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Boehringer Ingelheim is selling off the company's Roxane business.  The pharmaceutical company, whose North American headquarters is located in Ridgefield, is selling the generic business to Jordan-based Hikma Pharmaceuticals for $.65 billion.  According to a statement from Hikma, the company will pay $1.18 billion in cash and issue 40 million new shares to Boehringer.  The Roxane manufacturing plant is located in Columbus Ohio, and company officials expect the sale will have little impact it's Connecticut facilities.

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Funding for the first block of projects under Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed transportation overhaul has been approved by the State Bond Commission.  The first batch of projects identified in a ramp-up initiative is known as "Let's Go CT!" includes funding for a new dock yard on the Danbury Branch Rail Line in Norwalk will allow the state to increase capacity and service.

 

$4 million dollars for the design, engineering, and construction of a new dock yard on the Danbury Branch Rail Line in Norwalk was approved.  That will allow the state to increase capacity and service on the Danbury Line.

 

"Though the administration and I have differed on some  things, transportation infrastructure upgrades are a priority where we completely agree and have my full support.  I appreciate today's investment in the Norwalk to Danbury Branch Line after so many years of work from the local delegation to maintain, upgrade and modernize this line," said Wilton State Senator Toni Boucher.

 

Boucher continued by saying that the Danbury line has great potential to improve economic development in the region, but money for the necessary upgrades was  derailed or diverted over the years.  She says commuters have been forced to use other lines that are better equipped, yet most of the big office complexes are ironically located next to this rail line.

 

The package also includes $10 million dollars toward the design and engineering for the widening of I-84 in Danbury between exits 3 and 8.  This will widen the highway in both directions and will ease rush-hour traffic along that heavily congested section of the highway.

 

Malloy says he was caught in traffic for an hour and a half in that area on Holy Thursday.

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Absentee ballots will be available starting Thursday for the second referendum vote being held about replacing the roof at Joel Barlow High School.  The vote on little more than $1 million will be held on August 18th.  The same amount was approved by voters in Easton and Redding on May 5th, but due to technical errors, the vote was declared invalid by the Region 9 bond council. 

 

The Redding and Easton Town Clerks say the Region 9 Board of Education didn't submit the legal notice paperwork to them. 

 

An application for an absentee ballot must be completed before a ballot can be issued.  A second referendum could cost the towns $8,000.

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Several items approved today by the state Bond Commission will benefit the Greater Danbury area. 

 

In New Milford, Dakota Partners will receive a $4.2 million loan to help with construction and rehabilitation of East Street Apartments.  The project contains 30 affordable rental units.  The loan will be provided at 1-percent for 30 years.  The project is costing $11 million in total and will be offset by $6.2 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits and $720,000 in CHFA financing. 

 

Weston is receiving $256,000 in bond money for ADA and other code improvements at the town library.  The grant will cover approximately half of the total estimated cost of the project, with the remaining funds being bequeathed to the library by a late Weston resident.  Representative John Shaban called ibraries a priceless public resource.  In such difficult economic times, he says he is pleased to be able to help secure some return from the state for needs of the district.

 

Phone line repairs and electrical system improvements will be made at Southbury Training School with $225,000 in state bond money.

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Newtown is looking to help people beat the heat by offering some extended hours and reminding residents of places that are air conditioned where they can gather.  The Muncipal Center at Fairfield Hills is open 7am to 9pm through Thursday and on Friday from 7am to 5pm. 

 

CH Booth Library and the Newtown Senior Center are open during their normal hours. 

 

The Newtown First Selectman, Emergency Management and Health District offices are asking that residents check on any elderly or frail neighbors, monitor pets and keep them out of the sun.

 

Individuals are urged to take the following steps to ensure good health:

Drink plenty of water

Avoid strenuous activities

Take frequent rests for cooling down in an air conditioned area or near a fan

Wear light, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing

Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Eat lightly throughout the day

Avoid exposure to direct sunlight or long periods in the sun (especially between the hours of 12 noon and 4pm which are the hottest hours during the day

 

Heat Related Illness has some common symptoms that should be watched for, including:

Dry Red Spotted Skin

Rash

Mental Confusion

Dizziness

Weakness

Fatigue

Headache

Nausea

Cramps

Body temp. at or above 105 degrees F

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A water main break in Bethel is being repaired on the corner of Hoyt’s Hill and Route 302.  Service to parts of the town has been shut down because of the break.  Residents in the Hoyt's Hill, Spring Hill Lane, Governor's Lane, Whippoorwill Road, Fawn Road and parts of Winthrop Road will be without water for several hours.  About 60 or 70 homes are affected.  There was no official estimate for when the water main break would be repaired.

 

(Photo Courtesy: First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker, Twitter)

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A former school bus driver from Brewster has sentenced for the sexual abuse of a six year old girl.  68-year old Michael Cunningham has been sentenced to 14 years in prison. 

 

The Putnam County District Attorney's office said on Monday that the former school bus driver was also ordered on Wednesday to five years of supervised release.  The Brewster man was charged in July 2014 with two counts of felony child sex abuse. 

 

Although Cunningham worked as a bus driver in the Katonah-Lewisboro and Brewster School Districts before retiring in 2004, this case is unrelated to that work.  Prosecutors argued Cunningham worked to gain the trust of the child’s parents over a period of time, eventually offering to babysit.  Prosecutors sought the maximum sentence saying that Cunningham groomed and manipulated the child before abusing her.

 

The child's mother said in court that they opened their home to him, and he hurt the family in the worst possible way. 

 

District Attorney Adam Levy commended the staff at the Child Advocacy Center, who ensured the family received the services and counseling needed to begin recovery, and for accompanying the family throughout the trial.

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A fundraiser featuring the Professional United Soccer League Team New York Red Bulls II is being held on Thursday to benefit Newtown Youth & Family Services.  The team will play an exhibition game against the Newtown Pride FC of the Connecticut Soccer League. 

 

Event coordinator Kyle Lyddy says the proceeds from the game and a silent auction will go toward the peer-to-peer mentoring program run by NYFS.  Lyddy says they are holding the event on Thursday to raise awareness of the services offered by Newtown Youth and Family Services, and to keep some of those services going.

 

The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport will be transformed into a soccer field. 

 

"The opportunity to play in a match for this cause, and use the game of soccer as a conduit to enrich the lives of children in our community is something that we as an organization are excited about," said New York Red Bulls II general manager Shaun Oliver.

 

Newtown Youth & Family Services has been providing mental health and community support services to the Greater Newtown area for more than 30 years.  NYFS provides after school activities, support groups, social groups for children with autism spectrum disorder and programs for pre-school, youth and teens as well as provide financial assistance for counseling to children and families. 

 

“We’re so pleased this event has come to fruition,” Mike Svanda, Newtown Pride coach, said. “When the tragedy at Sandy Hook took place we were devastated, as many people were. We were trying to think of a way to help affect change, a real difference for the future. We wanted to play soccer games to raise awareness and bring families together. Our goal is to play soccer to raise funds and awareness for the Newtown Youth & Family Services, and to help implement programs for peer-to-peer mentoring. It is amazing to see the New York Red Bull organization come together for this cause and it’s an honor to be a part of this great event.”

 

The Thursday evening fundraiser will kick off at 6pm outside of the ballpark with a fun interactive fan zone where all ages are welcome to join in the fun. The stadium will transform into a fun soccer atmosphere for a 7:30 kick off under the lights.  Tickets can be purchased online under the "Events" tab of the group's website.  They vary in price point starting at $12 with group and family discounts available.

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Politics have gotten in the way of good work being done for Connecticut residents.  That response from Wilton Senator Toni Boucher on the recently held General Assembly Veto Session.  The ranking member of the Education Committee said she was disappointed there was no debate on the bill that would have established requirements for the Education Commissioner.

 

Boucher says there is a line between the two branches, and said it was shameful there wasn't a discussion in the Senate during the veto session.

 

Boucher says Connecticut residents deserve representation, and were denied that.  She says a polarized and politicized closed door style of government does not develop trust and unite lawmakers for the benefit of the people.  Boucher says the unprecedented partisanship that has characterized the deliberations is outrageous.  She cited negotiating the state budget behind closed doors monumental policy shifts with no chance for public comment as reasons for her comments.

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There's been another delay in the court hearing for Brookfield's former school finance director.  Monday's appearance was to be about charges of larceny and forgery against Art Colley.  He allegedly tried to claim nearly $1,000 in reimbursements for three iPads he never purchased.  The case against the 57-year old has been statutorily sealed. 

 

There is an ongoing investigation into Colley in an unrelated case, so this appearance was postponed to August 11th. 

 

The Brookfield Board of Finance was presented last month with an audit report on school spending over the past two years.  Nearly $124,000 in questionable spending by Colley and others was uncovered.  Colley resigned in early 2014 amid accusations he overspent the district budget by $1.2 million.

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A Danbury man with a suspended license has been arrested for crashing into a parked car and dragging a store loss prevention officer while fleeing Big Y in Newtown Friday afternoon.  Newtown Police say a man, later determined to be 30-year old Richard Watson of Danbury, was approached by the store's security but able to get into his SUV. 

 

Watson allegedly backed out of his parking space, dragging the Loss Prevention Officer, and hitting a parked car.  There were several people in the vehicle, including children. 

 

The SUV was tracked to a West Street home where Watson was found hiding under a pile of garbage.  He's been charged with robbery, larceny, breach of peace, evading responsibility with physical injury, operating with a suspended license and three counts of risk of injury to a minor. 

 

Watson remains held on a $10,000 bond after an appearance Monday at Danbury Superior Court.  He entered a plea of not guilty.  The case was continued to August 17th.

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A Wolcott man has entered a plea of not guily in Danbury Superior Court on charges related to a multi-town police chase earlier this month.  The incident started early on Friday July 17th when State Police tried to stop 32-year old Kenneth Lyden in Newtown. 

 

He nearly hit a Trooper by exit 6 where he continued on local roads eventually stopped in New Milford when he crashed.  The Trooper in Danbury fired at Lyden's car, but the driver was uninjured.  He later fought with Troopers at the crash site and was Tasered. 

 

The following day, Lyden was being released from a Waterbury Hospital and escaped police custody in a Trooper's patrol car.  He was stopped a short time later and arrested.  For the later incident, he faces charges of larceny, interfering with an officer, escape from custody and engaging police in pursuit.  He will be in Waterbury Superior Court on August 7th on those charges. 

 

The case against him in Danbury was continued to August 11th

 

He has several other pending cases in various Superior Courts.  He has 13 convictions for crimes from 2006 through 2013 on charges of larceny, robbery, possession of narcotics, engaging police in pursuit and operating with a suspended license.

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BOSTON (AP) Officials say a Connecticut ironworker who was critically injured this month in a construction accident at Logan International Airport in Boston has died.

The Boston Globe reports 54-year-old Lawrence O'Leary, of Seymour, Connecticut, died Friday evening at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Police say O'Leary fell about 40 feet onto the ground as he was working on a parking garage under construction at the airport on July 10.

O'Leary had been an ironworker for more than 30 years. Jay Hurley, president of the Iron Workers District Council of New England, says he is the second ironworker to die from injuries at a Massachusetts construction site in the past six weeks.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating his death.

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The now-inactive Danbury Whalers still owe Danbury $55,000 to $60,000 for public safety presence over the five year period they were at the Danbury Ice Arena.  The police and fire marshal presence was required for safety.  The arena has since upgraded an inadequate sprinkler system, and obtained a full Certificate of Occupancy in the last several months. 

 

Mayor Mark Boughton says fire watch is not necessary anymore, though there is still a need for police presence.  The new FHL team has been made aware of that requirement.  The building has been certified by Danbury building officials as good to go for the start of the October start of the 2015-2016 FHL season.

 

Last February, the sprinkler system and the temporary certificate of occupancy were investigated by Danbury as part of an ongoing dispute with the now-inactive Danbury Whalers over public safety presence at games.  The City Council required that the Whalers pay for the police and fire marshal presence prior to each game, and repay old debt totalling more than $100,000.

 

The temporary certificate of occupancy issued in 2004 had expired a year later, when additional seats were installed in the days of the Danbury Trashers.

 

Boughton says he's not optimistic about collecting the balance due.  He chalks it up as a cost of trying to see economic success downtown through events in CityCenter. 

 

But he says the City will continue to pursue collection efforts.

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A project in Danbury could benefit from $1 million in state bonding

 

When the State Bond Commission meets this week, they will act on a million dollar grant to help with the preservation of the historic Richter House in Richter Park.  The House will be fully renovated and expanded into an art, musical and environmental education facility. 

 

Danbury State Representative Jan Giegler says the new performance art center will be in keeping with the historic home’s New England farm style to accommodate up to 150 people.  She says this is a good start to the capital improvements that will preserve the local landmark for generations to come. 

 

 

Representative David Arconti says the grounds will get new stone walls, a patio and landscaping to complement the home and panoramic open space.  He says the afterschool environmental programs will be a great learning opportunity for students.

 

Varied programs will be offered in the arts, musical performances, acting, dancing and production; bio-learning, aquatic, and wildlife studies; and a summer youth camp and after school programs for children.

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A brief ceremony is being held this morning in Danbury to mark the 62nd Anniversary of the cease fire that ended the Korean War.  Greater Danbury Area Korean War Veterans Association Commander Brendan Sniffin says there is no keynote speaker, but there will be a rifle salute at 10am. 

 

The ceremony is held at the Korean war monument at Rogers Park.

 

Sniffin says the group reads the 17 names on the of those who were killed in action, are missing in action or POWs.  They ask that representatives of the families be there if available.  A rose is placed on the wall at each name.

 

The Korean War armistice was signed on July 27th 1953, drawing a new border between North and South Korea.  The war cost the lives of over 50,000 Americans.  The armistice also established a committee of representatives from neutral countries to decide the fate of the thousands of prisoners of war on both sides. The POWs were allowed to decide for themselves to stay where they were or return to their homelands.

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A Connecticut man who led police on a two state chase has been arraigned in Connecticut and extradited to New York.  23-year old William Lester of Rocky Hill was seen speeding in the New York Town of Dover shortly before 10pm on July 4th.  A Trooper tried to stop the car, but Lester sped up and threw a lunch box from his vehicle.  Police later determined that it contained the hallucinogen LSD. 

 

During the chase, Lester drove into a New York State Police patrol car and continued into Danbury and up Super 7. 

 

He crash with a guard rail in New Milford and continued on Route 7 hitting a utility pole.  Lester and the Trooper were trapped by live utility wires.  Eversource Energy, and two area volunteer fire departments responded to the scene.  Lester was transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. 

 

At that time he was charged by New Milford Police with reckless driving and evading responsibility for an accident with property damage.  He was released on a written promise to appear in Bantam Superior Court August 10th. 

 

New York State Police obtained an arrest Warrant for Lester, and learned on Monday that he was headed to Candlewood Valley Motors in New Milford to get his car from the auto body repair shop.  New Milford Police took Lester into custody as a fugitive from justice and turned him over to New York authorities on Tuesday. 

 

He is being held at Dutchess County Jail for a future court appearance.  He faces felony charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence.

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An electronic sign similar to the one recently installed at Danbury High School is coming to Danbury City Hall.  Mayor Mark Boughton says the sign will notice people about meetings and other information.  That sign will give everything from road conditions to latest event at the Ives Center. 

 

The design for outside of City Hall on Deer Hill Avenue is being done by the same firm that did work at Elmwood Park, Kennedy Park and the new park slated for next to the police station.  He says the design team is working on that simultaneously with the pocket park.

 

The park is designed to commemorate police officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty serving the City.  Boughton says it will include a water feature visible as drivers come down Main Street, and will serve as a gateway to CityCenter.  Boughton says he thinks they've come up with a thoughtful park to be a restful place for people to visit.

 

Boughton expects bulldozers on site in the next six weeks.

 

He's been asked why there is no parking planned for the site, and says that's because it is intended as a destination that people can walk to.

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Danbury is working with the Connecticut Historical Society to offset costs associated with plans to purchase the Octagon House on Spring Street.  Mayor Mark Boughton says a grant would help with the retrofitting and the purchase price.

 

The City still has to complete negotiations with the bank, But Boughton says he won't let them change an exorbitant amount of money for a property that's fallen into such disrepair it's almost worthless.  He hasn't ruled out taking the property through eminent domain if an agreement can't be reached with the bank.

 

Boughton says they're also working on layout plan for a second floor community room.  The Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team can bring people together there to talk about issues going on in their neighborhood.

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Fans turned out for an announcement yesterday by the Danbury Titans, of the Federal Hockey League.  Former Danbury Whalers Coach Phil Esposito will be the coach of the new team. 

 

Danbury Ice Arena Regional Manager Kevin McCormack says there's a 6 year lease with the team.

 

The season starts in October.  There almost wasn't a 2015-2016 season though.

 

In June, the FHL announced that a team owned by Barry Soskin of Chicago, who owns two other teams in the six-team League, would play at The Brewster Ice Arena.  It's located just a stone's throw from the Danbury Ice Arena, where the Danbury Whalers played last season.  The General Manager was going to be Herm Sorcher, managing partner of the Danbury Whalers--an inactive member of the league in good standing.  The Whalers were in a legal battle with Eagle Ice Sports over the team's lease at their building. 

 

When Bruce Bennett and Ed Crowe got permission to join the FHL shortly after that announcement, the Stateline Whalers decided to forfeit their stake in the FHL.  Bennett says if they didn't pick up the Brewster team, the FHL wouldn't exist.  A team in Michigan put it in their contract that the League has to have six teams.  He agreed that a League with only four teams was not worth investing or playing in because you see the same challengers all the time.

 

The Brewster Bulldogs will play at the Brewster Ice Arena.  A manager has not yet been named for the Brewster team.

 

The Titans will play seven home games against Brewster, with the Bulldogs playing seven home games against the Titans.  The rest of the schedule has worked out so that when the Titans are home, the Bulldogs will be on the road and when the Bulldogs are home, the Titans will be on the road.

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Trailer for "Boulevard"...Robin Williams' final on-screen performance.

 

 

Prince George kisses sister Princess Charlotte at her christening.

(Photo courtesy Duchess of Cambridge)

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