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Oxford school board reorganizes

OXFORD - The School Committee unanimously re-elected William C. Spitz as chairman and Patricia D. Dawidczyk as vice chairman last night.

Both Mr. Spitz and Mrs. Dawidczyk were unopposed in their bids for second three-year terms in Tuesday's election, which led to last night's reorganization meeting at Oxford Middle School.

Driver in court in assault case

WEBSTER - A Franklin man who police allege hit a parked car and then attempted to hit two witnesses who tried to stop him, appeared in Dudley District Court yesterday.

Ryan P. Murphy, 26, pleaded not guilty yesterday to two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, threatening to commit a crime, leaving the scene of property damage, reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Judge Neil G. Snider released Mr. Murphy on his personal recognizance and scheduled a pretrial hearing for June 19.

The incident allegedly occurred in the parking lot of Mario's Showplace on Thompson Road around 11:30 p.m. April 2. Police said they observed Mr. Murphy on a surveillance tape reverse his black Pontiac Grand Am into another car.

He then sped toward the two witnesses so that they would get out of his way, police said.

A worker at the club later said a bartender had stopped serving alcohol to Mr. Murphy because he appeared intoxicated. Before leaving, Mr. Murphy allegedly threatened to come back to "start a war" and "shoot up the place."

According to the police report, a state trooper from the Millbury barracks arrested Mr. Murphy for driving under the influence of alcohol about 45 minutes after the Webster accident. He was arraigned on that charge April 3.

Group rallies for records reform

FITCHBURG - Local activists are calling on legislators to pass a package of criminal offender records information reforms. A rally is scheduled at the Statehouse this afternoon in Boston.

"Weaknesses in the current CORI laws allow for blanket discrimination based not on an offense that occurred, but merely based on the existence of a record," according to a news release from Neighbor to Neighbor, which was scheduled to hold a news conference yesterday afternoon at Three Pyramids in Fitchburg.

The current CORI system, critics say, creates obstacles for people trying to obtain jobs, housing and acceptance into licensure and educational programs.

"Over 20,000 people are released from incarceration in Massachusetts every year," according to Neighbor to Neighbor. "When criminal records prevent people from earning an honest living, families suffer, crime increases, and the state loses revenue."

Local activists are expected to join other state residents for a rally at 2 p.m. at the Statehouse following what organizers are calling a 50-mile walk "for freedom from CORI discrimination."

The Legislature's judiciary committee is expected to release a comprehensive criminal justice package by July. Local organizations are working with state legislators to continue to move this reform forward.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:May 22, 2008
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