The tenth Newtown Relay For Life is just hours away and community spirit around the landmark event continues to build around town. The public event, which helps raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society, has taken its place alongside the Labor Day Parade, holiday tree lightings, and Halloween on Main Street as one of the biggest community-building events of the year. Returning to Newtown High School’s Blue & Gold Stadium after several years at Fairfield Hills, the free, 12-hour nonsporting relay is expected to draw thousands of residents during the overnight of May 31 to June 1, many of whom have faced cancer themselves, or who have supported loved ones, friends, and family members through the fight.
House Republican Mitch Bolinsky, representing most of Newtown from his 106th District seat, said during a forum Tuesday that the state has to be more taxpayer friendly and more business friendly. Mr Bolinsky and his fellow house GOP member and Second District representative Dan Carter listened to concerns of residents during a 90-minute program that looked back over the just-completed legislative session.
The Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project has slated its next community forum, “Caring for our Youth, Signs of Suicide (SOS),” to take place Thursday, June 5, from 6 to 7 pm, at Newtown Middle School. The forum will highlight the relationship between depression and suicide, teaching that most often suicide is a fatal response to a treatable disorder: depression. The forum will be facilitated by David Jacob, LCSW, Recovery Project Director, and by District Health Coordinator Judy Blanchard, MS, CPP.
Amid a late spring thunderstorm on the evening of Friday, May 23, firefighters from three local volunteer fire companies responded to a report of a house fire caused by a lightning strike on Jeremiah Road in Sandy Hook. Sandy Hook, Botsford, and Hook & & Ladder firefighters responded to the incident at 5:55 pm at 27 Jeremiah Road, on the corner of Jeremiah Road and Fox Hollow Lane. There were no injuries. Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Chief Bill Halstead said that no one was at home at the Carpenter residence when lightning struck the building’s propane system. The fire caused an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 worth of damage to the insured building, he said.
About a decade ago, Connecticut started getting serious about reclaiming and reusing former and abandoned, environmentally tainted industrial sites known as brownfields. Around that same time, Newtown’s Director of Economic and Community Development Elizabeth Stocker began began compiling an informal list of local brownfield sites. Once she realized there were grant and other assistance programs offering funds and services to assess these contaminated former industrial sites, she also began applying for help in the hopes of eventually returning some or all of these local parcels to some degree of productive use. Pursuing that goal would not only provide financial benefits to the community and its taxpayers by returning these unused or abandoned properties to the tax rolls, but would also help to mitigate the types of public health issues that arise around these sites like contaminated water tables. Today, Ms Stocker’s office is administering more than a half-million dollars
A severe thunderstorm, which passed through the area Tuesday evening, focused its strongest wind energy in the Riverside section of Sandy Hook, causing many trees to fall, resulting in extensive property damage and electrical outages in that neighborhood along Lake Zoar, near Interstate 84.The storm, which tracked from northwest to southeast, caused an intense, isolated pocket of damage as it struck Riverside at about 7:30 pm, lasting for about 30 minutes. The National Weather Service had issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the area at 7 pm. The warning was in effect for 45 minutes. Sandy Hook volunteer firefighters responded to 16 storm-related emergency calls between 7:31 and 11:02 pm.Anthony Capozziello, who was Sandy Hook’s acting fire chief during the storm, said that much of the damage occurred along the Waterview Drive section of Riverside. There were no injuries due to the storm, he said.Connecticut Light & Power Company spokesman Mitch Gross said that at about 8 pm on Tuesday, CL&P received reports of 254 electrical outages in Newtown. That number rose to 288 outages by midnight.
State Department of Transportation (DOT) workers last week took subsurface core samples at Sugar Street, at its intersection with Elm Drive, for geological information on the soil there to be used in the design of a new, wider Sugar Street bridge. The new span will replace the existing Sugar Street bridge which becomes a traffic bottleneck during commuter rush periods. As the DOT workers ran a drilling rig to take the core samples, a police officer stood by, directing eastbound traffic on Sugar Street to a detour that sent motorists southward on Elm Drive and then eastward on Hawley Road to reach South Main Street. DOT engineer Louis Bacho, the bridge project manager, said May 21 the core samples will show what lies beneath the surface for aid in designing the concrete abutments for the planned new bridge.
The Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority (HRRA) conducted a spring regional household hazardous waste collection project on Saturday, May 17, at the town public works garage at Turkey Hill Road. HRRA Director Cheryl Reedy said last week that regional regional residents drove 720 vehicles to the collection project to dispose of their waste. That participation represents a 46 percent increase from the 493 vehicles that were driven to the event last year, she said By far, the greatest percentage of users — 389 vehicles or 54 percent — were Newtown residents. The other regional participating towns were Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Redding, and Ridgefield.