Long considered a case in which the investigative leads had gone cold, federal authorities have arrested a currently imprisoned Danbury man, charging him in the murder of Mark Rebong, a 28-year-old Newtown man who was fatally shot while driving to work on the Exit 2 off-ramp of westbound Interstate 84 in Danbury in January 2000. The alleged murderer, in seeking to improve his standing as a member of the Latin Kings crime gang, mistakenly shot the wrong man, according to the US Attorney for Connecticut.
The town has acquired a limited supply of battery-operated smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for free distribution to people who would have difficulty purchasing such devices, according to Fire Marshal Bill Halstead. The detectors are manufactured by Kidde, a fire safety products company. The town recently obtained the detectors at the Operation Save A Life 2015 event held at the New Haven Fire Department Training Center. It is the first time the town is offering such fire safety devices free to those in need.
After a marathon five-hour-plus meeting November 4 during which the Legislative Council completed its final review of a charter revision draft, Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob said she was hopeful that suggested changes sent back for consideration would be completed in time for for council members who charged the Charter Revision Commission to approve a final overhaul of the community’s constitutional document. While the charter commission is on a 30-day time clock to act on any of the council’s requested changes, many of which are nonsubstantive according to Ms Jacob, she is hopeful the commissioners will review and act on those proposed adjustments and return the draft for final approval at the current council’s last meeting November 18. A newly elected council will be sworn in and seated December 1.
The Board of Education voted at its meeting on Wednesday, November 4, to direct its chair to look into hiring an investigator following an announcement by board Secretary Kathy Hamilton that she had shared a text message of a digital conversation by the board months months ago. The topic of the text message and an e-mail, both of which the board has referred to as “leaked communications,” have been discussed at multiple meetings in recent weeks.
Nearly two-thirds of the residents who took the a survey concerned a possible Newtown Community Center in September and October were women, and at least 50 percent of respondents were between ages 40 to 55 years old, according to a recent release. As part of their information gathering effort, Community Center Commission members recently offered a public survey seeing to gather opinions from residnets on how to best use a $15 million gift from the General Electric Foundation. Members will discuss these and other results at its November 10 meeting at 7 pm at Newtown Municipal Center. The information is not a final decision. The commission has set a January deadline to present its recommendation and will use meetings through December to finish its work.
For the first time in memory, the Newtown Board of Selectmen unanimously voted this week to make a referral to the local Board of Ethics after meeting in closed session garding what was described on their agenda as: “Attorney-Client privileged communication and discussion of employer rights and responsibilities regarding employee non-work related behaviors.”
Members of the Newtown Commission on Aging will be available to help senior residents enroll in CodeRED, Newtown’s emergency alert system this month. COA members will be at Newtown Senior Center, 14 Riverside Road, each Monday for the rest of November.
Police report an accident involving a tractor-trailer truck and the Main Street flagpole.
Police said that trucker John Henry, 47, of Rolling Meadows, Del., was driving a tractor-trailer truck westward on Church Hill Road at about 11:54 am on October 13 and then attempted to make a left turn onto southbound Main Street, but in doing so the truck’s trailer struck the flagpole.
There were no injuries. Police report they verbally warned Henry for making a restricted turn.
C.H. Booth Library’s driveway for handicapped drivers and guests is being repaved. Work on the project began late last week, and was expected to be completed by late afternoon Tuesday, November 3. Unexpected delays are slowing the project, however. Library Director Brenda McKinley announced on November 3 that the repaving is now expected to continue for another week and a half, until Friday, November 13.
A former Newtown Police Commissioner currently serving as Middlebury’s police chief was chosen to head the Newtown Police Department after Chief Michael Kehoe’s planned retirement January 6. Police Commission members announced November 3 that Sandy Hook resident James Viadero, 56, will assume the post after Chief Kehoe, 60, departs. Chief Kehoe, who joined the police department in 1978, announced his retirement in June. Mr Viadero, who ran on the Republican ticket, was elected to the Police Commission in 2009 and was reelected in 2013. In mid-2014, he announced his intention to take the Middlebury police chief job.