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  • Newtown Public Schools, Community Focus Group

    The Newtown Board of Education is inviting the community to participate in the superintendent search process. The board is asking community members to attend a focus group to provide input about the strengths, challenges, and leadership qualities desired in the next superintendent. The Community focus group is scheduled for Monday, October 7, at 6:30 pm Newtown High School’s Lecture Hall...

  • UWWC, Newtown Rotary Joined By Newtown Memorial Fund For Immediate Needs Fund

    Shortly after the events of 12/14, The Rotary Club of Newtown, United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) and the Office of Victim Services (OVS) worked together to develop the Immediate Needs Fund. The purpose of the fund was two-fold. First, it helped to meet the short-term (3-6 months) financial needs of Sandy Hook families, teachers and first responders experiencing temporary loss of income due to the tragedy by helping cover basic household expenses. Second, it helped cover the cost of seeking counseling and mental health services by those impacted by the tragedy. Since then, UWWC and Newtown Rotary have spent more than $540,000 to help cover everything from heating oil, electricity, mortgages and car payments to counseling bills for over 130 households. The Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc. now joins this effort as a new partner. The process remains the same for individuals seeking assistance, but now increases the dollars available to the community to ensure support will last longer.

  • Minor Fire Temporarily Closes Newtown General Store

    UPDATE (9:40 am): Health Department Director Donna Culbert has cleared Newtown General Store to reopen for business. ***** Newtown Hook & Ladder, Sandy Hook and Hawleyville firefighters were alerted at 7:07 am Monday of a fire at Newtown General Store at 43 Main Street. Initially reported as a structure fire, the incident was soon downgraded to an “appliance fire.” Deputy Fire Marshal Rich Frampton said that a gas-fired cooking range had ignited while in use. There were no injuries. Damage was minimal. Health Department Director Donna Culbert was planning to be at the store by 10 am, she told The Bee Monday morning. She hoped to be able to clear the business to reopen “in time for lunch traffic,” she said.

  • Family Of Newtown Victim Talks Gun Control Politics, Misrepresentations

    BETHLEHEM (AP) — The Paradis and D’Avino family knows guns. They’ve owned them and enjoyed hunting and target shooting. Shooting was just part of life, like the time after Thanksgiving dinner in 2009 when a guest of husband and wife Peter Paradis and Mary D’Avino brought out an AR-15 rifle he had in the car. Together, with their children, the couple spent time shooting at a tree in their backyard on five acres off heavily wooded Route 61. Paradis and his stepdaughter, Hannah D’Avino, recalled that holiday afternoon recently. They sat their kitchen table and reminisced about Hannah’s sister, Rachel D’Avino. Rachel’s murder has not marred her family’s memory of that holiday afternoon. For a family of marksmen, it also has not changed their views about guns.

  • Parks Named After 9/11, 12/14 Victims Vandalized

    A Long Island park named after the former commanding officer of the Port Authority Police Academy who died during the 9/11 attacks has been vandalized. Within 24 hours, police say, a second park, this one just built to honor one of the children killed on 12/14, was also vandalized. Nassau County Police say the damage to Kathy Mazza Memorial Park, in South Farmingdale, L.I., included flowers being torn from the ground and thrown around the memorial, branches from surrounding trees were ripped off, and bricks from a wall around the memorial were removed. In Island Park, approximately 14 miles southwest of South Farmingdale, police say a bell dedicated to Caroline Previdi, one of the children who died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, vanished just hours after it was placed at a newly built playground. The park was the latest built and dedicated as part of the ongoing "Sandy Ground Project: Where Angels Play," being spearheaded by The New Jersey Firefighter's Mutual Benevolent Association.

  • Prolonged Federal Shutdown Could Damage Connecticut's Fragile Recovery

    As the federal government stood at the brink of a shutdown, state and business leaders were most wary Monday of a prolonged stoppage. Though many of the 9,000 federal employees residing in Connecticut could be furloughed shortly after the new fiscal year begins Tuesday, a potential lag in billions in federal dollars earmarked for the Nutmeg State poses the biggest threat to state government. And should a shutdown linger for several weeks, or more than a month, both furloughs and a bottleneck in federal aid could undo much of Connecticut’s already sluggish recovery from the last recession.

  • Woman Seeks Probation In 12/14 Internet Fraud Case

    HARTFORD (AP) — Scheduled to be sentenced October 15, the New York City woman who posed as the aunt of a child killed on 12/14 is seeking probation, arguing she’s already been punished by the media.Nouel Alba, 37, of the Bronx pleaded guilty in June on federal charges of wire fraud and making false statements.Starting on the day of the shootings, authorities said, Alba used Facebook, email, text messages and telephone calls to falsely claim to be the aunt of 6-year-old victim Noah Pozner.

  • State FOI Commission Orders Release Of 911 Recordings From 12/14

    HARTFORD (AP) — The state’s Freedom of Information Commission on Wednesday ordered the release of the 911 tapes from last year’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, ruling in favor of an appeal by The Associated Press for access to records withheld by investigators. The recordings will not be made available immediately. The prosecutor leading the investigation of the massacre, Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III, said the commission’s decision will be appealed in Connecticut’s courts.

  • Llodra, Reed Address Questions About October 5 Referendum, Pending SHS Project

    First Selectman Pat Llodra and Interim School Superintendent John Reed sat for a video interview September 24 to respond to questions and to help residents understand the implications of the upcoming October 5 referendum. On that Saturday, between 6 am and 8 pm, voters will be as asked to accept or reject a gift of up to $50 million to remediate and demolish the existing Sandy Hook building, and to build a new, state-of-the-art school facility, roughly on the same site. The officials sat down with The Bee shortly after the first of several public information sessions and extended office hours for residents who want to come in and discuss concerns or ask questions about the impending project.

  • Five Witnesses Testify As Heath Murder Trial Starts

    While cleaning out a decayed efficiency apartment in a barn at a Poverty Hollow Road property in Newtown in April 2010, Jordan Wright of Redding made a grisly discovery: the skeletal remains of a woman who had formerly lived at that property and who had been reported missing to police by her husband 26 years earlier. Mr Wright, who owns the 89 Poverty Hollow Road property with his parents, told an eight-man, four-woman jury in Danbury Superior Court that to be certain his suspicions were correct, he contacted his father, Kenneth, who is a physician, who then confirmed that a large bone that had been uncovered was a human femur or thighbone. Jordan Wright was one of five witnesses who spoke on Thursday, September 27, during the first day of testimony at the murder trial of John Heath, 70, of Bridgewater.