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April 26, 2017 top stories
Act 46 group ends talks

BRADFORD—A study committee exploring the possible union of the Blue Mountain, Bradford, Newbury, and Oxbow school districts narrowly voted on Monday night to reject further negotiations.
In a contested voice vote, the committee approved a motion to dissolve. The move came after Blue Mountain School Board members earlier this month voted to withdraw from discussions with Orange East and pursue alternative merger discussions with Peacham and, possibly, Danville.
In a meeting in the Oxbow High School auditorium on April 24, several BMU members on the Act 46 committee said discussions over the last 12 months have not gone the way they would like.
“There’s constant talk of closing BMU High School and that isn’t going to work for me,” Angeline Alley of Ryegate said.

Groton man
sentenced in
child porn case

GROTON—Attorney General Thomas J. Donovan announced that Robert Haycook of Groton was sentenced on March 17 in Caledonia County Court after pleading guilty to two felony counts of possession of child pornography. Haycook was sentenced to two to 10 years imprisonment, all suspended, and was placed on probation for 10 years.
The charges arose after the Vermont’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children indicating that several images containing child pornography had been uploaded to an internet cloud storage account. A subsequent investigation revealed that the images originated from an electronic device owned by Haycook, who told police that he sought out images of child pornography on the internet and then saved them to the electronic device.

This week's featured photo
Social media policy
mulled at WRVS

WAITS RIVER—The perils of social media prompted one local school board to consider a social media policy for parents raising concerns about free speech and online etiquette.
The issue came up at a Waits River Valley School Board meeting last month after board members saw posts on Facebook critical of the school’s principal, according to meeting minutes.
The posts in question were not able to be located by the Journal Opinion. But according to meeting minutes, the posts, believed to have been made by parents, referred to Principal Carlotta Simonds-Perantoni as a “Nazi.” Other posts, according to people interviewed for this story, described her as “cold and unwelcoming” and described the school as being operated “like a cult.”

A structure fire destroyed a garage on Saddleback Road in Bradford on the morning of April 21, but firefighters were able to prevent the blaze from spreading to the adjacent home despite strong winds in the area.


Newbury’s tax
rate could drop

NEWBURY—Informational and annual school district meetings will be held in Newbury next week.
The informational meeting is scheduled for May 2 at 6 p.m. at Newbury Elementary School. Two days later, Australian ballot voting will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the town offices on the $2.4 million budget and for school board elections. At 7:30 p.m., voters will gather to take action on other meeting warrant articles including proposals to spend $70,000 on building improvements.
One topic that will not be voted upon during the Australian ballot articles or at the 2017 annual meeting is Act 46, the school consolidation law that occupied much of the discussion at last year’s meeting. The committee representing Newbury and other districts that were contemplating a merger decided to disband on April 24 after months of research and deliberation on the idea.

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