Students attending the Newtown High School Senior Prom tonight are invited to share some of their favorite photos with The Newtown Bee for publication in a future print edition and/or for an online photo slideshow. Send photos to Education Reporter Eliza Hallabeck by Tuesday, April 28, at 10 am. When sending photos, please include the first and last names of anyone people shown in the picture along with a brief description of what is happening in the photo.
There is an art to successful foster parenting, and Newtown residents Nancy and John Schreiner have seemingly mastered it, despite having fostered just two teenagers in the four years they have been licensed. So much so, that the Department of Children and Families named the couple as the Star Family for the month of April, and during the May 1-2 Connecticut Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents Annual Conference at the Mystic Marriott, the Schreiners will be honored as the Family of the Year for the Danbury region. A Star Family is one that a member agency of the DCF sees as one “whose service to children in foster care deserves recognition.”
"The Story of the Stuff," a web documentary by Ashley R. Maynor, went live on April 16. Consisting of brief videos and essays reflecting on tragedies such as the shootings at Virginia Tech and the bonfire disaster at Texas A&M, it primarily follows four Newtown residents who took on the task of dealing with the enormous physical outpourings of sympathy that came to Newtown following 12/14. Her interviews with former town assessor Chris Kelsey, former C.H. Booth librarian Andrea Zimmermann, local artist Ross MacDonald, and Newtown resident Yolie Moreno track the processing of “the stuff,” three, six, nine, and twelve months after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Newtown resident Patricia Hubert, an officer and matron of the Mirah Chapter of the Eastern Star in Sandy Hook, and of the combined Mirah Chapter and Lady Martha Chapter of Monroe, received an unexpected surprise Sunday, April 12. Following a talk to members of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Masons in Connecticut, at the Crown Plaza in Cromwell on her recently published book, "Major Philip M. Unger: Hero of the American Revolution," Thomas Maxwell, Most Worshipful Grand Master, presented Ms Hubert with the General David Wooster Medal in Bronze.
You can now officially classify classic rock front man Randy Bachman as a ‘three-peater.’ After huge success fronting The Guess Who, and morphing into the classic rock hit machine Bachman, Turner Overdrive, the award-winning Canadian artist is channeling his love for late-’60s British blues grooves into a brand new and refreshingly accessible power trio. In a recent Newtown Bee interview ahead of his April 24 stop at The Ridgefield Playhouse, Bachman was positively fired up about his latest effort, Heavy Blues, which he’s showcasing on tour this spring accompanied by bassist Anna Ruddick and drummer Dale Anne Brendon.
Michael Vastarelli lives with his dog Cookie in a Newtown apartment where he lives a life with slightly different routines than most. As he manages his kidney disease with a daily dialysis routine, Mr Vastarelli waits for a kidney through Yale. He was diagnosed with Alport syndrome in 2006, and has been balancing dialysis into his life since 2013. “Most people heading into their 30s are heading into careers or families, and I was thinking about this,” he said.
On rare occasions, one sees a concert so excellent that it becomes genuinely hard to come up with the words to describe it. The Máirtín O’Connor Trio’s show at Newtown Meeting House, hosted on April 10 by The Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society, was was one of those concerts. Everything was perfect. The band members were energized and the house was filled with an appreciative audience. One cannot imagine a better start for the trio’s nine-day East Coast tour. Many excellent bands could be described in much the same fashion. But what makes this trio unique is their deep musical connection. They have a tight rapport that reminds me of the great duos of traditional music, such as the fiddler Martin Hayes and the guitarist Dennis Cahill. To see that almost telepathic connection in a larger group is a rare treat.