A nationwide push allowing schools to buy portable barricade devices they can set up if an active shooter enters their building has school security and fire experts questioning whether they're really safe.Those opposed to the devices say they're complicated to install under stress and could lead to dangerous unintended consequences - including blocking authorities from an attacker inside a classroom. "Unlisted, unlabeled, and untested," said a July report by Ohio's building codes board critical of the devices. The devices have gained popularity in the wake of the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook massacres and a 2012 shooting in the Cleveland suburb of Chardon that killed three students.
Continuing an annual tradition, The Newtown Bee is again planning to host a Candidates Forum, October 20, from 7 to 9 pm, in the Edmond Town Hall Theatre. This year, the forum will introduce the local slate of candidates for the Board of Finance. The event will include an informal meet and greet in the Town Hall lobby from 7 to 7:30, with the forum commencing at 7:30 on the main stage. The event is free and residents are encouraged to attend. Residents are also invited to submit questions to The Bee, to be posed to the candidates the evening of the forum.
Following their review of development plans for a proposed commercial center in Hawleyville, Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) members have approved a wetlands/watercourses protection permit for the project. On September 8, IWC members approved the permit for Walter Kilcourse of New Milford for an approximately 4,400-square-foot retail center on an undeveloped 1.12-acre site at 149 Mt Pleasant Road. The project, known as Pogond Brook Plaza, would be built on the south side of Mt Pleasant Road, just east of Newtown Power Equipment, Inc. The property lies in a B-2 (Business) zone.
The Board of Education approved its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Tuesday, September 15, with the addition of a $1.62 million Hawley Elementary School boiler project. The project was added to the fourth year of the five-year spending plan. The CIP was first presented to the school board August 18 by CIP/Finance/Facilities Committee member Kathy Hamilton, who explained changes to the board’s proposed CIP for 2016 through 2021.
Along with brief presentations by the Edmond Town Hall Board of Managers, the Booth Library Board of Trustees, and the Public Works Director, the Board of Selectmen settled in for a more extensive discussion of planned future Parks and Recreation capital projects before eventually approving and moving Newtown’s rolling, five-year Capital Improvement Plan to the Board of Finance September 10. In the course of a discussion with Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold and commission Chairman Ed Marks, First Selectman Pat Llodra told Selectmen James Gaston and Will Rodgers that there were a number of projects that were part of the department’s internal capital plan that were not part of the town’s CIP.
After turning out in force during Newtown’s Labor Day Parade and planting candidate lawn signs around the community, local Republicans are resurrecting what party leaders have described as a “white paper” campaign to connect with voters over key issues or concerns as they prepare to cast local ballots on November 3. Their latest issue is focused on how Republicans, led by First Selectman Pat Llodra, had previously campaigned on and laid out core values and goals that continue to guide and inform decisions being made across numerous elected and appointed boards and commissions today. Recognizing those goals can be challenging as they are so intertwined, the white paper outlines critical issues local GOP officials plan to focus on over the next two years. Among those points of focus are continuing to address the residential tax burden.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, welcomed roughly 40 people to Newtown High School’s Lecture Hall on September 16 by explaining that more events like the night’s community forum will be scheduled monthly to discuss different topics. The superintendent asked participants at Wednesday’s forum to work in groups to answer, “What prevents Newtown public schools from having the absolute best community partnership in the country?”
The Newtown Foundation (TNF), a local nonprofit organization formed in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, December 14, 2012, hosted more than 125 people at a breakfast fundraiser on Saturday, September 12, at Rock Ridge Country Club in Newtown. The event event benefited the Third Annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence, scheduled to take place in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, December 9, at St Mark’s Episcopal Church. As guests greeted one another prior to the start of the program, a solemn reminder of why they were gathered played out on a large screen at the front of the dining room. There, face after face of victims of gun violence flashed by, some more familiar to those in the room than others.
The father of one of the people killed in July 2012 in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shootings, Tom Sullivan was invited by The Newtown Foundation to speak to guests at their Saturday morning breakfast because of a friendship that blossomed between the Colorado resident and a number of Newtown residents after they met in Washington, DC, where they had gone to speak with members of Congress. Mr Sullivan is part of a growing number of people in the United States to lose a family member in a mass casualty shooting incident. He shares a terrible bond with the 20 Sandy Hook families, and six additional Connecticut families, directly affected by 12/14. He knows what they have gone through as well as what it feels like to have media descend on one’s hometown for intense coverage of a heartbreaking event.
Tuesday, September 8, marked a milestone in the law enforcement career of Scott Smith at the Newtown Police Department, as he took his oath of office for sergeant from Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead. As Sergeant Smith, 32, recited his oath, his wife Sa...