Governor Dannel P. Malloy on May 14 announced that he is directing US and state flags in Connecticut to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, May 15, 2015, in recognition of Peace Officers Memorial Day. The national observance pays tribute to local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. It is recognized annually during National Police Week, which this year runs May 10-16. The actions of the governor and lieutenant governor this week echo those made by President Barack Obama on May 8, when he issued a Presidential Proclamation announcing Police Officers Memorial Day and Police Week 2015.
About 30 residents attended a May 7 informational session sponsored by the state Department of Transportation (DOT) for discussion on DOT’s plans to make a variety of improvements to the Exit 11 interchange of Interstate 84 and surrounding roadways. The changes are intended to alleviate traffic backups in the often-congested area and reduce motor vehicle accidents. Residents posed a variety of questions to DOT planners on what effects the changes would have on the area. First Selectman Pat Llodra said that the combination of a town project planned to improve the northern end of Toddy Hill Road and the state’s Exit 11 project will significantly improve traffic flow in the area. But road improvement planning should proceed slowly, in light of concerns that have been expressed by property owners who would be directly affected by the planned improvements, she said.
The annual meeting of the Newtown Friends of Music, Inc., will be held on Tuesday, May 19, at 7:30 pm, in the Board Room of Cyrenius H Booth Library, 25 Main Street. Members of record as of May 1, 2015, are invited to attend.
Newtown Hook & Ladder President Rick Camejo and Building Committee representative Rob Manna reported to the Board of Finance May 11 that the all-volunteer company could be facing as much as a $1 million deficit against projected costs on a new headquarters being built on Church Hill Road. The Newtown Bee reported last week that workers on the public project would likely qualify to be paid prevailing wages, adding as much as a half-million dollars to anticipated costs. In order to get the building outfitted for basic functions for the fire company, Mr Camejo and Mr Manna said they learned other related costs could double that deficit.
Police said this week they investigated a bomb threat at Newtown High School on May 4 which they determined to lack credibility and to be a hoax. However, the student at the school who was found to have made that threat was arrested on two criminal charges and will be seeing a judge at Danbury Juvenile Court.
A federal grand jury has indicted a former Newtown police sergeant and a former emergency communications dispatcher on felony charges, which allege that they were part of an anabolic steroids drug trafficking ring with others. Indicted were former sergeant Steven Santucci, 38, of Waterbury and former dispatcher Jason Chickos, 46, of Bridgeport. Santucci resigned from the police department on May 1. Chickos resigned as civilian dispatcher on May 8. Santucci, Chickos and others are scheduled for arraignment on the charges on Thursday, May 14, in US District Court in Hartford. The case has been assigned to US District Judge Robert Chatigny. The charges filed against Santucci and Chickos hold the potential for lengthy prison sentences in the event they are convicted of the alleged crimes.
Police report they arrested a Botsford man on multiple charges following an incident near King’s Breakfast & Lunch Restaurant at 265 South Main Street at about 4 pm on May 10, in which the man allegedly brandished a firearm, threatening to kill the restaurant’s owner. Following the incident, police arrested Collins Verstegen, 51, of 271 South Main Street, charging him with first-degree threatening, second-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree criminal mischief, and second-degree breach of peace.
Since being deeded 34.4 acres of property nearby the Newtown Park and Bark dog park and The Brian J. Silverlieb Animal Control Center in September 2014, plans for The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary (CVHAS) have continued to develop, said Jennifer Hubbard. Until last month, CVHAS had partnered with The Animal Center of Newtown, a local cat rescue/foster program. That partnership has been dissolved, said former Animal Center Vice President and CVHAS volunteer Harmony Verna, but there remains a mutual respect between the two organizations. “I don’t think any of us understood the magnitude of what we were taking on,” Ms Hubbard said. Separating allows both organizations to do what they do best, and to continue to support each other as they are able.