Police Chief Michael Kehoe said May 16 that Lieutenant George Sinko, 49, who served as a town police officer for nearly 25 years, had submitted his letter of retirement from the police department, effectively resigning from the organization on May 14. Chief Kehoe declined to disclose the contents of the departure letter, which Mr Sinko submitted, saying that the matter would be reviewed by the five-member Police Commission when it next meets on June 3. Asked about the reason for his departure, Mr Sinko said May 20, “It’s been a tough year and a half” in reference to the 12/14 shooting incident and its aftermath. “It’s changed a lot of us,” he said. “It’s just the right time for me [to leave],” he added.
First Selectman Pat Llodra is seeking residents to fill several opening on local appointed boards and commissions. In some cases the appointments are required to be affiliated with a specific political party, while in other cases unaffiliated voters are encouraged to consider serving.
The ripple effects of a half-million dollar grant Newtown received May 19 will have immediate and positive implications for property owners waiting to hook up to a new Hawleyville sewer line extension. The new funding stream will also provide added incentive for developers considering new economic development projects in the area, and long-term benefits for local taxpayers who might have to partially underwrite the project if assessments on users fail to cover the installation cost. The $500,000 grant was announced as one of 28 awarded Monday by Governor Dannel P. Malloy under the state’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP). The grants target a variety of economic development, community conservation and quality-of-life projects across Connecticut.
State Senator John McKinney (R-28) along with State Representatives Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) and Dan Carter (R-2) are inviting any interested Newtown residents to a legislative wrap-up on the just concluded legislative session. The legislative update will be held Tuesday evening, May 27, at Newtown Municipal Center.
Connecticut Democrats poured into their state convention Friday, May 16 pledging that whatever it lacked in drama it would make up for in passion. The more than 1,800 delegates at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford re-nominated Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who vowed to battle energetically for a second term. And Malloy, who has taken some heat over a sluggish economy and ongoing deficit projections for state finances, said that while there is more work to do, he would celebrate a track record filled with successes. Malloy, entered the stage with Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” blaring throughout the hall, touted his efforts to grow jobs, to improve conditions for labor, to reform health care and state finances, and to control gun violence in the wake of the December 2012 shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Tom Foley, who lost a historically close election for governor in 2010, was overwhelmingly endorsed Saturday by the Republican State Convention for a second try at defeating Democrat Dannel P. Malloy, but he failed to block two rivals from qualifying for a GOP primary in August. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton was the only other candidate to clear the 15-percent threshold necessary for a primary at the end of the first roll call, but Foley appeared to direct supporters to switch to Senate Minority Leader John P. McKinney of Fairfield. His rationale: He was better positioned to win a three-way primary than a head-to-head race. Boughton had 24 percent before switching began, while McKinney fell short at 13 percent. The other candidates, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti and Joseph Visconti of West Hartford, languished below five percent. Visconti pledged to petition for a spot on the primary ballot, while Lauretti was uncertain about continuing.
Police have added to their expanding list of local copper pipe thefts two incidents that occurred at vacant houses near the intersection of Sugar Street, West Street, and Boggs Hill Road.
In one case, the theft of pipes from the basement of a house on Sugar Street punctured a charged water pipe, resulting in the pressurized water spraying out of the leak to flood the basement to a depth of about 30 inches.
Newtown Hook & Ladder volunteer firefighters responded to the house late on the morning of Monday, May 19.
Newtown Youth & Family Services has partnered with The Caroline Previdi Foundation to offer financial support to families whose children may not otherwise be able to participate in select extracurricular activities. The foundation was created in memory of Caroline Previdi, one of the children killed on 12/14. Its goal is to support children in Newtown and surrounding communities with the financial means to participate in activities, including, but not limited to dance camp, art classes, and music lessons.
With deliberations and the authorization by voters of the 2014-15 budget behind them, local officials are focusing intensely on the best way they see for keeping residential taxation in check — growing the Newtown Grand List. That means increasing commercial activity, supporting economic development, and aggressively working to retain or expand businesses already established locally. In recent months, officials have seen an uptick in commercial projects, as evidenced by the number of recommendations for the town’s business incentive plan that have been tendered by the Economic Development Commission. Applications for temporary and partial tax relief have been made or approved recently for the Villages at Lexington Gardens, which broke ground this week, the Summit @ Newtown at 146 South Main Street, another multi-building, mixed-use commercial complex adjacent to LMT Communications at 84 South Main Street, new medical offices at 12 Queen Street, and a mixed professional / office development adjacent to Maplewood at Newtown on Mt Pleasant Road.