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  • 20th Citizen Police Academy To Be Offered To The Public

    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.

  • Finance Board Hears Refined Details On School Closing Options

    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.

  • Several Injuries In I-84 Head-On Crash

    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.

  • Burglaries Doubled, Thefts Dropped In 2014

    Statistics on the incidence of property crime that occurred during 2014 compiled by town police indicate that the number of reported burglaries in 2014 more than doubled compared to 2013, and the number of reported thefts decreased. According to those statistics, police received reports of 52 burglaries during 2014, compared to 24 burglaries in 2013, representing an almost 117 percent increase in that crime category. The town police department statistics do not include the various criminal and motor vehicle violations issued by the state police in Newtown. State police enforcement occurs in areas including Interstate 84, state-owned sections of Fairfield Hills, and Garner Correctional Institution.

  • Bullying: A Problem Behavior That Spans Generations

    In a population of more than 320,000,000 people, US Census statistics show that 40.3 million are people 65 years of age and older. Of those, according to the National Center for Assisted Living, more than 735,000 men and women live in assisted living situations. Approximately 1.3 million more are housed in nursing homes.Within the walls of residences, homes, and anywhere large numbers of senior citizens gather, a pecking order plays out. At its best, it allows leaders to lead. At its worst, it is bullying, no different than that seen in adolescent circles. Unless witnesses speak up or managers intervene, bullying is a behavior that can compound the sometimes already fragile mental and physical health of others. People live longer, and the number of senior citizens living in congregate housing has increased greatly since the 1980s, said Donna Fedus, MA, gerontologist, founder of eldercare resource Borrow My Glasses, and director of elder programs at The Consultation Center, Yale University School of Medicine.

  • P&Z Approves Apartments For Veterinary Students

    Following review, Planning and Zoning Commission members have approved a request from Fairfield Equine Associates to expand the terms of its existing special permit to allow the firm to create two more apartments for veterinary students at its 32 Barnabas Road facility in Hawleyville. Nancy Stevens, representing Fairfield Equine, presented the apartment proposal to P&Z members at a brief February 5 public hearing. Under the plan, Fairfield Equine would create two apartments in existing attic space for veterinary students, known as “externs,” who work at the hospital for short periods.

  • School Board Considers Staff Child Care Program

    Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, introduced the idea of a district staff child care program at the Board of Education’s meeting on Tuesday, February 17. Dr Erardi said the program presented to the school board comes “with the energy from [Monroe Learning Center Director Dawn Ryan], hoping that the Newtown board will look to support the opportunity.” Ms Ryan, Dr Erardi explained, offers a similar program for Monroe, and that program is based at Chalk Hill Middle School, where Sandy Hook Elementary School is also currently housed.

  • WSA Approves Sewer Connection For New Firehouse

    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.

  • Proposed 2015–16 School Budget Presented To BOF

    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.

  • Reconsidering A Lending Library For Parks

    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.