At 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, in a super-efficient industrial furnace, it takes about three hours for four tractor trailer loads of materials to be reduced to one three-foot -square box of ashes — or “sacred soil,” as the cremated remains of the hundreds of thousands of items sent to the Town of Newtown after 12/14 are known.
Newtown resident Yolie Moreno accompanied Fred Hurley, director of public works, and the four truckloads of items to the waste-to-energy facility, Wheelabrator, in Bridgeport, Saturday night, October 26, bearing witness for the community to the respectful incineration of the items.
A Superior Court judge has sentenced John Heath, 70, of Bridgewater to 50 years in prison for the 1984 slaying of his wife, Elizabeth, who was then 32 years old. A jury convicted Heath in October of beat his wife to death, wrapping her remains in bedding and garbage bags, and then stuffing them into a dry well located beneath the floor of a barn at the Heaths' 89 Poverty Hollow Road property in Newtown.
The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation is seeking residents’ input through an anonymous online survey about how to go about distributing the remaining approximately $4.3 million, which has been set aside to support unmet needs in the community in both the short and long term.
Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Barahona, LCSW, told The Bee December 18 that in the first 24 hours the survey has been available to residents, more than 1,000 have already responded. But she is hoping for a much more significant representation from the community before closing out the survey in a few weeks.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has announced that the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is next scheduled to meet on Friday, December 20, at 10 am, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. The commission is expected to receive a presentation from the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association regarding the response of law enforcement to Sandy Hook Elementary School on 12/14. Following the presentation, the commission members will discuss the State’s Attorney’s report on the tragedy.
Newtown Public Schools are closed Tuesday, December 17, due to the weather. Additional cancellations and postponements have been received from Newtown Parks & Rec, Newtown Municipal Center (concerning meetings), C.H. Booth Library, Newtown Chamebr of Commerce, and NYA. Additional notices will be posted as they are received.
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.
US Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday, December 17, that a $1.5-million federal grant will be provided to reimburse organizations and agencies that provided direct support to the victims, first responders, and the Newtown community in the immediate aftermath of the 12/14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
The Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) provided the grant to the Connecticut Judicial Branch, which administers funding for services to victims of violent crime.
The Newtown tragedy has galvanized gun-control groups and turned victims of gun violence into advocates like no other mass shooting in US history. In the year since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, new coalitions have been formed as have new gun-control organizations, including Mothers Against Gun Violence, a PAC created by former Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords — a victim of a mass shooting herself — and Newtown Action Alliance.
Interim Superintendent of Schools John Reed recently called the effort by the Town of Monroe to help Newtown following the events of 12/14 “complex and extremely important.” Within days of the shooting at Sandy Hook School, Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra announced Monroe’s willingness to help by providing a new home for Sandy Hook School at its then-mothballed Chalk Hill Middle School. Mrs Llodra received personal support from longtime friend and Monroe First Selectman Steve Vavrek within hours of the shootings at Sandy Hook School. On December 16, 2012, Mr Vavrek and other elected officials offered Newtown the use of its then-mothballed Chalk Hill Elementary School.