Home

The Way We Were

April 15, 1988

In the days of testimony before Dawn Marie Thomas, the Crafts’ nanny, took the stand, Pan American Flight attendants and friends of Helle Crafts testified about the fear she had for her own safety and how she wanted to divorce her husband, Richard. At the end of the first week of testimony in the Richard Crafts murder trial, private investigator Keith Mayo testified for two days as to his involvement in the case. Dawn Marie Thomas, 20, of Lawrence, N.Y., took the stand on April 11 and spent two days reliving the events surrounding the November 18, 1986 disappearance of Mrs Crafts. State Attorney Walter Flanagan focused his questioning on important dates in the Crafts’ household. The first was November 14, 1986, when the Crafts allegedly had a loud fight concerning the divorce that the children overheard. In direct questioning, which lasted all day April 12, Mr Flanagan asked Miss Thomas about her schedule on November 18, 1986. She testified that Mr Crafts had come home early on that date and given her the rest of the day off.

***

After completing its review of the Board of Selectmen and Board of Education budgets last week, the Legislative Council adopted a $30,249,430 budget for the 1988-89 fiscal year, which begins July 1. If the budget is approved as presented, Finance Director Benjamin Spragg said it will result in the property tax rate’s being raised from the present 22.6 mill rate to a 24.5 mill rate, an increase of 8.4 percent.

***

“Spirit,” a group of high school students and their advisors from Cape Henlopen High School in Delaware, spent all day Monday and Tuesday working with nearly 500 fifth and sixth graders. Through the use of contemporary music, the group brought home the need for drug awareness, building self-esteem and reaching out to parents and friends. The project is part of an on-going drug awareness program at the schools.

***

John Mead, a truck driver for the Highway Department, lost part of a finger during an accident at the landfill on the morning of April 13. He was hurt when he caught a hand in the tailgate of a dump truck. After the accident, Mr Mead was driving to the Newtown Ambulance Corps garage, from where he was rushed to Danbury Hospital. He was operated on, and then discharged. Mr Mead is also the town’s civil preparedness director.

April 19, 1963

Mrs Robert H. Peck, chairman of the junior gardening committee of the Garden Club of Newtown, wishes to announce that her committee has applied for Sears Roebuck Civic Beautification Program Award for landscaping of the Hawley Elementary School grounds. Mrs David Davis, a landscape architect of Huntingtown Road, Newtown, has contributed a tentative plan and blueprints for the landscaping of the grounds of this building.

***

The girls’ basketball team of St Rose recently won the CYO Diocesan Championship at the Notre Dame Gymnasium by defeating Blessed Sacrament of Bridgeport, 15-8. The team was coached by Mrs David Cassidy and Mrs James Cavanaugh.

***

On February 12 the Board of Education approved the recommendations of Superintendent of Schools James F. Hinckley to build an elementary school of 20 classrooms in the southern part of Newtown, and to add four classrooms to the Sandy Hook school. The new school would consist of two kindergarten rooms and three classrooms for each of grades one through six. Using Newtown’s standard of 25 pupils per classroom, this school would accommodate 550. An enrollment of 400–600 is ideal for an elementary school. The immediate need is for such a school in the southern part of town, and an addition to Sandy Hook School. In 1966, a new study should be made to determine the best location for a fourth elementary school. Present growth rate indicates that need by that time will be in the western part of Newtown.

***

Plans to enlarge the Newtown telephone building to meet continued growth were made known recently by the Southern New England Telephone Company. Arthur G. Potts, local manager for the company, said work will probably start this spring on an addition that will roughly double the size of the Queen Street building.

April 15, 1938

John Stewart, New York banker, has purchased from Miss Rose Feld, well known writer of New York City, 12 acres of land together with an authentic Colonial house which dates back to Revolutionary days and still retains all of its original features, including fireplaces, carved mantles, H and L hinges, wide board floors, and a stone chimney. The property is located in Taunton district, Newtown, and is known as the Drew homestead.

***

One of Newtown’s well-liked citizens passed away on Sunday afternoon, in the death of William B. Bentley, which occurred at his home, following a short illness. On Wednesday of last week, Mr Bentley suffered a stroke as he was driving his car around the flagpole on Main street, and from this sudden affliction, he failed to recover. Mr Bentley had conducted an active real estate business. He was always an ardent worker for the town and busied himself in the affairs of a number of local organizations. He was a charter member of the Newtown Chamber of Commerce.

***

The decision was reached quite unanimously on the part of those attending the meeting at the Parker House last Thursday evening to form a local Public Safety Committee. Considerable discussion brought out the advantages of such a committee to the town and the safety work that the committee can accomplish. A meeting is being arranged for the near future, with a member of the State Highway Safety Commission present to talk on the promotion of safety on our local highways and further duties.

***

Disregarding the poor spring weather of the last week, the members of the Sandy Hook Giants’ baseball team went forward with a determined effort to complete their plans for the coming season. Sunday, the club had their first work-out at Pine Grove Park, with about 25 players in attendance. Because of the cold weather, Captain Meyers cut short the practice. The most impressive event of last Sunday’s short work-out was the spirit in which each player did his part.

April 18, 1913

Alfred Osborne, the veteran and genial clam peddler, was not able to supply his customers the first of the week with the bivalves, but expects to supply their wants in that line the middle of the week.

***

The Dodgingtown Volunteer Fire Co., No 1, Inc, opened their new fire house with a smoker and feed to its members and invited guests, numbering about 50 in all, who joined in the good time. Pipes and tobacco was the smoking material with which the boys passed the time, and they certainly raised a cloud that you could cut with a knife. At about 10 o’clock the feed was spread and to say the boys had their appetites with them would be putting it mildly. At about 11:30, the entire party joined in singing “There’s A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea,” under the direction of Charles Arnold. Dodgingtown Fire Co. was organized March 18, 1911 and was incorporated the same year. The boys feel proud of their new house and well they should, as it is not only for a good cause but does credit to the little village of Dodgingtown.

***

Michael Cavanaugh of Hanover has sowed his tobacco beds and is preparing to set out two acres to tobacco this year. He is now the only raiser of tobacco in his district, where formerly almost every farmer raised a piece.

More stories like this: The Way We Were
You must register or login to post a comment.