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September 19, 2018 top stories
Newbury to hold
special school meeting

NEWBURY—About 40 people attended a public information meeting last week in advance of a special meeting to be held on Sept. 27 by Newbury’s school district.
The turnout, larger than usual for a preliminary public meeting, underscores the concern that school board directors, parents, and others share over Act 46’s potential consolidation mandate.
According to the statements made by nearly everyone who spoke at the meeting, the “forced merger” of Newbury’s district with Blue Mountain, Bradford, and Oxbow is not popular in town.
But earlier this summer, that outcome was outlined in a preliminary report issued by the Vermont Department of Education’s then-acting secretary, Heather Bouchey. The report will be finalized in November.
Next week, three articles will be voted upon in a town meeting-style format getting underway at 7 p.m. at the elementary school.

Surplus funds
now gone

BRADFORD—Just weeks into the new school year, and local school officials have a fiscal challenge on their hands.
Oxbow High School had planned on incorporating science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, or STEAM, programming into its existing curriculum this year utilizing more than a quarter of a million dollars in surplus budget funds from previous years. Those plans are now on hold.
Earlier this month, administrators in Orange East Supervisory Union found that those surplus funds do not exist. The money would have supported new offerings so, for now, the school’s existing academics program will not be affected by the discovery.

This week's featured photo
Deadly collision on Route 10

NORTH HAVERHILL—The operator of a motorcycle died after sustaining serious injuries in a collision on Route 10 on Monday afternoon.
The motorcycle was traveling north on Route 10 near the Dead River Oil Company office when he struck the rear of a dump truck that had stopped to turn left into agricultural fields.
Haverhill Police Chief Brandon Alling said it did not appear that speed or alcohol were factors in the collision. The motorcycle operator was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. The driver of the truck was uninjured.
The injured rider was taken to Cottage Hospital where he died overnight. Alling said on Tuesday morning that he could not identify the operator because he was unsure if the next of kin had been notified. A voicemail left at Cottage Hospital was not returned by a press deadline.
The incident happened at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 17. Route 10 was closed temporarily as emergency responders arrived. Traffic was diverted at Newbury Crossing and at Benton Road.

Treasurer asks for
caution on spending

ORFORD—Looking at spending relative to the town’s budget, Orford appears to be in good financial shape. But, the town’s bank accounts tell another story, according to town treasurer Nancy Murphy.
Murphy updated the selectboard on Sept. 12, cautioning them to curb spending so they do not run out of cash before the second round of taxes comes in, usually by mid-December.
The first tax bill was payable in early July. Since then, ongoing bills have been paid, as well as half of the school tax, three-fourths of the Upper Valley Ambulance bill, and half of the money appropriated for capital reserve funds, Murphy said.

Oxbow Head Coach Jason Marsh speaks to his players during a break in action at the Olympians’ home opener against Spaulding on Saturday. After playing a junior varsity schedule in 2017, the team played its first varsity home game this season with 19 players on the roster.
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