UPDATED (Thursday, May 21, 2015; 5:25 pm) || The State Board of Mediation & Arbitration has awarded long-term disability pay extending to 2025 to a former Newtown police officer, who left his job after the December 2012 shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Officer Thomas Bean was unable to continue work as a policeman after having suffered the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder due to the intensity of the shooting incident.
The State Board of Mediation and Arbitration has awarded long-term disability pay to a former Newtown police officer, who left his job after the December 2012 shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The officer stated that he was unable to continue work as a police officer after having suffered the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder due to the intensity of the incident. Thomas Bean reportedly will be eligible to receive approximately $380,000 in disability payments from the town.
First Selectman Pat Llodra is seeking residents to fill several openings on local appointed boards and commissions. In some cases the appointments are required to be affiliated with a specific political party, while in other cases unaffiliated voters are encouraged to consider serving.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr., named Sarah Lynch and Hannah Grant as the Newtown High School Class of 2015 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, at the Board of Education’s meeting on Tuesday, May 19. Sarah plans to attend the University of Connecticut at Storrs, as an undecided business major. Sarah said she is thinking of choosing between “multiple directions” in the field when she begins classes there in the fall. Hannah has decided to attend Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., to study chemical engineering. She is also thinking about studying international relations for her minor.
It appears while a Connecticut State Police pilot program attempting to regionalize related dispatching operations is being scrapped, a legislative effort to force communities like Newtown to regionalize emergency communications systems is still very much alive. First Selectman Pat Llodra has recently reported to the Board of Finance and Legislative Council, that HB 6970, a proposed bill she referred to as the “Speaker’s Bill,” because it is being promoted for passage by Democratic Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, is likely to become law this session.
The Borough Zoning Commission (BZC) is continuing its review of Aquarion Water Company’s proposal to build an above-ground water pumping station at 12 Church Hill Road, the address where the Newtown Hook & Ladder Volunteer Fire Company plans to construct a new firehouse. BZC members held a second public hearing on the pumphouse application on May 13. The volunteer fire company plans to construct an approximately 16,000-square-foot firehouse at the 3.16-acre site on the south side of Church Hill Road. Aquarion wants to construct an 1,100-square-foot pumphouse adjacent to the planned firehouse.
The state police plan to revert to their former call-taking/dispatching scheme, returning all call-taking functions and emergency dispatching operations to their individual barracks in the western and eastern sections of the state. In this region, that means that call-taking and emergency dispatching functions will return to the state police’s Troop A barracks at 90 Lakeside Road in Southbury, near Exit 14 of Interstate 84.
After social networks posts exploded with concerns, unhappy fans and those comparing Newtown to the fictional community in the movie "Footloose," where dancing is illegal, a Newtown Police Supervisor told The Bee this week that “Dancing Traffic Agent” Kathy Ballwig Holick will “bop and weave” again. Ms Holick, who is a popular local fixture as Newtown’s Smiling Traffic Agent — with a popular Facebook page of the same name — has been the subject of several complaints during her tenure, primarily for distracting movements or confusing hand signals. Ms Holick has during the past year become recognized for her generous smiles, waves and dance moves, the latter of which have been combined with her hand signals while doing traffic duty at three locations.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy on May 18 announced that the State of Connecticut has been awarded a $7 million federal grant to improve access to care for people seeking drug and alcohol treatment in the state. Monday’s announcement came as Gov Malloy continues to advance his “Second Chance Society” crime reduction initiatives, which among other things redefines simple possession of drugs for personal use as a misdemeanor to better ensure that resources and tools are available to reintegrate into society and lead productive lives. The proposals focus on treatment rather than prison for those with addiction.
In anticipation of Flag Day, State Reps. Mitch Bolinsky (R-106), Dan Carter (R-2), J.P. Sredzinski (R-112) and state Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) are helping Newtown residents dispose of their worn American flags in a dignified and respectful way. The US Flag Code specifies that old American flags no longer in service must be properly disposed, and the lawmakers are offering this service free of charge, in conjunction with VFW Post 308. The Newtown state legislative delegation will have two separate drop off locations. The drive will take place May 22 through June 4, just a little shy of Flag Day on June 14.