Residents again have access to a local receptacle designed for the proper disposal of unused, expired, and unwanted prescription drugs at the police station lobby at 3 Main Street. A large gray steel container, which looks like a US mail drop box, had been in place in the police station lobby for years, but was taken out of service recently so that some security improvements could be made.
A “lock-in open” status at Newtown High School has been lifted, according to emails sent to district parents, following an investigation this morning, Monday, February 23.
According to an email sent by Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, to parents following the event around 9:50 am, “At approximately 8:15 am this morning, administrators at [NHS] were made aware of a suspicious note that prompted a lock-in open setting. A lock-in open maintains the teaching and learning environment, allows students, and staff to leave the school, and limits visitors entering the building. Staff and students immediately notified that the lock-in was not a drill, but that normal business within the school would continue.”
Police said midday on Monday, February 23, that they arrested a boy under age 18 on charges of first-degree threatening and first-degree falsely reporting an incident. Police allege he wrote a suspicious note discovered at Newtown High School, which resulted in the school temporarily entering a “lock-in open” security mode.
Police Lieutenant Richard Robinson said both charges are Class D felonies. It was initially unclear whether the boy is a student at the school. Also, it was unclear whether other arrests would be made in the case.
Police did not disclose the boy’s identity because he is under age 18.
Although the C.H. Booth Library Children’s Department remained closed to the public, as of Monday, February 23, Library Director Brenda McKinley had a positive outlook on the imminent reopening of that area, badly affected by water damage last Tuesday, February 17, when frozen sprinkler system pipes burst.
“I would say it’s weeks,” said Ms McKinley, as opposed to the months it took to reopen the library after the January 2014 flood. “J.P. Maguire [remediation company] is moving so quickly.”
New carpet and ceiling tiles are already ordered, she said, and workers from J.P. Maguire were busy disassembling shelving in the Children’s Department, moving furniture out of the way, and packing books not water damaged into boxes.
After a preliminary, exploratory report trying to quantify costs and potential savings if the Board of Education decided to close a local school, Board of Finance member John Godin reviewed the issue recently, updating information with the district’s own data and some school closing assumptions developed under former Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson.
The Newtown Police Department will offer its 20th Citizen Police Academy program on law enforcement and the criminal justice system for the general public.
The free program, which will start on April 1, is open to people who are at least age 18.
Patrol Sergeant Matthew Wood will serve as coordinator for the academy sessions, which will be held weekly.
The program provides participating residents and business owners with an overview of local law enforcement. Through classroom sessions and through hands-on instruction, participants will be shown how local law enforcement operates.
Following review, the Water & Sewer Authority has conditionally approved providing sanitary sewer service to the Newtown Hook & Ladder Volunteer Fire Company for the firehouse that it plans to construct at 12 Church Hill Road. The fire company plans to build an approximately 16,000-square-foot firehouse with a partial second story on the 3.16-acre site on the south side of Church Hill Road, across that street from Wendover Road.
The Board of Finance opened its meeting on Thursday, February 19, with a public hearing on the proposed 2015–16 town of Newtown budget.
Most who spoke, shared opinions specifically on the school district’s proposed 2015–16 budget, which was later presented to the Board of Finance by Board of Education Chair Keith Alexander and Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr.
“We welcome anybody to come up and speak on any item in the budget,” said Board of Finance Chair John Kortze at the start of the public hearing.
In January 2014, Mary Kate Halmose raised the idea for creating lending libraries at several town parks. Although she initially meant to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, her plans for the scouts have changed, but her ideas for the libraries have not. During a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting last week she told board members, “I did not go through with the project,” and has since graduated high school. She is no longer a scout, but she does want to go through with the project, Mary Kate told commission members Febeuary 10.
An unusual two-vehicle head-on accident on Interstate 84 late on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 18, resulted in several people being injured, with one man requiring extrication from an SUV involved in the crash, officials said. The collision occurred on I-84, about one mile west of the Exit 9 interchange, in the area where the boundaries of Newtown, Brookfield, and Bethel meet. The incident resulted in extensive travel delays on both sides of the highway during the evening rush.