Volunteer firefighting is not a simple task. During all types of weather and at any time of day or night, an emergency call may sound, summoning firefighters from wherever they may be, and whatever they may be doing to respond to the scene of an emergency. For the past half century in Newtown, Bill Halstead has been among those who showed up to help. On January 18, 1965, the day he turned 16, Mr Halstead volunteered as a Sandy Hook firefighter. He has been fighting fires and responding to emergencies ever since in Sandy Hook, in adjacent fire districts within Newtown, and on mutual aid calls out of town. He has worked his way through the ranks and has, since 1978, been serving as Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue's chief since 1978.
A storm system that has already dropped heavy snow on parts of the southern Plains will continue to develop as it moves up the Eastern Seaboard late Friday into Saturday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). “The system has the potential to bring a wintry mix of precipitation to the Mid-Atlantic and New England [regions], though it is not expected to be a major snow producer,” NWS had posted on its website Friday afternoon. Newtown schools have already responded to the expected weather, canceling a number of Saturday events due to the expected storm.
Facing several television crews and reporters from a number of news bureaus, the Legislative Council quickly and unanimously voted January 21 to authorize the Board of Selectmen to move forward with plans to demolish the home of 12/14 shooter Adam Lanza. Finance Director Robert Tait said that the cost for demolition is coming from a special insurance fund set up with designated donations to the town following 12/14. Mrs Llodra said based on another recent residential demolition the town underwrote, she is estimating it will cost about $29,000 to demolish and remove debris associated with the 3,162-square-foot dwelling. In other business, the council set its anticipated budget calendar Wednesday evening.
An anticipated $37 million in grand list growth before any assessment appeals, along with savings from bond refunding, incremental cuts in select operating allocations, and level state aid reimbursement is expected to result in a Board of Selectmen 2015-16 budget proposal that will fortify local road repair plans, increase the town’s fund balance, and enable key hiring while delivering no tax increase and a reduction in next year’s mill rate.
The 2015-16 school calendar unanimously passed the Board of Education during its meeting on Tuesday, January 20.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, said the 2015-16 school calendar presented to the school board this week represents community input and responses to concerns voiced by school board members.
“Most important, you never lost sight of what the calendar should represent, and that is [what’s] best for students,” said the superintendent.
Dr Erardi also highlighted a few things in the calendar, including a before-school professional development pilot in October and a changed plan for November conference dates, which were moved to earlier in the month away from the Thanksgiving break.
Side by side, but definitely not arm in arm, supporters of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and Newtown Action Alliance (NAA) lined Mile Hill Road in front of NSSF headquarters Tuesday afternoon, January 20. Approximately 100 people gathered there, nearly evenly divided between factions, responding to a call put out last week by NAA to rally on the first day of the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show in Las Vegas, sponsored by NSSF. While the winter sun cast its setting rays through the chilly air, both sides raised signs supporting their views on gun control issues. Few voices were raised, however, during the civil, one-hour protest.
(AP) Gunmaker Remington has moved a lawsuit filed against it by families of those shot in the Sandy Hook school massacre from state to federal court, where at least one expert says it has less chance of succeeding. Nine families sued Remington and others in Bridgeport Superior Court in December arguing the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle used in the shooting should not have been sold for civilian use because of its overwhelming firepower. A tenth family joined the lawsuit adding a wrongful death claim.
Newtown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 308 Ladies Auxiliary members are celebrating. Several members received their 20-year pins Saturday, January 10, “a little something to make the day a little more special and let them know they are appreciated,” said Auxiliary member Susan Dlouhy. “If not for them we would not be as far along as we are.” Those receiving their 20-year pins are also the auxiliary’s founding members: Cheryl Barszcz, Rose Holland, Del Livingston, Jill Metcalf, Jan Moran, Mary Orten, Joyce Staudinger, Eleanor Sturges, Debbie Sturges, and Evelyn Urban. Others have been presented with five- and ten-year pins. A few members recently looked back over the past two decades, and shared why they joined the auxiliary, which exists to support the VFW Post members.