Redding songwriter creates unusual sounds with his voice

Some songwriters create safe music they know will be popular with large audiences. Then there is Redding resident Derek Piotr, who writes songs that are off the beaten path. Piotr, 26, performs what is called experimental music, which he defines as “mostly about the search for truth but also about having an open attitude to new musical expressions and experiences,” he said. Many times in his songs, his voice is unrecognizable as a human voice. He uses it more as a musical instrument and works with electronic as well as acoustic sounds. “I try to find ways of combining styles … Read more

Former Redding resident pleads guilty to sexual assault

  A Redding resident pled guilty Tuesday to several sexual charges involving a minor in a case that also involved the arrests of a former Redding Board of Education chairman and her husband. Appearing in state Superior Court in Danbury, Stephen Overby pled guilty to first-degree sexual assault with a person under the age of 13, risk of injury to or impairing the morals of a child, and first-degree possession of child pornography. Overby, who now resides in Norwalk, was arrested by Redding Police on March 2, 2017. He is free in lieu of a $500,000 bond. At the time … Read more

Expert offers fiction writing workshop in Redding

Upcoming events at the Mark Twain Library include a talk by Cracked, Not Broken author Kevin Hines and a Smal Business Circle Open House.

For seven hours on Saturday, March 3, a group of people at Redding’s Mark Twain Library will learn everything that goes into writing a fiction novel. Fiction author Susan Breen will teach a free, one-day writing workshop, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program is open to writers of any level, and writing material will be provided. “The workshop is a way to jump-start people into writing,” said Breen, of Irvington, N.Y. Breen teaches fiction and novel writing at Gotham Writers Workshop in Manhattan, N.Y. She is the author of The Fiction Class and the Maggie Dove series of … Read more

‘The One and Only Ivan’ chosen for Redding’s One Book, One School event

The anticipation was heavy Thursday morning, Feb. 15, in the Redding Elementary School gym as about 500 children tried to guess the title of this year’s selection for the One Book, One School event. Rocky the Raccoon — Redding Elementary School’s mascot — was up on stage, doing a little dance with Principal Natalie Hammond, to build excitement about the book. “Wait for it, wait for it,” said fourth grade teacher Brian Dayton, before revealing the title: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. All at once, the crowd — made up of children in pre-K to fourth grade … Read more

Barlow community concerned with school security

A school resource officer does a lot more than just wield a gun, Joel Barlow High School parent Diane MacLean said at Tuesday night’s Region 9 Board of Education meeting. MacLean works as an SRO in a neighboring town. “It’s less about the armed security and more about the relationships and being proactive in the school to help the community be safe and feel that security,” she said. MacLean was one of about 50 parents, students and local residents who attended the meeting at Joel Barlow High School in Redding on Feb. 20, to voice concerns about school safety. While … Read more

Redding family thankful to Ridgefield police for helping them in snow

If you're headed out today, watch out for icy roads.

A Redding couple is very thankful to Ridgefield police for coming to their rescue during Saturday night’s snowstorm. Joe and Emily Hooke were headed home from having dinner in Ridgefield on Saturday night, Feb. 17, at about 8:15 p.m., when their car got stuck in the snow. They were at the point where Great Pond Road in Ridgefield and Picketts Ridge Road in Redding converge, according to Emily Hooke. “The snow had accumulated a lot faster than what we expected,” she said. “The road has a series of three hills. We got up the first one and the second one … Read more

Redding Board of Education discusses $700,000 increase

The Redding Board of Education has discussed an increase in the 2018-19 budget of $700,000, or about 3.5%, over the current budget of $20.75 million, according to Chairman Melinda Irwin. “We have numerous items pushing the budget up,” Irwin said, adding that the largest one is special education, which alone amounts to an increase of 3.5% over the current year. Much smaller increases in the budget pertain to contractually obligated costs, she explained. They include an increase of about 2.5% in certified teachers’ salaries, a 1.75% increase in certified medical insurance, a 1.7% increase in transportation, and a 1.35% increase … Read more

Redding gives thumbs-up to fracking waste ban, wastewater upgrades

Rich Regan, chairman of the Water Pollution Control Committee, spoke Monday night, Feb. 13, at a Special Town Meeting in Redding, about the upgrades that the plant needs. — Lara Schuler, photo

At Tuesday night’s Special Town Meeting, residents voted unanimously in favor of two items, which are both aimed at protecting the environment. The first item was an ordinance prohibiting the use of fracking waste in Redding. This ban forbids the “storage, disposal or use of waste from oil and gas exploration or extraction activities or any derivative thereof, in the Town of Redding,” according to the ban. The meeting was held at Redding Town Hall at 7 p.m. Only those residents who came to the meeting were allowed to vote. Sixty-five people were signed in at last night’s meeting, according … Read more

Redding families have a blast at Snowball

Light sticks, cupcakes and Rocky the Raccoon — Redding Elementary School’s mascot — were all spotted at Saturday night’s Snowball dance. The dance, held at John Read Middle School on the evening of Feb. 10, ran for three hours and sold out, with more than 300 people — more than twice as many as last year — attending, according to PTA marketing chairman Sarah O’Dell. For the first year, the dance — historically open to fathers and daughters only — was open to all Redding Elementary School students and their parents. The event featured food, drinks, a DJ, a photo … Read more

Water main break reported off Gate Ridge Road in Easton

Crews are working to repair a water main break in Easton. The break, off Gate Ridge Road in lower Easton, was reported around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, according to Easton Police Capt. Richard Doyle. “The water was bubbling out of the ground,” Doyle said. However, he added it is a very small street so there was “not a big disruption of water,” he said. “There is very, very minimal damage caused by this.” The cause of the break is unknown. Police called Aquarion Water Company and they are repairing the break. Doyle added Aquarion will clean up the area, … Read more

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