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Weather wreaks havoc with graduation plans

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Albany/HV: Weather wreaks havoc with graduation plans
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A weather forecast predicting severe thunderstorms sends a number of local school administrators scrambling to change plans for graduation. Christian Farrell has more on who handed out diplomas and who took a rain check.

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- The Middletown High School football field is conspicuously quiet late Friday afternoon. It's graduation day. Yet some 440 graduating seniors are missing. The threat of heavy rain can do that.

"We have a backup plan on a consistent basis where we meet at Orange County Community College and hold our services in the gymnasium," said Middletown City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Eastwood.

Middletown isn't the only school district to go to plan B. Goshen school officials called off graduation at the Historic Track. The ceremony is rescheduled for Saturday afternoon.

"Most of the parents I've spoken to said based on the weather report, you made the right decision. A little disappointed we're not having it tonight. But excited about tomorrow," said Goshen Central School District Superintendent Daniel Connor.

Now while the threat of stormy weather has postponed graduation in Goshen, in some places, school officials have decided the show must go on, even outdoors.

In Port Jervis, there are puddles, but graduation for the Class of 2012 will go on as planned at Chase Field.

"We basically watch the radars all day long. We're on for seven. I make the vow to students every year that by hook or by crook, we'll be outside," said Port Jervis High School Principal Thomas Bongiovi.

A decision which receives approval from those wearing the red and black.

"I'd rather have it outside. It's better," said graduate Jason Myrnyj.

"It's better outside because whoever you want to be there can be there. And you're not stuck into a hot auditorium," said graduate Jessica Saltamacchia.

At least not in Port Jervis.

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