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Entries in Monroe (4)

Tuesday
Jan012013

Sandy Hook Classrooms Recreated Down to Crayons on the Desk in New Building

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(MONROE, Conn.) -- The students and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School will return to school on Thursday for the first time since the shooting rampage that left 20 young students and six adults dead. The students will be in a new building where their old classrooms have been completely recreated.

Instead of returning to the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., they will be going to the building that used to be the Chalk Hill Middle School in Monroe, about six miles away.

Sandy Hook school was shut since Adam Lanza carried out his massacre shortly before Christmas.

Since principal Dawn Hochsprung was one of the victims of the shooting, the school will be led by interim principal Donna Page. Page was the school's prior principal who retired in 2010.

"Please know the inspiration you and your children have been to my staff and me as we connect with you at Chalk Hill," Page wrote in a letter posted on the school's website. "Be assured that the towns of Monroe and Newtown are working night and day to ensure the facility is safe, secure, and fully operational for our return," Page wrote.

The school will host a walk-through for families on Wednesday and "Opening Day" will be Thursday.

"I want to reassure you that we understand many parents may need to be near their children on their first day(s) of school and you will be welcome," Page wrote.

The school is encouraging students to take the bus in order to help them return to familiar routines and said parents may come to the school's classrooms or auditorium throughout the day after the 9:07 a.m. opening. They are asking that no more than one adult family member accompany each child in order "to ensure a safe and secure environment."

In addition to a parental presence at the school, comfort dogs will be returning to brighten the day. Small armies of golden retrievers spread out all over Newtown in the days following the shooting to comfort mourners young and old.

Chicago's Lutheran Church Charities' K-9 Parish Comfort Dogs are traveling back to Connecticut Tuesday. Nine dogs and their handlers gathered at their building at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning to board a caravan of one RV and two vans heading to Connecticut.

"The community of Newtown will be going through the healing process for a very long time," the group wrote on their website. "The LCC K-9 Comfort dogs will be returning to Newtown...They will be there to greet children as they return to school."

The rest of the Newtown school district resumes classes on Wednesday.

Furniture and supplies from Sandy Hook were moved to Chalk Hill in order to recreate the classrooms just as they were.

Teachers photographed their classrooms at Sandy Hook in order to replicate everything about them, from the pictures on the walls to the crayons left on the students' desks. This is all part of an effort to make the students feel as comfortable as possible.

Workers completely retrofitted the former middle school to fit the needs of its young students, including tearing out bathrooms that were made for teenagers and rebuilding them for elementary-aged kids.

New security systems are being installed at Chalk Hill school, and Newtown Councilman Steve Vavrek told ABC News that the school will be "the safest school in America."

For a school that has gone through so much, moving forward does not mean forgetting.

"I want parents and families enduring the loss of their precious children to know their loved ones are foremost in our hearts and minds as we move forward," Page wrote. "Your strength and compassion has been, and will continue to be an inspiration to me and countless others as we work to honor the memory of your precious children and our beloved staff."

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Dec162012

Sandy Hill School Students to Relocate to Neighboring Monroe Facility

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEWTOWN, Conn.) – Sandy Hill School students and staff will be relocated to a facility in the neighboring town of Monroe, a State Department Education official confirmed to ABC News.

Newtown Board of Education and Superintendent Janet Robinson released the following statement Sunday:

"We have been working to find a new home for our Sandy Hook School community. The Town of Monroe has graciously offered their Chalk Hill School. This facililty which is currently not being used, is in excellent condition and will accommodate all of the Sandy Hill School students and staff. It is located just across the border from Newtown and should be ready for occupancy in just a few days.

Our staff is currently working to prepare the building for the process of resuming classes. We will be able to publish the exact schedule shortly.

We want to thank Monroe for helping us is this hour of need, not only by loaning this facility but also helping us prepare the building. We also want to thank the Governor's office and other state departments and his staff who has expedited the approvals for this move.

As we have previously published, all Newtown Schools will be closed on Monday. All schools except Sandy Hook will open at the regular time on Tuesday. We will be publishing the date for the opening of Sandy Hook at Chalk Hill shortly.

Thank you all for your patience and support."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug272012

World’s Oldest Person, Besse Cooper, Turns 116

Jessica McGowan/Guinness World Records(MONROE, Ga.) -- It’s difficult enough to fit 16 candles on a birthday cake, but trying squeezing 116 onto one.

Besse Cooper, the world’s oldest person according to the Guinness World Records, chose to use numbers instead of actual candles when she celebrated her 116th birthday Sunday. Guinness claims Cooper is one of only eight people who have reached 116.

In honor of Cooper’s achievement, a bridge was named after her in Monroe, Ga., where she lives by the Walton County Board of Commissioners,  according to the Walton Tribune.  A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, Aug. 24 for the bridge opening.

“The older she has gotten the more wittier she has gotten,” her son, Sidney Cooper, told the Walton Tribune. He also relayed a message from Cooper, who was unable to attend the ceremony, who said, “I’m glad I gave them a reason to name it.”

Cooper was certified as the world’s oldest person by Guinness World Records in January 2011, although she briefly had to give up her title when it was discovered that Brazilian-born Maria Gomes Valentin was 48 days older. But when Valentin died six months later, Cooper was reinstated as the world’s oldest person.

Cooper was born in Sullivan, Tenn., in 1896, according to the Walton Tribune. She moved to Monroe during World War I to become a teacher. In 1924, she married her husband Luther and the couple had four children. Today, Cooper has 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, according to the Guinness World Records.

Cooper has a secret to achieving 116 years of life.

“I mind my own business,” she told the Guinness World Records. “And I don’t eat junk food.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan082011

Frantic Search for Missing North Carolina Teen

Photo Courtesy - Baltimore Police Department(BALTIMORE) -- The search continues for Phylicia Simone Barnes, a high school student from North Carolina who went missing in Baltimore. The 16-year-old honor student from Monroe, N.C., was visiting her half-sister when she disappeared three days after Christmas.

Phylicia was last heard from Dec. 28 via Facebook when she posted a note saying she was at her sister's apartment with her sister's boyfriend. The 5-foot, 8-inch African American student has been missing ever since.

The FBI and Baltimore police are conducting the investigation. Baltimore Metro Crime Stoppers has offered a cash reward of up to $2,000 for her discovery.

Police told ABC News on Saturday that they obtained additional security video from the area surrounding the apartment, but it has yet to shed new light on the case. FBI helicopters have scoured the area for days without finding any clues.

Police say several people who visited the apartment are considered persons of interest, and the two likely scenarios proposed by investigators are abduction or murder.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio