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Mark your calendars for Ferris Acres Creamery’s opening day for the 2018 season: Tuesday, April 9, will be the big day! Terry Ferris and crew are hoping to hear from customers with suggestions — new flavors, toppings, shakes, sundaes, etc. They are also hoping to scoop up some photos from the 2017 season to share through social media and maybe even within the frames hung on the walls of the Sugar Street ice cream stand. Send your suggestions and/or photos to … and just try to beat us to the first spot in line in a few weeks.

While Ferris Acres is hoping for good weather for opening day, wasn’t last Friday an odd one? School was canceled early in the morning due to forecasts of a nor’easter, but not everyone felt the effects of the storm. Readers in Dodgingtown and Hawleyville shared photos and comments about snow on their roads and vehicles, while the center of town saw only small spurts of snow during the day. We watched from the office windows as winds blew tree branches around, and we saw an occasional burst of snow, but it seems the great storm of early March 2018 definitely did not touch all areas of town last week.

I’m sure Sandy Hook resident and lieutenant governor hopeful Monte Frank is certain it is still winter. He took the Penguin Plunge in New London on March 4 to support Special Olympics athletes. “Wicked cold. Great people,” Mr Frank posted on his Twitter account (@MonteFrankCT) that same day. The Penguin Plunge is a benefit fundraiser for Special Olympics Connecticut. After raising funds to take part, the plungers tested the chilly water at Ocean Beach Park.

Sandy Hook Elementary School is in for a few weeks of reading. The school’s language arts consultant, Cynthia McArthur, explained this week a bulletin board (pictured above) was created by library/media specialist Katie Mauro to kick-off “A Tournament of Books” on March 5. For the next couple of weeks classes at the school will participate in March Madness-style reading activities. After classes read the 16 books, students will vote for their favorite. By March 29 a favorite book will be chosen by the school. Ms McArthur said she hopes the program “builds a community of readers.” Which book will make it to the top of the bracket? We will have to wait and read.

This week was a big week for resident Todd Ingersoll. First came the rescheduled St Rose of Lima School Hands & Hearts in the Community Service Award/Tuition Assistance Benefit Dinner on Sunday, March 4, when he was celebrated as this year’s awardee. The following day the school celebrated him. Later on Monday, March 5, Mr Ingersoll was surprised by Newtown High School Interim Principal David Roach at the high school. Mr Roach slyly handed Mr Ingersoll a Certificate of Recognition for the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) 2018 Distinguished Friend of Education Award, which honors those who volunteer contributions to education in the state over an extended period of time. Congratulations to Mr Ingersoll!

Among the stars at the Oscars on Sunday evening, some may have noticed one of our local leading ladies. Nicole Hockley — a co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, the national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown — was one of ten people standing at the back of the stage as Common and Andra Day performed their Oscar-nominated song “Stand Up for Something,” from the movie Marshall. Ms Hockley and other activists stood behind the performers as they sang.

Speaking of local stars, Kayla (Koschel) Conroy, who grew up in Sandy Hook, was spotted in an episode of HBO’s Crashing, which also aired on Sunday evening.

Newtown Animal Control Center posted to its Facebook page on March 5 that the shelter is in need of dishwasher detergent, creamy peanut butter, and 30-gallon trash bags.

Newtown Bee Education Reporter Eliza Hallabeck has been full of ideas for stories and food recipes since she went to the Big Easy last month for an informative seminar on social/emotional learning. The Education Writers Association (EWA) hosted the Educating for Character & Citizenship seminar for education journalists in mid-February, and I understand it was an educational two-day event.

Features Reporter Alissa Silber was happily surprised on March 6 to learn that it was National Oreo Day. Our layout department had a package of the sandwich cookies out for us Bees. After audible crunching was heard from her corner, Alissa said, “I approve.”

The FAITH Food Pantry donation box in the lobby of The Newtown Bee office, 5 Church Hill Road, had a donation of Oreos in it for National Oreo Day. Nonperishable food items, toiletries, paper towels and trash bags, and pet food are among the many items always needed to stock the shelves at FAITH, as well as for the shelves of the Salvation Army Food Pantry hosted by Newtown Social Services Department, at 3 Main Street.

While visiting St Rose of Lima School this week I couldn’t help but sneak a look at the new building for FAITH, underway on the St Rose grounds at 46 Church Hill Road. It is looking more and more like a new home for FAITH.

I may not approve of this, but apparently Connecticut does: I learned from an interactive map — online that tallied ten years of sales data and survey data at — that Connecticut’s favorite jelly bean flavor is popcorn. The same flavor happens to be the favorite for the entire country, according to the website. If it exists, the only type of jelly bean I am willing to try is “sweet cream.”

University of Alabama hockey player Jonathan Lovorn, a former Newtown High School hockey player, has found a way to honor the victims of 12/14. According to the university, Jonathan has been wearing the number 26 jersey and wears a sticket on the back of his helmet with a different name for each game he plays. “It’s all about giving back, and that’s something Newtown has really gotten behind — being kind and loving each other, doing things in your community to make a difference no matter how small that difference may be. That’s really the message I wanted to take and use through the platform of hockey to reach other people. There is a message bigger than the game,” Jonathan said in a news update on his school’s website. He also said he is proud to be from Newtown and “represent what that town is about.” We are proud of you, too, Jonathan.

A trivia night fundraiser has been scheduled for Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) on Thursday, March 15, at Meeting House Pub, 37 Stony Hill Road in Bethel; 100 percent of the proceeds will go to NYFS. Newtown Newcomers & Neighbors is hosting the public event, which has a 7 pm registration, and games starting at 7:45 pm. There will be a $20 entry fee per person, which will include one complimentary drink and light appetizers. Teams of up to six people can participate. All teams are encouraged to get creative with team names. A 50/50 raffle, auction baskets, and more prizes will also be available throughout the evening. Act fast if you want to attend, as the RSVP date is March 9 and space is limited. Click here to RSVP.

I find myself asking what is it with the Teletubbies? Newtown High School Winter Percussion drumline was spotted with stuffed animals of the television characters recently. Are these new mascots?

I promise to continue asking all of the hard questions as long as you promise next week to… Read me again.

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