More than a few attendees at Newtown's milestone 10th Relay for Life brushed away tears while viewing photos of loved ones lost on the event's wall of remembrance, during the poignant opening ceremonies, and during the luminary procession. But the combination of fair weather, camaraderie, and nonstop, upbeat activities helped put smiles on most faces throughout the 12-hour American Cancer Society fund and awareness raiser that was on hold for more than a year. Hundreds of team members, survivors and caregivers took to the track at Blue & Gold stadium thoughout the night on Saturday May 31, many expressing how glad they were to be back at Newtown High School after a few years staging at Fairfield Hills while construction carried on at the NHS facility.
Town police last week reported yet another theft of copper pipe from a residential property, marking about 15 such copper thefts locally since the beginning of the year. The latest was at a vacant house for sale on Jeremiah Road in Sandy Hook. A burglar stole many sections of copper piping from baseboard heating equipment inside the house. Police Chief Michael Kehoe said town police are cooperating with police from other towns in seeking to learn who is stealing the copper pipe from local properties.
Newtown residents are reminded that dogs 6 months of age and older must be licensed annually during the month of June. Licenses are available at the town clerk’s office at Newtown Municipal Center, Monday through Friday. In addition, the town clerk’s office will also be sponsoring a Rabies Clinic on Saturday, June 14, from 10 am to noon, in the Edmond Town Hall gymnasium.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has directed State of Connecticut flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of State Representative Lawrence G. Miller. The Associated Press is reporting that State Rep Miller, who argued passionately on behalf of Connecticut's place in aviation history, has died at the age of 78. The cause of death has not yet been reported.
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.
In 1906, the internationally recognized Morse code distress signal SOS was established and has grown to represent a call for help. On June 5, community members are being called to learn how to recognize if someone they know or care about may be reaching out for help because they are contemplating suicide. Newtown’s first Caring For Our Youth Signs Of Suicide (SOS) Community Forum is being sponsored by the Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project Thursday, June 5, at Newtown Middle School Auditorium from 6 to 7:30 pm. The SOS Program is a research-based early intervention program listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidenced-Based Programs and Practices.
Every Board of Selectmen’s meeting provides two opportunities for members of the public to comment on agenda items and other issues of public importance. First Selectman Pat Llodra is reaching out to residents to come with questions or ideas about the future of town-owned buildings and facilities. The June 2 selectmen’s meeting, at 7:30 pm in the Newtown Municipal Center will include the kickoff of what is hoped will be a comprehensive assessment of municipal facilities and will result in a similarly detailed strategic plan for the future of those facilities. Senior Project Manager Geralyn Hoerauf from Diversified Project Management, who has been instrumental in the planning process for the new Sandy Hook School, will be supporting this new townwide project. She has been charged with helping develop a request for proposals from providers for the assessment and analysis portion of the initiative.
During its final meeting of the 2013-14 school year, Newtown Prevention Council reviewed work completed since last September. Since its first meeting the school year, the council has held or participated in events monthly, according to Co-Chair Judy Blanchard. The council also had a number of campaigns, like its annual safe prom campaign and a spring billboard was created to discourage smoking marijuana. A campaign to support students “graduating without alcohol” will also be sent home to community members prior to the high school’s graduation.
Every time she hears about a shooting in this country, Katie Morosky said she is traumatized. “It comes back every time,” the Newtown resident said Friday afternoon. “Every time you hear about another shooting, everything that happened here comes right back." Ms Morosky was one of about 18 people who gathered outside the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) headquarters late Friday afternoon. Since 12/14, the corner of Mile Hill Road near Queen Street has been a popular location for those who are on either side of the gun control debate. While groups, or sometimes just one or two people, make regular appearances at the location, Friday’s display was in response to shootings one week earlier in southwestern California. “We’re here to remember the students who were killed last week in California,” said Ms Morosky. The six people killed a week ago were all students of UCSB. The killings have reignited the debate over mental health issues and gun control.