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A car reported stolen in Ridgefield has been recovered by State Police after a highway pursuit in the Waterbury area.  Several people called police Monday about an erratic Audi driver, but Troopers determined that the license plate didn't match the vehicle description.  The driver sped away from the cruisers with lights and sirens activated.  The driver, later determined to be 29-year old Cornelius Coney of Waterbury, eventually stopped near exit 17 because of slow traffic.  Coney was charged for having a suspended license, reckless endangerment, motor vehicle theft, possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotics, engaging police in a pursuit, reckless driving for speeding over 85mph, lack of insurance, improper plates and operating an unregistered motor vehicle.  Coney posted $50,000 bond and was ordered to appear in court on November 8th.

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On Monday, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and SpreadMusicNow will present donations at Park Avenue School to support music education in Danbury.  With the support of a $50,000 gift from SpreadMusicNow, VH1 Save The Music donated new instruments, equipment, professional development and program support all valued at $180,000 to this fall’s music programs at Morris Street, Park Avenue and South Street schools.  A performance will be held at 9:30am, followed by a presentation of the donation.  There are 115 Danbury elementary school students who will directly benefit from the program.

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Moody's Investor Service announced it has placed 26 Connecticut municipalities and three regional school districts under review for a possible downgrade. 

 

Another 25 cities and towns and three regional school districts were assigned negative outlooks.  Among those listed is two bonds in New Fairfield , three held by New Milford and four in Oxford. Moody's notes how the state has historically provided cities and towns with significant amounts of funding, largely education grants.  The rating agency cited the state's budget impasse and the vulnerability of state aid to municipalities. 

 

Last week, Standard & Poor's Global Ratings downgraded its outlook for the state's general obligation bonds to "negative," while keeping the rating at A-plus. 

 

The Connecticut Conference of Small Towns is still unhappy with Governor Malloy's latest budget offering, calling it "a swing and a miss" for shifting teacher pension costs to municipalities "in a way that will overwhelm property taxpayers."

 

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities says Moody's action will have a devastating impact.

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A routine traffic stop led to two Connecticut men being arrested in New York for having a stolen license plate and being in possession of drugs.  Troopers pulled a car over on Saturday in Brewster for several traffic infractions.  22-year old Tyler Potenziani of Danbury and 35-year Jovanny Gutierrez of Waterbury were found with cocaine and rolled dollar bills containing cocaine residue. 

 

The Connecticut license plate was stolen and the vehicle was unregistered. Potenziani had a blood alcohol content more than three times the legal limit and was also charged with driving while intoxicated. 

 

  

(Potenziani, Gutierrez)

 

Gutierrez was wanted by the New York City Police Department for an active Bench Warrant. 

 

Potenziani was charged for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Obstructing Governmental Administration, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct, and multiple Vehicle and Traffic Violations. 

 

Gutierrez was cited for a Violation of Criminal Procedure Law, Failing to Surrender to a Bench Warrant, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Disorderly Conduct.

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A referendum is being held in Bethel today on school renovations. 

 

School officials are applying to the state Department of Administrative Services for space standard waivers for Rockwell and Johnson schools.  The proposed renovation projects could be partially reimbursed by the state.  Superintendent Christine Carver says the waiver for Rockwell could mean another $2 million in savings down the road.  State officials asked the town to look at the proposed square footage of the Johnson project.  Some design modifications were made to reduce common area spaces. 

 

The state verbally agreed to a space standard waiver there as well. 

 

Carver says they are now formally requesting those waivers, while submitting paperwork to get on the school construction funding priority list.  In the past, the state reimbursed all eligible projects.  Due to the massive deficits in recent years, the criteria for funding has changed. 

 

The way Bethel's charter is written, a referendum has to be held before November 15th, to show resident-backing of the project, in order to get on the state priority list.

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Governor Dannel Malloy has released a new budget proposal as the impasse with lawmakers continues.  His new fourth proposal works off the Democratic majority budget plan, which was not the one the General Assembly approved.  It gets rid of the Transportation Board, which would have had the authority to impose electronic tolls. 

 

Malloy updated his Education Cost Sharing formula, still focusing on the 30 Alliance Districts, but phasing in cuts more gradually elsewhere.   Redding and Ridgefield would be zeroed out in Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019. 

 

 It strips away taxes, substituting cuts in spending.  He is not recommending a cell phone surcharge, a property tax on seasonal homes, a fee for auto trade-ins or fee on ridesharing services.  He would not authorize daily fantasy sports contests.

 

The plan does include a "Municipal Accountability Review Board" to oversee city of Hartford.

 

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano thanked the Democratic governor for releasing another retooled, two-year, $41.25 billion budget on Monday. But he says ``it's obvious'' the plan will not pass in its current form. Fasano says it includes ``devastating cuts to certain core services'' and shifts state expenses onto municipalities.

Fasano and his fellow top Republican and Democratic leaders are continuing nearly two weeks of closed-door budget talks in hopes of reaching a bipartisan agreement. The lawmakers say they'll review Malloy's revised budget, which he calls ``bare bones'' and includes ideas from both parties.

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The Danbury Fire Department is hiring Entry Level Firefighters.  Fire Chief TJ Wiedl says they are looking for people who have a commitment to community and an interest in being part of that mission to apply.  He says firefighters are tasked with protecting the life, property, and environment of all residents in the most efficient and safe manner possible through emergency management, training, and education.  Department members not only provide fire suppression, but also public education, emergency medical response, rescue and more.  Applicants will be asked to take written, oral, psychological, and physical exams.  Applications are being accepted through November 6th.

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Western Connecticut Health Network and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have announced a new cancer care collaboration that will integrate MSK medical and radiation oncologists and care practices with the existing cancer program at the Norwalk Hospital.

 

This is the first time Memorial Sloan Kettering doctors will be leading cancer services within another hospital's cancer program outside of New York State.  Hospital officials say residents of Fairfield County will have accelerated access to the newest cancer treatment options, including clinical trials.

 

All six of Norwalk Hospital's current medical and radiation oncologists have joined MSK’s medical staff.  Each year, 700 patients are newly diagnosed at Norwalk Hospital with cancer.

 

Current patient of Norwalk Hospital/Western Connecticut Medical Group will continue to receive two bills where applicable; one bill for the physician’s professional services (including MSK physicians) and one bill for clinical services (lab, radiology, chemotherapy).

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Five people were injured in a two-vehicle, head-on collision in Southeast on Sunday.  The crash happened on Tonetta Lake Road around 1:30pm.  Preliminary reports indicate that a minivan travelling westbound crossed over the center line as it rounded a curve, running head-on into a pickup truck.  23-year old Karen Stein of Southeast was driving the minivan with two adult passengers.  37-year old Edwin Lopez-Ramirez of Danbury had one passenger in the pickup.  All five were transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

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New Fairfield has dedicated a new 9/11 park with a ceremony Sunday.  A walkway, bench and flagpole sits next to the senior center on Route 37.   A plaque commemorating the three resident's lives lost on 9/11 was donated by anonymous New Fairfield residents and the New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department.  The memorial also features a piece of steel on loan from the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.  It's from the south tower where Siller is believed to have perished.  He was the cousin of former First Selectman John Hodge.  The Lion's Club donated the bench at the site in honor of the organization's 100th anniversary.

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The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is cautioning boaters still on the water who use the Lattins Cove launch on Candlewood Lake should take extra care. The launch ramp is damaged, with the bottom of the ramp broken up and a large drop off. Plans for repairs are in process and a sign is being posted to mark the end of the ramp surface. Backing down beyond that sign is not recommended. The lake level is also down close to the minimum “summer” level, at which launching of trailered boats, especially larger boats, becomes more difficult at Lattins Cove.  The Squantz Cove state launch is fully functional.

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The Redding League of Women Voters will host a debate tomorrow.  Candidates from the Board of Finance, Redding Board of Education and Region 9 Board of Education will participate.  The debate is from 7 to 9 pm at the Redding Community Center.  Two candidates will be elected to serve a full term on the Board of Finance and there is one vacancy to be filled.  Four candidates will be elected for the Redding Board of Education.  Two candidates will be elected for the Region 9 Board of Education.

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The Wilton Domestic Violence Task Force has partnered with the Wilton Chamber of Commerce for an initiative during this Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Today has been dubbed Wilton Cares Day and coincides with Wilton's Fall Restaurant Week.  Participating restaurants and retailers will be donating a portion of their proceeds on Wilton Cares Day to The Domestic Violence Crisis Center.  The agency serves 7 communities in the Wilton and Weston areas.   According to the DVCC, per capita the number of clients who use their services from Wilton is proportionate to clients served from larger cities such as Norwalk and Stamford.  The agency helps people navigate the legal system, address financial concerns and with housing needs.  Over the last two years, the Center has provided service to 75 households in Wilton.

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The Brookfield Water Pollution Control Authority is looking to buy a $500,000 facility on Commerce Road.   A town meeting on the request is being held tonight.  The Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Selectmen approved the purchase, but the Board of Finance had rejected it. 

 

Since the Authority is funded through user fees, the decision on the 3,000-square-foot space can be decided by Town Meeting. 

 

Six employees are now working out of a 285-square-foot office in Town Hall.  The bigger office space would include room for storage.  The Authority was previously asked by the Board of Finance about renting a place, but a 1,000-square foot facility in the Town Center District would have cost the same as the proposed mortgage. 

 

Tonight's town meeting is at 7pm in Brookfield Town Hall.

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Memorial Park in Danbury has been dedicated in memory of 7 members of the police department and 10 from the fire department killed in the line of duty.  The pocket park is next to the police station at 357 Main Street.

 

 

The park was built as a place of remembrance and reflection.  The landlocked property had an old home on it that the City demolished to make way for the park.  The land was bought for $120,000. 

 

 

The son of one of the fallen officers played TAPS during the ceremony.  Family members of the 17 memorialized were also recognized during the event.

 

Officer Florence Sullivan
Officer Robert Keating
Constable Frederick Ellis
Officer Steven Michalko
Captain Dennis Cooney
Officer Donald Hassiak
Detective William Hull


Assistant Chief Richard Fitzsimmons
Firefighter Walter Gebert
Firefighter Arthur McCormack
Captain Charles Rush
Firefighter Joseph Kuba
Lieutenant Paul Kraiger
Firefighter Joseph Halas
Lieutenant Martin "Butch" Melody
Assistant Chief Thomas Morris
Firefighter Thomas Burke

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The 2017 Walk of Honor Warrior Award recipient is U.S. Army Specialist Daniel Hayes Jr.  He was presented with the award Sunday at the 10th annual Walk of Honor.

 

 

Hayes served during Operation Desert Storm and was awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Achievement. While maneuvering behind enemy lines, Hayes’ unit faced friendly fire while enemy infantry as all around their position.  They were ordered to prepare foxholes, but as his team began to dig in they realized in 120-degree heat and full Army kit they may not make it in time.  Hayes, at his own peril, removed all of his own protective gear and began digging foxholes one at a time while his fellow soldiers covered him with protective fire.

 

Hayes continued his heroism after he returned to the states. He rescued a woman from a burning vehicle after coming upon a motor vehicle accident.  Hayes also serves as director of the Danbury War Memorial and Director of Veteran Affairs for Danbury.

 

A poetry contest was added this year.  4th and 5th graders from King Street Intermediate School wrote poems entitled “What is a Veteran”. Medals were awarded to the top poems in each grade.

 

A one-mile walk followed the ceremony.

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The Danbury College and Vocational Fair, sponsored by the Danbury High School Guidance Department, is back again. 

 

Representatives from more than 220 two-year and four-year colleges, nursing schools, business schools, and trade schools will participate in the annual event which will be held on Monday at the Danbury Mall.  Officers and enlisted personnel from the various branches of the military services will also be on hand to discuss the military's enlistment and education programs such as R.O.T.C., the military academies and the GI Bill. 

 

The information is free and comprehensive and will save parents and students a great deal of time and effort.

 

The representatives will discuss school settings, majors, registration process, specific courses, entrance requirements, athletics, scholarships, and extracurricular activities among other topics. Adults who are considering further education or a change in their careers are also encouraged to attend.  Students and parents will be able to set up college interviews, pick up literature and learn about the various financial aid programs available.

 

The event Monday is from 5pm to 8:30.

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Wilton Police helped New York's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force investigate a fraud scheme that victimized elderly people under the guise of the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.  36-year old Ricardo Castang of Brooklyn was sentenced yesterday to 10-year in prison for the scheme. 

 

The fraud was uncovered as part of an investigation into the trafficking of cocaine from Costa Rica.  Castang was arrested last September when he went to retrieve packages, delivered by mail, containing two souvenir bags from Costa Rica with over two pounds of cocaine hidden in the linings. 

 

An investigation found additional cocaine trafficking and the $300,000 fraud scheme involving more than two dozen victims from 17 states.  Victims were told they won the sweepstakes, but before they could collect their prize they were required to submit payment to Castang for fees and taxes owed. 

 

The victims ranged in age from 51 to 91, with the average age being 78.

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A Washington state man has been charged with fraud and identity theft charges in Connecticut stemming from a credit card fraud scheme.  27-year old Elijah Chin pleaded not guilty yesterday and was released on bond.  Wilton and Ridgefield Police helped the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigate the case.  Between December and this February, Chin is accused of electronically opening credit card accounts using personal identifying information from Connecticut residents and taking the cards out of their mailboxes.  He allegedly used the credit cards to purchase gift cards, pre-paid cards and other items at various retail stores in Connecticut.

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Senator Chris Murphy is touring the 72-acre former Century Brass property in New Milford this afternoon.  State and federal Brownfields Program are working together to clean up and redevelop the abandoned property.  Murphy, who is author of the CLEAN UP Act to incentivize the redevelopment of old industrial sites, plans to highlight federal brownfields remediation resources and his efforts to secure more federal funds to help transform these under-used industrial sites and boost Connecticut’s local economies.

 

After working with Newtown-based engineering company Wind Hardware to combat trade fraud and grow business opportunities for Connecticut companies, Senator Chris Murphy visits this afternoon.  He will host an employee town hall to discuss his continued focus on strengthening business opportunities and protecting other Connecticut companies from fraudulent trade activity.

 

Senator Chris Murphy presented a Broadview Middle School student in Danbury yesterday with a proclamation for winning last year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest.  He read the last paragraph of Caroline D’Angelo's essay where she focused on King’s taking a stand for what was right and about speaking up even when it’s difficult.   Murphy’s office received thousands of entries for the first year of the statewide contest.

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