Local News

Danbury Animal Control rescues dog from I-84, suspect abuse

A dog picked up by Danbury Animal Control off of interstate 84 is now up for adoption because his statutory hold is up.  They've received no calls to reclaim him. 

Officials say he appears to have been abused, with his snout scarred from either being tied or tie wrapped shut.

(Photos: Danbury Animal Control)

Danbury Animal Control says a municipal pound is no place for a little dog, who has shown no signs of aggression and they believe would get along with another dog his size. They believe the dog is approximately 2 to 3 years old.  More information and applications can be obtained by contacting Danbury Animal Control.


Danbury accepts land donation from estate of City resident

5 parcels of land on Bear Mountain Road have been officially acquired by the City of Danbury.  The City is the beneficiary of the estate of the late Victor Westman.  The nearly 27 acres will become open space land known as Westman Park. 


Danbury Democrats nominate Mayoral candidate

The Danbury Democratic Town Committee has held its nominating convention for municipal candidates.  They officially nominated Chris Setaro to run for Mayor in November, challenging long time incumbent Republican Mark Boughton, who is expected to be nominated to seek another term in office.  The Democrats also nominated a full slate of candidates for City Council and other positions on the ballot in a few months.


Man injured in fall at Kimberly Place gets settlement

The companies that maintain the Kimberly Place apartment complex parking lot in Danbury have agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a man who injured himself in a fall on ice.  69-year old Andres Reyes injured his head, wrist and shoulder.  The Connecticut Law Tribune reports that Kimberly Danbury Limited Partnership and Kimberly Danbury Management agreed to pay $190,000.  The suit alleged negligence and carelessness in allowing snow and ice to accumulate in the parking spaces.  His attorney says they could have shoveled or applied sand and salt after plowing for vehicle traffic.


Tails of Courage investigated by Wolcott Animal Control

Wolcott Police are investigating Tails of Courage, which moved to that town from Danbury after the City filed a lawsuit for health and zoning violations in 2018.  Wolcott's Animal Control Officer told NBC that 6 puppies are sick and two have died from suspected parvovirus. 

Officials believe they were shipped from Texas to the animal rescue organization.  Preliminary testing on one of the deceased puppies also showed dehydration and emaciation. 

When officials did a check last week, things looked ok until they heard puppies in an isolation and food room.  A Watertown veterinarian treating three sick dogs told NBC he heard they were just being given subcutaneous fluid which in his opinion is inadequate, substandard care. 

Wolcott Animal Control says the land owner was told by Tails of Courage will be leaving his property by the end of the week.

The Danbury lawsuit was withdrawn this spring when Tails of Courage promised to no longer conduct business in Danbury.


New Milford to open cooling stations this weekend

With expected extreme high temperatures and humidity this weekend, New Milford is make preparations.  The Mayor and Emergency Operations Command have decided to open the Town Cooling station at 25 Church Street on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Opening hours vary--5pm on Friday and 1pm on the weekend, with the facility closing at 8pm each evening.  During the week New Milford library and town hall are available during opening hours.  Mayor Pete Bass reminded residents to drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.


Ridgefield Police seek community input in online survey

The Ridgefield Police Department is looking for the public's input in a new community survey about how they're doing and to make suggestions.  Th online community survey asks residents and people who work in town if they feel safe, if they've ever been a victim of a crime and if their neighborhood has a crime watch group.  Respondents are also asked to rate several issues in order of seriousness--including vandalism, drug use, domestic violence and unnecessary noise.  People are also asked to rate quality of life issues such as speeding, DUIs, identity theft, bike safety and distracted driving.  There is also a series of question about the police department response to various scenarios.


Newtown Police look to hire school traffic agent

The Newtown Police Department is looking for a School Traffic Agent. Duties will include directing traffic flow and school bus movement into and out of school parking lots during the school year. Traffic agent works about 15 hours per week.  The uniform and training are provided, with an hourly salary of $16.  Applicants must be 18 years or older, have current driver’s license and undergo background investigation.  Interested people can apply to the Newtown Police Department via email, fax, post office or turned in by hand. Applications can be downloaded from the town's website.


Redding Fire Department looks to install dry hydrant on town owned property

The Redding Fire Department is looking to have a dry hydrant installed on town owned property.

Dave Hermenze of the Redding Fire Department reviewed the proposal with the Board of Selectmen recently to install a dry hydrant at Lonetown Marsh Pond for faster, safer and more reliable operations. The 7.39- acre parcel, across from Redding Elementary School, is estimated to be able to provide 1 million gallons of water.

It has been used as a drafting site since at least the 1940s. There's a reinforced surface to pull up a fire pumper and access to the pond through the bushes.  Firefighters have to extend suction hose into the water, hook it up to the pumper and a vacuum is created to get the water onto the apparatus.

A dry hydrant is a pressurized pipe that extends underground into a water source.  The only ones in Redding are in the Georgetown section of town.  The installation has a pipe sticking up out of the ground, empty of water.  The hose can then be hooked up to the dry hydrant, rather than going directly to the pond.

The Board provided a positive response to the proposal that will move on to the Conservation Commission.


Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island governors meet

Transportation, improved data sharing and renewable energy are some of the issues where the governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island say they've found common ground, promising to work together.

The two Democrats and one Republican met Tuesday for two hours during a private lunch at Eastern Connecticut State University. The three say they found the meeting beneficial and agreed to meet again in Providence this fall.

The event was organized by Governor Ned Lamont, a former businessman who said he believes developing personal relationships with Connecticut's neighbors is important.

Lamont, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island all spoke of the challenges they face addressing transportation infrastructure needs. Raimondo urged Lamont not to give up on enacting electronic tolls.

Senate President Martin Looney is bringing back the idea of truck only tolling.  Lamont's spokeswoman said the Governor is open to a number of options, but doubts the idea could win federal approval.

Transportation Committee chair Roland Lemar says a limited approach that meets the very basic needs of the state might be the right approach at the moment.  If toll gantries were to be placed only on bridges, only certain ones meet federal criteria.  Washington would have to sign off on plans for a major repair or a replacement before a gantry can be installed.  Once the project is complete, the gantry could stay up to fund other projects or it can be taken down.


Online pre-ticketing program to start this week for access to Squantz Pond State Park

An online pre-ticketing program is being implemented for access to Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  Once ticket sales reach capacity, park closures will be announced online.  After the system has been tested and up and running for a while, no vehicles will be admitted without a ticket. 

First Selectman Pat Del Monaco says the nice weather on Independence Day again frustrated New Fairfield residents who travel on Route 39 near Squantz Pond.  The Park Supervisor opened an hour early on the 4th because there were already 200 cars waiting to be let in. 

State Police sent four Troopers to assist the four ENCON police already in place, and by about 9:30, the congestion had cleared. 

Del Monaco says the DEEP Bureau Chief of Outdoor Recreation has agreed to open the park as soon as traffic begins to back up on Route 39. Hammonasset State Park, which has never before filled to capacity, also experienced capacity crowds and traffic issues on the Fourth this year.


Wilton, Torrington Police experience phone outages

Wilton Police experienced an issue Sunday morning where their phone and internet systems went down.  The 911 system remained functional.  A back up non-emergency line was established.  Within 3 hours phone and internet service was restored.  Torrington police said this morning their phone lines were down and asked the public to refrain from using its emergency phone system for routine calls.  Police say they don't know what caused the problem Tuesday morning.  The 911 system is operational.  The Torrington department established a temporary line for routine calls.


Vote on recommendations from Religious Display Committee postponed

The Bethel Board of Selectmen has postponed discussion of recommendations from the Religious Display Committee until next month.  Members of the committee could not make tonight's meeting.  The group recommended that applications approved in past years, the creche and atheist banner, be given priority if their applications are completed again in future years.  New applicants for PT Barnum Square would go into a lottery to determine where their display would be placed, if there's not enough room on the property.


Construction continues on campuses of Bethel, Region 12 schools

The Town of Bridgewater is highlighting major additions to Shepaug Valley High School in neighboring Washington.  The towns are part of the Region 12 school district.  The renovations have been underway for several months and a youtube video posted to their Facebook page with a view of the construction inside and outside several buildings being created for the new Agriscience/Science Labs center.

Claris Construction has provided an update for the Bethel High School indoor Track & Field Training Center.  Drone footage shows the skeleton of the facility. Butler Manufacturing steel is erected and the roof has started. Concrete on mezzanine is also in place. The footage shows where the 200m track will be looking down on the space below.  A concrete slab on lower level is being poured.


Carmel residents charge with criminal mischief as a hate crime

Two Carmel residents have been arrested for criminal mischief as a hate crime among other charges for an incident in Somers last weekend.  New York State Police responded to the Chili's restaurant on Route 6 July 6th on a report of a domestic dispute. 

An investigation revealed at 50-year olds Antonio and Gina Vuksanaj blocked the victim from leaving, tried to pull the victim from a car and damaged the victim's vehicle with a tire iron.  Police say the crimes appear to be biased in nature due to the victim’s sexual orientation. 

The pair were also charged with criminal contempt for violating an order of protection, unlawful imprisonment and harassment.  Antonio Vuksanaj was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon, a felony, due to a previous weapon related conviction.  Both were arraigned and ordered held on bond. 

An additional full stay away order of protection was granted by the Court. 


Cars ticketed, towed for illegal parking around Squantz Pond

45 tickets for illegal parking around Squantz Pond have been issued by New Fairfield officers and State Troopers between the 4th of July and this past weekend.  First Selectman Pat Del Monaco says 7 unattended illegally parked vehicles were also towed. 

She says the town is continuing to work with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to improve traffic issues associated with the park.  

Del Monaco notes that since No Parking signs have gone up, and enforcement increased, there has been a dramatic decrease in illegal parking on town roads and private property.  There's also been a decrease in littering along the roadside.


Redding man identified as man killed in head-on Easton crash

A Redding man has been identified as the driver killed in a head-on crash on Route 59 in Easton Sunday night.  Police say 36-year old Andy Rivera was pronounced dead on the scene.  5 other people were injured in the accident.  Easton Police Chief Tim Shaw says two of his family members, a 62-year old woman and a 6-year old girl were injured.  The occupants of the other car, a 50-year old woman and two 17-year olds, her daughter and another girl, were also injured. Shaw identified them only as international visitors on vacation.  The crash remains under investigation.


'Abolish ICE' graffiti found on Brookfield church

Graffiti has been found in Brookfield.  The words Abolish ICE were found written on the side of St. Joseph's church over the weekend.  Brookfield Police alerted the Roman Catholic church on Whisconier Road about the vandalism early Sunday morning.  Workers placed a tarp over the graffiti and started scrubbing off the spray paint yesterday.  Church leaders said because the side of the church faces a busy roadway, it represented "a billboard that they did not need."


Headstones knocked over in Easton cemetery

Over forty headstones have been knocked over and damaged at Union Cemetery in Easton.  Police were called about the large amount of vandalism on Sport Hill Road on Friday.  The town of Milford had a similar incident happen on June 28th.  Anyone with any information is asked to contact Easton Police at 203-638-0595.

(Photo: EPD)


Task force set up to study mental health services at Conn. colleges, universities

Governor Lamont has signed a bill into law creating a task force to recommend a state-wide policy for and study the prevention and treatment of mental illness at institutions of higher education in the state.   The task force must submit a report on its findings and recommendations General Assembly committees no later than January 2020.  The group must look into how schools inform students of the availability of mental health services and the rate at which the mental health services are used in comparison to the total student body.  The group must also look into the way the services are delivered to students, including whether they're available online, through individual counseling sessions or group discussions and a listing of the types of mental health care providers available to students.  Ridgefield state Senator Will Haskell, a recent college grad, backs the measure.  He says public policy makers too often overlook the mental health crisis that exists among young people.


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