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New Fairfield officials will hold a Town Meeting on Monday for resident to vote on the sale of the small municipal water system owned by the Town to Aquarion.  The Planning Commission gave a positive referral.  The system provides water to six commercial customers in addition to Town buildings. Previous administrations have discussed a potential sale to Aquarion over the course of the past several years.  New Fairfield doesn't have the infrastructure or staffing to continue to operate the system. The equipment is aging and presents a liability for the town.  Concerns were raised during discussions about the sanitary easements and pumping limits in the proposed agreement of sale.  The regulated public utility gets oversight from the CT Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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Survey work has started for sidewalk improvements in downtown Danbury.  The design phase for Main Street sidewalks is underway.  The work is being done in the White Street and West Street area.  Earlier this year Danbury received $200,000 from the state for the Streetscape Project.  The overhaul includes new construction or replacement of sidewalks, intersection improvements, landscaping, removal and installation of trees, ornamental lighting, and pedestrian access improvements.  The work was detailed in the Downtown Transit Oriented Development Planning Study.

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Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Tom Saadi will participate in “Celebrating Veterans Day” at the Danbury Farmers’ Market tomorrow.  The ceremony is scheduled for 11am on the CityCenter green.  Ron Agard, a U.S. Army veteran and now Danbury Farmers’ Market Community Collaborative’s veterans’ community outreach coordinator asked veterans service organizations to attend the event to provide more information about their programs catered towards veterans.  Veterans with a valid ID who attend the market are given a 15 dollar "Veggies for Vets" market certificate that can be used to purchase fresh produce. The program is funded by the Fairfield County Community Foundation and Farm Credit East.

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WALLINGFORD, Conn. (AP) - As college students move into their dorms across the country, one Quinnipiac University student is beginning an unusual housing arrangement.

Law student Cathleen Dacey moves in Friday with senior citizens at Masonicare at Ashlar Village, a retirement community in Wallingford.

It's part of the Connecticut university's Students-In-Residency program that began in 2016 and is designed to break down generational barriers and combat ageism.

Dacey will have her own apartment at Ashlar Village and will provide at least eight hours of service there each week in exchange for housing.

Victoria Kozar, of New Milford, who was among the first students in the program, says living at the facility helped tear down stereotypes for both generations and gave her new respect for the wealth of knowledge and experience that older people have to share.  

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A Redding woman has won her malpractice lawsuit against Danbury  Hospital in the Connecticut Supreme Court.  65-year old Vivian Gagliano went to the hospital for a hernia operation in 2008.  The suit alleged that the attending physician allowed member of the hospital's residency teaching team to assist and the resident perforated Gagliano's colon.  The perforation was not detected and her heart stopped two days later, sending her into a coma.  The state's highest court upheld the Appellate Court ruling that the jury had sufficient evidence to reach the $12-million verdict, finding the hospital negligent for the injuries caused to the woman.

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The Brookfield Police Department offered to have needed items paid for from the Police Outside Services Fund rather than include the money in the recently approved capital budget. 

 

$60,000 will be used to buy a 2014 Ford F-350 Super Duty truck, previously used by the fire marshal.  The money will also go toward gear to serve the operational needs of the police department.  The truck will not be used for patrols, but rather to tow other vehicles, responding to difficult terrain or transporting traffic control equipment like cones. 

 

Another $61,737 dollars will be used for various technology items including tablets, tracking software for patrol cars, and a surveillance camera and microphone for the interview room.  Money will also be used to reconfigure the audio recording equipment in the holding area. 

 

Payments to the Police Outside Services Fund come from officers working construction sites, directing traffic and other extra duty.  Brookfield charges for the officers and cars, with a markup. That markup is put into the Fund.

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There are now 51 municipalities throughout the state participating in the Sustainable Connecticut program. Nine are in the Western Connecticut Council of Governments region.  WestCog is hosting two Sustainable CT Fellows, who are working with communities to complete their applications for Bronze Certification.  The Fellows have been meeting with community leaders, researching what credits communities have already earned and developing strategies for achieving the first level of certification.  They have also been looking into methods of the WestCOG towns to earn credits on a regional scale.  Brookfield, Greenwich, Newtown, New Milford, Ridgefield, Stamford, Weston, Westport, and most recently, Bethel, have registered for the Program.  The application deadline is August 24th to become Sustainable CT towns.  Two of the nine towns are attempting to achieve a Silver Certification, while the remainder will be striving for Bronze.

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A former Region 9 Board of Ed chairwoman has entered a guilty plea to promoting a minor in an obscene performance.  The plea from Sara Sobel was made under the Alford Doctrine, meaning she admitted there's enough evidence for a conviction but questioning some facts in the case. 
 
The Newstimes reports that allegations against Sobel include that she repeatedly left a young child with a convicted sex offender and took pornographic photographs and videos of the child that she sent to the man.  She previously described that man, Stephen Overby,  as “a close personal friend." Sobel will be sentenced on October 24th in Danbury Superior Court and faces 30 years in  prison, suspended after 10 years, but could argue for a reduced sentence. 
 
Overby pleaded guilty in February to sexual assault of a minor.  His plea deal calls for a 30-year prison sentence, suspended after 18 years.

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International Overdose Awareness Day is on August 31st. 

 

A coalition in Greater Danbury will be holding a Narcan Training session, talking about prevention and offering information about treatment options to mark the day.  The program is being put on by the Regional Opioid Prevention Workgroup at Danbury Public Library on the 31st from 5pm to 6:30pm. 

 

There will be a walk from library plaza to Kennedy Park where participants who lost someone to an overdose will place a pair of shoes at a memorial installation. 

 

Members of the coalition are WCHN, Danbury Police,Facing Addiction, WCSU, Family and Children’s Aid, Town of Ridgefield, MCCA, Mountainside, CT Counseling, CNV Help, Apex, Newtown Parent Connection, CIFC, Timothy House, Green Funeral Home, STMAD, Bethel Community Care Coalition, and Americorps.

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The Newtown Police Department is looking for a school traffic agent.  The part time work includes directing traffic flow and school bus movement into and out of school parking lots during the school year.  The job is about 15 hours a week.  A uniform and training is provided.  Applicants must be 18 or older, have a drivers license and undergo a background check.  

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A seminar is being held for new families transitioning into the Danbury school system.  The free forum next week is designed to help families new to the district understand what the expectations are and the resources available to help them.  Those who missed kindergarten orientation are also encouraged to attend.  The seminar on Tuesday is from 6:30 to 7:30pm at Hatters Banquet Hall on East Hayestown Road.

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In an effort to accommodate New Fairfield residents who can't get to Town Hall during normal hours, the building official hours have changed.  Eric Kist will be available Monday through Wednesday 8:30am to 6pm, Thursdays 8:30am to 5:30pm and there will no longer be Friday hours for the building official. 

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DANBURY, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man charged with recruiting young intellectually disabled and mentally ill men into a human trafficking ring and providing them to wealthy clients for sex has said he's willing to plead guilty.

Robert King, of Danbury, told a judge Wednesday that he would plead guilty in exchange for a 4 .5-year prison sentence.

Authorities say the 52-year-old King would ply the victims with drugs and then force them into prostitution when they incurred heavy debts. He's charged with trafficking in persons, promoting prostitution and tampering with a witness.

Plea negotiations appeared to have broken down before King spoke over his attorney in court and said he would take a deal.

King faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

He is due back in court Aug. 22. 

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A man suspected of drug sales in the Danbury area was arrested yesterday, and found in possession of a so-called ghost gun.  For the second time in as many days, Danbury Police arrested a suspected dealer in the process of depositing drug proceeds in a local bank.  22-year old Cristopher Marcos and his Osborne Street home were the focus of a several week investigation. 

 

One of the men he reportedly sold to yesterday, 22-year old Ahmad Zahran, was later arrested as he waited in the drive-thru lane of a local restaurant. 

 

 

  

(Marcos, Zahran)

 

Marcos was stopped and found with several hundred dollars in cash, a substantial quantity of assorted illicit drugs, a firearm with no serial numbers, and ammunition.  An 11-month old was home when police searched and DCF was notified of the incident and responded to the residence to conduct a further investigation.

 

Marcos was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell within 1500’ of a prohibited place, possession of a controlled substance within 1500’ of a prohibited place,s ale of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, risk of injury to a child and criminal possession of a firearm.  He was held on $150,000 bond. 

 

Zahran was charged with possession of a controlled substance.  He was released on a written promise to appear in court at a later date.

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A toddler was freed from a Thomas the Tank Engine toy yesterday in Danbury.  The fire department is called to any number of scenarios, some referred to as 'Man In Machine' incident.  This one is being called a 'Tot In Toy' incident. 

 

 

Early yesterday morning firefighters responded to a call of a child with his hand stuck in the smoke stack of a large train toy.  The calm 2-year old didn't appear to be injured, but the few attempts to back his arm out of the opening didn't work.  Firefighters decided to dismantle the Tank Engine, which seemed like it would be a simple task. 

 

 

The boy's arm was caught in a some sort of 'launcher' for shooting a ball.  After 20 minutes, the boy was freed uninjured.  He was wearing a bracelet that got caught on the gear mechanism.

 

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Danbury-based Connecticut Institute for Communities is receiving more than $100,000 in federal funds.  This is National Health Center week and the money is coming from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and their Quality Improvement grants program.  The money is meant to improve the quality, efficiency, and the effectiveness of community health centers. 
 
CONNECTICUT INSTITUTE FOR COMMUNITIES, INC: $111,472
 
Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporters $5,000
 
Clinical Quality Improvers    $20,472
 
Enhancing Access to Care $10,000   
 
Addressing Health Disparities  $41,000
 
Advancing Health Information Technology    $5,000
 
Achieving PCMH Recognition  $30,000

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The Brookfield Board of Education has approved plans for a proposed $78-million Huckleberry Hill Elementary building.  A new building would be constructed on the back field the current campus, with Center School Pre-k through first graders 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.  Plans next go to the Municipal Building Committee, Selectmen and Board of Finance--and then a referendum.  Renovations to Whisconier Middle School are also being eyed. 

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The May 15th macroburst caused immediate damage to trees in the Greater Danubry area.  Then days of rainfall have been saturating the ground causing weak trees to fall.  Some falling trees in Brookfield prompted officials there to close walking paths on town-owned properties until a survey  can be completed on the health of surrounding trees. 

 

Danbury officials did a cursory driveby to evaluate dangers after the severe weather.  There was renewed concerns raised after a passenger in a pick up truck was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle last month. 

 

Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola says they did a couple of calls after that and a crew went to out evaluate the trees.  City Councilwoman Colleen Stanely said she was on Cross Street when a tree fell in front of her.  She questioned whether homeowners are being notified if it's a tree on private land, or whether the department has people to go out to take care of trees in the City right-of-ways. 

 

A city tree has to be within 10 feet of the gutter line, where the catch basins are.  Snow plow routes were used to canvas the city, but Iadarola says they didn't walk every mile of road and check every tree.

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A federal grant that Newtown applied for, in order to preserve unique farmland, was not awarded. The town applied for funding from Farmland Trust, which would have been matched with local dollars, to put an agricultural easement on the Paproski family’s Castle Hill Farm.  The state Department of Agriculture determined in 2016 that the farm possesses soil with unique qualities that permit it to absorb particular nutrients, hold those nutrients over time, and release them.  Under an earlier proposal, the Paproski family would remain on the property and the farm would remain an active agricultural enterprise.  But under the USDA grant program, many activities run on the farm would have had to stop, including the corn maze.  Visitor vehicle parking including school tour buses, would have had to be eliminated.  Improvements to the family's home would have needed federal permissions.  The farm has been in continuous operation since 1927. 

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The Brookfield Board of Education is meeting tonight to talk about, among other things, the $78-million Huckleberry Hill Elementary building proposal.  A new building would be constructed on the back field the current campus, with Center School Pre-k through first graders 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.  Renovations to Whisconier Middle School are also being eyed.  The meeting is at 7pm in the media center of the high school.

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