With what VFW Post 308 Chaplain Donna Randle Monteleone called “the best community turnout ever,” dozens of volunteers set out from the VFW Club on Freedom Way, Thursday afternoon, May 14, to place nearly 1,200 small American flags at the graves of veterans buried in Newtown cemeteries. Volunteers placed flags at St Rose Cemetery, Sandy Hook Cemetery, Zoar Cemetery, Village Cemetery, Resurrection Cemetery, Lands End Cemetery, and the other smaller cemeteries in Newtown. A flag retirement ceremony is planned at the VFW property Friday, June 5, at 5:30 pm.
A nature walk and educational tour of the future site of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary was held on Saturday, May 9.
The event was open to the public and the tour was led by Andrew Mangold, a forest gardener and permaculture expert.
The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary is the effort of The Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation, dedicated to the memory of Catherine Hubbard, who was killed on 12/14. Construction on the animal sanctuary is set to begin in 2016.
From May 18 to May 31, town police will heighten their enforcement of seatbelt use by motorists as part of a state and national enforcement project known as “Click It or Ticket — Day & Night.” Newtown, Redding, Bethel, and Brookfield police will join forces during the project, conducting heavy enforcement in each of the four towns.
Police said that while near Walgreens Pharmacy at 49 South Main Street about 6 pm on Saturday, May 9, a police officer noticed what he considered to be suspicious activity outside, resulting in the arrest of three people in connection with an incident in which $1,200 of counterfeit money ws allegedly used to make purchases inside the store.
A Wallingford man has pleaded guilty in Bridgeport Superior Court to two criminal charges stemming from his having placed multiple telephone calls on April 7 to Sandy Hook Elementary School on Fan Hill Road in Monroe. In those calls, the man claimed that the events of 12/14 were fabricated. In Bridgeport Superior Court on May 6, Timothy Rogalski, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree harassment and to one count of second-degree breach of peace. The judge accepted both guilty pleas. Rogalski still has an appearance scheduled at Danbury Superior Court, where six charges are pending against him in connection with the April 7 phone calls.
A former Newtown police sergeant and a former town emergency communications dispatcher have pleaded not guilty to all federal drug charges against them, which allege that they were part of an anabolic steroids drug trafficking ring with others. In statement issued on May 15 concerning the arrests of the former town employees, First Selectman Pat Llodra said, “The alleged criminal activity of Sgt Santucci and dispatcher Chickos is very concerning.
Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority will conduct a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day on Saturday, May 16, 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 Newtown's Public Works Garage.
It has been a long time coming, but a veteran police officer has been elevated from patrolman to supervisor, with the promotion of Scott Ruszczyk to the rank of sergeant. Sgt Ruszczyk, 46, was sworn into his new rank in May 1 ceremonies at Town Hall South attended by family, friends, and police staffers. The Police Commission promoted Mr Ruszczyk to the rank of sergeant in December, but the promotion did not take effect until May 1.
Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) members are continuing their review of the environmental aspects of The River Walk At Sandy Hook Village, a 74-unit housing complex proposed for the west side of Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook Center, near the Pootatuck River. IWC members held the second installment of a public hearing on the application on May 13. The applicant is seeking a wetlands/watercourses protection permit from the IWC. Much of the discussion Wednesday evening concerned the environmental protection comments made about the construction proposal by the Candlewood Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, which is a private nonprofit environmental protection group. The Pootatuck River is a trout stream.
Town Finance Director Robert Tait released information to local officials recently detailing insurance claims paid by Newtown’s provider of municipal risk financing and risk management services. The town finance office also released its latest report on the Sandy Hook Special Revenue Fund, which has received donations and contributions made to the town following 12/14.