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The Bull Hometown News

New Milford Police K-9 retires from active duty

A New Milford Police K-9 has retired from active duty.  Drake served for nine years.  The German Shepherd was born in the Czech Republic entered service in 2012 was certified as a Dual Purpose Patrol and Narcotics canine.  He also served on a United States Presidential Secuity detail following the shooting at Sandy Hook School and helped the Secret Service for President Obama's visit.  Drake and his handler were mainly assigned to day / evening swing shifts.  During his nine years of service, Drake assisted and was successful in numerous narcotic investigations in New Milford and surrounding towns, including assisting the Connecticut State Police Narcotics Task Force. Early in his career, K-9 Drake was able to track an incapacitated high school student who was reported missing after school. In another incident, Drake was called into service at 1 o'clock in the morning for a lost individual in a wooded area. Following a two mile track, Drake located one of the involved male parties.  K9 Ella will be taking over patrols in New Milford.

New Fairfield firefighters extinguish chimney fire

New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department responded to a report of a chimney fire Friday night.  The fire on Pine Hill Road was brought under control quickly.  Anyone using a fireplace and chimney is urged to be aware of fire prevention tips including making sure the wood is seasoned and a hardwood because a few logs of greenwood can build creosote thick enough to start a chimney fire.  Creosote is highly flammable and formed when vapor from wet wood mixes with gases and condenses.  A professional chimney sweep should inspect the chimney at least annually, but more frequently if the fireplace is lit regularly. Chimney professionals say that a ¼in thickness of creosote means a chimney can burst into flames any minute and should be removed.

Connecticut State Police Annual Toy Drive under way

The Connecticut State Police Annual Toy Drive is under way.  Troops are collecting new toy donations for children of all ages.  State Police say this is another year of hardship, with many families without jobs, income and in need of support.  New, unwrapped toys may be dropped off at the Troop A lobby or, purchased online and shipped directly to Connecticut State Police Troop A C-S-P Toy Drive 90 Lakeside Road, Southbury, CT 06488.

Sherman Fire pancake breakfast fundraiser canceled due to COVID

Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Sherman and the neighboring communities, the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department has decided to cancel their pancake breakfast fundraiser originally scheduled for December 12th.   Anyone who had already purchased meals for the day should have received an email with information regarding refunds.  


Hawleyville Fire wraps up Fill the Boot fundraiser

Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company has wrapped up their Fill the Boot Fundraiser.  Department officials say the all Volunteer members save Newtown millions every year by offsetting the cost of a paid fire department.  The funds raised over the weekend will help with training of new and current members, acquire needed equipment and offset operating expenses.

Danbury Police Department mourns loss of another officer

The Danbury Police Department is mourning the loss of another officer.  Andrew Katkocin passed away unexpectedly yesterday morning.  Spokesman Lt Mark Williams said in a statement that the 12-year veteran of the department was well-liked and respected by his peers and supervisors alike.  Williams called Katkocin's passing a stunning blow to the Department.   45-year old Sgt David Cooney passed away last Sunday after a year long battle with Leukemia.  As Danubry mourns the two losses, other police agencies are helping out.  Other police departments will be patrolling within Danbury and responding to requests for assistance in order to make it possible for Danbury personnel to attend services for both officers.  The augmented service is temporary and will end when services are complete.  A Mass of Christian Burial for Cooney  will be celebrated at 11am at St. Gregory the Great Church in Danbury. Burial will follow in St. Peter Cemetery. 

Nearly a dozen guns seized from Carmel home

Nearly a dozen guns have been seized from a Carmel home and a 23-year old man has been arrested.  Putnam County Sheriff Robert Langley says the Narcotic Enforcement Unit had a warrant for Thursday's search following a month’s long investigation into the manufacture, sale, and possession of unlawful firearms in the Mahopac area. 10 unlawfully possessed pistols, 1 unlawfully possessed assault rifle, 67 large capacity ammunition feeding devices, and tools and parts to make more than 20 additional firearms were seized. Except for one, none of the firearms had a serial number inscribed on it.  David Goldberg Jr. was charged with Criminal Possession of a Dangerous Weapon, Criminal Sale of a Firearm, three counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon, 10 counts of Criminal Possession of a Firearm, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.  He was arraigned and remanded to the Putnam County Correctional Facility.

Ridgefield asks residents opt in to mask wearing indoors

Masks are currently not mandated for the vaccinated except in certain situations.  Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi asks that residents opt in to mask wearing when indoors in settings outside the home. He notes that many local businesses still require masks for everyone, vaccinated or not and added that this is the time to support their efforts to protect their employees and customers.  Marconi is also reminding residents that municipal leaders have the option of requiring masks to be worn by everyone in indoor public places regardless of vaccination status within their respective towns and cities.

Redding to put together ARPA committee

Redding officials are still working on putting together a committee to help make decisions on how the town's $2.7 million federal American Rescue Plan Act funding should be used.  The goal is to make the appointments at the Board of Selectmen meeting this month.  The town plans to seat members from the Boards of FInance and Education, Parks and Rec along with the Commission on Aging.  Residents will have final say on any spending at a special town meeting or through a referendum.  Funds must be obligated by December of 2024 and spent by 2026.

Danbury awaits state grant approval for school construction reimbursement

Danbury officials are still awaiting approval of a state grant for the $99-million Career Academy project.  City officials haven't heard back yet on the application to receive 80-percent reimbursement on the project, but Danbury and the Board of Education are starting to develop academic and construction plans by purchasing the property at the Summit on the City's westside.  The man in charge of school construction projects is on paid leave from the state due to a personal issue.  A Director for the Academy would be charged with developing partnerships in the area to give students relevant experiences outside of school.  The facility is set to open for the start of the 2024 academic year and will serve 1400 middle and high school students, in 6 academies with 24 pathways.  The curriculum ill include internships, job shadowing, early college and other similar experiences.

New way to apply for Bethel Transfer Station Permits

The Bethel Town Clerk's Office has created a new way to apply for Transfer Station Permits. It 's more user friendly than last year.  Residents need to fill out the application, available on the home page of the town's website, or use a QR code.  In order to do that, residents must use the camera on a smartphone, hover over the code as if taking a picture of it, and that will direct the user to the application. You do not need to take a picture, just focus the camera over the QR code.  Permits will be mailed and Bethel residents can begin using them right away.  Households with two cars that will be using the Transfer Station must fill out an application for each.

Danbury man inducted into Conn. Veterans Hall of Fame

Nine men and women have been inducted into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 2021, including Brendan Sniffin of Danbury, the President of the Korean War Veteran Association.  The Hall of Fame recognizes distinguished veterans who have made significant contributions after leaving military service. 

State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Tom Saadi says since 2005, the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame has recognized veterans who then served their communities at the local, regional and state levels as leaders in veterans’ organizations, in public service, and as volunteers and community advocates.  Saadi says these veterans embody the true meaning of service to this nation and to communities. 

While each of these men and women come from different backgrounds, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz says they all share the same characteristics – courage, strength, pride, and selflessness.  Bysiewicz and Saadi were joined by leaders of the state’s veterans’ community at the induction ceremony Friday at the National Guard Armory Drill Shed.

The other inductees are:

1. Gerald Augustine, U.S. Army, Middletown
2. Paul Barry, U.S. Marine Corps, East Hartford
3. John Bevins, U.S. Navy, Waterbury
4. Stanley Borusiewicz, U.S. Marine Corps, Naugatuck
5. Carlita Cotton, U.S. Air Force, Mansfield
6. William Currlin, U.S. Army, Middlefield
7. Brian Ohler, U.S. Army, North Canaan
8. James Shelmerdine, U.S. Army, East Hartford

Bethel in search of town's second Honorary Poet Laureate

Bethel is in search of the town's second Honorary Poet Laureate.  The appointee will be responsible for expanding the community’s knowledge of and exposure to poetry and for composing poems for special events and occasions when requested. Candidates for this three year appointment must submit 3 original poems and a resume of their publications.  The competition is open to anyone over the age of 18.  Applicants must be residents of Bethel.  Entries will be reviewed by an independent committee; three finalists will be selected and interviewed. The poet chosen as laureate will be appointed by the Board of Selectman.  Those interested are asked to email with name, address, phone number.  All poem styles are welcome, but applicants are asked to select ones that are appropriate for a live reading.  The judges will base their decisions of written work on poetic understanding, concept, and style. The deadline for submissions is December 31st. 

Carmel High School Rams to play for NY state title today

The Carmel High School Rams have made it to the New York state football championship for the first time in the school’s history.  Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell says seeing kids from a small town in the small county, against much bigger and better funded rivals brings everyone together as a community.  The team has been undefeated all season and advanced to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The Rams will play Buffalo’s Bennett Tigers for the state title today. The Rams began the season carrying 40 flags onto the field before their first game, a long-standing Carmel tradition that took on special meaning as it was the eve of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Putnam County lent the flags to the team.

CityCenter Danbury hosting annual Light the Lights tonight

CityCenter Danbury is hosting their annual “Light the Lights” Holiday Celebration tomorrow.  Th free event is from 5pm to 7pm at the Danbury Library Plaza.  Mayor Dean Esposito and former Mayor Joe Cavo will do the official “light up” of downtown.  Santa will arrive by fire truck as part of a decorated fire truck parade down Main Street.

Danbury Police investigating report of shots fired near Danbury High School

Danbury Police are investigating a report of shots fired at Danbury High School shortly before 8am. Patrol units immediately responded to the school, in addition to the officers that were already on the campus.  Chief Patrick Ridenhour says there were no injuries and at this time they have found no evidence of shots fired on the campus or in the surrounding area.  Out of an abundance of caution the school temporarily went into shelter in place, but that has since been lifted. Danbury School Superintendent Kevin Walston says they have not found any evidence that a gun was on campus.  Police have met with the student driving the reported car, but nothing has been substantiated.  The incident is still under investigation.

Greater Danbury area COVID-19 infection rates vary widely

The state department of Public Health is reporting that Bethel and New Fairfield's COVID-19 infection rates have gone up half a percentage point since last week to 3.2 and 2.8 percent respectively.   Danbury's rate ticked up slightly to 2.9 percent.  Brookfield's COVID-19 infection rate over the last two weeks is 4.5 percent. Newtown's rate increased a full point to 3 percent.   Redding's infection rate is 3.3 percent while Ridgefield's positivity rate is 2.9percent.  New Milford's infection rate jumped from 5.9 percent last week to 7.4 percent this week.  104 COVID cases have been reported over the last two weeks.  

Pediatric COVID-19 vaccines will be administered at a mobile clinic in Danbury today.  This is for children 5 to 11 years old, with parental permission.  The clinic is at the Wooster School Dining Hall on Miry Brook Road from 3pm to 6.  On Sunday, there's a pediatric clinic at Pomperaug High School in Southbury from 8:30am to 12:30pm.  The Redding Community Center is hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic Sunday for everyone 12 and older.

Another 29 patients were in Connecticut hospitals with COVID-19 yesterday compared to Wednesday.  Of the 414 patients currently hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed cases, 324 or 78.3 percent are not fully vaccinated. Of the fully vaccinated Connecticut population, there's a 1.04 percent breakthrough rate of people who have contracted the virus.

Town meeting in Bridgewater set on funding for Volunteer Fire Department

A Town Meeting is being held in Bridgewater later this month.  Residents are being asked to approve $100,000 from the General Fund be transferred  to the Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Department to purchase safety equipment.  The meeting will be virtual, via zoom on December 14th at 7pm.

Redding residents can recycle broken Christmas lights at Transfer Station

As people start decorating their homes for Christmas, Redding officials are offering a solution for people with burned-out holiday lights that can't be fixed.  The Redding Transfer Station will take them for free.  Redding residents do not need a permit to drop them off during business hours. They will be recycled.

UPDATED: Shelter in place at DHS lifted after report of shots fired found unsubstantiated

Danbury School Superintendent Kevin Walston says the district received a call this morning reporting that shots were fired in the vicinity of Danbury High School.  Walston says they have found no actual evidence that this has occurred, nor do they have any evidence that a gun was on campus.  Police have met with the student driving the reported car, but nothing has been substantiated.   Out of an abundance of caution the school temporarily went into shelter in place, but that has since been lifted.  The investigation is continuing.

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