A Special Message From Our Publisher: A Difficult Decision
From the first edition of The Newtown Bee, published on June 28, 1877, there has always been a weekly newspaper in the hands of Newtown citizens. The Smith family, who assumed the company in 1879, has been at the helm ever since steering the paper through a myriad of changes into the electronic world of today.
During my 60-year stint, starting as a rookie reporter, then following in my father’s footsteps to be editor and publisher, I have had to make many decisions, large to small, to keep up with the changing times. However, nothing has been as traumatic as the one which I have had to make this week to discontinue printing The Newtown Bee and its sister paper, Antiques and The Arts Weekly, for the time being.
But, while there won’t be a paper in your hand, we will still have the news on our website and on additional social media, including Facebook.
Along with family members, I made a decision to combat the horrific coronavirus by decreasing our staff, retaining a necessary small number of employees to produce the paper, for we were determined to bring the printed news of Newtown to its citizens and a digital online edition of the antiques paper.
This small stalwart staff, of whom three had fought personal battles with cancer, has for the last two weeks put forth great effort to do this work, but we were suddenly brought to a standstill when we saw the number of rapidly expanding number of cases and deaths in Connecticut. And so, we brought ourselves to the realization that the most important action we could take was to protect those people who had been coming to work and risking the possibility of contracting this feared virus.
I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all the employees who have daily walked into that small red building on Church Hill Road to produce our newspapers.
The Bee has been the heart of Newtown for all these 143 years and our fervent hope is to rebound in a few months.
God Bless All to bring us through this safely.
R. Scudder Smith, Publisher