With the hiring of two new police patrol officers, the police department is now up to its full complement of 45 sworn members. Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead gave the oath of office to both officers in ceremonies held on October 2 at Newtown Municipal Center.
Police Commission Chairman Paul Mangiafico has told Police Commission members that the superintendent of schools has commended Newtown Police Department command staff members for their work following the October 1 bomb threat received at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Monroe. At an October 7 Police Commission session, Mr Mangiafico told the four other commission members that he had met with School Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, for a discussion. The superintendent had documented in a letter his appreciation for the police department command staff’s help following the bomb scare, Mr Mangiafico said.
A Danbury firm hired by the town has demolished a Great Hill Road house that was heavily damaged by a June 2011 fire of undetermined origin. The demolition eliminates the previously hazardous conditions at the property, which had drawn concerns from some of the residents in the neighborhood. During the week of October 6, All Star Welding & Demolition of Danbury used its heavy equipment to tear down the fire-scarred single-family house, attached garage, and swimming pool shelter, among other objects, at 31 Great Hill Road, near its intersection with Castle Hill Road. Town Director of Planning George Benson that that the town playing for the demolition of privately owned property is unusual. Public safety hazards led the town to choose the option of paying for the demolition and removing the hazards, he said.
Newtown resident Rob Cox was in Burlington, Vt., Friday, October 10, to receive the 2014 Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Vermont, honoring the mission of Sandy Hook Promise. The editor-in-chief of Breakingviews, Mr Cox is also a co-founder and the vice chairman of the local organization formed in the wake of 12/14. He said he was honored that his alma mater wanted to acknowledge the work of Sandy Hook Promise, even though he would “trade pretty much anything not to be here accepting this award,” knowing it was rooted in the events of 12/14.
The Police Commission plans to have an engineering firm review traffic flow on Key Rock Road to determine the best measures to control speeding on the northern section of that mile-long north-south connector road. Police Commission members discussed the “traffic calming” topic at an October 7 session, in response to a Key Rock Road resident’s request that a speed table be installed near her home at 8 Key Rock Road to hold down traffic speeds. The street has a posted 20-mph speed limit. Several years ago, the town installed two speed tables on the northern section of Key Rock Road in response to a North Branch Road man’s drive for better speed control on Key Rock Road. Those speed tables are located on Key Rock about 1,100 feet south of Sugar Street, and on Key Rock Road just north of its intersection with North Branch Road. The Police Commission has been discussing speeding issues on Key Rock Road for approximately five years.
A Connecticut Department of Transportation traffic update is warning motorists to expect delays on Interstate 84 between the hours of 8 pm and 5 am beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, October 15 through at least Friday, October 17. The DOT has implemented a nighttime maintenance project on the bridges over Hanover Road and Boulevard in Newtown. Modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions, according to the release. Impact attenuators, traffic control personnel and signing patterns will be working to guide travelers through the work zone, but motorists are asked to maintain a safe speed while driving in this vicinity.
Local electrician Ken Burns has fond memories of his youth living with his family at a compact ranch-style house at 82 Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook. He recalls days of playing in the spacious backyard amid fields and trees which lead to the rustic, winding Sugarloaf Road. In the past, the area was generally agricultural, he noted. A large working farm stood across Sugarloaf Road in the area now proposed for the 42-lot Sherman Woods cluster-style residential subdivision. Today, Mr Burns, the proprietor of Ken Burns Electrical Contractors Inc, of Hawleyville, is overseeing the swift construction of a new house at the Berkshire Road site.
Three Connecticut lawmakers are among the 60 members of Congress who have signed a letter, dated September 30, to Gina McCarthy, administrator at the US Environmental Protection Agency. Elizabeth Esty (D-Fifth Congressional District), Rosa DeLauro (D-Third Congressional District), and James Hines (D-Fourth Congressional District) have joined in requesting the EPA to consider recent findings from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Task Force on Systemic Insecticides that have linked the environmental accumulation of systemic pesticides, such as the neonicotinoids, to negative impacts on land and water wildlife. Water-soluble neonicotinoids break down slowly in the environment, allowing them to be taken up by plants, and providing protection from insects. Neonicotinoids include acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam, with imidacloprid being the most widely used.