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  • Newtown Activists Shift Focus To House Of Representatives

    In a week in which another mass shooting took place, and in a year in which gun control has fallen off Congress’ radar, gun control activists again came to Capitol Hill to lobby unyielding politicians. About 50 activists from Connecticut, many from Newtown Action Alliance, are in Washington, D.C., trying to revive a bill that would expand federal background checks of gun buyers — and to mark the nine-month anniversary of the slaying of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. They have been joined by residents of other states that have been victim to mass slaughter. Carlos Soto, brother of Vicky Soto, who was one of the teachers killed at Sandy Hook School, has been to Washington six times since the Newtown shootings, and many of the other activists in Washington this week have also made multiple trips.

  • Starbucks Says Guns Unwelcome, Though Not Banned

    Starbucks says guns are no longer welcome in its cafes, though it is stopping short of an outright ban on firearms. The fine line that the retailer is walking to address the concerns of both gun rights and gun control advocates reflects how heated the issue has become, particularly in light of recent mass shootings. Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz said on Tuesday, September 17, that the company has decided to ask customers to no longer bring firearms into stores or outdoor seating areas unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel. The decision followed a number of "Starbucks Appreciation Days," which the CEO said have mischaracterized the company's stance on the gun debate and have made customers uncomfortable.

  • Police Continue To Pursue Leads In Search For Missing Man

    Newtown police are inivestigating two reported sightings of the missing Robert Hoagland which occurred on Tuesday, September 17, near the Rhode Island/Connecticut border. Mr Hoagland may have been seen by Rhode Island Department of Transportation workers on Route 195 in the West Greenwich, R.I., area. A man fitting Mr Hoagland’s description was described as appearing to be a hiker with a large backpack, police said. A passing motorist also contact the local police department after seeing a man who fits Mr Hoagland's description in Montville, R.I. Newtown police said Wednesday morning, however, that Mr Hoagland, 50, of Sandy Hook, has not yet been located.

  • Parks Officials Provide Detailed Accounting Of Oakview Costs, Savings

    Following some concerns and criticisms about installation costs on social media sites, Newtown’s Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold released a document detailing the expenses related to Oakview Field. Assistant Parks Director Carl Samuelson produced the report following a request from Legislative Council Vice Chair Mary Ann Jacob for detailed financial accounting of costs related to her department’s newest playing venue on Wasserman Way. Mr Samuelson opens responding to some of the public concerns regarding the park’s development...

  • Residents Sought For Commission Posts

    First Selectman Pat Llodra is seeking residents to fill several opening on local appointed boards and commissions. In some cases the appointments are required to be affiliated with a specific political party, while in other cases unaffiliated voters are encouraged to consider serving. Openings are available on Hattertown Historic District, Charter Communications Advisory Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission, Inland Wetlands Commission, Sustainable Energy Commission, C.H. Booth Library Board of Trustees, and Commission on Aging.

  • Library Director Steps Down

    The Newtown Bee received a copy Tuesday, September 17, of an e-mail letter of resignation from C.H. Booth Library Director Shawn Fields, sent to members of the Board of Trustees of the C.H. Booth Library. The e-mail was sent at 11:46 am on Monday, September 16, and stated that following conversations with his wife this past weekend, they had “decided together that it would be best if I did not work here, effective immediately.”Mr Fields has been the brunt of public criticism since this summer, beginning with the elimination of longtime reference librarian Andrea Zimmermann’s position. Ms Zimmermann declined another position at that time.At a series of three focus group sessions hosted by Mr Fields in August, during which he had hoped to receive input on what the public did or did not want to see as the library moved into the future, he instead received a stream of criticism concerning his perceived poor relationship to the staff, and rumored changes to the physical layout of the library.Many members of the public expressed concerns that the new library director was considering implementing changes far too early on in his employ, and taken on staff training duties for which he was not qualified...

  • Traffic Alert: I-84 To Be Closed Two Weekends At N.Y.-Conn. Border

    The New York State Department of Transportation is replacing two bridges carrying Interstate 84 over Dingle Ridge Road in Southeast, N.Y. The work is being accelerated to minimize traffic impacts, but will require the interstate to be closed in that area during two upcoming weekends: September 21-22 and either September 29-30 or October 5-6.

  • High Meadow Preservation, Rental Housing Highlighted In FFH Master Plan Update

    After a three-year process, the Board of Selectmen received the latest update to the Fairfield Hills Master Plan during its September 16 meeting. The relatively brief presentation by Land Use Director George Benson and Master Plan Review Committee member Deborra Zukowski elicited a couple of tense interactions with Selectmen Will Rodgers and James Gaston over the reintroduction of housing as a possible development consideration. But First Selectman Pat Llodra said that to block discussion because some are afraid of where the idea could go does not represent the kind of community Newtown is.

  • Child Safety Seat Inspections & Enforcement Planned This Week

    In conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations Child Passenger Safety Week, September 15–21, the Newtown Police Department will be conducting Child Safety Seat Enforcement. During the enforcement period, Newtown officers will be maintaining a high profile while enforcing child safety seat protection laws during all traffic stops. Officers will focus on proper use of child safety seats for children.

  • Absentee Ballots For Sandy Hook School Referendum Available

    Absentee ballots are now available for the Saturday, October 5, referendum, which will be held from 6 am to 8 pm at the Newtown Middle School Gymnasium. The purpose of the vote is to register public consensus on the town accepting state financial assistance to remediate and demolish the Sandy Hook School building, and to design and build a new school in Sandy Hook.