The Monroe Police Department is alerting residents to a Contact Tracing Scam. Real contact tracers will not ask for personal information, such as Social Security Number.
The Monroe Police Department is alerting residents to a Contact Tracing Scam. Real contact tracers will not ask for personal information, such as Social Security Number.
The Wilton Police Department has been seeing an increasing number of stolen vehicles from residential driveways. Year to date 5 vehicles have been stolen in 3 separate incidents. In all cases, vehicles were unlocked with the keys left in the vehicle. Ridgefield Police say a vehicle stolen from Wilton was recovered in their town this week.
Bridgewater is having an online Memorial Day Observance in lieu of a parade. A pre-taped video ceremony will be released Monday morning. It will include traditional aspects of the annual ceremony, including an address, readings, a patriotic song and wreath laying. The link will be posted on the Town's website at Bridgewater-CT.gov.
The Friends of the Franc Preserve group in Bethel is encouraging residents to participate in a social distancing-friendly volunteer project. Over the past few years, the open space group has been working to remove the Japanese Barberry plant from the preserve, as it increases deer tick populations, and the risk for Lyme Disease. They cited a study which showed that by removing barberry the average tick populations went from 458 to 191 ticks per acre within a few years in Connecticut sites, and the remaining ones were less active. Clearing the area will also lead to a view of one of the stone walls on the property. The brush clearing will not be done on a specific date to accommodate social distancing guidelines, but volunteers looking for something to do outdoors can, take before and after photos of the work, and then post them to the Friends of the Franc Preserve Facebook page.
In honor of Memorial Day, Redding will be recognizing fallen soldiers at the WWI Memorial Stone on the Congregational Church Green tomorrow. The tribute prayer will be delivered by Hank Sanford at noon. A rendition of “Taps” will be played on trumpet following the prayer. Redding residents attending the service are asked to continue to respect social distancing rules.
This week is Home Fire Sprinkler Week. The Danbury Fire Department, citing the National Fire Protection Association, says a home fire can become deadly in as little as two minutes. Common synthetic furnishings burn hotter and faster than natural materials and produce toxic deadly smoke. Danbury Fire officials say during the COVID-19 crisis, stay at home mandates are in direct correlation with an increase in home cooking fires. They say home fire sprinklers can help eliminate these tragedies, but legislative barriers and a general unawareness of this technology have prevented its use in new homes. Misconceptions about cost is another obstacle. Officials say it only costs an average of $1.35 per square foot to add sprinklers to new construction.
Ben’s Lighthouse, an organization started by the family of a child killed on 12-14, is holding a no-touch, drive-thru food drive Sunday at Reed Intermediate School in Newtown. Non-perishable foods, personal items, pet food and household supplies will be collected in the bus loop from 9 am to 1pm. A food drive volunteer will remove donations from the trunk. Donations will benefit Newtown’s F.A.I.T.H. Food Pantry. Ben’s Lighthouse was founded in memory of 6-year-old Ben Wheeler.
The tennis courts at the Redding Community Center are now open. Residents can bring one non-resident play with. Players must keep at least six feet from each other, use a racket or foot to pick up balls, stay on one side of the court and not touch the nets, fences and net posts. Play is limited to singles, unless a family who lives together is playing, then doubles is allowed. Children younger than 12 must play with a parent. Players should wear masks as they enter and leave the court and as they wait to play. Topstone Park will remain closed until around June 20.
In order to keep up with federal standards that affect reimbursement to schools, Bethel will be increasing school lunch prices for students by 5 cents next academic year. The increase means an extra $9 per year per student. The Bethel School District will cover the expense for students who qualify for reduced-price meals. Nearly a third of students in the district qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
As the state continues responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles' previously enacted 90-day extension for Connecticut residents with expiring credentials is being extended to a total of 180 days. Eligible DMV credentials that expire between March 10th and June 30th are automatically covered by this extension.
In addition to extending the expiration date of DMV credentials, late fees associated with eligible expired credentials will be waived during the time period of the extension for qualifying credentials.
Deadlines have been extended for several DMV-related items including all Licenses, Permits and Identification Cards, car and boat registrations, Emissions Testing and Retesting due dates and Flashing Light permits. Any permanent disability placard that expires at the same time as an eligible credential, will be extended. The validity of school bus proficiency tests due during this time is also being extended.
Temporary Paper License expiration dates will be extended by 180 days for those obtained after March 10th.
For any person who moved to Connecticut after March 10th, the deadline for obtaining a license, registration, or emissions inspection in Connecticut will be extended by 180 days. Temporary registrations obtained after March 10th are also extended.
Suspensions will be delayed by 180 days as a result of failure to attend an Operator Retraining or Child Safety Seat Program, or nonpayment of fees due to a returned check or rejected payment. Violations and penalties associated with failing to meet 30-day recalibration of ignition interlock devices will be waived until September 10th.
Expiring business Licenses credentials will be extended by 180 days from the expiration date. VIN Verification: Waived until September 10.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is temporarily banning walk ins at state parks. This is something that New Fairfield officials have been calling for over the past decade as a way to control crowds at Squantz Pond. DEEP officials in the past have said it couldn't be done without legislative approval, and instead limited car parking to 250 spaces. Local officials say the car limit was helpful in preventing drownings, but allowing walk ins defeated the purpose.
Under the Governor's Executive Order during this public health emergency, DEEP now says a ban on walk ins is needed for crowd control. Commissioner Katie Dykes says this will help visitors follow social distancing guidelines.
As the traditional launch of the summer season approaches with Memorial Day weekend, the DEEP has released an operational plan that outlines current guidelines for state park grounds, trails, beaches, boat launches and other areas. State parks remained open throughout the pandemic, with restrictions such as daily capacity limits, social distancing guidelines, and use of face coverings.
State park beaches along the Connecticut shoreline will open Friday. Guidance from the state Department of Public Health indicates that recreational swimming is not a known form of transmission of COVID-19, in saltwater or freshwater. Visitors to shoreline parks must maintain 15 feet of space from other beachgoers, blanket-to-blanket. This distance will allow for a 6 foot radius around each person or family and a 3 foot walkway in between groups.
Face coverings should not be worn in the water. Visitors should not expect that restroom buildings will be open, but most locations will have portable toilets available. Lifeguards will not be on shoreline beaches in Connecticut state parks early in the season.
Based on the very limited size of beach and swim areas at inland state parks, and current social distancing guidance, DEEP will close beaches at inland State Parks, and prohibit swimming at inland State Parks. DEEP will consider the reopening of designated swim areas on a case-by-case basis.
DEEP will reduce parking capacity and close beaches for the day if social distancing cannot be maintained, and will make adjustments to operations and consider longer-term closures if the situation warrants.
Lifeguards will be provided training to reduce the risk of virus transmission in the course of their duties, including providing CPR. Guidance for lifeguards is available from the American Red Cross. Lifeguards will not be posted at inland beaches while swimming is prohibited at those beaches.
State Campgrounds, Cabins, Youth sites, Backcountry and River Camping sites are closed until at least June 11. Additional campground reservations for the 2020 season have been postponed to prevent the need to reimburse the public for future reservations if campgrounds remain closed.
While law enforcement personnel are authorized to enforce social distancing and group size guidance, DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes says they first seek to educate and ask people to follow the rules, in hopes that visitors will take personal responsibility and make sure that they comply.
If people are blatantly ignoring the new rules they may be asked to leave the park and/or face further enforcement action as required if actions and behavior are not corrected. The potential penalty for violation of any Executive Order, including Governor Lamont’s Executive Order prohibiting entry into a Park when its closed, during the course of a public health emergency can be a fine up to $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, for each offense.
Danbury's boat launch on Candlewood Lake opens today. State boat launches will remain open as long as social distancing compliance remains in effect. To ensure continued use by the boating community, Boating Division staff and Environmental Conservation Police Officers will be on heightened alert for non-authorized users of these facilities.
The Boating Division has posted COVID-19 related boat launch use signage at all 117 launches. The signs highlight use restrictions to boating, fishing and wildlife viewing; use of social distancing and limitations on gathering; and other boating-related separation approaches.
Within the boat launch facilities, one of the areas where people come within close proximity to others is the courtesy docks. The Boating Division has prepared and will soon be installing signage at the docks that restricts the docks to necessary persons only; use of social distancing and avoiding contact with other boaters; and other protective measures. Courtesy Docks have been installed at all 14 locations.
Portable toilets have been installed at the boat launches that typically have this feature. These are being cleaned on an increased schedule by the vendor.
The Boating Division expects to have Boating Education Assistants stationed at various boat launches this summer. While conducting their business, doing safety checks and aquatic invasive species education, they will be following social distancing and utilizing necessary PPE.
During the early morning hours Wednesday two dirt bike/motorcycles were stolen from a Ridgefield home. Police say the thefts happened in the West Mountain Road area. Multiple vehicles were also rummaged through in the Barry Avenue and Florida Hill Road area. A stolen vehicle from Wilton was recovered on Florida Hill Road as well. Ridgefield Police are reminding residents to keep vehicles secure, and remove personal belonging's overnight.
One of the Governor's executive orders at the start of this public health emergency extended the start date for imposing a late fee on pet owners obtaining a dog license. Ridgefield Office of Emergency Management says the late fees normally start on July 1st, but they now won't be charged until August 1st. Before the renewal date, dog owners are asked to confirm that the rabies vaccine is up to date. Vaccinations are usually good for three years, after an initial one-year shot. Beginning June 1st, dog license renewals can be done online, through the Town of Ridgefield website.
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has awarded a $9,000 COVID-19 Resiliency Grant to DanburyWORKS. The funding is meant to assist home-base family child care providers who face challenges due to changes in enrollment, lost income, and the need for more emergency supplies as a result of the pandemic. DanburyWORKS is a city-wide collaborative, linking services across the community to break down barriers to employment by expanding safe, affordable quality child care. As part of the Cora’s Kids initiative, launched in 2018, it has created more licensed, safe child care providers in Danbury and developed a family child care network that now includes 32 providers. United Way of Western Connecticut provides backbone support to DanburyWORKS and Cora’s Kids.
Corrected COVID-19 numbers for Ridgefield has been released by Health Director Ed Briggs. Cumulative positive tests total 172. Deaths total 41, and Briggs notes that all but four originated in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. State and local health staffers are working to get the new Microsoft coronavirus tracking system up and running. Briggs says there is still no actionable information coming from the system. Ridgefield will continue to offer drive through testing for residents on Saturday, May 30th. Sign ups will begin on Tuesday, with instructions released as soon as the site is activated.
New York State Police will increase patrols to combat drunk, impaired and reckless driving throughout this Memorial Day weekend. The STOP-DWI enforcement period starts today, and runs through Tuesday. State Police and local law enforcement partners will be out in force to remove impaired and reckless drivers from the highways.
Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols during this holiday weekend.
Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles that blend in with every day traffic, but unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated. New York State Police Troopers will also conduct an underage drinking enforcement detail.
On Memorial Day weekend in 2019, Troopers arrested 225 people for drinking and driving, issued 13,693 total tickets, and investigated 134 personal injury crashes, which resulted in four fatalities. In addition to the New York State Police, numerous counties and agencies throughout the state also participate in the annual Memorial Day Crackdown.
A 10-year old from Danbury is making more art kits for children in homeless shelters and foster care. Chelsea Phaire has sent more than 15-hundred kits, with markers, coloring books and other supplies, across the country through an organization founded by Chelsea and her parents called Chelsea’s Charity. The foundation was launched on her birthday last August when she asked her friends to donate art supplies instead of getting her birthday gifts. In January, Chelsea was presented with a proclamation from the state during a visit to the Danbury Vet Center.
Bethel officials are offering a reminder for businesses reopening buildings. If a business has been completely closed for a period of time, the Department of Public Health asks that property owners ensure the water supply is clean. When buildings have been unused for a period of time, the trace amounts of chorine added to water to keep bacteria from growing will have broken down, which could allow organic contaminants to grow. This can be easily remediated by flushing the system.
The New Fairfield Zoning Officer, Health Director and Fire Marshal have been working to make sure everything is safe as more restaurants expand outdoor dining. They're also making sure those establishments and reopened retailers use proper disinfecting techniques.
Selectman Kim Hanson asked that people cooperate with retailer, restaurant and grocery store workers. He says they've been working hard and last thing they need is someone to become belligerent if they're asked to wear a mask or stand 6 feet apart.
Under the safe work place rules from the state, New Fairfield Town Hall will have a limited open on or about June 1st. The town is making some physical changes to provide distance between employees and visitors. New Fairfield will conduct business by appointment only, at first, with new ways of doing business. There will be service windows and a drop box.
First Selectman Pat Del Monaco says the Town Beach will be closed until at least July 1st. She says they'll look at the COVID cases later next month to see if the beach can be opened in a safe way.
The track, fields and dog park remain closed. Del Monaco says they will reassess the situation on June 1st and then there may be a limited open. She says the Board of Selectmen knows how important those facilities are to a lot of people.
New Fairfield Social Services Congregational Church Food Bank is still taking donations on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays 11am-2pm; food pick up is Thursdays 3pm to 5pm. Peg's Mobile Food Pantry has pick up on Saturdays, 9 am to noon, through the end of June at the Squantz Firehouse parking lot. People must call for appointment.