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If you've driven through New Milford at night this week you may have noticed red street lamp lights around the town green.  It's part of "Operation Wear Red" to raise awareness for Aplastic Anemia.  It's a campaign by Julia's Wings Foundation, named for a 13-year old Sherman girl who passed away in 2012.  The disease affects bone marrow and scientists still don't know what causes the rare blood disorder.  This week long effort is the 3rd annual awareness event.



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An ATM has been found near a wooded area in Southbury.  State Police responded shortly before 7:30 this morning to the back of a building off Main Street South where they located the broken ATM.  Anyone who has information about the ATM is asked to call Troop A in Southbury at 203-267-2200.

 



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The project to create a community center at the former Pettibone School in New Milford will move forward after all.  Mayor David Gronbach had pulled the proposal before a public hearing on a permit for the conversion.  He now says the project will go ahead without a special permit.  He is looking to move the Youth Agency and Parks and Recreation offices into Pettibone because they've operated programs from there in the past.  He says the permit is no longer needed because the Board of Education has decided not to move their offices to Pettibone.  There was a disagreement over how to fund the move.



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There was a small rock slide on Route 107 in Georgetown yesterday,  The Redding Highway Department closed the for a short time while the debris was cleared.  About half of Route 107 was blocked by the rocks and dirt.

 

(Photo Courtesy: Redding Police)



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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York lawmakers are demanding to know how Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to close Indian Point nuclear plant without disrupting the power supply to Putnam County and elsewhere. 

 

At a hearing yesterday, Republican state Senator Terrence Murphy said the public deserves answers about how the state plans to replace the power lost when the facility 35 miles from the Brewster area shuts down in 2021.

 

State officials say energy efficiency, improved transmission lines and expanded renewable sources like wind and solar will make up the difference. They predicted ``negligible'' to no effect on utility bills.



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A former Connecticut man has been sentenced for robbing a Seymour bank.  55-year old Daniel Hamlett Sr was ordered to 5 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release.  Hamlett drove a stolen car to the Seymour bank in April 2013. 

 

He wore a mask, smashed the window of a nearby car and demanded money from the victim, at gun point.  Hamlett took the car keys and cell phone of the victim when he said he didn't have any money.  He then went into the bank, jumped the counter and forcibly took nearly $6,000.  He's been detained since his arrest. 

 

Hamlett drove off but then met his son, who helped him elude police.  Daniel Hamlett Jr has pleaded guilty and was sentenced.



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A judge has dismissed the assault charge against former Danbury Mayor Gene Eriquez.  He was set to appear in court yesterday on charges stemming from a May 2016 arrest for a domestic incident. The 64-year old had also been facing charges of disorderly conduct and interfering with an emergency call.  The judge at the time issued a residential stay away protective order, meaning Eriquez couldn't return home.

 

Eriquez is the current chairman of the Danbury Democratic Town Committee, though he stepped away from his leadership duties for a time after the arrest.  The charges were dismissed because he completed a family violence education program.

 

He served as Mayor from 1989 through 2001.



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The Bethel Board of Selectmen is set to present a budget to the Board of Finance tonight, with a 2.3 percent increase.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker called it a tight budget, and a work in progress.  There's a lot of uncertainty for municipalities this year because of the state threatening to reduce aid to schools by substantial amounts.  Knickerbocker says the state was pretty consistent for many years on road construction funding and school grants, but that's changed in the last 5 or 6 years.  Knickerbocker is also concerned about the state forcing municipalities to cover a state run program. He says that may violate the state constitution and prompt legal action.



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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Special election results show Connecticut's state Senate will continue to have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.

Three legislative seats, two in the Senate and one in the House, were up for grabs Tuesday after three incumbents resigned to seek other state jobs.

Despite a large influx of outside money, the 32nd Senatorial District will continue to be held by a Republican. Watertown State Rep. Eric Berthel defeated Democrat Gregory Cava and petitioning candidate Daniel Lynch. Democrats are taking credit for narrowing Berthel's margin of victory in the traditionally GOP district.

Meanwhile, Hartford Rep. Douglas McCrory defeated Republican Mike McDonald and two write-in candidates, keeping the 2nd Senatorial District seat Democratic.

In West Haven Dorinda Keenan Borer won the 115th Assembly District seat, keeping it Democratic.



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Two people were killed in a crash in the town of Washington yesterday afternoon.  State Police say a car sped passed a parked state police cruiser on Route 202, ran a red light and swerved to avoid another vehicle before crashing into a metal guard rail near Baldwin Hill Road.  The car went airborne, hit a tree and landed down an embankment on its roof.  The driver, 25-year old Eric Johnson of Terryville was pronounced dead at the scene.  One passenger, 25-year old Alexis Schiappa was pronounced dead at the hospital.  Two other passengers were treated for minor injuries at Danbury Hospital.



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5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty said the values President Trump talked about in his speech were at odds with the divisive policies he has pursued and the appointments he has made since taking office.  But Esty said she is ready to work together on areas of genuine shared interest like standing up to special interests, securing national defense, and expanding economic opportunity.  She says the President's words must be understood in the context of his actions in the last five weeks and will be judged by the actions he takes going forward.



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A proposal aimed at reducing frivolous complaints to the state Freedom of Information Commission received mixed reviews during a public hearing before a legislative committee.  Redding Representative Adam Dunsby has proposed a $125 fee for filing two or more complaints with the commission each year.  He says someone filing 10s or 100s of requests are not interested in records, but rather in harassing public officials. 

 

Dunsby, who also serves as Easton First Selectman, says there should be a complaint process that doesn't discourage people who have conviction that they have a legal issue.  Dunsby says one person has filed 135 complaints, not requests for information, over the last two years. 

 

The President of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information President agrees there is a problem that needs to be addressed, but believes the fine is too harsh.  He says the proposal would undermine free citizen access to the FOIC.

 

State FOIC executive Director Colleen Murphy opposes the proposal, saying it will discourage people who are filing legitimate complaints.  Murphy says there may be a more narrow approach that can be taken.



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The Bethel Planning and Zoning Commission is holding a public hearing tonight about the town installing a solar farm on Sympaug Road.  The solar array would take up about 3.5 acres of a 17 acre property, in an industrial zone. 

 

Bethel is working with a subsidiary of Ameresco, which would sell the power back to the town and First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker say that will lead to a small reduction in costs.  The 948-kilowatt solar array, if approved, is expected to begin producing energy in July.  The 2,916 panels could generate nearly 1 million kilowatts a year. 

 

It's been a long road to get to the point of a public hearing locally.  Knickerbocker says state law prohibited municipalities from partnering with a third party, but after lobbying efforts the law was changed.  Municipalities also lobbied the state to lift a cap on the number of solar arrays built in Connecticut, which was pushed for by power companies. 

 

The Bethel Planning and Zoning Commission amended town laws to allow solar farms in Industrial and Industrial Park zones.



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The Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation is out with a new report showing that the state's 2013 gun control laws have cost the industry about 3,000 jobs in Connecticut.  The annual economic impact report shows a decrease of approximately $50 million in taxes in the last three years.  The report shows an increase in both statistics elsewhere in the country.  Governor Malloy's spokesman says they are reviewing the report's data.



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A Danbury man is due in a New York court tonight on charges stemming from a traffic stop earlier this month.  21-year old Julio Paida-Morquecho was pulled over early on the 19th on Route 6 for not having a license plate on his car, and a forged temporary plate in the rear of the window.  Paida-Morquecho was determined to be intoxicated, and had a 16-year old passenger in the car.  He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, DWI and possession of a forged instrument. 

 

A Brookfield woman who has two prior convictions has been charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated.  New York State Police arrested 48-year old Stacey Bencivengo after she failed to maintain her lane of travel on Interstate 84 on Friday.  Her Blood Alcohol Content was nearly three times the legal limit.  She was charged with felony DWI because of the two related convictions from 2008 and 2010.  Bencivengo is due in court this afternoon.

 

A New York woman who had to be physically removed from the road during a traffic stop is due in court next month.  New York State Police say a driver, later determined to be 64-year old Debra Saraceno of Southeast, was operating erratically on Route 22 last Wedensday.  An investigation revealed that she was intoxicated.  While handcuffed, she refused to enter the patrol vehicle.  Saraceno was issued appearance tickets and a March 30th court date was set.

 

A Brookfield man who doesn't have a drivers license was arrested for driving while intoxicated, and was found in possession of a billy club.  New York State Police stopped 57-year old Robert Vosburgh on Friday for not having a lighted license plate.  An investigation revealed that he was intoxicated and unlawfully possessed a weapon.  He was charged with DWI and criminal possession of a weapon.  Vosburgh is due in Southeast Town Court on March 7th.



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Some New York lawmakers are demanding more information about plans to close Indian Point nuclear plant in Westchester County by 2021.

Today's legislative hearing will focus on the environmental and health implications of shuttering the facility, which sits along the lower Hudson River, 30 miles from Ridgefield.

While it is unlikely lawmakers could prevent Indian Point from closing, some have expressed worries about the state's ability to make up for the lost power. Putnam County currently sources a portion of its power from Indian Point’s nuclear generators.

 

County Executive MaryEllen Odell says union workers and their families will be particularly affected as they are employed by Entergy.



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State Police conducting speed enforcement operations on Interstate 84 in Danbury pulled over a vehicle clocked at 86 miles an hour.  The driver, 26-year old Danielle Keith of Maine, was found in possession of a large amount of pot-infused edible items. 

 

Keith's license was under suspension in Pennsylvania and she was issued an infraction for the traffic violations. 

 

State Police K9 Favor searched the vehicle and turned up THC lollipops, THC rock candy, THC cookies, THC WAX and 13 grams of actual marijuana.  Keith was charged with possession of a controlled substance. 

 

 

A passenger that claimed ownership of the narcotics was taken into custody and charged.  State Police did not immediately have an identity for that person.



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An informal gathering is being held tonight in Ridgefield about improving Main Street.  The state Department of Transportation plan is still under development.  Tonight's session is not a public hearing, rather a feedback session about improving traffic flow while keeping the look of Main Street similar to what it is now.  Initial plans call for turning lanes on Main Street, realigning the Prospect Street intersection, changing the timing of some traffic lights and possibly reducing parking spaces elsewhere.  The meeting at Ridgefield Town Hall is at 5:30pm.



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