HARTFORD (AP) - Teachers felt they were rushed into returning to the classroom following the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the president of the local teachers union said Friday. Tom Kuroski, president of the Newtown Federation of Teachers, told members of a state commission that some teachers, still struggling with their own emotions, felt ill-prepared to deal with their returning students. The shooting, which left 20 first graders and six educators dead, occurred on Dec. 14, 2012, a Friday. Classes resumed for Newtown students, except those attending Sandy Hook, on Dec. 18, the following Tuesday. Sandy Hook students returned to classes on Jan. 3, 2013. "If you look at what other school districts have done, that have endured similar tragedies, they've definitely given their teachers some time to get the training, the thorough training that they're going to need in order to do the best job they can when they return," said Kuroski, a science teacher. "A one-day workshop where our input wasn't even listened to was not something that we thought was moving us in the right direction."
Newtown’s front line patrol officers will be adding a new tool in the coming weeks that is proven to prevent the type of domestic violence tragedies that have been escalating in Connecticut in recent years. Governor Dannel P. Malloy also announced a new statewide program to improve policies and training to respond to domestic violence that may affect state employees. The Newtown Bee reported last week that the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) released the 2014 findings and recommendations of the Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee. It revealed that since 2000, 188 Connecticut residents — an average of 14 per year — have been killed as a result of intimate partner violence, including 11 individuals (seven women, four men) who were killed in 2012.
The picturesque but asbestos-ridden former staff homes that dot the northwestern end of the Fairfield Hills campus will apparently be around a while longer. A plan to remediate and demolish them, after being utilized for local company department exercises, has been halted because of rapidly escalating costs to demolish Danbury Hall on the opposite side of the campus. The ongoing saga of trying to raze the homes and dorm building took a new turn this week as the Board of Finance and Legislative Council approved adding $100,000 to a previously approved bonding authorization. First Selectman Pat Llodra said that the added funds will only be enough to ensure Danbury Hall demotion could be finished.
Late Tuesday morning, after an extensive daylong search, a frail elderly man who had been missing since Monday from his 162 Hattertown Road home was found unharmed, sleeping in a farm field off Head O’ Meadow Road. The search for Martin Lee Allen, 71, had been underway since police learned at 12:47 pm on Monday that he was missing. At about 11:15 am Tuesday, two highway crew members — Andrew White and Buddy Ingram — who were riding in the same truck entered eastbound Head O’ Meadow Road from Sugar Street when they spotted what they first thought was a boulder, but upon closer examination, turned out to be Mr Allen, who was asleep, police said.
First Selectman Pat Llodra is seeking residents to fill several opening on local appointed boards and commissions. In some cases the appointments are required to be affiliated with a specific political party, while in other cases unaffiliated voters are encouraged to consider serving. Inquiries should be made through Sue Marcinek, executive assistant, Office of the First Selectman, 3 Primrose Street, or call 203-270-4203.
Only 842 of Newtown’s 5,138 Republicans cast votes in Tuesday’s GOP primary — the majority supporting candidates who were unsuccessful in races that were expected to draw low numbers at polling places statewide. Locally, State Senator John McKinney received 520 votes to statewide victor Tom Foley’s 322. Mr Foley was ultimately victorious, however, taking the lead as polls closed. Locally, Sen McKinney’s running mate for lieutenant governor, David M Walker, generated 319 votes to beat Penny Bacchiochi, who received 257 votes, and Heather Somers who logged support from 257 Newtown Republicans. Statewide, the lieutenant governor’s race was headed to a recount until Ms Bacchiochi conceded the race to Ms Somers Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Walker came out third in statewide polling.
This week marked the formal launch of Newtown’s “Recovery and Resiliency Team,” which is poised to work in partnership with local recovery providers, community organizations, and town employees in response to continued needs in our community post-12/14. The six-member team is led by community outreach liaison Melissa Glaser, LPC, who has a background in community behavioral health and clinical treatment. The other team members consist of project manager Margot Robins; clinical recovery leader Deb Del Vecchio-Scully, LPC; and three case managers — Catherine Gaida, LCSW; Eileen Rondeau, RN; and Suzy DeYoung, MsEd. The team office is located in the former engineer’s house and security building at the main gate of Fairfield Hills, 28 Trades Lane.
A first of its kind survey to assess the needs and interests of Newtown seniors is getting a great reception according to Commission on Aging member LeReine Frampton.
“The surveys just started going out by mail, and we already have 122 back in the first five days,” Ms Frampton said.
Newtown residents age 60 or older are being asked to participate in the survey, which started going out earlier in August to all registered voters in this population. The mailing also included a return envelope, which likely improved the speed and rate of responses.
Participants have been asked to send back the survey by August 31.