The Danbury branch of the DMV was briefly evacuated Thursday. An employee noticed an unattended backpack sitting on a chair, and became concerned. The employee called DMV headquarters and was advised to ask customers and other employees if they owned the backpack. Spokesman Bill Seymour says no one claimed it.
Given concerns about security, the building on Lee Mac Avenue was evacuated.
Danbury Police responded, along with the Fire Department and State Police, and removed the bag from the building. Police assessed the contents. The backpack was not found to be a threat and it was removed from the building.
Employees and customers were let back in a short time later.
BREWSTER, N.Y. (AP) A popular ESPN anchor is suing a suburban New York hockey rink over a painful off-ice injury.
Linda Cohn says a heavy change-making machine fell on her arm at Hudson Valley's Brewster Ice Arena and sliced her up so badly she needed 25 stitches.
The 54-year-old Southbury, Connecticut resident raised the allegations in a lawsuit recently served on the rink's owners.
She's demanding unspecified damages plus costs and expenses.
Cohn's lawyer Jonathan Silver says it happened in March in an arcade area of the rink as she was getting ready to practice for a promotion with a New York Rangers' minor league team.
Cohn posted a picture on Twitter at the time showing her stitched-up arm looking like a baseball.
Brewster Ice Arena's owner didn't return a message.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A woman who authorities say helped supply nearly 10 pounds of methamphetamine to a drug operation in Connecticut run by a Catholic priest dubbed ``Monsignor Meth'' has been sentenced to five years in prison.
49-year-old Kristen Laschober, of Laguna Niguel, California, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Hartford. She and her boyfriend, Chad McCluskey, of San Clemente, California, pleaded guilty last year to drug conspiracy charges connected to their meth business with now-suspended Monsignor Kevin Wallin.
McCluskey was sentenced to more than five years in prison in June.
Wallin, who once served at St. Peter Parish in Danbury, pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge and awaits sentencing for selling large quantities of meth out of his apartment in Waterbury.
EASTON, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut woman is denying police allegations that she supplied alcohol to teenagers at a house party in April.
Thirty-nine-year-old Eliane Mullen of Greenwich says she didn't know there was alcohol at the party at her former home in Easton.
Mullen said her 15-year-old daughter invited two friends over for a sleepover, but the gathering got out of hand as a number of boys and girls showed up.
Police allege Mullen bought vodka, whisky and beer for the party. Authorities say a teenage boy had to be treated at a hospital for alcohol intoxication.
Mullen was charged with 10 counts of risk of injury to a minor. She's free on a promise to appear in Bridgeport Superior Court on Sept. 16.
The death of a 15 month old Ridgefield boy left alone in a hot car for an undetermined number of hours has been ruled a homicide. The Chief Medical Examiner's Office says Benjamin Seitz died from ‘hyperthermia due to environmental exposure’. The Medical Examiner did not say how long Seitz may have been left alone in the car. Ridgefield police are reportedly meeting with the Danbury State's Attorney's Office about the ruling.
Seitz was supposed to be dropped off at daycare by his father, who instead drove to his place of employment at 38A Grove Street in Ridgefield with the baby still in the car.
Police say Danbury Hospital contacted them shortly after 6pm when the child's father reportedly drove him there after finding the baby in his car and becoming concerned for his welfare. The Ridgefield Police Departments Dispatch Center received no 911 calls regarding this incident.
The Danbury State's Attorney's Office is working with the Ridgefield Police to investigate the July 7th death. Stephen Sedensky says the criminal investigation is ongoing and his office will have no comment on the status of the case or details, including the autopsy report. He says the autopsy report is one factor to be considered in the evaluation of the incident.
Ridgefield Police say that after speaking with the Danbury State's Attorney's Office, the Department was asked not to comment further on this case due to the fact that the investigation is ongoing.
Firefighters have battled a large blaze at a New Milford condo complex. Crews responded to 466 Danbury Road, Candlewood Condos. Mutual aid from several area towns was called in. Among those responding were Stony Hill, Washington, Roxbury, Sherman and Brookfield.
The condo complex is near New Milford High School.
The fire was reported around 10:15 Thursday morning. Witnesses say they saw at least one person being carried out on a stretcher. No official word on injuries. Damage appears to be significant.
The American Red Cross is helping 11 people in six families after a fire today on Danbury Road in New Milford. Spokesman Paul Shipman says volunteers responded to the scene to meet one-on-one with those affected.
Eight adults in five families are receiving help with emergency food and clothing needs. The residents were able to make alternative housing arrangements. A family of three adults is receiving help with emergency housing, food and clothing needs.
A cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.
When the school year begins next week, Danbury's third middle school will reopen. School officials held a ribbon cutting and open house Wednesday at the West Side Middle School Academy. Superintendent of Schools Dr Sal Pascarella says 300 6th, 7th and 8th graders in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program will be located at the former Mill Ridge Intermediate School.
There will also be a Global Studies Academy open to 6th graders. Glass says there will also be 100 6th graders in the Global Studies Academy. Over the next two years, that academy will be populated.
There was an application process for each Academy. The STEM program is moving from Rogers Park Middle School. Mill Ridge was closed in 2010, and was retrofitted with these academies to relieve overcrowding in the schools and to provide more specialized choices for students.
There are 17 towns in the 4th Congressional District. Democrat Jim Himes is travelling to all of them in 17 days while Congress is on break. He stopped in Redding Wednesday to meet with students participating in a 7-week summer program known as Re-Wire. It's a workshop led by local artist Jane Philbrick about transforming the long-abandoned, 55-acre Gilbert and Bennett wire mill site for productive use for the community.
Students who attend Joel Barlow High School, John Read Middle School and Redding Elementary School explored a different theme each week and how it could enhance the site's future development. The program's themes were transportation; ecology; architecture; clean energy and environmental remediation; food, farming and hospitality; and fashion design and art.
Re-Wire’s priorities for the site, which includes six industrial buildings listed on the National Historic Register, include jobs and the economy, energy and the environment, education, and transportation.”
The Re-Wire student artists’ workshop is now in its second year. The program began as a grant proposal for the new initiative “Art Catalyzes Placemaking,” sponsored by the State of Connecticut. Re-Wire is funded in part by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, the State Historic Preservation Office, Connecticut Innovations, and the Fairfield County Bank.
Last summer, the students learned about art and architecture and created a master plan for the Gilbert & Bennett site. High school interns then continued working into the fall and began again in the spring. The themes this year were drawn from verticals from the master plan Re-Wire students created the previous year.
CARMEL, N.Y. (AP) The agency that runs New York City's watershed says a man died, apparently drowning when the rowboat he was in overturned in a Putnam County reservoir.
The Department of Environmental Protection says another man swam to shore.
The men were fishing in the Croton Falls reservoir when the boat flipped on Tuesday afternoon. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
Fishing is permitted in reservoirs and the DEP said the men had proper permits but were not wearing life preservers.
The victim's name was not made public. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
In addition to DEP police, officers from Carmel and firefighters from the Croton Falls Fire Department were at the scene.
A Redding woman has entered a plea of not guilty to two animal cruelty charges. State Animal Control officers obtained the arrest warrant for 75-year old Lisa Lind-Larsen earlier this month, and it was served by local police. Her case was continued to September 17.
Two emaciated horses were seized on July 11th from an unkempt barn where there was not nearly enough food to sustain them.
Lind-Larsen previously said that she knew the horses health was declining, but that it was due to many reasons. One cited was a property dispute that prevented hay deliveries to the barn.
Some handicap accessibility improvements are being made to a school in Bethel. The Board of Selectmen has approved funding for a project for the parking lot and sidewalk at Berry Elementary School. The $30,000 in funding from the Highway Department's Road Construction account was approved unanimously. The Selectmen also decided to refer a funding request to the Board of Finance for other projects. The proposed $35,000 would be for continued ADA compliance for routes to athletic fields. The Board of Selectmen proposed that the funding come from the capital non-recurring account.
A local lawmaker is touting a bill recently signed into law by the Governor that protects horse owners. Newtown Representative DebraLee Hovey says the legislation makes it clear that horses are not inherently dangerous.
The law, originally proposed by Governor Malloy, stemmed from a Connecticut Supreme Court case involving a 2006 incident where a horse bit a child when he attempted to pet it. An appellate court in 2012 found that the horse’s owner was at fault because horses are “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.”
Hovey says Fairfield County has one of the highest horse per capita in the United States.
The 2nd Company Governor’s Horse Guard is located in Newtown. Connecticut has a long-standing history with mounted cavalry units, including the 1st Company Governor’s Horse Guard, located in Avon, which is the oldest continuously active mounted cavalry unit in the country.
Hovey says potentially higher insurance rates for horse owners and farms, and loss of business for veterinarians, feed stores and farriers which all make significant contributions to the state’s economy were averted by this law.
The Bethel Zoning Board of Appeals has held a special meeting to discuss the appeal about the medical marijuana dispensary coming to Garella Road in Bethel. Two residents filed an appeal of the Zoning Enforcement Officer approving a zoning permit application for Monroe-based D&B Wellness Compassion and Care Center.
At their last working session, the Board ruled that the filers were not aggrieved and that the use of the site meets regulations. The Board requested that the town's Land Use Attorney draft a resolution for last night's meeting.
A letter has been drafted to the Planning and Zoning Commission, requesting that they review the appeal and make changes to regulations so in the future, something like this will trigger the use of a special permit. That will insure an opportunity for public discussion on the matter.
Redding police are investigating bullet holes in a portable speed trailer at John Read Middle School. Police Chief Douglas Fuchs tells the Redding Pilot that the sign that displays drivers' real-time speeds wasn't working and so officers went to retrieve it.
Fuchs says the shots must have been fired at close range and appears to have come from a shot gun. The projectiles are likely what caused the sign to stop working in the last week or two. Fuchs says the damage to this piece of equipment is about $15,000.
He says it's concerning that someone shot the sign, but more so that it was done on school property.
A new public hearing date has been set in Brookfield on two items. The original hearing date was cancelled earlier this month when the Board of Selectmen's meeting that same night had to be cancelled.
A public hearing about joining Western Connecticut Council of Governments has been rescheduled for September 8th.
Also that night, a change to add tattoo parlors to the Brookfield code of ordinances dealing with salons and spas will be discussed. A locally issued license is required to open and the Director of Health must also conduct annual inspections. The ordinance change would include tattoo businesses, and businesses offering temporary tattooing of the face, eyelids and eyebrows.
Two Ridgefield teens have been arrested for trying to rob a house on the same street where one of them lives. Police spokesman Captain Jeff Kreitz says officers responded to a residential burglar alarm shortly before 9pm Monday.
Two teens were seen fleeing the house on foot, but when one saw the officer he skateboarded away..
State Police K-9 units were called in to locate 18-year old Thomas Redmond, who was found at his home a short distance away. Redmond and 18-year old Henry Gough were charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and interfering with the duties of an officer.
A window on the house was broken. Police are continuing to investigate if anything was taken from the home.
The pair were arraigned Tuesday.
An Easton woman has been arrested for leaving her child alone in a motel room. Fairfield Police were called by Easton officers yesterday night asking that they perform a welfare check at the Fairfield Motor Inn on a 4-year old girl.
Brittany Hacker's ex husband called police after the 24-year old showed up at his house and said their child was with a friend in another room.
Officers found the girl alone in Hacker's motel room. Hacker was charged with leaving a child unsupervised and risk of injury to a minor.
The state Department of Children and Families was notified.
FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) A dozen Senate Democrats are pushing federal legislation to require child-proof bottles for liquid nicotine used for e-cigarettes.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, both Connecticut Democrats, said Tuesday that safety rules are needed in response to a rise in poisonings.
Blumenthal said the absence of rules has led to a ``wild, wild west of unregulated e-nicotine.''
The American Association of Poison Control Centers cites a nearly eight-fold increase in exposures to poison from e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine, from 271 in 2011 to 2,313 so far this year.
A representative of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Other state officials have demanded regulations including a ban on selling flavored products.
The battery-powered devices allow users to inhale vapor from a heated liquid nicotine solution.
A public hearing has been held in Danbury about four items. Residents had a chance last night to weigh in on a proposed change to Danbury's Pension Obligation Bonds. The City maintains six pension plans for a total of $305 million, funded at 84 percent. Mayor Mark Boughton says the City has an opportunity to refinance it's unfunded liability for a $15 million savings over the 20 year repayment schedule. Boughton says the City has an opportunity to refinance the unfunded liability from a rate of 7.25 percent down to 3.6 percent.
During the public hearing, a proposed increased fine in the blight ordinance was discussed. Minor changes to the way the fire marshal collects fees was also on the agenda.
$20 million is proposed bonding for road repairs and roof replacements was also discussed. Anything over $3 million has to go to a public hearing and a vote. The items could be placed on the November ballot.
The breakdown of the bonding is:
$1 million for public safety communications network upgrades and replacement
$6.5 million for the public works department to rebuild, pave, fix drainage issues and replace curbs, guardrails and lighting on various roads throughout the city. The Department would also get $3 million for equipment and vehicle replacements.
$4 million for the engineering department for a bridge repair and replacement program
$5.5 million for a roof replacement program
A Western Connecticut State university Police Sgt with more than 20 years on the job has completed a 10-week training course at the FBI's headquarters in Quantico Virginia. Only one-half of one percent of all law enforcement personnel in the world are invited to attend the academy. Sgt Richard Montefusco was one of three officers from Connecticut joining police from 17 countries and 48 states.
Montefusco participated in an FBI program that fabricates active shooter scenarios through the use of avatars. He was on a team with 13 other officers and says they all understood immediatly, the concept that the had to work together.
Montefusco took courses in civil law, civil liability , social media, communication strategies and labor law. He also received intensive behavioral training taught by an FBI behavioral scientist on the human psyche, anti-social and psycho-social behavior, and how people think.
Montefusco, who is one of Western’s firearms instructors, studied less-lethal munitions at the academy, focusing on the use of alternatives to guns. Relying on less lethal options for crowd control, Montefusco says will allow university police to neutralize a situation in seconds without having to wait for special teams to arrive on campus.