EAST HARTFORD (AP) — Matthew Bell thought he would never again experience an event as momentous as the September 11 terrorist attacks, when he helped people evacuate lower Manhattan as a member of the Coast Guard.Then came the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.The Connecticut state trooper remembered the chaos and heartbreak of the Newtown massacre as he and dozens of other people received state police awards Tuesday for their outstanding and meritorious service in response to the December 14, 2012, shooting.Bell, 39, was among the first law enforcement officers to enter the school and see the carnage after gunman Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 first-graders and six educators. Lanza, who also killed his mother at their Newtown home before going to the school, shot himself to death as police arrived.While receiving an award is an honor, Bell said, he's always been more concerned about the well-being of the victims' families.
In two separate actions July 7 the Board of Selectmen approved a three-year contract for 24-hour paramedic services, and a two-year contract for the town’s emergency communications staffers. The action on the communications contract occurred following a brief executive or closed session, during which proprietary aspects of the labor negotiations were discussed. The communications contract has been in negotiations since it expired at the end of the 2013 fiscal year, so the 1.9 percent increase is effective for both the past and current fiscal years according to Finance Director Robert Tait. Mr Tait said that the difference the increase represented for the last fiscal year will be paid to each member of that bargaining unit in a lump sum. During negotiations, the town and emergency communication workers also agreed on reducing the length of each worker’s shift from 12 to eight hours.
Michael Caramadre is the a latest man to join the Newtown Police Department.
Officer Caramadre, who is now studying law enforcement at the state’s municipal police academy in Meriden, was hired on June 26 after the Police Commission decided on June 3 to offer him a job.
Officer Caramadre was sworn into office as a policeman in ceremonies on July 2. The post of probationary police officer has a starting salary of $50,786.
Intense thunderstorms coupled with the high winds that passed through Newtown Monday night resulted in 556 local power outages being reported to the Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P) as of 9 pm on July 7, according to CL&P spokesman Mitch Gross.
Last fall, 250 grass carp were placed in the waters of Taunton Lake, a scenic 124-acre spring-fed, glacial lake in the Taunton District whose waters drain into Pond Brook and eventually to the Housatonic River.
The grass carp, which are not native to the lake, were released into it as part of a project designed to curb the growth of the weed known as aquatic milfoil. Grass carp eat milfoil.
The art of decisionmaking, involving the use of judgment to reach suitable conclusions, is a skill that comes slowly through one’s experience amid the situations of a lifetime. A volunteer group known as Thresholds Connecticut has been working to provide such decisional education for some inmates at Garner Correctional Institution, the state’s high-security prison at Nunnawauk Road. On June 24, four Garner inmates who have been receiving such training during the past three months, gathered in the prison with Thresholds volunteers to mark the inmates’ graduation from a “decisional education” course designed to explain the best approaches to personal decision making.
Diane Thompson was attracted to the old home’s charm. The 1899 Victorian at 54 Main Street, with its quaint front porch ideal for sitting and sipping iced tea on summer evenings, had been on the market for a long time. Ms Thompson bought the house and is renovating it for resale. “It took a while to get it,” she said. But within the last few months since she bought it on a short sale, “which is never short,” the house has been hers, and renovations with the intent to resell have begun, she said. “It feels homey; I hope I can bring it back so it is homey,” she said. She is coordinating the renovations with her husband, Chip Carpenter, who is often seen working with the contractors.
A former Legislative Council chairman who helped direct Newtown’s last Charter Revision Commission and the individual who helped draft the original Charter in 1974 will lead the latest group of appointees charged with reviewing and revising the community’s constitutional document. Jeff Capeci and Robert Hall were unanimously elected chair and vice chair, respectively, during a brief initial meeting of the new Charter panel July 1.
Each letter was precise. Each name inscribed at the Newtown Municipal Center honored a veteran serviceman or woman from Newtown who has served in the military in the past several decades. Another tribute to veterans of prior years hangs in the Edmond Town Hall.
In light of the recent report from the state Attorney General on the charitable response to the December 2012 tragedy, Brian Mauriello, Founder/Chair of the Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc. issued an update to the community on behalf of several charitable funds. That group includes the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc. (NSHCF), Newtown Lions Club Foundation, Newtown Memorial Fund, Newtown Rotary Club and United Way of Western CT. Mr Mauriello on behalf of the consortium also sought to offer “insight into the realities facing the Newtown Community in the months and years to come.” The Foundation pays providers directly using pooled resources from all the partners in what is now called the Collaborative Recovery Fund. In May alone the fund paid over $90,000 in out-of-pocket mental health costs for individuals.