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Police continue to warn Pokemon Go players, and their parents about the dangers of not paying attention to surroundings.  Ridgefield Police have found a creative and whimsical way to offer safety tips for those who play the popular augmented reality app.

 

Ridgefield Police Captain Jeff Kreitz and Officer Chris DiFalco say they want people to enjoy the game, but not break any laws or endanger themselves and others while playing. 

 

The video was developed with The Prospector Theater.  In one scene, a teenage follows a Pokemon into a jail cell while police explain about trespassing and wandering onto private property.  Another scene shows a teen walking right into a swimming pool, and an officer jumping in to save her while asking if she at least got the Pokemon.

 

 

The video also has Ridgefield Police warning a Prospector Theater film operator that playing while at work might not be the best idea, for anyone.

 

The app is designed for walkers, but AAA Connecticut spokeswoman Amy Parmenter says there's evidence of some people playing while driving.  If the temptation to play while driving is too great, AAA recommends putting your cell phone in the glove compartment, back seat or trunk.

 

The Ridgefield Police video showed a toy car driving off a cliff, crashing and catching on fire.  Police also suggest that bicyclists who want to play, ride a tandem bike.

 

While they're happy to see everyone out exploring the community and interacting with one another, Police hope players stay safe.

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A construction project in New Milford will cause some traffic headaches over the next couple of days.  The construction on East Street at Whittlesey Avenue by the CVS was supposed to start last night, but was delayed by the contractor due to delivery days.  The construction will now start at 7pm, and last through 11pm.  East Street will be one lane with alternating traffic.  Tomorrow, the construction will be from 7am to 4pm.  Drivers are being encouraged to use alternate routes to avoid the area.

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NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) A New London judge has ordered a competency evaluation for a Norwich man accused of killing his pregnant wife and setting their apartment on fire.

Patrick Antoine's attorney asked for the evaluation on Tuesday. A clinical team will evaluate Antoine at the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, where he's being held.

Antoine has pleaded not guilty to charges he stabbed 37-year-old Margarette Mady multiple times June 2 before setting fire to the curtains.

Police say he told them she was a voodoo priestess who had cast spells on him. They say Antoine said his wife was eight months pregnant with a child he believed was not his. He allegedly said she told him he would be dead by July as a sacrifice before the child's birth.

He's due back in court Aug. 23.

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During the storms that rained down on the Greater Danbury area Monday, firefighters in Monroe responded to two house fires.  Around 7pm, a homeowner called the Stepney Fire Department saying their house was struck by lightning and filling with smoke. 

 

At first, firefighters couldn't find any blaze in the basement, but then it was found in the walls extending to the first floor. Firefighters had to open an interior wall to confirm that the fire was completely extinguished.  The residents had to relocate for the night. 

 

Earlier in the afternoon, firefighters were called to a home built in the early 1700s to find a kitchen fire.  Fire officials say a house built in the 1700’s is of balloon type construction and once fire gets into the walls it can travel quickly from a lower floor into the attic space.  The Fire Marshal's office reports that the resident was able to keep the fire in check with an extinguisher until the fire department arrived. 

 

The Fire Marshal reminds residents to their check smoke detectors, and have a home fire extinguisher available for immediate use. Any residents with questions regarding smoke detectors, or fire extinguishers are urged to contact the Town of Monroe Fire Marshal’s Office.

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Five complimentary workshops are being offered tonight by Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute in Danbury.

The school is offering the workshops from 6pm to 7pm to introduce the public to several in-demand careers, especially in esthetics, information technology and electrical work, as well as to provide information to students on how to study for a test. Campus tours and an open house about hot careers in Connecticut will be held from 4 to 8 pm.

 

Admissions Representative Andrew Wetmore says that the workshops are being offered as a community service.

The hour-long workshops include:

• Make Your Own Facial Scrub – learn how to make your own facial scrub from easy-to-find natural ingredients,

• Reflexology – The art of applying pressure to the foot for pain reduction and overall good health,

• Computer Backup and Recovery – Learn how to back up your computer and recover lost information,

• General Study Skills – studying for tests is a skill that can be learned,

• Electrical Fire Safety – you’re a do-it-yourselfers can brush up on the basics of fire safety,

To attend a workshop, call 203-797-0551.

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As part of the IMPACT Film Festival in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention tomorrow, the documentary "Newtown" will be screened.  The documentary, which focuses on the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook School, follows victims' families, first responders, teachers, neighbors and clergy. 

 

David Wheeler and Mark Barden, whose first-graders were among the 26 children and educators killed in December 2012, said they wanted people to understand the grief in Newtown and to open up some lines of communication among those affected by the tragedy. 

 

Among other things, the film shows the struggle of an emergency medical technician who transported Ben Wheeler to the hospital and wrote a letter to his family. It explores the emotions of a priest who had to preside over numerous funerals and of teachers feeling guilty about not wanting to go back to work. 

 

"Newtown" is scheduled for a wider theatrical release in September and will later be broadcast on PBS. 

 

A post-screening panel will feature film director Kim Snyder, producer Maria Cuomo Cole, Mark Barden and Congressman Ted Lieu.

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Danbury Police in an unmarked car saw a drug sale being made between a man on a bicycle and one in a car on Monday.  Two Danbury men are facing drug related charges after police officers witnessed a narcotics sale.  Around 6 o'clock Monday night, members of the Danbury Police Community Conditions Unit were in an unmarked car and saw a hand to hand drug transaction between the two men. 

 

Police say 64-year old Robert Cooper quickly biked away down Myrtle Avenue while 34-year old Dwayne Gordon drove off on Abbott Avenue.  Cooper was stopped and had two packets of heroin on him.  He was charged with possession of narcotics and possession within 1500 feet of a school. 

 

Cooper was released on a written promise to appear in court on August 4th. 

 

was stopped shortly after.  He was charged with driving with a suspended license, sale of narcotics and sale within 1500 feet of a school.  He was held on $1,000 bond.

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Before heading to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention this week, 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty spent some time in New Milford.  She met with Mayor David Gronbach for a small business walk through downtown.  One of the stops was to Bank Street Book Nook where Esty says she was also able to do some birthday shopping for her son.

 

They then stopped at Miles Finch Innovation.  She learned about bringing artists and people in the maker movement together.  Esty says she learned a great deal about the start up culture and entrepreneurship in New Milford.

 

They also stopped at Ameico Incorporated to see art and design objects in that space on Church Street.

 

Esty called the tour fascinating and fun.  She said she was also pleased to see a lot of people out on such a hot day, patronizing local businesses.

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A Bethel attorney seeking to be a regional Probate Court Judge is getting some big names to back him.  Republican Dan O'Grady, the former Bethel Probate Court Judge, has been endorsed by former Governor Jodi Rell.  State Representative Mitch Bolinsky, former Redding First Selectman Hank Bielawa and current Bethel Selectmen Paul Szatkowski are also lending support. 

 

Northern Fairfield County Probate Court Judge Joseph Egan is reaching the mandatory retirement age in October.  The vacancy election is November 8th, but there is a primary before then. 

 

O'Grady and Ridgefield Attorney Patrick Walsh are both seeking to be the GOP candidate in November.  The Primary is August 9th. 

 

The winner will face Democrat Sharon Dornfeld.

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A piece of equipment that's equal parts golf cart, wheel chair and vertical lift is allowing people who had to give up golf because of neurological diseases a second chance.  Candlewood Valley Golf Club in New Milford recently bought a special cart that raises handicapped players to a standing position so they can swing a club. 

 

General Manager Beth Ford said the paramobile was instantly popular.  She says seeing people now able to play who had to give it up has really been an eye opener. 

 

Candlewood Valley Golf Club was able to purchase this and have it available at no charge through the California-based non-profit Stand Up and Play Foundation.  The foundation's founder, and the creator of the para-mobile was on hand for a clinic this morning.  Anthony Netto demonstrated how the equipment works.

 

 

Ford called it a game-changer for many people, including those with ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinsons, paraplegics, or quadriplegics.  The player is strapped in, a hydraulic lift stands them up and turns them.  She says people are then able to swing a golf club.  It could also be used for fishing or archery and other similar sportsman activity.

 

 

She says there's adaptive swinging equipment with special grips for people who only have the use of one arm.

 

Ford says there's no charge to use the paramobile at their course.  It's one of only two in Connecticut, the other located in New Britain.

 

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A state Department of Transportation paving project will cause traffic in Wilton for the next few days.  Route 53 between the Norwalk town line and Route 106 will be paved over the next three days.  The paving is taking place between 6am and 5pm.  Officers are conducting traffic control to help ease any congestion, but Wilton Police are also asking motorists to use alternate routes.

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TWIN MOUNTAIN, N.H. (AP) Authorities say a hiker apparently struck by lightning in New Hampshire's White Mountains spent a night in a ``slow and painful attempt'' to hike out of the woods and declined help when a group of hiking firefighters found him.

But the firefighters didn't listen to him and carried out 51-year-old Glen Rowland, of Newtown, Connecticut, on Sunday night.

Rowland declined further treatment.

He was apparently struck by lightning on Saturday on Crawford Path, which passes over or very near the summits of several mountains, including Mount Washington.

Authorities say he tried to make his way down the trail and slept in scrub brush. Other hikers offered to help him, but he refused before the firefighters, who were Windham, New Hampshire, found him.

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The Danbury City Council took comment last night on $10 million in bonding for several public improvement projects.  The Council will consider the funding at their regularly scheduled meeting in August.  There are six projects which would share in the bond money if approved. 

 

The largest project is $4.3 million for street paving, drainage and bridge repairs.  That money would also go to guardrail replacement, lighting, sprinkler installation along medians and other beautification of City streets, parking lots and bridges.  There is a separate proposed allocation of $1.1 million for sidewalk repair and replacement in the downtown area. 

 

Another $1 million would be set aside for recreation improvements to selected playing fields and courts including Westerner's Baseball Field and Rogers Park Tennis Courts among others. 

 

$1.6 million would go to improvements at Tarrywile Park, specifically design and construction plans for a walled garden at Hearthstone Castle, removal of contaminated debris there and stone removal and stabilization of adjacent rock retaining walls. 

 

Two $950,000 allocations are also included in the bond money.  One is for Richter Park golf course improvements and renovations to the Richter House mansion.  That would cover structural, environmental, utility and code related issues.  The second proposal is funding for planning, design and construction of a new Animal Control Facility.

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10 acres of Lovers Leap State Park in New Milford burned in a fire Friday night into Saturday.  While there is no active investigation at this point, state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Spokesman Dennis Schain says it is believed that fireworks could have sparked by blaze.  Schain says it would be difficult to track this back to a particular person or persons, but that EnCon police along with New Milford Police are keeping an ear open for any leads. 

 

The fire danger was listed as high, due to lack of significant rainfall, the high heat and low humidity.  Campfires and open burns are not permitted during high fire danger periods. 

 

Two fire fighters suffered minor injuries, one from heat exhaustion and the other a rolled ankle.  Lovers Leap was closed Saturday and Sunday.

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There is a public hearing in Danbury tonight on a number of topics.  One is about a tentative lease agreement between the Richter Park Authority and Bay Communication to place a cell tower on their 180-acre property.  The proposal for the monopole structure would be 150 feet, and located by the maintenance area. 

 

Two appropriations are also being considered.  One is $10 million in bonding for improvements to the Waste water treatment plant and facilities system.  The other is $10 million in bonding for various other public improvements. 

 

The public hearing is at 7pm at Danbury City Hall.

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The state Department of Transportation is proposing a fare hike for Metro North riders along the New Haven Line.  Wilton Senator Toni Boucher, a ranking member of the legislature's Transportation Committee, says the hits keep coming for commuters and serves as a disincentive for people to stay in Connecticut. 

 

There are several public hearings in September about the proposed fare hike, though none in the Greater Danbury area.  The closest is Waterbury on September 13th. 

 

The DOT has not yet listed an email address for the public to comment on the fare hikes without attending one of the hearings.

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Western New England Greenway's 'Heritage Ride 2016' Bikeway Tour will see cyclists riding from National Historic Site Weir Farm in Wilton today on their way up to Massachusetts before riding on to Vermont and Canada.  The tour ends in Montreal on July 31st.  

 

It's about 6 miles across from Weir Farm to the route at the Saugatuck reservoir, then on to New Milford, passing the Still River Greenway along the way.  Stops include the New Milford River Trail, through the covered Bull’s Bridge then on to Cornwall Bridge. 

 

The Western New England Greenway is a bicycle route in progress, connecting the East Coast Greenway at Norwalk to a Route in Quebec Province, Canada.

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Newtown Police are investigating a string of residential burglaries.  Police say the five break ins occurred in Sandy Hook between Thursday and Friday.  Newtown Police say one home was equipped with a video surveillance system which captured images of the suspect inside the home.

 

The suspect is a white male, bald, wearing a white baseball cap with blue on the edge of the brim, a horizontal striped shirt, and khaki shorts.   Police say the suspect might be driving a black pick up truck and frequent the Waterbury area. 

 

 

Newtown Police say windows or doors were broken in order to gain entry.  Anyone with information please contact the Newtown Police Department at 203-426-5841.  All calls will be kept confidential.

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The Clean Start Program in Danbury has been under way for about two months now.  The initiative puts homeless people to work for the City, and provides participants with gift cards.  About 20 participants are performing litter control twice a week, along with getting job mentoring from coaches.  Mayor Mark Boughton says there's demand for at least another 20, but they're looking for more volunteer to partner with the people participating in the program.

 

Boughton says the initiative has been really successful, and the City looks cleaner.  He says the participants will soon be expanding into other projects that they'd like to get to, but sometimes just can't get to.  That includes fire hydrant painting and fence painting.

 

Volunteers interested in helping someone who is less fortunate can contact Jericho Partnership, and they will be led through a brief and minimum training program.

 

Boughton says the participants are working to make themselves better and be on track to re-enter the workforce. He notes that if someone excels in the program, and received the right kinds of services, they could be moved into a paying job like a part-time recreation maintenance worker.  Boughton hopes by cleaning up the city, participants will also clean up their lives.

 

In the latest Point in Time Count, chronic homelessness in Danbury had dropped 30-percent from the year before. Chronic homelessness among veterans in Danbury has been completely eliminated.

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The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is being urged by members of the legislature's Environment Committee to consider alternative revenue sources.  A recent $10 million cut in funding resulted in changes in the operation of state parks and museums. 

 

Litchfield state Representative Craig Miner, who is running for the 30th Senate District which includes New Milford, says the long term viability of public opportunities needs to be sustained.  Right now, he says what the public sees is less hours, less lifeguards and closed parks.  He says that may be needed in the short term, but if they don't rethink that model, it will be less forever.

 

Connecticut is 1 of 3 states which relies exclusively on General Fund Revenue.

 

Miner says DEEP is on the defense, but should be on the offense.

 

DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen says the Department has considered sponsorships, but past efforts haven't yielded the robust response they were looking for.  But she says they will keep trying.  She says certain protections have to be in place so the regulatory side of the agency doesn't get mixed up with the operational side.

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