Local News

Milford News: Arson Arrest

2022-05-22–#Milford CT–On Sunday, May 22, 2022, the Milford Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to 264 High Street on the report of a vehicle fire. A fire was observed to include the engine block, hood, front bumper, tires, and front fender of the vehicle.

The fire was extinguished by Milford Fire Department who advised the fire appeared suspicious because it started outside of the vehicle.

Milford Police Detectives responded to continue the investigation. Video surveillance showed a male suspect wearing a mask and carrying a water bottle approach the vehicle. The suspect pours a liquid on the front hood of the vehicle andthen lights a match, causing a fire. The fire is seen spreading across the front of the vehicle and the suspect then takes the plastic water bottle and walks away.

The male in the video was later identified as Gerol Francilme (57) homeless of Milford. Francilme was located at the residence of a female, who the vehicle belonged to and has an active order of protection against Francilme. Francilmewas then taken into custody.

Francilme was charged with:Violation of a Protective Order (2 Counts)Arson 3rd and Criminal Mischief 1stFrancilme was held on a $250,000 bond and was arraigned at Milford Court on May 23, 2022

COMPREHENSIVE RELIEF TO TOXIC-EXPOSED VETERANS


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, praised a bipartisan agreement announced by Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-KS) on comprehensive legislation to deliver all generations of toxic-exposed veterans their earned health care and benefits under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the first time in the nation’s history. The agreement includes legislation championed by Blumenthal to expand benefits and healthcare to two veteran populations that are not currently able to access services: veterans who responded to the nuclear accident in Palomares, Spain and those who were deployed to the K2 Air Base.

“This is spectacular news. Doing right by our veterans means doing right by all generations of veterans afflicted by toxic exposure. As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I’ve fought for this comprehensive package and will work to swiftly approve it,” said Blumenthal.

“I’m particularly proud to have secured provisions to extend benefits to Palomares veterans survivors and VA health care to K2 veterans. For years, I’ve advocated for them and all who suffer from exposure to toxins and poisons while serving. I look forward to swift action by Congress to send this bill to President Biden’s desk.”  

Specifically, the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 would:

·         Expand VA health care eligibility to Post-9/11 combat veterans, which includes more than 3.5 million toxic-exposed veterans;

·         Create a framework for the establishment of future presumptions of service connection related to toxic exposure;

·         Add 23 burn pit and toxic exposure-related conditions to VA’s list of service presumptions, including hypertension;

·         Expand presumptions related to Agent Orange exposure, including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Guam, American Samoa, and Johnston Atoll as locations for Agent Orange exposure;

·         Strengthen federal research on toxic exposure;

·         Improve VA’s resources and training for toxic-exposed veterans; and

·         Set VA and veterans up for success by investing in VA claims processing, VA’s workforce, and VA health care facilities.

Many of the 1,600 veterans who responded to the 1966 nuclear accident in Palomares, Spain were sent to the site without protective clothing or warning of potential dangers, and were subjected to dangerous levels of radiation. As many as 15,000 U.S. servicemembers deployed to K2 Air Base—an old Soviet military site leased to the U.S. from the Uzbek government between 2001 and 2005—were exposed to multiple cancer-causing toxic chemicals and radiological hazards during their deployments.

To provide these veterans with the services, benefits, and healthcare that they need, Blumenthal introduced the Palomares Veterans Act and the K2 Veterans Care Act, which were incorporated into the PACT Act.]

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INFANT FORMULA SHORTAGE, SCAMS & PRICE GOUGING

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, wrote to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) demanding urgent action to address the nationwide infant formula shortage.

“Families are feeling the impact,” the members wrote in letters to FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf and FTC Commissioner Lina Khan. “Raising an infant is a stressful enough experience without wondering whether or not you will be able to find—or afford—the food your child desperately needs to grow, thrive, and stay healthy.” 

A February FDA recall from a major producer’s plant and continued global supply chain disruptions have restricted access and increased the cost of infant formula for parents and caregivers. Families have reported empty shelves at major retailers and some have taken to diluting formula to make it last longer, which doctors warn can have extremely dangerous health repercussions.

In response, Blumenthal and DeLauro called on the FDAto provide answers on efforts to eliminate shortages and increase formula production: “While we must address the issues the led to this failure, at this point in the crisis, it is just as critical that we urgently focus on getting safe and affordable infant formula to the families that need it.”

Families in states across the country have also reported price gouging on online marketplaces; on eBay, a 3-pack of Similac that normally sells for $130 is being sold for $238, and other retailers are marking up a can of formula from $30 to $80. Other families have reported being scammed out of hundreds of dollars after purchasing formula on Facebook Marketplace, and instances of individuals claiming to be representatives of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) coming to doorsteps asking for recalled formula in exchange for a “refund.” 

“These circumstances have created the perfect conditions for predators to take advantage of desperate caregivers through scams, outright fraud, and other schemes to exploit high prices,” Blumenthal and DeLauro wrote to Chair Khan. “We call on the FTC to investigate and take action against any scams and fraud preying on shortages of formula that have made it harder for parents to care for their infants,” and to, “work with the FDA and state Attorneys General to ensure that the public has information about any fraud or price gouging schemes related to formulas.”

The text of the letter to the FDA is available here and below. The text of the letter to the FTC is available here and below.

Last week, Blumenthal joined U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Bob Casey (D-PA) in sending a letter to Mardi Mountford, President of the Infant Nutrition Council of America, calling on infant formula manufacturers to make every effort possible to get parents and families the formula they need to feed their kids. Blumenthal also joined U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in urging the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address extremely high levels of corporate concentration in the infant formula marketplace following the recent news of infant formula shortages nationwide.

This press release was made possible by:

Westport News: Riverside Avenue Road Closure

Westport, CT – Public Works Director Peter Ratkiewich announced that, due to recent weather conditions, Riverside Avenue between Charles Street and Railroad Place will be closed to traffic between the hours of 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM on Wednesday, May 11 and between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Thursday, May 12 in order to facilitate final paving of the roadway after a long reconstruction project. 

All persons wishing to drop off passengers on either side of the Saugatuck Train Station are advised to enter the station through Ferry Lane on the south side of the station.  Those that wish to drop off on the North (Westbound) side of the Station are advised to continue driving on Ferry Lane past the Eastbound platform, go under the railroad bridge and proceed to the Railroad Place drop off for the Westbound platform, which will remain open through this period.

Alternatively Westbound passengers can be dropped off in Lot #1 and walk up the staircase to the Westbound platform.

Detour signage will be posted, and traffic control personnel will be utilized to assist commuters through the detour.

All roadwork and closures are subject to change due to adverse weather conditions.  Signage will be updated as necessary.

Drivers and pedestrians are urged to use extra caution and allow ample time for travel in this area.

This press release was made possible by:

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2020 U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY. CAMPAIGN

Fairfield, CT — Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roads. Fairfield Police are encouraging drivers to put down the phone and remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Fairfield Police will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from October 8-12, 2020, for the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement effort. The goal of the campaign is to step up enforcement efforts to catch distracted, texting drivers and enforce distracted-driving laws. According to NHTSA, between 2012 and 2018, nearly 23,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. In fact, there were 2,841 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2018.

While this represents a 12-percent decrease in distracted driving fatalities from 2017, there is clearly more work to be done. There are still thousands of preventable deaths happening on our roads every year. Violating Connecticut’s distracted-driving laws can be costly. The fine for the first offense is $150.00. The fine for the second offense is $300.00. The fine for the third and subsequent offenses is $500.00. Many drivers are guilty of a “double standard” when it comes to distracted driving. In its 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index, the AAA Foundation reported that while nearly 96 percent of drivers believed it was very or extremely dangerous to read a text or email while driving, 4 out of 10 drivers admitted to doing so within the previous 30 days.

Drive Safe Every Trip Fairfield Police and NHTSA urge you to put your phone down when you get behind the wheel. If you need to text, then pull over and do not drive while doing so. If you’re driving, follow these steps for a safe driving experience:  If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.

 Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.

 Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.

 Cell phone use is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. Break the cycle. Remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

This press release is made possible by: