Newtown High School Senior and Boy Scout Riley Page will conduct a sheet drive this weekend to support Saint Vincent de Paul’s Homeless Shelter in Waterbury. Riley is collecting new or gently used clean twin sheets, towels and toiletries for the men, women and children who stay at the shelter. The collection is being done for his Eagle Scout project. The drive is scheduled for Saturday, March 15, from 10 am to 4 pm. Items can be dropped off at Oberg Insurance Agency.
After a month-long campaign, where the community was invited to submit their picks for favorite Newtown businesses in four different categories, the Newtown Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Newtown announce the nominees for the 2014 Business of the Year award. The community is invited to vote for the business they feel is most deserving of each honor, has consistently displayed excellence in the way they serve their customers, and how they support the Newtown community. Voting will remain open through 5 pm March 31. A link to vote is posted on both the Newtown Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Newtown websites.
While all nominees will be given honorable mention, the top three nominees in each category will be highlighted at an awards dinner and ceremony on March 31.
Legislators will get to hear feedback on the rollout of the Common Core Curriculum Wednesday during a public hearing at the State Capitol complex. The noon event is the result of a move by Republican minority legislators to force the reluctant leaders of the Education Committee to hold a hearing on the bill that would put implementation of the state’s new academic standards on hold. Two days before the hearing, 52 people have already submitted testimony, most of whom oppose the new standards adopted by the State Board of Education in 2010. The state’s largest teachers union — the Connecticut Education Association — recently called the state’s roll out of the standards “botched” and “mishandled.” The CEA says a survey of its members shows teachers overwhelmingly want a moratorium on implementation of the standards. Supporters meanwhile have scheduled a press conference before the Wednesday hearing. [read more]
Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP) has selected Melissa Lopata of Newtown as the marketing coordinator for Sandy Hook Village. Ms Lopata will be introduced at the Sandy Hook Village Action Planning Workshop on Wednesday, March 12.Ms Lopata moved to Newtown in 2011 from Brooklyn and is working as a part-time marketing consultant for Two Coyotes Wilderness School in Newtown, a nonprofit organization focused on helping children and families build relationships to nature, people, and purpose through mentorship and immersive outdoor experiences.She will utilize the new Sandy Hook Community Brand Identity Guidelines and tools to create powerful and effective marketing pieces for Sandy Hook Village businesses, and will manage SHOP’s new website and expand the use of social media to help current merchants succeed and to attract new business to the area.She will begin her new post on March 17.Ms Lopata is a former marketing vice president at a Fortune 500 company specializing in event planning, as well as direct and niche marketing.She has created successful innovative, strategic multimedia acquisition and retention campaigns for high-profile clients, including AT&T, Bank of America, Citigroup, Zocor, Sears, and JCK Jewelry, and Spa/Medi-Spa
More than 20 disabled skiers participated in Leaps of Faith (LOF) Adaptive Skiers’ Snow Ski Clinic at Mount Southington in Plantsville on February 25 for a full day of snow ski and snowboarding instruction. “We had a great turnout,” said Zeisler, president of LOF Adaptive Skiers. Ages ranged from 6 to 65 and disabilities included leg amputations, stroke, spinal cord injuries, blind and visual impairments, and others, he said. The majority of skiers were first timers, “and a few were apprehensive about going down the mountain. But everyone ended up skiing downhill multiple times, surprising themselves and making us incredibly proud." All adaptive equipment is provided for the clinics, and no experience is necessary to participate. Clinics are free of charge and are open to children, adults, and veterans with disabilities.
Saint, the town police department ’s new German shepherd, has started work with K-9 Officer Felicia Figol, resuming the dog-assisted patrols which had ended in the middle of last year, when former police dog Baro was retired from service. Last September, the police acquired Saint, a nearly all-black shepherd who is smaller than Baro. Saint’s full name is Saint Michael. Officer Figol, who handled Baro, will continue in her role by handling Saint, most often on the police shift that runs from 4 pm to midnight. The dog started patrol work about seven weeks ago. Besides the dog’s keen sense of smell, which helps it find missing people or fleeing suspects, its nose helps it detect certain illicit drugs. Saint is trained to detect marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Also, Saint’s sensitive nose is able to detect the residual human scent on an object, such as a handgun, which has been thrown into a field, she said. The dog’s keen sense of smell allows it to track a scent in wet areas, she said. Saint is also trained to apprehend, and capable of making full-mouth bites on command.
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