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Local News Stories

DOT Maintenance Repair Facility proposed in Brookfield

A new repair facility is being planned by the state Department of Transportation on the site of the existing repair facility on Federal Road in Brookfield.  The existing building is functionally obsolete. 

The DOT Office of Engineering is developing plans for the construction of a 15,000 square-foot bay area and a 6,000 square-foot office area.  It will include operational areas for vehicle repair, a materials storage stockroom, private office areas, and supporting office spaces.

The existing repair facility will be converted to cold storage. Site improvements will be made as well, including removal of a cold storage building, motor fuel island, and underground tanks.  Plans also called for installation of motor fuel aboveground storage tanks, motor fuel island, new pavement where necessary, site drainage system improvements, and connection to utilities. 

The DOT is aiming to have designs done by September. The project will be state funded. 

If there's enough interest an informational meeting will be held, but a formal public hearing is not planned at this point.  Anyone interested in receiving information on this project may do so by contacting Mr. Michael J. Strong, Project Manager, at (860) 594-3306 or by e-mail at michael.strong@ct.gov and make reference to the Brookfield Repair Facility.


Town Meeting scheduled in Bethel on funding for improvements at middle school

Bethel is looking for resident approval of equipment for one of the schools.  There is a special Town Meeting scheduled in Bethel for January 22nd.  Residents will be asked to approve up to $450,000 to replace the chiller plant and water treatment equipment at Bethel Middle School.  The money would come from the the Fund Balance.  The proposal has been approved by the Boards of Selectmen and Finance.  The meeting on the 22nd is at 7pm in Meeting Room A of the Municipal Center. 


DEEP orders fencing installed at Tarrywile Park along spillway

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has issued a directive to Danbury for fencing to be installed in Tarrywile Park along the dam crest and spillway training walls. In a report to the City Council, the Public Works Department said there is also some concrete patching to take place on the vertical and crest horizontal faces of the dam.  Construction Services, using in house resources, completed the repair to the westerly dam crest and patched areas of the inboard face of the dam.  Working along with the Tarrywile Park Authority, officials say the project had a minimal impact on the parks day to day operations.  The Fencing Contractor will be installing the dam crest fencing.


Referendum date set in Brookfield on proposed school project

A referendum date has been set in Brookfield for a vote on building a new elementary school. During a Town Meeting last night, residents agreed that a referendum should be held on March 5th.  With state grant money, the project to construct a building on the Huckleberry Hill campus, tear down that school and transfer Center School students into the new building, is pegged at $63.2 million.  A driveway, parking and ball fields would also be added.  The old Center School would be turned over to the town for municipal use. 


Danbury FCI inmate sentenced for weapon possession

An inmate at Danbury Federal Correctional Institution has been sentenced to additional time in prison for possession of contraband.  41-year old John Faucher was sentenced Monday to a year and a day for having an object designed or intended to be used as a weapon.  The New Hampshire man is currently serving a 46-month sentence at Danbury FCI for robbing a bank in October 2016 and attempting to rob a convenience store in September 2016.   He was scheduled for release in February 2020. He allegedly fashioned a weapon while working in the prison’s facilities department.  The metal rod was bent at one end for a handle and sharpened into a point at the other end and authorities say meant to be traded for drugs.


Danbury Democrat nominated to fill vacancy on Board of Ed

The Danbury Democratic Town Committee has nominated Kate Conetta to replace Democrat Kathleen Molinaro on the Board of Ed.  Molinaro resigned after more than a decade with the group to spend more time home for family health reasons.  The term runs through November.  Conetta, whose son attends Henry Abbott Tech, is the only candidate for the position so far, ahead of the application deadline today.  This is the 3rd vacancy on the Danbury Board of Ed since the 2017 election. 


UPDATE: Stubborn attic fire at deli reported in Danbury overnight

There was a three-alarm fire in Danbury last night.  Several people called 911 shortly before midnight about smoke coming from a one-story commercial building on Lake Avenue near Hobson Street. 

Fire officials say the stubborn fire in the attic space of Marcello’s Deli and Catering produced heavy smoke. 

Mutual aid from Bethel, Brookfield and Ridgefield Fire Departments along with help from Danbury Police, Danbury Hospital EMS, and Danbury Emergency Management was called in.  Crews battled the frigid temperatures for a few hours until the situation was deemed under control. 

(Photo: DFD)

Danbury Public Works responded to the scene to assist with icing conditions.

There was no one at the deli at the time of the incident. No injuries were reported and the Danbury Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause, which is undetermined at this time.


Fire in commercial building in Danbury overnight

There was a three-alarm blaze in Danbury last night on Lake Avenue.  The fire broke out in a one-story commercial building near Hobson Street.  There were flames reported coming from the roof of Marcello's Catering and Deli when firefighters arrived.  There was heavy smoke seen in the area shortly before midnight. Mutual aid was provided by Bethel, Brookfield, and Ridgefield.  No other details were immediately available.


Meeting in Brookfield tonight to set referendum date on school project

There is a Town Meeting in Brookfield tonight for residents to set a referendum date on a school project.  The meeting is at 7pm in the Brookfield High School auditorium.  The town is asking residents to vote on $78.1 million for the planning, design and construction of a new elementary school for pre-k through 5th grade students, including an early childhood learning center. 

Some state grant money would offset the cost, bringing the bonded amount down to about $63.2 million.  If approved at the Town Meeting, a referendum will be held on March 5th from 6am to 8pm. 

If approved at referendum, a new building would be constructed on the back field the current Huckleberry Hill Elementary School campus, with Center School students moving into Huckleberry.  A driveway, parking and ball fields would also be added.  The old building would be demolished and Center School will be turned over to the town for municipal use. 

Construction could begin in 2020 and take almost two years.  


Informational meeting in Sherman about crime prevention

The Sherman Resident State Trooper is hosting a public information session tonight.  LT Bartolotta will present information about how to be better prepared to handle emergency situations.  Topics include identity theft and information about phone and computer scams that target the elderly, and Crime Prevention and Education--specifically crimes involving larcenies from motor vehicles and protecting belongings.  The Residents State Trooper will also talk about drug education, how to detect if a family member is using opioids, how police respond to an overdose, as well as addiction services available in Connecticut.  There will be time for a question and answer session after the presentation.  The event will be held from 7 to 8pm at Sherman Volunteer Fire Department.


Donations made to Danbury homeless shelter for operational expenses

The City-run homeless shelter in Danbury is benefiting from two donations.  Global Jet Capital is paying little more than $8,400 for 11 bunk bed frames, 22 mattresses and two ladders.  A recreational hockey league donated $3,500 toward operational expenses at the shelter for food, cleaning products and for general upkeep.  Health Department officials say the Old Crabe Hockey League's support will allow the shelter to provide a clean, warm and safe place to the most vulnerable population in the community. 


Democrat to officially kick off Danbury Mayoral campaign Thursday

An official campaign kick off event is being held Thursday night for Danbury Democrat Chris Setaro.  He is looking for a 2001 rematch against Mark Boughton for the Mayoral seat.  Setaro is hosting the event at the Amber Room on Thursday from 5:30pm to 8pm.  He has raised $25,000 in donations to his campaign in the two weeks since he announced his candidacy from 51 donors.  According to campaign finance statements, only one third came from Danbury residents.  Setaro was the candidate in 2001 when Boughton claimed his first victory for the position, by just 138 votes. 


Route 7 closure overnight for transformer transportation

The state Department of Transportation has changed the date for the second of three planned closures of Route 7 in New Milford to move an oversized load.  A transformer was supposed to be moved to Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dover Plains, New York earlier this month, but the DOT rescheduled the move to overnight tonight into tomorrow.  The roving closure between Picket District Road and Route 55 will happen between 8:30pm and the early morning hours.


New Milford officials approve alarm ordinance

The New Milford Town Council has adopted an Alarms ordinance.  The measure is aimed at cutting down on false alarms through system maintenance, fines and liens.  A group will be appointed by the Mayor's office to oversee the fire false alarms and another to deal with false burglar alarms.  The fine for two false alarms would be $50, $100 for the next and $150 for four or more false alarms in a year.  There was a suggested “suspension-of-response” penalty for unpaid fines, but that was changed to a lien placed on the property instead.  The ordinance also includes a $200 fine for any property bringing New Milford to Court to obtain a search warrant, if it gets to that point, so the fire marshal can inspect it.


Freshman lawmaker introduces bills to eliminate business entity tax, crack down on puppy mills

A bill to eliminate Connecticut’s $250 business entity tax has been introduced by a freshman lawmaker.  Bethel state Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan campaigned on the promise of making Connecticut a friendlier place for business and says the tax is a prime example of how red tape is hurting small businesses. 

He has introduced a bill to prohibit the sale of puppies and kittens raised under inhumane conditions.  Allie-Brennan says the target is controversial breeding facilities known as puppy mills or kitten factories, which often operate with little or no oversight.  He says the legislation will prevent people from unknowingly supporting a cruel industry. 

He says the overcrowded breeding farms have unsanitary conditions, inadequate food, water, and veterinary care. Allie-Brennan’s legislation would prohibit the sale of pets raised under these conditions.

The 2nd District includes parts of Danbury, Redding, and Newtown as well. 


Water Witch House Co. in New Milford signs contracts for two new trucks

Water Witch Hose Company of New Milford has signed contracts for two new trucks, which the volunteer firefighters hope to have in service by the end of the year.  The new tower 25 will replace a 1989 Aerial Cat which has served New Milford for 30 years. Water Witch Hose applied for the 2017 FEMA assistance for firefighters grant, which was awarded in July.  The over $900,000 is funding the majority of the $1.2 million apparatus.  The balance was funded by the town of New Milford.  The new Engine 27 will replace a 1992 freight-liner. The smaller, conventional style cab and short wheelbase will allow firefighters easier access to rural back roads and tighter neighborhoods.


Sherman firefighters detail 2018 calls for service

Sherman Volunteer Fire Department has issued a year end report.  2018 marked the first year that the department responded to over 400 calls.  Of the 405 calls, there were 207 for just EMS services.  156 calls were fire only, 4 were public service calls while the balance were fire and EMS combined.  Sherman firefighters thanked the community for their generous support over the year, including monetary donations or goods and services for this years Fireman's Ball.


Standoff in Brookfield with crossbow-armed man ends peacefully

There was a stand off in Brookfield Friday night between police and a man armed with a crossbow.  Brookfield Police received a call from a Nicole's Court couple that their 25-year old son was suicidal and had left the house to buy drugs. 

While officers were out looking for the man, he returned home and his parents called 911 again.  The parents tried to get him medical help, but he shot their tire with a crossbow and went into the house

He refused to come out.  Contact was attempted by police via the phone and loudspeaker.  Eventually a K9 team entered the house, but found it empty.  Danbury Police Emergency Services Unit, New Milford and Newtown Police also responded. 

A drone was used to make aerial observations while officer, using infrared cameras, searched the nearby woods. 

The man was found about 5 hours after the initial call, shoeless and suffering from prolonged exposure to the cold.  He was taken into protective custody and transported to the hospital for medical evaluation and treatment.  The incident remains under investigation.


New Fairfield residents reject proposed blight ordinance

New Fairfield residents have narrowly rejected a proposed blight ordinance.  The vote on Saturday was 671 opposed, 633 in support.  First Selectman Pat Del Monaco says that although she is disappointed with the result, she is pleased that over 1,300 people were engaged and voted.  She says the proposal was fair and would have been a cost effective solution.  Del Monaco says they will continue to explore ways to address blighted properties in New Fairfield. 


Boat destroyed in New Milford fire

A boat fire damaged a nearby house in New Milford on Friday.  Water Witch House Company responded to Carmen Hill Road and called in mutual aid from Brookfield to help put out the large blaze, involving a boat and a shed.  There was also damage to the siding of the house at that location.  Brookfield units operated for one hour before being returned to service.

(Photo: Brookfield Vol. Fire Dept.)


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