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32-year old Lidia Quilligana's case came up for review Wednesday in Danbury Superior Court.  It's been continued to March 16th, nearly a year after the Danbury nanny was arrested for allegedly intentionally inflicting injuries on children in her care. 

 

Her employer questioned injuries to her daughter, and Quilligana said the child accidentally touched the hot stove while she was tending to the other children.  That night, the mother watched video from a hidden nanny camera and saw abuses. 

 

As police continued to review the video footage, more charges were filed against Quilligana.  She faces one count of assault and 23 counts of risk of injury.  All are felony charges.

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Redding has hired a firm to conduct the 2017 revaluation.  Vision Government Solutions has been hired by Redding to begin a Town wide Revaluation Project. 

 

Vision will be working with the Assessing Department during the two year long process.  There are five major phases to a municipal revaluation.  The first is Data Collection and will begin by early March.  Each property in Redding will be visited to collect information about the building, size, age, and components of construction, outbuildings, utilities, and other characteristics both inside and out. 

 

All Vision Representatives will carry Identification Cards and have their cars listed with both the Assessing Office and Police Department. 

 

The other steps in the process are market analysis, valuation, field review and informal hearings.  Once all five phases are completed, data used in the revaluation will be turned over to the Redding Assessor’s Office.

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A police exercise is taking place at Western Connecticut State University's midtown campus today.  Members of the Danbury and West Conn police departments will conduct a training exercise in the Litchfield Hall residence hall.  It will affect traffic on Eighth Avenue from 7am to 4 pm.  Eighth Avenue will be restricted to residents only during that time.  Police officers, including members of the Danbury SWAT team, will be involved in the mock event so that police can practice what happens when there is an active shooter on campus.

 

University spokesman Paul Steinmetz says they've alerted the WCSU community that this exercise is happening and that police will be pretending there is someone with a gun in the residence hall.  Steinmetz says WCSU police have been working with Danbury Police for several years on emergency response, which was ramped up since 9/11.

 

There is a protocol for incident command, and that's part of what this practice entails.  Steinmetz says it depends on what type of emergency is taking place and what stage of the response they are in.  The response will start with the WCSU Police Department.  If it's a fire or similar incident, the Danbury Fire Department will take command.  If it's a large event, Connecticut State Police will take over command operations.

 

Steinmetz says practicing the incident command chain is being done so responders know who plays what role, and so that various departments aren't asking a lot of questions during a real emergency.  They can focus on responding and filling their own roles.

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A Redding resident has been nominated to serve on the Connecticut Port Authority's Board of Directors.  There are four vacancies on the recently cerated Connecticut Port Authority.  Governor Dannel Malloy has nominated Pamela Elkow of Redding to one of the Directors positions. 

 

Elkow currently works as an attorney in the environmental practice group with Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey, LLP in Stamford.  Previously, she worked for Robinson & Cole, LLP, and Jacobi, Kappel & Kase.  She received her B.A. from Colgate University and her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.

 

The Port Authority is a quasi-public agency responsible for marketing and coordinating the development of the state’s ports and maritime economy.  While the state's maritime industry already supports thousands of jobs, Malloy says it has the potential for significant growth, which will take more trucks off the road and lower emissions.

 

There are a total of 15 members of the Port Authority’s Board of Directors.  In addition to the Governor’s four appointments, the authority’s other members are appointed by legislative leaders of both parties, in addition to several ex-officio members.

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Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has submitted draft language to the General Assembly’s Government Administration and Elections Committee to repeal a statute that allows political parties, through local registrars of voters working in concert with town chairs, to expel members for a handful of activities. 

 

The “lack of good-faith party affiliation” statute is rarely used, but was invoked by the Brookfield Republican Party.  Merrill says that's when the statute was brought to her attention.  It's goes so far back that there is no real legislative history on the issue.

 

A Brookfield woman was ousted from the Republican Party by the town's Registrar of Voters after a hearing nearly a year ago.  Jane Miller and her husband were questioned about donating to opposing political parties, specifically the political action committee Brookfield's Best Choices.  Miller's husband was allowed to remain in the Brookfield GOP.  The party had also cited Jane's run as a Democrat for the Board of Finance in 2013.  Miller re-registered as a Republican after she lost the election. 

 

Merrill says her concern is that the current law could restrict someone's right to vote.  She also questioned if state statutes are the right place for these kinds of processes.  She says elected officials shouldn't play a role in deciding the ideological purity of political party members.

 

The legislative committee has until February 19th to raise a bill.

 

Miller filed a lawsuit this month alleging that her civil rights were violated when she was kicked out of the Republican party because she won't be allowed to vote in the upcoming town committee and presidential primaries.  Miller claims that two men ran on the Democratic ticket, but were able to rejoin the GOP without the same scrutiny.

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The Ridgefield Police Department is scheduled for an on-site assessment today as part of the Department's effort to achieve Tier III re-accreditation.  The on-site visit is to verify that the Ridgefield Police Department is continuing to meet professional standards. 

 

The assessment is administered by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council.  Tier III consists of 116 standards and is meant to help police departments operate efficiently and uniformly to reduce exposure to civil liability and provide excellent service delivery.

 

Agency members and the community can submit comments as part of the assessment. Comments can be mailed to William E. Tanner, III, POSTC Accreditation Division at 285 Preston Ave. Meriden, Connecticut 06450, by telephone at 203-427-2602, by fax at 203-238-6643 or by email Accreditation.Compliance@ct.gov Please enter the name of the agency in the subject line of the email.

 

Specifically, the Standards allow agencies to meet the following goals:

• Strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities;
• Formalize essential management procedures;
• Establish fair and non-discriminatory personnel practices;
• Improve service delivery;
• Solidify interagency cooperation and coordination; and
• Boost citizen and staff confidence in the agency.

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A homeless Brewster man has been charged for assaulting two Correction Officers.  On Monday, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office received a call from the county jail with a report of an inmate who assaulted two Correction Officers. 

 

The inmate was identified as 21-year old Carlos Lopez, who was reported to have been homeless in Brewster at the time of his incarceration.  He is awaiting sentencing on a felony charge of criminal mischief. 

 

Lopez was charged Monday with two counts of felony assault and arraigned.  He was ordered held at Putnam County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bond for a future court appearance.

 

If found guilty of the felony charges, Lopez could face up to seven years in a New York State Correctional Facility and a fine of up to $5,000.00 for each charge. He continues to face up to four years in a New York State Correctional Facility and a fine of up to $5,000.00 for the felony charge for which he was originally incarcerated.

 

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A Mahopac man has been arrested for violating a protective order against him. 

 

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office received a call from a woman last Tuesday who reported that a few weeks before she was involved in a physical dispute with her boyfriend.  The woman said that she had a protective order against 33-year old Wilfredo Reyes from the Putnam County Family Court, and she wanted to file charges against him. 

 

Last Wednesday, Reyes was arrested for criminal contempt.  He was arraigned last Thursday and ordered held at Putnam County Correctional Facility for a future court appearance.

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An armed robbery at an Oxford gas station is being investigated.  State Police responded to the Sunoco on Oxford Road around 10:30pm Tuesday on a report that a man entered, demanded cash and then fled on foot. 

 

State Police say the suspect was described by the employees as 5'10", with a medium build. The suspect wore a black coat over a dark grey hooded sweatshirt and a dark-colored mask or scarf over his face.  He was armed with a black handgun.  No injuries were reported. 

 

Anyone with information about this incident is being asked to call State Police Troop A at 203-267-2200 extension 4323.  All calls will be kept confidential.

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A new round of funding from the state's Nonprofit Grant Program has been announced.  Some 34 non-profits and 26 municipalities will share $15 million in funding for investments in projects to enhance delivery of services.  Danbury-based Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism has been awarded nearly $36,000 for a generator and little more than $201,000 for other improvements.  The first two rounds of funding provided nonprofits and municipalities in the state with a combined $40 million.

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A bill eliminating prison gerrymandering in Connecticut is being proposed by a coalition, who is urging the Judiciary Committee to raise and for the full legislature to pass such a law. 

 

Hispanic Federation Connecticut State Director Ingrid Alvarez, who previously served as Executive Director of the Hispanic Center in Danbury, says inmates should be counted in the municipality of their last known address, not the town in which they are imprisoned.  Alvarez says it unfairly distorts communities of color representation in state and local politics.  She says it directly and negatively impacts the votes of Latinos and African Americans in the state by by diluting the power of their vote.

 

New York, Maryland, Delaware and California have passed legislation similar to what's being proposed here.

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A new state-of-the-art safety and bullying reporting app called Anonymous Alerts has been selected by the Newtown School District in an effort to provide the best possible learning environment for students. The app allows students, parents and other school personnel to maintain their confidentiality while calling attention to situations like bullying, safety concerns, family problems, or other situations that may warrant immediate attention by school officials.

 

Superintendent Dr. Joseph Erardi said in a statement that in remembrance of the 2012 tragedy that struck the district, Anonymous Alerts and its advisory board sponsored the initial purchase of Anonymous Alerts for the high school and middle school.  Erardi said they encourage the reporting of mean behaviors, bullying, cyber-bullying, student depression, drug and alcohol issues, and other safety concerns.  Submitters have the option to reveal their identity if they prefer to have a personal and private discussion with the school administrator, but reports can remain anonymous.

 

The app can be downloaded directly from the Apple App Store, Google Play store for Android, and the Chrome store app from the Google Chrome store.  After downloading the app students, staff and parents can click to open it, and enter a simple username and password supplied to them by their schools.  Informational posters explaining how to use the app will be displayed throughout the high school and middle school on how to anonymously report urgent or sensitive information to authorized school officials.

 

The system will be operational only on school days between the hours of 7am and 2pm, and reports sent after 2pm will be answered on the next scheduled school day.

 

More than 1,500 K-12 schools throughout the United States, including Greenwich High School and other Connecticut schools, have implemented the Anonymous Alerts anti-bullying app and safety reporting system.

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A police exercise is taking place Thursday in Danbury.  A Traffic Alert has been announced by Western Connecticut State University due to police training on the midtown campus.  Members of the Danbury and West Conn police departments will conduct a training exercise that will affect traffic on Eighth Avenue.  The exercise will concentrate in the Litchfield Hall residence hall.  From 7 am to 4 pm on Thursday, traffic on Eighth Avenue will be restricted to residents only.  Police officers, including members of the Danbury SWAT team, will be involved in the training.

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A public forum is being held this afternoon about the Western Connecticut State University's hazard mitigation plan.  The forum will include information on the work completed to date on a hazard mitigation plan.  The forum will also highlight some of the hazards that may present the greatest risks to campus operations.  Students, faculty, staff and the public are invited to attend the forum to gather information and provide feedback.  Members of the planning committee will be available to answer questions and listen to feedback from stakeholders and the community.  The forum is at 4 o'clock this afternoon in White Hall on West Conn's Midtown campus.

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Governor Dannel Malloy is looking at ways to improve service at the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles following a year of backlogs, long lines and other problems stemming from a major computer overhaul.

 

Malloy on Tuesday unveiled a bill that would allow the DMV to enter into contracts with private entities, such as AAA, to provide vehicle registration services. Currently, AAA only provides non-commercial driver's license services. 

 

Wilton State Senator Toni Boucher says things have gotten so bad at the DMV that it seems extraordinary measures have to be taken to relieve them of a lot of responsibilities and duties that they have to do.  She says outsourcing some of the activity to the AAA could be a good thing, because people already have positive experiences when renewing licenses there as opposed to the DMV.  But she says DMV functions are core functions of the state, and should be a part of what the state can provide to residents.

 

Malloy also wants to eliminate the ban on registering vehicles with delinquent property taxes and parking tickets.

 

Boucher says this could hit tax assessors hard.  Right now they can enforce someone paying a car property tax is by withholding their ability from registering their car.  She says in the cities, many people don't own a house so they only pay a car property tax.  Boucher is concerned that municipalities will raise the mill rate and burden homeowners and commercial property owners in an effort to make up the losses on car property taxes.

 

Boucher says the software upgrade failure has to be addressed and fixed, rather that relinquishing some responsibility or getting rid of regulations.

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The Brookfield Board of Selectmen has opted to move forward with spending $600 on a Grant Finder Program.  At their meeting last week, the Selectmen forwarded the proposal to the Board of Finance for approval of funds.  First Selectman Steve Dunn says about 15% of the town's total revenue, depending on the year, comes from grants.  All of the town's departments go out looking for funding on their own.  Dunn says some are pretty straight forward, like ones from the state including the Small Town Economic Assistance Program and Local Capital Improvement Program.

 

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities has made an arrangement with Grant Finder for a substantial discount on the fee for the program.

 

Dunn says this will allow the town to look at grants being offered across the nation.  He says there are likely grants Brookfield is missing, small grants but funding nonetheless.  He says the Grant Finder program will be used for one year, and if it makes sense, a decision will be made after that whether to continue with it. 

 

Dunn called this a reasonable expenditure for something that will pay for itself if the town only gets one grant worth more than $600.

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Drug charges have been brought against a Mahopac man following a routine traffic stop.  The Putnam County Sheriff's office reports that deputies stopped a driver early Monday morning for traffic violations on Route 6 in Mahopac.  When the Deputy approached the vehicle he could smell marijuana.  A passenger in the car, 21-year old Michael Martin of Mahopac was found with pot and also heroin.  He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was processed at Putnam County Correctional Facility and held for arraignment.

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The Danbury Public School District has started a new program this week, an initiative of Sandy Hook Promise.  The Start with Hello program addresses social isolation.  This coupled with the Say Something program were launched in the fall in an effort to create a safer, healthier school climate. 

 

Hayestown Avenue School held an assembly and put on a skit Monday. 

 

(Phot: Danbury Public Schools, Facebook)

 

Danbury schools this week are holding assemblies and focusing on activities that encourage student involvement in the Say Hello Program commitment.  Superintendent Dr. Sal Pascarella, who serves as president of the Connecticut Association of Public Schools Superintendents, has also encouraged implementation of the programs at schools across Connecticut.

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Danbury is reallocating funding that's not needed for the 2012 revaluation and putting it toward a street light conversion program to LED lighting.  Danbury is working with ESCO, Energy Services Company, to figure out how to develop and implement such a program.  The initial phase of the project is a comprehensive audit of the street lights in Danbury. 

 

 

The cost of the audit will become part of the conversion project if Danbury moves forward with the program.  If the City decides not to move forward, or uses a different company, Danbury will be responsible to pay ESCO up to $50,000 for the audit.  There is little more than $75,000 in the 2012 Revaluation account.

 

The study is expected to take up to six months.

 

ESCO will help Danbury obtain certain files from Eversource Energy including street light asset inventory, maintenance history and Eversource's proposed acquisition costs.

 

The audit will also look into the financial, operational, and energy analyses of the feasibility for implementing the program.  The report will include existing conditions of the lights, projected costs, expected energy and maintenance savings, financing options and a proposed implementation plan.

 

Councilman Duane Perkins noted that some lighting have power that goes to a ballaster and could be redirected to a bulb.  Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola says they will likely be replacing the complete cobra head to a modern, efficient LED fixture which has a long lifespan and gives better illumination.

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A former Bethel Volunteer firefighter is among a dozen inductees this year into the State of Connecticut Firefighter Hall of Fame.  The Connecticut State Firefighters Association has released the list of firefighters who have contributed to the betterment of the Fire Service on a local state or national level.

 

Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Department announced that Past Chief Jon Menti is one of the inductees.  Menti served more than 40 years in the volunteer fire service and was an adjunct Connecticut Fire Academy instructor for over 20 years.

 

Laurence Ford of Redding, who passed away in May at the age of 93, is being inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously.  He was a research engineer for the National Board of Fire Underwriters.  He served as the Fire Service Coordinator, as well as the Director of Fire Training Programs for the Connecticut State Technical Colleges.  He was appointed to the Connecticut Advisory Committee on Emergency Medical Services by Governor Ella Grasso.   He founded and served as the first president of the Connecticut Fireman’s Historical Society.  

 

Ford was an active member of Redding Fire Company, #1, where he began his service as a volunteer firefighter in 1940 and served as both the Company’s Fire Marshall and Fire Commissioner.  He was also an Emergency Medical Technician.  As a Chairman of the Redding Emergency Communications Board, he was instrumental in bringing “911” communications to Redding.

 

An awards ceremony is being held in April. 

 

Class of 2016 Inductees:

Fred Dudek, Jr., Killingworth

 

Laurence Ford, Redding (posthumous)

 

James E. Kiley, Newingtown (posthumous)

 

Ronald L. Littell, Sr., Tolland

 

Kevin R. McKeon, West Shore (West Haven)

 

Jon Menti, Stony Hill

 

Jeffrey Morrissette, Wethersfield (Fire Admin)

 

John E. Obier, Jr., North Haven (posthumous)

 

Gary M. Parker, Derby

 

Charles Perrotti, North Canaan

 

Kenneth W. Richards, Jr., Olde Mystic

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What we searched for on Google in 2015.

  

 

Mind Games

What do you see first: Rabbit or Duck?

How do you feel about New Year's resolutions?
I try my best to stick to them.
Failure is almost certain.
Why bother?
They're an important part of starting a new year.
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