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Newport Schools Approve Investigator Contract, Agreement with Southgate

The Newport Board of Education discussed private investigator services at its most recent meeting.

Attorney Robert L. Wilson has done minor investigative work for the school district when it had questions, but one item on the recent agenda caused concern for board member Theresa Miller.

She said that Wilson could not be contracted on an as-needed basis for investigative work, as proposed, because Wilson is not a licensed private investigator. She said she confirmed that stipulation with appropriate regulators in Frankfort.

Board members Melissa Sheffel and Julie Smith-Morrow expressed that the issue appeared to be with terminology, arguing that Wilson had not conducted any investigative work that would violate state law.

Board member and president Ramona Malone suggested that the wording of the item be changed to express that Wilson would be contracted only to conduct investigative work that he is permitted to do without a license.

The issue passed 4 to 1, with Miller objecting.

Meanwhile, the high school cafeteria is nearly completed.

The district finance director Tete Turner said that some funding for the project had to be adjusted related to twenty-seven items discovered as work went on.

"The cafeteria is 99 percent complete," Turner said. "But this last change is a variety of changes being negotiated. The amount of money is $11,715, which is in the contingency."

The board agreed to the change order.  Joseph Hayes, from Robert Ehmet Hayes and Associates, the architecture firm, was on hand in case the board members had any questions.

The board approved increasing the adult lunch price from $3.50 to $3.75,  and adult breakfast at the school to $2.40.

Newport also approved a memorandum of understanding with Southgate Independent Schools to provide special education services for the 2019-2020 school year, and the board also approved a stipend request for financial assistance and human resource services to Southgate.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor