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Kent

KENT —In a split vote at their October meeting, Kent’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved an application for Birch Hill, an 85-bed for-profit drug and alcohol detox and residential treatment facility to open in the building that was formerly The Kent at 46 Maple St. 

The approval followed an extended public hearing period that began in July when the application was first put forward.

Birch Hill elicited strong opinions from residents both opposed to and in favor of the facility. There was standing room only at several Planning and Zoning meetings and...

Kent

Bobcats rebounding in Northwest Corner

KENT — There used to be a bounty on the hides of bobcats, once considered a threat to agriculture. They are now thriving in Connecticut. In a talk sponsored by the Kent Memorial Library, Master Wildlife Conservationist Paul Colburn spoke about these elusive wildcats on Saturday, April 22, at Town Hall.
Bobcats have done well considering they were aggressively hunted — until they were reclassified as a protected furbearer in 1972. Connecticut placed a bounty on bobcats from 1935 to 1971. Now, hunting and trapping are not allowed.

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A tree grows at Kent Center School

KENT — Kent Center School has expanded its enrollment from young humans to young hardwood trees — well, to one new tree in particular. The fledgling sugar maple planted at the center of the school’s grassy roundabout in honor of the April 28 Arbor Day celebration might be a bit far from the classrooms to become a true tree of knowledge, but in the years that follow it will provide plenty of shade (and perhaps syrup) to Kent Center students. 

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Templeton Farms, bridge update

KENT — The Board of Finance met for their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 18. In the tax collector’s report, Debbie Devaux informed the board that the town had received that day a legal document stating that the town was being sued by Templeton Farm Apartments. The claim was that their property is over assessed.

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Treatment center possible in what was The Kent

KENT — The Kent specialty care facility might reopen as a high-end, 90-bed drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility, according to Kent First Selectman Bruce Adams.  
Adams told Kent’s Board of Finance at their meeting on Tuesday, April 18, that he has had several conversations with officials from the entity that will operate the facility, asking questions and expressing concerns. 

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Volunteers sought to help monitor beaches

KENT — A public hearing was held on Friday, April 21, for residents to voice ideas and opinions about the installation of lockable gates on River Road and North Kent Road in an effort to prevent large and often messy crowds from gathering on the beach areas along the Housatonic River.
The hearing was held in response to the substantial public attendance at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on April 7, following an informational email sent to residents by First Selectman Bruce Adams notifying them of the plan to install the gates.

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Princesses for a day

KENT — If they could make a wish, most little girls would probably ask to be a princess from a favorite cartoon film. That wish was granted on Saturday, April 15, at the Marvelwood School on Skiff Mountain in Kent, which hosted its annual Princess Tea Party for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
About $800 was raised for the foundation and the families it helps out across the country. In the four years the school has hosted the popular event, more than $4,500 has been raised. 

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Bear Watch

SOUTH KENT — John Mauer and his wife, Laura, were visited by a large black bear at their home in South Kent at just around dinnertime on Sunday, April 16. 
“He circled our house trying every door, then went north to the next home. When he got there, he ate the food on a picnic table and headed north again to the next farmhouse.”
In the recent past, most bears have limited themselves to just eating bird seed when they can get at it. This particular bear seemed to be hungrier and more aggressive. 

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Inspired by haunted house

KENT — Author Elinor Lipman was inspired by a haunted house to write her latest novel, “On Turpentine Lane.” She talked about the book and signed copies of it at the House of Books on Saturday, April 15 .
A native of Lowell, Mass., Lipman began her writing career as a college intern with the Lowell Sun newspaper. Her first book, “Into Love and Out Again,” was published in 1987. The publication of her second book, “Then She Found Me,” followed in 1990, and was eventually made into a motion picture.

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Save the bees, if you please

KENT — For the past six years the Kent Conservation Commission, in an effort to spread environmentally themed education and awareness, has been co-sponsoring lectures in the children’s room of the Kent Memorial Library. 
While past speakers touched on topics such as recycling and renewable resources, the invitation to speaker Catherine Wolko of the Humble Bee Honey Company in Watertown, Conn., was particularly relevant this year. 

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Effort to protect waterfront

KENT — The meeting of the Board of Selectmen on Friday, April 7, was well attended by residents who came out to voice their opinions on the proposed installation of lockable gates on North Kent Road and River Road. 
The gates were introduced as a potential solution to combat the sometimes rowdy and often messy gatherings along the Housatonic River last summer.
As many as 300 people at a time came to enjoy the sun and water on either bank of the Housatonic River during the summer of 2016, according to First Selectman Bruce Adams. 

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