News Roundup: ARHS masks, Fire Chief’s certification requirement downgraded, Golf Course fences, and Resident convicted for selling Adderall

Above: One year ago, Algonquin touted masks for safety. One of the issues covered by the media this week was a Regional School Committee debate on the continuing necessity. (image attributed to Class of 2021’s Dana Gaudette, tweeted by @HsAlgonquin)

I’m rounding up four articles by local papers this week about our community.

Metrowest Daily News wrote about a resident convicted for illegally selling prescription drugs.

These days, crimes, fires, and car crashes are about all the regional paper and its affiliates cover for Southborough news.

Fortunately, the Community Advocate has stepped up its local government beat. CA covered two highlights from the Board of Selectmen meeting and another from the Regional School Committee meeting.

ARHS to keep mask mandate despite School Committee Vice Chair’s proposal – Community Advocate:

A motion failed with a split 5-1 vote on taking advantage of an option to apply to drop mask mandates in schools with an over 80% vaccination rate:

A mask mandate will remain in place at Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) despite an effort by Regional School Committee Vice Chair Daniel Kolenda to remove the mandate during an Oct. 20 meeting. . .

“The marker’s been set,” said Kolenda. “The state set it…We not only met the marker, we exceeded the marker.”

He said he’s heard from parents and students who are eager to get rid of the masks. . .

Superintendent Gregory Martineau said the district had submitted a form to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to have local control over when masks can be removed. . .

“Dan, we heard your opinion,” said Chair Paul Desmond. “I completely disagree. I think we need to follow the science, and I agree with what the Medical Advisory team has said. I don’t think it’s worth the risk of more in-school contact tracing and loss of school learning time.” . . .

[Superintendent Gregory Martineau] said recent conversations with the district’s Medical Advisory Team had surrounded masking and the offramp at ARHS. (read more)

Southborough Selectmen remove paramedic certification requirement from fire chief’s contract – Community Advocate:

A split vote among selectmen on an unrelated safety issue succeeded:

With a 3-2 vote, Southborough Selectmen agreed during their Oct. 19 meeting to amend Fire Chief Steven Achilles’ contract, removing the requirement he has to maintain paramedic certification throughout the duration of his contract.. . .

In a letter, the fire chief said there were times during his two-year tenure when he had to be the primary paramedic while at the same time acting as the ranking chief officer at a scene.

He felt that situation creates a “conflict” and said he feels he should focus on his fire chief duties. . .

[Town Counsel] did not see a “conflict,” per se, it noted the board could defer to his experience of time management and the fact that other lower-level employees are responding to medical incidents.

Town counsel said the fire chief’s request for an amendment also appeared to be related to his personal comfort level in performing paramedic duties. . .

Vice Chair Chelsea Malinowski said that she is uncomfortable with the fire chief dropping two levels down in certification from a paramedic to a basic EMT. She said the emergency personnel, at a minimum, have an advanced EMT certification. . .

Braccio said she sees the fire department as “paramedic driven,” and therefore, she said she has reservations as well. (read more)

Business booms at Southborough Golf Club, but areas of concern remain – Community Advocate:

Selectmen also discussed a very different safety issue.

The Southborough Golf Club is experiencing record activity and financial performance, according to Selectman Sam Stivers.

But there are still some concerns—including a need for better fencing for the safety of pedestrians. . .

Noting that a resident was injured by a stray ball, though, Stivers said they are looking to add fencing on Latisquama Road. In addition, signs will be placed warning pedestrians to be on alert for golf balls when players are present.

An existing fence is between 10 and 12 feet high. But it has gaps in three spots, including at Latisquama. . .

In addition to fencing, the town is also looking to examine irrigation options for fairways and greens. It’s exploring options to pave the parking lot and driveway and considering making upgrades to food and beverage offerings at the clubhouse, Stivers said. (read more)

Employees at Framingham doctor’s office sentenced to prison for Adderall prescription scam – Metrowest Daily News

Two former employees of a doctor who had offices in Framingham and Whitinsville were sentenced last week to federal prison for their roles in illegally prescribing Adderall to those without a medical need for the drug.

Last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Hillman sentenced Rene Ruliera, 54, of Southborough, to two years in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. She pleaded guilty in 2019 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute Adderall and four counts of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute Adderall. . .

Authorities say the trio conspired to sell Adderall to people who had not been examined or received a diagnosis that called for the drug. . .

Authorities say [Dr. Leslie Carceni’s] office illegally issued 1,500 prescriptions — more than 110,000 pills. It was the high number of prescriptions, monitored by the federal Prescription Monitoring System, that led to the charges. (read more)

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