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The Way We Were

September 2, 1988

The Smoke Shop, known locally as one of the hot spots for news and town talk, became a real hot spot on the evening of August 31 when it was extensively damaged in a fire of undetermined origin. Two other businesses in the same building — Newtown Florist and Donnie’s Deli — were also damaged, but not as badly. According to authorities the fire started in an enclosed storage area, located behind the deli, that is wedged in between each of the three businesses in the Church Hill Road building.

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The autumn opening date of Sand Hill Plaza has come and gone, so owners of the proposed shopping center on Route 25 have decided to apply for a year’s extension and amend plans approved last November. They have not obtained a building permit, either, which must be acquired within the one-year term of the approvals — that is, by November 19 of this year. Greenhouse Associates hopes to amend its plans to change the height of the plaza from 30 feet, as approved by P&Z, to 35 feet, as granted by variance through the Zoning Board of Appeals.

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You can’t keep a good fish down, and so even though the 15 or so grass carp inhabiting the Rock Ridge Country Club ponds will have to go, course Superintendent Robert Welch says he will seek to have them returned to continue their weed-eating duties. The State Department of Environmental Protection has ordered the owners of 57 ponds across the state to dispose of the carp, claiming they pose a threat to other fish because they eat too much vegetation, and fearing they may find their way into state rivers.

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Newtown was one of the hardest hit towns in the state when the remnants of tropical storm Chris worked its way northward August 29. The storm moved over the Carolinas over the weekend and swept into this area about 5 pm Monday evening, leaving in its wake 1,200 Northeast Utilities customers in Newtown without power. There were still 476 customers in Newtown without power nearly 24 hours later.

 

September 6, 1963

As the second annual Newtown Progress Festival came to a close this past Monday, there were indications from all sides that it had been an unqualified success. The weather was perfect throughout the entire weekend and the people of Newtown responded by turning out for all of the events and apparently enjoyed themselves tremendously. A good idea, coupled with a lot of hard work, resulted in a first prize for the AFS in the float competition in the Labor Day Parade. The AFS ship, constructed around a large truck, bore their slogan “Walk Together, Talk Together.”

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The Bee has received a letter for publication, in strong protest of the act of vandalism at the Town Park early Sunday morning, when an attempt was made to let the water out of the swimming pool. The author of the letter, urging severe punishment, signed only as “A Newtown Newcomer.” Unfortunately, since the identity of the author is unknown, The Bee cannot publish the letter. Public sentiment is in strong agreement with the letter writer.

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Tomlinson and Hawley, Bridgeport building contractors have a brand new site on which they will construct a new building. The site was cleared recently as part of a fire drill by Botsford, whose firemen burned down a large unoccupied farmhouse, and nine outbuildings on Peck’s Lane, east of Route 25.

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The Cyrenius H. Booth Library has received a gift from Mr and Mrs Stanley Simon of a four-volume set of Red Brasher’s “Birds and Trees of North America.” This beautiful set is on display in the reference room of the library.

 

September 2, 1938

As in past years, plans call for a busy and enjoyable time at the Newtown Country Club over Labor Day weekend. The principal attraction will be the dinner to be served at 1 o’clock on Monday, Labor Day, when over 100 members and guests are expected to be present. The menu, consisting of chicken, corn and other tasty dishes, is being prepared by Mrs William Parker of the Parker House. Tickets for the dinner at $1 per plated may be obtained from members of the board of governors.

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The end of the vacation period for school children of the town has arrived all too quickly, for them, with the schools in town opening for the fall term on Wednesday, September 7. All eighth grade pupils will report to Hawley School, as in the past. Pupils who have completed the sixth grade in Sandy Hook will attend seventh grade at that school. Because of the low enrollment, Gregory Orchard school at Hattertown has been closed and the pupils formerly enrolled in that school will be transported to the Sandy Hook school.

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A hearing was held in the Alexandria Room of the Edmond Town Hall, last Friday evening, on the application of Mrs Madelaine Rose Alvarado for a permit to continue a tourist home and gift shop at Holcomb Tavern. A petition signed by several nearby property owners was filed against the application.

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The swimming class, which has been meeting twice a week through July and August, at the home of Mrs Chandler A. Mackey, closed on Tuesday with a picnic lunch near the pool following the class, to which the mothers and several small brothers were invited. The girls have been given points each day as they learned something new or won some event, and at this time the first prize for the greatest number of total points for the season was awarded to Mary Patricia Carroll.

 

September 5, 1913

The Grays Plain school did not open Tuesday, September 2, on account of scarlet fever in the district. Further notice will be given of the opening date. Miss Margaret M. Carroll of Great Ring has been hired to teach school at Grays Plain for the coming year.

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Palestine: Harlow Benedict had the misfortune to lose a valuable horse, one day last week. Eugene Botsford had a cow killed in the thunder-shower, last Friday night. School opened Tuesday, with Miss Anna Ruffells as teacher. The school has been newly shingled and the yard enclosed with a new fence.

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Borough Warden Peck and Town Clerk Oscar Pitzschler broke ground on Wednesday, for what it is hoped will be the beginning of a permanent street lighting system for the borough. They are erecting on trial one of the America Boulevard arc lamps, all contained within itself. There are no wires to string, non conduits to be laid. In the base of the lamp is contained the supply of gasoline and all the operating mechanism in most compact form. The automatic cut-off is entirely devoid of springs, and is absolutely positive in its action.

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The Zoar Cemetery Association have substantial improvements under way about their Berkshire cemetery property. The new front fence measures 410 feet with gates and cost $500. Additional land has been bought joining the cemetery grounds on the east. It is planned to erect a new fence around the entire cemetery grounds. Later it is planned to straighten up the stones in the old part of the cemetery.

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