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The New Milford Town Council voted five to four to list the East Street building for sale.  It was a party line vote with Democrats voting in favor of the list and Republicans in opposition.  The Town Council received a report last week with two scenarios for the property. 

 

While there has been interest in the property for assisted living,  Mayor David Gronbach says he would like to see what other proposals are presented. 

 

He will be issuing a Request for Proposals for the East Street Property and will then present the Town Council with the most promising ones, and a recommendation.  

 

The Board of Education and Youth Agency, which currently use the East Street Building, could be moved to the former Pettibone School.

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If you've lost an item in Bethel or had something stolen from you--the item could be at the Bethel Police Department.  On Saturday, Police are holding a public viewing of found property as well as evidence recovered in criminal cases where the owner is unknown.  Members of the public are encouraged to attend to view the property. You must provide documentation of ownership.  The viewing is on Saturday at the Bethel Police Station from 8am to noon.

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An agreement to resolve an insurance issue in New Milford has been reached.  Children's Center and two employee from Center Cemetery are currently on the town's health insurance plan.  The town's attorney said they could not legally stay on the Town's Plan, which is limited to Town Employees.  Under the agreement, the employees of both would stay on the plan through December.  New Milford would pay the difference between what the Children's Center currently pays and the private Platinum Century Preferred Plan that they want through June.  Children's Center can then ask for an increased budget to subsidize the payments next year, which will be discussed during budget season.

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A Connecticut woman has been sentenced to prison for stealing more than $380,000 from her employer.  The U.S. Attorney's office says 48-year-old Dawn Mininberg of Easton was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to 12 months and one day behind bars followed by three years of probation.  The first three months must be served in home confinement.

 

Mininberg pleaded guilty in January to wire fraud. 

 

Prosecutors say she worked for a company in Greenwich where she provided financial services and was issued a corporate credit card for business purposes.  They say Mininberg charged personal expenses to the card, including for clothing, children's parties and lessons, charitable donations, vacations and an $11,000 jungle gym.

 

Mininberg categorized the purchases as business expenses.

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A former Connecticut elementary school teacher has pleaded guilty to charges she sexually assaulted a boy since he was in sixth grade. 

 

Michelle Sulzicki, of Oxford, was arrested in October, a few weeks after the teen claimed he and 29-year-old Sulzicki had more than a dozen sexual encounters and feared he might be the father of her baby after learning she was pregnant. 

 

Police say the incidents began when the boy was 12 and she was tutoring him. He told police the alleged incidents always occurred at his house often while his parents were in a different room. 

 

The former Stratford teacher was in court Tuesday on charges of first-degree sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault and two counts of illegal sexual contact.

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The Connecticut Siting Council has held a public hearing in Brookfield on an application from Homeland Tower, LLC and Cellco Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless.   The companies are seeking a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance, and operation of a telecommunications facility at 100 Pocono Road, behind the firehouse. 

 

The tower would be about 150 feet tall.

 

First Selectman Steve Dunn told the Board of Finance at their meeting this month that the hearing went well.  He spoke in favor of the proposal. 

 

One of the issues that came up though was the back up power supply.  Brookfield wants to piggy back off of Verizon and use their generator for the fire, police and emergency medical services antenna.  Dunn says right now Verizon had not planned to do that, but it doesn't make sense for the town to put two, three or four generators on the site.  Dunn says they are figuring out a way to share the power source. 

 

A Board of Finance member noted that the fire department has an emergency generator on site.  Dunn says they did think of that, but then there could be voltage drops and it is 100 feet away so they'd have to dig up parking lot in order to put in a connection to the antenna.  Dunn added that it would be cheaper to put a new generator on site.

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The detour at Route 53 in Redding will come to an end on Friday afternoon.  When the state Department of Transportation closed the road at Umpawaug Road, the work was slated to wrap up Tuesday.  The weather cooperated for the most part, but there was a slight delay.  The bridge carries traffic over a brook and was built in 1928.  A 21-foot section was rebuilt so that there can be 12-foot travel lanes and 4 foot shoulders in each direction.  Some other minor safety improvements were also completed.  There will be some alternating one way traffic through mid-September for minor work including tree replanting.

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Connecticut's congressional delegation is urging the U.S. Navy to suspend any possible plans to shift maintenance of the Marine One presidential helicopter fleet from Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford to a facility in Florida.  Senator Richard Blumenthal and others sent a letter Monday to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus urging him to conduct a "thorough review". 

 

Republican Senate candidate Dan Carter said outrage after the fact is only lip-service. 

 

Carter, who is challenging Blumenthal in November, says the Senator should instead write to Governor Malloy and Democrats in the legislature asking them to embrace economic policies that make Connecticut a better place to grow business and create jobs.

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The New Milford Town Council opted to not act right away on a proposed lease of some of the Sullivan Farm property. The item was tabled last night.  A special Town Council meeting could be held as early as next week.

 

Mayor David Gronbach says US Solar is interested in leasing about 10 acres near the back of the 110 acre property.  There is a September 1st deadline for this company to participate in a state-run program.

 

Rather than a traditional farm output, Gronbach says those acres would be farming energy.  New Milford would receive credits off its electric bill as well as the rental income of $1,500 per acre. 

 

Even if the Town Council does eventually approve the lease, it will require Town Meeting approval. 

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The Ridgefield Board of Selectmen will continue discussing whether or not to lift the moratorium on mobile vendors.  At their meeting last week, a part of the moratorium was lifted for those seeking to cater private events with a food truck.  The discussion will continue at their meeting on September 7th. 

 

Two vendors and three ice cream trucks are grandfathered in, as long as they continue to renew their annual permits.  Two other current vendors are allowed to operate at private events. 

 

The Ridgefield Press reports that questions were raised concerning the decades old peddling and soliciting ordinance and whether it included non-food trucks like dog grooming.  The ordinance does allow farmers to sell produce of their gardens from their property.

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A Danbury man has been arrested for illegally collecting nearly $23,000 in Unemployment Compensation benefits by under-reporting the wages he earned while working for the Derby public school system. 

 

57-year old Jeffrey Smith was charged with larceny and unemployment compensation fraud today. 

 

The Division of Criminal Justice says Smith worked as a school climate specialist for the Derby Board of Education and under reported the wages for two school years, starting in September 2012.  Smith was released on bond for a court appearance next Tuesday. 

 

The case is being prosecuted by the Unemployment Compensation Fraud Unit, which was established under a partnership between the Division of Criminal Justice and the Department of Labor to investigate and prosecute fraud in the Unemployment Compensation program.

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An argument at a Danbury gas station led to one driver speeding off, but losing control and hitting a light post.  Danbury Police responded to the Shell Station on North Street this morning on a report of a dispute and accident.  Police say a Honda Pilot sped away from the gas pumps but crashed into a light pole near the driveway entrance.  Two passengers in the car were transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  The Newstimes reports that the other driver involved in the argument was also fighting with the gas station attendant while trying to pay with 15 dollars in change.

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A local swim area is closed because of elevated bacteria levels in the water.  Kettletown State Park in Southbury is not granting access to the designated swim area because of that.  The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection tests the water weekly at state parks.  DEEP says the elevated bacteria level could be from stormwater run off from the recent rainfall.  The water will be retested and when the all clear is given, the beach area will be reopened.  Local health departments are responsible for sampling municipal beaches and swimming areas.

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Ridgefield police are inviting residents to have ice cream with them.  An event being called Cops & Cones is being held tomorrow night in Ridgefield. 

 

The Police Department is partnering with Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe for the program.  Officers will be at 381 Main Street to answer questions and interact with the community. 

 

A police car will be on display and officers will have items for the kids.

 

Deborah Ann’s will be offering a discount on ice cream cones during this event.  The Cops & Cones event is tomorrow from 5pm until 7pm.

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The Brookfield Land Use office is hearing from the state about a proposed road improvement project.  The state Department of Transportation has presented their preliminary design for roadway improvements on southern Federal Road. 

 

The scope of work for this project is from the street light at BJ's Wholesale to the intersection near Brookfield Animal Hospital. 

 

The design includes sidewalks, additional turn lanes and a wider road shoulder.  Funding is anticipated to come from Federal Department of Transportation grants. The state DOT is working with Brookfield's Land Use Office on developing the design.

 

When completed, the plan will be presented to residents for public comment.

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Senator Chris Murphy is hosting a telephone Town Hall tonight to talk about mental health reform.  A bipartisan mental health reform bill passed almost unanimously in the House last month and awaits action by the U-S Senate.  The bill was promoted by Sandy Hook Promise. 

 

Senator Chris Murphy says he's spent the past two years working with a Republican colleague on what he called the most consequential mental health bill Congress has considered since the passage of mental health parity laws. 

 

Joining Murphy for the Telephone Town Hall is Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was killed on 12-14, and Bill Sherlach, husband of slain school psychologist Mary.  Mark Barden has told Murphy that his son might still be alive today if this bill had been in place years ago.

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Danbury students are getting ready to head back to school on Monday.  Superintendent Dr Sal Pascarella says the District is growing at a much more rapid rate than neighboring school districts.  This year alone, Danbury is expected to welcome more than 800 new kindergarteners and more than 250 other new students.

 

Danbury had one of the longest summer breaks that they've had in recent years because only one snow day was used.  School was out for the session on June 8th.  Pascarella says teachers are setting up their classrooms.  Returning teachers start Friday.  New teachers who replace retirees, along with opening a third level for the new middle school, started yesterday.

 

There are four new school principals, three of whom are from within the district.  Dan Donovan, principal of the Danbury High School Freshman Academy, is now the principal of Danbury High School, replacing Gary Bocaccio who retired this year.  Dr. Edie Thomas of Pembroke School will head Broadview Middle School, replacing Edward Robbs who retired this summer after 50 years as an educator.  Dr. Alison


Villaneuva, interim principal of Shelter Rock Elementary School following the retirement of Julia Horne, will remain at Shelter Rock as its principal.  Bethel native Dr. Sharon Epple, a former principal in the Hartford Public Schools, will take the helm at Pembroke.

 

There is a new bus contract, but with the same provider so the routes remain pretty much the same as in previous years.  Some adjustments have been made to accommodate out of district magnet school students. 

 

Danbury is getting a new fleet of buses next year.  They will be larger than the current buses.  The district is moving from gasoline powered buses to ones that run off propane.  Pascarella says that should save the district money on fuel costs.

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A Danbury woman is sharing her journey through a dire blood cancer diagnosis, treatment, and the aftermath.  Mary Teicholz served ten years on the Danbury City Council and was diagnosed with leukemia while serving her second term.  She has now written a book about her experience.

 

She brings readers through the emotions associated with lengthy hospital stays, hair loss and blood type changing.  Part of her treatment involved a bone marrow transplant from her sister.  She says the unexpected side effect of her blood type changing from B positive to A positive was phenomenal and creepy.  It meant the transplant was working.

Teicholz says it's not meant to be a book that makes people cry, but rather serves as encouragement.  It's called "BE POSITIVE TO A PLUS: My Trek Through MDS, AML and Bone Marrow Transplant".

 

Teicholz says part of her personality is to be extremely honest and to find humor in unusual circumstances, and that's how she hopes the book comes across.  A few friends encouraged her to write down her trek, and she decided to do that as a history to hand down in the family.  But then she just kept writing, and it became a book.

 

She is hosting a book launch party in Danbury on September 15th, where the book will be available for sale.  The launch will be held at  VIVO! Bar and Grill, 42 Lake Ave. Ext, from 6pm-8pm.

 

Website: www.bepositivetoaplus.webs.com


Books are available for purchase from www.lulu.com or Amazon.com and Barnes And Noble, in 6-8 weeks.

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There is an add on to the New Milford Town Council agenda tonight.  It's a proposed lease for solar panels at Sullivan Farm.  Mayor David Gronbach says US Solar is interested in leasing about 10 acres of the 110 acre property.  He notes that the proposal is for a lot barely visible from the road near the back of the farm.  He says the acres are not currently used, but are mowed. 

 

Gronbach says they will have less impact than the high tension power lines that already cross the property. 

 

He says the lease was proposed to generate income so it can continue to be a farm and more of a community resource.  New Milford would receive credits off its electric bill as well as the rental income of $1500 per acre. 

 

Gronbach says while the Youth Agency has done an amazing job planting crops and operating the farm stand this year, but a long-term plan is needed.  He envisions the farm becoming self-sustaining with a full-time manager that not only carry’s on farming, but also provides educational and community services.

 

Even if approved tonight, it will require Town Meeting approval. 

 

There is a September 1st deadline for this company to participate in a state-run program.

 

Several residents are already voicing their concerns. On a Facebook post about the proposal from Gronbach, residents questioned if the solar panels would be appropriate considering that when New Milford acquired Sullivan Farm it was for active and passive recreational use.  The resolution was only specified that the land would be obtained for town purposes. 

 

One previous solar panel proposal in town failed.  A resolution to put lighted ball fields on Sullivan Farm also previously was denied.

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WESTON, Conn. (AP) An Oscar-nominated filmmaker who developed a technique to transform illustrations from children's books into moving images for films has died. Morton Schindel was 98.

Kyle Good, a senior vice president at Scholastic Inc., says Schindel died of natural causes Saturday at his Weston, Connecticut, home. Scholastic bought Schindel's company, Weston Woods Studios, in 1996.

Schindel's filmmaking technique involved using cameras to make original artwork from books move across the screen. It was used in the 1973 film ``Where the Wild Things Are'' based on Maurice Sendak's children's book of the same name.

The Orange, New Jersey, native and former New York resident produced more than 300 movies and 450 recordings.

In 1986, he received an Academy Award nomination for ``Doctor De Soto,'' based on the children's book by William Steig.

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