Surveillance photos have been released by state police as they continue to search for a man who robbed an Oxford gas station this week. State Police responded to the Sunoco on Oxford Road around 10:30pm Tuesday on a report that an armed man entered, demanded cash and fled on foot with an undisclosed sum of money.
The suspect was described by the employees as 5'10', with a medium build. The suspect wore a black coat over a dark grey hooded sweatshirt and a dark-colored mask or scarf over his face.
Anyone with information about this incident is being asked to call State Police Troop A at 203-267-2200 ext. 4323. All calls will be kept confidential.
A local lawmaker is speaking out in a proposed drop in the indigent burial benefit to $1,000.
Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed budget calls for a $400 cut in the indigent burial benefit, which was reduced by that amount last year as well. Connecticut first offered a stipend, known as the indigent burial benefit, in 1984. 30 years ago it was $1,200. The benefit increased to $1,800 in 2006.
During a hearing before the legislature's Appropriations Committee yesterday, Bridgewater state Senator Rob Kane said the state can't claim to be there for the very vulnerable and then turn around and cut this benefit. He says funeral homes in urban centers will have to pick up the difference.
The state Department of Social Services says Connecticut spent about $4.5 million in fiscal year 2014 for about 2,500 funerals and burials. DDS says cutting the maximum benefit would bring Connecticut more in line with surrounding states.
Newtown is receiving $500,000 for the Fairfield Hills Streetscape project. The funds will be used for the design and construction of infrastructure and streetscape elements at the main entrance to the Fairfield Hills Campus entrance and down the streets of campus. Newtown is focusing on the revitalization of the property in an effort to increase its economic vitality. The infrastructure and streetscape improvements will support the reuse of this area and will be consistent with the integrated campus design.
Newtown has already invested over $20 million in the remediation of Fairfield Hills, a former state hospital. Past revitalization efforts on the property include environmental cleanup, renovations, reuse or demolition of buildings, upgrades to infrastructure, installation of playing fields and hiking trails, preservation of agriculture, open space conservation, and limited commercial redevelopment.
Representative Mitch Bolinsky says First Selectman Pat Llodra, Grant Coordinator Christal Preszler and Newtown's State Delegation have been working on this grant since 2014. He says this grant will help Newtown make the Fairfield Hills entryway a bit more welcoming for residents, visitors, as well as prospective developers and tenants as efforts continue to revitalize the property.
In these difficult economic times, Representative JP Sredzinski says it's vital that the state support local projects such as this one to help offset the direct cost to the local taxpayers.
$499,960.75 is headed to New Fairfield for pedestrian walkways. The funding will serve to complete the final phase of the streetscape improvements projects by continuing to extend the decorative walks, plantings, street lighting and improved connections to the retail and business centers of downtown New Fairfield. The local community will benefit from this project with increased safe pedestrian access between the Town Hall Center, retail shopping centers, office buildings and green spaces downtown.
State Senator Mike McLachlan says they want to do all they can to make downtown New Fairfield a walkable, welcoming, and accessible place. He says these funds will help this key area to become more inviting to residents, visitors, and to all who conduct business in New Fairfield.
Representative Jan Giegler says New Fairfield will continue investing in the character and infrastructure of the downtown area. She says making it easier for people to enjoy the area is good for both businesses and the community.
Representative Richard Smith says providing a safe way for residents and visitors to enjoy the downtown area will help local businesses prosper. He added that a growing local economy creates stability and makes our community stronger.
15 towns have been approved to receive funding under the state’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program for infrastructure and capital improvement projects.
$500,000 has been approved for streetscape improvements in the Four Corners area of Brookfield. The project will benefit the community by creating a walkable, bike friendly downtown district based on the Brookfield Revitalization Plan. This district has been the focus of an incentive housing overlay zone aimed at stimulating mixed use development to bring back vitality to a vulnerable portion of the town. The residential development will bring nearly 80 new affordable residential units to the project area and, along with the STEAP granted streetscape, support the new ‘downtown.’ The grant will provide for necessary sidewalk, parking and bike lane construction.
State Representative Steve Harding says he looks forward to seeing this project finally materialize and bring new business and cultural opportunities to Brookfield.
Senator Clark Chapin says the current and future residents of Brookfield will be well served by this investment.
$200,000 for phase five of a sidewalk replacement project in Seymour was included in this round of funding. This leverages previous investments to continue the construction and replacement of sidewalks in a more densely populated section of town including many multi-family homes. The project will benefit the local community by creating better pedestrian access to several modes of public transportation and connections to local parks and recreation.
The public hearing about a proposed six-story apartment building on Federal Road in Brookfield continued Thursday night. The Zoning Commission read into record letters of comment from the public. Nine members of the public offered comments on the Renaissance project after a presentation from the applicant, all in opposition.
Among the speakers were First Selectman Steve Dunn, Selectman Sue Slater, State Representative Steve Harding and Economic Development Director Greg Dembowski.
Dunn said there are about 75 members of the volunteer fire department, who train 12 to 18 hours a week. He said based on what he heard from the applicant’s representatives, this project would put them in danger, above and beyond the danger that comes with the job of being a firefighter.
Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company Assistant Chief Andrew Ellis reiterated that there would need to be a significant amount of training, possibly new equipment purchased and concerns of putting unpaid volunteers in an extraordinary situation. There were also concerns raised about the collapse zone. Ellis also voiced concern about the two levels of underground parking. He says that would be more inherently dangerous to residents and firefighters than above ground parking because of low ceilings allowing for rapid spread of smoke and flames.
Representatives retained by the applicant said that all buildings have the chance of collapse. They also said that there are mutual aid agreements in place to bring in other firefighters and other equipment if necessary.
One resident said during the public speaking portion at the end of the public hearing that during the Christmas Day fire in a three-story apartment building in Danbury, Brookfield firefighters provided mutual aid there. That left Brookfield with a lack of personnel if something were to have happened in town..
The public hearing was continued to the Brookfield Zoning Commission’s next meeting on February 25.
The penalties for making threats against schools would be increased under a bill introduced in the legislature's Judiciary Committee. The Zero-Tolerance Safe School Environment Act has been called for in the past by local lawmakers including State Senator Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown.
Co-chair Representative William Tong says threats against schools must be punished more severely because of what he called the post-Newtown environment. Tong says anything perceived as a threat to schools causes panic in the community and is a waste of resources.
The current Class D crime is punishable by five years in prison, but the bill would change the crime to Class C, which has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Significant progress has been made at the Sandy Hook School construction site. The first coat of paint has gone up in Wing B of the new school building. The ceiling was being finished in Wing C and drywall going up in Wing D.
Curbing continues to be installed outside along the bus loop and the concrete walls at the front entry bridges were worked on. Select trees were also planted and retaining walls completed thanks to a mild start to the winter.
The building is expected to be completed and ready for classes to start this fall.
(library gable window, B wing classroom entry)
(B wing corridor)
Danbury Police are investigating an assault that took place early Wednesday evening. Police responded to an apartment on Terrace Place around 5:30pm. The victim told officers that he heard a knock on the front door, and when he opened the door he was punched by a white male. Several other men then entered the foyer and two of them went upstairs. The victim told police that the suspects asked him for his money, but he didn't have any. The suspects all reportedly left the building after about a minute. The incident remains under investigation.
A Brookfield man was stabbed in his own driveway over the weekend. Police responded to Pocono Road late Saturday night and found a man with several stab wounds on his face and a slash on his right arm. 26-year old Ignacio Martinez-Pacheco told police he was attacked with an edged weapon or a tool inside a car. He was transported to Danbury Hospital where he was treated and later released. Brookfield Police say the attack was not random and do have a suspect, but the case remains open and under investigation.
Bethel Police are searching for the driver of a car that did structural damage to a garage. Police received a report from a resident of the Plumtrees Heights Condo Complex saying that sometime between 9pm on Tuesday and 4am Wednesday, their garage was hit by a car. The vehicle, with heavy front end damage may be a gray Nissan Murano SUV Convertible. Anyone with information is asked to contact Bethel Police Officer Farina at 203-744-7900.
32-year old Lidia Quilligana's case came up for review Wednesday in Danbury Superior Court. It's been continued to March 16th, nearly a year after the Danbury nanny was arrested for allegedly intentionally inflicting injuries on children in her care.
Her employer questioned injuries to her daughter, and Quilligana said the child accidentally touched the hot stove while she was tending to the other children. That night, the mother watched video from a hidden nanny camera and saw abuses.
As police continued to review the video footage, more charges were filed against Quilligana. She faces one count of assault and 23 counts of risk of injury. All are felony charges.
Redding has hired a firm to conduct the 2017 revaluation. Vision Government Solutions has been hired by Redding to begin a Town wide Revaluation Project.
Vision will be working with the Assessing Department during the two year long process. There are five major phases to a municipal revaluation. The first is Data Collection and will begin by early March. Each property in Redding will be visited to collect information about the building, size, age, and components of construction, outbuildings, utilities, and other characteristics both inside and out.
All Vision Representatives will carry Identification Cards and have their cars listed with both the Assessing Office and Police Department.
The other steps in the process are market analysis, valuation, field review and informal hearings. Once all five phases are completed, data used in the revaluation will be turned over to the Redding Assessor’s Office.
A police exercise is taking place at Western Connecticut State University's midtown campus today. Members of the Danbury and West Conn police departments will conduct a training exercise in the Litchfield Hall residence hall. It will affect traffic on Eighth Avenue from 7am to 4 pm. Eighth Avenue will be restricted to residents only during that time. Police officers, including members of the Danbury SWAT team, will be involved in the mock event so that police can practice what happens when there is an active shooter on campus.
University spokesman Paul Steinmetz says they've alerted the WCSU community that this exercise is happening and that police will be pretending there is someone with a gun in the residence hall. Steinmetz says WCSU police have been working with Danbury Police for several years on emergency response, which was ramped up since 9/11.
There is a protocol for incident command, and that's part of what this practice entails. Steinmetz says it depends on what type of emergency is taking place and what stage of the response they are in. The response will start with the WCSU Police Department. If it's a fire or similar incident, the Danbury Fire Department will take command. If it's a large event, Connecticut State Police will take over command operations.
Steinmetz says practicing the incident command chain is being done so responders know who plays what role, and so that various departments aren't asking a lot of questions during a real emergency. They can focus on responding and filling their own roles.
A Redding resident has been nominated to serve on the Connecticut Port Authority's Board of Directors. There are four vacancies on the recently cerated Connecticut Port Authority. Governor Dannel Malloy has nominated Pamela Elkow of Redding to one of the Directors positions.
Elkow currently works as an attorney in the environmental practice group with Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey, LLP in Stamford. Previously, she worked for Robinson & Cole, LLP, and Jacobi, Kappel & Kase. She received her B.A. from Colgate University and her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.
The Port Authority is a quasi-public agency responsible for marketing and coordinating the development of the state’s ports and maritime economy. While the state's maritime industry already supports thousands of jobs, Malloy says it has the potential for significant growth, which will take more trucks off the road and lower emissions.
There are a total of 15 members of the Port Authority’s Board of Directors. In addition to the Governor’s four appointments, the authority’s other members are appointed by legislative leaders of both parties, in addition to several ex-officio members.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has submitted draft language to the General Assembly’s Government Administration and Elections Committee to repeal a statute that allows political parties, through local registrars of voters working in concert with town chairs, to expel members for a handful of activities.
The “lack of good-faith party affiliation” statute is rarely used, but was invoked by the Brookfield Republican Party. Merrill says that's when the statute was brought to her attention. It's goes so far back that there is no real legislative history on the issue.
A Brookfield woman was ousted from the Republican Party by the town's Registrar of Voters after a hearing nearly a year ago. Jane Miller and her husband were questioned about donating to opposing political parties, specifically the political action committee Brookfield's Best Choices. Miller's husband was allowed to remain in the Brookfield GOP. The party had also cited Jane's run as a Democrat for the Board of Finance in 2013. Miller re-registered as a Republican after she lost the election.
Merrill says her concern is that the current law could restrict someone's right to vote. She also questioned if state statutes are the right place for these kinds of processes. She says elected officials shouldn't play a role in deciding the ideological purity of political party members.
The legislative committee has until February 19th to raise a bill.
Miller filed a lawsuit this month alleging that her civil rights were violated when she was kicked out of the Republican party because she won't be allowed to vote in the upcoming town committee and presidential primaries. Miller claims that two men ran on the Democratic ticket, but were able to rejoin the GOP without the same scrutiny.
A homeless Brewster man has been charged for assaulting two Correction Officers. On Monday, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office received a call from the county jail with a report of an inmate who assaulted two Correction Officers.
The inmate was identified as 21-year old Carlos Lopez, who was reported to have been homeless in Brewster at the time of his incarceration. He is awaiting sentencing on a felony charge of criminal mischief.
Lopez was charged Monday with two counts of felony assault and arraigned. He was ordered held at Putnam County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bond for a future court appearance.
If found guilty of the felony charges, Lopez could face up to seven years in a New York State Correctional Facility and a fine of up to $5,000.00 for each charge. He continues to face up to four years in a New York State Correctional Facility and a fine of up to $5,000.00 for the felony charge for which he was originally incarcerated.
The Ridgefield Police Department is scheduled for an on-site assessment today as part of the Department's effort to achieve Tier III re-accreditation. The on-site visit is to verify that the Ridgefield Police Department is continuing to meet professional standards.
The assessment is administered by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council. Tier III consists of 116 standards and is meant to help police departments operate efficiently and uniformly to reduce exposure to civil liability and provide excellent service delivery.
Agency members and the community can submit comments as part of the assessment. Comments can be mailed to William E. Tanner, III, POSTC Accreditation Division at 285 Preston Ave. Meriden, Connecticut 06450, by telephone at 203-427-2602, by fax at 203-238-6643 or by email Accreditation.Compliance@ct.gov Please enter the name of the agency in the subject line of the email.
Specifically, the Standards allow agencies to meet the following goals:
• Strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities;
• Formalize essential management procedures;
• Establish fair and non-discriminatory personnel practices;
• Improve service delivery;
• Solidify interagency cooperation and coordination; and
• Boost citizen and staff confidence in the agency.
A Mahopac man has been arrested for violating a protective order against him.
The Putnam County Sheriff's Office received a call from a woman last Tuesday who reported that a few weeks before she was involved in a physical dispute with her boyfriend. The woman said that she had a protective order against 33-year old Wilfredo Reyes from the Putnam County Family Court, and she wanted to file charges against him.
Last Wednesday, Reyes was arrested for criminal contempt. He was arraigned last Thursday and ordered held at Putnam County Correctional Facility for a future court appearance.
An armed robbery at an Oxford gas station is being investigated. State Police responded to the Sunoco on Oxford Road around 10:30pm Tuesday on a report that a man entered, demanded cash and then fled on foot.
State Police say the suspect was described by the employees as 5'10", with a medium build. The suspect wore a black coat over a dark grey hooded sweatshirt and a dark-colored mask or scarf over his face. He was armed with a black handgun. No injuries were reported.
Anyone with information about this incident is being asked to call State Police Troop A at 203-267-2200 extension 4323. All calls will be kept confidential.