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The New Milford Town Council has authorized $155,000 to be used from the Waste Management Fund to add outdoor lighting at the former Pettibone School.  The Zoning Commission has required the Town to install additional lighting in the parking lots as the town looks to turn the facility into a community center.  The Council also approved taking $450,000 from the Waste Management Fund to complete the Senior Center Recreation Room expansion. $430,000 in State grant funds are currently available.  Mayor David Gronbach expects work to start on the expansion in the coming weeks.



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Danbury Police have called off a chase of a man wanted for a domestic incident.  The man reportedly pulled a gun on a woman around 10:30 this morning.  Police say he took off on a motorcycle in the downtown area, stopped briefly on Main Street and then sped off with a woman on the back of the bike.  Danbury Police say they called off the pursuit because it was high speed, and there was a passenger involved.  The motorcycle was seen getting onto the highway westbound at exit 4.  Police say they know the man's identity, but are not releasing his name at this time.  Police agencies in the area have been notified and sent pertinent information.



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The New Milford Town Council has voted to replace Sewer Commission member Mike Bensema.  He will be replaced by John Wittmann.  The request came from Mayor David Gronbach, who said Bensema served longer than the town ordinance-set four years.  He said the town knew for months that he served more years than outlined in the ordinance, but didn't act until he wrote a letter to the editor of the New Milford Spectrum critical of Gronbach.  Wittman's term will end in November 2019.



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A Bethel man has made a brief court appearance on a home invasion charge.  New Milford Police say 45-year old Mark Benoit forced his way in and fought with the Bridle Road residents.  Court documents show that his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend pinned him to the ground as they fought.  Benoit also struggled with officers, which revealed that he had a knife hidden behind his back.  The Newstimes reports that Benoit's attorney said in court yesterday that he took Klonopin, a drug to treat anxiety disorders, followed by beer.  A bond reduction hearing is set for July 5th.



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Route 133 in Bridgewater will reopen next month.  The state Department of Transportation construction project will be completed, with an official opening, July 14th at 11am.  The pre-cast concrete wall is being tinted grey and brown to look like native rock in the area, and the final drainage improvements are also in progress.  Even though Route 133 is reopening, the work won't be completely finished.  Over the next few months the extensive open slopes will be planted with native trees and shrubs.  Bridgewater officials say even though the character of the town's southern approach has radically changed, the DOT project was considered a necessary improvement.



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A road closure in Bethel starts today.  The Walnut Hill - Hoyt Road construction project is anticipated to last through the end of September.  The Bethel Highway Department says the exact road closures will depend on what phase of the project they are in.  Advisory signs have gone up around the project to use for detours.  Even when the road is open, the highway department is cautioning that there will be delays through the project site.  They are recommending drivers use alternate routes to avoid travel delays. 



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Eversource Energy is planning a $3.5 million  natural gas project in Danbury.  The utility says the goal is to protect and strengthen the delivery system in an effort to ensure reliable service.  The multi-year project involves more than 4.5 miles of gas pipeline being installed.  The firs phase, 1.5 miles, will be installed along Mill Plain Road from the west side to the Western Connecticut State University campus. 

 

Crews are working Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 4pm The first phase is expected to be complete by the end of November.  Phase two will begin in April 2018.

 

Eversource plans to update community leaders and customers where work is being done to minimize the impact to traffic and coordinate with other roadwork happening in the area. Drivers may experience delays due to alternating, one-way traffic.

 

Work will continue through 2019 from the university to an Eversource gas facility near Danbury’s downtown area.  Eversource officials say the project will provide the school a stronger gas delivery system and offer clean and efficient fuel to areas were it has not been an option.



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Work could start soon to stabilize Hearthstone Castle.  After years of neglect, the outer walls are all that remain. The roof and internal structure have collapse into the basement.  There are no utilities at the site, making new uses limited. 

 

 

Danbury residents approved $1.6 million in November for design and construction plans for a walled garden.  Mayor Mark Boughton says the money comes available July 1st.  The City is looking to engage various companies that do this kind of specialized work, but he cautioned that there won't be a lot of companies that can do the project. 

 

Boughton has called the site an attractive nuisance.  Trespassers have spray painted the structure and cut through the fence many times over the years. 

 

Hearthstone Castle was built in 1897 and occupied until 1983. The City purchased it as part of the acquisition of the Tarrywile property in 1985.



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During a joint working session of the Ridgefield Planning and Zoning Commission and the Inlands Wetland Commission, approval was given for the proposed Ridgefield Little League ballfield.  Plans for the 2-and-a-half acre town and state-owned land at Route 7 and Simpaug Turnpike call for lighting, bleachers, a parking lot and concession stand. 

 

Traffic studies found there would not be a significant impact.  Speakers would not be used after a certain hour, and the lights would be turned off overnight. 

 

During three public hearings, neighbors expressed concerns about noise, traffic and the lights. 

 

The Inlands and Wetlands Board voted 8-1 and the Planning and Zoning Commission voted 7-2.



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Brookfield Police are cautioning parents to talk with their children about internet safety.  With the latest Snapchat update, a feature was added called Snap Map which allowed users to share their location with other users.  Brookfield Police shared an article on social media from Massachusetts State police about the dangers of kids sharing their location, especially in real time, with strangers.  Snapchat users can enter so-called Ghost mode, which allows them to turn off the location sharing service, or select who can see the location.



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Court documents have been unsealed in the murder case against a man accused of killing his roommate in their New Fairfield home last month.  Steven Flood is due in court this week on charges of murder with special circumstances and sexual assault for the rape and murder of 55-year old Susan Guido.  According to court documents unsealed Tuesday, Flood met Guido while they were both staying at a hotel and agreed to save money by renting a home together.  The 32-year old told police they were drinking and arguing over bills when he pushed Guido to the ground and stomped on her head several times.  He was still wearing the blood stained clothing when State Police found him several days later.  



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A joint, full scale training session involving local emergency responders is under way in Danbury.  The emergency response training is from 1pm to 6pm Tuesday.  People in the area of Great Plain Elementary, Broadview Middle and St Gregory the Great schools are alerted that there will be a lot of emergency response vehicles around for the exercise.  Exercise activity is confined to areas marked and closed to the public.  None of the activity is taking place along City streets, though drivers are cautioned to expect some traffic in the area of the training.



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The Easton Police Department has restarted their K9 Unit.  The town's newest police dog, TJ, reported for duty yesterday.  The 16-month-old German shepherd will be partnered with Officer Tamra French.  The Easton Courier reports that T.J. was named for Staff Sgt. Todd “T.J.” Lobraico Jr.

 

(Frank Reda and Jimmy Loomer of Superior K-9 Services dropped off K9 T.J. to Officer French)

 

The New Fairfield man was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan in 2013.  The Courier reports that when a military dog signaled the approaching enemy, Lobraico pushed the dog and its handler out of harm's way. 

 

Lobraico’s father worked with Easton Police Chief Tim Shaw in the Stamford Police Department. 

 

K9 Chase, who served 10 years with Officer French, retired in 2013. 

 

A $40,000 grant from the estate of a Kenneth and Ann Gleszer, of Danbury, enabled the department to restart the K9 program.   Grants were made to 10 police departments and the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association.



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The Ridgefield Inland Wetland Commission and the Planning and Zoning Commission are holding a work session tonight about a proposed ballfield.  Ridgefield Little League is looking to create the field and related amenities on town-and-state-owned land at Route 7 and Simpaug Turnpike.  Three public hearings were held on the application.  Plans for the 2.5 acre lot include lighting, bleachers, a parking lot and concession stand.



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The Brookfield Board of Education is crafting policies on how naloxone could be administered in schools.  The Newstimes reports that Brookfield is reviewing guidelines adopted by the Fairfield school district last month.  The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education also has policies about use of the opioid overdose reversal treatment.  The plan would include who is allowed to administer Narcan, where it will be stored and who to contact about usage.  The published report says that district’s legal team compared the potential policy to guidelines on automated external defibrillators, which are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest.



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EnCon Police are investigating a hit and run accident that also happened over the weekend on Candlewood Lake in Brookfield.  An unknown vessel struck a raft moored off the shoreline around 1am Sunday. The collision caused extensive damage to the wooden raft.  When the homeowner tried to check on the vessel and its occupant or occupants, it evaded the scene.  The incident was reported around 10am.  The Candlewood Lake Authority Marine Patrol is assisting with the investigation.

 



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State EnCon Police patrolling Candlewood Lake in Danbury for the fireworks show Saturday night had contact with several hundred boaters entering the area of Danbury Bay, conducting safety checks and enforcing a safety transit lane.  There were no boating under the influence arrests.  Several warnings were issued for failure to display proper and/or necessary navigation lights.

 

There were several minor incidents. 

 

A boat was stopped for not having its navigation lights on.  EnCon officers found that it was occupied by a number of young adults who were in possession of alcohol.  EnCon Police escorted the vessel to the dock and several of the individuals were issued infractions for possession of alcohol by a minor.  The operator was cited for the navigation light violation.

 

A boat struck a rock while leaving Danbury Bay.  The vessel was escorted back to the boat launch.  The Candlewood Lake Authority Marine Patrol inspected it, finding only damage to a propeller.  The boat had been on its way to Squantz Cove.

 

EnCon Police helped a stranded boater after the vessel experienced disabling electrical issues.  Officers kept in contact with the anchored vessel and arranged for a good samaritan to tow it to the nearest safe mooring.



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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Muslim community is facing allegations it failed to prevent several sexual assaults of a 3-year-old girl by an older boy at a private school it runs on its property.

 

The parents of the girl filed a lawsuit in state court last month against the Muslim Society of Greater Danbury, which runs the Al Hedaya Islamic Center in Newtown. They are seeking unspecified damages.

 

The lawyer and the principal for the school deny the parents' allegations that school officials acted improperly. They also say the allegations against the boy have never been proven.

 

"The Muslim Society of Greater Danbury is a leader in the community with its outreach, community and charitable work," the society's lawyer, Refai Arefin, said in a statement. "The MSGD takes the safety and security of its congregation very seriously. When the facts are known, it will be shown that the allegations directed at MSGD and its volunteers are completely false."

 

Newtown police say they investigated the sexual assault allegations but there was no probable cause to arrest the boy. Court documents don't list the boy's age but say he was a minor.

 

The parents say their daughter, known as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, was a 3-year-old kindergarten student at the Islamic Center's school when she was sexually assaulted by the boy several times in a bathroom and other secluded areas of the school between Sept. 15 and Oct. 6, 2015. Their lawsuit alleges all the assaults involved the boy touching the girl's private parts.

 

The parents noticed a change in the girl's behavior and took her to a therapist, who concluded she had been sexually assaulted and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, the lawsuit says.

 

The girl's parents say school officials were well aware that the boy, named John Roe in the lawsuit, had a "propensity" for violence and bullying before their daughter began attending the school and didn't take action to protect other students from him. The lawsuit says school officials also knew of a report that the boy previously had bullied another male student and the bullying involved contact that "may have been sexual in nature."

 

Sexual assault of students by other students is a problem at schools across the country. A yearlong Associated Press investigation uncovered about 17,000 official reports of sexual assaults by students over a recent four-year period, a figure that doesn't fully capture the problem because such violence is greatly under-reported and some states don't track it.

 

The plaintiffs say school officials are required by Connecticut law to report physical abuse of students to the state Department of Children and Families but did not do so in the case of the bullying and possible sexual assault of the other boy. They also allege school officials did not promptly report the sexual assault of their daughter to the state, a claim also denied by school officials.

 

The lawsuit further alleges the school is not certified by the state to operate as a private school or accredited by any educational group and its teachers don't have the credentials needed for their jobs.

 

Although the Islamic Center's website says a "private school" called the Granada Academy operates at its Newtown property for students in pre-kindergarten through the fifth grade, Arefin and the school's principal, Kristin Fuller, said the school actually is a "homeschooling community" supervised by parents that is not subject to state laws on private schools.

 

Fuller is countersuing the girl's parents on defamation allegations, saying their false allegations are damaging to her reputation.

 

Fuller also alleges in court documents that the girl's mother was jealous of the boy's mother and was removed as a teacher at the school because she was ineffective, both factors Fuller suggests were motivation for the mother to file the lawsuit.



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The case of a former Easton man accused of killing his parents after they threatened to cut him out of their wills has been continued.  Kyle Navin made a brief court appearance for pretrial discussions yesterday, but his case was continued to August 8th.

The 28-year-old has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the deaths of his parents, Jeffrey and Jeanette Navin. The couple's bodies were found in Weston in October 2015, two months after the couple disappeared.

Navin is being held on $2.5 million bail.

His girlfriend, Jennifer Valiante, also is detained on bail on charges including conspiracy to commit murder.

 

Jeffrey Navin was co-owner of J&J Refuse of Westport.  Jeanette Navin was a paraprofessional at Weston public schools. 



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A Monroe man has pleaded guilty to charge of voyeurism and possession of child pornography.  Police were contacted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in October 2015 about a child exploitation case.  Kenneth Raftery is accused of recording young boys around Monroe without their knowledge.

 

Transfers of child pornography to Raftery were traced.  Investigators then found videos of young teens recorded around Monroe, including one at a Masuk High School Football car wash and others near Wolfe Park pool.

 

Raftery is expected to be sentenced on September 8th.