Police said Monday, April 20, they are continuing their criminal investigation into a reported threat of violence against Newtown High School, interviewing multiple suspects and multiple witnesses in seeking to learn more. The particular nature of that threat was unclear.
Police Sergeant Aaron Bahamonde said, “We are actively pursuing all leads, and several officers are part of this investigation.”
Police will investigate the case to its conclusion in seeking to keep students safe now and in the future, he said.
Police have taken steps to prevent any incident from occurring at the school and have increased their visibility there as a deterrent, he said.
“We feel we’ve eliminated any potential immediate threat…We feel confident that all the schools are safe,” he added.
Sgt Bahamonde declined to describe the nature of the threat of violence.
The sergeant said that police learned of the threat on the morning of Friday, April 17. Local schools were not in session from April 13 through 17, as that week was a spring vacation.
The agenda for an unusual Saturday special meeting of the town’s Commission on Aging (COA) appeared to lack necessary details to conform to state Freedom of Information laws, and discussions during the meeting may have led at least one of the commissioners to threaten to resign. Commission Chair Curt Symes said he is researching whether an amended agenda could be filed after the fact, while acknowledging that much of the subject matter discussed in the April 11 closed session would be coming up in the next public meeting of the panel.
John Spremullo with LRM Construction stepped down from a dump truck cab Tuesday, April 14, and watched as Ryan Clark worked a backhoe to create a 10-foot-wide path along Mile Hill South at the corner of Keating Farms Road. Tuesday morning was the second day of trail extension work at Fairfield Hills. The work will provide a paved, ADA-accessible surface extending the campus trails by 4,200 feet, or slightly less than one mile. The new trails section will run from an existing trailhead near Cochran House and Glander Field off of Mile Hill South and head along the road through a meadow toward Wasserman Way. It will then turn and head past the new Newtown Volunteer Ambulance headquarters across from Reed Intermediate School, and continue toward the intersection of D.G. Beers Boulevard and Keating Farms Avenue, just beyond the campus’s main entrance.
The town’s consulting engineer has updated Water & Sewer Authority members on the ongoing planning for the Hawleyville sanitary sewer system extension, which is intended to foster economic development in the area near the Exit 9 interchange of Interstate 84. Engineer Kurt Mailman of Fuss & O’Neill, Inc, on April 9 briefed WSA members on the planning, explaining the status of various aspects of the project. Mr Mailman said that because the low-pressure sewer system extension involves the use of many individual “grinder pumps” to propel sewage through narrow-diameter lines, the design variables for the sewering project are somewhat more complex than that of a conventional gravity-powered sewer system. Mr Mailman said the Hawleyville project has received local approvals from the Inland Wetlands Commission and the Planning and Zoning Commission. The project still requires the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s approval for a sewer extension, he said. Also, the engineers are coordinating planning with the state Department of Transportation concerning the specific locations where sewer lines will be installed, he said.
Five of Newtown’s top elected officials invited The Newtown Bee to the home of Board of Finance Chairman John Kortze April 15 to film a series of videos addressing key questions ahead of the 2015-16 budget referendum on April 28. Mr Kortze was joined by Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob, Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, First Selectman Pat Llodra, and Board of Education Chairman Keith Alexander. The questions officials responded to were:
*Why should voters support this budget?
*Explain a little bit more about the overall process and level of cooperation.
*What particular items in the budget would you like voters to understand are being funded?
*What reductions were made from the originally proposed budgets?
*How are taxes going down if we are increasing our spending?
Tim McGraw is defending his decision to headline a Connecticut concert to benefit a Sandy Hook group, responding to critics who call it a gun control fundraiser. A concert at the XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, on July 17 featuring McGraw will benefit Sandy Hook Promise. The nonprofit group in Newtown was organized by families whose children and siblings were among the 20 children and six educators fatally shot at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. Its stated objective is to prevent gun violence and focus on mental health issues.
Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) members are reviewing technical information and have requested more data from a local developer/builder who is seeking sewer service for a 74-unit housing complex proposed for the west side of Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook Center. On April 9, WSA members opened a public hearing on applicant Michael Burton’s request for 9,250 gallons of daily sewage treatment capacity for The River Walk at Sandy Hook Village, which is proposed for an 11.8-acre site at 10 through 22 Washington Avenue. At the start of the session, WSA member Alan Shepard recused himself, opting against serving as a WSA member during the agency’s consideration of the sewering application.
Newtown Middle School educator Ron Chivinski told The Newtown Bee this week that he was happy to see how quickly some recommendations tendered in his role serving on Governor Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission (SHAC) got traction at the federal level.On April 13, US Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced The Jesse Lewis Empowering Educators Act to provide teachers powerful tools and training to support students’ social and emotional learning. The bill is named in honor of Jesse Lewis, who at 6 years old was among the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Mr Chivinski observed that one of, if not the most important, aspect of his work involves identifying and supporting children with emotional difficulties, while teaching them how to respond to those stresses in an ultimately healthy way.