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Conn. bank teller in court for allegedly stealing from accounts

A Connecticut man has had his court case continued on allegations he withdrew money from a Monroe resident's bank account. 


Monroe police received a complaint last month from a town resident saying more than $23,000 in five transactions had been made without her permission from her People's Bank account.  The investigation led to 25-year old Robert Walker of Bridgeport, a teller at the People's Bank branch in a Trumbull Stop and Shop.  He was arrested August 18th by Monroe Police and released on $50,000 bond for arraignment yesterday. He faces charges of conspiracy to commit forgery and larceny, accessory to larceny, illegal trafficking of personal information and two counts of identity theft. 


His case was continued to October 1st.


The investigation revealed additional victims.  Police say Walker processed actual checks and looked at the balance to see if there was enough to make counterfeit withdrawals .  He recorded the account information and made fake checks that so-called "runners" would bring to his teller station at a later date to cash. 


People's Bank issued a statement saying they have spoken with all affected customers and reimbursed them for losses.  The bank went on to say this was isolated to a single teller, and that employee has been fired.

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Weston woman's child endangerment case continued

A Weston woman has had her court case on a felony risk of injury to a minor charge continued.


Police arrested 32-year-old Christina Failla of Weston early Sunday morning on allegations she left her 22-month-old child alone in a vehicle outside a Norwalk bar as she drank with friends.  She was released on a promise to appear in court Wednesday, where her case was continued to October 1st. 


A witness called police after finding the child sleeping alone in a locked sport-utility vehicle.  Police say Failla told officers she had only been gone a few minutes, but a witness said she had several alcoholic drinks at the bar.

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Driver siedeswipes tractor trailer, charged for DWI

A Danbury man involved in a car accident has been charged with drunk driving.


Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies responded to an accident on Route 22 in Patterson early Wednesday morning involving a car and a tractor trailer.  Police say 33-year old Hector Cruz-Diaz of Danbury sideswiped a tractor trailer around 3:45am. 


He was injured and transported to Putnam Hospital Center where he was treated and released.  Cruz was charged with Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated.  He was held for arraignment. 


Cruz's passenger and the driver of the truck were uninjured in the accident.

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Lawmakers want to know if program delay 'politically motivated'

A number of questions are being raised about a delay in a state service for undocumented immigrants to after the election.  The General Assembly enacted legislation last year allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses.  The website to apply for the license was supposed to launch in a few days, but won't be ready until December. 


Wilton Senator Toni Boucher says there was no explanation given. for why the site would not be ready for next week, and why a three month delay was necessary.  Boucher and others have written to the DMV Commissioner asking for all communication between her office and the governor’s administration, including the Office of Policy and Management, concerning this issue.


Advocates of the law say the idea was to make it easier to register cars and obtain insurance.

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More foot traffic across White Street as WCSU classes start

A number of orientation events have been held at Western Connecticut State University.  Today is the first day of classes for students.  Welcome Week continues through Labor Day weekend.  New students took part in a RecFest on the quad which included a rock wall, a water war and a dodgeball game in the gym.  They also learned about student organizations at Western through a Clubs Carnival. 


Coordinator of University Events Helen Bechard says the traditional Entering the Gates ceremony was once again held at the gates put up to celebrate the school's 100th anniversary in 2003.


A flag is passed off from the Alumni Board to a student who's been selected from the freshman class.  In order to connect them to the first ceremony of their academic career at Western, the flag is then displayed at Commencement.  In this case, it will be on the graduation stage in 2018.


There's expected to be a return of pedestrian activity across White Street as commuter students go back to school. Bechard says they are joining students who moved in on Monday.

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Long bus routes, school employees directing traffic

The start of the school year generally comes with some glitches.  Double parked parents, parents new to the drop off process and generally more cars on certain roads because of the student drop off, caused some interesting sights on Monday along Park Avenue in Danbury.  Superintendent Dr Sal Pascarella says the principal, janitor, and others were outside helping to direct traffic.


Pascarella says the line of cars dropping off students was backing up onto the main road.  The next day, it was a complete 180 with everything running much smoother.  Each fall, drivers have gotten used to not having school traffic on the roads with them.


8,000 to 9,000 students are transported to and from school on a fleet of some 90 buses in Danbury.  On Monday, some parents expressed frustration that their children had a one hour, one way ride.  The students were part of the redistricting done at the end of last school year.  The former Mill Ridge Elementary students are now attending Shelter Rock Elementary.


The first day or two, he says bus runs can be a bit erratic.  Every year the bus routes are reevaluated with the bus company to see if the stops can be moved to other routes.

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Dog found dead in car was actually a cat

Police reported that a dead dog was found in a car in Danbury yesterday , but police have now said it was actually a cat.

A Honda was illegally parked at the Brookside Condos in Danbury yesterday afternoon, as the car was being towed witnesses saw a dead animal in a carrying case in the back of the car.

While police first said the animal was a dog, it was in fact a cat, which was in stages of decomposing. The cat was taken to a veterinarian to decided how long the cat had been in the car.

Animal Control is investigating, but police will not release the name of the person who owns the car

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Ridgefield Selectmen approve land sale, reject vendor permit

The Ridgefield Board of Selectmen has denied a vendor permit for a mobile flower truck in town.  The application request led to a larger discussion of mobile vendors in Ridgefield.  According to minutes of the meeting, Selectmen called for a template to be worked out so the process can be more formal.  Permits are issued for one year, all of the ones granted in Ridgefield so far have been for food trucks such as ice cream, coffee and lunches. 


Seasonal permits were brought up that would be for just the summer.  Some members of the Board expressed concern with the effect on brick and mortar businesses.


A strip of land owned by Ridgefield has been approved for sale by the Board of Selectmen.  A special town meeting was held last week about the 1,316 square feet of land on Sunset Lane to be sold to resident Tom Salvestrini.  Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi gave background on the proposal, saying that Sunset Lane was originally further north, closer to the homes there now.  When the railroad pulled out, that left 15 feet of frontage. 


The issue had been brought up about putting in deed restrictions, but Selectmen Andy Bodner expressed concern that the property being discussed could be sold to enhance the properties already there.  It was said that under no condition would the property owners be allowed to subdivide.


The Town had the property surveyed, and the Assessor's evaluation put a price of $4.55 a square foot on the property.  The total was $5,987.80.  The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously for the sale. 

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Danbury, Ridgefield fires investigated

The Danbury Fire Department has responded to a house fire on Grove Street.  The home is near Osborne Street and witnesses say the flames appear to be coming out of the roof.  No other details are available at this time.



The cause of a June fire that ripped through and destroyed a house on Standish Drive has been ruled “undetermined". The Ridgefield Fire Department investigated the blaze, which started in the home’s garage on June 22, along with the state’s fire marshal office and specialists representing Chubb Specialty Insurance.  Fire Chief Kevin Tappe says there was an injury the blaze.  The home's owner was treated at Danbury Hospital for burns.  Tappe says despite the ruling, the case remains open.

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Norwalk man charged with leaving baby alone in car

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) Another Connecticut parent is accused of leaving a child alone in a car.

Thirty-seven-year-old Brian Healy of Norwalk was arrested Sunday night. Authorities say he left his infant daughter alone in his car while he shopped at a Wal-Mart in Norwalk. He's charged with risk of injury to a minor.

The Hour newspaper reports police said Healy told them he forgot his daughter was in the car.

A phone number for Healy couldn't be found Tuesday. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.

Several Connecticut parents have been charged with leaving their children alone in vehicles this summer.

A 15-month-old Ridgefield boy died in July after his father allegedly left him in a hot car. No charges have been filed in that case.

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Court: Conn. towns can be sued over fatal raid

EASTON, Conn. (AP) A federal appeals court says several Connecticut police departments can be sued over a drug raid that killed an unarmed man and injured another in 2008.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled Aug. 21 that police in Easton, Monroe, Trumbull, Darien and Wilton are not shielded from the lawsuit by government immunity, the Connecticut Post reports.

A regional SWAT team raided the Easton home of Ronald Terebesi in a drug probe. Monroe officer Michael Sweeney fatally shot Terebesi's friend, 33-year-old Gonzalo Guizan of Norwalk, and Terebesi says he was injured when police pinned him to the floor.

A state prosecutor ruled Sweeney's use of force was appropriate.

The towns settled a lawsuit with Guzman's family for $3.5 million.

Terebesi's lawsuit will now go forward.

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Danbury Food Collaborative receives grant to benefit food pantries

The Walmart Foundation State Giving Team has awarded a $25,000 grant to The Danbury Food Collaborative, a group spearheaded and led by United Way of Western Connecticut.  The DFC is comprised of twelve non-profit agencies, including Danbury’s food pantries and soup kitchens, working together with a common mission to improve access to food, quality of food and sustainability of food for residents in greater Danbury.


Since its formation in March 2013, the DFC has held joint community food drives, and has also partnered with Community Plates, a fresh food rescue effort in the city.


In addition, part of the DFC’s work this past year included conducting an internal survey among the member pantries and soup kitchens. The survey was intended to further assess the needs of the community and learn how to improve food services for residents. Data from this survey showed that many of the food programs do not have enough access to fresh, healthy food for their clients.  This is due to both a lack of access to these items as well as lack of refrigeration necessary to store and distribute fresh food.


With this $25,000 grant from Walmart, the DFC will be able to purchase six new refrigeration units as well as over 3,000 lbs. of fresh and healthy food items for the pantries and soup kitchens in Danbury.


The DFC serves more than 8,600 households annually by providing over 230,000 meals to residents in need.


Danbury Food Collaborative Members:

Association of Religious Communities                 Danbury Farmer’s Market

Catholic Charities of Fairfield County                  Hispanic Center/Multicultural Center

City of Danbury                                                Interfaith AIDS Ministry

Community Action Agency of Western CT         Jericho Partnership, Inc.

Community Plates                                             The Salvation Army, Danbury Corps.

Daily Bread: An Ecumenical Food Pantry           United Way of Western Connecticut

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Man charged with killing wife arraigned

A former Brewster man charged with killing his wife almost two decades ago and leaving her body in a remote area of western Massachusetts has been held without bail.

A not guilty plea to a murder charge was entered on behalf of 70-year-old Robert Honsch at his arraignment Monday in Westfield District Court.

The body of 53-year-old Marcia Honsch was found in October 1995 near an entrance to Tolland State Forest. She had been shot in the head.

At about the same time, his daughter, 17-year-old Elizabeth Honsch, was found dead behind a New Britain strip mall.

Robert Honsch was arrested in July living on Ohio under an assumed name. He had remarried.

His court-appointed lawyers did not argue for bail.

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Funding for new technology at Danbury schools approved

Two leases have been agreed to for new technology in the Danbury Public Schools.  The Danbury City Council has approved leases with Elm City Capital and Aztec Technologies Incorporated for full digital multi-functional equipment at the schools.  One is a 48 month lease agreement to replace Cannon equipment at a cost of $19,800.  Some of that is funding for a service maintenance agreement. 


Superintendent Dr Sal Pascarella says $750,000 over five years has been authorized to replace outdated equipment for students to be paid for with money from the Board Of Education's general operating budget.


Several student computer labs and teacher laptops will be replaced.  Each department will also be assigned their own laptop cart.  School officials says these upgrades will not only bring new technology to the high school, but help meet the requirements for the Smarter Balanced Assessments Consortium testing that's new this year.

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Danbury to switch some parking lot lights to LEDs

An energy efficient lighting program by CL&P has been approved for 17 buildings in Danbury.  City Councilman Paul Rotello asked for clarity regarding the proposed payback schedule, and whether it accounts for the cost benefits of LEDs.  New England Energy Management said an analysis of what the city pays and what the city would pay based on the upgrades.  No increases in market pricing was taken into account.


CL&P, working with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, will subsidize a portion of the project, with the balance of the cost being paid for by loans without interest through the Small Business Energy Advantage Program.  The LED lights have to meet specific criteria to qualify for the program.


The estimated monthly savings is little more than $1,500.  Public Buildings Superintendent Rick Palanzo says the loans without interest, costing $130 a month, will come from the individual building's utility accounts.


A NEEM representative told the Council there is more environmental impact now with the ballasts that have to be swapped out.


Palanzo says the color rendering was taken into account, so there wouldn't be a garish blue light, it would be closer to a warm light.  The light pattern would be cast in a downward pattern so there would not be light pollution.

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Bethel's new school chief introduces herself to community

Bethel students will be back in class Wednesday, though teachers have been back in the schools for professional development days.  In addition to a new school year, Bethel has launched a new website for the school district.  There is also a new Superintendent of Schools. 


Dr Christine Carver started the position earlier this month.  She recently sent out a letter to parents and the community to usher in the new year.  She called it an honor to assume the role as the new Superintendent of Bethel Public Schools. 


Carver started her teaching career as a Special Education Teacher at the high school level after graduating from UConn.  Carver received her doctorate in educational leadership at UConn in 2009, while also obtaining her certification to become a Superintendent of Schools.  After receiving her administrative certification, she worked as a Department Chair, Supervisor of Special Education and Director of Special Services.


She said in the letter that her goal is that students who graduate from Bethel Public Schools have strong communication skills, be adept with the changing technology and to be college and career ready.  Carver also said she wants to continue to ensuring that the children of Bethel have the highest quality of educational services to maximize their individual potentials.  She said one of the main goals is to support teachers in their continued growth, ensuring that they have the appropriate skills and resources to do their job effectively.

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GOP hopes tight governor race leads to House wins

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut Republicans hope a close race for governor will translate into congressional victories in November.

When Democrats won all five congressional seats in 2012, President Barack Obama was at the top of the ticket and helped to draw Democrats to the polls. This year, eyes are on a rematch between incumbent Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican businessman Tom Foley.

State GOP Chairman Jerry Labriola says Foley's focus on improving Connecticut's economy can help other candidates on the ballot, especially 4th District candidate Dan Debicella and 5th District candidate Mark Greenberg

Both Fairfield County races are getting the attention of national Republicans.

A spokesman for Connecticut Democrats says enthusiasm for Foley is low because he would ``U-turn Connecticut's strides forward.''

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Police logs: Homeless man arrested, cyclist ID'd, pills shipped via UPS

A homeless man has been arrested in Danbury on assault and attempt to commit larceny and attempt to commit robbery charges.  Danbury Police say 24-year old Thomas Jackman, originally of Sandy Hook, was seen going through another man's personal items on Spring Street Saturday morning and a fight broke out.  Jackman allegedly punched the other man and fled the scene.  He was found nearby a short time later and was arrested.  Jackman was held on bond.


The name of the bicyclist hit by a pickup truck Saturday in New Milford has been released.  Police say 57-year old Dwight Hipp was involved in a collision on Chestnut Lane Road around 8:30am Saturday.  The truck was driven by 22-year old John Kimberly, of New Milford.  Hipp was transported to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.  Kimberly was not immediately charged, though the State's Attorney's office has been notified.  The investigation of the crash is ongoing.


A North Dakota woman is facing charges in Danbury Superior Court after UPS workers determined she was shipping Oxycodone pills.  The Newstimes reports that a package broke open during shipping and some pills slid into the plastic label on the package, addressed by 40-year old Joanne Stein.  Brookfield Police determined that the pills were Oxycodone.  Officers say the woman had called UPS to find out where the package was, and when she arrived, she was arrested.  Stein is free on bond and will be arraigned next Friday.

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Danbury Housing voucher deadline is August 29th

State Representative Bob Godfrey is reminding residents that the Section 8 Designated Housing Choice Voucher  Program application deadline is August 29, 2014.

Danbury State Rep.says he is  very pleased to see the application process open up. There are so many families and individuals in need of affordable housing in Danbury and surrounding towns. Godfrey encourages anyone in need of housing to not miss this deadline. He says these lists were last opened in 2007 when 48,000 applications were submitted and 7,000 were placed on the waiting list.

DHCV applicants must be under 62 years of age, with a disability, and require a 1-bedroom unit.

Pre-applications will be accepted by mail only (no fax submissions) and must be postmarked between the dates of August 18, 2014 and August 29, 2014. Online applications will also be accepted until 1:00 p.m. on August 29, 2014. The online application will be available at the HACD's website, and at the Housing Authority of The City of Danbury, 2 Mill Ridge Road, Danbury, CT 06811.

Two hundred (200) applications will be chosen by a random, electronic lottery system for placement on the DHCV waiting list on October 31, 2014.

Only one submission per family will be accepted and duplicate applications will be rejected. The waiting list will close August 29, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.

The Housing Choice Voucher program, commonly known as Section 8, allows families and individuals to rent from private landlords and have their rent subsidized to a level that is affordable to that family or individual.

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'Entering the Gates' ceremony to be held at WCSU, students moving in

There is going to be a lot of traffic in midtown Danbury today.  Nearly 1,000 new students will be moving into the dorms at Western Connecticut State University.  Coordinator of University Events Helen Beshard says traffic will be reduced to one lane today between 8 am and 3 pm on Eighth Avenue adjacent to the university off White Street.  Students and their parents will be using that lane to park vehicles to get their belongings into the residence halls.


Area residents and motorists are asked, if possible, to avoid the area by taking alternate routes.


There will be an "Entering the Gates" ceremony this afternoon and drivers are asked to proceed slowly down White Street at that time.  The ceremony involves alumni lining the walkway from the gate to the quad.  Freshmen then walk under the gate's archway.  The spirit band from the Music Department will be on hand for the event.  An opening ceremony on the quad will be led by the University President, Provosts and others.


The first date of classes at West Conn is Thursday.


A number of events are being held during the week including workshops on career development, campus safety and student activities.  There is a clubs carnival on Wednesday, a barbecue, a recreational festival to introduce the sports teams, and various other events to get an idea of what's available on campus.


Ice Bucket Challenge COMPLETED!!

Rich Minor accepted the challenge from his friend to donate to the ALS Association AND do the Ice Bucket Challenge.

His "bucket" of choice...well, that's where Westchester Tractor came into play.

Check it out!




Who's this beautiful hunk of man meat?

It's 32 year old Chris Soules,

a farmer from Iowa and the new Bachelor!


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