Published: 1/22/2019 3:00:21 PM

The North Quabbin region was blasted with a combination snow-rain-ice storm that closed area schools, forced cars off the road and downed power lines. Athol police reported massive traffic jams as cars tried to negotiate hills. “We had cars backed up to Exchange Street trying to get up Main Street hill,” said Sgt. Timothy Anderson, “We had cars stuck on every hill in town.”

The Athol-Royalston Regional School Committee voted to put a freeze on all accounts with all spending to be authorized by Acting Superintendent Allen P. Hodgdon on an emergency/priority basis. The motion was brought forth by Joseph Maga, who voiced concern that the E&D account which had about $250,000 at the beginning of the fiscal year, has now been reduced to about $18,000. The committee also took the first step in solving the problem of overcrowding in the elementary and middle school by approving a recommendation to build a new middle school and build a new elementary school or add on to Pleasant Street School.

Mrs. Helen Whipple, president of the Mahar Teachers Association, recently presented a plaque to office secretary, Mrs. Bessie Stowell who is retiring after 29 years of service to Mahar.

The Department of Education is producing a video to assist in creating a Common Core of Learning and the Orange School Committee thinks more work on the video is needed. The video, titled “Voices of Reform,” is 21 minutes long and is intended to “stimulate local discussions about education reform and to gather input for the Board of Education’s work in developing a Common Core of Learning,” according to a guide for viewing that was distributed to committee members.

The New England Patriot took another step toward stability when the owner of their stadium bought them for the highest price ever paid for an NFL franchise. The sale from James Orthwein to Robert Kraft keeps the team at Foxboro Stadium and away from St. Louis, Orthwein’s hometown, where a rival group wanted to move the team. “We are pleased” with the sale to Kraft, “a New England-based businessman,” the NFL said in a statement.


Army Capt. Edward J. Verock, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Verock, of Athol, recently received the Army Commendation Medal while serving with a signal battalion near Phu Lam, Vietnam. The award was presented “for meritorious service as commander of the battalion’s Company C.” Verock has been in the Signal Corps since April, 1966.

Pressing for answers from Mohawk Valley Television, Inc., on increased cable television rates, a group of about 20 residents at the Athol selectmen’s meeting decided to publish a questionnaire aimed at the holders of original $125 capital contribution certificates. The action came after Chairman of Selectmen H. Thomas Colo told them George Wylie, Mohawk’s general manager, did not actually refuse to attend a public meeting requested this week but was going on the basis that only 10 people attended last week’s meeting and 500-600 persons have turned in certificates at Mohawk’s request.

Tentative plans are underway to hold a 10th anniversary celebration to mark the advent of sport parachuting in Massachusetts. The proposal was made by Jacques A. Istel, president of Parachutes Inc., pioneer sport parachuting firm in the United States, with headquarters in Orange. Istel, addressing a meeting of selectmen, airport commissioners and members of the Orange Chamber of Commerce at the Fernwood, spoke of the inception of sport parachuting in Massachusetts, particularly in Orange, and the uphill progress that has been made in the sport to date. It is Istel’s hope that the townspeople of Orange will take part in supporting the proposed celebration, possibly with a parade, barbecue, and other related events. He also said it is the hope of sport parachuting supporters that an unoccupied building at the airport will be made available for a museum to display sport parachute gear and other articles relative to the sport.

President Nixon launched his administration with a pledge to consecrate his office, “my energies and all the wisdom I can summon, to the cause of peace among nations.”


Earl H. Davis, Jr., sergeant technician, U.S. Army, and son of Earl H. Davis of Athol, was recently awarded a Silver Star for gallantry in action at New Georgia, Solomon Islands, “in courageously advancing through a line of heavy hostile fire to administer first aid and safely evacuate a wounded comrade on July 16, 1943.” He has now been promoted to staff sergeant.

A hair-raising account of his capture by the Nazis in Italy, of being wounded soon after by American shells, and of his escape from the enemy, is told in graphic detail by Pfc. George E. Anderson, 27, former Athol Daily News linotyper, in a letter to his mother.

Athol High School students who complete pre-induction courses and enter the Army will be given credit for the work by the Army, according to Major Gen. Sherman Miles, commanding general of the First Service Command. Pre-induction courses taught here are Pre-Flight Aviation, fundamentals of Electricity and of Machines. In this war, nine out of 10 soldiers are given specialist training; the man who enters with preliminary training is more ready to adapt himself to the demands of the military program and thus advance more rapidly.

Athol High School Athletic Association season tickets for 6 games of basketball or hockey are being sold for $1.00.

A survey of last year’s Orange High School graduates has revealed that over 80 percent of the boys are already in the service.

The combined Orange High School music clubs presented their fourth annual musicale to a capacity audience in the school auditorium. Every seat in the hall was taken and scores of prospective customers were turned away at the door. By far the most successful for all musicales, its diversified program held the audience’s attention for well over two hours. The first part of the program included the forty-some odd piece school orchestra and a quintette. Part two was supplied by the chorus and four vocal solos. The 13-piece O.H.S. dance orchestra presented part three. The program was rounded off by the brass quartet and the band playing a selection from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, “Pirates of Penzance,” and John Philip Souza’s well-known march, “El Capitan.”

In a move unprecedented in all American farm history, a wage control program for agricultural workers, with maximum ceilings of $2,400 a year, has been ordered by War Food Administrator Marvin Jones.

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