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Checks presented to vet organizations from Veterans Walkway of Honor in Danbury

Checks were presented yesterday to two veteran organizations, from proceeds raised during the final phase of the brick sales from the Veterans Walkway of Honor in Danbury.  The Danbury War Memorial donated a thousand dollars each to the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs and the Friends of Fisher House Connecticut.  Project Organizer Lee Teicholz says the Veterans Walkway of Honor has raised more than $83,000 since 2013, of which more than $47,000 went to support programs at the Danbury War Memorial and nearly $16,000 more for area organizations serving veterans.


Danbury schools mark Veterans Day

Students at the King Street Campus gathered early Friday morning to give thanks to the veterans for their service. Tom Saadi, who serves on in the Danbury City Council, spoke to students. Saadi is a Major in the U.S. Army Service and is Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Some sixth- and seventh-grade students at Rogers Park Middle School had the opportunity to write letters to men and women currently serving in the U.S. military. 

Broadview Middle School students hosted a breakfast Friday morning to honor the men and women who serve or have served. Every student in the school participated in the event from coloring posters that hung in the school’s cafeteria, to handwriting invitations and making gift bags with handwritten cards.


Bethel School Start Time Committee meets tonight

A Parent Information and Feedback Session is being held in Bethel tonight about the final School Start Time options. The committee is recommending three tiers.  High Schoolers along with St. Mary’s, Nonnewaug, and Abbott Tech start times around 7:45am, the Middle School at 8:20 with Berry, Rockwell and Johnson schools at 9am.  The school district says the cost impact will be minimal with students gaining about 10 minutes in the morning.  A challenge would be to share resources between Bethel High and Middle schools, with increased community stops for the middle school.


Danbury, Ridgefield Police looking into burglaries at nursing homes

Danbury Police are investigating thefts from assisted living facilities.  Police are searching for a woman dressed in a nursing uniform targeting elderly residents of at least two nursing homes in the city.  The suspect allegedly stole items from purses last week.  During Thursday's City Council meeting, Councilman Ben Chianese mentioned the incidents.  The accountant for Filosa Nursing and Rehabilitation and Hancock Hall says Glen Hill Center warned them about the incidents.  Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour said that was the first he heard of the incidents and would look into it.  Ridgefield Police are also investigating a similar incident. 


Clean up of storm damage at New Fairfield Cemetery starts today

Clean-up of the New Fairfield Cemetery will begin this morning.  Parking will not be available in the lot in front of the cemetery, and travel on Brush Hill Road will be reduced to one lane at times to accommodate a crane and other necessary equipment.  The cemetery, across the street from Town Hall, suffered significant damage in the May 15th storm.  The estimate for clean up and repairs, including tree removal, was $14,000.  Multiple headstones were damaged, at least three large trees were uprooted and other trees sustained damage.  Headstones in the cemetery date back to the mid-1700s.


Serial burglar convicted in Putnam County

A serial burglar has been convicted in Putnam County.  A jury convicted Andrew Hickey of Carmel for breaking into three houses over a 5 week period last year, two houses on the same night.  Two of the homes were occupied.  Hickey was traced through DNA left at two of the scenes, and was arrested at the third home with the burglary in progress. Putnam County District Attorney Robert Tendy says Hickey was involved in some very dangerous activity.  In one home a mother and her baby were alone when he broke in, and in another a young woman was alone.  There were no injuries reported in any of the cases.  Sentencing is scheduled for January 15.


Danbury man charged for alleged sex abuse of child

A Danbury man has been arrested on sex assault charges for allegedly abusing a child.  A several month long investigation into 57-year old David Glahn Jr led to his arrest on Friday.  A female child said the abuse happened a number of years earlier.  He was also charged with 4 counts of risk of injury.  Glahn is being held pending a court appearance. 


No decision on what to do with old Bethel Police Station

Bethel officials haven't decided yet what to do with the old police station and land on Plumtrees Road.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says his thought is that the building will be torn down and the land return to its natural state.  One of the problems with the old station is that it sits in the middle of a flood plain. 

Knickerbocker says part of the property could be used for parking for the nearby athletic fields. 

At some point in the near future, Knickerbocker says they could go to residents for an allocation to outfit the firing range with an air handling system that collects lead dust and filters it out, tracks that run the targets, computers to run the training scenarios.  The plan is to look at how much contingency funding is left over and see how much more will have to be added. 

He is looking into having other nearby towns use the firing range to help save them money and offset some costs.  Knickerbocker called it a good regional sharing opportunity.  Knickerbocker says that could take another couple of months. 


New Fairfield Representative unopposed, gets 5th term

New Fairfield Representative Richard Smith was unopposed this Election Day.  He has served four terms and will be returned for a fifth term in the state House.  Smith co-sponsored a number of bills last session, but was most proud of the bipartisan budget approved last year.  He says it reduces costs and eases the burden on taxpayers.  

Smith was also proud of blocking toll bills from coming up for a vote.  He says tolls would be hurtful to residents and without a lockbox for transportation funding, it would be another ruse for getting more money to spend on entitlement programs.  He supports the concept of a lockbox, but the proposal still gives the legislature access to the funds.  Money form the gas tax has been earmarked for infrastructure improvements, but Smith says it’s been misappropriated.  He does not support the question on the ballot.

The other constitutional amendment question is about public land sold for private use.  Smith says there are times when a public hearing should be held before that sale, but there are other small transfers that shouldn’t have to go up for a hearing.  He says some transfers, like easements, can be done administratively.  For larger parcels, Smith says the public involvement would be helpful.

The Education Cost Sharing Formula was adjusted last session.  Smith expects further revisions will be needed, but notes that the fairness answer has eluded lawmakers for years.  He says the formula is not fair now and Danbury has been hurt by past reforms.

Smith wants to focus on making the state a place where businesses and taxpayers can thrive.  He says regulations and unfunded mandates have been a constant battle.  He’d like to find a way to reduce taxes on business.

As for legalizing recreational marijuana, Smith has opposed bills in the past.  He says there are so many incidental costs and issues with the legalization in other states, but he can understand why people looking for more revenue would support the idea.  Smith remains concerned about raising money off of marijuana.  On sports betting, he expects the matter to come up.  Smith notes that it’s going on every day and there’s no reason for Connecticut to not get involved, as long as it’s properly regulated.

Smith is a member of the Judiciary Committee.  He says the ban on ghost guns was too widely drafted for him to support the measure.  If it were to be properly drafted, he’d be open to looking at it.  Smith says he understands the concerns about ghost guns not being regulating or traceable.  He remains mindful of second amendment rights, but also about the rights of people to be safe in their homes, schools and other public places.  Smith does not support arming school teachers, but does support retired police officers or military veterans protecting students and teachers.


Monroe, Newtown state Representative unopposed in 112th District

Monroe Representative JP Sredzinski is running unopposed in the district, which also includes a portion of Newtown.  He has served two terms and will be returned for a third term.  Sredzinski says the budget adopted last year will help improve fiscal stability in the state through bonding and spending caps and stopping 17 tax increases or new taxes.  They were also able to stop a proposal to stop moving teacher pension costs off onto municipalities.  Sredzinski says any governor going forward will be prevented from making mid-year budget cuts to education aid and municipal funding.  He says that’s important because towns set their budget in April or May, before the legislature enacts changes.

Sredzinski is a ranking member on the Public Safety Committee.  One bill that was signed into law dealt with sexual assault evidence collection.  When a person goes to a health care facility, the facility must contact a sexual assault counselor.  In the past, the victim needed to request that help.  The new law does not require a victim to take advantage of the service if they do not want to.  The measure also implements an electronic tracking system for evidence kits.  Sredzinski says there is a tendency for repeat offences, so this should help better help law enforcement. The bill also gives victims access to information about that kit.

Sredzinski wants to continue to make Connecticut more business friendly, give municipalities more predictable funding and improve transportation infrastructure without implementing tolling.  He says the Transportation Committee passed four bills out of committee on tolling, but were never called on the floor of the House because the votes weren’t there for approval.  He was critical of the $10 million toll study, calling unnecessary and irresponsible.  He would have preferred that money go to school construction or school security.

On the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana, Sredzinski says the risks outweigh the reward in terms of public safety versus tax revenue.  He says other states have experience problems with labor issues and impairment tests.  Sredzinski is open to the debate, but doesn’t support the idea right now. 

As for sports betting, Sredzinski says there is a major revenue component.  He says it has to be implemented in the right way.  Sredzinski questioned if it would be available online, if there would be age restrictions and where someone could place a bet.  He’s not sure it should be done at lottery terminals.  He also wants to prevent betting on high school or little league games.  Sredzinski also wants to be able to track any misuse of it.

The ghost gun bill passed out of the Judiciary Committee last year, but did not make it for a vote on the House floor.  Sredzinski says the devil is in the details.  He would like to see any new legislation before committing one way or another on a potential ban.  He wants to allow for the second amendment to exisit, balanced with safety needs.

Sredzinski says the most complaints he gets from constituents are about the DMV.  He called it embarrassing that people have to take a vacation day in 2018 to take care of business.  He says there are a few DMV express facilities that are successful and he’d like to build on that.  He also wants to reinstate the agreement with AAA for licensing services and would be open to privatization of the DMV.  While Sredzinski says that’s an executive branch issue, the legislature has some authority in the budgeting process.


Danbury officials continue to look into shelter merger

Danbury officials continue to look into an idea proposed by Mayor Mark Boughton in December 2016 to merge the City-run homeless shelter on New Street with the one at Dorothy Day Hospitality House.  Boughton says there is a site location selected, but it's currently in court under foreclosure. 

The City would need cooperation from Dorothy Day, but Boughton says there is a difference in missions.  Dorothy Day doesn't ask any questions when someone shows up.  He says the City wants to know what services people have accessed, what their needs are, and then provide services or point them in the right direction to get that help.  He didn't disclose where the potential site was located. 

There is an ongoing legal battle between the City and zoners about an expired permit, which expired in 1985 and was never renewed. 

The City partnered with the United Way in March to find a sub-contractor to manage the programs at the City Shelter. The Health Department, Finance, Corporation Counsel, and Mayor's office have been working with the United Way and Catholic Charities to solidify dates, performance measures, as well details of the contract. Health Director Lisa Morrissey says the process was very similar to the other grants that the United Way issues on behalf of the city, and proposals were reviewed by independent grant reviewers selected by United Way.


Sports car manufacturer to close on property near Danbury Airport

Specialty sports car and race team Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus is planning to build a new assembly plant in Danbury for its upcoming road-going sports cars.  They have a factory in Sleepy Hollow New York, but it can only build about 1 car per month.  The firm expects to close on the new property at Danbury Airport soon.  The company owner says easy factory access by airplane was a big draw.


Stefanowski concedes gubernatorial race to Lamont

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski has called Democrat Ned Lamont to concede the race and congratulate him on a hard-fought victory.  While this is not the result he hoped for, Stefanowski says he was glad to draw so much attention to the tax burden in this state.  He hopes that by relentlessly focusing on that issue he has started the conversation on how to bring the tax burden on Connecticut families down. 

 

Democrats won other statewide contests including Comptroller, Secretary of the State, Treasurer and U.S. Senate.

 

Voter turnout statewide is about 65-percent.  In Brookfield it was slightly higher at 69-percent.  Danbury and Bethel each had a 58-percent voter turnout.  Bethlehem was 80-percent, Bridgewater 77-percent, Monroe was at 70-percent, New Milford 65-percent, Newtown 77-percent, Roxbury 82-percent and Wilton 72-percent.


Residents weigh in on ballot questions

Danbury residents signed off on a more than $102 million appropriation and bond authorization for the construction, upgrades and replacement to the water pollution control plant and facilities system.  Mayor Mark Boughton says the challenge now is figuring out how much state grant money will be available to offset the cost. 

Residents in New Milford have approved the single question about all of the recommendations in a report from the Charter Revision Commission.  New Milford residents also agreed to borrow $6.5 million for the proposed renovation and expansion of the Library, with the balance of the project to be funded by grants and private contribution.

Ridgefield residents approved $48 million in bonding for improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.  Some proposed Charter revisions were approved, others have been rejected.

Newtown residents have approved $14.8 million in bonding for the construction and development of a new police station, including the acquisition of buildings and land at 191 South Main Street and 61 Pecks Lane. 


Election Night Greater Danbury 2018 Results

Election Night Greater Danbury 2018

BOLD = projected winner

* = incumbent

 

Town/District/Position Candidate/Party Vote Totals
      
24th Senate: Danbury, Bethel, Michael McLachlan* (R) 14414
                         and New Fairfield Julie Kushner(D) 16984
     
26th Senate: Bethel, Redding, Toni Boucher* (R) 24521
                   Ridgefield, Wilton Will Haskell (D) 27991
     
28th Senate: (portion of Newtown) Tony Hwang* (R) 25128
  Michelle McCabe (D) 23162
     
30th Senate: New Milford, Brookfield Craig Miner* (R) 22745
  David Lawson (D) 19506
     
32nd Senate: Bethlehem, Washington ,Seymour Eric Berthel* (R) 26061
  Catherine P DeCarli (D) 16599
     
2nd House: Danbury, Bethel, William Duff* (R) 4863
                      Redding, Newtown Raghib Allie-Brennan (D) 5509
     
64th House: Kent Brian Ohler* (R) 5806
  Maria P Horn (D) 5858
     
67th House: New Milford William Buckbee* (R) 5364
  Thomas O'Brien (D) 3802
     
69th House: Southbury Arthur O'Neill* (R) 7085
  Greg Cava (D) 4745
     
106th House: Newtown Mitch Bolinsky* (R) 5683
  Rebekah Harriman-Stites (D) 5538
     
107th House: Brookfield, Bethel Steve Harding* (R) 6890
  Daniel Pearson (D) 4736
     
108th House: New Fairfield, Danbury, New Milford Richard Smith* (R) 5994
     
109th House: Danbury David Arconti* (D) 3807
  Veasna Roeun (R) 2164
     
110th House: Danbury Bob Godfrey* (D) 2497
  Erin Domenech (R) 933
     
111th House: Ridgefield John Frey* (R) 6326
  Aimee Berger-Girvalo (D) 5888
     
112th House: Newtown, Monroe JP Sredzinski* (R) 7993
     
135th House: Redding Adam Dunsby* (R) 5576
  Anne Hughes (D) 6567
     
138th House: Danbury, New Fairfield, Michael Ferguson* (R) 4635
                         Ridgefield Ken Gucker (D) 4826
     
5th Congressional District Jahana Hayes (D) 148,040
  Manny Santos (R) 117,239
  John Pistone (write in) 13
     
4th Congressional District Jim Himes* (D) 165,278
  Harry Arora (R) 106,171
     
U.S. Senate Chris Murphy* (D) 740,958
  Matt Corey (R) 524,919

Hayes declares victory in tight race for Congress

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Acclaimed educator Jahana Hayes will become the first black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress after winning the state’s open seat.

Hayes, a Democrat, defeated Republican Manny Santos, a former mayor of Meriden, to represent the state’s northwest corner.

The 2016 National Teacher of the Year only recently got involved in politics. She capitalized on her life story as a onetime teen mother who overcame poverty and rose to the height of her profession.

Hayes will succeed U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty. The Democrat chose not to seek re-election after being criticized for her slow handling of a sexual harassment case in her office. It involved her former chief of staff, who was not fired for several months following allegations he punched and threatened a female staffer.

On the campaign trail, Hayes called for strengthening the public education system and passing stronger federal gun safety laws.


US Rep. Jim Himes wins fourth term

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Jim Himes has been re-elected to a fourth term in the House representing the southwest corner of Connecticut.

The Democrat on Tuesday defeated Republican candidate Harry Arora, an investment manager who grew up in India and became a U.S. citizen after coming to the states for graduate school.

The 52-year-old Himes is a former Goldman Sachs & Co. banker from Greenwich. He has touted his efforts to create financial regulatory reform, help improve the economy and support more funding to improve roads, bridges and rail lines.

Like other members of Connecticut’s all-Democrat congressional delegation, Himes also has been an outspoken critic of many of President Donald Trump’s policies.


GOP candidate calls out wave of new voters

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Republican candidate for governor is raising concerns about what he’s calling a “mass swearing in” of new voters in New Haven and at the University of Connecticut.

In a series of tweets, Bob Stefanowski’s campaign claims people are being allowed to vote even though their Election Day registrations have not been processed. The campaign says such ballots “should be kept separate and counted as provisional,” claiming what’s allegedly happening is illegal.

A message has been left with the Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s spokesman.

Earlier Tuesday, Merrill said about 8,000 people had used Connecticut’s law allowing them to register and vote on the same day. She has advised people to register early so they can be entered into the computer system before the polls closed.


Election Night Greater Danbury Results 2018

Election Night Greater Danbury 2018

BOLD = projected winner

* = incumbent

 

Town/District/Position Candidate/Party Vote Totals
      
24th Senate: Danbury, Bethel, Michael McLachlan* (R) 14414
                         and New Fairfield Julie Kushner(D) 16984
     
26th Senate: Bethel, Redding, Toni Boucher* (R) 24521
                   Ridgefield, Wilton Will Haskell (D) 27991
     
28th Senate: (portion of Newtown) Tony Hwang* (R) 25128
  Michelle McCabe (D) 23162
     
30th Senate: New Milford, Brookfield Craig Miner* (R) 22745
  David Lawson (D) 19506
     
32nd Senate: Bethlehem, Washington ,Seymour Eric Berthel* (R) 26061
  Catherine P DeCarli (D) 16599
     
2nd House: Danbury, Bethel, William Duff* (R) 4863
                      Redding, Newtown Raghib Allie-Brennan (D) 5509
     
64th House: Kent Brian Ohler* (R) 5806
  Maria P Horn (D) 5858
     
67th House: New Milford William Buckbee* (R) 5364
  Thomas O'Brien (D) 3802
     
69th House: Southbury Arthur O'Neill* (R) 7085
  Greg Cava (D) 4745
     
106th House: Newtown Mitch Bolinsky* (R) 5683
  Rebekah Harriman-Stites (D) 5538
     
107th House: Brookfield, Bethel Steve Harding* (R) 6890
  Daniel Pearson (D) 4736
     
108th House: New Fairfield, Danbury, New Milford Richard Smith* (R) 5994
     
109th House: Danbury David Arconti* (D) 3807
  Veasna Roeun (R) 2164
     
110th House: Danbury Bob Godfrey* (D) 2497
  Erin Domenech (R) 933
     
111th House: Ridgefield John Frey* (R) 6326
  Aimee Berger-Girvalo (D) 5888
     
112th House: Newtown, Monroe JP Sredzinski* (R) 7993
     
135th House: Redding Adam Dunsby* (R) 5576
  Anne Hughes (D) 6567
     
138th House: Danbury, New Fairfield, Michael Ferguson* (R) 4635
                         Ridgefield Ken Gucker (D) 4826
     
5th Congressional District Jahana Hayes (D) 148,040
  Manny Santos (R) 117,239
  John Pistone (write in) 13
     
4th Congressional District Jim Himes* (D) 165,278
  Harry Arora (R) 106,171
     
U.S. Senate Chris Murphy* (D) 740,958
  Matt Corey (R) 524,919

Democratic US Sen. Chris Murphy wins 2nd term

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy has won a second term in office, defeating a little-known Republican small businessman.

Murphy had amassed a war chest 100 times bigger than Matt Corey, who runs a high-rise window clean business in Hartford. It was a marked difference from his 2012 victory, when Murphy defeated former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon, who spent about $50 million of her own money on the race.

The 45-year-old Murphy spent much of the campaign helping fellow Democrats. He also transferred $320,000 from his $14.5 million campaign fund to the state Democrats to help with field organizing.

Murphy has said he wanted to make sure Democrats were doing “everything possible to get the biggest turnout we could.”

Corey accused him of not taking the race seriously.


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