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April 19, 1996

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — A Newtown High School baseball player was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with disorderly conduct after a complaint from a local 24-hour grocery store that persons wearing Newtown jackets were suspected of shoplifting individual bottles of beer at about 12:30 am Wednesday. Cooperstown police responded to the complaint at 8:30 am Wednesday and confiscated several empty beer bottles from one of three Cooperstown Motel rooms that were occupied by Newtown baseball players... a junior at Newtown High School was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct... four other team members who shared his room have been suspended from the team pending further investigation.

***

If it were the first of April, one would think Mother Nature was playing a bad joke on us. But cloudy skies dumped five inches of snow in the region last week, followed by 2.77 inches of rain this week, leaving emergency volunteers and town employees scrambling.

***

Finance Director Benjamin Spragg believes the town should significantly streamline its budget process and vote on all spending, including capital projects, in one referendum each year. Speaking before the Charter Revision Commission last week, Mr Spragg recommended that all projects that require bonding should be on the same ballot with the town’s annual municipal/school operating budget... The finance director said the existing charter creates a protracted budget process that requires the Board of Selectmen and the Legislative Council to hold separate workshops. Public hearings aren’t conducted until the very end of the process, he noted.

***

Economic development is good, according to Lyndon Thomas, chairman of the town’s Economic Development Commission (EDC). And, he adds, certain types of development are better than others. Commercial and industrial types of economic development should be fostered by the town to broaden and economically diversify its grand list of taxable properties, he says. But the prevalent form of “economic development” in Newtown in recent years — the construction of three bedroom, four bedroom and even larger homes — doesn’t significantly add to the town’s tax base, according to the EDC chairman.

***

The pitching staff did what was expected for a second straight outing, but on Monday, April 16, the Newtown High baseball team’s offensive finally lived up to its billing in a 7-2 South-West Conference win over Joel Barlow on the NHS diamond. The locals posted nine hits, including five for extra bases as the staked starting pitcher Jon Danko to a 6-0 lead after two innings.

***

Last year, a rabid bat attacked a cat and spread rabies in Newtown. It might sound like a Dr Seuss rhyme, but it is deadly serious because a second wave of animal rabies is now moving through Fairfield County, according to George Cooper, a health program assistant with the state... Mr Cooper likened the epidemic to a wave — it swells, breaks, recedes, and then starts to swell again. “Early in 1995 we started to see a resurgence of cases in Fairfield County,” he said. “New London County had 40 percent of the cases, Fairfield County had approximately 35 percent of those reported.”

April 16, 1971

Pitney Bowes, the business systems and equipment company, has announced plans to build a central distribution facility in Newtown. The 16.5 acre site the company has purchased is between Church Hill and Schoolhouse Roads, near I-84, and also near the Allied Container plant... The Newtown facility will serve branch and district offices in the northeast and regional warehouses in other parts of the country.

***

Fewer than one percent of the individual citizens who pay the bills for Newtown’s government and schools came to the hearing on the budget Tuesday evening. This was the only hearing on the Selectmen’s budget. Those who did come Tuesday had questions, the largest number of them voiced by Democratic candidates for election May 3... But many of those present left their questions unvoiced and therefore unanswered. Groups of two, three, and four huddled together after the official close of the hearing. What this reporter heard, stopping by several of these groups, was strong opposition to the size of the school budget.

***

Alert police work resulted in the arrest of three men, April 12. At 3 pm on that date, two men were caught breaking and entering at the home of Don Trevor of Pond Brook Road in Newtown, by Officer William Kayfus, who was on routine patrol. Officer Kayfus observed Louis Norkowski and Ray Dennis DeWitt breaking and entering into the house. Kayfus arrested both the men inside the house at gun point and recovered approximately $250 worth of household goods that both men had stolen from the house. A short time later, Gary Walter Proctor was picked up and arrested. Proctor was the person who had driven the pick-up car.

***

The Fairfield Hills Hospital “Spring Boutique” on April 6 was outstandingly successful, thanks to the hundreds of contributions from church, social, and civic groups, and individuals from all parts of southwestern Connecticut. Bright with flowers, veiling, and colorful ribbons, spring hats brightened display tables in Plymouth Hall gymnasium, as some 400 women patients flocked to select their favorites.

***

A report has been received on the survey requested by the Selectmen on the extent of the gypsy moth problem in Newtown. Of Newtown’s 38,000 acres, 21,495 are infested with moth eggs, the Agricultural Experiment Station says.

***

Students in the Newtown school system have been working hard for ecology, and one of the groups hardest at work is the Newtown High School Ecology Club, a group of concerned students at the school who are trying to help fight pollution in the area. The have become associated with Ralph Nader’s Connecticut Earth Action group and are busy trying to raise funds for full-time lawyers and engineers that will represent the people of the state in getting pollution controls.

April 12, 1946

At a recent meeting of the Women’s Auxiliary of Trinity church it was announced that a May Day Dessert Bridge would be given in the Church rooms on the afternoon of May 1st, beginning at 1:30 o’clock. Tickets priced at 60 cents (tax included) are now on sale under the join chairmanship of Mrs Nelson G. Curtis (tel 205-13) and Mrs H. Leon Clow (tel 400, extension 256). This event takes the place of the May Day Breakfast formerly announced, but owing to the difficulty of procuring suitable foods for such a feast, a dessert bridge has been substituted.

***

A public meeting to acquaint Newtown parents, taxpayers, and other interested persons with the progress of plans for an addition to Hawley school was held last Friday evening at 8:00 in the Alexandria Room of the Edmond Town Hall. The attendance was moderate. The sentiment of the evening, expressed in a motion before the close, supported the work of the building committee up to date and asked that it proceed to have plans and specifications completed as outlined and prepared for submission to the State Building Commission and to a Town Meeting to act upon the financing of the project.

***

Raising the total of organized bowlers in Newtown to double its present size is one of the objects of the Newtown Bowling League, according to plans presented at its annual meeting held Tuesday night at Glen Lodge, Sandy Hook. A committee of seven was appointed to write a set of by-laws and to promote the establishment of another league to cooperate and play in competition with the current one.

***

Seventeen intrepid mothers braved the snow squalls and wintry blasts of Monday night to attend the meeting of the Newtown Mothers Club and hear Miss Lisbeth MacDonald, of the University of Connecticut Extension service. Miss MacDonald talked on child training and her subject was “The Positive Approach.”

***

Plans are well underway for the annual Junior-Senior reception. It is to be held in the Alexandria Room of the Edmond Town Hall on May 17th. The invitations are being printed, but it has not yet been decided by the class how many each Junior and Senior will be given. The program committee members are observing characteristic effort on the parts of the Seniors to furnish material for the traditional slams. Eight grade boys and girls are asked to sign up as waitresses and coat checkers, respectively, if they have not already done so.

***

Nancy Baxter, winner in last year’s essay contest sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary, VFW, was notified this week that she is again local winner in the 1945-46 contest, according to the decision of the judges, which has just been announced. Mary Pat Carroll took second place among the four contestants. There are local prizes of $5.00 and $2.00 respectively in Victory Savings stamps awarded by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Charles Howard Peck Post for the winners of first and second place... This year’s winner also took second place in the state contest staged one year ago.

April 1, 1921

Best butter 47 cents, cheese 33 cents, pure lard 16 cents, best bacon , 29 cents, selected shoulders 20 cents/lob, B. brand peas, 2 lbs for 25 cents, Yuban coffee 35 cents, Campbells tomato soup, 10 cents a can, Gold Medal and While Loaf flours, $1.39 a bag 10 lbs, granulated sugar 39 cents; oranges, lemons, bannanas (sic), and celery, at Davey’s —Adv.

***

Cottage cheese made by Irving Jones of Mile Hill, put up in half pound sanitary cartons. Fresh every other day at Morris & Shepard’s. —Adv.

***

Thursday, March 24, the girls; basketball team of Community school journeyed to Bridgeport where they played the Bridgeport High quintet, who hold the state championship under boys’ rules. Although defeated by the score of 20 to 9, the NCS team played the fastest game of the season, and made the Bridgeport girls put up a stiff battle for their points.

***

The Easter services at the Congregational church, Sunday morning, brought out an audience that completely filled the church. The pulpit platform was adorned with lilies and ferns, which later were distributed among the sick and shut-ins in the parish.

***

Trinity Church: A large audience was present at the Easter service, Sunday morning. The chancel was adorned with Easter lilies, potted plants and cut flowers. Rev J.L. Lasher, the rector, chose as his text “I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith the Lord. Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.” St John 11:26.

***

St Rose’s church was crowded at both Masses on Easter Sunday morning. Rev George T. Sinnott, the pastor, preached an eloquent and helpful sermon on “The Resurrection.” Very fine Easter music was rendered by the choir. The altar was beautifully decorated with Easter lilies and other flowers.

Your memories are the ones we want to share! Do you have photographs of people or places in town from a bygone era? The Way We Were is the perfect landing spot so that your photographs can be enjoyed by Newtown Bee readers. Images can be e-mailed as attachments to editor@thebee.com, subject line: Way We Were photo. When submitting photographs, please identify as many people as possible, the location, and the approximate date.

This Baisley Studio photograph found in the Bee files of the “original Danbury Blue Polo Team, 1883” does not identify the men as being from Newtown, but does identify them as, from left, standing, George A. Romans and Clifford Taylor; sitting, Bernard Taylor, Sam Wilson, Irving Wood, and George Sherwood. According to a note with the photograph, the team held the State of Connecticut championship for 1883 and 1884, “cleaning up the state without a loss,” and represented Amsterdam, N.Y., in 1886 and 1887, winning the New York State League and played exhibition games through N.Y. state and Canada.
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