Pothole of the week nominee…..

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B-G teacher removed from classroom after pot arrest

Some people really shouldn’t grow….like this guy….-UA

May. 23, 2011 george basler pressconnects.com

BAINBRIDGE — A Bainbridge-Guildford Central School District teacher and coach has been removed from the classroom after being charged with growing marijuana at a daycare facility in Bainbridge.

James M. Spinella, 32, was arrested and charged by state police last week after an unannounced inspection of the daycare facility, at 1566 County Route 39, found marijuana plants growing in the basement and backyard. Spinella lived at the residence, as did Stephanie Emerson, 22, the operator of the daycare facility, who has not been charged.

Spinella teaches English at Bainbridge-Guilford’s middle school, Superintendent Karl Brown said Monday, adding he believes Spinella has worked for the district for about 10 years. A course catalogue also listed him as junior varsity soccer coach.

On the advice of the school district’s attorney, Brown would not discuss Spinella’s job status, but said: “He is not in the classroom at the moment. We are going to conduct our own investigation and following that investigation take appropriate action.”

Spinella faces a series of misdemeanor charges and violations, including fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

State police did not charge Emerson, who cooperated in the investigation, after determining she was not aware of the marijuana on the property, Senior Investigator Lori Hochdanner said Monday.

The marijuana in the backyard was concealed in tall grass beyond the yard, Hochdanner said.

State police began the investigation after being contacted about the marijuana by an inspector from the state Office of Children and Family Services, Bureau of Day Care Enforcement, who made a surprise inspection of the facility on May 16.

School officials called state police last week after hearing rumors about the case, Brown said. They learned about the arrest when they talked with state police at the end of the week.

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