The Board of Education unanimously voted to hire David Roach of Southbury to fill a vacant assistant principal position at Newtown High School during its meeting on July 15. Mr Roach has been working for the past decade-plus as a social studies teachers at neighboring Pomperaug High School, where he has also served as the head football coach for three years.
Also on Tuesday the school board voted to name Keith Alexander as its new chair, filling the position vacated by Debbie Leidlein two weeks earlier. A member of the board for 3½ years, Mr Alexander was nominated for the position by Ms Leidlein, who pointed out Mr Alexander's ability to work well with others, gain support, and respect the opinions of others during his tenure.
After 24 years working to promote business and community growth in Newtown, Director of Community and Economic Development Elizabeth Stocker has accepted a new position heading up the Norwalk Economic Development Agency. Her last day on the job locally will be August 8. On July 15, the same day she tendered her resignation to First Selectman Pat Llodra, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling announced Ms Stocker would be taking over as that city’s economic development director. More than 50 candidates applied and showed great interest in Norwalk according to the mayor. The position generated applications from within Fairfield County and as far away as Texas, Colorado, and Nevada. Ms Stocker, a Milford resident, has played a key role guiding Newtown’s economic and community development activities with grant administration, managing marketing strategies, and redevelopment activities. She was responsible for business attraction, retention, and expansion, working directly with businesses and town leaders.
A relaxed schedule of summer meetings by the Board of Selectmen will contribute to a delay in presenting the next five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to the Board of Finance. But finance board members have no issue with the approximate two-week postponement according to Finance Director Robert Tait. Mr Tait said some town departments have also been delayed in finalizing their CIP requests, but he expects to have any missing details added to the latest draft plan by the time the selectmen meet again on August 18. By Charter, the CIP is due to the finance board by August 11. On July 7, selectmen received the latest capital planning document, which the finance director said was “about 90 percent complete.”
NEW HAVEN – The Venezuelan man, whom federal officials allege made a series of telephone calls to Newtown residents, threatening them in the wake of the December 14, 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook School, is scheduled to make his initial appearance in US District Court in New Haven on Wednesday, July 16. before US Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis. Wilfredo A. Cardenas Hoffman, 30, of El Hatillo, Venezuela, was charged by the FBI on June 21 with transmitting threats to injure via interstate or foreign commerce.The FBI charged him with making numerous telephone calls to Newtown residents on December 16, 2012, lodging threats against those residents. Hoffman was arrested on June 21 while he was at Miami International Airport en route to Mexico from Venezuela. He made an initial court appearance on June 23.
Organizers of the 2014 Friends of C.H. Booth Library Book Sale kicked off the highly anticipated annual fundraiser with a song and a special gift to a beloved longtime volunteer Saturday morning before opening the doors to Reed Intermediate School and standing aside as a flood of patrons swarmed stacks and racks of offerings. The calm before the storm was marked by nearly 100 volunteers presenting longtime Friends of the Library volunteer Carm O’Neil with a new cane. She apparently lost one during one of her trips to help fellow organizers preparing for the huge event. Then, a small cluster of her fellow “Friends” serenaded Ms O’Neil with a customized version of “My Favorite Things.” The book sale continues through Wednesday, July 16. By Monday morning, there were still many patrons picking through the remaining selections and Volunteer Toni Earnshaw said she and her many dedicated assistants were very pleased with the large turnout.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) has scheduled a public informational session on its project to create a conventional four-way signalized intersection of Church Hill Road, Commerce Road, and Edmond Road. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 22, at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street. DOT officials will be available to discuss the project with the public staring at 6:30 pm. A DOT presentation on its plans to improve traffic flow in the Church Hill / Commerce / Edmond area is slated to start at 7 pm. The DOT’s plans for the intersection improvement project are available for public review at the town land use agency office at Newtown Municipal Center.
Workers this week continued demolition/construction on the $6 million project to replace the two dual-lane Interstate 84 bridges that pass over Center Street in the Riverside section of Sandy Hook.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) recently created a “lane shift” on both the westbound and eastbound lanes of I-84 in the work area, allowing the second phase of the project to begin.
The state has been replacing the two bridges in stages so that I-84 traffic may continue traveling through the area while the project is underway.
Newtown-based Sandy Hook Promise, an organization formed shortly after the 12/14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School to support those affected and support solutions to acts of violence, issued a statement July 2, following the group’s failed attempt to have families directly affected by 12/14 meet with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. “Sandy Hook families were in New Jersey today to personally deliver to Governor Chris Christie a petition backed by over 55,000 supporters of A2006, legislation that would have reduced the permitted size of gun ammunition magazines in the state of New Jersey from 15 rounds down to 10. Immediately following the delivery, Governor Christie released a statement vetoing the bill as a ‘trivial approach to the sanctity of human life.’”
The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) this week conducted a public hearing on the wetlands protection aspects of the town’s proposal to construct a new Sandy Hook Elementary School at 12 Dickinson Drive to replace the school that the town demolished last year, following the December 2012 massacre there. The July 9 hearing was sparsely attended, drawing four members of the public. None of those four people had any comments or questions on the construction proposal. The IWC closed the hearing and took no action on the redevelopment application. The IWC is scheduled to meet on July 23 to review the application and possibly act on it.