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MERIDEN — Four K-9 Teams specially trained to detect the presence of firearms graduated on Friday, Oct. 25, at the Connecticut State Police K-9 Training Unit as part of the very first Firearm Detection K-9 Training Class.  

The four graduating K-9s have been specially trained to detect and alert their handlers to the presence of firearms and spent ammunition shell casings. These K-9 teams will assist police in combating gun violence.

Graduating K9 Teams are as follows: Connecticut State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations-Organized Crime Task Force Detective...

Regional News

Sherman elected legislator

editor@millertonnews.com

DUTCHESS COUNTY — In what turned out to be an exciting exercise of the democratic process, a new legislator was elected on Wednesday, March 21, to replace Republican Gary Cooper. The 52-year-old Cooper resigned on March 9 after 12 years as a county legislator, to take a high-level position in the Dutchess County Highway Department.
His replacement is Dave Sherman, the former supervisor of the town of North East.

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Wind, dry air, lack of rain cause fires to spread quickly

karenb@lakevillejournal.com

Numerous fires have been reported in the Tri-state region in the past week, including a brush fire in Lakeville that spread over an estimated 35 to 50 acres.
Firefighters in Dutchess County were particularly busy this weekend and on Monday. Ten fires were reported that day as high winds and dry conditions combined to create a perfect storm of dangerous conditions.
A fire in Amenia on Saturday evening burned the private family chapel on the property of the Stefanopoulos family.

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Hospital layoffs blamed on state tax, fluctuating patient levels

cynthiah@lakevillejournal.com

SHARON — “Fluctuating volumes” of emergency room patients and hospital inpatients were given as a major reason for a significant reduction in staff at Sharon Hospital.
The hospital’s president and CEO, Kimberly Lumia, also cited a substantial new tax levied on the hospital by the state as another reason for the layoff of 26 employees on Wednesday, March 21.
“Our goal is to have a right-sized organization for the volume of patients, so we’re back to our 2010 levels of staffing,” Lumia said.

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Weantinoge Trust adds 300 acres to NW Corner’s protected lands

cynthiah@lakevillejournal.com

The Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust has announced the permanent preservation of more than 300 acres of significant land in the Northwest Corner. Arrangements were completed in 2011.
“We are thrilled with the foresight of these land owners for realizing the importance of protecting open space and wildlife habitat in northwest Connecticut and commend Weantinoge Heritage for facilitating the process,” said Scott Heth, director of the Sharon Audubon Center and a Lakeville Journal columnist.

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Commission wants to protect Housatonic River

karenb@lakevillejournal.com

They have the potential to be a real force in maintaining the well-being of the Housatonic River, but their profile is as low as, well, as low as the river in an August drought.
The Housatonic River Commission (HRC) is an assemblage of representatives, two from each of seven towns along the river, from North Canaan to New Milford.
They are now taking steps to have a more visible presence among the many town and regional agencies that weigh in on projects that impact the river and its shoreline.

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Drought, winds mean early start to brush fires

karenb@lakevillejournal.com

The warm weather is encouraging residents to get a jump on spring yard cleanup. For many, the big chore this year is clearing away tree limbs — not only the typical winter debris, but leftovers from the late-October nor’easter.
But those planning to burn wood and brush outdoors are going to have to wait.

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Driver accused of killing Sheffield woman still held

karenb@lakevillejournal.com

SHEFFIELD — No bond has been set for the Newtown, Conn., man blamed for the Feb. 28 Route 7 accident that claimed the life of a 24-year-old Sheffield woman and Hotchkiss School graduate, Moira Banks-Dobson.
Frederick Weller, 35, made his second appearance in Southern Berkshire District Court in Great Barrington March 8. The judge ordered that he remain incarcerated.

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Salisbury selectmen most highly paid in the region

cynthiah@lakevillejournal.com

The Northwestern Connecticut Council of Governments (COG) has just released its annual listing of salaries paid to town employees in the region. Towns in the Northwest Corner often refer to the list as they enter into the annual budget planning season. Charts showing all the information can be found at The Lakeville Journal’s website at www.tricornernews.com.
The COG is an organization based in Warren, Conn., made up of the first selectmen from nine Litchfield County towns, including all six towns in the Region One school district.

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‘Hot’ jazz and blues tonight in Simsbury

SIMSBURY — The First Church of Christ’s Cornerstone Concert Series presents an evening of hot jazz to melt away winter and set the stage for spring tonight, Friday, March 9, at 7 p.m.
Connecticut pianist Matt DeChamplain, who recently relocated to Toledo, Ohio, returns to the state along with his wife, vocalist Atla DeChamplain, for the appearance. They will perform with guitarist Doug Maher and bassist Matt Dwonszyk.
First Church is located at 689 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. There is a special family price of $25.

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Peaceful in the center

Winchester Center Congregational Church stands proudly amid recent snow.

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