Newtown’s Public Building & Site Commissioners, who oversee most of the community’s public capital projects, unanimously selected Smith Edwards McCoy Architects of Hartford to design the Newtown High School auditorium renovation. The firm has a portfolio that includes a new performing arts center for Hartt School at the University of Hartford that was converted from a crumbling abandoned auto dealership, a recently completed part of a historical and ADA conformity renovation at The Old State House in Hartford, and a collaborator on a diverse range of projects at Wadsworth Atheneum over the past three decades.
Sandy Hook Promise, the national non-profit led by several families that lost a loved one in the Sandy Hook School shooting, recently donated $47,000 to help fund a year-long, four-phase resiliency program for members of the emergency response communities and their families. The program is organized by the Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Team and run by HEART 9/11, a group of 9/11 first responders that has helped other first responders, families, and communities heal and rebuild following tragedies.
Town police are asking local child day care centers to review a recent state law to learn whether that law requires them to provide certain contact information to police. Police would use such contact information to reach those day care centers to inform them of any emergencies or natural disasters that may affect the safety of the children at the centers. The new law, An Act Concerning Notification By Law Enforcement Agencies To Day Care Centers, or Public Act 15-161, takes effect on October 1.
The Board of Education approved The Avielle Foundation’s Spark Project as a pilot for the 2015-16 school year during its meeting on Thursday, July 30. The Spark Project is a program of The Avielle Foundation, and it is an initiative to develop social-emotional learning, leadership, and compassion skills on a communitywide basis and beyond. Following a presentation by Avielle Foundation Co-Founder Jeremy Richman in May, Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project Director Judy Blanchard and Mental Health Advisor Melissa Brymer reviewed different aspects of the Spark Project and presented that information to the board last week.
The Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission is in the process of putting together an inventory of land possibilities within the Newtown community for where a permanent memorial, honoring the 26 lives lost on December 14, 2012, could call home. The inventory is coming to life based on criteria that the commission has put together, based on feedback from the information-gathering stage. “We want to assure we create a comprehensive list of location options,” SHPMC Commission Chairman Kyle Lyddy said. “Should there be private land options available that a resident is willing to contribute, we’d love to understand what those are, and if they fit into our criteria."
The 16 plaintiffs in lawsuits that were filed earlier this year against the estate of Nancy Lanza would receive nearly $94,000 each in a proposed settlement of those legal claims.The lawsuits stem from the December 14, 2012, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which Ms Lanza’s son, Adam Lanza, shot and killed 20 first grade students and six adult women.In a July 31 letter to Probate Judge Joseph A. Egan, Jr, attorney Angelo A. Ziotus, representing the estate of James Mattioli, explains 16 plaintiffs have consolidated their claims in a proposed settlement to resolve their lawsuits against the Nancy Lanza estate. The plaintiffs are the estates of students James Mattioli, Emilie Parker, Grace McDonnell, Jack Pinto, Charlotte Bacon, Jessica Rekos,Daniel Barden, Dylan Hockley, Jesse Lewis, and Benjamin Wheeler; the estates of educators Rachel D’Avino, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto; and surviving educators Natalie Hammond and Deborah Pisani.
As part of its community policing program, the police department has resumed its warm-weather bicycle patrols, with Officer Leonard Penna monitoring central sections of town while traveling on a mountain bike. It is the seventh season that Officer Penna has handled his police patrol duties from the saddle of a specialized police bicycle. Officer Penna said that using a bicycle allows police to quietly and unobtrusively patrol in areas where there are many pedestrians, such as the town center, Fairfield Hills, Dickinson Park, and various parking lots. Church Hill Road, Queen Street, Main Street, and South Main Street are among the patrol areas.
A proposal to more than double the size of the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company’s fire substation at 249 Berkshire Road is scheduled for public discussion at a Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing slated for 7:30 pm on Thursday, August 6. The substation, which was built in the late 1960s on a 2.4-acre site in a R-2 (Residential) zone, is no longer large enough for the fire company’s needs, according to Sandy Hook Fire Chief Bill Halstead.