As parents who lost children turned to each other for support in the weeks following 12/14, school security emerged as a theme in emotionally wrought conversations around Newtown’s kitchen tables. Now, six Sandy Hook families have launched the Safe and Sound at Sandy Hook Initiative, a program to help communities improve their school security plans.
Connecticut’s US Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal along with Newtown’s Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty have introduced new federal legislation that would authorize federal funds to assist with the construction of a new Sandy Hook Elementary School. The legislation, S.1025 in the Senate and H.R. 2102 in the House, is titled the Helping Communities Rebuild After Deadly School Shootings and Other Traumatic Events Act according to a release May 23. Every member of Connecticut’s congressional delegation has signed on to the bill as original co-sponsors.
After about two hours of community input, deliberations and two failed amendments, the Legislative Council voted 9-3 to further reduce the school district’s budget request by $300,000. If approved at a planned third round referendum June 4, that would drop requested Board of Education increase to 3.93 percent
Voters already passed the municipal budget request in a split May 14 referendum. Upon approval, the district budget would stand at $71,045,304.
Prior to this week’s reduction, the district budget increase stood at 4.37 percent. If voters support the latest proposal, it would deliver a total budget increase of 3.58 percent, and a 2013-14 tax rate of 33.32 mills.
Following an executive session, the Board of Education unanimously voted on Tuesday, May 21, to name a principal and assistant principal for Sandy Hook School.
Kathleen Gombos, the current principal at R.M.T. Johnson School in Bethel, was chosen as the new principal for Sandy Hook School, and Timothy Napolitano, who currently teaches at Reed Intermediate School, was appointed as assistant principal.
According to a press release from the school district, Dr Gombos “has been viewed by her staff as intelligent, compassionate, a true leader, and a person who empowers others but yet holds them accountable...
Newtown police, among other area police departments, will be continuing their seatbelt enforcement project, known as Click-It or Ticket, through Sunday, June 2.
The heightened seatbelt enforcement campaign started on May 20.
The Town of Newtown has launched a new recovery website called onenewtown.org. This website has been developed to bring information on recovery together in one place and is different from the town’s website which focuses on town departments, meeting agendas, minutes and other details. According to a release, Onenewtown.org provides information, support resources, and the opportunity to ask questions. It details the ideas and stories that will help the community to heal. “Onenewtown.org is focused on connection and communication, being engaged with one another and sharing experiences that refresh and inspire us,” said First Selectman Pat Llodra. “Our hope is that the site will be a key source for critical and timely information on our recovery, promote community participation, and detail our collective path forward.” Mrs Llodra extended a personal note of thanks
The public is invited to attend a Ceremony of Remembrance on Monday, May 27, at the Newtown Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 308. The program will begin at 11 am, under the direction of Past Post Commander Donald Monckton, master of ceremonies.
Whether it’s a few pennies from a piggy bank, a generous check, or any amount in between, all Newtown municipal departments are currently set up to collect donations that will be included in a series of ongoing donations to tornado ravaged Moore City, Oklahoma. Town Human Resources Director Carole Ross is heading up the initiative, and hopes to collect enough to make an initial donation to the municipality by early next week. “We have to do something,” she told The Newtown Bee Tuesday, just hours after the full affect of the mile-wide storm became evident: at least 24 people were reported killed, including at least nine children. And those numbers were expected to climb.
Good news came with the bad on Tuesday, May 21: HealingNewtown Arts Space will close its doors at its current 5 Queen Street location on Wednesday, May 22, but volunteer director Rob Rabinowitz said he “hopes to hear good news soon” regarding leads on a new location. “We are negotiating for space…,” which will be announced. Until then, programming locations will be listed in the HealingNewtown.org calendar of events.In a short Facebook message this week also posted on HealingNewtown.org, Mr Rabinowitz said: “Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, effective Wednesday, May 22, 2013 the HealingNewtown Arts Space will close…” His message assures participants that the healing arts space allocated to the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission following 12/14...
In an effort that grew out of personal experience, advice from experts and the stories parents told in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the head of the legislature’s Committee on Children Monday unveiled a proposal aimed at making it easier for families to access mental health services for children.The bill is a first step, a framework for the mental health system, Sen Dante Bartolomeo, a freshman Democrat from Meriden, said as she outlined the measure, flanked by mental health experts and parents of those killed on 12/14.