Town police have enlisted the aid of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in their investigation into a threat made against Newtown High School on Tuesday, November 11. Although it was Veterans Day, town schools were in session and a holiday commemoration program was underway in the school auditorium when it was learned that the threat had been made. The threat was received on the high school’s Facebook page. The threat reportedly was made from out of state and made reference to a gun and to shooting. NHS School Resource Officer Liam Seabrook reported the threat to police headquarters at 12:59 pm. Seven town police were involved in the investigation at the school and adjacent areas. In a statement on the incident, Police Chief Michael Kehoe said, in part, that the lock-in was put in place to ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors at the school.
On November 6, police learned of a trespassing incident that had occurred on Wednesday, October 29, at the town Parks & Recreation department building located at 2 Trades Lane. Police said that between 9 and 9:10 am on October 29, a heavy-set white man with a white beard, who was wearing blue jeans and a grey sweatshirt bearing a logo, walked through an open door and entered the building. Police believe that the man then defecated on the floor in the basement and left the area.
In honor of Veterans Day, The Men’s Breakfast Club of Newtown Senior Center hosted former Newtown First Selectman and World War II veteran Joseph Borst as its guest speaker on Thursday, November 6. Mr Borst shared his reminisces on his time in the service with club members, including several who are also veterans. Arthur Zierzow served with the Marines in Vietnam. Bud Ullmann was stationed on Governors Island in New York, a sergeant in the Army. John Obyrne and Jack Robb served in the US Army, as well. Mr Robb is a veteran of the Korean conflict. Dominick Barillari, Sr, is a World War II veteran, and served in England and Africa.
Outside VFW Post 308 on Tinkerfield Road in Newtown lies a stone laid to remember “Comrades in the silent land beyond,” reads part of its inscription. Honoring fallen veterans, “Wherever your mortal remains may rest,” as the stone’s inscription continues, were VFW members and supporters Tuesday morning. “There the ground is hallowed,” finishes the message. Placing a wreath and carnations at its base were VFW officers, who turned away with a salute. The annual service, which began, per tradition, at 11 am on Veterans Day, celebrated Newtown’s veterans past and present.
Early Tuesday afternoon, Newtown High School was placed on “lock-in” status due to an unspecified threat which was made on Internet-based social media directly against the high school, School Superintendent Joseph Erardi, Jr, said in a statement.At about 1:10 pm, the school was placed in a “lock-in closed teaching and learning environment,” he said. During such situations, visitors are not allowed on school grounds and all people in the school remain inside the building. During the NHS Veterans Day assembly, when students, faculty, administrators, and visiting veterans filled the school auditorium, high school staffers were already dealing with the response to the threat against the school. The lock-in status was lifted at the school at 1:55 pm, he said.
The ever-popular Newtown Bee calendar for 2015 is now available at The Bee’s offices at 5 Church Hill Road. Many people like The Bee calendars for their large print and simple design. The calendars are free, but the supply is limited.
Town police are warning local residents about a series of ongoing scams conducted by criminals generally via telephone calls and sometimes through interactions on the Internet. Police Sergeant Steven Santucci said that one of these scams which has been ongoing problem nationwide involves an aggressive telephone caller who falsely tells the person receiving the call that he is a US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent who requires the immediate payment of an outstanding tax debt. Police are also warning the public about another criminals who falsely claim to work for the Connecticut Light & Power Company, Yankee Gas, or some other utility company, and who have telephoned local businesses, telling them that their service will be shut off due to unpaid bills.
A once-promising idea to utilize a state company to thoroughly assess areas where town facilities may be wasting energy and then repair or renovate to enhance efficiency is being deactivated. Public Works Director Fred Hurley told the Public Building and Site Commission at its last meeting October 28, that the town should accept the assessments performed to date by the vendor Ameresco. At the same time, he is advising that the town pay Ameresco’s “walk-away” fee and continue with implementing many of the suggested energy improvements in-house. “At this point, staying with the Ameresco program provides no further advantage to the town,” said PBSC Chairman Robert Mitchell. “By doing this work ourselves, or with individual contractors, we have much better control over expenses, especially soft costs.”
Robert Anthony’s Hair Salon, 49 Church Hill Road, is offering free haircuts to any veteran who visits the salon on Tuesday, November 11. The salon is offering the service in honor of Veterans Day. “My husband, Robert Anthony Sr, is a Navy veteran,” said Diane Skuba. Mr Anthony is disabled, she said. “We spent a lot of time at the West Haven VA Hospital, unfortunately, and we want to pass on what we can.”