Thousands of people will line the streets in the center of Newtown come Monday, September 7, eagerly awaiting the first notes of the Newtown High School Marching Band that mark the start of the annual Labor Day Parade. The stream of floats, bands, dancers, musicians, clubs, scouts, fire trucks, and tractors that follow the band flows down Main Street and onto Glover Avenue to the grandstand on Queen Street with seemingly little effort. But that feat of organization for Newtown’s end-of-summer extravaganza has been months in the making. Labor Day Parade Committee members have been generating ideas for the upcoming parade since January, with many weeks more of planning to go before residents will reap the harvest of their work.
Following their criminal investigation into a reported threat of violence against Newtown High School. police have concluded that that no criminal activity occurred and thus will make no arrests, Police Chief Michael Kehoe said. Chief Kehoe said April 29 that police conducted interviews with six people in determining that no criminal activity happened in connection with the reported threat.
The First Annual Newtown Wingathlon, to benefit Dylan’s Wings of Change, will take place on the morning of Saturday, May 2. Travelers can expect delays and some road closures between the hours of 8 am and noon, in and around Fairfield Hills and southern Newtown, and are asked to be aware of and watch out for runners and bicyclists.
The antiquated Route 34 bridge positioned atop Stevenson Dam on the Housatonic River, which links Monroe to Oxford, will be closed to traffic for a 90-hour period to allow for maintenance work on the hydroelectric dam, which has been in service for nearly a century. The bridge atop the dam will be closed to traffic starting at 6 am on Saturday, May 2. It is scheduled to reopen to traffic at 12:01 am on Wednesday, May 6. Traffic will be detoured using Route 111, Route 110, and Bridge Street in Shelton.
Along with its charge of streamlining Newtown’s charter and making it more user-friendly for residents and taxpayers, the current Charter Revision Commission is deliberating a matter outside its charge that some members believe strays from editing and housekeeping and into decidedly political waters. During an April 21 meeting at Town Hall South, Chairman Jeff Capeci told The Newtown Bee that commissioners discussed and took a consensus vote on whether the constitutional document should mandate a political party makeup of 4-3 on the seven-member board of education, or whether the charter should maintain a 5-2 political majority, which is consistent with state statute.
The Boards of Education and Finance both recently began discussions about seating an ad-hoc committee that would pick up on work initiated in 2012, examining how the town and school district could consolidate certain services to achieve greater taxpayer savings and efficiencies. Finance Board Chairman John Kortze told The Newtown Bee that his panel approved a resolution to establish such a committee in cooperation with the Legislative Council, which would also involve the Board of Selectmen. “We need to figure out what can be done,” Mr Kortze said. “We hope this new committee can identify the scope and scale of what we’re looking at.” Mr Kortze said the panel would be able to utilize a 2012 report developed by Blum Shapiro, and would help “position all the leading town boards and commissions out in front of the topic.” First Selectman Pat Llodra told The Bee that after four years, she believes the Blum Shapiro study is still viable because it has already identified numerous areas where the town and district could consolidate services to affect greater cost savings and efficiencies.
Newtown’s Municipal Buildings Strategic Plan Advisory Committee met April 27 at the C.H. Booth Library so each panel member could hear from a consultant who will be reviewing and developing recommendations on three public facilities under priority focus by the group. The volunteers were introduced to Ken Best, representing Drummey Rosane Anderson, Inc (DRA), a South Windsor firm. During that meeting, Mr Best told members that he had met with town Public Works Director Fred Hurley, and had already looked through the current Hook & Ladder headquarters, Town Hall South and the multipurpose building that currently houses Newtown Senior Center and The Children’s Adventure Center preschool. During those preliminary visits, Mr Best told the panel that he already noted a “crazy amount of things,” amounting to various building concerns and code compliance issues
The school district announced on Thursday, April 30, the honorees who have been chosen for the district’s 2014-15 Profiles in Professionalism award. This is the first year the award will honor local educators, school personnel, and parents. Nominations for the award were submitted to the district’s central office. The individuals will be honored during the Board of Education’s meeting on Tuesday, May 5, which is set to start at 6:30 pm at Reed Intermediate School’s library.