Local News

Black Lives Matter mural at Pomperaug High School vandalized

A Black Lives Matter mural at Pomperaug High School has been vandalized.  An administrator reported the incident to police last week.  Students created the mural two years ago on a walkway leading to the football stadium.  There are other murals on the walkway, but this was the only one vandalized. It was covered up with black tar or asphalt smear. Anyone with information is asked to contact Southbury Police.

Brush fire near Mahopac elementary school extinguished

The Mahopac Falls Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fast growing brush fire yesterday afternoon.  The blaze was reported near Austin Road Elementary School.  Mahopac Fire was also dispatched and firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the flames.  They continued with the overhaul to ensure all hot spots were found and left the scene after about an hour.

COVID-19 vaccine clinic scheduled in New Fairfield

The Griffin Health Vaccination Van will return to New Fairfield on Saturday, at the High School Cafeteria, for a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.  This is for all age groups, starting at 6 months. The clinic is from 10am to 4pm. The CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months get a the primary series of vaccinations, and boosters if eligible.  The CDC also recommends vaccinations and boosters even for people who have had COVID.

Vacancies open on Newtown Boards, Commissions

There are a couple of vacancies on Newtown Boards and Commissions.  The Design Advisory Board has an alternate vacancy available to any registered voter. The Police Commission has a vacant position available to a registered Democrat. The last day to submit interest is August 19th

HRRA to host another Household Hazardous Waste event

The Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority is hosting another Household Hazardous Waste event next month.  The collection event for all towns in the HRRA region will be on September 10th from 9 am to 1 pm at the Hurlbutt Elementary School in Weston.  A list of items that will be collected and those items that aren't allowed can be found on the HRRA website.

Newtown Community Center hosting Fill A Backpack Drive

Officials from the Newtown Community Center are touting a generous donation that came in for their Fill A Backpack Drive.  All of the supplies collected will be distributed throughout the Newtown community.  Anyone still wanting to donate can do so through Friday.  There's a bin in the lobby to collect the donations.  Newtown's academic year begins on the 29th.

Bethel First Selectman to resign to take job in Wilton

Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker is resigning to take a new job in Wilton. He Will become Wilton’s first town administrator.  Knickerbocker will leave his current job on September 7th.  He held the elected position for 13 years. 

Selectman Rich Straiton will step up to lead the town.  The vacancy in the First Selectman's Office will require a special election in the near future, as well as an appointment by the Board of Selectmen to fill the third seat. The special election will most likely be held in early 2023. 

Knickerbocker says he's been contemplating making a career change at the end of his current term, wanting to continue in the field of public service, but in a more secure position.  He says since the pandemic has eased, he's gone back to graduate school and earned a master’s degree in public administration. 

Wilton First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice says there's increasing resident demand for a “24/7 local government” and described the role as that of Chief Operating Officer.  The town administrator will assist the first select person and act as a conduit between that office and residents. 

The Wilton Board of Selectmen approved a motion from Vanderslice to lower her salary by $20,000 as some of her duties will be passed off to the Town Administrator.  There's up to $200,000 budgeted for the new position, though a contract has not yet been signed. 

Some of the things Knickerbocker says he's most proud of include the ongoing accelerated road reconstruction program, making Bethel one of the first towns in the state to construct a municipal solar farm to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the town’s energy expenses, constructing a new police station and full renovation of two elementary schools, completion of the stalled library expansion, fully revamping the town’s finances and achieving the highest possible bond rating and adopting financial policies that will protect taxpayers from sudden spikes in tax rates in the future. But he says the most significant was transforming the Bethel public water system from being on the verge of failure and making it into one of the best public water systems in the state.

Knickerbocker served on the Western Connecticut Council of Governments’ Executive Committee with Vanderslice and has held leadership positions with the Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Material Management, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority, Connecticut Council of Small Towns and Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency.

Special Town Meeting in Brookfield on funding requests for school security

Brookfield residents will get a chance to weigh in on funding requests for school security.  A Special Town Meeting has been scheduled for August 22nd at 7pm in the Brookfield High School auditorium.  American Rescue Plan Act funding would be tapped to hire two School Resource Officers by the Brookfield Police Department.  The Board of Education is requesting $251,515.  A separate appropriation of $344,718 is being requested by the Board of Ed from ARPA funding to hire 5 unarmed school security personnel to monitor camera, check-in at front doors and to patrol each school campus.  The money would also go toward the hiring of an Armed School Security Officer for after school hours at Brookfield High School.

Conn. offers grants to schools to provide free breakfast, lunch

Through funding by the State of Connecticut, all schools will begin the new academic year with school meals for free. Students are entitled to one free breakfast and one free lunch daily. The length of this funding is uncertain, as it depends on demand, and meals will go back to being paid, free or reduced price when the grant runs out.  New Milford school officials say that's anticipated to happen before January 1st. The district will provide families with notification prior to this happening.  Even though meals will be free to start the school year, parents are being urged to complete and submit a free and reduced-price meal application. This will help avoid unnecessary charges to student accounts when the district transitions back to a paid, free and reduced price meal system.  Applications can be found on the New Milford School district website.

New Milford Youth Agency offers no-cost counseling services

New Milford Youth Agency Director Jason O'Connor has come up with mental services opportunities for young residents, especially for those youth and families that can least afford it. The service was started last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Youth Agency offers no-cost counseling services for a variety of areas including Depression and Anxiety, Anger Management/Conflict Resolution, ADHD and School Problems.  They also address Social Skills and Bullying, Conflict Resolution, Behavior Management, Self Esteem and Life Skills.  Grief and Loss, Life Transitions, Family Relationship Issues, LGBTQIA+ are also covered.  Any New Milford parent or youth wanting more information can contact the Youth Agency.

Short term rental regulations called for in Redding

Short term rental regulations in Redding could be proposed.  The Planning Commission received a letter from a resident about the need for rules around the industry and the chairman looked at how the issue is handled in other towns and Councils of Government. Redding's Zoning and Inland Wetlands Enforcement Officer noted that current zoning regulations do not adequately address short-term rentals. The Planning Commission Chair suggested the issue should be studied by a committee created by the Board of Selectmen and then draft a proposal.  They suggest members include those from Planning, Zoning, and the newly established Economic Development Committee, as well as the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

Two injured in three-vehicle crash in Woodbury

One man sustained serious injuries and a woman suffered minor injuries in a three car crash in Woodbury yesterday afternoon.  State Police say a Chevy Bolt was headed north on Route 6 when it crossed into the southbound lanes and hit a Jeep, which spun and hit another vehicle going south.  A 78-year-old Bethlehem man, the Bolt driver, was transported to Waterbury Hospital with serious injuries. The Jeep driver, a 34-year-old Woodbury woman was transported to Danbury Hospital with minor injuries.  The other driver, a 77-year-old Southbury woman, was not injured.  Route 6 was closed from around 1:30pm between routes 64 and 67 until shortly before 5:30pm. The accident remains under investigation.

Danbury Police promote three members

The Danbury City Council has confirmed three promotions within the Danbury Police Department. 

Robert Conrad is being promoted to Lieutenant.  He joined the force in 1988 and has served as a member of the ESU SWAT Team, an Assistant Court Officer and Private Duty Officer.  Mayor Dean Esposito says Conrad is well known for his dedication, work ethic and exceptional police work.  He has received many awards, citations and letters of appreciation, including the Exceptional Police Service Award in 1991, and the Life Saving Medal in both June 2018 and October 2018. 

David Antedomenico has been promoted to Sergeant.  He joined the Department in 1995 and has served as a DHS perimeter Security Officer as well as full time Evidence Technician.  He has also dedicated over 20 years with the police Cadet Program, serving as the Assistance Advisor and now the Advisor.  Antedomenico has received the Exceptional Police Service Award, the Chief's Achievement Award and was named the Danbury Exchange Club Officer of the Year in 2007. 

Joseph Michael has been promoted to Detective. He joined the Department in 2014, comin to Danbury from the Newtown Police Department.  He serves as part-time Evidence Technician and is a Field Training Officer.  Michael has earned several letters of appreciation for his service, including Unit Citations in 2014 and 2019.  

Alex Jones' lawyer faces disciplinary hearing in Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut judge has begun hearing testimony on whether a lawyer for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should be disciplined for disclosing highly sensitive documents to another one of Jones' lawyers. The hearing about attorney Norman Pattis' conduct started Wednesday. It's in connection with a defamation lawsuit filed by Sandy Hook families against Jones for calling the 2012 shooting a hoax. Twenty first-graders and six educators were killed. Pattis has denied violating a Connecticut judge's order not to disclose confidential documents. Jones was found liable for damages to the families, and jury selection is set to resume Thursday for a trial to determine the amount of damages.

Narcan revives two opioid overdose patients in Wilton

Within the span of  two hours on Sunday evening, Wilton Police officers responded to two separate opioid overdose calls with unresponsive patients.  In both instances the patients were saved by the administering of Narcan by either a friend or responding officers.  Narcan is a brand name of Naloxone, a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.  It attaches to opioid receptors and reverses and blocks the effects of other opioids. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose. 

Chipotle makes revisions to application for new site on Backus Ave.

The Danbury Planning Commission is continuing a public hearing tonight on a proposed fast food restaurant, with drive thru, and a medical office at the corner of Sugar Hollow Road at Backus Avenue.  Chipotle is looking to locate to the property that formerly housed Pier One Imports. 

According to the City's Traffic Engineer, the existing lower traffic volumes from the current study at Backus Avenue and Route 7 Ramps still reflect the post pandemic reduction of traffic when compared with 2019 volumes from Shake Shack traffic report.  The Traffic Engineer wants the project to replace the existing vehicle detection system at the intersections along Backus at the Mall entrance and at Sugar Hollow with a much reliable new 360 degree video vehicle detection system.  This would allow the City to remotely monitor the traffic operations in this area and make necessary timing adjustments as needed for the post development and post pandemic traffic conditions when needed.  

The applicant revised the site plan, based on the City's comments, to now show a drive thru lane 12 feet wide.  Proposed lighting was adjusted to eliminate encroachment onto adjacent properties and shields will be added to minimize glare and skyglow.  

The Zoom meeting is at 7:30pm. 

Streetscape road closure in Brookfield shifts

Federal Road streetscaping in Brookfield is continuing.  The  “Road Closed to Thru Traffic” & “Business Open” signage on Old Route 7 was moved today from their location near the Dunkin driveway to the south end of Old Route 7 at Laurel Hill. The barrels and signage that read “Road Closed” were moved to the northern end.  Customers wanting to access 18, 28 & 31 Old Route 7 businesses will be able to from Laurel Hill Rd only, not Federal Road.  This signage will remain for the next couple weeks until all streetscape work is completed on Old Route 7 and contractors move on to pocket park construction.

Smoke, burning odor reported in Monroe school

Smoke was reported in Fawn Hollow School this morning in Monroe.  The Monroe Volunteer Fire Department, along with Stepney, responded to the school around 5am for the activated alarm.  Custodial staff and firefighters quickly located a burning odor and light smoke condition traced to a malfunctioning HVAC unit with no further damage.

House fire reported in New Milford

No injuries were reported in a New Milford house fire last night.  Water Witch Hose Company responded to Bostwick Place for a reported structure fire around 8:30 and called in Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company for assistance.  Due to the warm weather, Brookfield was assigned to assist with overhaul and extinguishment.  Additional EMS units were called for firefighter rehab.  The American Red Cross also responded to the scene to assist the family.

New Fairfield firefighters help test suppression system at High School

New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department assisted the High School Construction Project by supplying water to the building's fire protection system for testing.  Shuttles were run between Ball Pond and the High School, resulting in 16,400 gallons of water being transferred.  Squad 16, with Engine 13 as standby, were located at the Ball Pond boat launch supplying the water for the tankers. The Fire police were also called in for traffic support during the Monday Night Department Drill operation.

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