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Ready or not, it's about to begin in Sumner County.
Students will finally be in class on Thursday, nearly a week and a half after they were supposed to start.
The bell rings at 7:30 a.m. at Beech Elementary School.
The budget dispute that kept schools closed for eight days isn't over, nevertheless, teachers are ready to welcome students back.
Terry Newbill finally knows when school will begin.
"All around this county today, everybody is getting ready for tomorrow," says Newbill.
She is putting the finishing touch on her classroom, knowing 22 5th graders will be sitting in their seats on Thursday.
"Just finalizing the things that we have to do to be ready for students to walk in the door in the morning," says Newbill.
Beech Elementary is one of the 48 Sumner County schools that have been shut down, but now school board members have decided it's time to open the doors.
The principal at Beech says it will feel like any other first day.
"Kids are going to be excited, we're excited to have them. We're excited to be back in school," says principal Bobby Elrod.
But the budget problems are not over.
The school system is still about two million dollars short. Every school could face layoffs and cuts.
The county commission and the school board have found little common ground, something County Executive Anthony Holt believes, needs to change.
"We need to learn from this. We need to dedicate ourselves to working closer together, as far as the board of education and the county commission, and come up with solutions," says Holt.
While the budget is a concern, it's hard to dampen enthusiasm for Thursday.
"Really looking forward to it, and seeing all my friends, and getting my new class schedule," says 8th grade student Jamie Duke.
Parents are also ready for the return.
"It's overdue, but she's ready, and I think all of the parents are ready, and we're ready," says parent Alana Duke.
Teachers like Mrs. Newbill have little time left. Sumner County schools are back.
"I think we're more united than ever before," says Newbill.
Even though the school board just decided to open schools Tuesday night, everything will be up and running on Thursday.
School buses have their routes, the cafeterias have food, and teachers are ready.
For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn
Thursday, August 16 2012, 06:13 AM CDT
Man facing extradition for murder claims innocence
June 17, 2013 20:24 GMT
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A former U.S. Marine facing extradition to the Philippines on double murder charges says he is innocent.
Timothy Kaufman has been in jail since his arrest in April at business near his grandfather's Albany-area home. The 35-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn., is one of three men charged by Philippine authorities with killing a retired Northern Ireland police officer and his girlfriend in 2011.
Authorities claim it was a premeditated killing in an area known for its sometimes-seamy club scene.
In a handwritten letter sent to the media from jail, Kaufman says he would never do something as "heinous and stupid" as killing the couple. He says he left the country after the killings because he feared for his safety.
An extradition hearing is scheduled for June 25 in Albany federal court.
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