Following a presentation by members of a community center advisory committee that held similar meetings with the Boards of Finance and Selectmen in recent weeks, the Legislative Council voted February 18 to send an authorization to spend a $15 million community center grant from rom General Electric to a public referendum on Saturday, March 21. The referendum authorizing the expenditure is required by charter, even though it does not represent a taxpayer generated appropriation. The council also finalized its budget calendar Wednesday, with plans to hold a public hearing on March 18, followed by presentation by Board of Finance.
In a population of more than 320 million people, US Census statistics show that 40.3 million are people 65 years of age and older. Of those, according to the National Center for Assisted Living, more than 735,000 men and women live in assisted living situations. Approximately 1.3 million more are housed in nursing homes. Within the walls of residences, homes, and anywhere large numbers of senior citizens gather, a pecking order plays out. At its best, it allows leaders to lead. At its worst, it is bullying, no different than that seen in adolescent circles. Unless witnesses speak up or managers intervene, bullying is a behavior that can compound the sometimes already fragile mental and physical health of others.
First Selectman Pat Llodra and Public Works Director Fred Hurley sat down with the Board of Finance on February 9 to try to unravel some confusion that has developed regarding premature road “delamination,” which originally resulted in postponed spending for local road projects in the coming year's budget. Mrs Llodra said last week that with an understanding of the problem, and a proposed fix, it was time to boost capital investments in road repairs by $1 million. The Board of Finance also learned that an administrative error on a grand list personal property declaration resulted in a significant drop in anticipated revenue next year.
The brilliant sunshine outside the C.H. Booth Library Wednesday morning, February 18, was in sharp contrast to the dark cloud hovering over the staff of the Children’s Department inside, where frozen sprinkler system pipes burst Tuesday, February 17, causing damage to thousands of books in the collection.
“The sprinkler system burst in the west corner of the Children’s Department,” said CHB Board of Trustees President Robert Geckle. “There was localized damage to books in the immediate vicinity of the break,” he said, although the extent of that damage is still being assessed.
Volunteer firefighters are on the scene of a trailer fire at the trailer park at 55 Sugar Street. All occupants of the affected trailer have evacuated safely Newtown police have closed the Sugar Street (Route 302) in both directions. Motorists should avoid the area.
Working as one, responders from all of Newtown's five volunteer fire companies stood shoulder to shoulder fighting a dramatic trailer fire at the Meadowbrook Terrace Mobile Home Park at 55 Sugar Street Tuesday morning. As assistance with water shuttles and coverage for local fire houses poured in from Monroe, Southbury and Brookfield, local crews doused the 30 by 10-foot residential trailer as resident Frank Rocca, Jr. and his pet dog, stood a few feet away watching as the structure became fully engulfed in flames. The call was initially reported as a possible furnace fire. Fire Marshal Bill Halstead was first on the scene, and reported fire showing through the front door of the mobile home. Hook & Ladder Assistant Chief Jason Rivera arrived shortly thereafter and assumed command of the scene.
Just a few weeks past the one-year anniversary of a major flood at the C.H. Booth Library, a frozen pipe burst above the Children's Department cascading water and debris down into the Children's Department late Tuesday morning. No one was injured, but the burst pipe tied to the library's fire suppression sprinkler system pooled inch-deep water across the floor, greeting staffers who sloshed around the area beginning to assess the damage when The Bee arrived on scene. Fire Marshal William Halstead visited the scene and said a pipe connection to the sprinkler system split, causing the indoor deluge. The library is now closed and will remain closed until building officials complete their investigation, and clear the building for occupancy.
A federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment against a Tennessee man, charging him with six counts of wire fraud for allegedly defrauding contributors to an organization that he established after 12/14. Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kevin J. Kline, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, disclosed the indictment in a February 17 statement issued by spokesman Thomas Carson. Robert Terry Bruce, 34, of Nashville was named in the indictment. The indictment was returned under seal on February 4, and Bruce was arrested on February 13 in Tennessee. “This arrest serves as a warning to anyone who attempts to profit from the tragedy at Sandy Hook,” said Ms Daly.“With the assistance of the FBI, we will continue to prioritize the investigation of fraudulent schemes that exploit the generosity of donors responding to this tragedy,” she said. “Creating a fraudulent charity to exploit a tragedy for personal gain is unconscionable,” said Mr Kline. “These investigations will continue to be a priority for the Federal Bureau of Investigation,”
Police are urging residents to have a heightened awareness of their surroundings and to promptly report any suspicious activity to them, in view of a recent increase in burglaries. Lieutenant Richard Robinson, who heads the police department’s detective unit, said that during the three-month period from November through January inclusive, there were 19 local burglaries reported to police. There have been three main types of burglaries occurring, according to Lt Robinson: residential burglaries, which typically involve the theft of jewelry and cash, with some high value smaller electronic devices also stolen; commercial burglaries, which typically target cash and merchandise; and there have been numerous copper thefts, in which thieves steal copper piping and other scrap metals from within vacant buildings.