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Mortar shell found in New Milford forces evacuations

Police responded to Route 7 in New Milford Wednesday afternoon because of an old mortar shell being found.  New Milford Police say the 60 mm mortar round was at Litchfield County Pickers, and appeared to be inert. 


The area was evacuated and traffic was detoured around the address. 


The State Police Emergency Services Unit Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team were called to the scene.  The mortar was x-rayed and the results were inconclusive.  The mortar was contained and transported from the scene for detonation.  The incident remains under investigation. 


The consignment shop, which also handles estate sales, is located at 7 Kent Road-Route 7 in New Milford.

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Former employee breaks into NY restaurant, steals liquor and seafood

A Mahopac man has been arrested for breaking into a restaurant where he was recently fired from.  Putnam County Sheriff's deputies responded to an automatic alarm at Char Steak House in Putnam Valley shortly before 9:30 Tuesday night and found the door forced open. 


The deputies spoke with the owner, who identified 29-year old Victor Zuniga-Chirinos as a person of interest.  Minutes later, a Carmel police officer spotted the man.  Liquor and sea food items from the burglary were found in Zuniga-Chirinos' possession. 


He was arrested and charged with felony burglary.  The man was arraigned and ordered held on bond for a court appearance Friday. 


There is an outstanding order of removal for the man by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.  ICE issued a detention order and when Zuniga-Chirinos is released from jail, he will be turned over for immigration proceedings.

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Proposed Brookfield Charter changes go before public hearing

The Brookfield Charter Revision Commission has held a public hearing on their recommended changes.  The hearing Wednesday night on the draft document includes clarification of the Ethics section of the Charter, a proposal to allow elected Boards and Commission to fill their own vacancies and creating the elected office of Town Meeting Moderator. 


The other proposed changes are that the annual budget referendum be separate votes on town and school budgets with advisory questions on the ballot. 


Brookfield residents can send written comments to the Commission through the town's website.  The Board of Selectmen will also be holding a hearing on the proposed revisions at a future date. 


Any changes approved by the Board will then be put before residents on the November ballot.

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Conn. bill adds text messages to Do Not Call List

State lawmakers are attempting to modernize the "Do Not Call Registry'' and include unsolicited text messages as well as phone calls. A bill co-sponsored by Southbury Representative Arthur O'Neill that would add text messages to the list of prohibited activities unanimously passed the Senate.   The bill also increases penalties for violations from $11,000 to $20,000 per violation.


It now moves to the House. 


Danbury Representatives Jan Giegler and Bob Godfrey along with Cecilia Buck-Taylor of New Milford co-sponsored a bill to increase the fine for commercially recorded messages that continue after the customer hangs up.  That measure passed the House unanimously and moved to the Senate.

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Edmond Town Hall installs new digital projector

Edmond Town Hall has a new digital movie projector.  The $2 movie house in Newtown is celebrating the first screenings on the new equipment with showings of Gravity and Frozen Sing A Long. 


The new projector is part of a major renovation done to the building over the course of the past year.   The Newtown Bee reports other upgrades include LED lighting, a new sound system for concerts, a retractable moving screen and restoration of the third floor.  Routine infrastructure work was also completed. 


Ingersoll Auto of Danbury, owned by a Newtown man, has been covering the costs of certain film showings for more than a year and will be providing funding so screenings are free this weekend.

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Fate of proposed Conn. FOI changes uncertain

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) It's unclear whether Connecticut lawmakers will approve any legislation this session that would place additional restrictions on the public release of information from homicides as part of an effort to protect victim privacy following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

The Judiciary Committee failed to act Wednesday on one of two competing bills that created a procedure for allowing the public to view and seek copies of images of homicide victims.

Rep. Gerald Fox, the panel's co-chairman, said there weren't enough votes to support the bill.

A similar bill is sitting on the Senate calendar awaiting action. But that bill would restrict the release of certain 911 calls, something Senate President Donald Williams opposes.

Fox said he'd like to see a compromise reached before the legislature's May 7 adjournment.

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Mortar shell, possibly live, found in New Milford

Route 7 in New Milford is closed between Fort Hill Road and Bridge Street because of an old mortar shell that is possibly live.  The state police bomb squad is responding.  Some local evacuations have been issued.  No additional information was immediately available.

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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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