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Dog found dead in car being towed from condo complex

A dead dog found in a car being towed is being investigated.


A private tow truck company responded to a call from the Brookside Condo Complex on Tuesday afternoon about a car in violation of their rules.  The tow truck operator saw a dead dog in a carrier in the vehicle and called police around 1:30.  Animal Control officers responded to the scene and is conducting an investigation. 


No details about how long the dog was in the vehicle or the cause of death were immediately released.  There was no information provided about the vehicle's owner.

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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.

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Classes back in session across Greater Danbury area

Classes are starting today at schools across the Greater Danbury area.  In Danbury, teachers have been back at work for about a week.  Superintendent of Schools Dr Sal Pascarella says the orientation for new teachers last Monday went very well.  In addition to retirements, new teachers were hired to fill new classrooms added to the elementary schools and the new full day kindergarten classrooms.  There were over 100 new teachers who went through orientation.  On Thursday, veteran teachers returned.


Most of the bus routes are the same for kids.  Pascarella says a few hundred students were moved to different schools last year under a redistricting plan to equalize the number of kids in each building because of the growth in the City.


Additions were constructed at three elementary schools over the past 14 months ago.  Park Avenue added 10 or 11 classrooms, with other related work such as parking lot redesigns.  Classrooms were also added to Shelter Rock and Stadley Rough schools.


The 3rd middle school also opened last week. About 500 people attended the ribbon cutting Wednesday for the West Side Learning Academy.  A cookout sponsored by the PTO was held after the ceremony and tours.


A study of parks in Danbury as well as school playgrounds was started this spring.  It was just completed and the results are mixed.  Even though today is the first day of school in Danbury, the playgrounds at King Street School, Morris Street School and South Street School are closed until the new equipment comes in. 


Playgrounds at the schools are repaired over time, but they all needed to be evaluated. For safety reasons, a company came in to asses the playgrounds for risks.  That company provided the City with a roadmap of how to move forward.  Pascarella says the schools don't own the buildings or grounds, the city does.


The plan was about which ones can be repaired, what sections to eliminate and where to buy new equipment.  The jungle gyms are being replaced.

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Newtown looks into regionalized emergency dispatch

A study about regionalizing emergency dispatch operations is being discussed in Newtown.


The Newtown Board of Selectmen have received an update from members of the Legislative Council about regionalization of Newtown Dispatch. A 2011 regionalization effort with Danbury and other towns was not successful, in part because Danbury had not yet consolidated its 911 call center operations.  Danbury is currently in the process of doing that and moving toward civilianization. 


Newtown is at a crossroads when it comes to Computer Aided Dispatch software so officials say this might be the right time to consider regionalization.  New World has had many updates and changes, leading to several questions.  A presentation last week to the Board of Selectmen pointed out that New World uses global Computer Aided Dispatch, which Newtown Police do not favor. 


Site visits have been completed and input was sought from Newtown police officials, the Newtown ambulance corp, director of the Emergency Operations Center and the Newtown Board of Fire Commissioners.  Among the concerns is that there is no consistent coverage during off hours, with regional dispatchers not knowing Newtown as well as a resident would.  But that point was countered with one of the benefits listed being an increased number of dispatchers familiar with Newtown.  There also may be a higher standard in terms of required training. 


The presentation at the Board of Selectmen meeting last week noted that regionalization is not an evaluation of current dispatchers and that the presentation was not an in depth analysis. 


The next step is to fund a study.

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Congressional candidates cross endorsed

Elizabeth Esty has accepted the nomination of the Connecticut Working Families Party in her reelection bid for the 5th Congressional District seat. 


Esty says there's so much at stake for working families this election and she wants to help rebuild Connecticut’s middle class.  In accepting the nomination, Esty said she wants to continue to fight to protect Social Security and Medicare so that all workers can retire with dignity, increase the federal minimum wage so no one working full time has to raise their family in poverty, ensure equal pay for equal work, and defend the rights and protections for all workers.


Republican Mark Greenberg has been cross-endorsed by the Connecticut Independent Party.  He says it's an honor to have the overwhelming support of the Connecticut Independent Party.  In accepting the nomination, Greenberg said people from across the 5th District have been failed by career politicians like Congresswoman Esty and her mentor Nancy Pelosi.  He added that voters want leaders who will fight for families and businesses instead of fighting for their Party's ideology.


Both Greenberg and Congresswoman Esty's names were put into nomination. Greenberg received roughly two-thirds of the votes cast.

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3 men arrested in drug sale investigation in Danbury

A man Danbury police had arrested several months ago for selling drugs has been arrested again for continuing to sell illegal drugs.  Police spokesman Lt Christian Carroccio says the Special Investigations Division obtained a search warrant for 31-year old Duane Perkins of New Milford, his vehicle and his friend's Duck Street apartment in Danbury.  While conducting surveillance in Danbury on Thursday, Perkins was seen leaving with 31-year old Dontee Heyliger, the owner of the Duck Street home. 


A third man drove them to a parking lot where the New Milford man was seen making a suspected drug transaction with 63-year old Joseph Romeo of Danbury.  Romeo was followed and arrested a short distance away.


The car was then tracked to a nearby gas station and pulled over.  Perkins was placed under arrest for the earlier drug sale and Heyliger was arrested for an outstanding warrant for his arrest.  A search of the Duck Street home tuned up crack cocaine.


Perkins and Heyliger were each charged with Risk of Injury to a Child, Possession of Crack Cocaine, Possession of Narcotics with intent to sell, Possession of Narcotics Within 1,500 feet of a school, Possession of Narcotics with intent to sell Within 1,500 feet of a school, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Within 1,500 feet of a school.


Perkins was also charged with Sale of Crack Cocaine.  Romeo was charged with Possession of Crack Cocaine.

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Danbury hires 4 new police officers

Danbury has appointed four new police officers to the Department.  All of the officers come to Danbury from other police departments in the region.  They are all certified in first aid/CPR. 


During the City Council meeting this month, the appointments were confirmed.  Mayor Mark Boughton welcomed them to the City and that he's looking forward to them continuing their careers here.  He told the new members that Danbury offers all of the things an officer could want in a modern city police department.  He added that there are some exciting new initiatives coming up, though he did not elaborate on what those initiatives are.


Anthony Mistretta has been employed as a police officer in Naugatuck for the last two years.  Alexander Relyea has worked for the last 2.5 years as a police officer in New Milford.  Collin Marino has worked for the last 3.5 years as a police officer with that department.  Marino is also certified for the Bicycle Patrol.  Brittany Salafia has been working as a police officer in Redding for the past year, and prior to that was a police officer in Manchester.

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Congressional candidates discuss jobs, small businesses

4th District Congressman Jim Himes has wrapped up the first week of  his 17 Towns in 17 Days Tour.  The Democrat was looking to meet with constituents and discuss innovative ideas for growing jobs in the Fairfield County region.  This week he met with a Wilton teenager with her own online startup.


He met with Wilton High School student Julianna Yee, who created a social networking website catering to the needs of teens, tweens, adults and business owners.


Himes' Republican challenger, Dan Decibella, says entrepreneurs create jobs and government needs to build an environment for them to flourish.  He says that can be done, in part, by providing the legal and physical infrastructure needed for economic growth.


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!




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