The Berkshire Eagle from Pittsfield, Massachusetts on November 14, 1991 · 26
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The Berkshire Eagle from Pittsfield, Massachusetts · 26

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Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Thursday, November 14, 1991
Page:
26
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C6 - The Berkshire Eagle, Thursday, November 14, 1991 Region Effort gains to return school-choice funds By Eve Epstein Associated Press BOSTON - A joint legislative committee agreed yesterday to try and return $2.1 million to schools that have lost money to other communities through the state's new school choice plan. The money represents about 50 percent of the money some communities have lost due to students transferring to other school districts. But the committee sidelined a bill to overhaul the school choice law, saying it needs further study. Under the choose-a-school law, passed as part of the 1992 budget, a student may attend any public school in the state, providing the receiving school district agrees to accept choice students. The sending community must then pay money to the host community for the cost of each student. Testimony taken The committee heard testimony Tuesday from educators and lawmakers who said that the current choice plan has hurt communities that have lost large numbers of students. BrocMon has lost about $900,000, Gloucester has lost $442,000,' Maynard has lost $312,000 and Hopkinton has lost $240,000, accounting for about 39 percent of the cost of school choice. Altogether, 90 communities in the state are participating in the program, and 818 students have chosen to attend schools outside their districts. But members of the education committee said that the number of students going to school out side their communities continues to rise, even though the school yearts already well under way. Some members, including Republicans, wanted to set a deadline for parents to make a decision about where their, children will attend school, but the committee did hot take up their proposal. Approval seen Education Committee Chairman Sen. Thomas Birmingham, D Chelsea, said he is confident the Legislature will approve the $2.1 million reimbursement, although a similar proposal was cast out of a bill on tourism. "I am exceedingly confident it will pass," he said, adding that $2.1 million is a relatively small amount of money. Birmingham acknowledged that the school choice plan is flawed, but said it should be dealt with in a comprehensive bill. Gov. William F. Weld has' said is willing to consider some state aid, but not the 75 percent reimbursement that Sen. Arthur Chase, R-Worcester proposed. . Earlier this month, Weld had endorsed a plan offered by Birmingham to have the state pay 50 percent of the losses from the choice program. . Chase, whose bill called for a moratorium on choice transfers, said he was disappointed the committee failed to act on his proposal. The committee is working on a comprehensive education reform package, but Chase he held out little hope that changes in school choice will be made this year. "It won't go anywhere," Chase said. fat WlDvtfJt' Author: Woman's death may have been murder Missing Mass. representative shows up in West Virginia By Robert W. Trott Associated Press BOSTON - State Rep. Timothy F. O'Leary, who has been missing since Halloween and apparently crossed the country, was found in a small town in West Virginia yesterday and was returning home, colleagues said. O'Leary's wife, Patricia, and two others left for West Virginia yesterday afternoon to bring him back to Massachusetts. O'Leary, a Melrose Democrat, disappeared Halloween after he. and his Wife had an argument, police said. Financial troubles He was facing financial troubles and failed to pay a $757.61 property, tax bill that was due Nov. 1. Investigators from Middlesex District Attorney Thomas Reilly's office seized O'Leary's personal and campaign finance records and are. reportedly probing them for possible improprieties in his handling of legal clients' funds. - -4 O'Leary reportedly left behind a note alluding to financial problems and intimating he was considering suicide. "Up here in the Statehouse it's all magnified. It's all in a fishbowl," said Rep. Thomas M. Finneran, D-Boston. "Any person who is in public life, in public office, we literally do struggle with the problems everyone else has. "Everyone gets to look at it. Our dirty laundry hangs out there." Bob Harkins of Maiden, O'Leary's brother-in-law, read a statement last night from the family expressing relief at "Tim's safe return." "The O'Leary family will never forget the overwhelming support and prayers from ffiends, neighbors and legislative colleagues, and the Melrose community," Harkins said. "Itlias sustained us through this trying time." John McDonough, a friend and law associate of O'Leary's, said Patricia O'Leary and family friends Paul Roche and Jerry Benezra had flown to West Virginia to retrieve the legislator. McDonough said O'Leary was spotted by West Virginia law enforcement officials at a rest stop along Route 81 near a small town but would not disclose the name of the town because of "nervous public officials down there." An all-p'oints bulletin had been issued nationwide for O'Leary, but law enforcement officials could only ask him to call home because no charges had been filed against him. O'Leary had been spotted by police in Arkansas, and his last credit card transaction was conducted in Indiana, according to McDonough. McDonough had said O'Leary's Credit : card transactions place him in California, where he. apparently turned around and began traveling toward the Northeast. O'Leary, in his white Toyota with Massachusetts House registration plate 92, reportedly also was seen in northern New England, Georgia and Texas. GE-Burlington announces layoffs BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -General Electric Co. has announced 40 more jobs will be cut at its Burlington facility, the result of cutbacks in defense spending. T The losses are part of a decade-long downsizing at the plant, which manufactures high-technology Gatling guns. In 1983, GE employed 2,249 workers. At the end of this latest round of cutbacks, it will employ 900. "Our business is defense-budget driven," said Cindy Bernhardt, a spokesman for the plant Also Tuesday, it was announced sales declines have forced the layoffs of 14 workers at Cham-plain Cable Co. "What we're feeling, and it's "nothing new, is that the economy has pretty much ravaged the wire and cable industry," said Peter Plante, Champlain's vice president for human resources. LEGAL NOTICES COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS THE TRIAL COURT THE PROBATE AND FAMILY COURT DEPARTMENT . Berkshire Division To: Williams Charles Senger-Finn, of Pitts-field, Massachusetts . A petition has been presented to said Court by the Massachusetts Department of Social Services of Pittsfield, in said County of Berkshire, representing that it has in its care Baby Girl Senger-Finn, born June 18, 1987. WHEREFORE, said petitioner prays that a decree be issued by said Court establishing whether or not the consent of the legal father to the adoption of this child or notice of any petition for adoption of this child subsequently sponsored by said Department shall be required. (Pursuant to Mass. General Laws Chapter 210, Section 3.) If you desire to object thereto, you or your attorney should file a written appearance in said Court at Pittsfield before ten o'clock in the forenoon on the sixteenth day of December, 1991, the return day of this citation. WITNESS, ANDREA F. NUCIFORO, Esquire, Judge of said Court, this twenty-ninth day of October, 1991. GUY A. PELLEGRINELLI, JR., Register November 7, 1991 November 14, 1991 November 21, 1991 COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS THETRIAL COURT THE PROBATE AND FAMILY COURT DEPARTMENT Berkshire Division To: William Charles Senger-Finn, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts; A petition has been presented to said Court by the Massachusetts Department of Social Services of Pittsfield, in said County of Berkshire, -representing that it has in its care Baby Girl Senger-Finn, born January 20, 1989. WHEREFORE, said petitioner prays that a decree be issued by said Court establishing whether or not the consent of the legal father to the adoption of this child or notice of any petition for adoption of this child subsequently sponsored by said Department shall be required. (Pursuant to Mass. General Laws Chapter 210, Section 3.) If you desire to obiect thereto, you or your attorney should file a written appearance in said Court at Pittsfield before ten o'clock in the forenoon on the sixteenth day of December, 1991, the return day of this citation. WITNESS, ANDREA F. NUCIFORO, Esquire, Judge of said Court, this twenty-ninth, day of October, 1991. GUY A. PELLEGRINELLI, JR., Register November 7, 1991 November 14, 1991 November 21, 1991 A. 3i St, , i 1 -Si V Associated Press Rena Paquette's body was removed yesterday from a Manchester, N.IL, grave for a new autopsy. The author of a book on Paquette's death 27 years ago says she has been told that the woman was murdered. CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A family friend writing a book on the death of Rena Paquette 27 years ago says the woman's brother was told by a -state trooper that authorities knew she did not kill herself, but was murdered. Richard Baron, a longtime friend of the Paquettes, said Rena Paquette's brother, Woody Ferland, remembers talking to a state trooper. "For his own peace of mind, just knowing that she didn't do this was good enough," Baron said. "He wasn't on speaking terms with the Paquettes so didn't find it necessary to tell them." Ferland, who lives in North Hampton, planned to meet with the former trooper this week, Baron said. Ferland could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Found in shack Rena Paquette's charred body was found clad in. a nightgown -and slippers at a pig shack about a mile from the family's Manchester farmhouse on Feb. 3, 1964. Police concluded she burned herself to death. But the Paquette family never believed the suicide ruling and, at Baron's instigation, had the remains exhumed yesterday for a new autopsy to be performed by state Medical Examiner Dr. RogerTossum. The state attorney general's office has said building a case would be difficult, but investiga tors will pursue it based on what the autopsy shows. Baron said, more witnesses would help, too,-, and he has been talking with others close to the case at the . time. Told to forget? "And they're all saying now they knew it wasn't a suicide, but they were told by the higher authorities to forget what they saw," he said. ',' Mrs. Paquette told family members she had information, linking Edward Coolidge to the murder of Pamela Mason, 14, in January 1964 and Sandra Valade," 18, killed four years earlier. The deaths were similar. Coolidge was convicted in the Mason death and was released.' last year from a Virginia prison, where he completed his sentence under an interstate inmate exchange program. No one was charged in the Valade case. Subscribe! AT The Eagle Mall Office B E R K S H I R -MALL More Legals on D5 Choose from overstocks, toys, games, dolls, electronic toys, special value Nintendo 8 bit video games & more! Hundreds of other items to choose from! 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