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The Way We Were

June 30, 1989

The Board of Trustees of the Cyrenius H. Booth Library had hoped that a townwide survey conducted this spring would show them the way to give Newtown what it wanted in a library. The refusal of the town to give the Booth Library the funding it sought for the coming fiscal year, however, dealt a blow to the board’s hopes for any improvement. Now that survey results are in, there is still no clear preference for specific areas of improvement. Starting July 1, the library will be open fewer hours each week to save money on salaries, electricity, and heat.

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Two Newtown men face numerous charges after blowing up several mailboxes, taking several stop signs, and attempting to evade police. Police charged George Meyers and Edward Dudley with first degree criminal mischief, nine counts of third degree criminal mischief, five counts of fifth degree larceny, possession of fireworks, and use of fireworks. Mr Meyers and Mr Dudley were reportedly observed by an off duty Bethel police officer placing two blockbuster firecrackers into a Federal mailbox in front of the Dodgingtown Fire House. Following the incident, the two reportedly went to Meyers’ house and picked up his pickup truck and proceeded along Hattertown Road, blowing up several mailboxes using M-80 firecrackers. They reportedly drove through the Hundred Acres, Phyllis Lane, and Aunt Park Road area, blowing up several more mailboxes. In addition, the two men took five stop signs off their posts using M-80s.

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The $7 million Middle School renovation is nearly completed, but the Public Building Committee agreed June 27 to refuse further payment to Nova Builders, the contractor for the job, because of dissatisfaction over remaining work. The project, at first scheduled to be completed before the 1987-88 school year, has been plagued by construction “surprises,” set backs, change orders, and delays and over-budget costs.

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Starting in late July, a new company — the GSP Recycling Corp — will take away newspapers that residents leave at a special drop off point at the landfill. Landfill Supervisor Mike Flanagan is asking that residents cooperate by following new rules: Tuck all newspaper inserts into newspapers; stack newspapers in bundles without any other types of paper or nonpaper items; use string to tie newspapers; drop off all other paper items at a separate drop off point.

 

July 3, 1964

Newtown welcomes Dr Willard A. Downie to one of the town’s most important jobs, superintendent of the school system. He comes with an impressive background of experience and a deep interest in education. He comes, too, with an impressive addition to the school system which he heads — five fine youngsters.

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Following in his father’s footsteps, 12-year-old Andy Foote, son of Mr and Mrs William Foote of Meadow Road, broke his foot while swimming. Now, as Mr Foote’s foot has resumed its natural color from a similar accident two weeks ago, Andy’s will pick up the lovely tones that accompany such a break. Maybe the Footes should stick to walking.

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An attractive new sight was added to Newtown’s Main Street Tuesday night when extra outside lights at the Edmond Town Hall were turned on, illuminating the entire front of the handsome building. The two lamps are mercury quartz manufactured by Sylvania. They are mounted on the lamp posts in front of the building.

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The home of Mr and Mrs James Carmichael of 25 South Main Street was gutted by fire which started about 7:15 o’clock Monday morning. Mr and Mrs Carmichael were roused by their daughter, Mary, 14, who was aroused by the crackling of flames and smoke in her bedroom. She aroused the other members of the family. The family could not use the center stairway to leave the smoke-filled second story and was forced to evacuate by way of the front porch roof. Mr Carmichael dropped to the ground and got a ladder and placed it so the rest of the family could descend. While Mrs Carmichael was climbing down and attempting to restrain the family dog, the dog jumped off the roof and hit Mrs Carmichael, who fell to the ground, suffering some lower back injuries. There was considerable smoke damage to rooms and furniture, in addition to a thorough gutting of the kitchen and a portion of the dining room.

 

June 30, 1939

Pictures of the Memorial Day parade in Newtown (in Technicolor) and pictures of the hurricane of September, 1938, will be shown at the Edmond Theater on Monday evening, July 19th, at 8 pm. There will be no admission charge and the public is invited to attend to see these local pictures.

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Amaral’s Service Station has accepted the authorized sales and service of Chrysler and Plymouth cars in Sandy Hook. This recent expansion now makes Amaral’s Station the headquarters for the entire town of Newtown for these two popular selling cars.

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The ordinance prohibiting the discharge of fireworks within the statutory limits of the Borough of Newtown on the Fourth of July will be enforced this year by the local officers. The sale of fireworks is permitted in various sections of the town, including Sandy Hook, Huntingtown and the Danbury-Newtown Road.

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At a hearing in the Town Court on Monday evening, Harry Boughton of Danbury was ordered held for the September term of the Criminal Superior court under bonds of $10,000, charged with assault with intent to kill Harold Lamb of Hawleyville district on the night of June 13. The victim has been a patient at the Danbury Hospital since the shooting and is now progressing nicely.

 

July 2, 1914

The explosion of a lamp in one of the rooms at the Grand Central property, Tuesday night, caused a lively blaze for the time, which was put out after brisk work on the part of the inmates. The fire company was notified. It was not necessary to turn on the public water as the fire was quickly under control.

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Arthur E. Brinton, the popular plumber in Newtown Street, was the victim of a painful accident, which nearly cost him his life. He was repairing a gasoline tank in front of his place of business when the fumes in the tank exploded. Mr Brinton’s chest and left side were seriously bruised and he sustained some cuts and burns. His helper, John J. Carmody, was burned about the hands. Mr Brinton was able to reach the barber shop of Oscar Pitzschler. Dr W.C. Kennedy was summoned. In a short time, Mr Brinton walked to his own house, leaning on the doctor’s arm. The force of the explosion shattered the windows in the front of the plumbing shop, in the barber shop and some of the rear windows in the store of R.H. Beers & Co.

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On Monday morning the much-talked of flag pole was place in position in the square near the two churches in the Street by Corbett & Co. of New York City, the contractors. By night the pole was erected and all the debris carted away. The pole stands 100 feet above ground, and is surmounted by a gilt ball. While a few individuals have expressed violent opposition to replacing the pole near the old location, the general sentiment of the town favors the site selected. For 75 years or more a liberty pole has stood on or near the present location. This is the third pole. There was also a liberty pole standing for a time in front of the tavern of Zibia Blackman, at the head of the Street, the present residence of Miss Lillian Fairman. The cost of the present pole is $290 with about $20 additional for cost of erection.

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A horse hitched to a market wagon of John H. Blackman, started to run and kick, last Thursday afternoon. Selectman Morris D. Beers was thrown out and had an ankle dislocated and several of the small bones in the foot broken. He is now able to get about the house with crutches, but will not participate in the foot races in the Street on the Fourth, as he had hoped to do.

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