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The tree on the Kent Green is a relative newcomer to the holiday scene. It’s only been a few years that town residents have been gathering around it to usher in the holiday season. A small crowd met up on the Green on Saturday evening, Dec. 1, to sing songs and see the lights illuminate the evergreen. A Parade of Lights followed, with decorated vehicles taking part including fire trucks from Kent, Sharon, Cornwall and other area towns. — Cynthia Hochswender

Kent

Board of Ed’s new grading practices are a ‘huge shift’

KENT — Kent Center School (KCS) teachers and the Board of Education hosted a community forum on Tuesday, June 19, to explain to parents and community members the new grading practices that are being introduced at the school.
Grading has been a point of contention this past school year. Region One School District Superintendent Pamela Vogel introduced new grading practices the day before the beginning of school in August 2017, leaving teachers scrambling as they tried to understand, implement and explain the procedures to parents. 

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In search of the healing chaga mushroom

KENT — On bright, crisp winter days, Gerry Moerschell is likely to be snowshoeing through the forests in search of a prized treasure. He’s not looking for buried artifacts or hidden gold; he’s searching for chaga mushrooms.

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Free summer music series enlivens the Kent Green

KENT — Kent Park and Recreation presents free Concerts on the Lawn on July 19 and 26 and Aug. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m.  on the Green at Town Hall. The inclement-weather site is the Kent Community House.
The June 28 concert featured acoustic duo Heather and Tobias. 

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Farming, trips and more at Camp Kent’s day program

KENT — Registration for Camp Kent, a summer day camp program open to youngsters entering grades one through eight in the fall of 2018, is ongoing. 
Camp will run to Aug. 17, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Emery Park, 42 Segar Mountain Road (Route 341) in Kent. The camp day includes sports and games, arts and crafts, snack and lunch time (campers provide their own) and swimming.

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Saturday protestors expressed hope for a happy ending

KENT — Families Belong Together is planning a nationwide day of protest Saturday, June 30. Unable to comply with that date, Kent residents Jane Zatlin and Janet Rivkin hastily, and effectively, arranged for Kent to participate with the national movement — albeit a week early. 
Mylar blankets, like those covering the masses of immigrant children separated from their families, became the symbol of the day at the protest on Falcon Field. 
Jane thought that laying them on the ground made a stronger statement than wearing them. 

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Sunny future awaits Kent Center School Class of 2018

KENT —The promotion ceremony for the Kent Center School Class of 2018 was held outside on Wednesday, June 20, and thanks to Principal Florence Budge and her positive thoughts, the cloudy skies never produced a drop of rain.
The 30 members of the class formed the processional and took their places to the traditional melody of “Pomp & Circumstance.” The Pledge of Allegiance and “The Star-Spangled Banner” followed as did a hearty welcome from Principal Budge — who confidently promised a rain-free event.

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Learning to love nature in an outdoor classroom

KENT — Kent Center School held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, June 7, to celebrate its outdoor classroom, with students from kindergarten to eighth grade in attendance.
Also there were community  members and political candidates Brian Ohler, who is running for re-election as state representative for the 64th District; his opponent, Maria Horn; and David Lawson, who is running for state senator for the 30th District.
Josh Swzed, who is a seventh- and eighth-grade teacher at the school, was the master of ceremonies. 

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Grading discussion: June 19

KENT — Kent Center School Principal Florence Budge was twice recognized for her service to Kent Center School (KCS) at the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, June 6, in anticipation of her retirement at the end of the school year. 
Budge has been principal at KCS since 2012.
On behalf of state Sen. Craig Miner (R-30) and himself, state Rep. Brian Ohler (R-64) presented Budge with an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly. 

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It was a smokin’ hot time at the annual Firemen’s Ball

KENT — Held under two huge tents, the Kent Firemen’s Ball was once again one of the largest, and most enjoyable, social events of the year.
Tables were set for 340 guests, but the final count was closer to 275.
There was an unending variety of appetizers and hors d’ouevres. Music was provided by a live trio. It all led to great cheer as old friendships were renewed and new ones were made. 
The open-sided tents gave it much the feel of a lively outdoor dinner party.

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Concerns raised about Dover’s Cricket Valley

KENT — A crowd of about 40 people from Kent and neighboring towns attended the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, June 5. The topic of Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) was on the agenda.
CVEC, currently under construction in Dover, N.Y., is a natural-gas power plant that will generate 1,100 megawatts of electricity once it becomes operational in 2020. The facility’s close proximity to northwest Connecticut towns had sparked concern over how emissions from this plant will affect air quality in the region.

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