(AP) In the aftermath of the Newtown school shooting, communication between town officials and victims' parents broke down at times, ranging from delayed notification about counseling programs to deciding to remove photos of victims from the school yearbook without telling families, a parent told a state commission Friday. David Wheeler lost his son, Benjamin, on 12/14. He told the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, which is reviewing the shooting and making policy recommendations, that he hoped the panel could do something to make information flow better from local government officials to victims after such tragedies. The commission also heard via video chat from Michele Gay, whose daughter Josephine died in the shooting. She recommended that schools take a number of steps to try to stop or slow intruders .
A chance meeting between Newtown’s “diver doctor” David Charash, MD, and famed third-generation oceanographer Fabian Cousteau during a symposium at Norwalk’s Maritime Aquarium last February has bloomed into a friendship that most recently prompted an invitation to Cousteau’s laboratory — 60 feet below the surface of the Caribbean. Dr Charash is medical director for wound care and hyperbaric medicine for the Western Connecticut Health Network and Danbury Hospital. Following a meeting in Norwalk, Dr Charash invited Mr Cousteau to keynote the 2014 dive medicine conference in early April.
The Public Building and Site Commission (PBSC), which is representing the town in overseeing the new community center development, has selected a familiar firm to handle management as the project begins ramping up. Chairman Robert Mitchell said the PBSC requested Diversified Project Management (DPM) to provide appropriate support for the new center that will be underwritten by a $10 million grant from General Electric. GE has also provided an additional $5 million to cover the cost of staffing the new facility at $1 million per year for the first five years of operationMr Mitchell told The Bee following the July 24 PBSC meeting that the commission’s request to retain DPM is moving through the approval process at the municipal level.
Eighteen months after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Wellmore Behavioral Health will now ‘stand down’ from its intensive, crisis response and school-based recovery effort but will remain a part of the plan for longer term community support. The Waterbury-based Wellmore Behavioral Health was among the earliest responders on site on December 14, 2012, sending nearly two dozen mental health professionals through its Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Service (EMPS), a program funded by the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families. Since the moments after the shooting, Wellmore has served over 700 children, parents, educators and families through on-site counseling, home-based outreach, community meetings and school-based care.
NEW CANAAN — New Canaan police have charged a Newtown man with first-degree larceny in connection with his alleged theft of a diamond worth $40,000 while he was doing carpet work in a home on Weed Street. Police spokeswoman Sergeant Carol Ogrinc said this week that police charged Mario J. Pizighelli, 50, of 29 Botsford Hill Road on a warrant on June 10 at the police station in connection with an incident that occurred on May 5. Pizighelli posted $75,000 bail and was released from custody. He has not pleaded to the charge in Norwalk Superior Court. Pizigehlli is next scheduled to appear in court on July 17.
Released late last month, "Community Connections: Town of Newtown 12-14-12 Resource Guide" is a new edition of a book published in November by Sandy Hook resident Sharon L. Cohen. Now a collaborative effort between the Town and Ms Cohen, the reference source offers a historic document of the massive volunteer and nonprofit efforts that occurred within town in response to the shooting on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School that took the lives of six women and 20 children; continues to increase awareness of the different organizations in order to promote collaboration, while also addressing gaps in services; and serves as a representation of positive community change. Unlike its predecessor, "Community Connections" is a resource guide that is available to read in a number of public locations but it is not available to purchase. It is also available to read as an online PDF, however.
The Connecticut Sun women’s basketball team honored three 2014 Women of Inspiration, including Newtown resident Rebecca Kowalski, during a pregame reception and halftime ceremony when the Sun hosted the Indiana Fever at Mohegan Sun Arena June 7. Ms Kowalski was honored alongside former governor Jodi Rell, who received the Margo Dydek Award. Heather Ciarletto, who inspired and led a social justice and diversity initiative at Wethersfield High School, was also honored during the event. “We are so pleased to recognize these three individuals,” Connecticut Sun Vice President and General Manager Chris Sienko said. “All of them, in their own way, are changing lives and positively impacting people and we are honored to have them as our 2014 Women of Inspiration.”
The 2014 Kelly Report on Gun Violence in America, released Wednesday, June 25, is the first collaboration of its kind between members of Congress, gun safety advocates, and public health/academic communities on the nation’s gun violence epidemic. Written by Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), the report is, according to her website, “the first-ever Congressional analysis of the nation’s gun violence epidemic that offers a blueprint for ending the crisis.” The contributors to the report include Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA), chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force; Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Contributors also include The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, NAACP, National Urban League, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Center for American Progress, Duke University, University of Chicago Crime Lab, Harvard University School of Public Health and John Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.