HARTFORD—Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by State Department of Education (SDE) Commissioner Stefan Pryor and Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith, today announced the awardees of a new Arts in Education grant program designed to strengthen arts instruction by facilitating partnerships between schools and artists and arts organizations.
Governor Malloy announced the grant program, making a total of $250,000 available with individual awards up to a maximum of $50,000, in August.
Newtown was one of eight communities that will receive a grant through the program.
About 50 people, including residents and town officials, gathered on December 11 at a second forum held to discuss the advisability of allowing housing by special zoning permit at the Fairfield Hills campus. Based on comments made by residents at the session, the public still appears skeptical and unconvinced that permitting rental apartments at Fairfield Hills is a good idea. Residents voiced similar sentiments at a December 6 forum.
The estates of nine of 26 people who were killed and one teacher who was injured in the December 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School are the plaintiffs in a negligence and wrongful death lawsuit lodged against the manufacturer, the distributor, and the seller of the semiautomatic Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which a 20-year-old gunman used in the murders. Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, PC, of Bridgeport filed the lawsuit December 15 in Bridgeport Superior Court. The court return date for the defendants is February 3. Among those named as defendants are Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC, of North Carolina, which is the manufacturer; Camfour, Inc, of Massachusetts, which is the distributor; and Riverview Sales, Inc, of East Windsor, which is the gun shop where the weapon was purchased; and gun seller David Laguercia.
During a report from Newtown International Center for Education (NICE) Executive Council members, the Board of Education learned of a new strategic plan for the program at its meeting on December 16. NICE Executive Council members Tim DeJulio, Liz Ward-Toller, and Jen Davidson explained goals and objectives for the program along with presenting the strategic plan. “Some of our objectives are to really maintain,” said Mrs Ward-Toller. “… as you can see there are three of us. In the past there have been 20-something members [that] would come to Board of Education meetings.” NICE oversees three sister-school relationships, according to the presentation, with China, France, and Spain. Those relationships, Mrs Ward-Toller said, include having groups of students and chaperones visit each country from Newtown and having visitors come to Newtown from those countries. NICE also has a Japan program, and Mrs Ward-Toller said it could be another sister-school relationship for Newtown.
The chairman of Newtown's Board of Fire Commissioners conducted a brief presentation to the Legislative Council December 3 after representatives posed questions about certain fire department requests in the new Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP is a five-year projection of major projects planned for the community, most of which are underwritten by bonding. Before addressing specific questions, Fire Commission Chairman Rob Manna explained that his panel's responsibilities include ensuring Newtown's five independent volunteer fire companies are trained, equipped and outfitted to national standards related to firefighting.
Anybody who sees and wants to display their own WE ARE NEWTOWN bumper sticker, or to acquire and distribute them as stocking stuffers can visit Sam Mihailoff, the organizer of a campaign to purchase and install 26 engraved memorial benches created in memory of those killed on 12/14. He will be stationed at the Exit 11 commuter lot on December 20, and at Bagel Delight on Christmas morning. The resident and former educator is also trying to find a location for a set of 26 granite benches that have been created to honor the women and children who died two years ago.
BRIDGEPORT — The estates of nine of 26 people who were killed and one teacher who was injured in the December 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School are the plaintiffs in a negligence and wrongful death lawsuit lodged against the manufacturer, the distributor, and the seller of the semiautomatic Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which a 20-year-old gunman used in the murders.Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, PC, of Bridgeport filed the lawsuit December 15 in Bridgeport Superior Court.
A Sandy Hook construction firm and a Farmington architect group – both possessing expertise on senior facilities and swimming pool developments – were unanimously selected by the Board of Selectmen Monday evening to design and complete the first phase of pre-construction services on Newtown’s new community center complex. Following an executive session on the matter, Selectman James Gaston moved the town hire Caldwell and Walsh of Sandy Hook to oversee Phase 1 construction management, and Farmington’s Quisenberry, Arcari Architects, LLC for design services. First Selectman Pat Llodra and Selectman Will Rodgers both supported the motion following a brief discussion.
As a small choir of children sang to piano accompaniment, more than 150 visitors gathered in the warm and brightly lit Newtown Meeting House Sunday evening for an hour-long interfaith service recognizing the second anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The event marked the only public ceremony occurring across the community on December 14, although most local houses of worship held activities recognizing the anniversary earlier in the day.
Representatives of The Newtown Alumni Fund visited the Newtown Parks & Recreation office on Friday, December 5, where they delivered a $1,000 donation for the department’s Campership Fund. The donation will help pay camp fees for children next summer.