Like all school districts, Auburn is studying how to cut costs and meet the state consolidation law. The law requires all schools, even those not consolidating, to cut costs in administration, transportation, plant maintenance and special education.

On six pages of possible ways to save is one that may interest students eager for snow days. Overtime costs could be reduced by having snow plowing done during the day instead of night. That would mean more school closings since schools would not be plowed out in the morning.

While it would save, it would mean the summer vacation starts a bit later.

The saving ideas are just that at this point, cautioned interim Superintendent Tom Morrill. So snow falling at night doesn’t automatically mean no school in the morning – yet.

Stay tuned.

– Bonnie Washuk
Thanking those who served

Wednesday night was the last meeting for three members of the Auburn School Committee. Longtime member Ross Leavitt and one-term members Susan Gaylord and Tara Paradie did not run for re-election. Saying the job requires hours of meetings often several nights a week, committee Chairman David Das thanked all three. He called the last year a challenging one, and said Leavitt, Gaylord and Paradie responded to problems with intelligence and grace.

Leavitt was cited for serving nine years. Leavitt usually doesn’t say a lot, but when he does speak, “everybody listens,” said member Bonnie Hayes. “We’re going to miss you.”

All three were given framed certificates of appreciation. “These are diplomas,” joked interim Superintendent Tom Morrill. On Monday night, school board members, city councilors and Mayor John Jenkins will be sworn into office.

– Bonnie Washuk
Chap-tastic

The chaps are royal blue and metallic silver, with stars. Cutout letters spell “Wild Cody” on the legs, just above the fringe.

At Demers Leather Sales in Lewiston, you can’t get a much better conversation piece than that.

The chaps were made by a Demers customer for the Dallas Cowboys mascot several years ago, but the metallic covering flaked and the chaps were returned. Demers, a leather wholesaler, found itself the proud owner of gently worn – and definitely garish – cowboy gear.

“He wanted something very vibrant and flashy,” said Gerry Meservier, a salesman for the Lisbon Street leather shop. “They’re very, very flashy.”

As a wholesaler, Demers usually deals with hides and leather pieces. Customers have used the material to make cowboy boots for movie stars and other famous people. One made a saddle for the first President George Bush, Meservier said.

But only the Dallas Cowboy chaps have ended up back in the shop. On display near the Demers front door, the chaps often spark customer conversation.

Blue. Metallic. Fringe.

“They really find it fascinating,” Meservier said.

– Lindsay Tic


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