The Danbury Board of Education special meeting was still held Tuesday night, despite school being cancelled because of the snow. The group met to interview six candidates to fill two vacancies on the Board.
The public was invited to attend the meeting, but then the Board met in private to discuss the interviews. Before voting on the replacements, the meeting was reopened to the public.
The vacancies were created by the resignations of Sandy Steichen and Shirley Chilian. The candidates are Gary Falkenthal, Josiah Hills, David Metrena, Holly Robinson, Anthony Silva and Bob Taborsak.
A Carmel man has been arrested on domestic violence related charges. The Putnam County Sheriff's office was called last Thursday morning for a domestic dispute at a Carmel home.
The responding deputy determined that the woman had been subjected to physical and mental abuse by her partner, who left the home before the deputy arrived. 48-year old Nicholas Lalli was contacted and he turned himself in.
Lalli was charged with menacing and harassment. He was arraigned and released for a future court appearance.
A New Fairfield teen and another are accused of vandalizing property near a predominantly Jewish fraternity at Penn State. 19-year old sophomores Hayden Grom and Eric Hyland are accused of spray painting 12 cars, a Dumpster, and a garage outside the Beta Sigma Beta fraternity in State College last month.
The vandalism included sexual, graphic and anti-Semitic words and images.
The pair are charged with ethnic intimidation, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 15th. A university spokeswoman said the men will face a disciplinary hearing.
WASHINGTON (AP) Congress' easy renewal of an expiring ban on undetectable plastic guns belies the larger reality that major new firearms restrictions have little chance of enactment soon.
Lawmakers took an easy step Monday when the Democratic-run Senate unanimously gave final congressional approval to a bill adding another decade to the prohibition against guns that can slip by airport metal detectors and X-ray machines.
The National Rifle Association did not oppose the extension. But backed by the NRA, Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to strengthen the law to fend off a fresh wave of undetectable guns produced by rapidly improving 3-D printers, which can make plastic firearms.
Saturday is the first anniversary of the massacre of children and educators at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
WASHINGTON (AP) Vice President Joe Biden is pledging more funding for mental health as the first anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting approaches.
The White House says $100 million will become available to increase access and quality of mental health services. Biden met with relatives of Newtown victims at the White House Tuesday to announce the funds.
The Obama administration will offer $50 million through the Affordable Care Act to help community health centers hire providers and add services for mental illness and addiction. The government aims to provide another $50 million in financing to help rural mental health facilities.
The Obama administration has made mental health a focus of efforts to reduce gun violence. Gun control legislation stalled in Congress after the Newtown shooting one year ago Saturday.
Each year, the Danbury Fire department responds to an average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. That statistic from Fire Chief Geoff Herald. If people have artificial trees, they should have a label from the manufacturer ensuring its fire retardant.
Many towns held their tree lighting ceremonies over the weekend and now that many people have trimmed their own tree, some caution is being urged. Herald says people should check how many strings of lights they have plugged into each other.
Herald says more than three strung together can overwhelm the electrical system. He says most manufacturers say LED lights can handle many more than that, but the manufacturers warning should be adhered to.
Herald says one of every three home Christmas fires is caused by electrical problems. A heat source too close to the Christmas tree causes one in about six tree fires according to Herald.
Volunteer advocates and elected officials are kicking off an "acts of kindness" week in Connecticut to honor the victims of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty and Senator Richard Blumenthal joined the United Way and others to call for volunteer work and other service to honor those killed last December.
Newtown is not hosting formal events to mark the anniversary Saturday.
Families of those killed say they will be lighting candles in the victims' memory the night before the shooting's anniversary. Relatives of 14 of the 26 victims appeared at a news conference Monday asking people to consider marking the anniversary with "acts of kindness".
A year later, inside the big house on Berkshire Road, dolls fill the shelves of a living room and sticky letters remain in place on a kitchen window. ``Avielle,'' they spell. Outside, Christmas lights shimmer again. But so, too, do the 26 bronze stars that sit atop the local firehouse, one for each adult and child killed. It has been a painful and frenetic year, for Avielle's parents and for all of Newtown.
Newtown officials are working this week to prepare the community for the anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr John Reed says they are hoping to have designs for a new school done by February. He says no part of the new school will follow the footprint of the original school where people lost their lives.
First Selectman Pat Llodra says Newtown residents are choosing not to allow the tragedy to be bigger than the goodness that can come out of it. She says the town can't make this tragedy "unhappen", but residents can chose how to react to it. Llodra says the community is working to gain its foothold around this difficult time.
Llodra says they are hoping to manage the week in the spirit of remembrance.
Interfaith Clergy Association leader Matthew Crebbins says kindness is a choice that has to be made every day. He says the town is cracked, to quote Leonard Cohen, but that's how the light gets in. He says the kindness of friends and neighbors and families in immense grief, are doing amazing things.
Police Chief Michael Kehoe says another report will be coming out by Connecticut State Police. He says it's voluminous and some things will be redacted, but it will be a thorough investigative report. He says State Police troopers have done all they can do to uncover every bit of information they could about this horrific event.
Kehoe says Newtown officers have made remarkable gains one year later, but there is a long road ahead.
Northeast Utilities is restructuring some of its workforce, with about two dozen employees being transferred from a work center in New Milford, to one in Newtown. Connecticut Light & Power officials say the New Milford center will close in 2014.
Spokesman Mitch Gross says the utility analyzed response times and decided that trucks in the service aware would still be able to respond efficiently to fire and accidents involving their equipment.
A 19-year-old Danbury man was stabbed to death and a second person was wounded during a brawl in Danbury late Saturday. The teen has been identified as Luan Pitol.
Police Chief Al Baker said officers responded to a report of a large fight between two groups of young people in the area of Wooster and Grand streets shortly before midnight and found the two victims.
Others involved in the brawl fled on foot before police arrived.
Baker said the 19-year-old was taken to Danbury Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A 20-year-old Danbury resident was injured, but his wounds were not believed to be life-threatening.
No arrests had been made and no weapon was recovered. The homicide investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Danbury Police Detective Bureau at 203-797-4662.
An accident at a Kent Road diner Sunday morning was the result of a passenger hitting the gas instead of the brakes. While attempting to stop a car from rolling into the Gaylordsville Diner, the driver hit the wrong petal. The vehicle shattered the entrance to the restaurant, making it several feet into the diner. Four people, including the driver were injured.
Meanwhile in a separate accident, a man had to be transported to Danbury Hospital after crashing into the side of a former auto dealership on Route 7 late Saturday.
Police identified the motorist as 46-year-old Melvin Ecker, who was driving the vehicle that ran into the south side of the former Southworth’s building. The accident happened shortly before 11pm.
The accident remains under investigation. Anyone with information about Saturday's accident is asked to call the department at 860-355-3133.
A 72-year-old homeowner has died following a house fire that injured five others, including four firefighters.
The Connecticut Post reports that Frederick Rice died Sunday at Bridgeport Hospital. Five others, a female occupant and four firefighters, were injured.
Fire Chief William Davin said the blaze began as a kitchen grease fire and spread rapidly. He said the firefighters who first entered the house retreated because of heavy smoke. A rescue also was impeded by a ceiling collapse.
Three injured firefighters had minor burns and the fourth was hurt trying to enter the house through a rear window when a deck collapsed under him. Davin said none of the firefighters required hospitalization.
The unidentified woman was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
In Newtown a fire likely sparked by a candle sent two people to the hospital. The home on The Boulevard was heavily damaged by the early Sunday morning blaze.
Newtown police officers rescued the two occupants, both women, who suffered smoke inhalation.
The fire broke out around 1am in one of the bedrooms when some tissues came into contact with a burning candle. Fire officials say the bedroom, a connected bathroom and a storage area were gutted. There was heavy heat and smoke damage to the rest of the house.
Firefighters had too cut a hole in the roof to ventilate the home.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut's governor is calling for houses of worship to mark the first anniversary of the Newtown school shooting by ringing their bells 26 times once for each of the victims killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Last year Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked for bells to toll exactly one week after the Dec. 14 shooting.
He writes in an op-ed piece this weekend that he hopes houses of worship and other organizations will do the same thing at 9:30 a.m. next Saturday for people to grieve and to find the ``spirit of compassion and togetherness'' that emerged in the days after the tragedy.
On the anniversary the governor is urging people to donate to a charity, volunteer in their communities or appreciate time spent with friends and family.
The University of Connecticut has awarded the first two scholarships under a program launched to help those affected by last year's shooting.
UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz says federal privacy laws prevent them from saying who received the scholarships, which totaled $18,075. But she says they have been given to incoming students who have already enrolled at UConn.
The school has raised about $1.1 million for its Sandy Hook Memorial Scholarship Fund. The money is earmarked for siblings of those killed, and the dependents of the adults who also lost their lives.
It also will be used in the future for students currently enrolled at the elementary school who are accepted to the university.
WASHINGTON (AP) The Senate is ready to renew an expiring ban on plastic firearms, the kind that can pass through metal detectors and X-ray machines unnoticed.
But Monday's vote will be bittersweet for supporters of gun control.
It comes days before the anniversary of the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Congress has approved no new federal curbs on firearms since then although President Barack Obama made it one of his top domestic priorities.
Monday's vote is to extend the prohibition on undetectable plastic guns for another decade. That ban would expire Tuesday.
But gun control advocates seem sure to lose an effort to impose tougher restrictions.
The Regional YMCA’s ESCAPE to the Arts Program is working with The Emilie Parker Art Connection to honor former ESCAPE student Emilie Parker. A week-long painting event from December 9-16 will be followed by an art exhibit from December 19 through January 17 in honor of Emilie titled “For Emilie”.
Emilie was one of 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December.
Alissa and Robbie Parker said at ESCAPE their daughter would have the chance to be taught how to further express herself and her love of art through drawing, pottery and painting. They said they were thrilled Emilie would have the opportunity to develop her passion rather than just creating what she could with the materials they could provide for her.
Robbie Parker says Emilie saw the world differently, and understood her world through colors. She would often mention the patterns and connections she noticed by pointing out examples to her parents that she saw with colors in nature, through her art and even in the way she dressed.
The Parkers say they want to honor their daughter by continuing to support the things that she loved. They created The Emilie Parker Art Connection.
Artists of all ages are invited to create a work of art on canvas with the theme “Art Connections.” Anyone who would like to participate in the project may pick up a canvas at ESCAPE to the Arts on Monday, December 9th from 9 am to 7 pm or provide your own. Completed canvases must be returned by Monday, December 16th from 9 am 7 pm.
The Parkers say they cherished everything Emilie brought home, many are displayed at emilieparkerfund.com.
The Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce Previdi Award winner has been announced.
The Previdi Award has been presented to a Danbury area businessperson since 1988. An email from the Chamber says this year's recipient will be Paul Dinto, the President and CEO of Paul Dinto Electrical Contractors, Incorporated.
It's awarded to someone who has demonstrated progressive business attitudes, vision, leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit which has been responsible for the growth, development and/or expansion of an area business, which has made a significant economic contribution to the city of Danbury and the region.
The award will be presented at the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon on Friday. Mayor Mark Boughton will also deliver his State of the City address during the event.
Access Health CT, the state's online marketplace, is holding events throughout the state to provide information about Healthcare Reform and explain what financial help is available for residents. Counselors will also be on hand to walk people through the enrollment process.
Today's session in Danbury is from 2 to 7pm at Danbury Public Library.
To date, more than 23,000 Connecticut residents have enrolled in Access Health CT. It's about 9,000 new medicaid recipients and 14,000 enrollees with private insurance carriers.
Metro North has been ordered by the Federal Government to operate trains with two qualified train crew members controlling locomotive cab or passenger car control compartments in areas where the speed limit changes by 20 miles per hour or more. The emergency order from the Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration comes less than a week after a fatal derailment in New York. At the time of the derailment, the requirement was only one train crew member.
Metro North must also make signal system improvements to warn engineers of speed limit changes. The federal government is also ordering Metro North to submit an action plan to the FRA within the month that ensures the safety of its operations for passengers and employees.
Former Connecticut Rail Commuter Council member Jim Cameron says he is organizing the Commuter Action Group because the same problems have been ignored over and over again. He says the new Connecticut Rail Commuter Council has a lot of members from upstate, who are not commuters, and are not showing same level of interest in the concerns of commuters.
Several new fire dispatchers were sworn in this week at Danbury City Hall.
Fire Chief Geoff Herald says its a first responder position that is very important in fighting fires and in other emergency situations. The dispatcher gives advice on CPR and other procedures in an emergency situation. He says fire dispatchers are also the ones to calm a person with an emergency.
He says they also have extensive training. They are all firefighters and have to be promoted to the position of dispatcher.
Danbury's Immaculate High School girls Cross Country team has been recognized for their undefeated season which resulted with the 16 girls winning the South West Conference title. During Tuesday's City Council meeting, the Mayor issued a proclamation for the team.
Coach Brian Hayes said it was special because the SWC is a strong conference. Immaculate is the smallest school in the conference. Hayes says when the girls won states last year but not the conference, it was great--but this year winning both was even better.
The Mayor's proclamation declared the next day, December 4th as Immaculate High School Cross Country Team Day in Danbury. Boughton said the team has made the school and community proud.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) FBI Director James Comey says the agency has stepped up training to police departments around the country after the Newtown school shooting and is trying to increase its understanding of warning signs before such tragedies.
Comey, speaking at the FBI in New Haven on Friday, said the agency's behavioral analysis unit is working on indicators that might occur so authorities can respond. Comey, who praised law enforcement's response to the Newtown school shooting a year ago, says the training to state and local first responders is designed to help them respond effectively.
Comey expressed concerns about homicides in Connecticut's largest cities, saying a new task force would help address the violence. He also says cyber crime is a growing threat and budget cuts are leading to the elimination of 3,500 positions at the agency.