HARTFORD (AP) — With a deadline fast approaching, a Connecticut task force charged with reviewing ways to balance victim privacy with the public’s right to know on Wednesday began discussing proposals offered by members, some hoping to reach a consensus on what to recommend to the General Assembly. One suggested possible compromise is the creation of a new archive or central repository at the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission where sensitive or graphic information about crimes, such as photos and video, could be reviewed but not recorded or removed. The task force was created earlier this year by the legislature in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The group must report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by January 1. The legislation creating the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know says the panel terminates that day or when it submits its report, whichever is later.
Newtown’s police department will review its response to last year’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to the police chief, who said a report released this week by the lead investigator showed his officers acted properly. The summary report by State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III said that nearly six minutes passed between the arrival of the first officer outside the school and the time officers entered the building, but it also said police were operating under the belief there may have been more than one shooter. Police Chief Michael Kehoe said his officers had to make sure several unidentified people encountered outside the school did not pose a threat to police or others.
NEW BRITAIN (AP) — A Connecticut judge has ordered the release of the 911 recordings from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, but the tapes will not be immediately unsealed. The state’s Freedom of Information Commission ruled in September that the recordings should be provided to The Associated Press, but State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III asked for a stay while he appeals that order. New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott denied his request Tuesday, November 26, but the tapes remain sealed until December 4 to give the prosecutor a chance to appeal.
Fifteen of Newtown’s businesses are hosting US Marine Corps Toys For Tots collection bins this holiday season. Residents are invited to donate a new, unwrapped book or toy for the annual campaign, now in its 66th year. Drop-off of new and unwrapped toys needs to be done regular business hours. All toys will be collected and distributed to the needy in the area by members of the United States Marine Corps Reserve Detachment of Ridgefield. All those helping the program are volunteers.
Foundry Kitchen & Tavern has designated its Warner Loft as a drop-off and donation center to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Connecticut and The Newtown Fund and help children and families in need have a brighter holiday season. The restaurant will be accepting donations of unwrapped toys and gifts for children ages 6-18, daily, between 11 am and 8 pm, through December 10. Items appropriate for kids ages 10-14 are in most need specifically, board games, sports equipment and movie gift cards. In addition, the restaurant will be accepting monetary donations in support of The Newtown Fund Holiday Basket program. All donations will be forwarded to the fund, to be used to support Newtown families in need during the holiday season with food, fuel assistance, utility bills, rent and medical expenses.
Following lengthy discussion, Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members have approved an update to the Fairfield Hills Master Plan, a document intended to generally guide future land use at Fairfield Hills, where the town bought 186 acres and many buildings from the state for $3.9 million in 2004.
Newtown Hook & Ladder President Rick Camejo told the Board of Finance and First Selectman Pat Llodra Monday evening that the Trinity Church congregation voted to sell a parcel of land off Church Hill Road to the volunteer fire company to be used as a site for their new headquarters.
Mr Camejo said he has not put his signature on any contracts yet, but six months of negotiations culminated last weekend when congregation members voted to sell the piece of property. He said the parcel will permit Hook & Ladder to share a common driveway that also accesses rear parking behind the church at the corner of Main Street and Church Hill Road.
The New York non-profit organization Tuesday’s Children has announced its support for The Resiliency Center of Newtown (RCN), established to help the Newtown community cope with the event of 12/14. Founded by Sandy Hook resident Stephanie N. Cinque, MSW, with the help of many dedicated volunteers, the Resiliency Center of Newtown officially opened its doors to the public in late September. In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tuesday’s Children was also created by friends and families in the community. The organization was built to foster the long term healing in families directly impacted by the events of 9/11. It recently has evolved to supporting those from around the globe who have lost a loved one due to an act of terrorism. The Resiliency Center of Newtown is the first outside organization Tuesday’s Children will aid with funding and this direction.