Police Commission members this week agreed that equipping town police officers with body cameras is a good idea that should be implemented at the police department. At an August 4 Police Commission meeting, Police Chief Michael Kehoe termed body cameras to be “a very important policy matter for us, and we want to do the right thing.”
In seeking to learn how best to improve congested traffic conditions at the five-way Main Street flagpole intersection, Police Commission members have hired a traffic consultant to study the troublesome junction, which has the second-highest local accident rate. The planned traffic study is the latest of a series of such studies since 2000 that have considered traffic problems the flagpole intersection. According to a recent statistical report from police, the flagpole intersection had 55 collisions from 2012 to 2014 inclusive. Most of the accidents involved vehicles colliding with one another, but others involved vehicles driving into the flagpole. Of the flagpole intersection public safety issues, Police Chairman Paul Mangiafico admitted it is “a very touchy subject.”
Newtown’s Public Building & Site Commissioners, who oversee most of the community’s public capital projects, unanimously selected Smith Edwards McCoy Architects of Hartford to design the Newtown High School auditorium renovation. The firm has a portfolio that includes a new performing arts center for Hartt School at the University of Hartford that was converted from a crumbling abandoned auto dealership, a recently completed part of a historical and ADA conformity renovation at The Old State House in Hartford, and a collaborator on a diverse range of projects at Wadsworth Atheneum over the past three decades.
Sandy Hook Promise, the national non-profit led by several families that lost a loved one in the Sandy Hook School shooting, recently donated $47,000 to help fund a year-long, four-phase resiliency program for members of the emergency response communities and their families. The program is organized by the Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Team and run by HEART 9/11, a group of 9/11 first responders that has helped other first responders, families, and communities heal and rebuild following tragedies.
Town police are asking local child day care centers to review a recent state law to learn whether that law requires them to provide certain contact information to police. Police would use such contact information to reach those day care centers to inform them of any emergencies or natural disasters that may affect the safety of the children at the centers. The new law, An Act Concerning Notification By Law Enforcement Agencies To Day Care Centers, or Public Act 15-161, takes effect on October 1.
The Board of Education approved The Avielle Foundation’s Spark Project as a pilot for the 2015-16 school year during its meeting on Thursday, July 30. The Spark Project is a program of The Avielle Foundation, and it is an initiative to develop social-emotional learning, leadership, and compassion skills on a communitywide basis and beyond. Following a presentation by Avielle Foundation Co-Founder Jeremy Richman in May, Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project Director Judy Blanchard and Mental Health Advisor Melissa Brymer reviewed different aspects of the Spark Project and presented that information to the board last week.
The Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission is in the process of putting together an inventory of land possibilities within the Newtown community for where a permanent memorial, honoring the 26 lives lost on December 14, 2012, could call home. The inventory is coming to life based on criteria that the commission has put together, based on feedback from the information-gathering stage. “We want to assure we create a comprehensive list of location options,” SHPMC Commission Chairman Kyle Lyddy said. “Should there be private land options available that a resident is willing to contribute, we’d love to understand what those are, and if they fit into our criteria."
The 16 plaintiffs in lawsuits that were filed earlier this year against the estate of Nancy Lanza would receive nearly $94,000 each in a proposed settlement of those legal claims.The lawsuits stem from the December 14, 2012, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which Ms Lanza’s son, Adam Lanza, shot and killed 20 first grade students and six adult women.In a July 31 letter to Probate Judge Joseph A. Egan, Jr, attorney Angelo A. Ziotus, representing the estate of James Mattioli, explains 16 plaintiffs have consolidated their claims in a proposed settlement to resolve their lawsuits against the Nancy Lanza estate. The plaintiffs are the estates of students James Mattioli, Emilie Parker, Grace McDonnell, Jack Pinto, Charlotte Bacon, Jessica Rekos,Daniel Barden, Dylan Hockley, Jesse Lewis, and Benjamin Wheeler; the estates of educators Rachel D’Avino, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto; and surviving educators Natalie Hammond and Deborah Pisani.