News roundup: Man arrested for rampages, problematic water main, tuition raised, proposed K-8 budget increase, and call for heavier fines

Above:  Trottier Middle School’s need for a new special education teacher and special needs transport were among expenses highlighted as contributing to the school budget increase.
(photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

The Metrowest Daily News covered stories about our town this week that I haven’t gotten to yet.

One gem that was too late for the latest police logs was a man arrested on Monday for disturbingly violent behavior, released by court, then arrested for second rampage that afternoon.

Man arrested after rampage – from MWDN:
A Vermont man was committed for psychiatric evaluation Monday, police said, after he authorities said he tried to hit a man with his car and, after being arrested and released, smashed windows at a Rte. 9 motel. . .

Slatkavitz said police began receiving 911 calls at about 7:40 a.m. for reports of a man running across Rte. 9 and disrupting traffic. Slatkavitz said at about the same time police received a call from an employee of a Rte. 9 business who said a man had just taken off running after nearly hitting him with his car. (read more)

This next story should come as no surprise if (like me) you were trying to get anywhere during Tuesday morning “rush hour”. The article explores the cause of the incident and the resulting impending item for Town Meeting.

Water main break in Southborough jams commute (again) – from MWDN:
A water main break on Rte. 9 snarled morning rush hour traffic for miles Tuesday, the second time in a year that a main break on that stretch of road caused headaches for commuters. . .

“This pipe in particular is problematic – it’s old,” [Southborough Public Works Superintendent Karen Galligan] said. Galligan said she isn’t sure when it was installed, but believes it has been there since at least 1932.

A Town Meeting article this spring will ask voters to approve a capital project to replace the aging water main, Galligan said. (read more)

I gave you a heads up on the vote for Kindergarten tuition increase at this week’s school committee meeting. Looks like it wasn’t the only increase discussed.

Southborough K-8 schools: 3.5 percent budget hike weighed – from MWDN:
Superintendent Charles Gobron Wednesday pitched a preliminary fiscal 2015 budget that would increase the K-8 budget by about 3.5 percent. . .

Gobron told K-8 School Committee members that though declining enrollment would lead to three teacher layoffs, the schools still need to add teachers in specialty areas.

He said Trottier Middle School needs a new special education teacher and also needs $40,000 more for transporting special needs students. The district also plans to hire a new English Language Learners teacher, he said, to keep up with demand. He noted that new students who speak no English require 15 hours of individual attention per week under law. . .

In addition to hearing the budget, the School Committee, citing increased costs, voted unanimously to increase the cost of full-day kindergarten by 8 percent, from $3,000 to $3,250. (read more)

Finally, a business in town that has earned an unsavory reputation in the news is back in headlines:

Animal rights group: Harvard deserves more fines from MWDN:
An animal rights group Wednesday demanded the government levy more fines against Harvard’s New England Primate Research Center after releasing documents it says detail additional violation of animal safety laws. . . 

The center – which Harvard plans to close within two years – was fined $24,036 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month after an investigation into four monkey deaths and several other incidents that have occurred there in the past few years.

[Michael Budkie, executive director of Ohio-Based Stop Animal Exploitation Now!] Wednesday released documents he obtained from the National Institutes of Health, which provides funding to the center. He said the documents show potential violations of the Animal Welfare Act for which the center has not been fined. . .

In response documents, NIH officials do not seem overly concerned with the reports, writing that the school had taken steps to correct the problems. (read more)

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SB Resident
9 years ago

According to the projections shown in this document on the districts website, the district should be losing 6 classrooms (thus teachers). Why only three and not six? This after what should have been 2 this past year too. I never saw any mention of losing two teachers this past year either. (though it could have happened) Unless these projects were way off, then over the past two years the K-8 enrollment will have decreased over 10%, yet we will have seen budget increases both years. We are expected to lose another 10% or more over the next three years. With enrollment dropping over 20% over 5 years, I really expected to see some savings.

9 years ago

What motel? Guessing it’s the red roof?

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