Police report that they have arrested a second man on 45 criminal charges stemming from a recent string of 15 local burglaries, in which he and another man allegedly stole copper piping from unoccupied buildings so they could sell the metal for its scrap value. Police said that on September 18, they arrested Besmir Redzepi, 21, of Waterbury on a warrant, charging him with 15 counts of third-degree burglary, 15 counts of conspiracy to commit third-degree burglary, and 15 counts of third-degree criminal mischief. Newtown police said they arrested Redzepi on the 45 counts while he was at Danbury Superior Court in connection with other charges filed against him by Bethel police.
In an effort to provide community members a central location for details on the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission’s efforts, the panel has launched a website. Commission Chairman Kyle Lyddy said the website will allow the community to keep an eye on the commission’s progress and be able to access public documents quickly and efficiently.
Joined by lawmakers and the family of Catherine Violet Hubbard, Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday handed over the deed for approximately 34.44 acres of land in Newtown to The Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation, Inc. A ceremonial bill signing facilitated the transfer of the state-owned land for the creation of an animal sanctuary and wildlife preserve. The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary will reflect her compassion for animals by providing adoptive services for companion animals, refuge for farm animals, and native wildlife rescue and release services. Additional plans for the sanctuary include walking paths, a learning center, a library, educational programs, dog community areas, and butterfly gardens.
A two-vehicle accident on Main Street early Saturday morning, September 20, closed a section of the road to through traffic for about two hours as police, fire, and environmental crews investigated the collision and worked to clean up an estimated 100-gallon diesel fuel spill caused by the crash. A 2014 Hyundai Veloster being driven north on Main Street crossed the line and crashed into a 2014 International tractor-trailer truck, and punctured the truck's external fuel tank. Hook & Ladder firefighters responded to the accident, as did a DEEP spill inspector. About ten hours later, emergency crews were reactivated after some West Street residents smelled diesel fuel, which was then found floating on the surface of a stream that passes through their neighborhood.
The annual tradition of The Newtown Bee hosting a forum for residents to meet and learn about candidates on the November ballot continues this year with a planned forum featuring six legislative contenders. The event is set for Tuesday, October 21, at Edmond Town Hall, with a meet and greet session in the lobby at 7 pm, and the forum running from 7:30 to 9 pm. Readers are invited submit questions for the candidates, which will be considered for the forum.
Members of the public, who want to properly dispose of prescription drugs which they no longer need or want, will be able to dispose of the medications at a drug take-back event scheduled for Saturday, September 27, at Newtown Police Department and also at the the Connecticut State Police Troop A Barracks in Southbury. The event is scheduled for 10 am to 2 pm at both locations. This will be the ninth time the effort is done on a national level.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 308 and its Ladies Auxiliary recently announced that the Patriot’s Pen Essay Competition is open for local students through Friday, October 29. The program was started in 1947, and the national program provides students in sixth through eighth grade the opportunity to express democratic ideas and principles. This year’s theme is “Why I Appreciate America’s Veterans.” Essays will be read by three local residents, who will be reading essays and judging on knowledge, theme and clarity, without knowing the names of any of the authors. The Newtown VFW Post-sponsored winner will go on to compete for the VFW District 1 title, and will have a chance to continue to a national title.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced on September 22 that the State of Connecticut is making 50 additional Rental Assistance Program (RAP) vouchers available to veterans who are currently receiving assistance under the federal HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program and are ready to transition out of supportive housing but still need rental assistance. The expansion of the RAP program for veterans comes as part of Gov Malloy’s goal of ending chronic homelessness among veterans in Connecticut by the end of 2015. The governor also announced on Monday that the state is awarding a $2,976,000 loan to the Chrysalis Center for the purpose of assisting in the development of the Legion Court Veterans Housing project in Hartford.