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Teacher's Legacy Tops Ossining News This Week

Hester Bateman Spencer Hines became the first black teacher hired in the Ossining School District in 1949. She retired in 1978 as assistant superintendent of schools. She died in 1979.
Hester Bateman Spencer Hines became the first black teacher hired in the Ossining School District in 1949. She retired in 1978 as assistant superintendent of schools. She died in 1979. Photo Credit: Contributed

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Here are some of the top stories from this week in Ossining.

  • Hester Bateman Spencer Hines was born in North Carolina in 1923. She was a direct descendant of the Rev. Henry E, Duers, founder of the Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church, in Ossining. Upon her graduation from Shaw University in 1941, she taught in her home for two years before moving to Ossining. In 1949, she became the first black teacher hired by the Ossining school district, where her first assignment was teaching first-grade at Park School.
  • After 18 years, the "We Can Do It" property in Ossining has a new owner. The Village of Ossining unanimously approved the sale of 147-155 Main St. to The Stagg Group, based in Purchase at a special board meeting July 9. The sale was completed July 11. The Main Street properties, called “We Can Do It” have remained vacant since an April 1995 fire damaged three mixed-use buildings, which included several apartments, retail spaces and Kipp’s Pharmacy, a historic drugstore. Ten families were left homeless by the blaze.
  • A sweltering heat wave led Con Edison to ask its Westchester and New York City customers to conserve their electricity usage this week.

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