Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced September 24 that the state is pledging its support to the Town of Newtown to facilitate the building of a replacement of Sandy Hook Elementary School and is prepared to approve the first round of funding toward its construction at Friday’s meeting of the State Bond Commission. In a letter to First Selectman Pat Llodra, state Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes has requested the town provide cost estimates and supporting documentation for review. Utilizing a bond allocation that the state legislature authorized earlier this year, the funds will be placed as needed on upcoming Bond Commission meeting agendas in several phases to be considered for final approval.
The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation has hired a part-time executive director, and has begun the process of identifying members of the community who might serve on a distribution committee to examine needs in the community resulting from the tragedy of 12/14. The foundation has been charged with overseeing the donations received for and disbursed from The Sandy Hook School Support Fund. A native and lifelong resident of Connecticut, Jennifer Barahona has been named the part-time executive director of the foundation. A distribution committee of 8-12 people will make recommendations to the foundation board of directors regarding the release of funds from The Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Close to $4 million is available to help with short-term and long-term needs. An additional $7.7 million has already been distributed to the families most impacted by the tragedy.
Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority (HRRA) will conduct a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day on Saturday, September 28, for residents of Newtown, Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Redding, and Ridgefield. Residents of these towns can drop off items that are not accepted at landfills and transfer stations between 9 am and 2 pm at Danbury Public Works, 53A Newtown Road.
In an interview granted to The Newtown Bee prior to his resignation Monday, September 16, former C.H. Booth Library Director Shawn Fields shared comments he had received from the public regarding the future of the town library. Three focus groups hosted by Mr Fields in August to elicit ideas on changes the public would or would not like to see at the library provided limited input, he said. Mr Fields said he had also received many comments from board members, staff, members of the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library, and the public, through interactions with the public, telephone, e-mail, and letters. A compilation of those comments was provided to The Newtown Bee, and Mr Fields noted that people “run the gamut” in ideas, most of which are very interesting.
The Town of Newtown and the Newtown Public School District have partnered to offer a series of informational meetings for the public to answer questions about the referendum scheduled for Saturday, October 5. The referendum is to authorize the town government to spend money which has been granted by the State of Connecticut. First Selectman Pat Llodra and Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr John Reed have each arranged for extended office hours during the next few weeks. In addition, three meetings with both officials have been scheduled, where they will answer questions from the public.
A bittersweet ceremony Thursday afternoon bid farewell to K-9 officer Baro, and welcomed Saint Michael, a nearly all black German shepherd, to the Newtown Police Department. Chief Michael Kehoe started the afternoon ceremony at Newtown Municipal Center by asking for a moment of silence to remember Baro, who retired earlier this year then died of cancer in late June. The afternoon, Officer Matthew Hayes later said, marked "the dawn of a new era" for the department. Police Officer & K-9 Handler Felicia Figol addressed a crowd that included town officials, residents, police department members, AKC club members and a host of K-9 units and handlers from surrounding towns, before Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead swore the new K-9 into service.
With the October 5 referendum on the town accepting state financial assistance to demolish the Sandy Hook School building and to design and build a new facility, the Board of Education took up a few related topics during its meeting on September 17.
“As we discussed at a couple of other meetings,” Business Director Ronald Bienkowski told the school board Tuesday evening, “we are interested in retrieving useful items from Sandy Hook School before it is demolished.”
The state Labor Department threw some cold water Thursday on Connecticut’s optimistic job outlook. The department not only reported a 6,000-job decline in August, but scaled back the 11,500-job gain it announced in July by more than 16 percent. Despite the job losses, Connecticut’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in August at 8.1 percent. That’s because the number of people actively seeking employment also fell last month.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced today that Connecticut is taking another step forward toward achieving a cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy future for residents and businesses with the selection of two projects that will generate large amounts of electricity from clean energy sources, helping to achieve renewable energy goals at lower costs to ratepayers. The governor said the cost of power from the two projects — a solar installation slated for land in Sprague and Lisbon, and a wind energy farm in Maine — will average under eight cents per kilowatt hour (k/Wh), a price close to matching the cost of power generated from conventional fossil fuel plants and some of the lowest costs ever obtained for solar and wind power in the region.