Following Interim Superintendent of Schools John Reed’s presentation of his proposed budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year on Thursday, January 23, the Board of Education began hearing from advocates for different parts of the budget.The school board heard from representatives of the elementary schools and Reed Intermediate School Principal Anne Uberti on January 23, and from Newtown Middle School Principal Thomas Einhorn, Newtown High School Principal Charles Dumais, Director of Pupil Services Julie Haggard, and Newtown Continuing Education Director Elissa Gellis at its meeting on Tuesday, January 28. As presented by Dr Reed, the proposed 2014-15 $71,580,034 school budget represents an increase of $534,730, reflecting a 0.75 percent change over the 2013-14 budget. “As you go through the elementary school budgets,” Head O’ Meadow Principal Barbara Gasparine began on Thursday, “you will see that they are status quo budgets. No new programs. No new staff...
Join Newtown Forest Association (NFA) member Aaron Coopersmith on a guided hike through the Brunot Preserve off Taunton Hill Road on Saturday, February 1, at noon. All are welcome on the two-mile walk through the wooded area. Wear warm clothing and footwear.
People interested in obtaining copies of a lapel pin which commemorates the 12/14/12 shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School may do so by contacting David Rohner, the Central Connecticut State University student who had the pins created. The black, white, and gold-colored pin bears the Town of Newtown seal and holds the legend: “Forever In Our Hearts / Sandy Hook Elementary / Never Forget 12/14/12.” The pin also includes the twisted black ribbon which symbolizes the event. They are available for $5 each.
Over 300 high school students from a dozen schools in southwestern Connecticut will be participating in the 14th Annual Southern Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair. The fair, sponsored by the Southern Connecticut Science & Engineering Foundation (SCSEF), will be Saturday, February 8, from 8 am until 3 pm, at Newtown High School. Judges are sought who have a background in life, physical or social sciences, mathematics or engineering. Volunteers will be asked to judge five to eight projects or research proposals in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, or Engineering. Their work will be done by 1 pm. The volunteers are welcome to stay for the event's awards ceremony as well as the keynote address by journalist, author and Emmy Award-winning TV host David Pogue.
Joined by State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) Commissioner Patricia Rehmer and state and local law enforcement officials at Capitol Region Mental Health Center, Governor Dannel P. Malloy today unveiled a comprehensive plan to focus significant attention and resources toward improving the mental health system for Connecticut citizens. The budget includes $250,000 for an anti-stigma campaign intended to promote an accepting environment where individuals suffering from mental illnesses will not be ashamed to seek treatment; $5 million, when fully annualized, to improve mental health services for underserved populations; and $2.2 million in new funding to support housing through Rental Assistance Program vouchers and services for 110 individuals with mental illness.
The Newtown Police Union has become the beneficiary of a private fundraising drive initiated by a student majoring in criminal justice at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. In ceremonies held January 20 at the police station, CCSU student David Rohner presented to Daniel McAnaspie, the union’s vice president, a check for $12,500, representing money that Mr Rohner and others had raised by selling a lapel pin that commemorates 12/14 and the Town of Newtown.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) is in the preliminary design stage of a traffic safety project that will create a conventional four-way signalized intersection of Church Hill Road, Commerce Road, and Edmond Road, a DOT official said this week. In that project, the southern end of Edmond Road would be shifted westward so that Edmond Road becomes part of a four-way intersection with the other two roads. The four roads now comprise a broadly offset intersection with the southern end of Edmond Road lying about 250 feet east of the northern end of Commerce Road. The area has one of the highest accident rates in the ten-town Housatonic Valley Regional Planning Area, resulting in the construction project to simplify traffic flow there.
The father of the gunman in the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings has agreed to help a Connecticut commission obtain his son’s school and medical records, which members hope can shed more light on the tragedy. Peter Lanza met for an hour Thursday, January 23, with Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, chairman of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, which is investigating the events of 12/14. The commission held its latest meeting on January 24.
With another snow storm in the books, town officials have once again needed to remind residents that for the safety of all concerned there are a number of ordinances and laws in effect concerning timely snow and ice removal from sidewalks, second exits and stairs, and vehicles. Officials are asking that residents and businesses with hydrants, dry hydrants and suppression tank plumbing fixtures consider helping firefighters by clearing those items of snow or accumulated ice. A reminder has also been issued concerning the illegality of shoveling, plowing or otherwise depositing snow or ice into roadways.
While some animals may bask in a bitter winter day, others would tell their owners how cold they are, if they could. Canine Advocates of Newtown President Virginia Jess agrees that some dogs may love the cold, “but not all,” she said. She has noticed her own dog’s discomfort. Of her 40-pound sheltie-collie mix, she said, “I know that when we walk our dog in the snow, she would pick up her feet and I would wipe them off, the salt gets in there.” She also warns, “Animals can get frostbite, too." Ms Jess keeps a towel with her as she walks the dog. “You need something to keep the snow out from between their paws and to keep out the salt and sand.” She has also purchased products that can help protect dog’s paws, which she recommends. Your Healthy Pet owner Mary Kay Novak also had recommendations.