The Board of Education honored both Newtown’s retiring educators and students within the top five percent of the graduating Class of 2014, including valedictorian Anne Beier and salutatorian Amisha Dave, at its meeting on Tuesday, June 3. Superintendent of Schools Joseph Erardi, Jr, announced each retiring teacher or administrator before they were greeted by Board of Education members and handed a gift by school board Chair Debbie Leidlein.“I’d like to start by recognizing 344 years of service,” Dr Erardi said, acknowledging the combined total of years the teachers and administrators have spent in Newtown and other districts. With the retiring educators assembled in a line behind him, Dr Erardi said the night marked “an extraordinary moment for our retiring teachers.”
Newtown VFW Post and Newtown Scouts will retire American flags with honor and solemnity according to national guidelines on Saturday, June 14. The public is invited to observe the ceremony, which will begin at noon. Residents are also welcome to drop off old, worn out flags that they would like to have retired during the ceremony.
Officers from Newtown Police Department will be running the Newtown portion of the annual Special Olympics Connecticut (SOCT) Law Enforcement Torch Run on Friday, June 6. The run raises awareness for SOCT, which will be hosting its Summer Games in New Haven at Southern Connecticut State University this weekend.
Members of Bethel Police Department will hand the Special Olympics Flame of Hope (torch) to Newtown Police Department in the area of Dodgingtown Fire Company’s firehouse at 55 Dodgingtown Road, at approximately 11:15 am. Newtown Police will then carry the torch the length of Sugar Street, over Glover Avenue, turning left onto Queen Street, and then right onto Church Hill Road, stopping at Blue Colony Diner.
More than a few attendees at Newtown's milestone 10th Relay for Life brushed away tears while viewing photos of loved ones lost on the event's wall of remembrance, during the poignant opening ceremonies, and during the luminary procession. But the combination of fair weather, camaraderie, and nonstop, upbeat activities helped put smiles on most faces throughout the 12-hour American Cancer Society fund and awareness raiser that was on hold for more than a year. Hundreds of team members, survivors and caregivers took to the track at Blue & Gold stadium thoughout the night on Saturday May 31, many expressing how glad they were to be back at Newtown High School after a few years staging at Fairfield Hills while construction carried on at the NHS facility.
Town police last week reported yet another theft of copper pipe from a residential property, marking about 15 such copper thefts locally since the beginning of the year. The latest was at a vacant house for sale on Jeremiah Road in Sandy Hook. A burglar stole many sections of copper piping from baseboard heating equipment inside the house. Police Chief Michael Kehoe said town police are cooperating with police from other towns in seeking to learn who is stealing the copper pipe from local properties.
Newtown residents are reminded that dogs 6 months of age and older must be licensed annually during the month of June. Licenses are available at the town clerk’s office at Newtown Municipal Center, Monday through Friday. In addition, the town clerk’s office will also be sponsoring a Rabies Clinic on Saturday, June 14, from 10 am to noon, in the Edmond Town Hall gymnasium.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has directed State of Connecticut flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of State Representative Lawrence G. Miller. The Associated Press is reporting that State Rep Miller, who argued passionately on behalf of Connecticut's place in aviation history, has died at the age of 78. The cause of death has not yet been reported.
As commuter traffic rolled by at about 7:30 am on Thursday, May 29, all that was left of a longstanding local eyesore was a pile of demolition debris sitting next to a hulking bright yellow excavator on the western corner lot at Church Hill Road and Edmond Road. On Thursday, May 22, a work crew had arrived at 67 Church Hill Road where a vacant former Shell gas station/convenience store had stood empty for the past several years, becoming progressively decrepit, the victim of wind and weathering. Town officials had long sought to have the decaying building demolished, citing its prominent location on Church Hill Road, near Exit 10 of Interstate 84, as being one of the “visual gateways” of Newtown, which interstate travelers encounter when entering the local road network. The building had been scheduled for demolition by mid-May, but delays resulted in the excavator not swinging its massive arm at the structure to topple it until Friday, May 23.
In 1906, the internationally recognized Morse code distress signal SOS was established and has grown to represent a call for help. On June 5, community members are being called to learn how to recognize if someone they know or care about may be reaching out for help because they are contemplating suicide. Newtown’s first Caring For Our Youth Signs Of Suicide (SOS) Community Forum is being sponsored by the Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project Thursday, June 5, at Newtown Middle School Auditorium from 6 to 7:30 pm. The SOS Program is a research-based early intervention program listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidenced-Based Programs and Practices.