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Two area towns are receiving Community Development Block Grants under the Small Cities Program.  Bethel will receive $800,000 for the Reynolds Ridge Senior Housing complex.  Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein the Bethel Housing Authority will create two handicapped accessible units, replace interior and exterior doors, replace windows and make energy efficiency improvements at the 80 units.

 

Southbury has been awarded $400,000, and will be undertaking its first Housing Rehabilitation program.  The plan calls for rehabilitating 12 units by replacing roofs, heating systems, and windows.  Lead paint and asbestos removal along with electrical and code upgrades will also be made.

 

Klein says the grants help facilitate projects to enhance a community.  That's done in a number of ways including developing or preserving affordable housing, providing services to the most vulnerable residents in our communities, and creating and retaining jobs. 

 

Klein says Connecticut is making critical investments in housing that will have a lasting effect on individuals, families, and communities.  The CDBG Small Cities program uses federal funds allocated to Connecticut by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Tolls aren't the only way The Governors Transportation Finance Panel has discussed as ways to raise the $100 billion needed for Malloy's 30-year transportation improvement plan.  The panel created by Governor Dannel Malloy has discussed the idea of a so-called mileage fee.  It would be assessed based on the number of miles driven per year, as determined by a car's GPS system.

 

Danbury State Senator Mike McLachlan says while it's necessary to look at all opportunities to fund transportation, the ideas so far are all about new taxes.  McLachlan says the idea currently being discussed by the chairman of the panel, former state lawmaker Cameron Staples, couldn't work because not all cars have the technology.

 

McLachlan says a new fee is absurd given that Connecticut has seen the two highest tax increases in state history in the last four years.

 

As cars get better and better milage, revenue from the gas tax gets less and less.  McLachlan says spending should be cut in Connecticut, and the state should "stop spending money foolishly" so that there is money for repair roads.  He says he'd prefer ideas to better allocate the money that's already coming in to Connecticut.

 

The panel is slated to make recommendations late next month.  A final report is due in October. The legislature could come back before the end of the year to approve it.

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A Bridgewater woman has been arrested for illegally collecting unemployment benefits. 

 

45-year old Deborah Wilmot, who is serving a prison sentence for embezzling thousands of dollars from Bull's Bridge Golf Club, was charged Thursday with larceny and unemployment compensation fraud.  Wilmot collected nearly $22,000 in benefits over the course of a year in 2011 and 2012 while she was employed at three different businesses, including the South Kent golf club. 

 

The arrest affidavit says she used an alias, and in one case used a relative's Social Security number so that her employer wouldn't learn of her previous felony convictions for larceny and forgery. 

 

Wilmot will be in court September 1st. 

 

Wilmot previously served three years for a 2004 conviction of embezzling $100,000 from Canterbury School in New Milford.  She allegedly took more than $220,000 from a New York-based computer software company while employed as a bookkeeper in 2008-2009.  Wilmot received a two year federal prison term in 2012 for tax evasion on the funds stolen from Amkai Corporation.

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Danbury Firefighters have responded to two blazes today.  There is a second floor fire at a condo on Candlelight Drive.  Heavy smoke is reported.  An earlier kitchen fire at a home on Chestnut Street was extinguished quickly.  There were no injuries in that fire.  Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton says the condo fire was caused by a lightning strike.

 

(Photo: @MayorMark, Twitter)

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A Connecticut man has been arrested for a home invasion in Weston last month.  42-year old Dylan Garner of Bridgeport is facing an assault charge for the home invasion.  State Police say Garner rang the doorbell of a home on Ten O'clock Lane on June 5th, but the woman didn't answer. 

 

She later reported hearing glass and wood on the back door being broken.  Garner confronted the victim, forced her to the ground and restrained her.  Several pieces of jewelry were taken, and the victim sustained non-life threatening injuries. 

 

Garner was arrested Tuesday and was held on $250,000 bond for arraignment today.  In addition to assault, Garner faces charges of home invasion, larceny, robbery and unlawful restraint.

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Redding, The Redding Land Trust and Aquarion Water Company are partnering to preserve 30 acres of open space land near the intersection of Routes 107 and 53.  The property borders the Saugatuck River just before the Reservoir. 

 

The land is priced at $400,000, with Aquarion contributing $60,000.  The Land Trust will spend $170,000 toward the purchase, with the town using a state grant of the same amount.  The grant was awarded to Redding in October. 

 

The Redding Pilot reports that the state will hold an easement over the land, and Aquarion will hold a secondary easement.  Redding and the Redding Land Trust would be the deed owners.

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A second arrest has been made in an animal cruelty case at American Breeders pet shop on Federal Road in Danbury.  One of Richard Doyle’s store managers, 29-year old Kathy Seton of Cold Spring, NY, was charged yesterday with one count of animal cruelty.  Police did not detail the allegations against her. 

 

Doyle was charged Monday with three counts of animal cruelty over allegations he failed to properly care for two dogs and a kitten, requiring two animals to be euthanized. 

 

 

 

A complaint by an employee about animal mistreatment led to an investigation by Connecticut animal control officers. 

 

One of the allegations against Doyle is that he performed a surgical procedure on the eye of a Neopolitan Mastiff when he is not licensed to do so. The female dog sustained severe bleeding after the procedure on an inner eyelid, which Doyle allegedly performed in the rear of the pet shop in March.  The employee provided officers with photographs documenting the dog’s condition. She also said she was often made to treat animals with medication and administer shots although she is not licensed to do so. 

 

Doyle also is accused of confining a critically-ill exotic kitten and failing to provide it immediate veterinary intervention until the animal required euthanization.

 

The Mahopac resident owns two other pet shops in New York. 

 

He is also charged with failing to provide proper care to a sick Shih-Tzu puppy that was in need of immediate medical care in April.  Doyle had brought the puppy to Danbury from one of his New York stores and left it in the care of an employee but without needed veterinary care to treat it for vomiting, diarrhea and coughing. The puppy also was later euthanized by a veterinarian.

 

He was arrested Monday, and released on a written promise to appear in court on August 6th.

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SOUTHBURY, Conn. (AP) Two people have been hospitalized and the residents of five homes displaced in a fire at a Southbury condo complex.

Officials say crews were called to the Heritage Village condominiums at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday night.

The complex is an active senior community and has more than 3,000 residents. The flames damaged five units, which have been deemed uninhabitable.

Firefighters found people outside of the building when they arrived. No one needed to be rescued but officials say about 10 to 15 residents lost their homes.

Authorities say two residents were sent to the hospital in serious condition, one of them after suffering a heart attack. Investigators have not determined the cause of the fire.

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With Congress on vacation, a local lawmaker is chastising her colleagues for not bringing gun violence prevention legislation to the floor for a vote. 

 

Speaking on the day of adjournment Wednesday, 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty said Connecticut knows the devastation caused by gun violence, citing the shooting at Sandy Hook School.  But she says just as tragic are the deaths that don't make national headlines.  She pointed to 19 people killed in the capital city of Hartford this year alone.

 

Esty says no person, no community is protected from the problem of gun violence.

 

Esty urged leaders of the House to spend their five week recess thinking about all of the lives lost each year to gun violence.  In March, she introduced a bill to have comprehensive background checks for all commercial sales of guns.  She wants that called for a vote when they reconvene in September.

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A ground breaking ceremony has been held for the Greater Danbury Community Health Center.  A four-story, 36,000 square foot building is going up at the former police station site. 

 

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton says the new building means permanent new jobs for downtown who will eat in local restaurants and shop locally.  He says the building is going to be beautiful, and represents a $20 million investment in CityCenter.

 

 

Connecticut Institute for Communities CEO Jim Maloney says this is a major step forward in expanding their services.  The building will house pediatric and adolescent medical and behavioral health services, comprehensive women's health services, an on site-blood sample suite, a full service pharmacy, administrative offices for the health center and headquarters for the Connecticut Institute. 

 

A pharmacy will be on site.  Anyone can enroll in the health center at no cost and use the deeply discounted facility.  People without health insurance will be able to cut their bills by about two-thirds.

 

Maloney says existing staff will basically double from about 60 employees, to more than 120.  Maloney expects $6 million a year in payroll for physicians, APRNs, front desk staff, medical assistants, clerical staff, billing, finance, legal, HR and front desk staff.  He says it will be a significant shot in the arm economically for downtown Danbury.

 

The financing package involves a mix of public and private funding.  The state is providing a $4 million grant.  Governor Dannel Malloy was on hand for the ground breaking.   

 

(Photo Courtesy: Governor Malloy)

 

There's private commercial mortgage financing totalling $6 million dollars and $5 million dollars from three federal New Market Tax Credit program investors.

 

Governor Malloy said, “We are pleased that the state can help move this project forward-- it will both enhance community health care in the Danbury area and also provide a major economic boost  to  the  city’s  downtown.  Connecticut  is  making progress  every  day,  driving unemployment to a seven-year low as we create tens of thousands of jobs.  As we do that, we’re expanding health care access like never before.  It  is projects like this that demonstrate  how we’re accomplishing both of those goals.”

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Animal cruelty charges have been brought against a Danbury pet shop owner.  55-year old Richard Doyle faces three counts stemming from allegations he failed to properly care for two dogs and a kitten at American Breeders pet shop on Federal Road. 

 

Two of the animals had to be euthanized. 

 

A complaint by an employee about animal mistreatment led to an investigation by Connecticut animal control officers. 

 

One of the allegations against Doyle is that he performed a surgical procedure on the eye of a Neopolitan Mastiff when he is not licensed to do so. The female dog sustained severe bleeding after the procedure on an inner eyelid, which Doyle allegedly performed in the rear of the pet shop in March.  The employee provided officers with photographs documenting the dog’s condition. She also said she was often made to treat animals with medication and administer shots although she is not licensed to do so. 

 

Doyle also is accused of confining a critically-ill exotic kitten and failing to provide it immediate veterinary intervention until the animal required euthanization.

 

The Mahopac resident owns two other pet shops in New York. 

 

He is also charged with failing to provide proper care to a sick Shih-Tzu puppy that was in need of immediate medical care in April.  Doyle had brought the puppy to Danbury from one of his New York stores and left it in the care of an employee but without needed veterinary care to treat it for vomiting, diarrhea and coughing. The puppy also was later euthanized by a veterinarian.

 

He was arrested Monday, and released on a written promise to appear in court on August 6th.  Charges of animal cruelty are also pending against one of Doyle’s store managers, Kathy Seton.

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A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for a Torrington teen who made verbal threats of violence against Danbury and Stratford schools last February.  19-year old Natalie Carpenter was arrested in 2014 on charges of conspiracy to commit assault and criminal attempt to commit assault. 

 

At a court appearance yesterady, the case was continued to August 25th. 

 

According to court documents, Carpenter had applied to purchase a gun.  During her arraignment it was revealed that police found evidence of plans to shoot or use a weapon at schools.  The arrest warrant however was ordered sealed by the courts so no other details are available. 

 

Carpenter remains held on $300,000 bond.

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A brief court appearance was made this morning by a former Bethel Berry Elementary School teacher charged with sexual assault.  30-year old Brian Stroh of New Fairfield will have a pre-trial hearing on September 4th. 

 

He faces three counts each of felony risk of injury to a minor, felony illegal sexual contact and misdemeanor sexual assault.  Stroh has been ordered to not have unsupervised contact with minors and not to contact the boys in the case against him. 

 

Stroh is free on $250,000 bond. 

 

The charges stem from incidents on February 15 and May 1, 2009. 

 

Officials have said the contact did not happen on school grounds. Stroh was employed by the Redding Parks and Recreation Department from June 2013 through the summer of 2014.  Redding officials said at the time of his arrest that Stroh had no disciplinary actions in his personnel file and no reports from staff claiming to have witnessed any inappropriate behavior.

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A Danbury High School science teacher facing charges of sexually assaulting one of her students made a brief court appearance this morning.  25-year-old-year-old Kayla Mooney had the case continued to August 26th upon the request of her attorney. 

 

She was charged in March after an investigation into a complaint she made to school officials that she was being harassed by the boy's ex-girlfriend.  Police say the boy involved told them about the sexual relationship and they confirmed parts of his story after obtaining emails the he and Mooney exchanged. 

 

She was placed on administrative leave in February, but failed to maintain her certification and was let go.

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A cooling center has been set up in Danbury to help residents cope with the heat.  An air conditioned HART bus will be stationed outside of 198 Main Street today and tomorrow from 1pm to 5pm. 

 

Continued high temperatures and humidity have also prompted reminders about ways to prevent heat-related illness.  People are urged to drink plenty of water, avoid strenuous activities, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and avoid exposure to direct sunlight or long periods in the sun. 

 

In Newtown, the Municipal Center at Fairfield Hills will be open 7am to 9pm through Thursday.

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Some people who have worked for the City of Danbury are making a foray into politics.  Both the Republican and Democratic Town Committees have met to nominate candidates for the City Council, Board of Education and Zoning Commission.  Former City Center Director, Democrat Andrea Gartner, is among those seeking a seat on the City Council.  Former Fire Chief, Republican Geoff Herald, is also seeking a position on the City Council. 

 

The Town Clerk race will feature incumbent Democrat Joan Bielizna being challenged by Republican state Representative Jan Giegler. 

 

Two Democrats who ran for state Representative positions last year are seeking local office.  Candace Fay will be on the ballot as a Zoning Commission alternate.  Henry Hall is seeking a position as Constable.

 

OFFICE CANDIDATE (I-incumbent) PARTY
Mayor Mark Boughton (I) Republican
     
Treasurer Daniel Jowdy (I) Republican
     
Town Clerk Janice Giegler Republican
  Joan Bielizna (I) Democrat
     
City Council at Large Christina Chieffalo (I) Republican
Elect 7 Philip Curran (I) Republican
  Michael Esposito Republican
  Jack Knapp (I) Republican
  Warren Levy (I) Republican
  Gregg Seabury (I) Republican
  Andrew Wetmore (I) Republican
  Al Almeida Democrat
  Andrea Gartner Democrat
  Paul McAllister Democrat
  Gregg Williams Democrat
  James Hughes Democrat
  Abu Helalul Karim Democrat
  Sherri Neptune Democrat
     
Ward 1 (Elect 2) Irving Fox (I) Republican
  John Priola (I) Republican
  Dennis Perkins Democrat
  Daniel Iskandar Democrat
     
Ward 2 (Elect 2) Vinny DiGilio (I) Republican
  Elmer Palma (I) Republican
  Ashley Ward Democrat
  Robert Karrat Democrat
     
Ward 3 (Elect 2) Chris Arconti (I) Republican
  Joe Cavo (I) Republican
     
Ward 4 (Elect 2) Matthew Kennedy Republican
  Mary Maroto Republican
  Thomas Saadi (I) Democrat
  John Esposito Democrat
     
Ward 5 (Elect 2) Geoffrey Herald Republican
  Clifton Kowicz Republican
  Duane Perkins (I) Democrat
  Fred Visconti (I) Democrat
     
Ward 6 (Elect 2) Theresa Keeler Republican
  Michael Negron Republican
  Paul Rotello (I) Democrat
  Ben Chianese (I) Democrat
     
Ward 7 (Elect 2) Nancy Cammisa (I) Republican
  Joe Scozzafava (I) Republican
  Theresa Buzaid Democrat
  Richard Molinaro Democrat
     
Board of Education (6) Annrose Fluskey-Lattin (I) Republican
  Richard Hawley (I) Republican
  Patrick Johnston Republican
  David Metrena (I) Republican
  Emanuela Palmares Republican
  Daniel Rosemark Republican
  Gladys Cooper (I) Democrat
  Frederick Karrat Democrat
  Holly Robinson Democrat
     
Zoning Commission (9) Milan David Republican
  Sally Estefan (I) Republican
  Jeffrey Giegler Republican
 

Kevin Haas

Republican
  Alan Kovacs Republican
  Robert Laber (I) Republican
  Robert Melillo (I) Republican
  Alexander Rodriguez Republican
  Annette Zatkovich (I) Republican
  Theodore Haddad Jr. (I) Democrat
  Richard Jowdy (I) Democrat
  James Kelly (I) Democrat
     
Zoning Alternate (3) Mary Cronin Republican
  John Herlihy Jr Republican
  Robert Oravetz Republican
  Candace Fay Democrat
     
Constable (5) Michael Halas Republican
  Louise McMahon Republican
  Michael Safranek Republican
  Francis Kieras (I) Democrat
  Emil (Butch) Coladarci (I) Democrat
  Henry Hall Democrat
     

 

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A bridge over a brook in Southbury is closed indefinitely.  The Spruce Brook Bridge was inspected by the State Department of Transportation on Friday when town officials noticed a significant change in the condition of the culverts.  Southbury officials were told that an immediate closure was recommended. 

 

The bridge carries a roadway over the Transylvania Brook and was closed indefinitely on Monday after a follow up inspection. 

 

Detour signs and a road block have been set up alerting motorists to use Route 172 to Liberty Lane and Yankee Drive.  The road connects to Spruce Brook Road beyond the bridge. 

 

A safe alternative over the brook is being worked on.

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Governor Dannel Malloy will be in Danbury this afternoon for a ground breaking ceremony.  A four-story, 36,000 square foot building is being constructed in downtown Danbury to house the Greater Danbury Community Health Center.  Connecticut Institute for Communities CEO Jim Maloney says this is a major step forward in expanding their services. 

 

Maloney says the new building means 50 permanent new jobs for downtown Danbury.  The building at 120 Main Street, the site of the old police station, is being financed by $15 million in public, private and other dollars.  Maloney hopes to be able to open the building in about a year.

 

The building will house pediatric and adolescent medical and behavioral health services, comprehensive women's health services, an on site-blood sample suite, a full service pharmacy, administrative offices for the health center and headquarters for the Connecticut Institute.

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Boehringer Ingelheim is selling off the company's Roxane business.  The pharmaceutical company, whose North American headquarters is located in Ridgefield, is selling the generic business to Jordan-based Hikma Pharmaceuticals for $.65 billion.  According to a statement from Hikma, the company will pay $1.18 billion in cash and issue 40 million new shares to Boehringer.  The Roxane manufacturing plant is located in Columbus Ohio, and company officials expect the sale will have little impact it's Connecticut facilities.

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Funding for the first block of projects under Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed transportation overhaul has been approved by the State Bond Commission.  The first batch of projects identified in a ramp-up initiative is known as "Let's Go CT!" includes funding for a new dock yard on the Danbury Branch Rail Line in Norwalk will allow the state to increase capacity and service.

 

$4 million dollars for the design, engineering, and construction of a new dock yard on the Danbury Branch Rail Line in Norwalk was approved.  That will allow the state to increase capacity and service on the Danbury Line.

 

"Though the administration and I have differed on some  things, transportation infrastructure upgrades are a priority where we completely agree and have my full support.  I appreciate today's investment in the Norwalk to Danbury Branch Line after so many years of work from the local delegation to maintain, upgrade and modernize this line," said Wilton State Senator Toni Boucher.

 

Boucher continued by saying that the Danbury line has great potential to improve economic development in the region, but money for the necessary upgrades was  derailed or diverted over the years.  She says commuters have been forced to use other lines that are better equipped, yet most of the big office complexes are ironically located next to this rail line.

 

The package also includes $10 million dollars toward the design and engineering for the widening of I-84 in Danbury between exits 3 and 8.  This will widen the highway in both directions and will ease rush-hour traffic along that heavily congested section of the highway.

 

Malloy says he was caught in traffic for an hour and a half in that area on Holy Thursday.

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Trailer for "Boulevard"...Robin Williams' final on-screen performance.

 

 

Prince George kisses sister Princess Charlotte at her christening.

(Photo courtesy Duchess of Cambridge)

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