A good measure of the crime deterrence of police on patrol stems from their high visibility both in their vehicles and on foot. During the past few years, town police have phased in some changes in their marked patrol vehicles, moving from large, dark blue sedans to smaller black and white sedans, and now to black and white SUVs that are specially designed for police patrols. During the coming year, town police will be phasing in changes to their uniform, which will retain some elements from the past and also incorporate improvements in apparel technology. Town police are now making the transition to more practical uniforms, when considering the physical aspects of patrol work. New features of the updated uniforms include an eight-pointed police hat that is more typical among municipal police departments, black cargo-style pants with multiple pockets for storage, a fabric badge on the shirt above the officer's left flap pocket, and the officer's surname embroidered onto the shirt in large letting above the right flap pocket.
In the hope of attracting more local input, an online survey to help the Distribution Committee of the Sandy Hook School Support Fund assess ongoing needs of those affected by 12/14 has been extended to February 13. The fund is among those administered by The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation. According to foundation Executive Director Jennifer D. Barahona, LCSW, this input is necessary in order to make well informed funding recommendations. “We conducted a similar survey this time last year and the results of that were used by our committee to fund several initiatives including becoming the primary funder in the community of out-of-pocket costs for mental health and wellness services associated with the tragedy,” Ms Barahona said.
Freshman Republican J.P. Sredzinski, whose 112th District overlaps several southern Newtown neighborhoods, told voters during his campaign last fall that he was committed to strengthening Connecticut’s economy, supporting first responders, and addressing “affordability in our state. Experts put Connecticut’s economy at or near the bottom of the nation when compared to other states and it’s clear we all need our fiscal environment to change,” he said as the newly seated incumbent. “Our economy is hurting, and Connecticut’s resources are strained. Our state is currently operating at significant deficit levels, which makes proposing new programs that require new spending very difficult to pass or support this session.
Astute local viewers of Sunday’s Super Bowl may have noticed a familiar flash of green when NBC zoomed in on New England Patriots Running Back Shane Vereen at the end of the game: the Super Bowl Champion was wearing a green and white Angels of Sandy Hook bracelet on his right wrist. The bracelet was viewed again when Vereen reached out to touch The Vince Lombardi Trophy as it was walked to a dais by former Super Bowl champion Kurt Warner.
UPDATE (11:44 am): The library has opened. || C.H. Booth Library will be opening late this morning, after the building's sidewalks and stairways cleared of snow. Library Director Brenda J. McKinley says she hopes to be open by 11 am, “but we are asking people to call before coming over just to be sure.” The library, at 25 Main Street, can be reached at 203-426-4533.
With Newtown Municipal Center closed Monday, February 2, because of bad weather, First Selectman Pat Llodra posted a notice on the Town website reminding residents they could make last-minute property tax payments without a late penalty via the Tax Collectors web page. But at about 4 pm today, Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed Executive Order No. 44, which extends the deadline for Connecticut residents who pay property taxes on a semi-annual or quarterly basis due to winter weather that has impacted the state over the last week. Under the order, the deadline will be extended to February 3.
With just eight of the 12-member Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission present, community members were still outnumbered Thursday evening, January 29, at the second of two scheduled public hearings for input on a permanent memorial to honor the lives lost on 12/14. Six non-commission members were scattered about the Lecture Hall room at Newtown High School, as the 7 pm meeting got underway. The commission is currently in Phase 3 of a four-phase information gathering process to solicit ideas and review offers. One important point of information received to date is that 92.5 percent of those responding support a permanent memorial of some sort, according to Commission Chair Kyle Lyddy. He repeated, however, what the commission members have said since beginning their task: they are not yet at the point where they are actively considering any of the many ideas for a permanent memorial they have received.
Closings, cancellations and delayed openings are being announced for Monday, February 2. This list is being updated when new information is received. Groups, businesses and organizations are invited to contact The Bee to have their announcements added to this listing.
While there is no travel ban in place this morning, Governor Dannel P. Malloy and local officials are encouraging state residents to stay in place if possible while the current snow storm moves across the state. All eight counties of Connecticut are under a Winter Storm Warning until at least 6 pm tonight. Newtown Municipal Center is closed until at lest 10:30, and Director of Emergency Communications Maureen Will is asking everyone to stay of the roads if possible. An icy mix may make this storm more difficult to contend with than the storm that moved through the region a week ago. Superintendent of Schools Joseph E. Erardi Jr took a proactive approach on Sunday, announcing by mid-Sunday afternoon that Newtown’s public schools would be closed today. Businesses and organizations that are being affected by today’s snow are encouraged to contact The Newtown Bee to share news of delayed openings or cancellations. Announcements will be posted on The Bee’s website, and shared through social media.