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2 Die in Drowning, School Safety Concerns Raised and More News from Around the Region

A roundup of news in the area.

Attleboro Schools Not Secure, Parent Says
A parent of an elementary school student in Attleboro, who said he was sharing the opinions of several others, said at this week’s school committee meeting that more must be done to secure the local public schools.

School district Superintendent Pia Durkin said she has had several administrative meetings about school safety since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. Building safety plans are "continually looked at and reviewed by the police department" and have been given a "far more critical eye" since the Sandy Hook tragedy, she said. She said a review of school monitors and security systems was recently done and she has some ideas for upgrades. Also, she wants the schools to have more lockdown drills.

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Norton School Committee Chooses Joseph Baeta for Superintendent
The Norton School Committee voted unanimously to hire Joseph Baeta as the new superintendent of schools Thursday night.

Baeta, who started out at the Southeastern Regional Technical School, moved to Sharon and then became the superintendent of schools in Holbrook after working nine months as the high school principal and later as the interim superintendent.

Baeta was chosen after a lengthy search process that started in November after the previous search failed to reach a favorable conclusion in contract negotiations. Norton and Baeta have yet to work out a contract at this point.

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Two From Mansfield Dead After Drowning in Cancun
Two Mansfield women have died after drowning while on vacation in Cancun, Mexico according to WBZ.

The two women, identified as Donna Batta and Gail Binmore, travel to Cancun for a vacation last Friday along with two other friends. After one of the friends left Tuesday, the remaining three took a late night dip in the water. The current was too strong for them and North Attleboro resident Lisa Marie Tondreault was the only person to escape the rough waters and strong undertow.

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Patriot Place Adds High-End Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse to Restaurant Mix
Patriot Place continued its recent boom in business by adding a high-end Japanese hibachi steakhouse to its restaurant mix.

Saga Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar is coming to Foxborough, expected to open this summer after the town’s Board of Selectmen unanimously approved all licenses and applications at Tuesday’s meeting.

The restaurant will be located at 295 Patriot Pl., next to Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, across from Red Robin and near the Renaissance Hotel. Inside, the hibachi dining room will seat 95, the dining area 77 and the lounge bar 18. The premises holds a max capacity of 275 persons. Renovations and construction of the restaurant space is expected to cost just over $1 million, according to the restaurant’s application.

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