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Teens arrested for making threats against Danbury High School, student


On Wednesday, Danbury Police were made aware of threats against a Danbury High student and the general school population.  An investigation revealed that the unknown male caller and another made a call from a Danbury address and threatened harm against the student and "everyone else" at DHS. 

 

The 16 and 17 year olds were arrested Monday morning on two counts each of threatening and conspiracy to threaten.  They were transported to Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center. 

 

Although the teens said it was only intended as a prank, Danbury Police say there is zero tolerance when threats are made toward schools.

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Danbury man pleads not guilty to attempted murder charge


The Danbury man arrested last month for a shooting in the City has made a court appearance.  33-year old Eliseo Soto pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of criminal attempt to commit murder, assault and criminal use of a firearm.  He remains jailed in lieu of bond for a May 19th appearance in court.

 

Officers were called to Rose Street around 6pm March 27th and found a 24-year old man had been shot in the arm and chest.  Witnesses told Danbury Police that Soto caused a disturbance at the housing complex earlier in the night and then returned to shoot the victim--identified as Jonathan Soto--no relation.

 

The arrest warrant says the pair fought about visitation of the younger Soto's son, whose mother is the niece of the older Soto.

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7 hospitalized, 4 charged after concert at WCSU's O'Neill Center


Western Connecticut State University may rethink any future contracts with an electronic dance music group who performed at the West Side Campus over the weekend.  Krewella and Radical Something drew a large crowd Saturday night.  University spokesman Paul Steinmetz says there were some tickets issued and some people taken to the hospital.

 

There were between 2,500 and 3,000 young people at the event, and the crowd became rowdy.

 

Seven people got sick, were throwing up and taken by ambulance to Danbury Hospital.  The illness was likely caused by alcohol consumption.  Four were charged for creating a public disturbance. 

 

This comes nearly two years to the day that a so-called Dayglow concert at West Conn got out of control and led to more than 30 people being taken to the hospital for intoxication.  At the time hospital officials called those concerts "patient producing events" citing a Dayglow event previously held in Hartford that resulted in more hospitalizations.

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Ridgefield hearings on Schlumberger site, cell tower proposals


A Public hearing will be held Wednesday in Ridgefield about a new proposal for part of the Schlumberger site.  The 10 acres is zoned for residential housing.  The hearing Wednesday will be about a proposed $4-million purchase by Toll Brothers.  The company was originally interested in the land for 30 age-restricted condos.  Town officials decided to go with a different developer at the same price tag, but the deal fell through. 

 

Wednesday's public hearing is set for 7:30pm at Town Hall.  After a Town Meeting next month, the sale could be a question on the budget ballot.

 

There is a Thursday afternoon hearing planned in Ridgefield by the Connecticut Siting Council.  Residents will have the chance to weigh in on the cell tower that's proposed for land off Ledges Road.  Danbury-based Homeland Towers LLC and A-T-and-T would bear the cost of construction and equipment for the 150-foot tower. 

 

The hearing begins at 3pm and continues at 7pm in the Town Hall lower level conference room.

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Budget review meetings to start in Danbury


Two of the five budget review committees in Danbury are meeting tonight.  The Education committee of the City Council and the General Government I committee are each meeting at 5:30pm.  The other three committees are scheduled to meet tomorrow and Thursday.  The proposed $235.7 million budget represents a nearly 3-percent tax increase. 

 

Mayor Mark Boughton says there were only a few people at the public hearing last week.  They wanted to know more about specific items related to an agency they are affiliated with.

 

Tonight council members will be calling on the Board of Ed, Superintendent of Schools along with the Directors of Finance for the City and Schools will discuss funding for the schools.  The town clerk, registrars, members from the library and lake authority among others will review general spending.

 

Boughton says there is no one-time revenue used in the budget. The historic McLean house on Main Street used to host the WIC program and is the future site of the new Office of Early Childhood.  Most of the spending increase is going to pay for staffing and equipment at the new middle school that's going into service at the start of the new school year.

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Cops: Body found in upstate NY may be missing man


PATTERSON, N.Y. (AP) State police say a decomposed body found in Putnam County woods appears to be related to a 2010 missing person case.

Police say the remains were found by residents clearing a wooded area Saturday morning about 500 feet off Maple Avenue in the town of Patterson, about 60 miles northeast of New York City.

A search with police dogs led to the discovery of a bicycle and identification from 39-year-old Gabriel Lopez-Duarte of Patterson. A relative had reported him missing in October 2010 after he left home on a bike and didn't return.

Positive identification will be made when DNA analysis is completed. The cause of death is still under investigation.

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WCSU to hold series of events on human trafficking, cancels some


DANBURY, Conn. (AP) Western Connecticut State University has canceled a planned forum to raise awareness about human trafficking.

The four-day ``The Price of Life'' initiative was expected to kick off Monday with a panel discussion among specialists on women's and children's issues, as well as contemporary slavery issues. But WCSU announced Monday that the sponsors of the event decided to cancel it. No new date has been scheduled.

Other events, organized and sponsored by student organizations to raise awareness and inform the public about the human trafficking issue, are scheduled to go on as planned this week.

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Work begins on playground named for Newtown victim


MYSTIC, Conn. (AP) Volunteers in Mystic have begun work on another playground named for a victim of the Newtown school shooting.

A crew poured a foundation Saturday for the playground being built at Williams Beach in honor of Grace McDonnell, one of 20 first-graders killed in the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Six educators also died.

The Day of New London reports that Grace's parents, Lynn and Chris McDonnell, chose the site because Grace loved the beach, and because Chris McDonnell proposed to his future wife in Mystic.

The playground is one of 26 being built in the region under the ``Sandy Ground Project: Where Angels Play.''

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Grace's playground is set for next Sunday at 11 a.m.

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Danbury Police investigate several telephone scams


The Danbury Police Department is investigating several scam attempts.  In order to prevent others from falling victim to these types of telephone scams, police are describing what's been reported to them. Several of these scams were successful, while in other cases the target victim suspected a scam and did not fall victim to the attempt.

 

A Danbury resident received a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS advising them that they owed back taxes and that they had to be paid by 4:00 p.m. on that day. The caller requested that the money be sent through the use of Green Dot Cards and the caller was then given the codes for these cards. Under no circumstances would the IRS employ this method for collecting back taxes.

 

While attempting to purchase a vehicle through EBAY, a Danbury resident wired several payments via Western Union to an out of state resident purported to be the seller. After these money orders were sent, the victim was unable to locate this person and claim the vehicle.

 

While attempting to pay for the deposit on an out of state apartment rental that he had found on Craiglist, the victim wired money to the supposed landlord.  The victim later determined that this was a false listing and was unable to recover the wired money.  When using this mechanism to send money, please remember to have a full understanding as to who is involved in the transaction and that you positively know who you are sending the money to.

 

An elderly Danbury couple received a phone call and the caller claimed to be their grandchild. The caller stated that they had been arrested for DUI and was in need of bond money. The caller requested that they wire money to him for bail. There would be no circumstances where bail money would need to be wired.

 

Under no circumstances should anyone send money to someone that they do not know.  Any suspected scams should be reported to the Danbury Police Department at 203-797-4611.

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Ridgefield awarded 'urban forestry' grant


15 urban forestry grants are being awarded by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, ahead of Arbor Day next week.  Ridgefield is among the towns being presented with funding to enhance knowledge and urban ecology.  DEEP Director of Forestry Chris Martin says the funding comes from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

 

Ridgefield will be getting $3,250 to develop a booklet that will be distributed to residents and businesses about what trees to plant where.  It's part of a larger effort by the state and the utility companies.  Martin says it will promote "Right Tree, Right Place", an initiative to inform people about what trees won't interfere with utility lines.

 

DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee says the grants support the work and recommendations of the state Vegetative Management Task Force and Governor Malloy’s Two Storm Panel.

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Tree trimming, infrastructure improvements by CL&P in Ridgefield


Tree trimming work and electric system upgrades are being done in Ridgefield.  Connecticut Light and Power says the work is likely to continue into the fall.  Spokesman Mitch Gross says it's part of the utility's System Resiliency Plan to improve reliability and reduce the impact of big storms.

 

Gross says approximately 2,300 Ridgefield customers will benefit directly from the resiliency work.  Most of the work in Ridgefield will take place between 8am and 5pm, weather permitting.   The work includes tree trimming along 26 miles of road in Ridgefield.  Drivers should to expect delays in the area.  The utility also says planned outages are anticipated and will be communicated in advance.

 

The work is being done on Bennett's Farm Road, Cross Hill Road, Danbury Road, Farmingville Road, Great Hill Road, Knollwood Drive, Old Quarry Road, Old Stagecoach Road, Old Danbury Road, Grove Street, South Street and Haviland Road.

 

This is a $2 million investment in the local electric distribution system.  Gross says structural hardening spans approximately 10 circuit miles, including 8.7 miles of backbone circuit--which are major lines originating at substations.

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Danbury man arrested for lewd act on school grounds


A Danbury man has been arrested for allegedly making lewd comments to women at the Head Start Center of Foster Street.  Police arrested 39-year old Willins Miranda on Wednesday. 

 

Danbury Police say Miranda had a stuffed sock down his pants as he approached women, including one who had a child with her, and made lewd comments and gestures.  Officers saw the sock and determined that the man was intoxicated. 

 

He's been charged with breach of peace, interfering with an officer, loitering on school grounds and felony risk of injury to a minor.  Miranda was arraigned in Danbury Superior Court and released on a written promise to appear in court on May 12th.

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Agency says alternate electric companies need more regulation


An interim draft decision has been made about alternative electric companies.  The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority held public hearings around Connecticut, including one in Brookfield, after experiencing a spike in consumer complaints against various suppliers in recent months. 

 

PURA officials said in their initial decision that the records shows a need to take immediate steps to improve certain aspects of Connecticut's retail electricity market. 

 

Customers have said they signed up for alternative service providers and their bills have doubled and sometimes tripled after low introductory rates were switched to variable rates without notice.  The interim draft decision includes amended definitions for rate plan offers, imposes notification requirements on licensed suppliers and requires suppliers to update their company contact and agent information. 

 

The number of complaints about alternative electric suppliers more than doubled from a year ago.

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Newtown, Ridgefield police investigate larcenies


A Newtown man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a credit card from a purse left unattended in Caraluzzi's Market on Wednesday.  Newtown police say 29-year old David Cunningham was charged with larceny and credit card theft.  He's been released on $500 bond for an a court appearance next Thursday.

 

Ridgefield police continue to receive reports of car break ins.  Two vehicles were broken into at the dog park on Prospect Ridge on Tuesday.  Only a pair of glasses was reported stolen, though windows were smashed on both.  Three cars were broken into April 9th at a gym parking lot off Grove Street.  Police say two of the cars had their windows smashed in and purses were taken from the cars by an unknown suspect.  The five vehicle break ins this month brings the total to nine for the year in Ridgefield.

 

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NY man seriously injured in motorcycle accident


An early morning motorcycle accident in Patterson has left the driver in serious condition.  The Putnam County Sheriff's office reports that the crash happened around 2ma on Route 311 near Cushman Road.  The deputy found the motorcycle against a tree and the driver lying on the ground. 

 

26-year old Daniel Brady of Hopewell Junction New York sustained serious head and back injuries.  He was flown by StatFlight helicopter to Westchester Medical Center. 

 

The investigation revealed that Brady was speeding and lost control around a curve.  He was also charged with driving while intoxicated and for not wearing a protective helmet.

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Conn. House: horses aren't 'inherently vicious'


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Members of Connecticut's House of Representatives want to make it clear they don't believe horses are inherently vicious, a response to a recent state court ruling.

By a unanimous vote of 138-0, the House on Thursday passed legislation clarifying Connecticut law by saying domesticated horses are not wild animals and therefore are not inherently dangerous.

Last month, the state Supreme court upheld an Appellate Court ruling in a case involving a boy bitten in 2006 by a horse named Scuppy in Milford. The ruling said a horse belongs to ``a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.''

Monroe Rep. Debralee Hovey, a horse enthusiast, said the ruling put a billion-dollar industry at risk due to increased insurance premiums and legal liabilities.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

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Area lawmakers want fracking waste disposal studied


A bill that would ban the storage or disposal of waste from fracking in Connecticut is moving through the General Assembly.  On a 34-6 vote, the legislature's Judiciary Committee this week approved the proposed ban on drilling fluid and other waste generated as a byproduct of gas exploration.  It now moves to the Senate for further action. 

 

Danbury State Senator Mike McLachlan says more research is needed.  He says the General Assembly should not ignore scientists studying the issue.  He notes that a report is imminent from the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Some lawmakers preferred temporary moratorium.

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New Milford lawmaker seeks reelection to state House


New Milford state Representative Cecilia Buck-Taylor will be seeking a second term in the General Assembly.  She says she wants to continue to shine light on economic issues, and work toward solutions that improve government finances and build an environment where entrepreneurs and employers can thrive and create jobs. 

 

Buck-Taylor touted her vote against a state budget that exceeded the state’s constitutional spending cap, helped Republicans rally against a gas tax increase, and has supported related legislation. 

 

The Republican nominating convention is mid-May.

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Cartus Corp. to expand in Danbury


Work will start this summer on a major expansion of Cartus Corporation's Danbury headquarters.  The project will last about 18 months and is using a $6.5 million loan from the state for part of the work.   Governor Malloy was on hand for the announcement Thursday and said as part of the project, Cartus will retain 1,275 jobs in Connecticut and create as many as 200 new jobs for residents over the next five years.

 

Cartus President and CEO Kevin Kelleher says they looked at growing outside of Connecticut because their lease expires in 2015.  But he says they decided to invest here.  There is room to grow in the building, but they will also add square footage by creating a new entrance.

 

 

Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce President Stephen Bull says he looks forward to giving Cartus the necessary support as they continue to grow here.  Bull says Cartus has consistently distinguished itself as an employer of choice and philanthropic leader in the region.  He added that any city would be lucky to have Cartus as a tenant. 

 

It’s great news for greater Danbury,” said State Sen. Michael McLachlan (R-24). “Cartus is a great business partner in Western Connecticut and this incentive will help Cartus create or retain nearly 1,500 jobs over the next five years. I am pleased this quality company will grow right here in Danbury.”

 

“I’m very pleased Cartus has promised to stay and hire in Danbury – and I look forward to learning more about this agreement with the state to ensure the benefits to residents are greater than our investment,” said State Rep. Dan Carter (R-2). “Economic development is crucial for our region to grow and prosper, but we must always balance the costs to taxpayers.”

 

“I am committed to helping Danbury’s corporate infrastructure grow so that employers can afford to hire, and this commitment from Cartus is a step toward that goal,” said State Rep. David Scribner (R-107). “The employment infrastructure in Danbury has a bright future, and I believe it’s important to incentivize job creators to expand in our area.”

 

“This is great news for Danbury and the surrounding communities, which already support a strong economic environment and quality of life,” said State Rep. Richard A. Smith (R-108). “However, I continue to advocate for creating a stable tax and regulatory environment to draw in businesses so that taxpayer money isn’t needed to incentivize economic development.”

 

 “I commend Cartus Corporation for its commitment to remain in Connecticut and for continuing to provide indispensable high-end jobs,” said State Rep. David Arconti (D-109). “I thank Governor Malloy for once again proving he will do what is needed to attract and keep important companies in the state.”

 

“Danbury has been fortunate to have a community-minded business in Cartus, and I'm delighted it is expanding here,” said State Rep. Bob Godfrey (D-110th). “This boosts our state's economy and creates local jobs, and, since Cartus is a relocation business, signals that the national economy continues to improve. This is a win for everyone.”

 

“As valuable members of our community the Cartus Corporation has shown their commitment to Danbury with economic contributions, charitable giving and volunteer efforts,” said State Rep. Giegler (R-138).  “Their continued presence in Danbury will be good for the local economy with more jobs and more philanthropy to non-profits and other organizations and I’m pleased they’re staying here and expanding locally.”

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Danbury Labor Market Area leads state in job growth


Jobs were up while the state's jobless rate held steady last month according to the state Labor Department.  Connecticut added 4,900 jobs in March for an unemployment rate of 7-percent.  Research Director Andy Condon says that follows seven months of declines.  There were good increases in leisure and hospitality and also in the health care sector.

 

The state has now added 9,400 jobs since last March and recovered about half the jobs lost in the recession.  Five of the six Labor Market Areas saw job gains, with the Danbury area just barely leading in percentage terms.

 

Condon says the state seems to have returned to the growth seen in the last quarter of 2013.

 

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