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The Bull Hometown News

Brookfield adding COVID-19 vaccine appointments to VAMS tonight

While some towns have announced their final first dose COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be held this month, Brookfield plans to continue operations through mid-May.  Tonight at 7pm Brookfield officials will be uploading new openings for appointments for Moderna first dose shots to the Vaccine Administration Management System. 

The clinics at St Joseph's School will appear on VAMS for next Tuesday and Saturday, and May 12th.  The clinic hours on the 20th are  9AM to 1PM, 4PM to 7PM, with a standby line starting at 6PM.  Hours on Saturday, April 24th are 9AM to 1PM with a standby line starting at noon. 

Standby lines are for any vaccine available due to extra doses drawn during the day or unfilled appointment cancellations. Having a space in the standby line is not a guarantee of vaccine availability.

California man reported missing in Newtown found safe

A California man reported missing in Newtown has been found safe.  Newtown Police issued a Silver Alert yesterday morning for 28-year old Zackery Thomas.  He was spotted putting into a Church Hill Road gas station, taking all of his life's personal belongings out of his van, and placing them behind the gas station.  He cell phone, clothes, and other personnel items were left behind as his drove off.  Newtown Police contacted his mother in California and father in Michigan, learning that Thomas suffers from depression and left California to visit his dad and then left there when he came to Connecticut. His parents didn't know why he would come to Newtown as he has no known connection with the area.  He was located later in the day by Waterbury Police.  The Newtown Police Department thanked Facebook followers for getting the message out there, and Waterbury Police for getting Thomas the help he needed.

Public hearing held on proposed Danbury budget

Most of the public comments submitted to the Danbury City Council about the budget were about the education spending. During a virtual public hearing last night, some 39 comments were read into the record.  38 of them were about the school budget. Other comments were submitted, but didn't include names or addresses as required.  Those comments will be kept on file, but were not read into the record.

Mayor Joe Cavo says one piece of the spending plan that's important is about money for non-profits.  Last year was the only year the City didn't fund grant agencies, but with a non-profit taking over care of the homeless, the United Way will be able to pass along funding again.  Pacific House is in negotiations to buy the Super 8 motel where the homeless has been housed since the start of the pandemic. 

Cavo says he and others worked hard to get the non-profit allocation back in the budget to support various agencies and the work they do, especially during the public health emergency.

Red Tailed Hawk found shot with an arrow in Newtown

A Red Tailed Hawk found shot with an arrow in Newtown is being cared for by a local rehabilitation organization.  The hawk was caught in the area of Boggs Hill Road and Palestine Road last week.  Christine's Critters is caring for the bird and notified the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which is investigating the case.  It's a federal offense to shoot hawks, which are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The hawk was treated at South Wilton Veterinary Group and then transferred back to Christine's Critters for at home care on pain meds, antibiotics, and fluid therapy.

Newtown referendum on budget, Sandy Hook memorial funding planned

Newtown residents are voting on a $123 million municipal and school budget on April 27th.  The tax rate would decrease slightly, .3 percent.  The Newtown Legislative Council voted to use a surplus in the fund balance to prevent an increase next year.  The municipal portion of the plan, $43.5 million, represents a 1.3 percent increase in spending.  The $79.9 million school plan includes the same spending increase.  There are several other questions on the referendum ballot.  One is a $5 million allocation for emergency radio system upgrades and another is $1.5 million for Reed Intermediate School boiler and lighting replacement.  There's also a question about $3.7 million dollars for the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial. 

Sherman residents approve funding for capital items

A special town meeting was held in Sherman this week where residents approved spending for capital items.  During the Wednesday virtual gathering the Board of Selectmen put five requests, totaling $153,000, to voters.  Most of the items were for the public works department, but there was also up to 10-thousand dollars approved for  installation of 450 feet of guide rail on Hubbell Mountain Road.  Sherman officials say there have been safety concerns after several accidents on that stretch of road.  Residents also approved money for a new public works pick up truck, replacing a 21-year-old landscaping equipment trailer, replacing the nearly 26-year-old wood chipper, and a diesel mower/snow blower to replace the more-than-20-year-old mower.

Redding to hold annual Rid Litter Day

Redding is planning to hold an annual Earth Day event.  Residents are being called on to participate in Rid Litter Day and build Mt Trashmore on the Redding Town Green April 24th.  Residents can pick up gloves, vest and trash bags to help rid Redding of roadside litter and the bring the trash back to the green.  Anyone who already has a road they want to clean up should let town officials know, so they can keep a running list.  A road can also be assigned to interested volunteers.  A photo op will be held at 2:45pm, before volunteers load the trash into a dumpster, which will then be weighed.  In past years Redding residents have collected close to a ton of trash.

Shredding, e-waste collection to be held Saturday in Redding

A shredding and e-waste collection event is being held on Saturday in Redding.  This is for residents only, with proof of residency required at the Redding Transfer station.  People bringing their items for shredding or recycling must stay in their vehicle at all times.  Workers will wear PPE to take the items from vehicles.  Shredding has a 5 box limit.  No xrays or binder clips and file hangers will be accepted at the collection, from 9am to noon.  Items accepted for ewaste recycling include computers, tablets, monitors, printers, scanner, modem, stereo equipment, cell phones, microwaves and the like.

Absentee ballots available for Bethel budget referendum

Absentee ballots are available for Bethel residents for the upcoming budget referendum.  Applications must be completed and returned to the Town Clerk by appointment.  Residents can use the Municipal Center entrance closest to the post office, ring the doorbell and an employee will take photo ID and issue a ballot. The ballot can be voted on immediately or taken home.  Either way, it must be placed in the ballot drop box located outside at the front entrance of the Municipal Center, opposite the town's yellow correspondence drop box.

Danbury High School teacher recognized with humanitarian award

The Connecticut Education Association is recognizing a Danbury High School teacher.  Kimberly D’Auria, a Family and Consumer Science teacher, has been awarded the Harvey Milk - Sylvia Rivera Award, a Human Rights and Civil Rights Awards.  It's to honor union members who challenge discrimination related to gender identity and sexual orientation.  D’Auria was nominated by DHS counselor Jean Carroll-Jones for her work to create a safe LGBTQ school environment.

Speculation grows on grocery store under construction in Brookfield

Visible construction work has started at the old TJ Maxx in Candlewood Plaza in Brookfield.  The space was approved as a grocery store by the Brookfield Zoning Commission back in October.  There's speculation that it will be an Amazon Fresh store based off the anonymity request at that time.  The leasing director for the plaza said the proposed grocery store client is extremely secretive, as a product of the company's foundation as a technology company.  The facade was dictated to them by the client, and they worked with architects and a design team for nearly a month to adapt the existing conditions to their demands.  At the time of the approval there was only one of these stores open in the country.  When asked if there will be a lot of delivery vehicles, compared to other grocery stores, Zoners were told that there were no current plan for there to be deliveries from the store to customer's homes.

Congressman agrees with troop withdrawl

4th District Congressman Jim Himes agrees with President Biden’s decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021.  He says the mission has evolved to be too broad, too unclear, and too costly.  Himes says he has confidence in the intelligence community to ensure that a potential resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan will not threaten Americans.  He notes that this war has cost the U.S. $2 trillion and nearly 2,400 American lives.  Himes believes the country has achieved the initial goal to defeat those who attacked America on 9/11.  But he says there is still a responsibility to protect Afghans who’ve helped military forces over the past two decades and the U.S. should prioritize clearing the backlog of translators and their families who are waiting for visas to leave Afghanistan.

Virtual workshop provides update on proposed Career Academy in Danbury

A virtual workshop has been held to discuss progress on creating a Career Academy for middle and high school aged students in Danbury.  The $99 million project would be reimbursed by the state at 80-percent, which is much higher than the typical 66-percent rate.  Finance Director David St Hilaire says there will be a relatively small impact on the projected debt service over the next decade. 

Former Mayor Mark Boughton is leading the Career Academy Steering Committee.  An application must be submitted to the state by October 1st, but a draft was requested by September 1st. 

The goal is to address overcrowding while providing more opportunity to study various careers.  Plans eventually call for six academies within the school focused on professional health services; information, cybersecurity and technology; scientific innovation and medicine; global enterprise and economics; art, engineering and design; and communications and design.

Three pods at the Summit would be used, with another parcel at the former Union Carbide world headquarters used for a gymnasium. 

The mixed-use development on the City's west side will seek a reduction in the number of apartments being constructed to make room for the school.  Boughton and the developer previously came to an agreement for an annual fee of $550,000 to the City to offset the costs of any additional students from the apartments.

The Danbury Planning Commission will review the Summit’s revised plan next week.  A zoning regulation change allowing a public, secondary school at the site will be considered by the Zoning Commission the following week, with a public hearing planned for May 11th. 

New Milford opens COVID-19 vaccine appointments to students 16 and older

The New Milford Health Department COVID-19 vaccine clinic at John Pettibone Community Center has reserved appointments for eligible New Milford High School students to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Students aged 16 and over are eligible.

The time slots April 21st from 4pm to 7pm, with the second dose on May 12th during the same hours, or first dose April 24th from 7:30am to 8:30am and the second dose on May 18th from 4pm to 5pm. The second dose appointments will be automatically scheduled during the first dose appointment. 

Students that are over 18 can self-register through the town's website.  Students who are 16 or 17 require the consent of a guardian.  Students will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose. Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine or to be tested even if exposed to a positive case of COVID-19.

Redding to schedule final first dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments at local clinic

With widening COVID-19 vaccine distribution and increased availability, Redding will be holding its final first dose vaccination clinic on April 23rd.   Redding Health Officer Doug Hartline called it good news that the town is sensing the supply of vaccine starting to catch up with the demand. For those looking for a vaccination appointment there’s still time for Redding residents who are 18 and older to sign up on the town's website.  Redding will still run second dose clinics after April 23rd for those who received their first dose in Redding. The final second dose clinic will be May 21. Second dose recipients early in the week their shot is due will receive a call and/or email to set up an appointment.

Bethel to wind down COIVD-19 vaccine clinic

The Town of Bethel COVID-19 vaccine clinic has administered over 5,000 doses to residents and many others received their shot elsewhere.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says there's now widespread availability elsewhere, so the Bethel clinic will shut down in the next few weeks.  Bethel will remain open for first dose appointments for those who call and make an appointment by Monday a 4pm.  The clinic will remain open for 2nd doses for everyone who signs up by that time.  Bethel offers the Moderna shot.

Virtual public hearing in Danbury tonight on proposed budget

The Danbury Public School District has sent out a letter to the community calling attention to the differences in the budget the Board of Ed requested, and the one currently under consideration.  District officials want the City to increase funding because an additional 750 students are expected over the next five years.  There's a virtual public hearing on the $267 million budget tonight at 7pm.  The Board of Ed is calling for another $4 million dllars.  According to Mayor Joe Cavo's budget proposal, $137 million in city funding is boosted by little more than $5 million in federal grants and $3.5 million surplus from the prior year bringing the total to $146 million.  The current year's city contribution was about $135 million for the schools. Residents may weigh in via email comments@danbury-ct.gov with their full name, address, and comment. The subject matter should be included in the subject line of the email.

Danbury Hospital participating in NIH study of COVID treatment

Danbury Hospital is among more than 40 sites in the US participating in a National Institute of Health trial to identify promising therapeutic treatments against COVID-19. The trial involves biological and drug treatments compared to a placebo group.   Lenzilumab is a first-in-class recombinant monoclonal antibody that's being studied as a biological treatment.  Remdesivir is a drug that's been used in treatment but is being studied further.  The end date for the trial is December of this year.

Man allegedly breaks window, threatens to shoot people at Danbury business

A Danbury man has been arrested for allegedly threatening to shoot people and smashing a window at a new store on Backus Avenue on Tuesday.  Police say Tod Sparks, a painting contractor, had a dispute with the general contractor for the new Ocean State Job Lots store.  During the dispute, the 39-year old repeatedly threatened to shoot people and at one point smashed a window with a broomstick.  He was charged with criminal mischief, breach of peace, disorderly conduct and threatening. Sparks was not found to be in possession of firearms when he was arrested.

3 cars stolen in Wilton, 1 recovered with bullet holes

Wilton Police say 3 cars were stolen last week and at least 3 others were entered.  One stolen vehicle was later used in a larceny in Woodbridge.  Another stolen vehicle was recovered with bullet holes in it.  Wilton Police are reminding residents to lock unoccupied cars in order to help protect the community from offenders looking to commit additional property and violent crimes under the cloak of anonymity using someone else's vehicle.

Wakin' Up With The Bull
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Wakin' Up With The Bull