HARTFORD – In emotional back-to-back debates, the Connecticut Senate and House overwhelmingly voted for one of the nation's most comprehensive gun laws Wednesday and Thursday, a long-awaited response to one of the nation's worst mass shootings, the Sandy Hook school massacre.
Newtown Fire Marshal Bill Halstead has extended the open burning season through May 5.
Normally, the open burning season concludes at the end of March, but when weather conditions allow, the season is extended.
Open burning permits, which are required for the activity, are issued at the fire marshal’s office at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street. Permits cost $5. Office hours for the fire marshal are 7 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
In anticipation of hiring additional police officers next fiscal year, police officials are starting to plan for the police hiring process, which is a sequence of events required to bring new officers onto the police staff, Police Chief Michael Kehoe told Police Commission members this week.
At an April 2 session, Chief Kehoe said that depending upon how the town’s budgeting process for the 2013-14 fiscal year transpires, the police department may hire three or four additional officers.
In a 9-3 vote April 3, the Legislative Council moved a budget request of $111,149,825 to an April 23 referendum. If approved the budget would increase spending about 4.7 percent over the current year, while generating a 5.24 percent tax increase according to Town Finance Director Robert Tait.
Because of this year’s revaluation, with average property values dropping markedly, an approved budget would bump the current 24.54 mill rate to 33.77. A mill represents one dollar in taxation for every $1,000 in taxable property.
Speaking Wednesday morning, April 3, Mark Barden said that considering where lawmakers stood on enacting strong gun legislation two weeks ago, when family members of victims of 12/14 first met with lawmakers at the State Capitol in Hartford, he feels that the bill on gun violence prevention and children’s safety (Senate Bill 1160) set for a vote by legislators that day, showed that legislators had “done some good work in moving the ball forward.”
In recognition of the intense effort involved in handling the emergency radio telecommunications traffic that stemmed from the December 14 mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Newtown Emergency Communications Center at Town Hall South has received an Outstanding 9-1-1 Call Center Award.
Sharing the award with Newtown was a similar emergency communications center for Aurora, Colorado, where a mass shooting incident occurred in a movie theater last July 20.