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The Way We Were

August 26, 1988

John Reed, superintendent of schools, has decided to delay opening of the Middle School until September 7. The school year will be extended for middle school students so they meet minimum requirements of the state. Dr Reed said the four-day delay would allow contractors to complete certain tasks required by the fire and safety codes and the custodial staff to move furniture and properly clean the school.

 

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A steeple finally found its place atop the newly built Newtown Congregational Church this week, but town agencies have not been able to cap the controversy over whether the town should own the former church. The town’s vulnerability to lawsuits has prompted the Planning and Zoning Commission to deny support to the Board of Selectmen for town ownership. Selectmen had agreed the town should own the former church building, and that the Heritage Preservation Trust should maintain and operate it.

 

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William Stoeckert, executive director of the Department of Transportation’s State Traffic Commission, said this week that a recommendation for a no-right-on-red from Queen Street onto Church Hill Road will be submitted to the commission at its September meeting. He said that the DOT did a study of the Queen Street-Church Hill Road traffic this summer, and that a report on the study includes the recommendation for a no-right-on-red.

 

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Funspace Unlimited of Newtown recently added donations to the playground fund, raising the total to $12,779. The group’s goal is to raise $40,000 in money and materials to build a playground at Dickinson Park for Newtown children. The proposed playground, designed by architect Robert Leathers, will be a wooden structure featuring play stations on several levels. Because Mr Leathers enjoys hearing the suggestions of children, all Newtown youngsters are asked to draw or write on an 8½ by 11 sheet of paper things they would like to see included in the playground. These drawings should be returned by Friday, September 9, to a box in the office of their schools.

 

August 30, 1963

Superintendent of Schools James F. Hinckley announced that all public schools in Newtown will open on Wednesday, September 4, for a full day session, with the exception of kindergarten, which will operate on half-day sessions. Combined elementary and High school enrolment — 2,197 at midweek — was up 11 percent over October 31 of last year. There will be some changes in walking limits. All children, grades six and over, living on Queen Street, shall walk to school. Also those in grades six and up who live on Birch Rise Drive and Juniper Road shall walk to school.

 

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The Block Dance portion of the Festival on Saturday night will be held at the Shopping Center on Queen Street, starting at 8 o’clock and lasting until midnight. Playing for the city set of ballroom dancers will be Joe Grasso and his five-piece orchestra, while calling for the country set of square dancers will be Bob Paris. These two groups will alternate with each other throughout the evening.

 

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The Jaycee Wives of Newtown, sponsors of the Herald Tribune Fresh Air Fund in Newtown, wish to thank the families who extended invitations to needy children this summer. From all reports, both the children and the families enjoyed the two-week vacation.

 

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St John’s Episcopal Church is pleased to announce that the annual chicken barbeque was a great success. The men of the parish, working under the direction of Bob Sturges, prepared the chickens and cooked them over an outside barbeque pit. The results were very tasty and enjoyed by close to 300 people.

 

August 26, 1938

On Tuesday and Wednesday, August 30th and 31st, Wilton Lackaye will close his eighth successful season at the “Lackaye Auction Barn” in Sandy Hook with a big two-day sale. Mr Lackaye, who specializes in the selling of Americana, comes in contact with a large section for the buying public each season and reports that business is definitely looking up. For this reason, Mr Lackaye advises all homemakers and collectors to “buy now,” as he predicts a steady climb in prices.

 

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Newtown and surrounding communities were more than shocked as was the country at large, at the news of the death of Commander Frank Hawks of Redding, as the sad story spread rapidly last Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. Commander Hawks met death in his Gwinn Aircar near East Aurora, New York, when he was attempting to take-off from a polo field. The crash is believed to have occurred because of insufficient altitude of the aircar, causing the landing apparatus to become entangled in electric and telephone wires and the plane’s plunge to earth, where it caught fire and burned to a charred wreck. Those who were fortunate in knowing Commander Hawks, not only as one of America’s most noted aviators but as a man who entered whole-heartedly into the affairs of his community will long remember him. Until a year ago, when Commander Hawks passed his 40th birthday, speed flights were made by him that were more than spectacular and added much to the advancement of aviation. It was a strand circumstance that Commander Hawks, who had so many times been near death in narrow escapes during his speed flying years, should be killed scarcely a year after he had given up speed flying.

 

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Eighteen construction firms from this state, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island competed in bidding for the general construction contract to erect continued treatment buildings at Fairfield State Hospital in Newtown at an estimated cost of $1,800,000. The low bid was turned in my F.H. McGraw and Company, Inc, of Hartford, with an offer of $1,446,000.

 

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The Sandy Hook Fire Company met Tuesday evening in the Community Barn with “Bill” Douglas as acting captain. There was a lengthy discussion on a set of by-laws to be drawn up, and all members showed real old-fashioned fighting spirit. The members expect to receive their badges the latter part of this week. Chief Hanlon has called a special meeting, after the softball practice this Thursday evening. All members are requested to be present.

 

August 29, 1913

Hattertown: The selectmen have caused to be done a commendable piece of road improvement from Mrs Harriet Briscoe’s past the cemetery as far as the old still brook. The road has been widened, hills cut down and hollows filled, new sluices put in, etc. The improvement was needed and the people in this part of the town as well as the traveling public are glad the good work has been accomplished. Owing to the change in the road in front of Gilbert Brothers, they are to build a retaining wall in front of their home; also will build cement walls, etc.

 

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The barn of Joseph Durand in Head of Meadow district was burned to the ground about 4 o’clock, Monday afternoon. Neighbors quickly responded to the alarm of fire, but the barn was beyond saving. Mr and Mrs Roland Northrop, who were among the first to get to the place, got out the horses and pigs from the burning building. George Ferris, a Trinity college student, and John J. Northrop, took positions on the roof of the house and lieutenants on the ground passed water to them and the house and shed were saved from burning.

 

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The joint board of selectmen and school visitors met, Saturday, and voted to open the Walnut Tree Hill and Hanover schools, granting a one-term appropriation in order to see if there were sufficient pupils for a school. Miss Elizabeth Blake has been engaged for the Walnut Tree Hill and Mrs Edgar Northrop for Hanover.

 

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George F. Taylor, the well known merchant at Sandy Hook, had a narrow escape from a serious auto accident at Bridgeport, Tuesday. Mr Taylor’s car was on Main street and owing to a blockade ahead had properly come to a full stop. A man on a side street suddenly backed his car in a flying manner, without looking to see if the course was clear. His car came with a bump against the running board of Mr Taylor’s car. Mr Taylor was in no way to blame and the recklessness of the man who handled the other car was apparent to all who witnessed the incident.

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