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A new report has been released by The Education Law Center about the country's most fiscally disadvantaged schools, and Danbury is included on that list.  The report identifies school districts with higher than average student need and lower than average funding. 

 

The report says this is a national hall of shame of leaving behind thousands of vulnerable children.  Three other Connecticut cities are on the list: Bridgeport, New Britain and Waterbury. 

 

The Education Law Center concludes that governors and legislators in far too many states stubbornly resist investing in K – 12 education so all children have the resources needed to succeed in school.

 

The report is a companion to their "Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card".  The NRC evaluates and compares the extent to which state finance systems ensure equality of educational opportunity for all children, regardless of background, family income, place of residence, or school location.



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Danbury-based FuelCell Energy is applauding a bill being considered by the state legislature will allow electric utilities to acquire fuel cell power plants to enhance system reliability.  The proposal also includes provisions that seek to make efficient use of existing infrastructure and sites, such as urban brownfields. FuelCell Energy applauded the proposal saying this will result in utilities avoiding or being able to defer expensive distribution system upgrades.



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Plans to turn the former Pettibone School in New Milford into a community center have been withdrawn by Mayor David Gronbach.  The Zoning Commission was going to hear the plan Tuesday.  A lawsuit about funding for the project will be in court next month.  Opponents say the money was misappropriated.  The Board of Education last week reversed plans to move administrators to Pettibone after Gronbach changed the Memorandum of Understanding to have the Board pay for the renovations up front.



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The Rotary Club of Patterson has presented 20 Putnam County and area charities with cash donations totaling almost $17,000.  This was one of two semi-annual Community Awards Giveaways, held in February and June, by the Rotary Club of Patterson.  Different groups will be selected to receive donations in June.



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Putnam County Sheriff Deputies responded to two cases of erratic behavior this weekend. 

 

A Patterson woman was taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation after she threatened to kill a neighbor on Saturday.  A person called 911 reporting that a friend was “out of control” at a Patterson residence.  When deputies responded, they saw the woman talking to herself and still making threats.  The woman's name was not released. 

 

On Sunday, the program director of a Carmel group home reported an emotionally disturbed person exhibiting violent behavior.  Deputies determined that the 27-year-old man potentially posed a threat to himself of others.  The man requested that he be taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.



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A local lawmaker recently learned what a volunteer group is doing to combat substance abuse and addiction.  State Representative Arthur O'Neill recently attended a meeting of the Prevention Council of Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington.  The group runs programs designed to educate the public about the epidemic and to create a drug-free environment for youths and families.  Their programs include Prom Buses, Opioid Forums and Positive Incentive Scholarships.



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$10,000 worth of indoor agricultural growing equipment seized from a New Milford home during an investigation into an elaborate illegal indoor hydroponic Marijuana growing operation, has been repurposed and donated to the New Milford Youth Agency. 

 

That organization will use the equipment at the recently expanded Sullivan Farm greenhouse operation. 

 

 

The equipment was seized in January, 2015 from a Chapin Road home.  When the accused's case was disposed of by the Superior Court, the specialized equipment was requested by the lead investigating officer in lieu of destruction. 

 

New Milford Police Chief Boyne, with the judicial authority of the Litchfield Superior Court, members of the Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force Northwest Office repurposed the equipment.



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A Bethel Police Officer successfully revived an unconscious man Wednesday night who appeared to be suffering from an opiate overdose.  Officer McKinney recognized the symptoms and administered Narcan. All Bethel Police vehicles are equipped with Narcan and all Officers are trained in its use.  Officer McKinney is the first officer to use Narcan since its agency wide deployment.  Department officials say Officer McKinney's actions may well have saved the man's life.



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The Brookfield Public Works Department is making sightline improvements on Route 133 at Obtuse Road South.  Crews are breaking up ledge along the south shoulder of Route 133 and regrading so motorists can see farther west when entering the intersection.  Travel along Route 133 were restricted at times for this work.  The state Department of Transportation will be making signage improvements in the near future.



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Bethel Police are searching for a suspect wanted for a strong arm robbery.  Officers responded to the new Wheel’s Sunoco Station on Route 6, across from Big Y, late Wednesday night.  The white male lunged over the counter, forced the employee away and stole several hundred dollars from the cash register.  The suspect was wearing a blue PETRO Oil sweatshirt, black winter hat and boots. The suspect's left arm appeared to be recently injured and was wrapped in an ace bandage.  Anyone with information is requested to contact Bethel Police at 203 744-7900.

 



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There's a public hearing at the state capital today about a bill that would move money around to provide for electrification and upgrades on the Danbury Branch line of Metro North.  Previous bills to accomplish that have failed, but Wilton Representative Gail Lavielle believes this measure has a chance.  She says it would reallocate already authorized bond money for transportation infrastructure projects.  Lawmakers from districts along the Danbury Branch are all backing the bill.  The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee will hear testimony on the bill on Friday at 11am.



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The Danbury Police Department has received several reports of a person posing as a "health inspector" for the city of Danbury and charging business for inspections. The male caller has contacted unsuspecting businesses and demand credit card prepayments over the phone for an inspection that will be performed the following day.  The caller is targeting nail salons.

 

All City of Danbury Health Inspectors have official city of Danbury ID Badges. They will also provide official written documentation of all inspections.  Danbury Health Inspectors do not call ahead to schedule an inspection because they are all done unannounced.  City of Danbury Health Inspectors do not take cash or credit/debit cards.  The business owner would be contacted via certified mail of any fees assessed or due.  Letters for license renewal are always sent out only in the month of May.

 

If in doubt, Danbury Police say you can verify health inspector status by contacting the Danbury Health & Human Services Department at 203-797-4625.



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Some Danbury High School students staged a walk out Thursday morning.  It was done because of what they see as a weak response to harassment on school grounds.  

 

An allegedly intoxicated man, who was a passenger in a car picking up a student after school on inauguration day, waved a Trump campaign sign and yelled at students about being kicked out of the country.  There was no arrest made after the courts rejected an arrest warrant application. 

 

Mayor Mark Boughton says students belong in class, but he understands and respects their passion for this issue.  The court decided that there wasn't enough evidence to issue a warrant to arrest the man.  He says it's time to accept the court decision and move on.  Boughton says some steps have been taken by the Danbury High School administration to make sure the campus is safe and secure. 

 

He reiterated that he understands the frustration of some students, but at the end of the day the prosecutor declined to issue a warrant.



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Some 300 Danbury High School students walked out of class Thursday morning in protest of what they see as a weak response to harassment on school grounds on Inauguration Day.  Danbury Police were dispatched to the school shortly after 9:30am and say the walk-out and sit-in were non-eventful.  The protest was contained to the football field and bleachers.  After about 30 minutes, most of the crowd dispersed.  Patrol units remained at Danbury High School until about 11:45am when things had calmed down. 

 

Deputy Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bill Glass says they heard rumblings Wednesday night that there might be a protest Thursday.  As a precaution, the district contacted the Danbury Police Department to have an extra presence on campus. 

 

Glass called it a peaceful, organized protest that moved from the front of the school to the football field.  Between 50 and 100 students sat on the bleachers while the rest returned to class.  The Principal and the rest of the administration listened to the concerns of a handful of students who spoke on behalf of the student body.  They met for almost an hour.  Glass says their voices were heard.  He says the administration handled the situation well, but noted that there are still some bad feelings among some students and their families over the January incident.

 

Glass says they were impressed with how respectful students were on Thursday.  He added that they would have rather had the students in class, but the protest happened in the best possible way.  There were no arrests and no injuries reported.

 

The only disciplinary action being taken by the school is to mark the students absent for classes they missed.



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A New Milford woman and two New York men have been arrested for burglarizing a Dutchess County home.  On Monday, New York State Police arrested 25 year old Dwayne Robbins, 25 year old James Moore, and 23 year old Kelsey Vincent for their involvement in a Dover Burglary.

A resident reported seeing suspicious activity.  People entering a residence, two males removing items and placing them into a vehicle.

While enroute to the call, Troopers saw a vehicle matching the description. The three occupants were known to Police. The suspects had salvaged the proceeds from the burglary at Southeast Auto Recycling where they were all taken into custody. 

 

  

(Vincent, Robbins, Moore)

 

The vehicle, operated by Vincent, had a forged inspection sticker, the wrong license plates and no insurance.  Vincent was operating with a suspended New York State Driver’s license.

Moore, Robbins and Vincent were all charged with felony burglary and and felony criminal possession of stolen property.  Vincent was also charged with possession of a forged Instrument. 

The three are scheduled to appear in Court on March 13th.



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A public hearing was held by a state legislative committee yesterday on a proposal to repeal the 2013 law allowing undocumented Connecticut residents to get drive-only licenses.  The Department of Motor Vehicles has estimated that nearly 28,000 drive-only licenses have been issued, more than 1-percent of all registered Connecticut drivers.  The DMV says the law has made the roads safer.  Danbury organizers from Connecticut Students for a Dream say the law has allowed them to go to work to raise money for school tuition.



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In wake of President Trump's executive order on immigration, Governor Dannel Malloy has issued recommendations to Connecticut school superintendents and police chiefs about how they should deal with requests from Homeland Security and ICE.  Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton was critical of that move.  He called the directives nothing more than political grandstanding, and fear mongering.

 

Boughton says the City already helps ICE and will continue to do so.  If further orders from the federal government, circumstances could change in Danbury.  He noted that federal law superceds state law.

 

Danbury Police officials say they will work with ICE if requested, but that they don't make the first call under a 2014 state law called the TRUST Act.



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Some Danbury High School students have staged a walk out.  It's being done because of what they see as a weak response to harassment on school grounds.  Several students have posted video on social media of the activity, which now includes a protest outside the school. 

 

District officials say the Deputy Superintendent and others are responding to the high school. 

 

There were some 300 students participating.  They were protesting in front of the school, but were told to go inside.  They then moved to the football field instead.

 

(Hatters Herald, DHS student news paper, Twitter)

 

An allegedly intoxicated man, who was a passenger in a car picking up a student after school dismissal on inauguration day, waved a Trump campaign sign and yelled at students about being kicked out of the country. 

 

There was no arrest made after the courts rejected an arrest warrant application.  Three students were suspended at the time for allegedly fighting with the man.



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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other Connecticut officials are providing police chiefs and school superintendents with guidance on how to respond to President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration matters and subsequent memos from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

 

Law enforcement officials are being told they should not take action solely to enforce federal immigration law, noting how the federal government cannot mandate states to investigate or enforce actions that have no connection to the enforcement of Connecticut laws.

For schools, officials are suggesting any requests from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer for student information or access to a student should be referred to the district's superintendent's office.

 

Connecticut Students for a Dream Campaign and Policy Manager Camila Bortolleto, of Danbury, says Governor Malloy's memo to Police Departments makes it clear - state and local law enforcement agencies are not required to enforce federal immigration law. If local law enforcement agencies choose to enforce federal immigration law, she says it will undermine community safety.

 

Bortolleto says the group will continue organizing to win sanctuary spaces and build deportation defense networks so people brought to this country as children can live a life without fear.



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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman are throwing support to legislation that would require Connecticut to join a group of states wanting to pool their Electoral College votes for the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote.

Both argue every American's vote should be counted equally.

Wednesday's announcement by Malloy and Wyman comes as lawmakers hear testimony on numerous bills that would have Connecticut join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which 11 states have signed onto since 2006. There's also a bill that would endorse the current Electoral College system.

 

Danbury state Senator Mike McLachlan called it troubling and says the bill interferes with the constitution.  He said if advocates want to change how the Constitution operates, they should propose a constitutional amendment.

 

McLachlan introduced a bill to protect the sanctity of the electroal  college process as is.

Some lawmakers, mostly Democrats, have voiced frustration with seeing another candidate secure the presidency without winning the popular vote.  Wolcott Republican Representative Rob Sampson says he worries candidates would only focus on large population centers.