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Accident Snarls I-84 Traffic For Hours

Several accidents occurred in Newtown on Interstate 84 on Monday, April 14, resulting in extensive traffic backups on I-84’s westbound and eastbound lanes, causing motorists to seek alternate routes on local roads, thus creating traffic congestion on those streets. The first accident was reported at 12:42, and involved two vehicles that had been traveling on I-84 East. Both drivers of those vehicles were checked at the scene, and one was transported to the hospital for their injuries. The second accident occurred minutes later, when a Peterbilt tractor that had been traveling on I-84 West veered off the roadway, reportedly to avoid striking another vehicle, and landed on the highway's median, balance on a rock. The driver was uninjured. The need to remove diesel fuel from the truck's tanks before it could be uprighted kept firefighters and DEEP officials on scene for hours, however, which led to the extensive travel delays that afternoon. [read more]

Senate Proposal Eliminating Subdivision Hearings Draws Local Opposition

Three Newtown residents are among the latest to add their signatures and support in opposition to Connecticut Senate Bill 405. According to the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) the bill would eliminate the ability of a planning commission to conduct public hearings on subdivisions to determine whether they comply with applicable law and regulations. Former Newtown Wetlands Enforcement officer Ann Asterita along with Newtown Forest Association officers Guy Peterson and Robert Eckenrode have joined dozens of other individuals, municipalities, forest, land trust, and environmental groups standing against the proposal. One group that is supporting the bill is The Home Builders & Remodelers Association (HBRA) of Connecticut, Inc, who says SB 405 addresses only the unnecessary hearings held to make the purely administrative decision on whether a subdivision application complies with the subdivision regulations.

Brownfields Grant Will Aid FFH Hazmat Assessments

Newtown was notified April 16 that it is the recipient of a $200,000 grant, which Director of Economic and Community Development Director Elizabeth Stocker said will be applied to assessing nine remaining buildings at Fairfield Hills for hazardous materials. The assessments will help the town estimate the cost of eventual hazmat remediation whether the building in question is slated for possible reuse or for demolition. Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday that the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has awarded $3,821,000 in grants to 21 communities to advance the development of brownfield sites throughout the state.

Annual Prescription Drug Disposal Events Slated

Medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning. Just as disturbing are the alarmingly high rates of prescription drug abuse among teens. A national study, conducted last year by The Partnership at DrugFree.org and the MetLife Foundation, found that nearly half (49 percent) of teens who misuse or abuse prescription medicines get them from a family member or friend. More often than not, these drugs are found in medicine cabinets. This year’s US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Take-Back Day will be conducted on Saturday, April 26. Newtown Police will be among the local departments participating in the annual collection event.

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