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Reward Set Up in Hit And Run Death of Bethel Mother

The family of a young Bethel mother, who was killed in a hit-and-run in November, is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information about the driver of the van involved in the deadly accident.

23 year old Rachel Sack was killed when a van struck her as she was crossing the road in the area of South Street and Great Pasture Road.

Sack had 3-month-old son, Jackson, and was in the process of buying her first home.

A few days after incident, the Danbury Police Department identified a car of interest in the death of Sack. The car that has been identified is a white van with a ladder rack and passenger side windows. The van was going south on South Street at Great Pasture Road at approximately 11:57 p.m. Friday Nov. 7.

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Danbury Billionaire Says Kids Can Play Soccer On His Land

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) A co-founder of the Subway sandwich chain says kids in Danbury can continue to play soccer on a field he owns until a new athletic field is ready to open.

Peter Buck purchased the 13-acre field from the city for about $3.2 million in September with plans to build a warehouse for personal items.

That left the Danbury Youth Soccer Club looking for another place to play.

Mayor Mark Boughton says that when Buck found out he would be displacing children, he volunteered to postpone his development plans.

The city is preparing to build a $1 million multipurpose athletic field between the Mill Ridge Primary School and the Westside Middle School, which is expected to be ready in about 18 months.

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'Green' technology training comes to Henry Abbott Tech

An E-House initiative bringing energy efficiency curriculum and training to Connecticut’s Technical High Schools is now in place in Danbury.  Considered the first green construction learning laboratories for high school students, the initiative was launched yesterday at Henry Abbott Tech.  Principal Stacy Butkus says this was supported by Energize Connecticut, with a goal to have this at all 17 technical high schools in the state.


The E-House gives students the opportunity to conduct hands-on field work in these various labs, preparing them for a “green” career after graduation.  Many students have obtained jobs or internships, or continued their studies in a relevant field as a result of their experience.


Elected officials on hand for the unveiling used iPads to view different segments of the construction project.  The state’s first E-House was opened in 2011.



Designed and built by students and faculty, each E-House incorporates solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, weatherization and energy efficiency labs in the design of the project.  Some of the state-of-the-art technology includes a Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat, and energy efficient heating, lighting and insulation.


The Abbott Tech E-House also features an evacuated tube drain-back solar thermal system, the first one of its kind installed by students at a Connecticut E-House.

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Bond money awarded to road, building projects in Greater Danbury region

Some state funding is coming to New Milford for a road project.  At the latest state Bond Commission meeting, some funding was approved for road and bridge replacement projects across Connecticut.  One of the projects to receive funding was Mud Pond Road over Bull Mountain Brook in New Milford. 


Nearly $236,000 was among the more than $12.5 million allocated through the Local Bridge Program.  State funds will be matched by $13.7 million in local funding for all of the projects.  In total, they will also create or retain about 560 construction related jobs.


The state Bond Commission also approved funding for a variety of renovation projects to state buildings.  One of the projects is to make improvements to the Danbury Superior Courthouse.  The $2.4 million will be used for window replacements.  The work includes structural upgrades to support framing, carpentry, insulation, and joint sealant replacements, drywall and painting. 


State officials say 40 construction related jobs will be created or retained through this project.  Some of the funding will be used for hazardous materials abatement as well.


Technical High Schools in the state are also receiving Bond money.  $5 million will be split between 11 schools in the state including Henry Abbott Tech in Danbury.  The funding is for improvements to buildings and grounds, including new and replacement technical equipment, tools and supplies needed to update curricula.  Vehicle and technology upgrades at all regional vocational technical schools will also be funded. 


Abbott Tech's share of the bond money is $30,000.

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Architect selected for Newtown Communiy Center project

The Newtown Board of Selectmen has tapped a construction firm and an architecture group to build and design the planned community center at the Fairfield Hills Campus.  The Newtown Bee reports that at the Board meeting Monday night, the Selectmen chose Caldwell and Walsh of Sandy Hook to oversee construction management. 


An architectural firm from Farmington was selected to design the facility which will also serve as a senior center and a multi-pool aquatic center.


The project is being funded through a $10 million grant from General Electric, donated after the shootings at Sandy Hook School.  The grant will also pay for operating costs for the first five years that the facility is open.

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Wilton police investigating theft from unlocked car

Wilton police are investigating the theft of a backpack from an unlocked car parked in a grocery store parking lot.  Wilton police were called to Caraluzzi's on Danbury Road last Thursday night on a report that someone entered the unlocked car and took a backpack that had an iPad and school books in it.  Police say the textbooks were valued at $100, the iPad was worth $400.  Police say the owner of the car was in the supermarket for about 15 minutes and didn't think she needed to lock the vehicle.

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Danbury Music Centre's 'Messiah' performed Friday

Another annual holiday tradition for many is coming up Friday night.  The Danbury Music Centre's 57th annual performance of Handel's Messiah will be held at First Congregational Church on Deer Hill Avenue.  Danbury Concert Chorus’s Music Director Richard Price will conduct the concert.


Price says the musicians come from all walks of life, and it is their devotion that have made Danbury’s Messiah a unique celebration.


There are no tickets for the event, which is often standing room only.  There is also no admission for the performance, though Price says donations to the Danbury Music Centre are accepted.  The concert is 7:30 pm tomorrow.

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RI man arrested in NY for tax fraud, driving under the influence

A Rhode Island man has been arrested for tax fraud and other charges in New York.  State Police from the Brewster Barracks on Sunday pulled a car over on Interstate 84 in Patterson after seeing the driver operate erratically. 


Police say 37-year old Daniel Slader of Rhode Island was found to be driving while ability impaired by drugs.  He was also charged for criminal possession of a controlled substance and for having untaxed cigarettes in the car. 


Slader was ordered held at Putnam County Jail in lieu of $3,000 bond.

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Southbury man arrested for kidnapping woman

A Southbury man has been arrested for kidnapping a Watertown woman.  Connecticut State Police say 35-year old Joao Laranjeira was arrested last week on two court issued warrants.  He faces charges of assault, unlawful restraint and disorderly conduct for a September incident. 


He is due in Derby Superior Court on January 8th to face those charges. 


The Southbury man was also arrested Tuesday on charges of strangulation, kidnapping and two counts of unlawful restraint.  Laranjeira will be in Waterbury Superior Court on the 6th to face those charges. 


He is being held on a combined $170,000 bond.

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Father who left son in hot car allowed to travel out of CT

A pretrial hearing has been held for a Ridgefield father charged with causing his 15-month-old son's death by leaving the boy in the car for hours on a hot July day.  Kyle Seitz was charged with criminally negligent homicide after her forgot to take his son, Benjamin, to day care and unintentionally left him in the car for more than seven hours while he went to work. 


The 36-year-old, who has two other children, will be allowed to travel out of the state to spend Christmas with his family.  A court clerk said Tuesday afternoon that the judge has temporarily lifted the travel ban.


Seitz's case was continued to January 20.  He remains free on bond.

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Danbury DMV open for limited hours Wednesday

The Danbury DMV office will be closed this morning for staff training.  The Department of Motor Vehicles is rolling out a new program approved by the legislature in 2013 for undocumented individuals to be able to obtain a Drive Only License. 


The facility on Lee Mac Avenue will be closed from 7:45am to 1pm.  But DMV Commissioner Melody Currey says 1pm is the latest possible reopening.  If the training is completed sooner, the Danbury branch could open before that time.  The office will close at its regularly scheduled time of 4 pm.


Currey says undocumented individuals who are 16 and older must make an appointment online only for the knowledge test--the first step for a Drive Only license.


Currey says more than 22,000 people have made an appointment since the application process was opened December 1st.  She urged applicants to study the driver’s manual and successfully pass practice tests on the DMV Mobile app before making an appointment. Failing the knowledge test means a required one-week delay before being allowed to take the test again and possibly longer if available timeslots fill.


The Drive Only license will not be valid for state or federal identification.


The first step to obtain this license begins with applying for a learner’s permit, which all new applicants for state driver licenses must hold for a minimum of three months.

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Praxair seeks assessment deferral from Danbury for new HQ

Praxair, a company dealing with industrial gases and applications, announced in October that it would maintain its world headquarters in Danbury and invest $65 million to build a new 100,000 square-foot corporate facility. 


A committee of the Danbury City Council will be meeting soon to discuss a tax deferral application on assessment increases for the property that will be developed.  Praxair is seeking a seven year deferral of 100-percent of the estimated improvement to the land.


The company holds some 4,000 patents.  Globally, Praxair employs more than 27,000 people and operates in 50 countries.  Praxair supplies atmospheric, process, and specialty gases.


The company will retain 535 positions statewide, and is incented by the state to grow up to 120 new jobs over the next five years.  The Department of Economic and Community Development is providing a $10 million forgivable loan, with the company eligible for up to $20 million in tax credits and up to $2.5 million in Sales and Use Tax Exemptions.

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Municipal leaders oppose state regulation that could boost property taxes

Mayors and Selectmen from municipalities large and small are sounding off in opposition to a proposed regulation from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection that would deal with storm water clean up.  Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton says the rule is an unfunded state mandate, costing millions, that would put pressure on the property tax. Boughton called DEEP a runaway state agency. 


The regulations would cost Danbury $5 million each year.  Some municipal leaders say the state, facing a deficit, is trying to pass the environmental buck on to cities and towns.


The regulations would require municipalities to street sweep eight times a year, something he says the state doesn't do that often.  More frequent leaf collections and catch basin clearance would also be required.


Boughton says the state-maintained underpasses and overpasses in Danbury are the most embarrassing, dirty places he's ever seen.  He added that if the state wants to clean up groundwater runoff, they should start with their own property first.


The Connecticut Fund For the Environment supports the proposal, saying it will protect state waters.

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Father who left son in hot car due back in court

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) A pretrial hearing has been set for a Connecticut father charged with causing his 15-month-old son's death by leaving the boy in the car for hours on a hot July day.

Kyle Seitz of Ridgefield is back in court Tuesday, charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Authorities say the 36-year-old Seitz forgot to take his son, Benjamin, to day care on July 7 and unintentionally left him in the car for more than seven hours while he went to work. Temperatures that day hit the upper 80s.

The medical examiner found the toddler died of hyperthermia, or extremely high body temperature.

Seitz, who has two other children, has been free on bail since pleading not guilty in November.

He faces a year in jail if convicted.

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Connecticut jury awards $7M in scouts abuse case

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut jury has issued a $7 million verdict against the Boy Scouts of America in a lawsuit by a man who says he was sexually abused by a scout leader in the mid-1970s.

Lawyers for the man say the decision handed down Friday in Waterbury Superior Court was the largest verdict for compensatory damages against the Boy Scouts of America. The jury also found the Boy Scouts liable for punitive damages, with the amount to be determined by a judge.

A Boy Scouts spokesman says the organization disagrees with the verdict and will review the decision.

The man alleges he was sexually abused by New Fairfield scout leader Siegfried Hepp. A message seeking comment was left Monday at phone listings for Hepp in Connecticut and Florida. He wasn't a defendant in the lawsuit.

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Danbury Airport to help Indian Point in case of emergency at the plant

A letter of agreement signed recently by City officials allows Entergy Nuclear to drop and ship needed supplies from Danbury Municipal Airport to the Indian Point Nuclear plant in the event of an emergency at the New York facility.  The Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is requiring the plant to have an airport outside of their area to bring needed supplies in the event of an emergency.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission sets the parameters of what airports they can move the supplies in and out of. 


If Stewart is available, that airport will be used.  Danbury Airport is the one that the NRC has identified as a back up if everything fails on that side of the Hudson.  The supplies would be airlifted from Danbury to the plant in New York, and would not be brought back once they are airlifted.


The types of emergencies outlined in the agreement include tornado, flooding, earthquake and the like. 


Danbury Airport would be notified of an emergency through the Connecticut State Emergency Operations Center.  Entergy would provide security at the airport for operations, and reimburse the airport for necessary helicopter fuel.  Any damage done to the airport by truck traffic in the staging area would be paid for by Entergy.

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State Senate Republicans announce committee assignments

State Senate Republicans have held a caucus to determine committee membership for the new legislative session.  The next General Assembly session gets underway in little less than a month.  Senate Republicans have chosen their leadership and announced committee assignments. 


New Milford area Senator Clark Chapin will be the ranking member of the Environment Committee; chair of the Regulations Review Committee and a member of the Appropriations Committee. 


Danbury area Senator Mike McLachlan has been named ranking member of the Government Administration and Elections Committee; and will serve on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding and also Judiciary committees.


Wilton area Senator Toni Boucher will once again be the ranking member of the Education and Transportation committees; and serve as a member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding and also the Judiciary committee.


Newtown area Senator Tony Hwang has been tapped as the ranking member of the Housing Committee and of the Labor and Public Employees committee.  He previously was a member of the State House of Representatives.  He will now also serve as a member of the Commerce and the Veterans Affairs committees.

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'Honor Flight Act' praised by area lawmaker for helping veterans

Senator Chris Murphy is touting a bill he introduced that's been approved and headed to the President's desk.  Senator Chris Murphy introduced the Honor Flight Act after hearing from some older veterans that they were reluctant to take part in the Honor Flight program because they feared having to deal with the hassle of the TSA process. 


The organization arranges free trips for U.S. military veterans to visit the DC memorial of the war in which they served. 


Currently, the TSA works with the Honor Flight Network to expedite the pre-flight screening process, but the partnership is not written into law and can change at any time.  Murphy says that would force Honor Flight veterans to endure a cumbersome screening process. 


Murphy says he is pleased the House and Senate worked so quickly to ensure that veterans will be able to visit the memorials constructed in their honor with dignity and pride.

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Candlewood Lake Authority receives grant to fight milfoil

The state has approved a $50,000 grant for the Candlewood Lake Authority as they try to slow the growth of an invasive species. 


The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has awarded the funding for a program that would stock the lake with grass carp.  CLA Executive Director Larry Marsicano says the species feeds on the non-native Eurasian Milfoil that clogs the lake.


The DEEP grant requires at 50-percent match.  The five towns that surround the lake have agreed to contribute toward that funding.  The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station’s annual weed mapping, funded by FirstLight Power Resources, will also be used toward raising the necessary funds.


CLA officials hope to stock the grass carp by the spring.  The project includes monitoring the water quality and Eurasian watermilfoil coverage in 2015 and 2016, to determine changes over the two year period.  Marsicano says the project also includes starting a fund for supplemental stocking of grass carp in the future.

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Newtown families to continue Congressional lobbying

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Parents of two victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting say they will continue to fight for stronger laws to combat gun violence.


Nicole Hockley, the mother of 6-year-old Dylan, and Mark Barden, the father of 7-year-old Daniel, appeared at a news conference Monday with three members of the Connecticut congressional delegation to mark the two-year anniversary of the shooting that took the lives of 26 students and educators on Dec. 14, 2012.


Both say they believe they are making progress in pushing for new laws and programs to improve mental health care, and strengthen gun laws.


They declined to comment on a lawsuit they and other Sandy Hook families have filed against the maker, distributor and seller of the gun used to kill their children.


Check out this 7 year old making the most of his camera time! Dancing, one liners, shout outs, and he nails the forecast!



Enjoy your retirement, Captain.  Re2pect. 

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