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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — An elementary school teacher has been allowed to keep his job even though he was late for work 111 times over a two-year period.

In a decision filed Aug. 19, an arbitrator rejected an attempt by the Roosevelt Elementary School to fire 15-year veteran Arnold Anderson from his $90,000-a-year job, saying he was entitled to progressive discipline.

Anderson was late 46 times in the most recent school year through March 20 and 65 times in the previous school year, the arbitrator said. But the arbitrator criticized Anderson's claim that the quality of his teaching outweighed his tardiness.

The arbitrator found that the district failed to provide Anderson with due process by providing him with a formal notice of inefficiency or by giving him 90 days to correct his failings before terminating his employment.

The district has withheld raises for his tardiness and Anderson will remain suspended without pay until Jan. 1.

New state regulations that cover the filing of tenure charges require rulings by state-appointed arbitrators that once took years to occur within 90 days, making it easier to accuse teachers of inefficiency.

PENN. HOUSE CATCHES FIRE WHILE NEW OWNERS SIGN DEED

MEYERSDALE, Pa. — A western Pennsylvania couple who bought a neighboring vacant house because they feared it was a fire hazard was right: It caught fire while they were at the county courthouse signing the deed.

The (Somerset) Daily American reports that Bradley and Penny Mason bought the house in Meyersdale intending to tear it down. It's located just feet from their home about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

A neighbor called 911 to report the fire at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, and fire officials have determined the origin was suspicious. The fire marshal is still investigating the cause.

Penny Mason tells the newspaper the home has “been sitting empty for a couple years. We didn't even know about the fire until the fire department was called.”

DRONE STARTLES RESTING MONK

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — A Benedictine monk who works at a private Rhode Island school has discovered that finding solitude is no easy feat, even 175 feet in the air.

Brother Joseph Byron was recently relaxing atop the Portsmouth Abbey School’s wind turbine — as he often does — when a drone zoomed in.

Video taken by the drone, owned by a Californian on vacation, shows Byron sprawled across the turbine’s flat surface, with views of Narragansett Bay in the background. The footage was posted online this week.

Byron told the Providence Journal on Thursday he’s now hearing from everyone on the planet. He says seeing the drone was a little annoying since he climbs the turbine when he wants to be alone.

— Compiled from wire service reports

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