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Danbury firefighters had to extricate the driver of a tractor trailer this morning.  The truck rolled over just past exit 3 westbound around 5:30am.  The driver was transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment of injuries. 

 

 

(Photos: DFD)

 

The accident blocked at least two lanes throughout the morning commute. 

 

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also responded to the scene to clean up a fuel spill.  State Police Troopers also responded.  State Police say K9 Favor shows her appreciation to Danbury Deputy Fire Chief Bernie Meehan and the Danbury Fire Department for their help.

 

(Photo: CSP)

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A man who went scuba diving in the former Tilly Foster Mine is missing and the Putnam County Sheriff's Office is leading a search for him.  Sheriff Donald Smith say 48-year old Robert Thomas of Jersey City, New Jersey went missing Sunday in the town of Southeast. 

 

The experienced technical diver has gone diving in the mine, also known as Simon's Quarry, many times before.  Thomas was with two other people, but never emerged. 

 

Dive teams from the New York State Police and the Brewster and Mahopac Falls Volunteer Fire Departments searched for Thomas Sunday.  Responders continued their search Monday using sonar equipment throughout the large area, with mine shafts having underwater depths ranging from 175 to 600 feet and several side tunnels branching off.

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Three places that sell tobacco failed a compliance check in Monroe on Friday.  Monroe Police and the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services conducted 16 unannounced inspections.  An underage youth, employed by the Tobacco Prevention and Enforcement Program, entered tried to purchase tobacco products.  Three violated state statute and sold to the volunteer under aged 18.  The offending clerks at Mobil on Monroe Turnpike, Buck Stop on Main Street and Cumberland Farms on Main Street were issued infractions in the amount of $200.

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A New York man has been arrested for Unlawful Dealing with a Child.  New York State Police say 19-year old Donte Floyd of Patterson bought alcohol with a fake ID and provided alcohol to an underage victim in October.  He was charged last week with a Misdemeanor.  The 19-year old victim was taken to Putnam Hospital Center, and found to have a potentially fatal blood alcohol content of over .4 percent.  Floyd was issued a ticket to appear in Patterson Justice Court on November 30th.

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The oath of office was taken yesterday by the new First Selectman of Newtown.  Democrat Dan Rosenthal was sworn in at Edmond Town Hall. 

 

Rosenthal believes the local budget planning process has to start early, with a focus on controlling spending. He doesn't think Newtown has the luxury of hiking taxes any further.

 

With state funding, he says the expectation should be that Connecticut is not going to kick in additional revenue.  Rosenthal says the goal should be, over time, to create autonomy from the state. Rosenthal says the several-month long impasse should be used as a warning shot over the bow to try to wean Newtown off of state aid.

 

Rosenthal wants to bring business planning to other capital projects, examining how many people each one would reach and what's the potential revenue. He doesn’t believe the town has the luxury for “wants” and building things in the hopes that people come.

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A vote of no confidence has been taken against Candlewood Lake Authority chairwoman Phyllis Schaer.  The move by the Marine Patrol staff comes over alleged interference in in their recommendation against bringing back several officers this coming summer.  The Newstimes reports that all but one of the senior staff members decided Wednesday to declare no confidence.  Six officers, taking minimal shifts, had annual reviews and it was decided not to renew their contracts, which ended last week.  But according to the published report, the Marine Patrol was told that 1996 bylaws require a review by the Executive Committee, something that hasn't been done in the past.

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — The girlfriend of a Connecticut man charged with killing his parents for threatening to cut him out of their will has pleaded guilty to related charges and agreed to serve eight years in prison.

Jennifer Valiante pleaded guilty Friday in Bridgeport Superior Court to conspiracy to commit murder and hindering prosecution. The plea to the conspiracy charge came under the Alford doctrine, which allows defendants to not admit guilt but concede there's enough evidence for a conviction.

Prosecutors say she knew about or helped Kyle Navin plan the murders of his parents, Jeffrey and Jeanette Navin, of Easton, whose bodies were found in Weston in October 2015. They had been shot. Navin is detained on $2.5 million bond awaiting trial.

The 33-year-old Valiante is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 26.

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After more than two years, the state Department of Transportation project to expand North Street in Danbury is coming to an end point, though it's still several months away.  New stoplights will be turned on soon and work will end for the winter.  Final alignment of the new lanes should be completed before the shut down.  Paving crews won’t be able to put the final layer of asphalt down until the Spring.  Part of the delay on the project was  a large sewer line under North Street that had to be moved so a new retaining wall could be built.  Project manager John Dunham says there was also a lot of utility work needed. 

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Newtown firefighters will be accepting donations for FAITH Food Pantry on Saturday.  This annual event helps put food on the table for Thanksgiving for Food Pantry clients served by the nonecumenical organization located at 31 Pecks Lane.  Food items and financial donations will all be accepted, and delivered to the food pantry that afternoon.  Members of all five of Newtown's volunteer fire companies will be participating by taking collections outside Big Y on Queen Street and Stop & Shop on South Main Street tomorrow from 9am to 2pm.

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A Conquer the Forest Trail Run is being held tomorrow by a non-profit in New York.  Green Chimneys is a non-profit specializing in animal-assisted therapy and educational activities for children with special needs.  The first community trail run challenge will wind through Green Chimneys’ scenic Clearpool Campus in Carmel.  The 5-mile run will take place through open terrain and forest trails of various skill levels.  A 1-mile “fun run” for kids and families will also be held.  

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The Danbury Health and Human Services Department is hosting an informational session tonight about some rule changes. The new FDA food code means some changes for Danbury restaurants, caterers, school cafeterias, nursing homes and others. Tonight’s food regulation informational session is from 7 to 8pm at City Hall.

 

One change is that a Qualified Food Operator will now be known as a Certified Food Protection Manager. Hot and cold holding temperatures will be changing.  A new inspection form will be used to better align with the FDA Food Code.

 

Starting next July, restaurants cannot be issued a permit to operate a food establishment unless the applicant has registered with the Connecticut Department of Public Health in addition to the Danbury Department of Health. 

 

Another session will be held on December 6th.

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Bethel did a hand recount on a couple of close municipal races.  On Election Day, Claudia Stephan and Bill Slifkin were only separated by 13 votes for a two-year seat on the Board of Finance.  After the recount, Stephan came out 8 votes ahead and one the position.  There was also a recanvass of four Bethel Board of Education seats.  The winners were Democrats Jen Larsen and Jen Ackerman and Republicans Melanie O'Brien and Nicholas Hoffman.

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The state Department of Public Health is accepting public comment through Monday on the State Water Plan.  A presentation was made recently to the Western Connecticut Council of Governments about the State Water Plan. The Public Health’s Drinking Water Section was presented to the regional planning agency for cities and towns from Sherman down to Stamford.

 

The draft report found that while Connecticut leads the nation in protections of drinking water quality, the state lags in its water conservation ethic. It says the key to preserving the integrity of that quality is to have e an increased awareness among consumers about its value and vulnerability.  

 

The draft report found that climate change is likely to have a significant effect on potential flooding in Connecticut and could also result in drier summers in the next 25 years.

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The state Supreme Court will hear arguments today in the appeal of a decision to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit.  The suit was filed by some families of those killed at Sandy Hook School against the maker of the rifle used by the gunman.

 

A Superior Court judge dismissed the civil case last year. At issue were exceptions to a federal ban on most lawsuits against gun makers. The judge rejected the families' argument that the suit is allowed under the exceptions.

 

Lawyers for Remington have said the rifle was made, distributed and sold legally. The NRA and the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation have filed briefs on behalf of Remington.

 

The Brady Center against Gun Violence and the state’s attorney generals office have filed briefs on behalf of the families. 

 

Only three sitting full-time justices and a senior justice will hear the case. 3 appellate court judges will join them. Chief Justice Chase Rogers is unavailable today and Gregory D’Auria has recused himself. Two recently retired judges haven’t been replaced yet.

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Brookfield residents have approved three revisions to the town's Charter.  Three questions were presented to voters during last week's municipal election. 

 

One change was to require a 10-day minimum waiting period from the date of the vacancy to the appointment of a replacement.  The change was made to allow all residents the time to be notified of the vacancy and put their name forward for consideration on the Board of Education, The Planning Commission and the Board of Finance.  The revision passed on a 2878-672 vote.

 

Another change was to increase the maximum amount for special appropriations under certain conditions from 10% or $20,000, whichever is greater, to 10% or $40,000, whichever is greater.  The new monetary level for special appropriations was recommended because of the growth in the town budget over the years.  That revision was approved on a 1881-1618 vote.

 

The last proposed change on the ballot was to clarify the powers and duties of the Board of Ethics, and voters overwhelmingly supported the amendments.  The language clarifies that the Board of Ethics will review alleged ethics violations in accordance with state statutes and the Charter. 

 

The role of the Board of Selectmen in reviewing recommendations from the Board of Ethics was clarified when acting as a temporary Board of Ethics to review complaints filed against Ethics Board members.  The role of the Town Attorney or the retention of special counsel in advising the Board of Ethics was also made more clear.  These changes were approved on a vote of 3158-421.

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After Danbury Police completed a raid on a Wildman Street property, they contacted the Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team about the possibility of unsafe bedrooms in the attic.  UNIT found two bedrooms accessible only by a small steep staircase entered from a bathroom.  Inspectors on the top step found that there wasn't room to stand or even kneel without hitting the ceiling.  A whole home inspection, with the Fire Marshal, was scheduled for the next day. The homeowner was not aware of the additional use of attic space and locked access to that part of the house.

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In response to a complaint by a Danbury City Councilperson, the Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team started an investigation into an abandoned boat on a vacant city lot on Cross Street.  The large boat was dumped there by someone and UNIT officials say the cost of disposing it would have been left on the backs of taxpayers. 

 

 

But they recognized the vessel as having been previously stored in a commercial neighborhood.  Security camera footage was reviewed to trace the timeline of when the boat may have been moved and by whom because the owner of the boat was unknown and registration wasn't available.   

 

A truck was seen hauling it away, though the license plate was not identifiable, other parts of the vehicle were. 

 

The boat was removed.

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Aquarion Water Company is continuing maintenance on their infrastructure.  Water mains in Redding will be cleaned today. 

 

Aquarion cautioned that customers may notice some discoloration in their water because the process stirs up naturally occurring minerals that settle in water mains.  Aquarion recommends customers refrain from washing laundry if water is discolored.  Before using water again, customers should run their cold faucets until the water appears clear.  Several streets will be affected during the cleaning.

 

Church Street, Georgetown Road, Highland Avenue, Main Street, Meadow Ridge, Old Mill Road, Portland Avenue, Redding Road, Smith Street, Weston Road and Woods Way will be affected during the cleaning.

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Danbury will hold the City's annual Veterans Day Ceremony.  Mayor Mark Boughton says it's hosted by the Danbury Council of Veterans at the War Memorial.  It's the final day for the Danbury Museum and Historical Society exhibit focusing on Danbury's contributions at home and abroad during World War I.

 

The town of Kent is holding a Veterans Day Service today at the Kent Veterans Memorial.  The Monument is located at the intersection of Route 341 and Swift Lane.  The ceremony is at 11am.

 

Due to the predicted strong winds and cold temperatures the Monroe Veterans Day Ceremony today will be moved in doors.  The ceremony will be held at the Baptist Church across from the Stepney Green at 11am in the newly remodeled Chapel.

 

The New Fairfield Veterans Association will hold their annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the Green on Route 37 at 11am.  The anniversary of the signing of the armistice that took place at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, to end the war of all wars, will be marked.

 

VFW Post 308 in Newtown will also host its annual Veterans Day ceremony at 11 am. Post 308 is on Tinkerfield Road, off Mile Hill South. The public is encouraged to attend the program honoring veterans of the American armed forces.

 

The Danbury Railway Museum will honor all past and present military personnel, and their families, with free Railyard Local train rides tomorrow.  The short train ride is in a 1920's passenger coach or a vintage caboose pulled by a vintage, first-generation diesel-electric locomotive and takes visitors through the historic rail yard and past over 60 vintage railroad cars and locomotives.

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Mental Health Connecticut is offering free Mental Health First Aid in New Milford.  The program offers tools and answers questions, like "what do I do" and "where can someone find help?". Training is being offered Sunday and on the 19th at New Milford Public Library.  The program helps trainees identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse disorder.  Registration is required.

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