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  • Combing beach for clues after Silver Sands fire

    MILFORD — A fire at Silver Sands State Park that destroyed three controversial, nearly completed buildings at the beach and closed the site for at least a day remains under investigation.

    With visitors kept out, investigators from the state Fire Marshal’s Office searched the 297-acre park Wednesday to determine what caused the fire, which was reported at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

    “We’re treating it as an active and open investigation,” said Capt. Keith Williams of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Environmental Conservation Police.

    As for whether the fire was suspicious, Williams said, “We are looking it at that way and will not rule it out.”

    The units were scheduled to be open for Memorial Day weekend. They are part of a contested $9.1 million construction project to create a bathhouse, concessions and office space.

    “The park will remain closed for as long as necessary to investigate the fire and protect the safety of the public,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “Though we are saddened by the loss of the buildings under construction, the most important thing is that no one was injured fighting the fire.”

    Jeff Beckham, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Administrative Services, which was overseeing construction, said the general contractor, Scopes Construction of New Britain, was required to carry insurance. Those details are being reviewed, Beckham said.

    He said the project had temporary electrical power at the time of the fire, and that there had been no overnight surveillance.

    “The buildings were close to being finished,” Williams said. “This is devastating for the state (and) DEEP, to put that much effort into it...

  • Police: New Haven man banned from Walmart returns to shoplift from store

    MILFORD - A man - banned from Walmart - was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly shoplifting merchandise at the store.

    King Wilcox, 46, of Grand Avenue in New Haven, was charged with first-degree trespass and sixth-degree larceny.

    Police went to the Walmart store on the Boston Post Road around 2 p.m. Tuesday on a report of trespassing.

    “The investigation led to the arrest of Wilcox who is accused of being on the property of Walmart which he was previously banned from on Feb. 19,” said Officer Joesph Dempsey. “Wilcox is also accused of shoplifting over $21 worth of merchandise from the store.”

    Further investigation showed Wilcox to have an active warrant for his arrest, accusing him of failing to appear in court on Jan. 22, stemming from a trespassing arrest in Milford on Dec. 13.

  • Milford man accused of robbing food delivery driver at gunpoint

    MILFORD — Police have arrested a 27-year-old Milford man in the robbery of food delivery person last month.

    The robbery happened on Feb. 18 in the area of Bridgeport Avenue and Loomis Street.

    A male suspect approached the delivery person from a local restaurant and pointed a gun against the victim’s neck.

    The suspect took the victim’s cash and cell phone.

    Detectives initiated an extensive investigation resulting in multiple search warrants.

    On Wednesday,one of those warrants was served at the home of Maurice Johnson, of Bridgeport Avenue.

    Police said when officers arrived, Johnson attempted to jump out of a second-floor window, but was quickly apprehended.

    Evidence related to the robbery — clothing, a ski mask, and a 9 mm semi-automatic with a 30-round extended magazine — were located in the house.

    Also found was the victim’s stolen iPhone.

    John was taken into custody and charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, carrying a pistokl without a permit, interfering/resisting arrest and tampering with evidence.

    He was held on $100,000 and is scheduled to be arraigned in Milford Superior Court.

  • Large ‘object’ in man’s pants leads to Stratford drug bust

    STRATFORD — Police say a Bridgeport’s man’s low-hanging pants lead to the seizure of cocaine and marijuana

    On Monday, members of the Narcotics Vice and Intel Unit were on patrol when they stopped a vehicle on Stratford Avenue for minor motor vehicle violations.

    Police stopped the vehicle and interviewed the driver, Edward Johnson, 28, of Bridgeport.

    Capt. Frank Eannotti said “during the interview, detectives noticed that Johnson’s pants were hanging low and the detectives observed black plastic protruding from Johnsons groin area. This appeared suspicious to the detectives.

    “During a pat down of Johnson, the detectives felt a large object secreted in his groin area which they knew was not part of the male anatomy. The object was removed and found to be 108 grams of cocaine and approximately 50 grams of marijuana.”

    Johnson was charged with possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of marijuana and failure to signal.

    Johnson was held on a $150,000.

  • Milford man charged in ‘sickening’ assault, strangulation
    MILFORD — A judge ordered a 56-year-old Milford man to remain behind bars Monday on assault charges described by court officials as “brutal” and “sickening.” Russell Molleur, of Jepson Drive, was charged with first-degree assault, strangulation, unlawful restraint, disorderly conduct and tampering with evidence after an incident at a West Town Street apartment about 4:30 p.m. Saturday. “I just want to say, Mr. Molleur, the allegations are sickening,” Judge Donna Wilkerson Brillant said during Molleur’s arraignment Monday. “Right now I’m having a hard time breathing based on what I’ve read.
  • EPA: Pollution is down in Connecticut
    Toxic pollution in Connecticut and New England has dropped significantly over the last 10 years, according to new numbers released by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA on Tuesday said land, air and water pollution in New England fell by 50 percent between 2007 and 2017 — and by 57 percent in Connecticut. “Across the six New England states, the data show many positive trends for reductions in toxic chemical releases,” said Deb Szaro, EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator. While the overall reduction in pollution is impressive, town-by-town comparisons in Connecticut show toxins decreased in some communities and rose in others.
  • Sandy Hook memorial carries ‘personal’ meaning for architects
    NEWTOWN — The Sandy Hook memorial contract could have been awarded to architects with a national reputation, or to architects who have done good work here before, such as the firm that designed the new Sandy Hook School. Instead, Newtown chose two unknowns in the architectural world named Ben Waldo and Dan Affleck, whose memorial design of a walk through nature captivated the town. “When they came to us, they were humble and passionate, and that really impressed us,” said Dan Krauss, chairman of the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission, the group that has spent five years helping Newtown decide how best to honor 26 first-graders and educators slain in the Sandy Hook shootings.
  • Speeding garbage truck overturns, spills trash near Fairfield kids center
    FAIRFIELD — It could have been much worse. It happened at 4:37 p.m. Thursday when a 2016 Isuzu dump truck speeds north on Greenfield Street with a full load of garbage. As it nears the Creative Minds Early Childhood Center, the full load begins to slide. The driver loses control of the truck, crosses the double yellow lines and veers to the right toward the childhood center. Instead of striking the building it makes contact with a large set of rocks a good distance from the center. No one — the truck driver or the few children and employees in the childhood center — were hurt.
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