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Danbury officials want to purchase the Octagon House on Spring Street and turn it into a multi-use building.  Mayor Mark Boughton is asking  the City Council for authority to begin negotiations with the bank that holds the title to the house.  It is located on 21 Spring Street.

 

The plan calls for locating the Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team there, and having a police substation based at the house.  Boughton is also proposing to use the backyard as a community garden.

 

The eight-sided house is on the National Register of Historic Places.  The effort would preserve one of five like it left in the country.  It was built in 1852 by John Earle, an innovator in the hatting industry and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.  The house was converted to apartments, but abandoned by its owner in 2008. 

 

Boughton says this would promote and provide stability to the neighborhood in response to resident's complaints and concerns.  The vacant and decaying house has attracted vandalism, squatting and general blight.  The area has become a magnet for drug dealers and prostitutes. 

 

Boughton says the building needs $200,000 to $300,000 worth of work because it's fallen into disrepair.  The yard also needs some upkeep, and the parking would have to be reconfigured. 

 

The listing price is about $195,000, but Boughton says that's above what the property value is worth given the condition the house is in.  Boughton says he would like to reach a deal through negotiations, but is not ruling out eminent domain and then paying fair market value to the bank.

 

There are more officers on the streets now that the City has civilian dispatching, and more officers are coming out of the academy.  He says the bike patrol and other related officers would likely operate out of the substation. 

 

He's hoping to convert the upstairs into a community room or meeting room that residents could use if they needed an area to accommodate about 45 people. 

 

The community garden would be monitored by a non-profit.  A small office would be located in the house for those who manage the plots that people can use to grow vegetables.

 

In 2011, Boughton organized a Spring Street Improvement initiative to enhance the safety and security of the neighborhood.  As part of the initiative, Spring Street has received repaved sidewalks, troublesome trees were removed, water drainage improved and street lighting enhanced.

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Newtown residents have approved several items during a Town Meeting held last night.  $1 million in bonding was approved for road improvements and resurfacing projects, beyond what was included in the budget. 

 

$3.6 million was also approved to renovate the Newtown High School auditorium.  The project calls for making it handicap accessible, up to code and adding state of the art features.  Some of the project would be reimbursed by state funding.  It's not slated to begin until early next year. 

 

The road bond passed unanimously by those in attendance at the Town Meeting.  There was one vote in opposition to the High School project.

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Danbury Library closed early Tuesday due to a power outage in downtown Danbury this afternoon.  Eversource Energy says about 550 customers were left without electricity in the Main and New Streets area for little more than an hour.  Eversource spokesman Mitch Gross says a bird flew into equipment, knocking it offline.

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A Brookfield man sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash on Route 7 in New Milford Monday afternoon.  Police say an officer who was attending to a motor vehicle stop saw a motorcycle driving recklessly between the lanes at a high rate of speed. 

 

The driver and motorcycle were found crashed by Candlewood Lake Road a short time later.  Police say 21-year old Cody Bennett of Brookfield hit the back of a vehicle driven by an 80-year old Roxbury man, lost control and slid up to 75 feet across the ground before coming to a stop. 

 

Charges are pending.  Bennett was treated and released from Danbury Hospital.

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A Danbury woman was seriously injured in a crash on Padanaram Road late Saturday night.  Danbury Police responded to the area shortly before midnight and found that the driver lost control of his car and hit a tree. 

 

Police say 25-year old Frederick Jones of New Fairfield and his passenger, 22-year old Amanda Bongiorno of Danbury had to be extricated from the vehicle by the Danbury Fire Department.  The accident remains under investigation. 

 

Jones was treated at Danbury Hospital.  Bongiorno was transported to Yale New Haven Hospital for further treatment of her injuries.

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NORTH STONINGTON, Conn. (AP) The chairman of the Eastern Pequot Tribe says ``dirty politics'' are to blame for a federal rule preventing his tribe and two others from reapplying for recognition.

Dennis Jenkins tells The Day that ``backroom dealings'' in Washington made sure Connecticut tribes denied recognition in the past would not get an opportunity to reapply for recognition allowing them to seek federal assistance and pursue casino development.

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs last month dropped a provision allowing three state-recognized tribes in Connecticut the Eastern Pequots, Schaghticokes and Golden Hill Paugussetts to reapply for recognition.

The Eastern Pequos won recognition in 2002. It was withdrawn three years later after the state and Ledyard, North Stonington and Preston objected.

Jenkins has said he doesn't believe the tribe should pursue a casino.

 

The leader of the Kent-based Schaghticoke Tribal Nation said the new rules fall short of the promise to provide a transparent, timely, and consistent process for recognition.  Chief Richard Velky says they will not be deterred by the grave omissions and errors in the Final Regulations.

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A Danbury man who told a bouncer at a Mill Plain Road establishment that he had just done drugs, later engaged police in a standoff at his home. 

 

29-year old Robert Tyrell was arrested for criminal trespass after refusing to leave Molly Darcy's Irish Pub shortly before closing time on Saturday morning.  The bouncer told responding officers that the man said he injected himself with drugs. 

 

Tyrell allegedly refused to leave when the bouncer tried to escort him out.  The man's brother said Tyrell became aggressive when he tried to take the 29-year old home, yelling at other patrons. 

 

Tyrell was also charged with breach of peace and released on bond.

 

Police were called to Tyrell's Danbury address shortly before midnight Saturday and found a man pacing back and forth in the driveway with what looked like a gun. 

 

The man's mother told responding officers that her son wanted police to shoot him, and that he wanted to hurt himself.  Tyrell allegedly refused to obey officers' requests to put the gun down, instead pointing it at them and his own head.  Police spokesman Lt. Christian Carroccio says Tyrell could be heard repeatedly stating that he would shoot himself as well as police.

 

It was later determined to be a fake gun. 

 

Tyrell was transported to the hospital for evaluation. 

 

He was charged with breach of peace and reckless endangerment.  Tyrell is being held on $2,500 bond.  He is due in Danbury Superior Court on July 27th.

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A proposal from Verizon to construct a cell tower at the Bethel-Danbury town line was sent to the state today.  An application has been submitted to the Connecticut Siting Council by Cellco Partnership, Verizon Wireless. 

 

The Application calls for the installation of a wireless telecommunications tower on a 14 acre lot at 15 Great Pasture Road in Danbury. The application says that a 120-foot monopole tower would be constructed in the westerly portion of this parcel.  A new 12-foot by 26-foot shelter near the base of the tower would house its radio equipment and a natural gas-fueled back-up generator. 

 

Access to the facility will be from Great Pasture Road.

 

On the day of the Siting Council public hearing on this proposal, Verizon will fly a balloon at the height of the proposed tower. 

 

Danbury and Bethel residents of can review the Application starting today at the Danbury Town Clerk and Bethel Town Clerk offices or the Connecticut Siting Council office in New Britain.

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A Special Town meeting is being held in Bethel Wednesday night at 7pm at the Municipal Center about a couple of issues. 

 

Bethel residents are being called on to take action on a $100,000 grant for Downtown Transit Oriented Development/Revitalization Planning, which was approved by the state in December.  The town will be contributing $150,000 to the project from the Bethel Affordable Housing Trust Fund.  A grant proposal was made to the state last November.

 

The town will focus on four types of analysis: transportation planning, sewer capacity examinations, environmental analysis, and economic/market analysis.  The information will then be used to generate a report guiding future planning efforts in the Bethel Train Station area. 

 

The other item on the agenda is to approve $442,000 in additional funding to construct the so-called Eureka Water Storage Tank on Long Ridge Road in Danbury.  The money would be bonded, and reduced by any grants the town could obtain.

 

Residents approved the construction during a December referendum on the initial $2.4 million project.  At that time officials said the health and fire safety project would ultimately be paid through state grants, loans and water-rate increases for 10,000 users over several decades.

 

There was a six year stalemate between Bethel and Danbury on the issue.

 

The State Health Department  said there is a water shortage in the Bethel downtown district, leading to a six year stalemate between the town and Danbury.  The City's Planning Commission time and again denied the request saying the Long Ridge Road area is designated as scenic.  An out-of-court settlement was reached between Bethel and Danbury.

 

When the stalemate was nearing an end, Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said no new industrial development could take place in Clarke Business Park because of the storage issue.  He called it a fragile system, sensitive to any kind of disruption, with any kind of pressure change causing rust to dislodge.

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There is a vacancy on the Danbury City Council.  Marina Loyola, one of two representatives of the 7th Ward, has resigned.  Loyola has been dealing with health issues for several months and felt unable to dedicate as much time to the City Council as she wanted to. 

 

The Danbury Republican Town Committee has voted unanimously to recommend Nancy Cammisa to fill the vacancy.  RTC Chairman Michael Safranek says the nomination is being considered tonight by the City Council. 

 

Nancy is an Accounting Assistant at PlusMedia, active with Danbury Youth Wrestling and an active member of the Danbury community.

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A New Fairfield man is due in court next week on a drunk driving charge stemming from a weekend accident.  New Milford police responded to The River Bistro on Kent Road early Saturday morning and found that a driver crashed into a sign in the parking lot.  Police say 24-year old Benjamin Howell was driving northbound when his car left the roadway, went into the parking lot and into a sign.  He failed a field sobriety test and was charged with DUI and making a restricted turn.  He was released on bond for a court appearance next Monday.

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Police in Washington D.C. have made an arrest in the fatal stabbing of a 24-year old man who interned for 4th District Congressman Jim Himes several years ago.  Kevin Sutherland was riding a Metro train Saturday afternoon when he was stabbed. 

 

Police have issued an arrest warrant for Jasper Spires for 1st degree murder while armed, and say that that man has been taken into custody. 

 

Sutherland was a graduate of American University.  He served as an intern for Himes from 2008 through 2010.  Himes tweeted that he was heartbroken by the tragic loss, calling him selfless and decent.

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A Connecticut man is facing charges in New Milford with charges pending against him by New York State Police.  New Milford Police were called by Troopers who were pursuing a driver who was speeding.  At the intersection of Route 55 and Route 7 late Saturday night, the car crash with a guard rail and continued on Route 7 hitting a utility pole. 

 

23-year old William Lester of Rocky Hill and the New York State Trooper were trapped in their cars by live utility wires.  Eversource Energy, and two area volunteer fire departments responded to the scene. 

 

New York State Police say Lester was transported to Danbury Hospital as a precaution. 

 

He was charged by New Milford Police for evading responsibility and released on a written promise to appear in court on the 17th.  Charges are pending in New York.

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CORNWALL, Conn. (AP) Officials say a New Milford man has died after a canoe capsized in a Connecticut river.

Crews were dispatched to the Housatonic River in Cornwall Sunday for what was initially a missing person report.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the search turned into a boating accident investigation when officials learned that a canoe capsized with three people on board.

Two people made it to safety and the body of Antonavas Morris was later found. He was 47.

It is not yet known what caused the canoe to capsize.

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A Pilot Program taught 20 parents about community services, supports, and events and how to share that information with other parents in their neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces  The six week program, run by Danbury’s Promise for Children Partnership included information about how to best share information with other parents about services to help families raise healthy children and support their learning.

 

The Community Messengers program is based on the premise that most parents learn about community resources by talking with other parents they know and trust.  The Partnership hopes that participants will spread the word and refer parents to the services they need.  While the six formal weeks of training has ended, the Community Messengers will continue to meet on a monthly basis to keep up to date on resources and opportunities for families.

 

Each weekly session covered a particular topic including: how to find childcare, how to access health and behavioral health services, finding recreational activities, services for special needs children, and how to find financial resources. Each session featured speakers from various agencies and programs in the City.

 

This summer, the Community Messengers will be manning tables at family-oriented events sponsored by the Danbury Library, as well as at the Danbury Downtown Farmer’s Market and other venues frequented by parents. They will be distributing information about the Summer Meals program, the free Imagination Library book program, the Help Me Grow program, and other programs that support families with young children.

 

If funding is available, another six week session will be conducted next year for a new group of parents.

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Governor Dannel Malloy has signed a bill into effect that would require each hospital in the state to include training in the symptoms of dementia as part of regularly provided training to staff members.  He signed the bill Wednesday.  During the legislative session, New Milford Representative Cecilia Buck-Taylor questioned whether there have been complaints that hospitals are not properly training workers in aspects of dementia.

 

Neither state law nor regulation specifies general training requirements. 

 

Buck-Taylor said there is no doubt there is a need for dementia care and there will be more of a need as the population ages.  But she says the language of the bill was vague.

 

The training must start effective October 1st.  In practice, hospitals must comply with clinical training requirements set by certain regulatory and accrediting agencies.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Aging and broken public works have again plagued the Metro-North Railroad in Connecticut.

The Devon Movable Bridge, built in 1904, carries trains on the New Haven line, Waterbury branch, Amtrak and Shore Line East. It got stuck in the open position Wednesday, forcing officials to use another span, slowing commutes into and out of Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

The state is targeting for replacement four moveable bridges on the New Haven line. They include the Devon bridge and a Norwalk span stuck in the open position twice last year.  The Walk Bridge was built in 1896.

A Greenwich bridge over the Mianus River and Saga Bridge over the Saugatuck River also are eyed for replacement.

A state transportation spokesman says more track repairs are required before trains can cross Devon bridge next week.

 

Costs related to the Walk Bridge are about $400 million, while costs to replace the other bridges have not been detailed. Replacement work is not expected for several years.  The state budget approved by the legislature will include a $2.8 billion increase for infrastructure over the next five years, including $1.77 billion for rail, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.

 

The failure of the Walk and Devon bridges is a "wake up call" to state transportation officials, said state Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton.

 

Her constituents are "ballistic," she said. "They have suffered for so long."

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A Danbury man who assaulted a State Police Trooper and fled a traffic stop on Interstate 84 this morning has been arrested after a nearly six hour search. 

 

A Trooper was investigating a man passed out behind the wheel of a car at the Exit 1 commuter lot.  The man, later determined to be 38-year old Marc D. Debenigno, had narcotics and drug paraphernalia on the passenger seat beside him. 

 

State Police spokeswoman Trooper Kelly Grant says a Trooper was attempting to arrest the suspect around 9:30am, but the Danbury man resisted.  The Trooper used his Taser, but missed.  Debenigno then fled in his vehicle. 

 

Debenigno crossed into New York State.  Troopers there became involved in the chase.  He then got back on I-84 eastbound, exiting onto Route 7 at 90 miles an hour.  

 

The suspect crashed into a guardrail, and fled on foot.  Scanner reports described the man as having handcuffs on at the time.  He eventually jumped into a nearby swamp.

 

State Police received assistance from Connecticut State Police K9 teams, a Dive Team, a Bloodhound team, and Trooper One-helicopter.  Danbury Police Department, Ridgefield Police Department, and Redding Police Department also assisted.  The Danbury Fire Department responded with a Zodiac boat.

 

Shortly after 3pm, Debenigno was located in the swamp and taken into custody.  He was transported to Danbury Hospital for evaluation.

 

Debenigno was charged with Possession of Narcotics, Assault on a Police Officer, Escape from Custody, Engaging in Pursuit, Reckless Driving, and Reckless Endangerment.  He is due in court on Monday.

 

There were no Trooper or civilian injuries.

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A bill about animal-assisted therapy services is awaiting Governor Malloy's signature.  The bill makes several changes to current law, including to add animal assisted activities to therapy.  It also expands therapy teams beyond dogs. 

 

Newtown state Representative Mitch Bolinsky says the more government does, the less it does well. 

 

The bill requires these teams get credentials from the state.  It does not specify how DCF will credential the organizations and providers.  Bolinsky fears this will be turned into a money making operation.  He's concerned that many of the care teams are run by volunteers, and would be charged, slowing their response.

 

Bolinsky says having a state agency run this type of program, rather than letting it work as a community response seems like it would create more red tape and delays.

 

Bolinsky asked during debate if there were specific, documented complaints from those who rushed to comfort Sandy Hook residents after 12-14.  He was told there were problems with everyone who wanted to help, being able to participate in giving assistance.  The backer of the bill also said that some people said they would have liked if more Connecticut-based animals were available so there wasn't a gap when those animals had to go back to the states that they came from. 

 

Part of the bill requires the Department of Children and Families Commissioner to identify and mobilize animal-assisted critical incident response teams statewide.  He asked during debate who and how the teams would be identified and screened.  A national organization, Pet Partners, would oversee the program and the teams themselves would be responsible for any certification fees. 

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A terrible tax increase, and an uncertain financial future.  That's how a local lawmaker summed up the state's new two-year budget.  On the day of the Special Session, Danbury Senator Mike McLachlan expressed frustration about budget talks being one-sided.  McLachlan was critical of the increased spending.  He says Connecticut needs to start living within its means.

 

The final deficit figure will be determined later this year, after the state's finances are audited.  Estimates are there's a $115 million deficit.  Any red ink will be covered by the state's Budget Reserve Fund.  The so-called Rainy Day Fund has an estimated $519 million saved up.

 

McLachlan, commercial real estate by trade, says he he got a lot of questions from constituents this session about why the General Assembly is not listening.

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Trailer for "Boulevard"...Robin Williams' final on-screen performance.

 

 

Prince George kisses sister Princess Charlotte at her christening.

(Photo courtesy Duchess of Cambridge)

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