After deliberation, the Legislative Council, during its meeting on Wednesday, October 7, approved a $17,540 special appropriation from the Sandy Hook Special Revenue Fund for the purchase of a box truck to be used by the Newtown High School Marching Band. The truck will be used to transport equipment for the group. First Selectman Pat Llodra explained she was contacted months ago to see if the NHS Marching Band & Guard Parent Board purchased a vehicle whether the town could insure it and perform maintenance, with the Parent Board covering maintenance costs. The undesignated account was created with donations to the town, following the events of 12/14, that did not specify a certain cause, like technology or security. The special appropriation approved this week will use the remaining funds in that account.
Newtown Congregational Church is extending an invitation to all residents to join them for a special program on Tuesday, October 20. Warren Hardy, Jr, and September Chatfield will be the guest speakers for “Actions Speaker Louder Than Words: Violence Can Be Changed Into Nice Love.” The evening will look at gun violence and how words can be turned into action.
A former Newtown emergency services dispatcher is expected to plead guilty to a federal drug charge at a change-of-plea hearing scheduled for US District Court on October 19. The legal action stems from the man’s participation in a drug trafficking ring, which was allegedly headed by a former Newtown police sergeant. Thomas Carson, spokesman for US Attorney Deirdre Daly, said October 9 that former dispatcher Jason Chickos, 46, of Bridgeport is expected to change his plea in court before Judge Donna Martinez.
All Registrars of Voters offices in Connecticut will hold a statewide voter registration session on Saturday, October 17, from 10 am to 2 pm. Newtown’s office is within Newtown Municipal Center, at 3 Primrose Street.
Attorney General George Jepsen is encouraging all Connecticut residents affected by the recent T-Mobile and Experian data breach to take advantage of the free credit monitoring services being offered. “This breach is especially concerning because sensitive information, including Social Security numbers were compromised, and my office has launched an investigation into this breach,” said Attorney General Jepsen, who sent letters on October 7 to both companies seeking information as part of his investigation. In the wake of the breach, the companies are providing two years of free credit monitoring and identity resolution services to affected consumers.
The planned start of construction to create a signalized four-way intersection of Church Hill Road, Commerce Road, and Edmond Road has been delayed, with the state Department of Transportation now expected to start in April 2017, one year later than was initially planned. That section of Church Hill Road has the highest local motor vehicle accident rate, with many rear-end collisions and numerous accidents caused by vehicular-turning conflicts. DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick said several factors led to the delayed construction start.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, shared a brief update with the Board of Education during its meeting on Tuesday, October 6, about this week’s visit to Newtown High School by representatives for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
“I remain very positive that the end result will be a celebration within that building,” said Dr Erardi, after explaining the NEASC representatives had arrived on Sunday, October 4.
Following a visit during the 2005-06 school year, NEASC placed NHS on warning status, mostly due to overcrowding. By March 2011, then-principal Charles Dumais received a letter announcing the warning status had been removed, thanks in large part to the completed high school expansion.
The Legislative Council heard an update from State Representative Mitch Bolinsky during its meeting on Wednesday, October 7, regarding the state’s Substitute House Bill 7019, An Act Concerning The Minimum Budget Requirement. As Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob reminded her board before the discussion began, Rep Bolinsky was there to discuss only changes to the law, and the council would not discuss how those changes would be applied to Newtown. “It’s a fact-finding mission to help everybody here understand … as is our responsibility, what the law says,” said Ms Jacob.
Following lengthy discussion at an October 6 session, Police Commission members, in their role as the local traffic authority, made several traffic recommendations concerning a proposed mixed-use development in Hawleyville, which would include a 180-unit rental apartment complex in six multistory buildings, a diner, and a church. The 42-acre development site lies west of Hawleyville Road and south of the Exit 9 interchange of Interstate 84. Police Commission members are recommending to the Planning and Zoning Commission that: the three-way intersection of Covered Bridge Road and Hawleyville Road have a traffic signal installed to better control traffic flow to and from the Covered Bridge Road site; that the section of Hawleyville Road lying between Exit 9 and Mt Pleasant Road be expanded from its current two lanes to four lanes; and that the mixed-use complex have an emergency accessway extending onto the site.
A 50-meter pool is what swim supporters and parents suggested would be ideal as a new community center component, Newtown Community Center Commission members heard Tuesday night during the commission’s latest meeting. Several of the roughly ten meeting attendees had recently at open forums, where commissioners have encouraged residents to discuss community center concepts including a pool/aquatic center, ice rink, senior services, cultural arts activities, and a community place to gather. Two public forums have already taken place, and two more are still on the calendar.