Due to the weather today, Newtown Historical Society has decided to postpone tonight’s scheduled program, “Women’s Work In WWII.” A new date for the program will be announced. Groups, organizations and businesses that will be affected by today’s snow are invited to contact Newtown Bee Associate Editor Shannon Hicks to have that information shared on The Bee’s website and social media.
(AP) In the latest update to information concerning a major data breach of Anthem Inc that may have compromised personal information of millions of its customers across the state, Connecticut’s tax commissioner is urging taxpayers expecting federal or state income tax refunds who may be affected by the Anthem data breach to file their taxes quickly. Kevin Sullivan, head of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, said the personally identifiable information apparently hacked at the Anthem health insurance company “is exactly what tax fraud thieves use to make false refund claims that appear to be legitimate.”
Newtown’s Public Building and Site Commission, which manages public building projects in town, has accepted bids related to the final construction phase for the new Sandy Hook Elementary School. As the panel moved toward the final phase of construction at the new Sandy Hook School, Mr Mitchell said 20 of the 24 low bids submitted to complete the building were accepted and unanimously endorsed by the commission Wednesday evening. Among the project aspects still on hold, or going out for rebidding are the elevator, which only received a single bid; work for the aluminum and glazing, which is still being reviewed; the HVAC system, which had its low bid withdrawn due to an error; and the exterior landscaping.
Newtown taxpayers currently underwrite tuition and unreimbursed transportation costs for 52 district students to attend charter and magnet schools out of district according to Business Manager Ron Bienkowski. These and other details about Newtown’s charter and magnet school expenditures were requested following a CT Mirror report indicating that while operating costs have increased tuition requirements for those schools, state support for each child remains unchanged over the last five years. Newtown District budget documents provided to The Bee indicate that projected tuition for the students attending the Vocational Agriculture Program in Woodbury and two Regional Center for the Arts Programs in Trumbull and North Haven will cost $128,445 in tuition for 29 students — four going to Woodbury, eight to Trumbull, and 17 to North Haven.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy is directing the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol to be extended and remain in effect through Monday, February 16, as dangerously cold temperatures continue to impact the state. If you know someone in need of shelter or are in need of it yourself, call 211 for a list of locations in Connecticut.
The EverWonder Children’s Museum could reopen its doors at 31 Pecks Lane as soon as late March, thanks to a recent and successful fundraising campaign. The museum coordinators plan for a grand reopening of an approximately 7,000 square foot space.
Newtown activists on Thursday helped introduce the first gun safety bill in this Congress, officially kicking off the gun control debate on Capitol Hill. The bill would ban large-capacity ammunition magazines for everyone but military members and law enforcement officers. It was introduced by State Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-5th District) in the House and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in the Senate. The bill’s proponents characterized the legislation as a needed safety measure, like seat belts or airbags, that would save lives, not only those threatened by a mass murderer, but also police who are often outgunned by criminals.
The Board of Education voted to adopt its 2015-16 budget on Thursday, February 5, with minimal changes the superintendent made to his original proposal. The school board’s adopted 2015-16 budget represents a $72,253,488 spending plan, a 1.27 percent increase over the 2014-15 budget. Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, first presented his proposed budget to the school board on January 6 as $72,399,186, a 1.48 percent increase over the current $71,345,304 budget. At a school board meeting on Tuesday, Dr Erardi and district Business Director Ron Bienkowski said newly gathered data had lowered the proposed budget hike to 1.27 percent. The total adjustments brought the proposed spending plan down by $145,698, according to a sheet shared on Thursday.