State officials announced new school construction protocols Friday in response to the Newtown tragedy, including exterior surveillance, blast-resistant entryways and classroom door locks -- all features that might have stopped or slowed Adam Lanza's assault on Sandy Hook Elementary a year ago according to a December 20 report at CTMirror.org. The new standards must be met to qualify for the $600 million spent annually by the state to build and renovate schools, a local responsibility that is subsidized by the state based on local wealth, with an upscale suburb like Avon qualifying for 20 percent and a city like New Britain getting 80 percent. The standards will apply to all new school construction approved for funding by the legislature after June 2014.
Four days after the December 12 National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims in Washington, DC, conducted in remembrance of all lost to or affected by gun violence, Newtown Foundation spokesperson Dave Ackert was still emotionally moved by the event.Two buses sponsored by the Newtown Foundation had left from Newtown early Wednesday morning, December 11, carrying 90 people. Two buses sponsored by the Newtown Foundation left from Newtown early Wednesday morning, December 11, carrying 90 people. An additional bus followed, populated by clergy from Newtown and Hartford. More than 100 other people from across the nation met up with the Newtown area contingent that afternoon, and two days of volunteerism and acts of kindness began. The actions preceded a late afternoon vigil held at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, on Thursday.
Police Chief Michael Kehoe has reversed an earlier position and decided against pursuing job termination against Police Officer Thomas Bean, a town police officer who responded to the 12/14 mass shooting incident at Sandy Hook School and subsequently has been off work since then due to a medical diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a brief December 5 letter to Police Commission Chairman Paul Mangiafico, Chief Kehoe wrote that he is withdrawing his previous recommendation that Officer Bean be terminated. In the letter, the police chief did not explain his reason for withdrawing the termination recommendation. Police Commission members endorsed the police chief’s letter at a December 17 session, Mr Mangiafico said.
As childhood friends, Riverside Road resident Susan Oberstadt and her future husband, George, used to play in the cow fields that were eventually developed to build Sandy Hook School.
She became one of the first students to attend that new school back in the 1950s. Ms Oberstadt never dreamed that six decades later she would be sitting in a packed town council meeting fighting to keep her homestead from being taken by eminent domain so the town could enhance the development of a new Sandy Hook School. But after hearing some impassioned pleas from neighbors, some the Oberstadt family never met, as well as a lengthy testimonial from the long-time property owner herself at a December 18 meeting, the Legislative Council unanimously rejected the notion of taking the property.
Congregation Adath Israel and The Jewish Federation will present “A Young Israeli Speaks Out,” a talk by Nadav Weijel, on Sunday, December 29, at 2 pm, at Adath Israel Mr Weijel was a member of the Israeli Defense Forces for three years, including time patrolling the West Bank. In his 60-minute program, he will offer his views on the Israeli mentality, the challenges of being a soldier, and Israeli perspectives.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has announced that the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is next scheduled to meet on Friday, December 20, at 10 am, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. The commission is expected to receive a presentation from the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association regarding the response of law enforcement to Sandy Hook Elementary School on 12/14. Following the presentation, the commission members will discuss the State’s Attorney’s report on the tragedy.
At 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, in a super-efficient industrial furnace, it takes about three hours for four tractor trailer loads of materials to be reduced to one three-foot -square box of ashes — or “sacred soil,” as the cremated remains of the hundreds of thousands of items sent to the Town of Newtown after 12/14 are known.
Newtown resident Yolie Moreno accompanied Fred Hurley, director of public works, and the four truckloads of items to the waste-to-energy facility, Wheelabrator, in Bridgeport, Saturday night, October 26, bearing witness for the community to the respectful incineration of the items.
A Superior Court judge has sentenced John Heath, 70, of Bridgewater to 50 years in prison for the 1984 slaying of his wife, Elizabeth, who was then 32 years old. A jury convicted Heath in October of beat his wife to death, wrapping her remains in bedding and garbage bags, and then stuffing them into a dry well located beneath the floor of a barn at the Heaths' 89 Poverty Hollow Road property in Newtown.