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A fatal car accident in Brewster is under investigation.  The two car crash happened on Route 22 around 1:15pm today.  A northbound vehicle and a southbound vehicle collided head-on just north of the Milltown Road intersection.  The male driver of the northbound vehicle was killed in the crash. The female driver and the male passenger of the southbound car were transported by ambulances to Danbury Hospital with injuries of unknown severity. 

 

The identities of the crash victims were not immediately available. 

 

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office, with assistance from New York State Police, continues to investigate.  Route 22 remains closed between Route 312 and Milltown Road until further notice.



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The New Milford Public Works Director gave an update to the Town Council last night about the clean up of the former Century Brass mill site.  Lead paint, PCBs and asbestos have been found at the site, which New Milford started cleaning up nearly two decades ago.  The town acquired the land off Housatonic Avenue in 1999. 

 

Town officials say they're optimistic that remediation will be completed by the 2020 deadline. 

 

The Newstimes reports that demolition began in October, but the town is waiting for approval from the Environmental Protection Agency to remove steel from the site. 

 

Michael Zarba told the Council that their biggest obstacle will be determining if contaminants are in the nearby river and how to address them.



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A pre-hearing conference was held this morning by the Connecticut Siting Council about an application for a telecommunications facility on Morehouse Road in Easton.  Homeland Towers LLC and Verizon Wireless have filed for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need.  The 157-foot tower would be a faux branch top tower.  A public hearing will be held in Easton next month on the proposal.



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A program has been launched in Danbury that will allow 150 residents served by a private well system to have their drinking water analyzed free of charge.  In Connecticut, private well owners are responsible for testing the quality of their own drinking water and maintaining their own wells, but the City's Department of Health & Human Services is looking to give residents the best access to resources for their wellbeing. 

 

The well water analysis will be performed at a licensed State Certified Laboratory and will test for: total coliform, nitrate, nitrite, pH level, odor, chloride, hardness, apparent color, sulfate, turbidity, iron, and manganese.  Residents also have the option to add a test for lead for a fee from the laboratory. 

 

Residents can request this service by contacting the Department of Health & Human services at 203-797- 4625. 

 

Following this program, the City will begin subsidizing the cost of private well water analyses.



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The winners of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition for Connecticut's Fifth District have been selected.  A sophomore at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury took the top prize.  Shannon Rupar made a watercolor painting titled “Farmer’s Market.”

 

 

Rupar's piece will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. for the next year and she will have the opportunity to fly to Washington, D.C., for the national reception in June honoring winners from districts across the country. 

 

Molly Humphreys, a senior at Nonnewaug, received Honorable Mention for her piece, “Stage-Lights in a New Light,” a charcoal piece on paper.  Her piece will remain on display at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury.  Humphreys was the 2016 Fifth Congressional District Art Competition winner. 

 

 

A total of 115 pieces of artwork were submitted this year in the 5th District, with students' submissions coming from 13 different schools. Winners were chosen by a panel of local judges.  Since its inception in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students nationwide have participated in the annual Congressional Art Competition.

 

This is the fifth consecutive year in which Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty has organized the local competition.



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A record amount of donations came in during the Postal Service's annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive held last week.  Coordinator Dennis Sideropolous says   With 137,000 pounds of non-perishable items collected, Coordinator Dennis Sideropolous says local food banks will benefit greatly. 

 

The United Way and Salvation Army are processing the items for distribution.  Last year, approximately 121,000 pounds of food was collected in the Greater Danbury area. 

 

Sideropolous says the timing of the food drive is important because food banks are running low on items donated during Thanksgiving and Christmas, at the same time that schools are dismissing and children won't have access to free or reduced price meals.



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In a speech on the House floor, 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty called on her colleagues to come together and pass a bipartisan plan to rebuild America's crumbling infrastructure.  The Vice Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said at the end of the day, infrastructure is about jobs.  But more importantly, she said infrastructure improvement is about getting people to work safely and on time.

 

Esty spoke about specific areas of improvement that need to be made, including to roads, bridges, rail, airports, clean water, wastewater, and internet connectivity.

 

Esty said looking into public and private partnerships could be a viable way to make improvements, but added that the job can't be outsourced to financiers.  If that were the case. Esty said the private sector would have already made the improvements.



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Danbury could donate the Mallory Hat site to the Women's Center for a new transitional housing center.  A City Council Committee met Monday night to review the donation of city owned property at 89 Rose Hill Avenue. 

 

Mayor Mark Boughton says the property does contain a level of environmental contamination, but wants the City to work with the Women's Center to seek grants and other funding opportunities to make the project happen. 

 

The Women's Center hired an environmental engineer to assess the property, and it was determined that the clean up will cost $700,00 to $800,000.  Boughton told them that the City doesn't have that kind of money on hand, and that it wouldn't be appropriate for the City to foot the bill for a non-profit.  He noted that if the City did that for one, they would have to do it for all.  But if the Women's Center can get the property cleaned up, Boughton says it would be appropriate for Danbury to sell the land to the Women's Center for $1.

 

The Women's Center hired a lobbyist who has spoken with Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, and others at the Office of Policy and Management, about a special grant fund they have to clean properties.  They don't have a final committment yet, but Boughton says if a grant can be secured Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola will oversee and manage the clean up.  Once it's certified for use, and the City Council gives the ok, they can transfer the property to the Women's Center.

 

Another challenge is that there is a viaduct under the property, which Boughton believes is near 100 years old.  He says no business is likely to be interested in the land because they wouldn't be able to build over that structure.  The viaduct limits the build-ability to about 2.5 acres.  Danbury issued several requests for proposals from businesses over the years, but there weren't any takers.  At one point, the owner of nearby Fairfield Processing asked the City to hold off on looking into bids because they were thinking about expanding.  Those plans have since changed because their business changed. 

 

The Women's Center raised $4 million in capital fund to build the transitional housing.

 

The Women's Center has provided a safe haven to victims of domestic and sexual violence since its founding in 1975.  The Center serves 20,000 people in northern Fairfield and southern Litchfield Counties each year.



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Danbury-based FuelCell Energy is entering into a power purchase agreement with Trinity College in Hartford.  FuelCell will install a 1.4 megawatt fuel cell power plant, projected to save the college approximately 30 percent in annual energy costs.

 

The combined heat and power fuel cell plant will be located adjacent to the school’s athletic center, and will generate a continuous supply of on-site electricity and steam for the campus.  This installation could lead to future implementation of a micro-grid for the campus.

 

Trinity College will pay for power as it is produced, avoiding a capital investment in power generation.  Minimizing use of boilers for steam reduces operating costs for the College as well as reducing associated emissions from the combustion-based heating process.



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A Danbury company was featured yesterday by Senator Chris Murphy for his so-called Monday Manufacturer.  RK Manufacturing is a family-owned company that was founded in 1978.  They design and manufacture machine tools and medical devices. 

 

The Danbury manufacturer provides custom tooling and fixtures, and works with established medical companies and life science startups to provide sterile and nonsterile sutures, bone anchors, spinal implants, and other innovative medical devices.  All of RK Manufacturing’s medical devices are produced in a specialized cleanroom with a controlled environment.

RK Manufacturing employs 120 Connecticut workers out of their 57,000 square foot facility. Over the last six years, they have experienced an average continued growth of 30 percent, and increased the capacity of their cleanroom by 35 percent.

Connecticut's 4,600 manufacturers account for 10% of the state’s jobs and 87% of the state’s total exports. In order to protect and grow manufacturing jobs in Connecticut, Murphy has introduced two pieces of legislation that aim to strengthen existing standards and prioritize the purchase of American-made goods, the 21st Century Buy American Act and the American Jobs Matter Act.



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A bill setting standards for school officials searching student cell phones and other electronic devices has been approved by the state House.  One opponent suggested that students not bring a phone to school or to leave it in a locker.  Danbury Representative Bob Godfrey told the Courant that the thinking is an outdated approach to technology.  He said smart phones, iPads and other devices are sometimes used for legitimate purposes during the day.  The bill prevents school officials from taking a personal electronic device unless they have reasonable suspicion the student violated school policy.  The bill also limits any subsequent search.  The measure now moves to the Senate.



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Blue-green algae blooms are likely this summer.  That warning from the Lake Zoar Authority.  Exposure in high levels is a suspected cause of illness as severe as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  The authority says the neurodegenerative disease can be fatal to pets and livestock.  Runoff from fertilizer, chemicals and waste elevates the blooms.  They float on the surface of the water and look like green paint.  A dry season intensifies the toxicity whereas a rainy climate dilutes the presence of the bacteria-like growth.  



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Members of the now-closed New Milford Sports Club who didn't get a chance to remove personal items from the lockers earlier this month will have another opportunity tomorrow.  New Milford officials have worked out an agreement with the landlord to allow more time to reclaim property.  People must bring their membership cards to enter the building Tuesday between 4pm and 7pm.  State Police arrested business owner Dominick Donofrio Jr earlier this month on behalf of the Department of Labor, which received more than 50 complaints from New Milford Sports Club employees about not being paid. 



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There was a rollover accident on I-84 Eastbound between Exits 4 and 5 in Danbury this morning. The right and center lanes were closed shortly before 11am.  Traffic was backed up beyond exit 2 because of the emergency response.  The accident was cleared around 11:45am.  

 

(I-84 E exit 4 on ramp)

 

Danbury Fire Department Deputy Chief Bernie Meehan found that a driver was trapped in his Oldsmobile. Danbury firefighters, utilizing the "Jaws of Life" tool, cut away the roof of the vehicle so the operator could be removed and taken care of by Danbury Paramedics. The sole occupant of the vehicle was transported by ambulance to the hospital.

 

(DFD)



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One man injured in a motorcycle accident in the Town of Washington over the weekend has died.  State Police say 25-year old Thien Truong had been airlifted to the hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries. 

 

The East Hartford man lost control around a curve on Route 109 near Popple Swamp Road around 8pm Saturday.  He flipped his bike and hit a guardrail. 

 

A motorcyclist following him also lost control on the curve.   30-year old Michael Masser of Hartford was thrown from his bike and transported by ambulance to Danbury Hospital with minor injuries. 

 

The accident remains under investigation.



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A Brewster man is due in court today on DWI charges stemming from a hit and run accident.  The Putnam County Sheriff's Office received calls of an erratic driver in Brewster May 7th.  The driver nearly hit a car in the parking lot of Dunkin Donuts, almost hit the building and then almost caused an accident while pulling out onto Route 22. 

 

Deputies spotted the car hit another vehicle in traffic on Main Street and then drive off.  The driver, later determined to be 28-year old Obdulio Mendez-Perez, stopped for police. 

 

He was charged for driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and half-a-dozen other infractions for the alleged erratic driving. 

 

No injuries were reported in the crash.



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Newtown Police are asking for the public's help in solving a January motorcycle accident.  Police continue to investigate the crash that killed 42-year old Michael Defusco of Southbury on January 19th.  The accident happened on Mount Pleasant Road near Reservoir Road.  The motorcycle was found down an embankment on the southbound shoulder of the roadway around 3pm.  While some witnesses have been interviewed, Newtown Police say more information is needed.  Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or arrived shortly after the accident is asked to call Newtown Police.



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About 200 acres of Schaghticoke Mountain burned in a brush fire last week before firefighters were able to extinguish the flames.  17 departments helped keep the blaze contained in a remote area near the Appalachian Trail in Kent. 

 

The fire, which broke out Wednesday, disturbed the dens of the Timber rattlers, and well over a dozen snakes were spotted fleeing the heat, including one that slithered between the legs of a firefighter. 

 

 

Now that the fire is out, wildlife experts will go in looking to rescue any injured snakes.



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Graduation ceremonies were this weekend for a number of higher education institutions in Connecticut, including for Western Connecticut State University students. 

 

The 119th Commencement was held at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport on Sunday.  More than 1,200 undergraduates, 112 masters and 8 doctoral degrees were awarded.  This is the third consecutive year that the ceremony will take place at the Fairfield County venue.

Graduating senior Madiha Khan, of Danbury, delivered the Keynote Address.  During the ceremony, Khan received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, Biochemistry option. She is one of two WCSU students to receive this year’s Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award.

 

Presidential Medals were awarded to WCSU alumnus Attorney Robert Yamin and Danbury Probate Judge Dianne Yamin.



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The Danbury Police Department will be conducting a Click It or Ticket Campaign heading into the summer driving season.  The increased enforcement will take place starting today and continuing through June 4th. 

 

The Danbury Police Department will ramp up patrolling and be on the lookout for seat belt violations.  With Memorial Day weekend approaching, the department intends to promote safe driving and increase protection for motorists. 

 

With more vehicles on the roadway, Spokesman Lt. Christian Carroccio says this means more potential for more crashes and more fatalities.  He says wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to save your life while on the road.