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Regional Roundup: Norton Gets New Superintendent, Brown Water in Foxborough, and More

A look at the top headlines around the area.

Mansfield's Robinson Principal Kristenson Announces Retirement

Mansfield School superintendent Brenda Hodges and the entire School Committee said a heartfelt goodbye to retiring Robinson principal Kate Kristenson.

“It has been a privilege to work with professionals at both schools,” she said. “I would to send a special thank you to the parents for your support and trust.”

Kristenson has been working for the Mansfield school system for more than 35 years. She started her career in 1976 in a variety of different roles. She is retiring from her position as principal for the Robinson School, but has also been the principal for the Jordan Jackson school.

“Being part of the Mansfield school community has been very rewarding,” she said in a letter to the school committee. “I have strived to make a difference in a positive learning environment where excellence has been the goal.”

 

Easton Resident Named as Division Chief in Attorney General’s Office

An Easton lawyer recently became a top ranking official in Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's office.

George Zachos was recently named as one of Coakley's new Division Chiefs, according to a statement released Tuesday.

Zachos, who is a graduate of Boston College and Oklahoma College of Law was named as the Medicaid Fraud Division Chief, according to the statement. The Easton lawyer had previously served as a managing attorney of the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Division since 2007. He also has more than 17 years of litigation experience.

 

Norton Finalizes Superintendent Choice Contract

The Norton School Committee and Joseph Baeta signed Baeta’s contract to be the new permanent schools superintendent Monday. The school committee chose Baeta unanimously over several other candidates earlier in January. 

During the search, Baeta said he wanted to start improving Norton’s academic standing as a district, and he said he wanted to start at the beginning by trying to implement a full-day kindergarten program and implement more technology in the schools.

 

Foxborough Hikes Water & Sewer Rates Despite Brown Water Problems

Residents fed up with paying for poor water quality will find no silver lining in the Foxborough Water & Sewer Commissioners’ decision to hike water & sewer rates Monday.

That’s because the rate increases, which take effect immediately, will not bring any immediate relief to residents experiencing brown water in town. Instead, the newly approved hikes are said to be long overdue and necessary because the town’s enterprise account currently isn’t bringing in enough revenue to cover costs.

DPW Director Roger Hill said while the water and sewer rates vary based on use; the best indicator of cost for average homeowners and businesses is the minimum rate. For water, that rate was $53.52 per quarter year for 750 cubic feet (5,600 gallons) or less before Monday’s 6 percent increase. The new minimum water rate, according to Hill, will be $56.73 per quarter. For sewer, the rate was $53.82 per quarter year for 750 cubic feet (5,600 gallons) or less before Monday’s 7.5 percent increase. Hill says the new minimum sewer rate will be $57.86 per quarter.

 

Seekonk School District Needs Money for Security Plan

The Seekonk School Committee voted 4-0 this week for the town to give the school district $127,000 to the district to begin a three-phase plan to improve security at the local schools. Town Meeting will vote on the request Feb. 25.

School Committee Chair Mitch Vieira said the funding would cover the first phase, which is "mainly to allow the police and fire individuals who are in the building to communicate freely and not hit any cellular drop zones or radio drop zones while they are in the building." The other phases, for which the school district will ask to be funded at a later time will cover "enhancing our access control and surveillance monitoring" and "safety reconstruction, including some physical structure changes.”

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