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The City of Danbury has been awarded a $1.3 million state grant to demolish and remediate the former Mallory Hat Factory on Rose Hill Avenue.  The 3.7-acre site will be given to the Women's Center of Greater Danbury for $1.  The organization will turn the property into a residential facility for women and children in transition. 

 

The Women's Center hired an environmental engineer to assess the property, and it was determined that the clean up will cost $700,00 to $800,000.  Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola will oversee and manage the clean up. Once it's certified for use, and the City Council gives the ok, the City can transfer the property to the Women's Center.

 

The Women's Center raised $4 million in capital fund to build the transitional housing.  The group has provided a safe haven to victims of domestic and sexual violence since its founding in 1975. The Center serves 20,000 people in northern Fairfield and southern Litchfield Counties each year.

 

Governor Dannel Malloy says brownfield sites have been vacant for decades and cause blight in neighborhoods, drain local resources, and have a negative impact on municipalities.  For every dollar the state has invested in brownfield redevelopment, non-state partners have invested or will invest $11.41. Since 2012, the State of Connecticut has invested more than $220 million in brownfield redevelopment, resulting in the creation of more than 3,000 permanent jobs and over 15,000 construction jobs in the state.

 

Mayor Mark Boughton believes a viaduct under the property is near 100 years old.  He says no business is likely to be interested in the land because they wouldn't be able to build over that structure. The viaduct limits the build-ability to about 2.5 acres. Danbury issued several requests for proposals from businesses over the years, but there weren't any takers. At one point, the owner of nearby Fairfield Processing asked the City to hold off on looking into bids because they were thinking about expanding. Those plans have since changed because their business changed. 

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The body of a scuba diver has been recovered from in the former Tilly Foster iron mine in Southeast.  48-year old Robert Thomas of Jersey City, New Jersey, was described as a very experienced technical diver who had gone into the mine many times before.  His body was recovered by the New York State Police dive team, using sonar and camera equipment.  Preliminary reports indicate that Thomas may have become entangled in wires or cables on the bottom of the flooded mine shaft in about 171 feet of water.  The bottom of the old mine is littered with wrecked cars and trucks, old mining equipment and other debris.  An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of Thomas’ death.  The mine was flooded after a major collapse in 1895 killed 13 miners.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Several members of Connecticut's all-Democratic congressional delegation are optimistic that bipartisan support for background check system legislation may be a sign of future cooperation on anti-gun violence legislation.

U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty all said Monday they're pleased to have Republicans from other states where mass shootings have occurred co-sponsor the Fix NICS Act. Murphy introduced it in the Senate to fill gaps in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Murphy says he doesn't know if it's a turning point, but it is significant.

The bill creates incentives for states to submit relevant criminal history information to the database, including extra points toward receiving Department of Justice grants. It creates penalties for federal entities that don't submit data, such as the military.

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The New Milford Town Council was set to take up more than 100 appointments to boards and commissions at their meeting last night.  But there were three Republicans and three Democrats in attendance leading to a deadlock.  Outgoing Democratic Mayor David Gronbach was replacing people whose terms are expiring next week or filling vacancies.  Five of the more than 100 nominations lost positions in the municipal election, but the Newstimes reports that the most contentious was the proposed appointment of Gronbach's wife Vanessa to the Ethics Commission.  She would be an “unaffiliated” appointee even though she was registered as a Democrat until recently.  The published report notes that former Republican Mayor Pat Murphy made 124 appointments in her last two meetings before Gronbach took office.

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The Redding Board of Selectmen has gotten an update on three investigations into Police Chief Doug Fuchs for various incidents.  At last night's meeting, it was announced that one investigation into the Chief, who is on paid administrative leave, stemmed from a police union complaint on behalf of two officers.  Another investigation is in response to a lawsuit filed by the family of Peter Valenti, who hanged himself at his Blueberry Hill Road home in April 2016.  An EMT filed a complaint this May into the incident about whether the man would have survived if Fuchs had allowed the medic to examine him sooner.  The town has hired an outside attorney.

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First responders are issuing a reminder to have carbon monoxide detectors in homes as more alternative heating sources are used.  Two unconscious women were rescued from their Carmel home last week and expected to recover after a neighbor called 911 and reported their carbon monoxide detector was going off. 

 

Carmel emergency responders carried the 61 and 89 year old women out of the North Gate Road home Monday.  The neighbor was alerted to a potential problem by the younger woman's daughter, who received incoherent messages and couldn't reach her mother or grandmother on the phone. 

 

Firefighters checked for other occupants.  The two women were transported to Westchester Medical Center and admitted for treatment of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning. 

 

Carmel Police Department Officer James Terrazas and Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Kristan reported feeling light-headed after removing the victims from the house. They were administered oxygen by other first responders and did not require further treatment. 

 

According to the Carmel Volunteer Fire Department, readings taken in the house indicated a concentration level of carbon monoxide gas in the air of 1,800 parts per million (ppm). According to some published government studies, human exposure to 1,200 ppm of carbon monoxide in the air for one hour can be fatal. The typical level of carbon monoxide in a home ranges from 3 to 6 ppm, according to official sources. 

 

Officials believe that the high level of carbon monoxide gas in the home was caused by a faulty connection in an exhaust pipe leading from a propane gas burner used to heat the home.  Inspectors from the Town of Carmel Building Department were called in to ensure that the defect is corrected and made safe within code regulations. 

 

Carbon monoxide gas is odorless and colorless, so it cannot be smelled or seen.  Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may be flu-like and may include a reddened face, dull headache, weakness. dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision and loss of consciousness. 

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Danbury firefighters had to extricate the driver of a tractor trailer this morning.  The truck rolled over just past exit 3 westbound around 5:30am.  The driver was transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment of injuries. 

 

 

(Photos: DFD)

 

The accident blocked at least two lanes throughout the morning commute. 

 

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also responded to the scene to clean up a fuel spill.  State Police Troopers also responded.  State Police say K9 Favor shows her appreciation to Danbury Deputy Fire Chief Bernie Meehan and the Danbury Fire Department for their help.

 

(Photo: CSP)

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A man who went scuba diving in the former Tilly Foster Mine is missing and the Putnam County Sheriff's Office is leading a search for him.  Sheriff Donald Smith say 48-year old Robert Thomas of Jersey City, New Jersey went missing Sunday in the town of Southeast. 

 

The experienced technical diver has gone diving in the mine, also known as Simon's Quarry, many times before.  Thomas was with two other people, but never emerged. 

 

Dive teams from the New York State Police and the Brewster and Mahopac Falls Volunteer Fire Departments searched for Thomas Sunday.  Responders continued their search Monday using sonar equipment throughout the large area, with mine shafts having underwater depths ranging from 175 to 600 feet and several side tunnels branching off.

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Three places that sell tobacco failed a compliance check in Monroe on Friday.  Monroe Police and the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services conducted 16 unannounced inspections.  An underage youth, employed by the Tobacco Prevention and Enforcement Program, entered tried to purchase tobacco products.  Three violated state statute and sold to the volunteer under aged 18.  The offending clerks at Mobil on Monroe Turnpike, Buck Stop on Main Street and Cumberland Farms on Main Street were issued infractions in the amount of $200.

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A New York man has been arrested for Unlawful Dealing with a Child.  New York State Police say 19-year old Donte Floyd of Patterson bought alcohol with a fake ID and provided alcohol to an underage victim in October.  He was charged last week with a Misdemeanor.  The 19-year old victim was taken to Putnam Hospital Center, and found to have a potentially fatal blood alcohol content of over .4 percent.  Floyd was issued a ticket to appear in Patterson Justice Court on November 30th.

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The oath of office was taken yesterday by the new First Selectman of Newtown.  Democrat Dan Rosenthal was sworn in at Edmond Town Hall. 

 

Rosenthal believes the local budget planning process has to start early, with a focus on controlling spending. He doesn't think Newtown has the luxury of hiking taxes any further.

 

With state funding, he says the expectation should be that Connecticut is not going to kick in additional revenue.  Rosenthal says the goal should be, over time, to create autonomy from the state. Rosenthal says the several-month long impasse should be used as a warning shot over the bow to try to wean Newtown off of state aid.

 

Rosenthal wants to bring business planning to other capital projects, examining how many people each one would reach and what's the potential revenue. He doesn’t believe the town has the luxury for “wants” and building things in the hopes that people come.

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A vote of no confidence has been taken against Candlewood Lake Authority chairwoman Phyllis Schaer.  The move by the Marine Patrol staff comes over alleged interference in their recommendation against bringing back several officers this coming summer.  The Newstimes reports that all but one of the senior staff members decided Wednesday to declare no confidence.  Six officers, taking minimal shifts, had annual reviews and it was decided not to renew their contracts, which ended last week.  But according to the published report, the Marine Patrol was told that 1996 bylaws require a review by the Executive Committee, something that hasn't been done in the past.

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — The girlfriend of a Connecticut man charged with killing his parents for threatening to cut him out of their will has pleaded guilty to related charges and agreed to serve eight years in prison.

Jennifer Valiante pleaded guilty Friday in Bridgeport Superior Court to conspiracy to commit murder and hindering prosecution. The plea to the conspiracy charge came under the Alford doctrine, which allows defendants to not admit guilt but concede there's enough evidence for a conviction.

Prosecutors say she knew about or helped Kyle Navin plan the murders of his parents, Jeffrey and Jeanette Navin, of Easton, whose bodies were found in Weston in October 2015. They had been shot. Navin is detained on $2.5 million bond awaiting trial.

The 33-year-old Valiante is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 26.

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After more than two years, the state Department of Transportation project to expand North Street in Danbury is coming to an end point, though it's still several months away.  New stoplights will be turned on soon and work will end for the winter.  Final alignment of the new lanes should be completed before the shut down.  Paving crews won’t be able to put the final layer of asphalt down until the Spring.  Part of the delay on the project was  a large sewer line under North Street that had to be moved so a new retaining wall could be built.  Project manager John Dunham says there was also a lot of utility work needed. 

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Newtown firefighters will be accepting donations for FAITH Food Pantry on Saturday.  This annual event helps put food on the table for Thanksgiving for Food Pantry clients served by the nonecumenical organization located at 31 Pecks Lane.  Food items and financial donations will all be accepted, and delivered to the food pantry that afternoon.  Members of all five of Newtown's volunteer fire companies will be participating by taking collections outside Big Y on Queen Street and Stop & Shop on South Main Street tomorrow from 9am to 2pm.

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A Conquer the Forest Trail Run is being held tomorrow by a non-profit in New York.  Green Chimneys is a non-profit specializing in animal-assisted therapy and educational activities for children with special needs.  The first community trail run challenge will wind through Green Chimneys’ scenic Clearpool Campus in Carmel.  The 5-mile run will take place through open terrain and forest trails of various skill levels.  A 1-mile “fun run” for kids and families will also be held.  

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The Danbury Health and Human Services Department is hosting an informational session tonight about some rule changes. The new FDA food code means some changes for Danbury restaurants, caterers, school cafeterias, nursing homes and others. Tonight’s food regulation informational session is from 7 to 8pm at City Hall.

 

One change is that a Qualified Food Operator will now be known as a Certified Food Protection Manager. Hot and cold holding temperatures will be changing.  A new inspection form will be used to better align with the FDA Food Code.

 

Starting next July, restaurants cannot be issued a permit to operate a food establishment unless the applicant has registered with the Connecticut Department of Public Health in addition to the Danbury Department of Health. 

 

Another session will be held on December 6th.

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Bethel did a hand recount on a couple of close municipal races.  On Election Day, Claudia Stephan and Bill Slifkin were only separated by 13 votes for a two-year seat on the Board of Finance.  After the recount, Stephan came out 8 votes ahead and one the position.  There was also a recanvass of four Bethel Board of Education seats.  The winners were Democrats Jen Larsen and Jen Ackerman and Republicans Melanie O'Brien and Nicholas Hoffman.

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The state Department of Public Health is accepting public comment through Monday on the State Water Plan.  A presentation was made recently to the Western Connecticut Council of Governments about the State Water Plan. The Public Health’s Drinking Water Section was presented to the regional planning agency for cities and towns from Sherman down to Stamford.

 

The draft report found that while Connecticut leads the nation in protections of drinking water quality, the state lags in its water conservation ethic. It says the key to preserving the integrity of that quality is to have e an increased awareness among consumers about its value and vulnerability.  

 

The draft report found that climate change is likely to have a significant effect on potential flooding in Connecticut and could also result in drier summers in the next 25 years.

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The state Supreme Court will hear arguments today in the appeal of a decision to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit.  The suit was filed by some families of those killed at Sandy Hook School against the maker of the rifle used by the gunman.

 

A Superior Court judge dismissed the civil case last year. At issue were exceptions to a federal ban on most lawsuits against gun makers. The judge rejected the families' argument that the suit is allowed under the exceptions.

 

Lawyers for Remington have said the rifle was made, distributed and sold legally. The NRA and the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation have filed briefs on behalf of Remington.

 

The Brady Center against Gun Violence and the state’s attorney generals office have filed briefs on behalf of the families. 

 

Only three sitting full-time justices and a senior justice will hear the case. 3 appellate court judges will join them. Chief Justice Chase Rogers is unavailable today and Gregory D’Auria has recused himself. Two recently retired judges haven’t been replaced yet.

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