UPDATE: Despite spectacular Indian Summer weather, less than one-third of Newtown's 16,597 registered voters had turned out to endorse a full slate of local elected officials as Newtown's polling locations closed at 8 pm on November 3. And when all the ballots were counted, local Democrats who campaigned on a platform of balancing out party affiliations on a number of boards and commissions were ultimately successful. A close race in Legislative Council District 2 is also forcing a recount, leaving at least one outcome up in the air until Thursday, November 5. With all three Board of Selectmen candidates running unopposed, there was no top of ticket competition, leaving contenders for the Board of Education and Finance, Legislative Council, and several under ticket boards to vie for voters' attention.
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.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, led a community forum on Wednesday, October 28, the latest in the continuing forum series designed to be one-hour discussions with community members. Mark Pompano, the district’s director of security, spoke at the start of the evening, and he shared an overview of security in the district.
Residents who are unsure of whether they can make it to the local polling places on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, can cast absentee ballots during a special voting session being held Saturday, October 31, at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street, from 9 am to noon. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill is joining the Connecticut Town Clerks Association urging voters using absentee ballots to mail them in early to avoid mail delays. The Newtown Bee has profiles of every candidate running for an elected position this season. LeReine Frampton, the Democratic Registrar of Voters, issued a simple reminder for all registered residents: “Please remember to vote — you will make a difference."
From ghost stories on Main Street to hundreds of spooky goblins flitting around Sandy Hook, the ramp-up to Halloween 2015 is in full swing — with bubbling anticipation of Newtown’s main event on October 31 becoming palpable around the community. A heavy police presence is anticipated on Main Street for Saturday evening to help control traffic as thousands of Halloween revelers converge to enjoy the costumes, candy, and more than a few homes outfitted with extravagantly spooky décor. Newtown Police, the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, as well as AAA of Southern New England all issued safety advisories for Halloween.
Jim Wadleigh, CEO of Access Health CT (AHCT), has released a checklist for residents in preparation for Connecticut’s third open enrollment, which begins Sunday, November 1, and runs through Sunday, January 31, 2016. “With in-person navigators, online assisters, and other consumer tools, AHCT is making it more efficient for consumers to choose a health care plan that works best for them,” said Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, chair of the AHCT Board. “With the announcement that Connecticut’s uninsured rate is at historic lows — and among the lowest in the nation — our focus is on building a healthier state through expanding our reach and retaining consumers.”
Every Newtowner who exercises their privilege to vote at local polls on November 3 can pick up an “I Voted“ sticker and spend the rest of Election Day enjoying the fruits of a partnership between local businesses and Support Our Schools (SOS), an educational advocacy group.SOS supports the best interests of Newtown’s children and a high quality education platform in Newtown. “As a nonpartisan organization, we are not endorsing any party or candidate, but rather are interested in encouraging all Newtown citizens to fulfill their civic duty and make their voices heard at the polls,” said spokesperson Erin Arcario. “We asked local businesses to participate in this activity by discounting services and/or goods at 10 percent for customers presenting the ‘I voted’ sticker on November 3,” she added.
After nearly eight hours of line-by-line scrutiny over the course of two meetings, the Legislative Council completed its administrative review of a draft charter revision during a special meeting October 28. The panel, with several members absent, also held a brief public hearing with no comments offered, and subsequently approved updates to Newtown’s alarm and purchasing ordinances.
Scott Driscoll of Internet Safety Concepts gave the first of multiple presentations titled “Empowering Smart Online Choices” on Tuesday, October 13, at Reed Intermediate School for students. He later shared his presentation with Newtown Middle School students and with district parents during an evening event at C.H. Booth Library.
The school district’s PTAs, PTSA, and the Newtown Prevention council sponsored the presentations.
Mr Driscoll is a former youth officer and member of the federal Internet Crimes Against Children Task force, with more than 23 years of law enforcement and child safety advocacy behind him.
State police said they received word on October 25 from officials at the state’s high-security Garner Correctional Institution at 50 Nunnawauk Road explaining that a correction officer had been assaulted by an inmate. State police responded to the prison to investigate and then charged inmate Adal Osorio, 32, with assault on a peace officer and with failure to submit to fingerprinting. State police allege that Osorio threw a cup of urine at a 29-year-old male correction officer.