Times Past for week of Nov. 19: 25, 50 and 75 years ago

  • Linda Knapp

Published: 11/18/2019 9:37:13 PM
Modified: 11/18/2019 9:37:08 PM

Athol Police Department received a certificate of recognition from the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the development of the Citizens’ Police Academy. The certificate states that “The Citizens’ Police Academy has opened new lines of communication between the police and the citizens of Athol, and given participants a better understanding of the police officer’s job.”

Selectmen voted to establish a police building committee to begin looking at possible sites, costs and other items necessary to make a new police station a reality.

Behavior problems with a group of fifth and sixth grade students at Riverbend School during playground times has escalated and the school administration asked the Athol-Royalston Regional School Committee for assistance. Riverbend Principal Gary Curtis said a “core” group of four boys and a satellite group of about a dozen others have been intimidating and threatening peers. He said the staff is concerned the situation could worsen if appropriate steps are not taken.

After a year of research and planning to identify the best way to revitalize downtown, the board of The Orange Revitalization Partnership is ready with seven Phase I projects. Many are designed to build a base for businesses to succeed in town and secure quality of life for residents. The projects include a riverfront park, a bicycle path, an artists’ cooperative, a flea market-antiques center, a business assistance center, a farmers’ market and the development of community support for revitalization.

Edward Keith, 30, of Phillipston, pleaded guilty to second degree murder and armed robbery in Franklin County Superior Court, Greenfield. Keith was sentenced to serve life in prison with the possibility of parole for the murder of Dwayne Conkey, 23. On the robbery charge he was sentenced to 15-20 years in Cedar Junction, both sentences to be served concurrently.

Keith LaRivie parachuted into the backyard at Bullard Farm, New Salem during the recent Peter Shea concert with birthday greetings for the 1794 Meetinghouse. This is the bicentennial year for the building, which has been renovated into a performing arts center for the North Quabbin area.

Chad M. Blackbird of Wendell Depot, has earned the National Eagle Award and was recognized in a recent National Eagle Court of Honor at the Prescott Church Museum located on the grounds of the Swift River Valley Historical Society in New Salem.


Athol merchants have received $900 towards a goal of $2,500 for Christmas lighting in the downtown area and a Christmas party for children.

Athol Police Chief Philip A. Cowick said his department has received numerous complaints from school bus drivers that some motorists fail to stop when bus lights are flashing. He said this is probably due to ignorance of the law rather than deliberate violations.

Police are investigating 15 complaints of broken windows, caused by pellets from a BB gun, filed by home and car owners.

Plans for vocational education on an Athol-Orange basis were discussed at a meeting of the Athol-Royalston School Committee. Plans for a cooperative venture will be formulated by James P. Kelley, superintendent of Athol Schools and Kermit W. Cook, superintendent of the Mahar Regional District who will submit ideas to their school committees.

A 10-day European trip is being planned by members of the National Honor Society at Mahar Regional High School in Orange. The trip will include visits to France and Switzerland. An unlimited number of students and teachers have been invited on the charter flight from Boston to Geneva. The total cost per student is $343.

In a special session of the Orange Elementary School Committee resignations of the entire full-time cafeteria staff at Dexter Park School were accepted in face of their statement that unless an hourly pay increase of five cents was granted in January, they would not report for work. Two of the workers earn $1.70 per hour, another $1.60 and the fourth $1.50. An additional request made by them would have doubled the present sick leave of five days annually allowed by the school committee.

Two American astronauts from Apollo 12, Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr. and Alan L. Bean, made a bull’s-eye landing on the moon, raising their nation’s flag and exploring its black, powdery surface for about four hours. Before returning safely to their lunar ferry Intrepid, they deployed a set of five scientific instruments powered by the first nuclear generator on the moon. It was man’s second quest for knowledge on that alien soil. The moonwalk was spoiled for earthlings when a camera relaying the first color pictures from the surface failed after 45 minutes.


Mrs. Eva G. Ball was reelected to serve as master of Athol Grange for 1945.

A gang of some four or five juveniles, who have been breaking into many places in Athol, Orange and Phillipston, has apparently been broken up. Police Chief William J. Callahan announced that two of the boys are in custody and have, it is said by the Chief, admitted to many offenses, but have refused to divulge the names of others who have been with them.

Pfc. Joseph P. Hughes, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Hughes of Athol, who was injured in France on Sept. 6, has been awarded the Purple Heart, which he has sent to his parents. He is now in a hospital in England.

Mr. and Mrs. Einar S. Nylander of Athol, received a telegram from the Navy Department stating that their son, Edward D. Nylander, 23, radioman 3/c, USN, was “killed in action in the Pacific.” He had been stationed there a year. At the time of entering service on Dec. 16, 1942, he was employed at the L.S. Starrett Co.

Patrolman Oliver J. Belloli has been appointed Acting Chief of Police by the Orange Board of Selectmen, to take the place of Martin Wannaberg, resigned. This is subject to confirmation by the Civil Service Board. Wannaberg has accepted a position with the Minute Tapioca Co.

Second Lt. Scott E. Alexander, 23, son of Dr. and Mrs. Kirke L. Alexander of Orange, navigator of a B-17 Flying Fortress of the 95th Bombardment Group, has been awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement on missions over Germany.

Staff Sgt. Harold Dyer of Orange, ball turret gunner on a B-24 which was shot down in a raid over the Ploesti Oil Fields in Romania on Aug. 17,is home after spending a month in a prison camp. Sgt. Dyer has been awarded the Purple Heart, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters and the Presidential Citation.

Lt. Roger William Love, son of Roger H. Love of Orange, pilot of a B-24 Liberator bomber with the 15th Air Force in Italy, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. He has completed 50 combat missions over enemy territory, Austria, France, Germany, Northern Italy, Romania and Yugoslavia.

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