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May 23, 2018 top stories
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BMU, OESU
merge, sort of

WELLS RIVER—After the Vermont State Board of Education recently denied Blue Mountain Union’s request to hire an interim superintendent, it has assigned the district to Orange East Supervisory Union instead.
In a May 19 interview, current BMU Superintendent Emilie Knisley said the action was taken to make sure BMU had administrative leadership in place when the new fiscal year begins in a little over a month.
Knisley and BMU Business Manager Lori Blood are leaving the school in Wells River to assume the same positions at OESU on July 1.
“The state board has the authority at any time to redraw the [district] boundaries,” Kinsley said. “They put BMU into an interim status because they felt the district needed leadership. The theory was that because Lori Blood and I have experience with BMU, it would make sense.”

Administrator resigns
as changes continue

ORFORD—The latest upheaval in Orford is the resignation of town administrator Sheri Clifford to take effect on May 29. She is leaving to take an administrative position with the Hanover Fire Department
Clifford submitted her resignation on May 15. The same evening, the selectboard, then made up of John Adams and David Smith, appointed Jim McGoff to join them, replacing Paul Goundrey who had resigned a week earlier.
Before appointing McGoff, Adams suggested the board send out a boxholder inviting townspeople to let them know if they were interested in filling the vacancy. But Smith cited Orford’s frequent practice of appointing the runner-up from the most recent election, and made a motion to appoint McGoff, who had lost to Adams, the incumbent selectboard chair. After discussion with those in attendance at the board’s special meeting

Former school deputy
blocks records request

WOODSTOCK, VT—A former assistant superintendent in Bradford has sued Orange East Supervisory Union to block the release of documents requested by the Journal Opinion in a public records request.
Keith Thompson’s employment at OESU ended in January. In March, the JO filed a request seeking records related to workplace conduct and job performance for Thompson and two other former employees of the supervisory union.
Earlier this month, OESU provided some of the records requested by the newspaper. But other records were withheld after Thompson asked for a temporary restraining order against OESU.
On May 11, Judge Robert Gerety issued a 10-day order barring OESU from releasing the records. That order, however, has been effectively extended following a court hearing in Windsor County Superior Court in Woodstock, Vermont on the morning of May 17.

This week's featured photo
Erasing lunch debt
takes a star turn

WOODSVILLE—Earlier this year, a Haverhill man raised $4,500 in one month to pay down delinquent lunch accounts for 260 children in eight SAU-23 schools as part of his Food 4 Kids initiative. On May 15, only six months since the fundraiser’s start, Isidro Rodriguez received a thank you in the form of a huge surprise that involved the entire community.
It began with the appearance of Mike Rowe, the famous television personality who had come to Woodsville with a film crew in tow. Rodriguez was nominated by a community member to be featured on Rowe’s popular documentary series called “Returning the Favor,” which is geared towards finding “bloody do-gooders, people who are slightly better than us doing nice things.” The show debuted on Facebook last August and tallied 200 million views in its first season.

Television personality Mike Rowe (left) joined Isidro Rodriguez (right) in Woodsville last week to recognize Food 4 Kids, a benefit initiative he launched to cancel lunch debts at area schools.
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