• Independently Owned Newtown RadioShack Staying Open

    Responding to a call from The Newtown Bee, the operators of Newtown’s independently owned RadioShack store said on March 4 they will remain open even as its corporate owners are announcing the closure of about 1,100 other company-owned stores across the country. RadioShack Corporation announced on Tuesday that it plans to close about a fifth of its US locations. The news came as the retailer reported a wider quarterly loss after a disappointing holiday season. Long known as a destination for batteries and obscure electronic parts, RadioShack has sought to remake itself as a specialist in wireless devices and accessories. But growth in the wireless business is slowing, as more people have smartphones and see fewer reasons to upgrade. In addition to slashing costs and shuffling management, RadioShack has been renovating its stores with a more modern look. The company said that the stores targeted for closings are being selected based on location, area demographics, lease duration, and financial performance.

  • Llodra Wants To See Armed School Guards In Municipal Budget

    First Selectman Pat Llodra told the Board of Finance during a budget meeting February 27 that she is planning to budget a contingent of nine armed, retired police officers who will serve as armed school security officers (SSOs) in local schools beginning this September. Under the suggested plan, the school district will continue to employ a security director, and eight unarmed guards who will be distributed throughout the local network of facilities. The first selectman said that the long-term plan was to devise a model for the entire community for safe schools, and that it will be a shared commitment and structure between the town and district. The town will continue utilizing two additional local police officers who are trained as school resource officers (SROs) and one additional youth officer.

  • Sandy Ground Playground Build Updated, 5K Fundraiser Planned

    The Sandy Ground Project was established by the New Jersey Fireman’s Benevolent Association last year. Its mission is to build 26 playgrounds along the coast of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut in towns hit by Hurricane Sandy. Each playground honors and honors and provides a lasting memory of the 26 children and teachers who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Milford will be home of one of those playgrounds. To be located at 150 Gulf Street, it will be built this month in memory of 6-year-old James Mattioli. Volunteers are sought to help build the playground, and runners are sought for a 5K fundraiser planned for the morning of the playground's ribbon cutting.

  • New Area Code Coming To Connecticut This Year

    The state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) announced on Monday that a new area code will be introduced later this year in Connecticut, in the calling region currently served by the 860 area code. Because of continuing local demand for telephone numbers, remaining unassigned telephone numbers in the 860 area code are expected to be exhausted by the end of 2014. PURA approved a new area code, 959, to be assigned as an overlay to the 860 region to meet the demand. For most customers, the new area code should have minimal impact.

  • Ambulance Garage Construction Continues

    Beneath snowy skies that finally gave way to sunshine Wednesday, crews with Nosal Builders Inc worked a crane, lifting roof trusses onto the new ambulance garage. Walking across rough, frozen ground at the new construction’s location at Fairfield Hil...

  • State Official: Charity After Shootings Chaotic

    (AP) Millions of dollars in unsolicited contributions suddenly poured in to Connecticut from around the nation and the world following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a phenomenon that differed from natural disasters, where donors know to send money to established charities, the state’s consumer protection commissioner said on Friday. William Rubenstein described to Gov Dannel P. Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission during its most recent meeting how cash, checks and in-kind gifts were sent to Newtown Municipal Center, churches, local banks, the United Way and other charitable funds. In some cases, the donors spelled out how they wanted the money to be spent. Other donations came with little to no guidance. Despite the confusion and no recognizable structure that could accept donations, Mr Rubenstein said, there was minimal outright fraud.

  • Berkshire Plaza Gains P&Z Approval

    Following a February 20 public hearing, Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members unanimously endorsed revised plans for the construction of a commercial building that would hold retail businesses and medical offices at 146 South Main Street. P&Z members approved the application known as Berkshire Plaza submitted by Summit Properties Group, LLC, of Norwalk for construction of a two-story, 18,750-square-foot building on the sloped 2.35-acre site on the west side of South Main Street. The site is in a B-2 zone designated for general business use. The property lies across South Main Street from Newtown Self Storage. The structure approved by the P&Z is almost 30 percent larger in floor area than a 14,580-square-foot building which the P&Z had approved for the site in 2006. While the building approved eight years ago had a partial second-story, the newly approved structure has a full second-story. Claris Construction of Newtown is listed on town records as the firm that would construct Berkshire Plaza. Construction is slated to start this summer.

  • East Windsor Teen’s Death Prompts Local Warning About Laced Heroin

    The overdose death of a 14-year-old East Windsor High School student that police strongly suspect was caused by fentanyl-laced heroin has prompted Newtown Prevention Council (NPC) leaders to reiterate a warning that has been issued by law enforcement and public health officials since the potentially deadly mixture started claiming an increasing number of lives last year. Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe and Judy Blanchard, MS, CPP, district health coordinator for Newtown Public Schools, who served as co-chairs of NPC, both expressed great concern in calls to The Newtown Bee on February 26. The fentanyl-laced heroin has been responsible for a “staggering number of deaths in Connecticut — about one a day” in recent months, said the police chief.

  • Course Educates Garner Inmates On Personal Development

    A group of 12 men, most of whom wore the plain khaki-colored uniforms of prison life, sat in molded-plastic chairs arrayed in a ring around an instructor, listening intently as the teacher discussed the topics of moral philosophy, such as values, the meaning of life, and conflict resolution. The February 24 session at Garner Correctional Institution provided an overview of what the men had studied during a three-month course. It also included the issuance of certificates of completion for their having taken the course. Volunteer instructor Mark R. Baus, who taught the program known as “People Empowering People” (PEP), said that the 12-member class was comprised of a “superior” group of inmates. The inmates who took the once-weekly classes ranged in age from their mid-20s to their 50s. A typical participant was in his mid-30s. The course taught at Garner is adapted from a program offered by the University of Connecticut’s Extension Department.

  • Fire Reports | February 20-26, 2014