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Internet safety presentation made to Ridgefield parents

A safety presentation has been made last night in an event hosted by the Ridgefield Police Department.  The Internet Safety event  for parents of school-aged children was about current trends in social media.  The presentation covered SnapChat, Instagram and other platforms involving privacy when taking photos from a smartphone. 


The presenter is Wilton Police Detective R Scott Sear.  The 21-year police veteran investigates computer crimes for the department, is a member of the Connecticut Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and previously served as a School Resource Officer. 


A panel of educators and law enforcement answered questions following the presentation at the Ridgefield Playhouse.

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Conn. firms lauded for energy conservation

Several Connecticut firms are being singled out by the state for managing to cut their energy use last summer.  State energy and environmental officials recognized the firms from nine towns today at the state Capitol.


The companies all cut power consumption by at least five percent compared to previous years. 


The Platinum Award for the most outstanding achievement in energy savings from amongst all of the awardees and the Environmental Award for the greatest reduction in CO2 greenhouse gas went to Danbury-based Ethan Allen.  The honorees hail from Beacon Falls, Danbury, Fairfield, New Canaan, Woodbury and elsewhere.

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Lillinonah boat launch in Bridgewater reopens

The ribbon will be cut this afternoon for the newly-renovated boat launch by Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee.  The renovations to the facility in Bridgewater were supposed to have been completed by December 31st, but state officials say the cold weather has prevented paving from being completed. 


Erosion prevention, a new parking lot and turn-around area were installed.  Officials say the floating dock system will make launches safer and more efficient.  New solar powered street lights and a portable toilet platform have been installed.


The boat launch closed on Labor Day for renovations that included a handicapped accessible design. 


There will also be a demonstration this afternoon about how to properly clean boats to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.  The invasive species was found in Lillinonah in 2010 and this boat launch is the first in the state to receive a decal reminding boaters to Clean-Drain-Dry their vessels.


The ribbon cutting is at 3pm at 199 Main Street in Bridgewater.  Final paving is being completed through Friday.

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Danbury non-profit works to end child abuse

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Families Network of Western Connecticut is hosting public awareness events and educational activities.  Executive Director Susan Giglio says the non-profit is hosting a fundraising event Thursday so that services can continue to be provided to families in the Greater Danbury region at no cost.


Giglio says the fundraising event is to support abuse prevention and health programs and their expansion into early literacy and school readiness.


Funds raised at this event will help Families Network to expand their services to families in the greater Danbury area.  The services are currently provided at no cost to families in Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Bedding, Ridgefield, and Sherman. 


The Families Network luncheon Thursday will be held at the Matrix Center in Danbury from 11:30am to 2pm.  Call 203-791-8773 for more info or visit them on the web at  There is a suggested $35 donation.

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Electric Vehicle charging station availability touted on Earth Day

During an Earth Day event Tuesday, publicly available electric vehicle charging stations were touted by state officials.  To get people to buy environmentally friendly cars, dealers say so-called range anxiety must be eliminated.  Environmental Commissioner Rob Klee says that's the motorists' fear they won't be able to find a charging station when they need one. 


There are 187 charging stations in the state, within 20 miles of 90-percent of all state residents.  Klee says getting more electric cars on the road is vital in the effort to curb pollution. 


In addition to the electric vehicle charging stations coming to both of the Western Connecticut State University campuses and in Bethel, there are charging stations at the Ridgefield Playhouse and one at the Patriot Garage in Danbury.  The Danbury Parking Authority received a donation from Bruce Bennett Nissan in Wilton for the 2-vehicle charging station.

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Teens arrested for making threats against Danbury High School, student

On Wednesday, Danbury Police were made aware of threats against a Danbury High student and the general school population.  An investigation revealed that the unknown male caller and another made a call from a Danbury address and threatened harm against the student and "everyone else" at DHS. 


The 16 and 17 year olds were arrested Monday morning on two counts each of threatening and conspiracy to threaten.  They were transported to Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center. 


Although the teens said it was only intended as a prank, Danbury Police say there is zero tolerance when threats are made toward schools.

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Danbury man pleads not guilty to attempted murder charge

The Danbury man arrested last month for a shooting in the City has made a court appearance.  33-year old Eliseo Soto pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of criminal attempt to commit murder, assault and criminal use of a firearm.  He remains jailed in lieu of bond for a May 19th appearance in court.


Officers were called to Rose Street around 6pm March 27th and found a 24-year old man had been shot in the arm and chest.  Witnesses told Danbury Police that Soto caused a disturbance at the housing complex earlier in the night and then returned to shoot the victim--identified as Jonathan Soto--no relation.


The arrest warrant says the pair fought about visitation of the younger Soto's son, whose mother is the niece of the older Soto.

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7 hospitalized, 4 charged after concert at WCSU's O'Neill Center

Western Connecticut State University may rethink any future contracts with an electronic dance music group who performed at the West Side Campus over the weekend.  Krewella and Radical Something drew a large crowd Saturday night.  University spokesman Paul Steinmetz says there were some tickets issued and some people taken to the hospital.


There were between 2,500 and 3,000 young people at the event, and the crowd became rowdy.


Seven people got sick, were throwing up and taken by ambulance to Danbury Hospital.  The illness was likely caused by alcohol consumption.  Four were charged for creating a public disturbance. 


This comes nearly two years to the day that a so-called Dayglow concert at West Conn got out of control and led to more than 30 people being taken to the hospital for intoxication.  At the time hospital officials called those concerts "patient producing events" citing a Dayglow event previously held in Hartford that resulted in more hospitalizations.

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Ridgefield hearings on Schlumberger site, cell tower proposals

A Public hearing will be held Wednesday in Ridgefield about a new proposal for part of the Schlumberger site.  The 10 acres is zoned for residential housing.  The hearing Wednesday will be about a proposed $4-million purchase by Toll Brothers.  The company was originally interested in the land for 30 age-restricted condos.  Town officials decided to go with a different developer at the same price tag, but the deal fell through. 


Wednesday's public hearing is set for 7:30pm at Town Hall.  After a Town Meeting next month, the sale could be a question on the budget ballot.


There is a Thursday afternoon hearing planned in Ridgefield by the Connecticut Siting Council.  Residents will have the chance to weigh in on the cell tower that's proposed for land off Ledges Road.  Danbury-based Homeland Towers LLC and A-T-and-T would bear the cost of construction and equipment for the 150-foot tower. 


The hearing begins at 3pm and continues at 7pm in the Town Hall lower level conference room.

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Budget review meetings to start in Danbury

Two of the five budget review committees in Danbury are meeting tonight.  The Education committee of the City Council and the General Government I committee are each meeting at 5:30pm.  The other three committees are scheduled to meet tomorrow and Thursday.  The proposed $235.7 million budget represents a nearly 3-percent tax increase. 


Mayor Mark Boughton says there were only a few people at the public hearing last week.  They wanted to know more about specific items related to an agency they are affiliated with.


Tonight council members will be calling on the Board of Ed, Superintendent of Schools along with the Directors of Finance for the City and Schools will discuss funding for the schools.  The town clerk, registrars, members from the library and lake authority among others will review general spending.


Boughton says there is no one-time revenue used in the budget. The historic McLean house on Main Street used to host the WIC program and is the future site of the new Office of Early Childhood.  Most of the spending increase is going to pay for staffing and equipment at the new middle school that's going into service at the start of the new school year.

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Cops: Body found in upstate NY may be missing man

PATTERSON, N.Y. (AP) State police say a decomposed body found in Putnam County woods appears to be related to a 2010 missing person case.

Police say the remains were found by residents clearing a wooded area Saturday morning about 500 feet off Maple Avenue in the town of Patterson, about 60 miles northeast of New York City.

A search with police dogs led to the discovery of a bicycle and identification from 39-year-old Gabriel Lopez-Duarte of Patterson. A relative had reported him missing in October 2010 after he left home on a bike and didn't return.

Positive identification will be made when DNA analysis is completed. The cause of death is still under investigation.

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WCSU to hold series of events on human trafficking, cancels some

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) Western Connecticut State University has canceled a planned forum to raise awareness about human trafficking.

The four-day ``The Price of Life'' initiative was expected to kick off Monday with a panel discussion among specialists on women's and children's issues, as well as contemporary slavery issues. But WCSU announced Monday that the sponsors of the event decided to cancel it. No new date has been scheduled.

Other events, organized and sponsored by student organizations to raise awareness and inform the public about the human trafficking issue, are scheduled to go on as planned this week.

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Work begins on playground named for Newtown victim

MYSTIC, Conn. (AP) Volunteers in Mystic have begun work on another playground named for a victim of the Newtown school shooting.

A crew poured a foundation Saturday for the playground being built at Williams Beach in honor of Grace McDonnell, one of 20 first-graders killed in the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Six educators also died.

The Day of New London reports that Grace's parents, Lynn and Chris McDonnell, chose the site because Grace loved the beach, and because Chris McDonnell proposed to his future wife in Mystic.

The playground is one of 26 being built in the region under the ``Sandy Ground Project: Where Angels Play.''

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Grace's playground is set for next Sunday at 11 a.m.

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Danbury Police investigate several telephone scams

The Danbury Police Department is investigating several scam attempts.  In order to prevent others from falling victim to these types of telephone scams, police are describing what's been reported to them. Several of these scams were successful, while in other cases the target victim suspected a scam and did not fall victim to the attempt.


A Danbury resident received a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS advising them that they owed back taxes and that they had to be paid by 4:00 p.m. on that day. The caller requested that the money be sent through the use of Green Dot Cards and the caller was then given the codes for these cards. Under no circumstances would the IRS employ this method for collecting back taxes.


While attempting to purchase a vehicle through EBAY, a Danbury resident wired several payments via Western Union to an out of state resident purported to be the seller. After these money orders were sent, the victim was unable to locate this person and claim the vehicle.


While attempting to pay for the deposit on an out of state apartment rental that he had found on Craiglist, the victim wired money to the supposed landlord.  The victim later determined that this was a false listing and was unable to recover the wired money.  When using this mechanism to send money, please remember to have a full understanding as to who is involved in the transaction and that you positively know who you are sending the money to.


An elderly Danbury couple received a phone call and the caller claimed to be their grandchild. The caller stated that they had been arrested for DUI and was in need of bond money. The caller requested that they wire money to him for bail. There would be no circumstances where bail money would need to be wired.


Under no circumstances should anyone send money to someone that they do not know.  Any suspected scams should be reported to the Danbury Police Department at 203-797-4611.

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Ridgefield awarded 'urban forestry' grant

15 urban forestry grants are being awarded by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, ahead of Arbor Day next week.  Ridgefield is among the towns being presented with funding to enhance knowledge and urban ecology.  DEEP Director of Forestry Chris Martin says the funding comes from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.


Ridgefield will be getting $3,250 to develop a booklet that will be distributed to residents and businesses about what trees to plant where.  It's part of a larger effort by the state and the utility companies.  Martin says it will promote "Right Tree, Right Place", an initiative to inform people about what trees won't interfere with utility lines.


DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee says the grants support the work and recommendations of the state Vegetative Management Task Force and Governor Malloy’s Two Storm Panel.

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Tree trimming, infrastructure improvements by CL&P in Ridgefield

Tree trimming work and electric system upgrades are being done in Ridgefield.  Connecticut Light and Power says the work is likely to continue into the fall.  Spokesman Mitch Gross says it's part of the utility's System Resiliency Plan to improve reliability and reduce the impact of big storms.


Gross says approximately 2,300 Ridgefield customers will benefit directly from the resiliency work.  Most of the work in Ridgefield will take place between 8am and 5pm, weather permitting.   The work includes tree trimming along 26 miles of road in Ridgefield.  Drivers should to expect delays in the area.  The utility also says planned outages are anticipated and will be communicated in advance.


The work is being done on Bennett's Farm Road, Cross Hill Road, Danbury Road, Farmingville Road, Great Hill Road, Knollwood Drive, Old Quarry Road, Old Stagecoach Road, Old Danbury Road, Grove Street, South Street and Haviland Road.


This is a $2 million investment in the local electric distribution system.  Gross says structural hardening spans approximately 10 circuit miles, including 8.7 miles of backbone circuit--which are major lines originating at substations.

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Danbury man arrested for lewd act on school grounds

A Danbury man has been arrested for allegedly making lewd comments to women at the Head Start Center of Foster Street.  Police arrested 39-year old Willins Miranda on Wednesday. 


Danbury Police say Miranda had a stuffed sock down his pants as he approached women, including one who had a child with her, and made lewd comments and gestures.  Officers saw the sock and determined that the man was intoxicated. 


He's been charged with breach of peace, interfering with an officer, loitering on school grounds and felony risk of injury to a minor.  Miranda was arraigned in Danbury Superior Court and released on a written promise to appear in court on May 12th.

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Agency says alternate electric companies need more regulation

An interim draft decision has been made about alternative electric companies.  The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority held public hearings around Connecticut, including one in Brookfield, after experiencing a spike in consumer complaints against various suppliers in recent months. 


PURA officials said in their initial decision that the records shows a need to take immediate steps to improve certain aspects of Connecticut's retail electricity market. 


Customers have said they signed up for alternative service providers and their bills have doubled and sometimes tripled after low introductory rates were switched to variable rates without notice.  The interim draft decision includes amended definitions for rate plan offers, imposes notification requirements on licensed suppliers and requires suppliers to update their company contact and agent information. 


The number of complaints about alternative electric suppliers more than doubled from a year ago.

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Newtown, Ridgefield police investigate larcenies

A Newtown man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a credit card from a purse left unattended in Caraluzzi's Market on Wednesday.  Newtown police say 29-year old David Cunningham was charged with larceny and credit card theft.  He's been released on $500 bond for an a court appearance next Thursday.


Ridgefield police continue to receive reports of car break ins.  Two vehicles were broken into at the dog park on Prospect Ridge on Tuesday.  Only a pair of glasses was reported stolen, though windows were smashed on both.  Three cars were broken into April 9th at a gym parking lot off Grove Street.  Police say two of the cars had their windows smashed in and purses were taken from the cars by an unknown suspect.  The five vehicle break ins this month brings the total to nine for the year in Ridgefield.


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NY man seriously injured in motorcycle accident

An early morning motorcycle accident in Patterson has left the driver in serious condition.  The Putnam County Sheriff's office reports that the crash happened around 2ma on Route 311 near Cushman Road.  The deputy found the motorcycle against a tree and the driver lying on the ground. 


26-year old Daniel Brady of Hopewell Junction New York sustained serious head and back injuries.  He was flown by StatFlight helicopter to Westchester Medical Center. 


The investigation revealed that Brady was speeding and lost control around a curve.  He was also charged with driving while intoxicated and for not wearing a protective helmet.


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