Various road work on Queen Street, which started in July, is nearing completion with the construction of five “speed tables” intended to hold down motorists’ travel speeds on the busy north-south road with a 25-mph speed limit that links Church Hill Road to Mile Hill Road. Fred Hurley, town public works director, said the new set of speed tables is intended to have consistent geometry. The previous set of five speed tables was built in two phases and thus had differing contours.
A Sandy Hook man died on October 17 as a result of injuries he received in a motorcycle accident on October 15 in Waterbury. Dustin Gregory Hanson, 23, a 2010 graduate of Newtown High School, died at Waterbury Hospital. Mr Hanson will be honored with a memorial service at Newtown United Methodist Church in Sandy Hook on Saturday, October 24. A US Navy veteran, he will receive full military honors.
Convicted murderer and former Newtown resident John Heath has died. In October 2013, a Danbury Superior Court jury convicted Mr Heath, who was 72 at the time of his death, of murdering his 32-year-old wife Elizabeth in April 1984 at their 89 Poverty Hollow Road home and then hiding her wrapped corpse in a dry well beneath a barn floor there, where it lay undiscovered until April 2010. Newtown police arrested Mr Heath in April 2012. Mr Heath was serving a 50-year prison sentence at the state’s Osborne Correctional Institution in Somers.
FISH of Newtown, Inc, is requesting that those in need of a ride call 800-794-0034, no later than 4 pm the day before the ride is needed. FISH offers free transportation to Newtown residents, regardless of age, who are unable to drive and have no other means of getting to hospital, doctor, and other medical appointments. Volunteers are available Mondays through Thursday.
The day before Legislative Council Ordinance Committee Chairman Ryan Knapp was set to be interviewed by The Newtown Bee to help review and explain the many of revisions and additions to the town’s Alarm Ordinance, he was asked to provide a similar explanation on a local social network site. The council has set a public hearing on the ordinance before a special meeting on the evening of October 28 in the Newtown Municipal Center council chambers. Mr Knapp confirmed the information he provided on Facebook and offered an abbreviated explanation about why the ordinance came up for review. “Back in February the Police Commission asked the [council] to revisit our existing alarm ordinance as it was not working,” the ordinance chairman said, adding that local officers are responding to “upwards of 1,400 alarm calls a year,” while only two or three of those are legitimate versus false alarms.
State Representative Mitch Bolinsky spoke with the Board of Education at its meeting on Tuesday, October 20, about the state’s Substitute House Bill 7019, An Act Concerning The Minimum Budget Requirement.
Rep Bolinsky also spoke with the Legislative Council during its meeting on October 7, and explained updates to the existing legislation. At that meeting he noted the Minimum Budget Requirement bill was introduced by House Speaker Brendan Sharkey and was co-sponsored by roughly 57 other representatives, including himself. He added the bill was signed into law by Governor Dannel P. Malloy as Public Act 15-99, after it passed the house and senate.
Republican First Selectman Pat Llodra, Town Finance Director Robert Tait, and Republican Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob all responded to claims made in a Democratic Town Committee position paper report that appeared in The Newtown Bee’s October 16 edition. In that position paper, Democrats made two statements in that elicited clarification or rebuttal from the local officials. In their paper, local Democrats asserted a number of points including an overarching concern that local political boards and commissions are out of balance, with a large majority of Republicans versus Democrats either elected or appointed to serve.
A sparse audience of mostly local political leaders and family members did not dissuade any of the eight residents seeking to be elected or reelected to the Board of Finance from digging into specific and detailed questions and delivering often detailed and thoughtful answers during The Newtown Bee’s annual pre-election forum at Edmond Town Hall on October 20. The event was moderated by Bee Editor Curtiss Clark, who said that while the newspaper’s previous local pre-election forums have focused on top-of-ticket races, the 2015 First Selectman and Board of Selectmen races this November are all uncontested. “With four veteran finance board members all retiring from service this year, we believe the Board of Finance race is a key one for taxpayers this year,” Mr Clark said.
The town has a surplus of cats at its animal shelter at Fairfield Hills and is seeking homes for the animals with residents who want to acquire some feline friends. The surge in cats at the shelter stems from the state Department of Agriculture’s June seizure of multiple animals, including more than 30 cats and two dogs, in an animal cruelty case at a Town’s End Road property. As an incentive, the town is waiving fees that would normally be charged people who adopt cats from the shelter,
In its first meeting after the close of a townwide survey where residents were asked to voice their wishes for a community center, the Newtown Community Center Commission on October 20 hosted a number of guests for presentations. Among groups most outspoken about securing space in the new community center are representatives from Newtown Cultural Arts Commission, and pool and ice rink proponents. Proponents of each of these groups spoke to commissioners this week. Results from a townwide survey and a collection of public forums are expected to be discussed during the commission's next meeting.