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West Conn's of Business Administration program recognized

A nationwide survey citing M.B.A. programs that offer academic excellence has recognized West Conn's of Business Administration program.  The 2019-20 survey by national online evaluation service mbanogmat.com selected the Ancell School of Business as one of two institutions in Connecticut and 82 in the United States that qualified for its designation among "Top Picks with Reasonable GMAT Waiver Policies."  The waiver allows an MBA program applicant to forgo a test score submission, when work experience, degrees or other conditions are met.

New Fairfield collecting items to include in care packages for the troops

Operation NF4Troops is collecting items for care packages to send to local soldiers serving abroad. A collection box is located in Town Hall.  Some other businesses and Town buildings throughout New Fairfield also have collection boxes.  A list of the needed items and how to make monetary donations to help with shipping costs can be found on the Town of New Fairfield's website.  There's also information on how to register a New Fairfield or Sherman service member to receive a package.

Local lawmaker wants to limit guns purchased per month

A local lawmaker is calling on his colleagues to take up a bill he introduced last session that would limit the number of firearms an individual may purchase within a 30-day period.  Ridgefield Senator Will Haskell says he plans to advocate for a similar bill to be considered by the Judiciary Committee.  He notes that California, New Jersey and Maryland have limits.  In a nationwide study by the Giffords Center, roughly 65 percent of those surveyed support a one-per-month limit on gun purchases.

Danbury Police warn of email scammer purporting to be from FBI

The Danbury Police Department is warning residents of a new email scam appearing to be from the FBI. The sender asks the recipient to contact a third party to arrange for the delivery of a large sum of money. This scam has several variations, and residents should be aware that the FBI does not send emails requesting assistance in the delivery of money.  Police say there are several steps people can take to prevent falling for this type of scam.  That includes not giving out personal information through email requests.

COST holds annual meeting on legislative priorities for small towns

The Connecticut Council of Small Town has held its annual town meeting to discuss public policy issues affecting local communities.  COST is marking its 45th anniversary this year as the leading advocate of Connecticut’s small towns at the state Capitol.  Among the speakers at the annual event were Wilton Representative Gail Lavielle, State Attorney General William Tong and Governor Ned Lamont.   Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti was also on hand for the event.  He discussed Connecticut’s Transportation Strategy.

36th Annual Polar Bear Run this weekend around Lake Waramaug

The 36th Annual Polar Bear Run is taking place this weekend around Lake Waramaug, which could lead to some traffic delays in the area.  The run on Sunday begins at 11am, with vehicle traffic limited until 1pm. The 7-point-6 mile race begins and ends at the Lake Waramaug Country Club property. More than 300 participants are expected to participate.  The event is sponsored by the Lion's Club and Washington EMS, among others.  Guiding Eyes for the Blind has been the event's charitable beneficiary since 2018.  Since then, organizers say they've donated over $6,400 to the foundation.

Area legislator touts strength of Conn. Rainy Day Fund

A local lawmaker is concerned about an alternative plan to fund transportation infrastructure improvements in Connecticut.  Kent Representative Maria Horn says the money shouldn't come from the state's Rainy Day Fund, which is at it's largest amount in state history.  She notes that right now, the balance is 14 percent of annual expenses.  Horn added that the average in the country is about 7.6 percent.  Connecticut is the 9th strongest state in the country in terms of savings.  When the budget reserve reaches 15-percent, revenue that would have gone into the Rainy Day Fund, the dollars will instead be used to pay off the state's unfunded pension liability. 

Legislators to hold constituent coffee hour in Woodbury

Southbury State Senator Eric Berthel is hosting a constituent coffee hour tomorrow.  The 32nd district also includes the towns of Bethlehem, Roxbury, Washington and Woodbury.  The community discussion tomorrow will also feature Bethlehem Representative David Wilson and Watertown Representative Joseph Polletta.  They'll be at Woodbury Diner on Main Street North in Woodbury from 9am to 10am.  The lawmakers plan to talk about the Legislative Session so far and gather ideas from constituents for potential legislation.

8th annual Parent University in Bethel set for next week

The 8th annual Parent University in Bethel is set for next week.  The free educational workshops will be held Wednesday night at Bethel Middle School.  The workshops are designed to help parents of all age students understand what their child is learning in school and provide ways they can support their child at home.  Parent University is sponsored by Bethel Family-School Partnership Committee, Bethel Central PTO and Bethel Public Schools. Babysitting is provided.

Bethel Selectmen urge Charter Revision Commission to drop advisory questions

One of the proposed Charter revisions in Bethel is to add a third option to the ballot advisory question.  Right now it's just 'too high' or 'too low' but an option of 'just right' has been discussed. 

First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says the Selectmen would prefer if the advisory questions are removed from the ballots.  He says the Charter should be as flexible as possible.  Advisory questions could be codified in an ordinance, which can be changed more frequently and easily than the town's Charter.  If it remains in the Charter, Knickerbocker says people will just argue about tradition rather than usefulness every time revisions are studied. 

Knickerbocker says the current options have never provided the guidance they're intended to provide.  Knickerbocker served 10 years on the Board of Ed before his current 10 years on the Board of Selectmen. 

He claims they have led to some confusion over the years.  Sometimes people will only mark off the question, but not yes or no on whether to approve the budget. 

Knickerbocker says the issue goes back more than 20 years, to a single instance.  There were multiple budget failures, back when the municipal and school spending were still combined, and the Superintendent at the time didn't know whether to make cuts or add funding.

Ridgefield planners approve more parking for village district

The Ridgefield Planning and Zoning Commission has approved more parking for the village district.  Plans were scaled back from 56 down to 38.  The town parking lot expansion is now headed to the bidding process and construction could start this summer.  The parking spaces will be added at the north end of the Governor Street parking lot, taking up land behind the Casey Fuel building by the Boys and Girls Club.  It will be a one-way, loop parking lot, with angled parking.  The 570-thousand dollars was approved a couple of years ago during a budget referendum. 

Study finds Fairfield County has highest density of adult blacklegged ticks

Fairfield County has the highest density of adult blacklegged ticks according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.  Details of the first year of a statewide surveillance program for ticks and tick-borne diseases were released yesterday.  The program tested four types of ticks for five diseases.   It was paid for through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The survey found Lyme disease in 46 percent of adult ticks and 15 percent of nymphs. 

The agriculture experiment station traditionally tests ticks that are submitted by the public but only tests for the three most prevalent diseases.  Chief entomoligist Kirby Stafford says the findings tend to be weighted toward New Haven and Fairfield counties because of the experiment station’s location in New Haven. 

According to the state Department of Public Health, more than 12-hundred residents in Connecticut contracted Lyme disease from infected deer ticks last year.

Bethel Board of Finance member won't recuse himself from votes after arrest

Despite a recommendation from the Bethel Town Attorney, a Board of Finance member arrested earlier this month will not recuse himself from voting on police and school budgets.  The Newstimes reports that the town attorney was concerned about Republican Nick Ellis and his impartiality.  Ellis pleaded not guilty to a trespassing ticket after police said he went inside the Rockwell School construction zone in December.  The publication reports that attorney Martin Lawlor wrote that the appearance of a conflict or bias could taint proceedings.  Lawlor noted that he wasn't implying that Ellis could not impartially deliberate or put the best interests of the Town.

Newtown man arrested for allegedly texting sexually explicit videos of ex-girlfriend

A Newtown man has been arrested for allegedly texting several women sexually explicit videos of his ex-girlfriend without her knowledge or consent.  The Connecticut Post reports that 52-year old Paul Carpenter was charged Sunday with harassment, dissemination of voyeurism material, and dissemination of an intimate image.  A woman reported to the Oxford Resident State Trooper that friends sent her screenshots of texts, pictures and video.  According to the warrant, Carpenter’s phone and computer contained multiple files related to the case.  Carpenter told police the victim was aware he filmed the videos, and that she personally showed it to others in the past.  He was released on bond and is due in court on the 27th.

CodeRidgefield Debuts in Connecticut Teaching Essential Coding Skills to Kids

RIDGEFIELD, Conn., Feb. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- CodeRidgefield, a STEM tutoring space for kids 7-14, opens its doors next month.

Long term, a core understanding of programming will help people enter the ever-changing workforce in a variety of fields. Short term, coding helps children become confident problem solvers and better students. CodeRidgefield addresses this need for a curriculum that can turn the absolute novice into a master coder.

Gone are scheduled classes that if missed, will lead to your child playing catch-up. CodeRidgefield has a flexible curriculum. Parents can drop off when it's convenient, kids pick up where they left off. Once a month, once a week, a few times a week. the schedule is flexible and convenient.

"We're so excited for CodeRidgefield to open its doors - my children love gaming and coding, I'm looking forward to a new space with a flexible schedule that allows me to drop them off for a valuable learning experience while I do my grocery shopping," said Holly McClellan mother of Casey. "We've been friends with the Flemings for 8 years and love that they're bringing this essential program to our community."

CodeRidgfield is holding its open house on Sunday March 8th 1pm-3pm at 105 Danbury Road.

Founded by the father and daughters team: Matt Fleming, Bailey Fleming (17, junior at Wooster), Sloane Fleming (14, freshman at Wooster) and Leighton Fleming (11, 6th grader at ERMS). CodeRidgefield is located in a new built-out office near Stop & Shop. After school and weekend hours are available (Mon-Thurs 4pm-6:30pm Saturday 10am-2pm). Kids will create video games, chat bots, and websites. Coding languages learned include Java and Python. A math specific skill building course is also available for children aged 7-9 years.

Southbury Police continue to seek ID of Red Bull thief

Southbury Police are continuing to investigate a larceny of Red Bull energy drinks from Stop and Shop on Sunday.  The shoplifting incident happened at the Main Street North location at approximately 1pm.  The suspect was described as a white male in his early 30’s wearing jeans, a dark colored hat and red shoes.  The day of the incident, Southbury Police posted on Facebook that the thief dropped their phone, and officers were waiting to make a trade for the stolen items.  Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Officer Jacques at (203) 264-5912.

Remington Arms seeks confidential psychiatric records of Sandy Hook shooter

Remington Arms is seeking the confidential psychiatric records of the Sandy Hook shooter as the gun manufacturer faces a lawsuit from several victim families.  The Newstimes reports that the court request comes a week after the judge gave the families permission to inspect the gunman's computer.  Remington, which is accused of violating the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act by marketing its rifle to civilians, argues that the Supreme Court’s opinion in this case put the man's mental state squarely at issue.  The company's attorneys wrote in a motion that based on publicly available reports on the shooter's fascination with mass murder, that  advertisements, even if seen by him, played no causal role in his decision to commit murder.  The lawsuit is expected to go to trial next year.

Bethel road closed due to car accident

A portion of Route 302 in Bethel is closed due to a car accident that happened yesterday afternoon.  A vehicle hit a utility pole and knocked down wires between Windaway Road and Kellogg Street.  The accident, which happened around 4pm, also resulted in a small fire.  Bethel Police say the temporary shutdown impacted the morning commute, but they anticipate the roadway will be reopened later this morning.  Old Hawleyville Road and Taylor Road should be used to circumvent the closed area.

Sherman man arrested for alleged criminal sex act with minor

A Sherman man has been arrested for criminal sex act with a minor.  New York State Police charged Eric Fenyes on Tuesday.  An investigation determined that the 46-year old engaged in sexual conduct with a victim under fifteen-years-old at a hotel in the town of Poughkeepsie in November.  Fenyes was arraigned and ordered held on bond.  He is due in court tomorrow morning.  New York State Police are asking that anyone who has information about any additional offenses or may be a victim of an offense committed by Fenyes to contact Investigator Sloat at (845) 677-7375. All calls can be kept confidential.

NH man arrested for stalking woman arrested again after trying to contact same woman

A New Hampshire man arrested last month for stalking a Putnam County woman has been arrested again after trying to contact the same woman, in violation of the courts protection order. 

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office reports that  Rattana Phimmavongsa had been released after arraignment on stalking charges under the newly implemented bail reform laws.  Phimmavongsa called the victim at least 5 times on February 11th, the same day that the stalking matter was scheduled for a Court appearance in Southeast Justice Court. 

He was located at Heidi's Inn, charged, arraigned and has been released again under the same bail reform law.

Phimmavongsa was initially arrested last month after continuously harassing a Southeast woman, who said they used to play an online game together but she stopped having contact with him years ago.  He showed up at her home after hacking into her online gaming account.






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