Several area police departments are looking to hire. The application deadline for the Brookfield Police Department is June 5th. The deadline for Ridgefield is July 25th. Testing will begin in August 2017. The department is anticipating one opening and creating an eligibility list. The Danbury Police Department is holding a Recruiting Campaign Kick-Off Event. It will take place on the 30th at 2pm in the Danbury Police Department Community Room.
The U.S. Census Bureau is out with new population data. Danbury was one of just 4 of the state's large cities to gain residents from 2015 to 2016. Danbury added 756 residents, a .90-percent gain. The Census defines large cities as having populations higher than 50,000.
Of towns under that threshold, Bethel had the second largest increase in the state.
Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says there's several factors for the growth which he called a slow, steady and manageable growth. He first cited the school system, which is gaining in reputation as it's recognized regionally and nationally in several hours. He called Bethel a close knit town with a lot of amenities that people are seeking. The town is close to the highway, along the rail line, has a downtown shopping districts and a variety of restaurants.
Knickerbocker noted that compared to other Fairfield County municipalities, Bethel is the most affordable small town on this side of the state. While there's been a lot of new housing development in Bethel, Knickerbocker says it's also families turning over existing homes. He says empty-nesters are selling their homes to new families, which makes for a vibrant community.
Nationally, Connecticut is third for population losses, and ranks 29th in the country for total population.
Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra has announced that she will not be seeking reelection. Llodra told the Newtown Bee that after her four terms, she is ready to end her career as her community's top elected official. Llodra was first elected in a four-way race in 2009 and plans to spend more time with her family.
She told the Bee about the progress that she's helped usher in over the last eight years. Llodra talked about Hawleyville sewer installation, renovations at the Fairfield Hills campus and creation of a skate park. She also presided over the demolition and rebuilding of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Llodra also discussed in the published report construction of the Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue substation, and the new Hook & Ladder headquarters, the new volunteer ambulance station, the dog park and animal control facility, Eichler’s Cove recreational area, and streetscape improvements.
Llodra also talked about the lessons learned from devastating storms that have hit the region in recent years. During her time leading the town, Newtown's bond rating was increased to AAA status.
State, local and federal law enforcement officers came together yesterday for the 29th annual Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony held at the Connecticut Police Academy. The names of two fallen officers are being added to the memorial, including Detective William E. Hull Sr. of the Danbury Police Department.
(Danbury Police delegation)
Law enforcement officers from across the state honored the 140 Connecticut state, local and federal law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
(Photos: Conn. State Police)
Yesterday's ceremony also honored the family members of the fallen who were in attendance.
5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty has issued a statement about the Congressional Budget Office report on Affordable Care Act replacement passed with only GOP support. Esty said she heard from constituents concerned that it would risk their loved ones’ health and ruin them financially. She says the CBO report confirms their worst fears. Esty says it was completely irresponsible for the House to pass this bill without a full understanding of the effect it would have on American families. She previously acknowledged that the Affordable Care Act has problems, but called on her colleagues to work together to fix that measure.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) An attorney for a Florida woman says she will plead guilty to threatening a man whose 6-year-old son was killed in the 2012 mass shooting at a school in Connecticut.
The public defender for 57-year-old Lucy Richards said in court papers filed Wednesday the case will be resolved in a guilty plea. Richards failed to appear at a March plea hearing and was later arrested at her Tampa-area home.
Under the previous agreement, Richards was to plead guilty to a charge of interstate transmission of a threat to injure for threatening Lenny Pozner, the father of Noah Pozner, who died in the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Prosecutors said Richards told them the shooting was a hoax.
Terms of a new plea agreement have not been made public.
The man killed in a head on collision in Brewster earlier this week has been identified.
The Putnam County Sheriff's Office says 59-year old Gelsomino Lombardo of Hopewell Junction was headed north on Route 22 near Milltown Road on Tuesday when he crossed over the center line. His car struck a vehicle driven by 69-year old Josephine Cardone. Her husband, 72-year old Peter Cardone was also in the vehicle.
Deputies were patrolling nearby and arrived on the scene moments after the crash.
The Queens couple sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Danbury Hospital. Josephine Cardone had injuries to her ankle, back and neck. Peter Cardone had apparent injuries to his neck and back.
Lombardo was unconscious and with no vital signs. A passing federal Homeland Security Investigator helped extricate him from the vehicle and started CPR. State Troopers, equipped with an automated external defibrillator, tried to revive Lombardo. But he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Route 22 was closed for about four hours. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Unaware that a newborn baby boy was found abandoned behind a Danbury grocery store, Connecticut state Senators approved changes to the state's Safe Haven Law. The law allows parents of newborns to leave the baby at a hospital with no consequences.
In the early hours Wednesday, Senator Mike McLachlan voted for a measure to speed up the process of matching a safe haven baby with a Department of Children and Families-approved caregiver. It also further protects the identity of the child’s birth parents.
He says there is a need for more education about protections provided by the law, passed in 2000 to prevent the needless deaths of abandoned infants. McLachlan says while the changes approved yesterday would not have made a difference in this most recent incident, more education about it may have.
It’s been recommended that the teaching of the Safe Havens Law be required in high school health classes.
It is likely that the mother of the baby found in Danbury does not know about the Safe Haven Law, or if she is undocumented, McLachlan says she may have feared detainment if she went to a hospital.
The baby found late Sunday night is in the NICU of Danbury Hospital. Danbury Police are searching for the mother.
A new 100-foot flagpole has been raised in Danbury. It stands on a large traffic island between Danbury Library and the new Naugatuck Valley Community College building. The Civil War monument on the green was recently refurbished as well.
Engineers lowered the new pole into a 12-foot hole with the help of a crane yesterday.
(Photo: Mayor Boughton)
The old flagpole was rusted out and some of the bolts were also rusted.
Mayor Mark Boughton says a large community event will be planned for the dedication, similar to what was done in 1937. The dedication ceremony will be held on Flag Day. The city plans to fly the flag until Memorial Day and then take it down until the June 14th ceremony.
Councilman Tom Saadi pointed out that 2017 will be the 80th anniversary of when the Grand Army of the Republic dedicated that flagpole.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The state Senate passed a bill early Wednesday allowing a new satellite casino to be built by two Native American tribes in East Windsor, but it's doubtful it will clear the House. Majority Leader Matt Ritter confirmed Wednesday that the bill cannot pass the House in its current form.
Some lawmakers want to create a competitive process for a potentially lucrative state casino license that would allow other entities to develop a casino. Others oppose expanded gambling in general. And there are legislators who want some assurances that off-track betting facilities in their districts will be protected with the prospect of increased competition.
MGM is suing Connecticut over the current process, claiming it's unfair to outside casino developers to grant exclusive casino rights to the two tribes. The company has expressed interest in opening a casino in southwestern Connecticut to capture the New York City market.
On Wednesday, the Kent-based Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, which wants to open its own casino, announced it "will have no alternative" but to sue the state if the legislation allowing the two federally recognized tribes to open the $200 million-to-$300 million East Windsor facility prevails.
Governor Dannel Malloy, who has not pushed for casino expansion, has said he's now inclined to support the tribal casino bill over an open bidding process.
The Brookfield Board of Selectmen has signed off on an application for a state matching grant program for elderly and demand response transportation. The yearly program provides funds for transportation of seniors and persons with disabilities to each municipality based on the land area and population of those over age 60.
Selectman Marty Flynn asked if the town is picking up part of the cost since the grant pays for half. First Selectman Steve Dunn says this is for programs already in place. The town is not planning to expand the program at this time.
Dunn noted that Brookfield has the largest percentage of elderly people in the state by population.
He says sometimes municipalities will get an accessible van to help with transportation, but that it's not currently needed. At some point Dunn says the town may need to get an accessible van, but noted that it would ramp up expenses because of drivers and other related costs.
The New Milford Zoning Commission met Tuesday night to discuss changes to the former John Pettibone School as town officials look to convert the building into a community center. Parks and Recreation, Social Services and the Youth Agency could be housed in the facility.
The changes were to the parking area, raising the total number of spots to 120. Sidewalks and landscaping were outlined.
The next Zoning Commission meeting is set for June 13th.
The Newstimes reports that the heads of the departments slated to move in spoke in favor of the idea at Tuesday's meeting. They said that their current facilities are too small for staff and program participants, they lack technology and aren't air conditioned.
The New Milford Sewer Commission has tabled a discussion on a proposed sewer rate increase.
The Newstimes reports that the Water Pollution Control Authority Superintendent threatened to quit Monday night if the town doesn't cap the amount of waste taken into the treatment plant because it will violate state permits if the volume continues on the current pace.
The cap was eventually approved Monday. The published report says Superintendent Michael Finoia could lose his license and be criminally charged if he knowingly allows the facility to accept more septic waste than permitted.
The Sewer Commission has a massive debt owed to the town from the 2012 plant upgrade.
The Newtown Inland Wetlands Commission is holding a public hearing tonight about the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation's proposal to build an animal sanctuary off Old Farm Road. The foundation, named for a girl killed on 12-14, is looking to develop the 34 acre property at Fairfield Hills.
Plans call for a water course crossing via a driveway, altering about 750-feet of wetlands. Tonight's presentation and discussion is set for 7:30pm at the Newtown Municipal Center.
An environmental review is being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The sanctuary would includes a community garden, with a farm-to-table cafe. Hiking and dog walking trails would also be included at the site. Two barns, paddocks, an amphitheater and educational facilities have also been proposed. The project also includes a veterinary center.
Members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation are reacting to President Trump's budget proposal.
5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty is calling on her colleagues to start from scratch on a budget plan. Esty says the goal should be to expand economic opportunity in Connecticut and across the country, protect air and water, supports children and seniors, and makes the country safer.
4th District Congressman Jim Himes chairs the New Democrat Coalition.
He says the budget proposal should be a visionary document or how to create good paying jobs, promote opportunity for all, and keep America safe. He says the proposal spends billions on defense while ransacking investments in jobs, education, clean energy and lifesaving medical research. Himes says New Democrats believe any budget document should put the country's finances on a sustainable trajectory. He says the budget proposal is full of reckless and radical cuts that damage this country's ability to advance and protect America's interests in the world.
Easton Library is holding a Grand Opening event for their new Innovation Space. The center is being called Easton Library's new do-it-yourself space. Demonstrations will be held tonight during the event of the craft space, the technology can be explored by patrons and residents can learn about all things STEM--science, technology, math and science. Easton Library officials say they are starting on a small scale and hope the space becomes a destination for people to create, collaborate and share. The Innovation Space grand opening is set for 6:30 tonight.
State lawmakers are moving closer toward changing Connecticut's constitution to allow people to cast their ballots before Election Day. The House voted 78-70 in favor of the proposed constitutional amendment. It now awaits action in the Senate.
The bill needed 114 votes Tuesday for the question to automatically appear on the 2019 ballot. Voters will be asked in 2020 to approve such a change if both chambers pass the bill again next year by a simple majority
New Milford Representative Bill Buckbee voiced concern that it could be confusing and lead to voting mistakes. Some lawmakers said that added voting days would put financial strain on towns.
While the bill allows the General Assembly to determine the details of early voting, it provides an overall framework, such as limits on when the voting can occur.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says Connecticut will join the majority of other states if it ultimately allows early voting.
The Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission is moving on to the next phases of planning now that a land deed has been signed and filed.
According to minutes of their meeting earlier this month, the group is starting to talk about what needs to be included in a request for proposals. First Selectman Pat Llodra brought three templates with her to the meeting for members to look at. She suggested that outlining what the memorial is about is important because it will give designers background on what the Commission is looking for.
Some money donated to Newtown after 12-14 was specifically earmarked for a memorial. In order to pay for the balance of the project, there are some options. The Commission discussed having it be either town funded or donor funded, with a third possibility of partnering with the town while also raising donations.
The Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission will next meet on June 8th.
The state Senate took a big step in expanding gambling approving a new satellite casino to be built by the two federally recognized Native American tribes.
The measure passed 24 to 12 after debate, and still requires approval by the House. Governor Dannel Malloy says this bill is the only casino measure he would consider signing.
Supporters of the bill say it would create more than 1,200 permanent jobs, while opponents say the state is risking a legal problem by granting a monopoly on gambling to Native American tribes on nontribal land.
Senators crossed party lines to vote for the measure, with both Democrats and Republicans voting in support of the bill.
Danbury state Senator Mike McLachlan reluctantly voted in favor of the bill. He said he would give it a chance' despite having reservations about the casino. But he cautioned that his support was because of the location. McLachlan noted that he does not want to be back in three or four years to find people saying a casino is needed in Danbury. He also asked his colleagues when the state is going to stop chasing easy money like this.
Among those voting against the bill were Wilton Senator Toni Boucher; Craig Miner, whose district includes New Milford; Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown; and Eric Berthel, whose district includes Southbury.
A bill that would expand protections for pregnant women in the workplace was approved by the state House yesterday.
Under the bill, employers would be required to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, such as allowing them to sit while working or take more frequent breaks. The bill also prohibits employers from limiting or segregating a pregnant employee in a way that would deny her employment opportunities.
Wilton Representative Tom O'Dea opposed the bill. He says the intent is laudable, but predicted it will lead to lawsuits. O'Dea, a lawyer, says this will make it harder for small businesses to make money and survive.
New Fairfield Representative Richard Smith, also a lawyer, says this bill is good for the lawyers but it's not good for small businesses.
The bill passed on a 130 to 20 vote. It now moves to the Senate for further action.