Hayestown Avenue School in Danbury celebrated Pi Day on March 14th. Students celebrated participated in a pie-eating contest and a poetry contest. Students also took part in a challenge to recite the most digits of Pi. Poetry contest winners were Abhijay Singh, Viviana Rodriguez and Alina Adorno.
The following students were winners in reciting the most digits of Pi:
1. Jeremy Palma 432 digits
2. Diana Saad 162 digits
3. Nathan Palma 81 digits
3. Addison Caba 81 digits
5. Hardav Pandya 57 digits
Danbury Library is seeking input from residents on their strategic planning process, creating a roadmap for the future of the library as an institution for the next five years. Library Director Katie Pearson says a core of their mission is to be responsive to the varied needs of the city's diverse community.
Several focus groups will be held, the first on Tuesday, April 10th at 3pm. The others will take place on Tuesday, April 17th at 5:30pm, and Thursday, April 26th at 11am in the Farioly Program Room of the Danbury Library.
A focus group at WCSU’s Westside Campus Center will also be held on Thursday, April 19th at 6pm.
Wilton State Senator Toni Boucher is critical of a toll proposal up for a public hearing this week. She notes that DOT Commissioner James Redeker is already on record saying that congestion tolling would make Connecticut the most heavily tolled state in the nation. She noted that the Yankee Institute estimated that the average cost of tolls to Connecticut drivers would be about $240 a month, on top of Connecticut having the sixth highest gas taxes in the country.
Veterans yoga sessions are being held at Western Connecticut State University. Adjunct Instructor of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences and Lotus Gardens Yoga Director Lara Ward will host the classes, conducted by Tim Raftery, based on resilience and mindfulness. The classes are March 21, April 11 and May 2 at 6pm in Berkshire Hall, Studio A, on the university’s Midtown campus. Raftery is a certified yoga teacher, Veterans Yoga Project Mindful Resilience Yoga practitioner, WCSU alumnus and military veteran.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton has been released from the hospital after suddenly collapsing, suffering an apparent seizure while attending a GOP candidates' event in Avon last night. City Council President Joe Cavo says the Mayor’s illness was due to dehydration. Cavo visited with Boughton in the hospital. Unlike when Boughton underwent life-saving brain surgery last year, he did not temporarily hand over duties to Cavo. Democrat Al Almeida says despite being Boughton's adversary in last year’s municipal election, he is offering prayers and hopes for a speedy recovery.
An 83-year old man has been arrested for cocaine possession and intent to sell. An investigation was launched months ago into Juan Castano of Danbury in response to neighbor complaints. Castano was seen on several occasions engaged in drug trafficking conduct. Yesterday, Danbury Police seized 4 ounces of cocaine, packaging material, processing equipment and several hundred dollars in cash. Castano was charged with possession of cocaine, possession with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released on a written promise to appear in court on the 23rd.
After the most recent storm, Easton Fire Department Chief Steven Waugh received numerous reports of residents being unsafe around downed utility lines. The incidents ranged from people removing tree limbs from the lines to walking under downed trees and close to downed utility lines. In one instance, he says a United Illuminating employee had to warn a person who was about to move a downed live primary power line from the roadway. All these instances were incredibly dangerous and could result in serious injury or death to the people involved. Waugh asked that drivers heed barricades and road closure tape directing motorists away from hazards, including downed utility wires.
The New Milford Community Center Committee had their organizational meeting last night at the former Pettibone school. Mayor Pete Bass thanked the volunteers on the committee, which elected a board. An email address will be set up so residents can communicate directly with the committee and provide input. The group will also be holding public meetings. Michelle Ligouri is Chairman, Jeff Winter is Vice Chairman, and Leigh Gill is Secretary.
Kent State Representative Brian Ohler is touting a bill up for a public hearing today, that would allow municipalities to increase their tax relief program for first responders. The proposal is for people who volunteer in Connecticut as a firefighter, EMT and other similar services. Tax relief can be an abatement of up to $1,500 in property taxes a year.
Agreements can be made to provide property tax relief to volunteers who live in one municipality, but volunteer in another.
The proposal specifically covers firefighters, fire police officer, emergency medical technician, paramedic, civil preparedness staff, active member of a volunteer canine search and rescue team, active member of a volunteer underwater search and rescue team, or ambulance driver in the municipality, or any individual who is a retired volunteer firefighter, fire police officer or emergency medical technician and has completed at least twenty-five years of service as a volunteer.
State Senator Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown, will be shaving his head today in an effort to raise money for pediatric cancer research at the annual St. Baldrick’s “Team Teddy” event in Fairfield.
The event was started in honor of third grader Teddy Gerber, who was diagnosed with sarcoma in November 2009. He passed away in August 2010. Since then, the annual Team Teddy event has raised more than $940,000.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the world’s largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, raising over $230 million since 2000. In Connecticut, St. Baldrick’s has funded research grants at both Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Yale New Haven Hospital, as well as provided stipends for Fellows and funding for Infrastructure at both locations.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton was rushed to the hospital after collapsing during a GOP gubernatorial candidates' meet-and-greet event in Avon last night. Boughton's campaign issued a statement saying the 54-year-old is ``resting comfortably'' at UConn Health Center in Farmington.
Rival gubernatorial candidate state Representative Prasad Srinivasan, who is an allergist, and other medical personnel rushed to his side and performed CPR until first responders arrived. Srinivasan says Boughton was having a seizure, and he had a ``very, very feeble pulse.'' Boughton was reportedly conscious and his color returned as he was transported by EMS personnel to an ambulance for UConn Health Center in Farmington.
Boughton underwent a 12-hour surgery last year to remove a non-cancerous, lemon-sized tumor from behind his left ear. He rejoined the political scene a month afterward.
About 200 people were attending the event to hear from nearly two dozen gubernatorial, attorney general and treasurer candidates.
A Danbury man has been arrested for trying to rob a downtown business. A woman at an Elm Street travel agency told police that a man came inside Monday night, jumped over the counter and demanded she open the register.
Police say as the employee ran outside while the suspect violently struggled to open the register, he threatened to kill her if she didn't give him the key. She was able to flag down a passerby, which caused the man to run away.
Police were able to positively identify the suspect as 39-year old Daniel Christopher, based on surveillance video. Officers waited at his home for the man to return. Christopher resisted arrest and had to be forcefully overpowered to be taken into custody several hours later.
He was charged with criminal attempt to commit robbery, threatening, disorderly conduct and interfering with the duties of a police officer. Christopher was released on $10,000 bond for a court appearance on the 22nd.
Grants have been awarded to local educators from the Danbury Education Foundation. Classroom Excellence Grants were presented to 5 Danbury teachers for interactive whiteboards, a listening center, interactive foreign language and other programs.
The grants were presented by Foundation member State Senator Mike McLachlan. He says each application showed a tremendous commitment that Danbury teachers have to their students. He added that the quality of proposals submitted made choosing the winners difficult.
Jessica Archambault - $1,487.22 for Interactive Whiteboards at Morris Street School
Ana Wight - $1,500 for Avoiding The Summer Slide at Hayestown Avenue School
Alexandra Hoyt, Michele Masi & Diana Gomez - $1,500 for Learning About Our Community at Ellsworth Avenue School
Amy Kotach & Jackie Ziegelmeier - $1,500 for A Listening Center at Park Avenue School
Wilson E. Cardenas - $4,695.99 for Interactive Foreign Language at Rogers Park Middle School
The Putnam County Sheriff and Carmel Police are participating in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving this St. Patrick's Day weekend. Sheriff deputies and Carmel Police will be out in force through Sunday. This weekend's crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association with additional funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The Campaign also targets Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day Weekend, Halloween, the Holiday Season throughout December and the Super Bowl weekend.
Kent State Representative Brian Ohler has been working over the last 5 years to help create and assess school safety and security policies and procedures. He and three other lawmakers have now formed a work group that will focus on school security and safety.
The group will evaluate the implementation of measures mandated by the state following the shooting at Sandy Hook School, and create new recommendations going forward. He is concerned that when money becomes tight, safety-related initiatives take a back seat.
Ohler, a school safety consultant, is a U.S. Army Military Police Veteran. The school district represented by Carol Hall, Education Committee member from Enfield, was a blue-ribbon recipient for its approach to school safety. The district represented by Wilton Rep. Gail Lavielle, Ranking Member of the Education Committee, includes Westport which was the site of a recent school security threat. Rep. JP Sredzinski of Monroe, is a ranking member of the Public Safety and Security Committee.
The work group will also measure school districts’ knowledge of legislation, the availability of school-based mental health professionals, parents’ knowledge and understanding of their district’s security measures, and local educators’ view of the effectiveness of legislation and related programs.
An initial meeting date will be announced in the coming days.
The legislature's General Law Committee has held a public hearing on a new bill legalizing the retail sale of recreational marijuana. The bill would allow people 21 and older to purchase marijuana from a retailer or for use at a marijuana lounge. It would also allow those 21 and older to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use. The proposal would also create a marijuana control commission, similar to the liquor control commission. Towns and municipalities could bar marijuana establishments through an ordinance or with a town meeting.
Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull says the agency is not taking a position on whether the state should adopt the bill.
Seagull says they would be tasked with collecting licensing fees for and regulating lounges, manufacturers, retailers, cultivators, and laboratories.
Seagull is concerned about the cost and complexity of regulating the program. She says DCP would have to create a whole separate division because of the significant investigation, background check and enforcement components.
Seagull says the medical marijuana program is the best in the country, which produces highly regulated medicine. She says there's a cost to that because it's pharmaceutical grade product.
Since insurance doesn't cover medical marijuana, Seagull is concerned that a recreational program would cause some patients to leave the established program. That could have unintended consequences like patients having less precise medication, raising the cost for people who remain in the medical marijuana program and disincentivizing research. Seagull notes that there are over 24-thousand patients, with well over 100 physicians and APRNs, participating in the program.
Southbury Police are looking to identify two individuals in connection to a larceny investigation. Police say the two men were seen driving a silver vehicle away from CVS. Anyone with information on the identities of the men are asked to contact Southbury Police at (203)264-5912. All calls will be kept confidential.
(Photos: Southbury Police)
The New Milford Zoning Commission has approved two applications for food and beverage facilities. One application approved was for a Wendy's fast food restaurant on Danbury Road. The other is an application by Housatonic River Brewery for a Microbrewery on Kent Road.
Brookfield Police Officers are raising money for childhood cancer research. Several members are joining Peer Counselor students at Brookfield High School, with a goal of raising a thousand dollars. The fundraising event ends on March 27th, when the participating officers will be shaving their heads in an effort to continue raising awareness. All donations go directly to the St. Baldrick's Foundation for childhood cancer research.
Ten students from the Westside Middle School Academy STEM program will move on to the regional level of the Connecticut Invention Convention. 100 6th graders created inventions for the Danbury competition on Friday. The regional convention is on Sunday, and winners will then move on to the 35th annual Connecticut Invention Convention in April at UConn. More than 130 Connecticut schools participate every year. The ten students are: Jacob Lamp, Jeffrey Trigueros, Maria Eduara Sousa Lopez, Alliyah Frank, Christian Fournier, Emily Samaniego, Joshua Maruffi, Ella Brown, Chase Tomanio, and Haley Jones.