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Political strife brings Crown Point family home

CROWN POINT Political violence a half world away has brought a Crown Point family home. Beth Polhemus and her four sons have returned from Kenya to live with her parents, Greg and Joanne Betit. Polhemuss husband Mark, a US. Army doctor doing research on malaria in Kenya, stayed behind. It was a very hard decision to leave Kenya, Polhemus said. We had been there a long time and it was a wonderful country. The Polhemus family had lived in the Kisumu region in western Kenya nearly four years. It was a great experience until Dec. 27. Thats when President Mwai Kibaki claimed victory in elections, but opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed the vote was rigged. International observers have also cited flaws in the tallying. Riots and ethnic attacks followed. More than 1,000 people have been killed and a further 300,000 displaced since the elections. There was a lot of looting and burning taking place around us, Polhemus said. But when the children started hearing gunshots while in school, that was it. We decided to get the boys out of there. The boys are David, age 10, Samuel, 9, Daniel, 7, and Thomas, 5. Beth Polhemus and her sons left Kenya for Crown Point Jan. 2. Her husband is still in Kenya, but has moved to the capital city of Nairobi because of security concerns. The return to Crown Point has been hard on the Polhemus boys. After spending much of their lives in Kenya, theyre now faced with a new culture along with a new school, St. Marys in Ticonderoga. St. Marys has welcomed us with open arms, Polhemus said. Its been a difficult time for us, but its almost a non-transition in school. People have been great to us. And Polhemus is enjoying being home in Crown Point. Its great to be home, she said. Im so happy to be with my mom, dad and sister. Everyone has really welcomed us.

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