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WINSTED —  The Winchester Public School District held two focus group meetings at Founders Hall auditorium on Monday, March 20.

The groups discussed topics relating to the district’s search for a new superintendent.

At the meetings, former Glastonbury school district superintendent Jacqueline Jacoby, who now works as a private consultant, moderated a lively conversation with the groups about the strengths and weaknesses within the school system, as well as what it means to be a successful superintendent.

Jacoby said she started as a public school...

Winsted

Selectmen approve brownfields grant for housing authority

shawi@winstedjournal.com

WINSTED — Out of five submitted projects, the Board of Selectmen approved the Winchester Housing Authority’s application for a federal Brownfields and Land Revitalization grant for environmental cleanup during their meeting on Monday, Feb. 7.
The authority applied for $200,000 of the $600,000 in brownfields money currently available to the town. The money will be used for soil remediation at 80 Gay St., where a 32-unit apartment building is planned.

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Schools reopen

shawi@winstedjournal.com

WINSTED — Batcheller and Hinsdale elementary schools reopened on Monday, Feb. 14, after being closed for a total of six school days starting Friday, Feb. 4.
The buildings were closed due to concerns about large amounts of snow and ice that piled up on the roofs.
Pearson Middle School also had problems with snow and ice accumulating on the roof and was closed from Friday, Feb. 4, until Thursday, Feb. 10.

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Overflow shelter services continue through winter

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WINSTED — An overflow shelter for homeless individuals and families has been established in Winsted, but volunteers are still needed to keep the program open on a nightly basis.
Selectman Lisa Smith said last week that enough volunteers were organized to offer beds to the homeless for two days last month, during some of the coldest days of the winter.

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Smith remains a Democrat, resigns from town committee

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WINSTED — Responding to rumors that she is leaving the Democratic Party after voting against fellow party members on a key issue, Selectman Lisa Smith said Tuesday that she is not switching parties, but that she has resigned from the Democratic Town Committee.

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Selectmen to look into risk-based audit of BOE

shawi@winstedjournal.com

WINSTED — The Board of Selectmen is scheduled to look at the possibility of a risk assessment audit of the Board of Education’s budget during its next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
At a meeting in January, Selectman Lisa Smith requested interim Town Manager Paul Vayer look into the possibility of conducting a risk-based audit, which scrutinizes accounting practices and procedures.
During their meeting on Feb. 7, the selectmen discussed the idea of the audit, but did not make any formal decisions.

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Protecting and serving

shawi@winstedjournal.com

WINSTED — Members of the Winchester Police Department volunteered at the Open Door Soup Kitchen, located behind St. James Episcopal Church, Tuesday, Feb. 15.
Police Chief Robert Scannell, Patrolman Dan Pietrafesa and Officer Scott Twombly were among the volunteers who served at the kitchen.
“I think anyone who is fortunate as I am should volunteer to do something like this,” Pietrafesa said.
The department also donated a large amount of food items to the kitchen.

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Land Trust vows to try again

shawi@winstedjournal.com

WINSTED — Despite being rejected by the Winchester Board of Selectmen at the meeting on Feb. 7, Winchester Land Trust President Shelly Harms said she will be back with a plan to acquire conservation restrictions on 360 acres of town-owned land at the selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
The plan included the trust acquiring a conservation easement on 356 acres surrounding Crystal Lake, which is the town’s main drinking water reservoir, and the Algonquin State Forest.

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Digging into Bubbles and Truffles

shawi@winstedjournal.com

WINSTED — It was all about getting businesses and the community together for a night out at the fifth annual Bubbles and Truffles event Friday, Feb. 11, at Whiting Mills.
The event was a fundraiser for the Friends of Main Street organization and included eight tables of alcoholic beverages, including wine and other fine liquor.
It also included offerings from various Winsted restaurants and businesses.
Friends Vice President Robert Beck called Bubbles and Truffles “the premier event in Winsted.”

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BOE, Perez discuss Centrella’s role

shawi@winstedjournal.com

WINSTED — The Board of Selectmen and the Board of Education were scheduled to have a joint meeting at Batcheller School on Thursday, Feb. 3.
However, the only attendees for the meeting were Mayor Candy Perez, school district Superintendent Blaise Salerno, Board of Education Chairman Kathleen O’Brien and board member James DiVita.
Despite a lack of a quorum for both sides, the town officials met and discussed a potential role for Finance Director Henry Centrella in maintaining and reviewing the school district’s budget.

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Students invited to create peace posters

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WINSTED — From military occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan to insurgencies and border disputes in countries around the world, humanity continues to struggle for peace. A sign of hope in that struggle comes from the Winsted area this winter, as Winsted Area Peace Action hosts an artistic competition for children and young adults, focusing on the concept of world peace.
The first Winsted Area Peace Action Peace Poster Competition is open to competitors from Winsted and Region 7 schools and is open to students in all grades.

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