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The Danbury Democratic Town Committee is hosting the first in a series of outreach initiatives this weekend.  The Community of Compassion forum tomorrow is being hosted by the group's Social Justice Task Force.  It's aimed at engaging with residents and discuss issues that impact Danbury neighborhoods. 

 

The forum tomorrow from 10am to noon is at Danbury Democratic Headquarters on Main Street. 

 

Rather than speculate on what the relevant issues are, DDTC officials say they are reaching out to local activists groups to expand the conversation.  They've been in touch with the Danbury Area Justice Network, CT Students for a Dream, and Act Together CT-Northern Fairfield County. 

 

A community survey will be launched at the "Community of Compassion Forum" Saturday. The Social Justice Task Force will use the results to compile a proactive, working list of issues that the Democratic Party will address this year.



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New Fairfield state Representative Richard Smith says the Republican alternative budget proposal checks all of the boxes for addressing the root cause of Connecticut's fiscal catastrophe.  He says the plan maintains the property tax credit and restores critical municipal aid for cities and towns.

 

Danbury Senator Mike McLachlan called it a blueprint for navigating Connecticut out of the cycle of deficits, job losses, and population decline.  He says the legislature must restore confidence in the state’s ability to govern responsibly and that means producing a budget where Connecticut lives within its means.

 

Newtown state Representative Mitch Bolinsky touted the plan as being transparent, without the trick of moving liabilities off the balance sheet.  He called for streamlining state government and making hard decisions about wasteful or wastefully run programs.  Bolinsky notes that the budget proposal preserves Newtown's 2018 educational cost grants and increases them by about $500,000 in 2019, before entering a ten-year transition into a functional ECS formula in 2020.  Sharing in the cost of state-negotiated teachers' pensions, is off the table under the plan as well.

 

Danbury Representative Michael Ferguson says the plan spares already financially strained and overtaxed groups by not relying on toll revenue or taxing hospitals.  He says the plan would restore confidence in Connecticut at a time when the state finds itself in a historically dismal fiscal crisis.

 

Brookfield Representative Stephen Harding called it a positive first step.  He says the state must mitigate the $1.7 billion deficit without raising taxes on an already overburdened population and provide the proper funding to local schools.

 

Monroe state Representative JP Sredzinski says the Republican alternative budget proposal maintains most, if not all, municipal funding and does not raise taxes.  He added that Connecticut's fiscal crisis requires immediate action and severe, long-term structural changes to the budget.  Sredzinski says for too long there has been too much spending, and has been coupled with the two largest tax increases in state history.



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The annual March for Babies March of Dimes event is being held this weekend in Danbury.  Sunday's event raises money to fight prematurity and birth defects.  NICU nursery graduates and their families will be celebrated with special moments during the event.  A new March for Babies Memory Garden will be open for the first time to participants.  Those who have experienced the loss of a baby can remember them by planting a memorial butterfly sign.  Registration for the March for Babies at Tarrywile Park Sunday starts at 9:30am.



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Two more stolen cars and a rash of overnight thefts from unlocked motor vehicles have been reported in Monroe in the last five days. 

 

Police are reminding residents to make sure cars are locked at night, even when parked in driveways. 

 

The crimes are happening at random all over town and throughout Fairfield County.  Patrol officers are out on the streets as a deterrent while detectives are working with those in other towns experiencing the same problem. 

 

If anyone sees suspicious activity overnight or discovers a vehicle missing or entered, contact the Monroe Police Department immediately at 203-261-3622.



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Due to construction at Danbury High School, all Danbury Public Schools will start after Labor Day for the 2017-2018 school year. 

 

Tuesday September 5th will be a full school day.  The plan is to return to a start date in late August the following school year.  Superintendent Dr. Sal Pascarella says construction at DHS is on schedule, but they want the an extra week to assure that the building is ready to accommodate students. 

 

The entire school year calendar has been adjusted so that the school year is not unnecessarily extended to make up for the late start.  A half day of school is scheduled for Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving break.  A full day has also been added on Tuesday, February 20th, following President’s Day.

 

The tentative last day of school for students will be June 15, 2018.  The new start date will not affect the Early Release days for Professional Development that were built into last year’s calendar.



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A Monroe man has pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of crack cocaine.  The U-S Attorney's office say 28-year old Dwight Jarvis waived his right to indictment yesterday.  Last October, the DEA's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force searched his Monroe home.  29 grams of cocaine, 25 grams of crack cocaine, 70 dose bags of heroin and other items used to process and package narcotics for street sale were found.  Jarvis was arrested in December and released on bond.  Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.



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A New Fairfield school nurse has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence with minors in the vehicle.  The Putnam County Sheriff's Office reports that 45-year old Sandra Diehl was charged with DWI and for violating Leandra's Law, which makes it a felony count because of the teen passengers.  Diehl was stopped last Friday afternoon after the Sheriff's Department received a call about a suspicious vehicle stopped along Route 22 in Patterson.  The three teens were turned over to other adults for a ride home.  Diehl is reportedly a nurse at Meeting House Hill School.



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A New Milford man and a New York woman have been arrested on drug related charges after a routine traffic stop.  New York State Police pulled over a vehicle Wednesday for not having tail lamps.  The driver, 28-year old Brigham Young, and his passenger, 30-year old Bobbi Peltier of Wingdale, were found in possession of cocaine.  They were arraigned and ordered held on bail.  The pair are due in court May 8th.

 

  



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Procedures were open to employee fraud and abuse when it comes to in-house fueling operations for Department of Transportation vehicles, according to a new report by state auditors.  Wilton Senator Toni Boucher, co-chair of the Transportation Committee, says the findings are cause for concern.

 

The report found that there were insufficient policies for lost fuel cards, missing items from inventories, federal funds not spent in a timely fashion, late billing and missed paperwork.

 

Boucher says the state credit card should be identified to the vehicle the employee is driving so it can be audited properly.

 

Given the state's fiscal condition, Boucher says it's critical that every dollar spent on fuel be accounted for.  She added that it's important procedures be followed.  Boucher says it's good that the auditors found this out, and now it's time for the DOT management to take corrective action.



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WALLINGFORD, Conn. (AP) - Police in Connecticut say former faculty and staff members accused of sexual misconduct at the prestigious Choate Rosemary Hall boarding school can't be charged criminally because of the statute of limitations.

Choate provided a report from outside investigators this month naming a dozen educators accused of sexual misconduct while at the Wallingford school.

 

One of the teachers identified in the report was Jamie Rivera-Murillo, who denies the allegations.  Even though Choate did not provide a reference or recommendation letter, he went on to teach at Henry Abbott Tech, Newtown High School and, until this month, a regional High School in Litchfield. 

The Meriden Record-Journal reports Wallingford Police Chief William Wright says the statute of limitations for each case expired.

The report includes allegations from 24 former students of misconduct from 1963 to 2010.

Wright says two more Choate graduates accused two faculty members not named in the report of sexual assault this week, but the statute of limitations has also expired.



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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is being held Saturday.  It aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating people about the potential for abuse of medications.

 

Potentially dangerous, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications will be collected at several police stations and other locations in the Greater Danbury area.  At the end of the event, the medication will be destroyed.

 

Danbury Police spokesman Lt Christian Carroccio says prescription drugs that languish in medicine cabinets create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.  He added that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the family medicine cabinet.

 

The take back day collection is from 10am to 2pm tomorrow.



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The Danbury School District has sent a letter home to parents to recommend that they not let their kids watch a new Netflix series, or to discuss the themes if the kids watch the show.  The show, titled 13 Reasons Why, is based on a book about a teenager who commits suicide.  The book and series also depicts the difficult and sensitive topics of bullying, rape and drunk driving. 

 

Superintendent Dr Sal Pascarella says if students are watching the series, he asks that parents engage in thoughtful conversation with their kids about the show and the consequences of certain choices. 

 

He ended his letter saying that school social workers, psychologists and counselors are available to speak with parents and children about these issues.



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State Police have identified the man who was killed in a single car crash in New Fairfield on Sunday.  Police say 42-year old Ulysses Nunez of Manhattan was pronounced dead at the scene.  Nunez was headed south on Route 39, lost control and crashed into a utility pole by Ball Pond.  His passenger, 45-year old Victor Declet of Rochester New York, was transported to the hospital with serious injury.  The crash happened shortly before 1am Sunday, and closed the road until 4pm.



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Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi hasn't ruled out a run for governor next year.  The Democrat appeared on the  HAN Network’s CT Pulse politics show and was asked about running for the state's top spot.  Marconi filed an exploratory committee in 2010 for gubernatorial bid,  He says some people have asked him to run next year and he's thinking about it, but he's not sure.



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The Brookfield Board of Education is holding a special meeting tonight to talk about budget cuts.  The Board of Finance tasked the panel with trimming $271,000 from their proposal for the coming fiscal year.  Once that's done, the school budget will be $40.8 million.  Tonight's meeting is at 7pm in the Brookfield High School Media Center.



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Spring Street residents concerns about illegal drug sales in their Danbury neighborhood have landed a 22-year old under arrest.  Based on surveillance of Xavier Bishop over the last several weeks, investigators determined that he was selling crack cocaine. 

 

Bishop was spotted by Danbury Police leaving his Spring Street home yesterday afternoon, and had a 1-year old with him.  He was followed to Pleasant Street and seen making a hand-to-hand drug transaction. 

 

A substantial amount of crack cocaine, marijuana, money and drug paraphernalia was seized. 

 

The state Department of Children and Families temporarily removed Bishop's daughter and another child from the care of their parents.  Bishop was held on bond for arraignment.

 

Bishop was charged with risk of injury to a child, operating without a license, possession of drug paraphernalia, sale of narcotics, sale within 1,500 feet of a school, possession of a controlled substance and of narcotics, possession of a controlled substance and of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a school  possession of a controlled substance and of narcotics with intent to sell and possession of a controlled substance and of narcotics with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school.



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New Milford Police have received a spike in cases of telephone fraud.  Police say residents in some of the cases lost thousands of dollars.  A caller has been contacting residents and identifying themselves as a public defender in an out-of-state venue. 

 

The caller advises the victim that their relative is in need of bail or money for legal services.  New Milford Police say the caller also tells their victim not to contact the relative because they would be embarrassed.  The scammer asks for a gift card or wire transfer. 

 

New Milford Police have several open investigations of these types of fraud.  They are working with out-of-state police departments and the U.S. Attorneys' Offices to seek prosecution where possible.  



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A Connecticut man has been charged for distributing drugs that led to the overdose death of a Monroe man.  33-year old Careem Bentley, also known as C-Lows, was arrested yesterday as part of an ongoing statewide initiative targeting narcotics dealers who distribute heroin, fentanyl or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users. 

 

According to court documents, Monroe Police responded to a report of an unresponsive male last November.  The 37-year old was pronounced dead. 

 

An investigation determined that the victim bought heroin from Bentley.



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A Waterbury man is facing a number of charges after he crashed his car in Bethel while fleeing from Danbury Police.  Danbury officers responded to a Mountain Road home Monday night on a report of a domestic disturbance, but one party already left. 

 

Police saw the suspect, later identified as 36-year old Jemar King, drive past them.  Danbury Police stopped pursuit at the Bethel line.

 

King crashed along a sharp curve of Reservoir Street.  He ran from the crash, but turned himself in Tuesday.  King was charged by Danbury Police with burglary, disorderly conduct, stalking, disobeying the signal of an officer and improper passing. 

 

Bethel Police are investigating the crash. 

 

A resident of the property where the crash happened said in a Facebook video that there have been at least six crashes since Christmas.  In this incident, King hit a tree stump, mailbox and a tree.



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The Brookfield Board of Selectmen has authorized town officials to apply for a 2017 Candlewood Lake Authority grant request through FirstLight Powers Resources.  Brookfield is seeking $2,40 for the continuation of the boat decontamination program.

 

The program is aimed at controlling invasive species in Candlewood Lake.

 

The boat inspection and decontamination program is a voluntary initiative.  It runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  The grant will pay to staff the trailer on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  First Selectman Steve Dunn says Khols has already given permission to use their parking lot for the program.

 

To pass the inspection, boats need to be clean, drained and dry.  Boats can be decontaminated for free using a machine if they don't meet that standard.  It takes about 20 minutes to decontaminate a boat and several minutes to complete the inspection.

 

The state Department of Energy says this program was the first of its kind in Connecticut.  



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