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There was a two-alarm fire on Locust Avenue in Danbury.  The fire was reported around 2:40pm Friday and brought under control by 3:15pm.  One person was home at the time and reportedly able to get out of the house as firefighters arrived. 

 

Assistant Chief Mark Omasta says crews found fire in the basement of 42 Locust Avenue.  The flames extended up to the attic through the walls, causing extensive damage.

 

There were no reported injuries.  The American Red Cross is evaluating the needs for assistance to three occupants who have temporarily been displaced.  

 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

 

Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Department Engine 3 provided mutual aid.

 

 

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A Carmel man has been arrested on a number of charges following a domestic dispute.  The Putnam County Sheriff's Office responded to a physical fight at a Carmel home early last Sunday morning.  A woman reported that her boyfriend choked, punched and pulled her hair.  The claims were substantiated. 

 

A deputy further determined that the man, 53-year old Emile Latuheru, was in possession of cocaine and marijuana.  He was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, assault, criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana. 

 

Latuheru was held for arraignment.

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A Brookfield man has been arrested in New York for drunk driving and a felony drug charge.  The Putnam County Sheriff's Office responded to a car accident just after midnight Wednesday in which a car hit a utility pole on Route 6 in the town of Southeast. 

 

Deputies determined that the driver, 44-year old Douglas Robinson of Brookfield was intoxicated, and was in possession of cocaine.  Robinson was charged with misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated and felony possession of a controlled substance. 

 

He was evaluated by emergency responders, but refused medical treatment.  Robinson was arraigned and ordered held on bond for a court appearance March 3rd.

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KENT, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut town is considering a program that trains teachers to use guns in the event of an active shooter, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has come down hard on the idea.

 

Kent selectmen voted 2-1 on Wednesday to present information about the "FASTER Saves Lives" program to the Board of Education. The board will ultimately decide whether to implement the program at the pre-K through eighth-grade Kent Center School.

 

The nonprofit Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion.

 

In an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Malloy said he's particularly concerned that the program would also allow anonymous volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio.

 

"If any board of education would approve this, I'd be shocked, frightened and disappointed," said Malloy, who said he felt compelled to comment publicly about the situation. "It makes no sense. And no school system in the state of Connecticut should be allowed to do this."

 

Selectman Jeffrey Parkin first presented the program to town officials in January.

 

He told the Danbury News Times on Thursday that reaction to the proposal has "gotten out of hand."

 

"It's being suggested that teachers would be walking around the school visibly packing guns," he said. "If Kent went into this program, the gun or guns would be concealed. It would be up the Board of Education how the gun would be kept, possibly in a safe with access for trained staff."

 

Malloy said if school districts want properly trained security, such as former police officers, it's their decision to make.

 

"The idea that we're going to have a volunteer receive 26 hours of training or teachers and principals receive 26 hours of training, that's just unacceptable," Malloy said. "It puts children in more danger, not less."

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Two New York men have been arrested for stealing items from a residence in Carmel.  Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies were called to a house last month by a man who said several items had been stolen from his parent's Carmel home while they were away. 

 

An investigation led to 24-year old Danny Groissl and 26-year old Joseph Braun.  The Carmel men were each charged on January 30th with two counts of felony burglary. 

 

Search warrants were carried out at the house the pair share and a number of items reported stolen were recovered.  Additional items linked to a separate burglary case under investigation by the Carmel Police Department were also recovered.  Groissl and Braun were arraigned and ordered held at Putnam County Correctional Facility on $100,000 bond for a future court appearance. 

 

There was also an active warrant for Groissl's arrest from Carmel Justice Court on a Grand Larceny charge.

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A teenager has been arrested in Danbury for a fight at Dunkin Donuts.  Danbury Police were called to the Dunkin Donuts location on Lake Avenue Tuesday afternoon on a report of a disturbance.  When officers arrived, they determined that there was a fight between three juvenile males.  One youth was arrested and issued a juvenile summons for conspiracy to commit assault.  The names of those involved in the fight were not released because of age.  The investigation is ongoing.

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The annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, an annual nondenominational gathering, has been held.  5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty  was joined Thursday by Eman Beshtawii, the Director of Community Services and Outreach Programs at an Islamic Center in Newtown.

 

 

The 64th Annual National Prayer Breakfast brought together over 3,200 people of faith from all 50 states and over 140 countries.

 

Esty first met Beshtawii at an interfaith ceremony in December at a vigil honoring the victims of Sandy Hook.  She approached Esty with concerns she and her family face as Muslim-Americans following an increase in religiously and racially charged comments and actions.  Esty says it's all sparked by fear and misinformation.

 

Beshtawii said she accepted the invitation to highlight all of the good that has come to the Muslim community at the Hedaya Center.   One of their goals is building bridges and relationships with the people of the community, region, and state.  She says much of the fear and hate in the Islamophobia that Muslim American communities experience is a result of the absence of these relationships.

 

Beshtawii has a husband and four children, and is a member of the Newtown Interfaith Clergy Association. She is also the co-founder of the Newtown "Peace Builder" initiative to engage the youth in the community.

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Assistant Library Director Katie Ventura has been promoted and appointed to the role of Library Director. 

 

Mayor Mark Boughton says her innovative thinking, tenacity and leadership has brought many positive changes to the Danbury Library over the past two years.  Among her accomplishments are the library's adoption of new technology services.  Danbury Library now lends out digital tablets, media streaming devices and internet hotspots.  Ventura has helped with the integration of the Hackerspace and restructured the employee schedules to ensure smooth daily operations. 

 

Venture has a Master's Degree in Library Science with a certification in Children and Young Adult Services.  She is a member of the American Library Association and the Public Library Association .  She is one of only 80 people in the country who is a certified Public Library Administrator.

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Danbury Police Officer Drew Carlson has been promoted to Sergeant.  Carlson joined the Department in 2004.  He has served as a member of the Danbury Police Recruiting Team and as a Field Training Officer.  He received a Meritorious Citation in 2014 and earned a number of letters of commendation.

 

Police Officer Roger Hancock has been promoted to Detective.  Hancock joined the Department in 2003.  He has served as a Bike Officer in the Community Conditions Unit since 2006.  Hancock received the Exceptional Police Service Award in 2005, a Meritorious Citation in 2006 and the Life Saving AWard in 2008 among other unit citations.

 

Mayor Mark Boughton called Carlson and Hancock highly qualified and skilled individuals.  He says they will be a tremendous asset to the Department and the City in their new roles.

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A proposal to ban seaplanes from Lake Waramaug has been proposed.  The First Selectman in the Town of Washington has proposed an ordinance prohibiting seaplanes from landing on Lake Waramaug, except in emergencies. 

 

The legislation would have to be approved by the towns of Washington, Kent and Warren because the lake spans all three towns.  The Lake Waramaug Authority, which is made up of representatives from the towns, has determined that the landing of an aircraft on the lake would endanger public safety, create a public disturbance and risk contaminating the water with invasive organisms. 

 

Kent Selectman Jeffrey Parkin, who is a seaplane pilot, said during a recent Kent Board of Selectmen meeting that the ordinance is trying to regulate a problem which isn't a problem. 

 

No immediate action was taken on the measure.

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A Danbury man who police previously said was killed in a single car crash last night remains on life support. 

 

Danbury Police say 26-year old Joseph E Neumuller of Danbury was travelling on Stadley Rough Road shortly before 11pm near Forty Acre Mountain Road when he drove off the right side of the road and hit a cluster of trees.  Neumuller was the only person in the car. 

 

He was transported to Danbury Hospital where he is in critical condition with life threatening injuries. 

 

The investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Lance Brevard of the Danbury Police Traffic Division at 203-797-2156.

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A lawsuit has been filed by a Brookfield woman alleging that her civil rights were violated when she was kicked out of the Republican party because she won't be allowed to vote in the upcoming town committee and presidential primaries. 

 

Jane Miller's suit was filed yesterday against the Brookfield Republican Registrar, the Republican Town Committee Chair and Vice Chair along with the vacancy chairman.  

 

A little used state statute allowing for people who are not in good faith party members to be ousted was levied against Miller in April.  The GOP party cited Miller's candidacy as a Democrat for a Board of Finance seat.  Miller re-registered as a Republican after she lost the election. 

 

Miller claims that two men ran on the Democratic ticket, but were able to rejoin the GOP without the same scrutiny.

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A Southbury man has won a $2 million prize from the Connecticut Lottery.  Gerald Rutledge claimed his Mega Millions prize on Monday for his winning ticket from the January 26th drawing. 

 

Connecticut Lottery officials say because Rutledge paid an extra $1 for the "Megaplier" feature on his Quick Pick ticket, the $1 million prize was automatically multiplied by two.  Rutledge bought the winning ticket at the Exit 8 Shell Station in Danbury.  The gas station owner said this is the biggest winning lotto ticket they've ever sold, and has earned the store a $2,500 check.

 

Alexander Rostocki won $50,000 in the Lucky Links with 2xPower game.  He also had a quick pick ticket.  Rostocki told lottery officials that the money will go right into the bank.  He purchased the ticket at Patty's Pantry in Southbury.

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Newtown Police say more arrests are possible in an explicit photo distribution incident at the High School.  Three students were arrested and 20 others referred to a community-based juvenile review board last week following a several month long investigation into sexting among the students. 

 

All of the students were minors at the time of the violations and their names are not being released.  Newtown Police continue to review the sexting case with prosecutors. 

 

The investigation began in May when police were informed of students sending and receiving sexually explicit images, some of them selling the images and videos for profit. 

 

The three male students were each charged with misdemeanor obscenity, transmission/possession of child pornography by a minor and felony charges of possessing child pornography and promoting a minor in an obscene performance.  More than 50 Newtown High School students were initially investigated, some were determined not to be involved. 

 

The school also conducted an investigation and disciplined the students who used various social media platforms to save and share the images and video with students who were not the original intended recipient.

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Kent has closed on a property to build a Welcome Center with public restrooms.  The Board of Selectmen was presented with the proposed building, floor plan and lot placement drawing at a recent meeting. 

 

The proposal calls for an open porch with kiosk area, men's and women's restrooms and parking area.  The plan also shows an area for a coin-operated shower behind the building.  Kent is along the Appalachian Trail and officials see a need for this for hikers making a stop in the town. 

 

The plan was presented at the Annual Town Meeting held January 21st.

 

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In Brookfield ..residents are pulling together to help a neighbor after a freak accident. Friends of Brookfield resident Jeff Moxham are trying to assist with his recovery. He was paralyzed when a garage door fell on him earlier this year. 

 

A Go Fund Me page has been created where people can contribute money to help with medical bills, rehab, recovery and other expenses. The Go Fund me page is https://www.gofundme.com/unjkqnsc.

 

Residents are also encouraged to attend a pasta dinner on Fri., Feb. 5 at Candlewood Valley Country Club, proceeds of which will benefit Moxham’s recovery. The cost to attend is $25 per person and two seatings are scheduled for 5:30-7 p.m. and 7:30-9 p.m. The event will feature a 50/50 Superbowl Pool and kids activities.

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A Connecticut town is considering a program that would arm teachers at its only school.

Kent selectmen voted 2-1 on Wednesday to present information about the ``FASTER Saves Lives'' program to the Kent Board of Education. The board will ultimately decide whether to implement the program at the pre-K through eighth-grade Kent Center School.

The nonprofit Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion.

The program would also allow anonymous volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio.

Selectman Jeffrey Parkin first presented the program to town officials in January.

 

Below is the full text of the proposal:

 

Sec. 53a-2I7b. Possession of a weapon on school grounds:

 

Class D felony, (a) A person is guilty of possession of a weapon on school grounds when, knowing that such person is not licensed or privileged to do so, such person possesses a firearm or deadly weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, (1) in or on the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, or (2) at a school-sponsored activity as defined in subsection (h) of section 10-233a. 

 

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to the otherwise lawful possession of a firearm (1) by a person for use in a program approved by school officials in or on such school property or at such school-sponsored activity, (2) by a person in accordance with an agreement entered into between school officials and such person or such person's employer, (3) by a peace officer, as defined in subdivision (9) of section 53a-3, while engaged in the performance of such peace officer's official duties, or (4) by a person while traversing such school property for the purpose ofgaining access to public or private lands open to hunting or for other lawful purposes, provided such firearm is not loaded and the entry on such school property is permitted by the local or regional board of education.

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$25,000 for lobbying services in Hartford will be examined by a committee of the Danbury City Council.  The group met to vote on approval of the funding Tuesday night.  After several residents spoke out against the allocation, the City Council decided to further study the request.

 

The lobbying service is meant to give Danbury greater access to funding in the form of municipal aid as well as to grant other opportunities through state department funding.  As state revenue continues to decline, City officials say it's imperative that Danbury be well represented at the Capital.  Officials say the lobbying service will help ensure that funding levels are maintained and that service levels in Danbury remain or increase without residents incurring an additional tax burden.

 

Mayor Mark Boughton says the Board of Education has already appropriated $25,000 so the City will move forward with engaging the lobbying firm.  He says this same thing will be voted on in March after the ad hoc committee discusses it.

 

One resident said that if the lobbying was meant to secure more funding for the schools, that could be worth it because of the current underfunding by the state.  Another resident argued that Danbury has elected very effective lawmakers to lobby on the City's behalf.  Several funding streams were cited, including money to turn the former YMCA building downtown into a community center, money to help outfit the new Naugatuck Valley Community College building with technology and highway improvement projects at exits 5 and 6.

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Two Danbury residents have been arrested for robbing a Brookfield bank on Monday.  Brookfield Police say witnesses and security tape from the Federal Road branch of Union Savings Bank led to a vehicle and eventually to the suspects.  Police say 24-year old Daniel Rodrigues admitted to robbing the bank.  His live-in girlfriend, 25-year old Kelly Fournier was also arrested. 

 

 

Police say the pair were found with more than $8,000, including one or more bills with serial numbers recorded by the bank prior to the robbery.  Rodrigues was charged with larceny and robbery.  He was held for arraignment today.  Fournier was charged with larceny and released on $5,000 bond for a court appearance next Friday.

 

Danbury Police Department, members of the Statewide Narcotics Task Force – Northwest Office and assets of the US Department of Homeland Security helped in the investigation.

 

The investigation is ongoing.  Brookfield Police are asking that asking anyone with information call Detective Michael Zezza at 203-775-2575.

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A New York man has been arrested on a drunk driving charge even though he was supposed to have an ignition interlock device on his car which would have prevented him from driving.  State Police from the Brewster barracks were called to help the driver of a disabled car on Route 22 in Southeast on Sunday. 

 

An investigation revealed that 30-year old Alan Wheeler of Oswego was intoxicated. 

 

He was charged with felony DWI and failing to operate a motor vehicle with an interlock device based on a previous DWI conviction from June 2013.  He was arraigned and ordered held on bail at Putnam County Jail for a court appearance next Tuesday .

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