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A Connecticut man has been arrested for a home burglary in Newtown.  Police Detectives arrested 40-year old Lyle Solsbury at a hotel in Waterbury yesterday on a warrant for the residential break which last Friday.  The home was equipped with a video surveillance system which captured images of the suspect. 

 

The case remains open and more charges are expected. 

 

There were a string of break-ins last Thursday into Friday on Riverside, Toddy Hill, Bennetts Bridge, and Sugarloaf roads.  Newtown Police say windows or doors were broken in order to gain entry. 

 

Detectives are working with other agencies, who have also had residential burglaries.  Solsbury remains held on $50,000 bond.

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The new Sandy Hook School in Newtown was opened to the community last night for an open house.  The building is on the same property as the school which was demolished soon after the shootings on 12-14, but not on the same footprint.  Superintendent Dr. Joseph Erardi was passed the baton to lead the district by Dr. John Reed.  The intermediate school is named for Reed.

 

Erardi says Public Building and Site Commission chairman Bob Mitchell built the school as if he was building his own home.  He thanked the Town of Monroe for allowing students a place to learn for three and a half years.

 

Erardi says that was the last year for AM and PM kindergarten.  The following year, the district moved to all day kindergarten.  The 35 morning kindergarten students on site on 12-14 are returning to a Sandy Hook School in Newtown for the first time since that day.  He sees this as a celebration because they are a high achieving school.
The most impacted students, those in 1st grade, are now in the intermediate school. 

 

 Erardi says they have provided additional resources to students who were in the school on 12-14.  Class sizes for the impacted grade levels will remain less than class size throughout the district.  He says they will continue to move resources on an "as need" basis.  The oldest student body from Sandy Hook School on 12-14 is in the 8th grade now, so resources have been moved to the intermediate school.  Over the first three years of the town's recovery, grants have enabled them to bring in the highest level of mental health providers.

 

About 60-percent of Sandy Hook staff is returning for opening day.  Erardi says the 40-percent not returning doesn't indicate those unable or unwilling.  There have been some retirements, and others who have resigned as they change profession.  But Erardi says there are a handful of staff members, because of their personal recovery, have chosen to be in a different school in the district.

 

Erardi says the intent of the building is to give a warm and comfortable environment for students.  He says he would be comfortable with his child attending Sandy Hook School.  He called it a safe environment with great teachers.  Erardi says this is an extraordinary place to be mentored, due in part to the faculty who has never lost sight of the impacted families.

 

 

Matt Consigli says he was honored to be a partner in this special project.  Their goal was to create a warm and inspiring environment. He says they did that though care and craftsmanship in every aspect of the building.

 

First Selectman Pat Llodra says there was some initial discussion about renaming the school, but that was never seriously considered.  She says they are proud to be part of the Sandy Hook community, and the fact that a horrible thing happened there doesn't erase the wonderful things that have happened in the town's 300 year history.  Llodra says the design is a marriage between art and architecture, to honor everyone who walks through the doors. 

 

The children participated in a program called Kids Build.  They learned about school construction and created images for the flags lining the driveway to the building.

 

 

Barry Svigal did the design for the duck sculptures in the halls.  Shelley the Turtle was the school pet and relocated to new aquarium in the lobby. 

 

 

The school has a forest theme complete with sections created to resemble treehouses. Officials say it was designed to be attractive, environmentally friendly, conducive to learning and, above all, safe.

 

 

 

 

The "Be Kind" logo originates from the Ben's Bells projects, which now has a location in Bethel.  The organization was started in Arizona by a woman who lost a child to significant illness.  They promote kindness in communities where there has been a tragedy of some magnitude. 

 

 

Llodra says the mural helps to convey that Sandy Hook School will be a a place that inspires kindness.  It's built upon the message of slain Principal Dawn Hochsprung to be nice to each other, that that is all that really matters.

 

Through the efforts of Principal Dr. Kathy Gombus, the staff and faculty constructed the logo as a focal point of the new building.  She says kids made all of the pieces last year.  The staff put the mural up when they school year ended.  Several of the schools in the district are "Be Kind" schools.  Prior to taking the helm at Sandy Hook School, Gombus was principal at Johnson School in Bethel.  That school was also a "Be Kind" school.

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After several months of investigation, two Danbury residents have been arrested for alleged drug sales from their home.  Search warrants were obtained for 1 Linden Place, based on neighborhood complaints identifying the address as a drug house. 

 

The warrants were carried out yesterday, though police were denied entry and had to force the door open.  When they did get in, police discovered 54-year old Richard Cardwell attempting to flush a large quantity of heroin down the toilet. 

 

Because of the amount of drugs, it clogged and police were able to retrieve the drugs before they were destroyed.  Police recovered more than 230 pre-packaged bags of heroin. 

 

40-year old Tijuana Brown was also found at the apartment in possession of heroin, crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia.  She was later released on a written promise to appear in court.

 

Cardwell was charged with interfering with a search warrant, possession of narcotics within 1500 feet of a school, possession with intent to sell within 1500 feet of a school and two counts of possession of narcotics.  Brown was charged with possession of narcotics within 1500 feet of a school, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of possession.   Cardwell was held on $50,000 bond.

 

 

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The Connecticut store that sold the gun used at Sandy Hook School filed for bankruptcy .  A judge yesterday ruled that a lawsuit filed by some families of those killed on 12-14 will go forward against Riverview Sales, but will be delayed until after the bankruptcy proceedings. 

 

According to court documents, the President of Riverview Sales owes more than $140,000 to creditors, but only has about $825 in assets. 

 

The federal firearms license was pulled from the store in the wake of 12-14 when agent discovered about 300 examples of missing or false information in acquisition and disposition records.  There were also at least two instances of people receiving a firearm from the store before getting approval from the national instant criminal background check system. 

 

Riverview kept selling ammunition and accessories, but sales declined quickly.

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Newtown School officials have been welcoming Sandy Hook students, parents and staff into a new elementary school building for the past few days as they get ready for the start of a new year in their new home.  Town and School officials are hoping for a quiet opening on August 29th, but acknowledged the curiosity about the new Sandy Hook School. 

 

 

First Selectman Pat Llodra says the events of 12-14 ripped the heart out of 26 families and damaged all who are part of the district, and the community at large.  She thanked Monroe for their kindness and generosity in allowing the use of their old Chalk Hill School for the past three years.  But she says the focus was always to bring students and teachers home to the Newtown community.

 

 

The new building features security measures including impact resistant glass and video surveillance at a gated entrance.  Architects Svigals  Partners designed the school in a way that brings sunlight and nature inside.

 

Llodra says the magnitude of what happened on 12-14 propelled the state government, and all state taxpayers to take on the full funding of the $50 million project.  She says for that, the town is very grateful.  She noted that they would not be in the new place were it not for that generosity .  She says there was no way,given the emotional impact, anxiety and grief, that Newtown would have been able to manage the burden of debt for a new school.

 

Llodra says they would trade the beautiful new school in a minute for the more familiar and aged Sandy Hook School, if they could just change the past.  She says their role now is to bring the new school into its rightful status as the Sandy Hook School of the present and the future.  Despite it's birth from a horrible tragedy, Llodra says Sandy Hook School will be a place of laughter, love and learning.

 

 

 

 

Two playgrounds, a regulation sized soccer field and more parking are among the new features of the 86,000-square-foot school, which was built on the same property--but not in the old footprint. 

 

 

 

Newtown residents are being invited to explore the new Sandy Hook School building tonight.

 

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Officials are hoping the rain forecast today will help to lower the state's high forest and brush fire danger level.  State forester Chris Martin says 12 hours of steady rain will have a positive impact. 

 

Martin says a brush fire which began Friday night at Lovers Leap State Park in New Milford, which has gone underground but occassionally surfaces, is expected to continue to smolder for several more days.  That fire has scorched about 12 acres.  Martin says there are containment lines in place.  The fire department has been on the scene as they get new reports of smoke.

 

Martin says with summer drought conditions will cause the peat to burn, and that in turn will cause roots of trees to catch fire.  He says they will then smolder underground undetected from some time, and suddenly surface.

 

Martin says the dry weather and the gypsy moth de-foliation are among the factors that have contributed to the high danger level.  A dry lightning strike, unintended campfires and fireworks have contributed to blazes this year.  He urges people to be careful with fire outdoors.

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A program in which seniors volunteer their time with non-profits and some Danbury agencies is growing.  The United Way of Western Connecticut says the S.A.V.E. program has been active in Danbury since 2008, and this year 36 residents participated. S.A.V.E. stands for Seniors Add Valuable Experience.

 

The S.A.V.E. program provides real estate tax relief to financially qualified Danbury homeowners age 65 and older.  Each volunteer must complete 100 hours of service over the course of the fiscal year, but many of them provide well more than that amount.

 

Funding has been made available to open the program to as many as 50 seniors.  The tax credit will also being increasing.

 

S.A.V.E. volunteers have completed 5,580 hours in the last year. This service to the community is valued at $154,970. 

 

These residents volunteered at 22 city departments and nonprofit agencies.

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut judge has asked lawyers for Remington Arms and families of some Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims to meet privately to resolve disagreements over whether some company documents sought by the families should be sealed from public view.

The families of nine victims killed and a teacher who survived the 2012 shooting in Newtown are suing Remington Arms, saying the Madison, North Carolina, company should not have sold the AR-15-style rifle used in the shooting to the general public because it's too dangerous. Twenty first-graders and six educators were killed.

A state judge in Bridgeport held a hearing on the records issue Thursday.

Remington wants many company records requested by the families' lawyers sealed from public view, saying disclosing them would hurt the company financially and benefit competitors.

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A Patterson woman is facing a bigger charge after a routine motor vehicle stop.  Putnam County Sheriffs Deputies stopped a motorist on Bullet Hole Road in Patterson on Monday and determined that she had a suspended license.  31-year old Joanna Maleszewski was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation.  She was released on a promise to appear in court on August 23rd to answer the charge.

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A Sherman man has been arrested by Danbury Police on four outstanding warrants.  41-year old Jared Cardillo is incarcerated with the Connecticut Department of Corrections and was charged this morning.  Judicial Marshals transported him to court where he was processed for five counts of burglary and one count each of criminal mischief and larceny. 

 

The charges stem from a burglary of a tattoo parlor on Downs Street May 31st, at a nail salon on Mill Plain Road May 21st, a wellness and day spa also on Mill Plain Road that day, and two financial businesses located within the same building on Mill Plain Road. 

 

He was held on a combined $36,000 bond.

 

According to Connecticut Judicial Branch records, Cardillo has served jail time for five previous arrests.  In 2008 he was arrested by State Police for narcotics possession and was ordered to six months in prison and two years probation.  He was also arrested by Waterbury police for threatening and ordered to five months in prison.  Cardillo was arrested later that year in Danbury and ordered in March 2009 to four years in prison for an attempted burglary, and to five years in prison for a burglary charge.  He was arrested again by Danbury Police in 2014 for larceny, criminal mischief and burglary.  Cardillo was ordered last July to serve 18 months in prison.

 

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Newtown's Police Chief has provided an update on the ongoing investigation into a string of residential burglaries in the Sandy Hook neighborhood.  Police say the Department is making tremendous progress in response to tips from the public. 

 

A potential suspect has been identified. 

 

Newtown Police are working with other agencies, who have also had residential burglaries.  Newtown's Chief says he is confident that an arrest will be made in the very near future. 

 

The break-ins happened last Thursday into Friday on Riverside, Toddy Hill, Bennetts Bridge, and Sugarloaf roads.  One home was equipped with a video surveillance system which captured images of the suspect.  Newtown Police say windows or doors were broken in order to gain entry.

 

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut piano teacher charged with inappropriately touching two of his students has avoided prison time.

The Connecticut Post reports that 70-year-old Bruce Bean Connery was sentenced Wednesday to a suspended three-year prison term and three years of probation. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Under a plea deal, the Monroe man who was also an EMT in Stratford previously pleaded guilty to charges of risk of injury to children and reckless endangerment.

Police started investigating after the father of a 10-year-old girl told police that Connery would rub his daughter's back under her clothes during lessons. After those allegations came to light, a 16-year-old girl came forward with a similar story.

Neither Connery nor his lawyer commented outside of court.

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SEYMOUR, Conn. (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest charged with stealing more than $30,000 from the Connecticut church where he served as pastor will have his criminal record wiped clean if he returns to his native Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A judge has approved the Rev. Honore Kombo's request for accelerated rehabilitation, a form of probation under which a defendant can have criminal charges dismissed if they comply with all terms.

The New Haven Register reports that the judge approved the deal because the 50-year-old Weston resident has already repaid the money to St. Augustine's parish in Seymour.

Kombo said he took the money to provide loans and help people in Africa. He was charged with first-degree larceny.

The Archdiocese of Hartford placed him on administrative leave in July 2015 when police began investigating.

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut judge will hear arguments on whether gun maker Remington Arms' company documents should be sealed from public view as it fights a lawsuit filed by families of some of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

A court hearing is set for Thursday in Bridgeport.

Madison, North Carolina-based Remington Arms is the parent company of Bushmaster Firearms, which made the AR-15-style rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at the school. The families of nine victims killed and a teacher who survived allege the company should not have sold such a dangerous weapon to civilians.

Remington wants many company records requested by the families' lawyers sealed from public view, saying disclosing them would hurt the company financially and benefit competitors.

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A whistleblower complaint has led to a civil settlement with a Danbury doctor about allegations of submitting false claims to Medicare.  The physician and mental health practice he founded have agreed to pay more than $36,000.  Dr. Anton Fry and CPC Associates, Inc. entered the civil settlement Wednesday.  The mental health practice has offices in Danbury. 

 

It's alleged that Fry and CPC Associates submitted improper claims to Medicare for psychiatric services that were provided over the phone, instead of by meeting with the beneficiaries in the office and treating them in person.  Certain real-time "telehealth" services are allowed by Medicare in areas with a rural health professional shortage.  The U.S. Attorney's office says the patients treated over the phone by Fry were not in these areas.  Authorities say interactive audio and video communications weren't used either. 

 

In order to resolve the allegations, Fry and CPC Associates have agreed to pay $36,704, which covers conduct occurring from January 1, 2009 through June 1, 2015.

 

The whistleblowers, Jodi Cohen, a former patient of Fry, and Medical Bill Consultants, LLC, a billing company, will receive a share of the proceeds of the settlement in the amount of $6,239. The whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act provide that the whistleblower is entitled to receive a percentage of the proceeds of any judgment or settlement recovered by the government.

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A Republican looking to be elected to Congress is challenging the Democratic incumbent to a debate in each of the 41 municipalities in the 5th District. 

 

3rd term Sherman First Selectman Clay Cope was unanimously endorsed by the GOP to challenge two-term Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty.  Cope said he was responding to the Esty campaign's vague challenge that is he unwilling to debate the facts.

 

He says what differentiates the pair is that he is hands-on.  He also called Esty "out of touch with the district".

 

Cope says the one time Esty visited Sherman was on a Monday, when town hall and all but one business in town are closed.  He said he would have been proud to share the progress in Sherman including a new library, a long-stalled firehouse which was recently completed and a new public works wash-station.  Cope also said he would have shared plans that the five municipalities that surround Candlewood Lake have to mitigate milfoil problems.  He called Candlewood Lake an economic engine for the five towns.

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Two Connecticut delegates to the Democratic National Convention from the 5th District are weighing in on the first few days in Philadelphia. 

 

Justin Molito of Sherman is a Sanders delegate.  When he attended Western Connecticut State University, Molito was a Student Government President.  He says it was wonderful to see how organized the movement for social justice was against corporate interest, which he notes is dominant in politics today.

 

Molito says there's been great progress in moving the Democratic party, and he's optimistic about the movement for social justice.  He called it a diverse movement featuring young people.

 

Jennine Lupo, a teacher from Litchfield and Sanders supporter, says some Connecticut delegates for Sanders were always planning to vote Democrat.  She says others were swayed by Sanders speaking directly to them.  Others though still need to be convinced.  Lupo says the Connecticut delegation had a birds eye view of the Vermont delegation.  She says it was very moving to see Bernie Sanders and his wife react to the roll call vote of delegates from each state.

 

There was a walk out after the roll call vote Tuesday including by some Connecticut Sanders delegates.  They were joined by delegates from California, Oregon and Washington.  She says a wall of Secret Service members and police formed a wall behind them and it got pretty tense.

 

Lupo says the Democratic party is being transformed like never before.  She says the push to the left will help the most Americans who need it.

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I should not be here tonight. That is how Erica Smegielski of Connecticut started her speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night.  The daughter of slain Sandy Hook School Principal Dawn Hochsprung didn’t mince words what she said that her mother was murdered, so she had to be there.  Smegielski said she was there for those lives cut short in a school, in a movie theater, in a church, at work, in their neighborhoods or homes because those voices should never be silenced. 

 

The delegates gave her a round of applause when she said that she was there alone while too many politicians cower behind the gun lobby instead of standing with American families. 

 

In making the case for electing Hillary Clinton, Smegielski said what’s needed is another mother who’s willing to do what’s right, whose bravery can live up in equal measure her mom’s.

(Photo: Sen. Chris Murphy, Twitter)

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Senator Chris Murphy spoke at the Democratic Convention on Wednesday night. His remarks, focused on gun violence prevention measures.  He opened by saying that he wished he hadn’t been there, moments he tries to forget the things he saw and heard, and what he called the soul-crushing morning at the firehouse in Sandy Hook.  

Murphy's oldest son is the same age as the kids who were killed Sandy Hook Elementary School, having just finished first grade.  He said he is furious that in three years since Sandy Hook, three years of almost daily bloodshed in cities, Congress has done nothing to prevent the next massacre.  He said that stoked a sense of outrage that he's never felt before.  And that’s what he says drove him to stand on the floor of the United States Senate for 15 hours to demand change.

 

Murphy then turned his comments to Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump who said he’ll mandate that every school in America allow guns in their classrooms.

 

Murphy says there is no reason to feel helpless about the horrifying trajectory of cascading massacres.  With smart gun policy, like background checks, he said change can happen.

 

When he finished speaking, the delegates all chanted 'Enough" because of the following remarks:

"I stood on the Senate floor for 15 hours because I had had enough.  Enough of children dying in classrooms.  Enough of nightly bloodshed on our city streets.  Enough of our police officers being outgunned, ambushed, and cut down in the line of duty.  Enough."

 

(Photo: Congressman Himes, Twitter)

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Brookfield Police are looking for the public's help in solving a burglary case.  Brookfield Police have issued a "be on the lookout" alert for a dirt bike stolen from a home in the Indian Fields area.  The bike was stolen overnight last Thursday into Friday.  Police say it was purchased recently by a 15 year old who had saved for quite some time.  Any one with information about the blue Yamaha with yellow details is asked to contact Brookfield Police at 203-740-4151.

 

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