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2nd annual Battle of The Badges softball game in Southbury

The 2nd annual Battle of The Badges softball game in Southbury takes place October 12th.  The Southbury Police Department is looking to defend their title against the Southbury Fire Department.  Food trucks will be on hand for the event, which is held to help raise donations for the Southbury Food Bank.  Spectators are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to Ballentine Park at 2pm.


Sandy Hook firefighters mark end of National Fire Prevention Week

Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue is marking the end of National Fire Prevention Week.  Fire officials suggest residents create different scenarios for practicing a home fire escape plan, such as blocking some exits and conducting a fire drill in the dark. A plan for each situation should be developed.


Dog gets head stuck in tree stump in Wilton

A dog who got its head stuck in a tree stump was rescued by firefighters in Wilton last weekend.  The Wilton Bulletin reports that the dog had been out for a walk with its owner, when it chased a chipmunk and became lodged in the dead tree stump.  Several dog walkers tried freeing it, but couldn't and Firefighters and animal control were called to the area of the Town Forest.  A large, broken branch was stuck in a tree above the dog, and responders were worried it would fall.  A “spreader” and “cutter” hydraulic tool were used to chip away at a root and free the dog's head.  The animal appeared uninjured.


Fire in Danbury, Redding last night

Danbury firefighters responded to a small residential fire near the courthouse last night.  The blaze on the 2nd floor porch of a house on White Street was quickly extinguished. The Danbury Fire Marshals Office is investigating the cause of the fire, which is undetermined at this time. There were no injuries reported.

There was some windy weather last night.  The gusts took down power lines in Redding, which sparked and were burning in the trees in the area of Chestnut Woods Road and Topstone Road.  West Redding Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene, along with Eversource.


Danbury schools seek input on 2020-2025 Strategic Plan

The Danbury Public School District is looking for public input as the Board of Education looks to finalize a Strategic Plan for 2020 through 2025.  The plan that will set the standard for education, learning and the schools in the coming years.  The strategic plan draft has been posted online and parents are asked to answer a brief survey.  The responses will help the overseeing committee formulate a plan that meets the needs of all students and their families.  The survey is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.


English Version - https://forms.gle/8rdvXcDrc8uMCEb78
Spanish Version - https://forms.gle/mWexgJjCqyowTDQ86
Portuguese Version - https://forms.gle/Ns1mrf5SAbsS6jz16


Danbury mayoral candidates raise similar amounts to date

The latest campaign filings for the municipal elections are being made.  Danbury Republican incumbent Mayor Mark Boughton and Democratic challenger Chris Setaro are in a virtual tie, each raising $160,000 during the campaign.  While Setaro lead in fundraising during the first quarter, Boughton outraised Setaro in both of the last two quarters.  The pair last faced off for the position in 2001, when Boughton was first elected to the role.  Setaro lost by fewer than 150 votes.


Danbury Fire Department to hold Touch-A-Truck event Saturday

The Danbury Fire Department will be marking National Fire Safety Week with a touch a truck event at Danbury Library.  Residents can attend the event at Library Plaza on Saturday and see a fire truck and meet firefighters.  There will be a special storytime where participants will learn how firefighters keep the community safe.  The event is 11:30 am - 12:30 pm.


Danbury Mayoral candidates face off in debate

Longtime Danbury incumbent Mayor Mark Boughton and Democratic challenger Chris Setaro faced off in a debate last night.  Boughton is seeking his 10th term in office.  Setaro is an attorney who served as City Council President.  The debate was held by the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce.  a boisterous crowd clapped for their respective candidates throughout the debate.  There were a few interruptions, especially when the candidates were asked about immigration.

The first couple of questions were about how to retain and grow business in the City.  Boughton said the state doesn't make it easy and touted creation of the small business advocacy.  Setaro says strategic planning is important.  He says small businesses look at things like the schools, roads and quality of life when looking to located to a municipality.  He says the City can be made stronger by focusing on these kitchen table issues.  Setaro also called for assessment deferrals.  Boughton says economic development is not a problem for Danbury, noting that tax breaks are given and the permitting system has been streamlined and put online.

The candidates were next asked about what they would do to help downtown thrive.  Boughton says his administration is in the process of implementing a Transit Oriented Development plan, which includes $2 million from the state for sidewalks.  He highlighted zoning changes that have been made in City Center and a grant to study how to revive the old Maybrook train line, connecting downtown to Southeast train station.  Boughton also touted the learning corridor with Naugatuck Valley Community College.  Setaro says the downtown should be a priority, because it looks the same as it did 18 years ago.  He called for a revitalization of the dining and entertainment district to jump start things in City Center.  Setaro says the city-owned Tuxedo Junction building should be put to use as a performing arts center.

When it comes to residential development, Setaro says Danbury has been overdeveloped with no plan for how to manage that growth.  He says the area on the westside known as The Reserve should have been corporate development property.  Boughton noted that Setaro voted for the sewer and water extension and knew it was going to be residential.  He added that there was a real threat that The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation would have built a casino on that land.  Boughton says they are taxpayers, support local businesses and there's also 200 acres of open space.  As for overcrowding in the schools, Boughton says these are residents who should be demonized.  Setaro fired back unbridled growth is different than running sewer and water over to the west side, there could have been commercial development.  He also doesn't see a rush of casino entrepreneurs lining up in Danbury.

Setaro noted when it comes to education funding, there is currently a crisis with an unexpected jump in enrollment creating a $1.3 million budget shortfall.  He called for a 20 year strategic plan so that Danbury is last in the state on per pupil spending.  He says that's not a badge of honor and doesn't think Danbury needs a lobbyist to bring more dollars back to the City.  Boughton says the education budget has increased every year he's been in office and never presented a budget that forced layoffs. 

Crime and quality of life issues were also addressed by the candidates.  Boughton says the Police and Fire Departments have new infrastructure and touted the centralized dispatch center.  He noted that there are roving foot patrols in the summer and plans for more community policing.  Setaro says Danbury has a police force and fire department to be proud of, but says the police department is understaffed.  He wants to look at the privatized 911 system and called for a street crimes unit to address robbery and auto theft.  Setaro also called on the Mayor to sign onto a letter that calls for universal background checks and waiting periods for gun purchases.  Boughton says Danbury has enough officers, noting the crime is down 18 percent year over year.

On immigration, Setaro says Danbury needs a Mayor who views the City as a set of communities to bring together through inclusive politics.  He says people want to be heard, and it's important to reach out to everyone.  Boughton says he is proud that Danbury is a diverse city and has strived to make sure the workforce is representative of the people they serve.  He noted a diversified police force and the large number of cultural and religious events held in the City.  Setaro says a Mayor should respect diversity, adding that he wouldn't deputize police to pick up day laborers leading to an expensive civil rights violation lawsuit.  Boughton says he didn't deputize the police, they did have a partnership with ICE to focus on criminal activities.  Setaro responded that Danbury has a police department to address criminality.


Two jet skis reported stolen in Newtown

Two jet skis have been reported stolen in Newtown.  Police say the theft occurred earlier this week, in the middle of the night. The jet skis were locked and secured to a dock at the rear of a residence, on Lake Zoar, in the area of the Silver Bridge. The jet skis are valued at $25,000.  Newtown Police spokesman Lt Aaron Bahamonde says officers are pursuing several leads, but also also ask for the public's help.  Residents along Lakes Zoar and Lillinonah are cautioned to be vigilante and take additional steps to protect their property.  Those steps include calling police if anything suspicious is seen around boat ramps and installing motion sensor alarms, lights, cameras, and GPS units.


Two vehicles on train tracks along Danbury branch caused Metro North delays

Two vehicles on the tracks along the Danbury branch caused Metro North delays last night.  The first incident was reported shortly after 8pm in Danbury.  A car was on the tracks at the intersection of Wildman and Taylor streets. Firefighters noted that all of the occupants were out of the vehicle and the train was able to stop before reaching the intersection.  The conductor was instructed to go back and drop passengers off at the Bethel station since the train could not proceed to the Danbury station.  The car was removed around 8:40pm.  At that same time, a motorcycle was reported on the tracks near the Merritt 7 stop.


Public Safety Day to be held in Southbury on Sunday

Public Safety Day is being held in Southbury on Sunday.  The first responder “open house” and community event features the fire, emergency medical service, police, K-9 and animal control departments.  

It's from 1 to 4 pm at the Center Firehouse on Main Street South.

The event is hosted by the Southbury Volunteer Firemen’s Association.  Over a dozen emergency vehicles will be on public display including ambulances, police cruisers, rescue boats, 102’ ladder truck, heavy rescue, engines, tankers, brush truck, gator and others.  

Southbury Fire Chief Brian Warren says the ambulance and fire departments are always looking for volunteers and residents are encouraged to learn about how they can help serve their community.  

At 2pm a rural water supply demonstration will be done with a water tanker to show how water is delivered to areas in town without fire hydrants. A vehicle extrication with fire and EMS personnel and apparatus will occur at 3pm.  

A popular part of the annual safety program is a walk thru of the “smoke room” simulating realistic smoke conditions.  The fire department’s Ladies Auxiliary will be distributing free 9-volt batteries for smoke detector to promote “the change your clock, change your battery” campaign.  Children will receive a prize package for participating and visiting the numerous event “stations.”  

The Southbury Ambulance Association will be providing tours of their ambulances along with providing blood pressure readings, medical and safety information.  Southbury Police will have a wide variety of tools and information available including radar, traffic enforcement equipment, along with public safety and drug awareness information.  

The programs are all free and open to the public.  Parking will be provided at the adjacent town hall parking lot and behind the firehouse. 


Stony Hill Fire Company recognizes Exchange Club Firefighter of The Year

Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Company is recognizing Bethel's 2019 Danbury Exchange Club Firefighter of The Year.  Engineer Zach Britton joined the department in high school, at 16 years old.  He has earned numerous certifications including Haz Mat operations and Emergency Medical Responder.  Britton was selected for the award due to his unwavering dedication and commitment to the department and the wellbeing of the Town of Bethel.  Stony Hill officials say he is the epitome of what they expect from their membership.


Redding Elementary School educator named 2020 Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year

A Redding Elementary School educator has been named as the state Department of Education's 2020 Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year.  Jaime Bairaktaris, or Mr. B as he's known to his students,  is in his third year at RES which he attended as a student. 

The award was renamed in 2013 to honor of Anne Marie Murphy, a special education paraprofessional who was killed at Sandy Hook School. Redding Elementary School’s principal, Natalie Hammond, survived the shooting and was a friend of Murphy.  The celebration this week not only honored an exceptional paraeducator, but also acknowledged the commitment of Hammond in her continued dedication to students. 

Bairaktaris had a vision to transform some under-utilized space in the school cafeteria into ‘The Living Room’, a space where students can relax in a safe, supportive environment and meet their Social/Emotional needs during lunch.  Students can read in handmade reading boxes, collaborate with other students to solve puzzles, or get creative and work on art projects.  Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona took a tour of the space Tuesday. 

The Westport resident provides support to students in math, assists with students who need 1:1 support, and has been trained to assist behavior technicians.  Bairaktaris believes that age does not affect one’s ability to help others as long as they are passionate. State officials say his passion for helping others was built during his own childhood by his teachers and paraeducators, and he now strives to instill that same sense of kindness and confidence in his own students. 

The Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year Program selects one exceptional paraeducator - narrowed down from approximately 14,000 public school paraeducators - through a rigorous process that includes interviews conducted by representatives of the School Paraprofessional Advisory Council and representatives from educational organizations and collective bargaining.


Bethel Public Works Department issues 2019 Leaf Pickup Schedule

The Bethel Public Works Department is out with their 2019 Leaf Pickup Schedule.  Curbside pick up of leaf bags will begin on Monday, October 21st and end on Friday, December 13th.  Residents are asked not to rake leaves into the streets, as this will cause storm drain clogging and localized flooding. 

Bethel residents can also bring bagged leaves to the transfer station at no extra cost while this program is in effect. 

Household garbage will not be accepted with the leaves.  No plastic bags will be picked up.  Tape should NOT be used to close and seal the leaf bags.  Leaves placed after the scheduled pick-up date will be collected on the next rotation. There will be NO special pick up on demand.

The schedule is as follows:

Week of October 21st, November 4th, November 18th and December 2nd:

Almar Dr., Ann Terrace, Apollo Road, Ballfield Rd., Blue Spruce Ct., Brookwood Dr., Cawley Ave., Chelsea Rd. Cindy Lane, Durant Ave. Farm Ct., Gemini Rd., Golden Hill Rd., Grandview Ave., Greenwood Ave., Hickok Ave., Judd Ave., Juniper Rd., Kayview Ave., Keeler Ave., Library Pl., Main St., Maple Ave., Maple Ave. Extn., McKay Rd., Milwaukee Ave., Oxford St., Plumtrees Rd. (Maple Ave. Ext. to Whittlesey), Prospect St., P. T. Barnum Sq./Fountain Pl., School St., Seeley St., Simeon Rd., Whittlesey Dr., Wooster St.

Bethpage Dr., Cherry Lane, Church Camp Grounds, F.J. Clarke Circle, Fairchild Dr., Granite Dr., Knollwood Dr., Laura Lane, Melillo Dr., Oaktree Court, Oven Rock Rd., Plantation Ct., Pleasant Rise, Rotella Dr., Second Lane, Sharon Ct., Tremont Ave., Trowbridge Dr., Turnage Lane, Vera Dr., Whitlock Ave.

Beach St, Benson Rd., Blackman Ave., Bonnette Dr., Bonnette Dr. Ext., Depot Pl., Diamond Ave., Division St. Drummers Lane, Elgin Ave., Elizabeth St., Farnum Hill, Fleetwood Ave., Fleetwood Park, Front St., Glenwood Dr., Grace Ct., Grand St., Grandview Terrace, Grassy Plain Street (Route 53), Grassy Plain Terrace, Griswold St., Henry St., High St., Highview Terrace, Hudson St., Lindberg St., Mansfield St., Maple Lane, Martino Lane, Oakland Heights, Paul St., Pleasant St., Pleasant View Terrace, Rector St., Reservoir St., Saxon Rd., Second Lane, South St., Summit Lane, Sycamore Ct., Winding Brook Drive, Whitney Rd., Willow St., Aunt Pattys Lane W., Buckboard Ridge Road, Carriage Dr., Codfish Hill Road, Codfish Hill Road Ext., Cross Hill Rd., Eastbrook Ct., Falls Lane, Hillside Ct., Ichabod Lane, Jacklin Lane, Katrina Circle, Legend Dr., Old Dodgingtown Rd., Phillip Dr., Ravencrest Dr., Settlers Lane, Twin Maples Dr., Valley Ct., Wagon Rd., Windaway Rd., Wolfpits Rd. (Codfish to 302).

Aunt Pattys Lane E, Birnam Woods Rd., Briarcliff Manor, Canaan Dr., Chestnut St., Chestnut Ridge Rd., Crestview Dr., Daniska Dr., Dittmar Rd., Four Gables Rd., Good Hill Rd., Jacobs Lane, Judy Dr., Long Meadow Lane, Mt Orchard Rd., Nashville Rd., Nashville Rd. Ext., Putnam Park Road, Sunset Hill Rd., Taylor Ave., Van Campen Lane, Webb Rd., Williams Rd., Wolfpits Rd. (Codfish to S.S.).

Week of October 28th, November 11th, November 25th, December 9th :

Adams Dr., Benedict Rd. (Ridgedale to Rte. 6), Brookview Ct., Budd Dr., Buff Lane, Castle Hill Rd., Chimney Dr., Dodgingtown Rd/Rte. 302, Far Horizon Dr., Fox Den Rd., Green Pasture Road, Hearthstone Dr., Hollyberry Dr., Meckauer Circle, No, Hearthstone Dr., Old Field Dr., Old Turnpike Rd., Patridge Dr., Payne Rd., Quaker Ridge Rd., Ridgedale Rd. (Benedict Rd. to Sky Edge), Sand Hill Rd., Shelter Rock Rd., Sky Edge Dr., Sky Edge Lane. Walnut Hill Rd. (Plumtrees to Shelter Rock Rd.), Westview Dr., Woodlawn Dr.

Autumn Dr., Birch Dr., Cedar Dr., Clearview Dr., Devine Terrace, East Lane, Evergreen Dr., Farmview Dr., Garella Rd., Hawleyville Rd., Hilldale Rd., Laughlin Rd., Long Hill Rd., Maple Row, McDonnell Dr., McNeil Rd., McNerny Rd., Meadow Lane, North Rd., Oakridge Rd. Old Hawleyville Rd (Walnut Hill to Brookfield), Redwood Dr., Ridge Rd., Terrace Dr., Vail Rd., Weed Rd.

Appletree Rd., Benedict Rd. (Walnut to Ridgedale), Colonial Dr., Cortland Dr., Empire Lane, Grove Place, Hillcrest Dr., Hoyt Rd., Karen Dr., Kristy Dr., Northern Spy Court, Old Hawleyville Rd. (Walnut to Plumtrees), Old Shelter Rock Rd., Pound Sweet Hill, Pondview Dr., Ridgedale Rd. (Walnut to Benedict), Rita Dr., Rockwell Rd (Walnut to Plumtrees), Sunny Acres Rd., Taylor Rd. (Walnut to Plumtrees), Walnut Hill Rd. (Shelter Rock to Line), Wine Sap Run.

Allan Way, Bayberry Hill Rd., Dodgingtown Road (Route 302), Edmond Dr., Galloping Hill Rd., Honey Hollow Dr., Kellogg St., Limekiln Ct., Linda Lane, Marvin Pl., Old Lantern No., Old Lantern So., Old Hawleyville Rd. (Plumtrees to Rte. 302), Old Town Lane, Pell Mell Dr., Plumtrees Rd., Racebrook Ct., Roberts Rd., Rockwell Rd. (Plumtrees to Rte. 302), Rocky Lane, Shelly Rd., Taylor Rd. (Plumtrees to Rte. 302), Terry Dr., Vining Rd.

Andrew St., Country Way, Fawn Rd., Gale Ct., Governors Lane, Gretchen Lane, High Lake Dr., Highland Ave., Hoyts Hill Rd., Midway Dr., Sara’s Way, Short Dr., Spring Hill Lane, Starr Lane, Stone Dam Rd., Topstone Dr., Waterhorse Brook Dr., Whipporwill Dr., Winthrop Rd.


2019 Candlewood Lake boat count complete

The 2019 Boat Count on Candlewood Lake is complete.  The Candlewood Lake Authority conducted the annual count of resident boats in mid-August.  One major decrease is seen in the unregistered boat category, which includes kayaks, canoes and the like.  That's partially because stand-up paddle boards are no longer included in the count.  There was also a decrease of roughly 100 boats in both the registered boats and boats with cabins categories.  The count showed a modest increase of about 20 Personal Watercrafts like jet skis. 


Redding to hold Residential Paper Shred & E-Waste Day

The Town of Redding is sponsoring a Residential Paper Shred & E-Waste Day this Saturday from 9am to noon at the Town’s Recycling Center on Hopewell Woods Road.  The event is free to Redding residents, with proof of residency.  It's not for businesses or in-home offices.  Shredding is done by Oak Ridge.  Mobile shredder will cross shred documents while you watch.  Staples and paper clips are OK; binder clips and file hangers are not.  There is a 5 file box limit per person.  E-Waste can be dropped off at Transfer Station, including computers, hard drives, monitors, record players, televisions, radios, cassette players, DVD/CD/VCR players, Beta, 8-Track, phones, cords and other electronics.  Participants are cautioned they should be prepared to wait up to 10 minutes in line.


Friends of the Danbury Library book sale this weekend

The Friends of the Danbury Library’s annual book sale is this weekend.  Admission is free for the sale, except the early bird entry Saturday at 8am-which is $15.  The fundraiser is at the Danbury Police Activities League Building from 10am to 5:30pm.  On Sunday, the sale ends at 5pm and books are half price that day.  On Monday, the book sale is 10am to 2pm and people can get a bag of books for 10 dollars.  On Monday from 3pm to 7pm, books are free.


Danbury emergency responders hold training drill at Airport

The Danbury Fire Department has conducted their annual Aircraft Rescue Firefighting training at Danbury Municipal Airport.  The Police Department and Danbury Hospital EMS also took part in yesterday's event.  The weather forced them to change their plans for a full scale drill, but they still did training exercises.  Participants learned how to tug planes out of a hangar, where power system shut offs are in different types of planes, how to open hangar doors, and how to communicate with the Air Traffic Control Tower.


Hazard buoys to be removed from Candlewood Lake, marine officers sought

The Candlewood Lake Authority will begin the hazard and navigation buoy removal process in the days after Columbus Day Weekend. Anyone planning to be out on the lake after that time is asked to take the necessary precautions.

The Candlewood Lake Authority Marine Patrol is accepting applications for new Officers for the 2020 boating season.  The part time work has openings for positions for Police Officer Standard Training Certified and non-POST Certified officers. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age. Applications with resumes must be faxed or postmarked by Tuesday.  Application can be found online.


New Milford Public Works Director resigning

The New Milford Public Works Director is resigning.  Michael Zarba, in his resignation letter, says for the first time in 13 years he feels that he is not fully in charge of his department, and has been left out of the decision making process over the past year and a half. 

Zarba said in the letter, which was posted on social media, that he will not be responsible for decisions being made without his involvement.  Zarba cited non-justified firings and hirings, arbitrary road and bridge design criteria, and equipment and software purchases. 

He also claims the Mayor has non-town employees he has more trust in, and they have more power and influence over Public Works issues.  Zarba says he can no longer work under such a haphazard, confusing and illogical decision making process. 

He noted that he feels he is no longer being allowed to make all operational and management decisions necessary to effectively run the department. 


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