• Bond Refunding Exceeds Expectations, Nets Over $1M Savings

    What started as a projected savings of around $925,000 ballooned to more than $1 million on January 29, as Newtown refunded or refinanced 16 of its general obligation bonds. According to documentation provided by Newtown Finance Director Robert Tait, the total savings generated to offset debt service costs for local taxpayers is $1,013,258.22 to be precise. Board of Finance Chairman John Kortze said the latest refunding windfall is the result of many volunteers and government officials pulling together to create, enhance, and stick to well-documented financial policies and practices in recent years, which also yielded the community its first AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s in 2014.

  • Carter’s Legislative Proposals Cover Broad Range Of Issues

    Should the State DOT sell surplus lumber from tree trimming to generate revenue for road repairs instead of just chipping it up for mulch? Should state municipalities be able to establish donation funds to supplement their social services efforts? Should lawmakers be permitted to remove state department heads? Should Connecticut officials be required to explain violations to local businesses before levying fines for certain statutory violations? These are just a few questions that could be answered if Republican State Representative Dan Carter is successful in seeing a number of his proposed bills in the current legislative session become law.

  • A Small Basket Has Yielded A Steady Supply Of Donations For Food Pantry

    In October 2013, Women Involved in Newtown (WIN) joined a special club: those who regularly provide items to FAITH Food Pantry. WIN members had long been encouraged to bring donations for the secular food pantry to meetings (the organization’s acronym stands for Food Assistance Immediate Temporary Help). During late summer/early autumn of 2013, WIN member Corey Kondas suggested the club set up an outreach project that would offer visitors to a popular location in the center of town the opportunity to also help the food pantry. By early October the new project was in place. For 15 months, customers of Starbucks on Church Hill Road have found a small basket to the left of the cashier’s counter. Inside the basket is a sign with a list of suggested items that customers can leave for FAITH Food Pantry. At least twice each week members of WIN stop in at Starbucks to collect the items and take them to St John’s Church, where the pantry is situated.

  • Assistance Is In Place When Help Is Needed At SHS

    “We are the central place for support and resources for all community members, whether 12/14-related or not,” said Melissa Glaser. Ms Glaser is the community outreach liaison for the Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Team, funded through December 2015 by a Department of Justice grant. She was distressed to read a December 8 letter to The Newtown Bee from Steven Feinstein, who identified himself as the husband of a Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher. “They suffer PTSD and all manner of emotional injury,” Mr Feinstein wrote about SHS teachers, “making every day a challenge, yet they are largely forgotten," Mr Feinstein wrote in part.

  • Historical Society Program Postponed; Additional Closings Announced

    Due to the weather today, Newtown Historical Society has decided to postpone tonight’s scheduled program, “Women’s Work In WWII.” A new date for the program will be announced. Groups, organizations and businesses that will be affected by today’s snow are invited to contact Newtown Bee Associate Editor Shannon Hicks to have that information shared on The Bee’s website and social media.

  • Newtown Public Schools Closed Monday

    All Newtown Public Schools will be closed Monday, February 9, due to the weather. All district offices, including the district's central office, will also be closed.

  • Two Hour Delay Tuesday For Newtown Public Schools

    All Newtown Public Schools will run on a two hour delay on Tuesday, February 10.  The announcement came Monday, February 9, around 6 pm. Schools were also closed on Monday, due to the weather.

  • State Revenue Commissioner Says Anthem Customers Should File Taxes ASAP

    (AP) In the latest update to information concerning a major data breach of Anthem Inc that may have compromised personal information of millions of its customers across the state, Connecticut’s tax commissioner is urging taxpayers expecting federal or state income tax refunds who may be affected by the Anthem data breach to file their taxes quickly. Kevin Sullivan, head of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, said the personally identifiable information apparently hacked at the Anthem health insurance company “is exactly what tax fraud thieves use to make false refund claims that appear to be legitimate.”

  • School Bids OK’d, SHES Construction Likely Starting In March

    Newtown’s Public Building and Site Commission, which manages public building projects in town, has accepted bids related to the final construction phase for the new Sandy Hook Elementary School. As the panel moved toward the final phase of construction at the new Sandy Hook School, Mr Mitchell said 20 of the 24 low bids submitted to complete the building were accepted and unanimously endorsed by the commission Wednesday evening. Among the project aspects still on hold, or going out for rebidding are the elevator, which only received a single bid; work for the aluminum and glazing, which is still being reviewed; the HVAC system, which had its low bid withdrawn due to an error; and the exterior landscaping.

  • Newtown Covering Magnet, Charter Tuition & Transportation For 52 Students

    Newtown taxpayers currently underwrite tuition and unreimbursed transportation costs for 52 district students to attend charter and magnet schools out of district according to Business Manager Ron Bienkowski. These and other details about Newtown’s charter and magnet school expenditures were requested following a CT Mirror report indicating that while operating costs have increased tuition requirements for those schools, state support for each child remains unchanged over the last five years. Newtown District budget documents provided to The Bee indicate that projected tuition for the students attending the Vocational Agriculture Program in Woodbury and two Regional Center for the Arts Programs in Trumbull and North Haven will cost $128,445 in tuition for 29 students — four going to Woodbury, eight to Trumbull, and 17 to North Haven.