Newtown news of 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago, from the files of The Newtown Bee....Read Full Article
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December 18, 1992
Last week’s bad storm cost the Public Works Department about $42,625. It put a big dent in the department’s winter maintenance budget. The budget already was relatively low due to cutbacks made during the spring’s budget battle. Department Director Fred Hurley said that from December 10-13 the department used $10,500 worth of sand and $9,000 worth of salt. He said the 1,078 overtime hours would cost about $23,215. Mr Hurley said the town has spent 52 percent of its 1992-93 allocation for overtime. Asked of he was worried about the remaining levels in his winter budget, he commented, “It’s rumored that there’s quite a bit of winter to go.”
It was truck versus railroad bridge on Church Hill Road Tuesday morning and the bridge won — twice. At 8:40 am an eastbound truck driven by Marcus Stewart, 40, of New Orleans, La., struck the Conrail bridge. Pieces of the truck roof flew off and struck a truck driven by Edward Dibene, 24, New Haven, causing minor damage. Almost exactly three hours later, Jeal Leblond, 30, of Victoriaville, Quebec, tried unsuccessfully to drive a 13’6” truck under the 12’7” overpass.
At its December 16 meeting, the Legislative Council approved the town’s acceptance of a 44-acre state property off Nunnawauk Road. The town intends to deed this property to Newtown Housing for the Elderly. NHE wants to expand its Nunnawauk Meadows apartment complex for elderly persons. The complex currently has 96 apartments. NHE is seeking financing for a 24-apartment addition and also envisions a future expansion involving 34 more apartments. The 44-acre donation is part of 75 acres promised to the town by the state. The 75 acres was pledged as part of the town-state agreement in connection with the state’s building its prison on Nunnawauk Road.
Newtown Postmaster Richard McGuire said the second Monday before Christmas is normally the busiest one of the year in terms of sales at his post office. Postage sales on this peak day normally are about $4,000, but the sales on Monday, December 14, were about $6,000, he said. Mr McGuire said relatively few people went to the post office on Saturday, December 12, probably because of the weekend snowstorm. On Sunday, December 13, there were more than $1,000 in sales. For the preholiday season, the post office has been extending its holiday hours and opening on Sundays.
Steps have been taken to improve procedures at Garner Correctional Institution in light of a sustained fight that occurred there between prisoners and guards on December 8, according to a state Department of Correction spokesman. Spokesman Bill Flower said December 16 that a “procedural problem” at Garner resulted in a delay in a number of minutes for prison guards to reach two guards who were being beaten by prisoners within a locked prison cell block. Estimates have put the delay between six and nine minutes. Mr Flower declined to explain the nature of the “procedural problem,” saying that doing so would compromise security at the high security prison designed for more than 700 inmates. Fewer than 100 prisoners are now living in Garner, he said.
December 29, 1967
“For of all the sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest of these: ‘It might have been’!”—John Greenleaf Whittier. This issue closes another year for The Bee, for our readers in Newtown, and for those friends of the paper throughout the wide area in which our readers are located. The year 1967 will soon end, and 1968 will be on its way. What kind of year has it been? Speaking for The Bee, the year brought an important improvement in production methods. During the summer a Goss Community offset press arrived to replace the old Goss Comet, which had been printing the paper by letter press since 1925. With the press came a photographic darkroom full of equipment necessary for the offset press. In August the press began to roll, and the staff is now able, from experience, to deal with the details of offset. They were quite strange to us in August. The new press prints 12 pages at a rate of 14,000 per hour, compared to the old letterpress rate of 3,000 an hour for eight pages. And, of course, the pictures appear so clear and crisp and they seem to walk off the page and talk. The coming year offers much to The Bee in ways of providing an improved newspaper. That is the aim of the entire staff.
Churches, organizations and many individuals made the holiday season a happy one for Fairfield Hills Hospital patients. The response to the annual gift appeal was most generous, according to hospital staff. Cash donations were also made to the Patient’s Activity Fund and this money will be used to purchase athletic equipment, radios, etc, and for special trips throughout the coming year. To everyone who contributed in some way to brighten the holiday, Dr William F. Green, superintendent, and all staff members extend their sincerest thanks.
DOUBLE HELPING: The Bee is double indebted for special help on the Christmas and the New Year editions to Harrie and Marni Wood. Besides doing their regular editorial chores, Marni decorated the Christmas trees in the December 22 issue. Harrie Wood made the handsome wreath and decorated it with antique treasures in that issue, and also sketched the heart of Newtown for this week’s front page. A special Happy New Year goes to them, along with very sincere good wishes for 1968 to all The Bee’s contributors, readers, correspondents, and advertisers.
Those who live in or drive through Newtown are reminded that, starting January 2, an attempt will be made to solve the serious traffic problem on Queen Street. A number of proposals are to be tried, including a center barrier and the closing of some of the many exits and entrances between Church Hill Road and Glover Avenue.
To Mr Paul S. Smith, Editor and Business Manager, The Newtown Bee. Dear Sir: We all look forward to the arrival of our mail, but when the Christmas holiday came, there is an increase in both incoming and outgoing mail. I think that our local Postmaster, Mr Albert H. Nichols, and his efficient staff, do a wonderful job in handling it. Our local post office has an unwritten law, “The Public Be Served,” and this is exemplified by the courteous treatment received when we do business there. I believe it is both fitting and proper to give credit, and praise, to our local Postmaster, Albert H. Nichols, and his staff for the wonderful way they handle their jobs. Yours truly, Frederick S. Sawyer, 32 West Street, Newtown, Conn.
December 25, 1942
It is a source of gratification to be able to carry in this week’s issue of The Bee a message appropriate to the Christmas season from the clergymen of Newtown’s four churches. We know their words will be closely read. Perhaps there is no greater American heritage than the right of the individual to observe his own religious freedom. Published in a typical New England village, it seems entirely fitting for a free press thus to carry a message from the clergy. Particularly at this Christmas season, when the usual festivities and fellowship are darkened by shadows of war which tend to lessen the true spirit of “peace on earth, good will toward men.” The Bee hopes for each of our four churches a full measure of support in the coming year. It should be considered more a privilege than duty for each of us to give time and effort to the church of our choice.
CHRISTMAS MEDITATION: The magi left their gifts and went their way. The shepherds sought their homes at the break of day. No more the Angel voices sang for Him, And, over Bethlehem, the Star grew dim. Yet One, who left an empty manger-bed, Lay safe in Mary’s arms, asleep-comforted; As, through the night, across the desert sand, They fled for safety to an unknown land. Again shed forth your light, glad Christmas star. Wise men, come back, with gifts brought from afar. Join, Angels choir, the music of the spheres — Let “Peace on Earth” still echo down the years. The World’s heart weeps. Lord, help each one, we pray, To find the manger where the Christ Child Lay. —Ida Norton Munson
The local Town Team defeated the Hawley High School boys by a 41 to 24 score in a game played Friday evening on the Edmond Town Hall court. It was the second win for the town team in as many games, and it was the high school’s first contest. The town team took the lead in the opening of play and kept it throughout. They led at the half by 18–10. The high school boys, playing for the first time as a team, showed well at times, but revealed their lack of experience. Mayer and Liebold led the high school scorers, with Perry playing well on the defensive. Ryan showed promise in his first high school game. The town team scoring was well divided, with Berglund and Mihalek each getting 12 points.
Mr and Mrs Arthur Gibbs Burton will be guests of honor at a tea held in the Alexandria Room on Tuesday afternoon, December 29, at 4 o’clock. Following the tea, a beautiful oil painting, which was donated to the Newtown Chapter of the Red Cross by Mr Burton, will be awarded to the holder of the lucky ticket. The tea will be served by the local Red Cross Canteen group, with Mrs Frederick Sorenson in charge. The public is cordially invited to attend.
Mrs J.B. Werner is recovering nicely at the Danbury hospital, where she has been confined for the past ten days as the result of injuries received when she fell during the recent snowstorm.
December 21, 1917
Citizens of Newtown! Your local home guard platoon needs recruits and it is up to you to furnish them. When our platoon was started last June, we had 34 members and a reserve. Since then 15 have volunteered to be drafted, a lot have moved out of town and a number have asked for their discharge so that, at present, we have only 23 instead of the 37 we should have. The home guard is an important part of the preparedness necessary, and will be more and more necessary as the war grows harder if we are to preserve our state and towns, and as more of our young men are taken away from this country the need of a body of trained citizen soldiers will be more apparent.
The farm owned by Abram Klein of Woodbury has been sold to William Hawes of Green’s Farm. Mr Hawes will take possession at once. The place was sold through Stanley Botsford, the hustling real estate agent of Stepney.
Camp Devens, Dec. 18, 1917. Editor, Newtown Bee: Dear Sir: I have just received a Christmas package from The Red Cross of Newtown. I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation through your paper. The Red Cross of Newtown are certainly doing their share and with such loyalty among those we leave behind we are bound to return home victorious. Wishing you and all a merry Christmas. Yours truly, Sergeant David Tobias, 304 infantry, Camp Devens, Mass.
As The Bee always gives its employees a holiday on Christmas Day, the correspondents are requested to send in their contributions, next week, as early as possible. It is necessary to get out the paper in one less working day and that means some hustle.
The Sandy Hook barber shop will be open, Monday of next week, to care for the Christmas trade. Both shops will be open on Monday.
Please consider sharing your old photographs of people and places from Newtown or Sandy Hook with readers. Images can be e-mailed to email@example.com, or brought to the office at 5 Church Hill Road to be scanned. When submitting photographs, please identify as many people as possible, the location, and the approximate date.