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October 9, 2019 top stories
River Bend has a mascot

BRADFORD—Sasquatch has been a topic of conversation all over Bradford and beyond for several weeks. In the summer, an anonymous flyer was posted around town alluding to the possible presence of a big hairy creature playing a role in the prolonged closure of the bridge on Old Creamery Road.
We now know who was responsible for that flyer. Please see page 6 for a letter to the editor from the responsible culprits, who, amazingly, work and learn not far from the people we talked to for the following story, which is about what happened after that flyer received media coverage.
Unbeknownst to all but a few, a plot was hatched in the hallways of River Bend Career and Technical Center. All, or almost all, was revealed on Saturday at the Groton Fall Foliage Festival when Sasquatch itself appeared on the River Bend parade float, marking its official introduction as the River Bend mascot.
Several of the suspected plotters admitted their involvement to a reporter over the past few days. In fact, the decision to adopt Sasquatch as River Bend’s mascot was made late in September.
Although located on the same Bradford campus as Oxbow High School, River Bend is a distinct school whose students come from five different area high schools.
Unlike those sending schools, River Bend, which does not field interscholastic athletics teams, has never had its own mascot, although there have been informal discussions about adopting one for certain occasions.
Lance Mills, who is the construction technology instructor at the center, told the Journal Opinion that the whole thing started as a joke but as more staff members ran with the idea, it evolved into something more substantial.
“This kind of snowballed after being started as a prank,” Mills said. “Also, it turned out that Leanna Tomlinson, our administrative assistant, has always wanted to be a team mascot.”

Robie appeals
sentence order

NORTH HAVERHILL—Michael Robie has appealed a decision by a superior court judge to deny his request to be released from prison before the end of his sentence.
Robie is incarcerated at New Hampshire State Prison in Concord after pleading guilty to four felony assault, obstruction, and conspiracy charges related to the October 2008 murder of Christopher Gray of Groton.
Gray was killed by Timothy Smith and Anthony Howe in North Haverhill after Robie, who was behind bars on unrelated charges, directed them to hurt Gray because he was romantically interested in Amber Talbot, Robie’s then-girlfriend and mother of his son.
Smith and Howe are serving minimum 40- and 42-year jail sentences, respectively. Talbot is serving a minimum of 25 years in jail.

This week's featured photo
Changes could quell
Budget building begins at RISD

ORFORD—Finances once again took center stage at the Rivendell School District Board’s Oct. 1 meeting. The board received a new summary and forecast for current year expenses and some hints as to new thinking for the future.
Last month, Rivendell’s chief financial officer, Bill Little, presented the final report on FY19 expenditures, which came in substantially over budget. At the time, he warned that errors in budgeting benefits would be repeated this year, because the FY20 budget had been built on the FY19 budget.
Little vowed to have more accurate reporting of expenditures this year, encumbering actual person-by-person salaries and benefits throughout the year. He said that accurate, actual expenditures would serve as the base for budgeting in the future.
On Oct. 1, Little’s financial report had a new look, comparing the FY20 budget to projected expenditures in three areas: salaries, benefits and “other.” The summary also shows the variance (over or under budget) in each area and estimates a “baseline” budget for FY21.
At this time, projected salaries, which do not include overtime or Summerscapes, appear to be about $200,000 below budget. Benefits, however, are expected to be at least $312,500 over budget, resulting in a shortfall of at least $112,000.

Glencliff copes with
staffing shortage

BENTON—Officials at the state-run Glencliff Home for the Elderly in Benton say efforts are being made to increase nursing staff levels and reduce dependency on temporary hires.
On Oct. 5, the 120-bed nursing home held a job fair hoping to attract new talent.
“We are confident that the fair will offer a pool of talent for the housekeeping, maintenance, and dietary positions and are hopeful for the nursing positions,” said Glencliff Home Administrator Todd Bickford.
The job fair also highlighted classes for “anyone who might be interested in a new career in the health field,” Bickford said.
Glencliff is a state-run and maintained nursing home operating with 169 full-time positions, but with a number of vacancies yet to be filled.

A lone loon flutters in the water during a cool fall morning last week on Lake Morey in Fairlee.
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