• Legal Wrangling Slows Lawsuit Over Newtown School Shooting

    (AP) Newtown and its schools are putting up a stiff fight against a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of two children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, questioning whether the lawsuit was filed on time and objecting to information requests by the parents' attorney. The legal wrangling has slowed the case in Danbury Superior Court. Donald Papcsy, the lawyer for the parents of Jesse Lewis and Noah Pozner, said some of Newtown's court filings have been unusual and could result in what he called unnecessary, additional legal costs for the families. The lawsuit alleges security measures at the school weren't adequate when a gunman killed 20 first grader students and six educators on December 14, 2012. One of Newtown's attorneys, John Cannavino Jr., sought to subpoena a state marshal for a deposition to see whether the lawsuit was filed before the two-year statute of limitations expired. He has also filed objections to discovery requests for information by Papcsy, calling several of them vague, confusing and overbroad.

  • Traffic Concerns Change Design Of Hawleyville Project

    Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members at a recent public hearing learned about certain revisions that a developer has made to a major mixed-use development proposal for Hawleyville in response to traffic-related concerns raised about the project at an initial P&Z public hearing in late August. The development project, which would include a rental apartment complex in six large buildings, a diner, and a church on land off Hawleyville Road (State Route 25) near the Exit 9 interchange of Interstate 84, had drawn many traffic-related questions and comments from nearby residents and from P&Z members at the first hearing.

  • Cross Country And Field Hockey Teams Prepping For Tuesday Openers

    As midsummerlike temperatures greeted the cross country team participants for practices in the first week of September, they had cool-weather success on their minds. By the time the late October South-West Conference championships roll around, the 90-degree heat will likely be long gone, and Newtown High School’s runners hope to be leaving many of their competitors in the dust on their way to conference success.

  • Flyboarding On Lake Zoar

    Lindsey Hulet hovered ten feet above Lake Zoar’s rippling surface Friday, September 4. Water jets shot from his boots as he swiveled, pushing himself in circles or jetting higher and appearing to stand on the horizon. Mr Hulet's flyboarding sport was a popular sight on the lake this summer. Mr Hulet had seen videos, and one television show where people were flyboarding. He went online, found the equipment he needed, and was soon practicing on the lake. “I did the typical guy thing: no listening to instructions, and I didn’t get off the water on the first day.” So he decided to listen to the instruction video, and the next day he was up, he said.

  • High School Prepares For Approaching NEASC Visit

    As the Board of Education heard during a presentation at its September 1 meeting, years of work will culminate with a visit representatives of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) next month. “I’m really excited to be a part of this process with such an outstanding school and a dedicated staff who have put in such a great deal of time and energy and enthusiasm over the last few years,” said NHS Principal Lorrie Rodrigue. A steering committee kicked off the school’s efforts to work toward the upcoming NEASC visit in May 2013 with a dinner. Since then, as NHS social studies teacher and the NEASC committee chair Amy Deep told the school board at the September 1 meeting, the steering committee as worked on completing a self-study. Part of the steering committee’s efforts included “revamping” the high school’s mission statement, according to Ms Deep, and a survey was shared with staff, students, and community members to gather input for the new mission statement. Ms Deep also shared other efforts and new changes that have been made at the high school based on the efforts of the steering committee.

  • Police Schedule Prescription Drug Take-Back Event

    On Saturday, September 26, from 10 am until 2 pm, Newtown Police Department in conjunction with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will hold a collection event during which members of the public may bring their unwanted prescription drugs to the police station at 3 Main Street for proper disposal.

  • Community Forum On Parent Partnership Slated

    A Community Forum titled “Parent Partnership: Influence, Inspire, and Ignite Teaching and Learning” has been scheduled by the Newtown Public Schools for Wednesday, September 16, at 7 pm at Newtown High School’s Lecture Hall. The event will be a one-hour community forum for all kindergarten through twelfth grade parents.

  • Effective Support For Suicide Survivors Inspires Many Left Behind To Service

    This is the second part of a series of reports during National Suicide Prevention Month. On the one-year anniversary of her father’s suicide September 5, Zelda Williams posted a brief message on the social network site Instagram to all her fellow survivors, and to those who, like her dad, suffer silently with chronic depression. For survivors of suicide, coping is a conscious choice, and one that may come immediately or even months, years, or decades after the loss. But those who are looking for guidance, an empathetic ear, or an outlet for their grief have myriad resources dedicated to helping them — often inspiring survivors to some form of volunteerism or service to support others left behind.

  • P&Z Rejects Zoning Change Proposal For Elderly Housing

    Following lengthy discussion at a September 3 Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing, P&Z members unanimously rejected proposed new zoning regulations on “elderly housing.” In August, local builder and developer Kim Danziger had proposed regulations for elderly housing that would allow the construction of detached single-family houses on relatively small lots in a subdivision format, with each lot having its own water well and septic system. Public comments at the September 3 meeting were mixed.

  • New Education Foundation Taking Shape

    A week after announcing the launch of a Newtown Education Foundation, a meeting was held at Reed Intermediate School on Wednesday, September 2, for community members to learn more and volunteer for the foundation’s executive board, according to co-founder Kristen Bonacci. Ms Bonacci, Aaron Carlson, and Casey Ragan, all Hawley Elementary School parents and PTA members, founded the foundation. The foundation was announced and introduced to the public on Wednesday, August 26.