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The Danbury Council of Veterans Affairs will be hosting an annual memorial for those who sacrified their lives in Veitnam. The focus of the ceremony, being held at 10 am at Rogers Park, will be a rememberance of troops who served during the last period of the war in the 1970's. The ceremony is slated to begin at 10am. Expected are veterans representing all local organizations and of course public attendees. John Hill, a local member of the Marine detachment when questioned about the event, stated that it began after the war memorial was built back in 1988 and it was the idea of the local Veterans of Foreign War's to make sure the troops are remembered. Rogers Park is located by Main Street in City Center Danbury.



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5th district Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty was in Danbury Sunday hosting the third annual Black History Month celebration called Standing On The Shoulders of giants. It took place at New Hope Baptist Church. The church was quite full with attendees. Among the black leaders she lauded was Patrick Ridenhour; who recently became chief of the Danbury police. She cited his career journey as an African American leading to the important position he now holds. Esty also discussed how far people of color have come since opera singer Marian Anderson was banned from singing by the Daughters of The American Revolution in Constitution Hall back in 1939. The D.A.R. has made great amends to that over the following years.



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Not a lot municipal leaders are in favor of Governor Malloy's proposed changes to the school funding formula sending more money to poorer towns.  The idea of having municipalities pay a third of teacher pension costs is also opposed by some mayors and first selectmen. 

 

Brookfield First Selectman Steve Dunn says the plans, as currently proposed, are untenable for a town like Brookfield.  If the suggestions go through, it represents 5.6-percent of the overall budget.  The state has mandated that the budget can't be increased by more than 2.5-percent. 

 

Dunn says the increase, coupled with the cap is a big problem.  He hopes the legislature comes up with a reasonable plan at a level that makes sense. 

 

Dunn says to lay the cost on the towns at one swoop while still tying their hands behind their backs on managing the process is not a good plan.



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A bill requiring certain retail food establishments to provide containers, accessible to customers, for recyclable items is moving through the General Assembly.  The Environment Committee this month voted 22 to 7 to place the proposal on the House calendar for further consideration. The requirement applies to establishments that sell food for consumption both on and off their premises and beverages in recyclable bottles or aluminum cans.

 

Designated recyclable items include cardboard, boxboard, glass and metal food containers, containers of three gallons or less made of certain types of plastic, and other items.

 

By law, everyone who generates solid waste from a non-residential property must separate recyclable items from other solid waste.

 

Several Greater Danbury area lawmakers are members of the Environment Committee.  Committee Co-chair New Milford Senator Craig Miner voted against the bill.  Brookfield Representative Stephen Harding also opposed the legislation.  Redding Representative Adam Dunsby and David Arconti of Danbury voted in favor of the proposal.



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Four bills introduced by Wilton Senator Toni Boucher were part of a public hearing on Friday. One would eliminate longevity payments and overtime compensation from state employee retirement income calculations.  She says this will help achieve long-term savings by lowering state pension obligations.

 

Another bill would increase contributions by state employees to the retirement system. Boucher says this will reduce the unfunded pension liability of the state.

 

The third bill increases co-pays under the state employee health care plan in order to provide tax relief to Connecticut residents. She says this would be achieved by decreasing the cost of state employee health insurance coverage.

 

The fourth bill introduced by Boucher that was considered Friday concerns retirement and health care benefits for certain state employees. She says the proposal would create state budget savings by placing non-union state employees in health and retirement plans that are similar to those in the private sector.



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5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty has introduced a bill to help veterans exposed to Burn Pits.  Those are areas on military bases where waste is incinerated and toxic fumes are released into the atmosphere.

 

The VA would have to work toward the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of health conditions related to exposure to burn pits.  Health effects from exposure to chemicals found in burn pits can include cancer, neurological and reproductive effects, respiratory toxicity, and cardiovascular toxicity. 

 

Retired Lt. Col. Michael. J Zacchea, a Brookfield Marine Corps veteran and the Program Manager at the Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans, says burn pits are the ticking time bomb in this generation of combat veterans.  He added that this is a major health issue which will plague more than 4 million veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last nearly two decades of war.



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5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty has introduced a bill to help veterans exposed to Burn Pits.  Those are areas on military bases where waste is incinerated and toxic fumes are released into the atmosphere.

 

The VA would have to work toward the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of health conditions related to exposure to burn pits.  Health effects from exposure to chemicals found in burn pits can include cancer, neurological and reproductive effects, respiratory toxicity, and cardiovascular toxicity. 

 

Retired Lt. Col. Michael. J Zacchea, a Brookfield Marine Corps veteran and the Program Manager at the Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans, says burn pits are the ticking time bomb in this generation of combat veterans.  He added that this is a major health issue which will plague more than 4 million veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last nearly two decades of war.



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Some New Milford Police Officers took part in St Balrdick's Day events to raise money for childhood cancer research.  New Milford High School Resource Officer Joseph Locascio, Officer Brian Bollaro, Officer Nicholas Smith, and Schaghticoke Middle and Northville Elementary School Resource Officer Guy Scarcella participated in the ‘Green Wave Braves the Shave’ event.  Officer Locascio collected $1,045 in donations for this cause.



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LOTCIP design approval has been given by the state Department of Transportation for New Milford's Wellsville Avenue Bridge Reconstruction project.  The $1.1 million project is expected to go out to bid this spring, for construction this year.



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The Western Connecticut Council of Governments has announced LOTCIP design approval of New Fairfield’s Candlewood Corners Drainage Improvement project by the state Department of Transportation.  The $500,000 project will replace an existing culvert pipe with larger twin culverts.  The goal is to reduce the severity and frequency of flooding that damages Route 39 and Sawmill Road as well as adjacent private properties.  The project is expected to go out to bids this spring, for construction this year.



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The Western Connecticut Council of Governments has announced that Brookfield will receive $900,000 for preliminary engineering for improvements on Lower Federal Road.  The work is aimed at addressing existing safety and traffic flow concerns.  The design of improvements will build off of recommendations in the Transportation Plan for Lower Route 202 developed by WestCOG in 2015.  The project was discussed at the February Housatonic Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting.



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Neighbor complaints about illegal drug sales form a Triangle Street apartment has led to the arrests of three city residents.  Danbury Police Special Investigations Division members carried out surveillance of 39-year old William Carrasquillo and 29-year old Ashleigh Studwell. 

 

A search and seizure warrant was then issued by the court.  After watching the two engage in a suspected drug transaction on Wednesday, both were taken into custody.  They were on the corner of Byron Street and White Street in the process of a drug transaction with 26-year old Chanmor Khuth. 

 

   

(Carrasquillo, Studwell, Khuth)

 

All three had a considerable quantity of illegal prescription drugs and powder cocaine in their possession.  Seized in the investigation was a substantial amount of currency and a vehicle used to facilitate illegal drug sales.  A search of the residence revealed no further drug evidence.

 

Carrasquillo was charged with possession of narcotics, possession with intent to sell and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.  Khuth was charged with possession of narcotics and of a controlled substance, and possession with intent to sell.  Each was released on $10,000 bond.  Studwell was charged with narcotics possession and possession with intent to sell.  She was released on a written promise to appear in court at a later date.



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A man who owed two people money was allegedly assaulted by them in Danbury on Thursday night.  Danbury Police say the victim went to the police station to file a complaint about 22-year old Jin Lee of Ridgefield and 23-year old Terral Belin of Danbury.  The victim told police that the pair assaulted him on Liberty Street and took his money.

 

As police investigated, the victim's fiancee received several threatening messages because the victim went to the police.

 

Officers located the suspects later in the evening and they were placed under arrest.

 

 

(Belin, Lee)


Belin was charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, assault, conspiracy to commit assault, threatening, conspiracy to commit threatening, intimidating a witness, larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, and breach of peace. He was released after posting a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear at Danbury Superior Court on April 6th.

Lee was charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, assault, conspiracy to commit assault, threatening, conspiracy to commit threatening, larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, and breach of peace. He was released after posting a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear at Danbury Superior Court on April 6th.



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5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty has issued a statement following the cancellation of a vote on the GOP health care repeal and replacement plan.  She says the Affordable Care Act has problems that need Congress to work together to fix.  But she cautioned that the American Health Care Act would solve none of those problems.  Esty called for a fresh start on a bipartisan plan that will improve access to quality health care, lower premiums, reduce out-of-pocket expenses, and bring down drug costs.



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A Danbury teen has been arrested for drugged driving in New York.  The Putnam County Sheriff's office said in a release yesterday that a Deputy on patrol last Saturday saw a car dragging its muffler on the pavement.  The Deputy stopped the driver and determined that 19-year old Eric Henry had his ability impaired by drugs.  Henry was also in possession of cocaine and Xanax pills, without having a prescription for the pills.  He was charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and operating a motor vehicle while impaired.  Henry was arraigned and posted bail.



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Some Westside Middle School Academy students are headed to a regional Invention Convention.  10 of the 100 sixth-grade students who displayed their inventions as part of the science curriculum will move on to the regional event next weekend. 

 

School officials say the invention convention is meant to foster interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics learning for students from kindergarten through eighth grade.  The regional competition will be held at the O’Neill Center on the Westside campus of Western Connecticut State University, on April 1.

 

Winners will head to the 34th annual Connecticut Invention Convention on Saturday, April 29, at UConn.  More than 130 Connecticut schools participate every year.



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Newtown Youth & Family Services is teaming up with the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury to provide an Elder Abuse and Neglect Awareness Training session.  Those who work with clientele over the age of 60 are being encouraged to attend the informational workshop on Monday afternoon.  The training will cover the prevalence of domestic violence among elderly couples, types of abuse, warning signs, physical and behavioral indicators and information about local resources.  Information about what to do if you suspect a senior may be abused or neglected will also be discussed.  The case management program at NYFS provides advocacy, referrals and support to victims of elder abuse.



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The Putnam County Sheriff's Office released details yesterday about the arrest of a woman charged with shoplifting $100 worth of items from Kohl's last week.  34-year old Laura Snyder of Southeast allegedly stole the items from the store on Independence Way in Southeast.  She was accused of putting 3 boxes of cosmetics in her purse and walking out without paying.  The items were recovered from her handbag.  Snyder was charged with petit larceny and issued a ticket to appear in court on April 4th.



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A court referee has upheld a Freedom of Information Commission ruling about teacher evaluation data in New Milford.  The Newstimes reports that it's a setback for the Connecticut Education Association, which sought to keep the information private.  The case started with former Board of Education member John Spatola requesting the data and then-Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote saying that it was not subject to FOIA laws.  The published report says Spatola asked for two years of aggregate data, not individual information, on the number of the teachers in each evaluation tier designated by the state: exemplary, proficient, developing or below-standard.



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The president of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities is recommending a tuition increase at all 17 schools in the system.  The four state universities, 12 community colleges and Charter Oak State College would see tuition hikes in fiscal year 2018 and 2019 under the recommendation. 

 

The Board of Regents Finance Committee will meet on Wednesday and the full Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on April 6th. 

 

Western, Southern, Central and Eastern students would face a $200 a semester hike.  Community college students would pay about $50 more per semester.  The increase for Charter Oak is $150 for the next two years.