Williamston Community Schools’ water being tested

By Kelsey Clements
The Williamston Post

The water in all of Williamston’s schools is being tested as a precautionary action, school officials say.

Narda Murphy, superintendent for Williamston Community Schools, said that the school is working with Testing Engineers & Consultants Inc. to test the water.

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Ingham County health officer, Linda Vail talks about the water testing in Ingham County schools. Photo by Kelsey Clements

Greg Talberg, one of the trustees on Williamston’s School board, asked at the Jan. 18 School Board meeting if the water at the middle school had been tested yet, according to unapproved minutes from the meeting.

Talberg said in an interview this week that he asked the question due to what is happening with the Flint water crisis and due to a strange odor and taste in Williamston Middle School’s water.

“It is just some precautionary procedures due to Flint,” said Talberg. “I am confident that the administration is handling it and doing its best to keep students and faculty safe.”

According to Williamston School Board member Joel Gerring, water testing is different for each district. The water quality permits vary for each school district and community.

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Firemen’s Association to host pancake breakfast and open house

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Capt. Scott Cochrane, a volunteer member of the Williamston Fire Department, stands next to its newest fire truck Oct. 7.

By Megan Cochrane
The Williamston Post

In celebration of fire prevention week, the Williamston Firemen’s Association is hosting the 6th annual pancake breakfast and open house on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., members of the association will serve all-you-can-eat pancakes with scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, orange juice, milk and coffee at the NIESA/Williamston Fire Station, 1296 W. Grand River Ave.

“It’s a fundraiser for the association, (which) uses it to buy equipment for the department,” said Capt. Scott Cochrane. “We also give money to local charities like the food bank.”

Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for children under 12 or $20 per family. Tickets can be purchased at the fire station, Siegel’s Body Shop and from Williamston firefighters, as well as at the station on the day of the event.

Cochrane said the fire trucks will be shown off Saturday outside the station. Equipment demonstrations and station tours will also be part of the event. Fire prevention information will be available, too.

During fire prevention week, Oct. 5-11, Williamston firefighters have visited area schools to speak about fire prevention and safety, said Cochrane.

For more information about Saturday’s event, call 517-655-3384.

Sports suffer minimal losses at Williamston High School

artwork on display in the Williamston High School cafeteria

By Justine McGuire
Williamston Post staff writer

WILLIAMSTON – Loss of funds has not stopped Williamston High School from providing sports programs for its students.

The high school has avoided cutting sports teams and coaching positions but has had to trade two part-time athletic directors for one part-time athletic director and assistant principal, Mike Freeman, who took on the extra role without additional pay. The school has also had to cut back on uniforms, supplies and materials.

Finance Director Steve Cook said the district has lost $270 per student, or about $500,000. The district’s total budget is just shy of $16 million.

Williamston High School Principal Jeffery Thoenes said that sports have had minimal cuts because, overtime, general funding for sports has been replaced with sports boosters.

The district has avoided cutting any sports programs because of the possibility that students might use school of choice to play their sport elsewhere.

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Budget cuts limiting Williamston schools

Williamston High School

By Justine McGuire
Williamston Post staff writer

WILLIAMSTON – Williamston Community Schools have had to cut spending for academics, faculty and administration.

Finance Director Steve Cook said that for this school year the district lost $470 per student but regained $200 per student in incentive money based on percentage growth in state test scores. In total, the district lost $270 per student or about $500,000.

The district now gets $6,888 per student, or a total budget just shy of $16 million.

Cook said that there is a potential for gaining another $90 per student through incentives for the coming school year, and that other money for the district should stay the same.

Budget cuts have made classes a little different at the high school this year.

“Prior to my arrival here, Williamston schools did everything they could to keep cuts away from the classroom,” Thoenes said. “This last year (budget cuts) impacted the classroom directly.”

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