Archive - Nov 8, 2007
THE CLASSIC RODGERS and Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music,” which originally opened on Broadway in 1959, comes to Vergennes Union High School this week with performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. The show features Katie Jordan as Maria.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell
November 8, 2007
By MEGAN JAMES
WHITING/SUDBURY — The proposal to form a joint school district between Whiting and Sudbury was defeated on Tuesday when the two towns split the decision: Sudbury voters approved the plan, 53-39, and Whiting said no, 47-26.
In order to pass the measure, both towns had to agree.
Bill Mathis, superintendent of the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union, attended a portion of both town meetings Tuesday night where school board members discussed the merger with residents before the floor vote.
In Whiting, he suspected one reason voters rejected the joint school district was that they wanted to retain a sense of ownership over their village school.
“People have a tremendous amount of pride in their local community,” he said. “It’s something that’s precious to them. And even though their school would remain open, it strikes at some core values.”
According to Whiting Town Clerk Grace Simonds, Whiting voters were also wary of the costs involved in merging the schools, despite calculations distributed by both school boards showing a $134,000 decrease in the annual spending plan — each school would only need four teachers, rather than six, because class sizes would be larger — were the schools to merge.
In Sudbury, cutting costs was a key issue, but one that led the voters to draw the opposite conclusion. The school’s student body is declining — it serves 31 students this year — and taxpayers face a potential penalty from the state if the trend continues into next year. This is a typical problem for schools with small populations because at a certain point a school’s infrastructure costs remain fairly consistent even when the number of students falls.
November 8, 2007
By ANDY KIRKALDY
FERRISBURGH — Sixty-nine years ago, Ferrisburgh’s John Lenk joined the U.S. Navy because jobs were scarce during the Depression, his older brother had already signed, and the Brooklyn native bought into a famous marketing slogan.
“There wasn’t much going on, and I said I’d join the Navy,” Lenk, now 89, said at his Basin Harbor Road home. “‘Join the Navy and see the world.’”
It was 1938. Lenk didn’t know that World War II loomed, and he would see more of the world than he ever imagined: Japan; China; Hawaii; the Phillipines, where a kamikaze and a torpedo gave him two unscheduled dips into the Lingayen Gulf; the Aleutian Islands; Panama; Leyte Gulf; the Palau and Admiralty Islands; Guam and Guadalcanal, to name a few stops.
“I had no idea,” said Lenk, who served the Navy for 20 years in all — after the war he continued traveling the seas on two ships before ending his military career with California shore duty.
During WW II he worked as a water tender and non-commissioned officer in the steam room of the high-speed mine-sweeper U.S.S. Long, keeping her engines purring as she cleared the way for Pacific Ocean invasions.
Before the war Lenk first trained at Newport, R.I., and Norfolk, Va., then headed to Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay. It was there he was assigned to the Long, a 314-foot destroyer capable of 25 knots. The Long was soon converted to a minesweeper and sent through the Panama Canal to the West Coast, where it joined the Pacific Fleet.
OFF TO WAR
On Dec. 5, 1941, the Long was in Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor and was sent on maneuvers 700 miles to the west. There, Lenk and his shipmates received the stunning news of the Dec. 7 Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor.
November 8, 2007
By LEE J. KAHRS
BRANDON — Two young children are without fathers after a love triangle erupted in a tragic murder-suicide in Brandon on Nov. 1.
Police said Todd English, 32, of Forestdale went to an apartment at 26 Union St. to confront his ex-girlfriend, Amanda Corey, 27. The couple had split up in September and Corey was in a relationship with Richard Griffin, 35, whom she had been with in the past, police said.
According to the account given by Brandon Police Chief Christopher Brickell, English forced his way into the apartment and began to argue with Corey, who led English back out of the house. English then re-entered the apartment and shot Griffin in the stomach with a .357 Magnum revolver. The injured Griffin stumbled outside and went to the neighbor’s for help. English then stood on the front steps of the apartment and shot himself in the head. He died instantly.
Griffin later died of his injuries following surgery at Rutland Regional Medical Center. The incident took place at approximately 10:45 p.m. on Thursday, capping a deadly 24-hour period in Western Vermont in which five people were killed.
Corey had a child with each man, a 14-month-old daughter with English, and a two-year-old son with Griffin. Brickell said only the baby girl was in the apartment at the time, but did not witness the shootings.
Brickell said Corey got a temporary restraining order against English on Oct. 18, which was valid for 10 days and expired four days before the shootings. The chief said Corey apparently never pursued a final abuse order against English.
Whether or not that would have prevented last week’s tragedy is uncertain.
“It’s debatable,” Brickell said. “If there had been a final order in effect, maybe he would not have done what he did.”