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Images of Canton: Finding Success on the Stage

Canton Music Theatre will present “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” March 17-19.

Shows take place at 7 p.m. Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 19. Pre-sale tickets are $8 for seniors and students and $12 for adults. At the door, the prices are $10 and $15. The production is in conjunction with Music Theatre International. For tickets, call 860-693-7707, or log on to cantonmusictheatre.org. Also, see more in this week’s Valley Press.

School Board Looks to Reduce Proposed Cuts to Non-Certified Staff

March 8, 2017 Schools No Comments

While the Board of Education on Tuesday reduced Superintendent Kevin D. Case’s budget proposal, it also looked to reduce the impact on non-certified staff members.

Earlier this year, Case introduced his budget proposal of $25, 629,086, which would have represented a 1.84 percent increase in spending. In that budget, Case said he had made the very difficult decision to reduce 12 Full-time equivalent non-certified staff positions  – ones that cover such positions as tutors and paraprofessionals.

On Tuesday, the Board of Education voted to pass along to the Board of Finance a proposal of $25,466,086, a 1.19 percent increase. The board found savings in line items such as professional development, custodial supplies, technology, a proposed .25 Capstone (senior projects) coordinator. However, the board added back in three non-certified staff positions.

Later this month, the Board of Finance, will begin looking at school and town government budgets. The finance board will be grappling with ways to deal with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal for drastic cuts in state aid.

The Board of Selectmen will be discussing the town side budget Wednesday night.

Residents Air Opinions on Trump Chant to Canton Board of Education

March 8, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

Canton plays Classical earlier this year (This is not the night of the alleged incident).

By John Fitts 

Several parents spoke out Tuesday about the “Trump” chant controversy, while superintendent Kevin D. Case disclosed that additional comments were made during the recent basketball game.

On Tuesday, Feb. 28 Hartford-based Classical Magnet School visited Canton High School and squeaked out a 48-47 win in the NCCC Tournament semifinal.

During the game, according to school administrators, a small group of student spectators chanted “Trump, Trump, Trump” while Classical players were on the free-throw line.

School administrators quickly condemned the action, and particularly the tone of the comments, as being divisive and crossing a line.

At the Board of Education Tuesday, several parents continued the debate over the context of such comments.  … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Human rights activist forwards letter about basketball incident

March 8, 2017 Opinion 4 Comments

Dear Superintendent (Kevin) Case:

I am Dr. Aaron Lewis, human rights activist, educator, child advocate and founder of The Scribe’s Institute Inc., a dedicated literacy center in Hartford’s north end. We represent children throughout the Hartford Public School district with regards to equity, civility, and ethical treatment. After discovering such appalling and racially charged actions from Canton students during a recent basketball tournament game toward Classical Magnet School basketball players, I was deeply disturbed. Also, I believe that the way in which the Canton Board of Education and the CIAC handled the matter only proved to continue the age-old struggle of racial tensions within our communities, our state, and our country.

It has been stated by various parents and staff members in Canton that the taunting and racially charged remarks from Canton students does not reflect the sentiments and ideals of the Canton community. This cannot be true and to believe so is only gross denial. Nearly all children receive their views of life, politics, religion, and tolerance from their parents. And under most circumstances children’s views are often an offspring of their parents’ core beliefs which are openly shared in the home. This behavior is unfathomable and necessitates taking a much deeper look at the core ethics that this school district claims to embrace. Succinctly put, the students’ behavior is an open expression of what many of the parents privately believe.  … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: Songs of the Continents

The Canton Public Schools Music Department recently presented “Songs of the Continent.” The March 2 concert, held at Canton High School, featured the freshman chorus, concert choir and chamber singers. Brett Gottheimer directed the performances with Diana Lawler as accompanist. See http://www.cantonmusic.org for upcoming concerts

The face of an epidemic: Local family hopes their story will help others dealing with addiction

March 6, 2017 Uncategorized No Comments

From left are Sheri, Dorie and Samantha Seger.

Correction: The wording in an earlier version of the following editor’s note led some to believe that one of the speakers specifically named below is a recovering addict. Please note that is not the case. We regret the error. 

Editor’s Note: A “Substance Abuse Prevention and the Opioid/Heroin Epidemic” forum takes place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday March 9 at the Canton Community Center, 40 Dyer Ave. Please consider attending to find resources, talk to experts and hear speakers. Approximately 20 different organizations, including state departments, hospital, recovery networks, legal experts, policy advocates, emergency personnel and others will host booths. The event will also include remarks by a recovering addict and remarks from speakers Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, commissioner of the state department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Canton resident Maria Coutant Skinner, executive director at the McCall Center for Behavioral Health. 

By John Fitts 

CANTON — Throughout her life, Samantha Jean Seger would easily make new friends as she would go through phases and delve into new hobbies and interests.

She’d spend time as a hippie, punk rock, and country girl, and later found an interest in everything from cars to emergency medical training.

“It seemed like she was trying to reinvent herself,” said her father, Dan Seger. “She was trying to find where she fit best.”

“She was a chameleon,” added her sister Sheri.

Sheri remembers her sister as “fierce, wild and loud.”

Samantha collected comic books and geodes, but she also followed her older sister Dorie’s lead and added a little outrageousness. When Dorie – who was, admittedly, “way too young” – went to a tattoo and piercing parlor at age 15, Samantha did one better and went at age 12.

“She would do [things] a little more outrageously than I did,” Dorie said.

Another time, Samantha took a $500 dare, gave herself a Mohawk and dyed it. The instigator skipped town without paying but the hairstyle was memorable.

“She could make anyone laugh,” Sheri said. “She did so much stupid, funny stuff. She’s the person who would shave off her eyebrows to draw new ones on and be like, ‘I thought it was good idea, but it looks weird now.’ She’d meet a person, her new best friend, and say, ‘OK, I’m going to marry this guy tomorrow.’” … Continue Reading

‘Substance Abuse Prevention and the Opioid/Heroin Epidemic’ Program Takes Place March 9

March 6, 2017 Community, Health No Comments

By John Fitts 

CANTON — On Thursday, March 9, Canton’s year of “Shining the Spotlight on Mental Wellness” kicks into high gear with an educational presentation, forum and resource fair on substance abuse prevention and the opioid/heroin epidemic. People from any town are encouraged to attend the free event.

Opioids, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, bind to the “opioid receptors, on cells found in many areas of the brain,” particularly those than control pain and pleasure.

Breathing, arousal and blood pressure are controlled by such receptors and overdoses of opioids generally result in slowed or zero breathing.

Heroin, derived from the morphine gathered from Asian poppy plants, is readily available, inexpensive and often becomes a substitute for other opioids.

Approximately 20 different organizations, including state departments, hospital, recovery networks, legal experts, policy advocates, emergency personnel and others will host booths at the March 9 “Substance Abuse Prevention and the Opioid/Heroin Epidemic” program.

It will include remarks from a recovering addict, as well as speakers Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, commissioner of the state department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Canton resident Maria Coutant Skinner, executive director at the McCall Center for Behavioral Health.

People can come and learn about the signs of addiction, common pathways to it, most affected age groups, risk factors, ways to help those affected and much more.  … Continue Reading

Canton Volunteer Firefighters Respond to Brush Fire on Robin Drive

March 5, 2017 Fire No Comments

Residents Assist in Keeping Area Safe Until Fire Crews Arrive

Submitted Release, Photos by Myles Angell, Kevin Carley & Sylvia Cancela 

The town of Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department responded to a dispatch for a large brush fire behind a residence at 148 Robin Drive at 1:20 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Upon arrival, Canton fire crews on: Engines 1 and 3, Tanker 7, Squad 5 and Canton’s Ambulance found a 100 x 200 fire quickly spreading up a hill, towards a shed by a residence. Neighbors used rakes and other tools to keep dry leaves/brush away from the area until fire crews arrived.

“These efforts by the neighbors kept the fire from extending further,” said Department Chief Craig Robbins. … Continue Reading

Town to Relinquish Ownership of Grange Building

The grange building in North Canton.

By John Fitts 

CANTON – Calling it unfortunate, Canton selectmen nonetheless have decided to let go of the North Canton Grange building.

The board recently voted to authorize Chief Administrative Officer Robert Skinner to make arrangements to give the building to the state grange association.

In September of 2013, the town accepted the building as a gift from members of the dissolved Cherry Brook Patrons of Husbandry Grange #210.

In the fall of 2016, Boy Scout Troop 177 came forward with an offer to perform some of the necessary repairs, which town officials estimate to be nearly $145,000, a much higher figure than repair estimates a few years ago.

Even with the Scouts’ offer, officials said the town would still be responsible for approximately $100,000 in upgrades. Additionally the $4,500 in annual costs would rise to $11,600 once the building was refurbished, officials said.

Selectmen said it was unfortunate but felt the town could not take on the project, particularly in this economic climate.

See more in this week’s Valley Press.

‘Modified’ Code Yellow at Two Canton Schools Friday

March 3, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

Two Canton schools have been placed on a “Modified Code Yellow” Friday. The issue is related to the controversy – and fallout – following a controversial incident at a Canton High School basketball game earlier this week when some students yelled “Trump, Trump, Trump” while an opposing team was on the foul line.

School officials said the tone used in the comments made it inappropriate. The incident, and reaction to it, have stirred much controversy in town and well beyond.

The incident also resulted in social media posts some parents took as threatening to Canton schools and case said outdoor recess was canceled at Cherry Brook and Canton Intermediate to allay fears.

“With the concern many parents have, I want to be sure all students are in a safe environment,” Case told Canton Compass in a message.

For more on the incident, see our previous story and next week’s Valley Press, which will include other perspectives.

Following is Case’s email to parents.

“I am writing this message to you as a follow-up to my message to you last evening. As I wrote last evening, there are no credible threats against any of our schools. As a safety precaution, however, I wanted you to know that I placed Cherry Brook Primary School and Canton Intermediate School in a modified Code Yellow status this afternoon which means that there is no outdoor recess.

Parents are free to enter and leave the building as normal.

As always, we want our students to feel safe and secure in our schools. Student safety is our top priority.

Have a good afternoon and a good weekend.

Sincerely,

Kevin D. Case

Superintendent of Schools”

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Upcoming Events

Apr
24
Mon
1:30 pm Wii Bowling @ Canton Community Center
Wii Bowling @ Canton Community Center
Apr 24 @ 1:30 pm
Have you ever wished you could continue to bowl without putting on bowling shoes or lugging a heavy ball?  You’re in LUCK!!  Join the Canton Senior Center Wii Bowling Team, The Canton Rollers.  Show off your bowling skills or learn new ones at the Senior Center.  Mondays at 1:30pm, Wednesdays ...
Apr
25
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7:30 am Canton Food Bank @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Canton Food Bank @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Apr 25 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am
The Canton Food Bank is accepting fresh produce (as well as non-perishables of course!) every Tuesday from 7:30am-9:30am. Please keep them, and those less fortunate in our community, in mind as your backyard gardens begin to bloom and produce a bountiful harvest!  
8:30 am Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Apr 25 @ 8:30 am