Police Chief Michael Kehoe said May 16 that Lieutenant George Sinko, 49, who served as a town police officer for nearly 25 years, had submitted his letter of retirement from the police department, effectively resigning from the organization on May 14. Chief Kehoe declined to disclose the contents of the departure letter, which Mr Sinko submitted, saying that the matter would be reviewed by the five-member Police Commission when it next meets on June 3. Asked about the reason for his departure, Mr Sinko said May 20, “It’s been a tough year and a half” in reference to the 12/14 shooting incident and its aftermath. “It’s changed a lot of us,” he said. “It’s just the right time for me [to leave],” he added.
The Board of Education unanimously hired Lorrie Rodrigue of Oxford to fill the position of principal at Newtown High School and Jill Bontatibus Beaudry of Newtown for the assistant principal position at Reed Intermediate School during its meeting on Tuesday, May 20.
Former NHS principal Charles Dumais left the district in February to fill the position of superintendent of Amity Regional School District #5. Former Ridgefield High School principal Jeffrey Jaslow has been serving as interim principal at NHS since then. Dr Rodrigue will assume her position on July 1.
For Dr Rodrigue, it is a move back to Newtown and NHS. She has served as Pomperaug High School principal since 2008, served as principal at Shepaug Valley Middle-High School from 2005 to 2008, as an assistant principal at NHS from 2000 to 2005, as a high school English teacher at NHS from 1998 to 2000, as an English teacher at NMS from 1992 to 1998, and as a junior high language arts teacher from 1990 to 1992 at Broadview Junior High School.
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.
The ripple effects of a half-million dollar grant Newtown received May 19 will have immediate and positive implications for property owners waiting to hook up to a new Hawleyville sewer line extension. The new funding stream will also provide added incentive for developers considering new economic development projects in the area, and long-term benefits for local taxpayers who might have to partially underwrite the project if assessments on users fail to cover the installation cost. The $500,000 grant was announced as one of 28 awarded Monday by Governor Dannel P. Malloy under the state’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP). The grants target a variety of economic development, community conservation and quality-of-life projects across Connecticut.
State Senator John McKinney (R-28) along with State Representatives Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) and Dan Carter (R-2) are inviting any interested Newtown residents to a legislative wrap-up on the just concluded legislative session. The legislative update will be held Tuesday evening, May 27, at Newtown Municipal Center.
Connecticut Democrats poured into their state convention Friday, May 16 pledging that whatever it lacked in drama it would make up for in passion. The more than 1,800 delegates at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford re-nominated Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who vowed to battle energetically for a second term. And Malloy, who has taken some heat over a sluggish economy and ongoing deficit projections for state finances, said that while there is more work to do, he would celebrate a track record filled with successes. Malloy, entered the stage with Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” blaring throughout the hall, touted his efforts to grow jobs, to improve conditions for labor, to reform health care and state finances, and to control gun violence in the wake of the December 2012 shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Tom Foley, who lost a historically close election for governor in 2010, was overwhelmingly endorsed Saturday by the Republican State Convention for a second try at defeating Democrat Dannel P. Malloy, but he failed to block two rivals from qualifying for a GOP primary in August. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton was the only other candidate to clear the 15-percent threshold necessary for a primary at the end of the first roll call, but Foley appeared to direct supporters to switch to Senate Minority Leader John P. McKinney of Fairfield. His rationale: He was better positioned to win a three-way primary than a head-to-head race. Boughton had 24 percent before switching began, while McKinney fell short at 13 percent. The other candidates, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti and Joseph Visconti of West Hartford, languished below five percent. Visconti pledged to petition for a spot on the primary ballot, while Lauretti was uncertain about continuing.
Police have added to their expanding list of local copper pipe thefts two incidents that occurred at vacant houses near the intersection of Sugar Street, West Street, and Boggs Hill Road.
In one case, the theft of pipes from the basement of a house on Sugar Street punctured a charged water pipe, resulting in the pressurized water spraying out of the leak to flood the basement to a depth of about 30 inches.
Newtown Hook & Ladder volunteer firefighters responded to the house late on the morning of Monday, May 19.
The period for retired and certified Connecticut police officers to apply to become one of nine Newtown school security officers (SSOs) is closing at month’s end. Police Chief Michael Kehoe told The Newtown Bee this week that he has already received numerous applications for consideration. Officials including First Selectman Pat Llodra have previously said that a number of qualified retired officers are already working for the school district as unarmed security guards, and most if not all were thinking of applying for the SSO posts. But Chief Kehoe said that all applicants will receive equal consideration on the merits of their experience and one other key attribute. “They really have to like and have a genuine interest in our kids,” Chief Kehoe said of the SSO candidates. “On any given day they could be spending time with students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, so it’s important that they can work in that environment.”