Jim Coda
Jim Coda
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Local News Stories

Brookfield firefighters remind motorists to move over passing accident sites

Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company responded to a two car crash this week on busy Federal Road and are now reminding motorists about some safety tips when driving through an active emergency scene.  Drivers should keep their eyes focused on the road and what is ahead.  Paying too much attention to the accident can cause a driver to miss brake lights ahead and dangerous road debris.  Drivers are urged to pay attention to signs, detours and traffic patterns ahead to increase the chances of being able to spot a problem, while still having enough time to react, which will decreases the chance of a rear-end collision.


Bridgewater official urges residents to keep up with COVID-related guidance

Bridgewater First Selectman Curtis Read says the country's sense of independence is necessarily crimped on this Independence Day.  He says it's understandable to feel somewhat frustrated and impatient, but today should be dubbed “Dependence Day,” where everyone relies on each other to stay safe and healthy.


Sherman firefighters modify annual Roast Beef Dinner fundraiser

Sherman Volunteer Fire Department will hold their annual Roast Beef Dinner fundraiser this year.  On Saturday, August 1st firefighters will be serving a take-out from the back of the firehouse by vehicle only; no walk-ups allowed.  Families are welcomed to stay and tailgate at The Green.  There will be live music, but families must bring their own chair or blanket and a mask.  Tickets for the event, from 4 to 7pm on August 1st, can be purchased in advance online through the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department website.


Redding, Danbury announce plans for town office reopenings

Redding town offices will be following a three phase reopening plan.  Phase one, the closures, has had employees working remotely.  The Transfer Station is open; the Tax collector has a walk up window, and the Town Clerk, by appointment only, has been setting up outdoor meetings for business that can’t be done by telephone or email. 

Phase two includes opening to the public by appointment only. The Heritage Center and will remain closed to visitors. At this time no date for transitioning into the second phase has been set. 

The third phase will see municipal buildings open to the public for business as usual, no appointments required.

Danbury City Hall will have some employees return to the office on Monday.  One group of employees will work Mondays through Thursdays, and then the next group will be in the office the following week.  During the off time, employees will continue working remotely. 

Shifts will be staggered between 7:30am to 6 or 6:30pm. 

Visitors will be allowed back at Danbury City Hall by appointment only starting on July 27th.  Appointments will be available 10am to 4pm and visitors must wear masks and be signed in.   The number of appointments will be limited.


Bethel Library fine forgiveness ending next week

A drop box is open at Bethel Public Library.  Any resident with materials checked out before the library closed to the public, is asked to return them soon.  The grace period for fines related to checked out materials will be ending on July 10th.  The library is closed today and tomorrow for the holiday weekend.  Curbside pick-up will resume on Sunday.


Operation Dry Water searches for people boating under the influence

As boaters begin the July 4th holiday weekend, law enforcement officers across Connecticut will be on heightened alert looking for those boating under the influence.  State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Environmental Conservation Police are working in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, local law enforcement, and the U.S. Coast Guard.  National Operation Dry Water is a heightened awareness and enforcement weekend from today through Sunday.  DEEP is working to increase boater awareness of the dangers and risks associated with boating under the influence and will be on the on Connecticut’s lakes, ponds, and rivers, as well as Long Island Sound. Boaters will notice an overall increase in officer patrols at recreational boating checkpoints as well.  EnCon Captain Keith Williams says alcohol use can impair a boater’s judgement, balance, vision and reaction time.  In Connecticut, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 – the same as it is to operate a vehicle. 


Masks not being worn on Still River Greenway prompt reminders

The Still River Greenway in Brookfield is open, and many residents are using it. But First Selectman Steve Dunn says he's getting numerous reports that many people are not wearing masks.  There are also people running without masks on and others are using bicycles on the path, which is currently only open to walkers.  Dunn called on residents to protect each other by only walking on the Greenway and wearing a mask at during the entire walk.  He says they want to keep the Greenway open and keep residents safe at the same time and to do both, everyone has to follow the rules.


Brookfield is expecting $1.245 million in savings

The Town of Brookfield is expecting $1.245 million in savings once the 2019-20 fiscal year numbers are confirmed.  There is a projected $400,000 savings on the school side of the budget and $845,000 on the municipal side.  The money will be placed into the capital nonrecurring fund and could cover unexpected costs in this new fiscal year.  First Selectman Steve Dunn says the town savings were thanks to a mild winter, which kept down overtime and salt costs.  There were also across the board spending cuts and positions left vacant.  On the school side, savings cam from transportation and sports line items.  Brookfield has about $2 million worth of capital projects awaiting voter approval in a referendum.


Local fire Departments awarded FEMA grants

Some local fire Departments are among 68 nationwide to be awarded FEMA grants.  The $10.7 million in Assistance for Firefighters Grant is a COVID-19 supplemental program.  Sandy Hook Fire Department is receiving $2600, Oxford firefighters will get $600.  The money is coming from one of three FEMA grant programs that focus on enhancing the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards. The money can be used for critical Personal Protective Equipment and supplies needed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Additional phases are expected to be announced.


Driver escapes fiery rollover crash without injuries

A car rolled over and caught fire in Danbury yesterday evening.  Danbury Police, Fire and EMS units responded to Backus Avenue near Fed Ex around 8:30pm.  The driver, the only person in the SUV, was able to escape the crash without injuries.  Firefighters extinguished the flames.  EMS checked out the driver, and the Fire Marshal is investigating the blaze.  Police are completing an investigation.  The road was closed for about 90 minutes while everything was cleaned up.

(Photo: DFD)


Two vehicles stolen from Willow Springs condo complex in New Milford

Two vehicles were stolen from the Willow Springs condo complex in New Milford last Thursday.  Police yesterday called on the the public to help identify a potential suspect in the motor vehicle theft investigation.  The 2016 Volkswagen Jetta and a 2018 Dodge Charger were unlocked with the keys in them.  Police say the suspects drove to an unidentified drive-thru on Route 7 in New Milford and were captured on surveillance video.  Police ask anyone who can identify the potential male suspect in photos on their Facebook page to call Officer Bove at 860-355-3133, ext. 2496.


Water Witch Hose firefighters get new uniforms, to host parade

Water Witch Hose Company of New Milford will celebrate a new tradition this Independence Day.  Around 2pm on Saturday, Veteran Members of the fire department will don Traditional Class A Uniforms and make their way from the firehouse up to New Milford Town Hall.  Firefighters will be met by other members in new Class A Uniforms. Company officials say the Traditional Red's that have been known for over 150 years have become obsolete. 

After months of planning, the public is invited to the New Milford Town Green to witness a little piece of History.  Participants are asked to maintain social distance. 

New Milford's Fireworks were cancelled this year, so the firefighters will hold a Parade down Route 7 on Saturday at 7pm. The parade will start at fire headquarters head around the green and travel all the way down Route 7.

It will then make a special trip into the Lone Oak and Perry Drive Communities.  Fire Company officials say these two neighborhoods had some of the best signs during the Unity Parade.  Spectators are asked to maintain social distance.


Putnam County urges 'snow-bird' residents to follow travel advisories

As Putnam County prepares for Phase Four of reopening slated for Tuesday, the Putnam County Department of Health recommends “snow-bird” residents follow guidance regarding travel advisories.  While much is still unknown for communities and businesses, such as when gyms will reopen or if indoor dining will remain a part of phase four, the County Health District recommends residents postpone distant travel plans and instead, invest time and money into the local economy via staycations.  Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell says there's plenty of outdoor dinging, trails and lakes for families to enjoy.  She highlighted the tourism website putnamcountyny.com/tourputnam.


Bethel taxes can be paid via Apple Pay, Google Pay

Effective immediately, Bethel residents can pay tax and utility bills directly from a smart phone using Apple Pay or Google Pay.  Any Bethel resident with an account set up using either of these services will see an icon appear on the phone automatically while accessing the Invoice Cloud system through the tax collector's online payment link on the town website.  Just as with any credit card transaction, Bethel officials are reminding residents that a service fee will still be applied.


Absentee ballot application drop box set up at Bethel Municipal Center

Applications for the Presidential Primary have been mailed to every registered Democrat and Republican in Connecticut.  The Bethel Town Clerk says a state-issued secure Ballot/Application Drop Box under surveillance is being installed today opposite the Town of Bethel Drop Box in front of the Municipal Center.  The applications are to be returned to the Town Clerk's Office.  Absentee ballots for the presidential contests, and the State Senate District #26 will not be available until July 21st.

(Photo: Bethel Town Clerk Facebook)


Brookfield retreat to address diversity, equity and race in educational priorities

The Brookfield Board of Education and the district Superintendent are scheduling a summer retreat to set specific and actionable objectives to address diversity, equity and race in educational priorities.  Several former students recently shared stories about their racial experiences in Brookfield. The board members say they want to act in a responsible, actionable and meaningful way to address these issues. Brookfield School officials say they are committed to ensuring all students, staff members and families feel welcome, safe and supported.


Danbury Fire Marshal officer 4th of July safety reminders

The Danbury Fire Marshal's Office says while families are celebrating Independence Day weekend, an adult must supervise fireworks activities. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.  According to statics from Connecticut State Police Fire and Explosion Unit; since 2015 there have been 91 fires that have been directly attributed to individuals using fireworks and 36 individuals have sustained injuries that were serious enough that required them to be transported to emergency room.


Special Town Meeting in Ridgefield to decide on open space purchase

A Special Town Meeting is being held in Ridgefield later this month about the purchase of a parcel of open space.  Conservation Commission funds and a grant would pay for the acquisition of 14 acres on Bear Mountain, adjoining Hemlock Hills open space.  The meeting will be held July 15th at 7:30pm via Zoom videoconferencing. 


Danbury Hospital drive-through COVID-19 specimen collection site to close

Nuvance Health will be transitioning its COVID-19 drive-through specimen collection sites in Connecticut and New York to onsite locations throughout the system.  Since mid-March, there were over 47,600 total specimens collected at four drive-through sites.  Nuvance Health Medical Practices president Dr. Chris Lehrach says nearly 20,000 of those were collected at Danbury Hospital.

Lehrach says the sites were not intended to be permanent.   They were set up outside to unburden the emergency department, which was not prepared to do the type of testing that would require negative pressure testing rooms to keep staff and patients safe.  They were also placed outside because of the type of testing.  

The technology has changed.  Only a nasal swab is required now.  Lehrach says a nasal swab is less invasive and causes less patient discomfort when compared to a nasopharyngeal swab.  That one can produce a gag reflect and produce an aerosolization of the virus.  Patients can self-administer the nasal swab but a healthcare professional will assist those who cannot.

Staff doing the testing were taken out of various departments, which are now getting back to business as usual and need those employees back. 

Lehrach says Nuvance Health is paying attention to what's happening across the country, and is mindful of the trends.  He notes that the number of tests completed in Connecticut is not going down because health care workers are required to be tested, people going in for routine medical procedures are tested, and public awareness has others interested in knowing if they are asymptomatic.

Nuvance Health will decommission the drive-through collection site at Danbury and Norwalk Hospitals on July 4, though the Norwalk date is subject to change.

COVID-19 testing will be available at Nuvance Health Medical Practices’ primary care locations in Connecticut and New York for new or existing patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or patients previously confirmed positive who require clearance to return to work. Patients who want a COVID-19 test are asked to first schedule a Virtual Visit with a primary care clinician.


Danbury Fire Marshal's Office reminds residents of sparkler safety tips

With the three-day 4th of July holiday weekend starting tomorrow, the Danbury Fire Marshal's Office is reminding residents of some safety tips when using sparklers.  The Fire Marshal suggests avoiding buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.  People using sparklers and fountains are reminded not to have any part of the body be directly over a device when lighting the fuse and to back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting the fuse.  Sparklers and fountains should not be carried in a pocket or ignited in a metal or glass container.  You should never  try to re-light or pick up fireworks that hasn't ignited fully.  A bucket of water or a garden hose should be nearby in case of a mishap. 


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Jim Coda
Jim Coda
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The Hawk Middays

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