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CL And P Warns About Possible Power Outages During Major Blizzard

BERLIN, Conn. (AP) Connecticut's largest utility is emailing and phoning customers warning of possible electrical outages during the winter storm headed into southern New England.

Messages on Sunday from Connecticut Light Power urged customers who rely on electricity for life-supporting equipment or medication requiring refrigeration to get back-up power or move to another location.

Strong winds also could threaten power lines and poles.

The storm could be a major test for the utility, which has upgraded equipment and cleared tree branches and limbs since destructive storms in 2011.


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Teen accused of running Ponzi scheme due back in court

A teenage club owner charged with running a Ponzi scheme is due back in Court today.  Ian Bick of Danbury was charged earlier this month with defrauding 15 people out of nearly $500,000.  Bick was arrested for fraud, money laundering and making false statements. 


Prosecutors say Bick solicited investments from friends, former classmates and their parents by promising high returns in a short time.  Bick allegedly told some victim investors that he would use their money to buy electronics to resell on the internet.  The indictment alleges that Bick instead used the money for hotel stays and jet skis. 


Bick pleaded not guilty and was released on bond.

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Regional Hospice to cut ribbon on new facility in Danbury

Regional Hospice and Home Care is cutting the ribbon today on their new Center for Comfort Care and Healing in Danbury.  It's Connecticut’s first and only nonprofit, family focused, all-private-suite hospice center for end of life care.  Director of Counseling Services Cheryl Koeber says it's been in the planning and development phase for 7 years.


The construction of the Center was funded entirely by donations and grants to cover the approximately $12 million cost.  They expect patients will come to the new hospice center from a 50-mile radius surrounding Danbury.


The all-private suite facility has a palliative-care trained medical director, physicians and APRN’s are available 24/7.  Koeber says the patient suite is designed specifically to care for a sick child, where a family can stay 24 hours a day, so Mom and Dad can be just that -- Mom and Dad.


There’s a chapel for quiet meditation and a library for reading or catching up on business. There is also a spa with a specially designed comfort tub; a hair salon, and a room for massage therapy.


Throughout the week, a series of Open Houses will showcase the new Center to other groups that helped bring it to reality, including donors, volunteers, corporations, foundations, and case managers, as well as other interested parties. Open Houses will be held on Monday, January 26 from 4-8 p.m.; Wednesday, January 28 from 2-8 p.m.; Thursday, January 28 from 9 a.m. to noon; and Friday, January 30 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.


The Center for Comfort Care and Healing will also house the Healing Hearts Center for Grief & Loss, a program of Regional Hospice that provides grief support services to the community at no charge, bringing all of Regional Hospice’s programs and services under one roof for the first time.


The center is located at 30 Milestone Road.

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Man commits suicide at Danbury Mall

Danbury police responded to the Danbury Fair Mall on Saturday afternoon on a report of a man stabbed in the bathroom of Sears.  Police located the man and say it appears he committed suicide.  Danbury Police say the man is the while male is in his 50s.  His name has not been released.

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NY man sentenced for home invasion, armed robberies of drug dealers

A New York man has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for his role in two home invasion armed robberies in Danbury of marijuana dealers.  The judge yesterday also ordered 27-year old Scott Myrie of Bedford Hills to serve 3 years supervised probation, substance abuse counseling and to seek education opportunities or vocational training. 


Prosecutors says Myrie was part of a 10 person group that preyed on Danbury area drug dealers, by breaking in, stealing money and drugs before assaulting their victims. 


In January 2013, Myrie and others pistol-whipped a man and intimidated his wife, mother and 1-year old child.  They fled with 30-thousand dollars and a pound of marijuana.  The following month, Myrie and two others pistol-whipped a man and further assaulted him until the victim fought back.  The victim's mother also fought off the suspects, who fled with no money or drugs.

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Area lawmaker calls for more state budget cuts

Connecticut's governor has announced $31.5 million in spending cuts to help close a budget shortfall.

The cuts announced Friday afternoon follow $54.6 million in cuts ordered by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in November to address a projected deficit of more than $120 million.  The new round of cuts includes $6 million expected from the Judicial Branch, $2.3 million from operating expenses at the University of Connecticut, and $1.5 million from the Connecticut State University system.

Malloy's budget director, Ben Barnes, will take additional steps if necessary to keep the budget in balance. Barnes has said the state will balance its books by June 30.  The state comptroller says the projected deficit has grown in part because of lower-than expected gas tax collections, caused by falling gas prices.

Southbury Senator Rob Kane, Ranking Member of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement in response:


“Cutting spending is the way to fix our state’s financial crisis.  We simply can’t afford more and more tax hikes in this state. We face multi-billion dollar problems in the years ahead.  We need to stay focused on what taxpayers’ dollars are spent on, and go line by line in the budget to make cuts.  The sooner we confront our state’s spending addiction, the better off Connecticut taxpayers will be in the long run.  We have got to work together, as Republicans and Democrats, to do what is best for Connecticut.”

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Wilton police investigating iPhone thefts at High School

Wilton Police are investigating a couple of iPhone thefts from the high school.  Police say in one case, a 14 year old has been charged with larceny and credit card theft for being found by a staff member with an iPhone and a debit card of another student.  The youth will be in juvenile court on February 3rd. 


Police say the debit card was in the iPhone case and was not used. 


In another incident at Wilton High School this month, a female student reported that her iPhone 6 was taken from her backpack in the team room.  The phone was in a custom case and is still missing.

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Danbury Library adds new iPad kiosks to Children's Department

Danbury Library is adding some new technology for kids ni the new year.  Funding from the Friends of the Danbury Library has enabled the Library to put in Crayola kiosks in the children's department that hold 8 iPads.  Digital Services Librarian Katherine Chung says kids can access over 50 educational apps on the iPads.


Danbury Library has also added two new online databases for children to encourage reading and learning. 


“Starwalk Kids Media” provides children in kindergarten through eighth grade with a selection of high quality books. Children and parents can select books by age, grade or reading level and children can listen to an audiobook or read it themselves. This program's app has been downloaded to all of the Junior Department’s iPads so the books can also be enjoyed while visiting the library.


The second online database that is has made its debut is the “Worldbook Early World of Learning.”   The online resource encompasses three interactive learning environments for preschoolers and children in the early elementary grades. The program includes interactive games, narrated stories and videos that teach numbers, shapes, phonics, vocabulary, and research.

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League of Women Voters to host legislative forum

State House and Senate members from the Greater Danbury area will be at a forum tomorrow at Danbury Library.  It's being hosted by the Danbury Area Member-at-Large League of Women Voters.  Spokeswoman Judy Griemsmann says this region had an active league in the past, but not in the last two years. 


The League of Women Voters produces voter guides and hosts public forums and candidate debates among other activities.  The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan group.  They don't support political parties or candidates, but rather is there to raise public awareness of issues and increase citizen participation in policy making. 


People who attend the event will hear the legislators discuss goals of this General Assembly session, ask questions of the legislators.  Voter registration forms will also be available.  


The event is at the Danbury Library 2:30 to 4pm on Sunday.

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Danbury group to receive state funds to help end homelessness

New efforts to end chronic homelessness among veterans and persons with disabilities in Connecticut by 2016 has been announced.  The state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is awarding 15 private, not-for-profit agencies $1.1 million to provide in-home supportive services to 176 recently housed persons who have experienced chronic homelessness.


Center for Human Development in Danbury is among the recipients of the new supporting housing subsidies from the state. 


The state has also been chosen by a national non-profits coalition to be part of a 6 state initiative to combat homelessness.  The national initiative is being organized by the nonprofit Community Solutions. 


According to recent surveys, there are about 1000 Veterans and about 2400 chronically homeless people with disabilities in the state.

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Missing teen found, mother freed from jail

A 14-year old boy missing for more than a month and was the subject of a nationwide search has been found.  14-year old Storm Sorrentino was reported missing last month by his father, Saverio Sorrentino of Newtown. 


The boy's mother, Kathyrn of Fairfield, has been jailed for three days for not telling a judge where the boy was.  The couple divorced in 2007 and Saverio was granted custody last May.  Each of the last three days Kathyrn was brought before a judge and asked where Storm was, and each day replying that she didn't know despite her ex-husband's belief that she did. 


Fairfield Police received a call Friday afternoon of a suspicious person sitting on a stone wall.  It was the missing 14 year old. 


The location was about three miles from his mother's house.

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Sandy Hook School Support Fund looking for input on continued needs

The Sandy Hook School Support Fund is looking for community input on the on-going needs of those impacted by the shootings at Sandy Hook School.  A similar survey was sent out by the group last year. 


This is an online survey with some questions proposed by the Recovery and Resiliency Team.  The survey is anonymous and the Distribution Committee says is being done to get as accurate a picture as possible of the needs and feelings in the community.  Most of the questions are the same however, so the group can measure the data against the benchmark first survey done last year on challenges, strengths and needs.


Responses must be completed by February 6th.

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Ridgefield Board of Education member arrested

51-year old Irene Burgess plans to resign as Vice Chairman of the Ridgefield Board of Education.  She was arrested Thursday for a 6th degree larceny charge.  Ridgefield Police report that officers were called to Stop & Shop to investigate a possible theft.  Their investigation revealed that Burgess stole $69 worth of items. 


She was released on a written promise to appear in court on February 5th. 


Burgess told the Ridgefield Press: “It’s a mistake, but in order to prevent embarrassment to the board I’m going to resign even though nothing was intentionally done wrong.”


Burgess was arrested in November 2013 on the same charge for an incident at Kohls where she allegedly stole $160 worth of items.  She pled not guilty last January and entered the state's accelerated rehabilitation program.  The she completed the program in December, the charge was dismissed. 


At the time she said it was an accident and misunderstanding between the store manager and the police.

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Man arguing across from police station arrested for pending charges

A man having an argument across from the police station has landed him under arrest for outstanding warrants. 


Newtown Police say a man was involved in an argument across the street from the Department on Sunday and officers went to investigate.  Police say 26-year old Victor Stendbergh was wanted on pending charges from state and local police so he was arrested.  


Court records show that Stendbergh was arrested by Newtown Police in August for refusal to show his license and registration, but didn't appear in court and was charged in October with failure to appear.  He is due in court Monday on those charges. 


He was arrested by State Police in September for operating under the influence, failure to drive in the proper lane and possession of drug paraphernalia.  He is due in Waterbury Superior Court on Monday.  Also on that date, he faces charges of evading responsibility, operating an unregistered vehicle, following too closely and improper use of license plates.

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Two Conn. men arrested for DWI in separate NY accidents

A Sherman man has been arrested for drunk driving after crashing his car.  New York State Police responded to an accident Wednesday on Route 22 in Brewster near the intersection with Route 311.  A BMW lost control and collided with an embankment. 


Police say 52-year old Richard Seyfried Junior of Sherman was trying to turn on to South Quaker Road when he lost control.  Seyfried failed field sobriety tests and was found to have a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit.  He was released on bond and will be in court on February 2nd for the aggravated driving while intoxicated charge.


A New Fairfield man has been arrested on a drunk driving charge after hitting multiple vehicles in different accidents. 


New York State Police reported Thursday that a New Fairfield man has been arrested for aggravated driving while intoxicated for the events of last Saturday .  Police say 54-year old Grant Retallick Junior left a Brewster area restaurant and hit two cars in the parking lot.  He then fled the scene. 


Police were then called about an a collision on Route 6 which rendered Retallick's car undriveable.  He failed field sobriety tests and was found to have a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit.  Retallick was issued traffic tickets and ordered to appear in court on Monday.

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House struck by car in Danbury

A car has struck a house in Danbury.  Police say a woman driving southbound on Great Plain Road lost control of her car and struck the house Thursday afternoon.  The 20-year old woman was uninjured.  The accident happened shortly after 1:30pm at 82 Great Plain Road.  She was issued a verbal warning for travelling too fast for conditions.  The driver's name was not immediately released.

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Danbury company awarded $53 million contract from NASA

Danbury-based Praxair, an industrial gases manufacturer, has been awarded NASA’s agency-wide Acquisition of Liquid Hydrogen contract. Praxair’s hydrogen supply network will serve four NASA sites, including the Space Center in Mississippi; Kennedy Space Center in Florida; Marshall Space Flight Center, in Alabama; and Glenn Research Center in Ohio. 


NASA projected the maximum value of the five-year contract to be $53 million.


“NASA has been a longtime customer of Praxair, and we are proud to have been awarded this contract,” said Jeff Barnhard, vice president, east region for Praxair’s U.S. industrial gases business. “We look forward to playing an even larger role in our country’s national space program and the expanding satellite technology industry.”


Praxair’s hydrogen manufacturing infrastructure and delivery capability satisfies NASA’s stringent standards for product quality and on-time delivery to fulfill the agency’s missions. NASA uses liquid hydrogen as fuel for rocket engine development, testing and launch of spacecraft; delivery of satellites into earth orbit; and delivery of payloads to the International Space Station.


NASA also awarded Praxair a five-year liquid oxygen supply agreement for the Kennedy Space Center.  The Department of Defense previously awarded Praxair a five-year liquid hydrogen supply agreement for missions launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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Danbury Police investigate home break in

Danbury Police are investigating a break in Thursday morning on Stevens Street.  Police were called around 9:45am on a report of a dark skin man forcing his way into a house.  Police located the homeowner, a 27-year old, who told officers that a light skin man was also banging on the door.  The three scuffled, until the victim pepper sprayed the pair. 


The suspects fled in an unknown direction in a gray car.  The victim declined medical treatment. 


The investigation so far has revealed that the suspects are known to the victim and that this is an isolated incident.

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Governor Malloy calls for widening I-84 in Danbury

Governor Dannel Malloy says that widening a section of Interstate 84 in Danbury is critical for economic growth in the western part of the state. 


Still no word from Malloy on how he plans to pay for massive transportation infrastructure improvements that he's proposing.  During a stop yesterday at the I-84 rest area off exit 2, Malloy said he wants to widen a five mile stretch the highway to three lanes from exit 3 to 8 in Danbury.  He spoke generally saying tolls and taxes aren't the only way to pay for two generations of neglect.


(DOT Commissioner James Redecker, Governor Dannel Malloy)


Malloy has proposed increasing bus service in the region with a more modern service.  He also wants to make improvements to the Danbury branch of Metro North with an expansion to New Milford.


While there's been no official talk of bringing tolls back to Connecticut, it's been on many people's minds.  Malloy was asked how he responds to criticism that border tolls are an unfair regional tax.  He says that's a fair complaint.


Malloy also responded to questions about Transportation Committee chair Representative Antonio Guerrera, of not wanting tolls in his district but at the state's gateways.  He says tolls are a tax on people who use the highway, and he understands the goal of capturing 26 percent of the traffic that comes from out of state.


Malloy says paying for any improvements is a discussion still to be had, and for now he is focused on a comprehensive report on what improvements are needed.

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Adam Lanza's Newtown House to be Demolished

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) Officials in Newtown have voted to tear down the home where Adam Lanza lived before he carried out the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The vote Wednesday evening by the Newtown Legislative Council approves a proposal by the board of selectmen to raze the 3,100-square-foot home and keep the land as open space.

First Selectwoman Pat Llodra said she expects the Lanza house will be razed once winter is over. The 2-acre property was given to the town in December by a bank that acquired it from the Lanza family.

Lanza killed 20 children and six educators at the school before committing suicide.

Neighbors have been pleading with town officials to tear down the house, with one resident saying it's ``a constant reminder of the evil that resided there.''


Hong Kong rang in 2015 with a massive fireworks show.


Almost here..."Fifty Shades of Grey"

In theaters 2/14/15

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