The New England Newspaper & Press Association honored The Newtown Bee and its Editor Curtiss Clark at the 2013 New England Newspaper Conference October 10.The Bee was one of three weekly newspapers among NENPA’s more than 400 member publications recognized with a 2013 Publick Occurrences Award for the special edition that was published on December 17, 2012. That edition was devoted exclusively to coverage and reactions to the Sandy Hook tragedy three days earlier. The editorial that appeared as part of that special section, entitled “Answering For Our Town,” also earned Editor Curtiss Clark the 2013 Allan B. Rogers Editorial Award, which recognizes the best editorial written on a local subject in New England.
The Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and DefendGunRights.com announced plans last week to join together with other groups to sponsor Guns Save Lives Day on December 14, the first anniversary of 12/14. Within days, however, the group announced a change of plans, moving Guns Save Lives Day to December 15. “From what I understand, the change was made because at the beginning they were looking at ether December 14 or 15, the 15th being Bill of Rights day,” Dave Workman, the director of communications for The Second Amendment Foundation, said Tuesday morning. “They changed the date to the 15th as a more appropriate day because we understand it’s a sensitive issue. We didn’t want to politicize the event,” he said. First Selectman Pat Llodra was unimpressed with the change, calling it "too little, too late."
Late Tuesday afternoon, a New York City woman who posed as the aunt of a child killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook School last December was sentenced to 8 months in prison according to an Associated Press bulletin. Nouel Alba, 37, of the Bronx pleaded guilty in June to federal charges of wire fraud and making false statements. The sentencing followed emotional testimony from Mark Mattioli, father of 6-year-old James Mattioli. He said Alba’s crimes were ‘‘immediate, intrusive, exploitative, disgusting and added to my feeling of victimization.’’
A 12-member jury at the murder trail of John Heath, 70, of Bridgewater deliberated through the day on Friday, October 11, without reaching a verdict.
The state alleges that Mr Heath beat his wife Elizabeth, 32, to death in April 1984 and then hid her remains in a dry well located beneath the floor of a barn at the Heath property at 89 Poverty Hollow Road in Newtown.
The eight-man, four-woman jury is slated to resume deliberations on Wednesday, October 16, in Danbury Superior Court. The eight-day testimony phase of the trail started on September 26. Deliberations started on October 10.
The Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc, a sustainable fund created to support those affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, announced it has received a contribution from The Jeff Ruby Foundation & Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, Inc, a Cincinnati-based steakhouse operator.
Mr Ruby, the company's owner and president, donated more than $44,000 raised in part from an event he hosted earlier this year to support the Newtown Memorial Fund.
First Selectman Pat Llodra is seeking residents to fill several opening on local appointed boards and commissions. In some cases the appointments are required to be affiliated with a specific political party, while in other cases unaffiliated voters are encouraged to consider serving.
This year’s Depot Day, which will fall on the first anniversary of 12/14, will take place with the Sandy Hook victims in mind. The day, planned through The Newtown Fund’s Holiday Basket Program to provide holiday goods and gifts to Newtown families in need, will take place this year on Saturday, December 14. Newtown Fund member Layne Lescault knew Depot Day shared the 12/14 anniversary. “We thought about moving it” to a later weekend she said, adding “but there is no way to do it and make sure everyone gets their gifts.” Instead, she views this year’s Depot Day as “a day to do something for the community.” In a recent e-mail, she wrote: “We want The Newtown Fund to embody the motto ‘We Are Sandy Hook, We Choose Love.’”
Sandy Hook School demolition and remediation work is already running ahead of schedule, thanks to the state recommending remediation vendor Bestech also handle demolition work at the site.
According to First Selectman Pat Llodra, late last Friday, October 11, the town received notice from the state that the town could move forward using Bestech for both remediation and demolition under a “professional services” designation, which means the town would not have to go out to bid for a separate demolition contractor.
Mrs Llodra said retaining Bestech for both services is a plus for Newtown on several fronts. First, without having to go through a bidding process, the town can get a two to three week jump on work at the site.
State police this week provided some details concerning a two-truck accident that occurred on Interstate 84 early on the morning of Thursday, October 3, resulting in major travel delays for several hours on the highway and adjacent local roads during the morning rush. The accident was caused when a tractor-trailer swerved to avoid hitting a deer, and instead hit a vehicle that was already on the side of the road, having pulled over after hitting a different deer.
Newtown’s Victory Garden was the site of a memorial tree planting ceremony and tree give-away on Saturday, October 5. Volunteers came prepared with gardening gloves, shovels, and hoes in hand to help in the planting.
Newtown’s Parks and Recreation Department partnered with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, Metropolitan State University and Inver Hills Community College, both in Minnesota, to plant 30 fruit trees in Newtown’s Victory Garden...