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The Way We Were

January 13, 1989

Voters and taxpayers Wednesday approved funding $150,000 from the town’s audited surplus to fuel a legal battle against the state’s proposed jail, 420 to 96. Only three of 12 speakers advocated not spending the money, and were interrupted by catcalls instead of applause as they spoke. Tactics to stall building of the jail are not worth the effort, and tax money should be put toward existing needs, they said. Seven of 10 speakers pushed for the funding as a show of strength against what has been called a prejudiced siting decision on the part of the state of Connecticut and an inadequate environmental review.

 

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Poaching, according to the Department of Environmental Protection Conservation Officer Thomas Bull, is illegal hunting for personal or monetary gain. According to Officer Bull, aka the local “game warden,” Newtown accounts for the majority of poaching incidents in his four-town area, which also includes Danbury, Brookfield and Bethel. Apprehending a poacher usually means “sitting” on a poached deer until the poacher returns to pick it up. Poachers often drag a deer into the woods after shooting it, and come back when it is dark to cart it off. It may sound simple, but it can be very dangerous. “Everyone we come across is armed,” he says. “People just don’t want to be arrested on wildlife violations.”

 

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Hoping to solve the longstanding problem of Newtown teenagers having no place to gather with their friends, a group headed by Parks and Rec Director Barbara Kasbarian planned to propose to the Borough Zoning Commission, Thursday night, that the old town garage on Church Hill Road be converted into a teen center. The one-story building, which consists of eight garage bays, has for years been used only for cold storage of highway department equipment. Group members said they would try to make the necessary improvements by soliciting donations from townspeople of time, materials, expertise, and if necessary, money.

 

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Earlier this week, workers for Morganti Construction were continuing to dismantle the old railroad bridge over The Boulevard in preparation for the construction of a new bridge, scheduled for completion in June or July. The work is being funded by the State Department of Transportation.

 

 

January 17, 1964

Town and state road crews worked around the clock and did a fine job clearing and reclearing roads of drifting snow during the winter’s biggest storm, this week. The storm hit Newtown on Monday and continued into Tuesday. The winds and the extreme cold made it a rugged time for those who had to work outside. Danbury School of Aeronautics, Inc reported an estimated eight inches of snowfall — most of the road difficulties were caused by drifts.

 

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Newtown’s Rocking Roosters Square Dance Club danced out the old year and danced in the new at its New Year’s Eve dance. Approximately 75 couples, both members and guests, gathered at the Edmond Town Hall Gym for dancing called by Bob Paris. Features of the evening included specialty dances and a buffet at midnight.

 

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Dart throwing, penny pitching, giant skittles and golf putting are but a few of the attractions at the carnival of the Newtown Couples’ Club, scheduled for a one-night stand on Saturday, January 18. A buffet chicken dinner will precede the activities. Also planned for the evening is a sing-along, led by the Newtown Barbershop Quartet, and accompanied by Bob and Caroline Paige. Caricature sketches will be drawn by Arthur Boyer of Bethel, and comic Polaroid pictures will also be available.

 

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Town highway crews collected about 400 Christmas trees last week along roadsides. There were a few humorous sidelights reported. In several cases, resident had stuck the butt of their tree into the snowbank, and the crew missed picking it up, because it looked like a growing evergreen. In another instance, a growing tree was thought to be a discarded tree and the mistake discovered only after a tug or two disclosed that the evergreen was part of the landscaping.

January 13, 1939

Rev Patrick Fox, for 19 years pastor of St Rose church, of this town, died on Friday at St Mary’s Home, West Hartford, at the age of 84, the oldest priest in the Hartford Diocese. Father Fox was born in County Cava, Ireland, and was ordained at All Hallow’s College, Dublin, in 1878. Shortly after his ordination, he came to this country. In 1891 he was assigned to St Rose parish. During his pastorate in Newtown, Father Fox did much to improve the parish, both in religious and social life. He built St Mary’s Hall in Sandy Hook which was used for a parochial school for many years, and later for the church social events. Father Fox also built the rectory during his early years as pastor.

 

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Newtown Vital Statistics for 1938, as recorded at the office of Town Clerk May E. Sullivan, show that during 1938 there occurred 36 births, 37 marriages and 59 deaths, 40 of the deaths being in the town and 19 at the Fairfield State hospital. This year 1938 showed a marked decrease in number of births and deaths, as compared with 1937, and an unusual increase in the number of marriages.

 

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Casting notices will soon go out to all members of the Town Players for a tryout on Wednesday evening, January 18, at 8 o’clock, at the home of Charles Goodsell, for the delightful comedy, “Petticoat Fever,” by M.W. Reed. This is bound to be a thoroughly popular play, both to audience and cast, as it offers the first a grand situation amusingly handled and the latter a variety of good roles. The Town Players initiate a new policy in the producing of this play, by inaugurating the office of Producer, to be in entire charge, thereby relieving the director of much mechanical detail.

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By call of the Selectmen, a special town meeting will be held next Thursday evening, January 19, at the Edmond Town Hall, when townspeople will be asked to vote upon the construction of two pieces of road in Newtown. One is known as Currituck Road and stretches from the head of Main street, over Twist Hill, to the Land’s End schoolhouse. The other road runs from the intersection for Route 34 at Gray’s Plain schoolhouse toward Cedarhurst, as far as the concrete bridge near the Dietz residence. Both roads receive considerable travel and are badly in need of repair.

 

 

January 16, 1914

METHODIST CHURCH NOTES: Divine worship at 10:45 with sermon by the pastor, Rev T.N. Laine. If cold or stormy the service will be held in the parlor of the church for comfort. A cordial invitation to all.

 

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Sealed proposals for carrying the US mails between Sandy Hook, Conn. post office and Newtown Station will be received from January 8 to 17, 1914, inclusive. Blank bids may be secured from the postmaster upon application therefore.

 

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In Monday’s gale, a big elm tree near Mrs William Ackley’s place blew across the road and stripped the telephone wires. Frederick Lockwood cut up the tree and cleared the road. A gang of telephone men worked all day in the bitter cold to repair the damage.

 

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Newtown, in common with all New England, has been enjoying (?) all the rigors of an old-fashioned winter. Wednesday morning the thermometer registered at 15 degrees below zero on Mt Pleasant and in the Street and 10 degrees below zero, at the Sandy Hook hotel. Monday morning the thermometer registered two degrees below zero and about eight degrees below Tuesday morning. Many have suffered from having water pipes frozen up and Messrs Brinto and Hall have been busy responding to hurry calls.

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