Nearly a century separates the lives of the man recognized as Newtown’s first historian, Ezra Levan Johnson, and Newtown’s first official historian, Daniel Cruson, but uncanny similarities between the two men make them brethren. Both teachers, Mr Johnson spent the majority of his teaching career at South Center and Sandy Hook School districts, and served on the Board of School Visitors for 58 years, until his death in 1914. Mr Cruson retired in 2005 from Joel Barlow High School in Redding, after teaching in the history department there for 37 years. Despite their commonalities, there is also a decidedly different approach to parsing Newtown’s history to the townspeople between them. Today’s reader might find Mr Johnson’s publications unwieldy, Mr Cruson said. “He was what we call an antiquarian historian,” he said, meaning that Newtown’s first historian tended to publish antique documents in whole. A modern historian, such as Mr Cruson, is more scientific in their research, and apt to condense information from a large document into a more user-friendly form.
Survivors and supporters gathered at Newtown High School Monday night with one goal in mind: fighting cancer. Kicking off this year’s Relay For Life, which will take place from the evening of May 31 into the morning of June 1, the tenth such event in town, chair Chris Farrington, a 13-year survivor, said the year’s theme is “party,” not a birthday party, but other types of celebration. Also joining the kick-off was honorary chair and cancer survivor Mary Ann Jacob, who spent time Monday night speaking with guests; and American Cancer Society representative Dave Andros. Newtown's Relay for Life will return to Newtown High School this year, after a five-year break from that location.
Valentine’s Day came a little early for some of Newtown’s youngest as well as the town’s most experienced residents. For the second year in a row, the Newtown Youth Basketball Association (NYBA) teamed with Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball program, the cheerleaders, and the NHS culinary department to hold Senior Citizen Appreciation Night, a pre-Valentine’s Day dinner for the community’s senior citizens.This year’s event, which was held at Newtown High on February 6, drew 60 seniors who were greeted by elementary school-age and high school basketball players.
Beth Bogdan visited Newtown the weekend of January 31-February 2, and spent time that Saturday at The Resiliency Center of Newtown (RCN). There, she and RCN Founder Stephanie Cinque packed up items that had been sold during the Second Annual Music For Newtown Auction. Over $6,500 was raised for the non-profit organization that provides free and confidential services, programs, and events to assist in the healing process for anyone in the greater Newtown community impacted by the events of 12/14. Both auctions have featured special and/or limited edition items related to music. Artists including Black Sabbath, Florida Georgia Line, and Lorde were among the first to donate items to this year’s event. By the time the auction went live on January 22, items included an autographed guitar from Anberlin, signed posters from Neon Trees and Colbie Caillat; signed photos from Nickelback and Psy; signed CDs from Bon Jovi, Cassadee Pope, and Ben Howard; signed vinyl from Jack Johnson; and a signed set list from The Naked and Famous.
Her name may be Sunny with a light gold and white coat, but her prospects for adoption have not been bright. She has twice left the shelter for a new home, and then been returned. Newtown Animal Control Board Chair Adria Henderson described the 4-year old dog as “beautiful, gentle, well mannered.” Sunny was among the first arrivals at the Brian J. Silverlieb Animal Care and Control Center when it opened two summers ago. She lives up to her name until her owners leave her home alone, said Ms Henderson. Hoping to help the “loving, gentle girl,” Ms Henderson, local animal proponents, and the animal control staff have been working to reduce Sunny’s anxiety.