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The nanny charged in Danbury with assault and 23 counts of risk of injury has rejected a plea deal.  32-year old Lidia Quilligana's case was in Danbury Superior Court Wednesday and will head to a jury trial.  The Danbury woman's next court appearance is slated for July 12th. 

 

She was caught on a nanny camera intentionally inflicting harm on the children in her care.  When questioned by the 3-year old girl's mother, Quilligana said the child accidentally touched the hot stove while she was tending to other children.  Police reviewed the footage and found several instances of the nanny abusing the three children. 

 

Quilligana was officered a 25-year prison sentence, suspended after 17 years with a mandatory minimum of 10 years served.  She has been in custody since her arrest in March of last year, and remains held on $1 million bond.

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NEWBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - A New York Air National Guard unit based in the Hudson Valley is getting a new commander.

National Guard officials say Col. Howard Wagner will take over command of the 105th Airlift Wing on May 15. The 105th, based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, operates nine C-17 Globemaster aircraft that support U.S. Air Force missions and respond to New York state emergencies.

The unit's current commander, Brig. Gen. Timothy LaBarge, has been named chief of staff of the Air Guard at the National Guard headquarters in suburban Albany.

Wagner, currently the wing's vice commander, joined the Air Force in 1982. He flew more than two dozen combat reconnaissance missions during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

Wagner lives in Redding, Connecticut.

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The Danbury community held a rally yesterday in support of quality education for all children.

 

Parents, students, educators, administrators and civic leaders held a "walk-in" at three events in Connecticut; part of coordinated national day of action at approximately 2,000 schools in 87 cities.  Assembled outside main entrance to Henry Abbott Technical High School in Danbury, the group "walked-in" to the together.  More than 500 people turned out for the event.

 

The event was meant to demonstrate success at the technical high school, as part of the growing educational justice movement. The goal was to highlight the benefits of fairly-funded public schools for all children and send a message that there are better choices than cuts to education services. 

 

AFT Connecticut Communications Coordinator Matt O'Connor says all students deserve quality education, and ways to provide that were discussed during the event.

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Danbury is hosting two events for The National Day of Prayer today.  It's an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. 

 

It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Truman as a day to foster unity for America.  Days of prayer have been called for since 1775, when the Continental Congress designated a time for prayer in forming a new nation. 

 

Individuals of all denominations are encouraged to attend.

 

The first ceremony is at 11am at Danbury City Hall.  There is another at 6:30pm.  The later event has been organized by Councilman Elmer Palma.  Opening remarks will be delivered by Mayor Mark Boughton.  Councilman Tom Saadi will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.  Prayers, speeches and singing will follow.

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Main Street in Danbury has reopened between Center Street and Liberty Street following an earlier accident.  Danbury Police say a bike was struck by a car shortly before 3pm Wednesday.  Traffic was being detoured onto Wooster Street to Deer Hill Avenue and down to West Street to get around the closure.  The accident investigation team remained on the scene until about 5:30pm.  No further details are available at this time.

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A federal court has been asked by Connecticut officials to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Kent-based Schaghticoke Tribal Nation.  Chief Richard Velky says they are challenging the state law enacted last year allowing the two federally recognized tribes to open a third casino, jointly, on non-tribal land. 

 

The Schaghticokes claim the law violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. and state constitutions.  MGM, which is building a casino in nearby Massachusetts is providing financial support for the Schaghticoke's suit.  That company has also filed a similar lawsuit.  The state's motion, filed Monday according to the New London Day, is now pending. 

 

The Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans are seeking to open a casino to compete with the MGM one opening in Springfield, though no site has been selected.

 

Velky issued the following statement Monday night:

 

“Today's motion to dismiss is just the latest instance in a long history of the state’s denial of fairness and justice to the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation.  Rather than address STN’s complaint on the merits, the state raises a series of procedural technicalities, all of which lack merit.  The idea that a state-recognized tribe lacks standing to challenge a law that specifically excludes it in favor of two other named tribes is contrary to fundamental principles of fairness, equal protection and the right of everyone to have their day in court.  We look forward to ours."

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A New York man has pleaded guilty to placing skimming devices on ATMs in lower Fairfield County last year.  The Ridgefield Press reports that 31-year old Moises morales Cano of Astoria New York entered the plea on charges of conspiring to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.  Skimming devices take information from the magnetic strips, a camera captures pin numbers and counterfeit cards are then created and used.

 

The skimming devices were placed on ATMs in Ridgefield, Wilton and Norwalk and resulted in the theft of more than $709,000.  More than 1,300 people had their debit cards compromised. 

 

Cano admitted to conspiring with someone else to put the skimming device on ATMs in Rhode Island and Connecticut.  He will be sentenced July 20th.

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An untimely death in Newtown is under investigation.  Police responded to a home on Elizabeth Street in the Borough of Newtown around 6:45 this morning for a medical assist.  48-year old Robert Myer was a Westport Police Officer and a member of the Newtown Police Board of Commissioners. 

 

The medical examiner's office will determine a cause of death. 

 

Newtown Police said in a release that on behalf of the Chief and the Department, this day is a tragic loss for the family, friends and community of Newtown.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut lawmakers are attempting to pass a last-minute Democratic budget for the new fiscal year that would finally fix the state's projected $960 million deficit.

 

The General Assembly has until midnight Wednesday to pass the approximate $19 billion compromise that was reached between Democratic lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy late Tuesday.

 

It's unclear whether the legislature's minority Republicans will attempt to run out the clock with a lengthy debate. They were not part of the final negotiations and are unhappy with the last-minute push.

 

Republicans are also voicing concern about the decline in estimated revenues included in the budget plan. Republican Sen. Michael McLahlan of Danbury says the drop in income taxes represents an "atomic bomb."

 

Wednesday is the final day of the legislative session.

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Capital items have been approved in Ridgefield during the Annual Town Meeting.  Some of the items include guard rail replacements, equipment such as a plow with sander and rotary mowers, Wellness Center improvements and work on the golf course.  Tennis and basketball court repairs at Ridgefield High School, police department equipment, fire department cardiac monitors and park and field safety improvements were also approved. 

 

Ridgefield residents also set the date for the budget referendum last night.  The $139 million budget proposed for the coming fiscal year includes about $90 million for the schools, a $46.7 million municipal budget and $1.9 million for road and infrastructure improvements.  There was a failed motion to cut the education portion of the budget by $5 million. 

 

The vote will be held May 10th at Yannity Gym from 6am to 8pm.

 

Also on the ballot are larger capital projects.  One question is about $2 million for the planning, design, acquisition and construction of Phase 1 of the Branchville Transit Oriented Development Study, $548,000 for the planning, design, acquisition and construction of a Prospect Ridge parking area and $150,000 for the planning, design, acquisition and construction of sidewalk improvements, provided that state grants be awarded to cover the first two projects.

 

The next question asks for approval of $187,000 for the design and acquisition of a highway Mack truck, $138,000 for the design and acquisition of a mowing tractor for Town roads, $83,000 for the design and acquisition of a backhoe, and $225,000 for refurbishment of Engine #3. 

 

A question also asks about appropriating $62,500 for the design and acquisition of Venus Building windows, $46,000 for the design and acquisition of Highway Garage 1 floor repairs, and $87,000 for the design and acquisition of East Ridge Middle School roof repairs.

 

The last question asks about $355,000 for the planning, design, acquisition and construction of school energy conservation measures, which is expected to result in $92,405 of incentive savings.  It's also seeking approval of $435,886 for school portion of the public safety radio system.

 

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Easton residents have approved a budget for the coming fiscal year.  The Region 9 budget was also approved in both Redding and Easton.  About 12-percent of registered voters cast ballots in Easton yesterday for the $43.7 million budget.  It's a 1.84 percent increase in spending over the current year.  The $47.7 million dollar school and municipal budget in Redding was approved on a vote of 576 to 310.  That figure includes the town's share of the Region 9 budget.  The Redding Board of Finance will meet next week to set the mill rate.

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The Danbury City Council has approved a $244 million budget.  The vote was 15 to 6, with all six Democrats voting in opposition.

 

Danbury has deferred hiring 45 positions, saving $500,000 in the coming fiscal year's budget.  Mayor Mark Boughton says each department will be given an efficiency and savings goal, senior staff could get raises if the goal is met.  Currently, Danbury has $23 million in the Fund Balance.  The new budget reduces the use of the fund balance from $1.8 million to $750,000.  No one time revenues are used to balance the budget.


There is a 2.95 percent increase in sewer and water rates so that infrastructure improvements can be made to both systems.  Danbury is also preparing for state and federal mandated upgrades for phosphorus removal.  Boughton says it's a $65 million to $70 million expenditure for needed upgrades to the sewage plant.


A home valued at $275,000 will see an increase of less than $8 a month with the new mill rate.  Boughton touted Danbury having the lowest unemployment rate in the state, being the safest city in Connecticut and having among the lowest property tax rates in the state.


Despite the cost cutting in municipal spending, Danbury is increasing the City's contribution to the school.  Boughton says that's because of a significant positive trend in student test scores over the years.  He points to $55 million being spent at Danbury High School in the coming months for renovating the auto shop, constructing new front to the school, making roof repairs and building an addition to serve as the new Freshman Academy.


Boughton says the City is making difficult choices now, in order to avoid drastic measures later which are currently seen in other municipalities.

 

The City Council unanimously approved $3 million in capital projects.  The largest appropriation is $750,000 for the school roof replacement program. 

 

$500,000 is being allocated for the Still River project, including for the removal of vegetation, dredging and river wall repair.  $450,000 for paving, drainage and road improvements along with $100,000 for sidewalk and street improvements was approved. 

 

Other projects include HVAC replacement at the schools and various city buildings, money toward property revaluation and replacing highway department equipment. 

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NEW YORK (AP) - Health care data company IMS Health and Quintiles, which helps drug companies with clinical trial research, say they are merging in an all-stock deal worth nearly $9 billion.

The combined company will be called Quintiles IMS Holdings Inc. and will have a market value of nearly $18 billion, based on the companies' stock prices Monday.

The new company will keep two headquarters, one at Danbury, Connecticut, where IMS Health is based, and another in Durham, North Carolina, where Quintiles has its offices.

 

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A vacant house in Monroe was destroyed by fire overnight.  The fire on Downs Road started shortly after midnight.  There was no one home at the time, and the house was reportedly under construction.  Firefighters were able to put out the blaze by about 2:30am.  A cause of the blaze was not immediately known.  There were no reported injuries to firefighters.

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A month long distract driving law enforcement campaign has wrapped up.  Danbury Police were among the departments participating in the state wide visibility program, and received a grant to pay for part of the effort.  Police were on the look out for drivers using a cell phone while behind the wheel. 

 

In Danbury, there were 851 cell phone violations found during the month.  A majority of those, 90-percent, were for texting.  The balance was general cell phone usage.  There were 143 other infractions written during the campaign.  39 motor vehicle arrests were also made during that time. 

 

Under Connecticut’s cell phone law, fines are $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense and $500 for each additional offense.

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During National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, the Ridgefield Police Department collected a total of 59.5 pounds of unwanted, unused medications.  The take back event is anonymous, with no questions asked.  Police Departments across the state participated in the event.  The Ridgefield Police Station has a drop box available 24-7.  The Ridgefield Prevention Council also took part in the event over the weekend.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  Usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

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PAWLING, N.Y. (AP) Musician Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates has dropped plans to host outdoor concerts at his music venue and restaurant in upstate New York.

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was unable to obtain the required approvals in time from the Dutchess County town of Pawling, on the Connecticut border, 65 miles north of New York City.

Hall's business, Daryl's House, had announced in February that it planned to build an outdoor stage on its lawn that could accommodate 1,000 concertgoers.

The club's marketing director says the future of the backyard stage is now uncertain.

More than a dozen concerts initially scheduled for the outdoor stage starting in late May will now be held at four different venues, including Daryl's House and concert halls in Poughkeepsie, Peekskill and New Haven, Connecticut.

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Danbury drivers will need to wait a while longer for the I-84 exit 6 westbound off ramp to go back to being two lanes. 

 

Although the State Department of Transportation said they were working to speed up the widening project to take only three weeks because of safety concerns, there have been delays.  The two lanes should be paved within a couple of weeks, putting the re-opening at mid-May.  District Engineer John Dunham says the off ramp will have more capacity at that time.  The DOT will then reevaluate and adjust the traffic signal timings throughout the interchange. 

 

Dunham said at the start of April that the DOT was working with the contractor to expedite the off ramp work, bringing in additional fill material at a higher cost.  The original plan would have taken 3 months to get the ramp back to two lanes.

 

The new traffic pattern on North Street- Padanaram Road where there are lane closures, is expected to be in place until October.  After that, the DOT says there will be further modifications. 

 

The entire widening project is not slated for completion until the summer of 2017.  When it is finished, there will be two lanes in each direction and scattered dedicated turning lanes.

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Two Connecticut men have pleaded guilty to distributing drugs involved in a Weston overdose.  On January 3rd, a 22-year old purchased 30 oxycodone pills from 22-year old Tahir Farid of Hamden for $900.  The man took some of those pills, as well as other substances. 

 

He was found unresponsive at a friend's house in Weston two days later.  According to medical personnel, he remains in a persistent vegetative state. 

 

An investigate revealed that prior to the victim's overdose, 19-year old Ryan Looney of Hamden supplied Farid with the oxycodone pills.  The pair were arrested in February as part of an ongoing statewide initiative targeting narcotics dealers who distribute heroin, fentanyl or opioids that cause death or serious injury.  Looney and Farid will be sentenced in August. 

 

The Weston and Monroe Police Departments along with the Drug Enforcement Administration's New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad and the U.S. Marshals Service investigated the case.  The Task Force includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, Greenwich, Shelton, Bristol, Vernon and Wilton Police Departments.

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Redding residents are voting on a budget today.  A $47.6 million budget has been proposed in Redding.  It includes little more than $21 million for the schools.  The figure also includes Redding's share of the Region 9 school budget for Joel Barlow High School.  The entire $23.3 million Region 9 budget is also a separate question on the ballot.  The cost is split between Redding and Easton based on school population percentage.  A capital item is also listed on the ballot.  It's nearly $5.5 million for HVAC systems at two of the schools.  Polls are open until 8pm.

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Brothers Convince Little Sister

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TAYLOR SWIFT

May issue of "Vogue"

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