Category Archives: Newtown

Newtown to Receive Department of Justice Grant

by Categorized: Chris Murphy, Elizabeth Esty, Newtown Date:

Newtown is getting a $7.1 million federal grant to fund new mental health services for those affected by the December, 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, will pay for long-term mental health counseling for families, law enforcement and first responders. A portion of the funds will be set aside for school safety measures.

The funds will go to the Connecticut Office of Victim Services, which is part of the state Judicial  branch. The money will then be dispersed to the town of Newtown, and other organizations that serve the community, including Newtown Youth and Family Services, St. Rose of Lima Church, the Newtown Resiliency Center, Wellmore and the United Way of Western Connecticut.

“This grant will provide much-needed relief and support for Newtown to help this brave community heal,” said U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who announced the news Tuesday morning.

“The community of Newtown has faced unimaginable tragedy with incredible strength and resiliency. Survivors, families, law enforcement, and first responders deserve sustained counseling services and enhanced school safety resources, and I’m grateful to the Department of Justice for responding with continued support,” said Esty, whose district includes Newtown. “The leadership shown by First Selectman Pat Llodra, town officials, the courageous families, and community activists inspire us and the nation.”

Newtown Youth and Family Services has seen a rise in demand for mental health counseling in the aftermath of the shootings, said Executive Director Candice Bohr. “Since the tragedy, NYFS has increased its staffing capacity and has witness the client population quadruple in the last 18 months,” she said. “We anticipate seeing a continued need in services and funding related to mental health, and we are committed to providing the continued support the town, the school district, and the families of the community need.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said the nation has a responsibility to help the people of Newtown recover. “But while this grant will go a long way to help the people of Newtown, they will continue to need our support in the coming months and years,” he said.

Last year, Newtown received a $1.5 million grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Newtown Public School District received $3.2 million through the U.S. Department of Education’s School Emergency Response to Violence program.


Land for Animal Sanctuary Honoring Sandy Hook Victim Approved by House

by Categorized: Newtown, Sandy Hook Date:

The House on Monday approved an amendment that would transfer a 34-acre parcel of agricultural land in Newtown to be used as an animal sanctuary established in memory of a student killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.


The measure, backed by both Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, will enable the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation to operate the sanctuary. It now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

Catherine was one of 20 children killed on Dec. 14, 2012. A big-hearted first-grader, she loved all animals, from the tiny caterpillars she’d carry in mason jars to her beloved dog Samantha to the horses whose noses she loved to pet.

The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary will reflect that compassion for animals by providing adoptive services for companion animals such as dogs and cats, refuge for farm animals and a rescue and release program for native wildlife.

The sanctuary started as a collaborative “labor of love” between the Hubbard family and the Animal Center in Newtown, an all-volunteer, nonprofit rescue organization.

The center currently lacks a shelter of its own; it runs its rescue programs entirely through a volunteer foster network.

Organizers hope to open the sanctuary within five years.

Cities and Towns ‘Pleading’ for No State Aid Cuts, No Unfunded Mandates

by Categorized: Environment, General Assembly, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Hartford, Newtown, Sandy Hook, State budget, Uncategorized Tagged: , , Date:

It’s become an annual rite of spring in Connecticut’s legislature: municipal leaders who have already passed their own local budgets arriving at the State Capitol begging lawmakers not to cut aid to cities and towns.

Wednesday morning’s Connecticut Conference of Municipalities news conference focused on the usual worries about what lawmakers would do in the yet-to-be-passed state budget, and hand-wringing about a bunch of other potential General Assembly actions.

capitol building

Those include concerns about possible expansion of workman’s compensation for local first responders who witness horrific scenes like the Sandy Hook massacre, a potential ban on use of pesticides on high school grounds, and new local tax exemptions for properties leased to local schools.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said he and other mayors and first selectmen are “pleading with our delegations” not to cut from the levels of state municipal aid proposed by Gov. Dannel Malloy. “To have any further decreases in those numbers would be really devastating,” Segarra said.

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White House to Honor Newtown High School Senior

by Categorized: Gun control, Newtown, Sandy Hook Date:

Newtown High School senior Sarah Clements is one of nine grassroots leaders who will be honored this week at the White House.

Clements is the founder and chairwoman for Jr. Newtown Action Alliance, and has been a forceful advocate for gun-violence prevention efforts. Clements\’ mother survived the December 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Clements is also a gun violence prevention volunteer at Generation Progress, the youth advocacy branch of the Center for American Progress. She has helped build a national network of young people working on gun violence prevention on high school and college campuses.

Clements will be honored by President Obama Thursday as a \”Champion of Change.\”

In addition to Clements, President Obama is also honoring another Newtown resident: Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was one of 26 people killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.


Mark Barden to Be Honored for Gun Violence Prevention Efforts

by Categorized: Gun control, Newtown, President Obama Date:

Mark Barden, the Newtown father whose son Daniel was one of 26 people shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School, will be honored by President Obama for his work on behalf of gun control.


Barden, the director of advocacy for Sandy Hook Promise, has traveled the nation since the December, 2012 shooting, promoting tougher gun laws.

He is one of nine grassroots activists working on gun violence prevention to be honored as \”Champions of Change\” by Obama at a ceremony Thursday.

CT Near Top In Politico Ranking Of States

by Categorized: Economy, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Newtown Date:

Politico Magazine ranked the states and guess what, Nutmeg haters, Connecticut is a pretty good place to live.

It\’s highly subjective and prepared inside-the-Beltway, but here\’s what they did:

Politico Magazine rounded up 14 different state rankings from reputable sources like the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the FBI, and on important factors such as high school graduation rates, per capita income, life expectancy and crime rate. Then we averaged out each state’s 14 rankings to come up with a master list—atop which sits none other than New Hampshire.


Malloy To Make School Security Announcement

by Categorized: 2014 Election, General Assembly, Newtown, Sandy Hook Date:

We\’re nearing the General Assembly\’s 2014 session, so it\’s time for all the new funding proposals. Today, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor today will announce a plan to improve security at the state\’s public schools. Protecting schools and improving mental health services are expected to be big issues this session. The announcement is in New Haven, by the way, a city critical to Gov. Malloy\’s re-election bid.



Metal Detectors Coming to the State Capitol

by Categorized: 2014 Election, General Assembly, Gun control, Newtown, Uncategorized Date:

Metal detectors and package scanners are coming to the people\’s building.

\"metalThe state allocated $300,000 in the 2014 fiscal year for the purchase of the metal detectors and scanners, which will provide security officers with a look inside packages and bags, similar to those used in airports and courthouses.

The enhanced security, which will be rolled out soon after the 2014 session begins on February 5, is not in response to a specific incident, said police spokesman Scott Driscoll. \”This is something that\’s been looked at and researched for years,\’\’ he said. \”It\’s not a reactionary thing.\” Continue reading

Murphy Wants IRS Probe Of Possible Newtown Scam

by Categorized: Chris Murphy, Newtown Date:

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy is asking for an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service into the alleged theft of more than $70,000 in donations from a charity intended to benefit Newtown residents.  The Tennessee-based \”24.6.26 Foundation\” collected more than $100,000 in donations that were supposed to go to Newtown, where 20 children and 6 educators died in a school attack on Dec. 14, 2012. The foundation donated $30,000 to the Newtown Youth Academy but $70,000 remains unaccounted for, according to Murphy.


New York\’s Restrictions On Ammunition Sales Take Effect Today

by Categorized: Gun control, New York, Newtown Date:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a sweeping gun control package a month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and some of its restrictions on ammunition sales take effect today.

As of Wednesday, it is illegal to purchase ammunition in New York unless a licensed dealer sees the buyer in person – a face-to-face transfer requirement that also applies to internet sales. Ammunition bought online must be purchased from a New York-licensed seller. All ammunition dealers were required to register with state police by today.

The ammunition provisions in Connecticut\’s new gun law, which went into effect last October, require an eligibility certificate for anyone purchasing ammunition, which can only be obtained by undergoing a background check. Individuals under 18 are prohibited from purchasing ammunition.