Rich Minor in the Morning
Rich Minor in the Morning
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Rich Minor in the Morning

Local News Stories

Traffic delays expected in CityCenter Danbury due to Mayoral swearing in

Danbury Mayor-Elect Dean Esposito will take the oath of office tonight.  A prayer service at the First Congregational Church of Danbury for all Danbury elected officials and then a procession from City Hall concludes at the Palace Theater. 

The procession will leave from City Hall at the corner of Deer Hill Avenue and West Street and use the right lane, toward Main Street.  Police will be escorting the group across Main Street.  Drivers are asked to use caution in the area and expect some delays.  There will also be a brief closure of Main Street as the procession moves across toward the Palace Theater.  

The swearing in will begin at 6pm, with state Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Mark Boughton serving as the Master of Ceremonies. Probate Judge Dianne Yamin will swear Esposito into office, and Chief Legal Officer Robert Yamin will swear in all other elected officials. 

Danbury Trojans youth football team headed to the Nationals

The Danbury Trojans youth football team is headed to the Nationals. This is the first time in over 20 years that the 12U team has been eligible to compete in the Pop-Warner Football National Championship.  The undefeated team outscored opponents 320-56 and will face off against 7 of the best teams in the nation for the right to claim the title of national champs.  Mayor Joe Cavo helped secure a $2,500 grant for the team from the  Danbury Education Foundation.  21 athletes will be traveling to Florida to participate.  The Danbury Athletic Youth Organization has raised more than $17,000 toward their $45,000 GoFundMe goal with 161 donations. 

COVID-19 Booster shot clinics held in Danbury

The Connecticut Institute for Communities is offering COVID-19 booster shots of Pfizer and Moderna in Danbury. The Pfizer booster clinics are Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, Moderna on Tuesday and Thursdays at 132 Main Street.  The hours all week are 9:45am to 12:30pm and 2pm to 5pm. 

The Community Health Center of Danbury is holding walk in COVID-19 booster clinics, with all three brands available.  The doses will be administered by CHS staff at 118 Memorial Drive in the Patrick Waldron Building Tuesdays through Saturdays.  The hours Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are 2pm to 7pm, Wednesdays 11:30am to 2:30pm and Fridays noon to 6pm.

Local fire departments warn of fundraising scams

Some local volunteer fire departments are warning about a scam trend starting to spread in Connecticut.  A company called Trenddy Tee also goes by the name GearLaunch has been sending spam text messages with a link to a website that is selling shirts with area fire department logos or patches. Brookfield and Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Companies are warning that these scams are not affiliated with local fire department nor do they benefit them.

Lt. Gov. to tour Easton farms

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, state Department of Agriculture Commissioner Brian Hurlburt, Representative Anne Hughes and other local elected officials are touring different farms in Easton today. The tour is meant to showcase the state’s agricultural diversity, including small, women-operated businesses.  This comes on the heels of Small Business Saturday and the elected officials hope to highlight holiday shopping opportunities. There are over 5,500 farms spread across the state.  Connecticut’s agricultural industry contributes approximately $4 billion to the state’s economy each year.  First Selectman David Bindelglass will lead the state delegation on a tour of Shaggy Coos Farm, Silverman’s Farm, Maple Row Farm, and Easton Grows, LLC.

Ridgefield Police welcomes new officer

The Ridgefield Police Department has welcomed a new officer, Brian Kay of New York. He was sworn in yesterday at a ceremony held at police headquarters. Kay was one of the top scorers after passing a written test, physical assessment, police board interview, police commission oral board, background check, polygraph exam, psychological evaluation and medical exam. Kay will continue his formal training at the New Haven Police Academy starting tomorrow.

Conn. House, Senate districts redrawn using new Census data

The state House and Senate districts have been redrawn, but the bipartisan committee of eight legislative leaders and one former lawmaker needs more time on Congressional district boundaries.  Some changes were made at the state level to accommodate population growth in Fairfield County.  The Reapportionment Commission faces a deadline of today, but received U.S. Census data late due to the pandemic. 

The biggest change is that the Eastern Connecticut lost a district due to population shifts.  The 42nd House District was in the Ledyard area, but is now in Wilton.

A part of Newtown is no longer in the 112th House District, but northern Newtown is now part of the 107th with Brookfield.  All of Redding is now in the 135th District.  Most of New Milford remains in the 67th, but portions are in the 108th with New Fairfield and the 69th with Roxbury. 

Kent Representative Maria Horn says the 64th District gained the Town of Washington.  Goshen, which was divided in the 2011 redistricting, has been reunited into the 64th.  

When it comes to state Seante districts, the goal is to have between 95,000 and 105,000 residents.  Most of Bethel is now included in the 28th Senate district with Newtown, Easton and Fairfield.  That changed the 24th Senate District to include Danbury, southern New Fairifled and half of Ridgefield.  The Stony Hill section of Bethel and southern Brookfield have moved into the 32nd district, currently represented by Republican Eric Berthel of Watertown.  The 32nd moved south, losing portions of Warren and Washington to the 30th. 

In Litchfield County, the 30th Senate District, the largest geographically in the state, which borders New York and Massachusetts, grew to the east, and now includes all of Torrington. The district is represented by Republican Craig Miner.

Danbury Sgt dies of cancer at age 45

The Danbury Police Department is mourning one of their own.  Sgt David Cooney passed away Sunday night at the age of 45 after a long battle with cancer.  He was a 20-year veteran of the department.   His most recent assignment was supervisor of the Crime Scene Unit, administrator for the department’s records management system, and liaison to several external agencies.  Cooney was also past President of the police union.  Police said in a statement that he's been a member of the Police family since birth.  His father, Captain Dennis Cooney, served for 21 years before succumbing to a fatal heart attack while on duty in 1994.  The statement notes that Cooney was highly respected by those who knew him and will be remembered for his dedicated service to the department and the city, and for his great sense of humor.

Thefts from cars reported in New Fairfield, Wilton

More crimes of opportunity are being reported in New Fairfield and in Wilton.  The New Fairfield Resident State Trooper's Office says a car was broken into over the holiday weekend.  In Wilton, there's been a 31-percent year to year increase in thefts from vehicles.  68 victims have reported this type of incident.  Wilton Police say all sections of town have been targeted and noted that there are some proven methods to avoid lost of property.  That includes locking unoccupied cars, removing valuables and not leaving keys inside cars.  Police in each town ask residents to report any suspicious activity to the police immediately.

Bethel schedules more COVID-19 vaccine booster clinics as cases rise

Following several weeks of declining numbers, the rates of new COVID-19 infections and positive tests in Bethel are again on the rise with the arrival of colder weather and more indoor activities. The rate of new infections per 100,000 population stands at 9, and test positivity has climbed to 2.7 percent.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says both measures are about double from the previous report. At this time, about 70% of Bethel residents have started COVID vaccinations and 65% are fully vaccinated.

With the emergence of the new COVID Omicron variant, detected in parts of South Africa and Europe, Knickerbocker urged residents to continue to follow all safety protocols, such as masking and social distancing when in indoor public spaces.  Considering the expected increase in holiday season get-togethers, he also advised residents to get vaccinated. 

The Bethel Health Department has scheduled two additional Moderna booster clinics, today, November 30th and next Tuesday, December 7th.  The clinic hours are 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 7pm in the General Purpose Room at Bethel Town Hall. 

Walk-in are welcome, but anyone who would prefer an appointment, can scheduled in advance by calling the health department COVID information line at 203-794-8530. That number is staffed from 8am to noon Monday through Friday. All booster shots are free of charge.

Bear seriously injured in hit & run accident euthanized by state DEEP

A report Sunday morning from a motorist of what originally appeared to be an injured dog that was struck by a vehicle and lying in the area of Route 109 in New Milford turned out to be a bear.  Regional Animal Control says the call-taking officer contacted police, who noted that they received reports of an injured bear between Wellington and Chatfield Drive. 

When the animal control officer arrived, she found that the animal lying on the side of the road was in fact a yearling-sized black bear with serious, grave injuries.  The bear was bleeding from both its mouth and other areas of its body and was unable to lift its head and torso off the ground. 

State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officers responded an euthanized the animal to prevent further suffering.  The driver was not on scene. 

Regional Animal Control officials say because bears or any other injured large animal in or alongside roadways can present a traffic safety issue, it is best to immediately contact your local police department or Troop A to advise of the situation.

Brookfield firefighters offer reminder about fire lane rules

As more people are out and about doing holiday shopping, Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company is offering a friendly reminder about fire lanes in front of stores.  They're meant for fire and EMS vehicles during emergencies. Motorists are asked not to park there as it might impede their response and could end with a ticket.

Area fire departments quickly selling Christmas trees in fundraisers

Brewster Volunteer Fire Department has started their annual Christmas tree sales, with the trees arriving this weekend from Quebec.  They also have wreaths at  headquarters on North Main Street Monday trough Fridays 4pm to 8 and on weekends 10am to 8pm.  Sherman Volunteer Fire Department as of yesterday morning only had about half of their trees left.  The Balsam Firs come from Maine and firefighters can deliver within Sherman.

New Milford road races raises money for Harrybrooke Park, JDRF

New Milford State Representative Bill Buckee and other volunteers have hosted the Run Santa Run 5k.  The funds raised from the 11th annual road race benefit Harrybrooke Park, with a portion of the proceeds given to JDRF to help find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes. New Milford also held its annual tree lighting over the weekend with the New Milford Chamber of Commerce and the United Methodist Men’s Club.  This was their 55th year of putting up the trees on the Green.

Danbury starting a State-Mandated property Revaluation to update real estate assessments

The City of Danbury is starting a State-Mandated property Revaluation to update real estate assessments for the October 2022 Grand List.  The City has contracted with eQuality Valuation Services to assist the Assessor with the project. 

Mailers will be sent to all residential properties in December, which will list details such as style of house, room count, and special features.  

Danbury officials say the accuracy of the data is vital to the integrity and uniformity of the assessments and are offering residents different options for providing information for their property.  Residents can submit the data mailer online using the ID Code on the letter, complete the form and make any necessary changes--returning the form to eQuality directly or completing the form and returning it to the Assessor’s Office. 

City officials say the preferred method is online. 

In addition to verifying data, residents can update the photo associated with their property by emailing a picture of the front of the home, with no people or ads displayed, to  Name and address should be included. 

Dryer fire under investigating in Brookfield

A dryer fire is under investigating in Brookfield.  Firefighters were called to Arrowhead Road yesterday evening by an automatic fire alarm.  The homeowner called 911 to report a fire in the basement and arriving firefighters saw smoke coming from the eaves.  The flames were quickly extinguished, but there was heavy smoke condition through out the structure which required ventilation. The Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Company responded to the scene, Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company provided station coverage.  There were no injuries reported.




Ridgefield reports high price for sale as winter approaches

With the first dusting of snow over the weekend, some area towns are planning for the winter.  Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi says salt is coming in at a very high price this year due to limited supplies due to COVID. The Town budgeted for around $75 dollars but the price came in at $98. Before COVID, Ridgefield was conducting studies on salt use to possibly cut back on the amount.  Town officials say they have a good amount to start the season, but wanted to order immediately in case there are delays in getting it to Ridgefield.  The Board of Selectmen earmarked the difference from the town road aid account.

Conn. continuing work to find partner school districts for Danbury's Open Choice pilot

Danbury School officials continue to work on plans for dealing with overcrowding in the buildings as enrollment grows.  The state earlier this year approved a pilot program call Open Choices for the Danbury and Norwalk districts.  This would allow city students to attend classes in neighboring towns.  Superintendent Kevin Walston told the Board of Ed last week that the state is still working on some things as no neighboring districts have agreed to partner with the City yet.  The state budget includes funding in the next two fiscal years enabling 50 Danbury students to participate in the first year, though it is dependent on how many seats in neighboring towns would be available.

Data shows rise in COVID deaths in Connecticut nursing homes

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A dozen nursing home residents died from COVID-19 in Connecticut over a recent two week period, which is the largest number since mid-August, new data released Friday showed.

There were 125 positive cases of COVID-19 among residents between Nov. 10 and Nov. 23, with 12 deaths, according to state Department of Health data. Sixty-seven staff also tested positive during the same period. Five of those deaths occurred at Candlewood Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center in New Milford, which reported 36 positive cases among its 105 residents and eight positive cases among its staff.

A message was left seeking comment with the facility’s administrator.

The last time there were more than a dozen nursing deaths reported during a two-week period was between Aug. 18 and Aug. 31. At that time there were 16 deaths from COVID-19 among nursing home residents, 111 positive cases among residents and 94 cases among staff.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut has grown by 267.4, an increase of 70.8%, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health recently announced it had begun issuing civil penalties that totaled more $19 million to 101 long-term care facilities across the state for not complying with Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive order mandating staff be vaccinated. The affected facilities include nursing homes, assisted living services agencies, managed residential communities, residential care homes, chronic disease hospitals, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani called the facilities’ failure to report their vaccination compliance with Lamont’s order unacceptable.

“With the holidays and colder weather approaching, we expect cases of COVID-19 to rise in the community, which increases the chances that COVID-19 cases will rise in long-term care settings,” she said in a statement.

Representatives from the industry, however, have questioned the state’s figures, saying more analysis is needed to determine the extent of noncompliance. They predicted there will be high levels of staff vaccination when the final numbers are tallied.





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