SCHOOLS

Tendzin Parsons, at right, was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty in Northampton District Court January 5th, 2018. His lawyer, Stephen Ferrarone, stands with him.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

A former western Massachusetts bus driver has been sentenced to a year in jail in connection to the 2016 death of a third-grader.

KendraLiz Gonzalez had been in cosmetology school for only two months when Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, destroying her school. So she took her twin girls, hopped on a plane, and came to Hartford, where she's staying with her aunt.

Outgoing North Adams, Massachusetts, Mayor Dick Alcombright poses in his office. Alcombright decided not to run for a fifth term this year and will be replaced in January, 2018 by Tom Bernard.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

The new year brings new mayors to three cities in western Massachusetts: Agawam, Easthampton and North Adams. In North Adams, Tom Bernard will replace Dick Alcombright, who decided not to run for re-election after eight years in office.

Connecticut’s two U.S. senators took to the Senate floor today to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook School shooting.

In 2013, Las Cruces High School in New Mexico created a training video to teach students how to perform a "lockdown" drill.

In the video, the teacher turns off the lights, locks the door, and places a black strip of paper over the door's window. The students close the blinds and huddle on the floor, away from the windows and the door.

It’s been five years since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Catherine Violet Hubbard was one of 20 children killed, along with six educators. Her family has spent the past five years planning an animal sanctuary in her memory

Schools across the country are nervously watching to see if the Federal Communications Commission chooses to repeal Obama-era regulations that protect an open internet, often referred to as "net neutrality."

The 2015 rules are meant to prevent internet providers, such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, from controlling what people can watch and see on the internet. Companies can't block access to any websites or apps, and can't meddle with loading speeds.

Justin Rosa wasn't doing so great when he first moved to Connecticut from Florida in eighth grade.

"That process alone was very difficult, losing all my friends, having to start over, it was such a hard time for me,” he said. “I was very depressed." 

The once-outgoing kid began to retreat into his own head. And that's when the thoughts began.

"To be alone was such a…  a scary point in my life,” he said. “I thought that I would have committed suicide. And it wasn't until the Choose Love Foundation that everything changed."

Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Daderot / Creative Commons

Students who relocated to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands because of Hurricane Maria will be immediately eligible to pay lower in-state public higher education tuition rates under a proposal unanimously approved on Tuesday by the state Board of Higher Education.

The Puerto Rican effort to advance from response to recovery after Hurricane Maria continues. For some, water and electricity are still elusive. And that makes it hard to get back to normal — especially for children.

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