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August 24, 2016 top stories
Voters will get chance
to weigh in on prayer

GROTON—A special town meeting will be scheduled to address the practice of prayer before the annual town meeting. At the selectboard meeting in Groton last week, two members of the board approved a motion to hold a special town meeting on a resolution that was initially approved by the selectboard in January.
Although supporters say the practice has been in place for decades, if not the entirety of the town’s existence, the town meeting prayer has drawn criticism over the last several years from some attending the annual meeting each March.

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Skepticism voiced
on school merger

WELLS RIVER—Dozens of people turned out on Aug. 17 to attend a meeting held by the Act 46 study committee at Blue Mountain Union School. Like others throughout Vermont, the BMU, Bradford, Newbury and Oxbow school districts are considering a potential merger and the committee has held monthly meetings since March.
Act 46 is the law passed in 2015 that provides incentives for communities that voluntarily merge their school districts. The hope, advocates say, is that legislation will help districts cope with diminishing student populations, reduce operating costs and improve educational equity across socioeconomic and geographic strata.

BUSY BEE GATHERING—Captured while busy collecting was the bumblebee in this photo, working over a spearmint flower.

JO PHOTO BY MICHELLE SHERBURNE

Ex-WVS head takes
over as superintendent

HAVERHILL—Laurie Melanson took over as superintendent at SAU-23 at the beginning of July, replacing interim superintendent Don LaPlante.
Over the course of her career, Melanson has taught first grade, worked as a reading specialist, and has served as a principal for 13 years. Most recently she was principal of Warren Village School for six years. She studied education at Salem State College and then earned her master’s at Harvard in reading, language, and learning disabilities. Currently she is working on a doctorate in educational leadership. She is certified in elementary education and special ed, and as a reading specialist and a curriculum specialist; she also has certification as a principal and superintendent.

County dispatcher killed in crash

CANTERBURY—A Grafton County dispatcher was killed last week in a crash on I-93 in Canterbury.
State police said Michael Weden, 29, of North Woodstock was operating a Ford F-150 on I-93 late on the afternoon of Aug. 19 when it left the northbound travel way and struck a cluster of trees in the median.
A passenger, Steven Bomba, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Bomba, 25, of Lincoln was a firefighter in that town.

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