Eighteen months after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Wellmore Behavioral Health will now ‘stand down’ from its intensive, crisis response and school-based recovery effort but will remain a part of the plan for longer term community support. The Waterbury-based Wellmore Behavioral Health was among the earliest responders on site on December 14, 2012, sending nearly two dozen mental health professionals through its Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Service (EMPS), a program funded by the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families. Since the moments after the shooting, Wellmore has served over 700 children, parents, educators and families through on-site counseling, home-based outreach, community meetings and school-based care.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) will close a section of Interstate 84 in both directions in Southington from 9 pm Friday night, June 27, until early Monday morning, June 30. Major traffic delays are anticipated. Two bridges that carry I-84 over Marion Avenue — one eastbound and one westbound — are being replaced with new structures. The replacement is what is requiring the complete closure of I-84 in both directions for the weekend.
A young boy squeezed between adults looks out over the St Rose field on Tuesday, the opening night of the St Rose Parish Carnival. Elsewhere, pressed firmly into their seats, three friends felt the carnival ride begin to rise. A few seconds later they hung suspended over the field. Then, as the Rip Cord ride released, the girls fell straight back toward the ground, screaming and laughing as they stopped short of the platform. Rushing into the crowds on the church lawn in search of another thrill, Courtney Cohane, Ashley Marron, and Gianna Terracino all looked back at the ride they were on. All across the grounds were other spinning, swinging, noisy amusements with their lights and bells, and lines of carnivalgoers waiting to get on. The annual event runs each night through June 28.
The 2014 Kelly Report on Gun Violence in America, released Wednesday, June 25, is the first collaboration of its kind between members of Congress, gun safety advocates, and public health/academic communities on the nation’s gun violence epidemic. Written by Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), the report is, according to her website, “the first-ever Congressional analysis of the nation’s gun violence epidemic that offers a blueprint for ending the crisis.” The contributors to the report include Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA), chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force; Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Contributors also include The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, NAACP, National Urban League, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Center for American Progress, Duke University, University of Chicago Crime Lab, Harvard University School of Public Health and John Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Police continue to investigate a serious motor vehicle accident that occurred late on the night of Saturday, June 21, in which a SUV carrying three 24-year-old women, while traveling eastward on Berkshire Road (Route 34) near the Monroe town line, drove off the right road shoulder and then went down a ravine, striking several trees before coming to rest near a stream. The intense impacts of the multiple rollover accident resulted in serious injuries to two of the three occupants of the heavily damaged 2011 Audi Q-5, officials said. Two of the women in the accident had been released from St Vincent's Hospital by midweek. The third remained in critical condition at Yale-New Haven Hospital as of June 26.
During the first sobriety checkpoint of the year, which took place on the evening of Friday, June 20, and early morning of Saturday, June 21, town police charged three motorists with driving under the influence. Besides the DUI arrests, police issued two infractions for child safety seat violations, four warnings for seatbelt violations, and 14 warnings for various other motor vehicle violations, according to Lieutenant Christopher Vanghele. Police set up the checkpoint near the intersection of Wasserman Way and Trades Lane, near the main entrance to the Fairfield Hills core campus. Motorists driving in both directions on Wasserman Way were stopped and briefly interviewed to determine whether they were driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Police hold such checkpoints to make local roads safer for the motoring public.
A glass memorial to the victims of 12/14 will be unveiled at a public reception Sunday, June 29, from 1 to 4 pm, at Curtis Packaging, 44 Berkshire Road. Commissioned by local businessman Don Droppo, Sr, the 21-inch-high glass sculpture on a 26- by 30-inch base by artist Lucy Lyon is a library scene of stained glass books lining six shelves, which surround 20 tiny glass chairs.
Retired Newtown Assistant Principal Anthony Salvatore, Newtown Federation of Teachers President Tom Kuroski, and Sandy Hook School teacher Liesl Fressola traveled to Emporia, Kan., for the dedication ceremony, held on Thursday, June 12, of a Memorial to Fallen Educators.
The memorial was created by the National Teachers Hall of Fame, and will permanently recognize more than 100 United States educators who have lost their lives while fulfilling their educational duties, according to a release from the American Federation of Teachers.