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The Brookfield Commission on Aging is looking for volunteers.  The Brookfield Commission on Aging proposes and evaluates programs and services for older citizens in an effort to enhance the lives of present and future generations of the town's seniors. The commission helps Brookfield officials in the development, initiation, coordination and implementation of those programs and services.  The Commission is specifically looking for a volunteer to help schedule FISH rides.  The program provides rides for ambulatory seniors to medical appointments. The scheduler listens to voice mail messages received by email and matches volunteer drivers with requests.  Questions can be emailed to coaging@brookfieldct.gov.



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The Van Transportation Program, offering rides to the senior center in Danbury, is expanding.  Danbury recently purchased a new service van for the Senior Center’s Van Transportation Program.   City officials will hold a brief dedication ceremony at Elmwood Hall Thursday afternoon for the van.  Director of Elderly Services Susan Tomanio says the new service bus for Elmwood Hall enables them to provide more rides than in the past, as the capacity to transport has been increased.  The current service van holds 8 seats, while the new van has the capacity for 10.  Schedules are given out to riders created to optimize use and allow each senior to attend the events of their choosing at the center.  The senior center made 5,624 one-way trips with their service van last year.



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Police found a dagger in a New Milford woman's car during a routine traffic stop.  New York State Police stopped a car on Route 22 in Dover last Tuesday for a routine traffic violation.  The driver, 23-year old Kelsey Vincent, was found to be in possession of a dagger.  She was issued a ticket for weapon possession and other charges.  Vincent was ordered to appear in court on the 26th.  She was then turned over to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office for an active warrant.  The Sheriff's Department says the New Milford woman was the subject of a bench warrant issued by the Town of Patterson Justice Court for failure to pay a fine.  She was arraigned, paid the balance of her fine and released.



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Ahead of Friday's inauguration of President-elect Trump a member of the Connecticut Congressional delegation is looking for common ground with the country's next leader.  4th District Democratic Congressman Jim Himes is hoping that because Donald Trump is a builder, he will follow through on his interest in making a commitment to upgrading the nation's infrastructure.  Himes says anyone who lives in Southwest Connecticut knows how important it is to upgrade the bridges, highways, railways and the airports in New York and Hartford.  Himes says even though Trump is a Republican, if he moves forward with that work, they will be able to find common ground to work with him.



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Some rule changes could be coming to the Candlewood Lake Authority asking that member towns pay their contributions to the budget by a certain date.  This proposal comes as New Fairfield has an outstanding balance.  In order to preserve services and programs, the CLA will ask Danbury for an advance of their quarterly dues if New Fairfield doesn't pay their share. 

 

The Newstimes reports that the amendment, which could be voted on next month, would stop delegates from towns in bad standing from participating in the meetings.  The published report quoted New Fairfield delegate John Hodge in saying that it would be illegal to restrict members from speaking at public meetings.

 

New Fairfield officials say the town has made monthly payments and intends to pay the full amount, but that they want more information on budget discrepancies and about contributions to the educational fund. 

 

In the past couple of years, New Fairfield officials have called for changes and transparency from the CLA in their budgeting because of alleged mismanagement.  Donations are now separated from other revenue.



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LAS VEGAS (AP) The gun industry's leading lobbying group and a foundation devoted to preventing suicide are partnering to try to reduce suicides over the next decade.

The Newtown-based National Sports Shooting Foundation and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention launched four pilot-programs last summer and are now rolling out the initiative nationally. Two-thirds of all gun deaths are suicide.

The goal of the partnership is to reduce the number of suicides by 10,000 in the next decade. The groups have created brochures that will educate gun dealers and ranges on ways first to recognize warning signs and then to prevent the person from accessing a firearm until they are able to recover from their illness.



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New Milford Police are investigating a Larceny at the New Milford Stop & Shop.  Police say the shop lifting incident happened yesterday.  Police are asking for the public's assistance in identifying the suspect in surveillance photos.  Anyone with information is asked to contact New Milford Police at 860-355-3133.

 

 



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A man refusing to leave the Putnam County Correctional Facility lobby injured two Putnam County Sheriff Sergeants last week.  The Carmel man is now facing charges.  The officers were called to the jail on the 9th on a report that 59-year old John Groissl tried to visit a female inmate, who refused to accept the visitation request, and then refused to leave. 

 

He reportedly continued to disrupt facility operations.  The sergeants repeatedly attempted to persuade the man to leave the premises and warned him that he would be arrested if he did not comply. 

 

When they tried to handcuff Groissl, he tried to punch one of the sergeants. 

 

The two sergeants and Groissl were all treated at Putnam Hospital Center for injuries sustained in the altercation and were released.  Sergeant Monroe suffered abrasions and pain to both his knees, Sergeant Szabo suffered an abrasion to his left knee and pain to his left hip, and Groissl suffered an abrasion to his face. 

 

Groissl was charged with felony assault, trespass, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.  He was arraigned and ordered held on bond.



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One driver was seriously injured this morning in a head-on collision in Brewster.  The Putnam County Sheriff's office reports that a northbound pick up truck crossed over the center line of Route 22, into the path of a southbound Verizon truck.  The accident happened shortly before 8am near Route 121. 

 

The force of the impact sent the Verizon truck into a rollover and down an embankment.  The heavily demolished pickup truck stopped in the shoulder of the road. 

 

A passing motorist came upon the crash and phoned 911.

 

The driver of the pickup was pinned in the wreckage, and volunteer firefighters from the Brewster and Croton Falls Fire Department needed about 40 minutes to extricate him using the Jaws of Life tool. 

 

The man, who had multiple serious injuries, was still conscious and airlifted to Westchester Medical Center.  The two men in the Verizon truck had what appeared to be minor injuries.  They were initially treated at the scene before being transported to Danbury Hospital for evaluation.

 

Route 22 was closed between Deans Corner Road and Railroad Avenue for the investigation for at least six hours.



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The Connecticut Supreme Court will start the fifth term of the 2016-17 court year today, and conclude the term on January 26th.  One of the cases being heard on Monday morning is the State of Connecticut v. Roberto Acosta, from the Danbury Judicial District.  The question is of whether evidence of uncharged Sexual Misconduct occurring 13 years before the charged crimes was properly admitted under State v. DeJesus.

 

The 49-year old defendant was charged with sexual assault and risk of injury to a child in connection with a 2009 incident involving his niece.  At trial, evidence was admitted that, in 1997, the defendant had engaged in uncharged sexual misconduct with another child. The defendant was convicted and he appealed, claiming that the court improperly admitted the uncharged misconduct evidence because it was too remote in time and not sufficiently similar to the charged misconduct. 

 

The Appellate Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction. 

 

State v. DeJesus holds that evidence of uncharged sexual misconduct properly may be admitted in sex crime cases to establish that the defendant had a propensity to engage in aberrant and compulsive criminal sexual behavior if the trial court determines, among other things, that the evidence is relevant to the charged crime in that it is not too remote in time.

 

The Appellate Court reasoned that the remoteness in time of a prior incident is rarely determinative of the admissibility of the evidence and emphasized that the evidence here was relevant because there was a significant similarity between the uncharged and charged misconduct.

 

The Supreme Court will determine whether the Appellate Court properly determined that the trial court did not abuse its discretion.



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There's been some discussion in the last few weeks about freedom of speech, even if you disagree with what is being expressed.  There's also been calls for transparency from elected officials.  The Congress though has adopted rules that would sanction members for using electronic recording devices on the House floor. 

 

5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says there was talk last year of potential sanctions against members who participated in the sit-in to protest refusal to take up gun safety legislation.  Esty says they knew they were not permitted to use electronic recording devices, but wanted to get their message out to constituents.  The sit-in was led by civil rights activist Congressman John Lewis and Connecticut Congressman John Larson.

 

Esty says it's worth considering new ways for government to be as transparent as possible, especially as technology makes that possible.  Esty notes that technology is changing and people expect more candid interaction with their elected representative.  She says younger constituents, students specifically, have come to rely on Facebook Live, Periscope and other video streaming services to keep up with events.

 

The fine taken out of a member's paycheck is $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for the second offense of using an electronic recording device on the House floor.



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A New Milford High School student has been arrested for a fight at the school.  New Milford Police said in a press release that the juvenile male was arrested on Thursday and charged for a minor physical altercation at New Milford High School.  The teen was charged with breach of peace, 3rd degree assault and criminal mischief.  No further details about the incident were immediately released by police.



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A man was rescued from the Housatonic River over the weekend when his car went off the road in Kent.  Police say the Massachusetts man ran off the road shortly before 11pm Saturday near Macedonia Road.  The man, Brian Zingwe, climbed onto the roof of his car when it started to sink and was rescued by the Goshen Fire Department Dive Team.  The car was eventually pulled from the Housatonic River.  The man was uninjured, but transported to the hospital for evaluation.



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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Monroe state Rep. J.P. Sredzinski, a public safety dispatch supervisor, knows firsthand the challenges of fielding misdirected 911 emergency calls from cellphone users.

 

While some calls are easily rerouted to the correct dispatch center, others become tricky when the person isn't sure where he or she is located and the call has been routed through the nearest cellphone tower that may be in another community.

 

"They don't know where they are. You don't know where they are," said Sredzinski, who works in Stratford. He said calls have to be transferred to another emergency call center numerous times each day.

 

"Dispatchers do spend valuable time on the phone," said the Republican lawmaker.

 

Recently named the new top House Republican on the General Assembly's Public Safety Committee, Sredzinski has submitted legislation that requires 911 calls to be routed to the nearest "public safety answering point," a 24-hour emergency call center. Sredzinski acknowledged he's unsure whether such legislation is absolutely necessary or possible, given the technological challenges, but said he wants to bring the issue to light.

 

"It's something that needs to be addressed," he said, expressing frustration that "we live in in a society where, with a phone app, Domino's knows exactly where you are" but not a 911 dispatcher. He noted that California lawmakers last year passed legislation requiring a comprehensive statewide review of that state's 911 routing decision-making process.

 

According to the Federal Communications Commission, an estimated 70 percent of 911 calls are placed from wireless phones. The FCC notes how the phones are mobile and therefore not associated with a fixed location like a landline phone, when the caller's number and address automatically appears on the 911 operator's screen.

 

"While the location of the cell site closest to the 911 caller may provide a general indication of the caller's location, that information is not always specific enough for rescue personnel to deliver assistance to the caller quickly," the FCC notes on its website.

 

Of the nearly 2.2 million emergency calls made in Connecticut last year, state records show 332,287 were made using a traditional phone line, 119,66 using an internet-based phone service and more than 1.7 million using a wireless device.

 

Monroe Police Chief John Salvatore, president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, said his department has had a few instances in which it was difficult to determine where a 911 caller was located. He said he welcomes the legislation if there is something that can be done.

 

"We spend a little bit of time trying to identify the location of a caller and that has delayed our response, but thankfully it's not a life-threatening thing," he said. "But how many times can you roll the dice?"

 

The FCC has been working on the issue of transitioning 911 services from landline only to wireless and cellular technologies since 1996. According to an April 2015 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the first phase focused on allowing emergency dispatchers to view a wireless caller's number and identify the cell tower nearest to the caller's phone. The second phase is supposed to increase the accuracy of the caller's location by providing their longitude and latitude.

 

This comes amid efforts to also expand the number of public safety answering points that can accept 911 calls via text messaging, an initiative known as Next Generation 911. Connecticut is among the states pursuing such an upgrade.



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Bethel officials haven't heard much, but area aware that some residents are hearing what sound like loud explosions or firecrackers.  Police were dispatched once or twice, but they have been unable to locate any evidence.  Bethel officials haven't found a reason for these sounds.

 

There was a report Thursday night.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says the investigating officer did hear another boom of some kind a distance away and saw a flash on the horizon behind the trees.  The officer went seeking out a cause, but couldn't find anything.

 

Knickerbocker says it could be a transformer exploding, but that usually that results in a power outage.  That hasn't been the case after these incidents.  He is speculating that it could be someone with left over fireworks.

 

Most of the comments about these sounds have been made on Facebook, and Knickerbocker says it's not widespread.  But he added that people are curious to find out what it is because it sometimes frightens pets.  The booms are not a figment of people's imagination, but they haven't identified a cause.



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The exit 6 westbound off ramp in Danbury will eventually be aligned with Padanaram Avenue, where the new Starbucks building is located.  When construction work is finished, the whole intersection will be realigned for a better flow of traffic.

 

State Department of Transportation Project Manager Charles Murad says crews have been out there at least twice in the last month to repaint the lines on the road.  But he says they can't get the paint to adhere and dry in these weather conditions, it just flakes off quicker in winter.

 

It will still be months before the Route 37/North Street/Exit 6 widening project in Danbury is completed.  Murad says utility relocation took longer than anticipated.  They are hoping to finish by this winter.  But he notes that it does depend on weather conditions and if crews come across any thing that unforseen in the original contract drawings.

 

He has heard the complaints about traffic.  The traffic light signals are timed now to clear the exit 6 westbound off ramp first.  If cars back up onto the highway, that creates a big safety problem.  Murad says drivers can help by taking alternate routes, alleviating some of the congestion. 

 

During the winter shut down period, the DOT plans to work on the concrete retaining wall in the North Street Shopping Center parking lot.



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There will be a traffic shift in Ridgefield because of a bridge construction project.  Ridgefield Police say travel lanes on Route 35, Danbury Road, will go into a new construction configuration beginning Monday.  Northbound traffic will be directed over the temporary bridge while southbound traffic will be directed onto a shifted southbound lane.  The southern Fox Hill driveway will be used as an entrance only.



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Another car has been stolen in Newtown after the keys were left inside the unlocked car.  Newtown Police also received reports Friday morning from residents saying that their vehicles were entered into and valuables stolen.  All of the victim vehicles were left unlocked. 

 

The car was stolen from Pocono Road.  The streets where the vehicles were entered include West Street, King Street, and Taunton Lane.  The thefts happened between 2am and 6am yesterday.

 

Newtown Police offered several tips on how to prevent vehicle break ins.  With the recent rash of larcenies, the Department is reminding all residents to take safeguards to protect themselves and their property from being a victim of these types of crimes.

 

As simple as it sounds, lock your vehicle.  Police say residents would be surprised at how much is stolen from cars with unlocked doors.  Locked doors don't do much good if you leave the windows down, so roll up all windows as well.

 

Remove all valuables. If you have to leave items in the car, put them out of sight and in the trunk.  Never leave anything visible in your car especially electronic items such as a GPS units, music players or laptop computers.

 

Park in a well-lit area.  Light removes the cover of darkness which is important to thieves.  Police say motion activated lights are a great deterrent to thiefs and should be installed in your driveway.  Avoid parking on the street if possible to will help to reduce the opportunity for access to your vehicle.

 

Report suspicious activity or a crime in progress immediately by calling Newtown Police at 203-426-5841. Try and take notes such as clothing descriptions, vehicle make/color/license plate and direction of travel. Give all this information to the police officer answering the call. In the case of an emergency call 911.



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A New York man wanted for the August Bridgewater home invasion has been transported to Connecticut to be charged.  Dustin Holst-Grubbe waived extradition from New York on Monday.  Connecticut State Police completed extradition Friday.  The 20-year old was unable to post the more than $1 million bond and was transported to court for immediate arraignment.

 

One of the warrants charged Holst-Grubbe with burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, and larceny.  The other warrant were for charges of home invasion, assault on an elderly person, assault with a deadly weapon, stealing a firearm, credit card theft, three counts of burglary and two counts of larceny.

 

Troopers responded to a South Main Street home early on an August morning last year on a report of a man entering the house and shooting the resident. The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder and his wife was uninjured. 

 

Holst-Grubbe was arrested by Dutchess County Sheriff's Deputies shortly after the home invasion.  He was wanted for burglarizing a Diner in Millerton. New York State Police say he stole a car early the next day.  The vehicle was pursued by New Milford Police for speeding, but officers stopped the chase.  Holst-Grubbe was allegedly fleeing New Milford Police in a stolen car and came to the Route 133 road block, likely thinking the state police cruiser was there for him, and not traffic control. 

 

The stolen car was found at the Bridgewater home.

 

The focus of the investigation quickly turned to other stolen cars, including two recovered in Waterbury.



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A Connecticut man wanted for stealing from a Monroe home in 2012 has just been arrested.  Monroe Police say a homeowner reported more than $93,000 worth of jewelry stolen from their house in April 2012.  Police say new information provided in 2016 led them to 39-year old David Sullivan of New Haven.  He was charged with larceny and burglary and ordered held on $50,000 bond.