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According to the latest filing with the Federal Election Commission, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty has returned about $350,000 in donations to individuals and PACs, but still has more than a million dollars in the account.  Esty opted not to run for reelection amid a controversy over her handling of a sexual assault complaint involving her former Chief of Staff.  Contributions earmarked for the November election must be returned while money left from previous campaigns or undesignated doesn't have to be.  The money can be used to wind down campaign operations or donated to other candidates, but can't be spent on personal use. 

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The Easton Police Department is putting out some safety information for residents as more people are home during summer months. 
Police say so-called distraction burglary occurs when a bogus visitor tells lies to con their way into a home, or creates a diversion so an accomplice can sneak in a back door or window.  Police recommend never opening the door to strangers, and not to hesitate checking with police if it's someone you don't recognize.  Demand and verify identification of utility company associates, poll takers and sales people.
Police suggest having window casement locks or a locking pin to keep windows “cracked” only a bit.  Air conditioners should be secured to the window sill and ladders should not be left outside. 
If you're going to be away for a few days, police suggest arranging mail pick up.

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Danbury-based FuelCell Energy plans to increase annual production to 55 megawatts from the current 25 megawatts run-rate.  The company will also add over 100 manufacturing jobs at its Torrington facility to support the 120-percent increase in production rate.  CEO Chip Bottone says they have seen a steadily building momentum commercially, and DEEP awarded FuelCell two projects for 22.2 megawatts.  The company has approximately 85 megawatts of new projects slated for production over the next 18 months. The products being manufactured and delivered today have electrical efficiencies of up to 60-percent and a cell life of seven years. Deployments range in size from 1.4 megawatt university and hospital campus installations to a 60 megawatt utility scale fuel cell park. 

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Yesterday's storms knocked out power to some in the Greater Danbury area. 
Traffic lights in certain areas were not functioning after the storm, including the intersection at the exit 5 ramps in Danbury.  Stop signs have been placed at North Main Street and Golden Hill.  In Brookfield the state Department of Transportation made quick work of an outage to traffic lights at the intersection of Candlewood Lake Road, Federal Road and White Turkey Extension.  
West Conn summer classes on the Westside campus had to be canceled after 5pm because of a power outage.  

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A motorcycle that blew past a stop sign, and a stopped car, at the Danbury rest area was stopped and found with dangerous weapons.  A State Police Trooper saw 48-year old Anthony Memoli make the traffic violation Saturday as the motorcyclist was headed onto I-84 eastbound. 


The Kingston, New York man cut across all lanes of travel and allegedly started speeding in the left lane.  He was stopped just before exit 3.  Troopers located two sets of brass knuckles and a blackjack club-like weapon. 


Memoli was charged with three counts of carrying a dangerous weapon and issued an infraction for a motor vehicle violation.  He is due in court on August 3rd.

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The Kent Conservation Commission is working to raise awareness about a natural gas-fired electric generation facility just over the state line in Dover Plains, New York, which is slated to come online in 2020.  The Commission called the 1,100 megawatt facility a toxic neighbor that will negatively impact air quality.  Cricket Valley Energy Center will have three 282-foot high smoke stacks, which will emit spent gases.  While an improvement over older coal-fired electricity, the Commission says it is still fossil-fuel based. 


The Kent Conservation Commission is working with officials from Sherman, Gaylordsville, Sharon, Washington, Cornwall and Warren to call on the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Department of Public Health to provide oversight. Neither agency filed briefs with New York State during the application process, which started in 2009. 


The group says the 8 current air quality monitors in Connecticut aren't close enough and the monitors at the base of the smokestacks won't account for wind drift to accurately show ground level measurements in Kent. 


The Commission is looking into a legal basis to require changes in Cricket Valley's operation, including more advanced scrubbing technologies, temporary shutdowns during smog alerts, and other protective measures. 

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Two Waterbury men have been arrested following Southbury and Roxbury burglary and larceny investigations.  20-year olds Malachi Johnson and Kayson Langhorn were charged and arraigned yesterday.  Troopers responded to a Roxbury home on Sunday on a report of two men rummaging through a parked car.  The suspects fled, but were later located and detained. 



(Langhorn, Johnson)


Troopers found burglary tools, numerous credit cards, small electronics, fishing gear, driver’s licenses and women’s pocketbooks in the possession of the suspects.


Johnson was charged with six counts of Burglary, four counts of Larceny and five counts of Illegal Possession of a Credit Card. Langhorn was charged with six counts of Burglary, five counts of Larceny and two counts of Illegal Possession of a Credit Card.


Each man was arraigned on Monday and ordered to appear back in court on Friday.  Both remain held on bond.

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Ventura Law is representing a number of cities against the manufacturers of opioids, but is expanding it's support in the fight against the epidemic.  The law firm is donating $20,000 to the Western Connecticut Health Network for the purchase of Naloxone.  The funding will be able to buy 270 Narcan kits. 


The opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan is a life-saving drug which can combat the effects of opioids on the brain and revive a person.


Ventura Law CEO Augi Ribeiro says the firm is dedicated to helping fight this crisis, and aiding the medical facilities in the local communities.  

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10 people have been arrested in Connecticut as part of a federal drug investigation.  Waterbury Police officials say the men arrested Tuesday morning range in age from 20 to 45, and all except two are from Waterbury.  Among those arrested was Thomas Moruzin of New Fairfield and Alexander Calderon of Oakville.  The 10 men were each charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine base.  The U.S. Attorney's office says Waterbury police, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives all participated in the seven-month investigation into the alleged drug ring.  The men each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines.  

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The New Fairfield Board of Selectmen recently voted to extend the town debris collection to private roads.  Selectman Kim Hanson said in a comment on the town's Facebook page that he voted in favor of the public road collection after being promised the private road debris collection would be put out to bid. He says by not getting competing prices, town is paying $18.50 per cubic chipped yard. He notes that in the last storm where New Fairfield picked up debris and received FEMA reimbursement, the town paid $10.37 per cubic chipped yard.  Debris from private roads will be collected separately from debris on Town roads to ensure that if FEMA funds become available, work on Town roads remains eligible for reimbursement. 

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Two Waterbury men have been arrested following Southbury and Roxbury burglary and larceny investigations.  20-year olds Malachi Johnson and Kayson Langhorn were charged yesterday and arraigned.  Troopers responded to a Roxbury home on Sunday on a report of two men rummaging through a parked car.  The suspects fled, but were later located and detained.

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Nearly two dozen drunk drivers were removed from the roadways in the Putnam County area this past weekend, including one who hit a police cruiser.  60-year old John Woytowicz of Greenwich was on I-84 in Southeast when he hit the cruiser, which had its emergency lights active conducting an unrelated traffic stop on the shoulder of the road. 
Also among the 23 people arrested was 42-year old Jason Hahnen of New Jersey.  He was pulled over for questioning about a domestic dispute at a residence on Harmon Road in Patterson on Friday.  Troopers determined that he was intoxicated.  Hahnen was charged for DWI with a previous conviction, Resisting Arrest, and Obstruction of Governmental Administration. 
39-year old Nugra Guzman of Danbury was charged under Leandra's Law for being intoxicated and behind the wheel while children were in the vehicle.  He was pulled over on 684 in North Salem on Sunday.  On Friday, 42-year old Wilson Supliguicha of Danbury was pulled over on 684 in Bedford.  He was also charged with Aggravated unlicensed operation.

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There have been a number of vehicle break-ins in New Milford.  Police responded to the areas  of Jotham Road, Crest Lane, Ridge Crest Drive and  Meadowood Drive on Sunday to investigate the reports.  Police are asking that anyone who sees something suspicious to report it.  Residents are also reminded to lock vehicles and take out valuable items.

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Some enforcement changes are being rolled out at Lynn Deming Park in New Milford.  The town park on Candlewood Lake has been very popular so far this summer and that's caused safety concerns. 


There are now park managers, and security guards have been retrained. 


Non-residents are allowed in the park, only if they've purchased a $25 per person, per day, pass at the Parks and Rec office.  As of last week, only four non-resident passes had been purchased.  Non-residents are not allowed to walk into the park. 


Mayor Pete Bass says some people have also been sneaking into the park through the woods.  The two park managers or rangers will rotate shifts with a patrol along the edge of the woods.  Eversource is being contacted about fencing the area bordering New Milford's property. 


No car is allowed to enter numerous times, shuttling people in.  Additional signage and cones have been placed along Candlewood Lake Road North in an effort to stop illegal parking.  Cars will be towed. 


Bass noted that there have been several boaters dropping off people or illegally docking for the day.  Violators will be subject to trespass laws and have their boat towed. 


On the 4th of July, Bass says there was unacceptable noise levels, a generator and loudspeakers brought in.  Extra staff and/or modification of staff hours have been made.  During peak demand, New Milford Police will be making several passes through the Park as well as Addis Park.  


A “cheat sheet” was made for security staff of the most broken rules to focus on weaknesses. 

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Redding officials are looking into whether there should be a ban on plastic shopping bags, and eventually straws.  First Selectman Julia Pemberton has put a poll up on the town's Facebook page to garner feedback on if residents would support such a ban.  The poll ends in two days and by this morning had more than 500 votes. 


Westport was the first to ban plastic bags in Connecticut. Greenwich has joined them.  Beyond bags, Starbucks was the first major food seller to announce an end of plastic straws by 2020. 


Pemberton says most of Redding’s recyclable trash, via the regional trash authority Housatonic Resources Recovery Association, and HRRA’s contracted hauler, is either incinerated or sent overseas to China.  China is the largest purchaser of recyclable waste, and waste in general, from the US.  Pemberton says China recently enacted stricter regulations, rejecting more shipments of recycled materials for contamination.

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The Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission will be hosting the three Phase II designers today.  The designers have 30 minutes to present to the commission followed by a 30 minute question and answer session.  The designer sessions start at noon and go through 4pm.  Public participation will follow the final presentation, starting around 4 o'clock.


One design features winding pathways with a Sycamore tree planted inside a fountain at the center.  The names of the 26 educators and children killed on 12-14 would be engraved around the stone edge. 



Another design includes 26 gardens and miniature fountains. A stone wall will include four separate dedications to the town, the first responders, the surviving school members as well as the country as a whole for support after the shooting. 



The last design includes an open green space dubbed the Breathing Field, a Memorial Grove, a Reflection Pool as well as a Belonging Bench.



The designers are visiting the site this morning.  Although none are local. the Commission says they all have local roots.  Families were invited to the presentations, as well as the Boards of Selectmen and Finance, Legislative Council, Planning & Zoning, Parks & Recreation, Inland Wetlands, Conservation and the Police Commission.  Newtown's Land Use director and deputy director, along with a representative of the Public Building & Site group, were also invited. 


A special meeting, which will be held in executive session because of financial discussions, was scheduled for July 30th.  A finalist will be selected at the August 9th meeting.  The finalist will be asked to provide information about costs for construction drawings, total project cost estimates, and readiness or time constraints.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Republican governor candidates are pushing proposals to eliminate or scale back Connecticut's income tax.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton on Monday released a 31-page plan that includes phasing out the personal income tax over 10 years. He says there will be $381 million in reductions in the first year.

Boughton, the Republican Party's endorsed candidate, faces four challengers in the Aug. 14 primary.

Former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst wants to eliminate the income tax for anyone making up to $75,000. Greenwich hedge fund manager David Stemerman wants to reduce the number of brackets from seven to three, while lowering rates.

Westport tech entrepreneur Steve Obsitnik wants a tax cut for those earning less than $100,000. Meanwhile, Madison businessman Bob Stefanowksi proposes phasing out the income tax over eight years.  

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Ventura Law is representing a number of cities against the manufacturers of opioids, but is expanding it's support in the fight against the epidemic.  The law firm is donating $20,000 to the Western Connecticut Health Network for the purchase of Naloxone. The opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan is a life-saving drug which can combat the effects of opioids on the brain and revive a person. Ventura Law CEO Augi Ribeiro says the firm is dedicated to helping fight this crisis, and aiding the medical facilities in the local communities.  A check presentation ceremony will be held at the firm's Danbury office on Main Street at 9am.

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A former Danbury Police Officer has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the City, claiming he was forced to resign after a fatal pursuit.  Former Officer Jamie Hodge was working a road construction job when he got in his private car and started chasing a vehicle he knew to be stolen.  A passenger in that vehicle was killed in a crash. 


The Newstimes reports that Hodge and his union-hired attorney met with Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour in March 2017 and was told that if he did not resign, he would be terminated.  The suit alleges that Hodge was coerced into resigning.  Hodge, who is black, said he was discriminated against because “Caucasian” officers with similar conduct didn’t receive such treatment.  Chief Ridenhour, who is also black, declined to comment in the published report, citing the ongoing litigation.


The driver of the other vehicle involved, 33-year-old Ricardo Andre, had several outstanding warrants for his arrest and was not seriously injured.  26-year-old Tiffany Fitzgerald died of injuries sustained in the December 2016 crash.  Andre pleaded no contest to a manslaughter charge and is expected to be sentenced August 3rd in Waterbury Superior Court. 


Hodge was charged with reckless driving and received a special form of probation available to first time offenders which will result in the charge being erased from his record.

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An easement has been approved by Newtown officials for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary.  The facility is named for one of the children killed at Sandy Hook School.  The Hubbard family was previously deeded a parcel of state-owned land adjacent to the Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard for the sanctuary, but an access road is needed.   


Planning Director George Benson says an easement from Newtown is needed to develop a driveway because there is no legal access to a road.  An existing partial road is already owned by the family.  The driveway would also give access to a proposed commercial development site between Commerce Road and the animal sanctuary.   


The Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection must sign off on the driveway plans. Benson will work with the Hubbard family and a developer to complete the driveway.

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