Although town officials have long been exploring the prospect of regionalizing municipal emergency radio dispatching for 911, police, fire, and ambulance calls to improve cost efficiency, Police Commission members this week voiced strong concerns about it, stressing that such an arrangement could do more harm than good in terms of town police operations. Currently, all town 911, police, fire, and ambulance dispatching is done at the Newtown Emergency Communications Center at 3 Main Street, in the same building that houses the police station. Two town-employed dispatchers staff the facility around the clock on 12-hour shifts. Under a proposal advanced by Maureen Will, the town’s emergency communications director, the multiple functions of town emergency dispatching would be handled by Northwest Connecticut Public Safety Communication Center, Inc, in Prospect at an existing private facility.
Four members of the Young Adult Council of C.H. Booth Library and seven community members met Monday, March 31, with consultants from the Connecticut State Library to provide input regarding the selection of a new director for the library. Dawn LaValle, director of the Division of Library Development, and Mary Engels, director of the Middletown Library Service Center, facilitated the afternoon meeting for the young people, and the evening meeting that was open to the public. A third focus group, for adults, is scheduled for Monday, April 7.
Police report they charged two New York City residents with first-degree forgery on March 27 following an incident involving some counterfeit US paper currency that a customer had used at one store in Newtown. The pair was stopped when they tried to make a purchase using more counterfeit money at a second store in town. Charged are Azucena Z. Ancajima, 31, and Ivan Javier Gonzalez, 39, both of the same address in the Elmhurst section of Queens, NY, police said. First-degree forgery is a felony. Each person was held on $10,000 bail for arraignment on March 28 in Danbury Superior Court.
While many residents surveyed by volunteers of the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation continue to express a high degrees of anxiety, fear, and stress, it has also become evident that efforts to raise funds to assist these individuals with ongoing counseling are challenged to maintain the level of fundraising required to cover the related costs.
These are among a number of important points outlined in the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation’s newly released findings derived from a survey of community needs resulting from the tragedy of 12/14. The Second Distribution Committee of the Sandy Hook School Support Fund used the findings to make decisions regarding the release of funds into the community.
Besides statistical data collected for the recent Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation survey, 369 respondents provided narrative feedback. Many reiterated the importance of one of the priority services listed. This was especially true for the importance of short- and long-term mental health support as well as preventative mental health services to promote a culture of kindness and caring as well as early detection of mental health issues. The need for more programming for youth was another area frequently mentioned in the comments. This included the need for other positive opportunities for young people who are not interested in sports or arts.
Lisa Wilson-Foley and her husband, Brian Foley, pleaded guilty Monday to a federal conspiracy charge stemming from what they described as an effort to conceal $35,000 in payments to former Gov. John G. Rowland for help with Wilson-Foley’s unsuccessful congressional campaign in 2012.Rowland, 56, who reinvented himself as a popular radio host on WTIC-AM in 2010 after serving 10 months in prison on a federal corruption conviction, was identified in court as a co-conspirator of the couple, meaning he is the target of a federal corruption investigation for the second time in a decade.The former governor was spared being on the air as the story broke: His afternoon drive-time program was pre-empted on WTIC AM by the season opener of the Boston Red Sox.Rowland, a three-term Republican governor, and his local lawyer, Bartley Halloran, did not respond to requests for comment.
C.H. Booth Library’s fine amnesty — the forgiveness on overdue books, videos, etc that were borrowed before January 4 and could not be returned while the library was recently closed — will end Tuesday, April 1.
Through an email to parents Thursday, March 27, Newtown Middle School Principal Thomas Einhorn announced that NMS Assistant Principal Anthony Salvatore is retiring.Dr Salvatore has worked in the Newtown school district for 15 years, as an assistant principal at Reed Intermediate School, and assistant principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and as the assistant principal at NMS.The Newtown Board of Education has yet to discuss and accept Dr Salvatore’s retirement request.
President Barack Obama is planning to honor two Newtown residents, including the father of one of the 12/14 victims and the daughter of a 12/14 survivor, as Champions of Change. Sarah Clements, founder and chairwoman for the Jr Newtown Action Alliance, and Mark Barden, director of advocacy for Sandy Hook Promise, are among nine honorees being recognized for taking critical steps in their communities to reduce gun violence. The ceremony is set for Thursday, April 3. Although a minority of the Senate voted down common-sense legislation according to a White House release, the administration is continuing to take key steps to reduce gun violence by implementing more than 23 executive actions and elevating successful local efforts.
About 25 local volunteer firefighters attacked multiple brush fires along High Rock Road amid high winds on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 26, along an approximately 9,000-foot section of Grays Plain Plain Road near the Monroe border. There were no injuries. No houses, garages, or vehicles were damaged by the blazes, officials said. The first call reporting a fire was received at 3:24 pm from 49 High Rock Road. The last fire to be reported came in at 5:11 pm from the area near the intersection of High Rock Road and Great Ring Road. No evidence was found that the fires were intentionally set. The fires may have been sparked, said Fire Marshal Bill Halstead, by power lines that fell after a tree fell that afternoon, which resulted in sparking electricity in brush on the ground.