Newtown residents and visitors to Sandy Hook have undoubtedly noticed recent improvements in the village center. Phase II of the new streetscape, with sidewalks, pedestrian-oriented lighting and amenities, was recently completed, enhancing the visual impression and creating a more enjoyable and walkable environment. Events and activities, such as Passport to Sandy Hook, The Great Pootatuck Duck Race, and the Sandy Hook Tree Lighting have been successful in bringing people to the village to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. A new branding and marketing program has been developed for Sandy Hook Village, and the community is gearing up to launch new promotional material that will benefit small businesses with the impending hire of a brand steward. Now, the village is working on the nuts and bolts of creating a strategic action plan, and the public is invited to participate. A Sandy Hook Action Planning Workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 12, at Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue Company's main station. Hosted by Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity, the community is invited to attend and help craft the plan.
Gun violence touches all ethnicities and socioeconomic group. The push for more sensible gun safety legislation has helped to unify communities that would appear to have little in common. On Saturday, March 8, at 8 am, a group of cyclists known as Team 26 will embark on a 400-mile journey — the 2nd Annual Sandy Hook Ride On Washington (SHROW) — departing from Edmond Town Hall to show how diverse communities across the nation have one common goal: make streets safer and put an end to the gun-violence epidemic. Originally scheduled to take place at Reed Intermediate School, the kick-off rally has been moved to the front steps and courtyard at 45 Main Street. The four-day “rolling rally” will include events in Ridgefield and Greenwich, Harlem, N.Y., Doylestown, Penn., Baltimore and College Park, Md., and Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., before ending at the steps of the US Capitol Building.
The Sandy Ground Project was established by the New Jersey Fireman’s Benevolent Association last year. Its mission is to build 26 playgrounds along the coast of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut in towns hit by Hurricane Sandy. Each playground honors and honors and provides a lasting memory of the 26 children and teachers who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Milford will be home of one of those playgrounds. To be located at 150 Gulf Street, it will be built this month in memory of 6-year-old James Mattioli. Volunteers are sought to help build the playground, and runners are sought for a 5K fundraiser planned for the morning of the playground's ribbon cutting.
The state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) announced on Monday that a new area code will be introduced later this year in Connecticut, in the calling region currently served by the 860 area code. Because of continuing local demand for telephone numbers, remaining unassigned telephone numbers in the 860 area code are expected to be exhausted by the end of 2014. PURA approved a new area code, 959, to be assigned as an overlay to the 860 region to meet the demand. For most customers, the new area code should have minimal impact.
Beneath snowy skies that finally gave way to sunshine Wednesday, crews with Nosal Builders Inc worked a crane, lifting roof trusses onto the new ambulance garage. Walking across rough, frozen ground at the new construction’s location at Fairfield Hil...
(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.
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.