2013-02-14 / News

Island Chatter

BY STEPHANIE HEELAN COTSONAS

The Jamestown school community is mourning the loss of an amazing teacher who passed away last week. Tara Higgins will be remembered as a caring and devoted teacher who always had a smile on her face and loved her students. She was an inspiration to all of her colleagues, students and parents as she battled cancer with dignity while continuing to support her students. She made a huge impression on all those who came in contact with her and she will be remembered as a hero and an inspiration. She was a teacher to be admired. Miss Higgins, you will be missed.

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No school tomorrow! Professional development day for teachers and the beginning of February vacation for students.

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Good thing my ProJo comes in a bright orange bag.

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Don’t miss the Jamestown Community Band’s USO-style dance concert at 7 p.m. tomorrow night at the Jamestown Tavern. Come hear swing, polka and lots of tunes from the big band era. Snacks and beverages will be provided along with a cash bar. Admission is free.

*** Save the date for a cyberbullying workshop on March 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. brought to you by the School Department in partnership with the Police Department. More details to follow.

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The Jamestown Arts Center will invite members to submit artwork for its members show on March 16. See the website for more details.

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Last week the Rhode Island Department of Education released the results from the fall NECAP (New England Common Assessment Program) testing for North Kingstown High School juniors. Reports of school-wide proficiency rates increased in each category: reading, writing and math. Juniors will receive their individual results by the end of the week.

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Harlem shake. Where will we see it next?

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Eighth-graders: Don’t forget your baby pictures! The yearbook staff needs all baby pictures no later than tomorrow. Bring a printed copy of a clear (and adorable) baby picture with your name written on the back. They will be returned.

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After my crockpot reference in last week’s column, I received a few recipe submissions. Let me know if you would be interested in seeing one in print once in a while.

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The power returned Sunday afternoon, just in time to watch the Grammys, which were more entertaining than usual. I loved the fact that my 8-year-old was just as intrigued watching Sting perform with Ziggy Marley as she was to watch Bruno Mars and Rihanna.

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Thankfully she wasn’t singing “that song.”

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Coziest place to be last weekend: Melrose School/Jamestown shelter. Volunteer Emily Tipton was glad to see people coming in to charge their electronics, sleep and get a hot meal. “It is a lot safer to come in here then to brave the 9 degree temperatures,” said Tipton.

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Heroes of the week: There are too many to name, but in addition to the Department of Public Works folks who plowed endlessly, and the National Grid guys who put my power back on, I wanted to call out a couple of individuals.

National Grid linesman and islander Scott Turillo had not seen his family since the Friday morning before Nemo hit. On Monday afternoon he was still at it, in a swamp on Prudence Island, climbing poles in the rain.

Ethan Roach, 10, is my family’s personal hero. As the temperature in our house was a chilly 46 degrees Sunday morning, our tank full of tropical fish were taking their last breaths in a cold, unfiltered and unheated tank. As Green Lane got power back Saturday night, we dropped off our fish with Ethan Sunday morning not expecting to see them again. He whisked them away, nursed them back to health, and at noon I was told they were alive and well, and enjoying their warm vacation. Thank you Ethan!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Email your stuff to me at islandchatter@jamestownpress.com.

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