local lawmaker grills Gov. Malloy's Budget Chief

Governor Dannel Malloy's budget chief appeared before the legislature's Appropriations Committee this week after Malloy unveiled his budget.  The panel began its process of going through the revised spending plan.  Bridgewater state Senator Rob Kane questioned the across the board 5.7 percent spending cut approach.  He says it takes a larger sword to the budget versus going line item by line item. 


Barnes says there is a focus to the proposals, core services.  He called it a wholesale change in agency operations.


Kane questioned where the structural changes to the state budget were.  Barnes responded that the state is no longer looking at the future in a doomsday way that the current services model suggests.


Kane's district includes Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Oxford, Seymour, Roxbury, Washington, and Woodbury.

Ridgefield officials hold public hearings on rail trail proposals

A public hearing is being held this morning in Ridgefield.  Residents are being called on to voice their opinion about whether bikes should be allowed on the rail trail.  The public hearing is at 10am at Ridgefield Town Hall.  There will also be hearing on the 17th at 7:30pm. 


The plan is to make the trail safe for bicyclists, walkers and runners.  Among the expected work that's needed is barriers that would protect people who lose control from going down embankments.  The larger goal is to connect the area to other trails around the Parks and Rec property. 


The land is owned by Eversource Energy and there is an environmental cap on the property, and the utility has yet to say whether bicycles will be allowed on the trail.

Kent Board of Ed won't consider arming teachers

The Kent Center School Board of Education met Thursday night, but a proposal from the Board of Selectmen was not one of the specific agenda items. 


The town officials voted two to one Wednesday to present information about the "FASTER Saves Lives" program to the Board of Ed.  The Newstimes reports that the Board of Ed Chairman says they will not consider the proposal to arm staff at the pre-K through 8th grade school with guns, noting that the proposal was not discussed with them before the vote.  The Board chairman continued by saying they are not in support of bringing firearms into the school, but should they wish to consider it in the future, they would fully engage the public following both the law and best practices.


The nonprofit program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion. 


Governor Dannel Malloy says he felt compelled to comment publicly about the situation.  Malloy said he's particularly concerned that the program would also allow anonymous volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio.  He added that no school system in the state of Connecticut should be allowed to do this.  Malloy says this would put children in more danger, not less.


Kent is patrolled by a Resident State Trooper.

Conn. governor critical of town considering arming teachers

KENT, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut town is considering a program that trains teachers to use guns in the event of an active shooter, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has come down hard on the idea.


Kent selectmen voted 2-1 on Wednesday to present information about the "FASTER Saves Lives" program to the Board of Education. The board will ultimately decide whether to implement the program at the pre-K through eighth-grade Kent Center School.


The nonprofit Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion.


In an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Malloy said he's particularly concerned that the program would also allow anonymous volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio.


"If any board of education would approve this, I'd be shocked, frightened and disappointed," said Malloy, who said he felt compelled to comment publicly about the situation. "It makes no sense. And no school system in the state of Connecticut should be allowed to do this."


Selectman Jeffrey Parkin first presented the program to town officials in January.


He told the Danbury News Times on Thursday that reaction to the proposal has "gotten out of hand."


"It's being suggested that teachers would be walking around the school visibly packing guns," he said. "If Kent went into this program, the gun or guns would be concealed. It would be up the Board of Education how the gun would be kept, possibly in a safe with access for trained staff."


Malloy said if school districts want properly trained security, such as former police officers, it's their decision to make.


"The idea that we're going to have a volunteer receive 26 hours of training or teachers and principals receive 26 hours of training, that's just unacceptable," Malloy said. "It puts children in more danger, not less."

Newtown woman attends 64th annual National Prayer Breakfast

The annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, an annual nondenominational gathering, has been held.  5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty  was joined Thursday by Eman Beshtawii, the Director of Community Services and Outreach Programs at an Islamic Center in Newtown.



The 64th Annual National Prayer Breakfast brought together over 3,200 people of faith from all 50 states and over 140 countries.


Esty first met Beshtawii at an interfaith ceremony in December at a vigil honoring the victims of Sandy Hook.  She approached Esty with concerns she and her family face as Muslim-Americans following an increase in religiously and racially charged comments and actions.  Esty says it's all sparked by fear and misinformation.


Beshtawii said she accepted the invitation to highlight all of the good that has come to the Muslim community at the Hedaya Center.   One of their goals is building bridges and relationships with the people of the community, region, and state.  She says much of the fear and hate in the Islamophobia that Muslim American communities experience is a result of the absence of these relationships.


Beshtawii has a husband and four children, and is a member of the Newtown Interfaith Clergy Association. She is also the co-founder of the Newtown "Peace Builder" initiative to engage the youth in the community.

Lake Waramaug Association calls for ban on seaplane landings

A proposal to ban seaplanes from Lake Waramaug has been proposed.  The First Selectman in the Town of Washington has proposed an ordinance prohibiting seaplanes from landing on Lake Waramaug, except in emergencies. 


The legislation would have to be approved by the towns of Washington, Kent and Warren because the lake spans all three towns.  The Lake Waramaug Authority, which is made up of representatives from the towns, has determined that the landing of an aircraft on the lake would endanger public safety, create a public disturbance and risk contaminating the water with invasive organisms. 


Kent Selectman Jeffrey Parkin, who is a seaplane pilot, said during a recent Kent Board of Selectmen meeting that the ordinance is trying to regulate a problem which isn't a problem. 


No immediate action was taken on the measure.

Kent officials consider floor plans for proposed Welcome Center

Kent has closed on a property to build a Welcome Center with public restrooms.  The Board of Selectmen was presented with the proposed building, floor plan and lot placement drawing at a recent meeting. 


The proposal calls for an open porch with kiosk area, men's and women's restrooms and parking area.  The plan also shows an area for a coin-operated shower behind the building.  Kent is along the Appalachian Trail and officials see a need for this for hikers making a stop in the town. 


The plan was presented at the Annual Town Meeting held January 21st.


Kent officials to consider program to arm teachers

A Connecticut town is considering a program that would arm teachers at its only school.

Kent selectmen voted 2-1 on Wednesday to present information about the ``FASTER Saves Lives'' program to the Kent Board of Education. The board will ultimately decide whether to implement the program at the pre-K through eighth-grade Kent Center School.

The nonprofit Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion.

The program would also allow anonymous volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio.

Selectman Jeffrey Parkin first presented the program to town officials in January.


Below is the full text of the proposal:


Sec. 53a-2I7b. Possession of a weapon on school grounds:


Class D felony, (a) A person is guilty of possession of a weapon on school grounds when, knowing that such person is not licensed or privileged to do so, such person possesses a firearm or deadly weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, (1) in or on the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, or (2) at a school-sponsored activity as defined in subsection (h) of section 10-233a. 


(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to the otherwise lawful possession of a firearm (1) by a person for use in a program approved by school officials in or on such school property or at such school-sponsored activity, (2) by a person in accordance with an agreement entered into between school officials and such person or such person's employer, (3) by a peace officer, as defined in subdivision (9) of section 53a-3, while engaged in the performance of such peace officer's official duties, or (4) by a person while traversing such school property for the purpose ofgaining access to public or private lands open to hunting or for other lawful purposes, provided such firearm is not loaded and the entry on such school property is permitted by the local or regional board of education.

Danbury City Council considers $25k for lobbying service

$25,000 for lobbying services in Hartford will be examined by a committee of the Danbury City Council.  The group met to vote on approval of the funding Tuesday night.  After several residents spoke out against the allocation, the City Council decided to further study the request.


The lobbying service is meant to give Danbury greater access to funding in the form of municipal aid as well as to grant other opportunities through state department funding.  As state revenue continues to decline, City officials say it's imperative that Danbury be well represented at the Capital.  Officials say the lobbying service will help ensure that funding levels are maintained and that service levels in Danbury remain or increase without residents incurring an additional tax burden.


Mayor Mark Boughton says the Board of Education has already appropriated $25,000 so the City will move forward with engaging the lobbying firm.  He says this same thing will be voted on in March after the ad hoc committee discusses it.


One resident said that if the lobbying was meant to secure more funding for the schools, that could be worth it because of the current underfunding by the state.  Another resident argued that Danbury has elected very effective lawmakers to lobby on the City's behalf.  Several funding streams were cited, including money to turn the former YMCA building downtown into a community center, money to help outfit the new Naugatuck Valley Community College building with technology and highway improvement projects at exits 5 and 6.

Schaghticoke Tribal Nation forms LLC to pursue development of a new casino

The Kent-based Schaghticoke Tribal Nation has created the Confluence of Rivers Tribal Business Entity LLC in order to pursue development of Connecticut's third casino.  Chief Richard Velky, of Woodbury, said in a statement that the tribe intends to issue a request for proposals to establish a casino gaming facility in a municipality. 


Velky says this would be a significant economic development opportunity, and would also increase revenue gained by the state.


The Secretary of the State's office has been notified that the Derby-based business entity is seeking to pursue development of a commercial casino.  Secretary Denise Merrill says the plan does not comply with Special Act 15-7, as documented.  She says the application meets the standard to become an LLC, but not the tough requirements of the Special Act to open a new casino gaming facility.  Proposals would have to go through the Department of Consumer Protection.  The Act was approved by the legislature to compete with a planned casino in Springfield, Massachusetts.


While the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation is recognized by the state, it does not have federal recognition.  Recognition approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 2004 was reversed after members of the Congressional delegation and state officials decried the decision to grant sovereignty.  New rules by the BIA last year ban previously denied tribes to reapply for recognition.


Tribuna editor seeks GOP nomination for 110th District State House seat

Emanuela Palmares announced she is seeking the Republican nomination for State Representative of Danbury’s 110th District. The election will be in November. Palmares, a long time Danbury resident and proud mother, is the editor of the Tribuna Newspaper. She is a Commissioner on the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission which advises the Governor and the State Legislature, a council member on Danbury’s Aging in Place Council, and serves as a member of the Danbury Hospital Board of Directors.


Democrat Bob Godfrey, a Deputy House Speaker, has represented the district for 24 years.


Palmares says she wants to be an independent voice in Hartford, as someone who reflects the diversity and everyday struggles of Danbury residents.   She said she was inspired to go into public service by watching her parents work three jobs and eventually start their own business. 


The Latinos United for Professional Advancement named Palmares as of the organization's 50 Most Influential Latinos in Connecticut in 2015.  In 2010, she made the Fairfield County Business Journal's 40 Under 40 list.


Palmares is officially kicking off her campaign on Friday at 5:30pm  at Two Steps Downtown Grille.

Danbury Fire Department gets $9,000 anonymous donation for drone

An anonymous donor is giving $9,000 to the Danbury Fire Department for a new tool to help them rescue people in fires.  The donation is for a drone project.  The donor asked to remain anonymous, and was made in memory of the late Michael Kallas.  Fire Chief TJ Wiedl said they are very appreciative and have privately thanked the donor. 


The drone will be able to carry a thermal imaging camera. 


Kallas passed away in June.  He had served as President of the Lions Club, and during that tenure in 2012 the Lions raised funds to replace a broken thermal image camera for the Danbury Fire Department.


Wiedl says drones have a myriad of uses, with the ability to provide live aerial feeds of fires or large scale incidents.  They also help firefighters with pre-planning information and aid in the search for lost persons in rugged terrain. 

Labor, equipment donated to finish Danbury Fire Training School

A big donation has been made to the Danbury Fire Department to help finish the renovations at the fire training school.  More than $7,000 has been donated to the Danbury Fire Department for labor and equipment to install pipe and two manholes at the fire training facility off Plumtrees Road. 


The donation was made by Kenosia Development LLC. 


Fire Chief TJ Wiedl says the donation will help the Fire Department with the development of the property.  Ground was broken in August and construction is expected to wrap up soon. 


There will be two classrooms, a computer room, conference room and offices in the new facility.  While no equipment will be housed at the site, there will be two bays--one for a fire engine and one for a tanker truck.

Danbury woman seeks to unseat 12-term incumbent State Representative

The Republican nomination for Danbury's 110th District State House seat is being sought by a political newcomer.  Emanuela Palmares is seeking to challenge Democrat Bob Godfrey, a Deputy House Speaker who has represented the district for 24 years. 


Palmares is the editor of the Tribuna Newspaper. She is a Commissioner on the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission which advises the Governor and the State Legislature, a council member on Danbury’s Aging in Place Council, and serves as a member of the Danbury Hospital Board of Directors.


Palmares says she wants to be an independent voice in Hartford, as someone who reflects the diversity and everyday struggles of Danbury residents.   She said she was inspired to go into public service by watching her parents work three jobs and eventually start their own business. 


The Latinos United for Professional Advancement named Palmares as of the organization's 50 Most Influential Latinos in Connecticut in 2015.  In 2010, she made the Fairfield County Business Journal's 40 Under 40 list.


Palmares is officially kicking off her campaign on Friday at 5:30pm  at Two Steps Downtown Grille.

Metro North Danbury Branch ridership soars in 2015

Ridership on the Metro North New Haven line for last year surpassed 40.3 million passenger trips.  That's up two percent from the prior year.  Metro North says it also sets an all-time record, making it the busiest commuter rail line in America.  Non-commuting discretionary ridership was up 2.9 percent over last year.  The Danbury branch had significant ridership growth of 9.4 percent.  The New Haven Line is owned by the State and is operated by Metro-North under contract to the state Department of Transportation.

Greater Danbury municipalities to receive state road aid funding

$30 million in Town Aid Road funding has been released by the state for municipalities.  This is the second installment of Aid funding.  An additional $68.9 million has also been approved to cover the costs associated with resurfacing state roadways this year.  This year, it is anticipated that at least 250 two-lane miles of roads throughout the state will be repaved. 


Several Greater Danbury area towns are receiving funding. 


Under the Town Aid Road program, municipalities can use the funding for a variety of purposes, including construction or maintenance of highways and bridges, snow removal, the trimming and removal of trees, the installation of traffic signs and signals, and for providing and operating essential public transportation services and related facilities.


The breakdown of the Town Aid Road grants includes:


Bethel $319,351.99


Bethlehem $214,612.16


Brookfield $304,309.32


Danbury $861,734.86


Easton $227,879.45


Monroe $352,168.36


New Fairfield  $276,641.12


New Milford $559,549.53


Newtown $469,996.05


Redding $269,265.41


Ridgefield $379,235.74


Sherman $205,240.25


Southbury $377,898.06


Weston $251,636.23


Wilton $315,938.04

John Adams exhibit at CH Booth library extended

Artifacts belonging to two Presidents will be on display in Newtown longer than originally announced due to the large interest in the exhibit.  CH Booth Library and the Newtown Historical Society say the Adams exhibition will remain on display the rest of this week.  The 20 or so items belonged to President John Adams, his wife Abigail, John Quincy Adams and a descendant, John Quincy Adams Johnson, who lived in Redding for a time. 


The objects include personal jewelry, including a bracelet woven from the hair of John Adams, signet rings that would have been used to seal state papers as well as personal correspondence, an inaugural medal, and gifts given to John Quincy Adams. 


The exhibit is located to the side of the main circulation desk and can be visited any time during library hours.  The display was made possible in part by a grant from the Connecticut Humanities Council.

Danbury considers $50k for statue honoring City's hatting history

The Danbury City Council is set to take up a $50,000 allocation for a monument honoring Danbury's hatting past, now that a location has been determined.  As part of an upcoming street scaping project around City Hall, the statue could be worked into the landscaping design.  Plans call for some tree on Deer Hill Avenue to be taken down, which could make way for the monument. 


A small-scale statue shows a hatter and his tools.   The sculpture may have hats on the side of the structure, with names of those who donate large sums.  The price tag is estimated at between $125,000 and $140,000.  A local bank has promised a $50,000 donation, if Danbury offers a dollar for dollar match.  The Hat City Committee will fundraise to make up the balance.  The committee hopes to have this in place by mid to late July.


City Center officials say this would tie into the "Museum in the Streets" and walk celebrating the history and cultural arts of Danbury.  There are 33 panels describing Danbury's history along Deer Hill Avenue, down Wooster Street and along Main Street.


Hat City Danbury Day takes place the first week in December. 


By 1800, Danbury was producing more hats than any place else in the United States. By 1887, some 30 factories were manufacturing 5 million hats a year. After decades, things began to slow down, by 1923 only six hat manufacturers were left in Danbury. Costly labor disputes, changing fashion trends, and less profit resulted in many factories closing or moving, and the last hat factory in Danbury closed in the 1980’s. 


City officials say even though the hatting industry in Danbury has completely vanished, its impact on the City’s history will last forever.

Monroe state Rep. files paperwork for reelection bid

State Representative J.P. Sredzinski has filed the necessary paperwork with to run for re-election in the 112th district of Monroe and a portion of Newtown. 


Sredzinski currently serves on the General Assembly's Public Safety & Security, Commerce, and Internship Committees.  He is also a founding member of the Young Legislators Caucus, a bipartisan group of Representatives and Senators under forty years of age.


Among the accomplishments he touts from his first term is office is helping to secure a $500,000 grant from the State for the Monroe Volunteer EMS to use toward a new facility and co-sponsoring a bill which makes the development of Emergency Operation Plans less burdensome to municipalities.


One of his top priorities if reelected is to fix the state's lagging economy.  He also wants to see budget problems addressed in the long term by advancing policies which would make Connecticut more attractive for job creators.


Sredzinski is a 13 year resident of Monroe whose past community service includes the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Greater Bridgeport Regional Planning Agency, the Connecticut EMS Advisory Board, Monroe Little League and more.  He also served as an elected Town Councilmember from 2005 until his election to the General Assembly in 2014.  He concurrently serves as the Chairman of the Monroe Police Department Renovation Committee whose work is near completion.   Sredzinski works full time for the Town of Stratford as a 911 Dispatch Supervisor.

Facebook being praised for ban on private gun sales via website

Connecticut's two U.S. Senators are praising Facebook for banning the private sale of firearms on their social networking sites.  Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal say Facebook is taking a powerful stand against gun violence, and will make communities safer by making sure only law-abiding citizens can get their hands on guns.  They are calling on other sites and social media to follow this example because the fight against gun violence is not something that any one person or organization can take on alone.  The Senators also touted Facebook's decision last year to no longer allow posts that have a clear intent to evade the law.


2022-11 | 2022-10 | 2022-09 | 2022-08 | 2022-07 | 2022-06 | 2022-05 | 2022-04 | 2022-03 | 2022-02 | 2022-01 | 2021-12 | 2021-11 | 2021-10 | 2021-09 | 2021-08 | 2021-07 | 2021-06 | 2021-05 | 2021-04 | 2021-03 | 2021-02 | 2021-01 | 2020-12 | 2020-11 | 2020-10 | 2020-09 | 2020-08 | 2020-07 | 2020-06 | 2020-05 | 2020-04 | 2020-03 | 2020-02 | 2020-01 | 2019-12 | 2019-11 | 2019-10 | 2019-09 | 2019-08 | 2019-07 | 2019-06 | 2019-05 | 2019-04 | 2019-03 | 2019-02 | 2019-01 | 2018-12 | 2018-11 | 2018-10 | 2018-09 | 2018-08 | 2018-07 | 2018-06 | 2018-05 | 2018-04 | 2018-03 | 2018-02 | 2018-01 | 2017-12 | 2017-11 | 2017-10 | 2017-09 | 2017-08 | 2017-07 | 2017-06 | 2017-05 | 2017-04 | 2017-03 | 2017-02 | 2017-01 | 2016-12 | 2016-11 | 2016-10 | 2016-09 | 2016-08 | 2016-07 | 2016-06 | 2016-05 | 2016-04 | 2016-03 | 2016-02 | 2016-01 | 2015-12 | 2015-11 | 2015-10 | 2015-09 | 2015-08 | 2015-07 | 2015-06 | 2015-05 | 2015-04 | 2015-03 | 2015-02 | 2015-01 | 2014-12 | 2014-11 | 2014-10 | 2014-09 | 2014-08 | 2014-07 | 2014-06 | 2014-05 | 2014-04 | 2014-03 | 2014-02 | 2014-01 | 2013-12 | 2013-11 | 2013-10 | 2013-09 | 2013-08 | 2013-07 | 2013-06 | 2013-05 | 2013-04 | 2013-03 | 2013-02 | 2013-01 | 2012-12

On Air Now

Bart Busterna

Local Headlines