The state’s Bond Commission announced its approval of $100 thousand in grants for upgrades to school security at the Newtown Children’s Adventure Center on Friday, July 26. The Office of Early Childhood grants-in-aid are for various capital improvements and facility repairs at state-funded early childhood facilities including CAC. CAC will use the money to install a comprehensive school alarm, silent alarm buttons, and to further secure doors and windows, according to the Department of Economic Community Development.
Jury selection started last week in Danbury Superior Court in the trial of John S. Heath, 69, of Bridgewater, whom the state has charged with murder, alleging that he killed his wife Elizabeth, 32, in 1984 and then hid her body beneath the floor of a barn on a property at 89 Poverty Hollow Road in Newtown, where the couple had lived. On Tuesday, July 16, Supervising Assistant State’s Attorney Warren Murray, who is the prosecutor, and attorney Francis O’Reilly, who is Mr Heath’s special public defender, selected two people to serve on the 12-member jury – a Bethel man and a Danbury woman. Judge Robin Pavia is the trial judge. On Wednesday, an additional three jurors reportedly were chosen, bringing the number of jurors to five.
Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members are reviewing a four-pronged application from a developer concerning some zoning modifications for a Hawleyville parcel, a proposal that has drawn strong opposition from residents living at an adjacent age-restricted condominium complex. The Liberty at Newtown residents’ objections largely focus on quality-of-life issues. About 50 residents from Liberty at Newtown, a 96-unit condo complex at 178 Mt Pleasant Road (Route 6), attended a July 18 P&Z public hearing to lodge their objections to the four zoning proposals from Toll CT III Limited Partnership. The partnership represents Toll Brothers, a residential developer.
Frustrated by what they consider a lack of clarity from the federal government on how to enforce a landmark mental health parity act, some Connecticut officials want the state to issue its own guidance for interpreting the law. The federal government issued an interim regulation in 2010, two years after the law passed. It hasn’t yet produced a final rule.
The proposed Sandy Hook Stables project, initiated by Fayette, Maine, resident George Mason, officially has a local connection now as Sandy Hook’s Rick Bayuk has been named by Mr Mason to the board of directors. Mr Bayuk, who contacted Mr Mason after The Bee’s June 28 article on the possible project, is taking the steps necessary to finding out if Mason’s proposed $30–$50 million Sturbridge Village-like horse park will comply with the town’s zoning and land use regulations.
Hours before the Board of Selectmen approved a $250,000 bonding resolution to tear it down, Public Works Director Fred Hurley was shoving the rotted front door of Danbury Hall open revealing a sensory collision. Within the long low brick structure that visually obstructs the front expanse of Fairfield Hills, Mr Hurley pointed to the crumbling plaster walls and collapsing ceilings amid beautiful two story high arch windows and artfully crafted woodwork and marble. By mid-October, he hopes to have salvaged as much valuable material as possible from the former hospital dorm. And then the rest will likely be gone forever.
A unanimous town meeting vote that approved the appropriation of $750,000 in funds from the state for planning and design work for a new Sandy Hook Elementary School was over in 11 minutes. A full parking lot and line out the door at a crowded Newtown Center Wednesday found attendees packing the building’s Council Chamber, where the meeting took place. Many residents stood, while others remained in the hallway unable to find a seat or even standing room inside. After calling the meeting to order, First Selectman and moderator Pat Llodra asked for a motion. Resident Christine Wilford moved to appropriate the sum, seconded by Kathy (Fetchick) Hamilton. When the 150-plus residents in the room soon voted on the motion it passed unanimously.
Nancy K. Crevier, Shannon Hicks & John Voket
• News •
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Along with answering questions like “Do you have hash browns or home fries?” the counter help at Sandy Hook Deli & Catering have become adept at answering “How can I see Sandy Hook School?” or “Where is the Sandy Hook memorial?” The answers, said Deli cashier Zandra Thompson, are “There is no reason to go there” and “There is no memorial.” Employees continue to see people from as far away as Georgia or the Carolinas. The lazy summer days bring in three to four people a week seeking to explore the scene of the 12/14 tragedy; higher numbers of people visit Sandy Hook Center on weekends. Most visitors are looking for a memorial and wish to pay their respects to those killed that Friday morning. A few have less than honorable reasons to visit. Access to Dickinson Drive, which leads to Sandy Hook Elementary School, has been limited to officials since the shootings. On January 4, 2013, Public Works employees placed huge cement blocks across the driveway to increase security at the crime scene. Those barriers remain in place, along with surveillance equipment and numerous signs warning that trespassers will be prosecuted.
Knife Found Police report they continue to hold a found knife for safekeeping. The folding-style pocket knife was found on Canterbury Lane in Sandy Hook on April 15, police said. Canterbury Lane exten...
The dispatchers at the Newtown Emergency Communications Center at 3 Main Street report the following fire calls and the responders: Thursday, July 18: 9:10 am, investigation, 28 Lyrical Lane, Sandy Hook respo...