Inland Wetlands Commission members this week approved a wetlands/watercourses protection permit for Grace Family Church, Inc, which proposes the construction of a church on Covered Bridge Road to replace its existing church about one mile away at 174 Mt Pleasant Road. The IWC unanimously approved the permit on November 18. The construction of a 24,900-square-foot church is one component of a three-component mixed-use development proposal for a 42-acre property lying south of the Exit 9 interchange of Interstate 84 and west of Hawleyville Road.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, announced at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, November 17, that the Sandy Hook School Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to the school district. The Sandy Hook School Foundation is a nonprofit organization run by the Sandy Hook Elementary School PTA. Its mission is to “support programs, resources, and enrichment that can make a positive difference in our school comunity."
A Danbury man has pleaded not guilty in federal court to three criminal charges alleging that he murdered a Newtown man in Danbury in 2000. At his November 12 arraignment before Judge Joan Margolis, Alex Garcia, 37, pleaded not guilty to the charges in connection with the death of Mark Rebong, a 28-year-old Newtown man who was fatally shot while driving to work on the Exit 2 off-ramp of westbound Interstate 84 in Danbury in January 2000. Garcia pleaded not guilty to felony charges of murder, assault, and a firearms offense. Jury selection in Garcia’s trial is set for January 8 before Judge Jeffrey Meyer. The indictment alleges that Mr Garcia, who was then a member of the Latin Kings, murdered Mr Rebong in seeking to maintain or increase his position as a member of the Latin Kings.
The annual Fill The Fire Truck Food Drive is just around the corner. Newtown firefighters will be spending time outside two of the town’s markets this weekend, accepting donations for FAITH Food Pantry just in time for Thanksgiving. Members of Hawleyville, Newtown Hook & Ladder, and Sandy Hook fire companies will be at Big Y, at 6 Queen Street, on Saturday, November 21, from 9 am until 2 pm. Then on Sunday, members of Botsford and Dodgingtown will be outside Stop & Shop at 228 South Main Street, during the same timeframe.
Crews have been busy for the past several months in an ongoing renovation of Silver Bridge in Sandy Hook, bringing the 79-year-old structure back up to specifications, including a silvery paint job that replaces the bridge’s former dark brown color. The intricate trusswork of the 308-foot-long truss-arch bridge built in 1936 now shines in the light of day, with its hundreds of steel surfaces displaying strong highlights and shadows that were not apparent when it was dark brown. The bridge formerly had extensive surface rust stains, which have been removed. Before it was painted brown, the bridge had been painted a silvery color, leading residents to call it Silver Bridge. The bridge has been carrying alternating one-way traffic for months, but is expected to return to full use of two-way traffic soon.
In early December, the town expects to seek competitive bids for the construction of the Hawleyville sanitary sewer system expansion project, a town official said this week. Fred Hurley, director of public works, said that bidding documents for the project being refined to explain to bidders the work required for the project. At a February 2014 town meeting, voters by an 81-11 margin approved borrowing $2.8 million to expand the Hawleyville sewer system as a means to spur local economic development.
Newtown resident Monica Sava Bruenn, PhD, learned recently that she is a recipient of a Presidential Award from the University of Maryland, where she teaches online. Dr Bruenn is the program chair for the master of science in management with specialization in health care administration, Department of Health Care for the University of Maryland University College. According to the university, the school's presidential awards are given annually to faculty and staff members in recognition of "extraordinary accomplishments and performance."
The appointed Municipal Building Strategic Plan Committee has nearly completed its initial charge, advising the Board of Selectmen to abandon a more costly idea of renovating Town Hall South so the Newtown Police Department can eventually expand into the entire facility. Instead, the commission is advising town officials to proceed with plans to design and build a new police facility. That recommendation assumes the less expensive option of building new would transpire on publicly-owned property, presumably at Fairfield Hills.