DANBURY — A New Fairfield man will serve three years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to robbing a Webster Bank branch in that town earlier this year.
Robert Rustigan, 53, apologized before Judge Andrew Roraback in court after pleading guilty to one count of robbery in the second degree stemming from an incident at the Webster Bank branch on Brush Hill Road, New Fairfield, on Aug. 2.
“I didn’t intend to intimidate anybody,” he said, adding later that he has “had some time to re-calibrate my moral compass.”
State police troopers responded to the bank just before 5 p.m. and learned an individual had given a note demanding money to a teller, though he never showed a weapon or implied that he had one.
Descriptions of the suspect led troopers to Rustigan’s home, where he arrived moments later in the vehicle described to investigators by witnesses. Currency taken in the robbery were found on Rustigan and in his car, police said.
Rustigan’s public defender provided context for the crime before Roraback imposed his sentence Wednesday, explaining that Rustigan had grown desperate to support his family of four and immediately after the robbery he delivered $400 to his landlord to prevent their eviction.
The judge sentenced Rustigan to eight years in prison suspended after three years followed by five years of probation.
The Garden Club of Newtown will hold its annual Christmas Greens Sale from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 7. It will be at the Newtown Meeting House, at 31 Main St., right by the flagpole.
Club members plan all year for this special event by drying plants from their gardens and collecting pinecones and other items to be used in decorating wreaths, swags and table arrangements for the holiday season. Fresh plant material such as winterberry, holly, rose hips, boxwood and a wide assortment of evergreens from the gardens of members will also be incorporated into the designs, along with decorative items such as cinnamon sticks, dried fruit and nuts. There’s always a focus on the beauty of nature.
Co-chairwomen Kim Verdries and Diane Baumer are well known in the club for their creativity and have inspired new touches that will be evident at the sale this year. Along with decorated wreaths and swags, there will be boxwood trees, holiday table arrangements, handcrafted ornaments, unique suet feeders for birds, fire starters and more.
Also available will be a variety of handmade gift items. More wreaths have been added this year to prevent last year’s quick sellout. This is always a popular event; it’s wise to come early for the best selection.
The Garden Club of Newtown uses the profits from this yearly fundraiser to contribute to the community in many ways, including scholarships for Newtown graduates through the Newtown Scholarship Association, support for the Victory Garden and the Newtown Forest Association. Among various local projects, the club designed, installed and maintains the gardens at the Matthew Curtiss House, Barb’s Trail and the Blue Star Highway Memorial Marker.
A parade of angry residents, including two parents from Newtown, called for the resignation of new Brookfield school board member Greg Beck.
Beck, 36, a town dispatcher elected to a seat as a member of the minority A Brookfield Party, was chastised for offensive remarks he made on Facebook related to the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14, 2012. In the post, quoted numerous times, Beck said his 26 acts would be to give “ammunition” to his gun enthusiast friends.
Beck later apologized, but 15 speakers at the board said that is inadequate. They demanded his resignation as the only way he can show remorse.
Beck stayed silent as comments were made, but after the meeting maintained he intends to keep the seat to which he was elected.
Stay tuned for more on this story and the objections voiced at the meeting.
Redding Artist Susan Durkee will submit her painting “The Redding Mark Twain” into the 41st Annual Mark Twain Art Show this week.
It seems fitting that this painting be part of the Mark Twain Library’s 41st Annual Art Show, since the library was founded by Mark Twain himself.
Over the years, the Art Show, a major fundraiser for the library, has grown in size and scope. Today the juried show features over 125 artists and a variety of mediums. Works are available for sale at prices lower than they would have in galleries, and 35% of the cost of each work sold is donated to the Library.
The show opens Saturday, Dec. 7, and will run through Sunday, Dec. 15, during library hours. The Mark Twain Library is at 439 Redding Road in West Redding. Call 203-938-2545. Visit www.marktwainlibrary.org/
Southbury Road (Route 67) was closed Wednesday morning between Southbury and Roxbury after a car struck and broke a utility pole near Transylvania Road intersection at 1:01 a.m.
The driver, Renee M. Baker, of Oxford, was uninjured in the crash and told police that she had swerved for a deer in the roadway and then struck the telephone pole off the right shoulder of the road, police said.
Connecticut Light & Power and AT&T crews as well as Roxbury EMS responded to the scene.
The road was reopened by early afternoon Wednesday.
Bridgewater residents were adamant Tuesday that they will fight to the end to keep Burnham School open in their town.
A planned informational meeting by architectural firm Fletcher-Thompson designed to glean information on what residents would like to see in a new consolidated elementary school proposed for the region was quickly taken over by Bridgewater residents in attendance.
Some 50 residents of the small town attended the meeting at Burnham School and turned the discussion in a questioning period on their part about why the architects had been hired pre-referendum and why the process had come this far when the town’s representatives on the Region 12 Board of Education had repeated voted against the consolidation proposal.
Perhaps the architects will fare better when they address Washington residents tonight (Wednesday).
The 911 tapes during the Sandy Hook tragedy will be made available today to the general public through a local attorney’s office. There will be a surge in media publicity after the tapes are released. Please be especially mindful of what our students are watching and exposed to over the next few weeks and any changes in their mood or behavior that may be related to the media coverage. Whether you listen to the tapes or are exposed to the media, many feelings will emerge in all of us. This is a time to seek mutual support and the comfort and love of those close to us. Please feel free to reach out to your child’s school psychologist, school social worker or school counselor for guidance on how to best support your children.
The email from superintendent Anthony Bivona was sent out this morning.
SOUTHBURY – Off-duty state police troopers will spend Saturday collecting donated toys for children in need at the Lakeside Road barracks.
Like all troops across the state, Southbury’s Troop A will be collecting new, unwrapped toys on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the barracks at 90 Lakeside Road as part of the state police’s “Stuff a Cruiser Holiday Toy Drive”, according to a state police press release.
Toys collected across the state are then donated to social service agencies in the areas they were donated to be distributed to families in need to provide Christmas gifts for their children.
The toys donated at Troop A will go to the Department of Children and Families’ Danbury office.
Click here for a list of donation sites and recipient agencies across the state.