During the first sobriety checkpoint of the year, which took place on the evening of Friday, June 20, and early morning of Saturday, June 21, town police charged three motorists with driving under the influence. Besides the DUI arrests, police issued two infractions for child safety seat violations, four warnings for seatbelt violations, and 14 warnings for various other motor vehicle violations, according to Lieutenant Christopher Vanghele. Police set up the checkpoint near the intersection of Wasserman Way and Trades Lane, near the main entrance to the Fairfield Hills core campus. Motorists driving in both directions on Wasserman Way were stopped and briefly interviewed to determine whether they were driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Police hold such checkpoints to make local roads safer for the motoring public.
Retired Newtown Assistant Principal Anthony Salvatore, Newtown Federation of Teachers President Tom Kuroski, and Sandy Hook School teacher Liesl Fressola traveled to Emporia, Kan., for the dedication ceremony, held on Thursday, June 12, of a Memorial to Fallen Educators.
The memorial was created by the National Teachers Hall of Fame, and will permanently recognize more than 100 United States educators who have lost their lives while fulfilling their educational duties, according to a release from the American Federation of Teachers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Venezuelan man, charging him with making numerous telephone calls to Newtown residents on December 16, 2012, lodging threats against those residents two days after the Sandy Hook School incident in which Adam Lanza killed 26 people before killing himself. Wilfredo Anibal Cardenas Hoffman, 30, of El Hatillo, Venezuela, was charged on June 21 with transmitting threats to injure via interstate or foreign commerce. The criminal complaint alleges that Cardenas Hoffman made 96 telephone calls to the Newtown area on December 16, 2012. Those calls were either made from or routed through Venezuela, according to the complaint. Cardenas Hoffman was arrested on June 21 while he was at Miami International Airport en route to Mexico from Venezuela.
When Edward F. Wolf, Sr arrived at the St Rose Gathering Hall on June 13 for an installation ceremony of the new Knights of Columbus officers, he was surprised to also find himself the center of attention, as the recipient of the prestigious George Meany Award. The award is an AFL-CIO Executive Council honor recognizing union members “who have made a significant contribution to the youth of their communities by volunteering in the programs of the Boy Scouts of America. The award, introduced in 1974, is named for the first president of the AFL-CIO, a BSA supporter for many years. Mr Wolf is among 2,600 men and women who have received the award since its creation.
A glass memorial to the victims of 12/14 will be unveiled at a public reception Sunday, June 29, from 1 to 4 pm, at Curtis Packaging, 44 Berkshire Road. Commissioned by local businessman Don Droppo, Sr, the 21-inch-high glass sculpture on a 26- by 30-inch base by artist Lucy Lyon is a library scene of stained glass books lining six shelves, which surround 20 tiny glass chairs.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy, on June 6, signed a bill authorizing the State Library to “create and maintain an e-book platform for the distribution of electronic books (e-books) to public library patrons.” The bill followed up on legislation passed last year commissioning the Department of Consumer Protection to study how Connecticut’s public libraries could gain fair access to e-books, according to a press release from the governor's office. That study determined that while more than 90 percent of the libraries in Connecticut offer some e-books, many popular titles are often not available or available to libraries at prices above what a consumer might pay. The e-book distribution platform would be the first statewide e-book purchasing program in the nation, and hopes to ease the access and pricing of e-books to libraries, as well as broaden the selection of e-books. It is a right step, but possibly just one more baby step in the right direction, said C.H. Booth Technical Librarian Brenda McKinley on June 8.
A flag retirement ceremony took place at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 308 Saturday, June 14, on Flag Day, where collections of tattered American flags were honorably retired. “A flag is retired when it has served its duty,” said VFW Men’s Auxiliary President Robert Arnold. “The ceremony is a respectful, solemn way to say goodbye to an old friend.” This year, residents and local businesses donated more than 4,000 retired flags, said VFW member Donna Monteleone Randle. Many of the retired flags also came from local cemeteries.
Two Newtown moms who were deeply affected by the 12/14 tragedy have transitioned from quietly hosting recent gatherings of several dozen common-sense gun law supporters to joining more than 1,000 like-minded families during a very high profile march across the Brooklyn Bridge earlier this month. It has been a whirlwind of activity for Kate Mayer and Laura Muckell since they each hosted a pre-Mother’s Day house party supported by the national advocacy group Moms Demand Action. The pair most recently found themselves traversing the decks of one of the world’s most famous spans June 14 — having helped fill two buses with nearly 100 Newtowners who joined them at the march. According to the Associated Press, the event was organized by several groups, including Moms Demand Action, Everytown For Gun Safety, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which are all funded by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The owners of 15 Hawleyville properties have informed the town that they want their properties to connect to the planned expansion of the Hawleyville sanitary sewer system, thus triggering the planning process for installation of the sewers, which are intended to spur local economic development. Fred Hurley, town director of public works, said June 17 that the 15 properties include existing residential and commercial uses, as well as currently undeveloped commercial properties. Water & Sewer Authority officials had expected that the owners of between eight and 12 properties would initially express interest in connecting to the planned sewer system.
A Newtown man, who is a former National Football League player, pleaded not guilty on June 17 in Danbury Superior Court to two counts of illegal sale of narcotics. Those charges stem from a US Drug Enforcement Administration investigation into the man’s alleged sale of potent prescription painkillers at his home in April and May. In his arraignment in Courtroom 2 at the White Street courthouse, Gennaro L. DiNapoli, 39, of White Oak Farm Road, Newtown, pleaded not guilty to both charges and also elected to have a jury trial. Danbury attorney Gerald Hecht is representing Mr DiNapoli, who remains free on $150,000 bail. Mr DiNapoli is scheduled to return to court on July 1.