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Domestic Violence A Growing Problem

State leaders in Hartford are talking about new ways to address a growing problem… domestic violence. They include faster communications between local police and state agencies, better GPS monitoring for anyone who is convicted of violating protective orders, and better funding for domestic violence agencies that provide services for victims… mainly women and children. Currently, about a dozen victims here in Connecticut die annually because of domestic violence.


School Budget Calls for Increased Spending

The New Milford School Board has voted unanimously to approve the $71 Million budget proposal for the next school year… marking an increase in spending of slightly more than 5%… Just shy of three and a half million dollars more than the current budget. The increase mainly covers a $1 Million increase in salaries and health insurance costs, and almost another million dollars in the cost of transportation. Some of the money is earmarked for the salaries and benefits of three new elementary school teachers. Other money will go toward a new bus app that will let parents know whether or not their child boarded a school bus, and then it would track that bus.


Local Family Loses Everything in Fire

The family of an employee of Bailey’s Backyard restaurant in Ridgefield, who lives in Dover Plains, New York, lost all their possessions when flames destroyed their home last week. Fortunately, nobody in the Diaz Fernandez family was hurt, but after five hours of work by firefighters to put out the flames, their home was deemed a total loss. They are now staying with family members, as friends have created a GoFundMe page to help them get back on their feet. That campaign… “Bailey’s Backyard Employee Has Lost Everything,” has raised more than $14,000 so far.


Just One School District Opts in on Open Choice Program

Just one area school district is willing to accept Danbury students in Connecticut’s Open Choice program which will begin in the fall. Under the terms of the program, eight students will be sent to a neighboring school district with the goal of reducing overcrowding in city schools, and to increase diversity in suburban schools. Redding though, is the only school district in the Danbury area that has agreed to participate in the program. State Rep. Bob Godfrey of Danbury released a statement, saying he’s “very disappointed” that Open Choice hasn’t been as successful as planned.


Taste of Ridgefield Set for Sunday

It’s back this year! The Ridgefield Rotary Club’s Taste Of Ridgefield… featuring the best food from nearly 30 local eateries and wine shops, will be held this Sunday, February 5th. The 21st annual event will be held Sunday at the First Congregational Church in Ridgefield. It is traditionally held between the week of the Super Bowl and the Championship playoffs, and it gives area restaurants and wine shops an opportunity to promote themselves in a noncompetitive environment. A full list of participating restaurants and wine shops, along with all other details, can be found on the Ridgefield Rotary’s website.


Tire Disposal Fee Discussion

Thousands of used tires are illegally dumped each year in Connecticut, along with a lot of other trash that shows up on roadsides. On Monday, lawmakers in Hartford talked about ideas to address it, including one idea that would make the tire industry take on more responsibility. It would include a fee on all new tire sales that would help pay for recycling efforts. If enacted, such a law would potentially save municipalities millions of dollars annually in disposal and clean-up costs.


Carp May Have Been Overly Successful

Sterile grass carp were released into Candlewood Lake to combat the growth of an invasive plant. Now, it seems they did a very good job of that… but unfortunately, they eliminated more vegetation than expected, and now the Candlewood Lake Authority suspects that the carp are to blame for the almost total lack of vegetation in Candlewood Lake. Thousands of sterile grass carp were stocked in the lake in 2015 and 2017 to combat Eurasian watermilfoil. Now the milfoil infestation is gone… along with all the other plants and that is a whole new problem. It means now, plans are afoot to remove some of the grass carp!


Danbury Master Plan Approved

The city of Danbury has finally… after a few years of work… adopted a master plan for the next decade. City leaders say it is aimed at making the city more mobile, more affordable, and less congested. It came about after two years of development by consultants and a task force of city leaders, and hundreds of comments by residents. While new housing and commercial development would be concentrated along the Interstate 84 corridor along the west side, the downtown business district and the commercial east end of the city, residents in northernmost or southernmost Danbury will probably not see a big zoning change.


Danbury Stabbing Arrest

A stabbing in downtown Danbury late Friday night, left two men injured and another man now facing charges including with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, breach of peace and carrying a dangerous weapon. 29-year-old Jorge Bonilla was taken into custody by police who say he was found after the attack in an alley. The attack reportedly took place at a bar on Railroad Place. The two victims were said to have suffered non-life-threatening “slash wounds.” They were both taken to Danbury Hospital. Bonilla was taken to jail.


New Housing Coming to Newtown

Plans by a builder from New York calling for new housing in Newtown on Mount Pleasant Road have been approved. The property is just east of Exit 9 on I-84, where industrial property will be rezoned in order to allow 11 buildings on a 33 acre former farm to be built, which would result in 200 apartments. Some neighbors opposed the plan, citing concerns about school bus safety and well-water contamination, but in the end, it was approved by a slim majority of Planning and Zoning Commission, who agreed that the project should move forward… by a 3-2 vote.


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