The 2014 Kelly Report on Gun Violence in America, released Wednesday, June 25, is the first collaboration of its kind between members of Congress, gun safety advocates, and public health/academic communities on the nation’s gun violence epidemic. Written by Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), the report is, according to her website, “the first-ever Congressional analysis of the nation’s gun violence epidemic that offers a blueprint for ending the crisis.” The contributors to the report include Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA), chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force; Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Contributors also include The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, NAACP, National Urban League, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Center for American Progress, Duke University, University of Chicago Crime Lab, Harvard University School of Public Health and John Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Police continue to investigate a serious motor vehicle accident that occurred late on the night of Saturday, June 21, in which a SUV carrying three 24-year-old women, while traveling eastward on Berkshire Road (Route 34) near the Monroe town line, drove off the right road shoulder and then went down a ravine, striking several trees before coming to rest near a stream. The intense impacts of the multiple rollover accident resulted in serious injuries to two of the three occupants of the heavily damaged 2011 Audi Q-5, officials said. Two of the women in the accident had been released from St Vincent's Hospital by midweek. The third remained in critical condition at Yale-New Haven Hospital as of June 26.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) will close a section of Interstate 84 in both directions in Southington from 9 pm Friday night, June 27, until early Monday morning, June 30. Major traffic delays are anticipated. Two bridges that carry I-84 over Marion Avenue — one eastbound and one westbound — are being replaced with new structures. The replacement is what is requiring the complete closure of I-84 in both directions for the weekend.
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.