Several dozen demonstrators who favor strengthened gun control conducted a news conference on Monday morning, January 13, across the street from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) on Mile Hill Road to endorse tighter gun controls, a cause energized by the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook School, in which 20 first-graders and six school staff members were killed.
The news conference, which was sponsored by the Newtown Action Alliance, also attracted a few supporters of the NSSF, which is a Newtown-based lobby group for the firearms industry. The alliance is a group that seeks to reduce gun violence through stronger gun control laws and cultural change.
Following flooding on January 4 at C.H. Booth Library from sprinkler pipes that froze and burst, sending a deluge of damaging water through the first and second floor sections of the 1998 addition to the historic building, cleanup continued on Monday, January 13. Much of the initial remediation work by professional property damage specialists J.P. Maguire was finished, said C.H. Booth Library Acting Director Beryl Harrison. Electricians and technical support people have worked methodically to return power and connectivity to the Main Street building, evaluation and recovery continues, and employees are hoping to get a timeline for restoration some time this week.
Noting that a number of residents are “looking for a gesture from the town,” regarding additional tax relief, Board of Finance Chairman John Kortze stressed that he wanted his board members to have a dialogue during a January 7 special meeting. Could they make a recommendation to the Legislative Council to enact non-income-based relief programs, age-based programs, or other initiatives? Board members and First Selectman Pat Llodra considered several ways to bring added relief to senior taxpayers in Newtown. No formal motions resulted from the discussion, however.
Senator Chris Murphy is calling for the Internal Revenue Service to open an investigation into a Nashville, Tenn. charity formed in the wake of 12/14 that has been unable to account for more than $70,000 it raised through marathon running. On January 10, 26.4.26 Foundation co-founder Ryan Graney said only $30,000 of the $103,000 taken in has been used for the organization’s purpose. That money was presented last January by co-founder Robbie Bruce to the nonprofit NYA, a youth sports center in Newtown. Graney said Bruce was in charge of the organization’s finances but Bruce has cut off contact with her. On Tuesday, January 14, Senator Murphy sent a letter to John Koskinen, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to call for an immediate investigation into the foundation. Graney said she noticed something was amiss last spring, when she discovered suspicious charges to the foundation’s PayPal account. Graney says she filed reports about the missing money with the FBI and local officials after Bruce was unable to explain where it went.
HARTFORD (AP) — The father of the 20-year-old gunman who committed the Newtown school shooting said Friday he is willing to help provide his late son's medical records to the state commission reviewing the massacre and attempting to make recommendation on changes to mental health policy. The Associated Press reported January 10 that Errol Cockfield, a spokesman for Peter Lanza, issued a statement saying the perpatrator's father had already informed law enforcement that he would "approve the release of any medical records he has the authority to release" and that he has informed the chairman of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission that "he is willing to meet with him towards reaching that goal." The commission was created by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to review the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting. Some mental health experts who sit on the commission have said they want to see Adam Lanza's records, including any behavioral assessments conducted at schools Lanza attended, to determine if there were any gaps in treatment and to gain insight into the shooter and the state of his mental health. They've expressed disappointment in the lack of original documents released by the prosecutor and state police from their investigation.
Following a report by Board of Education Vice Chair Laura Roche, the school board voted unanimously on Tuesday, January 7, to allow its Communications Committee to send budget newsletters on behalf of the board. Ms Roche explained the procedure was used last year, but the Communications Committee wanted the school board, with new members, to vote on it for this year. “We’ll be sending letters out on key points,” said Ms Roche. “We’re going to send one out before the budget process starts. Then there is three weeks when we have a total of six workshops, so after each of these we will send a summary on that week’s happenings… Then we would do a summary letter after we finish with the Board of Finance. Then… once the budget referendum is set we’re going to then rely, hopefully, on the PTAs." Once a referendum is set, Ms Roche said, the school board cannot use tax dollars to advocate or speak about the budget. The only information the board can share, Ms Roche said, is the time, date, and place of a budget referendum. Ms Roche said she has arranged meeting with PTA leadership.
After Assistant Superintendent of Schools Linda Gejda recommended a course of dealing with upcoming state high school graduation requirements, the Board of Education unanimously voted on Tuesday, January 7, to increase requirements for the graduating classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020. During the school board’s December 3 meeting, Newtown High School Principal Charles Dumais outlined possible needs and ways to meet the state’s 2020 graduation requirements...
The first snowstorm of 2014 arrived in Newtown less than 48 hours into the new year, and it left a few inches of powdery snow in its wake. Students were sent home early on January 2 — afternoon preschool students never even went to school on Thursday — when the snow arrived a little earlier than expected. The worst of the storm had passed through town by late Friday morning, An average of eight inches of snow was reported. By Monday, January 6, rain washed away much of the snow and left the region in a record-breaking temperature drop.