DANBURY — The estates of two of the first-graders who were killed in the December 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School are the plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the town that seeks money damages. The civil action is dated December 12, 2014, on court papers. The lawsuit seeks unspecified money damages exceeding $15,000. The case is filed in Danbury Superior Court. Named as plaintiffs in the suit are the estates of Noah Pozner and Jesse Lewis, both of whom were among the 26 people killed by gunman Adam Lanza, 20, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Named as defendants in the legal action are the Town of Newtown, represented by Ms Aurelia; the Board of Education, represented by Schools Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi, Jr; and Sandy Hook Elementary School, represented by Principal Kathleen Gombos.
State police report that at about 6:40 pm on January 4, they received a report from the state’s high-security Garner Correctional Institution there had been an inmate assault. State police said their investigation found that inmate George Montanez, 42, had struck his 25-year-old cellmate in the chest and the face.
Police Commission members are considering strengthening the town’s ordinance on burglar alarms, a move which they expect would greatly decrease the number of false alarms to which police respond. By reducing the number of false-alarm responses, police would have more time to respond to actual problems, according to Police Commission members. Any changes in the existing burglar alarm ordinance would be subject to action by the Legislative Council.
Following review of a report on the traffic implications of a 30,000-square-foot medical office building proposed for 168-170 Mt Pleasant Road in Hawleyville, the Police Commission, serving as the traffic authority, has endorsed the traffic-related aspects of the project. Newtown Medical Office Two, LLC, of Westport is proposing the two-story structure for an undeveloped 4.7-acre site on the north side of Mt Pleasant Road, west of Splendid Place, a private road that serves Maplewood at Newtown. The office building site within a (B-2) General Business zone would have a 150-space parking lot, a loading area, public water, and public sanitary sewers.
The Newtown Police Department is seeking public comments as part of its state reaccreditation process. A team of inspectors from the Police Officers Standards and Training Council (POSTC) is scheduled to visit the police station on January 23 to examine its policies and procedures documents as they relate to the state’s Tier 1 police accreditation process. The police department has had Tier 1 accreditation since 2005 and is seeking reaccreditation for the third time.
Police Commission Chairman Paul Mangiafico said this week he is seeking to learn when the commission, in its role as the local traffic authority, will receive for review a formal traffic report from the Newtown Hook & Ladder Volunteer Fire Company on the fire company’s firehouse project planned for 12 Church Hill Road. The fire company has not yet responded to an email from the commissioner concerning the requested traffic report, Mr Mangiafico said this week. Hook & Ladder has been trying to build a new firehouse for years, to replace the town-owned building at 45 Main Street that has long been considered structurally unsound.
To Newtowners, it’s snow, sleet, and slush. But to local officials and Highway Department crews slogging through it with plows, sand, and salt, these passing winter fronts are classified as “events.” So with six winter season events under their belt, the Board of Selectmen received a report from the Highway Department through First Selectman Pat Llodra January 5, detailing where the winter storm budget and related supplies of materials stand as Newtown moves into the most storm-prone period of midwinter.
Newtown’s Charter Revision Commission was still busily working through the holidays and into the New Year, but most of the commissioners’ efforts were focused in subcommittees, according to Chairman Jeff Capeci. “We’ve got a lot of irons in the fire, but I’m hoping by about a month from now we can get closure on the committee work and get moving on our main charge,” he told The Newtown Bee January 7. “”We’ve actually been doing a lot of work at the committee levels.” One committee is working on refining and modifying charter language related to appointed boards and commissions. Another group is working on reorganizing the physical layout of the document.
Under pressure to have an approved capital improvement plan (CIP) to present to ratings agencies ahead of a bond refunding next week, and despite early speculation that officials would not complete deliberation this week, the Legislative Council approved Newtown’s five-year CIP following nearly two hours of discussions focusing on road work, Fairfield Hills, and a new community center development.After indicating to freshman council member Eva Bermudez — who had to depart for a previously scheduled commitment — that the vote would likely not happen until a subsequent meeting, Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob learned later in the meeting that rating agencies would be expecting a completed capital plan as part of the town’s prebonding presentations January 12. The first hour of the session was dominated by Finance Director Robert Tait’s review of last fiscal year’s financial statements and discussions between the council, First Selectman Pat Llodra, and Public Works Director Fred Hurley, who reviewed expenditures to cover winter storm response by his department (see separate story).