Newtown's HamletHub Mon, 10 Dec 2018 18:59:51 -0500 C.H. Booth Library Announces Food for Fines!

What a great idea, C.H. Booth Library! For one week only, December 10 (today) through December 16, you can pay your late library fee by making a donation to Newtown's Food Pantry!

Items needed: tuna, pasta sauce, soup, rice, canned fruit, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, toilet paper and paper towels.

Please note: outstanding library items must be returned and donations brought to the library circulation desks before fines are forgiven.

C.H. Booth Library is located at 25 Main Street in Newtown. 

Visit the Library online here.


]]> (HH) Charities Mon, 10 Dec 2018 13:43:14 -0500
Nelson Mingachos Named Interim Athletic Director at Immaculate High School

After an unprecedented 2018 Fall Sports season for Immaculate High School, which saw seven teams going to SWC and State tournaments and three teams winning State Championship titles, Nelson Mingachos ‘89 will now serve as interim Athletic Director after Tim Dunn announced his resignation from the position effective December 14.

Succeeding Jeff Castaldi, Dunn was hired as the school's Athletic Director in June 2017. A former football player, coach, fitness trainer and PE teacher, Dunn extended his vision to improve Immaculate High School’s athletic facilities and made the school mission his priority. "I have been pleased to have accomplished so much at Immaculate High School," said Dunn.  I wish everyone at the school continued success.”

"On behalf of our Immaculate High School students, parents, coaches, faculty and staff, I want to thank Mr. Dunn for his service as Athletic Director and we wish him much success in the future,” said Dr. Patrick Higgins, Principal of Immaculate High School. “Mr. Dunn’s dedication, innovation, personal kindness and overall hard work have and will continue to be appreciated by our Immaculate High School family."  

Nelson Mingachos, an IHS graduate from the Class of 1989, has been a head coach at Immaculate since 2003. He was named SWC Coach of the Year six times, including last year when he received the SWC Coach of the Year for Girls Soccer honor after leading the team to win the SWC Championship. Also named Coach of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, the CT Sports Writer Alliance and by the Danbury News-Times (four times), last year Mingachos also coached the IHS boys basketball team to the ultimate victory by winning the CIAC Division II State Championship.

Dr. Higgins also welcomed Nelson Mingachos, a Danbury resident, to his new role at Immaculate High School. Mingachos will serve as interim Athletic Director and assume all department responsibilities until a formal AD search committee is selected and a new Athletic Director is retained.

Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, personal commitments and service to others.  Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport’s parochial school system.


]]> (Immaculate High School) Neighbors Mon, 10 Dec 2018 07:55:12 -0500
Santa is coming to Newtown for breakfast on Saturday!

You are invited to have Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 8 at Newtown Middle School from 9-11am. 

Bagels, doughnuts, milk, juice, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate will be served. 

This is a free event for the community. In the spirit of the season, please bring a donation for Newtown's food pantry.

This year's holiday breakfast will include workshops by Mad Science! Each child will have an opportunity to make a fun craft. 

Of course, Santa will offer photo-ops!

Register online HERE.

]]> (Newtown Parks & Rec) Events Thu, 06 Dec 2018 11:33:40 -0500
Eversource Launches New Outage Map

As part of its ongoing efforts to better meet the needs of customers, Eversource now has a new, state-of-the-art outage map that provides comprehensive information allowing customers to zero-in on details related to an outage at their home or business. With one click on the new outage map, customers can view up-to-the-minute outage information, including the number of customers affected, the time and cause of the outage, and an estimated time of restoration.  Customers can also now report an outage using new features on the enhanced map.

“We routinely engage with our communities and customers to see how we can improve their interaction with us, and the enhancements to our outage map are in direct response to requests for more detailed information during a power outage,” said Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner.  “Our new interactive map provides our customers with the critical and detailed information they value most – particularly how long an outage will take to repair. These upgrades highlight the many ways we are always working to serve our customers better.”

Eversource launched its first phase of an ongoing effort to improve customer outage communications in December 2016, with the enhanced customer notification system. That feature provides customers with outage information and updates in the method they chose– text message, email, or phone. Customers have since shared positive feedback with the energy company related to the availability of more timely information. The newly enhanced outage map is the latest upgrade providing customers with the greater level of detail they requested.

Click here to view a short video on how to use the new outage map.


]]> (Eversource CT) Life Wed, 05 Dec 2018 13:35:00 -0500
Immaculate High School's Field Hockey and Girls and Boys Cross Country Teams Win State Championships

The Immaculate High School Mustangs had a tremendous Fall season, including winning the State titles for the Field Hockey and Girls and Boys Cross Country teams.  Seven out of the eight Fall athletic teams qualified for State Tournaments, and the season produced three State championship wins, four State championship finalists, one Southwest Conference (SWC) Champion and two regular season Patriot Division winners. Immaculate was represented strongly in postseason play this season, creating a school record for the number of teams in a single season in the playoffs.

Field Hockey won the Class S State Championship. They defeated #1 seed Granby Memorial in a 3-0 shutout in the final game; this is the first time Field Hockey won the State title in school history. The girls entered the Class S Tournament as the #3 seed after finishing first in the SWC Patriot Division. After a tough loss to Pomperaug in the SWC Championship, the girls avenged their loss by capturing the State title. The team was lead by their All-State award winners Madison Halas ‘19 of Danbury, Lauren Oskam ‘20 of Ridgefield, Kristen Cirone ‘19 of Newtown and Celia Preveza ‘21 of Danbury. Celia, Madison, and Lauren also were awarded All-SWC honors as well. The Field Hockey team also had four All-Patriot Division award winners in Kristin Cirone, Molly Coyle ‘20 of Brookfield, Mackenzy Garden ‘19 of Danbury and Stephanie Faria ‘19 of New Fairfield. The team flourished under coaches Shannon Horosky and Matt Ariniello.

Girls Cross Country had an exceptional season finishing first in the Patriot Division and the SWC Conference Championship, winning the Class SS State Championship, becoming the State Open runner-up and finishing third at the New England Championship meet. They had six All-SWC runners, three making First Team All-SWC and three making Second Team All-SWC. The three First Team runners are Taylor Mascetta ‘19 of Danbury, Ailene Doherty ‘21 of Danbury and Kaitlyn Segreti ‘21 of Danbury and the three Second Team runners are Angela Saidman ‘19 of Bethel, Natalie Dudas ‘19 of Redding and Christina Carboni ‘19 of Danbury. Taylor, Ailene, Kaitlyn and Angela were also named CIAC All-State athletes.

Boys Cross Country were Class SS State Champions, a first in school history. The team was lead by All-SWC award winner Drew Mitchell ‘20 of Brookfield as well as Honorable Mention awardees Ryan McNerney ‘20 of Sandy Hook, Parker McKenzie ‘19 of Newtown and James Sullivan ‘20 of Redding. Drew Mitchell was also named a CIAC All-State athlete.

Coach Brian Hayes was awarded the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association’s Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year in the State of Connecticut.

Girls Soccer ended their fantastic season 12-3-1 with an appearance in the SWC and State Championship finals, where they were runner-ups in a hard-fought States game against Old Lyme by 2-1. The team did have a tournament win 4-0 against East Granby and defeated Coginchaug 3-0 in the semifinals. The Lady Mustangs have two All-State and All-SWC players in Kayla Mingachos ‘19 of Danbury and Avery Jarboe ‘19 of Danbury, along with three All-Patriot League players in Meryl McKenna ‘21 of Brookfield, Lauren Manning ‘22 of Bridgewater and Madison Bourque ‘22 of New Fairfield. The girls have a lot to be proud of after a great season, and Coach Nelson Mingachos will be back next year in hopes of reaching the State Finals again.

Boys Soccer had a fantastic postseason run after a tough start for this year’s season. The Mustangs finished 7-8-1 and qualified for the State Tournament. The Mustangs (#23), for the first time in 20 years, won their way to the State Tournament quarterfinals by winning two road games against #10 Hale Ray 2-0 and #5 St. Paul 3-1. The team was lead by the core of All-State and All-SWC award winner Quinn Guth ‘20 of Brookfield, along with All-Patriot award winners captains Michael Basile ‘19 of Bethel, Ryan Fanella ‘19 of New Milford, and David Talarico ‘19 of Danbury. The boys did a great job representing Immaculate High School and carrying on the winning culture in Immaculate Athletics under the guidance of Coach Steven Carneiro.

After a losing record and missing out on the playoffs a year ago, Coach Monica Ortega and the Immaculate Volleyball Team turned the program around, qualifying for the SWC and State tournament for the first time in school history. The team finished 10-10, and also had a great State Tournament run advancing all the way to the quarterfinals, including wins against  Morgan (3-2) in the first rounds of States and then St. Paul in five sets. The team was led by All-Patriot award winners Gabrielle Rynne ‘20 of Danbury and Alissa Brugnatelli ‘20 of Brewster. The team also was awarded the SWC Sportsmanship Award for the fourth time in five years.

Girls Swim (a co-op with Bethel High School) also had a great season this year. The following team members competed at the State Class L Trials Championship meet: 200 Medley Relay team of Cheyanne James ‘19 of Southbury, Kristen LeFebvre ’19 of Ridgefield, Lauren Petta ’20 of Brookfield and Arianna Petta ‘22 of Brookfield, who placed 14th; Cheyanne James for the 50-Freestyle who placed 22nd and qualified for the finals, and Arianna Petta in the 100 Butterfly; Lauren Petta for the 100 Breastroke; Arianna Petta, Maya Velez ‘20 of Danbury, Kristen LeFebvre and Aislin Blair ‘19 of Danbury for the 200 Freestyle and placed 16th; and Aislin Blair, Kristen LeFebvre, Cheyanne James and Lauren Petta for the 400 Freestyle Relay and placed 17th.

Besides Cheyanne James, all three relays qualified for Class L State Finals, where, Cheyanne James placed 21st in the 100 butterfly and the 200 Medley Relay team of Devin McGovern ‘21 of Brookfield, Cheyanne James, Lauren Petta and Arianna Petta placed 11th. Also, the 200 yard Freestyle Relay team of Aislin Blair, Kristen Lefebvre, Arianna Petta and Devin McGovern placed 16th, and the 400 yard freestyle Relay Team of Devin McGovern, Aislin Blair, Cheyanne James and Lauren Petta placed 17th.

Congratulations to the swim team, and to Lauren Petta who broke the team and Immaculate records for the 100 Breastroke, Farrah Volpintesta (Bethel ’20) who won the Class L Diving Championship and who is the new team record holder for points scored in diving and Devin McGovern who was awarded with All-Conference Honorable Mention for her efforts this season.

ATI Football, a co-op with Abbott Tech, had a strong year finishing 7-3 and just missing out on a State Tournament bid, finishing 9th in Class M. The team finished the season beating O’Brien 36-14 on Senior Day and defeating MCW United 48-6 for their Thanksgiving game. The team was lead on offense by captain Matt Christe ‘19 of Brookfield, who lead the team in touchdowns with 17 on the season. Defensively, Tommy Fahey ‘21 of Danbury finished in the top three in the State in interceptions with 10.

Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, personal commitments and service to others.  Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport’s parochial school system.


]]> (Immaculate High School) Neighbors Wed, 05 Dec 2018 13:31:01 -0500
WCSU theatre arts department to present The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts will present “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” from Thursday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec. 9. Performances will be at 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 (High School/Student Preview Night), and at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 and 8; with 2 p.m. matinees on Dec. 8 and 9.

The performance will be on the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. For tickets, go to Click or tap if you trust this link."> or call (203) 837-8732.

The production is a well-known musical comedy, centered on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, which is run by three equally quirky adults. According to Music Theatre International, the eclectic group of students compete in the “spelling championship of a lifetime” while candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives. The tweens also “spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming ‘ding’ of the bell that signals a spelling mistake.”

Based on the book by Rachel Sheinkin, the added music and lyrics of William Finn help to bring this story to life. The 2005 Broadway production by James Lapine was nominated for six Tony Awards, winning two, including Best Book. The show has also inspired numerous other productions throughout the United States and across the world.

The cast includes Krista Allen, of East Hampton, as Logainne Schwartzandgrubinerre; Nathan Clift, of Trumbull, as William Barfée; Lu DeJesus, of New Haven, as Mitch Mahoney, Colin Gallaher, of Wappingers Falls, New York, as Leaf Coneybear; Emma Giorgio, of Ridgefield, as Olive Ostrovsky; Tony Harkin, of New Milford, as Chip Tolentino; Izzy Mercaldo, of Brookfield, as Marcy Park/Movement Coach; Jessica Schwartz, of Brookfield, as Rona Lisa Peretti; and Dominick Ventrella, of Ridgefield, as Douglas Panch.

The crew includes Director Phillip George, Music Director Howard Kilik, Assistant Director Chelsea Weaver, Production Stage Manager Sarah Renzoni, Lighting Designer Stef Carr, Costume Designer Jessica Bowe and Set Designer Abigail Bueti.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486. 

]]> (Sherri Hill) Events Wed, 05 Dec 2018 10:06:30 -0500
Dad Walks Daughters Down the Aisle, Thanks to Danbury Hospital Spine Surgeons


Kevin Shepard woke up in a streambed in the middle of the woods after falling down 35 feet from a tree. He was unable to feel or move his legs. His first thought was that he was paralyzed. His second thought was about his daughters, and how this would affect them.

That’s the moment when Mr. Shepard made the decision to stay positive. “I’ve always looked forward to the prospect of walking my daughters down the aisle at their weddings. I focused on being able to do that,” said Mr. Shepard. That goal stayed with him through his emergency spine surgery at Danbury Hospital and the intense physical therapy that followed. Sure enough, Mr. Shepard walked down the aisle arm-in-arm with each of his daughters at their weddings this past summer.

On November, 8, 2015, Mr. Shepard, a Newtown, Connecticut native, was bowhunting. He is an avid, experienced bowhunter without any history of prior injury. On that trip, Mr. Shepard lent his tree stand to a neighbor, so he used a different one. It was not until he was up on the tree stand when he realized it was unsafe. As he went to get down from the stand, the straps holding it to the tree snapped, causing him to fall.

“As I fell I thought, ‘this is going to hurt!’ The next thing I remember is waking up in a streambed. I’m not sure how long I was unconscious, but I was very cold when I woke up. Only my face was exposed from the water. Then I realized that I couldn’t feel or move my legs,” recounted Mr. Shepard. “At first I asked ‘why me?’ and felt nervous that I might not be able to walk again. Then I thought about my wife and my two daughters, and that gave me strength. I started to call out for help.”

Mr. Shepard fell in and out of consciousness for quite a while before someone found him and called 911. Brookfield Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from the Brookfield Fire Department quickly arrived on the scene. They stabilized him on a backboard, safely carried him out of the woods, and transported him to the Danbury Hospital Emergency Department (ED).

The Danbury Hospital ED staff was ready for Mr. Shepard’s arrival. Assessing him right away, they determined that Mr. Shepard had sustained a fracture and dislocation of his mid-back, which had resulted in paraplegia — he was paralyzed from the waist down. It was clear that Mr. Shepard would need emergency spine surgery to have any chance of regaining sensation and movement below his waist.

“I knew there was a good possibility I might not walk again. I also knew I was in the right place at Danbury Hospital,” said Mr. Shepard. “I told the ED staff that I was focusing on the future, and I saw myself walking each of my daughters down the aisle at their weddings. I felt calm going into surgery and just hoped for the best,” he said.

On November 9, 2015 around 2:00 AM, the ED paged David Kramer, MD, spine surgeon and Chief of Spine Surgery for Danbury Hospital. He headed to the hospital immediately once he learned about Mr. Shepard’s spinal cord injury and resulting paraplegia. Soon after, Dr. Kramer and his partner David Bomback, MD performed the surgery to repair Mr. Shepard’s spinal cord injury.

“Timing is of the essence when a patient sustains a spinal cord injury of this magnitude,” said Dr. Kramer. “To give Mr. Shepard a chance of walking again, we knew we needed to get him to surgery, decompress his spinal cord, and realign and stabilize his spinal column within eight hours from the time of his injury.”

The Danbury Hospital ED and the Operating Room (OR) are well prepared for these types of serious, emergent spinal cord injuries. Training and practice means they can quickly coordinate care between the ED physicians, radiologists, anesthesiologists, OR nurses, the spinal cord monitoring team, and the team that prepares the spinal implants. This is critical to getting the patient into surgery as quickly as possible.

“After the surgery, Dr. Kramer came to my room. The first thing he said was that he heard my story from the ED staff about my daughters. He has three daughters himself, and he could relate to my concerns. He explained that because he quickly got me into the OR, and then performed surgery to decompress and stabilize my spine, he was optimistic that I would fulfill my wish,” said Mr. Shepard.

“My goal is to help patients like Mr. Shepard maintain their quality of life and reduce the risk of potentially lifelong, devastating complications from spinal cord injuries,” said Dr. Kramer. “Dr. Bomback and I are here to treat our emergency spinal cord injury patients expeditiously, safely, and with compassion. Our patients can also rest assured knowing that the proven processes to treat emergent spinal cord injuries, and the resources available at Danbury Hospital, can help them to have the best possible outcome.”

Mr. Shepard spent just four days at Danbury Hospital recovering from the surgery before starting physical therapy. Determined to get better, he began upper body strengthening exercises while still in a wheelchair, wearing a back brace, and unable to feel or move his legs. Then, several days after the surgery, he began to move his toes.

Mr. Shepard ultimately exceeded expectations in physical therapy. He quickly mastered an exoskeleton device, which is used during rehabilitation to help spinal cord injury and stroke patients relearn how to walk. He exercised three and a half hours a day, three days a week, to build his strength. Within three months, he was able to walk independently and within eight months he was able to return to work part time.

“No one wants to experience an injury like I did. I was in a difficult situation. What made it better was the continuous love and support of my wife Patricia, my daughters and their husbands, and all of my family and friends. My colleagues at Boehringer Ingelheim, where I worked in various roles for 36 years were also very caring and understanding,” said Mr. Shepard. “I want to thank everyone for looking out for me, including Dr. Kramer. He even called the rehab center where I spent months in physical therapy to check up on me often, which the staff said was unprecedented. I really appreciated that and felt like he was always in my corner.”

On July 3, 2018, Mr. Shepard walked his 30-year-old daughter, Melissa, down the aisle at her wedding. Less than two months later, on August 25, 2018, he did the same for his 29-year-old daughter, Jessica.

“Dr. Kramer’s confidence that I would be able to walk again was the biggest motivation for me. From the first time I met him three years ago, he reassured me. And to this day, as I continue to recover and build my strength, I hear his words of encouragement and that helps me to keep going,” said Mr. Shepard.

Mr. Shepard has adopted lifestyle modifications to help him manage his new normal after enduring the spinal cord injury. He has acupuncture and practices yoga.

“I keep myself active. I haven’t stopped, and I won’t,” said Mr. Shepard.


]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Neighbors Tue, 04 Dec 2018 02:57:14 -0500
Edmond Town Hall Hosts Whiffenpoofs And Whim 'n Rhythm Concert

Whiffenpoofs And Whim 'n Rhythm Concert in Newtown on Thursday, December 6 from 7 to 10 pm.

The Whiffenpoofs, established in 1909, is the first group of its type in the nation. Cole Porter was a member! 
Whim 'n Rhythm, Yale's premier female a cappella group was established in 1981. Both groups regularly perform internationally.

Two of the best college a cappella groups: Yale's The Whiffenpoofs and Whim 'n Rhythm, coming to Edmond Town Hall together for the first time!

Learn more about this event here.

Edmond Town Hall is located at 45 Main Street in Newtown.

]]> (Newtown Chamber) Events Mon, 03 Dec 2018 12:14:00 -0500
Newtown Chamber Holiday Party, Fill the Sleigh for the Newtown Fund!

Newtown Chamber Holiday Party will take place on Thursday, December 6 from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at Newtown Country Club and benefits The Newtown Fund.

Hors-d'oeuvre and Cash Bar $15 for Chamber Members and $20 Non-Chamber Members.

Fill the Sleigh with a gift for The Newtown Fund. Bring a donation of new clothing, blankets, new toys, food, etc.

R.S.V.P. or Pay in advance

All items will be delivered on your behalf to the staff of and volunteer of The Newtown Fund where the items will be packaged and delivered to families in need.

For more information contact Alison Kistner 203-491-7586.

R.S.V.P. or Pay in advance

]]> (Newtown Chamber) Events Mon, 03 Dec 2018 11:40:00 -0500
Free flu vaccines available at Newtown clinic on Saturday

In an effort to protect the public’s health and reduce the spread of influenza (flu) virus, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is teaming up once again with local health departments to provide free/low-cost flu vaccine at several locations across the state on Saturday, December 8th.  DPH strongly encourages all Connecticut residents over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot. 

A Clinic will take place at Reed Intermediate School, 3 Trades Lane, Newtown from 9am-11am. Questions? Call 203.270.4291.

“While we do not yet know how severe this flu season will be, last year’s was the worst flu season in many, many years.  Last season, we had over 14,000 people test positive for flu, more than 3,800 individuals hospitalized due to flu, and more than 180 deaths associated with the flu,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino.  “The best protection against the flu is to get vaccinated.  I strongly encourage all residents to get a flu shot, if they haven’t already – now is the perfect time.”
The full schedule and locations of Flu Clinics on December 8th can be found on the DPH website ( and on social media.
Adult vaccine will be provided at no cost to those without insurance.  Residents with insurance should bring their card and will be charged a small administrative fee, but will not be charged out of pocket for the vaccine.
State health officials say flu activity in Connecticut continues to increase. As of November 24, 2018, 151 people have tested positive for the flu so far this season, and 55 have been hospitalized with the illness. There has also been one flu-related death so far this season.  For the most recent information about influenza activity in Connecticut, please see the DPH weekly influenza update.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that is spread through the air and by direct contact with respiratory droplets. Typical symptoms of the flu include sudden fever, aching muscles, sore throat, coughing, runny nose, headache, and eye pain. While anyone, particularly individuals who are not vaccinated, can contract the flu, the illness is especially dangerous for certain groups, including: people aged 65 and older; children younger than 2 years old; people of any age with chronic medical conditions, like asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, or lung disease; and pregnant women.

]]> (DPH Reed Intermediate School 3 Trades Lane, Newtown Newtown Health Department 9am-11am 203.270.4291) Life Mon, 03 Dec 2018 09:37:19 -0500
Last Call for Newtown Holiday Homes!

Free entry to local contest for Newtown's exterior decorating contest.  Join the Newtown Holiday Decorating Contest group to enter.

Don't decorate your house, but enjoy driving around to view the lights?  Join the group for a free listing of addresses and driving route.  

Click here for additional information.     


]]> (staff) Life Fri, 30 Nov 2018 06:47:36 -0500
9th Annual Hawleyville Tree Lighting on December 2

Welcome the holiday season with fellow Newtown residents along with Santa and Mrs. Claus who will arrive courtesy of Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Department on December 2 beginning at 5:30 pm.

Enjoy local refreshments: 
*Pizza, Papa Al’s
*Sparkling Wine, Hawleyville Wine & Liquor
*Fortune Cookies, New Main Moon Restaurant
*Hot Chocolate, Big Buddha Cigar Lounge &
Hawleyville Post Office

And entertainment for kids:
*Wayne Lane
*UltraViolet Productions, Director Wendy Mitchell

Songs of the season:
*Saint Rose Contemporary Choir

Bring an unwrapped gift or toy for the Newtown Fund. The Newtown Fund is a non-profit volunteer organization that provides assistance to local residents and their families. 

The 2012 Hawleyville Tree Lighting is dedicated in memory of two of Hawleyville's long-time friends, Bucky Dean and Charles Speidel.


]]> (Stony Hill Four Corners Association) Events Fri, 30 Nov 2018 06:33:00 -0500
Reby Advisors Provides Year-End Financial Planning Check List

Editor’s note: Patrick Doherty, CFP® at Reby Advisors, offers readers important end-of-year to-do’s and potential last-minute opportunities to reduce your income taxes.

End of Year Tax Tips

  • Tax loss harvesting: sell investments at losses before December 31st to offset gains and reduce your taxable income.

  • Itemizing versus Standard Deduction: For a married couple, the standard deduction has doubled to $24,000. If your itemized deductions are less than this, consider accelerating charitable giving to go over the $24,000 mark for itemized deductions.

  • Managing your tax bracket: If you expect your adjusted gross income to be higher next year, and in particular if you may enter a higher tax bracket in 2019, then it may not be the best idea to “accelerate” your deductibles because they will have more value in 2019.

  • Accelerated business expenses: hire your kids during the holiday season, buy equipment now instead of next year, pre-pay for services, etc.

  • Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD): If you have to fulfill required minimum distributions (RMD) and do not need the income to sustain your lifestyle, you may be able to avoid paying taxes on the distributions by directing the funds directly to the qualified non-profit of your choice. Click here to learn more about QCDs.

  • Donor Advised Fund: A Donor Advised Fund may enable you to claim a large deduction in the current year and still have the funds distributed over time. Click here to read our blog article on Donor Advised Funds.

These are just a few examples. I also recommend reading TurboTax’s 10 Easy End of Year Tax Tips to Increase Your Refund and asking your accountant or Financial Planner for their recommendations.

Additional End-of-Year Financial To-Do's

  • If you or someone you know is over the age of 70.5, take your required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your IRA or 401(k)

  • If you plan to make any energy-savings improvements to your home, consider paying for them before December 31st, as they may result in tax savings. Go here for more info:

  • Tax credits may also be available for select plug-in vehicles:

  • If applicable, review your Social Security and Medicare increases for 2019 to help with your income planning and tax bracket management

  • Max out your 401(k) or IRA account contributions (note that you have until April 2019 to contribute to IRA accounts for 2018) before December 31st

  • Check your Flexible Savings Accounts to make sure you don’t lose funds you’ve already contributed – these are “use it or lose it”

  • Consider contributing more to a tax-deductible HSA (health savings account) to reduce your adjusted gross income

  • Get the cost-basis of any inherited or purchased property. This will save you time and money later on when it’s time to sell, whether that’s next year or many years from now.

If there’s anything Reby Advisors can do to help you end the year on a strong note financially, please let us know. As always, please contact Reby Advisors for advice on any of these items or to start 2019 on the right foot financially: (203) 790-4949. Visit Reby Advisors online here.

About the author

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Patrick focuses on eliminating his clients’ financial worries. His first step is simple: he listens. After gaining an understanding of client concerns, he aims to develop strategies to generate predictable streams of income that support client goals while minimizing the risks that may derail their lifestyle. His knowledge goes well beyond retirement planning and investments. He is a Chartered Special Needs Consultant (ChSNC™) and has a Certification in Long-Term Care (CLTC).

]]> (Patrick Doherty, CFP®) Life Fri, 30 Nov 2018 01:41:49 -0500
Flu Shot Clinic in Newtown on Saturday

The Housatonic Valley Health Departments and Districts are hosting a Flu Shot Clinic at Reed Intermediate School in Newtown (3 Trades Lane) on Saturday, December 1 from 9am to 11am. 

The flu shot is free for uninsured. Private and state insurance is accepted. 

For additional information, contact Newtown Health Department - (203) 270-4219. 

]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Life Thu, 29 Nov 2018 10:45:28 -0500
Newtown Ranked #3 of Safest Cities in Connecticut

SafeWise, a digital company specializing in home security and safety, recently announced Connecticut's Top 20 Safest Cities of 2018, ranking Ridgefield #3, behind Darien (#1) and Ridgefield (#2). 

Newtown stats:

Population: 28,105
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.11
Property crimes per 1,000: 2.95
Total crime: 3.61% violent, 96.39% property

To identify the twenty safest cities in Connecticut, Safewise says they reviewed the 2016 FBI crime report statistics and population data. Cities that fell below identified population thresholds or that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI were excluded from the ranking system, they say.

"Our evaluation is based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) in each city. If there was a tie, we also factored in the number of property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft)," Safewise explains.

To level the playing field, Safewise calculated the rate of crimes per 1,000 people in each city. 

#1 Darien

#2 Ridgefield

#3 Newtown

#4 Cheshire

#5 South Windsor

#6 Greenwich

#7 Westport

#8 Simsbury

#9 Branford

#10 Guilford

See if your hometown made the list here.

Learn more about how Safewise ranks their Safest Cities reports.

]]> (HH) Places Thu, 29 Nov 2018 08:06:52 -0500