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Blue Ridge Prepares To Downsize?
By Ted Brewster

The Blue Ridge School Board gathered for a special meeting on December 13, only a week after what was supposed to be its last of the year. The agenda was brief, but surprising, and may presage difficult times during the coming year.

The technology staff, Mike Stewart and Donna Tewes, got together early with Alan Hall, School Board President, Superintendent Robert McTiernan, Middle School Principal Matthew Nebzydoski and a few others to hash over a plan to provide an offering for students who now attend so-called “cyber-charter” schools. The cyber-charter movement has proved costly to local school districts because the number of enrolled students can’t be anticipated, yet the districts must pay a fixed amount (for Blue Ridge, about $10,000) per student when billed at year’s end. Blue Ridge is hoping to recruit some of these students by offering an equivalent experience at lower cost, with the promise of a Blue Ridge diploma at graduation.

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Clifford To Fix Bridge
By Stephanie Everett

Unresolved old business received much attention at a Clifford Township business meeting held December 13. One such matter involved the Mud Road bridge project; the township must pay all bills for the project before PEMA and FEMA will provide the awarded grant money to reimburse the township. The township supervisors passed a motion to take out a $92,000 low-interest loan to pay for the bridge work.

Board president Dennis Knowlton opened bids for two dump trucks the township had advertised for sale. One bid was for $6,752; the other was for $1,733. “I think it’s too low for either of them,” commented Knowlton, who stated that he wanted to seek a way to “get a little more [money] out of the trucks.” Secretary René Reynolds suggested advertising the trucks in the paper shop or putting them up for auction. The supervisors wished to consult road master James Locker, and the matter was tabled.

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