Dr Charles Herrick, chairman of the Newtown Sandy Hook Community Foundation, responded to a recent letter sent to his panel by First Selectman Pat Llodra. Dr Herrick said he shared the first selectman's concerns about future unmet needs including mental health counseling and related support services to immediate victims and witnesses to the 12/14 carnage.
On August 7, Mrs Llodra wrote to the foundation expressing appreciation for the foundation members' work on behalf of the community and victims, but also stating that she believes the reimbursement sanctioned for families of the survivors by the distribution committee is inadequate.
Newtown police on Wednesday continued their probe into a reported “home invasion” on Tuesday morning at a house on Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook, located near the Exit 11 overpasses of Interstate 84. Police were tight-lipped on the case, providing little additional information on the incident, which occurred at 31 Berkshire Road. The house is located on the north side of Berkshire Road (Route 34), just east of the Exit 11 on-ramp overpass.
On Tuesday, at approximately 8:53 am, Newtown police responded to a report of a home invasion involving a possible sexual assault at 31 Berkshire Road. “This is a two-family home [and] one of the units is currently undergoing renovation and unoccupied,” Police Chief Michael Kehoe said in a statement Wednesday, August 14. “Upon arrival, responding officers discovered that a suspect vehicle had fled the scene. A description of the vehicle was provided by the occupant that was home at the time,” he continued. Newtown police requested the assistance of the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad in processing the scene for forensic evidence. Newtown police detectives are conducting the crime investigation, and have asked the public to contact the local police with additional information.
Organizers for the dedication of the Rock of Angels granite memorial, envisioned by Florida resident Rich Gray and presented to the people of Newtown by craftspeople and residents of Maine, planned a low key ceremony. That is what was delivered early Monday evening, August 12. Approximately 100 people attended the brief dedication ceremony behind St John’s Episcopal Church, where the 10-foot by 4-foot stone memorial has found its permanent home, nestled into a natural amphitheater of trees and shrubbery.
Newtown Police have been investigating a possible home invasion in Sandy Hook since early this morning. Police vehicles have been outside the residence of 31 Berkshire Road since shortly before 9 am. An ambulance was also dispatched to the scene. Yellow crime scene tape has been wrapped around the property, and police are asking anyone who may have seen a dark colored sedan, newer possibly, with four doors, that may have been in the area and traveling at a high rate of speed, to contact them.
A Connecticut panel reviewing school security standards following the Newtown massacre was urged to keep their solutions simple and focus on adding door locks for classrooms and communication devices. Ron Chivinsky, a Newtown Middle School teacher and union leader, told members of the School Safety Infrastructure Council on August 8 that every teacher must be armed with "the most basic defense."
Town police plan to acquire a new dog by late September to replace the police department’s German shepherd Baro, who was retired from service in early June due to health problems, and who died shortly thereafter. Police Chief Michael Kehoe said August 6, “We are in the [process] of planning for a replacement,” adding that police hope to acquire a new German shepherd by the end of next month. Baro, age 10, died on June 25, while under medical care for health problems at Newtown Veterinary Specialists. Chief Kehoe said it is yet unclear when the new dog would enter town police service, noting that the training plans for the animal are not yet final. He did, however, term the acquisition and training of a new K-9 a "high priority" matter for the department.
Customers arriving for a quick Friday night Venti Latte at the Church Hill Road Starbucks had no idea they were driving into the middle of a breaking national news event. But Starbucks said the Newtown store opted to close early Friday before advocates on both sides of the gun issue planned to gather there. Starbucks vice president Chris Carr said on the company website that the decision was made out of respect to the community.
Newtown now has its first anti-blight ordinance, but proposed amendments to a firearms ordinance “are still in play,” Legislative Council member George Ferguson said following an August 7 public hearing. After a lengthy evening for residents to address both ordinances, Legislative Council members then held their own, nearly 2½-hour discussion, including questions posed to town legal counsel David Grogins, Land Use Director George Benson, and Police Chief Michael Kehoe.
Depending on who is speaking, the matter of Make A Home Foundation’s future is either a “contentious thing” or “a very political situation.”Anita Pettengill and her husband Dan Telesco founded Make A Home Foundation in Sandy Hook in 2010. The nonprofit organization devoted to providing free furniture and household items to veterans and any people in need grew so quickly that the couple sought out a larger space for the donations they were taking in. In August 2011, Make A Home found a new home at 40 High Bridge Road, in an empty warehouse. Recipients are never charged for any items, and Make A Home assists in delivery of items to the needy. But since October 2011, when Make A Home was first issued a Cease and Desist order by the Town of Newtown, for debris violations and retail sales not allowed in that zone, the nonprofit and the town have been locking horns over what is and is not allowed at the 40 High Bridge property.