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Connecticut Farm to School Collaborative at New Milford High School touted

The Connecticut Farm to School Collaborative recently facilitated “Connecticut Grown for Connecticut Kids Week” at New Milford High School. State Representative Bill Buckbee participated in the program this week.  It's designed to raise awareness about the importance of using locally grown food in area restaurants and cafes.

In New Milford High School’s cafeteria, a little over a quarter of all the food offerings have been sourced by local farms. 

While serving 25% of the food in the high school’s cafeteria from locally owned and operated farms is above the state average, Buckbee says this initiative is just a starting.  He wants the goal to be 50%, or higher if possible. 

Buckbee added that when students have a complete understanding of the positive impacts of supporting the local agriculture industry, they will buy locally grown foods on a more frequent basis.


Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum partners with UConn's Stormwise program

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield is partnering with UConn's Stormwise program.  Forest Management Researcher Amanda Bunce will participate in the exhibition, Weather Report.  Her research will be in dialogue with the artists on view.  The UConn program has a goal of reducing the risk of tree-related storm damage to power lines. Bunce will also be speaking at Weather Report: A Symposium on Art and Weather at Western Connecticut State University today. It's 11am to 5pm in the Science Building on the Midtown campus.


Congresswoman to speak at NAACP banquet in Danbury

The Danbury chapter of the NAACP is hosting their annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet today.  5th District Congresswoman Jahana Hayes will be the keynote speaker at the event later this morning at the Ethan Allen Hotel in Danbury. The theme of the night is “When We Fight We Win,” which is meant to emphasize how informing the electorate can bring progress on issues such as education, criminal justice and immigration reform.


Danbury Police seek to identify person for questioning about car break-ins

Danbury Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person wanted for questioning about a series of vehicle break-ins.  The man was captured on home surveillance video checking the handle of a car.  The break-ins have been reported in the Sienna Drive/Woodcrest Drive area. The person pictured may be operating the black SUV seen in the background of the video. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Katkocin at 203-797-4611 ext.618 or call the confidential tips line at 203-790-8477.


Right to Farm ordinance up for a vote at Annual Town Meeting in Sherman

A Right to Farm ordinance will be discussed during the annual Town Meeting in Sherman on Saturday.  The proposal is meant to protect farmers from nuisance complaints while allowing regular farming activities to take place. 

The state does already have a Right to Farm ordinance, which is nearly verbatim to the local proposal.  The Board of Selectmen says that's a concern, because it's a repetitive law. 

The state law exempts farms that meet specified conditions, and follow generally accepted agricultural practices, from certain nuisance laws about  odor, noise, and other objectionable farming by-products. 

The local ordinance will be voted on during the Annual Town Meeting at 9am.


Kent Memorial Library hosting candidate forum

Kent Memorial Library is hosting a candidate forum with the two candidates for First Selectman.  Jean Speck, endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee, and Edward Matson, the Republican nominee, will take part in a civil dialog Saturday.  The pair will discuss their plans and platforms, and then take questions from Kent residents.  The questions may be dropped off at the library or at the event.  The League of Women Voters of Litchfield County will moderate the 1pm event.  Seating is limited, so registration is required through the library.


Illusionist show to be hosted by Congregation Adath Israel of Newtown

A family friendly illusionist show is being hosted by Congregation Adath Israel of Newtown next month.   “The Magic of Lyn, Master Illusionist,” will be performing on November 2nd at 7pm at Masuk High School in Monroe.  Doors open at 6 for a silent auction and bake sale.  Tickets can be purchased in advance, or at the door. 


Danbury organizations mark 145th anniversary of the birth of Charles Ives

The Danbury Music Centre and the Danbury Museum & Historical Society are celebrating the 145th anniversary of the birth of Charles Ives.  The free events on Sunday start with a hike up Pine Mountain at 9:30am with a visit to the site of Ives retreat.  Participants are asked to RSVP and meet at Ives Court off Pine Mountain Road in Ridgefield.  At noon, there will be a tour of his birth home at 7 Mountainville Avenue in Danbury.  At 12:30, the Ives Film Experience will be in Huntington Hall of the Danbury Museum & Historical Society on Main Street.


Two Bethel residents arrested by Danbury Police for alleged drug sales

Two Bethel residents have been arrested for a variety of drug-related offenses in Danbury.  Police launched an investigation months ago into resident complaints about drugs being sold in the Danbury area. 

A search warrant was approved for Francisco Joel Martinez-Soto, his home, car and phone.  The warrants were carried out yesterday evening when he was stopped at a traffic light on Deer Hill Avenue. 

He was found in possession of several ounces of cocaine and more than $45,000 cash. 

Bethel Police found small quantity of cocaine, drug paraphernalia, and several hundred dollars more at his Juniper Road home.  Alise Martinez was also linked to drug sales and both were taken into custody.  She was released on bond while he was held for arraignment. 

Martinez-Soto was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of controlled substance with intent to sell less than half an ounce of cocaine, possession of controlled  substance with intent to sell within 1500’ of a school, possession of controlled substance within 1500’ of a school, possession of drug paraphernalia and risk of injury to a child. 

Alise Martinez was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of controlled substance with intent to sell less than half an ounce of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and risk of injury to a child.


Man charged for billboard on car displaying topless woman

A report of a billboard, on top of a vehicle, displaying pictures of a topless woman has led to a misdemeanor charge for a New York man.  A Putnam County Sheriff Deputy was dispatched to Putnam County Court House in Carmel Tuesday morning and located the white Dodge SUV, owned by 66-year old Douglas Demasi of Hopewell Junction.  The billboard displayed, among other things, three large photos of a woman with both breasts entirely exposed.  Demasi admitted to putting the billboard up and was taken into custody without incident.  He was charged with Public Display of Offensive Sexual Material and released on a written promise to appear in Carmel Court at a later date.


Danbury FCI sentenced to probation for attempted cell phone smuggling

A Danbury Federal Correctional Institution employee has gotten probation for trying to smuggle phones into the prison.  A judge yesterday ordered 38-year old Eric Williams to two years probation and to perform 100 hours of community service during that time.  Williams worked in the Food Service Department at FCI Danbury.  He tried to  smuggle four mobile phones and an electric beard trimmer into the prison by hiding the items in his hat as he entered the facility through the staff entrance.  When a corrections officer arrived to screen him, Williams left his hat in the entrance area.  A supervisory officer found the hat and he initially denied it was his. 


Planned weekend closure of RT 133 called off

The state Department of Transportation has called off this weekend's planned closure of Route 133.  The bridge project in Brookfield and Bridgewater is again on hold.  Brookfield Police say there  are no future weekend detours planned for this year.  The bridge will remain alternating one way traffic, with signals or flaggers, into the month of November for some roadway reconstruction. Crews will still be out paving and working on the bridge joints.  Route 133 was closed last weekend from Friday through late Monday.


Two dozen municipalities recognized for exercising best practices

The Connecticut Economic Development Association is recognizing two dozen municipalities for exercising best practices in land use and economic development.  Among the 24 towns earning the accreditation are Bethel, Brookfield, New Milford and Newtown.  This is the first year the association has offered the award for showing a commitment to economic development and exemplifying that Connecticut is open for business.  The municipalities will be honored at the association’s annual meeting next Wednesday in Bridgeport.  The group also plans to tout the policies as models for other towns.


Heart Wellness Clinic for veterans, first responders to be held in Brookfield

A Preventative Cardiology and Heart Wellness Clinic is being held by the Jason Lewis Brookfield Memorial VFW Post next week.  Military Veterans and First Responders an encouraged to attend the clinic on the 23rd, from 6 to 9pm.  It's being held at Brookfield Senior Center. 

The clinic will primarily address the issue of potential heart related conditions.  It has been shown that combat exposure for veterans that have been deployed as well as chronic stress can greatly increase the risk for heart disease at younger ages in combat veterans and first responders. 

Members of the Cardiology Department of The West Haven VA Hospital will conduct personalized risk assessments and recommended treatment plans.  A Connecticut Disabled Veterans Association advisor and a Danbury Veterans Center representative will provide guidance for Veterans not currently enrolled in the VA Program, and answer questions regarding VA Benefits. 

Clinical personnel from Dental Associates of Connecticut will council attendees on the relationship between oral care and heart health. Attendees should bring their service separation paper DD Form 214, if they have it. 

Attendees should RSVP to Van DaCosta at e-mail: i.m.dacosta89@gmail.com or by phone at 203-297-4269 by Friday, October 18. 


Women's Center of Greater Danbury holds annual Candlelight Vigil of Remembrance

The Women's Center of Greater Danbury's annual Candlelight Vigil of Remembrance has been held.  This is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The vigil was held last Thursday. 

They took time to honor those who have lost their lives to domestic violence and added three statues to represent the deaths that occurred in 2018 in the catchment area. All of the victims were females age 25 or younger.  The “Silent Witness” exhibit showcases silhouette cutouts of women and men who have died due to domestic violence.  Attached to each cutout was the name of a victim and his or her story. 

The exhibit was created in 2006, modeled after a national movement.  The goal is to not only honor and remember, but also to promote change. 

Connecticut has averaged 14 domestic violence homicides annually since 2000.  This accounts for 13-percent of Connecticut's overall murder rate during that period.


Pick up truck driver seriously injured in crash with construction equipment

A pick up truck driver hit some construction equipment early this morning in Newtown.  Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue along with Newtown Ambulance and Police responded to the area of the exit 11 off ramp shortly before 4am.  The driver required extrication from the truck.  The motorist suffered serious injuries and was transported to the hospital.


Ridgefield Police to participate in DEA medication take back day

The Ridgefield Police Department is participating in a national prescription drug take-back initiative this month to promote the proper disposal of medications. On Saturday, October 26th, from 10am until 2pm, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications will be collected at Rite Aid Pharmacy on Danbury Road. 

The Ridgefield Police Department partnered with Rite Aid Pharmacy and the Ridgefield Prevention Council for the weekend collection.  All medications collected will be brought to an incineration facility for destruction by Ridgefield Police officers. 

Police officials say prescription drugs that languish in medicine cabinets create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. 

There is a prescription drug take-back box in the front lobby of Police Headquarters available 24 hours a day/365 days of the year. 


Friends of the Franc Preserve and Bethel Land Trust seek volunteers

The Friends of the Franc Preserve and Bethel Land Trust are looking for volunteers to work at the protected open space.  Volunteers will be doing some trail maintenance and native species protection on Saturday.  Workers can also take a guided tour of the preserve to learn about the plants and animals that inhabit the space.  The clean up event is open to all ages, but volunteers are asked to dress appropriately for the weather and bring gardening or work gloves.  The tour is 10:15am with work parties splitting up at 11am.


Bethel Registrars remind residents of voter registration deadlines

The Bethel Registrars of Voters are reminding residents about deadlines for being able to vote in the November 5th municipal election.  An in-person voter registration will be held on October 29th at the Registrars office in the municipal center from 9am to 8pm.  All mail in and online registrations must be completed by that date in order to cast a ballot next month.  Young Bethel residents who will turn 18 years old between October 30th and November 4th, or people moving into Bethel during that time, can register in person by 5pm on November 4th in order to vote.  Online Voter Registration requires a State of Connecticut DMV ID.


New State's Attorney for Judicial District of Litchfield appointed

The state's Criminal Justice Commission has appointed Dawn Gallo as State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Litchfield.  Her appointment is for the remainder of an eight-year term, through mid-2025.  Gallo, a 22-year veteran of the Division, has served as Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Litchfield since June 2014.  The district includes Bethlehem,  Bridgewater, Kent, New Milford, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon, Thomaston, Warren, and Washington. The State’s Attorney oversees criminal prosecutions at the Superior Court and Superior Court for Juvenile Matters in Torrington.


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