An arrest has been made in the case of a fatal ATV crash last year in Monroe. Randall Pippa has been charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor and three counts of reckless endangerment. Police spokesman Lt Brian McCauley told the Monroe Courier that the 36-year old allowed 29-year old John Compton of Bridgeport to drive his ATV with two children on board, and none of them wore helmets.
Compton lost control of the ATV, struck a curb and it rolled over. Compton died of his injuries, and it was later determined that he had an elevated blood alcohol level.
Both children, one of whom is Pippa's daughter, were hospitalized.
Pippa will be in court Wednesday.
An inspection of three establishments in Danbury Thursday night to ensure compliance with state liquor laws, found two in violation by selling alcohol to minors. Members of the Connecticut Department of Liquor Control and Special Investigation Division, and members of the Danbury Police Community Conditions Unit carried out the inspections.
When inspecting Club Z on Railroad Place, four minors were found drinking at the bar, several others were found loitering in the cafe. While inspecting Square One Bar & Grill on Mill Plain Road, one minor was found drinking alcohol and three were found loitering.
An inspection at Mambo's Cafe on Elm Street found no violations.
No enforcement action was taken that night by Danbury Police, but the Connecticut Department of Liquor Control will be following up with enforcement action.
There were hours of testimony given during a legislative hearing held this week on a proposed bill that would create tolls at the state's borders. Hundreds of people also submitted written testimony. Danbury Senator Mike McLachlan says there is one big outstanding question in the proposal. The bill doesn't say how much it would be. Danbury Senator Mike McLachlan says it would have to be $3 minimum, but even that is unrealistic.
Not all of the testimony was in opposition ot the proposal. Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi's testimony is titled How barrier-free tolls can save Connecticut. He supports tolling for three reasons, two of which he says will attract new businesses to Connecticut.
He says tolls would reduce congestion on the highways. By charging higher tolls during peak hours, commuters will move to alternative schedules, and public transportation. Marconi says tolls would be a good way to fund transportation projects. He says revenue from tolls will allow the state to add capacity, most importantly on the rails. His explanation is that improved commuter train service will foster business growth along transportation corridors and protect rural areas from sprawl.
Marconi also said tolls in Connecticut is about fairness. While no one likes to pay a toll, he says drivers do so in the neighboring states of Massachusetts and New York.
In his testimony, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said tolls should not be used "as a thoughtless stopgap measure simply to try to fill a budget hole". Boughton said installation of a toll system is very permanent and a perennially costly undertaking that remains in place, potentially forever.
Among those submitting testimony is opposition are Danbury Registrar of Voters Mary Ann Doran, Danbury State Representative David Arconti, Probate court Judge Dianne Yamin, Danbury City Councilman Tom Saadi, former Bethel Board of Education chairman Larry Craybas and Ridgefield businessman Bill Starbuck.
About 4 dozen parents attended an informational meeting Thursday night in Bethel about how the schools investigate allegations of wrong doing and ways to talk with their children if they suspect something has happened. The informational meeting was prompted by last week's resignation of a Berry Elementary School staff member. No new information on the alleged inappropriate activities with minor children. Bethel Police are not investigating, it's a state police matter. Though Superintendent of School Dr Christine Carver has said Police have given them no reason to believe anything inappropriate took place at the school itself.
The issue of $7 million in state grants that auditors were demanding back unless Brookfield could find missing paperwork from subcontractors, is nearly resolved. This was in connection with the high school renovation project, completed in 2008. First Selectman Bill Tinsley says most of the missing documentation was found in the files of former Superintendent John Goetz.
The state Department of Administrative Service had set a deadline of Friday for Brookfield to provide the missing subcontractor bids and receipts, or repay the money. The deadline was extended to March 6 for the final documentation to be found. Brookfield has reached out to the project's general contractor for that paperwork.
Tinsley says paperwork likely got misplaced in the change of leadership in the district recently.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The University of Connecticut Foundation has told state lawmakers any law forcing records to be opened to the public would make it harder to raise money.
Representatives of the fundraising organization of the state's flagship university said at a legislative meeting Thursday that negative consequences of requiring open records would apply even if donors' names are excluded.
Josh Newton, president and chief executive of the foundation, said if its records become public, donors may fear the state will rely on foundation money to replace state funding.
Kent state Representative Roberta Willis said the foundation is the same as a public agency and should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
The foundation drew criticism for certain spending such as $250,000 to Hillary Clinton for a lecture and $300,000 toward UConn President Susan Herbst's compensation.
An argument at a gas station has led to drunk driving charges for a New York woman. New York State Police said Thursday that Ashlee Cerutti of Lake Peekskill was issued traffic tickets for the incident that took place on Sunday. Troopers were called to help Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies with a verbal dispute at the Shell Gas Station on Danbury Road involving the 28-year old.
Police determined that Cerutti drove to the gas station while intoxicated. The Breathalyser test showed that she had a Blood Alcohol Content more than two times the legal limit.
She was arrested for aggravated driving while intoxicated and will be in Southeast Town Court on March 24th to answer the charge.
A Ridgefield man and one from New York have been charged for selling alcohol to a minor. New York State Police conducted an underage drinking enforcement operation on Saturday in northern Westchester County using an 18-year old volunteer to try to purchase alcoholic beverages.
Plain-clothed investigators and uniformed Troopers were on hand for the effort to curb alcohol abuse and DWI incidents among teens.
72-year old Jay Goldstein of Ridgefield, who works at Salem Wine and Liquor in South Salem and 19-year old Noah Sklarin, who works at Goldens Bridge Wine and Spirits were charged with misdemeanor of Prohibited Sale of Alcohol to a person under 21 years of age. Each will appear in court at a later date.
Their employers face possible civil penalties imposed by the State Liquor Authority.
A Southbury man and another have pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud their employers of more than half a million dollars. According to court documents, 43-year old Adam Meyers identified projects with profit margins that could be diverted without his boss's knowledge.
He allegedly submitted purchase orders to 43-year old Jason Torrance of East Haddam, who sent them to an unnamed co-conspirator, who in turn billed Meyers' boss. Torrence's company also billed Meyers' company. The co-conspirator kept 10-percent and hand delivered a check for 90-percent to Torrence and Meyers.
No products on the purchase orders actually shipped to the customer. The victim companies lost more than $600,000.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 18th.
SOUTHEAST, N.Y. (AP) Prosecutors say a New York man faces three years in prison for shooting another driver's car during a road-rage incident on Interstate 84 last summer.
The Putnam County District Attorney's Office says a motorist called state police on July 30 to report that a man had been driving aggressively on I-84 in the town of Southeast and brandished a handgun before shooting at the victim's car and hitting a wheel rim.
No one was injured.
Troopers later stopped a car driven by 27-year-old Masey Moshref of Wappingers Falls in neighboring Dutchess County. Police say they found a Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun hidden in a secret compartment under his car's dashboard.
The victim said Moshref had cut him off and became enraged when he blew his horn at Moshref.
Moshref pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
An accident clogging up the highway diverting cars on to local roads, an SUV caught between railroad crossing gates, and a Metro North train on the way. In Valhalla, it led to a fatal crash earlier this month. On Tuesday in Norwalk, a similar tragedy was likely prevented by a quick thinking cop. A Danbury branch train came through the crossing just seconds after the officer leapt to action.
Officer Neil Robertson was in the opposite lane to stopped traffic, when an SUV stopped with its rear axle on the tracks. The officer got out of his car and signaled to others in the line of traffic to move up, allowing the woman to clear the tracks just before the train came through.
When stuck in heavy traffic around railroad crossings, Metro North officials say motorists should not drive onto the tracks, unless there is enough room to fully cross. That's regardless of if the lights, bells and gates are activated.
Robertson has been with the Norwalk Police Department for four years. Another driver captured the final seconds of his actions on a cell phone camera and posted it to Youtube. A witness also called the incident to the attention of Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik, who praised the officer’s actions.
Danbury is still searching for a new Director of Veteran Affairs. Longtime Director Patrick Walrdon passed away in October at the age of 81. Since that time, Mayor Mark Boughton's Chief of Staff has been filling the role.
Boughton says Waldron did such a great job and had so many procedures that he just knew about, it's going to be a big learning curve for the next person coming in.
The City will work closely with the state and federal VA departments to provide a seamless approach to services offered to veterans. He wants to work with the next Director to streamline the services provided and make delivery of those services more efficient.
Boughton says the City suffered a major loss with the passing of the 37-year Director. He said Waldron fought relentlessly to help veterans, serving generations of veterans. Waldron help generations of veterans, their widows and dependents.
An informational session is being held tonight in Bethel for parents about the investigatory process at the schools when an incident arises. This follows two letters last week from the Superintendent about a Berry Elementary School staffer who resigned over allegations of inappropriate activities with minor children.
Dr Christine Carver said in a letter to parents Saturday that State Police have given them no reason to believe anything inappropriate took place at the school itself. No additional details from the investigation are being shared tonight.
Tonight's meeting will also cover how to talk to your child if you suspect something has happened. DCF, Greater Danbury Family and Children's Aid, and the Bethel Police Youth Officer will make presentations.
The meeting is at 6:30 at Bethel Middle School.
State lawmakers to business representatives appeared Wednesday before the legislature's Transportation Committee to oppose bills resurrecting tolls. Among them was Danbury Senator Mike McLachlan who talked about shifting the burden of road repairs from over usage--to the municipalities. He says it's similar to truckers, who go as far north as Route 55 in Sherman, to avoid the weigh station.
Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce president Steve Bull says Interstate 684's hairpin turn to I-84 is one of the most dangerous areas and would have to be fixed. Bull says it's not surprising that people try to go through Ridgefield or other areas to avoid highway congestion, and more would do so in an effort to avoid a toll.
Bull says tolls along the state's borders would discourage out-of-state shoppers from coming to Connecticut. He said Danbury stores generate more than $5 billion in retail sales annually. The region reports $8 billion. He says it's not just the mall that draws shoppers, it's the people coming to the big box stores like Walmart and Target or the wholesale stores like Costco and BJs, which aren't located in nearby Putnam County.
Bull says the bill an unsound effort to make someone else pay, in this case out of state travellers. He says it unfairly catches Greater Danbury residents and businesses who must use the road on a daily basis.
Some lawmakers called border tolls an unfair burden on local taxpayers. One bill would provide them an income tax credit.
Plain clothed officers in Danbury saw suspicious activity Tuesday morning on Stevens Street and ended up arresting two people on prostitution related charges. Danbury police officers in the Community Conditions Unit were driving an unmarked car when they saw 25-year old Anjelica Miraglia of Danbury waving down passing vehicles.
The officers followed a van she got into, and then saw that she and 60-year old Michael Edwards of Brookfield were engaging in a sex act.
Miraglia was charged with prostitution and possession of a hallucinogen and of drug paraphernalia. Edwards was charged with patronizing a prostitute and possession of marijuana.
A legislative committee is considering a bill on the use of drones by law enforcement. A public hearing Wednesday drew mixed reviews. Committee member New Fairfield State Representative Richard Smith says he understands that reasonable suspicion has been clearly defined by the courts, but is concerned that it's not defined in the bill.
He says sometimes reasonable suspicion comes after the fact, from information gained during an investigation. Smith says he's concerned with these devices being used for the wrong purposes and eroding privacy rights.
Smith says today's technology makes you ask "how far do we go?" because the privacy laws developed in the 60s, 70s, and 80s are outdated.
The Connecticut Police Chiefs Association expressed concerns with only be allowed to operate the unmanned aerial vehicle for a total of 24 hours within a 30 day period under reasonable suspicion. They requested 30 hours in 30 days. The group also opposed destroying the information within a 48 hour period. They instead want the 48 hours to start after 30 days is up so the material could be reviewed.
The American Civil Liberties Union called on the committee to amend the bill to require police to obtain a search warrant before using a drone for surveillance purposes, except in emergency situations.
A new round of grants has been awarded by Danbury Education Foundation. The Classroom Excellence Grants were presented to seven Danbury public school programs and projects during the Board of Education meeting Wednesday night.
Grants were awarded to applicants who requested funding for projects that are unable to be funded in the regular education budget. At the beginning of the 2014 – 2015 school year all teachers were provided the opportunity to apply for funding.
Five grants of $1,500 each were awarded. They included a Backyard Biodiversity Program at Rogers Park Middle School, a Strengthening our Students Math Base program at King Street Campus and From Egg to Chick program at Shelter Rock School. An up to $5,000 grant was awarded for an Accessible Theater program at Park Avenue School.
A supplemental grant went to the DHS Hockey Booster & Blueliner Clubs at Danbury High School.
Mayor Mark Boughton says the number and variety of applications received shows that Danbury teachers are enthusiastic about diversifying the programs their students participate in.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Three years after Maurice Sendak's death, his western Connecticut hometown of Ridgefield is pursuing a museum honoring the author of "Where the Wild Things Are."
The town has its sights on a vacant modernist building in walking distance from the village center, a glass structure designed by acclaimed architect Philip Johnson as corporate offices for an oil exploration company that left in 2006.
A panel of local arts figures recently received endorsement from the town and Sendak's foundation to explore the proposal. Members say they have found overwhelming support for the idea to honor a man whose influence went far beyond that of a children's book author.
"The fact is, he loved the community, and the legacy of supporting all the arts was and is important to him and all those around him," said Lloyd Taft, a local architect.
The 45-acre campus of the energy services company Schlumberger, including the proposed museum site, was acquired by Ridgefield in 2012 for $7 million. On Tuesday, town voters approved the sale of 10 of the acres for residential construction, returning $4.3 million to the town. The first selectman, Rudy Marconi, said the sale could help the museum proposal by giving planners flexibility on decisions regarding the rest of the property.
Sendak, who died in May 2012 at the age of 83, was born in New York City but spent the last four decades of his life in rural Ridgefield. Best known for the tale of naughty Max in "Wild Things," his work included other standard volumes in children's bedrooms such as "Chicken Soup With Rice," a book about the different months in a year, and "Brundibar," a folk tale about two children who need to earn enough money to buy milk for their sick mother. He also illustrated his own work, created costumes for ballets and staged operas, including the Czech opera "Brundibar."
His 18th-century farmhouse is being preserved as Sendak left it.
"That is going to stay just the way it is and be a study center and a place for scholars, artists and others to see how Sendak worked during his lifetime," said Donald Hamburg, a New York attorney who is a member of the Maurice Sendak Foundation's board.
Some of Sendak's works were housed at the Rosenbach museum and library in Philadelphia. The artwork has been reclaimed based on instructions in Sendak's will, but the request has become tangled in litigation that Hamburg declined to discuss.
Given the location of Sendak's home in a wooded area, the foundation has sought a more accessible place for the public display of his artwork, manuscripts and other ephemera.
Marconi said the town knew all along it wanted to preserve the Philip Johnson building and an adjoining auditorium, and after Sendak's death, many in the affluent town of 25,000 people on the New York line had the same idea to use it as a Sendak museum. The building has skylights over main circulation areas and despite a few roof leaks is considered to be in decent shape despite being vacant for so long.
Representative Arthur O’Neill and Senator Rob Kane have testified in favor of legislation aimed at providing relief to the residents of Heritage Village in Southbury. The proposal would amend state law to establish a partial property tax exemption for the installation or improvement of public service company infrastructure.
Heritage Village residents face a rate increase of 73-percent.
They say many residents are on fixed incomes and the increase would result in annual payment increases of nearly $300 for each resident. O'Neill says the goal of the legislation is to encourage public service company infrastructure upgrades while reducing the costs passed on to ratepayers.
The bill awaits a vote by the committee.
New Milford police are searching for a man who robbed the Bank of America branch on Main Street this afternoon. Police say the suspect indicated that he had a gun, though none was shown. New Milford Police responded to Bank of America around 2pm. The white man is described as being about 6-foot tall, 30 to 40 years old with a grey goatee. He was wearing a grey camouflage coat, grey sweatpants and black sneakers with white laces. Anyone with information is asked to contact New Milford Police at 860-355-3133.