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Local News

New Milford School Roof Still An Issue After Nearly 6 Years

In New Milford, concerns persist over the quality and safety of repairs to the high school roof, which began nearly six years ago. The Board of Education’s Facilities Subcommittee is considering two options: a long-term fix involving disassembling and reassembling the roof, or a short-term solution with fasteners. The project initially aimed to upgrade the roof for $4.75 million, but delays due to fires have complicated matters.

New Stop Signs Going Up In Danbury

In an effort to curb speeding and prevent crashes, Danbury has installed new stop signs at the intersection of Deer Hill Avenue, Garfield Avenue, and Wilson Street. Concerns raised by Deer Hill Avenue residents prompted the move. As of now, the signs remain covered with black bags, but once unveiled, they will enforce a four-way stop. Residents have witnessed reckless driving on the road, and these measures aim to enhance safety.

Newtown Budget Proposal Includes Tax Rate Increase

In Newtown, a proposed $138 million town budget includes a 4.6% tax rate increase, reflecting the effects of spiraling inflation and the rising costs of salaries and benefits. Nevertheless, local leaders are working to try to find savings in the spending plan before the late April budget vote. The Board of Finance and Legislative Council rigth now are exploring the available options. Newtown residents vote separately on the school district’s $89.8 million budget and the town’s $48.8 million budget during the annual referendum in April.

Newtown Police Conduct Tobacco/Vape Compliance Checks

The Newtown Police Department, working with the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Tobacco Prevention and Enforcement Program, conducted unannounced compliance inspections of Newtown establishments that sell tobacco products / or electronic cigarettes. The inspections were performed in an effort to determine compliance with state laws concerning the prohibition of the sale of e-cigarettes and / or tobacco products to youths under the age of 21. A total of 21 unannounced compliance inspections were conducted. Of that total, 2 establishments were found non-compliant… Wheels Gas Station on Church Hill Road, and the Citgo Gas Station on Mount Pleasant Road. The offending clerks were issued a first time fine in the amount of $300.

Norovirus Now Creeping Into Connecticut

The national outbreak of norovirus that has been in the headlines lately, has now made its way to Connecticut. But according to the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, it’s not as severe as it was last year. They say about 13% of all norovirus tests here in the northeast were positive as of February 17. The national average is about 12%. Last year, the positivity rate here in the northeast stood at 15%, so it is somewhat of an improvement. Because norovirus tends to spike during the winter months, the current rise was not unexpected. If you experience symptoms like fever or nausea, stay home to prevent further spread.


Merger Aimed At Remaining Financially Healthy

Nuvance Health, the parent company of Danbury and Norwalk hospitals, faced a staggering $150 million loss last year. The ongoing trend, exacerbated by the pandemic, prompted a crucial decision, as operating at a loss is not sustainable. Nuvance is now joining forces with New York’s Northwell Health, a 21-hospital system. This strategic alliance creates a $20 billion network, spanning 28 hospitals and employing 99,000 professionals. Despite the challenges, they say patient-facing jobs remain secure.

Former Danbury Teacher Imprisoned On Sex Charges Files Appeal

An update now on a child sexual abuse case. Kenneth Gardner, a former teacher from Danbury, has filed an appeal after being found guilty of 13 felony charges. Gardner was sentenced to 55 years in prison, with 20 mandatory, following a nine-day trial. The charges include sexual assault, illegal sexual contact, and possession of child pornography. His appeal raises questions about evidence sufficiency and court instructions.

Brookfield Crash Involving Police Vehicle Remains Under Investigation

In Brookfield, a recent motor vehicle crash involving local police officers has left one officer still out of work. According to the Brookfield Police Department, two officers were taken to the hospital after the Monday crash on Federal Road. While one officer was released that night, the other remains off duty. The incident occurred at the intersection of White Turkey Road Extension and Federal Road. Authorities are continuing their investigation into the cause of the crash. Two other individuals involved suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Brookfield Crash Involves Police Car

In Brookfield, a collision took place at the intersection of White Turkey Road Extension and Federal Road. A police patrol car collided with two other cars. The officers in the patrol car were taken to Danbury Hospital to be treated for their injuries. Those in the second car were also taken to Danbury Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the third vehicle was not hurt.

Raid Yields Drug Arrest

On Monday, a significant operation unfolded in Danbury. Detectives from the Danbury Police Department’s Special Investigations Division collaborated with officers from the Community Conditions Unit. Their target? 45 year old Gerald Rockhead of Waterbury, a convicted drug dealer known to authorities from past investigations. The investigation spanned several months, focusing on illegal drug sales in Danbury. Search warrants were executed for Rockhead, his vehicle, cellular telephone, and an apartment he was known to stay in. Rockhead was taken into custody, and now faces not only drug-related offenses but a charge for violating a protective order. Officers seized crack cocaine, along with cash, an electronic scale, and packaging materials. Because two children lived there, additional charges include Risk of Injury to a minor.