• Blumenthal Wants Legislation Protecting Drivers From Auto Security, Privacy Risks

    As both Congress and the federal government struggle to develop a strategy for the “Internet of Things,” and responding to the increasing use of connected devices, including automobiles, US Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, have introduced legislation that would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish federal standards to secure vehicles and protect the privacy of drivers. The proposed Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act also establishes a rating system — or “cyber dashboard” — that informs consumers about how well the vehicle protects drivers’ security and privacy beyond those minimum standards.

  • NJWC Hoping For Financial Help Filling Backpacks

    Since 1997, The Newtown Junior Women’s Club has annually donated back-to-school backpacks filled with school supplies through their Backpack Program to fulfill the needs of children in Newtown. Newtown Social Services works in coordination with NJWC to inform the club about quantities and supplies needed. This year the club expects to fill approximately 92 backpacks with required supplies.

  • Main Street Flag Lowered For Chattanooga Shooting Victims

    Around 10:30 Monday, a crew of five Hook & Ladder firefighters was at the historic Main Street flagpole to lower the summer-size flag. Hook & Ladder Chief Ray Corbo directed traffic around the landmark while Milt Adams operated the truck’s ladder, Taren Horvath and Dan Tomascak traversed the truck’s ladder to lower the 20- by 30-foot flag, and Joe Miller kept an eye on the scene from behind Truck 114.

  • Tractor Supply Seeking South Main Street Location For New Store

    Tractor Supply Company is seeking a preliminary land use approval from the town toward its goal of locating a new store on a 8.19-acre site at 116 South Main Street. The property is on the west side of South Main Street, south of South Main Street’s intersection with Simm Lane. The Planning and Zoning Commission has scheduled a public hearing for August 6 on a request for a change of zone for the site from R-1 (Residential) to SMVDD (South Main Village Design District).

  • Mangiafico Will Not Seek Reelection To Police Commission

    Police Commission Chairman Paul Mangiafico has announced he will not seek reelection to the five-member commission, which he has headed since late 2011. Mr Mangiafico, a Republican, is in the last year of a four-year term on the agency, which has three Republican and two Democratic members. Four of the five seats on the panel are up for election in the November 3 municipal elections. Mr Mangiafico has served as the panel’s chairman since becoming a commission member. He has been considering whether or not to seek reelection for a number of months, he told The Newtown Bee.

  • Discussion To Focus On Wild Spaces For Wild Species

    Its glistening dark eyes stared back at resident Robert Eckenrode as he took a photo of his backyard guest. A barred owl — named “Hootie” or “Daniel,” depending on who in the family is talking — that he first noticed in mid-June sat with its wings at rest. Local landowners are invited to join Mr Eckenrode and Newtown Forest Association member for a program about land stewardship and beneficial practices on Saturday, July 26, between 1 and 3 pm, at Holcombe Hill Preserve in Newtown. A guest forester, native plant specialist, and an organic lawn care professional will be available to answer any questions. Reservations are requested.

  • Lewis, Blumenthal Celebrate US Senate Passage Of Education Bill

    Proposed federal education legislation to fund social and emotional learning skills training for teachers would help prevent violence such as mass shootings, the mother of a 6-year-old boy killed on 12/14 said Friday. “Since almost the beginning I had an intuitive awareness that had the shooter in our case had access to social and emotional learning this tragedy would not have happened,” Jesse’s mother, Scarlett Lewis, said at a July 17 news conference with Senator Richard Blumenthal.

  • Charter Revision Vote May Be Delayed Until 2016, More Review Requested

    Several town officials addressing the Charter Revision Commission July 15, have recommended the panel not rush the final steps of the process simply to get a proposed overhaul of Newtown’s constitutional document on this November’s Election Day ballot. During a public hearing that was attended, as commission chairman Jeff Capeci noted, “by two members of the public,” both Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob, speaking for herself and not for the council, and First Selectman Pat Llodra, favorably acknowledged more than a year’s collective work over the course of more than 55 meetings. Then, both encouraged charter commissioners to return to the drawing board over the course of the next few weeks or months to carefully consider several issues incorporated into their draft recommendations.

  • Council Agrees To Keep Firearms Ordinance Intact

    Following discussion and deliberation a week earlier by the Legislative Council’s Ordinance Committee, Chairman Ryan Knapp recommended July 15 that the full council suspend any plans to modify the town’s relatively new Firearms Ordinance. During the full council meeting this week, First Selectman Pat Llodra explained that concerns were raised to members of the Board of Selectmen after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, reminding them about an individual who brought a handgun and shot an official at a 2010 Panama City, Fla., school board meeting.

  • Off-Duty Newtown Policeman Involved In Night-Time Crash

    An off-duty Newtown police officer was involved in a one-car accident on Main Street South early on the morning of July 11. Southbury police said that Michael McGowan, 42, was driving a 2004 Toyota Camry sedan eastward  on Main Street Main Street South when he fell asleep at the wheel.