The state Department of Transportation is holding a hearing tonight in Newtown on a proposed intersection realignment.
State officials are hosting an informational session tonight about a plan to create a four-way intersection for Church Hill Road, Commerce Road and Endmond Road. The proposal was made to reduce the number of accidents at the intersection and to ease congestion on Church Hill Road, Route 6.
Side walks would be added to increase pedestrian access as well. A left turn lane would be created on Endmond Road, Route 6 would be widened a bit and the stop lights would be synchronized.
The project is estimated to cost about $4 million. It would be paid for mostly with federal funds and only about 20-percent of state funding. The construction work, if approved and funding secured, would start in 2016 and take a little more than a year to complete.
The meeting starts at 6:30pm with a presentation at 7pm at the Newtown Municipal Center.
After six years of a stalemate between Bethel and Danbury, an agreement could be near for a water tank being placed near Long Ridge Road. Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says they need to build a water storage tank on town-owned land within Danbury city limits at Eureka Lake. He says it's needed to handle what the state health department says is a water shortage in the downtown district.
The City's Planning Commission has time and again denied the request saying the area is designated as scenic.
No new industrial development can take place in Clarke Park because of the storage issue. It's a fragile system, sensitive to any kind of disruption. Knickerbocker says any kind of pressure change causes rust to dislodge.
Bethel filed a lawsuit, but agreed to drop it if Danbury approves new plans to build the 750,000 gallon tank further into the woods. An out-of-court- settlement offer put together by Bethel officials was tentatively agreed to by the Danbury Planning Commission Thursday night.
Knickerbocker says that option is more costly than the original design, but less costly than going to an alternative site. That would have involved underground mains being moved and elevated tanks being constructed that could be seen for many miles.
A public hearing would have to be held in Danbury for final approval.
During a ceremony in Weston Monday morning, Governor Dannel Malloy, advocates and state lawmakers marked the enactment of "An Act Concerning the Storage and Administration of Epinephrine at Public Schools''. The bill was signed into law last month and allows certain school employees to administer emergency first aid medication to children or teenagers who appear to be experiencing severe allergic reactions, even if an allergy wasn't previously documented.
The ceremony was held at Weston High School. The bill was co-sponsored by Redding Representative John Shaban and Cecilia Buck-Taylor of New Milford among others.
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities submitted testimony against the bill saying there are concerns about potential liability exposure on school personnel and school districts from well-intentioned, but improperly administered medicine. A substitute nurse from Westport also submitted testimony, but hers was in favor of the bill and cited her son's allergic reactions.
Discount prescription drug cards provided to Putnam County residents are resulting in big savings. Officials report that residents in Putnam county have saved over $850,000 on nearly 13,000 prescriptions.
It's a program similar to one in Danbury and elsewhere that allows residents of any income, age or existing health care coverage to participate in.
The ProAct Prescription Discount Card Program is anonymous and can be used at most pharmacies in the region. Residents can receive a discount of between 10 and 20 percent on name brand medication, with larger savings on generic medication. But the card cannot be used to reduce co-pays or deductibles.
Three people sustained minor injuries during Ridgefield's Summerfest 64 street fair on Saturday. A kid's train ride tipped over and the three were transported to the Hospital as a precaution. The Ridgefield Press reports that the train was giving rides to people when the back two cars flipped sideways.
A boy receive cuts to his hand, a woman bumped her head and a man sustained cuts to his ankle.
Officials say the Thomas the Tank Engine train is trackless. It was operated by the Roaming Railroad company.
A 29-year old was shot over the weekend in Danbury. Police spokesman Lt Christian Carroccio says officers were called to the area of Patch and Main Streets around 1:30am Saturday on a report of gun shots fired. Police found the City man with a single gun shot wound to the lower abdomen.
Carroccio says the injuries appear to be non-life threatening.
The Detective Bureau is investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call Danbury Police at 203-797-4662.
A Danbury businessman has attended a White House roundtable discussion about boosting U.S. exports. Dr. Robert Bedoukian was a guest of 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty for the event hosted by the Secretary of Commerce and United States Trade Representative Ambassador. Only three other Representatives and one Senator were invited to participate in the event.
Bedoukian Research, founded in 1972, is a supplier of specialty aroma and flavor ingredients to the pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and specialty chemical industries.
Esty says the Secretary of Commerce and others heard about the importance of intellectual property rights. Currently, 55-percent of Bedoukian Research's sales are exports. Federal officials discussed best practices and available federal tools for businesses looking to expand their exports.
Esty says they heard the real world experience of the business owners challenges and opportunity for selling to the 95 percent of customers who don't live in the United States. Esty is looking to bring some of those experts and resources back to the district and host an event for local businesses to learn about opportunities they have to get their products and services more easily exported around the world.
Last year, Connecticut set a record $16.4 billion worth of exports. In 2011, a little more than 27-percent of all manufacturing workers in Connecticut depended on exports for their jobs.
There is a referendum tomorrow in Redding about borrowing for two items.
One of the proposals Redding residents will be deciding on is an emergency communications tower. The other is a road reconstruction plan. Originally there was going to be a vote at an informational meeting, but residents instead will be voting tomorrow. That machine vote coincides with a referendum on the roof replacement project at Joel Barlow High School.
Redding officials are proposing $300,000 for a new 120-foot communications tower at the police department. $6.73 million dollars over four years has been proposed for an additional 20-miles in the road reconstruction plan.
Both projects would be funded through short term borrowing pending long term financing.
A special Region 9 Board of Education meeting was held in June about a technical error that is delaying the roof restoration project at Joel Barlow High School. There was a problem with the public notification. The referendum date was set at a meeting four days after notice was given of the meeting, not five days as required.
The $1.4 million project would have started in late July, but has been pushed back to August.
The Region 9 district is holding a referendum tomorrow.
Danbury Library is hosting a workshop for high school graduates who are going off to college this fall. It's titled “Transitioning from High School to College”. The workshop will be conducted by Tom Bisogno who teaches “Decision Making in Groups” at Western CT State University.
Bisogno says many college students have difficulties or drop out within the first two years of their degrees because they are not prepared to tackle the academic requirements, adjust to different teaching styles or make good decisions about other basics of college life like finances, lifestyle choices, class attendance and study habits. The workshop will cover the key areas which students and researchers have identified as important for success in college. Some of the topics include time management, attendance, studying, and plagiarism.
The program will be held Saturday, July 26 from 10:15am to 12:45pm at the Library. Registration is required online at danburylibrary.org, click on “Events” or call 203-797-4527.
A ranking member of the General Assembly Higher Education Committee is reacting to the University of Connecticut announcing it will pay $1.28 million in a settlement with five current and former students who filed a federal lawsuit charging that the university mishandled their cases when they were raped or sexually assaulted.
Wilton Senator Toni Boucher says the victims of sexual assault carry this trauma with them for the rest of their lives and hopes they get the help they need.
Boucher says the first responders and staff at their university or college become, by default, their lifeline in a crisis because students are traditionally away from home when they are in college. When a student attends college, Boucher says he or she should expect their campus to be as safe and secure as it possibly can be.
She called Connecticut a model for the rest of the country when it comes to legislation. Connecticut now has improved services for victims, and we streamlined the often-confusing campus policies dealing with sexual assault.
“The steps taken by UConn have been commendable and should provide added safety, security and sensitivity in response to traumatic incidents. Our priority must continue to be to ensure nothing like this ever happens again, and that starts with assurances from the leaders of our universities that they are listening to students. It also requires training of employees and students on violent assault policies and there must be clear responses and consequences.”
The "Make Progress National Summit" in Washington DC held Wednesday for young people featured an address from U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. He talked about what they can do to reduce gun violence saying there seems to be a growing indifference to incidences in schools and at colleges and universities.
He said patience is not an easy thing to preach when his colleagues want immediate returns on political action.
Murphy says increasing support for gun violence prevention measures could take decades, the same way it took decades for the NRA to build it's massive support system. He questioned whether member of Congress who opposed background check legislation will be able to hold on to their seats when 90-percent of Americans support the measure
Murphy says the average age of a victim of gun violence is 19, followed by 18, 16 and 17.
The Summit brings together hundreds of progressive leaders and young people from around the country to discuss ways they can make a difference now in moving our communities and the country forward. Other featured speakers included Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut officials responded Friday to concerns about the state rejecting a federal request to temporarily house up to 2,000 immigrant children from Central America at the mostly vacant Southbury Training School facility, saying no properties met the federal government's criteria.
In a letter released Friday, the governor's chief of staff, Mark Ojakian, said the U.S. General Services Administration and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reached out to the state on July 3, seeking facilities with at least 90,000 square feet of open space for immediate use. The buildings would have to comply with federal environmental and Americans with Disabilities Act standards, with additional outdoor space for trailers holding showers, restrooms and kitchens.
But Ojakian said the state's Office of Policy and Management determined the Southbury Training School and other vacant state properties were inadequate.
"The decision OPM made was based on a factual review of state assets weighed against a list of specific criteria, including urgent time constraints," Ojakian wrote in a letter to state Rep. Juan Candelaria, chairman of the General Assembly's Black and Latino Caucus. "The state of Connecticut simply does not own appropriate facilities that can accommodate these needs."
Thousands of children from Central America have been crossing the Mexican border into the U.S. illegally and without their parents. The U.S. has been urging the governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to take steps to stem the exodus of children. The volume of child immigrants has prompted President Barack Obama to ask Congress to approve an emergency $3.7 billion spending bill to deal with the "urgent humanitarian crisis."
Ojakian said OPM Secretary Benjamin Barnes and Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz are working with federal authorities to match some of the thousands of children with family members living in the state. Also, the administration is working with the federal government to help families that want to house some of the children temporarily.
On Thursday, Candelaria sent a letter to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asking him to reconsider housing the children, saying it's "not the time to point fingers or wait for Congress" to deal with the problem.
"We understand your concerns with the Southbury Training School and do not pretend to minimize them," Candelaria said. "However, we cannot keep our arms crossed while these detention centers continue to overflow and these children suffer in the direst of conditions through no fault of their own."
During a Republican gubernatorial primary debate on Thursday, the GOP's endorsed candidate, Tom Foley, accused Malloy of deciding too quickly not to house the children. Senate Minority Leader John McKinney said the decision was out of character for Malloy, who has supported driver's licenses and in-state tuition for immigrants living in the country without legal permission.
GROTON, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut native has taken command of a Groton-based attack submarine.
Navy Cmdr Daniel Lombardo assumed command of USS Springfield at a ceremony Friday.
Lombardo graduated from Danbury High School in 1993 before attending the U.S. Naval Academy--earning a degree in mechanical engineering. He has been serving in Washington on the staff of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He replaces Christian Williams, who assumed command in January 2012 and led Springfield on a six-month deployment last year.
The Navy says Lombardo served aboard the USS Florida and USS Tuscon and was an executive officer of the USS Alaska.
Springfield is a Los Angeles-class attack submarine that was commissioned in 1993.
An environmental clean up in Brookfield scheduled for today has been cancelled. The Still River Alliance was going to be working with the town to clear garbage from an area near Golf Quest. A large fallen tree is collecting debris across the river, causing a blockage.
The town agreed to remove the tree, but officials say a small corner of the area that was to be cleaned up is private property. The volunteers need to obtain permits with the land owner before they can go in and do the cleanup. The Still River Alliance says Brookfield is filing the paperwork and seeking to expedite the matter.
A new date for the cleanup has not yet been set.
Newtown police will be holding a sobriety checkpoint tonight into Sunday. While police did not disclose the exact location of the checkpoint, they do say motorists travelling in both directions will be stopped and briefly interviewed. During the DUI checkpoint, police will also be on the lookout for other motor vehicle violations ranging from cell phone use to seat belt violations.
Police say the special enforcement effort is one of three being held over the summer.
The first was during the 4th of July weekend. The Newtown Bee reports during that enforcement effort, 1 DUI arrest was made, 3 tickets were issued to people driving with a suspended license and 1 speeding ticket. 8 infractions and 56 warnings were also issued.
The Housing Development Fund has hosted an event in Danbury Friday where first time home buyers learned about support available to them as they go through the purchase process. The event at Western Connecticut State University involved eligibility for statewide housing assistance programs including the SmartMove program and the Live Where You Work Program. Officials say the Home in a Day event also provided people with copies of their credit report.
Homebuyers had the chance to sit with a loan originator from a local bank to determine whether they can pre-qualify for a first mortgage, six banks attendrf the event. Afterwards, they discussed their credit report with a housing counselor from HDF, and learned about whether they are eligible for programs that offer low-interest loans to help with down payment and closing costs.
The participating banks included Savings Bank of Danbury, Newtown Savings Bank, Union Savings Bank, First County Bank, Chelsea Groton Bank, and Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan.
The newly retired Geoff Herald is weighing in on the future of fire service needs in Danbury. He was part of a Task Force that put a plan together in 2010 about how to protect the City for the next 50 to 70 years.
Herald says the rapid growth and expansion of residential and business occupancies on the west side of the City creates a clearer view since even a couple of years ago. The former fire chief says the Mill Plain area has seen a significant increase in residential and commercial population over the last 10 to 20 years, which has caused an increase in call volume for police, fire and EMS. Herald says a new station, including an engine company with ambulance response capability, are now more obvious.
Part of that plan calls for putting an engine company by South Street because of the new condo complexes being built in that part of the City. An engineering study of the New Street Headquarters facility was completed in 2012. The study determined the site and facility on New Street can be modified to accommodate a more modern facility with certain limitations. Herald maintains that replacing the building with a new structure on another site is still the best option.
He, ideally, would situate the station in the area of Main and South Street to Shelter Rock stretch of South Street.
Part of the Task Force plan also calls for consolidating the six volunteer firehouses owned and maintained by the City into two houses of three companies each.
The first part of the new Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Pavilion at Danbury Hospital opened this week. The 316,000 square foot addition will be opening in phases. Vice President of Facilities and Real Estate Morris Gross says at this point the lobby is the only area open to the public. But there is also new parking available.
A staffed Information Desk is up and running for patients and visitors to the new Pavilion to guide them to their location.
The new facility will eventually include 30 beds for patient care, 35 beds for surgical patients and future space for more operating rooms. Gross says most of the Tower Building will be opened by September.
This expansion project started six years ago with an idea, with construction started about three years ago.
The state Department of Agriculture is detailing more information about the emaciated horses seized last week in Redding.
In recent weeks, the Department has seized seven horses, two donkeys and a mule--each with varying degrees of lack of food or poor general care. Officials say that frequency is a more common occurrence in winter, not summer when hay and grass is plentiful. In the Redding case, two emaciated horses were seized from an unkempt barn where there was not nearly enough food to sustain them.
Officials say they intervened after cell phone photos taken by a delivery person were shown to police. The horses were taken to a rehabilitation facility in Connecticut. Animal control officers were familiar with the owner, who at times had been successful in bringing the animals up to a healthier weight.
Animal Control Officer Nancy Jarvis says she hopes the horses have the same turnaround that one seized from Easton in 2011 had. That emaciated horse not only fully recovered, but was later adopted by a New Jersey woman. Jarvis said he is now thriving.
Part of the evidence in that case was a video shot by a private citizen visiting the farm that showed an emaciated Blackie limping and searching for food in his paddock. The horse’s owner was charged with animal cruelty and was eventually placed in a court program for first-time offenders.