It was not more than a few weeks after Newtown’s 12/14 tragedy that invitations began pouring in to several key community leaders. Many were from fraternal organizations in law enforcement and emergency communications looking to Police Chief Michael Kehoe and a number of 12/14 police responders, First Selectman Pat Llodra and Emergency Communications Director Maureen Will, for advice or guidance born of their experiences on that horrific day. The public officials have helped as many groups as they could since the beginning of the year. Mrs Llodra has issued a request to town officials to curtain or begin restricting future travel to speak about 12/14 and related issues. “It’s time for us to not be so present in those discussions,” she told The Bee. “It’s time to turn back to our business here.”
DANBURY – A half-sister of John Heath, who had worked with him as a commercial painter, testified in court on Tuesday, October 1, that she told him that she smelled “something that was dead” in the barn on his property at 89 Poverty Hollow Road in Newtown, at some point not long after Mr Heath had allegedly murdered his wife Elizabeth in April, 1984, hiding her body in a drywell beneath the barn’s floor.
Louann Chevalier testified in Danbury Superior Court on the second day of the murder trial that Mr Heath responded that maybe there was something dead in the barn, perhaps wildlife, such as a bat.
The C.H. Booth Library operates under an “interesting duality,” said Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra in an e-mail to The Bee, last month. “It is housed in a municipal building, its employees are in our pension plan, we subsidize (in part) the library program with taxpayer money, and more — all indicators consistent with ‘public.’ However,” explained Mrs Llodra, “we do not supervise their employees, they are not part of our unions, the Library Board is responsible for maintaining the building, and the majority of the board are not appointed by the Selectmen.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.