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A ground breaking ceremony has been held for the Greater Danbury Community Health Center.  A four-story, 36,000 square foot building is going up at the former police station site. 

 

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton says the new building means permanent new jobs for downtown who will eat in local restaurants and shop locally.  He says the building is going to be beautiful, and represents a $20 million investment in CityCenter.

 

 

Connecticut Institute for Communities CEO Jim Maloney says this is a major step forward in expanding their services.  The building will house pediatric and adolescent medical and behavioral health services, comprehensive women's health services, an on site-blood sample suite, a full service pharmacy, administrative offices for the health center and headquarters for the Connecticut Institute. 

 

A pharmacy will be on site.  Anyone can enroll in the health center at no cost and use the deeply discounted facility.  People without health insurance will be able to cut their bills by about two-thirds.

 

Maloney says existing staff will basically double from about 60 employees, to more than 120.  Maloney expects $6 million a year in payroll for physicians, APRNs, front desk staff, medical assistants, clerical staff, billing, finance, legal, HR and front desk staff.  He says it will be a significant shot in the arm economically for downtown Danbury.

 

The financing package involves a mix of public and private funding.  The state is providing a $4 million grant.  Governor Dannel Malloy was on hand for the ground breaking.   

 

(Photo Courtesy: Governor Malloy)

 

There's private commercial mortgage financing totalling $6 million dollars and $5 million dollars from three federal New Market Tax Credit program investors.

 

Governor Malloy said, “We are pleased that the state can help move this project forward-- it will both enhance community health care in the Danbury area and also provide a major economic boost  to  the  city’s  downtown.  Connecticut  is  making progress  every  day,  driving unemployment to a seven-year low as we create tens of thousands of jobs.  As we do that, we’re expanding health care access like never before.  It  is projects like this that demonstrate  how we’re accomplishing both of those goals.”

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Animal cruelty charges have been brought against a Danbury pet shop owner.  55-year old Richard Doyle faces three counts stemming from allegations he failed to properly care for two dogs and a kitten at American Breeders pet shop on Federal Road. 

 

Two of the animals had to be euthanized. 

 

A complaint by an employee about animal mistreatment led to an investigation by Connecticut animal control officers. 

 

One of the allegations against Doyle is that he performed a surgical procedure on the eye of a Neopolitan Mastiff when he is not licensed to do so. The female dog sustained severe bleeding after the procedure on an inner eyelid, which Doyle allegedly performed in the rear of the pet shop in March.  The employee provided officers with photographs documenting the dog’s condition. She also said she was often made to treat animals with medication and administer shots although she is not licensed to do so. 

 

Doyle also is accused of confining a critically-ill exotic kitten and failing to provide it immediate veterinary intervention until the animal required euthanization.

 

The Mahopac resident owns two other pet shops in New York. 

 

He is also charged with failing to provide proper care to a sick Shih-Tzu puppy that was in need of immediate medical care in April.  Doyle had brought the puppy to Danbury from one of his New York stores and left it in the care of an employee but without needed veterinary care to treat it for vomiting, diarrhea and coughing. The puppy also was later euthanized by a veterinarian.

 

He was arrested Monday, and released on a written promise to appear in court on August 6th.  Charges of animal cruelty are also pending against one of Doyle’s store managers, Kathy Seton.

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A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for a Torrington teen who made verbal threats of violence against Danbury and Stratford schools last February.  19-year old Natalie Carpenter was arrested in 2014 on charges of conspiracy to commit assault and criminal attempt to commit assault. 

 

At a court appearance yesterady, the case was continued to August 25th. 

 

According to court documents, Carpenter had applied to purchase a gun.  During her arraignment it was revealed that police found evidence of plans to shoot or use a weapon at schools.  The arrest warrant however was ordered sealed by the courts so no other details are available. 

 

Carpenter remains held on $300,000 bond.

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A brief court appearance was made this morning by a former Bethel Berry Elementary School teacher charged with sexual assault.  30-year old Brian Stroh of New Fairfield will have a pre-trial hearing on September 4th. 

 

He faces three counts each of felony risk of injury to a minor, felony illegal sexual contact and misdemeanor sexual assault.  Stroh has been ordered to not have unsupervised contact with minors and not to contact the boys in the case against him. 

 

Stroh is free on $250,000 bond. 

 

The charges stem from incidents on February 15 and May 1, 2009. 

 

Officials have said the contact did not happen on school grounds. Stroh was employed by the Redding Parks and Recreation Department from June 2013 through the summer of 2014.  Redding officials said at the time of his arrest that Stroh had no disciplinary actions in his personnel file and no reports from staff claiming to have witnessed any inappropriate behavior.

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A Danbury High School science teacher facing charges of sexually assaulting one of her students made a brief court appearance this morning.  25-year-old-year-old Kayla Mooney had the case continued to August 26th upon the request of her attorney. 

 

She was charged in March after an investigation into a complaint she made to school officials that she was being harassed by the boy's ex-girlfriend.  Police say the boy involved told them about the sexual relationship and they confirmed parts of his story after obtaining emails the he and Mooney exchanged. 

 

She was placed on administrative leave in February, but failed to maintain her certification and was let go.

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A cooling center has been set up in Danbury to help residents cope with the heat.  An air conditioned HART bus will be stationed outside of 198 Main Street today and tomorrow from 1pm to 5pm. 

 

Continued high temperatures and humidity have also prompted reminders about ways to prevent heat-related illness.  People are urged to drink plenty of water, avoid strenuous activities, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and avoid exposure to direct sunlight or long periods in the sun. 

 

In Newtown, the Municipal Center at Fairfield Hills will be open 7am to 9pm through Thursday.

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Some people who have worked for the City of Danbury are making a foray into politics.  Both the Republican and Democratic Town Committees have met to nominate candidates for the City Council, Board of Education and Zoning Commission.  Former City Center Director, Democrat Andrea Gartner, is among those seeking a seat on the City Council.  Former Fire Chief, Republican Geoff Herald, is also seeking a position on the City Council. 

 

The Town Clerk race will feature incumbent Democrat Joan Bielizna being challenged by Republican state Representative Jan Giegler. 

 

Two Democrats who ran for state Representative positions last year are seeking local office.  Candace Fay will be on the ballot as a Zoning Commission alternate.  Henry Hall is seeking a position as Constable.

 

OFFICE CANDIDATE (I-incumbent) PARTY
Mayor Mark Boughton (I) Republican
     
Treasurer Daniel Jowdy (I) Republican
     
Town Clerk Janice Giegler Republican
  Joan Bielizna (I) Democrat
     
City Council at Large Christina Chieffalo (I) Republican
Elect 7 Philip Curran (I) Republican
  Michael Esposito Republican
  Jack Knapp (I) Republican
  Warren Levy (I) Republican
  Gregg Seabury (I) Republican
  Andrew Wetmore (I) Republican
  Al Almeida Democrat
  Andrea Gartner Democrat
  Paul McAllister Democrat
  Gregg Williams Democrat
  James Hughes Democrat
  Abu Helalul Karim Democrat
  Sherri Neptune Democrat
     
Ward 1 (Elect 2) Irving Fox (I) Republican
  John Priola (I) Republican
  Dennis Perkins Democrat
  Daniel Iskandar Democrat
     
Ward 2 (Elect 2) Vinny DiGilio (I) Republican
  Elmer Palma (I) Republican
  Ashley Ward Democrat
  Robert Karrat Democrat
     
Ward 3 (Elect 2) Chris Arconti (I) Republican
  Joe Cavo (I) Republican
     
Ward 4 (Elect 2) Matthew Kennedy Republican
  Mary Maroto Republican
  Thomas Saadi (I) Democrat
  John Esposito Democrat
     
Ward 5 (Elect 2) Geoffrey Herald Republican
  Clifton Kowicz Republican
  Duane Perkins (I) Democrat
  Fred Visconti (I) Democrat
     
Ward 6 (Elect 2) Theresa Keeler Republican
  Michael Negron Republican
  Paul Rotello (I) Democrat
  Ben Chianese (I) Democrat
     
Ward 7 (Elect 2) Nancy Cammisa (I) Republican
  Joe Scozzafava (I) Republican
  Theresa Buzaid Democrat
  Richard Molinaro Democrat
     
Board of Education (6) Annrose Fluskey-Lattin (I) Republican
  Richard Hawley (I) Republican
  Patrick Johnston Republican
  David Metrena (I) Republican
  Emanuela Palmares Republican
  Daniel Rosemark Republican
  Gladys Cooper (I) Democrat
  Frederick Karrat Democrat
  Holly Robinson Democrat
     
Zoning Commission (9) Milan David Republican
  Sally Estefan (I) Republican
  Jeffrey Giegler Republican
 

Kevin Haas

Republican
  Alan Kovacs Republican
  Robert Laber (I) Republican
  Robert Melillo (I) Republican
  Alexander Rodriguez Republican
  Annette Zatkovich (I) Republican
  Theodore Haddad Jr. (I) Democrat
  Richard Jowdy (I) Democrat
  James Kelly (I) Democrat
     
Zoning Alternate (3) Mary Cronin Republican
  John Herlihy Jr Republican
  Robert Oravetz Republican
  Candace Fay Democrat
     
Constable (5) Michael Halas Republican
  Louise McMahon Republican
  Michael Safranek Republican
  Francis Kieras (I) Democrat
  Emil (Butch) Coladarci (I) Democrat
  Henry Hall Democrat
     

 

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A bridge over a brook in Southbury is closed indefinitely.  The Spruce Brook Bridge was inspected by the State Department of Transportation on Friday when town officials noticed a significant change in the condition of the culverts.  Southbury officials were told that an immediate closure was recommended. 

 

The bridge carries a roadway over the Transylvania Brook and was closed indefinitely on Monday after a follow up inspection. 

 

Detour signs and a road block have been set up alerting motorists to use Route 172 to Liberty Lane and Yankee Drive.  The road connects to Spruce Brook Road beyond the bridge. 

 

A safe alternative over the brook is being worked on.

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Governor Dannel Malloy will be in Danbury this afternoon for a ground breaking ceremony.  A four-story, 36,000 square foot building is being constructed in downtown Danbury to house the Greater Danbury Community Health Center.  Connecticut Institute for Communities CEO Jim Maloney says this is a major step forward in expanding their services. 

 

Maloney says the new building means 50 permanent new jobs for downtown Danbury.  The building at 120 Main Street, the site of the old police station, is being financed by $15 million in public, private and other dollars.  Maloney hopes to be able to open the building in about a year.

 

The building will house pediatric and adolescent medical and behavioral health services, comprehensive women's health services, an on site-blood sample suite, a full service pharmacy, administrative offices for the health center and headquarters for the Connecticut Institute.

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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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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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