A Public Hearing has been held in Bethel about funding for a proposed police station. It's a $13.49 million bond proposal for the corner of Judd Avenue and Dodgingtown Road. First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says the cuts after the failed vote in December came mostly from changes in material for the building, and a smaller parking lot.
Knickerbocker says the facility will blend with the neighborhood and will be barely visible from the road. He notes that it will not impact the education park, but police would be next door to provide additional security if needed. He says the land is not in the educational park. The property was set aside decades ago for future town use, not school use.
On December 8, a formal Town Meeting will be held. A vote could then be taken December 17.
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies has renewed the voluntary accreditation for the Bethel Police Department for four more years. A visit was made in August to assess the department's policies, management, operation and support services.
Visitors to Putnam Memorial State Park in Redding this winter may see a lumberjack taking down ash trees. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says this is being done as a proactive approach to protect the forest area from destruction by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer.
More than 200 trees will be chopped down at Putnam Park, removed and then processed into lumber and firewood. DEEP Director of Forestry Chris Martin says the destructive insect has already been found in some nearby towns, including in Sherman and the Naugatuck Valley in 2013.
The Emerald Ash Border was first found in the United State sin the 1990s and destroyed the ash tree population in the midwest.
Martin says DEEP will allow the resulting open space to grow naturally over the next decade. During the tree removal process, some part of the park may be closed to protect visitors. Signs will be posted at the park entrance when the work will be done.
Martin says it's not wise to keep standing dead trees amongst where people will be recreating, so on occasion DEEP will preemptively remove trees at a minimal cost.
Martin says landowners who have ash trees and think they are being destroyed by this pest, should seek advice from a licensed arborist or professional forester certified through DEEP before cutting them down. When entering into contract, Martin urged homeowners to have assurances and documentation in place so expectations are met about what's being cut down and that it's done safely.
There have been some delays in moving forward a project recognizing Danbury's hatting past. A monument has been designed showing a hatter and his tools, but no location has been determined, and the price tag is estimated at between $125,000 and $140,000.
A $50,000 grant has been promised by a bank in Danbury, but requires matching city funds. The remaining cost would be covered through a fundraising campaign.
An ad hoc committee of the City Council will study the request.
Danbury once known as "The Hat Capital of the World"; and lived by its motto: "Danbury crowns them all"; In the 19th Century hats were a staple in every man’s wardrobe, men wouldn’t leave their house without one, and the Hatting industry in Danbury began to thrive, partly because of our large supply of water and fur.
By 1800, Danbury was producing more hats than any place else in the United States. By 1887, some 30 factories were manufacturing 5 million hats a year. After decades, things began to slow down, by 1923 only six hat manufacturers were left in Danbury. Costly labor disputes, changing fashion trends, and less profit resulted in many factories closing or moving, and the last hat factory in Danbury closed in the 1980’s.
City officials say even though the hatting industry in Danbury has completely vanished, its impact on the City’s history will last forever.
A kitten was found abandoned on Route 7 in Ridgefield Tuesday, near the gun club. The Ridgefield Veterinary Hospital says the kitten was in a carrier, covered with her own waste. There was one can of cat food tied in a white plastic bag to the top of the carrier. The Ridgefield Veterinary Hospital vaccinated the kitten and gave her a bath. She was previously spayed. The Ridgefield Veterinary Hospital says the kitten is up for adoption.
(Ridgefield Veterinary Hospital, Facebook)
A preliminary accident report has been released by the National Transportation Safety Board about the plane crash in North Salem that killed two people on board a small aircraft bound for Danbury Municipal Airport. The preliminary report says the flight made a stop after taking off from Mississippi, eventually departing a small airport in West Virginia on November 19th.
The plane was descending, but then climbed and headed westbound away from the airport before disappearing off radar. Debris from the small airplane has been retrieved from a North Salem reservoir. A New York City Department of Environmental Protection spokesman says divers and helicopters spotted the plane's debris in the Titicus Reservoir, though not all of the aircraft has been recovered.
The NTSB preliminary report says the airplane will be placed in a secure facility for further examination once it is recovered from the water. Visibility was about 1.25-miles, and there was light rain and mist at the time of the accident.
Eric Horsa of Ridgefield identified the pilot as his father, Val Horsa, of South Salem. Horsa said his father and stepmother, Taew, were on board. The couple owned Bangkok Thai Restaurant in Danbury.
The pilot had slightly under 2,000 hours total air time.
Friends will be received on Wednesday, December 9 from 4pm to 8pm at Kane Funeral Home on Catoonah Street in Ridgefield. Funeral services and interment will be held at a later date.
The Monroe Fire Marshal's office has made a ruling about the early Sunday morning fire that destroyed an historic home. The house on Hammertown Road dates back to the 1770s. The Fire Marshal says electrical wiring in the basement staircase likely is what started the fire in wooden beams.
One resident was evaluated for smoke inhalation.
Mutual aid was provided to the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department by firefighters from Newtown, Oxford and elsewhere. Two departments also provided coverage at the fire station in case of any other calls that came in.
Newtown officials have been sworn in to new terms in office. A ceremony was held Sunday at Edmond Town Hall. State Senator Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown, presided over the swearing in ceremony. Among those taking the oath of office were the Legislative Council, the Police Commission, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Boards of Finance, Education, Selectmen and Assessment Appeals. First Selectman Pat Llodra also was sworn in for a new term, which started today. She ran unopposed last month for a 4th term.
Ahead of the third anniversary of 12/14, The Resiliency Center of Newtown has announced a series of events scheduled for Monday December 14th. The non-profit was founded by a community member and offers long-term healing to anyone impacted by the events of 12/14, providing the resources so that every individual reaches their full potential. The Newtown Bee reports that there will be healing mediation, terrarium building, chocolate making and a therapy dog on hand on December 14th. Crisis counseling will also be available.
A New York man who was three times over the legal limit has been arrested for driving under the influence. New York State Police responded to a one-car crash on Saturday in Somers.
The driver, identified as 43-year old Thomas Larkin of South Salem, was the only one in the car. He supplied a breath sample that revealed a Blood Alcohol Content of .27 percent.
Larkin was issued tickets to appear in court on Monday. He was released to a sober driver.
A swearing in ceremony has been held in Danbury. Mayor Mark Boughton was sworn in to an unprecedented 8th term leading the City. The City Council was also sworn in for another term. All incumbents won reelection last month. Two people have retired from public service and two new members elected in November were sworn in Monday night to replace them.
Boughton called Peter Nero professional and friendly, saying that Nero cared about not just one issue but everything effecting the City.
Boughton says Mike Haddad was an active member of Danbury Youth Baseball, and helped build a first class field at Rogers Park. Haddad is moving out of state, but promised to come back during baseball season to help out.
The two new members of the City Council replacing Nero and Haddad are John Esposito and Michael Esposito.
A Public Hearing is being held in Bethel tonight about funding for a proposed police station. The Bethel Board of Selectmen will take public comment on the $13.49 million dollar bond proposal. The Police Station is proposed for the corner of Judd Avenue and Dodgingtown Road.
Voters rejected a $14.1 million dollar project during a December referendum and the plan was slightly scaled back.
The cuts mostly come from changes in material for the building, and a smaller parking lot. The proposal is still for a 24,000 square foot building. An option to further lower the price tag of the project would be to not include a shooting range, which could save $600,000. But several people at the meeting spoke against that cut.
Tonight's public hearing is at 7pm in the Municipal Center General Purpose Room.
On December 8, a formal Town Meeting will be held. A vote will be taken then to move the item to a machine vote. The referendum will be recommended for December 17.
No Black Friday incidents were reported in Danbury, but there were several reports of shoplifting this Thanksgiving weekend.
On Thanksgiving one person was arrested for shoplifting from Walmart. On Black Friday there was a report of a stolen purse at JC Penney in the mall, but no suspect. On Saturday, there were two reported larcenies from the Microsoft store in the Mall.
Also on Saturday, the Loss Prevention team at Sears called Danbury Police about a 20-year old who hid $79 worth of merchandise and left without paying. Kamara Jones of Danbury was charged with larceny. Jones was released on scene with a written promise to appear in court on December 9.
The next day, Sears called about a 19-year old and two juveniles in store custody. They stole about $100 worth of merchandise and tried to leave without paying. Jahun Danzy of Danbury and the two juveniles were charged with larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny. Danzy was also charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor.
Danzy was released on a $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in Court December 9.
An early morning fire yesterday did some heavy damage to an historic home in Monroe. Firefighters responded to Hammertown Road around 5am Sunday morning. The house dates back to the 1770s. One resident was evaluated for smoke inhalation. Mutual aid was provided to the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department by firefighters from Newtown, Oxford and elsewhere. Two departments also provided coverage at the fire station in case of any other calls that came in.
(Photos Courtesy: Monroe Volunteer Fire Department, Facebook)
New York State Police have conducted an underage drinking enforcement detail and one clerk has been arrested. Police from the Somers Barrack conducted the initiative on Sunday with the help of a youth volunteer. 24-year old Nicolas Lopez of Brewster, who is a clerk at the Mobil gas station on Route 100 in Somers, was charged with a violation of the state Alcohol and Beverage Control Law. Lopez was issued a ticket to appear in court next Monday. An underage operative attempted to purchase alcohol at nine other locations and was denied as a result of his age.
A Carmel man is facing a number of drug charges after Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies saw suspicious activity in a shopping plaza parking lot. The Sheriff's office today said that Deputies were on patrol last Sunday and saw a parked car at Highbridge Plaza on Route 22 in Southeast. When approaching the car deputies could smell marijuana. 50-year old David Dagnone of Carmel had pot and a controlled substance in his possession. Dagnone was charged with two offences and released without bail for a court appearance on December 10th.
A State Trooper didn't have to be a foster dad for long. Two baby deer whose mother was killed in an accident, were taken in by Trooper Ben Pagoni from the Southbury barracks.
A rescue for the deer wasn't immediately available. Pagoni got permission to take custody of the orphaned deer and cared for them at his home with the help of his family.
State Police posted an update on their Facebook page saying that a rescue became available and the deer have a new home.
7 people were injured in a two car crash that happened Friday night in Brookfield. Police say a car travelling southbound on Whisconier Road made an improper left turn in front of a vehicle headed northbound. The accident happened at the intersection with Obtuse Hill Road shortly after 7pm.
The intersection was closed for about an hour. Mutual aid was provided by the Stony Hill and Danbury Fire Departments.
All 7 patients were transported to Danbury Hospital with minor injuries.
No charges have been filed and the incident remains under investigation.
A tour of the new Innovation Center in Danbury has been taken by Senator Chris Murphy. He visited with people who use the hackerspace as part of an effort by the Small Business Association to promote Small Business Saturday. It's a time that local shops are calling for people to patronize companies that give back to the community, and is sandwiched in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
It's a common work space with 3D printers, prototyping tools, a mockup studio, and other business tools open for use by local entrepreneurs. Small Business Association Resources partner SCORE was also on hand for the tour.
Murphy says the Innovation Center is a great place for entrepreneurs to see how others are succeeding and failing. He notes that trial and error is easier when you're working along side others who are also starting up their own small business.
Murphy says many of the people he talked to are working a full time job during the day and coming to the Hackerspace in the evenings and on the weekends.
GreenWell Financial, Born TM, Attention Holdings, Skyflix.com and Luke's Toy Factory have used the Innovation Center/Hackerspace.
Parking rules have temporarily changed in downtown Ridgefield.
The Ridgefield Parking Authority is working with the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce to help encourage shopping locally. There will be no enforcement of parking time limits for spaces whose time limits are two hours or longer. The change will stay in place through January 3rd.
Special signs have been designed by Farmingville Elementary School students.
Posted time limits will remain in effect on Main Street and for any spaces whose posted time is less than two hours in the downtown area. The Parking Authority will enforce the shorter times in the Central Business District. That is being done to allow for some parking space turnover in the Central Business District.
The annual police "Stuff a Cruiser" event in Newtown is back today. The Newtown and Redding Police departments are working together to collect donations for local food pantries. They will be set up outside the Newtown Big Y on Queen Street from 9am to noon. The Police Departments say this is a chance for people to do something positive, and pay it forward during a season of giving. Newtown and Redding Police officials say people can also purchase gift cards so the Departments can purchase some items for the food pantries.