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Immaculate High School in Danbury has named a new principal.  Dr Patrick Higgins of Bethel will take on the role as of July 1st at the private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory school.  Joe Carmen resigned from the position last summer to become Director of Leadership Development at Quinnipiac University.  School President Mary Maloney has been serving as Interim Principal for the past year.  Higgins taught AP Social Studies at Ridgefield High School for two decades before serving as the Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities at Joel Barlow High School from 2011 to 2013.



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Ridgefield Police are continuing to investigate a June 5th shooting that happened on Hulda Lane, but the search warrant affidavit has been released.  The Ridgefield Press reports that a group of four people, including the 15-year old girl who was shot in the back, tried to steal a Land Rover from Mauro Tropeano's driveway. 

 

No charges have been filed as of yesterday. 

 

Tropeano is licensed to possess a firearm.  He turned over surveillance footage to police, who then filed for a search warrant of his home. 

 

The Press reports that Tropeano was in possession of seven pounds of marijuana, injectable steroids and 219 “unmarked yellow tablets” and other pills.  Police also found more than $26,000 in cash and three guns. 

 

The Waterbury girl survived, but the bullet is lodged close to her spine and doctors were unable to remove it.

 

Tropeano is the owner of Stanziato’s Wood Fired Pizza in Danbury.



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The Wilton Police Department is asking for the community's assistance in identifying the person or people responsible for the graffiti found at various locations in the Town Center.  Much of the spray painted images were found in the area of Schneck's Island.  Anyone that has information is asked to call the Wilton Police Tips Line at 203-563-0256.

 

 



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A Wilton student has been named as a finalist for the 2017 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.  Anika Bhagavatula, from Middlebrook Middle School is among the top 10. 

 

The competition is for students in grades 5-8, who use scientific thinking to create an innovation that will improve lives in their local communities or globally. 

 

Anika developed a solution to clean up oil spills using a combination of natural materials including orange peels and pomegranate husks. Her research proved this mixture can absorb solvents two-to-three times its weight.  She will partner with a 3M scientist through a summer mentorship program, where they will meet virtually to turn her concept into a reality. 

 

Anika and the other finalists will compete on October 16-17 during a live event at the 3M Innovation Center in Minnesota.



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Police say a Bethel man was speeding on Interstate 684 in the rain on Monday afternoon when his car crossed the median and caused a three-car collision on the opposite side of the highway. 

 

New York State Police say 64-year old James Desposito was headed southbound around 12:30pm and lost control of his car.  He struck a vehicle being driven by a 52-year old.  A 44-year old travelling behind the Glastonbury man was unable to take evasive action and struck Desposito's car. 

 

The Bethel man and Fishkill woman were transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.



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The Brookfield Zoning Commission is holding a public hearing tonight about a proposal to allow apartments on the second floor of a commercial building on Federal Road.  The building near Candlewood Lake Road has a Sprint Store, salon and massage parlor on the first floor. 

 

The proposal calls for 9 one-bedroom units on the second floor, which has been vacant for more than a decade. 

 

Applicant Bob Hussain says three of the units would be considered affordable housing so he could apply to be part of the state's 8-30g program, which means the project could only be denied by the Zoning Commission for health or safety reasons. 

 

The Zoning Commission is meeting at 7 o'clock tonight in Room 133 of Brookfield Town Hall.

 

The Newstimes reports that Hussain and the town recently ended a legal fight over back taxes.  Brookfield acquired the land a parking lot sits on from the state.  Deed restrictions said the parcel could only be used for recreational purposes.  When the town and Hussain found that out, he reportedly stopped paying rent. 

 

The matter went to court and the published report says Hussain agreed to pay Brookfield $146,000 in back rent and legal fees.  The town will pay the state $244,500 to lift the deed restrictions.



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A Bethel man has been sentenced for distributing drugs that led to two overdose deaths.  51-year old Paul Mignani was sentenced Tuesday to five years in jail, followed by three years of supervised release.  The sentence was above the guideline range, and the judge noted that one of the victims died in Mignani's bedroom. 

 

Bethel Police responded to a report of an unresponsive 54-year old woman on July 31st 2016.  An investigation revealed that Mignani distributed the heroin, fentanyl and cocaine consumed by the victim shortly before her death. 

 

On December 11th, Bethel police responded to a report of an unresponsive 25-year old at Mignani's home.  Nine empty heroin folds were found in the victim's purse and jacket.  A search of his home turned up three plastic bags of cocaine, each containing one gram of the drug.  $1,531 in cash and multiple cellphones were seized from his home. 

 

Mignani was arrested on state charges on December 12th.  He was arrested again on December 28th after a federal criminal complaint. 

 

According to statements made in court, Mignani regularly sold several hundred grams of heroin and cocaine in total to 10 customers.



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The Ridgefield Board of Selectmen has started discussion about the possibility of adding security cameras to Ballard Park.  This follows two incidents in the last 8 months where racist and anti-semitic graffiti was discovered at the park.  The Ridgefield Parks and Rec Commission will be asked to take the idea of cameras under consideration.



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New Milford officials have met with Skate Park users that altered the park with concrete ramps, as well as a designer/builder.  The users apologized before Parks and Rec Commission for the changes they made, saying they had good intentions.  A design plan and a budget to fix and improve the park will be presented.  Private donations over $5,000 have been been raised and are expected to supplement the Town funds previously budgeted for routine maintenance.  New Milford Mayor David Gronbach says depending on when the designs get submitted and approved, he expects an improved Skate Park to open soon.



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Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has held the second in a series of information sessions about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s County-wide Shared Services Initiative.  The proposal requires county officials to develop localized plans that find property tax savings by coordinating and eliminating duplicative services and propose coordinated services to enhance purchasing power. 

 

The first session was held last month.  There will be another session next month.  Odell is seeking feedback and suggestions from Putnam County residents on shared services.

 

Some of the suggestions include joint purchasing of energy and insurance, sharing highway and plowing services and reducing back office administrative overhead.  She notes that school districts account for 71-percent of tax dollars, towns are 18-percent and the county is 9-percent.  Odell says Putnam County still has the lowest county tax portion on bills in New York State

 

Odell says she has tried to manage county government through socially and fiscally responsible measures.



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Danbury Police have identified the man who was found dead at Farrington Woods Tuesday.  Police say 56-year old Stephen Shafer of Bethel went missing Monday when he failed to return home from mountain biking in the park.  The Medical Examiner's Office continues to investigate. There were no apparent signs of trauma.

 

A call was made to the Danbury Police station expressing concern Monday around 10:45pm.

 

Chief TJ Wiedl says the man was found about three-quarters of a mile into the deeply wooded area.  He was located shortly before 11:30am Tuesday. 

 

Officials were told that the man uses the park on a regular basis for mountain biking.



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A house in Bridgewater was destroyed by a fire overnight. 

 

Emergency responders initially reported a resident was trapped in the Christian Street home.  One person was rescued from the second story of the home.  The fire broke out shortly before 10:30pm. 

 

Three occupants and one firefighter were evaluated at the hospital.  The extent of their injuries was not immediately released.

 

(Photo: County Car 9)

 

Mutual aid was provided by Bethel, Brookfield, New Milford, Newtown, Northville and Roxbury fire companies.  The fire marshal's office is investigating the cause.



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A Ridgefield resident who is attending Ithaca College has been presented with a $100,000 scholarship.  Sammie Watts received the funding live on the Today Show, from actor Will Ferrell.  The tuition contest was created by the Today Show and Ferrell's new film, The House.  2,000 submissions were sent in, and Watts, who wants to become a speech pathologist, was selected yesterday.  Her father is recovering from esophageal cancer and most of the family's money has gone toward treatments.  The tuition contest was to write about why someone you love deserves money for a college education.



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A Connecticut woman has been arrested in Wilton for violating a protective order.  Wilton Police say Tiffany Tecce of New Haven was charged for sending photos of the victim to other people in an attempt to harass the victim.  The 42-year old was held on bond Monday for arraignment.



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A truck driver was uninjured yesterday morning when his tractor trailer overturned on I-84 in the town of Southeast.  The accident happened around 1:30 Tuesday morning.  The driver, 34-year-old Aabdirizak Muse of Ohio, told New York State Police that his front tire failed.  The truck went off the road and struck a guide rail before overturning by exit 20.  The Department of Environmental Conservation responded to clean up a fuel spill.  Part of the highway was closed through the morning commute and caused traffic to back up into Connecticut.



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The Tick-Borne Disease Prevention Laboratory at West Conn has reported that its weekly sampling for deer ticks has reached the highest population level recorded since the lab initiated field monitoring in 2011.

 

The ticks are a common carrier of Lyme disease and other illnesses.  During the last week of May, field samples collected on average 303 percent more deer ticks than in the same week in 2016.  Over a longer timeframe, the record deer tick numbers in the final week of May showed a dramatic surge of 1,021 percent from the comparable week in 2014.

 

The West Conn lab has monitored deer tick populations on a weekly basis at sites in Danbury, Ridgefield and Newtown from May through August every year since 2011.

 

Lab Director Dr Neeta Connally says in this region, every year is a risky year for Lyme disease and other tick-associated infections.

 

The associate professor of biological and environmental studies at WCSU says residents should always be vigilant in protecting themselves from tick bites. Some ways for people to prevent encounters with ticks are to wear long pants and light-colored clothing, check all exposed skin thoroughly after spending time outdoors where ticks are present, bathe shortly after outdoor activity, and dry clothes on high heat after outdoor wear.

 

Connally last year received a $1.6 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control to conduct a four-year integrated tick management project that aims to combine findings from tick control research with study of human behaviors to produce more effective strategies to combat the spread of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

 

The study is a collaborative effort between WCSU, the CDC and co-principal investigator Dr. Thomas Mather, professor and director of the Tick Encounter Resource Center at the University of Rhode Island. Field research has involved the collection of tick samples from the yards of homes in western Connecticut as well as in southern Rhode Island



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Danbury received a $225,000 grant for the Downtown Danbury Transit Oriented Development Study.

 

Consultants will draw up designs for new streetscape improvements to enhance pedestrian conditions between different modes of transit.  Input from a listening session last night will be taken into consideration.

 

Planning Director Sharon Calitro says the end goal is to have a more walkable, inviting area while also incentivizing private investment.  One area being studied is how to link bus riders to the train station.  Calitro says that could include co-location of the bus station, Pulse Point pickup, closer to the Metro North station.

 

Another area that officials will study is whether it makes sense to invest in additional public parking.  There is a possibility of making share-a-lanes to make downtown more bike-friendly.  Those are shared bike and vehicle lanes.  Calitro says they're looking at that option rather than a dedicated lane because of the physical layout of downtown streets.

 

Another follow up meeting will be held as they get closer to finalizing the plan.  The proposal will also have to go to the City Council.

 

Danbury is applying for another state grant related to streetscape improvements.  If awarded, the money would be used for construction to improve pedestrian access on Main Street to the Metro North station.  That would could include sidewalk improvements, planting trees and installing benches or other pedestrian amenities.

 

Danbury is seeking $2 million.  While it's not a matching grant, the City has decided to allocate $200,000 or 10-percent, if awarded.  City officials say this will give Danbury a better chance of being selected for grant funding.



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There is a sign at Addis Park in New Milford, north of Lovers Leap warning about the water quality.  The sign notes that bacteriological results in that area of Lake Lillinonah often exceed the results considered ok for bathing, therefore swimming is prohibited. 

 

The sign has been up for a while. 

 

Water skiers are also advised that there is an increased risk of acquiring illness as a result of accidental ingestion or prolonged contact with the water. 

 

New Milford Mayor David Gronbach says they will now be testing the water and working with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to identify issues and create a plan to address them.



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Danbury and Putnam County emergency responders searching for a missing mountain biker found the man dead in Farrington Woods.  A call was made to the Danbury Police station expressing concern for the man Monday evening.  Danbury Police then called the Danbury Fire Department alerting them that an officer was at the open space site around 10:45pm.  The man’s vehicle, with a bike rack on it, was located in the parking area near Farrington Woods.

 

Danbury Assistant Fire Chief Mark Omasta says the 56-year old bicyclist is a Bethel resident.

 

Chief TJ Wiedl says the man was found about three-quarters of a mile into the deep wooded area.  He was located shortly before 11:30am Tuesday.  Officials were told that the man uses the park on a regular basis for mountain biking.

 

 

The Medical Examiner’s office is conducting an investigation.  There were no apparent signs of trauma.

 

It’s a thickly wooded area.   While the department has a lot of GPS tracking technology, an aggressive foot search was needed to locate the man.  Danbury Police bicycle team, the Brewster Fire Department, off-road vehicles from Bethel and Croton Falls fire departments came in.   

 

 

He says this is the first time in his memory that there’s been an injury reported at the park, and the first incident of this sort.

 

Wiedl suggested people bike in pairs in case there is an emergency.  He also noted that it’s important to carry a cell phone.  But he cautioned that cell phoe pings will only get responders close to your location.

 

The Danbury Fire Department led the search with the help of Danbury Police and K9s, Newtown Underwater Search And Rescue K9, Putnum County Sheriffs, and Danbury EMS. 

 

 

The search was called off around midnight, and resumed Tuesday at 8:30 am. 



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A public hearing is being held in Easton tonight by the Connecticut Siting Council.  Homeland Towers LLC and Verizon Wireless are seeking to build a cell tower at 515 Morehouse Road.  The 157-foot faux branch top tower has a stealth monopine design. 

 

The public hearing is at 7pm at the Easton Library community room. 

 

Easton requested a telecommunications coverage assessment by the Siting Council in 2012, and it found that parts of Routes 58, 59 and 136 didn't have coverage.  Emergency officials identified that as a safety concern since the area included schools and the senior center. 

 

A tethered, helium balloon will be floated at 1 pm at the proposed height at the Morehouse Road site so the siting council can look at it during a field meeting review at 2 pm.  An evidentiary hearing at 3 pm in the library community room for the applicants to answer questions from the Siting council. 

 

The public hearing will close July 20th, with a decision deadline of October 9.



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