• Town's Top Officials Gather To Pitch For 2015-16 Budget Support

    Five of Newtown’s top elected officials invited The Newtown Bee to the home of Board of Finance Chairman John Kortze April 15 to film a series of videos addressing key questions ahead of the 2015-16 budget referendum on April 28. Mr Kortze was joined by Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob, Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, First Selectman Pat Llodra, and Board of Education Chairman Keith Alexander. The questions officials responded to were: *Why should voters support this budget? *Explain a little bit more about the overall process and level of cooperation. *What particular items in the budget would you like voters to understand are being funded? *What reductions were made from the originally proposed budgets? *How are taxes going down if we are increasing our spending?

  • Tim McGraw Defends Decision To Headline Sandy Hook Concert

    Tim McGraw is defending his decision to headline a Connecticut concert to benefit a Sandy Hook group, responding to critics who call it a gun control fundraiser. A concert at the XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, on July 17 featuring McGraw will benefit Sandy Hook Promise. The nonprofit group in Newtown was organized by families whose children and siblings were among the 20 children and six educators fatally shot at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. Its stated objective is to prevent gun violence and focus on mental health issues.

  • WSA Reviews Sewer Request For Sandy Hook Center Housing Plan

    Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) members are reviewing technical information and have requested more data from a local developer/builder who is seeking sewer service for a 74-unit housing complex proposed for the west side of Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook Center. On April 9, WSA members opened a public hearing on applicant Michael Burton’s request for 9,250 gallons of daily sewage treatment capacity for The River Walk at Sandy Hook Village, which is proposed for an 11.8-acre site at 10 through 22 Washington Avenue. At the start of the session, WSA member Alan Shepard recused himself, opting against serving as a WSA member during the agency’s consideration of the sewering application.

  • Commissioner Pleased SHAC Recommendations Are Getting Federal Attention

    Newtown Middle School educator Ron Chivinski told The Newtown Bee this week that he was happy to see how quickly some recommendations tendered in his role serving on Governor Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission (SHAC) got traction at the federal level.On April 13, US Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced The Jesse Lewis Empowering Educators Act to provide teachers powerful tools and training to support students’ social and emotional learning. The bill is named in honor of Jesse Lewis, who at 6 years old was among the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Mr Chivinski observed that one of, if not the most important, aspect of his work involves identifying and supporting children with emotional difficulties, while teaching them how to respond to those stresses in an ultimately healthy way.

  • Fire Reports, April 9-15, 2015

  • Connecticut Looking For New Ways To Fund State Parks

    Connecticut has 140 state parks and forests, including 2,000 acres in the Upper and Lower Paugussett Forests in Newtown. Statewide, the 255,000 acres of park land overseen by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is poised to join the trend of cobbling together state park funding from an array of sources, including nongovernmental ones. When Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s budget arrived last month with a $2 million cut in the annual state parks budget, reactions were swift.

  • Flags To Be Lowered In Honor Of National Day Of Remembrance For Abraham Lincoln

    Governor Dannel P. Malloy has announced that in accordance to a proclamation from President Barack Obama, US and state flags should fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, April 15, in recognition of the national Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln. Hook & Ladder firefighters are scheduled to lower the Main Street flag at 9 am Wednesday.

  • Concierge Associates Brings Personal Touch To Property Management, Relocation

    Cindy Dessel and Janis Nezvesky-Schertzer love helping people and believe customer satisfaction should be the number one goal of any business. With the opening of Concierge Associates, LLC, in October 2014, the Sandy Hook residents are combining their more than 30 years of experience in corporate relocation, customer service, and people skills to turn the overwhelmed feelings brought on by life events into manageable and pleasant experiences. Concierge Associates specializes in global and domestic relocation and property management. “We give people the tools they need to move to a new location,” Ms Nezvesky-Schertzer said. Having met through business connections, Ms Dessel and Ms Nezvesky-Schertzer had lunch one day, sharing their visions for filling a niche they realized was unmet by the usual corporate relocation services.

  • Police, Fire Officials Probing Suspicious House Fire

    Police and fire officials are investigating an intentionally set fire which was discovered on the night of Monday, April 13, at an unoccupied one-family house under renovation at 52 Taunton Lake Road, overlooking Taunton Lake. There were no injuries to firefighters in the incident which caused “moderate” damage to the white Cape-style house, which has a finished second-story. The house is owned by Anna Lisek Boland of Hawleyville, according to Fire Marshal Bill Halstead. Hook & Ladder First Assistant Fire Chief Jason Rivera, who was incident commander, said that after forcibly entering the house through the front door, firefighters found several separate fires burning inside the building, one of which had burned through the floor of the first-story, opening a two-square-foot hole in the basement ceiling. The fires within the house had been burning for some period of time, he said. Mr Halstead said that he called in town police and the state fire marshal’s office for aid in investigating the suspicious fire.

  • Police Plan Enforcement Crackdown On Distracted Driving

    Town police plan an enforcement crackdown on distracted driving, focusing on motorists who use handheld cellphones to talk and also those who text while driving. Police Sergeant Aaron Bahamonde, who heads the police department’s traffic enforcement unit, said last week that the project will run from April 13-27. Police plan to use traditional measures and innovative tactics to enforce the distracted driving laws while participating in the national enforcement project known as U Drive, U Text, U Pay, he said.