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Wilton police investigating iPhone thefts at High School

Wilton Police are investigating a couple of iPhone thefts from the high school.  Police say in one case, a 14 year old has been charged with larceny and credit card theft for being found by a staff member with an iPhone and a debit card of another student.  The youth will be in juvenile court on February 3rd. 


Police say the debit card was in the iPhone case and was not used. 


In another incident at Wilton High School this month, a female student reported that her iPhone 6 was taken from her backpack in the team room.  The phone was in a custom case and is still missing.

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Danbury Library adds new iPad kiosks to Children's Department

Danbury Library is adding some new technology for kids ni the new year.  Funding from the Friends of the Danbury Library has enabled the Library to put in Crayola kiosks in the children's department that hold 8 iPads.  Digital Services Librarian Katherine Chung says kids can access over 50 educational apps on the iPads.


Danbury Library has also added two new online databases for children to encourage reading and learning. 


“Starwalk Kids Media” provides children in kindergarten through eighth grade with a selection of high quality books. Children and parents can select books by age, grade or reading level and children can listen to an audiobook or read it themselves. This program's app has been downloaded to all of the Junior Department’s iPads so the books can also be enjoyed while visiting the library.


The second online database that is has made its debut is the “Worldbook Early World of Learning.”   The online resource encompasses three interactive learning environments for preschoolers and children in the early elementary grades. The program includes interactive games, narrated stories and videos that teach numbers, shapes, phonics, vocabulary, and research.

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League of Women Voters to host legislative forum

State House and Senate members from the Greater Danbury area will be at a forum tomorrow at Danbury Library.  It's being hosted by the Danbury Area Member-at-Large League of Women Voters.  Spokeswoman Judy Griemsmann says this region had an active league in the past, but not in the last two years. 


The League of Women Voters produces voter guides and hosts public forums and candidate debates among other activities.  The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan group.  They don't support political parties or candidates, but rather is there to raise public awareness of issues and increase citizen participation in policy making. 


People who attend the event will hear the legislators discuss goals of this General Assembly session, ask questions of the legislators.  Voter registration forms will also be available.  


The event is at the Danbury Library 2:30 to 4pm on Sunday.

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Danbury group to receive state funds to help end homelessness

New efforts to end chronic homelessness among veterans and persons with disabilities in Connecticut by 2016 has been announced.  The state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is awarding 15 private, not-for-profit agencies $1.1 million to provide in-home supportive services to 176 recently housed persons who have experienced chronic homelessness.


Center for Human Development in Danbury is among the recipients of the new supporting housing subsidies from the state. 


The state has also been chosen by a national non-profits coalition to be part of a 6 state initiative to combat homelessness.  The national initiative is being organized by the nonprofit Community Solutions. 


According to recent surveys, there are about 1000 Veterans and about 2400 chronically homeless people with disabilities in the state.

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Missing teen found, mother freed from jail

A 14-year old boy missing for more than a month and was the subject of a nationwide search has been found.  14-year old Storm Sorrentino was reported missing last month by his father, Saverio Sorrentino of Newtown. 


The boy's mother, Kathyrn of Fairfield, has been jailed for three days for not telling a judge where the boy was.  The couple divorced in 2007 and Saverio was granted custody last May.  Each of the last three days Kathyrn was brought before a judge and asked where Storm was, and each day replying that she didn't know despite her ex-husband's belief that she did. 


Fairfield Police received a call Friday afternoon of a suspicious person sitting on a stone wall.  It was the missing 14 year old. 


The location was about three miles from his mother's house.

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Sandy Hook School Support Fund looking for input on continued needs

The Sandy Hook School Support Fund is looking for community input on the on-going needs of those impacted by the shootings at Sandy Hook School.  A similar survey was sent out by the group last year. 


This is an online survey with some questions proposed by the Recovery and Resiliency Team.  The survey is anonymous and the Distribution Committee says is being done to get as accurate a picture as possible of the needs and feelings in the community.  Most of the questions are the same however, so the group can measure the data against the benchmark first survey done last year on challenges, strengths and needs.


Responses must be completed by February 6th.

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Ridgefield Board of Education member arrested

51-year old Irene Burgess plans to resign as Vice Chairman of the Ridgefield Board of Education.  She was arrested Thursday for a 6th degree larceny charge.  Ridgefield Police report that officers were called to Stop & Shop to investigate a possible theft.  Their investigation revealed that Burgess stole $69 worth of items. 


She was released on a written promise to appear in court on February 5th. 


Burgess told the Ridgefield Press: “It’s a mistake, but in order to prevent embarrassment to the board I’m going to resign even though nothing was intentionally done wrong.”


Burgess was arrested in November 2013 on the same charge for an incident at Kohls where she allegedly stole $160 worth of items.  She pled not guilty last January and entered the state's accelerated rehabilitation program.  The she completed the program in December, the charge was dismissed. 


At the time she said it was an accident and misunderstanding between the store manager and the police.

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Man arguing across from police station arrested for pending charges

A man having an argument across from the police station has landed him under arrest for outstanding warrants. 


Newtown Police say a man was involved in an argument across the street from the Department on Sunday and officers went to investigate.  Police say 26-year old Victor Stendbergh was wanted on pending charges from state and local police so he was arrested.  


Court records show that Stendbergh was arrested by Newtown Police in August for refusal to show his license and registration, but didn't appear in court and was charged in October with failure to appear.  He is due in court Monday on those charges. 


He was arrested by State Police in September for operating under the influence, failure to drive in the proper lane and possession of drug paraphernalia.  He is due in Waterbury Superior Court on Monday.  Also on that date, he faces charges of evading responsibility, operating an unregistered vehicle, following too closely and improper use of license plates.

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Two Conn. men arrested for DWI in separate NY accidents

A Sherman man has been arrested for drunk driving after crashing his car.  New York State Police responded to an accident Wednesday on Route 22 in Brewster near the intersection with Route 311.  A BMW lost control and collided with an embankment. 


Police say 52-year old Richard Seyfried Junior of Sherman was trying to turn on to South Quaker Road when he lost control.  Seyfried failed field sobriety tests and was found to have a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit.  He was released on bond and will be in court on February 2nd for the aggravated driving while intoxicated charge.


A New Fairfield man has been arrested on a drunk driving charge after hitting multiple vehicles in different accidents. 


New York State Police reported Thursday that a New Fairfield man has been arrested for aggravated driving while intoxicated for the events of last Saturday .  Police say 54-year old Grant Retallick Junior left a Brewster area restaurant and hit two cars in the parking lot.  He then fled the scene. 


Police were then called about an a collision on Route 6 which rendered Retallick's car undriveable.  He failed field sobriety tests and was found to have a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit.  Retallick was issued traffic tickets and ordered to appear in court on Monday.

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House struck by car in Danbury

A car has struck a house in Danbury.  Police say a woman driving southbound on Great Plain Road lost control of her car and struck the house Thursday afternoon.  The 20-year old woman was uninjured.  The accident happened shortly after 1:30pm at 82 Great Plain Road.  She was issued a verbal warning for travelling too fast for conditions.  The driver's name was not immediately released.

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Danbury company awarded $53 million contract from NASA

Danbury-based Praxair, an industrial gases manufacturer, has been awarded NASA’s agency-wide Acquisition of Liquid Hydrogen contract. Praxair’s hydrogen supply network will serve four NASA sites, including the Space Center in Mississippi; Kennedy Space Center in Florida; Marshall Space Flight Center, in Alabama; and Glenn Research Center in Ohio. 


NASA projected the maximum value of the five-year contract to be $53 million.


“NASA has been a longtime customer of Praxair, and we are proud to have been awarded this contract,” said Jeff Barnhard, vice president, east region for Praxair’s U.S. industrial gases business. “We look forward to playing an even larger role in our country’s national space program and the expanding satellite technology industry.”


Praxair’s hydrogen manufacturing infrastructure and delivery capability satisfies NASA’s stringent standards for product quality and on-time delivery to fulfill the agency’s missions. NASA uses liquid hydrogen as fuel for rocket engine development, testing and launch of spacecraft; delivery of satellites into earth orbit; and delivery of payloads to the International Space Station.


NASA also awarded Praxair a five-year liquid oxygen supply agreement for the Kennedy Space Center.  The Department of Defense previously awarded Praxair a five-year liquid hydrogen supply agreement for missions launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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Danbury Police investigate home break in

Danbury Police are investigating a break in Thursday morning on Stevens Street.  Police were called around 9:45am on a report of a dark skin man forcing his way into a house.  Police located the homeowner, a 27-year old, who told officers that a light skin man was also banging on the door.  The three scuffled, until the victim pepper sprayed the pair. 


The suspects fled in an unknown direction in a gray car.  The victim declined medical treatment. 


The investigation so far has revealed that the suspects are known to the victim and that this is an isolated incident.

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Governor Malloy calls for widening I-84 in Danbury

Governor Dannel Malloy says that widening a section of Interstate 84 in Danbury is critical for economic growth in the western part of the state. 


Still no word from Malloy on how he plans to pay for massive transportation infrastructure improvements that he's proposing.  During a stop yesterday at the I-84 rest area off exit 2, Malloy said he wants to widen a five mile stretch the highway to three lanes from exit 3 to 8 in Danbury.  He spoke generally saying tolls and taxes aren't the only way to pay for two generations of neglect.


(DOT Commissioner James Redecker, Governor Dannel Malloy)


Malloy has proposed increasing bus service in the region with a more modern service.  He also wants to make improvements to the Danbury branch of Metro North with an expansion to New Milford.


While there's been no official talk of bringing tolls back to Connecticut, it's been on many people's minds.  Malloy was asked how he responds to criticism that border tolls are an unfair regional tax.  He says that's a fair complaint.


Malloy also responded to questions about Transportation Committee chair Representative Antonio Guerrera, of not wanting tolls in his district but at the state's gateways.  He says tolls are a tax on people who use the highway, and he understands the goal of capturing 26 percent of the traffic that comes from out of state.


Malloy says paying for any improvements is a discussion still to be had, and for now he is focused on a comprehensive report on what improvements are needed.

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Adam Lanza's Newtown House to be Demolished

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) Officials in Newtown have voted to tear down the home where Adam Lanza lived before he carried out the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The vote Wednesday evening by the Newtown Legislative Council approves a proposal by the board of selectmen to raze the 3,100-square-foot home and keep the land as open space.

First Selectwoman Pat Llodra said she expects the Lanza house will be razed once winter is over. The 2-acre property was given to the town in December by a bank that acquired it from the Lanza family.

Lanza killed 20 children and six educators at the school before committing suicide.

Neighbors have been pleading with town officials to tear down the house, with one resident saying it's ``a constant reminder of the evil that resided there.''

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Western Connecticut Health Network holding annual meeting

Western Connecticut Health Network is holding it's annual meeting today.  The annual meeting of Western Connecticut Health Network will be held at 4 o'clock this afternoon at the Ethan Allen Hotel.  There will be a State of the Network address and also a recap of the accomplishments. 


One of the items likely to be discussed will be this summer's opening of the largest expansion in Danbury Hospital's history. 


The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Pavilion is an 11 story tower that added 316,000 square feet to Danbury Hospital.  It was paid for in part by a $30 million donation from Subway restaurants founder Peter Buck.  The addition includes a new emergency department, a critical care unit and private patient rooms.

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Change of venue granted in lawsuit against Bushmaster

A lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook School shooting will have a change in venue.  The owner of Bushmaster Firearms International has been granted a move of the case from Superior Court to Hartford Federal Court. 


The families of several of those killed and a teacher injured at Sandy Hook School originally filed the lawsuit around the two year anniversary.  The negligence and wrongful death lawsuit asserts that the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle should not have been made publicly available because it is a military weapon unsuited for civilian use. 


In addition to Bushmaster, the families have named Camfour, a firearm distributor, and Riverview Gun Sales, the store where the Bushmaster rifle was purchased in 2010.

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Newtown man arraigned for pistol-whipping girlfriend

A Newtown man has been arraigned on charges stemming from a police stand off in Danbury this weekend.  In Court yesterday, 23-year old Steven Hernly was ordered held on bond for charges of assault, assault with a firearm, breach of peace, illegal possession of a facsimile firearm and interfering with police. 


The incident started around 11pm Saturday at the McDonald's on Padanaram Road when a woman said Hernly pistol-whipped her and left for a halfway house on Terrace place to get another gun.  Police found the man hiding nearby after others at the house refused to let him in--and also called police.  Hernly refused to take his hands out of his pockets and told officer they would have to shoot him. 


He surrendered around 2am and was taken to Danbury Hospital for evaluation. 


He pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday, was ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation, have no contact with his girlfriend and is under a suicide watch.  Hernly, who is currently on probation, will next appear in court on February 10th.

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Court case continued against father charged in death of son

The case has been continued to next month for the Ridgefield father charged with causing his 15-month-old son's death by leaving him in the car for hours on a hot July day.  36-year old Kyle Seitz was not in Danbury Superior Court yesterday when the judge set the next appearance as February 19th. 


Seitz is charged with criminally negligent homicide.  The medical examiner found that Benjamin died of hyperthermia, or extremely high body temperature. 


Seitz has two other children, whom his wife has moved out of state, though he has been ordered to stay in Connecticut.  Seitz is free on bail.  He faces a year in jail if convicted.

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Former Garner warden named Corrections Commissioner

A former warden of Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown has been named Commissioner of the state Department of Correction.  Governor Malloy has tapped Scott Semple to serve in the post, and will now go through legislative confirmations. 


Semple has been Acting Commissioner of the DOC since August. 


He became warden of the high security prison in Newtown in 2009.  Garner specializes in treatment of adult male offenders with significant mental health issues.  Malloy says Semple, as a former corrections officer, is familiar with best practices and finding ways to reduce recidivism.

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Drug surveillance leads to police pursuit, Route 7 crash

Surveillance for a drug investigation was being conducted Tuesday afternoon in Danbury when an officer saw a man they knew sold narcotics in the Danbury area before.  24-year old Andrew “Moe” Parra of Waterbury also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for sale of narcotics and motor vehicle offenses that included engaging in pursuit.


Members of the Special Investigations Division and Community Conditions Unit followed Parra in unmarked police cars to the Franklin Street area.  He parked and entered a house for a short time.  Officers tried to prevent him from driving away, but he did and a short pursuit started.  Officers called off the chase when Parra sped up after a marked patrol unit became involved.


About 15 minutes later, Danbury Police was notified by State Police that a vehicle matching the description of Parra’s had crashed on Route 7 Northbound. 


Parra lost control of his vehicle about three miles from where the pursuit ended, and crashed without striking another vehicle.  State Police say Parra's car swerved to the left and into the grassy median, but he over corrected and swerved across the highway down an embankment to the right.  The car rolled onto its left side, hit several trees and finally stopped on its left against a tree.  Parra sustained cuts, abrasions and leg and arm fractures.


The Brookfield Fire Department extricated Parra from his vehicle.  Parra was transported to Danbury Hospital and later sent to the Westchester Medical Center for specialized care and treatment.


Parra was issued a written promise to appear in court at a later date and time for the outstand warrant, but due to his extensive injuries Parra was not charged with Tuesday’s offenses.  Danbury Police have applied to Danbury Superior Court for an arrest warrant so that he can be charged at a later date and time.


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