• Open Burning Season Starts November 1

    The local open burning season is scheduled to begin on Sunday, November 1. Open burning permits, which are required for the activity, will start being issued on Monday, October 26, at the fire marshal’s office at Newtown Municipal Center.

  • Preparedness Involves Storms, Water, Virus-Related Concerns

    While Newtown and the region dodged a recent threat as Hurricane Joaquin banked away instead of toward the East Coast a few weeks ago, local emergency management officials are remaining vigilant about possible future storms and other concerns that could threaten public health. With that in mind, Deputy Emergency Management and Health District Director Donna Culbert took the opportunity to remind residents that other serious storms may still plague the region as they did a few years ago around Halloween, touting the need to be prepared. She also warned of the ongoing threat of mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV), which is infecting residents of local communities, including a few in proximity to Newtown. And she is reminding Newtown residents of the need to conserve water, since the state has been subject to lower than average rainfall in recent months.

  • Review Continues For Hawleyville Mixed-Use Plan

    Two town land use agencies last week continued their ongoing detailed review of a major mixed-use complex proposed for Hawleyville, which would include 180 rental apartments in six multistory buildings, a diner, and a church. Planning and Zoning Commission members reviewed the zoning aspects of the construction proposals at two public hearings on October 15. Inland Wetlands Commission members reviewed the water-related environmental protection aspects of the projects at two public hearings on October 14.

  • New Speed Tables Installed On Queen Street

    Various road work on Queen Street, which started in July, is nearing completion with the construction of five “speed tables” intended to hold down motorists’ travel speeds on the busy north-south road with a 25-mph speed limit that links Church Hill Road to Mile Hill Road. Fred Hurley, town public works director, said the new set of speed tables is intended to have consistent geometry. The previous set of five speed tables was built in two phases and thus had differing contours.

  • New Zoning Application Submitted For Tractor Supply Store Proposal

    An application for a proposal to convert a South Main Street (State Route 25) site from its current R-1 zoning designation to a South Main Village Design District zoning designation, with the goal of constructing a 19,097-square-foot store and adjacent outdoor sales area there, has been withdrawn. The initial version of the project drew stiff opposition from some nearby property owners. A revised zoning application for the project has been submitted to the Planning & Zoning Commission. NERP Holdings and Acquisitions Company, LLC, is seeking to create South Main Village Design District overlay zoning for the site at 116 South Main Street.

  • Sandy Hook Man Dies Following Waterbury Motorcycle Accident

    A Sandy Hook man died on October 17 as a result of injuries he received in a motorcycle accident on October 15 in Waterbury. Dustin Gregory Hanson, 23, a 2010 graduate of Newtown High School, died at Waterbury Hospital. Mr Hanson will be honored with a memorial service at Newtown United Methodist Church in Sandy Hook on Saturday, October 24. A US Navy veteran, he will receive full military honors.

  • Convicted Murderer Heath Dies In Jail

    Convicted murderer and former Newtown resident John Heath has died. In October 2013, a Danbury Superior Court jury convicted Mr Heath, who was 72 at the time of his death, of murdering his 32-year-old wife Elizabeth in April 1984 at their 89 Poverty Hollow Road home and then hiding her wrapped corpse in a dry well beneath a barn floor there, where it lay undiscovered until April 2010. Newtown police arrested Mr Heath in April 2012. Mr Heath was serving a 50-year prison sentence at the state’s Osborne Correctional Institution in Somers.

  • FISH Participants Must Call By 4 PM

    FISH of Newtown, Inc, is requesting that those in need of a ride call 800-794-0034, no later than 4 pm the day before the ride is needed. FISH offers free transportation to Newtown residents, regardless of age, who are unable to drive and have no other means of getting to hospital, doctor, and other medical appointments. Volunteers are available Mondays through Thursday.

  • Proposed Changes To Town Alarm Ordinance Detailed Ahead Of Public Hearing

    The day before Legislative Council Ordinance Committee Chairman Ryan Knapp was set to be interviewed by The Newtown Bee to help review and explain the many of revisions and additions to the town’s Alarm Ordinance, he was asked to provide a similar explanation on a local social network site. The council has set a public hearing on the ordinance before a special meeting on the evening of October 28 in the Newtown Municipal Center council chambers. Mr Knapp confirmed the information he provided on Facebook and offered an abbreviated explanation about why the ordinance came up for review. “Back in February the Police Commission asked the [council] to revisit our existing alarm ordinance as it was not working,” the ordinance chairman said, adding that local officers are responding to “upwards of 1,400 alarm calls a year,” while only two or three of those are legitimate versus false alarms.

  • State’s Minimum Budget Requirement Discussed At School Board Meeting

    State Representative Mitch Bolinsky spoke with the Board of Education at its meeting on Tuesday, October 20, about the state’s Substitute House Bill 7019, An Act Concerning The Minimum Budget Requirement. Rep Bolinsky also spoke with the Legislative Council during its meeting on October 7, and explained updates to the existing legislation. At that meeting he noted the Minimum Budget Requirement bill was introduced by House Speaker Brendan Sharkey and was co-sponsored by roughly 57 other representatives, including himself. He added the bill was signed into law by Governor Dannel P. Malloy as Public Act 15-99, after it passed the house and senate.