As commuter traffic rolled by at about 7:30 am on Thursday, May 29, all that was left of a longstanding local eyesore was a pile of demolition debris sitting next to a hulking bright yellow excavator on the western corner lot at Church Hill Road and Edmond Road. On Thursday, May 22, a work crew had arrived at 67 Church Hill Road where a vacant former Shell gas station/convenience store had stood empty for the past several years, becoming progressively decrepit, the victim of wind and weathering. Town officials had long sought to have the decaying building demolished, citing its prominent location on Church Hill Road, near Exit 10 of Interstate 84, as being one of the “visual gateways” of Newtown, which interstate travelers encounter when entering the local road network. The building had been scheduled for demolition by mid-May, but delays resulted in the excavator not swinging its massive arm at the structure to topple it until Friday, May 23.
The Newtown Kennel Club has donated $1,800 to the K-9 unit of the Newtown Police Department to be used for food, equipment, and supplies for the department’s German shepherd Saint, police said. Pam Pearl, representing the kennel club, presented a che...
After hearing a presentation by the Newtown Federation of Teachers at the Board of Education’s May 20 meeting, Superintendent of Schools Joseph Erardi, Jr, said this week he plans to form a culture and climate committee in the school district. At the school board’s May 20 meeting, federation members voiced concerns regarding a range of topics, and Dr Erardi suggested at the meeting that a committee be formed.The concept for the panel has grown in the last week, according to the superintendent.“The intent of the committee will be to work in partnership in a positive manner with the teachers’ association and the Board of Education,” Dr Erardi said. Membership of the committee was to be determined by the end of this week, according to Dr Erardi, who said he asked the teachers’ union to recommend four teachers to be on the committee, the administrators’ union to recommend two administrators, and the Board of Education to offer two representatives. The superintendent and assistant superintendent will also serve on the committee.
The tenth Newtown Relay For Life is just hours away and community spirit around the landmark event continues to build around town. The public event, which helps raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society, has taken its place alongside the Labor Day Parade, holiday tree lightings, and Halloween on Main Street as one of the biggest community-building events of the year. Returning to Newtown High School’s Blue & Gold Stadium after several years at Fairfield Hills, the free, 12-hour nonsporting relay is expected to draw thousands of residents during the overnight of May 31 to June 1, many of whom have faced cancer themselves, or who have supported loved ones, friends, and family members through the fight.
House Republican Mitch Bolinsky, representing most of Newtown from his 106th District seat, said during a forum Tuesday that the state has to be more taxpayer friendly and more business friendly. Mr Bolinsky and his fellow house GOP member and Second District representative Dan Carter listened to concerns of residents during a 90-minute program that looked back over the just-completed legislative session.
The Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project has slated its next community forum, “Caring for our Youth, Signs of Suicide (SOS),” to take place Thursday, June 5, from 6 to 7 pm, at Newtown Middle School. The forum will highlight the relationship between depression and suicide, teaching that most often suicide is a fatal response to a treatable disorder: depression. The forum will be facilitated by David Jacob, LCSW, Recovery Project Director, and by District Health Coordinator Judy Blanchard, MS, CPP.
Amid a late spring thunderstorm on the evening of Friday, May 23, firefighters from three local volunteer fire companies responded to a report of a house fire caused by a lightning strike on Jeremiah Road in Sandy Hook. Sandy Hook, Botsford, and Hook & & Ladder firefighters responded to the incident at 5:55 pm at 27 Jeremiah Road, on the corner of Jeremiah Road and Fox Hollow Lane. There were no injuries. Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Chief Bill Halstead said that no one was at home at the Carpenter residence when lightning struck the building’s propane system. The fire caused an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 worth of damage to the insured building, he said.
About a decade ago, Connecticut started getting serious about reclaiming and reusing former and abandoned, environmentally tainted industrial sites known as brownfields. Around that same time, Newtown’s Director of Economic and Community Development Elizabeth Stocker began began compiling an informal list of local brownfield sites. Once she realized there were grant and other assistance programs offering funds and services to assess these contaminated former industrial sites, she also began applying for help in the hopes of eventually returning some or all of these local parcels to some degree of productive use. Pursuing that goal would not only provide financial benefits to the community and its taxpayers by returning these unused or abandoned properties to the tax rolls, but would also help to mitigate the types of public health issues that arise around these sites like contaminated water tables. Today, Ms Stocker’s office is administering more than a half-million dollars