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The Way We Were

April 14, 1989

“Originally, it was designed for eighth graders as a final get-together dance before students moved on to high school,” according to Lou Villamana, principal of Newtown Middle School, speaking of the annual end-of-the-year social event. “But the ‘Moving-Up Dance’ has become a kind of mini-prom and things are getting out of hand. Last year students even showed up in a stretch limo.” It was time to set some guidelines to help parents fend off the “everybody’s doing it syndrome.” So he sent out letters to parents stating the dress code for the eighth grade dance. Students arriving in a limousine, wearing a tuxedo or a floor length or strapless dress will be denied entry and money will be refunded. The concern was that the use of rented limousines and formal attire is more appropriate for high school functions. This year, attendance will be limited to eighth grade students. “This should not be a dating event,” noted Mr Villamana.

 

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A corner of the undercroft of St John’s Episcopal Church in Sandy Hook Center has been set aside to offer assistance to persons in temporary need. Appropriately dubbed “the Pantry” by the Rev Joan Horwitt, pastor of St John’s and founder of the project, it is a cupboard filled with goodwill and food staples. Established six years ago, FAITH (Food Assistance for Immediate, Temporary Help) has been the answer for some 30 to 40 families each year. But Rev Horwitt is concerned that not enough Newtowners are aware of the availability — and the confidentiality — of the service.

 

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Amid concerns over cost, the Board of Selectmen voted Wednesday night to approve spending $325,000 for an enhanced 911 system. The money will pay for two duplicate 911 systems — one in Edmond Town Hall, and the other at the police department in Town Hall South. The town hall system will serves as the primary answering point, and any police calls will be “rolled over” to the police department’s system.

 

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Nearly 200 youngsters attended the Children’s Fishing Derby last Saturday at Dickinson Park, where the swimming pool was turned into a fishing hole stocked with trout by the Newtown Fish & Game Club and Parks and Recreation. Some of the many prize winners were Jaclyn Arsenault, who caught the first fish of the day, and Michael Nero, who landed the first five trout in the 10–12 age group.

 

April 17, 1964

Father Richard P. Losch of St John’s Church, Sandy Hook, made local history at 6:42 am, this Thursday morning when he became Guest Historian on the CBS radio Jack Sterling show. His contribution to the program’s feature, “It happened this day, I think,” will not be quoted here — corn of this quality takes too long to mature (and to explain). Suffice it to say that Father Losch is to be congratulated and envied by all punsters, particularly those of us who are early-rising but late-blooming.

 

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Thirty-eight students from grades 4–6 turned out at the Dickinson Memorial Park last Saturday for the first Bicycle Road-e-o sponsored by the Hawley PTA. A series of tests were completed on the tennis court, in addition to a written test taken during the school hours. Winner of the trophy for the top score was Gary Gollenberg, son of Mr and Mrs George Gollenberg of Taunton Hill Road.

 

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It is indeed comforting to know that when the specter of serious trouble enters our lives, our Newtown neighbors are ever ready to rise to the call for help. Mrs William E. Wheeler was to have open heart surgery at Grace New Haven hospital. Mrs Wheeler needed type A positive blood. This information was relayed to Mrs Stephen Bona, Jr, chairman of the Red Cross blood drive. Mrs Bona called Charles W. Terrell, Jr, Mrs Hastings Blake, Seth O.L. Brody, William R. Boan, Brendan Jones and Edward P. Hurd. They were at Grace New Haven Hospital at 7:30 am, Thursday morning, the day of the operation.

 

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“From News To Newspaper,” an exhibit showing the mechanics of printing The Newtown Bee, is on display in the Queen Street office of the Connecticut National Bank. The photographs, with explanatory captions and samples of type, mats, cuts and other necessary materials will remain on display for the next few weeks.

 

April 14, 1939

With the arrest of four men in the past week, local and State police believe they have solved several old cases. Constable Wesley J. Stanton and Trooper Harry Tucker arrested one local man and one Danbury man for the theft of some chickens from Seigfert Allen of Mt Pleasant. The theft occurred in June. For the theft of an outboard motor from Joseph Lasher of Riverside, last July, Constable Stanton and Trooper Arthur Meyer arrested two Stratford youths.

 

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The second meeting of the Newtown baseball team was held Tuesday evening at the Town Hall with fourteen prospective players in attendance. It was decided upon to use Pine Grove Park for all home games and the Fairfield State Hospital field for practice sessions. All prospective players are urged to meet at Pine Grove on Sunday, April 23, to assist in whipping the field into shape.

 

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Rotarians, close to 200 and from all parts of the state, gathered with enthusiasm in the Alexandria Room of the Edmond Town Hall on Monday evening for the Charter Night program of the Newtown club. Festivities got underway at 7 o’clock when Anson T. Leary, Special Representative, called for order. The program, following dinner, opened with the introduction by Mr Leary of the toastmaster for the evening, Charles W. Pettengill, Governor of the 200th Rotary district, who with Mr Leary were the prime movers in formation of the Newtown club. The charter was presented by Mr Pettengill to George M. Stuart, first president of the Newtown club, No 4965.

 

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Members of the Hawleyville Fire Department were called to the home of Robert Clark in Land’s End district on Saturday afternoon to extinguish a blaze which had started in a brooder house. The booster tank was used to extinguish the fire. Fortunately the prompt arrival of the firemen saved the building from being completely destroyed.

 

April 17, 1914

There was an unusually impressive early service at St John’s on Easter day, attended by a large proportion of the communicants. In the early morning light, the flowers, large masses of daffodils, with lilies white and pink, with vases of azaleas and carnations, were particularly beautiful. The hymns, special chants and anthems were beautifully rendered, Mr Warner’s solo work being particularly commended. The tone of the entire service was that of joy and renewed life appropriate to the season.

 

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Charles E. Blakeman, who has been sawing out a timber job for W.M. and A.W. Reynolds, has bought a tract of timber adjoining Mrs Marcus Hawley. After Mr Blakeman finishes work in that section, he will move his mill to Bethel where he has bought timber of A.R. Briscoe, Mr Hammond and others.

 

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Patrick McInerney, familiarly known as “Austin” McInerney, left home on April 2, and was last seen alive by Newtown people going toward Hawleyville. Good Friday, a searching party set out to look him up. One group found his body in a recumbent position in an open lot on the farm of John B. Wheeler. He had evidently lain down, or dropped down on a mossy place near a small clump of bushes. Mr McInerney was 55 years old. He was for many years an employe of the New York Belting $ Packing Co. As a young man, he attended the Newtown Academy and was said to be a clever mathematician. He was a man of genial nature and well liked locally.

 

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Mrs Isabel Gilbert, upon returning to her home the other night, after being away for a short time, found some one had broken into her house in her absence and thoroughly ransacked all of the rooms. Evidently, they were looking for money by the way the things were scattered about.

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