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  • Emergency Communications, Paramedic Contracts Approved

    In two separate actions July 7 the Board of Selectmen approved a three-year contract for 24-hour paramedic services, and a two-year contract for the town’s emergency communications staffers. The action on the communications contract occurred following a brief executive or closed session, during which proprietary aspects of the labor negotiations were discussed. The communications contract has been in negotiations since it expired at the end of the 2013 fiscal year, so the 1.9 percent increase is effective for both the past and current fiscal years according to Finance Director Robert Tait. Mr Tait said that the difference the increase represented for the last fiscal year will be paid to each member of that bargaining unit in a lump sum. During negotiations, the town and emergency communication workers also agreed on reducing the length of each worker’s shift from 12 to eight hours.

  • Police Department Adds New Officer To Its Ranks

    Michael Caramadre is the a latest man to join the Newtown Police Department. Officer Caramadre, who is now studying law enforcement at the state’s municipal police academy in Meriden, was hired on June 26 after the Police Commission decided on June 3 to offer him a job. Officer Caramadre was sworn into office as a policeman in ceremonies on July 2. The post of probationary police officer has a starting salary of $50,786.

  • Intense Storms Bring Local Power Outages

    Intense thunderstorms coupled with the high winds that passed through Newtown Monday night resulted in 556 local power outages being reported to the Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P) as of 9 pm on July 7, according to CL&P spokesman Mitch Gross.

  • Taunton Lake Weed Infestation Under Study

    Last fall, 250 grass carp were placed in the waters of Taunton Lake, a scenic 124-acre spring-fed, glacial lake in the Taunton District whose waters drain into Pond Brook and eventually to the Housatonic River. The grass carp, which are not native to the lake, were released into it as part of a project designed to curb the growth of the weed known as aquatic milfoil. Grass carp eat milfoil.

  • Garner Inmates Learn Decisionmaking Skills Through Course

    The art of decisionmaking, involving the use of judgment to reach suitable conclusions, is a skill that comes slowly through one’s experience amid the situations of a lifetime. A volunteer group known as Thresholds Connecticut has been working to provide such decisional education for some inmates at Garner Correctional Institution, the state’s high-security prison at Nunnawauk Road. On June 24, four Garner inmates who have been receiving such training during the past three months, gathered in the prison with Thresholds volunteers to mark the inmates’ graduation from a “decisional education” course designed to explain the best approaches to personal decision making.

  • Restoring The Charm Of An Old Main Street Home

    Diane Thompson was attracted to the old home’s charm. The 1899 Victorian at 54 Main Street, with its quaint front porch ideal for sitting and sipping iced tea on summer evenings, had been on the market for a long time. Ms Thompson bought the house and is renovating it for resale. “It took a while to get it,” she said. But within the last few months since she bought it on a short sale, “which is never short,” the house has been hers, and renovations with the intent to resell have begun, she said. “It feels homey; I hope I can bring it back so it is homey,” she said. She is coordinating the renovations with her husband, Chip Carpenter, who is often seen working with the contractors.

  • Veterans Mural Gets New Names And Admirers

    Each letter was precise. Each name inscribed at the Newtown Municipal Center honored a veteran serviceman or woman from Newtown who has served in the military in the past several decades. Another tribute to veterans of prior years hangs in the Edmond Town Hall.

  • New Charter Commission To Be Led By Capeci, Hall

    A former Legislative Council chairman who helped direct Newtown’s last Charter Revision Commission and the individual who helped draft the original Charter in 1974 will lead the latest group of appointees charged with reviewing and revising the community’s constitutional document. Jeff Capeci and Robert Hall were unanimously elected chair and vice chair, respectively, during a brief initial meeting of the new Charter panel July 1.

  • 12/14 Recovery Partners Update Charitable Response Details

    In light of the recent report from the state Attorney General on the charitable response to the December 2012 tragedy, Brian Mauriello, Founder/Chair of the Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc. issued an update to the community on behalf of several charitable funds. That group includes the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc. (NSHCF), Newtown Lions Club Foundation, Newtown Memorial Fund, Newtown Rotary Club and United Way of Western CT. Mr Mauriello on behalf of the consortium also sought to offer “insight into the realities facing the Newtown Community in the months and years to come.” The Foundation pays providers directly using pooled resources from all the partners in what is now called the Collaborative Recovery Fund. In May alone the fund paid over $90,000 in out-of-pocket mental health costs for individuals.

  • Free Home Safety Checks For Newtown Seniors

    In recognition of National Safety Month, the Home Instead Senior Care office serving northern Fairfield County is offering a free home safety checks for area seniors and their families. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 20 million seniors ages 65 and older visit the emergency room each year, with almost a third of the visits related to injuries, many of which are sustained in the home. However, almost half of all home accidents by seniors (48 percent) can be avoided, according to a recent survey of emergency room doctors conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care network.