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Clarksburg Write-in Candidate Wins Seat in Light Turnout

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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A surprise write-in candidate has won a seat on the Select Board. 
Allen M. Arnold garnered 86 write-in votes on Thursday to beat Karin V. Robert, a former board member who had been the only candidates to take out papers. Robert earned 72 votes. 
However, she did win a vacant five-year seat on the Planning Board. 
Longtime moderator Bryan Tanner was also written in with 23 votes but he had indicated last year, when he was also written in, that he wasn't interested in continuing. It's not clear if he will accept the post. 
Ernest Dix was returned as tree warden with eight votes and current School Committee Chairwoman Laura D. Wood retained her seat with 147. Neither had a challenger. 
Two other incumbents, War Memorial Trustee Joseph Bushika III and Library Trustee Linda Hurlbut were re-elected with 156 votes each. Cynthia Schock was elected to the Board of Health.
Town Clerk Carol Jammalo reported a very light turnout in an election that had had no races and also required precautionary measures because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of registered voters casting ballots was 172 out of 1,146, or 15 percent. 

Tags: election 2020,   town elections,   

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Clarksburg School Preparing for Reopening Scenarios

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

The new security doors can be seen in the school lobby. The doors are one of several updates at the school, including a public address system and an accessible bathroom. 
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Principal Tara Barnes is working on a "nice puzzle challenge" in figuring how students will be situated within the elementary school come fall to comply with public health guidelines for the pandemic.
The state guidelines, so far, are requiring social distancing as well as masking for students in Grades 2 and up. Schools will also require a separated space for children who may be showing symptoms of COVID-19.
"I feel from most of our classrooms, about 15 students is the max of what we're able to get in there," she told the School Committee on Thursday. Further guidance from the state in regard to desks and dividers could mean a few more, but, she said, "I don't want at any point to compromise the safety of students or staff when I'm looking at these spaces."
Barnes said she's reviewing the use of "overflow" spaces such as the gym and rethinking uses of non-classroom areas and how that might affect special education teaching and splitting up classes to keep the numbers down. 
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