Governor Dannel P. Malloy said August 26 he has accepted the resignation state Department of Correction (DOC) Commissioner James E. Dzurenda, 48, effective August 29. After more than 27 years of state service, Mr Dzurenda accepted an offer from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to assume the post of First Deputy Commissioner for that city’s DOC. Mr Dzurenda formerly served as the warden at Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, serving in that role from April 2005 to mid-2009. Gov Malloy has named Deputy DOC Commissioner Scott Semple, who served as the warden at Garner CI from mid 2009 until last November, to serve as DOC acting commissioner.
As teachers headed back to school in Newtown this year they are better equipped to respond to specific students in need after participating in the first phase of Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training sponsored by the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc. Youth Mental Health First Aid is an internationally recognized, evidenced-based program that has been shown to save lives, expand knowledge of mental health and treatments, increase services provided, and reduce stigma associated with mental health challenges. Individuals trained in the model report greater confidence in helping others, greater likelihood of advising people to seek professional help, and decreased stigmatizing attitudes.
The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) is expected to postpone its public hearing on a proposed 23-lot cluster-style residential subdivision in Dodgingtown, which initially had been scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, August 27.
Volunteers are still welcome to work with Newtown Forest Association members in planning the private land trust’s 90th anniversary celebration. Join the NFA at Tuesday night’s planning meeting on September 2 at 7 pm at the NFA Office, at Holcombe Hill Wildlife Preserv...
The Board of Selectmen has appointed seven residents to what is expected to be a slow and thoughtful analysis of all town public facilities with a focus on Town Hall South, the current Newtown Hook & Ladder headquarters, and the multipurpose building that houses the local senior center and a preschool. The appointees include former Selectman William Brimmer, Fairfield Hills Authority member Walt Motyka, Borough of Newtown Senior Burgess Jay Maher, who has been closely engaged in sidewalk projects, Legislative Councilman Paul Lundquist, Board of Finance member James Filan, Jr, Scott Cicciari, who is leading a fundraising effort to develop a new police station, and Michael Marinaccio, who has participated in the Fairfield Hills Master Plan advisory process.
Organizers of the 2nd Annual Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest made a $25,000 donation, August 21, to the Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) General and Community Funds. The donation will be split equally between these funds. Approximately 3,000 New York and Connecticut runners, volunteers, and spectators participate in the Mudfest each spring. The Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest split the 2014 proceeds between Sandy Hook Promise and upstate New York’s Compeer Program’s Center for Family Life and Recovery. The Mudfest is named in honor of one of the children killed on 12/14.
Parents and school community members should have received a letter from Director of Dining Services Dan Shields and Resident Dietitian Jill Patterson, RD, within the past two weeks from Chartwells School Dining Services to introduce its new Simply Good program ahead of the 2014-15 school school year. Different versions of the letter were sent out to describe the program for the elementary schools, for Reed Intermediate School, for Newtown Middle School, and for Newtown High School.
Standing before the veterans’ mural at the Newtown Municipal Center last Tuesday was Alison Forger, who told a brief story about veteran Eugene Struzik, “rhymes with music,” she said. The Monroe resident recently won the essay contest, earning the Newtown VFW Post 308 scholarship award. Alison and the others were gathered at the municipal center for the formal presentation of the scholarship award and recognition.
Charter Communications customers in Newtown will receive more than 200 high definition (HD) channels, better picture quality, and significantly faster Internet speeds as Charter completes its move to a 100 percent all-digital network throughout 2014. The all-digital upgrade for customers in the Fairfield County area is scheduled for September 9. As part of this upgrade process, customers must take action by acquiring Charter-issued digital set-top boxes for each of their televisions. More than 90 percent of Charter customers in the Fairfield County area have adopted digital devices for at least one television in their home.
Newtown visitor Todd Ruggere of Massachusetts made a stop at My Place Restaurant on August 15 during his fundraising Pour Tour of Connecticut last week. Stopping in each town in the state and donating a $1 from beer pints sold at particular establishments, he managed, with Newtown's help, to raise more than $50,000 to help fight pediatric cancer.