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  • Fire Reports | April 10-16, 2014

  • Senate Proposal Eliminating Subdivision Hearings Draws Local Opposition

    Three Newtown residents are among the latest to add their signatures and support in opposition to Connecticut Senate Bill 405. According to the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) the bill would eliminate the ability of a planning commission to conduct public hearings on subdivisions to determine whether they comply with applicable law and regulations. Former Newtown Wetlands Enforcement officer Ann Astarita along with Newtown Forest Association officers Guy Peterson and Robert Eckenrode have joined dozens of other individuals, municipalities, forest, land trust, and environmental groups standing against the proposal. One group that is supporting the bill is The Home Builders & Remodelers Association (HBRA) of Connecticut, Inc, who says SB 405 addresses only the unnecessary hearings held to make the purely administrative decision on whether a subdivision application complies with the subdivision regulations.

  • Brownfields Grant Will Aid FFH Hazmat Assessments

    Newtown was notified April 16 that it is the recipient of a $200,000 grant, which Director of Economic and Community Development Director Elizabeth Stocker said will be applied to assessing nine remaining buildings at Fairfield Hills for hazardous materials. The assessments will help the town estimate the cost of eventual hazmat remediation whether the building in question is slated for possible reuse or for demolition. Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday that the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has awarded $3,821,000 in grants to 21 communities to advance the development of brownfield sites throughout the state.

  • Accident Snarls I-84 Traffic For Hours

    Several accidents occurred in Newtown on Interstate 84 on Monday, April 14, resulting in extensive traffic backups on I-84’s westbound and eastbound lanes, causing motorists to seek alternate routes on local roads, thus creating traffic congestion on those streets. The first accident was reported at 12:42, and involved two vehicles that had been traveling on I-84 East. Both drivers of those vehicles were checked at the scene, and one was transported to the hospital for their injuries. The second accident occurred minutes later, when a Peterbilt tractor that had been traveling on I-84 West veered off the roadway, reportedly to avoid striking another vehicle, and landed on the highway's median, balance on a rock. The driver was uninjured. The need to remove diesel fuel from the truck's tanks before it could be uprighted kept firefighters and DEEP officials on scene for hours, however, which led to the extensive travel delays that afternoon.

  • Annual Prescription Drug Disposal Events Slated

    Medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning. Just as disturbing are the alarmingly high rates of prescription drug abuse among teens. A national study, conducted last year by The Partnership at DrugFree.org and the MetLife Foundation, found that nearly half (49 percent) of teens who misuse or abuse prescription medicines get them from a family member or friend. More often than not, these drugs are found in medicine cabinets. This year’s US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Take-Back Day will be conducted on Saturday, April 26. Newtown Police will be among the local departments participating in the annual collection event.

  • Library Board Loses Longtime Member

    Daniel Cruson, a longtime member of the C.H. Booth Board of Trustees, has submitted a letter of resignation to the president of the board. The letter, mailed to Board President Martha Robilotti “over two weeks ago,” Mr Cruson said on Monday, April 14, was to be “effective upon the receipt of the letter.” He has currently served on the board of trustees for seven years, and had two more years remaining to serve. He had also served for several years previously, since the 1980s, he said. Mr Cruson has been cutting back on involvement in a number of activities in order to devote more time to his writing and research, he told The Newtown Bee this week. The final straw however, the move that pushed Mr Cruson to discontinue his involvement with the library's board of directors, was the treatment given to one of his books meant to be sold to support future Newtown Historical Society publications.

  • Malloy Touts Success Of CT Jobs Program

    Governor Dannel Malloy is touting the success of a state program that promotes job creation by providing wage subsidies and training grants to small businesses. The initiative, known as the Subsidized Training and Employment Program or Step Up, help cover the costs of training new hires during the first six months of employment. Gov Malloy announced Friday that the initiative has led to the hiring of 2,200 new workers.

  • Right To Record Police A Focus Of Connecticut Bill

    (AP) When East Haven police officers arrested a Catholic priest who was videotaping them in 2009, it sparked calls for the state legislature to better protect the public’s right to record the actions of law enforcement officials. Five years later, additional safeguards to that right have yet to make it to the governor’s desk.

  • New Superintendent Begins Work

    Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, officially assumed his new post as Newtown superintendent of schools on Monday, April 14. Dr Erardi was unanimously chosen for the position in January, following a months-long superintendent search, which used a consulting group from the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) led by Jacqueline Jacoby, community surveys, and focus group meetings. The January 17 decision also followed a January 10 site visit to Southington, where Dr Erardi had served as superintendent for the previous eight years, by Board of Education members. Former superintendent of schools John Reed returned in May 2013 to act as interim superintendent following the resignation of former superintendent Janet Robinson.

  • Regionalized Emergency Dispatching Proposal Draws More Fire

    The Newtown Police Union opposes a town proposal that would have municipal emergency radio dispatching for 911, police, fire, and ambulance calls regionalized at a privately owned dispatching center in Prospect. The town has proposed regionalization as a cost savings measure.