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Local News Stories

Judge recommends Danbury FCI for Ghislaine Maxwell's sentence

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 year in prison and the Judge is recommending that she serve her term at Danbury Federal Correctional Institution.  The prison was the inspiration for book and later Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, based on Piper Kerman's stint there on drug charges.  Maxwell is accused of helping to entice vulnerable teenagers to Jeffrey Epstein’s various properties for him to sexually abuse.  Previous former inmates including reality TV star Teresa Giudice of the Real Housewives Of New Jersey, singer Lauryn Hill and hotel magnate Leona Helmsley.  Epstein killed himself in jail while awaiting trial. Maxwell blamed the abuse on Epstein and said meeting him was the greatest regret of her life.

Ducklings rescued from Bethel storm drain

Bethel firefighters were called by the Police Department to assist in rescue a bunch of ducklings that fell into a storm drain.  All of the ducklings were safely returned to their mother.  This was the second duckling rescue in Bethel this year.


(Photos: Bethel Fire & EMS)

Squantz Pond closed to swimming due to water quality issues

Squantz Pond State Park is closed to swimming due to water quality issues.  The swim area in New Fairfield will be retested today, with results available tomorrow.  Samples are collected weekly by state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection staff and are analyzed at the Department of Public Health Lab for the presence of certain indicator bacteria.  Rain events can cause elevated levels of these indicators.  Local health departments are responsible for sampling municipal beaches and swimming areas.

Regional Animal Control looking for part time worker at kennel in New Milford

Regional Animal Control, which serves Bridgewater, Brookfield, New Milford, Roxbury, and Sherman, has an opening for a part time worker at their kennel in New Milford.  Applicants must be willing to work four-hour shifts feeding and caring for the dogs.  The position is for 12 to 20 hours a week, with pay starting at 18 dollars an hour.  Those interested are asked to contact Bridgewater First Selectman Curtis Read at 860-354-5250 or via email cread@bridgewater-ct.gov.

Feasibility study on broadband solutions underway in Western Conn.

The Western Connecticut Council of Governments is performing a feasibility study on broadband solutions and is collecting data for the Greater Danbury area.  Brookfield First Selectman Tara Carr said in a social media post that they have a 9 question survey for residential and business customers, asking what respondents use the internet for--with multiple choice options.  Those taking the survey will also be asked if it's wired service or via cellular internet, overall reliability, speed and cost --along with a question about what pricepoint for service would be considered affordable. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WestCOG_CS.

Nuvance facilities receive American Heart Association Quality Achievement Awards

Danbury Hospital and Nuvance Health’s New Milford campus have received American Heart Association Quality Achievement Awards for implementing specific quality improvement measures to treat patients who suffer severe heart attacks and for their commitment to managing heart failure patients.  Vassar Brothers Medical Center and Norwalk Hospital also received the award.   Danbury Hospital and its New Milford campus also received American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines awards. Danbury Hospital earned the Heart Failure Gold Plus with Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll. New Milford received the Heart Failure Gold Plus.  Both Danbury Hospital and Vassar Brothers Medical Center earned the 2022 Mission: Lifeline® Gold Plus STEMI Receiving Center Achievement Award. Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack, caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

Body recovered from Candlewood Lake in area where swimmer went missing

A body has been pulled from Candlewood Lake and is believed to be that of the man who went missing Friday night near Chicken Rock. The Sherman Volunteer Fire Department says the search ended just before 10 o'clock yesterday morning when they successfully recovered a male matching the description of the missing swimmer.  After being spotted by Candlewood Lake Authority Marine Patrol, just southeast of Green Island, Marine 7 responded.  Positive identification of the missing swimmer remains to be completed.   The incident remains under investigation by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. 

New Fairfield Zoning Commission denial of bus lot proposal to be appealed

The New Fairfield Permanent Building Committee is appealing a decision of the New Fairfield Zoning Commission rejection of a proposed school bus lot at 302 Ball Pond Road, the former Consolidated School property.  After a 2 hour executive session on the matter, the Committee tasked First Selectman Pat Del Monaco with carrying out that appeal.  Town Attorney Neil Marcus will work with the First Selectman on that, but also on putting together the Zoning Commission's side of the defense as he represents all boards and commissions.

Newtown Health District won't be vaccinating youngest kids against COVID-19

The Newtown Health District team will not be vaccinating children against COVID-19.  Vaccination for children 6 months to 4 years of age has recently been approved by the FDA and CDC.  The Newtown Health Department says parents with questions can check in with their pediatrician.  The state Department of Public Health yellow minivan will be hosting a clinic at Newtown High School on Thursday from 3pm to 7pm.  Some clinics/pharmacies have opened up to the youngest age group.  Community Health Centers is also hosting pop-up clinics at Rogers Park in Danbury today and tomorrow from 1 to 7 pm.  Vax van and pop up clinics are taking walk-ins, no appointment needed.

Eversource to do more tree trimming

More than a dozen towns will be part of a new vegetation management program from Eversource, aimed at removal of trees within a targeted “fall zone” on over 700 properties.  Among the 15 segments of the electric system identified using historical data susceptible to outages are Newtown, Redding, and Sharon.  Eversource vegetation management crews assess whether to trim tree limbs that encroach upon the company’s distribution network and this fall zone is a broader area than before.  To determine the problem areas, Eversource looked at types of outages over a five-year period and then instances over a 10-year-period in which outages were due to weather-related conditions.  Eversource officials say trees cause 90 percent of power outages during storms and severe weather.

Flintlock Drive residents continue push to have Danbury adopt street as public road

Some Danbury residents are continuing to push to have the City adopt their road as a public street.  6 houses at the end of Flintlock Drive are on a private portion of the road, never brought up to the City's specifications by the developer.  A City Council committee trying to resolve the decades old issue met again last week.  Since a March 2021 meeting, the committee determined the identities of the developers and outlined steps to make Flintlock Drive a City road.  A petition was submitted to the City in December 2020 noting that many of the residents didn't know about the private road status when they purchased their homes.  City Attorney Les Pinter says no assessment would be needed, but the petitioners would have to do a title research, get a cost estimate and do the road specification work, and then deed the road to the city.  The City plows the street, but performs no other maintenance.  Drainage and ponding issues in the cul de sac along with potholes have been persistent problems for decades.  The Danbury Planning Commission approved a 525-foot extension of Flintlock Drive as part of a re-subdivision in July 1978.  A road bond was posted, but the developers never met deadlines to complete road and sold homes there anyway.  State Representative Ken Gucker attended the meeting and says it's not fair to put the financial burden on the residents. whose deeds don't say it's a private road.  He claims the city was derelict in its duty in prior decades and bears some responsibility.  Flintlock residents must revise and resubmit their petition and Councilman Irving Fox suggested the committee reconvene once the title search has been completed.

Center for Empowerment and Education looking to fill a number of positions

The Center for Empowerment and Education is looking to fill a number of positions.  Formerly the Women's Center of Greater Danbury, the Center is looking to hire a full time Child and Family Counselor.  This person would  support, advocacy, safety planning, counseling, and educational services to individuals who come to The Center through domestic violence, sexual assault and resource programs.  The Center is also looking to hire a part time Grant Writer to research, identify, develop and respond to government, public and private grant opportunities in areas that support The Center's mission and growth.  The Center is looking to hire a full time Family Violence Victim Advocate.  This person would provide services to people involved in criminal and civil court cases.  Services include providing support, information and advocacy designed to enhance the safety of victims from the time of arraignment throughout the court process. The position provides immediate and ongoing services within the legal system and throughout the community, including local area police departments. A part time Residential Counselor is also  needed.  Their primary role is to provide support, advocacy, safety planning, counseling, and educational services to children and adults who come to The Center for non-shelter and/or shelter services through domestic violence, sexual assault and resource programs.

Newtown Board of Ed has vacancy

There are a couple of vacancies and openings on some Newtown boards and commissions.  The Board of Education has a vacancy available to a Democrat. Interested parties can send a letter of interest and resume to the Board of Education’s office at Newtown Municipal Center.  There is a Republican vacancy for Justice of the Peace. Interested parties can contact the Town Clerk.

New Fairfield ARPA Working Group to hold virtual meeting

The New Fairfield Board of Selectmen is holding another public forum tonight about possible projects to be funded with American Rescue Plan Act dollars.  The ARPA Working Group is looking at a number of proposals, all of which can be found on the town's website.  Tonight's meeting will be held via Zoom starting at 7:30pm.

Ridgefield Police Department holds awards ceremony

The Ridgefield Police Department held an award ceremony yesterday morning, recognizing officers who went above and beyond the call of duty, over the past three years. The event had been postponed several times due to the pandemic. The officers were recognized for the AAA Traffic Heroes Award, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Award, the Ridgefield Police Department Exceptional Service Award and Officer Of The Year for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Carmel Police caution residents to the Grandparent Scam circulating again

The Carmel Police Department is cautioning residents to the so-called Grandparent scam making it's way around the area once again.  This phone scam involves criminals calling someone, claiming to be a relative who needs help being released from custudy due to an arrest, accident or other ruse.  Carmel Police say the actual police will not demand money over the phone, especially not in the form of gift cards.  Anyone receiving this type of call is urged to not give out any personal identifying information and to hang up.  The call should also be reported to Carmel Police.

Search to resume today for man missing in Candlewood Lake

The search will resume this morning for a man who went missing in Candlewood Lake on Friday night.  The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection suspended the search yesterday due to weather.  A 21-year old man went underwater near Chicken Rock near the New Fairfield-Sherman border on Friday night and did not emerge.  Boaters are asked to stay clear of the area around Chicken Rock until further notice. A 24-year old Bristol man went under the water in Brookfield Bay Memorial Day weekend and his body was recovered by dive teams June 16th.  A few days prior to the suspected drowning, a 76-year old Brookfield man had been working on his boat tied up at the dock and didn't resurface.  He was pulled from the water by emergency responders who started CPR, but he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Eversource installing lightning protection equipment on lines in New Milford

Eversource is conducting some work in New Milford this week.  Contractors are installing lightning protection on nine existing structures in the right-of-way, the power line corridor.  Access to these structures will be from Rooster Tail, the Long Mountain substation, and Bass Road on Eversource property.  Project construction will include crews using a  bucket truck to access the lines, vegetation mowing as necessary to access the structures and installation or replacement of hardware on existing lines.  The work will be done Mondays through Saturdays 7am to 7pm, through late July.  The schedule is weather dependent.

Redistricting prompts new polling precincts in New Fairfield

Redistricting efforts based on 2020 census data means new polling locations in New Fairfield.  The new polling place are based on state Senate districts, rather than House districts.  New Fairfield will now be split between the 24th and 30th Senate districts.  Voters will cast ballots at either New Fairfield Middle School for the 24th or the New Fairfield Senior Center for the 30th instead of the previous Meeting House Hill School and the Company A firehouse locations.  The 138th House district is now Danbury only, so that portion of New Fairfield moved into the 108th.  For the August primary, voting will be done in the middle school gym due to HVAC installation work in the cafeteria, where voting will take place in the future.

Community Health Center holding pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Danbury

The Community Health Center of Danbury is holding a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Rogers Park for the rest of the month.  A clinic, which will also offer boosters, will take place in the park on Memorial Drive from 1pm to 7pm today, tomorrow and Thursday. The state Department of Public Health’s vaccination van will be at Rogers Park on July 3rd from 10am to 4pm and at the Danbury Senior Center’s Elmwood Hall on July 7th from 10am to 2pm.  These clinics are for individuals 12 years and older.  According to state data, as of June 22nd, 77 percent of Danbury residents were fully vaccinated.  About 86-percent of eligible residents received at least one dose of a vaccine.





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