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UPDATED: Danbury police search for bank robber

A bank robbery in Danbury is being investigated.  The Union Savings Bank branch at 226 Main Street was held up shortly before 10:30 this morning.  The suspect was described as a dark skinned male, approximately 5 foot 10 with a husky build.  The suspect was wearing a light hooded sweatshirt and dark colored pants. 



The man handed the teller a note and left in an unknown direction. No weapon was displayed and the suspect left with an undetermined amount of money.  There were no reported injuries. 


Any witness's are asked to contact the Detective Bureau at 203-797-4662.

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Danbury UNIT addresses blighted properties, high grass

The Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team spent time last month dealing with issues of blighted properties that had garbage or debris in the yards, or high grass.  UNIT officials say in most of the cases the homes are vacant and many times, foreclosed.  The UNIT issued several Exterior Blight Orders to property owners for issues ranging from unregistered vehicles to front lawn parking and other violations. 


The Department says by addressing these issues, the properties become less of a target for break-ins and criminal mischief. 


There were 34 blighted properties addressed, 14 with notices of violation and six cited for illegal apartments/overcrowding and unpermitted construction. 


Year to date, UNIT has address more than 600 quality of life issues.

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Bridge replacement project to start in Bethel

A bridge replacement project starts Friday in Bethel.


Route 58 will be closed between Hoyts Hill Road and Sara's Way starting on Friday the 19th and continuing through the following Tuesday.  State Department of Transportation officials say the bridge over Putnam Brook will be removed, including the stone masonry culvert.  A precast concrete box culvert will be installed.  New drainage and pavement will also be put in place during the project. 


Traffic through Bethel will be detoured from Milwaukee Avenue onto Grassy Plain Street/Redding Road to Hill Road/Lonetown Road and back onto Putnam Park Road.  Detour signs will be put in place.

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Confirmed case of enterovirus D68 in Conn.

Connecticut has one confirmed case, so far, of the enterovirus D68 infection.  The child was recently hospitalized , has since improved and been discharged.  The child was reportedly at at Yale-New Haven Hospital, though health officials haven't officially released that information.  Five hospitals in total, including Danbury Hospital, have sent specimens to the CDC for testing. 


Dr Matthew Carter of the Connecticut Department of Public Health says they could hear back as soon as this week, but more likely next week.


The virus can cause mild to severe illness, with the worst cases needing life support for breathing difficulties.


New York and New Jersey are among the other 16 states with confirmed cases.  Kids with asthma have been especially vulnerable. No deaths have been reported.


The strain is not new but only a small number of labs can test for it. Since mid-August, there's been an unusual spike in identified cases.  Investigators say it's not yet clear what triggered the outbreak or whether it's worsening.

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Candlewood Lake Authority looks to launch grass carp program

Danbury has signed on to an effort by the Candlewood Lake Authority to run a grass carp program design to control and manage Eurasian Milfoil.  The CLA is applying to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for a grant to pay for half of the program.  Mayor Mark Boughton says the group plans to raise funds from community organizations for the balance.


The grass carp program has worked in other water bodies including nearby Ball Pond, Lake George and other water bodies.


The CLA hopes to stock grass carp in the lake this spring.  It could also help with a new, similar invasive species that's shown up in the lake, but grows on the top of the lake. 


CLA has permission from First Light, the owners of the lake, but they still need a permit from DEEP.

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Redding: Town meeting set, fine forgiveness

The Redding Board of Selectmen has set a date for a special town meeting about the ordinance to merge the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials and the South Western Regional Planning Agency into the Western Connecticut Council of Governments.  The Special Town Meeting will be held on October 10th at 7pm in Redding Town Hall. 


The state passed an initiative calling for the 13 planning agencies in the state to merge into no more than eight.  Connecticut officials are hoping for more regionalization efforts when it comes to a sharing of equipment and bulk purchasing power to bring the cost of government down.


A Fine Forgiveness program is being held by the Mark Twain Library starting today.  In exchange for a non-perishable item, the library will waive 1 dollar of overdue fines, up to a total of 10-dollars.  All of the food that's collected between now and Sunday will go to the Redding Food Bank.  The Food for Fines Program is only for overdue fines and does not apply to lost or damaged items. 


The collection basket by will be located by the front desk. 


The Redding Pilot reports that the Food Bank is also looking to collect items like paper towels, toilet paper, soap and cleaning supplies.  While boxed items like hot chocolate and cereal are appreciated, the food bank doesn't need pasta or canned soup at this time.

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Police, school administrators attend safety seminar

Redding's police chief is weighing in on a summer program about school safety.


Two school principals joined Redding Police Chief Douglas Fuchs at a seminar over the summer in Ridgefield that featured Lt Col Dave Grossman, a former West Point psychology professor and Army Ranger.  Grossman has helped train educators and law enforcement professionals around the country.  A certification session last summer simulated a response to an armed intruder. 


Fuchs told Connecticut Town & City this latest seminar along with the district-wide training last summer, confirmed his belief that the only true deterrent at the moment is a police officer in the school building. 


Grossman this summer told participants about strategies, mitigating risk, understanding dynamics of juvenile violence, and school violence.

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9/11 NEVER FORGET traveling exhibit in Brewster

The 9/11 NEVER FORGET traveling exhibit is in Brewster this week.  It was created as a learning tool by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a group started by New Fairfield Selectman John Hodge's family to honor his firefighter cousin who died on 9/11 at the World Trade Center. 


The stop was funded by the Brewster Education Foundation.  Brewster High School Principal Dr Joseph Castagnola says they had an interested in bringing this to Brewster since its creation in 2013.  He is the former New Fairfield Superintendent of Schools, and worked with Hodge.


Castagnola says his students are visiting during social studies classes while the lower grades are attending with their families.  He says so far, it's been really well received.  Parents of high schoolers who did not want their child touring the exhibit had the option to send back the explanation letter declining the opportunity.  He says the juniors and seriors today were toddlers when 9/11 happened while middle schoolers hadn't been born yet, so it's an important part of history for them to learn.


(Photo Courtsey: Tunnel 2 Towers Facebook)


Castagnola says meaningful discussions have been started in the classroom through this exhibit.


The 53-foot tractor trailer unfolds into an 1,100 square foot space.  The memorial includes live tours from FDNY members.  Artifacts, including steel beams from the towers, documentary videos and audio recordings of first responder radio transmissions are part of the exhibit.  The exhibit is presented with age-appropriate explanations of what happened on 9/11.  


The exhibit arrived on Monday and will depart on Thursday.


CV Starr Intermediate/JFK Elementary students with parents, district employees and the community can attend at three different times today and tomorrow.  They are today from 2pm to 7pm; tomorrow from 8am to 10am or 2:30pm to 4pm.

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Bethel, Wilton to receive state grants for downtown improvements

Two area towns are receiving grant funding for projects to develop their commercial districts.  In total, 13 municipalities are sharing in the $5 million from the state's Main Street Investment Fund.  The program, run through the Department of Housing provides financial incentives for projects that directly support and enhance a qualified project.  State officials say the funding is an effort to attract small businesses, grow jobs and improve pedestrian access and livability in town centers. 


Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says the town will be granted more than $290,000.  The project — to include new sidewalks, accessibility ramps, signage, streetscape, and safety improvements — will create a walkable and ADA compliant downtown by improving public safety and pedestrian access, creating a community gathering place, and increasing recreational opportunities.  He says a building facade in one part of town will be fixed.  A new sidewalk will be installed across from the municipal center, where one currently doesn't exist.


Knickerbocker credited the town's Economic Development Director, Janice Chrzescijanek, for working with the Land Use and Planning Departments to put together an outstanding application.  Knickerbocker also thanked the Governor's office for supporting Bethel.  He says the economic assistance will put people to work in Bethel and improve the business climate.


Wilton plan to use its $425,000 grant toward the Wilton Center Sidewalk Restoration Project.  The upgrades are meant to address various safety concerns related to ADA compliance.  It will help provide public sidewalks within the vehicle travel way.  This project goes hand-in-hand with other completed downtown improvements such as the installation of benches, curbing, decorative street lamps and seasonal flower pots.

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Memorial Sidewalk project launched in Newtown

Memorial Sidewalk has been dedicated in Newtown.  Construction on the sidewalk project connecting Main Street to Church Hill Road in Sandy Hook Village was started on Wednesday.  The Newtown Bee reports that the first phase of construction should be completed within six months.  That part of the project is privately funded with some public funds. 


Dr Thomas Draper and his son Joseph were thanked during the dedication ceremony for their work on the project.  They said that after 12-14, the family wanted to create a physical connection between the center of town and Sandy Hook.


A retaining wall is planned to run the length of Church Hill Road, with a small green area required by the state to accommodate state snow plows. Most of the section along Church Hill Road is state right of way, so the town will seek easements for construction.

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Brookfield Board of Ethics gets another complaint about First Selectman

Another complaint against the Brookfield First Selectmen will be investigated by the Board of Ethics.  The group will meet on October 7th about a complaint field by Democratic Town Committee chairman Ray DiStephan about expense reimbursements by Bill Tinsley between December 2013 and this March.  The complaint concerned reimbursement for mileage for travel from work to meetings that are part of Tinsley's duties as First Selectmen. 


DiStephan's complain says that violates the IRS's rules about work-travel reimbursement. 


Tinsley issued a statement saying his predecessors are trying to draw attention away from their roles in financial irregularities and overspending by the schools.  DiStephan is the former chair of the Board of Education.

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Two men arrested for fight at gas station

Two men have been arrested for a fight at a Danbury gas station.  Police were called to the Shell station on Newtown Road Friday night because of the altercation over money.  Police were told by 25-year old Mario Cardenas-Bautista that he an a co-worker agreed to split a bill, but he left before collecting on it. 


When the man saw his co-worker at the gas station, he allegedly yelled at the man.  Police say 33-year old Hector Burgos intervened and punched Cardenas-Bautista. 


Burgos was charged with assault and breach of peace.  He's being held on $1,500 bond for a September 30th court appearance.  Cardenas-Bautista was charged with breach of peace, disorderly conduct and threatening.  He was released on a written promise to appear in court at a later date.

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DMV evacuated because of smoke from burning t-shirt

The Department of Motor Vehicles building on Lee Mac Avenue in Danbury was briefly evacuated Tuesday afternoon.  The Danbury Fire Department responded to a small fire in an adjoining building.  At the DMV though, someone smelled smoke.  It was likely coming through the ventilation system.  The DMV was evacuated for about 10 minutes shortly after 1pm.  The fire was caused by a t-shirt burning in a dryer.

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New Fairfield road to get new name to honor local heroes

A road in New Fairfield is getting a new name.  Farmer's Lane will be getting the secondary name of to honor two men who have ties to the same home on the street.  Chris Blackwell died on 9/11, TJ Lobraico died in Afghanistan last year.  First Selectman Susan Chapman says residents of that street asked for the change, which will be done on New Fairfield Day on Saturday.


The dedication will be filmed.  After the Lion's Club Parade, a make up of the cancelled 4th of July Parade, there will be another ceremony on the field, which will feature a replaying of the dedication.  The Connecticut Patriot Guard will present honorary member flags to the two families.


Blackwell, a member of the FDNY, grew up in New Fairfield.  He was a 25 year member of the New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department.  One of his daughter is a police officer, the other is studying healthcare, and his son is a member of the FDNY.  He worked with Danbury Ambulance and was specialized in building collapses and trench rescues.


Lobraico attended Western before being deployed.  He was in the Justice and Law Administration program, pursuing a degree in law enforcement.  His mother graduated from the university and his father took classes there as well.  Lobraico was a member of the 105th Security Forces Squadron.  He died when his unit was attacked near Bagram Airfield.  He joined the Air National Guard in 2008 and was on his second overseas deployment.  His parents also serve in the 105th Airlift Wing.

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Donations, grants accepted by Danbury Board of Ed

The Danbury Board of Education has accepted a number of grants and donations. 


At their meeting Wednesday, the Board of Education was presented with a $10,000 donation from an anonymous giver.  It's for the Mill Ridge Primary School to support early childhood development and enrichment activities for students in kindergarten through 3rd grade.  That includes an after school arts and health program. 


It was noted at their meeting that this past spring, Danbury schools was the recipient of donated literacy and numeracy resources from Robert Cox of Focus Mailing.  The donation, valued at $129,000, included time and efforts of his staff to sort and deliver materials from their warehouse to the district. 


The Pitney Bowes Foundation and the Danbury Community Leadership Team also presented the Board with a $6,000 donation for the Family Literacy Center of Danbury and the School Readiness/Parent Involvement program.

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Newest police officers set to graduate Academy

Those looking to be police officers in the state must attend The Police Officer Standards and Training Council Academy.  The class of 43 Recruits, representing 25 Municipal Police Departments, Southern Connecticut State University Police, and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Conservation Police will complete their training program tomorrow. 


The class roster consists of police officers representing the police departments in New Milford, Fairfield, Torrington, Seymour and elsewhere.


The Recruits have completed an extensive 880-hour Basic Training Curriculum at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden, encompassing Academic and Practical Skills, Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Patrol Driving, Penal Code, Motor Vehicle Law, Laws of Arrest, Search and Seizure, and a host of other topics.

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Weston's revised gun law doesn't include police, fix requested

Weston officials have discovered a glaring omission in the town's new gun ordinance.  Police Officers were not included in those exempt from section 79.  State and federal officers, members of the military, authorized messengers, and bank guards when performing their duties were among those listed. 


The Weston Forum reports that the ordinance was revised after the shootings at Sandy Hook School.  It bans residential target practice and prohibits the discharge of machine guns or assault weapons within town borders. 


During the Board of Selectmen meeting on Thursday, First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said a public hearing will need to be held to make the change.  That's according to the Town's charter.  The hearing has been set for the next regular meeting of the Board.

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Emergency communications tower public hearing in Redding

A public hearing is being held in Redding about a communications tower at the Police Department.  Voters decided in favor of a replacement during a July referendum.  The Zoning Board of Appeals is holding the hearing at their meeting. 


The current tower is 118 feet tall and more than three decades old.  The new proposed tower would have antennas and would be about 120 feet tall.  The existing tower pre-existing and non-conforming, but the Police Department is requesting a variance to regulations for the taller tower. 


Since this isn't for cell phone use, the Connecticut Siting Council does not have jurisdiction.  The tower is for police, fire, EMS and the highway department. 


The meeting is at 7:30 tonight.

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Danbury Hospital contacting CDC about possible Enterovirus-68

Danbury Hospital has seen an increase in the number of children with respiratory complaints. 


Dr. Greg Dworkin, head of pulmonary pediatrics at Danbury Hospital, says they are sending out lab tests to the CDC to see if its the Enterovirus-68 that has been diagnosed in at least 15 other states. 


The best prevention he says is having children wash their hands often, and as long as it takes to sing "Happy birthday". 


Dr. Dworkin says the public will be informed if the tests are positive and there are any other changes.

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Sendak collection leaving library in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (AP) A small Philadelphia museum that houses more than 10,000 pieces by illustrator Maurice Sendak will be returning most of the collection to the author's estate.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports trustees for Sendak's foundation are reclaiming the artwork based on instructions in his will. He died in 2012.

Sendak is best known for his classic book ``Where the Wild Things Are.'' He had a decades-long relationship with the Rosenbach museum and library in Philadelphia.

But Sendak wanted his home in Ridgefield, Connecticut, to be operated as a museum. Rosenbach officials say his artwork, manuscripts and other ephemera will be sent back starting next month.

The Rosenbach will retain about 600 Sendak pieces. The author also left the institution rare editions of books by Herman Melville and Henry James.


Ice Bucket Challenge COMPLETED!!

Rich Minor accepted the challenge from his friend to donate to the ALS Association AND do the Ice Bucket Challenge.

His "bucket" of choice...well, that's where Westchester Tractor came into play.

Check it out!




Who's this beautiful hunk of man meat?

It's 32 year old Chris Soules,

a farmer from Iowa and the new Bachelor!


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