Storm Causes School Closures

After a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, Winthrop students got their first snow day on Tuesday, but it wasn’t so much the snow as it was the ice that blanketed the area after a deep freeze over the weekend.

The icy walkways also forced the closure of the public library and caused town hall to shorten its hours from 8-4:30 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m. on a Tuesday night said Town Manager Austin Faison.

 “This weekend our custodial staff and the DPW staff have been working tirelessly to clear the streets, sidewalks and parking lots at each of our schools,” Superintendent of Schools Lisa Howard said in a social media post. “Due to the timing of the icy rain that fell Sunday, with the drastic drop in temperature, the ice has created a huge challenge. Due to unsafe conditions all school activities will be cancelled (Jan. 22).”

This was also the first storm as town manager for Faison, who stressed that safety was the driving factor in canceling school. He lauded the DPW and other employees who worked to remove snow.

“And then the ice came,” Faison said, with the reality that the equipment the town has for snow and ice removal is woefully inadequate and the workers do the best with what they have.

The low temperatures also effected the salt effectiveness.

“I was not comfortable with the amount of ice on the walkways,” Faison said.

The Senior Center also had to close because of a burst pipe. For the remainder of the week, senior lunch will be served at O’Connell Hall on Golden Drive at noon. Re-opening of the Senior Center is expected next week.

Candidates sought for Precinct 1 seat

With the passing of Precinct 1 Councilor Michael McDuffee on Jan. 6 came a vacancy on the Town Council.

According to the Town Charter, a vacancy can be filled by the second runner up in the election. McDuffee had served on the council for a year and was elected to his position unopposed.

In this case, the vacancy can also be filled by an appointment from the Town Council. So far two residents have come forward to express an interest in the seat. Nick Bracy and Richard Ferino, both attended the council meeting Tuesday night. The council is accepting letters of interest until Feb. 5, there will be interviews Feb. 12 and the vote will be taken on Feb. 19.

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