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The Way We Were

April 28, 1989

The Legislative Council, citing inadequate cost information on possible alternatives, Wednesday tabled their vote on a $325,000 appropriation to fund an E-911 dispatch center proposal presented to them by the Public Safety Committee. The decision to put off voting until next Wednesday came after three hours of discussion, often heated, between council members and members of the town’s various emergency services. “They have no concept of what emergency services do in this town,” said an angry Mike McCarthy, a member of the Public Safety Committee.

 

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Good progress was made over the spring break in the completion of the $7 million Middle School renovation project. Dominic Posca, supervisor of buildings and grounds for the school system, said April 27 he will make a recommendation to the Public Building Committee that they release part of the $133,000 they had decided to hold until certain work was finished. The project, which began three years ago, had originally been slated to cost just $6 million and be completed by September 1967. There have been several change orders and work stoppages for a variety of reasons over the three years.

 

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On Tuesday, May 2, Lexington Gardens will host a reception for the children of Newtown, so they can meet Baby, the new macaw parrot at this business. Baby replaced Max, the macaw who had been a favorite with children for many years, before he died late last year. Tom Johnson, owner of Lexington Gardens, wants children to get to know him better. Baby, who is about 14 months old, still doesn’t have much of a vocabulary, but Mr Johnson said he is able to say, “Mother.” It probably will be a while before Baby, like Max before him, learns how to imitate the distinctive laugh of Mr Johnson.

 

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The Newtown Indians baseball team won three more ballgames, coming from behind twice to beat New Fairfield, 11-9 and Pomperaug 10-7 before moving into a first place tie by beating New Milford 3-2 at home. The Indians had been getting a reputation around the league as being a late inning come from behind team, but the boys came up with a new twist in their latest win against New Milford. They switched benches, got ahead early and held on to win.

 

May 1, 1964

This Sunday, May 3, Trinity Episcopal Church will officially begin its building fund campaign for a new parish house. When the ground is broken… it will mark the first construction by Trinity in almost one hundred years. The two-story structure is planned to join the present church at the east. It will contain 17 Sunday School classrooms, with a children’s chapel, offices, and a library-meeting room. Trinity also plans a parking lot on part of a newly acquired seven-acre tract east of the present church.

 

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A Main Street business will close its doors on Saturday, when Edward S. Pitzschler, veteran barber, retires from active work. His shop in the Chase building will be occupied at once by the Wagenseil Travel Agency of Danbury. Mr Pitzschler and his father before him have operated a barber shop in that building for more than 80 years. The shop was originally located on the West Street side of the building, in the southwest corner. Mr Pitzschler has been a barber in town for 56 years. For nearly 25 years, Mr Pitzschler served as deputy judge of the town court. He has been a newspaper correspondent for many years, and has been active in St Rose Church, Pohtatuck Grange, and Virgilius Council, K of C, with an early interest and participation in theatricals.

 

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The Men’s Literary and Social Club of Newtown Street will observe its 70th anniversary on Tuesday evening, May 5, with a special dinner at Hawley Manor Inn. Paul S. Smith, editor of The Newtown Bee, has been asked to give a short talk on the history of the club, which was started by his uncle, Allison P. Smith, who was The Bee’s editor from 1895 until his death in 1934. The club’s first meeting was held on May 1, 1894, and regular meetings have been held ever since, covering a long span of years for an organization which has always limited its membership to 20.

 

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The Trustees of the Newtown Savings Bank have voted to commission a Newtown artist to design and execute a mural painting in the lobby of the newly completed and expanded building on Main Street. The panel where the mural is to be executed is located on the west wall of the main banking building at the far right and facing the main entrance. “The mural will be an important and colorful feature of our new building,” said Richard F. Burdett, president.

 

April 28, 1939

An unusual accident occurred in the Riverside section of Sandy Hook on Tuesday afternoon, when a summer home owned by Mr and Mrs Edward Beers and occupied by Mr and Mrs Franklin Beers, was damaged by rocks which were hurled through the air from a construction job going on nearby. John Stefanko, contractor of Sandy Hook, was blasting a rock ledge for the construction of a garage. When the blast was set off, one of the rocks was hurled through the air and landed on the roof, continuing through the floors into the cellar. A second rock crashed through the roof of the front porch. Mrs Beers was in the house at the time, and miraculously escaped without injury, having moved just before the blast from a couch that was wrecked by one of the rocks. It is thought that seams in the ledge offered little resistance when the dynamite was exploded.

 

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The Newtown Vocational Agricultural students placed first in the egg show of the annual Connecticut Vocational-Agricultural Contest held on Friday, April 21, at Connecticut State College, Storrs. The Newtown boys under the capable direction of Vincent Gaffney, instructor of agriculture at Hawley School, placed eighth in the day’s total judging with 3132.7 points. In the Animal Husbandry judging contest, H. Chappuis, Jr placed second with 662.5 points and the Newtown team ranked third. The Egg Contest found the Newtown boys leading in first place with a total of 91.05 points. They ranked 13th in the Poultry Contest.

 

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Final plans for the VNA campaign to help eradicate tuberculosis are nearing completion. The health officer has arranged a program which begins on this Friday, April 28, in the Hawley School auditorium. On Monday, May 1, tuberculin tests will be started at Hawley School to help observe national Child Health Day. Pamphlets and other educational measures are being planned regarding the cause of this disease, the methods of dissemination of the infection, the history of the disease and an understanding of local community activities which are directed toward control and prevention of the “white plague.”

 

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An excellent meeting of the committee for the dedication of the Newtown War Memorial Monument on Memorial Day afternoon was held on Wednesday evening. Fine progress is being made. A large parade from Sandy Hook to the monument is being arranged. Several bands, a fife and drum corps and out-of-town military units have been secured. A platform and bleachers will be erected at the monument and there will be appropriate music and speakers.

 

May 1, 1914

A blue felt ladies’ hat was picked up on the Street by Mrs Michael Lillis and awaits an owner at The Bee office. It is adorned with some white feathers. The value of the hat is something under $50. It is safe to say the feathers are not $25 ostrich tips. Nevertheless, the hat is probably valued by some one.

 

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Asa Hawley, who disappeared from his home on the evening of Friday, April 17, was found dead, Tuesday morning of this week in a pasture lot on the land of Paul Felia in Lake George district. The body was found by Howard Bates. Mr Bates was a close friend of Mr Hawley and ever since the latter’s disappearance nearly two weeks ago had devoted every spare moment to the search. It was evident that Mr Hawley had shot himself some time during the night he left home.

 

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James B. Woodhull, assistant at the Newtown Savings bank, over-strained himself at the fire at L.C. Morris’ store, and by advice of his physician has gone to Schenectady and points in New York farther north, to recuperate.

 

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Selectman William C. Johnson was the victim of an unfortunate accident on Friday last, while superintending some blasting on the highway near the residence of H.B. Tucker of Hawleyville. Mr Johnson was some 300 feet away, but the stones seemed to concentrate in his direction and a piece weighing 10 pounds or more struck him a glancing blow on the back. He was knocked down by the blow. He is now able to be about the house and it is hoped there will be no serious results.

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