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  • $73,000 In 12/14 Charity Donations Missing

    A charity formed after the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has been unable to account for $73,000 it raised through marathon running, one of its co-founders said January 10. The FBI, the attorneys general in two states, and the IRS are all looking for the co-founder of an organization that raised funds for those affected by 12/14. Ryan Graney, of Nashville, Tenn., said only $30,000 of the $103,000 taken in by the 26.4.26 Foundation was used for the organization’s purpose. That money was presented last January by co-founder Robbie Bruce to the nonprofit NYA Sports & Fitness Center in Newtown. Mr Bruce has since disappeared, as has another $73,000 received by the foundation through donations and other fundraising.

  • Judge Rejects State's Request To Delay School Funding Trial

    Hartford Superior Court Judge Kevin Dubay summarily rejected the state's request January 16 for a lengthy postponement of an education-funding lawsuit over whether the state is meeting its constitutional responsibility of providing a “suitable education” for every child in Connecticut. The attorney general's office had asked the judge to reschedule a trial now set for July 1 until October 2015, a move that the plaintiffs, the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, claimed was intended to delay the proceedings until after the 2014 gubernatorial election.

  • Permanent Memorial Panel Tackles Time And Opinions

    Charged in September 2013 to investigate whether or not a permanent memorial to 12/14 is appropriate for the community, and if so, what that might look like, the Permanent Memorial Commission of 12 members appointed by First Selectman Pat Llodra has been getting to know one another, defining its mission, and otherwise preparing to take on what could be a daunting task, Permanent Memorial Commission Chairman Kyle Lyddy said this week. The committee seems to be in agreement that such a memorial is fitting and that it is an action with which to move forward. Conversations at the most recent meeting, Thursday, January 9, have led to planning “what this could be,” Mr Lyddy said. The committee is also charged with determining where in the community a permanent memorial might be located, as well as how to fund and maintain any memorial.

  • Eviction Imminent For Make A Home

    Scott Lavelle, property manager for Divivo-Vona, LLC, confirmed Thursday morning, January 16, that an eviction is proceeding against Make A Home Foundation, located at 40 High Bridge Road in Newtown. Make A Home Foundation was established in Sandy Hook in 2010, and originally operated out of offices at 87 Church Hill Road. Its stated intention at that time was to provide free furniture, appliances, clothing, and other items to veterans, families, and other individuals who are homeless, either due to temporary circumstances or those problems that are ongoing. Founders Anita Pettengill and Dan Telesco moved the charity business to the 56,000 square foot High Bridge site in 2011. In June 2012, Ms Pettengill told The Newtown Bee, “Mario Divivo, the owner of the warehouse, has provided the warehouse to us, rent free, for one year. But in August, we will have to start paying rent.” The eviction is due to nonpayment of rent on the space for the past year and a half, said Mr Lavelle.

  • Two Sergeants Retire From Police Department; Froehlich Charges "Cruel Work Environment"

    At their January 7 meeting, Police Commission members accepted the retirement of sergeants Darlene Froehlich and John Cole. In her letter of resignation, Sgt Froehlich cited a “cruel work environment” and “hatred” within the department as prompting her decision to retire. Ms Froehlich, 55, joined the police department in July 1984. Mr Cole, 52, joined the organization in January 1989. The full-pension vesting period for town police officers is 25 years. In a December 26 e-mail to Carole Ross, the town’s human resources director, Ms Froehlich retired from the police department, effective January 6.

  • Police Again Offer Citizen Police Academy

    The Newtown Police Department will again sponsor its Citizen Police Academy, a free educational program intended to inform residents about law enforcement issues and, more broadly, about the criminal justice system. The annual program was not offered in 2013, in the aftermath of the December 2012 shooting incident at Sandy Hook School, but is now resuming. This year’s session marks the 18th time that the police department has offered the program. Patrol Sergeant David Kullgren is the program coordinator.

  • Police Reports January 9 - 16, 2014

    Shelton House Police report an incident at Shelton House, a large vacant building at the town-owned Fairfield Hills campus, at about 2:30 pm on January 12. Police said they received a report that some...

  • Fire Reports | January 9-15, 2014

    The dispatchers at the Newtown Emergency Communications Center at Town Hall South, 3 Main Street, report the following fire calls and the responders: Thursday, January 9: 7:59 pm, hazardous condition, near intersection of Barnabas Road and...

  • Final Home Solar Installation Workshop Scheduled

    UPDATE: This workshop has been postponed to Thursday, January 23, due to snow. || For residents interested in learning more about their home’s solar energy potential, a final workshop for the Solarize Newtown initiative will be offered Tuesday, January 21, from 6 to 8 pm, at the Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue main station. The deadline to join the Solarize Newtown program, which makes the solar process easier and more affordable for homeowners, is February 11.

  • Organizers Hope ‘Shell Shocked’ Screening, Panel Discussion Promotes ‘Bridge Building’

    Organizers of a documentary screening and panel discussion set for Monday, January 20, at 7:30 pm, at The Ridgefield Playhouse hope the event will inspire increased collaboration between urban communities that witness gun violence on almost an hourly basis, and communities like Newtown, whose experience with gun violence on December 14, 2012, continues to attract global attention. Newtown residents are invited to join Shell Shocked producer John Richie of New Orleans, Attorney Monte Frank of Newtown, the Reverend Sam Saylor of Hartford, and the Reverend Henry Brown of Hartford in a screening of the documentary, followed by a CNN segment featuring Mr Frank and Rev Saylor. A subsequent panel discussion on gun violence in America aims to illustrate how urban and suburban communities are joining forces to create a movement to reduce the gun violence epidemic.