Although voters have yet to approve a budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, the police department is proceeding with plans to hire additional officers in light of public requests for added police staffing to beef up security at local schools. Police Chief Michael Kehoe said this week that the police department has expanded the range of people from whom it is accepting applications for an upcoming written test for the position of police officer. The department has opened up the field of applicants to include the general public. The department plans to hold the written test for the post of police officer at 9 am on June 1 at Newtown High School.
US Senator Richard Blumenthal this week told Newtown Action Alliance members that although recent proposed federal legislation to expand criminal background checks for gun purchasers failed to win approval, the matter will return to the Senate for another vote.
“We’re not done,” Sen Blumenthal said of the drive for better gun control through federal legislation.
The survivors of the victims of the 12/14 shooting incident at Sandy Hook School have shown resilience, courage, and strength in their drive for improved federal gun control laws, the senator told about 140 people who attended an alliance forum on gun control held Tuesday, May 7, at the Newtown High School lecture hall.
The Board of Education was notified at its May 7 meeting that a letter was recently sent home to roughly 800 parents to advise them that their student’s information was accidentally shared with a single parent in September. According to Acting Superintendent of Schools John Reed, when a parent requested information from the school district regarding a child in August, a computer search for the student’s name generated more than 10,000 pages of data that was accidentally compiled on a disc before being checked.
The Board of Education was informed at its meeting on Tuesday, May 7, the district has implemented a budget freeze for the current spending year.With the end of the current fiscal year approaching, Acting Superintendent of Schools John Reed and district Business Director Ronald Bienkowski explained why the school district has implemented a budget freeze that will only allow costs that are considered “musts” to go through.Mr Bienkowski noted that at the time of his last monthly financial report for the school board, the district’s projected balance for the 2012-13 fiscal year was approximately $1,700.“We know that there has been a confluence of events that really dictate at this time that we use extreme caution,” Mr Bienkowski said.
The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its 21st annual food drive to combat hunger on Saturday, May 11. Letter carriers will collect non-perishable food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes. It is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, and is held annually on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.
A venue that had opened its doors to help, to heal, and to make a home for donated artwork and sculptures in the wake of 12/14 may soon lose its storefront space. “I run on the notion that we may have only two weeks from today to leave,” said Robert Rabinowitz, a volunteer director for HealingNewtown, on May 1.
In a ceremony at Newtown High School on Monday, May 6, Congressional Medal of Honor recipients presented Citizen Service Before Self Honors Medals posthumously to the fallen Sandy Hook School staff from 12/14 and presented a Certificate of Commendation to all teachers and staff at the school who acted courageously that day.
Approximately 2,000 motorcycles participated in The Sandy Hook Green Ribbon Ride, a special motorcycle ride-fundraiser that thundered through Newtown on Sunday, May 5. The event was a fundraiser for ten local funds, including the 26 families who lost a loved one on 12/14. The route took riders from Shelton into Derby, Seymour, and Oxford, crossing Stevenson Dam into Monroe, north on Route 34 into Sandy Hook, over Wasserman Way. The route then turned south on Route 25 back into Monroe, and then into Trumbull, concluding at Trumbull Westfield Mall. “It was amazing how smooth everything went,” said Greg Gnandt, one of the ride's co-chairs. “The volunteers who pulled this together were fantastic. It was so well organized.”
Despite some incorrect media reports about a town wide election that are generating confused calls to Newtown Registrars of Voters this morning, only the 1,311 residents of the Borough of Newtown are being called to the polls today.
Borough residents are being asked to endorse an unopposed slate of borough officials who govern the separately designated area around the center of town. Voting is being held in the Registrars Office inside the Newtown Municipal Center today until 8 pm. The polling location has been open since 6 am.