Following a report by Board of Education Vice Chair Laura Roche, the school board voted unanimously on Tuesday, January 7, to allow its Communications Committee to send budget newsletters on behalf of the board. Ms Roche explained the procedure was used last year, but the Communications Committee wanted the school board, with new members, to vote on it for this year. “We’ll be sending letters out on key points,” said Ms Roche. “We’re going to send one out before the budget process starts. Then there is three weeks when we have a total of six workshops, so after each of these we will send a summary on that week’s happenings… Then we would do a summary letter after we finish with the Board of Finance. Then… once the budget referendum is set we’re going to then rely, hopefully, on the PTAs." Once a referendum is set, Ms Roche said, the school board cannot use tax dollars to advocate or speak about the budget. The only information the board can share, Ms Roche said, is the time, date, and place of a budget referendum. Ms Roche said she has arranged meeting with PTA leadership.
Four Violations Police report they stopped motorist Patricia Mathison-Benvenuti, 42, of Monroe about 9:23 pm on December 23 near 12 Berkshire Road because they saw her driving a vehicle which had a defective headlamp.
The radio dispatchers at the Newtown Emergency Communications Center at Town Hall South at 3 Main Street report the following fire calls and the responders: Thursday, January 2: 11:19 am, mutual aid call, Dodgingtown responded; 11:38 am, m...
Newtown may be close to its final selection for a new school superintendent. Five members of Newtown’s Board of Education plan to head to Southington January 10 to conduct a site visit with that district’s Superintendent Dr. Joseph V Erardi, Jr, who is a candidate for the top spot locally. School Board Vice Chair Laura Roche told The Newtown Bee Wednesday that no formal job offer has been made to any superintendent candidate yet, and when the board holds a vote to recommend a new superintendent it will be done in a public meeting. “We have to protect the confidentiality of the process,” Ms Roche said. “I am aware that information has been put out, and our site visit to Southington Friday is part of the interview process.”
The Ladies Auxiliary of Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co., has for years been called upon to offer aid to the members of its host company during emergencies. This week the group has stepped forward to help others affected by a fire. The women have begun collecting items for the families who were displaced following a major fire in Shelton during the overnight of January 5–6. They are hoping that by offering a central donation point, Newtown residents will be able to offer aid to others as well. “Some of them only have the shirts on their backs to stay warm,” said Ladies Auxiliary member Sharon Doherty. “The world stepped up to help Newtown last year. This is our chance to pay it forward.”
The state Supreme Court will hear arguments on Thursday on whether police in Connecticut can withhold arrest reports from the public and just issue press releases instead, while prosecutions are pending. Journalists are calling the case critical for reporters being able to get arrest reports quickly, and for the public’s right to know how their police departments operate.
The US Department of Education is awarding an additional $1.9 million to Newtown Public School District to help with ongoing recovery efforts following 12/14. The grant is being made through the Department’s Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program, which awards Immediate Services and Extended Services grants to school districts, colleges and universities that have experienced a significant traumatic event and need resources to respond, recover, and re-establish safe environments for students. Newtown received its first Project SERV award, a $1.3 million grant, in May 2013. The second grant will continue to support the school district as it restores a safe and healthy environment for teaching and learning in its schools.
On Monday morning, department heads at the C.H. Booth Library got to work sorting through materials on the first and second floor 1998 addition, where water damage from burst pipes Saturday afternoon, January 4, was evident in sodden carpeting throughout the affected areas, trash bags filled with water-logged paper supplies and ruined equipment, ceiling tiles on the floors, and the pervasive smell of dampened plaster.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s calculated decision to make a public show of challenging unionized teachers two years ago still dogs the first-term Democratic governor as he prepares for a 2014 re-election he cannot win without support from organized labor. Gov Malloy, who walked a picket line on the summer day he won the Democratic primary in 2010 and forcefully defended workers during a recent lockout at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, gets stellar reviews for many policies from key union leaders. But the same leaders say that Malloy still has significant work remaining to salve wounds opened by his sharp rhetoric during concession talks in his first year and, even more so, as he framed his call for teacher tenure reform in his second year as an act of political courage.
Besides leaving 10 inches of snow on the ground by Friday evening, Connecticut’s first winter storm of 2014 also should test the state’s new effort to control flying ice on its highways. According to a new law that took effect last week, truck drivers could be fined up to $1,250 if accumulated ice dislodges and causes damage to a person or to another vehicle. What became known as the “flying ice” or “ice missile” law is the product of more than a decade of legislative debate over how to handle large sheets of frozen material that unexpectedly crash into the windshields of unlucky motorists each winter.