(AP) Millions of dollars in unsolicited contributions suddenly poured in to Connecticut from around the nation and the world following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a phenomenon that differed from natural disasters, where donors know to send money to established charities, the state’s consumer protection commissioner said on Friday. William Rubenstein described to Gov Dannel P. Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission during its most recent meeting how cash, checks and in-kind gifts were sent to Newtown Municipal Center, churches, local banks, the United Way and other charitable funds. In some cases, the donors spelled out how they wanted the money to be spent. Other donations came with little to no guidance. Despite the confusion and no recognizable structure that could accept donations, Mr Rubenstein said, there was minimal outright fraud.
Following a February 20 public hearing, Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members unanimously endorsed revised plans for the construction of a commercial building that would hold retail businesses and medical offices at 146 South Main Street. P&Z members approved the application known as Berkshire Plaza submitted by Summit Properties Group, LLC, of Norwalk for construction of a two-story, 18,750-square-foot building on the sloped 2.35-acre site on the west side of South Main Street. The site is in a B-2 zone designated for general business use. The property lies across South Main Street from Newtown Self Storage. The structure approved by the P&Z is almost 30 percent larger in floor area than a 14,580-square-foot building which the P&Z had approved for the site in 2006. While the building approved eight years ago had a partial second-story, the newly approved structure has a full second-story. Claris Construction of Newtown is listed on town records as the firm that would construct Berkshire Plaza. Construction is slated to start this summer.
The overdose death of a 14-year-old East Windsor High School student that police strongly suspect was caused by fentanyl-laced heroin has prompted Newtown Prevention Council (NPC) leaders to reiterate a warning that has been issued by law enforcement and public health officials since the potentially deadly mixture started claiming an increasing number of lives last year. Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe and Judy Blanchard, MS, CPP, district health coordinator for Newtown Public Schools, who served as co-chairs of NPC, both expressed great concern in calls to The Newtown Bee on February 26. The fentanyl-laced heroin has been responsible for a “staggering number of deaths in Connecticut — about one a day” in recent months, said the police chief.
A group of 12 men, most of whom wore the plain khaki-colored uniforms of prison life, sat in molded-plastic chairs arrayed in a ring around an instructor, listening intently as the teacher discussed the topics of moral philosophy, such as values, the meaning of life, and conflict resolution.
The February 24 session at Garner Correctional Institution provided an overview of what the men had studied during a three-month course. It also included the issuance of certificates of completion for their having taken the course. Volunteer instructor Mark R. Baus, who taught the program known as “People Empowering People” (PEP), said that the 12-member class was comprised of a “superior” group of inmates. The inmates who took the once-weekly classes ranged in age from their mid-20s to their 50s. A typical participant was in his mid-30s. The course taught at Garner is adapted from a program offered by the University of Connecticut’s Extension Department.
Saying she was presenting a spending plan that the Board of Education believes “helps us meet our budget goals,” which in part, plan “for the future needs of the Newtown public school system,” board Chair Debbie Leidlein reviewed a number of points in the proposal that will face further Board of Finance deliberation in the coming days.
On Thursday, February 27, the finance board was set to take up the issue of school security, and was planning to return to a comprehensive discussion on the school board’s budget proposal March 6.
Following lengthy discussion at a special town meeting, voters by an 81-to-11 margin have approved borrowing $2.8 million to expand the Hawleyville sanitary sewer system to spur local economic development.
Approximately 100 people attended the February 26 standing-room-only meeting held at Newtown Municipal Center.
At the outset of the session, First Selectman Pat Llodra stressed that false information on the sewer expansion project had been posted on the Internet by an anonymous person who opposes the project. Mrs Llodra said that the information that questions the motives of town officials is “insulting.”
Fred Hurley, town public works director, said the sewer expansion project has evolved during the past three years, adding that the $2.8 million in bonding for the project reflects a scaled-down version of what earlier had been a $5 million expansion concept.
Adding sanitary sewers to the area, which already has public water, natural gas, electric, and communications utilities, is intended to make large undeveloped properties there more attractive to developers of commercial/industrial projects.
HARTFORD – Governor Dannel P. Malloy has announced that the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is next scheduled to meet on Friday, February 28, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, where they will receive presentations from state and local law enforcement officials ...
Newtown’s recovery website address has changed to www.onenewtown.com. The previous address was a .org address. The change is reportedly being required by the corporate provider that is underwriting the site costs and domain name on behalf of the town.