There's been another delay in the court hearing for Brookfield's former school finance director. Monday's appearance was to be about charges of larceny and forgery against Art Colley. He allegedly tried to claim nearly $1,000 in reimbursements for three iPads he never purchased. The case against the 57-year old has been statutorily sealed.
There is an ongoing investigation into Colley in an unrelated case, so this appearance was postponed to August 11th.
The Brookfield Board of Finance was presented last month with an audit report on school spending over the past two years. Nearly $124,000 in questionable spending by Colley and others was uncovered. Colley resigned in early 2014 amid accusations he overspent the district budget by $1.2 million.
A Danbury man with a suspended license has been arrested for crashing into a parked car and dragging a store loss prevention officer while fleeing Big Y in Newtown Friday afternoon. Newtown Police say a man, later determined to be 30-year old Richard Watson of Danbury, was approached by the store's security but able to get into his SUV.
Watson allegedly backed out of his parking space, dragging the Loss Prevention Officer, and hitting a parked car. There were several people in the vehicle, including children.
The SUV was tracked to a West Street home where Watson was found hiding under a pile of garbage. He's been charged with robbery, larceny, breach of peace, evading responsibility with physical injury, operating with a suspended license and three counts of risk of injury to a minor.
Watson remains held on a $10,000 bond after an appearance Monday at Danbury Superior Court. He entered a plea of not guilty. The case was continued to August 17th.
A Wolcott man has entered a plea of not guily in Danbury Superior Court on charges related to a multi-town police chase earlier this month. The incident started early on Friday July 17th when State Police tried to stop 32-year old Kenneth Lyden in Newtown.
He nearly hit a Trooper by exit 6 where he continued on local roads eventually stopped in New Milford when he crashed. The Trooper in Danbury fired at Lyden's car, but the driver was uninjured. He later fought with Troopers at the crash site and was Tasered.
The following day, Lyden was being released from a Waterbury Hospital and escaped police custody in a Trooper's patrol car. He was stopped a short time later and arrested. For the later incident, he faces charges of larceny, interfering with an officer, escape from custody and engaging police in pursuit. He will be in Waterbury Superior Court on August 7th on those charges.
The case against him in Danbury was continued to August 11th
He has several other pending cases in various Superior Courts. He has 13 convictions for crimes from 2006 through 2013 on charges of larceny, robbery, possession of narcotics, engaging police in pursuit and operating with a suspended license.
BOSTON (AP) Officials say a Connecticut ironworker who was critically injured this month in a construction accident at Logan International Airport in Boston has died.
The Boston Globe reports 54-year-old Lawrence O'Leary, of Seymour, Connecticut, died Friday evening at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Police say O'Leary fell about 40 feet onto the ground as he was working on a parking garage under construction at the airport on July 10.
O'Leary had been an ironworker for more than 30 years. Jay Hurley, president of the Iron Workers District Council of New England, says he is the second ironworker to die from injuries at a Massachusetts construction site in the past six weeks.
The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating his death.
The now-inactive Danbury Whalers still owe Danbury $55,000 to $60,000 for public safety presence over the five year period they were at the Danbury Ice Arena. The police and fire marshal presence was required for safety. The arena has since upgraded an inadequate sprinkler system, and obtained a full Certificate of Occupancy in the last several months.
Mayor Mark Boughton says fire watch is not necessary anymore, though there is still a need for police presence. The new FHL team has been made aware of that requirement. The building has been certified by Danbury building officials as good to go for the start of the October start of the 2015-2016 FHL season.
Last February, the sprinkler system and the temporary certificate of occupancy were investigated by Danbury as part of an ongoing dispute with the now-inactive Danbury Whalers over public safety presence at games. The City Council required that the Whalers pay for the police and fire marshal presence prior to each game, and repay old debt totalling more than $100,000.
The temporary certificate of occupancy issued in 2004 had expired a year later, when additional seats were installed in the days of the Danbury Trashers.
Boughton says he's not optimistic about collecting the balance due. He chalks it up as a cost of trying to see economic success downtown through events in CityCenter.
But he says the City will continue to pursue collection efforts.
A project in Danbury could benefit from $1 million in state bonding
When the State Bond Commission meets this week, they will act on a million dollar grant to help with the preservation of the historic Richter House in Richter Park. The House will be fully renovated and expanded into an art, musical and environmental education facility.
Danbury State Representative Jan Giegler says the new performance art center will be in keeping with the historic home’s New England farm style to accommodate up to 150 people. She says this is a good start to the capital improvements that will preserve the local landmark for generations to come.
Representative David Arconti says the grounds will get new stone walls, a patio and landscaping to complement the home and panoramic open space. He says the afterschool environmental programs will be a great learning opportunity for students.
Varied programs will be offered in the arts, musical performances, acting, dancing and production; bio-learning, aquatic, and wildlife studies; and a summer youth camp and after school programs for children.
A brief ceremony is being held this morning in Danbury to mark the 62nd Anniversary of the cease fire that ended the Korean War. Greater Danbury Area Korean War Veterans Association Commander Brendan Sniffin says there is no keynote speaker, but there will be a rifle salute at 10am.
The ceremony is held at the Korean war monument at Rogers Park.
Sniffin says the group reads the 17 names on the of those who were killed in action, are missing in action or POWs. They ask that representatives of the families be there if available. A rose is placed on the wall at each name.
The Korean War armistice was signed on July 27th 1953, drawing a new border between North and South Korea. The war cost the lives of over 50,000 Americans. The armistice also established a committee of representatives from neutral countries to decide the fate of the thousands of prisoners of war on both sides. The POWs were allowed to decide for themselves to stay where they were or return to their homelands.
A Connecticut man who led police on a two state chase has been arraigned in Connecticut and extradited to New York. 23-year old William Lester of Rocky Hill was seen speeding in the New York Town of Dover shortly before 10pm on July 4th. A Trooper tried to stop the car, but Lester sped up and threw a lunch box from his vehicle. Police later determined that it contained the hallucinogen LSD.
During the chase, Lester drove into a New York State Police patrol car and continued into Danbury and up Super 7.
He crash with a guard rail in New Milford and continued on Route 7 hitting a utility pole. Lester and the Trooper were trapped by live utility wires. Eversource Energy, and two area volunteer fire departments responded to the scene. Lester was transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
At that time he was charged by New Milford Police with reckless driving and evading responsibility for an accident with property damage. He was released on a written promise to appear in Bantam Superior Court August 10th.
New York State Police obtained an arrest Warrant for Lester, and learned on Monday that he was headed to Candlewood Valley Motors in New Milford to get his car from the auto body repair shop. New Milford Police took Lester into custody as a fugitive from justice and turned him over to New York authorities on Tuesday.
He is being held at Dutchess County Jail for a future court appearance. He faces felony charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence.
An electronic sign similar to the one recently installed at Danbury High School is coming to Danbury City Hall. Mayor Mark Boughton says the sign will notice people about meetings and other information. That sign will give everything from road conditions to latest event at the Ives Center.
The design for outside of City Hall on Deer Hill Avenue is being done by the same firm that did work at Elmwood Park, Kennedy Park and the new park slated for next to the police station. He says the design team is working on that simultaneously with the pocket park.
The park is designed to commemorate police officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty serving the City. Boughton says it will include a water feature visible as drivers come down Main Street, and will serve as a gateway to CityCenter. Boughton says he thinks they've come up with a thoughtful park to be a restful place for people to visit.
Boughton expects bulldozers on site in the next six weeks.
He's been asked why there is no parking planned for the site, and says that's because it is intended as a destination that people can walk to.
Danbury is working with the Connecticut Historical Society to offset costs associated with plans to purchase the Octagon House on Spring Street. Mayor Mark Boughton says a grant would help with the retrofitting and the purchase price.
The City still has to complete negotiations with the bank, But Boughton says he won't let them change an exorbitant amount of money for a property that's fallen into such disrepair it's almost worthless. He hasn't ruled out taking the property through eminent domain if an agreement can't be reached with the bank.
Boughton says they're also working on layout plan for a second floor community room. The Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team can bring people together there to talk about issues going on in their neighborhood.
Fans turned out for an announcement yesterday by the Danbury Titans, of the Federal Hockey League. Former Danbury Whalers Coach Phil Esposito will be the coach of the new team.
Danbury Ice Arena Regional Manager Kevin McCormack says there's a 6 year lease with the team.
The season starts in October. There almost wasn't a 2015-2016 season though.
In June, the FHL announced that a team owned by Barry Soskin of Chicago, who owns two other teams in the six-team League, would play at The Brewster Ice Arena. It's located just a stone's throw from the Danbury Ice Arena, where the Danbury Whalers played last season. The General Manager was going to be Herm Sorcher, managing partner of the Danbury Whalers--an inactive member of the league in good standing. The Whalers were in a legal battle with Eagle Ice Sports over the team's lease at their building.
When Bruce Bennett and Ed Crowe got permission to join the FHL shortly after that announcement, the Stateline Whalers decided to forfeit their stake in the FHL. Bennett says if they didn't pick up the Brewster team, the FHL wouldn't exist. A team in Michigan put it in their contract that the League has to have six teams. He agreed that a League with only four teams was not worth investing or playing in because you see the same challengers all the time.
The Brewster Bulldogs will play at the Brewster Ice Arena. A manager has not yet been named for the Brewster team.
The Titans will play seven home games against Brewster, with the Bulldogs playing seven home games against the Titans. The rest of the schedule has worked out so that when the Titans are home, the Bulldogs will be on the road and when the Bulldogs are home, the Titans will be on the road.
A Ridgefield bar owner has been charged for serving alcohol to minors. Ridgefield Police started an investigation into Tiger's Den Sports Bar & Grill after learning that there was possibly underage drinking taking place at the Catoonah Street establishment. Police set up an undercover detail last night, with the help of the Wilton Police Department Detective Division. Plain clothes officers inside the bar saw the 20 year olds being served by owner-bartender 35-year old Joseph Attonito.
The Danbury man has been charged with five felony counts of sale of alcohol to a minor.
The state Liquor Commission has been notified of the incident and could take further action against Attonito or Tiger's Den Sports Bar and Grill.
The youth were also issued infractions for possession of alcohol by a minor. They are Katherine Abercrombie, Kyle Chester, Patrick Molyneaux, Connor Rowe, and Michael Sexton. All of them are Ridgefield residents.
A New Fairfield woman has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $1,000 from a church bank deposit. New York State Police charged 42-year old Denise Pimentel on Wednesday with 4th degree Grand Larceny, a felony.
Troopers were dispatched to Sacred Heart Church in Putnam Lake on a report that $1,023 in cash was missing. The money was the previous weekends donations from parishioners and was placed in a desk drawer. An investigation revealed that Pimentel, a volunteer at the church, had taken the cash.
She was arraigned and ordered held at Putnam County Jail on $3,000 bond. She is due in court on September 17th.
Draft night is tonight for the Danbury Titans, the newest team in the Federal Hockey League. The team's colors, logo and uniforms were unveiled this morning at the Danbury Ice Arena. That's the team's home ice. The Jerseys will sport blue, green and gray, a nod to the Seattle Seahawks which is a favorite of the owners.
Owner Bruce Bennett says ticket prices have not yet been set for the season, which starts in October. But he says they will be slightly less than last season.
He says there's been nothing but support for the team since its creation.
When explaining to the crowd about the decision process to move from owning a car dealership to a hockey team, Bennett detailed a conversation with his wife. She asked if he's getting ready to retire, why start this new venture. He responded that he didn't know, and she encouraged him to do it.
The other co-owner is an Brookfield insurance broker Ed Crowe. They also own a team that will play at the Brewster Ice Arena: The Brewster Bulldogs.
A former Wilton preschool paraprofessional has entered a plea on a child pornography possession charge. 34-year old Eric Von Kohorn entered a guilty plea at his court appearance last week on a charge of possession of child pornography.
He entered the plea under the Alford Doctrine, in which he did not admit guilt, but agrees that the state has enough evidence against him to get a conviction. Part of the agreement is that a charge of promoting a minor in an obscene performance would be dropped.
The former Wilton preschool paraprofessional has been free on bond since his arrest last August. The school district learned of the investigation by the State Police Computer Crimes Investigation team last June and placed Von Kohorn on administrative leave. He resigned a week later. The investigative team commands the state Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Von Kohorn was hired in Wilton in 2007. He will be sentenced October 9th.
Danbury officials are considering a proposal to ban certain dog breeds from public parks, and prohibiting all dogs from playgrounds. City Councilman Peter Nero asked that ordinances addressing both issues be examined.
Nero said dog breeds in the group where homeowners can't be insured, or would require a rider on their insurance, should not be allowed in parks except the off-leash dog park. The off-leash dog park was approved in May. Dogs must be licensed, but there will be no other restrictions--including no residency rule. The park would be for daytime use only.
Nero cited specific encounters he's had. One was being charged by a Doberman in Tarrywile Park. Another was having to shield his grandson behind a park bench from a dog-on-dog attack. He also cited issues brought to him by constituents.
A committee of the City Council is looking into his proposals.
Danbury Hospital is ranked number 3 in Connecticut for high performance, according to U.S. News and World Report's Best Regional Hospitals of the year. Western Connecticut Health Network President and CEO Dr. John Murphy says they were thrilled that the report ranked Danbury Hospital as "exceeding expected standards" in the management of COPD, heart failure and knee replacement.
U.S. News analyzed over 5,000 hospitals for adult and pediatric care to find the best in the nation, based on critical criteria and patient outcomes. Danbury was one of seven hospitals in Connecticut to exceed the standards.
Murphy says they are proud of the physicians and staff members.
Survey data for the latest year available shows that 70,622 patients visited the hospital's emergency room. The hospital had a total of 17,862 admissions. Its physicians performed 4,322 inpatient and 10,811 outpatient surgeries.
Danbury Hospital has 344 patient beds, and is also a teaching hospital.
A former Redding man, who is a previously convicted felon, has been sentenced for trafficking marijuana. 59-year old Robert Bridges was sentenced yesterday to 17 months in prison followed by three years supervised release.
The U.S. Attorney's office says Bridges was released from prison in 2012 for carrying out a scheme that defrauded investors of more than $5-million. Bridges was serving three years supervised release, but in May 2014 he filed paperwork to end that probation saying he is a totally different person having been to jail. "The life-changing and life-improving process was used to make the most of every day.”
At that time, he applied for PO Box addresses in Georgetown, Wilton and the Riverside section of Greenwich.
The following month his motion was granted.
In December 2014, Postal Inspectors flagged three suspicious packages, which Bridges gave permission to inspect. The first package contained 112 plastic vials that contained hashish, the second package contained nine vacuum-sealed plastic bags containing a total of approximately 4.5 kilograms of marijuana, and the third package contained 11 vacuum-sealed bags containing a total of approximately 5.5 kilograms of marijuana.
Bridges admitted to paying $60,000 for the drugs on a recent trip to California and shipping the packages to himself. He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
To date, Bridges has paid $4,000 of the $5 million in restitution he owes from the previous conviction.
Ahead of the November municipal elections, town committees are starting to meet to nominate candidates. In Sherman, Democrats have selected Don Lowe to run as First Selectman. Ashleigh Blake was nominated last night to be his running mate.
The 57-year old Lowe served as a Selectman for two terms starting in 2004. He has served on other boards and commissions in Sherman in the past.
The Republican caucus is scheduled for next week, and incumbent Clay Cope is anticipated to be the nominee. The First Selectman announced his intentions to run for a third term back in March.
Another vote is needed on a roof restoration project already under way at Joel Barlow High School. The Redding Pilot reports that the second referendum will take place next month due to a series of errors. The Redding and Easton Town Clerks say the Region 9 Board of Education didn't submit the legal notice paperwork to them.
The vote was held in May and the approximate $1 million project was approved with overwhelming support. Redding residents approved the measure 1,146 to 424. Easton residents voted 546 to 276. Redding's share is about $566,000, Easton's is $477,000. The 54-percent shouldered by Redding and 46-percent by Easton is based on enrollment in the school by each town.
At the Board of Ed meeting this week, it was decided to hold a vote on the full amount needed because the contractors are not requiring payments as work progresses. The Pilot reports that a second referendum could cost the towns $8,000.