Southern Ulster Times Feb. 07 2018

T IMES SOUTHERN ULSTER Vol. 15, No. 6 3 FEBRUARY 7 - 13, 2018 ONE DOLLAR Dukes down Huskies Page 36 Pages 18-19 SERVING HIGHLAND, MARLBOROUGH AND PLATTEKILL Players plea for coach’s job Ward supporters urge school board to reconsider his job status By MARK REYNOLDS At last week’s well-attended Marlboro School Board meeting, every speaker, except one, defended Varsity Football Coach Rich Ward, who was recently informed that he would not be rehired to his position this fall. The overwhelming response from the public was for the School Board to reinstate Ward to his position in Marlboro. The school board fired Ward because of a series of harsh texts between him and a mother of a football player on whether her son would be attending the annual football dinner in December. After being called a “jerk” in a text Ward’s response was, “Ma’am, you can go to hell and kiss my a**.” He later apologized for his remarks, which he admitted were inappropriate. The public told the school board that this momentary transgression should not be cause to remove him nor denigrate the positive influences that he has had upon his players for the past eight years. This latest dust up comes after a 2014 lawsuit that was filed by several players against Coach Ward, former Superintendent Ray Castellani and the school district in U.S. District Court. At that time Ward was alleged to have verbally and physically abused some of his football players while the former Superintendent knew about it and failed to take any action to stop it. Though a judge later dismissed the lawsuit, the school board warned Ward that any inappropriate conduct moving forward would not be tolerated. During public input at last week’s board meeting, the father of Noah 3 Plattekill signs up with county agencies By MARK REYNOLDS Marlboro Football Coach Rich Ward admitted mistakes that he has made and promised to take any corrective action the board suggests. Kim McKeon, who was involved in a texting conflict with Ward, stands behind him and urged the board to keep him on as coach. Also lending support was Ulster County Legislator Richard Gerentine. Fedora said his son’s diagnosis of epilepsy caused him to quit playing football. He later joined the track team, which given his medical condition, is a far safer sport for him. On numerous occasions Ward pressured his son to rejoin the football team. When Noah backed out of a meeting with the team’s leader out of concern for his health, Fedora said Ward called his son, “a piece of garbage for not coming to the meeting and he wouldn’t want anyone like that on his team anyway.” Noah’s father said this had a devastating effect upon his Continued on page 5 WWW.SOUTHERNULSTERTIMES.COM The Plattekill Town Board unanimously approved agreements between the Town and the Ulster County Emergency Response Team [UCERT] as well as the Ulster County Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team [URGENT]. The agreements have been proposed by the Office of the Ulster County District Attorney and the Office of the Ulster County Sheriff. UCERT is responsible for rapid tactical responses to critical incidents and URGENT investigates criminal and violent activities of gang members and their affiliates, narcotic offenses and the possession and sale of illegal firearms. Supervisor Joe Croce said the full Town Board and Police Chief Joseph Ryan have reviewed the cooperative agreements and have urged their approval. Complete copies of the agreements can be reviewed at the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall. Continued on page 4