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Former Board of Ed chair enters plea in sex assault case

A former Region 9 Board of Ed chairwoman has entered a guilty plea to promoting a minor in an obscene performance.  The plea from Sara Sobel was made under the Alford Doctrine, meaning she admitted there's enough evidence for a conviction but questioning some facts in the case. 
 
The Newstimes reports that allegations against Sobel include that she repeatedly left a young child with a convicted sex offender and took pornographic photographs and videos of the child that she sent to the man.  She previously described that man, Stephen Overby,  as “a close personal friend." Sobel will be sentenced on October 24th in Danbury Superior Court and faces 30 years in  prison, suspended after 10 years, but could argue for a reduced sentence. 
 
Overby pleaded guilty in February to sexual assault of a minor.  His plea deal calls for a 30-year prison sentence, suspended after 18 years.

International Overdose Awareness Day to be marked in Danbury

International Overdose Awareness Day is on August 31st. 

 

A coalition in Greater Danbury will be holding a Narcan Training session, talking about prevention and offering information about treatment options to mark the day.  The program is being put on by the Regional Opioid Prevention Workgroup at Danbury Public Library on the 31st from 5pm to 6:30pm. 

 

There will be a walk from library plaza to Kennedy Park where participants who lost someone to an overdose will place a pair of shoes at a memorial installation. 

 

Members of the coalition are WCHN, Danbury Police,Facing Addiction, WCSU, Family and Children’s Aid, Town of Ridgefield, MCCA, Mountainside, CT Counseling, CNV Help, Apex, Newtown Parent Connection, CIFC, Timothy House, Green Funeral Home, STMAD, Bethel Community Care Coalition, and Americorps.


Newtown Police look for school traffic agent

The Newtown Police Department is looking for a school traffic agent.  The part time work includes directing traffic flow and school bus movement into and out of school parking lots during the school year.  The job is about 15 hours a week.  A uniform and training is provided.  Applicants must be 18 or older, have a drivers license and undergo a background check.  


Seminar for new families to Danbury school will be held next week

A seminar is being held for new families transitioning into the Danbury school system.  The free forum next week is designed to help families new to the district understand what the expectations are and the resources available to help them.  Those who missed kindergarten orientation are also encouraged to attend.  The seminar on Tuesday is from 6:30 to 7:30pm at Hatters Banquet Hall on East Hayestown Road.


New Fairfield building department changes hours

In an effort to accommodate New Fairfield residents who can't get to Town Hall during normal hours, the building official hours have changed.  Eric Kist will be available Monday through Wednesday 8:30am to 6pm, Thursdays 8:30am to 5:30pm and there will no longer be Friday hours for the building official. 

Leader of trafficking ring wants to plead guilty

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man charged with recruiting young intellectually disabled and mentally ill men into a human trafficking ring and providing them to wealthy clients for sex has said he's willing to plead guilty.

Robert King, of Danbury, told a judge Wednesday that he would plead guilty in exchange for a 4 .5-year prison sentence.

Authorities say the 52-year-old King would ply the victims with drugs and then force them into prostitution when they incurred heavy debts. He's charged with trafficking in persons, promoting prostitution and tampering with a witness.

Plea negotiations appeared to have broken down before King spoke over his attorney in court and said he would take a deal.

King faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

He is due back in court Aug. 22. 


'Ghost gun' found by police as suspected drug seller, customer arrested

A man suspected of drug sales in the Danbury area was arrested yesterday, and found in possession of a so-called ghost gun.  For the second time in as many days, Danbury Police arrested a suspected dealer in the process of depositing drug proceeds in a local bank.  22-year old Cristopher Marcos and his Osborne Street home were the focus of a several week investigation. 

 

One of the men he reportedly sold to yesterday, 22-year old Ahmad Zahran, was later arrested as he waited in the drive-thru lane of a local restaurant. 

 

 

  

(Marcos, Zahran)

 

Marcos was stopped and found with several hundred dollars in cash, a substantial quantity of assorted illicit drugs, a firearm with no serial numbers, and ammunition.  An 11-month old was home when police searched and DCF was notified of the incident and responded to the residence to conduct a further investigation.

 

Marcos was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell within 1500’ of a prohibited place, possession of a controlled substance within 1500’ of a prohibited place,s ale of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, risk of injury to a child and criminal possession of a firearm.  He was held on $150,000 bond. 

 

Zahran was charged with possession of a controlled substance.  He was released on a written promise to appear in court at a later date.


Toddler freed from Thomas the Tank Engine toy

A toddler was freed from a Thomas the Tank Engine toy yesterday in Danbury.  The fire department is called to any number of scenarios, some referred to as 'Man In Machine' incident.  This one is being called a 'Tot In Toy' incident. 

 

 

Early yesterday morning firefighters responded to a call of a child with his hand stuck in the smoke stack of a large train toy.  The calm 2-year old didn't appear to be injured, but the few attempts to back his arm out of the opening didn't work.  Firefighters decided to dismantle the Tank Engine, which seemed like it would be a simple task. 

 

 

The boy's arm was caught in a some sort of 'launcher' for shooting a ball.  After 20 minutes, the boy was freed uninjured.  He was wearing a bracelet that got caught on the gear mechanism.

 


Danbury health center gets $100k in federal funding

Danbury-based Connecticut Institute for Communities is receiving more than $100,000 in federal funds.  This is National Health Center week and the money is coming from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and their Quality Improvement grants program.  The money is meant to improve the quality, efficiency, and the effectiveness of community health centers. 
 
CONNECTICUT INSTITUTE FOR COMMUNITIES, INC: $111,472
 
Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporters $5,000
 
Clinical Quality Improvers    $20,472
 
Enhancing Access to Care $10,000   
 
Addressing Health Disparities  $41,000
 
Advancing Health Information Technology    $5,000
 
Achieving PCMH Recognition  $30,000

Brookfield Board of Ed signs off on elementary school renovation plans

The Brookfield Board of Education has approved plans for a proposed $78-million Huckleberry Hill Elementary building.  A new building would be constructed on the back field the current campus, with Center School Pre-k through first graders moving into Huckleberry.  A driveway, parking and ball fields would also be added.  The old building would be demolished and Center School will be turned over to the town for municipal use.  Construction could begin in 2020 and take almost two years.  Plans next go to the Municipal Building Committee, Selectmen and Board of Finance--and then a referendum.  Renovations to Whisconier Middle School are also being eyed. 


Danbury does sight evaluation of trees along roadways

The May 15th macroburst caused immediate damage to trees in the Greater Danubry area.  Then days of rainfall have been saturating the ground causing weak trees to fall.  Some falling trees in Brookfield prompted officials there to close walking paths on town-owned properties until a survey  can be completed on the health of surrounding trees. 

 

Danbury officials did a cursory driveby to evaluate dangers after the severe weather.  There was renewed concerns raised after a passenger in a pick up truck was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle last month. 

 

Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola says they did a couple of calls after that and a crew went to out evaluate the trees.  City Councilwoman Colleen Stanely said she was on Cross Street when a tree fell in front of her.  She questioned whether homeowners are being notified if it's a tree on private land, or whether the department has people to go out to take care of trees in the City right-of-ways. 

 

A city tree has to be within 10 feet of the gutter line, where the catch basins are.  Snow plow routes were used to canvas the city, but Iadarola says they didn't walk every mile of road and check every tree.


Newtown not selected for farmland preservation grant

A federal grant that Newtown applied for, in order to preserve unique farmland, was not awarded. The town applied for funding from Farmland Trust, which would have been matched with local dollars, to put an agricultural easement on the Paproski family’s Castle Hill Farm.  The state Department of Agriculture determined in 2016 that the farm possesses soil with unique qualities that permit it to absorb particular nutrients, hold those nutrients over time, and release them.  Under an earlier proposal, the Paproski family would remain on the property and the farm would remain an active agricultural enterprise.  But under the USDA grant program, many activities run on the farm would have had to stop, including the corn maze.  Visitor vehicle parking including school tour buses, would have had to be eliminated.  Improvements to the family's home would have needed federal permissions.  The farm has been in continuous operation since 1927. 


Brookfield Board of Ed to discuss school building, renovations

The Brookfield Board of Education is meeting tonight to talk about, among other things, the $78-million Huckleberry Hill Elementary building proposal.  A new building would be constructed on the back field the current campus, with Center School Pre-k through first graders moving into Huckleberry.  A driveway, parking and ball fields would also be added.  The old building would be demolished and Center School will be turned over to the town for municipal use.  Renovations to Whisconier Middle School are also being eyed.  The meeting is at 7pm in the media center of the high school.


New Milford native, veteran, honored at Town Council meeting

At Monday's New Milford Town Council Meeting, Fran Smith and family was presented with a proclamation honoring New Milford native 1st Lt. Robert J. Peagler Jr who was killed charging uphill toward two Japanese pillboxes on an island near Okinawa. His company’s machine gun had jammed, so he charged ahead alone, firing his rifle and tossing hand grenades. He killed six Japanese soldiers before he was cut down by a sniper’s bullet, and died on the battlefield.  Peagler was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Mayor Pete Bass says due to his color, he was not given the Medal of Honor.  Bass is working with the American Legion and federal officials to get Lt. Peagler the Medal Of Honor.


Proposed charter revisions signed off on in New Milford

The New Milford Town Council has approved some proposed Charter Revisions to send to the voters.  If a budget fails, it will be sent back to the  Board of Finance rather than to the Town Council under on proposed change, reverting the process to pre-2006 Charter revisions.  Another would increase the number of people serving on the Finance Board.  Voters will also be asked more budget advisory questions during a referendum.  It's being proposed that appointed board and commission members serve uniform four year terms with February 1st start dates.

Fatal shooting in Kent ruled a case of self-defense

KENT, Conn. (AP) Prosecutors say a fatal shooting in Connecticut last year was a case of self-defense and no charges have been filed. 
 
State's Attorney David Shepack told the News-Times on Tuesday that Andre Edness' death in a Kent home in December ``appeared to be a lawful exercise of self-defense.'' 
 
State police investigated for more than six months before closing the case. 
 
 Authorities say the 32-year-old Edness was shot in a relative's home by another resident. That resident, Hunter Chatfield, told police a knife-wielding Edness tried to break into his bedroom. 
 
Chatfield's lawyer said Edness had asked Chatfield for a ride to the liquor store and his client refused. Edness grabbed a knife and threatened to kill Chatfield, who ran to his bedroom for safety and warned Edness multiple times not to enter. 

Trump endorses Stefanowski in Conn. gubernatorial race

There was about average voter turn out in the Greater Danbruy area for yesterday's primaries.  Some 20% to 30% of registered Democrats and Republicans typically cast ballots during the party-specific contests.  The highest participating towns included Roxbury at 48% and Kent with 43%.
 
Meanwhile, President Trump has made an endorsement in the Connecticut gubernatorial contest. He tweeted this morning in support of Republican Bob Stefanowski, who beat out four others in a primary.  Stefanowski and Ned Lamont will square off in November.
 
 
Stefanowski has never held public office.

The Madison businessman skipped the party convention process and became the first major-party candidate in Connecticut history to win a nomination after getting onto the ballot through petitions.  T
he former GE executive pitched himself to voters as Bob the Rebuilder.  He ran ads promising, among other things, to eliminate the state's income tax.

New Milford man caught with heroin, toddler in car

A New Milford man has been arrested on drug related charges, and also risk of injury because there was a toddler in the car.  25-year old Ryan Santos was the focus of a several week investigation related to drug sales throughout the Danbury area.  He was stopped yesterday afternoon after police saw him engage in suspicious activity. 

 

Santos was followed to a local bank drive-thru and apprehended. 

 

A 20-month-old was in the rear passenger area, where police also found heroin packaged for sale, a substantial amount of U.S. currency and drug paraphernalia.  The vehicle was towed and the toddler was turned over to DCF. 

 

Santos was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia and risk of injury to a child. 


Still River sediment removal underway

A sediment removal operation has been started in the Still River in Danbury.  The contract was awarded to EnviroConsultants & Recyclers.  Danbury Public Works officials say the project is on schedule and within budget. The contractor has completed the segment north of the Casper Street Bridge, both East and West sides of the Still River.  Sediment is currently being removed from the river bank on the west side of the Still River between Casper Street and Triangle Street. This project has a fall completion date. 


Primary results from Greater Danbury

Bob Stefanowski, a former GE executive who pitched himself to voters as Bob the Rebuilder, won Tuesday’s Republican primary for Connecticut governor in an upset and will face a fellow wealthy businessman, Democrat Ned Lamont, in November.

 
The Lt Governor match up is Democrat Susan Bysiewicz and Republican Joe Markley.
The Attorney General Race features Democrat William Tong against GOP Sue Hatfield.
For Treasurer it's Democrat Shawn Wooden against Thad Gray.
The Comptroller race will feature Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller against Democratic incumbent Kevin Lembo.
For U.S Senate, Republican Matthew Corey will challenge incumbent Democrat Chris Murphy.
 
In Bethel, final voter turnout for was 34-percent for Republicans and 30-percent among Democrats.
 
There were some issues in Danbury uploading the returns to the Secretary of the State's website.  On the Republican results, it shows that the 7 wards were doubled counted and on the Democratic side it reports 9 of 7 wards returned numbers.
 

 

Municipality Candidate  For Governor        
  Lamont (D) Ganim (D) Boughton (R) Herbst (R) Obsitnik (R) Stemerman (R) Stefanowski (R)
Bethel 886 150 721 89 48 84 180
Bethlehem 245 58 96 57 36 45 118
Bridgewater 154 16 112 14 8 18 38
Brookfield 663 86 854 105 68 91 175
Danbury 1,898 363 2,268 160 90 106 262
Easton 394 65 108 79 72 89 175
Kent 333 44 78 16 21 18 32
Monroe 675 122 284 2018 115 117 306
New Fairfield 430 67 582 56 43 72 93
New Milford 1,097 173 865 153 69 163 297
Newtown 1,489 213 826 209 111 212 413
Redding 622 51 251 53 44 79 138
Ridgefield 1,312 97 691 132 124 221 310
Roxbury 211 19 112 18 18 36 43
Sherman 197 20 141 33 10 25 34
Southbury 1,209 162 584 262 126 408 416
Washington 341 21 108 22 21 32 64
Weston 706 42 130 47 83 102 109
Wilton 980 74 229 108 153 240 225

 

 

Municipality Candidate For Lt Governor  
  Bysiewicz (D) Zimmerman (D) Markley (R) Stevenson (R) Stewart (R)
Bethel 660 364 699 181 189
Bethlehem 204 92 167 33 142
Bridgewater 122 54 96 43 38
Brookfield 505 250 768 212 253
Danbury 1,366 896 1,588 261 379
Easton 294 148 217 152 128
Kent 265 123 78 32 48
Monroe 553 230 452 267 256
New Fairfield 331 156 592 103 115
New Milford 811 457 822 239 401
Newtown 883 836 1,033 291 365
Redding 456 195 273 142 133
Ridgefield 986 394 838 328 226
Roxbury 154 71 107 76 35
Sherman 111 104 148 43 43
Southbury 987 370 986 303 423
Washington 238 121 130 41 56
Weston 526 198 191 123 122
Witon 752 274 427 283 187

 

Municipality Candidate For Treasurer  
  Wooden (D) Bhargava (D) Gray (R) Linares (R)
Bethel 475 533 735 284
Bethlehem 153 135 184 130
Bridgewater 96 70 135 38
Brookfield 375 346 844 337
Danbury 1,179 1,049 1,674 485
Easton 205 229 315 168
Kent 193 177 110 47
Monroe 383 389 525 415
New Fairfield 261 218 608 171
New Milford 656 569 927 476
Newtown 801 870 1,024 596
Redding 321 325 362 158
Ridgefield 597 768 976 354
Roxbury 134 90 151 51
Sherman 129 81 158 63
Southbury 699 619 1,051 567
Washington 218 126 138 75
Weston 357 354 293 137
Wilton 538 455 611 252

 

Municipality Candidate For Attorney General  
  Tong (D) Doyle (D) Mattei (D) Hatfield (R) Shaban (R)
Bethel 626 122 268 858 186
Bethlehem 185 41 65 252 70
Bridgewater 110 21 37 142 31
Brookfield 443 81 213 981 202
Danbury 1,322 349 586 1,896 274
Easton 277 39 123 267 232
Kent 223 35 121 135 22
Monroe 508 83 178 743 207
New Fairfield 311 44 129 662 118
New Milford 817 149 283 1,179 249
Newtown 1,093 185 414 1,328 305
Redding 493 41 113 296 252
Ridgefield 970 137 256 1,084 251
Roxbury 143 21 61 186 28
Sherman 150 21 40 191 32
Southbury 944 115 288 1,342 317
Washington 213 34 102 188 36
Weston 518 35 165 231 215
Wilton 734 74 200 665 210

 

Municipality Comptroller Candidate
  Miller (R) Greenberg (R)
Bethel 639 389
Bethlehem 134 192
Bridgewater 110 64
Brookfield 797 394
Danbury 1,556 603
Easton 310 171
Kent 78 81
Monroe 560 374
New Fairfield 527 248
New Milford 749 667
Newtown 902 722
Redding 326 193
Ridgefield 917 405
Roxbury 111 96
Sherman 137 85
Southbury 849 816
Washington 116 102
Weston 233 191
Wilton 548 317

 

Municipality U.S. Senate Candidate
  Corey (R) Rapini (R)
Bethel 846 173
Bethlehem 253 68
Bridgewater 143 24
Brookfield 1,003 170
Danbury 1,883 278
Easton 361 115
Kent 139 16
Monroe 711 229
New Fairfield 653 127
New Milford 1,176 228
Newtown 1,267 338
Redding 421 98
Ridgefield 1,087 230
Roxbury 174 30
Sherman 193 28
Southbury 1,270 353
Washington 176 33
Weston 321 98
Wilton 648 207

 

Municipality 5th Congressional District Candidate  
  Glassman (D) Hayes (D) Santos (R) O'Neill (R) DuPont (R)
Bethel 354 680 633 256 138
Bethlehem 82 219 117 103 106
Bridgewater 65 112 90 77 17
Brookfield 285 463 749 297 141
Danbury 806 1,494 1,512 420 235
Kent 75 333 54 79 23
New Fairfield 197 293 499 191 89
New Milford 442 830 712 473 239
Newtown 654 1,062 905 449 266
Roxbury 55 178 77 120 18
Sherman 74 146 128 58 35
Southbury 611 764 662 782 236
Washington 95 276 90 99 32

 

 


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