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A drug search drill will be held soon at Newtown High School.  Parents were sent an email from the principal this week alerting them to the annual activity.  Drug search dogs will be brought to the Newtown High School campus in the near future, and parents will be sent a follow up email prior to the drill so that they are not alarmed by an increased police presence.  During the drill, there will be a brief "shelter in place" order and hallway movement will be limited. Visitors will not be allowed into the building during that time.  The email to parents warning of the drill says that the search is in line with Board of Education policies and the goal of maintaining a drug-free campus.



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The Western Connecticut Council of Governments has be awarded a $50,000 federal grant. The money will be used for development of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the region. WestCog is a regional planning group for towns stretching from Sherman down to Stamford.

 

Senator Chris Murphy says the strategy will provide the region with a long term plan to grow middle class jobs and integrate disadvantaged communities into the workforce. The funding comes from the Economic Development Administration.  

 

Murphy, Senator Richard Blumenthal and 4th District Congressman Jim Himes said economic development planning is essential for building stronger communities and creating highly-skilled, good-paying jobs.  They called the grant a wise federal investment that will go a long way in bringing economic revitalization to the Western Connecticut region.



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A Danbury woman, who admitted drowning her newborn in a toilet a decade ago, has been released from prison.  26-year old Panna Krom had her 18-year prison sentence commuted by the state Board of Pardons and Paroles earlier this month. 

 

Krom said she killed the baby in 2006 because she feared the reaction of her family, from whom she had hidden her pregnancy. She pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2008. 

 

Krom told the board that she has changed her ways and now works to educate other young women about Connecticut's Safe Haven Law.  It allows newborns to be left at emergency rooms without fear of prosecution.  Krom said she now knows how irresponsible actions can lead to dire consequences, a notion that her 17 year old mentality could not accept. 

 

Her attorney said Krom was a model prisoner who earned her high school diploma.  Her lawyers had argued her sentence was harsher than those in similar cases and that she had been a model prisoner.

But Danbury State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III argued that Krom had agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter in 2008 and wasn't eligible for parole until 2019.



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Unannounced compliance inspections of places selling tobacco products have been carried out in Monroe by the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Tobacco Prevention and Enforcement Program.  Monroe Patch reports that three establishments were caught selling tobacco to minors.  12 other inspections were conducted and the stores did not sell to those under age 18.  The three clerks and stores were issued $200 fines.  They are Brand Cigars on Roosevelt Drive, the Monroe Turnpike Service Center Sunoco and the Food Mart Shell station on Main Street.  Administrative action is pending.



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Starting tomorrow, calling in a bomb threat or any kind of threat, to a school will no longer be a misdemeanor.  A new state law goes into effect with the start of the new month which includes tougher penalties.  Felony charges, which could result in prison time, can be levied under the new law.

 

State Senator Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown, says school lockdowns and evacuations can have lasting consequences on the children and adults who endure them.

 

Hwang says since the shootings at Sandy Hook School, more than 40 threats of violence have been made against schools in Connecticut, many perpetrated by adults.  He says these threats have become an epidemic, not only in Connecticut, but across the country.

 

Hwang says just last month the opening of the new Sandy Hook School was impacted by a terror call, but the perpetrator was tracked down and arraigned yesterday.

 

The new law received overwhelming bipartisan support and was backed by local school superintendents, law enforcement officials, and parents. 

 

Hwang says the new law sends a message that Connecticut has zero tolerance for school threats.  He says this is not a prank or joking matter, but one of significant impact and consequences to the well being of communities.



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A scam involving Eversource Energy is once again circulating Danbury.  Police have received several complaints from businesses in the City saying that they received phone calls from someone claiming to be from the electric company.  Police spokesman Lt. Christian Carroccio says the caller states that the electricity to the business will be shut off immediately if payment is not made. 

 

The caller has been instructing their potential victims to purchase pre-paid gift cards and give the pin numbers to the caller.  The scam artist is asking for Green Dot or iTunes gift cards.  Danbury Police are reminding residents and businesses that Eversource will never ask for instant payment over the phone or in person. 

 

Eversource will never require payment by gift card. 

 

Customers who are scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment will receive written notice via the U.S. mail, which includes the actions they can take to maintain service. 

 

Danbury Police are asking that you call the Department at 203-797-4611 to report such calls.

 

To verify any unsolicited contact, call Eversource at 1-800-286-2000.



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The Association of Religious Communities is collaborating with the Danbury Public School District on a program called K.I.D.S.--Kindergarteners In Danbury Schools.  ARC is helping to meet the need for volunteer mentors and now serves 250 students annually.  The program was launched two years ago by Charlie Schott. 

 

A pilot program ran for three years at the Morris Street School where over 13 volunteers have been building on successful models. Currently, KIDS has over 35 volunteers. 

 

In the past, IBM has donated over $9,000 to support the KIDS program.  Schott, a retired IBM Executive, has been working on expanding this program.

 

The mentoring program matches volunteers with kindergarten students in Title One (low-income) schools who will help the students improve their alphabet, reading, and math skills through classroom projects and educational games.  At the discretion of the teacher, students are mentored individually, in pairs or in small group.  Volunteers donate two hours a week from October through June.  The KIDS Initiative seeks to connect a caring adult with a child in need of academic support.



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Two Connecticut men have been arrested for a home invasion and burglary in Weston.  A 3rd suspect is being held at the Wilton Police Department.  Shortly after 1 o'clock Wednesday afternoon Weston Police and officers from surrounding towns responded to a Hidden Spring Drive home. 

 

The homeowner interrupted the burglary when he returned, and the three suspects got into a physical altercation with him.  They fled on foot into the woods. 

 

Weston Police Chief John Troxell says the three suspects were caught in the area of Newtown Turnpike within about 20 minutes. 

 

20-year old Leequaje Jackson and 18-year old Francis Tarik, both of Bridgeport, were charged with home invasion, burglary and larceny.  The car they abandoned in the driveway was reportedly stolen. 

 

State Police Western District Major Crime Unit responded to the scene.  Troxell says Weston officers and police from Wilton, Redding, Easton and Fairfield assisted with the response and apprehension along with a New Canaan officer who was working on a forensic case in the Weston Police Department forensic lab.



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A Bethel man has been arrested for trespassing.  40-year old Jonathan Havanick was arrested Tuesday for trespassing on Simeon Road.  He previously was served paperwork by State Marshalls barring him from the property.  During the Bethel Police investigation, it was discovered that Havanick was the subject of an active warrant in Danbury for his arrest for violating his probation.  He was processed and transported to Danbury Superior Court for arraignment.



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Two Bethel men have been arrested for stealing mail out of their neighbor's mailboxes.  Bethel Police say 43-year old Dilsa Collado and 27-year old Steven Sautner were seen walking on Nashville Road taking packages from mailboxes.  Police found the two to with packages that were not theirs. Both were arrested last Thursday on larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny charges.  The pair were processed and released on a written promises to appear in Danbury Superior Court on October 4th.

 

 



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A teenager has been arrested in New York for growing cannabis.  New York State Police carried out a search warrant at a Somers home yesterday where there was a suspected marijuana growing operation.  Police seized two marijuana plants, drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana inside the home. 

 

The 17-year old was also charged with unlawful possession.  The teen also faces a charge of criminal trespass for an unrelated burglary investigation that was launched in June. 

 

The teen was released on a written promise to appear in court at a later date.

 



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A Connecticut man who barricaded himself in his Sharon home after police tried to serve an arrest warrant Monday has been caught in New York.  28-year old Raymond Sprague, left during the more than 18-hours standoff. 

 

He was wanted in both Connecticut and New York. 

 

New York State Police located Sprague at a home in Amenia.  He was arraigned and ordered held for a court appearance Friday.  The Connecticut arrest warrant has been lodged with Dutchess County Jail. 

 

The New York charges stem from a domestic dispute on September 3rd  in the Town of Northeast, Dutchess County, New York.  Sprague was charged with felony Criminal Mischief, Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Menacing, and Criminal Trespass. 

 

Connecticut State Police obtained an arrest warrant for Sprague on assault related charges.



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A serious motor vehicle accident involving a scooter is under investigation in Danbury.  Police responded to Hospital Avenue Monday night because of the crash involving a scooter and pick up truck. Danbury Police say 53-year old Carlos Jarrin of Danbury was making a left turn onto Forest Avenue, but struck 19-year old David Figueiredo who was operating the scooter westbound.  Jarrin says he didn't see the scooter.  Figueiredo was transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.  He has since been released from the hospital.

 

(Contributed photo)



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Connecticut State Police say one person was killed in a fiery accident involving a tanker truck and at least one other vehicle along Interstate 95 in Westport. The crash occurred around 6 o'clock last night when a Mercedes drifted into the truck causing it to strike the metal beam guardrail, roll onto its side, and hit a light pole and a tree. 

 

The truck then caught fire.  64-year old Thomas Patrick Reynolds of Woodbury was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The Mercedes struck the concrete barrier of the Saugatuck River Bridge.  35-year old Ramses Rival of Stamford appeared to be intoxicated, and failed Field Sobriety Tests.  He was charged with DUI and released on bond.

 

The highway was closed for about 12 hours.



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Some candidates for state legislature are taking part in a meet and greet with voters during a forum at Western Connecticut State University tonight.

 

The forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Northern Fairfield County.  The organization invited candidates in races for the towns they cover which are: Bethel, Brookfield, New Fairfield, Sherman and Danbury.

 

Tables will set up around the room, labelled by district, and the candidates will respond to two general questions from the League.  Voters will then have a chance to ask their own questions.

 

The forum is 7pm to 8:30pm at Warner Hall on WestConn's midtown campus.

 

Candidates from House Districts 2, 107, 108, 109, 110 and 138 along with Senate districts 24, 26 and 30 were invited to attend.  The confirmed candidates as of Wednesday afternoon are as follows:

 

House Districts
2nd Raghib Allie-Brennan
108th Richard Smith
109th David Arconti
110th Bob Godfrey
138th Jeffrey Tomchik

Senate Districts:
24th Kenneth Gucker
26th Toni Boucher, Carolanne Curry
30th Craig Miner



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A list of endorsements has been released by the political arm of the National Rifle Association.

 

The NRA's political arm did not make any endorsements in Connecticut's congressional races.  Democratic incumbent 4th District Congressman Jim Himes and GOP challenger John Shaban received F grades.  The NRA was able to grade Shaban, a State Representative for Redding, in part for his vote in favor of the gun control bill approved following the shootings at Sandy Hook School. 

 

Democratic incumbent 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty garnered an F while her Republican challenger Clay Cope wasn't scored.  The Sherman First Selectman reportedly did not return the questionnaire. 

 

Democratic incumbent Senator Richard Blumenthal received an F grade.  Republican challenger Dan Carter of Bethel got a B . 

 

All of the challengers in state House races in the Greater Danbury area were scored with a "?" for not returning the questionnaire.  The NRA's political arm only made a handful of endorsements.  One of them went to Craig Miner who is the Republican candidate for the open 30th District Senate seat, which represents New Milford.  The Democratic candidate, David Lawson, was not scored.


State Senate - District 24
(C-) Michael A. McLachlan, Incumbent R
(?) Kenneth M. Gucker D

 

State Senate - District 26
(F) Toni Boucher, Incumbent R
(?) Carolanne Curry D

 

State Senate - District 28
(F) Tony Hwang, Incumbent R
(F) Philip Dwyer D

 

State Senate - District 30
(A) (NRA Endorsed) Craig A. Miner R
(?) David A. Lawson D

 

State House - District 2
(?) William I. Duff R
(?) Raghib Allie-Brennan D

 

State House - District 67
(?) William J. Buckbee R
(?) Mary J. Lundgren D

 

State House - District 106
(F) Mitch Bolinsky, Incumbent R
(?) Eva Bermudez Zimmerman D

 

State House - District 107 *no challenger
(F) Stephen G. Harding, Incumbent R

 

State House - District 108 *no challenger
(D) Richard A. Smith, Incumbent R

 

State House - District 109
(?) Veasna Roeun  R
(F) David A. Arconti, Jr., Incumbent D

 

State House - District 110
(?) Emanuela L. Palmares R
(F) Robert D. Godfrey, Incumbent D

 

State House - District 111
(?) John H. Frey, Incumbent R
(?) Joseph N. Dowdell D

 

State House - District 112 *no challenger
(B) J.P. Sredzinski, Incumbent R

 

State House - District 135
(?) Adam W. Dunsby R
(?) Bonnie E. Troy D

 

State House - District 138
(?) Michael S. Ferguson R
(?) Jeffrey A. Tomchik D

 

State House - District 143 *no challenger
(F) Gail Lavielle, Incumbent R



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The former Brookfield school district finance director charged with larceny has been sentenced. 

 

Art Colley was ordered today to serve three years probation and to pay $1,000 to the district's activity fund in each of those years.  A court clerk said Colley was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service in each of the three years of his probation.  He has paid $76,000 in restitution to Brookfield.

 

Colley resigned in early 2014 amid accusations he overspent the district budget by $1.2 million. 

 

His assistant was granted accelerated rehabilitation this summer, a probation program which would eventually have the charges erased from her record.  Elizabeth Kerekes paid $26,000 restitution to Brookfield.



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During an assembly in Danbury on Friday, students at Pembroke School were recognized by members of Sandy Hook Promise for their commitment to reaching out to isolated students and creating a safe and inclusive school environment.

 

Eight schools out of nearly 600 schools nationwide participating in the February Sandy Hook Promise “Call-to-Action” week were recognized, including Pembroke.  Broadview Middle School was presented with a $10,000 check for being named the top school in the nationwide initiative. 

 

Pembroke students have been participating in the "Start with Hello" program, an initiative aimed at addressing social isolation which can be associated with violent and suicidal behavior.



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Tips from residents about Kenny's Wine & Spirits in Danbury selling alcohol to high school age kids has led to citations for the teens and an investigation for the permit holder.  Danbury Police conduced surveillance of the Federal Road store on Friday.  Over several hours, officers saw several teenagers enter the store and exit with purchased alcohol.

 

One car load of teens were later stopped by marked patrol units.  Police verified their ages, notified their parents and seized their alcohol.  Five teens from Brookfield and one from Danbury were issued infractions.  Two of the teens had fake IDs, but only one said they had to use the ID to make the purchase. 

 

Investigators later entered Kenny’s Wine & Spirit to talk with the permit holder and a store employee, both of whom were believed to have made illegal sales to the minors.  Danbury Police spokesman Lt. Christian Carroccio says it was alarming that several of the teens were warned by an employee when they were sold the alcohol that police were in the area. 

 

35-year old Heidi Salcedo will be referred to the state liquor commission for administrative action and further police action will follow.



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A few area lawmakers are being recognized by an advocacy work for their efforts during the legislative session.  Mothers Against Drunk Driving has announced its “2016 Legislators of the Year”.  14 Connecticut lawmakers were recognized for their contributions toward preventing drunk driving tragedies.  Brookfield state Representative Steve Harding, New Fairfield Representative Richard Smith and State Senator Tony Hwang were honored for their work on two different laws.  One was to create a law beefing up the penalty for impaired drivers who have child passengers.  Another creates a diversionary program for underage drinking and motor vehicle violations.



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