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Local Headlines Archives for 2017-09

Danbury PTO hosts candidate forum Monday

The Danbury Citywide PTO is hosting a "Meet the Candidates Night" tonight.  The forum features Republican incumbent Mayor Mark Boughton and Democratic challenger Al Almeida talking about their views on education in Danbury. 


PTO Co-President Lynne Lukasik says they expect a good turnout because the event was opened to the mayoral candidates.  Several Board of Education candidates will also be on hand. 


Lukasik says they have a few questions to get the evening started, but it is a open forum so those in attendance will be able to ask their questions as well.


The event in the Broadview Middle School auditorium is at 7pm.


State Department of VA leader steps down, Danbury man named acting Commissioner

State Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly has turned in his notice, effective Wednesday, that he is stepping down to pursue other professional opportunities.  Chief of Staff and General Counsel of department Tom Saadi of Danbury will serve as Acting Commissioner until a permanent successor is named.  Connolly said serving as Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs has been a rewarding experience and that he's proud of the dedicated staff and the work that they've been able to accomplish together.  Connolly served more than 7 years on active duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Kuwait and Iraq.  He's been awarded the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.  He continues his service today as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

New Milford looks to extend river trail

A planning firm has been hired by New Milford to determine how to extend the existing 5 mile river trail from it’s southern trailhead on Boardman Road to the Young's Field River Walk, through downtown toward the Brookfield Town Line.  The New Milford Bike and Trail Committee presented their conceptual plan this week and results of the River Trail Study. The plan lays the groundwork to connect the River Walk with Sega Meadows to the north, and the Brookfield Still River Trail to the south.  The full presentation can be viewed at the Town website.

New laws take effect in Conn. Sunday

A bill authorizing the picking of mushrooms at State Parks takes effect on Sunday.  The measure, introduced by New Milford state Senator Craig Miner, allows people to take mushrooms for their personal use from property under the control of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.


A new law proposed by Newtown state Representative Mitch Bolinsky takes effect in Connecticut on Sunday.  It allows certain organizations qualified to operate bazaars or raffles to sell or promote the sale of raffle tickets on their websites.  But it also specifically prohibits sponsoring organization from conducting or operating an online raffle.


Law Enforcement can track cell phone activity under a new law in Connecticut that takes effect Sunday.  Standards for law enforcement conducting surveillance using a “cell site simulator device” have been set to obtain geo-location data under specific regulations.


National Guard members will be able to cancel gym memberships and other contracts early under a new law taking effect Sunday in Connecticut.  Those members ordered into active service can cancel certain contracts at any time after receiving order, to serve for 90 days or more, at a location that does not support such contracts.


Safe Haven Laws are being expanded in Connecticut as of Sunday.  The existing law requires a hospital to designate a place where a person can surrender an infant up to 30 days old without facing arrest for abandonment.  The new portion is that the Department of Children and Families is required to identify a prospective adoptive parent for a safe haven infant within one business day.


Felony offenses are being introduced for Computer Extortion by Use of Ransomware.  As of Sunday, in Connecticut, an act creates a specific "class E felony offense" for computer extortion involving ransomware.


A new law takes effect on Sunday that removes the lower age limit of an existing law about sexting.  Those under age 13 who possess or transmit child pornography would face a misdemeanor, rather than felony, charges.


Anyone under age 16 would be prohibited from getting married in Connecticut as of Sunday.  The new law also narrows the circumstances in which a marriage license may be issued to a 16 or 17 year old.  Under prior law, a 16- or 17-year-old could be issued a marriage license if the registrar of vital statistics had on file the written consent of the minor's parent or guardian. If the minor was under age 16, he or she also needed the written consent of the probate judge where the minor resided.

Ridgefield school district implements hiring freeze

The Ridgefield School District has implemented a spending freeze.  It took effect September 18th after the district had to hire more teachers because of a higher than expected enrollment, plus additional special education expenses.  Superintendent Karin Baldwin says the freeze will apply to “controllable” accounts such as technology, building repairs and cleaning supplies.  There is a more than million dollar deficit in the district's budget.  Baldwin says 4  Individualized Education Programs for families who moved to Ridgefield were in place from private institutions, and have to be implemented.  Five special education lawsuits against the district have also been settled.

150th anniversary of Plumtrees Schoolhouse to be held this weekend

The Plumtrees School Association and the Bethel Historical Society is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the schoolhouse on Sunday.  The event from noon to 2pm is being held at the schoolhouse, located on the corner of Taylor Road and Plumtrees.  Patrick Wild, Bethel's Town Historian will give a presentation, historic games will be played and there will be craft projects available.  The Plumtrees Schoolhouse, built in 1867, is on land donated by Eliza Benedict. As a one-room schoolhouse, it housed students from grades 1 through 7.  During this time, Bethel had five school districts each with its own schoolhouse. The Plumtrees Schoolhouse served Bethel from 1867-1970. At its closing, it was the last operating one-room schoolhouse in America.

Route 7 road closure this weekend for bridge replacement project

Due to the Half Marathon and the Route 7 bridgework, Ridgefield Police are expecting a high volume of traffic and delays in the downtown area on Sunday between 7am and 10am. Police are asking for patience during that time.  Route 7 will be closed from 8pm Friday through 6am Monday.  Past weekend closures have wrapped up earlier as work was completed ahead of schedule.  The contractor expects this to be the fifth and final closing of Route 7 for bridge repair work, but cautions that Route 7 could be closed again October 13th through 16th.

Two local police chiefs recognized by statewide agency

Redding Police Chief Doug Fuchs and Monroe Police Chief John Salvatore have been honored by the Police Commissioners Association of Connecticut.  The statewide organization held their annual distinguished chiefs dinner Wednesday.  Fuchs is Redding's first and only police chief.  He is also an adjunct professor at the Bridgeport Police Academy.  Salvatore served more than two decades as a police officer before becoming Monroe's Chief in 1998.  He recently ended his term as president for the Connecticut Chiefs of Police Association.

Danbury elementary school named a Blue Ribbon School

An elementary school in Danbury has been named as a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. 


Morris Street School is Danbury's first National Blue Ribbon School.  The k-5 school with some 370 students who attend, was named as a School of Distinction last year when accountability reports were released. 



All Blue Ribbon selected schools demonstrated outstanding overall achievement and Morris Street was identified for their work toward closing Connecticut's achievement gap.  Half the students are English learners and more than 80 percent are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals. 


Morris Street School houses a family resource center, and together they work to strengthen the ties between the school and the families by providing programs, family support, and access to a variety of resources. Additionally, Morris Street School started a volunteer program with the support of local faith-based organizations that has been hugely successful, leading to expansion of the program in four other Danbury schools.

License tentatively approved for police dog training group to use former firehouse

A license that would allow a police dog training group to use the former Newtown Hook & Ladder firehouse has been tentatively approved by the Board of Selectmen.  Superior Canine Services of New Milford wants to use the vacant Main Street building to train police dogs for municipal police departments in the region. 


The Board voted to ask the town attorney for revisions to a proposed licensing agreement allowing the company to use the building for 9 months for $1. 


A structural engineering firm previously determined that the former firehouse is structurally unsound.  The license will be changed so that the company agrees to use the facility as is. 


After the revision is made, the Board of Selectmen can review it again and then formally vote. 


Police Chief James Viadero says many of the police dog teams already use the nearby Fairfield Hills campus for tracking exercises.  Those using the building would sign “hold harmless” agreements.

State Supreme Court hears arguments in education funding fairness lawsuit appeal

It is likely to take several months before there's a ruling by the state Supreme Court on Connecticut's appeal of a lower court decision that the state's education funding system is unconstitutional and irrational.  Associate Attorney General Joseph Rubin argued that the Superior Court Judge over stepped his authority.


The constitution leaves it up to the legislative and executive branches to come up with how to fix these problems as long as the approach is reasonable.  Rubin argued that just because the results are not yet where they're desired, that doesn't mean the approach is unreasonable.


Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding President, Newtown Selectman Herb Rosenthal, says they brought the suit 11 years ago in hopes of getting lawmakers to create a rational plan for funding for schools.


Rubin argued against the trial court saying it would dictate new policies for financing, special education, and teacher qualification and compensation.  He called the task subjective and noted that the plaintiffs don't agree with some of the ruling.  

State Police Lt promoted to Captain

Connecticut State Police promoted 11 Troopers during a ceremony at the State Police Training Academy yesterday.  Captain David DelVecchia was promoted from Lieutenant and will be assigned as Executive Officer of State Police Western District Headquarters.  A Trooper for 23 years, he has earned two Medals for Meritorious Service, 5 Unit Citation awards, a U.S. Attorney Commendation for Outstanding Service and FBI recognition for Outstanding Assist and Service.  Captain DelVecchia previously served as Commander of the Western District Major Crime Squad and Commanding Officer at Troop L in Litchfield. He earned a bachelor degree from Western Connecticut State University, a M.S. from the University of Charleston and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Sidewalk project to start in New Fairfield

The next phase of the sidewalk project in New Fairfield will start this week.  In 2005, Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials conducted a study for the town.  The study resulted in recommendations to increase the appeal and beautification of the center of New Fairfield that included sidewalks, plantings, and lighting, among other things.  A Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant was secured to move forward with the next phase of this plan.  The new sidewalks will connect shopping centers that are currently not connected with existing sidewalks.  First Selectman Susan Chapman says the next phase of the project will further the plan for the Town center, but won’t complete it.  She is looking to secure additional funding for future phases.

Culinary school moves into new community center in New Milford

The Community Culinary School of Northwestern Connecticut will occupy the kitchen and a classroom at the newly opened John Pettibone Community Center in New Milford.  A Memorandum of Understanding was unanimously agreed to by the Town Council this week. 


The lease is for 15 years. 


New Milford officials say the Community Center offers a large kitchen for the School to better train its students and provide real world experience as a professional chef. 


Food produced in the classes is distributed to the hungry in the community via the New Milford Food Bank.  The Food Bank will also be located at the Community Center and serves up to 150 households weekly.

Praxair shareholders have approved merger

Praxair shareholders have approved a merger with Linde AG.  The support was issued at the Danbury-based comapny's special meeting of shareholders Wednesday.  The approval completes a key milestone in combining the two industrial gas industry.  Approximately 83% of the total issued and outstanding shares of Praxair common stock voted to approve the business combination.  The merger is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018.

Native Meadows Preserve transferred to New Milford

Native Meadows Preserve has been transferred to the town of New Milford.  The 25 acre property will be preserved as open space.  It's located between Route 7 and the Housatonic River at Veterans Bridge.  Wild migratory birds and native wood ducks are among the wildlife living on the property. 



The Northwest Conservation District purchased the property in 2010.  A parking lot was built off Route 7 this year.  Grass along some of the trails has been cut in an effort to prep the property for public use. 


The land was purchased with funding from the Natural Resources Damage Fund, which was created to restore the Housatonic River from PCB contamination by General Electric operations in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 


Town officials hope to have a Grand Opening in the fall.

Sherman firefighters to take part in October blood drive

The Sherman Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a blood drive next month.  The Red Cross will be holding the blood drive on October 14th in Charter Hall at the Sherman Emergency Services Facility. The drive starts at 7:30am and runs through 12:30pm. Advance reservations are encouraged.

Mobile Health Van to conduct screenings in downtown Danbury

The Greater Danbury Community Health Center’s Mobile Health Van will be in downtown Danbury Thursday to provide free blood pressure screenings.  The Connecticut Institute For Communities says doctors will be available to offer hypertension/ blood pressure management education, and general health education.


CIFC says barriers for access to affordable healthcare are among the main reasons people don’t seek proper healthcare. 


The Mobile Health Van will be located adjacent to Kennedy Park in collaboration with CityCenter Danbury’s “Downtown Chow-Down”.  People will be able to make an appointment for a follow-up, in-office visit with that same doctor.


The van will be available Thursday from 11am to 2pm. 

New Milford Police looking to hire new officers

New Milford is looking to fill several police officer positions.  The town is currently planning on hiring up to 5 new officers, including officers who will be trained through a new academy class scheduled later this year.  The Department will also consider transfers from other departments.  New Milford Lt. William Scribner and Officer Robert Tozzi recently retired after over 30 years of service to the Town.  Two patrol officers transferred to the Danbury Police Department.

Danbury firefighters help free a truck from a small ditch

Members of the Danbury Fire Department had to help a truck get out of a small ditch on Monday.  The crew of Engine 24 says a Furniture delivery truck partially blocking Beaverbrook Road after getting stuck in a driveway.  The driver told firefighters he had been there for an hour waiting for help. They assisted in getting the truck out of the ditch caused by new pavement by using wheel grip tools and left over broken asphalt.

Brookfield and New Milford look to connect Still River Greenways

Brookfield and New Milford are looking into the possibility of joining the Still River Greenway in each community.  Brookfield is creating a committee to evaluate the proposed path being presented by New Milford's Bike and Trail Committee. 


Brookfield First Selectman Steve Dunn says the new walks along the river have proven immensely popular and will continue to be popular.  A recent survey in Brookfield showed 900 people using the Greenway on Saturdays and Sundays.  Residents can walk, exercise their dogs and children can ride their bikes in a safe place. 


Dunn says with the ongoing revitalization of both downtowns, this seems to be a perfect time to join the Greenways.  Brookfield residents who want to be part of the committee looking into the possibility should apply to the First Selectman's office. 


The towns will be applying for grants to fund the building of the new Greenway.

Speed hump installed on Danbury street to control traffic

Some Danbury residents have been concerned with speeders along Rowan Street, a straight road used as a cut through around North Street.  Traffic calming ideas were recommended in the past so the Danbury Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team coordinated with the Engineering Department to assess the area for a speed hump.  One was installed last month.  UNIT believes this will have a significant impact on the overall speed of vehicles on the street and create a safety improvement for residents.

Vigil being held by MCCA in Danbury tonight

A candlelight vigil is being held in Danbury tonight  to remember those who have lost their lives due to their struggle with addiction.  The 6pm event at Tarrywile Park is being organized by the Midwestern Connecticut Council on Alcoholism.  The agency says they hope the community will come together and find strength and comfort through the vigil.  The event will be held at Parks Pond.  Parking is available behind Tarrywile Mansion and on Southern Boulevard.

Mosquitoes trapped in Monroe test positive for West Nile

Mosquitoes trapped at the Garder Road trapping station in Monroe on September 18th tested positive for West Nile virus.  These results represent the first mosquitoes identified in Monroe by the State this year as being positive for West Nile. 


Although it is late in the season, mosquitoes will continue to be active until the first hard frost. 


State Mosquito Surveillance Program Director Dr. Philip Armstrong advised residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.


• Weather permitting, wear long sleeves, socks and closed-toe shoes, long pants, light colors and a hat that protects your head.

• Use insect repellent. If you're also using sunscreen, put it on first, about 20 minutes before applying the repellent. Treat clothing and outdoor gear with repellent. Check the product label for specific application instructions.

• Reduce mosquitoes around your home. Eliminate standing water, where mosquitoes breed. Unclog roof gutters. Empty children's wading pools and change water in birdbaths at least weekly. Get rid of old tires or items that may collect water in your yard.

• Repair any tears in the screens on your windows, doors and camping gear, use mosquito netting over strollers and cribs or when sleeping outdoors.

New Milford approves appointment of new tree warden

The New Milford Town Council has approved a new tree warden after the former warden resigned following an argument during the previous Council meeting.  The Newstimes reports that Joe Quaranta, a licensed arborist and owner of Advanced Construction and Tree Removal, donated $90,000 worth of tree work to New Milford at the same meeting.  But Council members said the work was completed before the position became vacant.  Former tree warden Carlos Caridad, contends that the mayor mismanaged the tree removal contract and has left dangerous trees standing long after they were tagged for removal.

Bill replacing DACA criticized by C4D organizer

Connecticut Students for a Dream is reacting to a bill introduced this week to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  Camila Bortolleto of Danbury says a clean bipartisan bill is needed.  She was critical of the Succeed Act saying fewer undocumented youth brought to this country illegally as minors would qualify for protection than under DACA.  She called for passage of the DREAM Act, introduced by Senators Graham and Durbin.  Bortolleto also said that Dreamers shouldn't be used as bargaining chips for border and enforcement measures.

EPA signs off on removal of steel from Century Brass site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has authorized New Milford to have steel removed from the old Century Brass site.  The Contractor that had been selected years ago to demolish the building and remove the steel was terminated, the project rebid, and a new contractor selected.  Costello Demolition tore down the building and the only remnant was the large pile of steel that remained on site.  New Milford officials hope to have that work done over the coming weeks.  The brownfield property could then go back to be a revenue generator for the town.  The town began cleaning it up in 2000, year after it was acquired, under an order from the EPA.

School renovation plans adjusted in Bethel, cost estimate lowered

Some plans for proposed Bethel school renovations have been revised, lowering the potential cost.  Rockwell Elementary would have had a kindergarten addition under the original design, but the footprint of the building now won't change.  The State Office of School Construction, which could grant up to 45-percent reimbursement on eligible costs, asked the town to see if educational program goals could be reached while not including bumpouts. 


Superintendent of Schools Christine Carver says they went back and looked at how to get that done.  They would have to give up some things to under an alternative layout.  The two classrooms were incorporated into the main floor of the building while the art room was moved to the second floor.  With the revisions, the collaborative spaces were cut and the library was made smaller, which meant the elimination of the maker space and STEM space. 


School officials are working with the town's Fire Marshal on some issues with access to the second floor.  Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms can not be on the second floor, but they can go there for certain things.  According to fire code they there would have to be a dedicated stairwell for them.


But all of the changes lowered the cost estimates about $2.4 million.


Carver says the state Office of School Construction feels Bethel is coming in well prepared and while the buildings are aged, they are well maintained.  She also noted that Bethel doesn't have a declining enrollment.

Congresswoman proposes bills to combat human trafficking

5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty has introduced two bipartisan bills to combat human trafficking. One piece of legislation is called the "Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act".  It focuses on preventing human trafficking. The bill would designate a human trafficking prevention coordinator at the U.S. Department of Transportation and increase outreach, education, and reporting efforts at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.


The bill is supported by Truckers Against Trafficking, National District Attorneys Association, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and ECPAT-USA.

The other bill is called the "No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act" would disqualify individuals from operating a commercial motor vehicle for their lifetime if they used such a vehicle to commit a felony involving human trafficking.

Esty called Human trafficking an inhumane crime.  She notes that it is occurring in communities all over the state and throughout America.  Esty says anyone can become a victim of human trafficking, regardless of race, age, gender, or socio-economic status.  

Mayoral candidate proposes purchasing 78 acres for open space

The Democratic candidate for Mayor in Danbury is making a proposal to buy a parcel of land for open space.  Al Almeida says if he is elected, he wants the City to purchase the 78 acre property recently known as Cotswold located between Clapboard Ridge and Padanaram Roads. 


He called it an environmentally significant property that should be preserved and used for passive recreation. 


There have been multiple attempts over several decades to develop the Cotswold property.  Almeida says by having the City purchase the property, it would protect the long term interests of residents in this area, and preserve environmental resources.  He added that student athletes could use the property for running. 


The Cotswold property adjoins city owned property at both its north and south ends and an adjacent watershed area to the north. Student Athletes 

Bethel receives grant for energy saving projects

Bethel received a $10,000 grant for an upcoming energy saving projects. The town would like to host a Light Bulb Exchange in October.  Estimates are that $2,000 will provide enough light bulbs for 485 households to swap out 5 incandescents .  The Bright Idea Grant was accepted by the Board of Selectman. 

Brookfield police help steady line of parents install, inspect car seats

Brookfield Police are calling this weekend's car seat clinic a success.  Most, if not all, of the car seats that came to the clinic had at least one installation mistake, which the technicians were able to point out and correct.  The line was backed up several cars deep and extended out of the parking lot at several times during the day.  Three technicians worked to get everyone in and out efficiently.


There were several expired seats, for which the department provided and installed a new seat.  Police say there were also several seats facing the wrong direction, calling it an unsafe practice and illegal in some cases.  There were also a few where the child had outgrown the seat entirely so Brookfield Police provided and installed a new seat or booster. 


The Department thanked the MOMS Club of Brookfield for donating safety packs for each child whose loved one stopped by the police station to have a car seat inspected or installed. 


New car seat laws take effect in Connecticut on Sunday.

Danbury, Bethel state lawmakers hosting diaper drive for Hopeline of Danbury

Danbury and Bethel state lawmakers are working with the Hopeline of Danbury for a collection effort.  The diaper drive started earlier this month and continues through October 11th.  The delegation put together the month-long diaper drive with Hopeline after in-need Bethel families learned that diapers were not covered by Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.  Residents can donate diapers at Danbury and Bethel town halls and Bethel Library through October 11th.  According to state statistics, a month’s supply of diapers can cost over $100.

Ribbon cut for new community center in New Milford

A ceremonial ribbon cutting was held over the weekend in New Milford for the John Pettibone Community Center.  Mayor David Gronbach took visitors on a tour of the former school.  It's been renovated to house the Parks and Recreation Department, social services and New Milford's youth agency.  Some renovations are expected to be completed in the next few weeks. 


$225,000 for repairs was approved by the Town Council while $155,000 for sidewalks came from the Waste Management Fund. 


New Milford schools central office will remain in the Lillis Building after a dispute over financing the project.  The Newstimes reports that the empty wing of the building could be offered to Naugatuck Valley Community College or Henry Abbott Technical High School to use for satellite labs.

Road work to close part of Simpaug Turnpike in Redding

Part of Simpaug Turnpike in Redding will be closed later this morning for road maintenance.  Redding officials say there was a last minute schedule change with the contractor.  The work will take place between the Post office and Topstone Road from 9am to 3 pm.  Drivers are asked to take an alternate route during these times. 

Public hearing in Bethel tonight on school renovation proposals

A public hearing is being held in Bethel tonight about proposed renovations to Rockwell Elementary School and Johnson School.  Superintendent Christine Carver told the Board of Finance at their last meeting that school construction funding is separate from education cost sharing grants and may not be affected by the state budget stalemate. 


The State office of School Construction has said they remain supportive of Bethel's plans.  Rockwell was built in 1971 and Johnson in 1980.


About 45-percent of the $68 million renovations could be eligible for state reimbursement.  A referendum has to be held before November 15th in order to be eligible for the priority list.  The resolution for a referendum could be written in a way that says going forward with the project is contingent on the state funding.  There would be an "out clause" so the town wouldn't be responsible for the full $68 million if the state funding doesn't come through.


Tonight's public hearing is at 7 o'clock in the Bethel High School auditorium.

Connecticut Supreme Court to hear landmark education case

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A judge's landmark ruling that declared Connecticut's system for funding public schools unconstitutional is set to go before the state Supreme Court.

Justices are scheduled to hear arguments Thursday in the state's appeal of the ruling. The hearing comes as Connecticut officials are mired in a budget impasse that includes debate over how the state should distribute education aid to cities and towns.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher ordered state officials last year to develop plans for an overhaul of the state's public education system within six months. He said a huge gap in test scores between students in rich and poor towns showed parts of the system are unconstitutional and irrational.

The ruling came in a lawsuit against the state by a coalition of cities, towns, parents and students.  Danbury is a lead plaintiff 
in the suit.

WCSU. UConn get federal grants to train more mental health providers

A $600,000 grant to the University of Connecticut and Western Connecticut State University from the Health Resources and Services Administration received through the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program. The program, which was reauthorized as part of Senator Chris Murphy's recently enacted Mental Health Reform Act, seeks to expand the behavioral health workforce and train new mental health providers, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and paraprofessionals. 


UConn will receive $178,544 to recruit, train and place social workers in underserved areas of Connecticut with a focus on integrated care.  Western Connecticut State University will receive $420,522 to increase the number of school and clinical mental health counselors who can provide trauma-informed mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults.


In addition to the stigma surrounding mental illness that prevents too many from getting the help they need and deserve, 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says the state faces a serious shortage of trained mental health professionals.


Murphy says too many kids and adults with mental health needs in this country don’t get the timely care they need for one reason: not enough trained behavioral health specialists to care for them.  He added that it should be as easy to access a doctor or get prescriptions for an illness of the mind as it is for an illness of the body. 

Wilton Police conduct crosswalk safety enforcement operation

Wilton Police conducted a two week pedestrian safety enforcement operation in Wilton Center.  A total of 32 pedestrians and drivers were cited for violations.  The effort focused on motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and people walking who took unsafe actions.  Wilton Police hoped to educate and encourage the community to develop and maintain safe practices while driving, walking, and cycling throughout Wilton Center.  Chief John Lynch says ensuring pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility between motorists and pedestrians.

Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission considers cleaning pond on tribute site

The Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission released design regulations today.  The 5-acre site includes some natural elements that they hope will be involved in the tribute to the children and educators killed on 12-14.  One element is a pond, but it's overgrown and could be costly to clean up.  The Commission wanted to start removing some of the invasive plants, but the Land Use Department suggested it be left as is for now.  There are several terrace-like areas that could be used in a design, along with other open space, if the pond area isn't cleaned up.  Commissioner chairman Kyle Lyddy says a water element was always in peoples thoughts since the beginning of the process.

Area legislator critical of gaming expansion in Connecticut

An area legislator is cautioning against the proliferation of casinos in Connecticut.  State Senator Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown, says that old phrase “the house always wins” can be applied to gaming expansion.  He says communities will see an increase in crime, traffic, and impaired driving.  He says that would be coupled with decreased home values. 


Hwang is critical of Governor Malloy for signing a bill into law allowing the two federally recognized tribes to jointly operate a casino off tribal land.  He says that has opened the door to lawsuits, which could be tied up in court for years.  Hwang says Malloy placed a bad bet on a bad bill. 


He added that he doesn't want Bridgeport to become the next Atlantic City, citing it's financial ruin.  Hwang is part of a coalition that's fighting the expansion of gambling in Connecticut, www.NoMoreCasinosInCT.  

Brookfield, Danbury to host car seat safety inspections and installation sessions Saturday

New car seat laws are taking effect in Connecticut on October 1st.   Brookfield Police Department will be hosting a car seat installation and inspection clinic Saturday from 8am to noon.  Brookfield Police will have technicians at the police station on Silvermine Road  to answer questions and inspect and install car seats. 


No appointment or residency required, but calling ahead is encouraged to reduce wait time. 


The Danbury Police Department is hosting a Car Seat Safety and Inspection Day Saturday as well.  The event is being sponsored by Fairfield County Bank and Yale New Haven Health.  The inspections will be done at 114 Federal Road from 10am to 3pm. 


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 3 out of every 4 car seats are unsafe.


'Walk to Remember' event to be held at WCSU, benefiting Regional Hospice

“A Walk to Remember,” a cancer awareness and prevention fundraiser sponsored by the Western Connecticut State University Police Benevolent Association, will take place Sunday.  The fundraiser is open to the public.  The 1.5-mile walk will begin and end at the Alumni Circle on the midtown campus. 


There is a $15 entrance fee, $10 for students, with the proceeds being donated to Regional Hospice and Palliative Care of Danbury. 


The event on Sunday is from 10am to 3pm. 


Eleanor Chance, a WCSU building and grounds patrol officer, raised the idea for the event after the chief of the WCSU Police Department, Neil McLaughlin, passed away in April 2015; Ernest Leclercq, also a building and grounds officer, passed away in September 2015; and Shirley Hatch, a secretary in the Police Department, passed away in August 2016.  Chance says she got the idea for the fundraiser because Shirley would enjoy walking the Midtown perimeter during her lunch breaks.

Bethel police conduct school bus violation enforcement

Bethel Police have been conducting school bus violation enforcement this past week.  This is being done in conjunction with National Child Passenger Safety Week.  The Bethel Police Department conducted the enforcement in an effort to raise awareness of school bus safety.  In Connecticut, it is illegal to pass a school bus displaying flashing red signal lights, and violators could face a fine of $465.

Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission releases design guidelines

Design guidelines have been released by the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission.  Submissions can be sent to the town starting today.  A registration form and bio must be included.  Beginning October 13th, those registered designers can send in design files. 


Some site walks have been set up, but interested designers must confirm their attendance with the Commission.  The dates are next Saturday and Sunday, October 4th, 7th, 8th, and 10th.  The design submission process will close October 30th. 




The Commission will select 3 to 6 designs by the end of November.  Presentations by those on the shortlist will be held in February.  Recommendations will then be made to the Board of Selectmen.  The Commission hopes for a June groundbreaking and December ribbon cutting.  


The Commission says the memorial should instill visitors with uplifting feelings of peace, love, and hope. 


They also provided some guidelines on elements that should be avoided.  They include religious or political connotations, play equipment, extensive use of metal and literal depictions of the victims.

DACA discussion set for next month at WCSU

A discussion will be held at West Conn next month about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  The forum called "DACA, Dreamers and Deportation: New Developments” is planned for October 3rd at Warner Hall on the midtown campus from 2 to 5pm.  Sociology Professor Dr. Carina Bandhauer will talk about the the ramifications of the program being rescinded. The forum is part of the WCSU celebration of Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month.

Boehringer Ingelheim donates to Danbury Hospital's Community Care Team

The Danbury Hospital Foundation has received a $40,000 contribution from the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation to expand outreach capacity of the Hospital’s Greater Danbury Community Care Team by adding a peer engagement specialist.  


The collaboration of more than 30 community agencies and municipal stakeholders is led by a Hospital-based navigator.  The coalition works to support the area’s most vulnerable residents by helping them achieve and maintain housing and linkage to medical, psychiatric and social services. 


About 80-percent of their clients have a substance abuse diagnosis and 40 percent have a psychiatric diagnosis.  To date, 138 greater Danbury residents ages 23-83 have benefited from CCT services, 52 of which have at least one chronic medical condition.


This is the second contribution the Danbury Hospital Foundation has received from the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation to support the CCT.  

Local lawmaker compares budget stalemate to hurricane

With hurricanes on people's minds, Wilton Senator Toni Boucher is comparing Connecticut's fiscal situation to the destruction of a natural disaster.  She says Connecticut taxpayers were facing a category 3 storm, but the last two massive tax increases, are now in a category 5 financial mess.


There's not much time before October 1st, when Governor Malloy's draconian cuts kick in if lawmakers are unable to negotiate a new budget, one that he won't veto. 


Boucher says the Democratic plan included too many fee and tax increases.

Daryl Hall renews effort for outdoor stage at NY music venue

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) Officials in an upstate New York town are once again considering Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Daryl Hall's request to build an outdoor stage at his restaurant and music venue.

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports the town of Pawling Planning Board discussed the project during its meeting earlier this week.

Kenneth Stenger, an attorney with the law firm representing the board, says the discussion included the volume of sound live music would produce during outdoor performances at Daryl's House.

The Hall & Oates musician's business filed a lawsuit against the town earlier this year, claiming the town's effort to lower the venue's maximum occupancy would force the restaurant to close.

William Sayegh, an attorney for Daryl's House, says Hall is working closely with the town to secure approvals for the outdoor expansion.

WestCOG gets update from Drug Task Force

The Western Connecticut Council of Governments, the regional planning group for the Greater Danbury area, got an update from their Drug Task Force earlier this month. 


Danbury and New Milford Hospitals Chair of Psychiatry Dr. Chuck Herrick talked with them about the hospital's addiction and overdose programs. 


The hospital has created new overdose care protocol that starts with the acute care and continues after the patient has been discharged.  This new policy includes providing Narcan, an appointment with a councilor through the Midwestern Connecticut Council on Alcoholism, and other resource opportunities including Methadone. 


He also took questions from the Drug Task Force about the lack of addiction care providers and the dearth in Suboxone prescribers. Direct to consumer marketing of controlled substance, sober home regulations, and funding for RACs was also discussed, with intentions to address more at future meetings. 

West Conn , other universities to receive Narcan for police departments

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities announced Wednesday that the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan will be available on all 16 state university and college campuses.  Western Connecticut State University spokesman Paul Steinmetz say they already Narcan in the doctor's office on campus.  The Danbury Police and Fire Departments along with EMTs all carry Narcan as well. 


WCSU has been sent Narcan packages from the CSCU system.  University police officers will be trained to use the overdose reversal drug.  The university is looking to obtain enough Narcan so each officer can have some on them, because often times WCSU PD is the first to respond to the scene.


Steinmetz says one WCSU officer saved the life of a person visiting a student who was suffering an overdose, but they haven't had to use Narcan.  He adds that having Narcan on campus is a precautionary measure because they haven't had a problem with overdoses.  But Steinmetz says WCSU wants to be ready if something happens.


Accidental drug overdose numbers in Connecticut are on the rise.  Chief Medical Examiner James Gill says drug overdoses in Connecticut this year are on pace to top last year’s figure by 18 percent.  There were 539 accidental drug abuse deaths from January through June. The projection for overdose deaths for 2017 is 1,078, which would be an 18 percent increase over last year.  Gill said 322 of the deaths this year were linked to fentanyl. If that rate holds up, there will be 644 fentanyl-related deaths in the state in 2017, a 33 percent increase over last year.

'Walk the Walk' event to be held in Redding today

An event marking Redding's 250th anniversary is being held this afternoon.  The "Walk the Walk" event allows people to meet the volunteers at the Parade Path, on Redding's Town Green at the Gazebo. Light refreshments will be served. Etched glasses will be sold celebrating Redding' 250th anniversary. Guests will be able to find out what new projects are in store for next year and learn how to volunteer or to fund new Boy Scout projects already in the planning stage.  "Walk the Walk" is from 4 to 6pm.

Jasper Johns to leave Connecticut estate for artists retreat

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Famed American painter Jasper Johns wants his rural estate in the Connecticut hills to become an artists' retreat after he's gone.

The 87-year-old artist wants his estate in northwestern Connecticut to become a place where as many as two dozen artists would live, share meals together and work on their craft.

The planning commission for the town of Sharon gave its approval for his plans last week.

First Selectman Brent Colley says it's the best use of the property and fits in with the already lively local arts scene in the Litchfield County town of some 3,000 people.

Johns has been a major influence on pop, minimalist and conceptual art. His textured images of American flags are icons of modern art.

Monroe firefighters launch fundraising drive

The Monroe Volunteer Fire Department recently started their annual fund drive.  With some scam fundraiser circulating earlier this year, they wanted to draw attention to what authentic donation request looks like.  Key indicators are the local return address and watermarked photos of Monroe firefighters and apparatus.


Public hearing set for Monday in Bethel on proposed school renovations

The Public Hearing for the proposed renovations of Johnson and Rockwell schools is set for Monday night. 


With the ongoing debate over the state budget, town leadership made the decision to move the project forward to a public hearing because reimbursement for school construction projects is separate from Education Cost Sharing grants. Bethel’s current rate of reimbursement from the state is 45% of eligible costs.  


School officials say construction cost escalation is 4.5 percent each year.  Without some renovation work, the town is sinking money into an aging HVAC system. 


Monday's meeting at 7pm will be held at Bethel High School and childcare will be provided.

Agreement reached between Ridgefield, police union on contract

An agreement has been reached on a new two-year contract between Ridgefield and the Police Union.  The Ridgefield Press reports that the new contract allows for a 2.5 percent salary increase in each of the two years, with a 1-percent increase in the employees' premium share in each year.  The current rate of employees’ share of the health insurance premium is 12.5 percent.  The Press reports that Ridgefield's salary account for union police officers is about $3.5 million.

Sherman firefighters, EMS hold vehicle extrication drill

The Sherman Volunteer Fire Department participated in a real-time extrication drill Monday night. The scenario was a car through the guardrails with three mock patients trapped and injured.  Responders worked together to stabilize the vehicle, cut the doors off to gain access to the volunteer patients and remove them from the car. Officials say this type of training prepares the members for the rigorous demands of being an emergency responder.


Rockettes coming to Newtown to support The Ana Grace Project

The Radio City Rockettes are coming to Newtown to support The Ana Grace Project, a foundation named after one of the children killed on 12-14.  Jimmy Greene and Nelba Marquez-Green supports MSG’s Garden of Dreams Foundation to help positively impact the lives of children facing obstacles.  The event at Holy Cow Ice Cream Shop on Church Hill Road this Friday is from 3pm to 4pm.  The Rockettes visit is part of MSG’s “Gift of Joy” program.  The Ana Grace Project is dedicated to promoting love, community and connection for every child and family through three lead initiatives: partner schools, professional development, and music & arts.

Man charged for being part of human trafficking ring makes court appearance

One of three men arrested for being part of a human trafficking ring made a brief appearance in Danbury Superior Court yesterday for a pre-trial hearing. 


William Trefzger was arrested in March for patronizing a male prostitution ring that police say exploited young men with mental health issues.  Authorities say the men were plied with drugs and money and delivered to wealthy clients to have sex for money after they had built up substantial drug debts. 


The state is awaiting analysis of some evidence before it can be turned over to the defense.  The Westport resident remains held on 250-thousand dollars bond.  He is due back in court on October 31st. 

Safe summer at Squantz Pond despite no ban on walk-ins

Despite still allowing walk ins, New Fairfield officials say it was a safe summer at Squantz Pond State Park.  There were some days where the parked closed due to capacity, but the number of people parking elsewhere and walking in was down significantly.  Other than a couple of days where it was hectic, First Selectman Susan Chapman says it wasn't too bad.


A proposed regulation to ban walk-ins at state parks after parking lot capacity is reached was rejected by the state legislature's Regulation Review Committee in January.  DEEP spokesman Dennis Schain says that means they don't have any legal authority to stop people from walking in.  He added that it would be physically difficult to police the whole border area of a park to prevent it.


There's a history of drownings at Squantz, more than a dozen people in the last two decades. DEEP implemented a 250 car limit after a particularly bad summer, but local officials believe that allowing unlimited walk-ins undermines safety.  Schain acknowledged that the parking was limited in order to have a manageable crowd, and walk-ins means there will be more people than planned for.


Another concern is pedestrian safety. Route 39 is narrow, and there are no real shoulders on either side of the road.  Some people walked about two miles from the Town Park to Squantz Pond.  In an effort to prevent that, New Fairfield raised the parking fee at the Town Park two years ago for non-residents from $25 to $40.  In July, the Board of Selectman increased the fee again.  Non-residents were then required to pay a parking fee of $60.

American Dream Awards raises $10k for scholarships

The 4th annual American Dream Awards Gala, hosted by Tribuna Newspaper and The New American Dream Foundation, raised $10,000 for scholarships.  The event in Danbury on Saturday also paid tribute to Attorney Americo Ventura, who passed away this month.  He was the 2015 American Dream Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. 


$15,000 raised from ticket sales will go towards Mission Health Day, a day of free health screenings and other community services for the uninsured and the income challenged.  The event will be hosted by Western Connecticut Health Network and Western Connecticut State University, on October 28 from 9am-3pm at the Bill Williams Gym at the WCSU downtown campus.

The 2017 winners of the $2,000 award are:

Person of the Year
Alvaro Tovar of Danbury, CT

Students of the Year:
Zaida Coraizaca of Danbury, CT
Hilary Albarracin of Danbury, CT
Kittikorn Sathong of Danbury, CT

Veteran's Award winner:
Paulo Barros of Norwalk, CT

The American Dream Leadership Awards recognized those who have taken the lead in the immigrant community in supporting its members, with focus on the areas of health, education, and civic engagement. The winners of the Leadership Award were Honorable Danbury Probate Judge Dianne E. Yamin, Wilson Hernandez, President of Ecuadorian Civic Center of Danbury, and Dina Valenti, Clinic Director of Boehringer Ingelheim AmeriCares Free Clinic of Danbury.

Bethel officials caution of power outages, flooding possible from Jose

The Bethel Office of Emergency Management is urging residents to prepare for any impact from Hurricane Jose.  Bethel Officials are monitoring the storm and believe impacts should be minimal, with winds around 20-25 miles per hour, with higher gusts Tuesday into Wednesday morning.  They expect some scattered power outages due to the wind.  Some intermittent heavy rain bands may cause small, localized flooding in the normally prone areas.  Officials say now is a good time to check flashlight batteries, clear storm drains and gutters, bring in any loose lawn furniture or wind prone items to be safe.

United Way extends deadline for Danbury Collaborative Award applications

The United Way of Western Connecticut has extended the application period for the Danbury Collaborative Awards to October 16th.  The awards are meant to honor the work of collective efforts seeking to improve the lives of Danbury residents.  


A review team will choose the three top candidates.  Mayor Mark Boughton will then make the final decision about the first, second, and third place award winners. Awards will range from $20,000 to $7,500. 


Applications can accessed via UWWC’s website at: For more information about the Danbury Collaborative Awards or the application process, please contact UWWC Community Impact Coordinator Caroline LaFleur at 203-297-6307.

Nominations sought for 2017 Warrior Award

Nominations are being sought for the 6th annual Warrior Award, which will be presented to a local veteran during the 10th annual Walk of Honor in Danbury this October.  Residents of the greater Danbury area are being called on to nominate a veteran, who has served in a combat zone and who also exemplifies the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.


The nominations should be approximately 500 words and should include the nominee’s name, military rank, medals awarded and as many details as possible about their service.  The deadline for all nominations is September 20th.  Previously submitted nominations can be re-submitted.


The Walk of Honor will take place on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at the Danbury War Memorial at 12pm.


Event organizer Mary Teicholz says the stories of bravery and heroism that people have shared with the committee have been overwhelming and awe-inspiring.


People submitting the nomination should also include their name and contact information. Nominations can be emailed to, or visit for additional information.


Todd Angell, who served in Afghanistan, received the inaugural Warrior Award in 2012.  Vietnam veterans Danny Mack Welch and John "Buzz" Hogan received the award during the following two years.  The next year, World War II veteran Anthony Yakacki was presented with the honor.  Last year's recipient, Roger Rua, served in Afghanistan.

Health center in Danbury gets funds for opioid abuse treatment programs

16 health centers in Connecticut are receiving grant money to fund treatment for mental health and opioid abuse.  The Connecticut Institute for Communities in Danbury was awarded $175,700.  The grant is part of a $200 million package awarded to more than 1,000 health centers and rural health organizations across the country by the Department of Health and Human Services.  Connecticut's congressional delegation says the funding is welcome, but only a small step in stopping the opioid scourge.  They say the health centers have been on the front lines of fighting the opioid epidemic in hard-hit Connecticut communities.

'Discover Connecticut' event in DC to showcase Stew Leonard's, others

The Connecticut State Society is hosting the 4th annual “Discover Connecticut” reception in Washington DC.  Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy will help showcase more than 20 small-batch food producers, restaurants, breweries, tourist attractions, and other businesses based in Connecticut. 


Among the businesses featured at the “Discover Connecticut” today in the Senate Office building are Stew Leonard's, Pez Candy, Two Roads Brewing Company, Newman’s Own, and Pepperidge Farm.  Jones Family Farms and Winery of Shelton, Tea With Tracy from Seymour and Fairfield-based Bigelow Teas will also be in attendance. 


Blumenthal says "Discover Connecticut" showcases the energy and creativity of businesses from across the state. 


Murphy says "Discover Connecticut" will give people in Washington the opportunity to learn about the wide variety of products and activities in Connecticut.

League of Women Voters hosts event at WCSU on campaign financing

The League of Women Voters of Northern Fairfield County is hosting a program tonight at Western Connecticut State University about Campaign Financing in Connecticut.  The event at Warner Hall, on the midtown campus, is at 7pm and will feature Elona Vaisnys.

Since 2005, when it was signed into law, the Connecticut Citizens’ Election Program has been providing publicly funded grants to run election campaigns for seats in the state legislature and for state offices.  CEP funds come from the sale of abandoned properties in the state and from donations to the Citizens’ Election Fund.


CEP constitutes 0.0001% of the state budget.


Vaisnys says state elections may sink back to pay-to-play and special interests would again fund all candidates because of the budget stalemate.  The Republican backed-budget, approved by the General Assembly over the weekend, included elimination of funding for the CEP.  Governor Malloy has threatened to veto the budget, sending the program into renewed uncertainty.


The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization of men and women, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Praxair recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Danbury-based Praxair has been recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index as a world leader in sustainable industrial practices.  The company was named to the World and North American Indices and is the only U.S.-based firm in the chemical sector to be selected for those indices for 15 consecutive years.  Praxair scored highest in the North American chemical sector overall and highest in the global industrial gas sector.  The Dow Jones Sustainability Index looks at corporate governance, risk management, innovation, environmental management and strategy, supply-chain standards, and safety and labor practices.

Local lawmakers react to approval of GOP budget plan

The Connecticut House of Representatives has passed a $40.7 billion Republican-backed budget plan that the Senate approved and which Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has vowed to veto.  The GOP plan relies on changes in state employee pensions after the current state union deal ends in 2027. Republicans say it achieves $270 million in savings.


Malloy says the Republican proposal "relies on too many unrealistic savings" and is "unbalanced."


Wilton Senator Toni Boucher praised the budget for not including tolls, something included in the last version the majority Democrats presented before the vote.  She thanked her colleagues for putting party politics aside to vote for what they believe is a responsible proposal.


Danbury Senator Mike McLachlan says this has been a long year that saw multiple budgets and revisions, all with the goal of creating financial stability that would help grow the Connecticut economy.  He believes the approved budget is the best one to meet the state's priorities for education, municipalities, and social services.


Senator Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown, says the legislatively-approved budget plan moves Connecticut in a new direction, generating a predictable, sustainable and transparent ecosystem where Connecticut businesses can thrive and grow.


Easton and Redding Representative Adam Dunsby says the approved budget combines government departments, mandates less overtime for state employees, and restricts state borrowing.  He acknowledged that there are cuts some people won’t like, but given the state’s condition, there’s no other way.


Danbury Representative Michael Ferguson says the budget moves Connecticut forward and stops kicking the fiscal can down the road.  He added that the budget also does not include devastating taxes or tolls.

Bethel Representative Will Duff says the legislature honored the Governor's repeated warnings not to produce a budget that was revenue driven.  He also praised the budget, which is facing a veto, for eliminating Social Security income tax.


New Fairfield Representative Richard Smith says the bipartisan support that the budget received in the General Assembly puts the state in a position to make the necessary structural changes to turn Connecticut’s economy around.  He also said Governor Malloy's promised veto would be a terrible move, imposing brutal funding cuts on local aid and education funding.


Brookfield Representative Steve Hardin says lawmakers had an obligation to pass a budget which did not raise taxes while also funding local schools, which he says they did.  Harding urged the Governor to sign it into law and end the budget stalemate.

Low flying helicopters conducting utility line inspections

Eversource Energy is conducting aerial patrols of vegetation on transmission lines in the Greater Danbury area.  Redding Police say the inspections will be conducted today through Friday using a blue and gray helicopter (Tail #N1431W), and a blue and white chopper (Tail #N411DD).

Bethel schools to host food drive for 'No Kid Hungry Month'

September is No Kid Hungry Month.  Bethel Public Schools will be a part of a movement that encourages students and staff to raise awareness about the initiative called GO ORANGE.  On Friday, the schools will be holding a food drive, and administrators are encouraging students to donate a kid-friendly food item; meaning something that can be opened and consumed without adult assistance. The items will be distributed by school social workers and other agencies in Bethel.

Wild animal spotted roaming in Danbury

An animal that looks like a mountain lion was spotted roaming around the area of Danbury Municipal Airport this morning.  One resident was able to capture video of the animal.  The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was alerted.


(Contributed Video)

OTB gets Zoners approval in Danbury

Off track betting will be allowed as an accessory use in a restaurant in Danbury.  The Zoning Commission met again Tuesday after approving the text amendment in May.  A downtown business owner had filed a lawsuit alleging noncompliance with notification requirements. 


One commissioner initially asked to table the matter because he wanted more consideration given to whether a betting parlor would be detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the City.  Another member said this was not a decision made off the cuff, citing multiple hearings that went late into the night.


Sportech Venues has exclusive licensing rights in Connecticut and would provide 1.6 percent of gross revenue to City Center.  Currently, Sportech is allowed 18 licenses, Danbury would be the 17th location.  But the state legislature approved a bill allowing Sportech to have eight more off-track betting licenses, for a total of 24 possible locations throughout the state.


Sportech plans to renovate Two Steps into a sports bar and restaurant on the first floor, with OTB gaming on the 2nd floor.  The Zoning Commission was not deciding on a site specific proposal, but a city wide change.  The specific location would be subject to City Council approval.

Judge mulling whether tribe's suit against state can proceed

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut judge is considering whether to dismiss a lawsuit against the state by the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, which is seeking $610 million for land it says the state seized from 1801 to 1918.

The state has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit based on government immunity. State officials also are questioning the tribe's standing to file the lawsuit because at least two other factions of the tribe claim leadership authority.

The Connecticut Law Tribune reports that Hartford Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher held a hearing on the motion to dismiss last week and is now mulling whether to approve it.

The tribe alleges the state took 2,000 of the 2,400 acres in the tribe's reservation in western Connecticut and sold the land, but never compensated the tribe.

Hillary Clinton makes book tour stop in Brookfield

1,000 wristbands were handed out on Saturday at the Brookfield Costco, where 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton signed copies of her book "What Happened.”  The former Secretary of State launched a national book tour a few days before, at a Barnes & Noble in New York City’s Union Square.  The event in Brookfield, from noon to 2pm, was only open to Costco members, on a first-come, first-served basis.



The first people in line, Tony and Eric Bosco-Schmidt and their two children, arrived around 6:30pm Friday.  



Brookfield police, Secret Service members and Costco security kept an orderly crowd outside the warehouse.  The parking lot filled to capacity before the event began and was closed to shoppers.  As cars left, new ones were allowed in, but it was an unusually light shopping day during the signing. 


Brookfield Police Chief James Purcell was on hand for the event.  He said everything ran smoothly.  Costco employees distributed water bottles and cookies as people waited in line.



Many people in line shared stories with one another about meeting Clinton, voting for her and working on her campaigns.  Those in attendance went through an airport-style checkpoint with metal detectors in a backroom of the warehouse.


Clinton spent about a minute or so with people as she signed their books.  Longtime aide Huma Abedin helped moved people through the line and direct them where to pick up the signed books.  Abedin is the estranged wife of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner.


A small group of protestors were kept across the street.


Danbury Music Centre to hold auditions for The Nutcracker

Children ages 5 and up, along with roles for adults, are being auditioned today for the  50th Anniversary of the Danbury Nutcracker.  The performances are in December.  The Nutcracker Ballet is a long-standing tradition in Danbury, with a cast of over 200 dancers and live accompaniment by the Danbury Symphony Orchestra.  Auditions are being held at Danbury High School.  The time of the audition is based on age.

Ages 5 to 9 Audition: 1:00 p.m.- 2:15 p.m.

Ages 10 to 12 Audition: 2:15 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.

Ages 13 and older Audition: 3:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.

Adults: Registration: 5:00 p.m.


Danbury, Texas thanks Danbury, CT

Danbury, Connecticut taking care of Danbury, Texas. The truck filled with Hurricane Harvey relief supplies arrived and has been off loaded for distribution.  The local fire department shared a Facebook post from one in Texas saying that words can't describe the kindness and thoughtfulness that went into the effort.  They thanked the City in Connecticut for doing something selfless for a town far away they don't know.


Ridgefield Police host Safety Day tomorrow

The Ridgefield Police Benevolent Association, Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department and Ridgefield Professional Firefighters Association will be holding their Annual Safety Day Sunday.  Events will take place in the parking lot of East Ridge Middle School from 10am to 2pm.   There will be a K-9 demonstration, the Eagle One Helicopter will land on the ball field for a demonstration, car seat inspection/installations and information tables.  People will be able to explore a fire safety trailer, look at Fire and Police vehicles and use the crash simulator.

Tribuna hosts American Dream Awards ceremony tonight

The New American Dream Foundation and the Tribuna newspaper is hosting the 4th Annual American Dream Awards Gala tonight in Danbury.  The American Dream Awards ceremony will feature inspiring stories celebrating the contributions that generations of immigrants have made to the region.  Honorees include Ethan Allen CEO Farooq Kathwari, Danbury Probate Judge Dianne Yamin, Ecuadorian Civic Center of Danbury President Wilson Hernandez and Dina Valenti--Clinic Director of Boehringer Ingelheim AmeriCares Free Clinic of Danbury.  A portion of the proceeds from the event go towards a scholarship fund.

Bethel, Redding, Ridgefield seek volunteers for regional emergency response committee

The Bethel Health Department has put out a call for volunteers  for a regional Public Health & Medical Emergency Response Committee.  The Mass Dispensing Area 6 Emergency Preparedness Committee is seeking Bethel, Redding, Ridgefield community members to participate in monthly planning meetings to train to assist their towns in an emergency support function. 


The group says all types of experience and skills are needed.  Their work includes planning for a rapid, townwide antibiotic dispensing and/or vaccinations if needed in an emergency.  If you are interested in volunteering, contact:


The Bethel Health Department is looking for a subcontractor to assist with Mass Dispensing Area 6 community emergency response volunteer efforts and public health preparedness work.  The job is to help plan and coordinate with the Bethel Director of Health and Mass Dispensing Area 6 Committee for response to public health emergencies in Bethel, Redding, and Ridgefield. 


A Bachelor's Degree in Public Health, Emergency Management or related field including Planner, Manufacturing and/or Military management background is expected.  The subcontracted is work funded by a state Department of Public Health Preparedness and Response grant.

Welcome home ceremony scheduled for 411th Civil Affairs Battalion

A welcome home ceremony is planned tomorrow morning for Charlie Company of the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion, based in Danbury.  The troops were stationed in the Horn of Africa.  The ceremony begins at 10:30am tomorrow.  It will be followed by a 1:45pm Change of Command Ceremony.  Lieutenant Colonel Douglas M. Dillon will transfer command to Lieutenant Colonel Gregory J. Russo.  Both ceremonies are open to the public and will be held at the Veterans Memorial Armed Forces Reserve Center located on Wooster Heights Road in Danbury.

Budget proposal paves way for highway tolls

A two-year, $41 billion budget that would have created new taxes and fees but wouldn't have included increases in the sales or income taxes was tabled yesterday.  A full plan was released this morning.  A Transportation Authority would be established by the budget, which also gives the Authority power to establish electronic highway tolls.


Wilton Senator Toni Boucher says in addition to taxes and fees, local municipalities would be required to pay a portion of the teachers’ retirement plan, negotiated by the state. She says these measures virtually guarantee that local property taxes will go up.


Newtown Representative Mitch Bolinsky says the GOP plan restores education funding, eliminates municipal cuts, provides relief from heavy-handed state mandates and makes permanent, sustainable structural changes to a broken state government.  He adds that the Social Services Safety Net is fully funded for day and employment services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Care4Kids is restored, and school based health clinics are funded.


Officials said the new budget plan includes a 49-cent monthly tax on the estimated 3 million cellphones in Connecticut, a cigarette tax increase of 45 cents a pack and a decrease in the personal property tax exemption on state income tax forms, from $200 to $100.

The proposal also would increase the hospital provider tax to 8 percent, from 6 percent. But that hike would be eased by other funding provided to hospitals, officials said.

The tax increases and other revenue changes would give the state an extra $3.6 billion over the next two years, according to officials.

Congressman introduces consumer protection bill after Equifax breach

4th District Congressman Jim Himes has introduced the Credit Information Protection Act in response to a major data breach at Equifax.  The breach exposed the personal information of tens of millions of Americans to potential hackers, identity theft, and credit problems. 


Himes says when a breach occurs it’s not right for the victims to bear the burden of paying for freezes and unacceptable for a company to profit from the fee charged to freeze files after such a vast security failure.  The Credit Information Protection Act requires any credit reporting agency that suffers a data breach to allow consumers to initiate a security freeze on their information free of charge. 


It allows for an unlimited amount of freezes at no charge if it is discovered that a consumer is actually affected by the data breach.  Himes says the goal of this bill is simply to ensure that when personal information does fall into the wrong hands, it is as easy as possible for victims to mitigate as much damage as possible with no cost.

Lawmakers fail to approve new budget, impasse continues

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut lawmakers went home early Friday without approving a two-year, $41 billion budget that would have created new taxes and fees but wouldn't have included increases in the sales or income taxes.


Republicans, who pulled the plug on the deliberations following an all-day session Thursday, blamed Democrats for failing to pull together enough votes to pass the budget, The Hartford Courant reported.


House Republican leader Themis Klarides told reporters Thursday night the GOP presented budgets that were "ready to go," but Democrats rejected them.


Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, of Berlin, said the budget's detailed legal language, which had been delayed on Thursday, wouldn't be ready until at least 6 a.m. Friday.


Meanwhile, Senate Democratic Leader Martin Looney, of New Haven, announced the Senate would convene at noon Friday to vote on the proposed tax and spending plan. "We didn't have a hold-up in the Senate. We were ready to go forward," he said.


The plan before the legislature Thursday included a new tax on cellphones, reduced credits on the state income tax and higher tobacco taxes, officials said.


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the plan also would cut hundreds of millions of dollars in spending and restore hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to cities and towns, but would not increase the sales or income taxes.


The Democratic governor and the legislature have yet to approve a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, as well as the following fiscal year. Malloy has been running the government with his limited spending authority.


The state's annual budget is about $20 billion a year, and lawmakers have been grappling with how to close an estimated $3.5 billion budget deficit over the next two years.


If officials can't agree on a budget by the end of the month, Malloy said he intends to implement a plan that could include large cuts to state aid to cities and towns, including education funding.


Officials said the new budget plan includes a 49-cent monthly tax on the estimated 3 million cellphones in Connecticut, a cigarette tax increase of 45 cents a pack and a decrease in the personal property tax exemption on state income tax forms, from $200 to $100.


The proposal also would increase the hospital provider tax to 8 percent, from 6 percent. But that hike would be eased by other funding provided to hospitals, officials said.


The tax increases and other revenue changes would give the state an extra $3.6 billion over the next two years, according to officials.


"The budget framework now being finalized by the General Assembly appears to be a balanced and responsible compromise," Malloy said in a statement.


The budget agreement was reached by Malloy and fellow Democrats in the legislature. Democrats hold a slim majority in the House and are tied with Republicans in the Senate, but Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman would break any tie vote.


Republican lawmakers have criticized the revenue increases in the Democrats' budget plan and have proposed their own plan with no tax increases.

Danbury makes video pitch to Amazon to be new HQ location

Danbury is making a pitch to be the location for Amazon's second global headquarters, and taking the same approach as the viral video created for recruiting new police officers.  Danbury hired RmediA, which is based in Danbury, to film a brief video. 


The video was produced at a cost of $750.  It outlines the reasons why the global company should locate in the Hat City. 



Mayor Mark Boughton stars in the 90-second pitch.  He points out that Danbury has been designated as the safest city in the state, is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and voted as the second best place to live in the United States by USA Today.  The video, posted to Facebook, features drone footage of Main Street, events on the City Center green, Danbury Airport and Candlewood Lake. 


Five other corporations have located their global headquarters in Danbury: Praxair, FuelCell Energy, Ethan Allen, IMS Health Holdings and Waterworks. 


The video will be sent along with Danbury's application to Amazon through their official request for proposals.  Danbury is working with the state Department of Economic and Community Development.  


Proposals are due to Amazon by October 19.  Final Site Selection and announcement will be made in 2018.  Amazon will hire as many as 50,000 new full-time employees over the next ten to fifteen years, following commencement of operations. The Project is expected to have over $5 billion in capital expenditures.


Amazon wants to locate no more than one to two miles from a major highway, be with 45 minutes of an international airport and have direct access to rail, train, subway/metro, bus routes on site. 


Amazon is looking for metropolitan areas with more than one million people, a stable and business-friendly environment, urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent and communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.  Amazon is considering greenfield sites, infill sites, existing buildings, or a combination for the Project. If existing buildings are available that can be retrofitted/expanded within an acceptable budget and time schedule, Amazon may consider this option.

Monroe man sentenced for distributing crack cocaine

A Monroe man has been sentenced for distributing crack cocaine.  28-year old Dwight Jarvis was ordered yesterday to 21 months in prison.  A search of his Monroe home in October turned up about 29 grams of cocaine, approximately 25 grams of crack cocaine, 70 dose bags of heroin, and other items used to process and package narcotics for street sale.  Jarvis was arrested in December and pleaded guilty in April.

DMV seeks vendor to replace AAA in offering licensing services

After contract negotiations broke down with the AAA, the state Department of Motor Vehicles continues to look for an outside vendor to issue licenses and ID cards in Fairfield and New Haven counties.  AAA Northeast stopped offering the service in December after complaints of growing time and money spent on the effort.  The DMV will provide workstations, telecommunications and supplies for the new vendor.  Under state law, the contractor can charge no more than $5 per transaction. The DMV is looking for a vendor with at least two permanent locations in New Haven and/or Fairfield counties.  People locally have had to go to the Danbury DMV, facing waits of two or more hours.

Danbury Area Refugee Assistance group to meet Sunday

Danbury Area Refugee Assistance is a nonprofit founded to help in the resettlement and acclimation of refugees to Connecticut.  DARA is hosting a volunteer drive and general meeting on Sunday as the group continues planning for their 2018 initiatives.  A member of Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty's team plans to join them for the meeting


The organization was started in 2015 in response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and assisted a family in the resettlement process in March 2016.


The family is now fully self-sufficient, except for the occasional ride to a store or appointment.  Three adults are gainfully employed and the children are entering year 2 of school.


Sunday's meeting will be held at "A Common Ground" in Danbury at 2pm.

Brookfield Police Department promotes three

Three members of the Brookfield Police Department have been promoted.  Corporal Christopher Rosado was promoted to Sergeant.  Patrolmen Jason Fiege and Christopher Campbell were promoted to Corporal. 


The Brookfield Police Commission approved the promotions at their September 6th meeting.  Several eligible officers participated in a competitive testing process which included, for the first time as a part of the Brookfield process, an Assessment Center component as well as a comprehensive Written Examination.


Rosado joined the Brookfield Police Department in 2004 and has received an Honorable Service Award, a Life Saving Award, several letters of commendation and has been recognized by MADD - Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his educational and enforcement efforts.  He is an Instructor in the areas Handling Persons with Mental Illness and Firearms.


Fiege joined the Department in 2006 and has been awarded a Medal of Bravery, received an Honorable Service Award and is the Special Olympics coordinator for the Department. 


Campbell joined Brookfield as a part-time civilian dispatcher in 2007 and eventually transferred back to the Department in 2013. He serves as a Field Training Officer and has served as the department Traffic Services Coordinator.

Danbury schools receive VH1 'Save the Music' grant

Three Danbury elementary schools will share a $105,000 grant for music programs.  The money for Park Avenue, Morris Street and South Street schools comes from the VH1 ‘Save the Music’ program. 


Save the Music partnered with SpreadMusicNow.  The Redding-based nonprofit funds music instruction provided through school systems and has already provided 35 instruments from trombones to flutes to students at each of these schools. 


115 students will directly benefit from the program. 


Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bill Glass says without this partnership, the idea of playing a musical instrument would be an unattainable dream for many students.  The money will be presented at Park Avenue School on October 23rd.  More than 30 students will perform at the presentation.

Danbury Music Centre to hold auditions for The Nutcracker

Children ages 5 and up, along with roles for adults, are being auditioned tomorrow and Saturday for the  50th Anniversary of the Danbury Nutcracker.  The performances are in December.  The Nutcracker Ballet is a long-standing tradition in Danbury, with a cast of over 200 dancers and live accompaniment by the Danbury Symphony Orchestra.  Auditions are being held at Danbury High School.  The time of the audition is based on age.


Friday, September 15

Ages 5 to 9 Audition: 5:00 p.m.- 6:15 p.m.

Ages 10 to 12 Audition: 6:15 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.

Ages 13 and older Audition: 7:30 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.

Adults: Registration: 9:00 p.m.

Adults Audition: Most classical roles are reserved for dancers 19 and younger. Classically trained adults seeking a ballet role may be considered for Snow Court 3 or Party.  If ballroom trained, audition with the Director at 9:30 pm.

Saturday, September 16

Ages 5 to 9 Audition: 1:00 p.m.- 2:15 p.m.

Ages 10 to 12 Audition: 2:15 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.

Ages 13 and older Audition: 3:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.

Adults: Registration: 5:00 p.m.


Man impaled after fall from roof in stable condition

The man who fell off a roof in Danbury and landed on a BBQ grill rotisserie stand is reported in stable condition at Danbury Hospital.  34-year old David Mendes fell 8 to 10 feet and needed surgery to remove the foot-long piece of metal post from his left side. 


He was reportedly on the roof to inspect an exhaust fan that was not working properly. 


Mendes is a board member of the  Soccer and Social Club on Federal Road where the accident happened.  The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating whether they have jurisdiction or if Mendes volunteered his services. 


The Abbott Technical High School graduate is an intern with a local electrical firm, according to his Facebook page.

Bethel schedules public hearing on school renovation projects

The Bethel Board of Finance has opted to move forward with a public hearing on school renovation projects even though the state budget situtation is still unsettled.  The Rockwell and Johnson School improvements could be partially paid for by the state.  About 45-percent of the $68 million renovation is eligible for state reimbursement. 


The school construction money is different than the Education Cost Sharing Grant money, which Governor Malloy has proposed cancelling for 85 municipalities, including Bethel. 


The hearing will be on the 25th.  A Special Town Meeting was set for October 10th, but the Boards of Selectmen and Finance can cancel that if state aid isn't there. 


A referendum could be held on October 17th.  Another protection was built into the approvals process.  The language of the referendum will be written in a way where the town is not on the hook for doing the renovations if the state doesn't award a grant for the work, or can move forward with just one of the projects.


A referendum has to be held before November 15th in order to be eligible for the priority list.


Rockwell was built in 1971 and Johnson in 1980.

School bus routes to be examined in Newtown

The Newtown Board of Education will continue to meet about bus schedules now that there are new school start times.  The Newtown Bee reports that the Board will refine the new transportation configuration after parents voiced concerns about buses arriving late to school.  The school dismissal process could also be addressed to cut down on wait times.  The interim Superintendent told the publication that there are two bus routes that take a little under an hour, which is not acceptable compared to the average half hour or 40 minute trip.  The next Newtown Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

Newtown, Weston first responders honored by Bridgeport Diocese

The Annual Bridgeport Diocesan Blue Mass was held this weekend to honor fire, police, and other first responders.  Among this year's honorees were Newtown Patrol Officer Maryhelen McCarthy and Weston Firefighter and EMT Mark Blake.  They were recognized for acts of bravery, public service, and compassion in the line of duty.  McCarthy, a 17-year department veteran, counseled peers after 12-14, responded to a bomb threat at St Rose of Lima Church and to most recently remembered a Newtown police officer who had died of an illness related to his service at Ground Zero after 9/11.

Danbury officials searching for locations to build two new basketball courts

Danbury is planning to add two basketball courts, but not much more is planned beyond that.  Mayor Mark Boughton included money for the infrastructure in a capital budget approved by the City Council in May. 


At their meeting last week, City Councilman Duane Perkins asked for an update on site location search progress.  Boughton says he and Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola have been meeting about a couple of ideas.  He noted that they have already started looking at base materials for the courts themselves.  Boughton hopes to have something up by early spring.


Perkins asked if the City Council would have input on location.


Boughton says he will be deferring to Iadarola, the Police Chief and Planning Director.  But he added that before shovels go in the ground, the Council will be briefed. 


Boughton says the City has to be careful where they are placed, somewhere with a maximum amount of visibility and accessibility.

Unofficial results released for Redding, Newtown municipal primaries

Redding and Newtown have released unofficial results for yesterday's primaries. 


In Redding, Ed Miller beat Mark Lewis in the Democratic Primary for Redding Board of Finance.  Miller earned 256 votes, Lewis garnered 243.  Laura Hoeing and John Reilly won the Republican primary for Redding Board of Education.  Hoeing received 262 votes, Reilly 216, while Chris Parkin finished with 167.  Registered Republicans had to vote for two of the three candidates.


In Newtown, the GOP-endorsed candidates won the primaries. 


Selectman Will Rodgers won over Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob to be the Republican First Selectman candidate 636 to 464.  Former council Chairman Jeff Capeci topped current Councilman Neil Chaudhary 568 to 441 to run as the GOP candidate for Selectman.  Republican incumbent Town Clerk Debbie Halstead will be on the municipal ballot in that position in November garnering 591 votes compared to Ann LoBosco's 476.

Brookfield Police transition to new 911 call system

Brookfield Police have transitioned to a new 911 call system.  The Department is now using the State of Connecticut NG911 System.  It provides updated software and hardware for answering 911 Calls--reporting Emergencies for Police, Fire and Ambulance. 


Enhanced Call Mapping Capabilities are also a new feature of the system, which will provide Brookfield Emergency Dispatchers with improved tools to guide first responders to the scene of an emergency.  Future enhancements will allow for texting and images to be a part of 911 Emergency Calls. 


Over the past few weeks, all Brookfield Police Department Dispatchers and Police Administrators received training in the operation of the new system.   


Police officials say the transition was seamless and without interruption of Emergency Telecommunications Services to Brookfield.

Renovations pick up at Center Firehouse in Brookfield

The Center Firehouse in Brookfield is undergoing renovations to better serve the community. The station will continue to be staffed with EMS professionals 24 hours a day.  Staff has been relocated to a temporary trailer in the parking lot on site while construction is on going.  Officials say this will help to assure timely responses to requests for assistance throughout Brookfield.  A storage container has been placed on the property to store equipment during the relocation.  The project has been on going since the spring, but has now reached a point where personnel must vacate the building's administrative and living areas.  The renovation should be completed before the end of the year.

Barlow student presented with award named for man killed on 9/11

The Peter Burton Hanson Award has been presented to Jason Smith. 


Every year since 2004, Joel Barlow High School has marked the anniversary of the September 11th attacks with a ceremony celebrating the life of Peter Burton Hanson, an Easton resident and 1987 Barlow graduate. He died at the age of 32 aboard United airlines flight 175, along with his wife Sue and daughter Christine, age 2, the youngest victim of the tragedy. 


The award was created by the Hanson family to be presented each year to a Barlow student who embodies Peter's characteristics of dedication to social justice, appreciation of cultural differences, love of the arts, concern for the environment, volunteerism, and sensitivity to the issue of peace.


(Contributed photo)

Man appointed to fill vacancy on New Milford Town Council

A Democrat has been appointed to the New Milford Town Council to fill the remaining months of a man who resigned last week.  John Kane will replace Scott Chamberlain until the November election.  Kane received the backing of the Democratic Town Committee and had been running for a Town Council seat. 


He was a U.S. Marine, is a professional photographer and a goat farmer.  Kane was a member of the Planning Commission and the Aquifer Protection Agency. 


Chamberlain wrote in his resignation letter that his personal life has overshadowed the work he did for the town and that he doesn't want to be an impediment to progress.  In addition to resigning from the Town Council, Chamberlain will no longer be chairman of the Sewer Commission.  


A resident posted several screenshots on a Facebook community forum of Chamberlain’s profile from a private website catering to so-called furries. It's a subculture of adults who dress in mascot-like animal costumes, attend role-playing conventions and interact regularly online. Part of the profile said Chamberlain tolerates rape. He said the site sorts topics into categories: loves, likes, tolerates and hates.

Primaries being held in Redding, Newtown

Two area towns are holding primaries today.  In Redding, there is a Republican contest for Board of Education candidates and a Democratic primary to fill a Board of Finance vacancy.  In Newtown, a Republican Primary for First Selectman, Selectman and Town Clerk is being held.

Nominations sought for 2017 Warrior Award

Nominations are being sought for the 6th annual Warrior Award, which will be presented to a local veteran during the 10th annual Walk of Honor in Danbury this October.  Residents of the greater Danbury area are being called on to nominate a veteran, who has served in a combat zone and who also exemplifies the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.


The nominations should be approximately 500 words and should include the nominee’s name, military rank, medals awarded and as many details as possible about their service.  The deadline for all nominations is September 20th.  Previously submitted nominations can be re-submitted.


The Walk of Honor will take place on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at the Danbury War Memorial at 12pm.


Event organizer Mary Teicholz says the stories of bravery and heroism that people have shared with the committee have been overwhelming and awe-inspiring.


People submitting the nomination should also include their name and contact information. Nominations can be emailed to, or visit for additional information.


Todd Angell, who served in Afghanistan, received the inaugural Warrior Award in 2012.  Vietnam veterans Danny Mack Welch and John "Buzz" Hogan received the award during the following two years.  The next year, World War II veteran Anthony Yakacki was presented with the honor.  Last year's recipient, Roger Rua, served in Afghanistan.

Congressman wants to tackle tax reform when lawmakers return

Some members of Congress are looking beyond health care and hoping to move on to tax reform.  4th District Congressman Jim Himes says there will likely be a partisan debate, but changes are needed. 


He acknowledged that event the simplest of tax returns is difficult to do.  Himes says corporate taxes are difficult because of a high corporate tax rate, there's money stranded abroad that could come back here to invest in new factories and plants.


The last time comprehensive tax reform was done, was under Ronald Reagan in 1986 when he had an approximate 65-percent approval rating.


Himes says a border adjustment tax and eliminating the deductibility of interest expenses for corporations have both been proposed.

Greater Danbury area towns to mark 9/11 anniversary

Several Greater Danbury area towns are marking the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


The Brookfield Historical Society will honor the memory of four victims with ties to Brookfield with a memorial display as well personal testimonials and recorded acts of courage by Brookfield first responders.  The display at the Historical Society's Museum on Whisconier Road will be open Saturday from noon to 4pm.


Ridgefield is hosting a ceremony at the 9/11 Monument on Danbury Road at 6:30pm Monday. 


New Fairfield's remembrance is at the Senior Center starting at 6pm.  The 102nd Army Band will play leading up to the 7pm ceremony. 


Danbury officials, and members of the Danbury Fire and Police Departments will mark the solemn occasion on Monday at the City's 9/11 Memorial on Main Street in Elmwood Park. The program will begin at 6pm.  Mayor Mark Boughton says the annual gathering allows us the opportunity to come together and reflect on the tragedy that occurred, remember those lost and honor the heroes, those who risked their lives and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Connecticut United Ride to prompt road closures Sunday

The 2017 Connecticut United Ride is being held on Sunday. It's the state's largest 9/11 tribute and one of the largest rides in New England.  The ride will be passing through Wilton, Monroe and several other Fairfield County towns on Sunday.  There will be road closures because of the ride.  Drivers are cautioned to expect delays and make alternate travel plans if possible.


The event begins in Norwalk, at Norden Park with a ceremony at 10:30am.  The Ride will end at Seaside Park in Bridgeport.  The motorcade will move along Rte 136 to Rte 33 through Westport, to Wilton via Rte 7, to Rte 107 in Georgetown, Rte 58N in Redding, to Rte 302 in Bethel, to Newtown via Rte 25 and through Monroe to Main Street in Trumbull.  The ride will continue to Old Town Rd to Park Ave in Fairfield and continuing into Bridgeport to Seaside Park.


It is anticipated that the ride will be passing through the Town of Wilton between 11:45am and 1pm. During this time sections of Route 33 (Westport Road) and Route 7 (Danbury Road) will be closed.


Redding Police say the ride will be travelling through between noon and 1pm.


Monroe Police says there will be road closures and significant delays on Main Street from approximately 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm on Sunday. Spectators are invited to come out and see this massive event, but are reminded to be safe and stay out of the roadway.

Swastika found at Ridgefield High School

A swastika was found at Ridgefield High School this week.  Principal Stacey Gross said in a letter to parents that the anti-Semitic symbol was found etched into a table.  She added that those who create such statements serve to offend everyone in the Ridgefield High School community.  Gross says this will never be considered acceptable behavior.

FuelCell Energy reports 3Q loss

FuelCell Energy has reported a loss of $17 million in its fiscal third quarter.  The Danbury-based company said it had a loss of 31 cents per share.  The results missed Wall Street expectations.  The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 23 cents per share.  The fuel cell power plant maker posted revenue of $10.4 million in the period, also missing Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $19 million.  The company's shares closed at $1.50. A year ago, they were trading at $5.31.

Hate Has No Home Here Group formed in New Milford

Members of the New Milford Clergy Association and the Mayor's Office have created a group and a forum to stand against hate speech.  The group will also address the issue with the Community and provide an avenue for people who want to act.  The “Hate Has No Home Here Group” was formed after a racist slur and swastika were found spraypainted across the front of a local business.  The first meeting of the group is slated to be held on the 14th at 7pm at E. Paul Martin Room, 2nd Floor of New Milford Town Hall. Everyone is welcome to join in.

Danbury Mayor encourages public safety personnel to use services available to them

A funeral is being held today for Danbury Police Sgt. Drew Carlson, who died on Sunday of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.  Mass at St. Peter Church on Main Street will be at 10:30am, followed by burial at St. Peter’s Cemetery on Kenosia Avenue. 


Danbury Police are cautioning area drivers that there will be possible road closures for the funeral procession. 


Out of town uniformed police and public safety personnel attending the funeral will be assembling at Kenosia Park starting at 9am to board buses that will transport them to the church.  Honor Guards are welcome, but Danbury Police asked that they not bring flags or rifles. 


Mayor Mark Boughton says Sgt. Carlson loved his job, was a really good person and had an admiration for his fellow officers.  Carlson was one of the first people waiting for Boughton when he got back from the hospital last week. 


Boughton encouraged public safety personnel to use the services offered.  He noted that if police, fire or EMS employees don't feel right about something they should at least reach out to a mentor within the department.  If an emergency responder is having a hard time, Boughton stressed again that they want to know about it because there are resources available.  But he says if they don't know, they can't bring those resources to bear.

Retesting shows no sign of mold in Brookfield classrooms

The all clear was given for some classrooms at Huckleberry Hill Elementary School in Brookfield, which were professionally cleaned over the weekend after mold was found.  New Milford-based Powers Environmental re-tested air quality in the room where a teacher found the fungi under a chair and a common mold that can cause allergy-like symptoms was found.  At least half a dozen rooms were cleaned.  There were no complaints of coughing and sneezing.  

Municipalities continue to resist suggestion to cover portion of teacher pensions

As the budget stalemate at the state capitol continues, Governor Malloy is proposing to scale back his proposed shift of teacher pension costs to municipalities.  Malloy originally suggested cities and towns cover one-third, but told The Mirror that he would accept their contributing only the costs tied to present-day teachers. 


Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says that is still unacceptable.  He says no matter by how much or how little, any transfer of the state's financial obligations down to the towns will trigger an increase in property taxes, or reduce the number of teachers in the classrooms, reduce town services or a combination of all. 


He added that while the state was failing to set aside money to fund its pension plans, Bethel has been keeping local pension funds healthy, protecting taxpayers from future liabilities and negotiating 401(k) type retirement plans for future employees. 

U.S Attorney's Office to highlight importance of officer wellness

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has launched an online messaging campaign in September during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month to highlight the importance of law enforcement wellness and suicide prevention.


This follows the death this week of Danbury Police Sgt. Drew Carlson of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.


According to Badge of Life, more officers die of suicide than from gunfire and traffic accidents combined.  The Police Suicide Study estimates that an average of 130 law enforcement suicides occur per year, which is more than ten per month.  The mission of Badge of Life is to lessen the impacts of both stress and trauma, the latter of which in particular can lead to post traumatic stress disorder and police suicide.


U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly says the statistics are sadly not surprising when considering the relentless demands and undeniable toll of the job.  Police work draws people of exceptional courage and humility. But Daly says far too many officers suffer in silence unable to seek the help they need.


Over the course of the month, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will disseminate messages via social media using the hashtag "OfficerWellness".

Lawmaker wants to rename Trump State Park for Heather Heyer

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A New York lawmaker wants to rechristen a state park named after Donald Trump to honor a woman killed while protesting white nationalists last month.

Democratic Queens Assemblywoman Nily Rozic announced legislation Wednesday that would rename Donald J. Trump State Park the Heather D. Heyer State Park.

Heyer was killed when a car plowed into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The undeveloped park straddles the Westchester and Putnam county line. Trump donated the land in 2006 after plans for a golf course fell through. The park was closed in 2010.

Rozic says it would be fitting to rename the park for a woman who died while opposing bigotry.

Efforts to remove Trump's name from the park fell flat last year. Lawmakers will reconvene in January.

Military Museum in Danbury closes, collection sent to LI

The U.S. Military Museum on Park Avenue in Danbury has officially closed.  Most of the military collection will be donated to The Museum of American Armor in Old Bethpage, New York.  Official say that after decades in Danbury, this was the best case scenario for the collection.  The Long Island facility will receive tanks, armor vehicles, photos, uniforms, military equipment, and various exhibits to be housed indoors.  Over 10,000 artifacts are being donated.  U.S. Military Museum Secretary Al Barto said the Danbury museum has been about paying tribute to the American G.I., and defense of freedom.  He called the closure a difficult decision, but one made with considerable care.

Hurricane Harvey relief supply collections organized in Greater Danbury

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is hosting a collection drive to benefit Hurricane Harvey victims.  Trucks are set up at several locations in the Greater Danbury area today, including at the radio station. 






The New Fairfield drop off site was moved indoors because of the threat of rain.  The new collection location will be in the New Fairfield Senior Center Community Room.


The collection drive is taking place from 7am to 6pm.  Collections sites are located at:

-WLAD/98Q, 98 Mill Plain Road in Danbury

-Faith Church on the border of New Milford and Brookfield

-Senior Center Community Room in New Fairfield 

-IGA in Sherman


The emergency items needed are:




-Baby Food

-Toiletries (ex soap, shampoo)

-Hygiene products

-Canned and bagged food

-Pet food


-Cleaning supplies



Hydrant flushing planned in Bethel

The Bethel Utilities Department will be flushing fire hydrants throughout town starting Tuesday.  The effort will continue in the coming weeks as part of annual maintenance of the system.  The Department says routine flushing is necessary to provide good water quality and fire protection services.  Some customers may experience reduced water pressure or discolored water during the flushing process.

Brookfield hit hard by Tuesday night storm

Power was restored in Brookfield early this morning after trees fell on wires, knocking out electricity during last night's storm.  About a thousand outages, 12-percent of Brookfield, were reported by Eversource Energy during the height of the storm. 


Brookfield Police say the 911 system was flooded with emergency calls for both Police and Fire personnel.  Firefighters were able to quickly assemble and staffed apparatus at Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company and Candlewood Company.  They handle calls for service including alarms, trees on wires and wires down. 


Brookfield Public Works cleared downed trees, fallen limbs and other debris from the roadways. There were closures reported on Huckleberry Hill Road in the area of YMCA, Stony Hill Road between Pocono Ridge Road and Grays Bridge Road, Route 133 east of North and South Obtuse, North Obtuse at Route 133 and North Beech Tree Road.

No key found in folder examined as part of wrongful death lawsuit against Newtown

Lawyers for the parents of two children killed at Sandy Hook School say one of the keys was missing from emergency folders kept in classrooms that would have allowed a teacher to lock the door on 12-14. 


The request comes as part of a wrongful death lawsuit by the parents of victims Jesse Lewis and Noah Pozner against Newtown on allegations that security measures were not adequate. 


The families lawyer argued that even if the teachers did not have time to lock their doors, school officials set them up to fail to be able to follow lockdown procedures.  Newtown's lawyers say in court documents that a lockdown, however, wasn't ordered at any time during the shooting. 


School officials had put new security measures in place at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year, including locking doors during school hours.  In court documents, lawyers for Newtown said there is no evidence security was inadequate, and municipalities are immune from the liability of others. 


The case is scheduled for trial in March.

Freshman wing at Danbury High School on track for fall 2018 opening

Renovation work is complete at Danbury High School, but because of the summer-long construction, officials wanted a little extra time to get the building ready for students.  Classes started in Danbury Tuesday.  That renovation work included a new entrance way and an expansion of the existing cafeteria along with other upgrades to the building's existing infrastructure are.


In addition to the renovations, a new wing is being added.  The design would essentially give the 9th grade their own building, creating the Freshmen Academy.


There will be a temporary barrier put up between the new wing and the old building.  The Freshman Academy is on track to be opened for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.


The addition will include a two story gym, an academic floor and a level for science and computer labs, with the possibility in the future for another level.


The DHS 2020 project includes construction of a theater and two music classrooms.

Mold found in Brookfield elementary school classroom

Some classrooms at Huckleberry Hill Elementary School in Brookfield had to be professionally cleaned over the weekend after mold was found in one of them.  The Newstimes reports that New Milford-based Powers Environmental tested air quality in the room where a teacher found the fungi under a chair and determined that a common mold that can cause allergy-like symptoms was found.  A letter was sent home Friday about the discovery.  At least half a dozen rooms were cleaned.  There were no complaints of coughing and sneezing.  Classes were held as scheduled yesterday.  A second air quality test was conducted yesterday with results due back today.

Easton Police to establish an e-commerce safety zone

The Easton Police Department is setting up an e-commerce safety zones near the police station to give people a known place to complete transactions with peace of mind.  Several departments in the Greater Danbury area have established similar safety zones in an effort to reduce the chance of fraud, theft, robberies, or violence. 


In Easton, the proposed location is the parking lot across from police headquarters on Morehouse Road.  Security cameras are focused on the lot because it is parking for the library. 


A sign has been ordered.  Residents will be urged to call police to let them know of planned transactions so the camera can be focused in the area where the sign will be placed. 

Money approved for Bethel High School electrical improvements

A Special Town Meeting was held in Bethel last week about approving money for electrical improvements at Bethel High School. 


The $87,400 includes a 15-percent contingency.  $32,400 was previously approved to install an emergency generator at the school.  $55,000 will come from the current Fiscal Year capital non-recurring account for the work.  The Boards of Finance and Selectmen previously signed off on the appropriation. 


One resident asked how soon the work would begin.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says power will have to be turned off in sections of the building while work is done, which would need to work around the schedule of the school.  The work should be completed by the end of December. 


Board of Education Chairman Larry Craybas says the work will allow the generator to service all individual areas that are now being supported by three separate panels. 


School Supervisor of Facility and Security Operations Robert Germinaro explains that there are three existing panels, one dating back to the 1970s.  All three panels were installed at different times.  The work will consolidate three panels in one room and make the system compatible.


The generator is needed because of the IT nerve center and the possibility of having to shelter a large number of people if there is a natural disaster.


Assistant Public Works Director Bob Dibble explained that there is a high probability of system failure if the work isn't done.  The new generator can't be hooked up to the system because there's a chance that the action would cause the existing panels to blow.  The existing generator had already been paid for and is not part of the money being requested.

Emergency officials urge residents to be prepared this hurricane season

Historically, September is the month with the most storms during hurricane season. With Hurricane Irma headed for the Florida area, Connecticut officials are urging people to be prepared in case a storm moves up the Atlantic. 


Governor Dannel Malloy says the state has made substantial improvements over the last several years.  He noted that the state is better prepared now than in 2011, but as with Harvey, they can not really predict the entire fall out of a storm. 


Malloy says they learned different lessons after Irene, Sandy and several large snow storms recently, because they're all different.  Malloy added that the utilities have also prepared, in part because of pressure they faced after Irene and Sandy.  


The New Milford Community Emergency Response Team urged residents to create or renew emergency kits, review and update, if necessary, emergency plans, and know where emergency shelters are located.  Information on how to develop a plan and lists of what a disaster kit should include can be found on the FEMA website.

Hurricane Harvey collection drive at Faith Church touted as success

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is hosting a collection drive to benefit Hurricane Harvey victims.  Trucks will be set up at several locations in the Greater Danbury area Wednesday, including at the radio station. 


The New Fairfield drop off site was moved indoors because of the threat of rain.  The new collection location will be in the New Fairfield Senior Center Community Room.


The organization kicked off the collection drive over the weekend at Faith Church.  COO John Hodge says people were so generous they already filled a truck, and will have to send a 2nd truck to Faith Church tomorrow to collect items that couldn't fit, plus what ever else is donated.  They collected so much bottled water, it was too heavy a load for the truck.


The collection drive is taking place on Wednesday, September 6th from 7am to 6pm.  Collections sites are located at:

-WLAD/98Q, 98 Mill Plain Road in Danbury

-Faith Church on the border of New Milford and Brookfield

-Senior Center Community Room in New Fairfield 

-IGA in Sherman


The emergency items needed are:




-Baby Food

-Toiletries (ex soap, shampoo)

-Hygiene products

-Canned and bagged food

-Pet food


-Cleaning supplies



Wilton Police to conduct crosswalk safety enforcement operation

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve pedestrian safety in Wilton Center, the Wilton Police Department will be conducting a two-week pedestrian safety enforcement operation.  Their effort will focus on motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrian as well as speeding violations. 


Wilton Police hope to educate and encourage the community to develop and maintain safe practices while driving, walking, and cycling throughout Wilton Center.  The two-week operation started yesterday and will run through the 17th. 


Officers dressed in plain clothes will be crossing the street while uniformed officers monitor the crosswalk for motorists and pedestrians who fail to yield the right-of-way or who take unsafe actions.


Drivers and pedestrians stopped during this safety operation will be issued warnings or citations. 


Chief John Lynch says ensuring pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility between motorists and pedestrians.

Overnight paving scheduled in New Fairfield

The finishing touches are being put on the Candlewood Corners drainage improvement project in New Fairfield.  Paving on Route 39 will begin tonight and run from 8 pm to 5 am.  Paving will start in the center of Town and go toward Milltown and Danbury.  Paving should be done in about two weeks.

New Milford Anti-Fracking Waste Ordinance signed off on by town attorney

The Anti-Fracking Waste Ordinance that was approved at the July 10th New Milford Town Council has been reviewed by the Town Attorney and determined to be lawful and consistent with the State and Federal Constitutions. 


The New Milford ordinance supplements a state law which created a moratorium on the acceptance of fracking waste until DEEP rolls out regulations.  There will then be a registration requirement, but not a ban. 


The New Milford ordinance goes further than the State statute and prohibits the use or presence of fracking waste within New Milford. It also requires sworn bid representations from prospective municipal contractors that they will not use fracking waste material in furnishing goods and services to the Town. 


There has been concern that fracking waste may be incorporated into road building material or winter treatment solutions.

Tunnel to Towers will transport hurricane relief supplies to Texas, volunteer there

A collection drive to gather items for Hurricane Harvey victims isn't the end of work for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.  COO John Hodge says after Wednesday's collection, their volunteers will hit the road with the donations.


He says the decision on how long volunteers will be down there will be based on donations received through their website.  Hodge noted that every penny will go back out for relief efforts and will not be redirected anywhere else.


Some of the next steps for volunteers after arriving in Texas will be to help with mold remediation, gutting out homes and mucking out homes.


The collection drive is taking place on Wednesday, September 6th from 7am to 6pm.  Collections sites are located at:

-WLAD/98Q, 98 Mill Plain Road in Danbury

-Faith Church on the border of New Milford and Brookfield

-Senior Center Community Room in New Fairfield 

-IGA in Sherman


The emergency items needed are:




-Baby Food

-Toiletries (ex soap, shampoo)

-Hygiene products

-Canned and bagged food

-Pet food


-Cleaning supplies



Police, fire, hospitals caution people to be safe this Labor Day

Labor Day marks the official end of summer and is when some people host a final barbecue, gathering or trip to the beach.  Connecticut Children's Medical Dr Steven Rogers says many children are injured by backyard barbecues.  He says it's important to never leave a grill unattended, keep a fire extinguisher nearby and make sure there are no gas leaks before use.


The National Fire Protection Association says an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling each year. 


A failure to clean the grill was the leading factor contributing to the fire in one-fifth of all grill structure fires.  In 17%, something that could catch fire was too close to the grill.  Leaks or breaks were the factor in 11% of grill structure fires.


Putnam County Sheriff Donald Smith says unfortunately, the holiday is also a time when drunk driving happens.  Police in New York and Connecticut have stepped up patrols through tonight, in an effort to deter people from getting behind the wheel after they've been drinking.

Newtown Labor Day Parade to close roads

The 56th annual Labor Day Parade is bieng held in Newtown today.  Currituck road will be ONE WAY starting around 8 AM.  Divisions 2, 4, & 5 need to enter the line-up from Tunnel Road (and North) proceeding south toward Main Street. Other side streets may provide limited access.

The following roads will be closed at 9:30am:
-Route 25 (Main Street) North of Johnnie Cake Lane (Mt. Pleasant) to Sugar Street (Route 302)
-Glover Avenue
-Queen Street (between Glover and Church Hill Road)
-Church Hill Road (north of Queen Street)


Direct access to Main Street will be blocked at its its intersections with Academy Lane, Currituck Road, Hanover Road, Schoolhouse Hill Road, and West Street.

In addition, temporary No Parking signs will be posted on the following streets and will be considered tow-away zones:

-The Boulevard between Church Hill Road and Schoolhouse Hill Road.

-Schoolhouse Hill Road between The Boulevard and Main Street.

-Hanover Road between Main Street and Hall Lane.

-Elm Drive between Sugar Street and Hawley Road.

Parking will be prohibited on one side of the street on both Meadow Road and Elizabeth Street.

Founder of Ventura Law in Danbury passes away

Americo S. Ventura, founder of Ventura Law in Danbury, passed away Friday.   Ventura was the son of Portuguese immigrants, a United States Army Veteran, and the former Chief Prosecutor in the city of Danbury.  Ventura founded his law firm 60 years ago.  He had partnered with Dianne Andersen, the first female lawyer in Danbury in 1957, and hired Danbury's first African American attorney, Connecticut Court of Appeals Judge Thomas G. West.


Ventura was recently honored for 60 years of service to the legal community by the Danbury Bar Association and received numerous recognitions and proclamations from the City of Danbury and the U.S. Senate for his pro bono and community service.


The firm said in a statement that they have lost a great leader and his passing will be felt throughout the community and the entire legal profession.  For the past 60 years, Ventura was a fixture in Danbury, providing legal services built on the principle of compassionate service and giving back to the community.   He believed that the law was an honorable profession, one of service and esteem.  He was in active practice until his passing.


Augie Ribeiro, who serves as Ventura Law's CEO, says they will celebrate his legacy by continuing to serve their clients and the community with the zeal and compassion Ventura stood for.  

Hurricane Harvey relief supply collections organized in Greater Danbury

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is organizing a collection drive to provide needed items to victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charity was established in memory of a firefighter killed on 9/11.  One of Siller's cousin is former New Fairfield First Selectman John Hodge.  He is organizing the collection drive locally.


Hodge says there's a standard list when a natural disaster like this happens of items needed immediately.  He stressed that donors should stick to the list, otherwise Texas will be inundated with items that won't get used.  Hodge added that the items also have to be organized.  All of the trucks from around the Greater Danbury area will go to a central distribution area set up by the Foundation.  The donations will be categorized and reloaded onto tractor trailers.


The collection drive is taking place on Wednesday, September 6th from 7am to 6pm.  Collections sites are located at:

-WLAD/98Q, 98 Mill Plain Road in Danbury

-Faith Church on the border of New Milford and Brookfield

-Memorial Field in New Fairfield

-IGA in Sherman


The emergency items needed are:




-Baby Food

-Toiletries (ex soap, shampoo)

-Hygiene products

-Canned and bagged food

-Pet food


-Cleaning supplies



Local lawmaker decries 'legislative malpractice' over budget stalemate

Newtown state Representative Mitch Bolinsky is frustrated with his colleagues over the lack of a state budget more than two months into a new fiscal year.  He says the state must live within its means, as all households in Connecticut must do. 


He called for a change in the way state government operates, leveraging technology and capturing efficiencies for a more responsive, taxpayer-centric State.  Bolinsky called this the witching hour; time to find a new spell that reduces spending by way of structural changes and pension reform. 


Newtown will see educational cost sharing dollars zeroed-out and municipal aid cut by 99% under the Governor's executive order.  He says a lame-duck Governor wielding executive order authority and a majority party that refuses to present a budget is nothing short of legislative malpractice. 


In response to the Governor's Budget Chief asking towns for information if they'll need extraordinary help, Bolinsky said that educational cost sharing and municipal aid are not a gift.  He noted that they are a fraction of tax dollars returned to Newtown to compensate for the state's overbearing educational mandates and payment in lieu of taxes on state properties that do not actually pay local property taxes. 

Redding Historical Society to host Settlers Day Picnic

The Redding Historical Society will host a Settlers Day Picnic at Putnam Park on Sunday.  The event will feature music by the Germantown Ancients Fife & Drum Corps among others.  Children's games including potato sack races and 3-legged races will be held between 11:30am and 3pm.  A firehouse challenge Tug-o-War competition and a Redding Historical Society genealogy booth will also be set up.  The Historical Society says there will be historically low priced food with 10-cent sodas, 25-cent hot dogs and 50-cent hamburgers. 

Newtown state lawmaker touts bill to address opioid crisis

Newtown's State Representative Mitch Bolinsky attended a ceremonial bill signing this week for a measure about the opioid addiction crisis.  The new law places limits on the over-prescribing of addictive prescription pain killers.  It's also aimed at improving patient education on the safe use and proper disposal of these pills. 


Bolinsky says Newtown is not immune to this epidemic.  He recently hosted a forum to educate residents and first responders about the proper use of the overdose reversal medication, NARCAN. 


He added that while no legislation can prevent every tragedy from occurring, it can provide the infrastructure needed to empower patients with the knowledge needed to avoid misuse and abuse of their prescriptions.


The law reduces, from a seven-day supply to a five-day supply, the maximum amount of an opioid drug a practitioner may prescribe to a minor.  Additionally, the law requires prescriptions for controlled substances to be transmitted electronically to a pharmacy, limiting opportunity for prescriptions to be filled more than necessary and creating a new level of prescriber accountability, especially for those who prescribe for profit.

Annual Mark Twain Library book fair this weekend

The annual Mark Twain Library book fair in Redding starts today.  The 57th annual event is being held at the Redding Community Center on Lonetown Road.  More than 75,000 books in 75 different categories are up for sale.  Admission is free.  Today's hours run through 6pm.  The benefit for the Library in Redding is open tomorrow and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.  Sunday is half price day.  Monday's hours are from 9am to 4pm and people can fill a box for $10 or pay half price for individual books.

Danbury launches new live chat feature on City website

Danbury has launched a new feature on the City's website.  The 311 service request system chat feature is aimed at inspiring proactive engagement between Danbury and residents.  The live chat is managed 24/7 by the 311 call center for residents put in a service request or have City-related questions answered. 


The live chat feature is available from both desktop and mobile. 


The online tool is a product of Zendesk, a global customer service software.  Of the top ten major cities in Connecticut, Danbury is the only municipality to feature a 24/7 live chat.  The City's new website, developed by Lumi Agency, launched earlier this summer. 


Many department pages are now equipped with “Frequently Asked Questions” sections.  They were added in an effort to reduce call volume and wait times within city offices. 

Greater Danbury area towns look to join opioid litigation

Several Greater Danbury area towns have expressed an interest in joining the Statewide Opioid Litigation.  The New Milford Town Council authorized the move last month.  Yesterday, officials from Ridgefield, Roxbury and elsewhere said they could get involved.  The litigation is being spearheaded in Connecticut by Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary. 


The complaint was filed by Suffolk County, New York against four major opioid manufacturers and four physicians. They allege misrepresentations, false advertising and nuisance under New York law about the addictive nature of opioids. The complaint says the advertising was disguised as literature and testimonials about opioids being a viable option for treatment of chronic plain, and not addictive.


It further alleges that the doctors and their front groups received vast sums of money from the opioid manufacturers.

Tunnel to Towers Foundation hosts Harvey supply collections in Greater Danbury

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is organizing a collection drive to provide needed items to victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The Foundation organized a similar effort after Superstorm Sandy. 


The collection drive is taking place on Wednesday, September 6th from 7am to 6pm.  Collections sites are located at:

-WLAD/98Q, 98 Mill Plain Road in Danbury

-Faith Church on the border of New Milford and Brookfield

-Memorial Field in New Fairfield

-IGA in Sherman


The emergency items needed are:




-Baby Food

-Toiletries (ex soap, shampoo)

-Hygiene products

-Canned and bagged food

-Pet food


-Cleaning supplies




The charity was established in memory of a firefighter killed on 9/11.  Siller had just gotten off duty when the planes hit the World Trade Center.  He drove to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it had already been closed so he strapped on 60 pounds of gear, and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers. 


One of Siller's cousin is former New Fairfield First Selectman John Hodge.  He is organizing the collection drive locally.


The charity is best known for assisting families of first responders who have died in the line of duty.  The organization has also built high-tech "smart homes" for military members who suffered catastrophic injury in war.  One of the group's biggest fundraisers is the annual Tunnel to Towers run, which retraces Siller's steps from Brooklyn to lower Manhattan.


In the aftermath of Sandy, Tunnel to Towers raised $12 million which is parlayed into $50 million in aid.  A million man hours in volunteer relief work was put in by Foundation members.  Over 200 homes were rebuilt by Tunnel to Towers and mold was remediated at another 1,000 homes.  The charity also distributed $5 million in strategic supplies to homeowners in need, which eventually resulted in the rebuilding of another 850 homes.

West Nile Virus found in mosquitoes tested in Redding

Mosquitoes recently trapped in Redding have tested positive for West Nile virus.  Residents are reminded to protect themselves from mosquito bites and are encouraged to take simple measures to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. 


To help reduce mosquitoes around the home, objects that may trap water when not in use should be turned over.  People are encouraged to wear mosquito repellent and cover bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. 


Redding also had a positive mosquito in 2003 and has had a mosquito control program since 1999 aimed at lessening the number of mosquitoes around public grounds, ballfields, and schools. 


Mosquitoes are still active into September.


West Nile Virus has also been detected in: Bridgeport, Groton, Milford, Middlefield, New Haven, Norwalk, Shelton, Stamford, Stratford, West Hartford, West Haven, Westport.


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