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.
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
MARICOPA, Ariz. (AP) — A former president of a major aircraft manufacturer was one of the two people killed after their World War II-era plane crashed and burned near the town of Maricopa.
Pilot Jeffrey Pino, 61, was formerly the president of Sikorsky Aircraft, a Connecticut-based aircraft manufacturer. The second victim was identified as 72-year-old Nickolas Tramontano of Brookfield, Connecticut, Mark Clark of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said.
"The Sikorsky family is saddened to learn of the sudden loss of former President Jeff Pino. We extend our heartfelt condolences and prayers of sympathy and support to his family and friends during this difficult time," current president Dan Schultz said in a statement posted on the company's website.
Schultz said Pino, who last lived in Chandler, Arizona, was Sikorsky's president from 2006 to 2012, during which he "brought personal energy and passion for aviation innovation to our industry."
"We remember Jeff as a leader, pioneer, innovator and advocate. May his family be comforted by the lasting impression and legacy Jeff has left behind," Schultz said. Last year, Lockheed Martin bought Sikorsky Aircraft, which, among other things, makes the U.S. military's Black Hawk helicopter, for $9 billion.
Preliminary information on the Friday crash indicated the plane was a P-51D Mustang, a type of single-engine American fighter used during World War II, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
The spokesman said the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash in Maricopa, which is about 35 miles south of Phoenix.
An underage drinking enforcement operation was held over the weekend by New York State Police. Retail establishments in Somers, North Salem and elsewhere were checked with the help of a 19-year old volunteer. The teen was observed by plainclothes investigators and supported by uniformed troopers.
Two clerks sold beer to the volunteer and were arrested. 23-year old Colin Rose of North Salem, who is employed by a Shell gas station in Lewisboro, and 24-year old Karen Monroy of Carmel, who is employed as a Shell station in North Salem.
Their employers face possible civil penalties by the New York State Liquor Authority.
Retail establishments in Putnam County were also checked this weekend. All seven retail establishments were found to be compliant with state laws. The State Police were assisted by the Carmel Police Department.
The New York State Liquor Authority routinely conducts underage drinking enforcement operations in an effort to curb alcohol abuse and DWI incidents among teenagers.
A Danbury man has been struck and killed by a car. Danbury Police responded to the area of 14 Newtown Road on Saturday night on a report of a serious motor vehicle collision.
Police determined that 44-year old Eric Lucas was walking near the center line of the roadway and was struck by a driver who reported not seeing him. Police say 74-year old Joan Ledoux struck Lucas with the front driver's side of her car.
Lucas was transported to Danbury Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
This collision is under investigation by the Danbury Police Department’s Traffic Division.
Danbury officials are learning more about the unmanned aerial project the Fire Department is looking to take on. The Department received a donation of $9,000 for the drone project. The donor asked to remain anonymous, and was made in memory of the late Michael Kallas. Kallas passed away in June. He had served as President of the Lions Club, and during that tenure in 2012 the Lions raised funds to replace a broken thermal image camera for the Danbury Fire Department.
Councilman Warren Levy says Kallas was a model citizen, a successful businessman who provided housing for hundreds of people. He volunteered his time to his church and the community.
Anonymous donations are rare on the Council's agenda, but the City does know who this donor is. Council Minority Leader Tom Saadi says he has in the past voted against some anonymous donations because the individual may have applications before land use departments or enforcement actions against them. But he says that's not the case here, there is no conflict. Saadi says they appreciate the efforts of this donor.
Fire Chief TJ Wiedl said they are very appreciative and have privately thanked the donor.
The drone will be able to carry a thermal imaging camera. Wiedl says some departments in the state have used the drones to help put fire out, but Danbury hasn't gotten to that point yet.
Eventually a few people on each crew will have to be trained on how to properly fly the drone. As for repairs if something happens to the drone, it would be on the city to pay for the expense. Danbury will own the drone outright and it will be the first municipally registered drone.
A drone was used during the ice rescue training operation at the Town Park on Tuesday. Wiedl says it's useful because the Department can go back and look at the video after the fact and make improvements. They can use the drone for possible rescues, especially at Tarrywile Park. Wiedl says there are a lot of lost hikers there for some reason.
A drone was also used during the Christmas fire on Main Street. The drone was in the air during almost all of the response. The Fire Department got permission from the air control tower at Danbury Municipal Airport, and the device was flown at about 300 feet in the air.
Governor Dannel Malloy's budget chief appeared before the legislature's Appropriations Committee this week after Malloy unveiled his budget. The panel began its process of going through the revised spending plan. Bridgewater state Senator Rob Kane questioned the across the board 5.7 percent spending cut approach. He says it takes a larger sword to the budget versus going line item by line item.
Barnes says there is a focus to the proposals, core services. He called it a wholesale change in agency operations.
Kane questioned where the structural changes to the state budget were. Barnes responded that the state is no longer looking at the future in a doomsday way that the current services model suggests.
Kane's district includes Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Oxford, Seymour, Roxbury, Washington, and Woodbury.
A public hearing is being held this morning in Ridgefield. Residents are being called on to voice their opinion about whether bikes should be allowed on the rail trail. The public hearing is at 10am at Ridgefield Town Hall. There will also be hearing on the 17th at 7:30pm.
The plan is to make the trail safe for bicyclists, walkers and runners. Among the expected work that's needed is barriers that would protect people who lose control from going down embankments. The larger goal is to connect the area to other trails around the Parks and Rec property.
The land is owned by Eversource Energy and there is an environmental cap on the property, and the utility has yet to say whether bicycles will be allowed on the trail.
A Warren man has been convicted of murder for a 2012 home invasion. 28-year old Niraj Patel was convicted on all nine counts against him. Patel and two others were charged for breaking into the Sharon home of 23-year old Lucas Vitalis, and tying up his mother. The man was found dead of a gunshot wound. Prosecutors accused Patel of setting up a fake drug deal in an attempt to get money to pay an attorney who was representing him on drug charges.
Patel could face a total of 200 years in prison when he is sentenced April 15th.
27-year old Hiral Patel, of Branford, and 29-year old Michael Calabrese, of Warren, are each charged with felony murder, home invasion, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, first-degree robbery and hindering prosecution.
28-year old Shyam Patel of Warren was also arrested and charged with tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.
The Kent Center School Board of Education met Thursday night, but a proposal from the Board of Selectmen was not one of the specific agenda items.
The town officials voted two to one Wednesday to present information about the "FASTER Saves Lives" program to the Board of Ed. The Newstimes reports that the Board of Ed Chairman says they will not consider the proposal to arm staff at the pre-K through 8th grade school with guns, noting that the proposal was not discussed with them before the vote. The Board chairman continued by saying they are not in support of bringing firearms into the school, but should they wish to consider it in the future, they would fully engage the public following both the law and best practices.
The nonprofit program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion.
Governor Dannel Malloy says he felt compelled to comment publicly about the situation. Malloy said he's particularly concerned that the program would also allow anonymous volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio. He added that no school system in the state of Connecticut should be allowed to do this. Malloy says this would put children in more danger, not less.
Kent is patrolled by a Resident State Trooper.
A fire in Southbury has destroyed two units at Heritage Village. Firefighters responded to Cedar Circle around 4:30 Friday morning for the two-alarm blaze at the senior community. Emergency responders saw flames coming from the roof of a duplex. There were no reported injuries. Mutual aid from Oxford, Roxbury, Sandy Hook and Middlebury was provided. The American Red Cross is providing assistance to the displaced residents.
(Photo Courtesy: Bernie Meehan, Facebook)
There was a two-alarm fire on Locust Avenue in Danbury. The fire was reported around 2:40pm Friday and brought under control by 3:15pm. One person was home at the time and reportedly able to get out of the house as firefighters arrived.
Assistant Chief Mark Omasta says crews found fire in the basement of 42 Locust Avenue. The flames extended up to the attic through the walls, causing extensive damage.
There were no reported injuries. The American Red Cross is evaluating the needs for assistance to three occupants who have temporarily been displaced.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Department Engine 3 provided mutual aid.
A Carmel man has been arrested on a number of charges following a domestic dispute. The Putnam County Sheriff's Office responded to a physical fight at a Carmel home early last Sunday morning. A woman reported that her boyfriend choked, punched and pulled her hair. The claims were substantiated.
A deputy further determined that the man, 53-year old Emile Latuheru, was in possession of cocaine and marijuana. He was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, assault, criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Latuheru was held for arraignment.
A Brookfield man has been arrested in New York for drunk driving and a felony drug charge. The Putnam County Sheriff's Office responded to a car accident just after midnight Wednesday in which a car hit a utility pole on Route 6 in the town of Southeast.
Deputies determined that the driver, 44-year old Douglas Robinson of Brookfield was intoxicated, and was in possession of cocaine. Robinson was charged with misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated and felony possession of a controlled substance.
He was evaluated by emergency responders, but refused medical treatment. Robinson was arraigned and ordered held on bond for a court appearance March 3rd.
KENT, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut town is considering a program that trains teachers to use guns in the event of an active shooter, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has come down hard on the idea.
Kent selectmen voted 2-1 on Wednesday to present information about the "FASTER Saves Lives" program to the Board of Education. The board will ultimately decide whether to implement the program at the pre-K through eighth-grade Kent Center School.
The nonprofit Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion.
In an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Malloy said he's particularly concerned that the program would also allow anonymous volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio.
"If any board of education would approve this, I'd be shocked, frightened and disappointed," said Malloy, who said he felt compelled to comment publicly about the situation. "It makes no sense. And no school system in the state of Connecticut should be allowed to do this."
Selectman Jeffrey Parkin first presented the program to town officials in January.
He told the Danbury News Times on Thursday that reaction to the proposal has "gotten out of hand."
"It's being suggested that teachers would be walking around the school visibly packing guns," he said. "If Kent went into this program, the gun or guns would be concealed. It would be up the Board of Education how the gun would be kept, possibly in a safe with access for trained staff."
Malloy said if school districts want properly trained security, such as former police officers, it's their decision to make.
"The idea that we're going to have a volunteer receive 26 hours of training or teachers and principals receive 26 hours of training, that's just unacceptable," Malloy said. "It puts children in more danger, not less."
Two New York men have been arrested for stealing items from a residence in Carmel. Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies were called to a house last month by a man who said several items had been stolen from his parent's Carmel home while they were away.
An investigation led to 24-year old Danny Groissl and 26-year old Joseph Braun. The Carmel men were each charged on January 30th with two counts of felony burglary.
Search warrants were carried out at the house the pair share and a number of items reported stolen were recovered. Additional items linked to a separate burglary case under investigation by the Carmel Police Department were also recovered. Groissl and Braun were arraigned and ordered held at Putnam County Correctional Facility on $100,000 bond for a future court appearance.
There was also an active warrant for Groissl's arrest from Carmel Justice Court on a Grand Larceny charge.
A teenager has been arrested in Danbury for a fight at Dunkin Donuts. Danbury Police were called to the Dunkin Donuts location on Lake Avenue Tuesday afternoon on a report of a disturbance. When officers arrived, they determined that there was a fight between three juvenile males. One youth was arrested and issued a juvenile summons for conspiracy to commit assault. The names of those involved in the fight were not released because of age. The investigation is ongoing.
The annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, an annual nondenominational gathering, has been held. 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty was joined Thursday by Eman Beshtawii, the Director of Community Services and Outreach Programs at an Islamic Center in Newtown.
The 64th Annual National Prayer Breakfast brought together over 3,200 people of faith from all 50 states and over 140 countries.
Esty first met Beshtawii at an interfaith ceremony in December at a vigil honoring the victims of Sandy Hook. She approached Esty with concerns she and her family face as Muslim-Americans following an increase in religiously and racially charged comments and actions. Esty says it's all sparked by fear and misinformation.
Beshtawii said she accepted the invitation to highlight all of the good that has come to the Muslim community at the Hedaya Center. One of their goals is building bridges and relationships with the people of the community, region, and state. She says much of the fear and hate in the Islamophobia that Muslim American communities experience is a result of the absence of these relationships.
Beshtawii has a husband and four children, and is a member of the Newtown Interfaith Clergy Association. She is also the co-founder of the Newtown "Peace Builder" initiative to engage the youth in the community.
Assistant Library Director Katie Ventura has been promoted and appointed to the role of Library Director.
Mayor Mark Boughton says her innovative thinking, tenacity and leadership has brought many positive changes to the Danbury Library over the past two years. Among her accomplishments are the library's adoption of new technology services. Danbury Library now lends out digital tablets, media streaming devices and internet hotspots. Ventura has helped with the integration of the Hackerspace and restructured the employee schedules to ensure smooth daily operations.
Venture has a Master's Degree in Library Science with a certification in Children and Young Adult Services. She is a member of the American Library Association and the Public Library Association . She is one of only 80 people in the country who is a certified Public Library Administrator.
Danbury Police Officer Drew Carlson has been promoted to Sergeant. Carlson joined the Department in 2004. He has served as a member of the Danbury Police Recruiting Team and as a Field Training Officer. He received a Meritorious Citation in 2014 and earned a number of letters of commendation.
Police Officer Roger Hancock has been promoted to Detective. Hancock joined the Department in 2003. He has served as a Bike Officer in the Community Conditions Unit since 2006. Hancock received the Exceptional Police Service Award in 2005, a Meritorious Citation in 2006 and the Life Saving AWard in 2008 among other unit citations.
Mayor Mark Boughton called Carlson and Hancock highly qualified and skilled individuals. He says they will be a tremendous asset to the Department and the City in their new roles.