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

Local News Stories

Local juvenile identified as being behind New Milford High School social media threat

A threat on Instagram linked to New Milford High School prompted a police presence at the school this week.  School administrators reported the incident to police on Monday.  The social media post showed armed soldiers sitting on the ground, with a caption stating ‘12-1-21...’”

Police Chief Spencer Cerruto and Superintendent Alisha DiCorpo followed up to ensure adequate police coverage at all schools and to address that additional safety measures were in place as the investigation was continued. 

The New Milford Police Department has confirmed that there is no viable threat of harm to New Milford High School students or staff.  The investigation led police to a local juvenile and say appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.


Deeper drawdown planned for Candlewood to eradicate Zebra Mussels

FirstLight Power is modifying the winter drawdown level of Candlewood Lake.  The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Candlewood Lake Authority have agreed that an intermediate winter drawdown of between 5 feet and 7 feet supports the ongoing weed management, and includes an additional benefit of further management of the Zebra Mussel population seen in the lake. The shallow 4 foot to 6 foot drawdown will instead go to a deeper elevation in response to identification of adult zebra mussels in the entire main stem of the Housatonic River and the Rocky River Impound at self sustaining populations, and at depths in Candlewood Lake outside the drawdown lowest limits.  First Light began monitoring for Zebra Mussels in 2011.  A fall survey done in mid-October identified two adult Zebra Mussels on the powerhouse concrete and 10 adults on the adjacent rocks.


Danbury Mayor takes oath of office

Danbury will officially have a new Mayor as of noon today.  Republican Dean Esposito took the oath of office last night. Swearing in ceremonies included a procession from City hall to the Palace Theater.  That part of the event featured a Pipes and Drum band, Danbury police color guard and fire trucks. 

Esposito, who narrowly won the election, spoke about bipartisanship--noting that the City is going to face some crucial issues over the next two years including a continued influx of school children, COVID cases and economic recovery from the pandemic. 

This was the first inaugural event in 20 years.  Former Mayor Mark Boughton, who served since 2011, until leaving for a state job last year, was the Master of Ceremonies last night.  Outgoing Mayor Joe Cavo was among the City Council members who also took the oath of office as he was elected to an at-large position last month.  Esposito served as Chief of staff to both Boughton and Cavo.   Roger Palanzo, who has been the city’s economic development director, will become the new mayor’s chief of staff.  

Members of the Zoning Commission, Board of Education and others were also sworn in.


New Milford Municipal Swearing-In Ceremony tonight

The New Milford Municipal Swearing-In Ceremony takes place tonight.  The inauguration will be held at 5:30pm for all elected officials to take the oath of office. The event will be MC'd by State Representative Billy Buckbee.  The swearing-in will be conducted by Probate Court Judge Martin Landgrebe. The ceremonies will also include an inaugural address by Mayor Pete Bass.  Residents are invited to attend the ceremony in the E. Paul Martin room, with refreshments available afterward. The event will also be simulcast to The Town's Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCU6x8tuVFw.


Ridgefield man sentenced for shooting at teens trying to steal his car

A sentence has been handed down to a Ridgefield homeowner who shot at a group of teens while they tried to steal an SUV from his driveway in 2017.  On Monday, Mauro Tropeano was given a suspended sentence of 364 days with three years probation.  He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of assault for the shooting.  A Waterbury girl was injured when a bullet passed through the rear of the car and into her back.  Tropeano's sentence was the same for two counts possession of a controlled substance.  A search of his home after the shooting reportedly turned up a large numbers of pills, including steroids, seven pounds of cannabis and $26,000.


New Milford reports 41 COVID-19 cases over three days

New Milford like other parts of the state and country is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases.  Mayor Pete Bass reported  41 new cases between Friday and Monday.  That's the same amount that New Milford experienced during the two previous weeks combined.  7 new cases were reported yesterday alone.  There were about 20 cases around the Thanksgiving holiday last week.  New Milford Health officials say this was not unexpected as the town saw a spike last winter with holiday ghet togethers and colder weather sending more people indoors.   Connecticut's COVID-19 positivity rate yesterday was nearly 6 percent, the highest single day case rate in several months.  According the state Department of Public Health, the last time the positivity rate was above 6 percent was January 24th. 


Brookfield hosts COVID-19 vaccine, booster clinics

The Brookfield Health Department is continuing to hold COVID-19 vaccine and booster clinics, offering Moderna and J&J.  Shots are administered every Tuesday from 10am to 1pm and Thursdays from 3pm to 6.  Brookfield Health officials say the new variant, Omicron, appears to be similar to Delta and is more contagious but not necessarily more severe.  Brookfield health officials expect that this variant will soon be in the U.S.  They urged residents to become fully vaccinated and those who require booster doses, to receive them as soon as possible.


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.


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